Vegetarian food blog featuring nourishing home cooked recipes, creative baking and luscious chocolate.

Air Fryer Carrot Falafel with Tahini Sauce

Air Fryer Carrot Falafels

Never mind raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, falafel are definitely one of my favourite things. They transport me straight back to the bustling streets of Alexandria in Egypt. Every street corner had its own falafel vendor who sold them fresh and hot, stuffed into pitta bread and drizzled with tahini sauce. We used to have them for breakfast as a special treat. These air fryer carrot falafel may not be the authentic recipe, but they’re delicious and are a breeze to make.

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Spiced Parsnip Spinach Soup with Apple and Turmeric

Parsnip Spinach Soup

Lunch, Soups, ThermoCook, Vegan | 19th January 2016 | By

CT gets a bit sniffy about watching endless cookery programmes, although he does cave in for the Great British Bake Off. So when he’s away I take the opportunity and catch up on the odd programme. He’s been away enough over the last couple of months for me to see the entire Simply Nigella series. Her parsnip spinach soup I simply had to try.

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Cucumber and Celery Smoothie or Summer Soup

Lunch, Optimum 9200A, Smoothie, Soups | 17th September 2015 | By

A couple of months or so ago, I decided we needed a change from fruity smoothies for our morning breakfast. Delicious as they are, I’m more used to having something savoury at this time in the morning – it just feels right somehow.

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Quinoa, Watercress, Walnut and Blue Cheese Salad with Roasted Asparagus

Quinoa Salad

Quinoa has been one of our staples for many years now, but we rarely have it in salad form. With the weather warming up (well we have had the odd day), thoughts turn to summer salads. What could be nicer than sitting outside on a summer’s day and eating a delicious salad for lunch or supper?

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Black Bean & Bulgur Wheat Feta Salad for Canned Food Week

Black Bean Salad

Lunch, Salads, Speedy | 3rd April 2015 | By

Growing up in a Cornish cottage, just outside of the village, the importance of having a well stocked larder was something drummed into me from an early age. Canned food, with its long shelf life, was ideal and I don’t ever remember a time when there wasn’t a cupboard full of tinned tomatoes. It was my job, when new ones were bought, to bring the oldest to the front and put the newest to the back to ensure the tins never passed their use by date. Tinned tomatoes have played an important role as one of my larder staples ever since, along with canned beans and coconut milk. And where would I be without a handy tin of baked beans to put in my Granny’s Shepherd’s Pie?

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Creamy Garlic Mushrooms

Creamy Garlic Mushrooms

Lunch, Sponsored Post | 27th March 2015 | By

I’ve always been a big fan of mushrooms, I can’t help myself. When I was asked to feature a recipe for creamy garlic mushrooms on my blog, it took me a whole two seconds to decide. Mushrooms with garlic and cream is probably my favourite way to eat them.

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Spiced Lentil, Carrot and Roasted Tomato Soup

Lentil & Tomato Soup

Lunch, Savoury Chocolate, Soups | 25th January 2015 | By

The other day, I had the pleasure of sharing a bowl of soup with The Hedge Comber. As it was rather cold outside I fancied making something both warming and colourful. I always have split red lentils in the house, but I also happened to have carrots and tomatoes too. All were of a suitable hue I reckoned. As for flavourings I decided ginger and home-grown chilli for warmth and rosemary and thyme for aroma would hit the spot.

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Miso Muffins with Kale, Carrot and Courgette

Lunch, Savoury Chocolate | 25th September 2014 | By

If you haven’t heard of the baking challenge Alpha Bakes, you may have had less of a headache than I did this month. A random letter is generated each month and we have to find something to bake where a main ingredient or name begins with that letter. When it happens to be C there is no problem for me – everything I bake has chocolate in it, but when it’s something a little more obscure such as Z, it becomes  difficult. This month’s letter is K. Although kiwi fruit came to mind initially and when I looked in my recipe books I found a few obscurely named recipes beginning with K, I ended up going with kale. Despite the pigeons, kale is one of the few crops we’ve managed to grow this year and having initially dismissed this as an ingredient, I decided I really wanted to use some in a bake. Once I’d decided that, it was easy. I resorted to my trusty savoury brunch muffin recipe and adapted it to suit.

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Spelt Cocoa Breads with Avocado Egg Filling

Avocado Egg Dip

Bread & Buns, Dip, Lunch, Snacks | 28th August 2014 | By

 
Avocado Stuffed Pitta Breads

If there was one crop other than lemons I wish we could grow easily in the UK, it would be avocados. I would have an orchard full of them. Not only are they buttery and delicious, but they are also quite good for you. High in potassium, the unsaturated fats are said to be healthy ones and they are relatively low in calories.

When I was sent a basket of ripe Peruvian Hass avocados, to say I was pleased was an understatement. I hadn’t known such bounty since CT and I worked on an avocado farm during our antipodean travels many years ago. We ate the fruit for breakfast, lunch and dinner. So in remembrance of times past, we cut into one almost immediately and had it spread on toast, just as we used to back on the farm when we used it as a butter substitute. Oh, how delicous. These avocados were particularly tasty with a gimme more creamy texture.

Guacamole has long been a favourite of mine and makes for a very tasty vegan dip and accompaniment to all sorts of dishes. But I also find avocados have an affinity to eggs – maybe it’s the shape. One of my favourite party dips is an egg and avocado one and as I hadn’t made this for ages, I thought it was about time it was resurrected. What better accompaniment than some homemade bread, juicy sweet homegrown tomatoes and some crisp lettuce.

Avocado Egg DipThe Great British Bake Off seems to have taken the world by storm this year and pretty much everyone seems to be talking about it. Last week was all about bread, so I thought I should join in the fun and get a little creative with flour, yeast and of course chocolate. Having a pretty good idea by now about pairing chocolate with savoury foods, I decided that adding some cocoa to my bread would marry well with the creamy eggy dip. I wasn’t wrong. My pitta pockets, stuffed with the avocado egg filling along with some lettuce and tomatoes was pure heaven.

The pitta pockets exhaled a chocolate fragrance on opening and were resileint enough to hold the contents. They had a soft and inviting texture and although thick were not in the least bit leathery – way better than any shop bought pitta breads I’ve had. The chocolate pitta also did a grand job of mopping up the juices of a vegetable stew. The avocado and egg dip was as delicious as I remember it. We both felt we could eat this again and again.

Cooking with Herbs over at Lavender and Lovage is all about chives this month, so although I’ve already sent one entry, I couldn’t resist sending this one too.

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Cocoa Pitta Breads

Spelt Cocoa Pitta Breads

by Choclette August-25-2014
Soft and delicious pitta breads with just a hint of cocoa to give added depth and flavour.
 
Ingredients
  • 250g strong white flour
  • 250g wholemeal spelt flour
  • 1 scant tsp Himalayan pink rock salt
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp dried yeast
  • 1 tsp golden caster sugar
  • 330ml warm water
 
Instructions
1. Stir the yeast and sugar into the warm water, then combine this in a bowl with the other ingredients.2. Turn out onto an oiled work surface and knead for a few minutes – the dough will be sticky, but be wary of adding any additional flour.3. Place back into the bowl, cover with a cloth and leave to rest for about 30 minutes.4. Turn out onto an oiled work surface and knead again for a few minutes. The dough should have absorbed all of the water my now and not be so sticky.5. Cut into 8 pieces and kneading each one briefly shape into flat ovals, either with hands or a rolling pin.6. Place the ovals onto a lined baking tray (or two, depending on size). Place inside a plastic bag and leave to rise for about 15 minutes.7. Bake at the top of a hot oven (225C) for about 5 minutes when the breads should be lightly browned but still soft. Cover with a tea towel until all the bread has been baked. This will not only keep them warm, but keep them soft too.
 
Details

Total time: Yield: 8

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Avocado & Egg Dip

Avocado and Egg Dip

by Choclette August-25-2014
A versatile and tasty dip that can also be used as a sandwich filling.
 
Ingredients
  • 2 large boiled eggs
  • 2 large avocados – stoned and peeled
  • half a small onion – finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise
  • a good grinding black pepper
  • 4 stalks chives – snipped
 
Instructions
1. Roughly mash the avocados with the lime juice.2. Stir in the onions and pepper.3. Add the eggs and roughly mash into the avocado.4. Stir in the mayonnaise and pile into a serving dish. Top with the snipped chives.
 
Details

Yield: 8 servings

Beetroot, Walnut, Wild Garlic and Goat’s Cheese Brunch Muffins

Lunch, Savoury Chocolate | 24th April 2014 | By

 The benefits of olive oil have long been appreciated. When I was a child it was hard to get hold of and more of it was poured into our ears than went into our salads. It was bought from the chemist and used to reduce ear infections and soften wax. Luckily things have moved on since then. We are big fans of it in this household and use quite a lot of the extra virgin variety, preferably cold pressed. Not only does this have a better flavour, but also has a higher level of the beneficial components. If the claims for its health benefits are to be believed, CT & I should do pretty well as we get older. It is said to aid calcium absorption thus reducing the effects of osteoporosis in the elderly. The monounsaturated fatty acids found in olive oil may also prevent memory loss by maintaining the structure of the brain cell membranes – hmm, perhaps I’m not consuming enough of it or perhaps my memory would be even worse without it. There are also a number of antioxidants to be found, including Vitamin E, carotenoids and phenolic compounds. These are meant to help in the prevention of certain diseases such as cancer and mitigate against some of the effects of ageing.

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