purple coconut soup

Bit quiet round here, isn’t it. That’s a rhetorical question. Anyway, soup season is upon us, so without further ado…

Chop up a large onion, a large sweet potato and of course, half a purple cabbage. Sauté for a few minutes and then add a litre of vegetable stock. Simmer until soft and then blend in a can of coconut milk (I do this in food processor and then it back to the pan).

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Return to heat the coconut milk until you see those creamy bubbles forming on the surface. Serve with plenty of pepper, or without!

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Enjoy!

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happy belated easter, oh and new year

I’d hate for you to think this blog was normal, conventional, adhered to blog etiquette, was updated regularly, that sort of thing. Thanks to a lack of creativity born most likely out of inclement weather and being on a computer all day at work, we haven’t logged in for a while. Hopefully this post is the start of some more regular blogging – it is sometimes a hurdle to keep thinking of blog content.
First things first – happy belated easter.

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Lately, we’ve had a change of diet which I would like to share. We aren’t 100% on board, we can’t be and never will be but during the week and weekends at home we try to be as primal as possible in our diets. We try to eat fruit, veg, meat, eggs, nuts and seeds, and dairy (full fat produce where possible). You can be as primal as you wish, we aren’t mega strict – many wouldn’t dream of eating dairy! And the results: weight loss, increased energy levels mid afternoon, a more expensive food bill and the satisfaction that we are giving ourselves the best foods available. Essentially, we don’t bulk out our diets with cheap carbs.

So what do we eat now?
Cod baked in flaked almonds and parmesan

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Goats cheesed stuffed mushrooms

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Salads with various meat or fish

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Rhubarb and honey crumble (flaked almonds, coconut flour, desiccated coconut and butter for topping)

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And things we’ve tried that are vile: kelp chips

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Basically folks, lose the sugar and grains during the week, and processed foods at all times and you’ll reap the benefits. It hasn’t been much of a battle but does require you to plan ahead – convenience foods are a no go! More tried and tested recipes coming soon… Bye for now!

Post by Lizzi

making the most of your pumpkin

In the last week I have been delighted by just how much my £1.49 pumpkin has contributed to our evening meals Рnot to mention the amusement in carving it and latterly peeling it to death (bit sinister, sorry).

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After lovingly carving a smiley face into it, I used the hollowed out innards and set to work cooking pumpkin, halloumi and chilli omelettes. These were fairly easy, I just cubed and fried the 3 aforementioned ingredients until soft and then poured over a mixture of eggs, milk and butter. I served mine with rocket and sundries tomatoes.

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Using the stringier product from the pumpkin, I made a stew using chicken and herb stock, a bay leaf and I added the pumpkin seeds to flavour them. I simmered this for a while, then removed the pumpkin seeds and put them on a baking tray and into the oven at about 150 degrees for 10 minutes . Meanwhile, I added Sainsbury’s country vegetable mix (lentils, pulses, split peas etc..) and cooked for a further 45 minutes, stirring in a lump of blue cheese to serve. The end results was a delicious pumpkin and blue cheese stew and a pile of crunchy seeds to snack on.

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After a few days of our happy illuminated pumpkin staring back at us from the kitchen table, I decided it was time to have our final batch of ingredients from him and then say goodbye. The inside had started to go mouldy through not being in the fridge and having tea lights inside so I thought I would shave the outside using a vegetable peeler. This resulted in (and I felt quite sadistic at times) a skinned pumpkin and a pile of pumpkin noodles/string pieces. I used these to make a pumpkin, spinach and mozzarella lasagne this evening which was delicious but of course not to the taste of the meat needy boyfriend. (You can’t please everyone, I say)

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I had more than enough pumpkin for the lasagne and used the rest with some chicken stock, spinach, garlic, paprika and nutmeg to make some soup which will do nicely for lunch tomorrow.

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So long pumpkin and thank you for the wealth of ingredients you gave us.

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Post by Lizzi

vegetarian chilli because it’s chilly

I have been meaning to attempt a vegetarian chilli for some time. Having been keen to incorporate a meatless Monday into our routine – metaphorically speaking as it is in fact Wednesday – I have been looking for some tasty veggie options to satisfy my carnivorous boyfriend. I can confirm it was delicious and my aforementioned dinner companion described it as ‘nice’. He’s never been one for fancy adjectives…

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And last but not least, thank you Jamie Oliver for the recipe!

Post by Lizzi

fruits of our efforts

Our journey into growing veg for the first time began back in March when we set about weeding the vegetable plot at the end of the garden. Not knowing where to start (despite me having green-fingered parents) stalled the project somewhat. It wasn’t until a free truck load of wood appeared in the garden, that the idea to build some more manageable (and pretty!) vegetable boxes, that the project really took off.

These boxes turned out to be a great success. Not only are they reasonably aesthetic (I think!) but they protect your veg a little better from the critters that might take a fancy to what your growing in the veggie patch.

As with most projects, you learn from your mistakes. Our mistakes: to underestimate the consuming power of the caterpillar; to underestimate the growing power of the courgette plant. Both points are nicely illustrated in the photo above…

However, it wasn’t all bad news. The late-planted beetroot did exceptionally well, as did the lettuces, and the tomatoes weren’t too bad, once they eventually ripened.

Most important lessened learned – the more you plant, the more you harvest. And stagger planting, unless you want all your veg at once. Next year we intend to grow a lot more, starting earlier and and now we have a feel for how the different veggies grow, we might have a bit more success!

Here are a few more pics of our home grown delights…

Post by Ali