Savoy cabbage, quickly cooked, with butter and pepper is pretty good as it is. But if you want to pep it up to serve as a side dish with south-east Asian food it may not quite cut the mustard.The trick with cabbage is to not cook it for a whole school term. A flash in the pan to soften it is enough, so be careful and be quick. This is fiery and comforting at the same time and goes really well with some steamed fish with lemongrass and lime leaves.Ingredients1/2 Savoy cabbage, shreddedCoconut oil for frying2 hot red birdseye chillies, sliced1tbsp red Thai curry paste1tbsp dessicated coconut1tbsp coconut aminos or soy sauce1tbsp lime juice100ml coconut creamSalt to seasonMethodSauté the cabbage in some coconut oil, letting some of the shreds almost burn. Add as much chilli as you like, my chillies were surprisingly hot, so be careful.Add the curry paste to the pan (home made if you can be bothered) and add a little more coconut oil. Cook for a few minutes, stirring well so it doesn't burn.Pour in the coconut cream and heat through. Tip into a bowl and blowtorch the top of the cabbage if you have one to give it a little bit of a dramatic char. Add a little more sliced red chilli and some hazelnuts sprinkled on top if you fancy, and serve.
We have a few jars of various powders on the kitchen shelf that promise us eternal life. They contain about a thousand tons of kale and everything else too. They're great in our morning nutribullets. They are, however, expensive.We also have a permanent collection of avocados in the fruit bowl. They are replaced with fresh ones, obviously, but they come with a free stone inside. Over the week, these build up into a pile, albeit one that rolls about the place, and as I won't be creating an avocado farm in the garden, I roasted them this afternoon for about an hour and then pulverised them in the blender.Apparently the stones have more nutrients in them than the avocado itself and will also guarantee eternal life. Maybe I'll be able to keep my band on the road until we're in our hundreds as well. I'd have to get it back together though. We were called 44 stone after our combined weight. As Bee says, if we reform, we may have to up that number...You can dry the stones out on the window sill for a week or two before blending if you prefer, but roasting does help bring out the nuttiness. 160c is hot enough. Blitz them into a powder then store in a jar, adding a tablespoon to your smoothies or sauces as you want.
Tomorrow the children go back to school after six years off for Easter. I think we're all looking forward to it. It has been good having them around, though, and we've had some fun in the kitchen. Notably making these sausages.Normally, you'd put breadcrumbs in British-style sausages, that's one of the reasons they're not as dense as the meatier Italian ones, or, my favourite, merguez, which I shall be making soon. So to make these wheat-free, I used milled flax seed instead, which helped bind the mixture as well as give a little extra texture.They're quick to make and you can buy the casings from your butcher or online. Making them yourself means there are no additives in them, and you can vary the spicing and herbs as you like, as well as the thickness and length. We got 18 large ones out of this, so quite a few went in the freezer.You can ask your butcher to mince the meat for you if you don't have a mincer at home, and you will need a sausage maker, you can also get these cheaply online. You can, however, skip the casings and roll them by hand into sausage shapes if you want. I'd highly recommend a machine though, not least for the opportunity to add a touch of 'Carry-On' to the kitchen. It's not possible to put the casing on the nozzle without thinking about GCSE biology with Mr. Johnson.Experiment with garlic, herb and red wine or mixed spices. Leek and apple perhaps, and paprika and onion. We'll not be buying sausages any more.Ingredients800g pork mince or pork shoulder800g pork belly1tbsp ground ginger1tbsp ground five-spice1tbsp ground nutmeg1tbsp dried oregano1tbsp dried tarragon1tbsp dried thyme2tbsp flax seedPepperLoads of salt150ml cold water2m hog casing sausage skinMethodMince the meat and mix in the rest of the ingredients.Fry a little of the mixture to test the seasoning and adjust as needed.Try not to snigger as you roll the casing on to the nozzle.Turn the machine on and slowly feed the mixture through until it starts to fill the casing. Gradually let it fill until you reach the desired size then twist to seal and carry on. Twist the opposite way on the next one and repeat until finished.You can cook them straight away, (I tend to grill them) but it's better to let them dry a little, uncovered, in the fridge for a day.Wrap well and freeze what you don't need immediately.
If you're getting a bit fed up of sweet potato fries, or are avoiding potatoes in general, these carrots are a great alternative. I'd choose them over fries nine times out of ten anyway, they're so good. I'd love to have a Josper grill at home, just so i could call these Josper Carrots, but that would be a step too far.I've made them many times before, each time just throwing in what spices took my fancy. This time, I just used the ones left out from last night's curry. Use what you feel like, and to be honest, they also taste great with bought curry powder.
Sometimes on the weekend I can spend the afternoon in the kitchen, prepping lots of ingredients and dishes, enjoying the calm of a Saturday or Sunday.Tonight, however, we have many episodes of Trapped to watch so it's a quick steak, grilled and blowtorched with some roast spiced carrots, early season British asparagus and this classic Argentinian accompaniment.It's really just a herb oil, but the chilli and garlic (not the Chilean garlic) give the steak a real lift. And it only takes a couple of minutes to make. Fewer if you use a food processor. It's also really good with monkfish or lobster.
No matter how worthy your diet, how well one can live on hemp and lentils, even hippies want a sweet snack every now and then.We've got a few 'nakd' bars in the cupboard for snacks but of late these have been relegated to the back for emergency use only. I've started to make my own in the Nutribullet and they're easy as well as being customisable to whatever ingredients, shape and size you can reasonably buy and make.These are quite addictive and it's easy to demolish the whole thing in one go, but while they're pure and healthy, it's probably not a good idea to do so. I have no idea what that many dates will do to your system in one go.If you don't have a Nutribullet, use a food processor or blender. Failing that, chop everything by hand. It's probably better to use a knife though.Ingredients (for one large bar)Equal amounts of:whole skin-on almondspitted datesraisinsapricots (the dark, sun-dried type, not the bright orange ones if possible)2tbsp raw cacao nibs1tbsp sunflower seeds1tbsp supergreens powder (I use Bioglan)1tbsp bee pollenA handful of dessicated coconutMethodBlitz half the almonds to a powder then add half of the remaining ingredients and pulse until well combined. You may need to stop and shake it up a bit.Empty the container into a large bowl and repeat with the remaining ingredients.Tip this into the same bowl and mix everything well by hand. Shape into one or two bars, squares or balls as you prefer and wrap well in clingfilm or put in an airtight container.Put in the fridge to firm. I keep them in there anyway, I like them better slightly chilled.You can vary the ingredients as you like, cashew nuts work well as does adding orange zest, vanilla seeds, fennel seeds for suprise and even chilli flakes. I'm tempted by the thought of covering them in melted chocolate, but that will have to wait a while.
That's a whole month now with no carbs or sugar. A whole month. And one that had Easter in it as well. It has been pretty tough watching the children stuffing their faces with chocolate, but I'm not going to give up now. I did have two helpings of coffee ice-cream on Easter Sunday, but I did it for Jesus.When you are having meals like steak with béarnaise sauce and asparagus, or you can eat your way through a whole spiced roast chicken, there is nothing to complain about. I've eaten out a few times too, and everywhere I went had sweet potato fries on the menu, which meant I didn't sound like a paranoid L.A stereotype when ordering. It seems places are cottoning on and I don't have to go Hunting High and Low for healthy food when socialising. Yes, I saw A-ha this week.This recipe is made up of simple ingredients and is quick to cook, but is so much more than the sum of its parts. For the salsa verde, there is a recipe here. (Leave out the rapeseed oil if you're doing the Whole 30). There are a few parts to cook, but prepare your pans and it will all come together beautifully. Make the salsa verde beforehand and you can keep it in the fridge for a few days. It's great on scrambled eggs.Ingredients (for two)2 salmon steaks, approx 150g each2tbsp salsa verde1/2 large bulb of fennel, sliced1 courgette, diced into 1cm cubes1 clove of garlic, crushed1/2 hot red chilli, thinly sliced1 spring onion, slicedCoconut oil for fryingSalt to seasonMethodBefore you start, sprinkle salt over the salmon and leave for 20 minutes so excess moisture is drawn out and the fish is a little firmer. This will also prevent protein leaking out when cooking.Heat a griddle pan until really hot and add a little coconut oil. Grill the fennel until soft and charred, season and set aside. Keep the pan on the heat.Sauté the courgette with the garlic in a little oil in another pan for two minutes, season well and set aside. I like this dish warm, so don't worry about keeping the veg hot.Rinse the salmon and pat dry then cook on the hot griddle for 2-3 minutes on each side, depending on how pink you like it.Divide the courgette between two plates and top with the fennel, salmon, spring onion and chilli. Spoon over the salsa verde and serve.
It has been a fairly uneventful week in the kitchen, which means it's been quite tidy. The children made their own tomato, sweet potato and carrot soup which they promptly refused to eat, even with the addition of grated cheese. They also refused to eat Bee's lentil chilli for her book group which was delicious. They normally eat most things put in front of them, so I'm assuming they were just being annoying.The one dish that stood out was the simplest and quickest, but the tastiest. We had it with chickpea pancakes as part of our low carb eating. You can make your own garam masala or buy it. Up to you. Mine at the moment is very heavy on cinnamon and cloves which worked really well here, so add a little more of that if you fancy and increase the other ingredients as you see fit, this served two.Ingredients1tbsp coconut oil4 eggs3 handfuls of baby spinachA handful of cherry tomatoes2 spring onions, sliced1tsp grated nutmeg1tbsp garam masala1tbsp chilli flakes1tsp chia seeds1tbsp toasted pine nutsSalt and black pepper to seasonA handful of chopped coriander leavesMethodHeat the oven to 200cHeat the oil in an ovenproof sauté pan and add the spinach and nutmeg and season a little. Let this cook for about a minute then add the tomatoes and crack the eggs, well spaced into the pan.Sprinkle over the garam masala and chia seeds and chilli flakes, season a little more then bake for 12-15 minutes depending on how well done you like your eggs.Add the spring onion, pine nuts and coriander and serve hot in the pan.