COLESLAW or Kool Salade, as it was once known!
Endlessly variable, enviously easy and enormously good-for-you! Go raw and add this salad to your main meal at any time of the week!
The term “coleslaw” arose in the 18th century as an Anglicisation of the Dutch term “koolsla”, a shortening of “koolsalade”, which means “cabbage salad”. Here’s one of my versions of a kool salad…
For the salad ~ finely sliced red cabbage,
grated apple, grated or cubed cheese.
For the topping ~ pine nuts, walnuts,
sunflower seeds, chopped dates…
…as I said, the variations are endless!
Get some goodness into today!
Copies of Nikki’s recipe book
Mushroom & artichoke paté with blue cheese & black olives
This is one of my favourite and most popular recipes. Did you know that mushrooms are incredibly good for you? Even the non-magical types are magical! Ancient civilizations believed that mushrooms had super powers and now modern science is coming to the same conclusion. Mushrooms are very high in anti-oxidants and are the only non-animal source of vitamin D. High in minerals such as potassium, they are also a source of riboflavin, niacin & selenium ~ an essential trace element shown to help protect against prostate and breast cancers, as well as heart disease. Mushrooms contain a high amount of vitamin B12.
So make room for mushrooms today!
You can use any type of mushroom for this recipe, although we’ve got into the habit of using shiitakes, simply because Sean is in the habit of growing them off our own oak logs! It’s quite mad really, but also incredibly exciting.
50g butter; 1 onion, peeled & chopped; 1 heaped teaspoon ground black pepper; 5 large mushrooms, wiped, destalked & coarsely chopped; 3 artichoke hearts, drained & chopped; 1 handful pitted black olives, chopped; 1 cup breadcrumbs; 1/2 lemon, juiced; 1 tspn black olive tapenade (optional); 50 gms blue cheese, crumbled; handful fresh parsley, chopped. A final crack of black pepper & a twist of lemon slice.
Gently heat the butter in a large saucepan and add the onion. Sauté until translucent, then add the black pepper. Stir, then tip in the mushrooms, artichoke, and olives. Mix through then toss in the breadcrumbs, lemon juice and tapenade (if using). It should be a sticky mix at this stage. Throw in the cheese and parsley and mix through. Serve in individual ramekins warm or chilled, with a final crack of black pepper and the lemon slice. Or stuff into a grilled Portobello mushroom, or warmed pittas, or just heap onto hot toast. Freezes well.
Variations & Vegan version: Add some pine nuts for a bit of crunch or a few mashed chestnuts for a protein fix. You can make this recipe completely animal free by switching butter with margarine and omitting the cheese. Simples!
Veggi Wellington ~ recipe by Andy Waters
One to try if the kids are around and fancy helping, or you can wrap it all up on our own in no time!
I’m going to try this one tonight, and knowing me, I’ll probably adapt it in some way! Would you make any changes?
- 2 large sweet potatoes, cut into 2cm chunks
- 1 sprig of rosemary, leaves picked
- 1 sprig of thyme, leaves picked
- 2 red onions, peeled and sliced
- 100g of chopped peeled chestnuts, optional
- 2 slices of sourdough bread
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 lemon, zest and juice
- 10g of butter
- 250g of button mushrooms, finely sliced
- 200g of baby spinach
- 50g of pine nuts
- 500g of puff pastry
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp of milk
- 200g of curly kale
- 2 1/2 tbsp of vegetable oil
- 3 pinches of salt
- 2 pinches of pepper
Add the sweet potato to a large roasting tray with a good splash of olive oil. Using a pestle and mortar, bash the rosemary and thyme lightly for 1-2 minutes to release the flavour. Scatter over the sweet potato. Cover the tray with tin foil and place in the oven for approximately 45 minutes until soft. Remove and allow to cool. Meanwhile, place a saucepan over a medium heat and add a dash of olive oil. Once hot, add the onions along with a pinch of salt and pepper. Gently cook the onions, stirring occasionally until softened and lightly browned. Add the crumbled chestnuts to the pan and cook for further 2 minutes. Toast the bread until dark and golden and drizzle with a small dash of olive oil. Tear into small chunks and set aside. Add the torn toast to the pan with the onions, stir to combine. Stir in the lemon zest and remove the pan from the heat. For the mushrooms, melt the butter in a pan over a medium heat. Add the mushrooms and garlic and cook until all the liquid from the mushrooms has cooked off and they are soft. Squeeze in a little lemon juice. Remove the pan from the heat, pour the contents into a blender and blitz into a paste. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Tear the kale into small pieces and cook for 2 minutes, then add the spinach and cook for another 30 seconds. Drain and set aside. In a bowl, mix the kale and spinach with the pine nuts, a dash of olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper.
Now assemble your Wellington. Roll out the puff pastry on a sheet of baking parchment until approximately 30cm x 40cm, then spread the mushroom mixture on top. Toss together the spinach, squash and onion-bread mixture. Spoon it in a thick line down the middle of the pastry, leaving a gap at either side so you can join up the edges of the Wellington. Hold one side of the baking parchment and lift it, with the pastry, towards the centre of the Wellington so the filling is half covered. Peel the baking parchment back, leaving the pastry in place, then repeat with the other side. The pastry should overlap in the middle. Beat the egg with the milk and brush it over the pastry to seal the join. Fold up the ends so the filling doesn’t leak out, then carefully roll the Wellington onto a baking sheet, with the seal underneath. Brush all over with the remainder of the egg mix. Bake for 45 minutes until puffed up, golden brown and hot through the middle.
This is a classic vegetable dish from the Provence region of France. It’s a lot easier to make than it is to say! The first half of its name is believed to be slang for chunky stew, while the second half is from the french ‘touillir’ – to stir. So there you go! You can stew it or sauté it or pop it in the oven and you can use a variety of seasonal veg either from your garden or your local market. Its a very versatile dish and I keep changing it depending on what’s available.
The basics are always onions, aubergine, courgettes and tomatoes, and the flavouring is always marvelously Mediterranean with fresh basil and thyme and olives too if you fancy. You can serve it stuffed into round courgettes or massive marrows or just plain and simple accompanied with fluffy couscous or rice.
4 table spoons olive oil; 1 large onion, peeled & sliced; 1 aubergine, chopped; 1 courgette, sliced into rounds or half moons; 2 large tomatoes, cut into wedges; 400ml jar of good quality tomato sauce; fresh basil, thyme and parsley. Optional extras include black or green olives; fresh fennel; red or green pepper; broccoli; peas; artichoke hearts; red or green cabbage; carrots and even chilli if you want to add a lot of kick.
Heat the olive oil then toss in the onion and aubergine. The aubergine will soak up most of the oil so stir thoroughly to coat well. Season with salt and pepper. After 5 minutes add the courgettes, tomatoes, tomato sauce and fresh herbs. Simmer very slowly and gently for 30 minutes. Add a little water if necessary. Before simmering, add any of the above optional extras that have taken your fancy. Blanch & drain broccoli or carrots or frozen peas before adding, drain artichoke hearts, chop peppers and slice fennel or cabbage. It’s that easy!
Serve with some chevre chaud sliced on top with a side dish of couscous, rice, or potatoes…
Sizzling Veg Chilli
There’s nothing like a hot chilli to spice up your life! Considered the “king” of spices, all chillies – even dried and powdered varieties – are packed with nutrients and minerals. They are known to act as a natural pain killer, reduce joint inflammation, lower blood sugar levels, inhibit prostate cancer cell growth, prevent stomach ulcers, and, as we’ve all experienced from time to time, relieve congestion. The heat of the chilli is mostly in the fleshy white membrane and in the seeds, so be careful how you handle fresh chillies.
2 cups green lentils; 1 onion peeled & chopped; 2 red chillies, chopped; 2 tablespoons olive oil; 1 carrot, grated; 125g cooked red kidney beans; 125g sweet corn, drained; 400ml of good quality tomato sauce; 1 packet fajita spice mix; handful of fresh parsley
Cook the lentils according to instructions, drain and set aside. While the lentils are cooking, sauté the onions & chilli in the olive oil for 5 minutes on a medium heat. Toss in the carrot, kidney beans, sweet corn and tomato sauce. Stir in the fajita spice mix, cover and simmer gently. When the lentils are ready, add to the veg chilli along with the parsley. Mix together and serve hot from the pan or transfer to a serving dish.
Great rolled into tortillas along side other mexican style dishes such as guacamole, tomato salsa, sour cream and grated cheese, or piled high into baked potatoes, or used as a base to make veg chilli lasagne. Add breadcrumbs or rice to any leftover chilli to make patties or burgers.
Tangy Thai Pumpkin Soup
Ridiculously easy, velvety smooth, delightfully delicious, this tangy thai style pumpkin soup is great to scoop into mugs and warm your hands around on dark winter evenings gathered round a cracking camp fire as you wait your turn to take a glimpse through our telescope, or, as we did just recently, snuggled up together on these still chilly but tantalizing early spring nights.
We always grow lots and lots of pumpkins as they’re power-packed with antioxidants and they’re very versatile in a number of savoury dishes. And, they can even be baked into cakes! What’s not to like?
Well, actually, cutting and scooping out all those seeds is not one of my favourite vegetable preps, but I have to say, the amount of flesh you get for all that hard work is certainly worth it and goes a long way. I roasted and froze batches of it that wasn’t ear-marked for other recipes through the winter. Seasoning, sprinkling with dried herbs then roasting cubes or ‘boats’ of pumpkin adds aroma and deepens its natural nutty flavour.
750g roasted pumpkin, cubed; 1 red onion, chopped; 1 inch fresh ginger, grated; 1 red chilli (or more for a hotter taste!), chopped; 1 tbs vegetable oil; 400ml coconut milk; 400ml vegetable stock; zest & juice of 1 lime; 2 more limes for garnish, quartered; 2 generous handfuls of fresh coriander; 2 tbs desiccated coconut.
In a large pan, gently sauté the onion, chilli and ginger in the oil until the onion is transparent. And the pumpkin, mix in and turn off the heat. Stir in the coconut milk and leave to cool. When cooled, add the zest and lime juice and a handful of coriander. Blend in batches until velvety smooth and return to the pan. Gently heat through, stirring in as much vegetable stock as desired to get the right consistency for you. Check seasoning. Scoop into mugs or bowls, squeeze a lime wedge over and garnish with a sprinkle of desiccated coconut and chopped coriander. Serve hot! Also good with a scattering of smashed pistachios!
So wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, try this easy recipe to warm you through from top to toe! Bon Appétit!
CAULIFLOWER & COCONUT Paté with cumin
I haven’t made this in a while, so my guests this week are in for a treat! It’s like a cake, but comes up dense enough to be a paté – it’s the perfect starter to get the palette going, but also substantial enough to serve as a main with side salads and wonderfully warmed bread.
Did you know? Cumin, with its exceptionally high iron, vitamin and mineral content, is one of nature’s best body tonics! Coconut too is highly nutritious and valued as both food & medicine around the world – in fact, the coconut palm is also known as the Tree of Life! It’s high in the right fats, and is a natural antioxidant, antiviral & antibacterial. Virgin coconut oil is an excellent massage oil for hair, scalp and skin.
400g cauliflower florets (keep the stalks – see below); 75g creme fraîche; 1 red onion roughly chopped; 1 tsp cumin; 1 dspn desiccated coconut; 200g feta cheese; 50g blue cheese; 2 eggs; freshly ground black pepper.
Heat the oven to 200C/gas 6. Grease & line a loaf tin. Cook the florets in unsalted water until tender, drain & cool. When cooled, blend with the other ingredients, adding the eggs last. Keep some texture in the mix, but it needs to pour like a cake mix. Feta is naturally salty, so check seasoning, but add heroic amounts of black pepper. The red onion will turn the mixture slightly pink, but this is lost in the cooking. Sort of! Pour into the prepared loaf tine and bake for about 40 minutes, or until cooked. Test with a knife – it should come out clean, just like a cake. Keeps well in the fridge (if there’s any left over that is!) and can be frozen too.
Don’t know what to do with the rest of the cauli? Chop into chunks and make into a soup by adding another chopped red onion, a chopped apple (cored but not necessarily peeled) and sauté the lot lightly with a little butter. Cool, add a tsp of cumin once again and 200ml of coconut milk. Blend and bring back to the heat when ready to serve. It’s also lovely served chilled in the summer, with fresh hot croutons.