Archive for January, 2012

A quote

Not that I flatter myself that anyone actually waits for my posts (I don’t) but just to point out that I am not posting so much due to mind and hands being distracted/busy with other things. A few new things have come out of my kitchen- a “white chocolate” creation using my Christmas cacao butter and some freeze dried strawberry powder (seal of approval from the first 3 adults to have tried them.), some savoury “cheese and onion” flax crackers in my dehydrator, some fermented macadamia nut cheese (yum), some super-simple spelt bread from a spanish blog (gorgeous, but needed more salt) and amazingly have re-instated the smoothie tradition at the breakfast table with the kids after a long winter lull. I am careful to make them nice and fruity tasting, but they all get some raw leaves in there, you better believe it! Nobody has complained sofar, and Ellie flexed her muscles proudly afterwards as testimony to her body recieving the goodness gratefully ¬†ūüôā

 

Today I am helping Alfredo out by cooking up a storm for a lunch buffet for his work tomorrow- lentils (similar to my recipe on this site, but with lots of chorizo added), spanish potato salad (also known as russian salad) and a few potato omelettes. Plus Isaac is clamouring to paint. So to keep it simple, here’s a quote which resonated with me.

 

Did you ever stop to taste a carrot? Not just eat it, but taste it? You can’t taste the¬†beauty¬†and energy of the earth in a Twinkie.
‚Äď Astrid Alauda

 

Astrid, I don’t know who you are, but I like what you say. Amen, Astrid, Amen!

Halva Ice cream

I got this recipe from¬†Raw Living¬†by Kate Wood. I saw her recently on a homeschooling documentary I watched with Alfredo, and the subject of her 3 boys diets was touched upon- she is raising all 3 of her sons vegan, and predominantly on uncooked plant foods. While the interviewer was quite taken aback, she seemed more taken aback still when she asked one of the boys (aged six?) what his favourite food was and he replied without hesitation- “Corn salad! I eat it every day!” (Corn salad is “lambs lettuce”, a very mild green leaf, perfect for salads and green smoothies. And, gardeners, it thrives over winter,apparently)

So anyway, this is one of her recipes and I made it last night. YUM. Sesame seeds are packed full of calcium, PACKED. This is sweetened completely with dates (fibre, potassium and other trace minerals) but you could always add some honey or maple syrup at the end if you like it sweeter. If possible, for recipes where you are not heating, invest in good quality unpasteurised honey for maximum benefits. I have 2 half-built hives in my garage. I’m just saying.

  • 400 grams sesame seeds (soaked overnight)
  • 120 grams fresh dates (pitted) or dried, soaked overnight
  • 500 mls water (I found I needed considerably more with my blender, but add it bit by bit)
  • 1 vanilla pod or 1-2 teaspoons vanilla essence

Blend until it is a thick cream “until there are no seedy bits left” says Kate. I only soaked my seeds for 1-2 hours, so I could not get mine completely smooth and I doubt I ever would with my blender unless I used tahini. I also added a bit of honey at the end.

At this point, you can stir in 100grams of raisins and add to your ice cream maker, but last night was hectic and I didn’t even do that! (though I will, in summer!) It is delicious, and I am using it as a breakfast base, stirring in raisins, chopped banana, organic rolled oats, and eating it as is (maybe a bit of maple syrup got on top….)

Sorry, there is no photo, it just looked like a dodgy bowl of overnight oats but it tasted like sesame caramel heaven.

Happy Friday!

Home-made vegetable Stock

We go through a fair amount of veggie peelings- carrot tops (adults) carrot peelings (pickier kids), onions tops and tails (don’t tell Ellie there is onion in almost everything I make) celery ends (just me folks), fat broccoli stalks (raw broccoli salad + my friend Melisa= perfect lunch-at-home date) kale stems, and all the other usual planty stuff. I stumbled across this idea somewhere online, and I thought I would share.

I loved it because we don’t have a composter in our smallish rented garden, and though the Council collects food waste, I am more than happy to find other ways to use my waste. (Celery ends, and broccoli stalks, by the way, can be used in a green juice, but it may be a little too green for some…..this idea is “green” too. All is well)

Simply start a “stock” bag in your freezer, and every time you top and tail vaggies, peel them, have something about to turn or whatever it is, throw it into your freezer bag. I have made home-made vegetable stock before, but mainly with leftovers that happened to be in the fridge. This way, you just store it all away until you have a nice big bagfull.

Then throw it all into a slow cooker overnight, with water- adding- for example:

  • 2 bayleaves
  • sea salt
  • peppercorns (optional)
  • a small glug of olive oil
  • a few garlic cloves
  • herbs of choice- such as thyme, for example
  • a small onion if you don’t have sufficient onion pieces in your bag.
  • other things to add for a deeper flavour if wished: miso, some Marmite, etc

 

In the morning strain it……..and throw the veggie pieces into your food waste. Okay, okay………I know what you’re going to say…but you got some stock out of it, right?! (Obviously cooked waste is no good for a garden composter. My council composts under controlled conditions so that cooked and raw can be broken down together without bacteria developing.)

 

My freezer bag is almost full, and while I should have probably tried it before posting, I cannot see how it can go too wrong. It is after all, vegetable water.

Happy Thursday. I have a children’s party to prepare for my smiling, dancing, jiggly salad-loving sidekick Ellie. 5 on Sunday!

 

Lazy Salad dressing

When Isaac is asleep and I am working through the old “To Do” list, I know it must be time for a lunchtime salad. We have a ton of leftover hummouses and dips in the fridge from a family get together this weekend; and hummous is not just for dipping, it makes a great salad dressing! Just whisk in a bowl with your choice of flavourings. I tried:

  • 1/3 cup regular hummous
  • the juice of half an orange
  • the juice of half a lemon
  • ¬†1/2 teaspoon cumin

Whisk until smooth, and pour over your choice of leaves, chopped raw vegetables, chopped almonds, raisins, sesame seeds, or whatever else you may wish to have with your salad. I think I will play some more with this, it hasn’t reached its pinnacle yet. Luckily, I have plenty of hummous, and¬† Alfredo got 4 bags of organic spinach at 30p a bag. Hooray for lazy salads!

 

Erm...for some reason I saw the freeze dried strawberry powder and thought I would garnish my salad with some. well, I do have strawberry and spinach salad in my salad section.......

Peanut Butter and honey Bars (ferric orthophosphate free)

When selecting peanut butter, it is preferable to opt for one closest to the peanut, the “whole” peanut, and nothing but the peanut, avoiding ones containing wierd things like ferric orthophospahte, hydrogenated oils, corn syrup solids, , soy proteins, mono and diglycerides and other almost unprounceable unmentionables (All of these are in a lower-fat peanut butter made by a company that rhymes with Hippy)

You can even make your own, with unroasted or roasted peanuts in the food processor and a bit of oil- though I have never done it; I think that is a bit too close to nature for Alfredo, and he’s the big peanut butter¬†aficionado in the house. Though I definitely love these:

A ¬†gooey chewey bar made with peanut butter, honey and various other healthy yummies.¬†I also have a peanut butter and honey flapjack recipe on here. It is baked and has a typical “flapjack” or granola bar texture. This is a kind of peanut butter-honey chewy¬†toffee made in a saucepan, and the oats,seeds, and nuts are stirred in afterwards. It was inspired by my sesame toffee, but I cook it for less time so it is a bit chewier.

Ingredients

  • 150 grams honey (in a saucepan)
  • 75 grams Peanut Butter (for example Whole earth or Suma, if you are trying to keep this wholesome)
  • 50 grams jumbo rolled oats
  • 25grams of your selection: sunflower seeds, cranberries, pumpkin seeds, raisins, chopped nuts etc

Oh, and one shallow, medium rectangular tupperware, lined with non stick parchment.

  1. Heat the honey on a medium heat until it reaches a nice rolling boil
  2. KEEP STIRRING, boil it for 90 seconds (use a timer, don’t guess)
  3. Remove from heat and stir in your other ingredients (have them ready and weighed out)
  4. Pour into your lined tupperware, and put into fridge.
  5. After 15 minutes, it should be firm enough to cut, and refridgerate until completely firm.

makes 12 small squares. Not all featured here, sorry Alfredo ūüôā

Pink Grapefruit- two ways.

 

Green juice anyone?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are a couple of refreshing pink grapefruit recipes for ya. One of them green.

Does it feel a little cold for “refreshing” drinks?¬†I enjoyed them anyway.

These do taste of grapefruit, (though the first one is sweeter)so if you don’t like it, try this with oranges. For children- definitely with oranges.

 

Grapefruit berry slushie (FOR A BLENDER)

  • 1 pink grapefruit, chopped
  • 10 frozen-semi-thawed raspberries
  • 10 frozen-semi-thawed strawberries
  • 1 flavoursome clementine
  • a small bit of water to get your blender going
Blend until smooth. Schlurp!

 

Green Grapefruit Twister (FOR A JUICER)

From my “new” book, “Miracle Juices”. ¬†I found it on the shelf, I was completely unaware I had it. Think it was a charity shop buy ages ago.¬†I was drawn to this because it¬†seemed such a¬†weird combination. I know, I know……

Insert into juicer:

  • 1 grapefuit
  • 1 carrot
  • 1-2 large handfuls of spinach

This is very green but tastes of grapefruit. It’s quite a confusion. The carrot takes the edge off the grapefruit bitterness, though I could taste no carrot. Very nice though!

Note. Some conventional juicers cannot really get much out of leafy greens, mine cannot. In these cases you need to juice the fruits/vegetables and then blend in the leaves in the liquidiser. It seems like a bit of a faff, but it only adds about 3 minutes, and plenty of extra chlorophyll ¬†ūüôā

 

I will be regaling you with future experiments from this book soon.

Meanwhile, for a sweeter, more conventional drink of phytochemicals, try a  Green smoothie  (no really, it IS conventional!) or some Heavenly Juice.

You’re welcome. Bottoms up!

Sunshine smoothie

A large and delicious taste of summer for under £1. I am a great fan of frozen fruit in my freezer-storecupboard, for affordability, and some even suggest they have more vitamins than fresh fruit that has been sitting around for a while. At my local supermarket (Tesco) they sell 500grams of frozen strawberries for £1.99 or 3 boxes for £5. This smoothie is a large one person portion (happy husband) and uses 100grams of frozen strawberries- 33pence.

Not trying to suggest that we are all pinching pennies, but just to point out there are many ways to eat more fruit and vegetables without spending the earth

This is GORGEOUS.

  • 125 mls water
  • the juice of 1 lemon (15- 30pence, depending)
  • 100grams of frozen strawberries (in this case, 33pence)
  • 1 flavoursome apple (20-40pence, depending….)
  • 1 flavoursome clementine (10-20pence, depending)

My photo uploader has been malfunctioning for ages, hence no photo again.  For a more filling smoothie add a small banana and a touch more water. I would not omit the lemon here- it totally lifts it. Bon appetit friends!

 

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