Wednesday, 5 May 2021

On Wednesday we will make Andrea's Aubergine curry

Although not from my garden, the aubergine seedlings are doing really well, despite the frost and hopefully we some lovely aubergines in the summer to make this dish again with my own produce

Aubergine with yoghurt (Andrea’s recipe)

1lb aubergines, 

2 tbsp ground coriander 

1 ½ tsp ground tumeric

A garlic clove mashed


¾ cup vegetable oil

2 medium onions cut in thin half rings

1 cup plain yoghurt

Tin of tomatoes


Nice with rice and green salad.

Monday, 3 May 2021

Broccoli and coconut milk and wraps on Monday Bank holiday

 I will try and walk to the allotment to show you all what is currently in the garden. It has been a very difficult month. No rain and a severe night frost every night going into May.

For lunch we will have  broccoli and coconut soup with vegetable wraps: for the wraps ( recipe in book 4)


200g self-raising flour

4g salt

50g boiling water


  1. Mix dry ingredients until well combined.
  2. Add boiling water and mix with a knife until it cools enough to knead by hand. Continue to knead for 1 minute or until dough is smooth.
  3. Divide into 8 equal portions (approximately 70g) and turn into balls. Cover each piece with flour. Flatten the balls and cover the dough with a clean kitchen towel and allow to rest for at least 15 minutes.
  4. Roll each dough piece into a wafer-thin sheet. Use a 30cm pan lid, to press out a circle. 
  5. Heat a large pan over medium heat. When the pan is very hot, place one dough circle into the pan and allow to cook until the bottom surface has a few pale brown spots and the uncooked surface is bubbly. Flip to the other side and cook for 15-20 seconds. The tortillas should be nice and soft with a few small brown spots on the surface. 
  6. Remove from pan and stack in a covered container to keep the wraps soft. Serve warm. 
For the filling, I tend to have soft cheese, some grate cheese, lettuce, carrot, peppers, sweet chilli jam. But it is up to you.

Sunday, 2 May 2021

Bank holiday Monday: From Spade to plate :Chickweed pesto with asparagus and sundried tomato couscous

This post was first written 3 years ago on 6/5/2018. What a difference in weather.  This year's bank holiday was wet and windy. Normally not the best way to spend a bank holiday, but after more than a month without rain, many of us welcomed it with open arms.

3 years ago I wrote: Sun sun glorious sunshine.
Today we had a large group of visiting scholars: Yumi, Takashi and Yuki from Japan, Melendra from the US, Simone from Italy,  Sarolta from Hungary, Felicia from China and June and I.
All of them seem to have Dandelion in their countries, so a good excuse to come up with a few tasty recipes.

We went to the allotment to pick the dandelions for the Dandelion Marmalade.

We all went home with a jar, still warm and not quite set, so hopefully by tomorrow we can enjoy home made marmalade!

We also helped Ted, by weeding his soon to be bean trench, the Chickweed was nice and juicy, just right for the Chickweed pesto we used for the couscous dish.

The asparagus were popping out of the ground as we watched, so they too were picked to go into our lovely fresh lunch.

As it was so hot, we made a Couscous salad with Chickweed pesto, sundried tomatoes, feta cheese and asparagus.

On the way home we found some lambs lettuce,lovage, sorrel, rocket and flowers of rosemary, calendula and few few forget-me-nots. Which made the salad not only taste lovely but a joy for the eye.

When we had a little break we tasted some of the dandelion bread and jelly that was made last week.

It went down rather fast!

Some nutritional facts about Dandelions
Some nutritional facts about Chickweed

Monday, 26 April 2021

Puy lentil dish with a refreshing carrot salad

Today's from Spade to Plate zoom session, we even ventured outside! We had a little walk through the garden where we saw the cherry, apple, pear, and strawberries in blossom. The coriander and mint were used in the carrot salad and the Purple Sprouting Broccoli leaves were used instead of Kale in the Lentil , lentil and goat's cheese dish

Instead of the goats cheese curd, I mixed cream with goats cheese to pour over the lentils. (Big success)

What is left of this curd, will be used up in the beetroot soup tonight.

As we had 1/2 a preserved lemon left I used this in the Carrot Salad as well. 

All in all a delicious meal

Stepover apple in blossom

Cherry and stepover apple in blossom

Blueberry  in blossom and grape showing first leaves

Strawberries in vertical garden in blossom

Broadbean in flower

Wednesday, 14 April 2021

Thai week - Spring rolls, chocolate lava cakes, Thai Curry and lemon poppy cakes

 On Monday we made Thai spring rolls with a Peanut dipping sauce

As a dessert we made little chocolate lava cakes in a coffee cup. It was so good that on Monday I made them again when we had friends in the garden.  After so much chocolates I thought we'd try to change the recipe a bit and make lemon poppy steam cakes. We used home made lemon essence we made it last year and tasted beautifully lemony.

The Thai Curry we had with rice was quick and easy. Rather than using chicken breasts I used mushrooms which worked out very well.

Sunday, 11 April 2021

making some sauces for the week's zoom sessions

 As this week I will be attempting some Thai food, I had to make some sauces (as I don't want to buy them specially for one recipe) 

Fist I made peanut butter, using one cup of salted roasted peanuts, 1 tbsp of maple syrup and some oil.

Then this sriracha sauce

As we had some sriacha sauce left over, I decided to make a tomato soup and added the left over of the sauce into the soup.

Saturday, 10 April 2021

Back again after the Easter Break: Planning a Thai week

 Looking through lots of lovely recipes this week, I found these that would work well (I think) for our From spade to plate sessions.

On Monday  I was thinking of these Thai spring rolls with a Thai peanut dipping sauce

On Wednesday evening  I am planning to make

Monday, 29 March 2021

Vegan Teriyaki Noodles

 Today was a little intimidating with Manami tuning in. She makes

at home, but rather kneading them by hand, she says she puts the dough in a plastic bag and then kneads is with her feet by walking over the bag for 15 minutes approx.   It is a good alternative work out either way. 150-200 times kneading by hand or a 15 minutes walk!

Anyway the Noodles came out really well and will make it again no doubt

The Vegan Teriyaki recipes  was a basic recipe,  in future I will look for more ingredients to go with these noodles

Monday, 15 March 2021

Cannelloni with pear and blue cheese salad

The allotment has lots of spinach and broccoli at the moment, so wanted to make something 'new' with it.

When I found  Cannelloni stuffed spinach almonds  (recipe from Cordon vert by Colin Spencer’s) Page 43  I thought it would be a nice change.

I also had a pear left in the fridge, so a quick, tasty Pear blue cheese and walnut salad was made with the lambs lettuce that is growing really well this year.

Saturday, 27 February 2021

Plans for this week's zoom meeting

 Although I am leaving it a bit late, I hope people have time to get their ingredients before tomorrow and Wednesday. The weather has been so nice off late that I have spent most of my time in the allotment.

I have started sowing peas, onions, leeks, celery, celeriac and yesterday some mini munch cucumbers.

This week I am planning a meal I have not tried before Lemon Roast vegetbles with yogurt tahini and pomegranate and as a desert a lemon mousse (from Book 2)

On Wednesday we will make Bami Goreng.

Sunday, 21 February 2021

Mushroom and spinach pasta

 As this week I am inviting students from  St Johns' college to join our zoom meeting, I wanted to try a quick and easy pasta dish with home made pasta without a machine. ( as not everyone has one)

We made this mushroom and spinach dish, it turned out well and had a big group join in.

Dear Karina

Hi, thanks for the session today.
I made a pasta for four people together and ate it as a lunch.
It was so delicious and everyone liked the fresh pasta more than the dried one!
Thank you very much.

Best wishes 

Monday, 15 February 2021

Sweet and Sour chinese vegetables and Chickpea flour tofu

 Today we made Sweet and Sour Chinese vegetables from the 2nd cook book

We also made the Chickpea flour tofu also called Burmese Tofu and had it on a bed of rice.

Wednesday, 10 February 2021

Mushroom and Pea Risotto with Orange, Halloumi and spinach Salad

Over the last years we made risotto with leeks, peas, kale and broadbeans. They all turned out well, but took a little time to make as we needed to 'feed' the rice little by little with stock.

This easy Mushroom and Pea risotto  recipe has some short cuts, which made it super simple to make and VERY tasty.

In future I will use this technique again and add the vegetables that are available in the allotment at the time of cooking.

I suppose we could easily have had a simple salad to go with this,  but as I had some oranges and some spinach that needed eating, we made some Halloumi, orang and Spinach Salad to go with it.

Halloumi, orange and spinach salad

Mushroom and Pea Risotto

Bella's ready steady cook creation

Thursday, 4 February 2021

Thai curry and a mushroom risotto today


On Monday  Thai Curry (carrot, onion, coconut milk and peanuts)   although I make my noodles myself before hand, you may want to either buy noodles or rice, whatever you enjoy more.

On Wednesday am planning to make a mushroom risotto 
for the risotto, I just use the mushrooms I have.
In addition we will make this Halloumi, Carrot and Orange Salad

Monday, 1 February 2021

Lemon curd, lemon puffs and Cheese, 'bacon' and leek tarts

 I bought a box of puff pastry and looked for recipes to use the whole sheet up. No waste and only use the oven once.

First we made the 'mushroom bacon' to go onto the savoury tart. Cheese, Pesto and 'Bacon’ tart

I then made the puff pastry cases and filled them with the lemon curd that I had made yesterday as it was properly cooled and set.   lemon curdLemon Curd Tarts

The lemon curd was made at the end, so I can use it to go into yoghurt or go onto my toast.

 A surprise visit from Holland where Gwen and Emma took this picture of me explaining how to make my mother's favourite Lemon Curd

Friday, 29 January 2021

Spinach and Potato curry with batter flat bread

 As an evening meal we made the Sag Aloo recipe from book 3. Although here is another recipe that might work. 

As I had 1/2 a can of coconut milk left from Monday's from spade to plate, it was a great way to use it up.

The flat bread that we made was more of a pancake. No need to roll it out. It did puff up and was a fun alternative. Not sure if I would make it again if the normal flatbread ingredients are around.

Monday, 25 January 2021

Not much in the allotment at the moment, but still some delicious meals

 This week I had to be creative as at this time of the year there is not much and with this week's heavy frost even less to harvest.

With this in mind, the Spinach Orzo turned out really well. This quick and delicious meal was a real winner.  We did make enough for 3 hungry mouths so after all was tidied up, I had a walk in the sunshine (very slippery under foot though) to give June a taster

As I had a can of tomato in my cupboard, we turned it into a creamy tomato soup that we had as an evening meal in the end.

Today's from Spade to Plate. One-Pan orzo with Spinach and Feta (and pinenuts as suggested by Julie) The end result....? A gorgeous lunch, made with input of 6 of us. The 2 ingredient tomato soup was quick and tasty.

Carmen Maria Renwick

suggestion to serve with a parmesan topping was genius. All in all, another lovely cooking session.