Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Salad nicoise

New potatoes from the allotment - some carrots, an avocado, green beans and carrots from the veg box - and a lettuce - well - seemed obvious really!  We have been picking up eggs, free range, from local farms recently - what a difference - look at the colour of those yolks!

So ...

New potatoes
Green beans
Olive oil
Lemon juice
Cos lettuce
Black olive
Tinned tuna (pole caught in spring water)

1.  Boil potatoes, steam green beans.
2.  Hardboil the eggs - when cooked - cool under running cold water and peel.
3.  Drain potatoes, mix with green beans, crushed garlic and olive oil.
4.  Mix washed lettuce with ribbons of carrot, and sliced avocado, toss in a little lemon juice and olive oil.
5.  Place salad around edge of large serving platter, pile potatoes and beans in the middle - arrange tuna and eggs, chuck on black olives.

Call that cooking .... hardly!

Friday, 2 October 2015

Pizza - on World Vegetarian Day

The hens have started laying!  Yay!  and we have some of our own potatoes from the allotment, so wanted to do something a bit different.  Also, experimenting with gluten free pizza bases.  A success all round I say.

So, two different sorts of pizza a "fiorentina" of sorts with garlic, potato, spinach and the egg - and a vegatable one with tomato, courgette ribbons, olives and cheddar.

Pizza bases

I used "Isabel's" - and followed the packet instructions (flour mix, water, egg and olive oil), kneeded.

The difference, in cooking, between this and standard pizza dough is that after kneeding you don't prove them, they are rolled out and then they need pre-cooking for 10 minutes, before adding the topping and baking again for 15 minutes.


Olive oil
New potato
Egg (pekin bantam egg in this case)

1.  Finely chop/crush the garlic and mix with the oil.
2.  Parboil sliced new potato and steam the spinach.
3.  Drain potato, chop spinach.
4.  Spoon and spread garlic oil onto pizza base, layer with potato slices and scatter on the spinach.
5.  Drizzle with a little more garlic oil, season, and put in hot oven for 5 minutes.
6.  After 5 minutes, crack the egg into the center of the pizza, and return to the oven for 10 minutes.

Vegetable one

Lemon juice
Olive oil
Black olives
Grated cheddar

1.  Make ribbons of courgette using a speed peeler.
2.  Finely slice about half an onion.
3.  Mix the courgette and onion together, marinade in lemon juice, olive oil, oregano and a pinch of salt (for about 20 minutes as you faff with other things).  You could chuck the olives, sliced or otherwise into this mix too, or keep them separate to sprinkle over the top.
4.  Grate the cheese.
5.  Slice the tomato and layer over the pizza base.
6.  Drape courgette and onions over the tomatoes.
7.  Cover with grated cheese and a grind of black pepper (optional).
8.  Cook in hot over for about 15 minutes.

The crust was really good, a bit hard on exposed edges perhaps, but not that nasty chewiness or dryness that you often get with GF products.

It was nice cold too!

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Black forest cantuccini

Wanted to make a special person a special birthday treat - but GF, and they don't like cake ... so, this was tried, and it was a huge hit.

2 cups GF plain flour
1 cup golden granulated sugar
1 heaped tsp baking powder

3 eggs
3 tbsp cherry liquer (OK, OK cherry B)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp brandy (I used armagnac ... cos it was for a proper treat ... use brandy .. or leave out)

2 cups (mixed together) of:-

toasted hazelnuts - roughly chopped.
dark chocolate chips (or chopped up plain chocolate)
Dried cherries
almonds - roughly chopped

1.  mix dry ingredients together -
2.  add fruit and nuts.  Mix together by lifting into the air and letting drop back into the bowl, so that all the fruit and nuts are separated and coated in the flour and sugar, and evenly distributed through the mix.
3.  Whisk eggs and liquids together.
4.  Mix liquid, bit by bit, into dry ingredients.  The mix might look quite wet ... but bear with it
5.  Turn out onto floured board, and mix together to a soft dough/batter.
6.  Shape into 3 rectangles shapes - put onto baking sheet, lined with baking paper,
7.  Bake for 20 minutes.
8.  Take out of the oven and leave for 15(ish) minutes until cool enough to handle.
9.  Slice into 1/2 (ish) cm pieces.  Lay onto new baking sheets lined with baking paper.
10  Bake again for 15 mins - until golden brown.

Watch out at a bake sale near you - these are definitely worth selling.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Courgette and broccoli spaghetti

Courgette, onions and broccoli at the end of the veg box ... so, here goes:-
 1.  Sautee chopped onion and crushed garlic in olive oil.
2.  When a little softenned add diced courgette, and the broccoli stem, diced.
3.  Add a little water, so that it doesn't get too dry, and a few chili flakes, season.
4.  Make pasta (GF spaghetti in this case) according to packet instructions.
5.  5 minutes from serving add small broccoli florets and juice and zest of half a lemon.
6.  Drain pasta, toss together ... turn of black pepper
7.  Scoff - with, or without parmesan.

Delicious and under 20 mins to make.

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Roasted squash with barley groat and vegetables.

Roast squash in olive oil with garlic and red onion.
Sautee onion and garlic, peeled and chopped carrots, green beans and sweetcorn (this was kernals taken off the cob), in a little olive oil.  Add water and simmer gently until veg is nearly done - add shredded kale a little vegetable stock and simmer again until done.  Meanwhile boil groats for 15 minutes, drain and mix with the veg.  Season - quite a lot - add some chopped herbs.
It's an earthy dinner, very filling and good for you.

Smoked mackeral, beetroot pasta salad with mustard dressing.

Corn on the cob glut in the veg box, and some beetroot cooked already to use up.  So cooked up a bit of pasta with the corn kernals and steam some green beans, flaked some smoked mackeral and toss in dressing.  Serve with some shredded iceberg.  Dressing - crushed garlic, mustard, fresh lemon juice and olive oil - salt and pepper.

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Dry curry with potatoes, kale and paneer - with tarka dhal

 It looks, very much like my last entry - which perhaps says something about how tasty this curry is.  Today it was made with kale, with the addition of fried paneer.  Also, I did a tarka dahl ... cos I can - you know.  I wish I had some chapattis either in the cupboard - or had made some ... because they would have finished it off lovely, innit  - but it was delish as it was.   Oh yeas, can I just say - our potatoes and onions :)


Dry Curry

2 onions, chopped
Rape seed oil
cumin seeds
Mustard seeds
Chili flakes
Crushed garlic
Kale - shredded
Garam massala



red lentils
rape seed oil
curry leaves
sliced garlic
chopped chili
fennel seeds
crispy fried onions

1.  Sautee onions in rape seed oil, add spices.
2.  Add potatoes, in bite sized pieces, add water and simmer, keep testing for doneness - add more water when necessary.
3.  Fry pieces of paneer in a dry pan - turn when browned, remove form the heat when ready.
4.  When potatoes are nearly done, add shredded kale.
5.  Simmer some more ... sprinkle on garam massala - cook through.


1. Boil lentils.
2.  When boiled, fry spice in oil quickly.
3.  Toss cooked spices onto dhal.

Scoff ... delish.