Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Wednesday 30th May. From Spade to plate: Creamy mushroom and spinach

As we are clearing the chard from the allotment, and sowing again for the coming season.

A bit of a Green theme today.

Asparagus and Spinach soup  with tomato bruschetta

What is so wonderful about our group is that apart from sowing, harvesting, and turning lovely fruit and vegetables into something delicious and nutritious, we spend a lot of time chatting and discussing  issues that are questions from our foreign visitors. Felicia had questions regarding the history of the wives of King Henry 8th. Thank goodness for Melendra's input as she seemed to know more about the UK royal history than the English members of our group. Also great that we had Google on hand, to verify the facts.
Melendra and Felicia, checking our History facts

 I thought  this tasty  recipe with Mushrooms and spinach, thought it might go well with some rice.

As a dessert we had banana, strawberry and rhubarb icecream.

We had frozen banana slices, whizzed it in the foodprocessor with some strawberry jam and stewed rhubarb. We then had an instant creamy, vegan icecream.

Monday, 28 May 2018

Bank Holiday Monday: From Spade to Plate

We had a full house today. It was great as the swiss chard had bolted and therefore in need of removing and making space for the next crop.

freshly harvested chard

I decided to make a cream of spinach soup with some garlic bread (only a couple of ingredients)
This basic bread recipe is quick and easy and is the basis for pretzels, pizza base and bagels as well.

Terry washing the Chard

For our main meal we made Swiss Chard with chickpeas and cousous.

A hive of activity

For dessert we made a rhubarb muffin
Chopping the rhubarb

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

From Spade to plate: Elderflower cordial making and easy bagels

As making elderflower cordial is such a typical English drink, we made this again with the Wednesday group. As it is a 2 day process, the Monday group picked the flowers  and prepared the lemons and let it steep so that the Wednesday group can finish it off and start another batch.

For lunch we made this amazing bagel recipe

lovely with the vegan mayonnaise  or if you don't have chickpea aqua faba and don't mind using milk, this is another great recipe

we made and the vegan 'smoked' salmon'

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Monday, 21 May 2018

What joy to get to hear from my lovely From Spade to Plate friends.

Over the last few weeks I received the occasional update from my From Spade to Plate friends.
It is so lovely to know that the recipes we have used are tried in their own accommodation to share with their families.

Last week I heard from Asako and Annie,

 today within hours of making the elderflower cordial I received this from Yumi

Hello Karina,

I was very enjoyed your session today.
After that, I and Yuki went to a park to find elderflower .
It was difficult, but we found two elderflower trees!
We picked many flowers.It was very interesting!
I am looking forward to make elderflower cordial.

Best regards 

It was great fun. I’m so excited about the vegan smoked salmon. Joe and Sage will be too!


Saturday, 19 May 2018

Elderflower cordial and asparagus

The sunshine has brought with it some long waited for warmth and allowed nature to catch up.
I noticed from last year's blog entry that exactly a year ago we were making elderflower cordial.
Looking around I found some lovely flowers which I turned into the first batch of cordial.

This annual activity I wanted to share with our visiting scholars as many would be able to find Elder in their own countries.

For those of the group who live near the Graduate centre, we went on a recce
 yesterday and found 5 very accessible elder trees.

The garlic in the back garden is ready to be harvested too, so that it can dry off and turned into a plat next week. We shall transplant the peppers (be sowed the seeds of peppers used earlier in the year) and inter plant them with the basil cuttings

We steamed Asparagus for lunch with poached eggs (added salt, pepper, chives and smoked zucchini)

as a sauce we used vegan garlicky mayonnaise.(with only milk and oi) or you can use the aqua faba mayonnaise recipe.

asparagus and poached eggs

strawberries almost ready

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Paola's Spinach recipe.

Cook the spinach, squeeze all the water out and chop. Mix with ricotta, egg (or eggs) parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, nutmeg and a bit of flour.
We used this gnocchi recipe but added loads of spinach

Form into balls and roll into flour. 
When the water comes to boil drop them in and lift them out once they come to the surface (like gnocchi). Don't let the water boil too hard because that could cause them to disintegrate….

For the tomato sauce put some oil in a pan with a clove of garlic. Fry the garlic without letting it go brown and add chopped tomatoes, salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar as well as basil.
Cook for about 10 minutes, Voila!
Ciao x

Thanks Paola, the end result was gorgeous.

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Wednesday 9th May: Leek, mushroom spinach and nettle galette

First thing this morning I went to pick some rhubarb so we could started the cordial straight away.
It was easy and quick to make. We even managed a glass in the sunshine, whilst the crumble and galette were in the oven.

Yesterday I saw some lovely nettles that we could use for todays meal.
I think is goes well in the Leek, mushroom, spinach Galette we just added the nettle tops after thoroughly washing them (with gloves on) then blanching them to avoid any stinging.

The end result was delicious

We  picked the first of this year's lettuce that we sowed with the group a few weeks ago and had it  with our meal.

As a desert we have a rhubarb crumble