Monday, 25 August 2014

Beetroot & Red Pepper Soup

Bright, earthy and full of nutrients, this beetroot and roasted red pepper soup is the perfect way to start the autumn months!


My bestie, Loops, spent a couple of years in South Korea and as we both love making and eating food we talked about getting in the kitchen together when she came back.  I'm happy to say that yesterday we finally did it and it was lots of fun (even if I hogged the kitchen…I'm not used to having kitchen guests!) AND we made something using my new favourite ingredient AND it was inspired by a recipe my other bestie, L, sent me from a Swedish newspaper.

This weekend being a typical English bank holiday weekend (rain), this was the perfect recipe to get into that autumn feeling - it's healthy and simple but is really comforting and filling.  This recipe is for about 4 servings so is great to make for dinner and then have enough for lunch the next day or add to your freezer stockpile!

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Red Rice



Another "ingredients" post, this time having a look at red rice.  It's not something that I'd come across until recently when I visited an Asian supermarket in Exeter.  I thought it looked interesting so picked up a bag and it's now the only rice I use!

Besides the red husk, the rice looks pretty much like the white long grain rice you can easily buy in the supermarket and is cooked in exactly the same way.  So what's the big deal with red rice, you ask?




White rice is treated pretty badly to get to the light colour - it's unhusked then polished which results in the smooth white grain you probably use regularly.  The red rice grains have it much easier as they don't get as processed.  The skin is that lovely shade of red because of something called anthocyanins - antioxidants!  It's also higher in protein, fibre and iron than its white cousin.




Once cooked the rice has a more meaty texture and a lovely nutty flavour, not too different to brown rice.  It might not be that easy to find in the supermarket but is worth tracking some down to try yourself!  I've found a few links where you can it online but if you have an Asian supermarket near you, check the rice section!




My absolute favourite way to use this type of rice is with tofu pockets.  The bold texture of the rice mixed with a few simple veg snuggles inside the slightly sweet pockets.  I made quite a few so I could have some for dinner and take the rest in to work for lunch the following day.

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Blackberries



I spend a lot of time making and eating food but thought it was about time that I also paid tribute to the ingredients and produce that make my (our) recipes a success!  I rarely think about where everything comes from, any health benefits, interesting facts or stories, anything behind what goes in my belly...

So my first exploration into food is...

Blackberries - to me they symbolise the start of the end of summer.  These hedgerow fruit are at their finest from now (mid-August) until when the trees start turning golden and we start to add a cardigan to our shoulders to keep off the evening chill.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Chicken and Avocado Causa



This recipe really takes me back to when I first really started blogging.  It all started when I was in London with my mum and sister for mum's 50th birthday.  We found a lovely restaurant tucked away overlooking the Paddington Basin and I had my long time favourite agedashi tofu followed by my first bento box.  I made a comment about how I wish I could make it myself so I could eat it all my time and my sister simply said...

"why don't you?'

...3 little words which were like a wake up call to me.  Why should I only eat my favourite foods when I find a restaurant that makes them?  I'm a perfectly capable and intelligent girl so what's stopping me from making food I love rather than just making average meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner?

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Rosemary Roasted Roots with a Balsamic & Maple Drizzle

Add a few ingredients to root veg for the perfect Sunday lunch side


Ok, I'll admit now that I've not really got into the summer thing this year.  I know it's a great time to eat salads and fresh tasting foods, the perfect season for cool cocktails - all to be enjoyed on your patio/balcony/local park.

Summer has been weird here in England.  It got off to a rocky start and with intermittent showers between the sun so it's been hard to get into the swing of the season.  Of course it doesn't help that I'm not much of a summer girl to begin with!

I'm one of those lucky people who can wander around a supermarket with an empty tummy without grabbing everything in sight - I like to have a good think about what I actually want to eat so can easily spend a lot of time perusing the aisles until something catches my eye and triggers that "yes!  That is my dinner!" moment...which is what happened today when I spotted some beetroot.  It can be a summer-y veg if you use it in coleslaw but has that lovely earthy flavour you want to team with parsnips and carrots and eat all Autumn long.

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