coll-ee-fl-ow-ah

Ok, I have to admit it- I’m not a massive fan of cauliflower. I’m not keen on the texture or flavour. It’s a brassica like cabbage (which I love) and broccoli (which is ok sometimes) and Brussels Sprouts (NO!)- One group of foods, but not one of them the same as the other, as far as my taste buds are concerned. That is not to say that I don’t eat Cauliflower. I do. It’s so nutritious.
http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=13,
It would be wrong not to. I just have to cut it into small pieces and add a different flavour (cauliflower cheese, anyone?) or blend it up and make it into soup. This soup is really spicy, which suits me, but if you really like the taste of cauliflower, then add less harissa paste.

Moroccan Cauliflower Soup– serves 4
1 large cauliflower, cut into small florets
2 tbsp. olive oil
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground coriander
2 tbsp. harissa paste
1 litre gluten free chicken or vegetable stock
50g toasted flaked almonds and a little extra to garnish.

  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan and gently fry the spices and harissa paste for 2 minutes.
  • Add the cauliflower followed by the stock and flaked almonds.
  •  Cover and cook for 20 minutes until the cauliflower is tender.
  •  Allow to cool a little and then puree until smooth.
  •  Pour into bowls and top with a swirl of harissa paste mixed with a little water (otherwise it won’t swirl!) and a sprinkling of flaked almonds. And add a swirl of yogurt if you want to cool it down a bit!

Adapted from a recipe by BBC Good Food

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Spicy Chickpea and Tomato Soup with Pesto- serves 4

“I run because if I didn’t, I’d be sluggish and glum and spend too much time on the couch. I run to breathe the fresh air. I run to explore. I run to escape the ordinary. I run…to savor the trip along the way. Life becomes a little more vibrant, a little more intense. I like that.”

Dean Karnazes, Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner

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Hey Pesto!

I always buy fresh herbs for recipes, but end up throwing most of them out. Occasionally I buy herbs in pots, but me and plants do not go together, My father over the years has given me plants, in hope that I will look after them, but because they don’t talk and tell me they’re thirsty, all of them have hit the dust. Sorry Dad. Most people would be delighted to be given a beautiful orchid. Not me. I just know how it’s going to end, and it won’t be pretty.
I did however buy a basil plant because there weren’t any little packets available in the supermarket. I didn’t end up making the dish I had planned, or did I just forget to garnish something (something I’ve done too many times when we’ve had friends over for dinner!) – I can’t remember. Anyway, I still had the basil plant. I really looked after it, feeding it regularly with sparkling water (which was just due to convenience initially; there was a half used bottle in the kitchen and it poured well!). Basil (by this time, I was forming a bond) really liked the water and I could almost sense its delight every time I watered it. The leaves became large and lush and I knew that I was going to have to use its harvest pretty soon. Hmm, what should I make? Pesto, of course!

Pesto– makes 125ml

25g Pine nuts
40g Basil leaves
25g Grated Parmesan
75ml olive oil
1 garlic clove

  • Cook the pine nuts in a small pan over a low heat until golden. Give the pan a good shake from time to time, and don’t take your eye off the ball! Burnt pine nuts aren’t nice.
  •  Pop the basil, Parmesan, garlic in a food processor.
  • Add the roasted pine nuts and blend.
  • Add the olive oil and blend again.
  • It’s that simple.

Coconut Chia Muffins by Ugg Foods

Although I’m not a big fan of Ugg Food’s packaging (I prefer a gentler,’friendlier’ style but hey, that just personal preference) , I wanted to try this mix for Coconut Chia Muffins, as I really liked the bread a made from another packet mix of theirs (see previous review). As the name suggests, they contain chia seeds which are loaded with nutrients and have many health benefits.
http://authoritynutrition.com/11-proven-health-benefits-of-chia-seeds/
The packet states that it either makes 9 large muffins or 18 cupcakes, but my cake tray was for 12, so that’s how many I made. The instructions are very easy and mixture hardly takes any time to prepare. There are two ways to make up the mix, the regular or luxury version (by adding slightly different ingredients) I chose the regular way.
I did wonder whether they needed any frosting, particularly as I overcooked them a little and I thought they would be really dry.
They were delicious though and very moist and great for lovers of coconut.
No frosting needed.

Soup- again?

I always seem to be making and photographing soup. I love it. It’s a great way to get lots of nutrients and now that it’s finally turned cold here in England, it makes the perfect lunch, and this recipe is no exception. Not only does it taste great, it has a really interesting texture. I’m not sure how authentic it is; as I’m never been to the Caribbean, but I can always dream! Continue reading