Tag Archives: dairy-free

Israeli couscous, squash and preserved lemon salad

16 Feb

Israeli couscous, squash and preserved lemon salad

Israeli couscous, butternut squash and preserved lemon are an excellent combination of tastes and textures. This salad is a recent happy addition to the family dinner rotation. Continue reading

Seedy bites

12 Feb

seedy bites

This recipe for seedy bites is actually more of a template. I pulse some rolled oats for a base, then add whatever I’ve got in the fruit and seed department.

When the mixture resembles damp sand, I pack it into the mini-muffin cups and bake for ten minutes.

They are a bit soft when they first come out, but as long as I let them cool completely in the tin, they firm up nicely.

Continue reading

Breakfast burrito

8 Feb

breakfast burrito

On Sundays, we generally have a cooked breakfast (though it’s often noon by the time we sit down to eat it).

It’s often a full-on fry-up, heuvos rancheros, eggs benedict, or a homestyle egg McMuffin. But over the last year, these breakfast burritos have shouldered their way into the rotation.

Having experimented with different fillings and methods, I’ve pretty much settled on the version below: spicy hash brown potatoes topped with a fried egg all wrapped snugly in a warmed flour tortilla. Continue reading

Squid and fennel salad with croutons

27 Jan

Seafood fennel salad with croutons

Squid and fennel salad has become my go-to dinner party starter. Delicious and a little bit special, you can do nearly all the prep in advance, simply tossing the last few elements together when it is time to serve. Continue reading

Trinxat

23 Jan

trinxat (Andorran cabbage and potato cake)

Trinxat is a homely Andorran dish of potatoes, cabbage and bacon.

While the recipe differs little from bubble and squeak, frying in olive oil rather than butter, and the addition of garlic and thyme, results in something distinct. Continue reading

Winter slaw with poppy seed dressing

15 Jan

winter slaw with poppy seed dressing

With its bright, contrasting colours, and pomegranate seeds twinkling like little gems, winter slaw is a pretty salad.

I can find pomegranate seeds annoying. The amount of fibrous pit you grind through to release the juicy flesh detracts from my eating enjoyment.

But those pits are of no consequence in this crunchy riot of texture and flavour. Continue reading

Roasted tofu

11 Jan

Roasted tofu

These little roasted tofu cubes are dead simple to make.

The girls snack on them warm from the oven, they keep well in the fridge, and are a great addition to stir fries, Asian noodle soups, and salads. Continue reading

Beet, bean and bulghur salad

5 Dec

Much of the pleasure of this salad is in the contrast of textures — chewy bulghur wheat, crispy beans, juicy beets.

Adding a hard-boiled egg makes it more of a meal…

Continue reading

Pumpkin bread

14 Nov

pumpkin bread

Unlike Halloween Thanksgiving still isn’t a thing in the UK. I still like to observe it, and each year we have a Thanksgiving meal with the same family friends.

I’m Canadian and they have American roots, so we diplomatically set a date between the start of October and end of November. We take turns hosting, and the travelling family brings the pies.

Tinned pumpkin still isn’t readily available in the UK, and on several occasions I’ve made my own purée from squash or sweet potato before baking the pumpkin pie.

Now that the Internet era upon us, I can order pumpkin purée online. This year I picked up an extra tin so I could  make pumpkin bread. Continue reading

Mexican “hummus”

7 Nov

Chickpeas are swapped for black beans (and sesame for pumpkin seeds) in this delicious Mexican take on hummus.

Continue reading

Witches’ fingers

31 Oct

Witches fingers

Witches’ fingers are another standard item on our annual Halloween supper – along with the pumpkin soup with coconut milk, roasted pumpkin seeds and bloodsucking jellies.

I always steam a big heap of green beans to provide a nod in the direction of healthy eating (though I expect Adam and I end up eating most of them).

The original recipe is from Delicious magazine.
Continue reading

Bloody-Mary-infused cherry tomatoes

16 Oct

cherry tomatoes marinated in vodka

The idea for these delicious little tomato-vodka flavour bombs comes from from the Epicurious website, (via my godmother).

The original marinade involves sugar and vinegar (and is lovely). But as soon as I tried one, my thoughts turned to Bloody Marys. Continue reading

Red-red stew

8 Oct

red red

Red-red is a traditional Ghanaian bean stew that gets its name (and colour) from the tomatoes and palm oil used to prepare it.

The first red-red recipe I tried called for three types of chilli – fresh Scotch bonnet, chilli flakes, and chilli powder (plus additional minced chilli to garnish).

Despite cutting back significantly on the quantity of chilli (and omitting the chilli powder altogether), it was so blisteringly hot the girls were unable to eat it. Continue reading

Itch (Armenian bulghur wheat salad)

30 Sep

Itch (Armenian bulghur-tomato salad)

I’d want to make this Armenian bulghur wheat salad for the name alone…

While itch is similar to kisir, using tomato sauce to hydrate the bulghur wheat places itch more in the realm of side dish than salad. Continue reading

Spaghetti aglio e olio (spaghetti with garlic and olive oil)

26 Sep

Spaghetti alio e olio

For all its simplicity, spaghetti aglio e olio is easy to mess up.

It’s really important not to overcook the garlic – no more than the faintest shade of gold, or it will taste bitter.

It’s also important to measure the salt. Too little, and the dish is insipid – too much and it’s ruined. Continue reading

Lobio

22 Sep

Lobio

Georgia is a country I would love to visit. A friend traveled there a few years ago, and came back raving about the scenery, the people, and the food and wine.

Until I get the opportunity to visit Georgia myself, my taste buds will have to do the traveling.

There’s a good local Georgian restaurant we visit occasionally in the winter months for their rib-sticking fare like hachapuri (cheese-filled flat bread), hearty soups and casseroles.

(I haven’t tried a Georgian dessert – we’re always too full to consider even sharing one.) Continue reading

Beet hummus

14 Sep

beetroot hummus

Hummus is a staple food in our house – I whizz up a batch nearly every week. While we never get bored of hummus, adding a roasted beet to the mix now and then makes a change.

I prefer to cook beets by wrapping them individually in tin foil and roasting in a hot oven until tender. Boiled or grated raw beet work fine too. Continue reading

Gypsy soup

10 Sep

gypsy soup

I’ve been making gypsy soup for many years. I have no idea why the Moosewood cookbook calls it “gypsy soup”, or what it means by “a spiced and delectable brew of Spanish and Dickensonian origins”.

Is it a reference to Linda Dickinson, one of the thirty-odd “Moosewood people” credited at the front? Or a  mis-spelling of “Dickensian”? (Though what this soup has to do with Victorian England, social commentary, or sentimentality is anyone’s guess.)

Perhaps it refers to the length of the ingredients list?

Continue reading

Waldorf salad

28 Aug

 

waldorf salad

I first learned of the existence of Waldorf salad from Fawlty Towers. Like Basil, I had no idea what it was:

Customer: “Could you make me a Waldorf salad?”
Basil: “Waldorf salad. I think we’re just out of Waldorfs.”

But by the end of the episode – unlike Basil – I was pretty clear on how to make one:

Customer: “No! No cheese! It’s celery, apples, walnuts, grapes!”
Basil: “Right!”
Customer: “In mayonnaise!”
Basil: “Right!”

Continue reading

Mujaddara

16 Aug

Mujaddrah

Mujaddara is filling, tasty and cheap as chips.

It was staple fare in my student years – along with mushroom barley soup (that stuff lasts forever), ratatouille, and the enticingly-named “lentil shit”.

I’d make a big pot of mujaddara one meal, then reheat portions in a frying pan with a splash of water (no microwaves in those days…) Continue reading

Potato and egg curry

8 Aug

Potato egg curry

Potatoes and eggs are a winning combination, whether in potato salad, breakfast burritos, Spanish tortilla, or that British classic, egg & chips.

This potato and egg curry is further proof of concept.

Continue reading

Curtido

4 Aug

Curtido

Curtido is as far as it is possible to get from that innocuous, gloopy, overly sweet coleslaw that turns up uninvited on far too many restaurant plates.

There’s not a lick of mayonnaise for one thing. For another, this simple-looking cabbage and carrot salad really packs a punch. With only five ingredients, there’s little to soften the impact of that chilli powder. Continue reading

Zaru soba (cold soba noodles with dipping sauce)

23 Jul

Soba noodles with dipping sauce

Zaru soba – or cold soba noodles with dipping sauce – is one of my favourite hot weather lunches. During the summer, I often make a batch of dipping sauce in advance and have it chilled and ready in the fridge.

I prefer to cook the noodles fresh each time I want to eat them – but as long as you rinse them very well after cooking, they should be fine in the fridge for a day or two. Continue reading

Avocado-tuna boats

19 Jul

Avocado tuna boats

Avocado-tuna boats are a longstanding lunchtime favourite around here.

The tuna filling is entirely flexible, varying with the contents of the fridge and preferences of my lunch companions.

Radish can stand in for celery, fresh tomatoes for sundried, green onion for red, sliced olives for capers…

Continue reading

Spinach-pear-lime smoothie

16 Jun

Spinach-pear-lime smoothie

We were relatively late to the Nutribullet party. But once I submitted to pester power and bought one, and we made up for lost time.

Nothing was safe from being blitzed into a drinkable state. Fresh and frozen fruit and vegetables, nuts, seeds, juice, avocados, oatmeal, ginger, yogurt, herbs, cold coffee, chickpeas, rice… they’ve all been taken for a spin.

Some combinations were a success; others left us gasping at their horribleness.

Eventually, I hit on a smoothie combination that works for me –  spinach-pear-lime smoothie has become my go-to smoothie. I have it at least twice a week, and I haven’t tired of it yet…

Continue reading

Vietnamese fried chicken (VFC)

10 Jun

Vietnamese fried chicken (VFC)

I  seldom make fried chicken. Not because I don’t like it (I do), and not for health reasons either. It’s the time it takes, the mess it makes (all that spattering oil)… The end result never seemed to justify the hassle.

But that was before I encountered Vietnamese fried chicken (or VFC as we now call it) at a music festival.

Maybe I was influenced by the band that was playing (Noah and the Whale), or the unexpected blessing of sunshine, or the mellow party atmosphere, but that chicken was just about the best thing I’d ever tasted.

The moist and flavourful meat, the growing kick of chilli heat, the coating that was more crackle than crumb. Fried chicken this good was definitely worth the hassle. Continue reading

Cabbage dill slaw

25 May

 

Cabbage dill slaw

I’ll often throw together a quick cabbage salad to serve with a sandwich or jacket potato. When I have fresh dill on hand, this cabbage dill slaw is one of my favourites.

Cabbage and dill always play together nicely. And the mustard-honey dressing is a change from the sharp vinaigrettes and sweet, watery mayonnaises that spoil cabbage salad for some people.

Continue reading

Cucumber and poppy seed salad

9 May

Cucumber and poppy seed salad

This salad of cucumber and red chilli tossed in a zingy-sweet dressing takes minutes to prepare.

I like to give it a little time in the fridge – half an hour is enough – for the cucumber to get cool and crisp, and the chilli heat to work its way into the dressing. Continue reading

Carrot cake-muffins

5 May

Sometimes it’s hard to know where muffin leaves off and cupcake begins…

Is it the method – a brief stir with a wooden spoon, instead of using a food mixer? The nod towards “healthiness” – wholewheat flour, oil instead of butter, fruit instead of chocolate chips, going au naturel instead of sporting icing?

These carrot cake-muffins don’t do much to resolve the issue. Muffin by method and ingredients, the end result is so delicious it feels disingenuous to consider them a breakfast food.

And that’s before you add a generous spreading of the optional cream cheese icing..;-)

Continue reading

Moros y Cristianos (black beans and white rice)

1 May

Moros y Cristianos is a Cuban dish of black beans (Moors) and white rice (Christians).

In some versions, the rice and beans are cooked together – resulting in visually unappealing (though tasty) gray rice. I prefer to keep the rice and beans separate until the last moment to maintain the contrast of colours.

I reheat leftover rice and beans separately while I cook the onion and peppers, then stir it all together just before serving. Dressed with a splash of vinegar or lime juice, and a dash of hot sauce it makes a very satisfying lunch. Continue reading

Asian chicken noodle soup

19 Apr

Asian chicken noodle soup is less of a recipe than an idea.

When I find myself with a pot of chicken stock in the fridge (from making chicken tinga tacos, perhaps), one of my favourite things to do with it is to make what we call Asian chicken noodle soup.

Stock simmered with Asian aromatics is ladled over freshly cooked noodles, shredded chicken and thinly sliced vegetables, then garnished with fresh herbs. Continue reading

Carrot and sunflower seed energy balls

10 Apr

I haven’t really bought into the whole energy ball idea.

For starters, I’m anti-snacking – I’d much rather my family brought a good appetite to their meals.

Secondly, energy balls always seem to contain nuts, which rules them out for school lunches. In any case, they also seem to require storing in the fridge (or what, they melt?)

Thirdly, I’d rather eat the nuts, dates and whatever as they come, without first blitzing them into sticky mush. Continue reading

Double happiness beans

5 Apr

Easy to make, pretty to look at, tasty to eat – this dish could be called triple happiness beans.

I assume the “double” refers to the two types of bean involved – Chinese black beans and fresh green beans.

These are not the same black beans that feature in Mexican recipes like sweet potato and black bean tacos, but soybeans that have been dried and fermented with salt.

Pungent and intensely salty, Chinese black beans should be soaked before use to avoid overpowering the other ingredients.

Continue reading

Beef goulash

25 Mar

Beef goulash

Beef goulash is one of the first dishes I learned to cook on my own. The original recipe is from Seventeen magazine – that’s how long I have been making this dish…;-)

Continue reading

Cuban black bean soup

21 Mar

Cuban black bean soup

Traditional Cuban black bean soup is made with a ham hock, which is simmered along with the beans and removed before serving.

I prefer this vegetarian version, adding smoked paprika to give the soup an element of the ham’s smokiness. Anyway, for me it’s the vinegar that gives Cuban black bean soup its distinctive flavour.

This soup tastes even better the following day, and freezes well too. Continue reading

Roast squash and chickpea salad with tahini dressing

7 Feb

Roast squash and chickpea salad

This roast squash and chickpea salad with tahini dressing is becoming a favourite winter lunch around ours.

It’s lovely served with the squash still warm from the oven, and keeps well in the fridge. I bring it back to room temperature before serving, and freshen up the seasoning. Continue reading

Margo’s martini

25 Jan

Margo's martini

With only two ingredients to worry about, you’d think it would be a straightforward matter for a bartender to make a decent martini.

But the number of crummy martinis I’ve been served over the years are proof that this isn’t the case.

Happily, we are in the fortunate position of having two good friends who are known for their skill with martini shaker. Continue reading

Kuku paka

19 Jan

Kuku paka

Kuku paka – Kenyan chicken and potato curry – is both simple and delicious. Mildly spiced and creamy, my girls both love it.

Unlike many curries, the chicken are cooked separately – which keeps the flavours and textures distinct– and folded into the coconut curry sauce just before serving.

(Which is similar to chicken tikka masala, now I think of it.) Continue reading

Lentil squash soup with turmeric and spicy onions

12 Jan

Lentil squash soup with turmeric

We usually observe the Italian tradition of eating lentils on New Year’s Day. Because of their resemblance to coins, lentils are thought to symbolise good fortune and prosperity. Worth a shot…;-)

Most often, I make Puy lentils simmered with carrots, onion and celery until soft, which I serve with sausages cooked under the grill. But sometimes I make lentil soup.

This lentil squash soup with turmeric is very different to my usual lemony red lentil soup. The addition of squash both softens and fortifies the slightly grainy texture of the lentils. Continue reading

Romanesco apple pecan salad

31 Dec

Romanesco apple pecan salad

This healthy, Christmas-y (not so often you use those two adjectives to describe a dish) romanesco apple pecan salad makes a refreshing change from turkey soup and turkey sandwiches at this point in the festivities.

And aside from steaming the romanesco, it takes only minutes to put together – another point in its favour.

I serve the dressing on the side – once it is mixed through the salad, the romanesco florets are less delightfully tree-like. If romanesco isn’t available, broccoli works too. Continue reading