As I was processing these photos I suddenly remembered I have an almost identical recipe up on the blog… my smoky tasty quesadilla for one also makes good use of Brussel Sprouts and here they are again, making an appearance in my Indian-style lunch. In fact, most of my lunch was leftovers from last nights dinner (dhal, rice and roasted broccoli/brussels), which perhaps makes this the laziest offering I have yet to, er, offer.
Anywho, it’s all pretty indicative of my life at present and it’s kinda apt that I’m re-discovering old loves (sliced Brussels just being one) whilst also being in the midst of what I could only describe as my momentary ‘harumph’ episode. And if you are totally baffled as to what the heck I am talking about, then let me draw your attention to the distinct lack of blogging of late and my current ‘meh’ state of mind that I’m making myself overcome.
Being the uber self-critical person that I am, I’ve made it my mission of late to rid myself of these mental hurdles, and staying away from the blog has kinda helped. I think I just needed a bit of breathing space to clear my all too cluttered mind and refocus – fortunately it’s working! Silencing that inner monologue, which seems to rage around my brain most of the time is not easy but I now find myself settling right into my new way of life here and I’m starting to feel pretty serene. It took a little while but I think (I hope) I might just have come full circle – quirks and brussel sprouts obsession intact… about bloody time too.
sliced and spiced brussel sprouts
8 brussel sprouts
1 garlic clove
small piece of ginger
1/4 green chilli
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 smoked paprika
pinch of dried chilli flakes
salt and pepper
sunflower and sesame seed oil
finely chopped parsley and lightly toasted sesame seeds to serve
heat both oils in a large frying pan and lightly fry the onion – don’t forget to season
slice the brussels and add to pan. season and allow to soften a little before adding the chopped garlic, ginger and chilli, and saute for a few minutes more
add the cumin, smoked paprika, chilli flakes and stir throughly. cook for a few minutes more before serving a side or topping to almost any Asian inspired dish
I don’t want to speak too soon but it would seem I am, for once, fully prepared for this little mid-week celebration that is not so little Stateside but is virtually unheard of here. Since we lived in Chi-Town though we have enjoyed adopting this day for ourselves – mainly because of the food but also because it feels like an additional Christmas day without the unnecessary present giving. This year, we’ve invited our usually grinch-like friend over to join in with our Thanksgiving fun, and I must say I cannot wait… friends, grub, cocktails, games, films and chat equals a perfect Thursday evening.
I know it’s probably a bit late to be offering up any recipe advice (apologies for my general lack of posting at the moment too) but I thought you might be interested in how I cope with a half a dozen side dishes plus a starter, dessert, and not forgetting the all important cocktails – my bourbon, cherry brandy, lime and ginger ale mix will be on the menu tonight. I should point out that I was up to my eyeballs in cranberry sauce and cabbage until the wee hours, which urges me to stress the following point – prep, prep, prep! No advance cooking means a major headache on the day. Trust me.
Pumpkin pie is a given, of course, and whilst I do have a go-to recipe (the one below) I have yet to perfect it to my satisfaction. Granted, it’s not exactly a pretty pie but I was pleased enough with how it turned out – just the right side of orange, perfectly spiced and my crust looks spot on. So far, so good!
Oh, and if you happen to see the SeaWorld float at the Macy’s Day Parade, make sure you give it an almighty ‘booooo!!!’ from me.
Here’s how to make it the pie…
for the filling
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup silken tofu (firm)
1 heaped tsp pumpkin spice mix (allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg)
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup agave/sweet freedom
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tsp cornstarch/cornflour
for the crust
2 tbsp butter substitute
1 cup ginger snap crumbs
pre-heat the oven to 175 degrees celsius/350 fahrenheit
melt the butter substitute in a pan and blitz the cookies into crumbs. combine the two and line the bottom of a pie tin. bake in oven for 10 mins and remove.
blend all the pie filling ingredients until smooth. pour unto the crust and bake for 40 minutes, turning once. turn the oven off and let the pie sit in oven for a further 30mins.
remove from oven and allow to cool completely before transferring to a serving plate. if you are making it in advance, refrigerate overnight.
serve with soya cream or non-dairy ice cream.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYBODY!!!!
Halloween is officially over and the holidays are on their way… something which excites me more than you can know. I love, love, love Christmas and all the special days that surround it, which since our two year stint in the States now includes Thanksgiving too. So over the next two months we will be eeking out every last second of festive fun in the only way we know how – food, drink, film and friends, and not necessarily in that exact order.
Being the simple beings that we are, we relish any opportunity to cozy up and make the most out of these incoming winter months, and I will no doubt be making the most of all that squash and pumpkin, some of which will undoubtedly find its way on here. Let’s start as we mean to go on then and get cracking with a stonkingly good winter salad recipe – yes, the roasting might take a while but the rest is just a matter of simple assembly.
It may sound like a weird combination but I served it with pie and kale – I used it as the potato replacement, and it definitely worked… Hubby heartily approved. The flavours are really reminiscent of stuffing rendering it a perfect Thanksgiving side dish and it’s already on my ‘planning way ahead’ menu. Eek! Cannot wait… holidays are comin’, holidays are comin’.
1 squash/gourd/small pumpkin
1 cup frozen garden peas
1 cup cooked cous cous
1/4 cup toasted flaked almonds
1 sprig rosemary, finely chopped
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh sage
extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and black pepper
Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees celsius/350 fahrenheit.
Halve, de-seed, roughly chop and peel the gourd, then chop into small chunks. roast in the oven with a tablespoon of oil, salt, pepper and chopped herbs for about an hour.
Soak 1 cup of cous cous in 1 cup of freshly boiled water, cover and let stand for 10 minutes before fluffing with a fork.
Quickly defrost the peas by covering them in a cup of freshly boiled water, leaving for five or so minutes and then drain.
Lightly toast the almonds in a heated skillet ensuring, tossing frequently so they don’t burn.
Remove the squash from the oven and stir through the cous cous, peas and almonds along with a little more oil and seasoning. Serve warm, at room temperature or even cold the next day.
WE DID IT!
High five y’all! We did it! We found ourselves a super duper, super cute, super lovely flat right smack bang in the middle of town and we are ‘whoop whoop’ ha-ppy. After my last despairing post where I was on the verge of a breakdown (I’m sort of joking) I really didn’t hold out much hope for our situation being resolved anytime soon. But, in spite of my ‘half glass empty’ attitude and our combined perseverance (my Husband officially has the patience of a Saint), something unexpectedly came up that fitted the bill perfectly… I’m literally busting a gut to get into it now and make it a fully fledged home. I feel a ‘squee’ coming on.
In light of our plans actually coming together for once I decided to celebrate by giving the blog a bit of a makeover – I hope you approve. Please let me know any thoughts in the comments, I would love to know your opinions. I sweated over which template to get for a number of days before settling on this very simple theme that seemed to suit the blog perfectly.
I’d been contemplating a change for a while but was waiting for the right time to switch things up a little and it felt best to do it now when we are just at the beginning of our new life adventure. I’m never sure what direction the blog will go in, it’s been several years of highs and lows but I’ve stuck with it – and can’t deny I still get immense pleasure from filling this little part of the internet with whatever I fancy… fashion, food and general ramblings. In other words, it’s fun.
Nothing new about crunchy oven roasted chickpeas but maybe putting them in a taco might be? It’s a little bit Mexico meets Morocco via India, which may sound ever so slightly unappealing but believe me when I tell you it works! I had a hankering after chickpeas but didn’t fancy putting them in an actual curry, which is what I normally opt for (I do love a good chana masala) when it suddenly dawned on me I could combine several of my favourite things in one dish… tortillas, chickpeas and curry – with the ever essential fixings, of course, by way of avocado, tomato and sweetcorn. Oh, and don’t let me forget to mention the incredible new addition to our shopping list – Tesco’s new range of vegan cheeses. No lie, the supermarket that I normally loathe has thrown me a curve ball by coming up trumps with the perfect melting, grating, tasting dairy free cheese that virtually laughs in the face of all others. Find it in the refrigerated free-from section and delight in its all round awesomeness with me – actually obsessed.
1 can chickpeas, drained, rinsed and dried
1 heaped tsp curry powder
generous helping of seasalt
good glug of olive oil
Roast in oven for 20-30 minutes until crunchy, giving them a stir half way through. I would give you an exact temperature but seeing as I did mine in a camper oven that only has an on/off setting it wouldn’t be of much help. If I were to hazard a guess though, I would whack them in at 200 degrees celsius/350 fahrenheit and see how you go….
Build the perfect taco: tortilla, good quality hummus, seasoned sweetcorn & diced tomato, crunchy curried chickpeas topped with avocado, hot sauce and ‘cheese’.
Cooking with limited resources can be challenging but also so much fun. Getting back to basics has been one of the best things about this move and I’ve been loving my one-pot wonders and endless salad variations, so I thought I’d share a quick one with you…
We’re feeling a little more settled today, and have both miraculously managed to get some work done – hurrah! Not only that but the deposit on our previous London flat has just come through, which means we can begin the flat search in earnest… so exciting!!!
In lieu of a permanent abode though I thought a little exercise in camper van cooking would keep me busy in between articles for Hunger and strolls to the beach. It’s a hard life, I know. Can you tell I’m more chipper today? Things are starting to fall into place so who can be unhappy about that. Onwards.
p.s. the maple syrup seen here was the sweetest gift given to us by our wonderful friends from across the pond who came and stayed with us for a few days last week. It’s seriously incredible stuff and the absolute perfect sweet to my sour in this simple but tasty dish. Enjoy!
Sweet ‘n’ Sour Slaw
1/4 red cabbage finely sliced
1 carrot grated or peeled
1/4 cup pickled beetroot, finely sliced
handful of pumpkin seeds
coarse sea salt (Cornish Sea Salt is the ultimate – trust me)
ground black pepper
1 tbsp good quality maple syrup
1 tbsp of the pickled beetroot vinegar
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Toss, season, serve…. that simple.
and in case you are wondering about the potato salad. it was simply boiled potatoes, cooled and tossed with sea salt, hummous, chives and a little olive oil…. delish.
Man oh man, it’s sure as hell been a while since I did one of these posts, eh? Sometimes I forget I started out as purely a food blogger …truth be told I didn’t even know what blogging was back then, I just wanted somewhere to keep a record of my recipes and my Husband suggested I start a blog.
Anyway, here we are, some four or so years later and PeaSoupEats is less about eats and more about me. I can never tell if that was a good move or not but hey, we’ll roll with it for the time being.
Let me assure you though, I still cook a lot. A LOT! I am still creating vegan recipes and the kitchen remains my favourite place to hang out. These three recipes were impromptu dishes that I came up with on the spur of the moment after deciding we wanted an early evening picnic in the park, and I must admit they were bang on and totally perfect for outdoor dining. And as ever, they are easy peasy lemon ….you know the rest.
vegan potato salad
2 sticks of celery, finely diced
2 tbsp capers, minced
1 bunch flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
2 heaped tsp wholegrain or dijon mustard
salt and pepper
1 tbsp cider vinegar
juice 1/2 lemon
1 tsp agave
1/4 cup olive oil
- Boil the potatoes, then drain and allow to cool. Chop into medium size pieces, season and set aside.
- Prepare your celery, capers and parsley. Set aside.
- Put all the dressing ingredients into a jar and shake vigorously until it emulsifies.
- Place everything in a bowl and gently but thoroughly mix together. Place in fridge until needed.
Cous cous with griddle peppers and toasted pinenuts
1 cup cous cous
1/2 red pepper
1/2 green pepper
1/4 cup pinenuts
juice of 1/2 lemon
- Place the cous cous in a bowl and cover with the same amount of boiling water. Put a plate or lid on top and leave to soak for 10-15 minutes.
- Cook the peppers on a hot griddle skin side up until blackened, then turn over and griddle on the other side.
- Toast the pinenuts in a hot skillet – keep your eye on them, as they can easily burn. Keep shaking them to ensure they are evenly toasted. Transfer to a bowl.
- Fluff the cous cous using a fork, sprinkle over some smoked paprika (to your taste), chop the peppers and add to the bowl, stir through before flavouring with tamari, lemon juice, hemp oil, tabasco and more smoked paprika (again, all to taste, I am pretty generous with everything).
- Give it a final stir through and place in fridge until needed.
Griddled Tenderstem Broccoli with Vegan Pesto Dressing
10 tenderstem broccoli stems
1 tbsp vegan pesto (I like the sundried tomato one from Dress Italian)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp cider vinegar
nooch (nutritional yeast)
- Brush the broccoli with a little oil and griddle for a few minutes until just cooked. Remove from pan and season. Set aside.
- Place the pesto in a small bowl and lightly whisk in the lemon juice, oil and vinegar.
- Cut the broccoli into thirds, return to plate, spoon over the pesto dressing and generously finish with nooch. Place in a tupperware container and refrigerate until needed.
Well whaddya know, I may just have gotten my food bloggin’ mojo back – must be our impending move to Cornwall getting me all inspired and stuff. Whoop whoop!!
Let me tell you why I’m not shy about calling these ‘Ultimate Vegan Stuffed Mushrooms’. Not one for making big claims about stumbled upon creations that are bourne out of what I simply have in the fridge, this recipe was the fluke to end all flukes when it’s comes to stuffed mushrooms. It’s not just that they’re tasty, work well at every meal time or are stupidly easy to make. It’s the fact they put every other stuffed mushroom I have tasted to shame….and I’ve eaten my fair share of stuffed mushrooms.
If you happen to be vegan you’ll be rejoicing at the all encompassing flavour – that certain ‘umami’ you often hear people bang on about (mainly in reference to its apparent absence in vegan dishes) will be silenced because it is totally present here. In bucketloads. If you’re not vegan, I’d be more than a little surprised if you enjoy them any less than their usually cheese laden counterparts – trust me, they do not need it!
There are several secret weapons when it’s comes to achieving such stuffed mushroom greatness and eliminating even one of them will sacrifice an essential layer of deliciousness and may even render them simply good instead Uh.ma.zing.
The nutmeg and cayenne pepper are musts – omit at your peril and against my advice….I can be quite bossy when I want to be. The coconut milk could be replaced with soya cream but it would be a less healthy choice. At a push the leek might be swapped with half a very finely chopped onion but in all honesty the earthy flavour the leek lends to the dish would be sorely missed. I also insist on the double dose of garlic – fresh and pureed…it’s an absolute must! Oh, and the nutritional yeast is crucial in achieving that perfect stuffed mushroom crust.
Ready for the recipe? Here ya go….
4 portobello mushrooms
several handfuls of fresh spinach
3 garlic cloves plus 1 tsp garlic puree
generous grating of nutmeg
1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees celsius/350 degrees fahrenheit.
Peel the mushrooms and remove stalks. Rub each with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper
Finely chop the leek. Heat a little oil in a pan and gently fry the leek until soft. Mince the garlic and add to pan along with the garlic puree (if using – recommended) and gently infuse for several minutes before adding the spinach.
Generously grate the nutmeg over the spinach and sprinkle over the cayenne. Season and wilt.
Add the coconut milk, gently heat through, season and set aside.
Fill each mushroom with the creamy spinach filling and top with nutritional yeast. Bake for 25-30 mins depending on your oven. Serve immediately with hot ‘buttered’ toast. For extra B12 goodness, spread marmite on one slice.
Weekends for me are all about my kitchen. I tend to spend the entire two days pottering around in there, making this and that – and eating way too much in the process! Whereas I used to make menu plans, now I allow the ingredients to do all the talking, which makes for more interesting dishes and more fun in La Cucina.
Still harboring an obsession for Mexican Cuisine, I rely heavily on tortilla for quick lunches and dinners. Tacos are so versatile, as far as I’m concerned it doesn’t matter what you fill them with, they’ll still taste amazing. With that said, sauces and dressing are what take most good meals to next level and this sweet n’ spicy jalapeno dressing does just that.
I suppose in essence this is what you might call a vinaigrette but we’ll stick with dressing for now. The jalapenos are crucial and so is their minced nature – just keep going over them with a sharp knife until you get the desired ‘squishy’ consistency.
And then…..just mix it through the cous cous AS WELL AS pouring it generously on top before consumption. This would also make a great zingy salad dressing or a yummy dip for bread.
for the dressing
5 pickled jalapeno pieces
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
1 heaped tbsp agave syrup
juice of half lime
1/2 tsp cider vinegar
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
pinch of salt and pepper
put everything in an empty jar and shake vigorously until it emulsifies.
cous cous ingredients
1/2 cup cous cous
1 tbsp taco seasoning
1/2 cup defrosted frozen peas
1 tbsp chopped coriander
place the cous cous and taco seasoning in a bowl. mix to combine and cover with freshly boiled water. put a plate on top and leave to soak for ten minutes.
fluff with a fork and stir through the peas, coriander and half the dressing.
serve alone or in a crunchy taco – top with more dressing before eating!
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!
Well, almost. Although by the time I publish this it will technically be Thanksgiving in the UK…even though we don’t celebrate it here….except we will be.
Having lived in Chi-Town for a couple of years we kinda consider ourselves honorary Americans and we even have one of our Chicagoan friends here in London joining us for a full on Thanksgiving dinner. Truthfully, we probably wouldn’t be marking the day if it weren’t for him, but hey, I’m thankful for friends so why the heck not eat some tasty grub whilst appreciating everything we have. Sounds like a plan to me.
Here’s my menu, which includes the pumpkin seen in above gif (I’m doing gif’s now, get me *cough* I didn’t even know what one was until about a fortnight ago). I pureed the sucker and made it into a pie with a ginger snap crust made with almost a full packet of ginger snap biscuits (cookies) mixed with about a third of a cup of melted vegan butter. Pat it into a pie tin and bake in a moderately high oven for 10-15 minutes and allow to cool a little before pouring on the filling, which goes a little something like this….
1 cup silken tofu
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup sweet freedom or agave
1 heaped tsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 heaped tsp cinnamon
1 tsp allspice
Blend until smooth, pour over the crust and bake (180 celsius/350 fahrenheit) for an hour until set but with a little bit of jiggle. Allow to cool completely before refrigerating overnight.
I’ll also be serving…
braised cabbage and apple (without the bacon and butter!)
sauteed brussel sprouts with pomegranate seeds and chestnuts
sage and onion stuffing balls
maple roasted parsnips
redwoods celebration roast
and for dessert…
*with an experimental coconut and pumpkin ice-cream, which I made up in a moment of panic when I realised I didn’t buy anything to go with the pie. I’ll be sure to let you know how it turns out.
Now that’s what I call ‘A Very Vegan Thanksgiving’ – Woot!
What if I told you the main ingredient in this No’Quesa’dilla is, gulp, Brussel Sprouts. Would you scarper to the nearest non vegan blog faster than your little fingers can click? Hopefully it wont come to that and if I have managed to retain your attention until now then let me take this chance to say….Brussel Sprouts can taste good. Don’t believe me? One bite of these smoky toasty morsels and you’ll be eating your words. And your sprouts.
What you’ll need…
1 flour tortilla
5 brussels sprouts
2 garlic cloves
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp freshly chopped flat leaf parsley
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp hummus
1 tbsp olive oil
What you’ll do…
Heat the oil in a pan. Slice the shallot and add to pan. Salt and soften for a few minutes.
Finely slice the sprouts, add to pan and cook for several minutes before adding salt and the sliced garlic cloves.
Cook for a few minutes more before sprinkling over the smoked paprika. Mix thoroughly and allow the flavours to infuse before stirring through the parsley and transferring to a bowl.
Heat the tortilla in a pan for a few minutes before spreading the dijon all over, the hummus over half and then topping with the Brussel Sprout mix.
Fold and cook in the already heated pan until toasty on one side before turning over. Once the other side is toasted, cut into three triangles and serve – particularly nice with a warming bowl of soup!