Tag Archives: dairy-free

Chargrilled broccoli with chilli and garlic

12 Oct

Chargrilled broccoli with garlic and chilli

I’ve looked at this Ottolenghi recipe for chargrilled broccoli with garlic and chilli a number of times, but have never summoned up the enthusiasm to grill individual broccoli florets before today. Blanching, chilling, drying, grilling – it seemed a lot of trouble for a bowl of broccoli.

I don’t know what tipped the balance, but I’m really pleased I finally gave this dish a try. It turns out that chargrilled broccoli is delicious, especially tossed with sautéed garlic, chilli and slivers of lemon. And because I halved the quantities, it wasn’t as time consuming as anticipated. The original recipe comes from Ottolenghi, The Cookbook. Continue reading

Baked spiced plums

8 Oct

Roast plums with Barbados cream

These baked spiced plums are wonderfully easy to make – plus they make the house smell of mulled wine. Good hot or cold, they keep for a week in the fridge, and freeze well too.

Another recipe from Nigella Lawson’s How to Cook, I cut back on the amount of honey after making it the first time, as I found the sweetness masked the flavour of the plums. They are delicious served with a spoonful of Barbados cream.

Baked spiced plums

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Lamb with mustard seeds (lamb uppakari)

4 Oct

Lamb with mustard seeds (uppakari)

Flipping through cookbooks for ways to use a package of frozen lamb I’d unearthed from the freezer, I came across this recipe for lamb uppakari in Madhur Jaffrey’s Curry Bible. Uppakari is a lamb curry originating from South India – which I’ve always associated with vegetarian food. But apparently the Chettinad region of Tamil Nadu is renowned for highly spiced meat and fish dishes such as this one. Continue reading

Warm chicken and runner bean salad

22 Sep

Warm chicken and runner bean salad

I was given a wonderful bag of produce from my friend Rachel’s allotment for my birthday last week. Courgettes, tomatillos, piquillo peppers, nasturtium flowers, electric daisies (which make your mouth tingle in a slightly alarming fashion), squash, French and runner beans –  a generous sampling of their bountiful harvest.

Whenever I find myself with runner beans, this salad is the first thing I make. I love the vibrant colours and contrasting tastes and textures – crunchy croutons, tender chicken, just crisp beans, juicy tomatoes – high summer eating at its finest. Continue reading

Sayonara baby

18 Sep

Sayonara baby

At the end of July, we decided to throw a party for my birthday in September. So we sent out a raft of invitations… and then pretty much forgot about it until last weekend when it struck us, “Ay caramba! We’ve got several dozen people turning up next Saturday!”

We had the first requirement for a successful party – lots of people – sorted. Which left the second requirement… a killer cocktail. Get lots of people drinking cocktails at the same time and a great evening is pretty much guaranteed. Continue reading

Gado gado

16 Sep

Gado gado

To my regret, I have yet to visit Indonesia. The closest I’ve managed to get so far is watching The Year of Living Dangerously – and eating delicious Indonesian dishes like gado gado.

Making gado gado is all about the preparation – boiling potatoes and eggs, steaming green beans, blanching cabbage and beansprouts, frying the tempeh, and achieving a perfect balance of flavours in your peanut sauce. After that, simply a matter of a few moments to pile everything on a plate and tuck in.

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Black bean salad

14 Sep

Black bean salad

This black bean salad has a bit of an identity crisis. Is it a salad? A salsa? A filling?

When I worked in central London, I’d regularly pack this black bean salad for my lunch. It travels well and the  flavours improve over time. I’d eat it as it is, maybe with some crackers,  or use it to fill a wrap. It’s also good mixed with an equal amount of cooked quinoa or other grain.

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Diced potatoes with spinach

12 Sep

Spinach potato curry
This potato and spinach dish is what I call a dry curry – there is no liquid used in the cooking, resulting in no sauce. It’s an easy weekday, store-cupboard meal. I prefer it with fresh spinach, but frozen also works.

The original recipe is from Madhur Jaffrey’s World-of-the-East Vegetarian Cooking, one of my all-time favourite cookbooks. Continue reading

Prawn and pork wonton soup

10 Sep

Wonton soup A steaming bowl of wonton soup is a very satisfying supper on a cool autumn evening. I put Lyra to work assembling the wontons – her little fingers are very good at pinching the wrappers together. The recipe makes enough filling for about 50 wontons. Leftover filling can be formed into meatballs and dropped into broth unwrapped, or else saved for another day. Continue reading

Butterbean and tomato soup

4 Sep

Butterbean tomato soup

I could live on soup, especially thick, puréed ones like this butterbean and tomato soup. Cooked butterbeans have a soft, floury texture, which makes them a great soup base, though I imagine cannellini beans would work here as well.

This is one of those dishes that tastes like more effort has gone into it, which I attribute to the addition of sundried tomatoes. The recipe comes from Rose Elliot’s Vegetarian Fast FoodContinue reading

Vietnamese salad rolls

2 Sep

Vietnamese salad rolls

A good Vietnamese salad roll is one of my all-time favourite things. When I lived in Vancouver, there was a great Vietnamese place called Vina round the corner from my apartment, and  I would regularly pick up an order of  salad rolls for dinner on the way home from work. Continue reading

Lime and Thai basil sorbet

31 Aug

Lime and Thai basil sorbet

I found this recipe for basil-lime sorbet in a magazine I was leafing through in the doctor’s waiting room. I thought it sounded interesting, and jotted it down. The first time I tried it, I didn’t much like it, but decided to try it again with Thai basil.

What a transformation… The liquorice-cinnamony Thai basil combines beautifully with the sweet lime syrup to produce a palate cleansing, mouth tingling, refreshing sorbet. I often serve it with strawberries, but blueberries also work really well. Continue reading

Recoleta clericot

27 Aug

Recoleta clericot

The recoleta clericot is a clever cocktail, with a careful balance of tastes and flavours – bitter Cinzano, acid-sweet orange juice, delicate herbal notes and the alcoholic wallop of gin, the distinctive flat melon flavour of cucumber, and ginger ale’s dancing top note. I came across this recipe in Waitrose Food magazine a couple of summers ago, and we’ve been quaffing them regularly ever since. Continue reading

Linguine with sardine pesto

25 Aug

Linguine with sardine pesto

Linguine with sardine pesto isn’t the most visually appealing dish, but it is so tasty I overlook that shortcoming. A regular tin of sardines makes enough pesto for two, so Adam and I will often have this while the girls go for the basil version. I don’t remember where I came across this recipe – I think I may have clipped it out of the newspaper way back when… Continue reading

Banh mi sandwich

23 Aug

Banh mi sandwich

We’ve been making banh mi sandwiches for a while now, and have eventually settled on a house version. It calls for little meatballs instead of grilled meat, doesn’t include paté, and features cabbage in the pickle instead of the usual daikon radish – works for us! Continue reading

Turmeric chicken

13 Aug

Turmeric chicken

This turmeric chicken dish was one of the first recipes I made when our new cooker was installed. I was so used to our almost fifty-year-old gas hob (recently condemned by the gas man)  that I’d long adapted my cooking to its idiosyncracies. What a treat to cook on a hob that is actually level! To reduce a sauce in five minutes instead of fifteen!

This dish would be delicious whatever you cook it on. I served it with steamed couscous tossed with chopped herbs and feta cheese. The original recipe comes from the Five and Spice website, who adapted it from The New Persian Kitchen by Louisa Shafia. So I’ll cite them both – to give credit where credit is due. Continue reading

Butterbean dip

12 Aug

Butter hummus

I turned the too-soft butter beans from the other night’s dinner into this impromptu dip. You could easily make it with a tin of butter beans instead. Definitely one to make again – it will be a nice change from the girls’ regular lunch  of hummus-olive-pitta sandwiches. Continue reading

Steak salad with horseradish dressing

11 Aug

steak salad

I consider this steak salad to be the summer version of a roast beef dinner –  grilled meat, roast potatoes, steamed green beans, and a horseradish-based dressing to dollop on top. I often make it with boiled potatoes, but as our stove top was condemned(!) by the gas man a few days ago, that wasn’t an option.

I serve the tomatoes, beans and onions in a large bowl; the meat and potatoes in another; and the dressing on the side. This works visually and also prevents the warm ingredients from making the fresh vegetables limp. It also cuts down on complaints from the girls, who are still “learning to like” horseradish – which is what I always say about those foods they currently shun. Continue reading

Sri Wasano’s infamous rice salad

6 Aug

Sri Wasano's rice salad

Sri Wasano’s infamous rice salad featured regularly in my veggie years, when the Moosewood Cookbook was my go-to source of inspiration. The recipe sounded impressive, looked exotic, and tasted great.

I’ve always wondered who Sri Wasano was and whether the salad has any connection whatsoever to Indonesia. A two-minute web search uncovered an interview with author Molly Katzen. She revealed that the recipe was a version of a version of a dish someone she knew once ate in an Indonesian restaurant in the Netherlands – and that it had nothing whatsoever to do with anyone called Sri Wasano.

While the list of ingredients seems long, the salad comes together quickly, the dressing is sensational, and the texture contrast between the chewy rice, juicy pineapple, and crisp vegetables is interesting (in a good way). If you’re concerned about eating raw beansprouts, blanch them in boiling water for a minute or so, then drain and refresh under cold water before adding to the salad. Continue reading

Yakitori

4 Aug

Yakitori

The smell of grilling yakitori takes me straight back to Tokyo, and late nights spent in izakaya bars with friends and colleagues. Plate after plate of skewers would arrive – not always identifiable, always delicious. But however many I’d eat, it never seemed enough to absorb the amount of sake I managed to drink…

I usually make my yakitori with chicken thighs, but breast meat works too – especially if you allow a bit of time to marinate the meat before grilling. Continue reading

Huevos rancheros

3 Aug

Heuvos rancheros

While I’d never let ketchup anywhere near my eggs, I do love the combination of eggs and spicy ranchero sauce. I always poach my eggs in those little poaching pods – my ‘open water’ poaching results are pretty variable – while Adam and the girls prefer their eggs fried. Continue reading

Margarita

2 Aug

Margarita

Once I’d decided to make nachos, knocking up a batch of margaritas was a no-brainer. For the first round, I followed the family recipe in Fern’s Food – 3 parts tequila, 2 parts Triple Sec, and 1 part Roses lime cordial. Drinkable, but too sweet for my palate – and didn’t quite tick the margarita box either.

For the second round, I went 2:1 tequila to Triple Sec and replaced the lime cordial with freshly squeezed lime juice… and it was just right. Salud! Continue reading

Prawn laksa

1 Aug

Prawn laksa
Laksas always go down well around here, as long as I don’t overdo the chilli. I usually make this recipe with prawns, but occasionally do a chicken version instead. After frying the paste, I sauté pieces of chicken for several minutes, before simmering it in the stock. Continue reading

Asian slaw with citrus miso dressing

30 Jul

IMG_5808

I was going to steam some mange tout to accompany the salmon phyllo parcels, but decided to shred them into an Asian-style slaw instead. I just go with whatever vegetables I have on hand – cabbage, carrots, peppers, bean sprouts, celery, and daikon radish are all options.

I usually add grated ginger to the dressing as well, but I thought the fish had that base covered. Continue reading

Cherry sorbet

25 Jul

Cherry sorbet

At the supermarket yesterday, I saw a pack of twenty cherries on sale for £3.99. That’s 20p a cherry! Growing up in British Columbia, we ate delicious Okanagan produce all summer long – especially Bing cherries, peaches and tomatoes. My grandmother’s cherry tree produced so much fruit she could scarcely keep up with it, and she dried bucketfuls of cherries each year.

Stopped at the Iranian grocers on the way home and picked up two kilos of cherries for £7 – a much more reasonable price. We scoffed half of them straightaway, after which I made this cherry sorbet. The recipe comes from David Liebowitz’s cookbook, The Perfect Scoop. Continue reading

Prawn avocado rocket salad

24 Jul

Prawn rocket avocado salad

This is the sort of dish I feel a teeny bit guilty posting about. Does tossing rocket, avocado, prawns and a couple of other ingredients in a bowl count as a recipe? Or is a recipe something that is more than the sum of its parts – ingredients that create an alchemy when brought together? If so, this is definitely a recipe.

It also scores high on the effort-to-reward ratio – another very good reason I eat it regularly. Continue reading

Basic white bread

21 Jul

Basic white bread

When I went to make Lyra’s packed lunch for her multisport club this morning, I found we were out of bread. Not even a freezer-burnt pitta or bagel that I could call into service… Instead of getting dressed and walking to the corner shop, I decided to bake something.

This basic white loaf is dead easy to make. It uses instant yeast, has a single rise in the pan while the oven preheats, and bakes in about half an hour. From a 7am start, I was able to pack her off with her sandwiches at ten to nine. Continue reading

French potato salad

20 Jul

french potato salad

Of the three or four potato salads I make regularly, this pared-back French version is my favourite. With only five ingredients, quality matters – small salad potatoes, a grassy olive oil, fresh herbs, and tarragon vinegar (though a nice white wine vinegar works too). The original recipe comes from Nigel Slater’s Real Food. Continue reading

Kiwi martini

19 Jul

kiwi martini

Martini, mɑːˈtiːni/, noun. A cocktail made from gin (or vodka) and dry vermouth, typically garnished with an olive or a twist of lemon. (Oxford Online Dictionary)

 So strictly speaking, this isn’t a martini at all, but a frosty glass of vodka-spiced fruit pulp. It is also delicious, and just the thing to mark the start of the school holidays. (For me, that is – Lyra had a J2O…) Continue reading

Goi ga (Vietnamese chicken salad)

18 Jul

goi ga

Goi ga – Vietnamese chicken and cabbage salad – features pretty regularly around here, especially in the summer. Both girls eat it happily, as long as I don’t make it too hot. Learning from experience, I now add about half the chilli when I prepare the salad, and keep the rest aside for Adam and I to add at the table.

I grow Vietnamese coriander (also called Vietnamese mint) in the summer, so added a few leaves with the regular mint. The dressing is closely based on Nigella Lawson’s recipe in Nigella Bites. Continue reading

Peperoni alla piedmontese

16 Jul

piedmont peppers

Considering what to do with the peppers left over from our Brazilian World Cup meal, I remembered a recipe for Piedmont peppers I used to make regularly. I served the peppers along with the linguine pesto I’d promised Lyra for dinner. The recipe is from Elizabeth David’s Italian Food, with a few adjustments. Continue reading

Strawberry water

15 Jul

strawberry water

It always makes me happy to find a culinary use for things – like strawberry tops – that would otherwise be wasted. And when you read that more than 500 British children a week are admitted to hospital to have teeth extracted as a result of too many sugary drinks and fruit juices, it makes me even happier that my girls seem satisfied to drink this strawberry water. I wouldn’t call it a recipe – I’m pretty sure I just saw a picture of this on Pinterest and worked things out from there… Continue reading

Caipirinha

13 Jul

caipirinha

And with this caipirinha recipe, we bring 2014’s World Cup food project to an end. The whole family has enjoyed the variety it has introduced to our family meals – without it, we may never have shared a communal bowl of pounded yam for our lunch, or discovered the amazing deliciousness of those peanut-coated Nigerian suya or Colombian barras de limón.

That’s why we’ve decided that we are going to continue trying new recipes from around the world. Not at the same pace as the last month – more like once or twice a week. I’ll post them here for anyone that’s interested, and maybe by the time World Cup 2018 rolls around, we’ll have eaten something from every country that has competed in the qualifying rounds… Continue reading

Brazilian cabbage salad

13 Jul

cabbage salad

I served this cabbage salad along with the panqueqas de carne for our Brazilian World Cup dinner – something fresh and healthy to balance out all that meat and cheese. I found the recipe on the Two Little Chefs website. Continue reading

Chismol

12 Jul

chismol

I was surprised to notice that the recipe I’d found for chismol didn’t contain any chilli. But when I looked at a few others they had little or none, so I stuck with the version on the This is Honduras website. Nova loved this salsa, and polished off the leftovers with a spoon after we’d finished the baleadas. Continue reading

Pantzarosalata

11 Jul

pantzarosalata

This puréed beetroot salad is another recipe from Madhur Jaffrey’s World Vegetarian cookbook that I’ve been making for years. We eat it with blini, and with oatcakes as an appetizer before our Burns Night haggis. Continue reading

Salade niçoise

8 Jul

salade nicoise

For our French World Cup meal we’re having salad niçoise with chocolate mousse for dessert. We have salade niçoise a lot – quick, healthy and easy to customise each plate for each person’s preferences: extra anchovies for me, no tuna for Lyra, double onions for Adam, pass on the capers for Nova etc. Continue reading

Caldo verde

7 Jul

For our Portuguese World Cup meal, we had caldo verde. I served it with some Ponte Nova cheese, chourico (Portuguese chorizo), Portuguese bread and pastéis de nata for dessert. Continue reading

Chicken karaage

6 Jul

chicken karaage

Chicken wings Japanese-style – what’s not to like? Continue reading

Cucumber maki

6 Jul

cucumber maki

These are very easy to make — Lyra often does them by herself once I assemble the elements for her. Continue reading