Do you indulge yourself when you are on holiday? I certainly do, so now the holidays are over it’s back to counting calories and cutting out cakes for me. However, that doesn’t have to mean dull and boring food, I’m on a mission to make some of my favourite dishes lower in calories. First up is Sweet and Sour Turkey Meatballs, the recipe is packed with flavour and comes in at under 300 calories including a portion of quinoa. THE 5:2 FASTING DIET: You can read about my holiday indulgences in French Cheese Cake in the Charente-Maritime It must have been the French cheese that piled on the pounds…it couldn’t possibly have been the wine and delicious Pineau de Charentes… everyone knows that wine has no calories when you are holiday…don’t they? I’ve been managing my weight with the 5:2 Fasting Diet for about 18 months now, it’s pretty simple to follow and ideal if you have a hectic schedule and your life doesn’t allow you to follow a routine. I simply have two days in every week when I eat 500 kcal, men are allowed 600 kcal. On the other five days of the week, I eat normally. That doesn’t mean eating everything under the sun and expecting to lose or maintain weight, but you can eat sensibly and enjoy some higher calorie foods on your non-fasting days. Get more 5:2 Diet Recipes from the Pinterest Board 5:2 Fasting Diet recipes from me at Farmersgirl Kitchen, Lavender and Lovage , London Unattached and Freycob Good Food Made Easy with more that we have pinned. Read more about the science behind 5:2 intermittent fasting at The 5:2 Fast Diet
- 500g turkey mince
- 2 spring onions
- 15 g ginger, grated
- 1/2 tsp Chinese five spice
- Pinch of salt
- 2 tsp oil
- 1 tsp oil
- 1 red pepper
- 12 mangetout peas
- 6 baby corn
- 1 clove garlic finely chopped
- 1tsp cornflour
- 4 tbsp oyster sauce
- 3tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 2tbsp ketchup
- 1 tsp mango chutney
- 1 tbsp marmalade
- 1 tsp Clear Spring Umami paste with ginger (optional)
- Mix together the turkey mince, 5 spice powder, finely chopped spring onion, salt and grated ginger in a bowl.
- Form the mixture into small balls about the size of a walnut ( I made 20 meatballs from 500g of turkey mince)
- Heat the oven to 160C
- Heat 2 tsp oil in a wok or saute pan and fry the turkey meatballs until brown on all sides, place the meatballs in an ovenproof dish and place in the oven for 15 minutes to ensure they are cooked through.
- Stir fry the red (bell) pepper, mangetout or sugarsnap peas, baby corn and garlic in the pan until they have taken on some colour and are starting to soften slightly.
- In a bowl mix together the cornflour and rice wine vinegar, then add all the other ingredients and mix well.
- Add to the stir fried vegetables and stir, add a little water if the sauce is too thick. Turn down the heat and cook for 2 minutes to ensure the cornflour starch is cooked out.
- Add the meatballs and coat with sauce.
- Serve with rice or other grains such as quinoa.
- Total Calories 921
- Calories per portion for 6 people 154 kcal + 60g dry weight quinoa (cooked) = 286 kcal per portion
- Calories per portion for 4 people 230 kcal + 60g dry weight white rice (cooked) = 368 kcal per portion
- 60g dry weight quinoa – 132 cal
- 60g dry weight white rice – 138 cal
Now back to the Sweet and Sour Turkey Meatballs, making the meatballs is simple and adding flavours to the meatball mixture really helps to lift the turkey mince which can be a bit bland without a little help. Using lots of vegetables helps too, not only with the flavour, but also with the calorie count. Vegetables are generally lower in calories than meat or carbs and they help to fill you up. LOW CALORIE AND LOW COST: Sweet and Sour Turkey Meatballs are are low calorie, and they are also a low cost meal. I calculated these prices from a leading supermarket, but you could probably get the cost down even further by buying at a market or a discount supermarket (prices calculated August 2016). Turkey Breast Mince £3.00 per 500g Red pepper 50p Baby corn and mangetout £1.60 Spring onions 12p Ginger 5p Oyster sauce 60p Rice wine vinegar 50p Chutney, ketchup and marmalade 20p Garlic 3p Oil and spices 10p £6.70 – 4 portions at £1.67 per portion 6 portions £1.12 per portion (with quinoa £1.58 per portion) Quinoa – 60g – 47p WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE LOW CALORIE MEAL?
When I go on holiday, delicious food and drink is one of the most important aspects of making the holiday a success. This year there was no question that the food would be good, because my holiday this year was a visit to my food blogging friend Karen of Lavender and Lovage in the Charente-Maritime region of France. More about the French Cheese Cake later, but first some photographic postcards.
Talmont sur Gironde is so picturesque, it’s a little fishing village in the Charente-Maritime area of France. It is very popular with tourists, so much so they have built a huge car park making it easy to access the village and you can walk around the narrow streets without traffic.
The Market Menu at L’Acacias in Corme Royal was a real gourmet treat at an incredibly reasonable price. We enjoyed a chicken and sun-dried tomato salad, followed by Sea Bass with fresh peas in a creme fraiche sauce, then finished the meal with Cafe Gourmande, a coffee with three mini desserts all of which were absolutely delicious.
We followed this meal by visiting Chateau Guynot for a degustation (tasting) of the local tipple, Pineau de Charentes. First we had a look at the Glaciere or Ice House, then a tour of the distillery with the charming Sabrina and then back for the tasting. Pineau de Charentes is wine fortified with cognac and aged in oak barrels. It comes in red and white varieties and is sold at 4 years old, 8 years old and 16 years old.
Each has it’s own merits, the 4 year old is light and fresh and particularly good for cooking, the 8 year old is ideal for aperitif and the 16 year old Pineau is rich and smooth and would be a gorgeous digestif with coffee and chocolate. You may note that Karen and I are a little flushed after tasting all 8 types of Pineau and I also had a taste of their Gold Medal winning Cognac!
The Charente-Maritime area is on the Gironde estuary and this viewpoint at Mortagne sur Gironde provides a panoramic view of the estuary with points of interest illustrated on a colourful tile display. After our viewing, we headed to Port Maubert where we enjoyed a picnic ‘sur l’herbe’ and watched the fishermen and the boating activity on the inlet.
Some of the gorgeous flowers of the Charente-Maritime, there were flowers everywhere.
It’s always nice to have a look around the area where you are staying, so we went for a walk around Montpellier de Medillan and the surrounding countryside. It was a very hot day, so we set off in the morning before it got too hot, walking past fields of sunflowers, maize, horses and enjoying the very French architecture.
I think this photograph is my favourite, the sunflowers were on their last legs with only a few smaller flower heads shining their sunny faces our way. I love sunflowers and fields of sunflower seem to epitomise rural France.
Saintes is the closest town to Montpellier de Medillant and is incredibly rich in Roman history and artefacts.
“The ancient town of Saintes may have played a major role early, under Emperor Augustus (27 BC – 14 AD), possibly s the capital of the great Aquitaine province. Under Augustus, Agrippa opened up an important road from Lyon, then capital of Gaules. It reached Saintes’ bridge on the East side of the Charente, before becoming the major axis of the town the decumanus maximus.
During the 1st century AD, great monuments were built. Today the only remains are the carved stones colleciton of the ARcheological Museum, the Arch of Germanicaus, the veistges of the Saint-Saloine’s bathes and this Amphitheatre.” Information from Saintes Gallo Roman Amphitheatre Visitor Centre.
As I said we had very hot weather and ate out in the garden every evening. As would be expected, Karen provided delicious food, including the Tian of Aubergines and Courgettes (top left) and the Chicken and Artichokes in a creamy sauce (top right). The Tarte au Citron came from the supermarket and were also very good.
A dip in the swimming pool was the ideal way to cool off and really appreciated when the temperatures soared to 34C!
On Sunday, Karen invited some friends over for a barbeque. Karen made a delicious slow-cooked pulled pork, marinaded chicken kebabs and a variety of French sausages. Karen also made potato salad, a layered Mexican Taco Salad.
I contributed to the salads by making a panzanella, garlic and oil toasted croutons with tomato, cucumber and red onion, dressed in olive oil and white wine vinegar.
THE FRENCH CHEESE CAKE
Karen also suggested that I recreate the ‘French Cheese Cake’ that she had recently made to take to a local festival, you can see Karen’s Summer French Cheese Cake Tower at Lavender and Lovage. The French Cheese Cake is made by simply stacking the following cheeses: Brie, Saint Nectaire, Tomme, Bress Bleu and Crottin (goats cheese).
I picked all the leaves and flowers in Karen’s garden, including vine leaves, olive branches, lavender, lemon balm, fennel, thyme flowers and roses. The French Cheese Cake is really easy to make and incredibly impressive. It stands up well even once it’s been cut.
I would highly recommend this beautiful area of South West France for a holiday and, of course, would recommend a visit to the Lavender and Lovage blog for more fabulous photographs and recipes.
There is no meat in these Mexican Spiced Cauliflower Quinoa Meatballs, in fact, they are really not named correctly at all. I thought about calling them Cauliflower Quinoa Balls but…well, no I didn’t think that sounded right at all!
Cauliflower Quinoa Meatballs seem to be a ‘thing’ on Pinterest. I found quite a number of different recipes which I adapted to suit my tastes and the ingredients in my fridge, and created my own version of this popular vegan alternative to meatballs.
I loved how crisp the outside of the Cauliflower Quinoa Meatballs were, and inside they have a lovely texture, not too soft and they break up just enough to soak up the sauce.
- 1 small cauliflower
- 190 g uncooked quinoa
- 500 ml water
- 100g wholemeal breadcrumbs
- 1/2 tsp sweet smoked paprika
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp oil
- small onions, finely chopped
- 1 clove of garlic, crushed
- 1 green pepper, thinly sliced
- 2 courgettes, spiralized (optional)
- 1/2 tsp hot smoked paprika
- 1 tbsp Sriracha
- 1 400 g can good quality tinned tomatoes
- 1 tbsp roughly chopped coriander leaves
- Soak the quinoa overnight, then rinse until the water is clear
- Put the quinoa into a pan with 500 ml of water and cook for about 10-15 minutes until all the water has been absorbed.
- Cook the cauliflower florets in a little water for 5 minutes until tender.
- Place the breadcrumbs, smoked paprika, salt, pepper, cauliflower and quinoa into the ThermoCook or other blender and pulse for 10 seconds until combined, tip into a bowl and set aside in the fridge to cool.
- Heat the oil to a medium heat in a large frying pan or saute pan add the onion.
- Cook gently until the onion softens, add the garlic, spiralized courgette (if using) and green pepper and cook for another couple of minutes, then add the hot smoked paprika, tomatoes and Sriracha.
- Cook for a further 10 minutes and check the seasoning adding salt and pepper or more Sriracha to taste.
- Finally add the chopped coriander leaves.
- Once cool, make the cauliflower & quinoa mixture into golf ball sized balls with your hands.
- Replace in the fridge for a few hours to firm up
- Heat the oven to 180C
- Fill a roasting tin to 1/2 cm with rapeseed or vegetable oil and place in the oven for 10 minutes until smoking hot
- Add the 'meat' balls to the hot oil and roast in the oven for about 10 minutes or until golden brown*
- Serve the the sauce and top with the crispy meatballs and garnish with coriander leaves.
- *At this point you can remove the meatballs and reheat on a dry oven tray. if you wish to serve them later
You could get really creative with this dish adding different herbs and spices to the Cauliflower Quinoa Meatballs. I think the mixture would be great with some cheese added and served with a tomato sauce or eaten like arancini.
I used my Optimum ThermoCook to blitz the breadcrumbs, cauliflower and quinoa to bring together the ingredients into a meatball mix. If you are using a less powerful blender I would suggest mixing in two batches.
I’m an Optimum ThermoCook Ambassador so thought I’d tell you a little about what you get when you buy this powerful multi-function cooking machine:
- 30 Day Money Back Guarantee – Includes Return Postage!
- 0 Litre detachable stainless steel jar for blending and cooking
- Butterfly and kneading blade
- Stainless steel blade assembly
- Large 70 x 50 mm LCD screen
- Separate Precise Glass Scale
- Soft silicon rubber spatula
- Simple pre-set auto programs and unique DIY program
- Adjustable timer and temperature gauge
- Dishwasher proof (non-electrical parts only)
- Comprehensive recipe book
Here are some of my ThermoCook recipes:
Why not check out the Froothie blog ? You’ll find some great recipes shared by Froothie Ambassadors and see just how versatile and exciting Froothie products can be.
Disclosure: Froothie UK sent me the Optimum ThermoCook to use and review at home. I have not been paid for this post and was not required to give the ThermoCook a positive write up. All opinions are my own. Affiliate links included in this post.
My kitchen table is groaning with food, kitchen equipment and cook books again, so time for a review round up On My Kitchen Table!
Doesn’t that look good? Let me tell you it was absolutely delicious, but before you get the idea that I’m some kind of pasta master, making this Giovanni Rani tortellini is a simple as opening a pack and cooking it in boiling water, then warming the sauce and adding some sprializer courgettes (zucchini).
Giovanni Rana make deliciously authentic Italian sauces and fresh filled pasta and they recently launched two new sauces. The first is Italian Indulgence Parmigiano-Reggiano Sauce – silky in texture with an exciting and pleasing parmigiano kick that delights the taste buds. This sauce is made with authentic PDO Parmigiano-Reggiano and blended with cream for a full-flavoured sauce that remains a classic, indulgent dish both in Italy and the UK.
The Parmigiano-Reggiano Sauce is absolutely gorgeous, it really tastes homemade and could be served on it’s own with pasta, but I combined it with lightly steamed courghetti in one meal and with buttered sauteed leeks in another, so indulgent, so quick and so delicious!
The second is Italian Indulgence Basil Pesto with Pine Nuts & Garlic which captures the flavours that sit at the heart of the Italian repertoire: basil, extra virgin olive oil, pine nuts, a blend of hard cheeses and a touch of garlic. Giovanni Rana’s vibrant pesto is delightfully-coarse and contains whole pine nuts, for a rustic homemade finish and added crunch.
The Basil Pesto with Pine Nuts & Garlic (sorry no photos) is fresh tasting and an excellent texture. Mix the basil pesto with spaghetti and halved cherry tomatoes for a quick and tasty meal.
Giovanni Rana Italian Indulgence Sauces cost between £1.97 – £2.49 which is excellent value for the quality of the product. Farmersgirl Kitchen Rating: 9/10
Edge of Belgravia is one of the world’s most innovative and bold chef knife brands. They produce futuristic designs by contemporary London designers, such as Christian Bird who designed the affordable quality Precision range. The Precision design fuses the diamond-like facet shape handle with a unique and carefully conceived stainless steel blade, they are designed for precision cooking. You can read my previous review on the Complete Chef Knife Collection. Now they have produced a Precision Four Piece extension set of Chef Knives.
First up in the image below is new larger 19cm Chef’s Knife larger than their previous 15 cm version. Excellent for slicing, chopping and mincing. The bigger the better as far as Chef Knives are concerned, this one is a useful mid-size.
The 19 cm Bread Knife has been extended for the perfect brad slice. We found it was still a bit too short for our home made bread but it cuts very well.
The 19 cm Slicing Knife which has alternating scallops on both sides which reduce the drag on the knife and allowing you to produce paper thin slices. I haven’t seen anything like this knife before, it really does cut very thin slices and doesn’t stick.
The 15cm Filleting Knife is a real chef’s tool, use it for filleting and boning , it was specifically requested by a number of London’t top chefs. The right knife for the job is definitely a key to good cooking and this is a type of knife I haven’t owned before, I haven’t had a chance to use it yet, but am looking forward to it making the difference to recipes that need the precision and a fine flexible blade.
Edge of Belgravia Precision Knives Extension Set is now available through Bed, Bath and Beyond for £97.12
Farmersgirl Kitchen Rating: 8/10
Easy, Tasty Healthy by Barbara Cousins is all about eating for good health. It’s packed full of everyday recipes all free from gluten, dairy, sugar, soya, eggs and yeast.
Pros: The recipes cover a wide range of different tastes, I really liked Tomato Smoked Paprika and Butterbean Soup, there are some lovely pate and dip recipes, One Pot Wonders and ‘Tray Bakes’ not the cake kind, but whole meals baked in the oven on a baking tray. There are also some dehydrator recipes which I will definitely be trying.
Cons: There isn’t a picture for every recipe which is something I prefer, however the photographs are very good and tempting. Many of the recipes only serve 2, I know that it’s pretty simple to multiply up the recipe, but I did find it a bit off-putting as it’s not what I’m used to in a cook book.
The Verdict: The most impressive thing about this book, is that you wouldn’t even know that it was a ‘free from’ cook book. There are lots of base recipes with variations too, which is always useful when you like to vary your ingredients as I do!
Something a little different this time as I review Mason Jar Nation. It is not really a cook book but it does contain recipes. What Joann Moser has done is bring together a whole host of ideas for using Mason Jars around the home and garden as well as in the kitchen.
Pros: The book starts with the history of these iconic jars and then moves on to the Projects. Some of my favourite Projects were the Lucky Bamboo Water Garden, The Tabletop Mason Jar Water Fountain, Pineapple Infused Vodka, Salad & Dressing To Go Jar, Triptych Twine Station and Moonbeam Stakes. It’s full of inspiration and, with the technical information that goes with each project, you will soon be thinking of your own creative projects.
Cons: For some of the projects you need to cut the glass and use specialist equipment to punch holes in the lids. They are not really suitable for children.
The Verdict: Crafters will be inspired by this book and cooks may see some new uses for the Mason Jars they use to store their preserves, all in all it’s a fun book.
Mason Jar Nation by JoAnn Moser is published by Cool Springs Press (RRP £11.99).
I hope you enjoyed my reviews and found them useful. I received these products to review, I was not paid and all opinions are my own.
This year has been particularly good for blackcurrants in my garden. We had a warm dry spell in early summer when the flowers were pollinated and ‘set’. Since then we have had an awful lot of rain, not great for other things, but the blackcurrants absolutely love it and are nice and big and juicy and perfect for Blackcurrant Jam!
Blackcurrants are high in pectin so it is a good jam to try if you are a beginner. The pectin is what makes the jam set, fruit like strawberries can be tricky to set, but blackcurrants are perfect for jam making, so if you have never made jam before please do give it a go. Homemade jam is so delicious and nothing you buy can every match it.
- 450 g (1 lb) blackcurrants
- 450 ml (3/4 pint) water
- 550 g (1 1/4 lb) sugar
- Remove the stalks, then wash the fruit.
- Simmer gently with the water until the skins are really soft.
- Add the sugar
- Stir until dissoved
- Boil rapidly until setting point is reached.
- I suggest you boil for 15 minutes then test for set, if not set test again after 5 minutes.
- There are many methods of testing set, I put saucers or small plates in the fridge and drop a spoonful of jam onto the plate, leave in fridge for 5 minutes, if it wrinkles when you push it with your finger then it's ready. Remember to take the jam off the heat while testing. If it's not set then you can put it back on for 5 minutes.
If you would like to make other kinds of jam and jelly here are a few ideas to expand your repertoire:
Rhubarb and Ginger Jam – Farmersgirl Kitchen
White Currant Jelly-Jam – Farmersgirl Kitchen
Gooseberry Jam – Baking Queen 74
Easy Redcurrant and Port Jelly– Kavey Eats
Peach and Ice Wine Jam – Kavey Eats
Fig and Strawberry Jam – The Veg Space
Morello Cherry and Raspberry Jam – The Veg Space
Apricot and Vanilla Jam – Tin & Thyme
Easy Blackberry and Apple Jam– Fab Food 4 All
Quick One Punnet Strawberry Jam – Fab Food 4 All
I’m entering the Blackcurrant Jam for Inheritance Recipes, the Linky run by Coffee & Vanilla and Pebble Soup to celebrate recipes passed down through the family. I can remember picking blackcurrants with my Granny who then made Blackcurrant Jam. My Mum is a very accomplished jam maker and I’ve yet to taste anything to better her Raspberry Jam.
Blackcurrant Jam is perfect in desserts, I used it to top some fat free greek yogurt, nectarines and strawberries. You can swirl it into yogurt too or make your own fruit corners.
Summer Pudding is my all time favourite summer dessert. All of those sweet berries oozing their juice through slices of thick white bread, oh my goodness it’s so delicious and these Summer Pudding Ice Lollies are super-delicious too.
When I picked blackcurrants last weekend, I didn’t have time to make a summer pudding. However, I did make a fruit compote using the summer berries and it occurred to me that this might make a good ice lolly, and that’s how I created Summer Pudding Ice Lollies, and they are a triumph!
- 100g Blackcurrants
- 200g Strawberries
- 100g Raspberries
- 50g Redcurrants
- 180g Sugar*
- Place the blackcurrants and redcurrants into a pan with the sugar and a tbsp of water.
- Heat gently until the sugar dissolves, the juice runs and the blackcurrants start to soften.
- Add the raspberries and strawberries and cook gently for 5 minutes more, you don't want to break up the fruit just soften it slightly.
- Take off the heat and cool a little, check the sweetness*, it needs to be sweeter than you need for eating as compote as the sweetness diminishes with freezing. If you need more sugar, add another tablespoonful and heat gently to dissolve.
- Leave until completely cold.
- Fill into lolly moulds and freeze until solid, preferably overnight.
- The quantities of currants and berries can be varied it's up to you, just check the sweetness. I didn't have any redcurrants so added more blackcurrants, you can also use frozen fruit in your compote, I used frozen raspberries. The yield of lollies is also dependant on the size of your lolly moulds. If you have some left over, it's lovely on greek yogurt for breakfast.
I really recommend that you get yourself some ice lolly moulds, it’s so easy to make lollies and they have so much more flavour and you know exactly what ingredients have gone into them. If you like these lollies have a look at my Chocolate Dipped Mango Mousse Ice Lollies.
Bloggers Scream for Ice Cream is running again this month and Kavey Eats has chosen ‘dairy-free’ as the theme. There is nothing but fruit, sugar and a little water in these ice lollies so I think they are perfect for this challenge.
What is your favourite summer dessert? Would it make a good ice lolly? Let me know, I’m always looking for inspiration!
Do you Spiralize? Spiralizers have swept in as the ‘must have’ gadget for the trend of ‘clean’ eating and healthy eating, spiralizer ‘courghetti’ and sweet potato ‘noodles’ have even made it into the supermarket ready prepared vegetable section.
As a confirmed kitchen gadget-obsessive, I bought a spiralizer early on, it was a Japanese version and, while it did make vegetable spirals, somehow I never really got on with it.
I was delighted when I saw that OXO Good Grips were bringing out a spiralizer, as I have always found their kitchen kit to be well designed and to do what you expect without too much fuss.
Oxo Good Grips actually have two different spiralizers, there is this full size version which has three different blades so you can choose from spaghetti cut, fettucine cut or ribbon cut noodles.
The Sprializer is well designed, as I would expect from OXO Good Grips, it’s easy to put together and has a plastic storage box for the blades. Here is a summary of my thoughts:
- Best for large quantities of vegetables
- Good for larger vegetables or round fruit and vegetables e.g. apples, beetroot
- The suction cup doesn’t work at all on my wooden worksurface and isn’t 100% effective on a smooth surface either, however this didn’t stop it functioning.
- The blades are very sharp, be careful when you are cleaning them, I cut my finger.
- Cost: £40.00
Farmersgirl Kitchen rating: 8/10
Then there is the Hand-Held Spiralizer which is a neat little gadget, I found it very simple to use, makes one type of noodle, slightly thicker than the spaghetti cut however the noodles hold together in their curls really well.
- Best for long thin vegetables like carrots and courgettes (zucchini)
- Really easy to use and store, no set up, just pick it up and use
- Blade is concealed and less dangerous for fingers
- Quite hard work with harder vegetables, so better for smaller quantities, brilliant with courgettes and cucumber though
- Cost: £15.00
Farmersgirl Kitchen rating: 9/10
Vegetable and Fruit Noodles made with a Spiralizer are a great way to reduce carbohydrates and create quick and easy meals packed with nutrients.
Chris Anca of Tales of a Kitchen has written Nourishing Noodles to show us how to transform ordinary produce into a delicious bowl of noodles and dress it with sauces, dressings and any of your favourite add ins.
Pros: There are a good range of recipes, mostly fairly simple to make. Nourishing Noodles also provides information about how to spiralize, what to spiralize and what equipment to choose. The photographs are very tempting and give you an idea of what to aim for.
Cons: Many of the recipes have a long list of ingredients with different vegetables and fruits for the noodles and then more ingredients for the dressings or toppings. As long as you don’t mind collecting together all the ingredients, they are generally easily available and pack the recipes with flavour.
The Verdict: I found this book a great inspiration for creating my own spiralized recipes, it’s easy to replace one veg with another and the dressing ideas are really delicious. Well worth a place on the shelf and great for anyone starting out with spiralizing.
Nourishing Noodles: Sprialize nearly 100 plant-based recipes for Zoodles, Ribbons and Vegetable Spirals, by Chris Anca. Published by Race Point and imprint of Quatro Publishing Group RRP: £14.99
- 3 large heirloom carrots, thin spirals
- (1 yellow, 1 orange and 1 purple carrot)
- 1/2 avocado
- 1 tbsp Homemade Mustard
- 1/2 cup (80ml) cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp raw apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp sea salt flakes
- `/3 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 pinch chilli flakes
- 1 small handful roughly chopped cilantro (coriander)
- 2 tbsp Turmeric Dukkah
- 1 small handful alfalfa sprouts
- Place carrot noodles in a large bowl.
- Place all dressing ingredients in a blender and process until smooth
- Add dressing to the noodles and toss until thoroughly coated.
- Top with cilantro, turmeric dukkah and alfalfa sprouts, and serve
- Now here's where this book is great as an inspirational resource, I didn't have any heritage carrots, so used two ordinary orange carrots and 2 small apples,
- I didn't have time to make the homemade mustard so used a tsp of Dijon mustard.
- I didn't use the Turmeric Dukkah either, but it was still absolutely delicious, so with all Chris's ingredients it is bound to be outstanding.
Here are a few pictures of other vegetable noodles I’ve been making. Courghetti with the Hand Held Sprializer, Thin Carrot noodles and Sweet Potato Fettuccine made with the table top Sprializer. These spiralizer vegetables are perfect in a stir fry or as a substitute for pasta.
A single courgette spiralized with the Hand Held Spiralizer, was a perfect addition to Giovanni Rana ready made, chilled ravioli and Parmigiano Reggiano sauce (more about this coming soon).
For more SPIRALIZER RECIPE INSPIRATION follow:
What better way to celebrate summer than with a delicious homemade Strawberry Shortcake? I absolutely love a fresh crumbly scone layered up with strawberry jam, fresh cream and strawberries.
Strawberry Shortcake is a classic American dessert as well as an annoyingly twee little pink cartoon character, search online and you will see what I mean. I did a little research online and it soon became obvious that ‘shortcake’, in this context, is simply a sweet scone. So if you can make scones, you can make Strawberry Shortcake!
I know some people struggle to make good scones, so here is a little help:
TOP TIPS FOR BAKING SCONES:
- Rubbing the fat into the flour is best done by hand, but if I have a large batch to make I do use my stand mixer or sometimes a food processor.
- Never add the liquid in the mixer or food processor (unless you are really expert) as this is likely to overwork the dough, add it slowly and bring together the dough first with a knife and then with your hands.
- Never knead the dough, just bring it together pressing a little until it’s smooth.
- There’s no need to roll out the dough, just pat it down.
- The height of the uncooked dough should be about half what you want for your finished scone, so cut them thick.
- Never twist your cutter when cutting out the scone, it stops it from rising properly.
- Make sure your oven is really hot before putting the scones in to bake.
- For the Shortcake
- 225g self-raising flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 50g soft butter
- 25g caster (superfine) sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- For the filling
- 2 tbsp strawberry jam
- 12 strawberries
- 150ml double (heavy) cream whipped (or 100g clotted cream)
- Heat the oven to 220C
- Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Put the flour and baking powder in a bowl, add the butter and chop it into the flour, then rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips, until it looks like breadcrumbs, add the caster sugar.
- Crack the egg into a jug or other measure and beat with a fork, add milk up to 150ml.
- Gradually add this mixture to the flour bringing the liquid and flour together into a soft dough, you may need a little less or a little more depending on your flour.
- Pat the dough out to about 1.25cm (1/2 inch)
- Cut into rounds with an 85 mm (3 1/4 in) cutter and place on the baking tray
- Brush the tops of the scones with milk, or the milk/egg mix if you have any left.
- Sprinkle with granulated sugar
- Bake for about 10 minutes until the scones are pale golden brown.
- Remove from the baking sheet and cool on a wire rack.
- To assemble
- Take one cooled scone per person
- Split the scones in half
- Spread strawberry jam on the base of the scones and place on the serving plate
- Top with a spoonful of whipped or clotted cream
- Set aside 4 of the best strawberries (preferably quite small) for the top of the shortcake
- Slice 8 of the strawberries and sprinkle with a teaspoon of caster sugar and 1/4 tsp lemon juice
- Divide the strawberry slices between the four scones
- Place the top of the scone over the strawberries
- Add a small spoonful of cream and top with a small whole strawberry.
- If you don't have time to make scones, you can always buy some good quality scones and layer them up with jam, cream and strawberries.
Here are some other strawberry dessert ideas you might like to try:
Raw Strawberry Coconut Macaroons – Planet Veggie
Sensational Strawberry Pavlova – Farmersgirl Kitchen
Strawberry Mousse – Farmersgirl Kitchen
Vegetarian Strawberry Blancmange – Tin & Thyme
Strawberry and Dark Chocolate Ice Cream Cake – Simply Food
And one last look at the Strawberry Shortcake…