Tuesday, 9 December 2014

African Sweet Potato, Kidney Bean Groundnut Curry

I make this African Sweet Potato, Kidney Bean Groundnut Curry every so often.  The sauce is both sweet and spicy, thickened by the groundnuts. Sometimes I will make this African Curry with butternut squash, or throw in a bag of baby spinach to bulk it up when cooking for other people.   Its very popular with friends and acquaintances, except for one....

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Zaytoun In My Kitchen

I don't have very much that is new in my kitchen this month, just a handful of things that I would like to share.  I have a small selection of Zaytoun produce.  Zaytoun is a social enterprise founded in 2004  to create and develop a UK market for artisan fairly traded Palestinian produce that carries the stories of  'the producers and their land'.  Last month Zaytoun celebrated their 10 year anniversary.  

I discovered Zaytoun when I lived in Glasgow and went along to a Fairtrade event and have been using their ingredients in my kitchen since, especially  their Palestinian Za'atar made with wild thyme, toasted sesame seeds and sumac - a very versatile ingredient, but to be honest I've never really written about Zaytoun on my blog, until now.
In my kitchen this month not only do I have the zesty seasoning za'atar, I also find myself with some maftoul.  Maftoul is a large, hand rolled and pearly grain made from dun-dried bulgar wheat, it has a unique, nutty flavour, some large Om Al-Fahem premium almonds that are sweet,  and large caramelised almonds, a packet that I know once opened you will not want to share with anybody, but a deserved treat for yourself.     
The Zaytoun organic extra virgin olive oil is like no other extra virgin olive oil that I have ever tasted.  The extra virgin oil is extremely luscious and rich, thick, packed with flavour and smooth like velvety gold.  It really is hard to describe. You will have to try it to know what I mean.
Just a couple of weeks back, I tore into my packet of smoky green wheat grain Freekah and made a Smoky Freekeh Warm Salad dish with Roasted Aubergines and Chickpeas.  Hand on heart it was one of the most simplest and most delicious meals ever and I really put it down to the ingredients, rather than the recipe.   If you ever stumble upon Zaytoun ingredients, I would encourage you to try something from the Zaytoun range
I forgot to share these Oxfam Ice Tea and Lemonade cans with you last month for IMK, I got them from Bruge, Belgium from Oxfam whilst there for a long weekend.  Yes, I was sold by the pictures on the can, I've never seen anything like this in the U.K, so had to bring back home some to show to friends and family interested in diversity related issues.  I wonder if they will hit the UK Oxfam stores next year?!
I also picked up this gorgeous  ceramic cookie press/mould from Bruge, Belgium for a bargain price of 5 euros reduced from 10 euros.  Of course, I have yet to use them.
These crochet apple baubles are not strictly for the kitchen, but because they a apple shaped, I just felt I had to share them.  I picked them up early in the month from a local craft fair.  
And finally, Christmas Collection tea-bags from Yogi Tea.  I was introduced to Yogi tea by my friend Leah when I visited her in the USA, the only one I tend to buy now and again is the Choco Chilli, but with it being Christmas, well I thought I would treat myself.  

I am sharing this post with Celia at Fig and Jam for November edition of In My Kitchen Series. Please go by and check out the other IMK posts. 

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Vegetable Palette: White Vegetables Round Up #5

The idea behind 'The Vegetable Palette: natures colours - natures goodness'' is to make something with either a fruit, vegetable or combination of both each month.  You can make absolutely anything that you wish, so long as the recipe is vegetarian and includes a vegetable/and or fruit with the chosen colour.  
The theme for November was White Winter Vegetables.   
Janet from The Taste Space shared an Indian Inspired Roasted Cauliflower and Quinoa Salad.  The flavours that enhance two ingredients that would perhaps otherwise be quite bland are roasted coconut with added sweetness from apples and raisins, as well as a dressing of curried maple tahini dressing. Now that is a bowl of goodness.   
Helen from Family - Food - Friends is a new blogger to me, so I thank her and welcome her to the Vegetable Palette and my blog.  Helen shared a Parsnip - Cheese Pasta Bake made with a couple of whopper parsnips, one that actually measured a foot long and came in her vegetable box.  Even though I am not overly a big fan of the sweet white-creamy root vegetable, even I am willing to try this and get my big fork and crack into that golden cheesy topping. 
Caroline from Caroline Makes brings to the table a Vegetable Winter Crumble.  I said this in my Eat Your Greens (previous) post and will say it again, please don't be deceived by the way it looks, as beneath that golden cheesy oaty topping you will find it loaded and bursting with vegetables, including half a head of cauliflower.  This dish is hearty and one that will warm your tummy with the cider sauce playing on your tongue.  
And finally, Galina from Chez Maximka shares with us a bowl of Parsnip and Fennel Soup with Caramelized Chestnuts.  I've never had parsnips and fennel together in a soup before, so I have to admit am a little curious about this; and what is more interesting in place of croutons we have caramelized chestnuts. So who knows, the next time I want soup this could be it. 

I would like to thank Janet, Helen , Caroline and Galina for their white vegetable contributions.  If you would like to participate in the Vegetable Palette, then please follow this link on how to participate - the theme is Christmas and Festive Vegetables.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Eat Your Greens #6

Welcome to Eat Your Greens Round Up  #6.    This is a monthly vegetarian cooking challenge for food bloggers.  The  idea behind 'Eat Your Greens' is really simple, to make something with a green vegetable each month.  
The first recipe comes from The Veg Hog.  Its Spinach Hedgehog and Hoglets.  I have to admit I had to gently persuade The Veg Hog to share her recipe with Eat Your Greens, as I felt her wonderful vegetarian blog needs wider audience, she makes some really lovely dishes that make me want to get in the kitchen and get cooking again.  
Anyway, bestow your eyes on these deep green spinach canapes on a golden light puff pastry base.  I think they are absolutely adorable and will look wonderful on any celebratory table come Autumn or Christmas. 
Corina who blogs at Searching for Spice shares with us a Creamy Pumpkin Spinach and Feta Quiche. I'm loving the flavour combination here, the creamy soft pumpkin, next to the salty feta - spinach topping.   Corina declares this quiche as one of the best vegetarian quiches you can make and most definitely the best pumpkin quiche.  Go on give it a go and see if you agree, I am certainly not doubting her. 
Johanna of Green Gourmet Giraffe gives us Cheesy Kale Quesadillas with Mole Sauce. I like kale, my husband likes cheese, so this recipe will be making an appearance in our home some time soon.  I am also very very curious about the homemade cocoa mole sauce.  Johanna writes that the cocoa adds richness without tasting like chocolate. I am looking forward to giving it a go some time very soon.