Saturday, April 19, 2014

Shrimp with a Quinoa Millet Salad



This was a happy accident. The marinade for the shrimp is a zesty combination of lime, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar and garlic - zingy! The salad was going to be quinoa but here's the happy surprise. When putting away my bulk grains I must have added some millet to my jar of quinoa, hence the title above. Surprisingly the grains seemed to cook quite happily together and the result was way more interesting that just quinoa - millet is my new favorite grain. Of course if you don't find yourself in possession of a combination of grains, one or the other will do just fine. This was a lovely dinner last night, squeeze lots of lime juice and plenty of herbs over the top and you've got a winner.




Thursday, April 17, 2014

Broccoli with Soba Noodles


If your family isn't wholeheartedly into broccoli and its endless health benefits (rich source in vitamins D, K and A, cholesterol lowering, rich in fiber, anti inflammatory properties etc) have them try this recipe. Even my pickiest eater was won over. It's all in the dressing. It won't occur to them that it's "healthy" just that it tastes fabulous and isn't that the way it should be? In my opinion - absolutely. The buckwheat soba noodles are a lovely change from regular pasta and add some body to the dish. This was polished off before there was time to go back for seconds.



Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Cauliflower and Millet Mash with Slow Cooked Beans



The more I eat vegetables the more I love them.  This is full of flavor and will please the most committed carnivore. Millet is such an underrated grain, I always thought of it as nothing but bird food - how wrong I was! It's delicious and combined with some cauliflower, Parmesan and a pat of butter it's nothing short of sublime. You will truly NEVER go back to plain old mashed potatoes after this.  Use whatever greens you have lurking in the fridge, baby spinach or kale or shredded chard leaves, anything goes here. The flavors only get better the next day so make plenty, you'll be so glad you did. The inspiration for this comes from Peter Berley and his wonderful book "The Flexitarian Table" which is an invaluable resource for peace amongst a family of meat eaters and vegetarians.



Friday, March 28, 2014

Carrot Cake Cupcakes


Don't these little beauties make you want to smile? What's so special is that the pansies are the first brave little flowers to make a showing in the garden this spring. I use the word "spring" with slight hesitation as it's barely above freezing yet..... but I had to make a fuss and garnish my cupcakes with the first blooms from the garden. The cupcakes are scrumptious - very hard to resist - frankly none of us did, they were gone in a flash.



Friday, March 7, 2014

Orange and Lemon Mousse


This mousse is my ode to Spring. It should really be titled "happy mousse" as I imagine this is what happiness would taste like. Fresh, light, zingy, uplifting and leaves you wanting more. I warn you, it's quite tricky to stop eating. You could strew some blueberries or raspberries over the top if you wish, that would be nice, indeed whatever makes you happiest. The sound of bird song, the feel of sunshine on my face however faint and the glorious realization of not having to shroud myself in my all encompassing down winter coat undoubtedly adds to my feeling of happiness.



Orange and Lemon Mousse.

1 ½ teaspoons gelatin powder
Juice and zest of 1 orange and 1 lemon
1 vanilla bean
3 eggs, separated
1 cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream

Method

1.     Zest the orange and lemon, set aside.
2.     Dissolve the gelatin in the orange and lemon juice in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water.
3.     Separate the eggs, beat the yolks with ½ cup of the sugar and the vanilla flecks removed from the vanilla bean until very thick and creamy.
4.     Add the gelatin mixture to the yolk mixture and mix thoroughly.
5.     Beat the egg whites until they reach the soft peak stage, add the remainder of the sugar and continue beating until glossy.
6.     In another bowl whip the cream until fairly stiff.
7.     Fold the cream into the egg mixture.

8.     Pour into individual glasses or one large bowl, decorate with a few curls of  orange and lemon rind.