Tag Archives: food

Honey Orange Roasted Figs

With the last of the fresh figs hitting the shops soon, it was a good time to snap some up and roast a few.  Figs are high in natural sugars which can add a healthier dose of sweetness to a dish. They are high in soluble fibre plus a good source of several essential minerals, including potassium, magnesium, manganese, calcium, iron and copper.  Figs also contain a good dose of vitamin C and vitamins B3, B5  and B6 and K.

Fresh figs are extremely delicate and perishable, I kept these in the fridge for a couple of days before I roasted them but once roasted they can be stored in the fridge for a few days.

Roasted honey orange figs

Honey Orange Roasted Figs

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • Fresh Figs, ripe (as many as you need), halved
  • approx 1 teaspon unsalted butter
  • 1 generous tablespoon honey
  • 1 orange, juiced

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 180C
  2. Arrange the halved Figs on a lined baking tray and place a small dot of butter onto each Fig.
  3. Combine the honey (if your honey is not runny, place in the microwave for 10-20 seconds to loosen up) and Orange juice in a bowl then spoon over the Figs.
  4. Place the Figs into the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes until they are soft and the honey/orange liquid is sticky.
  5. After 10 minutes baste the Figs with the honey/orange liquid, this will make the figs deliciously soft.
  6. Let cool.
  7. Serve 2-4 halves depending on size with thick Greek Yogurt and drizzle with a little of the honey/orange liquid to finish.
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honey orange roasted figs with natural Greek yogurt

Another perfect pairing with roasted figs is cheese especially Danish blue, Gorgonzola, Camembert or Blue Brie and walnuts.  I have a few favourites, but a quick one is to cut the fresh fig into quarters, not going all the way through, drizzle with the honey/orange liquid then place a square of Gorgonzola (my favourite) into the middle and roast in the oven along with some chopped walnuts.   

Roasted figs with Gorgonzola Cheese

Roasted honey orange figs with Gorgonzola cheese

 The result is sweet, soft figs with salty blue cheese and the sticky liquid that caramellises the walnuts – utterly delicious!

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Miele event at Silo Restaurant Brighton

Last week I received an invitation to an event with Margot from Coffee and Vanilla at a restaurant I had on my list of places to try locally.  I had in mind what the restaurant ethos was and found that there was a whole lot more going on behind the doors at Silo Brighton.

Silo Restaurant Brighton

The event was a partnership between Silo, the revolutionary Brighton restaurant and Miele, a high end appliance brand.  Silo’s Head Chef, Douglas McMaster created a bespoke four course tasting lunch menu incorporating locally sourced fresh produce, showcasing the range of dishes that could be prepared using  Miele’s Steam Oven.

Miele Steam Oven

Miele Steam Ovens maintain the nutrients, colour, texture and flavour of the food being cooked.  Steam ovens work by generating steam externally and then injecting it into the oven cavity when needed, giving you precise and constant temperature control for perfect cooking results.

Everything that is served at Silo Brighton is sustainable, sourced locally and can be used as part of their menu with zero waste.  The Head chef ensures that no ingredient used in the dishes is thrown away.  He says “By creating everything on site from its wholest form we can capture real food and real food tastes better”.

This passage from Silo’s website sums up their ethos “The great thing about sharing a bakery with a zero-waste restaurant, coffeehouse, and brewery is the abundance of waste products that can be used in the bakery. There is always an abundance of flavours. The waste milk from the coffee bar is a constant supply of buttermilk, the fruit waste and yeast from the brewers can be used in the bakery products, and with the restaurant a variety of ingredients are always on hand. The bakery products are in continuous development and variation, depending on what’s in season. What remains constant is the approach of using the purest, most nutritious raw materials to create a wholesome, delicious product”.

the compost machine set inside Silo, turns all of their food scraps and trimmings directly into a compost used to produce more food

left: the compost machine set inside Silo that turns all of their food scraps and trimmings directly into compost used to produce more food. Right: the flour mill

The food was simply outstanding from start to finish. We commenced the day with possibly the most delicious coffee I have tasted and Asparagus caramelised onion & Dijon mustard pastries.

Asparagus caramelised onion & Dijon mustard pastries at Silo Brighton

We then sat down to a small snack with freshly made Sour Dough bread from flour milled at Silo (the butter is also made there too!) and beautifully fragrant Elderflower Bubbly.

Silo snackOur next course was Tomato, sprouted lentils, smoked curd and wild garlic buds along with a zingy Lime and Ginger tonic.  A cool, refreshing dish and beautifully presented.

Tomato salad with smoked curd

Next we were treated to wonderful Asparagus and egg yolk sprinkled with sunflower and pumpkin seeds paired with Nettle Iced tea.

Silo Asparagus with egg yolk, sunflower and pumpkin seeds

There was a varied choice for the next course…

Silo Restaurant Brighton menu blackboard

I chose the Brown rice Risotto with baby Beetroot with Silo’s fresh Cheese.  This was served with a very refreshing raw Satsuma and Beetroot juice which I loved.

Silo Brown RIce Risotto with baby beetroot

To round off this delicious tasting lunch there was a Strawberry, Raw Cacao and lemon skin dessert sprinkled with Elderflowers and a sampling of inhouse Old Tree Perry.

Silo Strawberry, raw cacao, lemon skin, elderflower dessert Miele event at Silo Restaurant Brighton

Miele Silo BrightonThank you to Miele and Silo Brighton for hosting a very enjoyable lunch with a clear message on zero food waste.

 

 

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Disclosure:  All content and opinions here are our own, we were given a complementary lunch as guests of Miele, there was no financial compensation and we retain full editorial control.

 
 

Food Waste and Doggy Bags

Way back in the day before we had children and we were both commuting 5 days a week, every Friday and Saturday evening would find us in a restaurant for dinner, not wanting or having the inclination to cook.

Without fail back then I would always ask for a doggy bag and every restaurant would oblige happily and present me with my foil wrapped leftovers shaped like a swan or suchlike.  I haven’t asked for one for years, these days the restaurant visits are fewer but I do still take home half of my cake or sandwich, etc as I usually cannot eat a whole one at one sitting (portion sizes are often huge!) and it is lovely to enjoy the rest with a cuppa later.

Sarah Wilson has written this very interesting article called A Note to Restaurants Owners about Doggy Bags which highlights Food Waste, something I am very keen to lessen here.  I really love the Foodie Bag box below but simply providing paper bags for customers to DIY their own leftovers rather than having to wrap in a paper napkin or 2 and find it all unwrapped at the bottom of my handbag is a fantastic idea, take a look at the innovative couple who provided these at their wedding buffet in Sarah’s post, love it!

Foodiebag-2.0-small-424x396

 Image from verdraaidgoed.nl

Or take a look at the Doggy Box from Too Good To Waste where restaurants can purchase and supply to customers.  I would love to see these on show and not kept back in the kitchen, let the customer know it is ok to ask for a doggy box!

It’s not just the food waste, we’ve all also paid for our food.  Miss ND likes a glass of milk when we stop for tea and I now ask for it in a takeaway paper cup as they always give her what seems to be half a litre (even though I ask for less) and will only drink maybe a third at that time but will happily finish it later.

Not every foodstuff lends itself to a doggy bag but so many do and in a bid to cut the vast tonnes of food waste we generate each year, asking for a doggy bag could go a long way to seeing that reduce, every little helps!

Have you ever asked for a doggy bag or does the embarrassment factor stop you?  Love to hear your views on food waste and taking your leftovers home!

..

Quick Courgetti Chilli Pomodoro

Things change when you have little ones in the house, I find myself eating a kiddy portion of food at 5.30 pm to encourage her to eat at the table and of course to make sure she eats well.
Most evenings I will eat later in the evening with Mr ND, but last night I didn’t feel like it but by 9.00 pm I was ravenous!

courgetti 1

I made this very quick and rich Tomato sauce with Courgetti from ingredients to hand in around 25 minutes. it was surprisingly light but also filling.  I used 2 garlic cloves because I love garlic, it always enhances a tomato based sauce and has amazing medicinal qualities, anti-viral and antibiotic.  I like to use red onions which are more nutrient dense than the white version.

spiraliser

Courgetti is simply a Courgette (Zucchini) made into spaghetti to replace the pasta element in a dish using a Spiraliser.  I found mine here and have used it constantly since I bought it a few months ago, it’s great fun for children too to spiralise a carrot and such like to eat raw.

Quick Chilli Pomodoro Sauce

Prep Time: 3 minutes

Serves 1 generously for a main meal or 2 entrees

Can be frozen.

Ingredients

1 medium red onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
6 cherry tomatoes, quartered
or 3 large plum tomatoes more finely chopped
around 125ml Passata
1 tablespoon tomato puree
pinch or 2 of Chilli Flakes
dash of red wine (optional)
sprinkling of Oregano and Basil
Black Pepper

1 medium Courgette (Zucchini) spiralised or grated

Method

Fry the red onion for a 2-3 minutes, then add the garlic for another couple of minutes.

Add the tomatoes, Passata and tomato purée and cook on a fairly high heat (without letting it catch).  Splosh in a dash of red wine if using and Oregano, Basil and Black Pepper to your taste and continue to cook, simmering for around 10 minutes until the tomatoes are broken down (around 10 minutes).

No blending of the sauce required, I always leave the skins on the tomatoes and seeds in.  I found an interesting article here that said “Each part – skin, fruit wall, pith and that jelly-like stuff around the seeds – plays a different part in producing that tomato flavour.  By removing the skin and seed pulp you get a drier, more refined tomato sauce and you alter the sweet/acid balance of the flavour. Personally, I don’t mind a bit of skin in a sauce” I agree!

Courgetti – I prefer not to eat my mine completely raw, I boiled some water and laid the Courgetti in the boiled water for a couple of minutes or so whilst the Tomato sauce was cooking.  Drain the Courgetti and serve the tomato sauce on top, finish with a dusting of grated parmesan if you like.

This simple, easy to put together, chunky, rich tomato sauce has a high antioxidant content, including a rich concentration of lycopene found in tomatoes.  When tomatoes are eaten with healthier fats, like olive oil, it increases the absorption of phyto-nutrients.

courgetti Collage

No bells or whistles, just nutritious and delicious!

Health Info:

Courgettes – Good source of vitamin A, B1, B3, Phosphorus and Copper.  Very good source of Dietary Fibre, Vitamins B2, B6, C, K, Folic Acid, Magnesium, Potassium and Manganese.

 

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Rainbow Summery Lunch

The Summer may have gone but the weather still remains (on and off) warmer than usual for October and I don’t really feel like warming comfort foods just yet.

rainbow lunch

My fridge usually has all the components to hand needed for a fresh, light, summery lunch even in October.  Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Radishes, grated Carrot, Red & White Quinoa (love it as a protein source and had some leftover from another dish).  Add in some Avocado and a sprinkling of Pomegranate seeds laid on a bed of hidden Watercress (almost a prop for the rest of the ingredients, a superfood prop!).

One of many combinations of a light lunch on the go that can be put together in moments.

Nutritious and so Delicious!

 

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Roasted Beetroot and Butterbean Soup

Following on from my previous post of the wonders of the superfood Beetroot, I’ve started with Roasted Beetroot and Butterbean Soup.

Honestly, I’ve never taken to Beetroots, I don’t mind them cooked with a salad or raw grated in a sandwich or salad.  But they aren’t on top of my list of vegetables I really savour and enjoy.

So, in an effort to broaden my taste buds and nutrient levels I decided to attempt my first Beetroot based soup.  I’ve added Potato to thicken it and Butterbeans for protein, along with the Pistachio garnish.

beetroot soup

 

Butter beans are a very good low-fat source of protein  as well as a good source of iron, zinc and magnesium.

Roasted Beetroot and Butterbean Soup

This recipe serves 3-4 depending on bowl size.

Preparation time is around 1½ hours.

Ingredients

400g raw beetroot
150g potato, cubed
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
750 ml vegetable stock
1 x 400g tin Butterbeans
1 lemon, juiced
1 orange, juiced plus zest
Black Pepper (to taste)
4-6 tablespoons coconut milk (to taste)

To garnish:  Total Greek Yogurt and chopped Pistachios

Method

Place the beetroot and potato in separate oven trays and roast for around an hour at 180C, the potatoes were ready after about 40 minutes.

Place onion and garlic into a pan and steam fry for around 3-4 minutes until softened.
Add the stock to the pan with the Butterbeans and cook for around 10 minutes. Let cool slightly.

Take the cooled Beetroots and peel the skin off, chop and place in a blender with the potatoes, Butterbean stock mix, lemon juice, orange juice plus zest, coconut milk, salt (I don’t use as the stock has salt in) and black pepper to taste.

Blend until smooth.

At this point you can either place in a saucepan and heat through again and serve immediately with a yogurt garnish sprinkled with roughly chopped Pistachio nuts for texture and bread of your choice, we enjoy toasted Sunflower Rye bread spread with coconut oil.

Or place in the fridge to consume within the next couple of days.  This recipe will also freeze well for up to 2 months.

beetroot soup 2

Nutritious and delicious!

For Beetroot nutritional info, see Superfood Beetroot

 

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Power Food Pairs

It is quite a well-known fact that taking vitamin C assists absorption of iron, think a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice and a boiled egg for breakfast. But there are many more combinations that will do your health the power of good.

Leafy Greens and Lemon juice – adding lemon juice as a dressing over leafy greens such as watercress or spinach are another example of the vitamin C and iron connection.   Any vitamin C rich fruit paired with a leafy green such as watercress or spinach will help the plant-based iron absorb more easily.

Avocado and Tomatoes – tomatoes contain the carotenoid lycopene, this cannot be easily absorbed by the body unless eaten with some fat and avocado is a great (and delicious) pairing.  Or try Tomatoes drizzled with olive oil, same effect.

avocado  tomatoes

Chickpeas and Onions/Leeks/Garlic – onions, leeks and garlic can help you absorb more iron and zinc from grains and legumes, including chickpeas.

Yogurt and Banana –  By increasing our beneficial bacteria eating probiotic and prebiotic foods we can help ward off  tummy aches.  Bananas supply inulin and oligofructose, these are the prebiotics that the probiotics in your gut like to munch on which equals a happier tummy.

Rice and Beans – when consumed together, rice and beans form a complete protein (think Chilli and Rice).   A protein is “complete” if it contains all nine of the essential amino acids (those that must be eaten as our bodies cannot make our own).  

Eggs and Broccoli –  Broccoli surpringsly contains one of the best absorbed forms of calcium, whilst eggs are good source of vitamin D.  Vitamin D and calcium are essential for bone health.  Make a Broccoli quiche or frittata for a perfect pairing.

There are many more dynamic duo food pairings out there. certainly food for thought.

 

Power Food Pairings

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuna Steak au Poivre

We don’t eat fresh tuna very often but sometimes I see some great looking tuna steaks and hand them over to Mr ND to make us Tuna Steak au Poivre.  These two were £3.75 and the whole meal probably amounted to less than £6.00 with vegetables for the two of us (and the dash of brandy!).  We do eat canned/tinned tuna more often but fresh is even more special and delicious.

Mr ND is the chef du jour and guest posting today.

Tuna Steak au Poivre is a successful variation on one of the tastiest and simplest dishes ever to come out of classical French cuisine.  You can follow any of the numerous recipes available, just replace the traditional beef steak with tuna.  

Tuna Steak au Poivre

tuna ingredients

Prep Time:  10 minutes
Cooking Time:  15 minutes (extra for accompaniments)
Serves 2

Ingredients
2 x tuna steaks
1-2 tablespoons of black peppercorns
30g unsalted butter
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
200 ml double cream
30-60ml brandy

Tuna  Collage

Method

Coarsely crush the peppercorns preferably with a pestle and mortar.  Rinse the tuna steaks in cold water, remove any excess moisture with a piece of kitchen towel then coat both sides evenly with the crushed peppercorns.

Heat the olive oil and butter in a heavy based frying pan over a fairly high heat.  Just as the butter is starting to turn a light brown colour reduce the heat and place the peppered steaks in the pan.  Cook for about 2 minutes each side.

Carefully pour in the brandy and flambé.  When the flames have subsided remove the tuna steaks carefully from the pan and place into a serving dish, keep warm.

Add the double cream to the pan and stir quickly until gently bubbling.  Pour the sauce over the tuna steaks and serve immediately.  Delicious!

tuna steak au poivre

Quick Nutritional Info:

Tuna –  Omega 3 fatty acids, high protein, anti-inflammatory, B3, B6, B12, folic acid, selenium, phosphorus, magnesium.  High in sodium.
Black Pepper – good source of Vitamin B6, C, Calcium, Magnesium and Potassium.  Very good source of Vitamin K, Iron, Copper and Manganese.

 

 
 
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Weekend Breakfast Egg Muffins

Weekends are the time we get to sit together and enjoy breakfast, I probably should call it brunch as it’s all a bit later and more relaxed.  Eggs always feature in one form or another, these Breakfast Egg Muffins are light and full of vegetables and cheeses.  This recipe is enough to fill 6 muffin tin holes, I added a very generous pinch of Cayenne Pepper  to the last two (whilst still in the bowl) for a delicious kick!  

egg muffins2

Weekend Breakfast Egg Muffins 

Ingredients

50g chestnut mushrooms, finely diced
1 small red onion, finely diced
2″ leek (white part), finely diced
50g courgette, finely diced
2-3 cherry tomatoes, diced
3 large organic eggs
70g Ricotta cheese
20g Cheddar (or similar) cheese, finely grated
1 generous tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
Black Pepper
Parsley
*Cayenne Pepper (optional!)

egg muffin ingredients

Method

Fry the mushrooms, onion and leek in a little olive oil on a medium heat for around 3-4 minutes to soften, add the courgettes and cherry tomatoes and cook for a further 5 minutes.

Lightly whisk the eggs, then add the Ricotta, Cheddar and Parmesan cheeses, combine well.

Season with black pepper and parsley to taste, add Cayenne if using.

Combine the egg, cheese mixture with the vegetables and stir well.

Grease a 6 hole muffin tin with butter or you can line with muffin cases if you wish.  Spoon the mixture into the cases up to the rim and bake at 160C, gas 4 for around 20 minutes or until set.  Delicious hot or cold.

egg muffins

*For the numerous health benefits of Cayenne Pepper see my post here.

 

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New Year Nibbles

I do love making my own nibbles/canapes for parties and family gatherings wherever I can but this year for our New Year Nibbles I am taking a few shortcuts (if it’s good enough for Delia) along with some homemade goodies.  I shall be buying all the pastry ready made and ready to roll out and I will be keeping a few M&S nibbles as backup in the fridge as we are having a small party to say ta-ta to 2013 and I know how fast the buffet table disappears!

A few of our favourites are:

Parmesan Crisps – simply grated Parmesan in little piles on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for a few minutes.

Mini Quiche, these are great and so easy to make, this recipe comes out several times a year for picnics and the like,  Gruyère makes these so tasty:

mini quiche

Ingredients

375g ready rolled shortcrust pastry
90g back bacon, chopped into small squares
5 tablespoons crème fraîche
1 whole organic egg
1 organic egg yolk
3 tablespoons semi-skimmed milk
50g Gruyère cheese, grated
Salt and pepper

Method

Pre-heat your oven to 190°C/170°C/Gas 5.

1.  Cut 12 rounds of pastry to line a 12 hole tin, I use a glass that makes the
perfect size round for my tin, around 7.5cm.  Refrigerate while you make
the filling.
2.  Dry fry the bacon until lightly golden.  Drain on a paper towel and let cool.
3.  Combine the crème fraîche, semi-skimmed milk, whole egg and egg yolk in
a bowl, season to taste.
4.  Divide the bacon and grated Gruyère between the pastry cases, then
spoon the crème fraîche, egg mixture carefully and evenly over.
5.  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden and the filling has risen.  Leave to
cool for a few minutes before removing from the tin.

Stilton Puffs a la Nigel Slater – I saw these recently on one of his programmes and wanted to bust out the ready rolled puff pastry immediately!

Spicy Chickpeas – drain and rinse 2 400g tins of chickpeas, place on baking trays and roll in olive oil, sprinkle with spices of your choice, we like chilli powder, black pepper, garlic salt and a touch of cumin.  Bake in your oven with other canapes for around 15 minutes.

Smoked Salmon & Cream Cheese Blini’s – these I do enjoy making but you can also buy ready-made.  Light, sugar-free little pancakes (also brilliant for the toddler girl who wolfs them down topping free), can be made ahead, the recipe I usually use  from the Good Food Channel makes around 3o, using half a tablespoon of batter for each blini.  Top with cream cheese or  crème fraîche with a little finely chopped smoked salmon  mixed in plus a touch on top and a twist of black pepper to finish.  Delicious!

canapes

 However you are seeing the New Year in,

 I’d like to wish you all a very

Happy New Year

Linking up this week with:

Emily @ A Mummy Too

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Vicki @ Honest Mum

Tasty Tuesdays on HonestMum.com

and Simply.Food