I tell you what, we are doing our level best to eek out every last bit of this magnificent heatwave …and so far succeeding, I’m pleased to say. So when I managed to get out of work an hour early this week (hell yeah), it was straight to the park with us. Not before packing a very quick salad, of course, and changing out of my icky work clothes into more suitable attire.
This stripy dress was a favourite of mine on holiday last year (oh, Santorini, how I love thee!) – really casual, really comfy, and I’m a total sucker for anything grey. I was in such a hurry to get to the park I grabbed the first scarf I could lay my hands on, so it was only when it became a little chilly and I decided to wrap it around my neck it dawned on me I was somehow dressed like an American flag. I feel like I can get away with playing the patriotic card given I lived in the States for a while, don’t you?;)
I’ve been wearing headscarves a lot lately – one needs to keep cool some way in this weather, and scarves are the only way I can get my short hair off my neck. I’d been wearing this red bandana style one all day at work, so again, my little patriotic gettup was kinda accidental.
The salad was a crash, bang, whallop affair – I literally threw in whatever was in the fridge….salad leaves, rocket, couscous, beetroot, olives (the best olives in the world to be exact!), avocado and a few other bits I can’t even remember. We also happened to have some incredible German Rye bread in the cupboard (Marks and Spencer’s best) – so that plus some hummus plus some extra spicy habanero sauce I got free from a French Connection party the night before (win) made for one seriously awesome dinner in the park.
Al fresco eating – isn’t it just the best?!
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!!
Fresh fruit, salads, chilled breakfasts. I am in hea.ven.
Above is an example of what I’ve been eating on a daily basis lately. It varies but there is a lotta green and a good bit of flava going down in my meals recently, which brings joy to my heart. And my belly.
Bircher Muesli served with sliced nectarine and blueberries
My new discovery is green rice/couscous/pasta…..any other grain you care to use and holy moly it’s a goodun. It’s all about a making a paste, gently frying and then infusing all those wicked flavours into whatever carb you like. It’s criminally tasty and I am obsessed!
Bringing back the bircher muesli in the mornings was a shrewd move. Nothing like starting the day with oaty goodness and making it all summerified is what it’s all about. Very pleased. I’m totally loving prune (yes prune) soya yoghurt stirred through it. Amazing. Trust me.
Lunchtime salads – potato salad & carrot, sweetcorn and avocado salad
Carrot salad. Um, heart! The one here is just mixed with sweetcorn, avocado, chopped coriander and a dijon dressing. Simple. To the point. God damn delicious.
Put that mayo (and nayo!) away people – ugh, no gloopy goop goin’ on my tater salad. No siree. Wholegrain mustard dressing sweetened with palm sugar is what I’m talking about and plenty of finely chopped green stuff (oh, I just about throw everything but the kitchen sink in….capers, gherkins, celery, fennel – crunch, texture, flavour, love). Don’t forget the dill and you have got yourself one serious salad.
Chilled Chopped Melon and a Vegan Digestive topped with Vegusto ‘cheese’
Oh, and while you’re at it, why not try a little digestive topped with Vegusto vegan cheese on for size. My Husband screwed his nose up initially. After the first bite? Hooked. Will he never learn…..I am ALWAYS right about these things. Sheesh.
I’m giving you that ‘green pasta’ recipe, by the way, but I’m making it all proper for ya so you might have to wait a day or two. I promise it’ll be worth it.
Lordy, lordy, summer eats got me all hmmm hmmm, sassy and you knows it!
Yeah, I’m basically talking complete
nonsense crap now…..forgive?
Green Pasta with cherry tomatoes and basil tofu