Dinner

It’s that comfort food time of year ❤ Plant based Mince and dumpings 🇬🇧

Mince and dumplings was one of my all time favorite meals as a child. My Gran used to take me to this greasy spoon style cafe on a Saturday on the way to visit my Great Grandmother. And every saturday without fail I had the mince and dumplings. The lady serving used to see me coming and have it waiting for me at the counter. Guess I’ve always been a creature of habit. We used to sit at sticky tables as I devioured these dumplings that felt like they were the size if my head. I loved it. And for afters we always had a bakewell tart too. I really need to figure out how to recreate a plant based version of that too thinking about it… anyway. I digress sorry..

This recipe makes me happy. It’s simple satisfaction. And as the weather turns I just cannot think of a better meal to cosy up with a bowl of and maybe get a little nostalgic. It reminds me of home. It reminds me fancy isn’t always necessary. And it reminds me that you can never beat a classic. This is British comfort food at its finest.

This recipe serves two. Or me when I’m really hungry… You can easily multiply it though.

Tip :If you can get your hands on ready cooked lentils – be it frozen, packaged or tinned it would cut the cooking time down considerably too. I always recommend soaking lentils you’re cooking too. But it’s upto you.

Recipe:

For the “Mince”.

1 Cup of lentils.

1 Mushroom stock cube

Oil of choice

2 Cloves of garlic

1/2 Cup Pearl Onions

2/3 Cup Diced Mushrooms

1 1/2 Tbs corn flour

1 -2 tsp herb de Provence

Splash of red wine (optional)

Cook the lentils according to packet instructions. I always have mine soaked then cook them. But if your using another style that’s fine just add them when you’re ready. Keep them to one side for now.

Heat a medium sautee pan with a splash of oil. Add the pearl onions and mushrooms, once they’re softened dice the garlic and add that too. Stir in lentils. Make the stock up cold and stir in the corn flour. Wisk to combine. And add slowly to the lentil mix bit by bit untily get the consistency you like. (Then add a few splashes more as some will get soaked up when we bake the dumplings on top). Stir in herb de provence and wine if using and a good pinch of salt.

Pop this into a nice deep roasting tray to cool for a little while.

Preheat the oven to 350°

To make the dumpings:

Dry:

1 Cup plain flour

1 heaped tsp baking Powder.

1/2 Tsp salt.

Wisk everything together.

Wet :

2/3 Cup milk if choice. I used almond.

1tbs earth balance or olive oil.

Combine with dry ingredients and spread over your lentil mix. Bake in your preheated oven for appx 20 minutes. Or until the dumplings are a little golden and cooked through.

Breakfast

Sunday Morning Breakfasts 🧡 Chia seed pudding with orange water, topped with Buckwheat and Fig 🧡

I love figs. And Sundays. And breakfast. So as you can imagine this one kinda ticks all the boxes for me. I love love love waking up to a pre prepped breakfast. Be it overnight oats or chia seed pudding I feel a little smug knowing when I wake up breakfast is already done and my only responsibility is to now make it pretty… Specially since its Sunday -so I don’t need to worry about making any thing else pretty. It’s an un tamed hair and no makeup time. Sheets stripped from all the beds time. House generally upside down time. And all of this gets ignored as there is book or a bike ready and waiting for me… ahh Sunday how I love you 🧡

Anyway I digress. This Breakfast is so so simple to make and in winter months (you know for people not living in Florida) you can gently heat this recipe and serve with a warm fruit compote. These puddings and overnight oats really are so so versatile. The combinations are endless.

For some other suggestions here are a some other flavour combinations :

https://thelittlebluegarden.com/2017/08/30/late-breakfasts-are-my-favorite-kind-of-meal-fig-and-rose-chia-seed-pudding/

https://thelittlebluegarden.com/2017/11/06/warm-pumpkin-spice-chia-pudding-🍁🍂/

https://thelittlebluegarden.com/2018/07/09/my-latest-go-to-breakfast-rose-oats-and-chia-with-apricot-and-pistachios-💚/

This recipe with Orange water and figs tips the scale a little in a fall flavour category. But works beautifully together.

This serves one but can be very easily multiplied up.

If using the Buckwheat I always soak this separate as it needs a good rinse the next morning. If not skip this step and top with nuts or seeds instead.

Recipe:

Pudding :

3Tbs Chia Seeds

2 Tbs Oats (optional)

3/4 Cup of almond Milk

1 Tsp Orange water

1 Tsp something sweet – maple honey agave

Topping :

1Tbs Buckwheat groats

Fresh fruit of choice

Orange zest

Pop everything from the pudding recipe into a jar and give a good shake. Let it sit for half an hour or so and shake again. Then pop in the fridge overnight.

If you’re using the buckwheat groats. Also pop them into a separate jar. Top with water and leave overnight.

The next morning prep the pudding and rinse the buckwheat.

Top with figs or other fruit and various nuts or seeds. Come on guys, make it pretty! Then a final sprinkling of zest. It’s just that easy.

Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Dinner · Lunch · Picnic

Savouring every last flavour of summer. 🧡Roasted Summer Veggie CousCous 🧡

I have to admit, this one stole my heart tonight. I’ve been playing around with different combinations of these veggies all summer. In salads and soups and curries and finally…! Tonight this one just hit home. 🧡 With summer drawing to and end, this seemed like one final farewell feast.

Having said that, we live in Florida… so my question is does summer ever really end?! I know Pumpkin spice will soon be taking over our lives and all power too it (I do now embrace all things pumpkin since this country welcomed me in). But tonight, in this house, summer still reigns.

With this recipe being so simple, it is pretty crucial to have those in season veggies, you need that vibrance and that sweetness that peak of season brings. The veggies are the star of the show here. Just how I like them. Roasted gently for maximum flavour and tossed together with cous cous and some fresh basil. So simple. So easy. But utterly stunning I promise.

This recipe serves two. But I would be very tempted to multiply this to serve at parties or barbecues. If cous cous isnt your thing, quinoa, barley or farro would work with these flavours too. I also think switching up which herb combinations you use here could be alot of fun too. Make it yours 💚

1 Pepper

1 Small /medium courgette (zucchini)

1/2 Red Onion

1 Large vine ripened tomato

1 Corn Cob

Oil of choice (I used Avocado)

1 Tsp Herb De Provence

1 1/2 Cup of Giant cous cous or Israel cous cous or other seed or grain.

Optional – veggie stock – to cook grain in. Just for added flavour

Dressing ingredients:

2 Tbs Extra virgin olive oil

Juice of half a Lemon

A pinch of something sweet (sugar honey, agave)

Salt

Pepper

Fresh Basil to Serve

Preheat the oven to 375°.

Chop all veggies except the corn into chunky bites, toss in a table spoon of oil, add the herb de provence and a good pinch of salt. Toss together and pop into a roasting tray and into the oven for 30 minutes. In the mean time cut the corn off the cob, and leave to one side. And add to the roasting tray for the last 10 minutes of the cooking time.

Cook the cous cous or the grain you are using according to packet instructions. I like to cook mine in vegetable stock but you can do plain water too.

Once the cous cous is ready put to one side. When the veggies are done, toss the cous cous in to the roasting tray to absorb the flavors of the oil and veg for a little while.

Then finally, add all the dressing ingredients into a jar and give a good shake, pour over the cous cous mix and toss again.

Serve whilst still a warm, adorned with the final flash of fresh basil.

Summer in a dish 🧡 enjoy !

Dinner · Lunch

Celebrating summer 💛Summer Corn Chowder

By now everyone is aware of my obsession with all things colourful at the farmers market. And this recipe is no different. I love the varieties of veggies in the summer. And the stalls all look so pretty stacked with corn and courgette and peppers in colours galore. I really wanted a recipe to bring all of these colours and flavours together. . And this one finally just fit. And I have to confess I’ve made it a fair few times since just tweaking here and there. But this is it and it just makes me happy. Besides there’s just something so satisfying about huge bowls full of veggies. Fresh is always best 💛

“If it grows together it goes together” is a saying that always sticks with me and this recipe is no exception. It’s a bowl full of summer.

I have to admit watching these all sizzle together was oddly satisfying.

Recipe:

3 Corn on the Cob ( cut from the cob)

1 Bell pepper – I used Red

1/2 Courgette (zucchini)

1 Plum Tomatoe

1 Cup New Potatoes

1/2 a Leek

Olive oil

2 Cloves Garlic

1 Tsp tomato paste

5/6 Cups Veggie stock

1/2 cup Almond milk

1tsp Corn flour /corn starch

Optional topping : Parsley or Coriander.

Cut corn from the cob (carefully) and dice all veggies and garlic. Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat and add a splash of olive oil. Pop the veggies and garlic into the pan and let them cook a little while until they have a little colour on them.

Then carefully add the stock and tomato paste. Bring everything up to a simmer and partially cover. Let simmer gently for 30 minutes, occasionally stirring to make sure nothing is sticking. Add more stock if needed if it gets a little thick.

Once all veggies are soft remove a cup of the veggies and stock and pop into a blender, with the almond milk and the corn starch. Blend together to a smooth consistency, then pour this back into the pan. This is to thicken the soup slightly, to make it feel a little creamier.

Once everything is mixed back in well and the chowder has thickened slightly, you are ready to serve 💛

Top with fresh herbs too of you’re using them!

Mam and best friend approved, we hope you like this recipe as much as we did 💛

Dinner · Lunch

Sweet and Spicey. 🔥Piri Piri Sweetpotato and Red Pepper soup🔥

As my obsession with all things spice blend continues. My old faithfuls have come back to the forefront. And Piri Piri always holds a special place in my heart. I love the heat from this. By now you all know my love of things sweet and spicey and the combination of Piri Piri and sweetpotato is nothing new. I love roasting sweet potatoes tossed in this spice blend, then dipped in hummus. (I know I love hummus, shock). These two flavors really pair beautifully together, but I wanted to play with it and this little idea was born.

This recipe is so easy and so satisfying. I love having warm crusty bread close by to dunk in it too. This recipe will work year round too. I can see this being a big hit in the winter months curled up on the couch with something dreadful on the tele.. But it’s bright and bold flavors make it a summer time hit too. It went down well in this house that’s for sure. And I hope it hits home run in yours too 🙂

Ps. I’ve also used this soup a little thicker as a pasta sauce ❤

These colours make me fall in love 😍

Recipe :

2 Large Sweetpotatoes

1/2 Red Onion

1 Large Red Pepper.

2 cloves of Garlic

4 -5 Cups Veggie Stock

1/4 Cup red Lentils

1-2 Tsp Piri Piri (to taste)

Oil of choice (I use Avocado)

Optional:

Corriander / Cilantro to serve.

Fresh crusty bread.

Chop all veggies into a 1cm dice. Heat a large saucepan and pop in a splash of oil. Add all veggies and sauté a while until there is a little bit of colour on the veggies then add the garlic and piri piri. Then carefully add the stock, then bring to a boil, throw in the lentils and reduce to a simmer. Simmer away making sure to give a stir every now and then so nothing is sticking.

After about 20-30 minutes when lentils and all veggies are soft, remove veggies and pop into a blender. Then add stock little by little until you’ve reached the consistency you’d like. Season appropriately and feel free to add a little more Piri Piri if you like it hot 🔥

Breakfast

My latest go to Breakfast. Rose Oats and Chia. With Apricot and Pistachios 💚

So yes, my obsession with rose continues. Sorry but I’m not sorry. Rose water is my favourite little magic touch to everything at the minute. From breakfasts to smoothies to baked goods this just adds a subtle hint of flavour and a beautiful aroma to literally anything. You can find this in most Indian or middle eastern supermarkets too. It’s really inexpensive and just so versatile.

This breakfast has become my latest go to at the moment. I make it as an overnight oats kind of set up but I just love it gently heated the next morning too depending on how much time I have to play with. (You know every moment I can stay in bed is precious to me). So I pop it all on a jar and either hit the road with it or stay and get to savor it a little more. Either way it tastes great and is ridiculously easy to make. Also I just love the level of smugness I feel when I’m not even out of the shower and my breakfast is already ready.

I’ve played around with different fruit to top this. So far I love it with Apricots, or Peaches. I imagine Cherries and Strawberries are good options and intend on trying them next. I love pairing pistachios with rose but other nuts and seeds would work just fine here.

This recipe serves one. But as you can see it’s easily multiplied.

3/4 Cup Almond Milk

1 Tbs Chia seeds

1/3 Cup Oats

1 tsp Rose Water

1Tsp something sweet -honey maple etc.

Fruit to top

And Pistachios or other nuts or seeds.

I literally throw everything into a jar, secure the lid well and give a good shake. Then pop it into the fridge over night.

If I’m having this warm, I heat it over a low heat gently in a pan. If it gets a little thick feel free to splash a little more almond milk in.

Top as you like and serve 💚

Dinner · Lunch

Comfort food ❤ Sweet Potato and Red Pepper Tagine❤

I’m sure by now you’re all aware of my love of all things spice related. And this new find is nothing new, but I must confess, I am absolutely in love in with a new blend of Ras el Hanout I’ve just discovered. This magic little Morrocan spice blend just transforms every day veggies into something exotic. It’s deep, spicy and floral notes just seem to sing. Everything from Paprika, Cumin, Chilli and Rose petals mix together in one phenomenal little tub. Trust me. This is a keeper.

Now I’ve used a little poetic license in calling it a Tagine, I haven’t cooked this dish in a traditional Tagine, (though I may need to try this) but the flavors and colors involved just remind me of exactly that, but don’t panic, your Dutch oven or a large saucepan will do just nicely for this convenient little cheat.

I can’t lie, tucking into bowls of this recipe just makes me smile. The colours along with the scent and spices just make me happy.

If you’re feeding a crowd (or just people who’s appetite matches my own).. I’d recommend a big side of cous cous or millet, scattered with spring onion parsley and pistachios and even a little splash of rose water if you’re feeling brave, they just seem to make an other wise plain side a little more exciting. Other wise heating up some beautiful Naan or flat breads to sit and dip and as you never comes in wrong either.

I hope you love this little dish as much as I do. It’s beautifully simple and soooo easy to make. The work is done for you with a good quality spice blend. I do love a good cheat like that..

Serves 3-4.

2 Large Sweet Poatoes

2 Red Peppers (or whatever Pepper colour you like)

1Tsp Oil (I used avocado)

3 Cups Water.

1 Tin Chickpeas.

3 Tbs Tomato Paste

Fresh Parsely

2-3 Tsp Ras el Hanout ( depending on how rich or spicy you would like the dish. You can always start with 2 and increase to taste)

Peel and chop the sweet potatoes, I like to make this dish a little chunky, so use about a 2cm dice. I do the same with the peppers. Heat a dutch oven or a larger saucepan and add a splash of oil. Add your veggies and give them a minute or two just to soften and add a little colour to the pepper.

Then carefully add the water, bring to a simmer and stir in tomato paste and Ras el Hanout and a pinch of salt. Give everything a mix.

Rinse and drain the chickpeas and pop them into the pan too. Leave this to gently simmer away for 20-30 minutes, until veggies are soft and the liquid has reduced and thickened slightly. Keep an eye on it to make sure nothing sticks.

In the mean time if you’re serving with cous cous or millet I’d suggest you prep that as well.

Once veggies are soft you’re ready to serve, top with fresh parsley for a last like splash of colour and freshness.

Hope you enjoy ❤