So this week before all the true frantic madness of Christmas begins, I am sharing a few new recipes which are all worthy of a place at your Festive table, whether you are catering for meat lovers, vegetarians or vegans.
This mushroom, walnut and lentil pate is absolutely delicious and actually tastes quite meaty so I'm sure everyone will love it.
I am a massive fan of mushrooms, lentils and nuts so this is my idea of an ideal starter. Served with some thinly sliced sourdough or delicious crackers (recipe coming soon!)
This will surely impress your guests! It can be made a few days in advance and will happily sit in the fridge until you need it. This also works well stirred into a mushroom risotto or as a topping for a baked potato or a pizza!
I've made this a few times and played around with the recipe a bit. The original recipe from the wonderful Dearbhla Reynolds book The Cultured Club uses fermented mushrooms, which adds another layer of flavour and nutrition but since most folks won't have time to ferment the mushrooms first then this adapted recipe is equally delicious and the addition of seaweed flakes adds that unique umami flavour.
You have the option of setting the pate in a small loaf tin, which looks rather wonderful and can then be served in slices.
Other options are to set the pate in small individual ramekin dishes or just put it into a serving dish and serve dollops rather than slices!
It's whatever suits your needs best and makes life easier! If you are catering for gluten free then you would need to leave the breadcrumbs out or use gluten free ones.
I always have a supply of breadcrumbs in the freezer, which are very handy and a great way to use up any slightly stale bread.
Button mushrooms, portabello, chestnut or shitake mushrooms will all work well or indeed a mixture! Their are always better if they are organic .
I sometimes think that onions are overlooked when it comes to soup, but a good bowl of well made onion soup is an absolute joy and extremely nutritious!
Onions are great infection fighters and immune boosters and this is exactly the time of year that we need a wee boost, with all the stress of Christmas preparations, the cold and damp weather and for most of us too much alcohol, chocolate, and junk food. Add to that too many late nights and an never ending to do list, all of which depletes our immune system leaving us vulnerable to whatever bugs are doing the rounds!
But not to worry, onions to the rescue!
The trick is to let the onions roast until they are really soft and deep gold in colour
I am a big fan of simple recipes that pack a punch in the flavour and nutrition stakes and that's exactly what this soup does. Onions are a staple in most folks kitchen so this soup can be thrown together anytime!
So without further rambling, here is the simple recipe!
Voila, soup done!
I came across this recipe at Jessicainthekitchen.com a great blog promoting real wholesome plant based food.
These are just the most delicious, crispy, flavoursome and healthy finger foods on the planet! Perfect food for sharing and you can dip them in whatever dip or sauce you fancy!
I genuinely think you could persuade a few vegetable haters to try these or even fussy kids !
I love cauliflower and it has a long season in the UK so readily available and locally grown for quite a few months of the year. I should just add that cauliflower is a bit of a superstar in the health stakes. Its a great source of:
vit C,vit K,B vitamins, omega 3 fats, magnesium, antioxidants and phytonutrients which protect against cancer. It contains choline for brain health, its anti inflammatory, supports the digestive system and detoxification.
They do have a cheesy flavour but it comes from Nutritional Yeast Flakes, which are a godsend for vegans who like cheesy flavour without the dairy!
So back to the recipe, you need a medium to large cauliflower, broken into bite sized florets. The trick with these is to dip the florets in batter then into breadcrumbs for a fantastic crunchy coating that sticks!
They are then simply baked in a hot oven for 20 to 30 minutes so no faffing about with hot oil. I really detest deep frying anything,
I always have a bag of breadcrumbs in the freezer. I just blitz any leftover bread in my food processor for instant breadcrumbs.
At Nourished by Nature we care about food waste and since I am always baking lots of sourdough, I generally have spare!
You can make a gluten free version using gluten free flour and breadcrumbs. Chickpea flour is naturally gluten free.
Serve with any dipping sauce, chilli sauce, guacamole, tomato salsa or even good old tomato ketchup! I served mine with fermented tomato ketchup, sweetened with maple syrup and naturally fermented for a probiotic hit and fantastic flavour!
So here is the very simple recipe....
I've just returned from a fab vegan cooking retreat in the beautiful Welsh countryside, run by my awesome cool dude pal Lee Watson of The Beach House Kitchen and author of my favourite vegan cookbook Peace & Parsnips!
The theme was recipes from around the world, focusing on Lees favourite places, and believe me he has been everywhere, cooking with locals and picking up tips, spices and recipes on his travels.
I am planning to share my favourites from the retreat but I'm heading off to The Lake District with Jenna today, sadly she is going to work in a beautiful vegetarian B & B, so I'll have to do all my own cooking!!
So since I came home I have made this delicious soup from Indonesia since I had all the ingredients to hand so I'm sharing this first!
This soup is packed with flavour from coconut, turmeric, ginger and basil and full of the most health giving ingredients quinoa, kale, squash and lentils! Its literally a meal in a bowl, packed with fibre, protein, antioxidants, minerals, vitamins and good fats!
Everything a body needs to stay healthy and it tastes amazing!!
This is definitely comfort food at its best, warming, nourishing and delicious! Just what we need more of as the weather changes and we head into autumn.
Although to be honest our weather is so bad that I make soups all year round!!
Soup is also very easy to digest and simple to make so another two reasons to make it! This one is also gluten free!
Anyway without further ado, here is the recipe....
SULAWESI QUINOA & SQUASH SOUP
.......your health in your hands.....
🍃 Health educator🍃