Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Falafel Dreaming

Hello good people!

I am sorry for being absent for some time now, the thing is - I had hit a bit of a blogger wall! My memory card is almost full, I keep rushing to photograph the food before it goes cold, I have had some kitchen disasters... We have all been there, right?

Earlier today, I had the idea of starting afresh, a blank canvas; a new all vegetarian blog! I spent one hour setting it up, only to realise that there is nothing wrong with my old blog, and I can always tweak it!

Yes Nokia, I will miss you... I might keep you just so I can occasionally play Snake though!

Currently, I am charged with new energy, a new iPhone (maybe I should try blogging on the go? Do you have experience with Blogspot VS iPhone? I would love to hear it!) and over the last few days I have also made a few tasty dishes that I know have to make again because - I didn't write it all down for my blog like I normally do!

In addition to this I have also gotten myself Pinterest and Instagram! And here I was thinking that at my grand ol' age of nearly 27 I was a technophobe! I suppose... I still am, and there are days where I miss my little Nokia from the Jurassic period, however now I will need my phone on the go as I am spending less time online at home.

You might have noticed, that I have deleted all the meat and seafood recipes, why? Because now with having been vegetarian for over a year, I felt it was time to have my blog reflecting that as there is no way I see myself going back to being an omnivore! So Spring clean has been had just now in the late days of July - and I feel better about it already!
I kept the "other" posts despite some of them featuring pictures of meat dishes - simply because I want to keep the posts real, the way they were written to begin with - because that is Julie at her most honest. Rethinking and editing and trying to word it all right again just seems pointless. So yeh! To get some hints and tips just click the "other" topic on the right hand side of my blog, and read away! Just note that some of them were written back when I didn't just eat veggies, nuts and fruit - it has been a long food journey and I am excited to continue it!


But how about you! What have you been up to? Ans what would you make RIGHT now if you had the ingredients?

I have a few things happening in my life, but all in good time - I just want to get back into blogging now! ^ ^


PS. Pics in this post is taken from Google... Also, I wonder if a lot of cats do like broccoli... I need to figure out how to make vegetarian doggy biscuits - so many things to do! Can't wait to get started! *smiles*

Sunday, 5 June 2016

"Mild" Two-Potato Vindaloo

I like spicy food, but not when it is so spicy it drowns out allother flavours. I found a recipe for a vindaloo that sounded fragrant, and it is! It was quite spicy even if I toned down the amounts of chilli, but I also found out that if you lightly crush the potatoes - it tastes even better!

Like a good casserole full of chilli, this vindaloo tastes even better the second day around!

And don't be intimidated by the long ingredient list - most of it is just spices and herbs!

"Mild" Two-Potato Vindaloo
(Serves 3-4)


1 tsp cardamom
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp ground cloves
A good pinch turmeric
1 tsp paprika powder
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 red or white onions (because 12 shallots take way long to peel and chop!) finely chopped
1/2 tsp brown mustard seeds
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
25 curry leaves (optional)
2 tbsp grated ginger
1 green chilli, deseeded and chopped (red chili if you're brave)
3 tomatoes, chopped
50ml apple cider vinegar
400ml water
1 tbsp sugar
2 red peppers, diced
400g potaotes (I used one big baking potato), diced
400g sweet potato (again - one large potato will do), diced

- Start by dry-frying the first 7 spices for about a minute until fragrant. In a mortar and pestle, ground until you have a fine spice mix, and set aside (if it is easier, use already ground spices or leave them whole - I did the latter).

- Heat oil in pan and soften the onions with the fennel and mustard seeds for about 10 minutes. Add the spice mix, curry leaves (if using), ginger and chilli - cook for a further 3 minutes.

- Now, add the tomatoes, vinegar, water, sugar and a little bit of salt - cover and simmer for about 20 minutes.

- Add the plain potatoes and the pepper, cook for 20 minutes before adding the sweet potatoes. Make sure everything is covered with the sauce - add more water if necessary. Cook for 40 minutes until everything is tender. Uncover and simmer for 10 minutes to allow the sauce to thicken.

Serve with chopped coriander, and maybe a mango lassi?

This weekend has been short but lovely. I was working on Saturday, but in the evening I went to a friend's party (power nap was required before heading out!), and today it was really warm here in Glasgow - almost too hot to be walking outside, because of the humidity. A stroll was had anyway and a punnet of Scottish strawberries to keep me going. Since then I have just been taking it easy - I hope you have had a lovely weekend too!


Original source:
Plenty, p. 18

- Jules

Saturday, 28 May 2016

Green Pancakes with Lime Butter

Ottolenghi's take on the classic savoury spinach pancakes has a twist of zingy lime butter, which was unusual, but totally awesome! So fresh!

Green Pancakes with Lime Butter
(Serves 2-3)


For the Lime butter:
75g unsalted butter, room temperature
Zest of half a lime, juice of 1/4
Good pinch of salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 tbsp chopped coriander
1/2 garlic clove, finely chopped
A pinch of chilli flakes OR a few drops tabasco

For the pancakes:
250g spinach (I used 100g and it worked just fine!)
110g flour (I used spelt)
2 tbsp baking powder
2 eggs
50 unsalted butter
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
200ml milk
6 Spring onions, thinly cut (optional)
2 green chillies, thinly sliced (I omitted these)
Oil for frying (I used Pure soya spread)

- Start by mixing the ingredients for the lime butter together, transfer into a ramekin, and refrigerate until serving to allow it to set a little.

- Now, mix all the dry ingredients for the pancakes first in a baking bowl and set aside. Have the spinach in a big casserole and dry fry on medium heat, stirring often so it doesn't burn at the bottom. Once wilted, allow to cool slightly and the squeeze out the excess water, add butter to the spinach and melt.

- Add the vegetables, egg, milk and spinash mix to the bowl and if you want to make it easier for yourself - use a stick blender and whizz the mixture until smooth. You should have a semi-thick pancake batter.

- Now, fry the pancakes! They should be medium ones, which means you will get between 6-8 pancakes out of the mix. They cook through really fast so keep an eye on them!

Keep them hot and serve with the lime butter, enjoy!


How has your weekend been so far? Here the weather has been lovely, and my boyfriend, his sister and I went adventuring around in the West End today, went to Tchai Ovna and had some great food and lovely teas, followed by a walk in the Botanics, down by the River Kelvin. I have another two days off as the next week's first day off landed on a Monday, so I will try and make the most of it, and I hope you do too! Any plans? I will continue reading the Hitchicker's Guide to the Galaxy tonight, and then improvise tomorrow I think *smiles* Making some new dishes are definitely on the schedule somewhere as well!


Original source
Plenty, p. 150

- Jules

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Tropical Apple Trap Smoothie

After a long but leisurely walk, I came home and rattled up this for lunch. It works perfectfor lunch, as it is quite filling, not to mention it counts as almost FOUR of your five a day!

Tropical Apple Trap Smoothie
(Serves 1)


1 apple, peeled and cut into dice
1 banana, cut into chunks (frozen, if you have it!)
1/3 cup coconut cream
1/2 glass orange juice

- Simply mix all together, and use blender or stick blender and whizz until smooth - make sure there are no apple bits in there!

Yup, that's how simple it is *smiles*

Last night, we had a flat warming for my new flat mate, and it was really good! I was surprised I lasted longer than midnight, as I had been up since half past seven doing a full shift before hand. There were familiar faces and new ones, a really lovely bunch of people!

Today I have had a lazy Sunday afternoon, just uploading some foodie photos, and earlier on we went to the park and fed the birds, then stopped by my favourite cafĂȘ on our way home, mmmm

Hope you have had a lovely weekend so far! I'm still savouring the little that is left of it *smiles*


Recipe by yours truly,

- Jules

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Caramelised Onion and Goat's Cheese Tart

Today, I have failed to make bread and cake - but at least I tried! I know a lot of people use their Sundays to make some great bakes!

So instead, I have decided to post a recipe of a tart I made last week. My new flatmate said he once made a caramelised onion and goats cheese pizza with mango chutney, and I though - I want that! But I looked up a recipe for a quiche/tart instead as my boyfriend have been wanting to make quiche for some time now! This is soooo moreish, second helpings were had and first thing the next morning I had a slice too, mmmmm ^ ^

Caramelised Onion and Goat's Cheese Tart
(Serve 4-6 people)


For the base:
2 big cups of flour (measure this dough with a coffee cup)
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup sunflower oil (Or other neutral cooking oil)

Filling:
1 tbsp olive oil
2 red onions, finely chopped
1 white onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp light muscavado sugar
1 tbsp oregano (optional, it can be quite strong a contrast to the rest)
70g goats cheese, cut into pieces
2 eggs, lightly whipped
200g single cream
Mango chutney

- Start by pre-heating the oven to 180C.

- Mix the dry ingredients for the dough, make a well in the middle and pour in the water and oil. Combine with a wooden spoon until it becomes easier to handle, then knead the dough. Roll out and place in a quiche tin. Prick with a fork at the base and around the sides to get an even bake. Place in the oven for ten minutes, then take it out to cool.

- Now, heat the olive oil in a large pan on medium high heat and add the onions, cook for about 10 minutes until they start to go golden, then add the balsamic vinegar and sugar and continue to fry the onions for a further ten minutes. Add oregano at this point if using.

- Brush mango chutney over the top of the base, and then pour in the onion mixture. Scatter the goat's cheese all over. Then beat the eggs and cream together lightly and pour over. Bake for about 30 minutes, until the tart is cooked through. Trim off any edges if there is any. I used a baking dish where I ended up with excess crust, but you can just cut this off with a knife.

You can enjoy this warm or cold. I tried both ways, hot for dinner and cold for breakfast the next day, and I think the flavours had developed a little over night. It all depends on what you prefer though!

What is your favourite quiche filling?


Original Source:
http://www.goodhousekeeping.co.uk/food/recipes/onion-and-goats-cheese-tart
(Dough by my simple recipe)

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Smoky Lentil & Olive Soup

Chucking in another soup recipe before the weather gets too hot! It has been really mild here in Glasgow today, and I could almost sense a hint of Summer in the air. Cherry blossoms are in bloom, and I went on a really nice stroll this afternoon. Totally needed after a hectic week.

Smoky Lentil & Olive Soup
(Serves 2-3)


1 tbsp oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
800ml vegetable stock (2 cubes)
1 cup red lentils
100g pitted olives
Good splash of liquid smoke (about 1 tsp)
2/3 glass red wine (optional)
A good squeeze of tomato puree
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp onion powder
salt and pepper to taste

- Start by heating the oil in a casserole on medium heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and fry forth a further few minutes.

- Now, add the remaining ingredients, turn heat down and simmer covered, for about 20-30 minutes until the lentils are tender. Stir every 10 minutes or so.

- Use a stick blender and whizz until smooth and season to taste, serve with good crusty bread!

Aside from cooking and working, I got to see my absolute favourite band - TRAVIS on Friday! They were playing at a humble venue called the O2 ABC in town, but put on one hell of a show! Through their music, I have gotten to know many amazing people from all of the world, and this year is their 20 year anniversary - can you believe it?!
What is your favourite band?


Recipe by yours truly,

- Jules

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Veggie BigMac

I have not been to McDonald's since I was 13. It is true! Somehow I made that decision half my life ago, and I still remember the last thing I had there was a strawberry milkshake...

The other week, my boyfriend said - here, wanna try and make a veggie Big Mac? Instantly I though, hmmm seems a big controversial in a way, but then again - why the heck not?! I was a picky eater up until about 7 years ago, and my dad once said to me that I would eventually start eating the burgers with everything on it - even the pickle and mustard that I once got him to scrape off with a napkin every time they had forgotten my little special order of "ketchup only" on my Happy Meal burger. Sorry McD-staff, I was one of those annoying little buggers...

Veggie BigMac
(Makes 2)


4 peppers Quorn steaks
4 leaves of iceberg lettuce
4 slices of cheese (we used smoked Austrian cheese)
3 sesame buns (use two bottoms and one top for each burger to get the two layers!)
For the famous BigMac sauce:
4 tbsp mayonnaise
2 tbsp French Dressing
2 tbsp sweet pickle (we used Branston's)
1/3 medium onion, grated
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt

- Start by frying the veggie steaks as instructed on the package, in the mean time - combine all the sauce ingredients together and keep aside in a bowl. Season to taste and add a little bit more mayonnaise if necessary!

- Once the burgers are done, toast the buns lightly, and start stacking! Bun - lettuce - steak - cheese - sauce x 2, top off with the lid, et voila!


I must admit, I only had a mini Mac with one layer, cause it was SO filling! Tasty though, mmmm! And it is a nifty recipe to have for a burger dressing sauce *smiles*


Recipe for the Big Mac sauce here:
http://www.topsecretrecipes.com/McDonalds-Special-Sauce-Big-Mac-Sauce-Copycat-Recipe.html


- Jules