Much More Veg October

I knew I would like the new River Cottage cookbook. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall delivers again on easy recipes that showcase the simple veg! Love. With the rush of Thanksgiving and craziness of school back in full swing, I didn’t make as many recipes as I would have liked but such is life! I’ll look forward to revisiting this book in the new year. I think I like the first Veg book better if you are only going to buy one but I appreciate the layout of the new book. I love the section dedicated to roasted veg. Really, roast any veg and it makes it a million times more flavourful! Preserved lemons are highlighted in many of the recipes. If you haven’t used these babies before then get on it, adds an incredible layer of flavour to almost any dish!

First up was the “Roast Fennel, New Potato and Tomato Stew” p.16 with a side of “Moroccan Carrot Blitz” p.284…

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This does not do it justice! It took a lot longer to roast than the recipe said but it was well worth the wait! The olives added a saltiness that was key.

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Moroccan Carrot Blitz prep

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Moroccan Carrot Blitz read to go. Fresh and vibrant!

We tried a few roast dishes. Next was the “Roast Squash and Chickpeas with Spicy Apricot Sauce” p.92. Again, another moorish dish that I couldn’t stop eating…

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Roasted Squash and Chickpeas with Spicy Apricot Sauce, hello!

The “Roast Swede Vegeree” p.91 was a favourite of John’s. He grew up a typical English boy eating boiled Swede (Rutabaga, for us Canadians) and was scared to death of this recipe but he ended up liking it better than me. The Swede was just a bit strong for me and when I make it again I’ll go for one of the suggested “swaps” at the end of each recipe, the sweet potato would be a good one!

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Swede Vegeree prep

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Finished Swede Vegeree

The last big meal dish I tried was the “Tomato Dhal” P.102. This will definitely be a quick go-to recipe for me now as it uses a lot of common store cupboard ingredients. “The Onion Tarka” p.102 on top is a must as well…

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Tomato Dahl prep

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Tomato Dahl plated

I finished the month off with two dip recipes for a Halloween veg platter. The “Pea Hummus” p.304 and the “Nutty, Seedy, Herby Hummus” p.306. Both were lovely but I thought the nut humous was totally addictive and unique…

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Pea Hummus

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Nut, Seed Hummus

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Party time!

I can’t believe there are only 2 more months left of 2017. I know which book I want to pick for December but I was torn between a few for November…

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I decided with Christmas coming my waistline should avoid the Violet Cafe BAKING book!

Then I remembered a book I picked up at HomeSense recently (FYI, great place to find a random popular/new cookbook at an awesome price)…

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I saw this book in the UK last year and thought it looked scrumptious. I love a restaurant with a bit of history. Mildred’s is still around today (I haven’t been, yet) but was founded in 1988 in the West End. Back when veg restaurants were super hippie serving largely unidentifiable food, they aimed to “open a restaurant serving good value, fresh, and colorful international vegetarian food.” p.7. Flicking through this book I want to try everything! There seems to be something to please everyone, stews, bakes, burgers, sammies, pastas and dips. Not sure what I’ll make first!

Oh She Glows September

Is it mid October all ready! I sit here with my pumpkin spice latte reflecting on the second Oh She Glows Cookbook, Oh She Glows Every Day. I remember when this book first came out. I was so excited! Unfortunately, my initial reaction was “Um, what the heck, most of these recipes look similar to/or exactly the same as the last book” or “why would you need a recipe for that…” E.g. I didn’t need like 3 recipes for nut butter! I loved the first Oh She Glows book so much though that I had to give it a fair shot. Turns out there are a lot of really good recipes again. Even though they may look similar to her last book they were different enough to feel like you’d made something new. I still recommend her first book to everyone who asks what veg book they should buy. Between that and her app I don’t think her new book is essential to have but I’m still glad I got it!

Highlights…

The Sweets…

I tried 2 cookie recipes that were phenomenal. Truly! The Chocolate-Almond Espresso Cookies, p.207 and the Pillowy Pumpkin Snacking Cookies, p. 217. You would never know these were vegan and they turned out to perfection. Unfortunately, I forgot a pic of the pumpkin cookies but see the chocolate ones below…definitely do the espresso powder!

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Chocolate-Almond Espresso Cookies

From the dessert section I also made The Ultimate Flourless Brownies with the No-Cook Caramel Sauce, p.253. The Brownie was a bit too salty for me but others seemed to like it. It was very rich so you could only manage a little piece. The “caramel” sauce was actually quite delightful. I’d definitely recommend having a jar on hand for ice cream needs.

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The Ultimate Flourless Brownies with No-Cook Caramel Sauce

Breakfast…

I had actually tried all of the smoothies in this section already. Her smoothie combos are usually great. They were, I just have a sweeter tooth so I added extra maple syrup or agave to my version.

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First day of school Green Matcha Mango Ginger Smoothie, p.17.

Weekends are for uping your breakfast game. The 9-Spice Avocado Hummus Toast is a huge winner!…

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Every Day Lemon-Garlic Hummus. Pretty standard hummus recipe, tasty but nothing special.

Strawberry Oat Crumble Bars…something about these was NOT great. I used the Strawberry-Vanilla Chia Seed Jam, p.44 (another recycled recipe from the first book) which is yummy. I think it’s the use of the sunflower seed butter. Fresh out of the oven they were ok but the next day it made the bars taste a little “off”. I can’t fully explain. Unless these bars need to go to school, I’d use almond or peanut butter instead…

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Strawberry Oat Crumble Bars

Another fab breakfast recipe was the Banana Bread Muffin Tops, p.87. Too easy to make, healthy and liked by all who tried…

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Banana Bread Muffin Tops

On to the Savoury…

The Protein Power Rainbow Quinoa Salad, p.99 is my new go-to potluck salad recipe for sure!…

Another go-to I found was the Thai Crunch Salad, p.101. I made extra Cast-Iron Tofu, p137, Roasted Tamari Almonds, p.263. and Thai Almond Butter Sauce, p.249 so I was able to assemble salads for a few days! Who doesn’t love that…

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Thai Crunch Salad

Listen up Chickpea salad sandwich friends! The most influential recipe I took away from Oh She Glows 1 was swapping out the tuna in your tuna salad recipe for a can of chickpeas. In book 2 she shares her Curried Chickpea Salad, p.113 recipe. It was highly addictive and I almost at the whole bowl myself without the pita. When I ate meat I used to love me a tuna sandwich. When I discovered roughly crushing chickpeas instead I was in heaven. Most people don’t even notice it’s not tuna, seriously!…

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Curried Chickpea Salad

The Sweet Potato, Chickpea and Spinach Coconut Curry, p.179 was a delight. It was so quick to throw together with store cupboard ingredients. A go-to mid week meal for sure…

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Sweet-Potato, Chickpea and Spinach Coconut Curry

John jumped in on one recipe this month. He made the Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta, p.185. This was so similar to a creamy pasta recipe in her first book that we almost didn’t give it a go. I’m glad we did though. It was tasty…

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Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta

A real dinner winner was the Ultimate Green Taco Wraps, p.191. I love me a lettuce cup meal…

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In short, I still love Oh She Glows but I’m not convinced you need to rush out and buy this 2nd book if you already have the first. If you love her recipes like I do and have a cookbook buying problem too then get it; you will find some keepers!

October’s book is already under way. I HAD to choose Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s second Veg book River Cottage: Much More Veg. It truly breaks my heart that Canadians don’t really know Hugh. His River Cottage show is a UK classic! I fell head over heals in love with his show, books and attitude to veg and sustainable meat eating when we lived in the UK. His book came out when John was last in the UK so of course I HAD to order it to his mom’s to bring back. I’m so excited to tuck into more veg with River Cottage! (River Cottage the first book can be found here in Canada and aside from the first Oh She Glows it is the veg cookbook I recommend most to friends.)

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Storm watch

We are keeping our eye on the wrath of Hurricane Sandy as my Grandparents make their way to the UK for a short visit today. Hopefully all will be well and they arrive at 8:30 tonight. I have lots of fun stuff planned!

I don’t know how much time I will have to cook while they are here so I used up some red peppers the other night in another River Cottage recipe…

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They got a little overdone but peppers are supposed to be a bit charred right!

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They were very tasty anyways. I’ve never stuffed a pepper with potato before. It was simply potato, pesto and feta. Way too simple but then again some of the nicest recipes are the most simple ingredients!

I better be off doing some extra cleaning for our guests!

Neat Food

Yeah! It is the half term break here in the UK next week. A whole week off school!!! We had a friend over last night and we did some cooking to celebrate. Of course I made a River Cottage Veg recipe. I tried these Honey Roasted tomatoes…

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and a chickpea and squash curry dish. I just had to show the tomatoes though because they just look so cute and snuggly in their little dish. They came out so nice and juicy yet chewy. They were perfect with the only nice bread I could find in town, a rustic sourdough. I’m finding it a challenge to find an nice bakery here and the bread in the super markets isn’t the best.

I also got this Romanesco from my Riverford box this week and almost don’t want to eat it because it looks so luxurious. The crowned points are perfection. I’ve never actually cooked one myself but am looking forward to finding a recipe today. They are nuttier than Cauliflower apparently and hold their texture and structure when cooked…

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At the risk of being really hippie like, aren’t we blessed with nature’s lovely gifts!!!

After dinner we tucked into a homemade Dutch Apple Pie. I had the dough frozen from earlier and John actually helped me to whip up the innards because I had my hands full with all the other new recipes. Grammie would be proud of our efforts. The first slice came out beautifully and the pie held its structure, ah pie perfection…

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Quilts and Lunch

I got a surprise in the mail…well not really a surprise when you order them but hey! Two quilt books that I’ve been looking and reading about for awhile and a cookbook that I’ve been waiting for to come out…

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There are definitely some good looking things in each. Not sure what I’ll make from the quilt books yet. I’m not sure why but I’m slightly disappointed by the recipes in the cookbook. I want to have some books that are by cooks famous in the UK so I was excited to see this new book by Anjum. My initial dislike is completely irrational and mostly stems from the fact that I have a weird problem with cookbooks that try and give it all by adding breakfast recipes. Bizarre I know but it just puts me off. I’m not unfair though and will wait to make my final decision! There are some interesting looking meals.

John tried his hand at baking this morning. Wait for it…he tried the family biscuit/scone recipe with currents. Actually, it’s the Edna Staebler recipe from “Food that Really Schmecks” but we call it our own now! He done good…

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For lunch today back to River Cottage though…

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Mmmmmmmmmmmm…….

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I’m really into roasted squash right now so this mushroom, blue cheese, squash and arugula salad was just what the doctor ordered. I think it might also be good with some toasted walnuts. There are leftovers for tomorrow so I think I’ll try that…hmmmm…

Curry and Stripes

Most of the recipes I’ve been making recently have been from the new River Cottage Veg cookbook…

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The pictures are inspiring and the recipes delicious! This week I’ve tried 3 new recipes which were simple and lovely. The spiced potatoes and spinach were delightful. I added some plain Greek yogurt to the side which was an excellent compliment…

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Last night we had the marinated courgettes (zucchini) with mozzarella…

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and the Leeks with Coconut Milk…

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Both were yummy and I always feel super healthy munching on different veggies.

Lord Isaac’s wee cardi is also flying along. Back done…

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and the left front is started…

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We’ll see how much I can get done this weekend! One more week until the half-term break. I’m looking forward to the break but mostly I’m looking forward to the exciting news that my Grandparents are coming to visit!!! I’m already planning some surprises!!!