Monday, 22 August 2016

Turmeric Butter Beans, Yellow Pepper and Yellow Courgette Stew

Last week, I was unwell, but I had to force myself to go into work as I had made a commitment to help someone who without me would not have been supported.  You see I am the only one in my office who does what i do, if I am not there, no one will pick up the work I do.  Yet we are all replaceable when they don't need you.  I was happy I went in though, as the person I supported gave me a biggest and warmest hug and her little one gave me a bonus hug, I don't get many thanks in my job, so it really mean't a lot to me.  

Anyway, I was glad when the weekend came, but it wasn't as relaxing as I wanted as it was D's turn of not feeling well. 
We have not done anything this weekend and both stayed indoors nursing sniffles, scratchy throats and sore heads.  I had wanted to do some gardening, but as well as poor health, the weather scuppered that too.  The sky turned proper grey and the rain fell, falling from the sky in all direction encouraged by the gusty gale force winds.

I had managed to go out and pick some homegrown yellow courgettes from the garden plot.  I know its Summer and a time for light salads, but as we were feeling a little groggy we both wanted something a bit warming and this golden bowl of yellow Courgette Butter Bean stew, is a little bit of sunshine in a bowl and that can only cheer you up a little.  
If it is just too sunshine yellow for you, then feel free to stir in some greens like spinach or chard.   

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Curried Anglo Italian Fenugreek Ratatouille

I hope you don't mind me sharing a recent observation when I was waiting to get the bus back home from work.

I start with a statement.  I think chivalry is dead or taking its very last dying breaths.  I had faith it was still alive in the older gentlemen but not now.  I waited to get my bus home and noted post European Union Referendum some attitudes have changed overtly in peoples behaviours, most recently in the older generation.   As not one, not two, not three but four older men of Pensionable age rudely cut across me to get on the bus.  I want to give them the benefit of the doubt, perhaps they feel their age and free bus pass entitles them to be rude... I hope so, but if its their  skin colour we certainly have problem Britain and this is only a small glimpse.  So what was my response?  I politely smiled at them and said, 'plenty of seats on the bus'. 
Anyway, its that time of the year when vegetable growers find themselves with bucket loads of courgettes aka Zucchini, in fact my last three blog posts have all featured courgettes.

So what am I going to do with all those courgettes? Make some Ratatouille of course.  
Regular readers will know that I am not keen on Ratatouille.  Last year I decided to give it a go again and still I was not sold.  Last weekend I thought why not spice it up a bit.  I saw fellow blogger Sareta's Kitchen make and was inspired to give it my own South Asian twist - Indian, Pakistan and Bangladesh all rolled into one.  Here it is my Curried Anglo Italian Ratatouille with fenugreek and chickpeas. 
Of course, I had to present it prettily, it takes a little time but its worth the effort when you want to make an impression. You could serve this with plain Basmati rice if you want, but some good crusty bread is what we had.  

Friday, 19 August 2016

Dirty Green Cauliflower Couscous and Courgette Salad

Cauliflower 'Couscous' or Cauliflower 'Rice' seems all the rage right now, but it appeared on humble blog in 2009 thanks to the vegetarian chef and cookbook author Rose Elliot.  But even then the real credit goes to one of the worlds famous chefs Ferran Adria and The Food at El Bulli Gourmet Restaurant.    
Early this year, I  was chatting to a fellow blogger, and we both mused how some food bloggers are acting that its their creation like baking  a jacket potato, putting vegetables into cakes or making vegan ice-cream from frozen bananas, never acknowledging or crediting origins or inspiration.  After all most recipes originate from somewhere, we all  - even I do it - put our twist on it, adapt it, enhance it, increase this ingredient, decrease that ingredient and so forth,  but its not often original.   Well Ferran Adria created and introduced foodies and popularized what we now call Cauliflower 'couscous' or Cauliflower 'rice', this idea of blitzing a vegetable to almost a crumb has now been extended to other vegetables like Broccoli - Yes there is Broccoli 'Rice' or Broccoli 'Couscous.  He is truly original and a culinary genius. I have no doubt that the credit for Cauliflower Pizza Crust, as well as those now made with Broccoli Pizza Crust, Carrot Pizza Crust, Sweet Potato Pizza Crust and Courgette Pizza Crust should all be traced back to him. He opened a culinary box of tricks to food bloggers, its just a shame its not often reciprocated.  
Anyway, this is a bowl of Dirty Green Cauliflower 'Couscous Salad blitzed in my blender. The dirty green from herbs and courgettes from my garden, enhanced by the piquancy of black olives. I scattered over some sunflower and pumpkin seeds too.  I had made a creamy tahini dressing to drizzle over it too (not shown).  

It made a pleasant change from the pasta salads we usually have for lunch at work and actually I felt quite healthy eating it.  I am sharing this bowl of Green Cauliflower Couscous Salad with Healthy Vegan Fridays hosted by Rock My Vegan Socks and V Nutrition;  Soups, Salads and Sammies hosted by Kahakai Kitchenand Sunday Fitness and Food Fitness hosted by Marathons and Motivation and Ilka's blog.

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Turmeric Lemon Courgette Orzo

The next few weeks my blog will at least twice a week feature a recipe made with courgettes aka the summer zucchini.  

The reason, its in season - but mostly I have so much of it coming from the garden. 
I've made a few courgette recipes, so will share them later, but today its Turmeric Lemon and Courgette Orzo.  Its not much of a recipe, as I eye-balled everything.  I began with 250g orzo pasta and 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric to the rolling boiling water.  The ochre yellow turmeric dyes the rice shaped orzo pasta whilst cooking.  

The yellow courgettes are quartered and then sauteed in olive oil and minced garlic, I decided to continue with the yellow theme.  And added in some diced yellow pepper and sweetcorn from a tin and seasoned with salt and pepper to taste.   
The final touch was drizzling over some good oil, I used Welsh Blodynn Aur Rapeseed Oil, but a good extra virgin olive oil would be fine too.  Then finally I squeezed some fresh lemon juice to taste.

I am not one for reading novels, but I recently picked one up called The Kitchen Congregation by Nora Seaton, perhaps it the fact that the story evolves around the kitchen that it appealed to me.  Well I am a very slow reader, but I want to share an excerpt that made me think and grateful that I have D in my life.

 'The pasta is ready, the sauce is ready, but my appetite is poor.  I like to cook alone, but I don't like to cook only for myself.  It was the process that fed me'.  

Monday, 15 August 2016

Courgettes, Blueberries, Nasturtium and Leafy Greens

Its been over a month since I last participated in Harvest Monday.  

Last month I shared strawberries from the garden, today its misshapen courgettes: green and yellow.
And there is plenty more where they came from.....

Ready to harvest the first beetroot from the garden.   It looks like its going to be a beauty.