Wednesday, 19 February 2020

half term: shoba noodles with Fake lo Mein and broccoli soup

Today was a small group as a couple of regular members were ill and on holiday as it was half term
So making egg noodles was perfect entertainment with a small group.

We then made this delicious fake Lo Mein that was out of this world. We sprinkled a few sesame seeds on top when we served the dish, but this is optional.

Although the morning started sunny (but chilly) by the time we went into the allotment to pick the broccoli for the broccoli and coconut milk soup it was dull and dreary.  Great to be back into the house which was warm and cozy.

All in all a very tasty meal with lots of sharing of information.

Tuesday, 18 February 2020

Scotch Eggs and warm sweetpotato and avocado salad

Last Christmas, Irina came with a delicious sweet potato and avocado salad. As I had sweet potato and saw (frozen) avocadoes at Iceland, I wanted to try it out. The end result was delicious. Besides topping the salad with just coriander we also did our 3rd pea shoot harvest before planting the peas in the garden.  It they turn out to give us peas all the better if not, at least the roots will slow release nitrogen into our raised beds.

Although on this picture it looks like a lovely spring day, it has been windy, (well stormy Chiara and storm Dennis) wet with the occasional frost.

The early warmth however has made the apricot tree come out in blossom too early. No sign of bees yet so Kanako is giving nature a little hand by using a swan feather to pollinate the tree.

Warm festive sweet potato salad:

4 large sweet potatoes
2 ripe avocados
1/2 pound cherry tomatoes
1-2 lemons
1 lime (optional)
5-6 cloves of garlic
pack of fresh cilantro (coriander)
cumin spice powder
any hot pepper spice powder ( either pimiento or cayenne,or chili, etc)

1. Clean and peel sweet potatoes, cut into 1 inch cubes, place on a baking sheet  and put into 225 degrees C oven for approximately 30 minutes or until tender.  Take care not to overcook them, the sweet potato cubes should NOT become brown! Gently turn them over half way through if needed.

2. While sweet potato cubes are baking prepare the rest of the vegetables and the dressing. Peel avocados and cut them into 1/2 inch pieces. Wash the cherry tomatoes and cut them either in halves or in quarters depending on their size.

3. For the dressing squeeze the juice from 1 or 2 lemons plus 1 or 2 limes (optional). Use it all! Add two tablespoons of cumin powder (or more!, it is not hot, it just adds very nice hearty taste) and 1/4 of teaspoon of hot pepper (use less pepper if you do not like spicy foods) Press 5-6 (or more !) peeled garlic cloves through the garlic press, add to the lemon juice. Wash a large bunch of cilantro, chop into small pieces, mix well with the lemon juice, garlic and spices.

4. In a large serving dish assemble the salad: put all sweet potatoes at the bottom, then add 1/2 of tomatoes and avocados, generously cover with the dressing, add the rest of the tomatoes and avocados on top. Enjoy!

We also made some (gluten free) scotch eggs. We found a novel idea on how to take the shell of the eggs easily.  Boil water first, then add the eggs and boil for 10 minutes. Have a bowl ready with ice cold water and put the eggs in this to quickly cool down.
 in a container we added the egg, shook it vigorously and the egg shell came off almost by itself.

For the 'meat' we used green lentil paste, onion, grated carrots and beetroot, garlic and smoked paprika.  We made the scotch egg as normal. 

 Dip the hardboiled egg in (rice) flour, then shape the 'meat' around it, then dip in egg followed by dipping into breadcrumbs.

As the oven was on, we put them on a tray in the oven, but you could also have deep fried them.

They were lovely we some bread & butter pickle.

Wednesday, 12 February 2020

Japanese inspired meal

Last week Irina spoke about another fermented food that she liked very much but only the Japanese friends seem to know. Natto.  They tried to explain what it smelled and tasted like, and to be honest they did not sell it well. Apparently it smelled and had an acquired taste.  Sounded interesting though and we all wanted to try it so Erika very kindly brought some for us to use today.

We made a egg fried rice with Natto, cabbage, carrot, garlic topped with pea shoots and some soya sauce. We all loved it.

To start our meal we had this beetroot, feta and radish soup we sprinkled some sesame seeds on top and made it look very much in keeping with the rest of the meal.

As a dessert we made some Kanten, an agar dessert with tangerines and pineapple.

Today we also sowed, tomatoes in tea bags. This is an experiment as I saw it on FB. The seeds were from tomatoes we had eaten last autumn, so not sure how they will come up. Will write an update once I have more news

Monday, 10 February 2020

Mung Bean Curry, Flat bread, and apple rose pastry

After a very stormy night a warming curry is just the job.
WE made some mung bean curry with rice and flatbread.

In September Melendra, June and I went to pick apples in Storey's way. June wrapped them in newspaper and today was the day that we turned about 15 apples into a on the stove apple crumble

In the topping we put walnuts and maple syrup instead of pecan nuts and we added

crushed branflakes in the mix.

Thursday, 6 February 2020

Sweet potato, pumpkin and kefir soup, with cabbage parcels

Last week, Julie gave me a bottle of Kefir to give to my friend. It turned out that she had left for holiday so what better to do then use it ourselves.
I found this spiced pumpkin-sweetp otato soup with Kefir it was a creamy velvety soup, which we had with a lazy dough bread roll.  We used the dough that we made on Monday, so Thank you to the monday group for making this lovely dough.

Then Carmen came with a page out of Velvet magazine op page 38 the Allotment diary .Stuffed Savoy Cabbage Leaves.

Large savoy cabbage
3 carrots Shred
300g mushrooms - chop very finely
1 leek- chop very finely
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 cloves of crushed garlic
50g toasted hazelnuts
50g fetta cheese

Carefully pull the 12 outermost leaves off the cabbage and set to one side. Remove the core from the remaining cabbage and finely shred (we have decided to also shred the first full dark green leaves as they were a little tough.

Heat 1tbsp oil in a pan over a medium heat  and add the shredded cabbage, carrots, mushrooms and leek. Sprinkle a good pinch of salt and pepper and cook for approx 5 minutes until starting to soften
Add the cumin seeds and garlic. Cook for a further 10 minutes stirring occasionally until the moisture of the mushrooms has cooked off and the veg is just starting to turn golden.

Put a large saucepan of water on the boil and pre-heat oven to 180 degrees. Take the cabbage leaves you removed earlier and shave some of the thick stem in the middle of each leave. Once the water is boiling, plunge the leaves in for 1-2minutes and then drain. (if your leaves are dark green, boil a little more as they could otherwise be tough)  

Chop you toasted nuts and crumble the feta- taste and add extra seasoning if necessary.

To assemble, lay your cabbage leaves out flat on a work surface and spoon the filling mixture evenly between the 12 leaves. Fold both sides in then fold over the bottom and top to make a little parcel. Place in an oven proof dish, fold side down. drizzle with oil and bake for 10 minutes. Serve warm for diner or cold for lunch the next day  (Velvet, recipe by Katie Moore of Allotment) January 2020
We went out into the allotment to pick Yacon, Oca,Carrots, Corn Salad, rocket, edible flowers like corn flowers, yellow and orange calendula, viola, rosemary flower and daisies for a lovely fresh salad
Stuffed Savoy Cabbage leaves


Monday, 3 February 2020

A glorious day at From Spade to Plate

We were welcomed by the sun today, the first bee was already buzzing so a little walk to the allotment was a treat.

As we were going to have to use the oven to bake our Lazy dough bread rolls so rather than having an empty oven to warm up, we made some Lavash. We used sesame and poppy seeds as well as some smoked paprika and put it directly into the flour. Then just before going into the oven we sprinkled sunflower and pumpkin seeds over the crackers.


When I saw this tasty Cheddar Soup,  and having some broccoli  and carrots in the allotment, thought we might slightly alter it to make a sauce rather than a soup. We just left out 2/3 of the stock, so it was thicker and  stayed in the bread rolls better.

Whilst June was keeping an eye on the oven (filled with crackers, vol au vents and bread rolls) the rest of us went off to forage for our salad.  We harvested some yacon, carrots, oca's in addition to edible flowers like daisies, corn flowers, calendula and rosemary (not too many as they are important for the bees to visit at this time of the year)

Wednesday, 29 January 2020

Carrot Soup, Scones,, risotto and chick pea browny waffles

Carrot Soup was lovely, we added 1 chopped red pepper and 1 celery stalk to the mix, after blending it, we topped it with chopped almonds and parsley

Our main meal as Leek, Pea and pesto risotto, although it called for 200 gr kale, which we did  pick in the allotment, by the time we were back, Carmen and Julie who stayed to stir the pot, felt there was already so much in the risotto it would have been over kill. So we left it out.
When we plated it up we stirred some gorgonzola and parmesan through it and topped it with pea shoots.

The chickpea brownie waffle went down very well too.
we used the chickpea brownie recipe from the 3rd cookery book but rather than pouring the batter in a baking tin and put in the oven for 30 minutes. We put a dollop in the middle of the waffle iron to make them into little waffles,  we then topped them up with lemon mousse.

For this we had 400g cream cheese, 1 cup icing sugar, juice of 1 lemon (we used 3 small limes) pinch of salt and 1 cup of the whipped aquafaba. We mixed everything except the whipped aquafaba, then folded it in.  Part of the mousse we put in small dishes (to give away to some of the residents of Victoria Homes) the left over was put in the fridge for 1 hour and used to top the chocolate brownie waffles.