UPDATED! SUN-DRIED TOMATO PÂTÉ (V+, P, GF, R, GRF)

UPDATED! SUN-DRIED TOMATO PÂTÉ (V+, P, GF, R, GRF)

NOTE: The pictures were updated in September 2015.

Hi everyone. If you are here for the festive, flavourful and fun sun-dried tomato pate recipe, then please scroll down to the end of the blog post. You'll find the yummy vegan recipe there. If you're happy to read me going on about the Liebster Award, then please read on and get to the recipe later!

A few weeks ago the lovely Ksenia - the blogger behind At the Immigrant's Table - nominate me for the Liebster Award (remember I mentioned Ksenia last week?). Please, don't get too excited, the Liebsters ain't the Oscars ;), but the award is a superdy duperdy cute way of making the food blogging world feel like a real, caring and tangible community. Consequently I was delighted and rather flattered that I'd been chosen for this award. Thank you soooo much Ksenia :). 

First things first, the Liebster Award Rules:

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you by providing a link to their blog
2. Display the award badge
3. Answer 11 questions provided by the blogger who nominated you
4. List 11 random facts about yourself
5. Nominate 11 bloggers
6. Pose 11 questions to said nominees
7. Go to each nominee’s blog and notify them of their nomination

YIKES! I got my work cut out!

UPDATED! GLUTEN-FREE APPLE AND PARSNIP CAKE (V+, GF, NF, CHF)

UPDATED! GLUTEN-FREE APPLE AND PARSNIP CAKE (V+, GF, NF, CHF)

Before the arrival of 3-layered pistachio and pomegranate cake with buckwheat crunchies, before triple chocolate, gold-swirled brownies with salted caramel frosting and even before raw vegan cheesecake with popcorn flavoured fruit layers, there was the good old apple pie. (Please note I am using 'apple pie' as an umbrella term here. It in fact covers the following: apple cake, apple crumble, apple turnover, apple muffins and aything else apple/dessert related). Yup, this post is all about the humble apple pie, which has been so cruelly overlooked as things have become more and more extravagant in our kitchens of late. But I'm determined to change all that and take us back to the good old days with this delicious gluten-free apple and parsnip cake.  

SAVOURY BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND CHESTNUT PIE (V+, V, P, GF, GRF)

SAVOURY BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND CHESTNUT PIE (V+, V, P, GF, GRF)

 

A few weeks ago, Agnes, who writes the beautiful blog Cashew Kitchen asked me on Instagram what 10 things made me happy (besides this delicious vegan butternut squash and chestnut pie recipe). Little did Agnes know though that the day she posed this question, I was anything but happy. 

My son had just started school, so I was feeling quite fragile. We had builders and gardeners turn our house upside down and it resembled more of a chaotic pigsty than a stylish family home. And I had literally tried to juggle way too many things with just two hands, resulting in me dropping and breaking my laptop :(. 

Not the best time to thinking about happiness, or was it?

TAHINI DIP AND ALMOST RAW KALE CHIPS (V+, P, GF, NF, R, GRF, CHF)

TAHINI DIP AND ALMOST RAW KALE CHIPS (V+, P, GF, NF, R, GRF, CHF)

No one can claim that opportunities to learn about cooking aren’t all around us. For starters, the internet is such a wonderful source of cooking inspiration; the array of creative food blogs out there is near to overwhelming! And then of course there are 100s of cookbooks to fall in love with, countless stylish cooking magazines to subscribe to and free recipe cards galore to grab hold of at your local supermarket. I mean, come on, there was never a better time to be a food geek. 

And though I have indulged in all the options noted above, this week I thought I’d go all old school and do something a little bit different with this delicious vegan tahini dip and almost raw kale chips... To celebrate ‘Homemade Bread Day’ I decided to emulate what women did centuries ago i.e. hang out near a big fire, catch up on village gossip whilst preparing a delicious meal together. To recreate a modern day version of this girly tradition I invited some pretty cool female friends into my kitchen where we chatted, cried, giggled, moaned about the pressures of being working, middle-class moms and baked some yummy scrummy goodies.

ANDEAN CABBAGE CURRY (V+, V, GF, NF, P, GRF)

ANDEAN CABBAGE CURRY (V+, V, GF, NF, P, GRF)

12 years ago this week, I married the most amazing man I have ever, ever met. Seeing he was born in the Andes, it feels like the perfect time to share this dish with you....

Please, please, please do not judge this delicious vegan cabbage curry on its appearance! What it lacks in looks, it makes up totally, utterly and completely in taste. This dish is so unique and its flavours so unexpected, I’m really, really proud to be able to feature it here on my blog. 

The inspiration for this recipe comes from high up in the Andes
When my husband was little and lived in the mountains of Ecuador, there was an old lady who used to sell cabbage and potatoes in a rich pumpkin seed and peanut sauce. She was the only person selling a vegetarian dish in the whole of the town. The old lady had her small stand on market day, just on the corner, where she stood behind a big black pot filled with boiled potatoes, cabbage and sauce. 

AUTUMNAL AUBERGINE DIP (V+, P, GF, NF, GRF)

AUTUMNAL AUBERGINE DIP (V+, P, GF, NF, GRF)

AUTUMNAL AUBERGINE DIP (V+, GF, NF, P, GrF)

''La vida no es como deberia ser, sino como es.'' - Facundo Cabral (1937 - 2011)

''Life is not as it should be but as it is.'' - Facundo Cabral (1937- 2011)


I had it all planned. So perfect. So organised. Thinking I was being really clever, I prepared 2-3 dishes for the blog in advance several weeks ago, including this amazing vegan aubergine dip. I photographed and edited them, then stored them away in a file titled 'rainy day reserves'.

That rainy day came this week. It came with a vengence; you see it is getting colder, darker and well... rainier so finding the right lighting for my photoshoots has been quite hard. In addition, my son is off school, my husband is away on a business trip and consequently photographing and styling fresh material for the blog is completely impossible (I tried it in the past, but 4.5 year olds and food photography do not pair well;)). 

SPICED FRUIT STEW - COLADA MORADA (V+, NF, GF, CHF, GRF)

SPICED FRUIT STEW - COLADA MORADA (V+, NF, GF, CHF, GRF)

In honour of Halloween, I'm sharing this delicious recipe for vegan spiced fruit stew.

Turn back the clock by about 6 years: It’s the morning of Halloween. I frantically run to the supermarket, get a family sized pack of miniature milk chocolate bars and - that evening - hand them out to unassuming children after they have politely rung our doorbell and chanted ‘trick-or-treat’. 

Of course there are left-over chocolate bars. There always are. I eat 1-2 (honest ;)) and then take the rest into the office at the earliest opportunity, causing a handful of work colleagues to abandon their diets and yet strangly feel better for it; at least temptation is no longer within my four walls.

Fast forward: I become a mother. Then I learn more about nutrition. Then I question my actions...

UPDATED! BACK-TO-SCHOOL GRANOLA (V+, GF, V, NF, CHF) & HOME-MADE SEED MILK (V+, R, P, GF, NF, CHF, GRF)

UPDATED! BACK-TO-SCHOOL GRANOLA (V+, GF, V, NF, CHF) & HOME-MADE SEED MILK (V+, R, P, GF, NF, CHF, GRF)

NOTE: The pictures were updated and the recipe improved in June 2015.

Hello friends! If you are here for the easy, scrummy and fabulous Back-to-School Granola and Home-Made Seed Milk recipe, please scroll down to the end of the blog post. You'll find the delicious vegan recipes there. If you're happy to read me rambling on about my son's first day of school, then please read on and get to the recipe later!

I write this blog entry on my 4-year-old son’s first day of school (which is a few weeks ago by now). I had mixed emotions, to say the least, about him starting his formal education so young and would have preferred he spent another year or two climbing trees instead and letting his imagination run roit. But alas, the English education system didn’t allow for it. 

My son must have picked up on my feelings as - before starting – he said he thought school was 'dumb' (I think he’d have loved to have used the ‘S....D’ word, but that isn’t permitted in our house – just for your info ;)). However, to my surprise, he whizzed into class today with a big smile on his face, barely able to contain his excitement. In fact, he was so quick he never did see my tears (Thank you God!). 

And his verdict at the end of the day when I asked how school was? ‘GOOD', which in 4-year-old-boy-speak means 'FAB, I LOVED IT, IT'S TOTALLY GREAT.'