Tuesday 30 October 2018

Butternuts 2 ways

A month or so ago June harvested the butternut squashes and one is showing signs of softening. So time to dream up some tasty meals with butternut squash. So here goes.

As we only have 2 hours, we started with the no bake pumpkin pie (made with butternut squash) as it needs to be refrigerated for 2 hours.

Then we made the easiest and tastiest butternut squash soup which we ate with a freshly baked bread roll and hummus.

1 cup natural  Greek Yogurt 
3 cups self raising flour  
a pinch of salt 

Combine yogurt and 3 cups flour in the bowl.  
Mix until combined, scraping down the bowl as necessary until combined. 
Knead on high for 10 minutes. 
Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
Line a tray with baking paper and set aside.
lightly flour the bench top and roll into approx 2 inch balls.
Pop in the oven for 12- 15 minutes
Once cooked let cool .

Makes 12

No bake pumpkin Pie

1 cup cooked pumpkin/butternut
1 cup milk
¾ c brown sugar
2 tbsp cornstarch
¼ tsp salt
1/4 tsp cloves
½ tsp ginger
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg


Making the shell
50g melted butter
180g crushed ginger nuts biscuits
2 tbsp maple syrup

Mix and press into the bottom of a lined pie dish

Combine all ingredients in a heavy duty pan, consistently stirring. Bring to a boil over medium heat until thicken. Pour into the pie crust and let cool before refrigerating. (have put in the freezer to speed up the cooling period)


Sunday 28 October 2018

From Spade to Plate cookery book

As over the years I have met so many lovely visitors to my From Spade to Plate sessions, who harvested the produce from my garden, made tasty meals and shared them around our kitchen table. I thought I write a cookery book with their favourite recipes.  I hope to be able to have it published by Christmas.

Keeping fingers crossed.

From Spade to Plate
Bringing the World together
around a kitchen table.

Wednesday 24 October 2018

Halloumi and Broccoli couscous

Another wonderful sunny day, today.  What an autumn treat!

We went to the allotment where we harvested, a beautiful broccoli head, spinach beet and tomatoes and mint.

We will be preparing the mint in such a way that we strip  all but the top set of leaves. Those leaves were chopped for the couscous but the stems with the few leaves on top will be put in water to start rooting and become another plant for next year.

The Halloumi Couscous and Broccoli dish went down a treat.

With the broccoli stems, spinach beet and marrow chunks (left from a large Marrow that we started using at the beginning of the week)  we made a delicious soup topped with crumbled feta cheese and a delightful blue borage flower

extra virgin olive oil
A small onion, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups broccoli stems, chopped
4 cups spinach beet or chard chopped
4 cups courgettes chopped
Gorgonzola dolce (optional)
1 litre vegetable stock
Borage flowers for garnish, if desired
Feta Cheese for garnish, if desired
Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Add oil to a large pot.
  2. Add in onions and cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Stir in garlic and cook for an additional minute.
  4. Toss in broccoli and cook for 10 minutes over medium heat.
  5. Stir in vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Simmer until broccoli , spinach and courgettes are tender.
  6. Take off of the heat and stir in  Gorgonzola  (optional) salt and pepper.
  7. Cool soup slightly and puree with hand blender.
  8. Pour soup into bowls and serve immediately.
  9. Garnish with crumbled feta cheese and a Borage flower or chives.

Tried and tested by June, Lucy, Ana, Angeles, Sue and  Karina 

Thursday 18 October 2018

Angeles 'sowing' leeks for next year

On the 24th September Angeles cut the leek seed head down and put it upside down in my 'winter' bed.
Today the 18th October, less than a month later I found the baby leeks looking happy and fresh.

Wednesday 17 October 2018

Beetroot soup (Borscht) and quinoa salad

Today we made Borscht, a beetroot soup, with a slice of sourdough bread with grilled goats cheese.
As it was only Carmen and I, we started plotting ideas for the From Spade to Plate cookery book.
Carmen is a fantastic artist, so to have some of her art included in the book would be such a treat.

Our main meal we have a warm broccoli, squash and quinoa salad as the broccoli is at it's best and we still have some of the butternut squash, this salad combines the two beautifully.

Wednesday 10 October 2018

Mung Bean Curry

The weather at the moment is amazing, we already had 2 days of temperatures of 19degree C and expect to have a warm sunny day (22degrees C) so it should be a joy to go to the allotment and harvest the carrots and spinach beet.  There are still loads of lovely lettuce, tomatoes and peppers so we might be able to have a tasty side salad too.

The recipe for the  Mung bean curry: 4 servings
1 cup of mung beans soaked for 6 hours or overnight
2 tbsp oil
2 tsp brown mustard seeds
1 finely sliced onion
15 gr finely grated ginger
1 tsp tumeric powder
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp chilli powder
4-6 minced garlic cloves
1 can of chopped tomatoes
2 carrots sliced into half moons
4 cups of vegetable stock
3 large handfuls of shredded silverbeet/spinach
sea salt to taste

In a large pot heat the oil over a medium high  heat and add the mustard seeds

When the mustard seeds start to pop add the cumin seeds and onion. Saute for a few minutes over a medium heat. When until onions become translucent, add the chilli, tumeric, ginger, garlic and tomatoes.

Continue to saute on gentle heat for another 5 minutes, until the tomato pieces are cooked down. Then mix in the mung beans and carrots. Stir thoroughly so all the spices and flavours coat the ingredients

Next add the stock and bring to boil. then turn down and gently simmer.
At this point you may want to add some salt, try 1/2 a teaspoon.
Cook for 30 minutes with the lid partially on, until the lentils are fully cooked and you have a thick caserole like consistency. You will need to stir consistently so that the beans don't stick to the bottom of the pot.
Once cooked, stir in the beet and simmer for a couple more minutes before turning off.

Serve with basmati rice, a dollop of yoghurt  topped with fresh coriander and a fresh salad.

For the flat bread  the ingredients were.

2 cups of plain flour

1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup of milk
3 1/2 tbs butter

Warm the milk and melt the butter in it.
Add to the flour and salt and mix thoroughly and knead into a ball.
Leave to rest for 10 mins, then cut in 4 and roll out thinly
In a dry frying pan, put in the flat dough and leave it until it shows bubbles, then turn for another minute or so (make sure it does not burn). Et Voilà! Delicious flat bread to go with your curry
(or if you want to use it as a wrap this is possible too as long as it is thin enough)

Wednesday 3 October 2018

Preserving tomatoes

After an amazing summer and no blight, I have a wonderful amount of tomatoes ready to eat in the winter months too.

I have dried and canned some already but wanted to roast and keep in oil the next batch.

Red lentil and courgette soup - waffles and tomato kebabs

The weather is turning and autumn is in the air. Today we used one of our marrows to use in soup.

Red Lentils and courgette soup.

2 cups of  red lentils
1 medium onion
1 tsp of sunflower oil
2 medium sized courgettes  diced
3 ½ cups of vegetable stock
½ tsp of ground turmeric
salt and pepper
Crusty bread to serve

Serve 4


1.    rinse and drain the lentils
2.    Cook the onions in the oil  until soft
3.    Add the courgettes and cook for 2-3 minutes
4.    Add the stock, turmeric and bring to boil . Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes. Season with salt and pepper

5.    When the soup is almost ready bring a large saucepan of water to the boil and add a hand full of diced zucchini and cooke for 1 minute. Drain and add to the soup. Serve hot with warm crusty bread

We picked the last tomatoes and turn them into mini kebabs and noticed that the Indian Corn looked ready. So picked some of these too as decoration.
Melendra, Angeles, Alegria and Alicia showing off their Corn and tomatoes

Alegria and auntie Angeles picking basil for the  kebabs

We finished off with some delicious waffles with topping like Dandelion Jelly and elderberry jam.

Jacky making our waffles

Monday 1 October 2018

Butternut squash, sage and honey soup

The butternuts are harvested and are begging to become a lovely creamy soup.
We made this Butternut squash, sage and 'honey' (dandelion jelly we made earlier in the season)

We will also make Waffles,

Next time when we make sourdough bread we will try these Sour dough waffles as they were lovely as a savoury dish with grated cheese.

Overnight sponge
241  gr plain flour
28  gr sugar
454g buttermilk (milk with a little lemon)
241 sourdough starter.


all of the overnight sponge
2 large eggs
50 gr veg oil
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda

1. To make the overnight sponge, stir down the fridge started and remove 1 cup.
    Note: this is  a good opportunity to feed the remainder if necessary
2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the 1 cup unfed started, flour, sugar and buttermilk
3. Cover and let rest at cool room temperature overnight
4. In a small bowl or mixing cup beat together eggs and oil. Add to the overnight sponge
5. Add the salt and baking soda, stirring to combine. The batter will bubble
6. Pour batter onto a pre heated greased waffle iron
7. Serve waffle immediately to ensure crispness. Or hold in a warm oven till ready to serve
8. Yield 1 dozen waffles.