Good Food

There's just nothing like roast winter veg. I usually go for carrots and parsnips and bathe them in an oil infused with coarse black pepper, raw red chilli and salt. Put them in the oven for about forty minutes and voila. Yummy comfort food on a winter's evening.


As a vegetarian, you sometimes crave a really hearty meal. That's why the occasional Quorn dish is called for. In this recipe, I used the Quorn faux chicken pieces. I started by mincing garlic, dicing onions, slicing some chilli and heating some oil in a pan. I fried all those ingredients and then added some turmeric, salt and black pepper, and a little chilli powder. Then I added the Quorn, waited for it to brown lightly, and then added a tin of organic mixed beans. I let it all fuse together before adding some pureed tomato (organic) from a can. Then I left it a medium/low heat for about 7 minutes or so. Meanwhile I steamed some kale. When the kale was done, I chopped it up into fine, bite size bits and added it to the Quorn and bean mix. It was a licky the lip dish, have to say.


These stuffed mushrooms are such a joy to eat. My God. I invented them out of a need to use up some large mushrooms and Philadelphia light cream cheese. I diced some onions, some peppers, chilli and fried in extra virgin olive oil. I added salt and pepper and some turmeric. Then I mixed cream cheese and chilli powder, before adding the fried mix. After that, I blitzed two slices of wholemeal granary bread in the food processor to make some bread crumbs. When they were done I spooned the cream cheese mixture into the mushrooms and topped with the breadcrumbs and the smallest little bit of a slice of Low Low cheddar cheese. I put a thin slice of tomato on top of two, and left the other two without. In a sound: mmmmmmmmm.


Chai tea was once a staple of mine. Today is the first day I've made it in a long time and I'm making a promise to myself to make it at least twice a week from here on in. I learned to make it from the lovely folks at satmya in their Ayurvedic cooking class. It's loaded with flavour and nutritional benefits. It's really easy to make, too.

Pour two cups of water into a saucepan. Then add cloves (I usually go for around five to six) a half teaspoon of cinnamon powder, nutmeg, fennel, cardamom and grated ginger - a good 2 tsp. When that mix is boiling add tea bags (Lyons, Barrys - whatever floats your boat) a cup of milk and one or two tsp of raw cane sugar/demerara or any unrefined sugar. Allow to boil again and...voila!! You can use other ingredients like black peppercorns and star anise but I never have. When pouring, you will need a filter. I have a gorgeous Chinese tea cup (pictured below) gifted to me by a friend. It has an insert that can be taken out once the tea is poured in and collects all the debris, like the cardamom pods and cloves, etc. Sure isn't it pure dacent?


I'm gonna call this Aud's rice, because I invented it from scratch. I have an abundance of coconut shavings left over from Christmas and wanted to use them up. So I thought: why not make some quirky rice? And I did. Here's my method in a flash:

Throw one cup of rice into a pot, add half a cup of coconut shavings and two and a half cups of water - I used wholegrain Basmati so needed extra water. Cover and leave to boil for 15 to 20 minutes or until water is evaporated and rice is nice and fluffy. Add salt and pepper to your own taste while rice is cooking.

- In a separate pot, heat some ghee or oil and add mustard and cumin seeds, then add sliced ginger and some seasoning. I used crushed cardamom, salt and pepper. Then add red chilli (with seeds for fire, without for calmer) and some crushed nuts, I used hazelnuts left over from Christmas. When the rice is ready, pour seasoning over, mix well and enjoy. It's really special.

I ate it with Dee's spicy bean burgers (from Dunnes) and a salad with cucumber, bay and rocket leaves, sesame, cucumber, tomato, balsamic vinegar, black pepper and an ingredient that I have been hankering for for a long time - mango. Just dice a small amount and fling in. Fruit isn't great with veg so this is a bit bold, but sure how bad.


Below is a recipe from my friend's blog that I'm going to be trying out this weekend. Salivating at the thought.


This salad (below) punched me in the face. Was over the top, truth be told. It began as a smorgasbord of seemingly faultless ingredients, the fusion of which ultimately proved fatal. Won't be making it again, but here's why:

In my fresh basil dressing, I used an entire clove of garlic, even though it was but a salad for one. Duh. I blitzed the basil leaves in the trusty food processor with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. It would have been perfect but for the garlic attack. The main part was made of cucumber, yellow pepper, lettuce, green olives and red onion. The multi grain cakes were nice with it. Learn from my errors if you ever attempt the basil dressing! It could have been perfect. Oh, and another lesson learned today: never drink a shot of spirulina. Only ever have it mixed with other flavours that will dominate it, like in a juice!


The other night I treated Gav to a lovely Thai green Curry.* It's all veg in there: mushrooms, peppers, onions, chilli and carrot. We had it with basmati rice with a small side salad of sliced tomatoes and, my staple, rocket. Was yum.

*I will admit I didn't make the sauce from scratch. I used a jar from Lidl. I generally prefer to buy the paste and coconut milk, but sure how bad.


The following is by far the tastiest juice I have ever created. Z to the Zesty or wha. Fresh pomegranate from Dunnes and one sweet orange. Move on over Mr Juicemaster, coming through!


Today's ( 03/01/2013) is a fiery beetroot salad.

How did I do it? I popped a vacuum-packed beetroot into my food processor - I used the slicer setting to shred the beetroot thinly. I then added about a third of a very-finely sliced red chilli, some chopped-up spring onion, a sprinkle of sesame seeds and toatsted, smashed hazlenuts, then drizzled with tamari and balsamic vinegar. I seasoned with good ol' salt and pepper. Ate it in seconds and wanted more. NOM!!

Oh, and rocket. I also added rocket leaves. No salad can respect itself without rocket, I believe :)

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