Making life delicious, one recipe at a time.

Making life delicious, one recipe at a time.

Category: Vegetarian

Tomato Soup Two-Ways

Tomato Soup Two-Ways

It’s been all pumpkins, cobwebs, candles and autmunal pickings from the garden this week. As usual, we were overly ambitious with our jack-o-lantern designs this year and we spent most of Sunday afternoon carving pumpkins, listening to Jonny Trunk’s 50p vintage Halloween tunes and drinking lemon drop cocktails. I love this time of year. It was tempting to re-post my Hazelnut-crusted pumpkin pie recipe, but instead, I thought I’d share a couple of robust yet simple tomato soup recipes to warm the cockles as the October heat-wave finally gives way to more appropriate lower temperatures. The first is a …

Thali and Street Food in Southall

Thali and Street Food in Southall

He doesn’t know it, but in the last few months I’ve developed a co-dependent relationship with Gordon Ramsay. At first I watched for the explosive drama and classic Ramsay expletives, but then I got hooked on the catch phrases of surprise and expressions of disgust. UK, USA or Costa del Sol; if Ramsay is there, I’ll watch it. It took me a while to try out his Best Restaurant series – because after all – who wants to see Gordo when he’s being nurturing and fostering positivity? But it turns out that Gordon Ramsay’s quest for the best is the …

Cheese and Onion Pizza

Cheese and Onion Pizza

It could well turn out that I develop a whole range of crisp-flavoured pizza toppings but for now, let’s just stick to this one. It’s not really crisp-inspired, it just turned out that the flavours I threw together one night tasted deliciously familiar. Of course you can use which ever cheese and onion combination you like. It could be cheddar and mozzarella coupled with spring onions, or a goats cheese and some caramelised red onion…but today I’ll share the combination that won my heart.

It begins with my long-term love-affair with cheese. It’s OK, my husband knows. He also understands …

Spring Onion and Ginger Dipping Sauce for Dumplings

Spring Onion and Ginger Dipping Sauce for Dumplings

I don’t know if anyone else finds it hard to get a good dipping sauce for dumplings, but on the occasion that I’ve either made or (more likely) bought dumpings to steam at home – the experience is not complete without a strapping good sauce for dipping. This is a recipe from an Australian chef called Kylie Kwong who makes some of the best Chinese food you’ll never eat and it comes from her cookbook Simple Chinese Cooking – which is probably one of my most-used cookbooks.

With the best Asian food, the perfect balance of flavours is essential for …

Spicy Breakfast Beans

Spicy Breakfast Beans

Sometimes, on a Saturday morning, I watch a whole lot of The Pioneer Woman episodes as I finish my breakfast. Being in a family, this means that someone is usually in earshot of Ree Drummond’s twang as she waxes lyrical about cowboys and ‘life on the ranch’ and on one particular occassion, AT was around as she cooked up a big ranch breakfast. There were hashbrowns, baked eggs and all sorts of goodies being made and of course he asked if I could make something ‘like that’, listing ingredients like green peppers and onions.

II always try something once. And …

Elderflower cordial

Elderflower cordial

“Elder be ye Lady’s tree, burn it not or cursed ye’ll be” so says the Wiccan Rede. If you want to cut an elder you must ask permission of the Elder Mother, the spirit said to inhabit the tree, “Old girl, give me some of thy wood and I will give thee some of mine when I grow into a tree.” The Elder tree has long been used for medicinal purposes throughout Europe and Asia and in times past to treat colds, flu, hayfever and arthritis. It’s been found that elderberries stimulate the immune system and some …

Matar Paneer

Matar Paneer

I’ve always wanted to enjoy paneer but have found the paneer dishes at restaurants to be… not so great. It’s an unusual cheese, sort of like cottage cheese in flavour – which is to say incredibly mild – but it’s dense and closer to tofu or halloumi cheese in composition. The delicate flavour and robust texture goes well with this lightly, spiced tomato sauce because you can actually taste the paneer, it’s not just a vehicle for other flavours. I called my friend and she recommended this recipe which uses an MDH masala mix called Shahi Paneer. I prefer to …

Keralan Chickpeas

Keralan Chickpeas

I was lucky enough to get a personal tutorial for this Kadala curry from a friend of mine who hails from the south Indian region of Kerala. My friend makes hers with soaked and pressure cooked chick peas, but I just used tinned. If you find a good brand of chick peas – where the texture is just right – stick to it, because some tinned varieties can be really quite horrible. Seeing her prepare this dish made it more accessible to me as dish that I can incorporate into my menu. In the past I’ve been a bit frightened …

Blitva

Blitva

My dad is from a little island on the Dalmatian coast and the food they eat in those parts is very simple and yet superbly delicious. Mostly the locals eat grilled meats and fish accompanied with bread, salad and a dish they call blitva. Blitva is a vegetable usually made with silver beet or swiss chard and potato, but it can be made with anything from broad beans or zucchini or as I like to use, broccoli and sometimes green beans.

I use broccoli in my blitva because the flavour is mild and better for the kids…chard and silver beet …

Avocado & Baby Gems with Honey-Mustard Dressing

Avocado & Baby Gems with Honey-Mustard Dressing

I stole the idea for this dish from a restaurant in Notting Hill called Pizza East. A fairly amazing establishment, and not just because I saw Mark Strong there. They serve up pizzas and delicious cured meats but it was their vegetarian offerings that I became acquainted with. I was blown away by the quality of each dish, there were fried battons of polenta, pomegranates, purees and an assortment of complex meat-free arrangements but the stand-out plate was the simplest of all, some leaves and avocado drizzled with a vinaigrette.

I like to serve mine up with a sweet …