Tag Archives: gluten-free

Carrot halwa

29 May

carrot halwa

My husband loves carrot halwa and always orders it when we go for an Indian meal.

I agree that it’s less sweet than many Indian desserts, which counts in its favour. But having tasted his portion any number of times, I never once regretted ordering the kulfi.

This all changed when we started making carrot halwa at home… Continue reading

Shakshouka

10 May

shakshouka

Shakshouka – eggs poached in a spicy tomato sauce – is one of our favourite Sunday brunches. It’s a good, quick supper too, and something I’ll think to make when feeding two.

When that’s the case, I preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and make the sauce in my cast iron frying pan. After cracking the eggs over the sauce, I pop the frying pan in the oven (uncovered) for about five minutes until the eggs are cooked through.

Continue reading

Spinach soup

29 Apr

spinach soup

I have two spinach soups in my repetoire – this soothing, mellow one with leeks, potatoes and a splash of cream – and a spicier, Asian-influenced soup with citrus and ginger.

Continue reading

Turkey soup

26 Dec

Turkey soup

Turkey soup is as much a part of our family Christmas as the main meal, and is one of those dishes that take me straight back to my childhood. There is no other dish that gives me more comfort.

We ate roast turkey only at Christmas and Thanksgiving, so we couldn’t have had turkey soup that often. But perhaps mum froze the stock and used it throughout the year. (And she also made pretty much the same soup with chicken carcasses or ham bones.) Continue reading

Cobb salad

27 Nov

Cobb salad

Cobb salad is a classic American main course salad. Chicken, egg, blue cheese and bacon are arranged in strips across a bed of salad greens, providing a healthy punch of protein. Continue reading

Beef borscht

26 Oct

Beef borscht

My mother’s borscht was a vegetarian, austere affair. It was “cheap as chips” as the British say and the recipe made gallons. In my student days, I could live on a pot of borscht for a week.

This beef version is a richer, rib-sticking affair, more akin to goulash. Continue reading

Cabbage and corn slaw

15 Oct

cabbage and corn slaw

Cabbage and corn slaw is an excellent accompaniment to Mexican dishes like enchiladas and burritos, providing a welcome crunchy contrast. Continue reading

Roasted kale, carrot and apple salad

5 Apr

Roasted kale, carrot and apple salad

I have a salad for lunch most days. When it’s cold wet like the last few days have been, I make it a warm one.

The kale is transformed by its time in the oven, softening and developing a deeper, woodsy flavour that contrasts nicely with the crisp apple and toasted seeds.

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Hasselback potatoes

9 Mar

Crispy on the edges, soft and buttery within, hasselback potatoes can make any meal feel a bit special. Continue reading

Parsnip soup with sautéed greens

5 Mar

parsnip soup with sautéed greens

I’ve made this parsnip soup with sautéed greens so regularly for so many years, that it was a surprise to realise that it wasn’t on this website. Continue reading

Beetroot and celery salad

24 Feb

beetroot and celery salad

I wouldn’t have thought of combining beetroot and celery, but thumbing through Elizabeth David’s French Provincial Cooking I was intrigued by her description of this “admirable winter salad”. Continue reading

Endive, pear, walnut and blue cheese salad

19 Dec

Endive, pear, walnut and blue cheese salad

This is one of my favourite winter salads, especially at this time of year.

Fresh and light without being worthy, endive, pear, walnut and blue cheese salad is nice counterpoint to the the rich food we’ve  been indulging in.

It’s also delicious, with each ingredient bringing something to the party. Continue reading

Onion-tahini sauce

31 Oct

Onion tahini sauce is a legacy of my student days, when I would make this dish most weeks.

And not just because it was dirt cheap. The tahini, cumin and soy sauce come together in an unexpectedly delicious, savoury, satisfying way, delivering a wallop of what I now know to be umami. Continue reading

Lotus salad

17 Sep

Lotus salad

Years ago, my cousin part-owned a funky café-gallery called The Whip, in what was then a pretty scruffy part of east Vancouver.

The first time I ate there, I ordered the intriguingly named lotus salad – baby spinach tossed with blue cheese, dried cranberries and sunflower seeds, drizzled in a blackberry vinaigrette.

It was love at first bite, and I’ve been making my own version ever since. Continue reading

Plum butter (pflaumenmus)

13 Sep

pflaumenmus

Plum butter – or pflaumenmus  – is a German plum spread. Unlike the other jams I make, pflaumenmus is baked slowly in a low oven, which seems to intensify the flavour.

I made pflaumenmus for the first time last autumn. We hoovered up the first batch so fast, I had time to make a second one before the plum season ended.

Continue reading

Spinach mushroom kitchri

9 Sep

spinach mushroom kitchri

This thick porridge of mung beans and rice might look like something Oliver Twist would have declined, but for me, a warm bowl of khitchri is pure comfort food. Continue reading

Salmon with orange-ginger miso noodles

1 Sep

salmon with orange-miso-ginger noodles

I’ve made this salmon noodle bowl several times this summer. It’s a versatile dish – equally good served hot or cold.

The orange-ginger miso sauce is the star of the show, adding richness and depth to an otherwise simple meal. Continue reading

Sweet potato fries

24 Aug

Sweet potato fries

When the girls were small, I’d usually have a bag of oven chips in the freezer to serve alongside fish fingers and peas when they had friends round for tea.

Now that our fish finger days are behind us, I almost never make chips (oven or otherwise), but I’ll occasionally rustle up a tray of sweet potato fries. Continue reading

Asparagus with wasabi mayonnaise

21 Jul

asparagus with wasabi mayonnaise
Asparagus with wasabi mayonnaise is a really nice, simple summer appetiser.

It contains so few ingredients – and is so straightforward to make – that it’s more of an idea than an actual recipe. Continue reading

Moqueca de camarão (Brazilian prawn stew)

14 Jul

moqueca de camarão (Brazilian prawn stew)

Moqueca de camarão is my kind of dish.

Simple, delicious, light, flavourful, every ingredient singing in harmony.

I’m so pleased I’ve discovered it, and expect we’ll be eating it regularly all year round.

Continue reading

Fainá

12 Jul

faina

Fainá is a thick pancake (or flatbread) made of chickpea flour – and not much else.

It’s baked in a pizza pan in a hot oven, emerging crispy on the outside with an eggy-creamy interior.

Apparently, Uruguayans like to top their pizza slices with a wedge of fainá.
Continue reading

Tomate aux crevettes

11 Jul

I liked the look of this Belgian recipe for tomate aux crevettes, but wondered if it might be no more than the sum of its (very few) parts.

But after a short spell in the fridge, the prawn filling both infused the tomato shell and set a bit so that it sliced surprisingly well. Continue reading

Ful medames

9 Jul

ful medames

Mashed fava beans for breakfast… and why not?

It’s only a small step from the baked beans slopped onto every full English served in the UK.

And Egypt’s ful medames are all the nicer for not being in a sickly sweet tomato sauce. Continue reading

Jollof rice

5 Jul

jollof rice

Jollof rice is an excellent dish to bring to a buffet or barbeque.

Moderately spiced, with layers of flavour from the pepper-tomato paste and mix of spices, it’s definitely a crowd pleaser.

I usually keep it vegetarian so that everyone can eat it, but any leftovers reheat very well. Continue reading

Arepas con camarones y hogao

3 Jul

I love it when I discover something new to cook that I know will become a fixture on the family dinner table.

These Colombian arepas are one of those things.

Delicious, crispy, light and filling, we made noises of happiness as we ate them. Continue reading

Alegrías

2 Jul

allegrias

I’m always on the lookout for easy, healthy-ish snacks to make for the kids, and I thought these Mexican alegrías sounded promising.

Amaranth is a great source of protein and nutrients, but there’s too much sugar involved for me to consider alegrías healthy.

Continue reading

Sancocho de gallina

28 Jun

Sancocho de gallina is Panama’s national dish, making it an obvious choice for our World Cup 2018 cook-off.

Chicken and root vegetables are simmered to a melting tenderness, resulting in a gently flavoured, nourishing meal.

The problem is, none of us liked it much. Continue reading

Krompir salata (Serbian potato salad)

27 Jun

With its sweet and sour dressing, krompir salata is a departure from our go-to potato salads – French potato salad and mum’s potato salad.

I made it to accompany these outsized Serbian hamburgers in our World Cup 2018 cook-off.

Continue reading

Orange and olive salad

25 Jun

orange olive salad

I love this classic Moroccan salad. Sweet orange slices and salty olives are a winning combination in my book.

Also in its favour, it takes minutes to make and looks beautiful arranged on a contrasting platter. Continue reading

Salatu niebe

24 Jun

salatu niebe

Bright, colourful, spicy, fresh… Senegal’s salatu niebe is something I’ll definitely make again after our World Cup 2018 cook-off is over.

This recipe makes a lot, so it’s fortunate salatu niebe keeps well in the fridge.

I served it on a bed of shredded lettuce one day, and heaped it into avocado halves the next. It would also work well stuffed into a pitta or wrap. Continue reading

Kimbap

23 Jun

kimbap

Kimbap are the Korean version of rolled (or maki) sushi. While they look pretty similar, there are differences.

Kimbap rice is seasoned with sesame oil instead of sweetened vinegar. And kimbap are generally bigger, with a combination of fillings, that tend to be cooked instead of raw.

Continue reading

Al kabsa

20 Jun

Al Kabsa

Al kabsa is made by patiently cooking meat, vegetables and rice with an array of spices in a slowly simmering stock until it reaches a flavoursome tenderness.

Widely considered to be Saudi Arabia’s national dish, al kabsa is an obvious choice to represent the Saudi team in our 2018 World Cup cook-off.

There are many varieties of al kabsa and I looked at a number of recipes. It can be made with chicken, beef, lamb, goat, camel or seafood. (Chicken seemed the obvious choice there.)

Continue reading

Picadillo de platano verde

17 Jun

Picadillo de platano verde reminds me of the hamburger mince gravy my dad made each week.

A colourful, exotic Latin cousin perhaps, with its chunks of red pepper and golden plantain, spicy with cumin and paprika.

I found it interesting that Worcestershire sauce turned up in most of the picadillo recipes I looked at.

Like great-uncle Arthur’s chin or great-aunt Nellie’s hooded eyelids recurring across the generations. Continue reading

Garlicky aubergine dip (mirza ghazemi)

15 Jun

mirza ghasemi

This garlicky aubergine and tomato dip is the most moreish dish I’ve eaten in a long while.

Rich, deeply flavoured and velvety soft, it is delicious spooned onto warm bread.

I had visions of taking the leftovers for my work lunch. However the rest of the family fell upon this dip like a pack of starved hyenas.

I’ll be doubling the recipe next time. Continue reading

Green borscht

14 Jun

green borscht

From Russia with… green borscht. Actually, calling this soup green is generous. An unappealing khaki is closer to the mark.

But what green borscht (or shchaveloviy borscht to use its Russian name) lacks in looks, it makes up for in taste. Fresh and bright with lemony sorrel, herbs and gently cooked vegetables, it’s both light and satisfying. Continue reading

Tomato salad with pomegranate molasses

11 Jun

This tomato salad with pomegranate molasses is a recent happy discovery.

Someone brought it to a friend’s barbeque buffet, and only good manners stopped me from eating an unseemly amount.

It turns out freshly sliced tomatoes and pomegranate molasses do very good things to one another.

Continue reading

Sushi rice salad

30 May

sushi rice salad

This recipe for sushi rice salad comes from my friend Jenny – a wonderful cook, effortless host, and one of those people who is always generous with her time, home, and recipes.

Jenny was the first person we met when we moved house more than 20 years ago. I don’t know how common it is, but in a street of maybe 40 houses, we’re on speaking terms with well over half our neighbours. Continue reading

Cod and chickpea curry

6 May

Cod and chickpea curry

Cod and chickpeas are trusted companions, appearing together in Spanish, Italian and North African dishes.

They work well in this simple Indian curry too – standing their ground against the sharpness and spice of the sauce. Continue reading

Sweet potato, chorizo and red pepper

2 May


Sweet potato, red pepper and chorizo tossed in a simple vinaigrette is a very satisfying combination of ingredients.

I usually serve it as a simple, weekday dinner over couscous, but it also works nicely as a warm salad. Continue reading

Cream of cauliflower soup

5 Mar

cream of cauliflower soup

This cream of cauliflower soup has the silkiest texture. I sometimes omit the cream– replacing it with more milk – and it still comes out rich and smooth.

Horseradish combines beautifully with cauliflower. Along with the lemon juice, it adds a bit of heat and brightness to the mix. Continue reading