Hello Blog, I have missed you. I have been stupidly busy lately and have barely had time to water my plants and definitely no time to blog. Busy partly with work but also lots of lovely sociable events which have been quite stacked up some days. So I am not complaining about my busyness but rather offering up an explanation for abandoning my blog. The next 2 weeks are very busy too but I will blog when I can.
Here’s a quick trot through some of the highlights and a couple of recipes to compensate for my absence. One is full of goodness and one definitely does not belong on a blog about losing weight but was so delicious I am sharing it with you.
London has enjoyed a week of non stop sunshine. I have enjoyed too many vists to TimberYard which is lovely but sells too many tempting carb’ heavy foods.
Like this delicious toasted ham and Gruyere sandwich.One evening this week found us in the Ape and Bird ( http://www.apeandbird.com) with some unlikely company.
We had a lovely evening with Alex, Bridgett and Dakota who were visiting from LA. and Dylan. Rather more extraordinary than seeing our American relatives in London was seeing Ian and Helen who actually left Devon and came up to town. Wonderful to see them. We had a really fun but definitely not diet friendly dinner at Maxwell’s in Covent Garden. I was so good to see them all. I have eaten lots of healthy food as well as the unhealthy. This pile of frozen berries, half an avocado and spinach plus banana and almond butter made ……. this awesome smoothie for breakfast one day. I had 2 good friends over for supper on Friday night but as I was working all day it needed to be something easy. I marinaded some chicken breasts and red onions in Rapeseed oil, minced garlic and ginger for the afternoon. Ready for stir frying it sat on the side all afternoon until evening when I cooked the chicken and set it aside while I cooked the veggies. First of all the veg which required longer cooking time; red pepper, asparagus and broccoli stalks.Then the veggies which do not require so long to cook; some pre-roasted butternut squash, avocado and broccoli tops.
It was tasty and no worries about eating a large portion as it was all good and healthy.
I also made a new recipe to have as a starter. Inspiration came from Hugh’s ‘Veg Everyday!’ book and his recipe for a dish made from chopped mushrooms. Cambodian Wedding Day Dip – really tasty and suitable for vegetarians. It has the consistency of a creamed pate and a lovely flavour. Ingredients (serves 8)
- 500g chestnut or cup mushrooms
- 1 tablespoonful oil
- 1/2 small chilli finely chopped (optional)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tbsp curry powder
- 2 tbsp crunchy peanut butter
- 400ml can coconut milk
- juice of 1 lime
- dash of soy sauce
- coriander to garnish
- Finely dice the mushrooms in to 3 – 4 mm pieces ( I used a food processor)
- Heat oil in a large frying pan or wok over a high heat
- Add the mushrooms and cook briskly, stirring often until the liquid is released and then evaporated
- Add the chilli and garlic and cook for another minute
- Add the curry powder and peanut butter and mix thoroughly and then add the coconut milk
- Let it bubble until thick and reduced, stirring regularly. Takes about half an hour
- Add the lime juice and soy sauce.
You could serve it warm with rice as a main meal or leave to cool to room temperature and serve with raw veggies or crisps as an easy starter with pre dinner drinks.
Cheers Judy and Fee, it was so good to see you and also lovely to make the most of the warm evenings and sit outside. I have done some juicing but not as much as I was doing as it takes so long to chop it, juice it and wash it all up. This little lot made a lovely fresh very orange coloured juice. It was a bit sweet but that made it the perfect accompaniment to
a cooked breakfast one morning. I have been enjoying sweet peas (they smell heavenly) and Kent cherries. Now for the wicked but completely delicious recipe I promised you. This recipe comes from the Guardian dated 12th April 2014 and is for Meringue Ice-Cream with Baked Rhubarb. You do NOT need an ice cream maker but this comes out smooth as if you have used one.
Meringue Ice Cream
Ingredients (serves plenty unless they are as greedy as we are )
- 1 tsp oil
- 240ml double cream
- 1 vanilla pod plus 1/2 tsp extract or large tsp extract
- 4 medium eggs, separated
- Glug of rum (optional)
- 120g caster sugar
- 75g meringues
- Start the night before by lightly oiling a loaf tin and line with cling film
- Whisk the cream until it thickens and just forms stiff peaks
- Split the vanilla pod in half lengthways and scrape out the seeds in to a bowl with the yolks and half the sugar
- Clean the whisk and whisk the yolks until light, fluffy and doubled in volume
- Clean the whisk again and beat the egg whites until frothy, then add the rest of the sugar and beat on high speed until the whites form stiff peaks
- With a large metal spoon, fold the egg yolks in to the cream, then gently fold in a third of the whites
- Bash the meringue in to chunks (bash in the bag with a rolling pin) and fold in to the rest of the egg whites and then add the yolk/cream mixture and rum
- Pour in to the prepared tin, cover and freeze overnight
I picked rhubarb from the garden, cut in to 3 cm chunks, placed it in a baking dish with orange juice and a sprinkling of sugar and baked it in the oven (15 mins at 180°C) The meringue ice-cream, rhubarb and some other bits were taken to my Dad’s where I enjoyed a lunch with him and my sisters. We all took food so all he had to do was sit and eat. It was delicious. We had cold meats, cheese, grilled courgettes with Feta and pine nuts, green salad and coronation chicken. My ice-cream and rhubarb were enjoyed with an orange and bay leaf cake which went perfectly together. Well done sweet sisters of mine, it was all delicious. Happy Grandfather’s Day and happy Father’s Day
I have enjoyed so many other events too but I either forgot my camera or took dreadful pictures so they will remain as happy memories as my recently expanded waistband will testify.