food blogger Archives - Greenwich Pantry Blog
28 Feb

You can be as foodie as you feel

Cooking with Greenwich Pantry

 

You can be as foodie as you feel

Are you a cooking catastrophe who hasn’t reached any of the gastronomic gourmet goals you set for yourself in 2017  if so, don’t give yourself a hard time.

Don’t hold back, let the cooking continue

Banish those can’t do thoughts and this spring,  don’t let anything hold you back from getting your cooking hero badge from friends and family! At Greenwich Pantry, we say, ‘yes you can’ and instead of being told you can’t, we here at Greenwich Pantry are all about helping you so you can!

Cooking and eating healthy is double liberation.   Forget the biscuits and breakfast skipping, take outs and kfcs, maybe,  you’re just in need of a more diverse diet?  Whatever it is, please, try not to tell yourself off. We’re here to help and get you on your tracks, saying ‘yay yay’ not saying nay.

The key is, rewarding yourself for good behaviour and not acknowledging your bad habits. It only leads to guilty vibes and puts you on the path to resorting back to short term rewards.

Break the bad habits, one recipe at a time..

So breaking bad habits; how? Essentially, what you need is to replace the old habits with new and exciting ones. Take new challenges.

For starters, come on an exciting taste tour with us and find the foodie in you.

Banish dreary thoughts with these 5 simple steps and join us at Greenwich Pantry to make new habits a positive part of your life.

  1. Buff up on baking. Try a Bake it Cake it experience with someone you love, or come to a class and make new friends.
  2. Expand your repertoire! Perhaps come in secret while you learn to make scintillating Sushi to surprise  your guests at your next soiree.
  3. Swot up on how to create sumptuous savouries or simply learn how to maximise your nutritional intake and and eat clean.
  4. Do it with confidence. Our monthly cookery club is where you’ll experience the joy of learning a variety of eclectic homemade food techniques, ranging from French through to Asian cooking, taking you into 2016 with a new and exciting world of culinary delights you can replicate easily at home.
  5. Join in! Don’t do it alone. The art to Finding the Foodie in You is something to
     enjoy with others. We’ve oodles of cooking events this spring!
Finally, celebrate your successes! Share it with friends. Primp up your paltry pantry and fill it with exiting and nutritious delights and show everyone what great new yummy things you’re discovering  with us on Instagram.

So there you go! The best way of banishing a bad habit is to put your energy into another one make a habit out of trying all of the delicious things that you make – practice makes perfect..

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31 Oct

Hubble Bubble! Make a feast in your cauldron.

Instead of bumping into blood sucking vampires as things go bump in the night tonight, celebrate Halloween, (All Hallows Eve) traditionally.  Did you know that on this date of remembrance for the faithfully departed, it was historically marked by feasting (and something that won’t scare-off vegetarians), it was also customary to abstain from meat.

Foods that were favoured were seasonal English apples, country cider and the humble potato, but back in days of yore when people were hell-bent on witch-hunting, one would have had to have kept shtum about the spice-rack. 

You wouldn’t have dared to pepper your potatoes, or brazenly sprinkle cinnamon and stud cloves on your sweet apple pies for fear of being called out a ‘Witch’!

How ghastly! If you do want to keep it traditional tonight, fear not! It might be fright night, but you don’t have to keep things frightfully bland if you want to be faithful to the festivities.

‘Witch’ is a good job Greenwich Pantry’s shelves are bursting with flavours. That’s what we’re all about: Feasting and flavoursome deliciousness, but do spare a thought, whilst you get your worst witch on in Greenwich this weekend: Think back to the women centuries ago accused of the serious crime of witchcraft; persecuted for flavouring food, cast-out of communities for healing with herbs and accused of all sorts of wrong doings for keeping company with familiars. (That’s the likes of cats to you and me).

Dreadful to think, that in reality the accused women were usually the poorest women in society, marginalised for being the unmarried singleton and with no access to healthcare, would have had to rely on experimenting with natural home remedies. So in the days of the unexplainable, with no way of Googling oneself out of a situation; just the mere sniff of sage, would have landed you in the stocks.

Speaking of stocks, tonight I am going to celebrate all things soupish and bewitching, just me and my faithful cat. With a cup of hot herbal tea, I am going to soothe my sore scratchy winter worn throat with some traditional and antibacterial natural Greenwich Honey & lemon and I am going to hubble bubble boil, with no trouble; cook up a storm.

Tonight as werewolves howl in the wind, out from the windows of my house will pour steam and sumptuous flavours like fresh ground Indonesian long peppers and the bewitching green brew of piquant Anita’s Goan Green Curry Sauce to ward of the Ghouls.

So if you want to try a seasonal spicylicous and vegetarian feast this Halloween here’s an easy delicious recipe for a Bewitching Pumpkin Curry. 

To make 5 portions you’ll need

  1. 2 large carrots
  2. 1 medium pumpkin or squash & a selection of vegetables
  3. Wharfedale Rapeseed Chilli Oil
  4. Anila’s Green Goddess Goan Curry Sauce
  5. The Real Basmati Rice Co Basmati Rice to serve
  6. Some nuts of your choice and spoonful of sugar to toastily caramelise them

This devilishly good recipe is smooth yet chunky and crunchy, with sweet caramelised pieces of tender squash, and veggies with bite. Wolves and goblins and ghosties and ghouls, if you want to trick of treat me at mine, there’ll be no sorcery within. If I don’t answer the door, i’ll just be clanging my saucepans.

I bet Macbeth’s Witches would have loved the texture from my recipe, but I don’t really rate theirs.

“Eye of newt, and toe of frog, Wool of bat, and tongue of dog, Adder’s fork, and blind-worm’s sting,
Lizard’s leg, and howler’s wing”

You can’t help but feel sorry for those puritanical potato peddlers of yesteryear, I’d be praying for flavour. They we’re really missing out. If you need me tonight, I’ll be on my broomstick!

 

XX Joyce

 

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30 Sep

The Harvest Moon shining on a Harvest Festival

We’re apparently experiencing an Indian Summer right now where fruits and berries have fattend from the prolonged end of summer rains and glorious recent sun shine ripens spoils ready to be picked.

Don’t talk to me about spoiled!

In my attempt to make an organic effort for #OrganicSeptember, I avoided fertilisers on my then plump, homegrown ripening pomodoros on the patio. However due to the deluges in August, my poor toms got tainted by blight.

With all of the ruby recipes I’d planned I had a green tomato crop not even fit for pickling, but I had in my store cupboard something that gets me out of a pickle every time; my hero ingredient: What on Earth Organic Tinned Chopped Tomatoes. Although it’s not as satisfactory nor sexy to boast about something from a tin as it is using fresh plucked of the vine produce, I can rest assured that I am feeding my friends and family with only the freshest and finest I can from a can.

So if you’re gardening attempts aren’t all you’d hoped for, at least you can trust that Greenwich Pantry ingredients ensure your food is as consciously canned as if it were your own crop.

What did you try this Organic September?  Although it’s just a month of encouragement to ‘Go Organic’, you really don’t need me to go on about the benefits of traceable food that contains higher levels of nutrients and is naturally preserved at packing point without the use of additives. It’s really the long term choice that’ll benefit your health that outweighs a month of marketing. So if you didn’t go organic last month, don’t worry you can always start today. It’s never too late to give your digestive system and our eco system the care that it deserves.

Did you see that beautiful rouge Harvest Moon a few nights ago?

It couldn’t have come at a better time when we traditionally celebrate harvest and share our spoils, so cleverly coinciding, we ran some cooking skills sharing workshops. Did you see the delicious things that the latest cohort of Cook Eat Party made? I heard the Frangipane tarts you enthusiastic students made, didn’t last.

Cooking Class with Alice

Cooking Class with Alice

As the mornings take longer to grow out of night, give yourself something to get up for! Instead of gimmicky sweet cereals go for something to boost your immunity and energy levels whilst giving your tired tongue a touch of luxury to to taste.

Speaking of cereals; a certain breakfast spot on Brick Lane has had a lot of attention recently, but hey it’s a destination, a Disnification on dehydrated wheat. However you feel, we promise that all of Greenwich Pantry’s breakie bundles are totally gimmick free.

Whatever your stance on the recent protests on the gentrification of the East End, there is a very real urgency for many people in need. So to share this season, please donate generously to your local food bank spots when you can to really get into spirit of harvest festival. Greenwich Foobank supports local people in emergency crises.

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29 Aug

Welcome the ‘Back To School’ season.

Longing for warmth back in March, it felt like I’d never know Summer again. Still, I scowled at scanty bikinis too-early displayed in supermarkets and splayed over tube posters. I even saw some on sale in petrol garages in some parts of the country!

Yet, when it was so hot our shins shone in early August’s heatwave, neither did I take kindly to seeing cumbersome autumnal fashions in stores whilst savouring the joyful much anticipated heat. It never seems like shops allow us to enjoy the experience of the current season, without reminding us of what’s on the horizon.

I once worked in a famous department store. Glorious window displays brought joy and wonder to the west-end, but I’d constantly, contemptuously marvel at the Formula One pit stop performances of the visual merch teams changing the seasonal displays like it was the changing-of-the guard.

Gaudy halloween get-ups got out of the way for Christmas. When chintz was out, The Sales signs went up. After that, floors flooded with vulgar Valentine paraphernalia. Easter accoutrements brought bright Spring changes; Spring clear-out bonanzas then made way for the typical tropical Summer themed tedium which then brought the sales again.

However, what I do welcome is the Back to School season. It’s the one time of year I pack away my cynicism for the ‘selling of the seasons’ along with my summer swimsuits.

It comes from my school days when at the end of long holidays, actually eager to get back to school, I’d start breaking in new shoes or shining up old ones and get my pencil case packed.

At Greenwich Pantry, we can help you get back into a ‘Back to  School’ frame of mind and come to terms with the new season and by that we don’t just mean squirrelling away nuts and goodies for the winter.

It’s not only the kids who can go back to school. We’ll soon be calling register at our next cooking classes. Yes, foodie students, Greenwich Pantry’s Cook Eat Party is back. If you want to get up-skilled in the kitchen this autumn we’ll be bringing you top-notch nutritionists to teach you a thing or two in the kitchen.

For a quick way to prepare super quick suppers and swot up on your spices, we’ve cleverly gathered Greenwich Pantry bundles to help you. These buddied bottles, companioned condiments and stack loads of snacks will enable you to have more time to prepare for the more important things to come this season, making a well stocked food cupboard one thing less you have to worry about.

Headed to halls? Well, our bundles are rather useful for students, too! Before packing back off to Uni, make sure you get sent packing with some staple seasonings to make quick easy nutritious food, rather than seeing your student loan spent at the uni’s ubiquitous local Kebab-Shop.

Finally, the new season doesn’t only mean a make-over and a clear out for your wardrobe. Have you ever thought about a make-over for your pantry? The Greenwich Pantry Makeover Service also means there can be a new pantry to welcome the season’s new healthy happy you, too.

Yeah, didn’t you know darlings? September is the new January! I just love preparation and getting things in order at this time of the year. Just popping open a new jar fills me with possibility and comfort, creasing open the spine of a new note book fills me with excitement as much as breaking in new shoes on the first day of school did. So as well as sharpening pencils, I’ve sharpened my knives and pickled and jammed summer fruit.

I really must’ve been a squirrel in a previous life!

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19 Jul

Weekend Baking Bundles; store cupboard savvy ingredients for bundles of fun.

Aren’t the weekends bundles of fun? Why not use the long light days to rise early and bake your own bread and cakes to go out and picnic with them in the sunshine with freshly fluffy loaves and springy soft cakes.

To get you started with some ideas we’ve put together two ‘Weekend Baking Bundles’.

There’s the  Savoury Baker’s Dozen which contains a trio of things to feel triumphant for when you next bake breads; artisan flour with dipping oils and spread for £13*

Start the day with a wholesome wholewheat loaf using Gilchester’s Organic Spelt Flour.

Once baked, try resisting the temptation of ripping a piece of fresh warm bread open letting the steam escape to dip it into a nutty flavoursome Olive Oil and there’s nothing tastier than Santiago’s Chilean Limited Edition exotic premium oil that really just tastes of the finest olives and is equally delicious with a hearty Red wine from a neighbouring Chilean vineyard.

Unfortunately fresh bread goes stale much quicker than processed store bought loaves, so there’s even more excuse to polish it off sooner. Don’t resist ploughing through the bread bin, slice some doorsteps off  for a hefty sarnie, cut a chunk off a crumbly creamy tangy cheddar and top it off with We Love ManFoods chunky Piccalilli.

Man Foods Piccalilli, Santiago Limited Edition Olive Oil, Gilchesters' Wholemeal Organic Spelt.

Savoury Baker’s Dozen Weekend Baking Bundle

If sweet treats are more your thing then there’s also the sweeter version: The Weekend Treat Baking Bundle, £20* containing store cupboard baking essentials; artisan flours for light cakes and loaves, along with marmalade and spreads too.

No baker or pastry chef should be without the best Vanilla Extract and Uncle Roy’s is one of the most fragrant and pure extracts and with this, a little lasts and goes a long way.

Sweet things need not leave you a sickly taste in the mouth, especially when you use SugaVida. SugaVida is made from 100% pure, unrefined nectar from the Palmyra (Borassus flabellifer) tree.  It’s great for diabetics, vegan and vegetarian diets as it contains high levels of Vitamin B12, too.

If you’re dreaming of a Greek Island getaway this summer, then why not plan it over breakfast after you’ve splatted lashings of Mr and Mrs Greek’s Mandarin Marmalade over your morning loaf. Mmm! It’s yummy. From the sunny climes of the deli-Chios Island.

Another star store cupboard ingredient is from Gilchester’s, their Double Milled Semolina grains will ensure you never need fret over gravelly polenta cake again as Semolina makes for a smoother, lighter cake.

Now, this never fails to impress come rain or shine, it’s another delicacy by Uncle Roy’s; Passionfruit Curd! Simply summer in a Jar! If you don’t want to spoon it over ice-cream, it makes for an exotic topping for scones or you could try making this with the Semolina grain, my failsafe flavoursome cake recipe:

Passionate about Lemons? Say ‘Niente’ to Polenta-Cake.
Ingredients for the Cake:

225 g butter

225 g Tradecraft Fair Trade Organic Raw Sugar

3 medium eggs, beaten

250 g Plain Yoghurt

250 g Gilchester’s Double Milled Semolina grains

1.5 tsp baking powder

Zest of a lemon

Ingredients for the Syrup:

175g Uncle Roy’s; Passionfruit Curd!

3 small or 2 big lemons, juice & zest

100ml water


Directions

Preheat oven: 170°C, 325°F, Gas 3

1.Line a 23cm (9″) circular spring band cake tin with non-stick baking paper.

2.In a separate large bowl whisk the butter and sugar together until they are soft and creamy.

3.Beat in the eggs, whip in the yogurt (don’t worry if it looks a bit curdled), gradually stir in the semolina grains and sprinkle in the baking powder evenly. Beat it all in well until the mixture and I repeat, has evenly come together.

4.Pour the batter into the lined cake tin and bake for about 80 minutes. Check it at 1 hour, then at about 7 minutes intervals after the allotted time. When the cake is done the surface should be golden biscuity brown and firm, but give a bit of spring back. Insert a bamboo skewer. If it comes out clean it’s done.

5.Leave in tin. Let it cool.

6. While the cake is baking, make the syrup. Put the Passionfruit Curd into a saucepan along with the juice of the 3 lemons and the water. Bring the liquid to boil and simmer until the mixture has a thicker syrupy texture. Stir in the lemon zest, then be cool and cool it.

7.Spoon the syrup over the cooled cake while it is still in the tin, and then allow the cake to really cool completely.

8.The cooked grains will have swelled with the syrup. Remove from the tin and slice.  Serve with a blob of Greek yoghurt or vanilla ice cream.

Oh Yeah!

*Psst, prices shown do not include delivery, but if you’re a local and want to collect or have shopped with us before then use code GPCUSTOMER at the checkout for free delivery.

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25 Apr

Don’t Run on Empty.

I’m always keen to take various measures to try and curb my cake intake, decline wine and swap in salad. So far I’ve tried a Dri-eting, #Gymuary and now it’s London Health Week so I’ve no excuse.

I’ve even got a nifty discount #LHW15 wristband to keep me on the straight and narrow and by that, I mean it’s something other than simply willing my hips to stop expanding. This week I’ve been welcoming all the offers they’ve got with open (albeit always in need of a bit more tone) arms.

London’s Health Week is here to highlight local London companies whose products and services benefit wellness and can easily fit into our lifestyle; Foods you can order now that don’t compromise on taste and nutrition. There’s also a whole host of local activities with trial offers.

Armed with their handy little guide, (which can also be found on www.londonhealthweek.co.uk) it’s filled with offers including a whopping 30% discount  from us at the Greenwich Pantry where you can treat yourself healthy.

In this heaving, busy and beautifully chaotic city it’s easy to make excuses not to be healthy, run on empty calories even, but we’re lucky enough to live in an incredibly diverse city where access to a plethora of different healthy foods are never more than a hop, skip and a jump away. In London we’ve also the most open green space in a metropolitan area in Europe. Right, wheres my jump rope?

At Greenwich Pantry, as a special treat, we’re extending the 30% off-offer to our marvellous little Pop-Up shop which runs from Thursday 30th April until Saturday 1st of May, so you can stock up for the Bank Holiday weekend on items that are deliciously discounted.

Pick up highly effective, packed full of nutrients Aurospirul AV Supergreens Power (£6.26*). Rehydrate with Chi Coconut Water (£1.12*) or impress after-dinner guests with EqualiTea Cassablanca Dream Tea (£5.53*). We’ve bundles of healthy treats too; like the low-fat all about enjoyment, Healthy Pack-a-Snack Bundle containing  Emily Fruit Crisps, Little Miracles Goji Berry, Acai and Cherry White Tea and much more.

Healthy Pack-a-snack-Bundle

Healthy Pack-a-Snack-Bundle

 

Whilst it’s beautifully temperate to take a walk in the Spring sunshine we can also include a bit more exercise in our day, but hey why not make a day of it and pack a picnic? Visit the beautiful Greenwich Park after seeing us at our Pop-Up Shop. The lovely range from Rice DK would be great to take along  for a pretty picnic, too.

Blue Rice DK designs will bowl you over.

Blue Rice DK designs will bowl you over.

Healthy doesn’t have to be hard. Being fit as a fiddle doesn’t have to mean dieting and getting in good kilter doesn’t have to near kill you. Being healthy and happy on the inside and out is wildly different to simply restricting yourself.  I think of GP Lara’s mantra of “balance-balance-balance”.

We can look after our health holistically more than ever before. If you are an active bunny or need nutrition post workout, I like to gnaw on Bounce Almond Energy Balls that banish hunger and fatigue giving you the fuel you need to keep going. I’m thinking of you, super-humans running the London Marathon this Sunday. We’ll be cheering you on as you pass us in Greenwich tomorrow!  The very best of luck to you!

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22 Feb

#WetRibs for a Wet Weather day.

I commend my windows for doing their best impression of portholes bashed by water as if I were on a ship at sea.

I’ve been quite literally saving this recipe for a rainy day, ideal to make when like today, there’s no chance of going outside. I’ve rather enjoyed attending to this dish, which does take a little time but you could also prep this in advance for #MeatMonday tomorrow.

Before the deluge began, over dinner last night, some friends and I planned our next omnivorous outing and one suggested, “how bout a barbecue over Easter?” The misconception is that barbecue food is a summer treat, but dear readers be amazed and astounded at the fun you can have with your oven and a little patience, whilst it’s Winter with my #WetRibs recipe below.

The riposte to my friends idea was, “Oh no dear Friend!” and I explained the British experience of Easter barbecues.  Drawing on a montage of many a childhood half term, I explained to my friend from sunnier climes, that Easter barbecues that I’ve had have usually involved either a condensation filled caravan-holiday or a lot of family at my house and that goes a little something like this…

With great expectations of sunshine and sausages, each guest would bring a variation of coleslaw or potato salad in a plastic packet. Helping my mum set the trestle table, I’d line up the pre-bought pots in hierarchical order going from zero frills at one end, to the deluxe shop’s own brand at the other. I’d always ensure mum’s homemade homegrown cabbage version took pride of place, (even then I was precocious about the provenance of my food as an eight year old) it usually meant mum’s was all eaten and I’d end up having budget coleslaw sandwiches for school lunch for an eternity after.

Harking back historically, over Easter there’s usually rain forecast with mere possible outbreaks of sunshine. Nevertheless with trooping optimism, dads and uncles fought against gales getting the blasted barbie to light to then have to stand under a golf brolly in bracing winds whilst attending to our country’s most unseasonable way of preparing food, especially when there’s a perfectly good oven inside. Invariably, my mum would have to rescue a very drenched dad and bang the bangers in said oven.

My friend acquiesced at the idea of an Easter barbecue and I believe we’ve settled on a cozy vegetarian South Indian BYOB instead.

During the next deluge, if you have friends visiting or you’re having a family veg-out day; on a wet day like today, get out the board games and depending on whether you like playing dirty at dominoes or if you’re mean at Monopoly, enjoy getting messy with my #WetRibs recipe, mucky pups.

 

Ingredients for #WetRibs Marinade

3 small onions roughly chopped

4 cloves of garlic

A pint of freshly brewed coffee

1 black cardamom pod

2 tsp of dried coriander seeds

(* my hero product) 2 heaped tsp of Bone Sukin’ Steak Seasoning

1 teaspoon of 5 Spice

1 teaspoon black pepper

3 tablespoonfuls of (good quality) ketchup (it provides a bit of sugar but won’t be overly sweet or too vinegary)

Method

1. Blitz all of the dry seasoning spices together in a bullet processor, or powder them in pestle and mortar.

2. In a small blender, add the spices to garlic and onions, adding the coffee little by little, then the ketchup.

3. Coat the ribs. The refill the blender with a little coffee and then blitz and coat again.

(tip- The idea is, as you blitz, you’re rinsing the blender with the coffee and once you’re done, it’s not too much of a yucky job to wash.)

There should be enough marinade to cover 700g -1kg of ribs

Marinade for as long as you can, overnight is great! Do what you can.

Set the oven to a lowish 110 degrees.

Pop the tray of what looks like a bath of very wet ribs , on the middle shelf,

Turn and baste every hour.

About 4 hours minimum should do it. This is how long it usually takes me to win at Monopoly. The liquid should have virtually all gone to leave you with sticky, meltingly tender meat that should, somewhat indecently fall off the bone.

I served this with a fennel and carrot slaw and Lara’s Brave potatoes as pictured here

To make Brave potatoes- essentially they’re Spanish Patatas Bravas. I cube potatoes, roast and omit tomatoes for this recipe as the #WetRib marinade provides the sauce, however, I add some chilli flakes to bring some bite.

If you want to stay indoors, you can still make inspired bacon butties or liven up roast veg with Wild Appetite’s Barbecue Sauce

Screen Shot 2015-02-22 at 20.28.36

and Hawkshead Relishes have a compendium of barbecue accoutrements, their Barbecue Triple Pack is also particularly useful for grilled fish and quick mediterranean spicy fried prawns.

Screen Shot 2015-02-22 at 20.27.42

Now, where’s that floss?

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07 Feb

Never-mind Grey, I want colour!

There seems to be a certain interest in several shades of Grey at the moment?

When I look outside and see the skies, that’s the last thing I want. I want exciting colours and at home, I want bright and inspiring vivid greens, happy oranges and of course racy reds on the kitchen table.

Most of all, I want juicy fruity far away flavours reminiscent of heat and what it feels like to be tinged with warmth in the sun.

So I reach for rich flavours that add warmth and a tangy tingle to the tongue. Here are some rouges that I’ve been romancing recently:

•Set your pulse racing with Serbian Ayvar, a smokey roasted red pepper blended spread by Granny’s Secret. Slather it on to bruschetta or set it with other amuse bouches on a share plate (there’s also a brunch recipe below).

•There’s also the rich, jewelled sanguine hue of Sun & Seeds Organic Wild Pomegranate (the food of love) Vinegar which is very versatile and bursting with playful flavour. Splash it on salads and excite stews with it, you can even stir it into sparkling water!

•Then for the morning after the night before, how about a delicious jump start to the day with a Raw Beetroot & Ginger Muesli from Primrose Kitchen. It’s earthy sweet exotic zing will bring you back to your senses to start the day and it offers “extra love in the form of superfood lecithin and milk thistle seeds”.

Now the only place where one should cheat is in the kitchen and as promised here’s a quickie.

MENAMENy Shades of…Red

Ingredients.

splash of good olive oil

2 onions, roughly diced

a tin of chopped tomato

a jar of Granny’s Secret Ayvar

or if you’ve time…

2 sliced chargrilled Peppers, orange & red look nice

a flat teaspoons of cumin seeds.

a large pinch of chilli flakes

1 tsp of jaggery palm sugar or agave syrup

1 tsp pepper

large pinch of  salt

2  heaped teaspoon of paprika

(Blitz all of this in a spice grinder, or pestle & mortar)

a handful of chopped flat leaf parsley & finely chopped spring onion for garnish

Eggs to be poached, yogurt and bread to serve.

Method.

1. Roughly dice onions and allow them to caramelise in the olive oil

2. Add the jar of Ayvar and a pinch of cumin

(If not cheating)

Add the powdered spices and sugar to the onions

Add half a cup of water and stir to stop things sticking

Add the sliced peppers

3. Add tin of chopped toms

Simmer for 15 mins until reduced to a rich ragu texture.

I soft poach a bouncy egg in the sauce, or you can poach it in a separate pan if you prefer.

Serve with your favourite bread, I like warmed Lavash, but whatever takes your fancy; French Baguette, traditional Pide is great. Maybe some yogurt. You’ll definitely want to mop it up.

MENAMENy Shades of Red.

MENAMENy Shades of Red.

 A quick and satisfying dish, perhaps a recipe to share with someone next Saturday morning.

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26 Jan

The Dr-iet. You’re in the home stretch.

Come on, you can do it! You’re in the home stretch. By the end of the week it’ll be a new month. No more being a slave to dry-January and the latest combination/elimination or de-socialisation diet. It’ll be so-long to the season of the Dr-iet.

Whilst it’s necessary to tighten our belts in a notch, being sensible has never really been sexy has it. Or is a little of what you fancy does you good; the answer? I’m a mean moderator of moderation, gifted with being thrifty and must admit I’ve caved for a bit of cake and left over Cava here and there, but my answer this month is making treats transform. Yes, happiness has been leftovers.

If you had some delicious and traditional roast beef on Sunday, I’m sure you’ll agree that there’s no greater joy than cold sliced beef sandwiches with lashings of sunny yellow mustard to make a Monday, or even a Tuesday if you have an ounce of January’s restraint left. I love to endure the savage sinus singeing hot stuff and Greenwich Pantry dost kindly provide * (Tattoo drum roll please)… winner of a world sauce award and especially piquant; Uncle Roy’s Rabbie’s Burnie Mustard and since it was Burns Night just this weekend, I’d like to pipe on, that it is not only fiery and flavoursome, but it’s wheat and gluten free too.

Now, straying on the subject of celebrations; Happy ‘Straya Day to our Antipodean friends and I’ve learned they’ve more love for the lamb Down Under.

So, if lamb roast is what you love most, perhaps that lamb on the bone was slow to go? If so, tear that meat from the bone.

  • Caramelise some roughly diced onions and garlic.
  • If you’ve leftover roast veg; say carrots, dice what’s left and add a bit of extra veg if it’s at the bottom of the fridge, forgotten like a shopping trolley in a duck pond, (I always buy fennel and celery and forget to use it, this is a great reviver for bendy celery.) dice that too and add it with the meat to the sweet smelling onions.
  • Then to make a satisfying tangy stew, I sprinkle over a couple of generous handfuls of peppery Puy Lentils.
  • Add tinned chopped tomatoes and a rinsed tin full of water to just cover it all and simmer for about 20 minutes. Season to taste and et voilà!

‘Puy’ is also the Provençal word for volcanic hill. So in keeping with the spirit of things, I’m sure you’ll erupt with gladness with this dish and if you’ve been virtually virtuous so far this month, perhaps a 2010 Barossa Red would go down nicely, especially if you are celebrating today.

Now,  thinking back along the lines of a cinched in waist; we’re back to tightening that belt remember and there is still room to stretch it out. No, not you. It’s not back to the box set and the sofa yet. I meant stretching out the left overs. Hark, you’ve got no leftovers left you say? Well to exercise my most tasty advice, the stubborn pots aren’t the only things that need to be left to soak. I bathe them bones, either low in a slow cooker all night or you can simmer them low on the stove for a few hours whilst you catch up on the latest crime thriller. You’ll have a thrilling stock for sure. This is the very starting point for the thriftiest and quickest of midweek dishes; risottos, healthy soups and can be frozen for gravy next week.

More from me on #MeatMonday later.

Hope it’s all Gravy with you!

;  )

Spice up lacklustre leftovers

Spice up lacklustre leftovers

 

*A Grace Before Dinner, Extempore. Robert Burns.

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15 Jan

Create Comforting and Colourful food in your Kitchens on Cold Days.

souper dooper

souper dooper

On one particularly foggy day this week, despite unpredictable weather warnings, my impatience to be outside escaping central heating and hiking off mince pies, beat my need to be in-front of my laptop or in the kitchen.

I went out into crisp chilly weather perfect for walking in.

Although the scene was bleak, it was beautiful and still showed me surprising arrays of colour.

It was dry, with the sky a pavement grey. The bleak horizon met the brown, frosty and enjoyably squelchy mud, but in the park I was rewarded with the sight of new life among the skeletons of yellowing fallen leaves.
There, precious bright green beginnings of the heads of daffodils and crocuses peeked timidly through.

If skies were never grey I’d not appreciate the sunshine and it has to be cold and wet to soak deep roots for a scorching summer, I tell myself.

Hooray for these buds heralding the arrival of spring, I count down the days, like a kid counting down Christmas. Whenever there’s a mere momentary break in the rain I pull on my wellies and get out in whatever blustery drizzle the skies offer, with hope that the sun continues to burn through the gloomy mist.

At this time of year, what I do love as much as being outside is thawing out in a steamy kitchen with an oven hot and whirring, pots and pans on incandescent flames of a hob or a discreet bubbling of a slow cooker humbly taking it’s sweet time to warm up the kitchen.

Much like the winters scene I found this week, my cooking in this dull cold season, is predominantly sludgy and earthy coloured. However It’s important for both the constitution and the curator of food in you, that it’s flecked with handfuls of fresh flavouring.

So keep colour an important part of putting together dishes at this time of year:

Slowly simmer earthy brown stews and garnish with glut loads of zesty green herbs and veg.

Prepare plump and creamy oats overnight, or pale blankets of porridge with a blob of ruby jam or golden honey.

Feed fluffy swollen rice with flavour; pique paellas with proper paprika, rightfully enrich risottos or serve simply with rich ochre curries, even sprinkle it in super souper dooper soups.

Harvest season may be a mild-weather dream away but at GP gather yourself jewelled dashes of pomegranate, hibiscus, and rich thick pepper and tomato Ayvar to brighten up dull days and feed the furnace of your body to keep you warm happy and healthy in this newish new year.

Wishing you all wellness, good health and happiness.

x

 

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