Tag Archives: gluten-free

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

Broccoli spread

28 Feb

confit broccoli

I wasn’t sure what to call this broccoli concoction…

It started out as broccoli confit, but I’ve cut so much on the oil that the name no longer fits. I thought of broccamole, but decided the lack of avocados ruled that one out.

Patés are too smooth, dips are for dipping. Which led me to “spread” – so broccoli spread it is.

Whatever the name, it’s very moreish stuff. I serve it as an appetiser on toasted sourdough or crackers. I also eat it with a spoon straight out of the fridge. Continue reading

Cauliflower and white bean stew

20 Feb

Cauliflower and white bean stew

Cauliflower and white bean stew is a one of those no-fuss, mid-week meals I’ve been making for years.

There’s something vaguely Mediterranean about it – Spanish or maybe Greek – which can be played up by adding smoked paprika, or a scattering of crumbled feta. But generally I just make it as below.

It took awhile for the girls to warm to it (courgette has always been a hard sell for some reason), but they eat it happily now. Continue reading

Green beans with toasted almonds and lime

4 Feb

green beans with toasted almonds and lime

I love green beans, and have some great ways of preparing them – flash fried with garlic and chilli, steam-fried with mustard seeds and ginger, or tossed in an Indian-inspired dressing – but these green beans with toasted almonds and lime stands up to any of them.

The idea comes from my friend Debbie, who remembers being served delicious green beans dressed with lime when she was a student in Paris. 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

Mushroom risotto (risotto ai funghi)

7 Jan

mushroom risotto

Mushroom risotto is excellent, warming winter fare. It’s dead easy to make too, aside from all the stirring…

Continue reading

Celeriac and dill soup

11 Dec

celeriac dill soup

This celeriac and dill soup has a wonderful nutty taste and velvety texture.

I usually stir through a splash of cream at the end, which gives it an added richness, but it’s perfectly nice without it.
Continue reading

Roasted almonds

1 Dec

Roasted almonds

Every Christmas, my sister-in-law made these salted almonds.

Even as a child, I didn’t have much of a sweet tooth, and I looked forward to salted almonds at least as much as the cherry slice, Nanaimo bars and shortbread. (Though maybe not the butterscotch fudge…) Continue reading

Mexican “hummus”

7 Nov

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

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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

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

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

Raspberry meringue roulade

18 Sep

Raspberry meringue roulade

I’ve seen recipes for meringue roulades over the years, but assumed they were well beyond my baking abilities. My efforts to produce a passable Swiss roll were hardly confidence building.

But finding myself with a quantity of egg whites that needed using, I decided to give it a go.

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

Fruity bites

6 Sep

fruity bites

The girls head back to school this week. As well as uniform shopping, label sewing, and form filling, it also means stocking fridge and pantry with packed-lunch-friendly food.

First up in the biscuit box this autumn… fruity bites.

Healthy (if you overlook the condensed milk), nut-free (coconut is permitted in our school’s “nut-free” zone), and durable enough to withstand a bit of lunch box rough and tumble, fruity bites fit the bill.

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

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

Mum’s potato salad

11 Jul

Mum's potato salad

This is the potato salad I grew up eating. A sunshine-yellow mixture of potatoes and hard-boiled eggs, tangy with mustard and thick enough to spackle a wall.

The kind of potato salad that was served with a scoop and landed with a thud, compromising your precariously loaded paper plate. The potato salad of every barbeque, picnic and potluck dinner I ever attended.  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

Roast cauliflower and chickpea salad

6 Jun

Roast cauliflower and chickpea salad

This salad is a happy marriage of textures and flavours. Both the cauliflower and chickpeas are transformed by their time in the oven – the cauliflower becomes nutty in flavour, and the chickpeas acquire a wonderful crunch.

Then the yogurt-tahini dressing arrives to bless the union – and two distinctive, individual ingredients unite in salad harmony…;-) 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

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

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

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

Eggnog ice cream

29 Dec

Eggnog ice cream

Given that eggnog has always tasted like rum-laced melted ice cream to me, I’m surprised it took me so long to hit on the idea of eggnog ice cream.

I made a batch a couple of days before Christmas as an alternative dessert for people who don’t like Christmas pudding.

It turns out I don’t know those kind of people… My guests like their Christmas pudding topped with both brandy butter and a goodly scoop of eggnog ice cream.

The pudding and ice cream combo is such a winner, that I think we’ll forgo the brandy butter altogether next year.

Continue reading

Rosolli (Finnish root vegetable salad)

14 Dec

Rosolli salad

Rosolli is a Finnish root vegetable salad traditionally served at Christmas. What I enjoy most about it is the satisfying mixture of textures, from soft potato to the crunch of gherkin.

Crème fraiche and vinegar bring a sharpness to the dressing, balancing out the natural sweetness of the beets and carrots.

Continue reading

Roast carrots with pomegranate molasses

8 Dec

roast-carrots-with-pomegranate2

In January my friend Margaret sent me a copy of the gorgeous “A Taste of Haida Gwaii” by the Canadian writer Susan Musgrave.

This wonderful collection of stories, recipes and photographs documents Musgrave’s life in the islands, where she is proprietor of The Copper Beach bed and breakfast. Continue reading

Roasted chicken with clementines and arak

12 Nov

Chicken with clementines, fennel and ouzo

If I had to pick my all-time favourite cookbook, Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem would be a strong contender. Every recipe I have made from it – and I’ve made a good number – has been a winner.

And if I had to pick an all-time favourite recipe from the Jerusalem cookbook, I’d choose his recipe for roasted chicken with clementines and arak.

I’ve made this dish any number of times – with chicken thighs and chicken breasts; with clementines, satsumas, and once with navel oranges; with arak, ouzo or Pernod.

I’ve skipped the marinating stage on occasion, and once accidently roasted the chicken for more than two hours. Nothing I’ve done has made a dent in its deliciousness.

Serve with steamed basmati rice, bulghur wheat or couscous. Continue reading

Roasted pumpkin seeds

31 Oct

Roasted pumpkin seeds

Along with pumpkin soup, roasted pumpkin seeds are a Halloween night staple. As soon as we’ve scooped out the pumpkins for the jack-o-lanterns, I get digging through the slippery pumpkin innards to collect the seeds.

Tossed with oil and seasoning then roasted in the oven, pumpkin seeds are great to snack on while carving the jack-o-lantern. They are also almost certainly the healthiest thing the kids will eat all day. Continue reading