Friday, 4 May 2018

Vegetarian 101 Recipes Celebrating Fresh Seasonal Ingredients Review

This classic vegetarian book by Alice Hart has recently been reissued. The first edition published in 2011 was a classic and critically acclaimed cookery book specialising in Vegetarian cuisine. There are many vegetarian and vegan cookery books being released at the moment, but this book in my opinion will be a classic. There are a number of fresh and delicious recipes which challenges people to change the way they think about vegetarian cooking. I like the flavour combinations and innovative recipes used throughout and although the recipes are innovative, the recipes are accessible. The cookery book has a sleek design with illustrations on the cover and there are a number of accompanying recipes. Vegetarian is currently retailing at £9.99  and is a welcome addition for any discerning cook. 

The cookery book is split into the following chapters:
  • Breakfast and Brunch, recipes to try include: Pear and Walnut Bircher Muesli and Blackberry Milkshake.
  • Small Bites: stand out recipes include Cumin Potato Skins and Guacamole Salsa, Spring Vegetable Pakoras and Pressed Leek Terrine with Dijon Rice.
  • Big Salads: recipes to try include Warm Salad of Slow-Roast Tomatoes and Labne on Murjadhara, Blood Orange, Mozzarella, Toasted Sourdough and Radicchio Salad.
  • Soups: Stand out recipes include: Summer Minestrone , Beetroot and Porcini Broth.
  • Breads: Recipes to try include: Quick Soda Bread and Pizza Bianca.
  • Fast: Stand out recipes include: Chilli and Crushed Walnut Rigatoni, Potato Cakes with Olives and Poached Eggs and Cashew Fried Rice.
  • One Pots and Bakes: Stand out recipes include: Malaysian Egg Curry and Mushroom Basil Lasagne.
  • Special: Recipes to try include: Pan-Fried Mushrooms and Sour Cherries and Rich Almond Tart. 
There's also handy bits in this cookery book such as sharing a variety of tomato recipes, salad toppings and flavoured water. So far, I've made the Camembert, Watercress and Marinated Figs with Walnut Dressing. Not only was this salad incredibly fresh and light. 

Recipe for Camembert, Watercress and Marinated Figs with Walnut Dressing.
Serves 4
200ml balsamic vinegar
100g caster sugar
2 garlic cloves, brushed
6 thyme sprigs
6 plump figs, halved length ways
4 tablespoon walnut oil
a large handful of watercress, thick stalks trimmed
150g ripe Camembert or brie, sliced
75g walnuts

Place the vinegar, sugar, garlic and 4 of the thyme sprigs in a saucepan and add 100ml water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 1 minute to dissolve the sugar and cook out some of the vinegary flavour. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes, then pour the halved figs and leave to marinate for an hour or two.
Discard the thyme sprigs and garlic from the marinade and spoon 5 tablespoons into a small lidded jar. Strip the leaves from the remaining 2 thyme sprigs and add to the jar with the walnut oil, a little salt and plenty of pepper. Screw on the lid and shake well until combined to make a dressing.
Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat and sear the drained figs, cut sides down for a minute or so until they caramelise. Remove the pan from the heat, turn the figs over and set aside.
Put the watercress in a large bowl and drizzle with a little of the dressing , tossing to coat the leaves. Add the Camembert or brie, walnuts and divide among serving plates. Spoon the remaining dressing over each plate of salad.

Disclaimer: I received a copy from the publishers.


Monday, 18 December 2017

Review Naturally Healthy Food Birmingham

I'm a self-proclaimed carnivore, I absolutely adore meat: the variety, the different tastes and textures. But for the last couple of years I have tried to eat more vegetarian meals, averaging one vegetarian meal a week. But what about a vegan meal? In all honesty, I don't think I've eaten a vegan meal in my life until I checked out Naturally Healthy Food. I mean a meal without any animal products, no milk, eggs, butter or cheese, what would it consist of. I also thought, how would this taste, would the food be bland and boring or luscious like my favourite meals. 
When the lovely people at Naturally Healthy Foods invited me to check out the brunch menu at the first vegan restaurant in Birmingham, I was intrigued and sceptical. I'm the girl that travelled to Harlem for fried chicken and waffles so how could a vegan brunch compare to that. It's not until I saw a breakfast picture from fellow blogger Nutella Tasha of The Naturally Healthy Breakfast that I was gaining momentum for my visit.

My cousin and I visited and started off our vegan feast with plant based lattes I ordered the beetroot latte £3.95 (beetroot powder, vanilla, stevia, plant milk) and my cousin ordered the chocolate latte £3.95 (peruvian cacao, banana powder, lucama, plant milk). My beetroot latte was luscious, vibrant in colour and rich in flavour, my cousin said she thoroughly enjoyed the chocolate latte.

For our main event, my cousin and I ordered The Naturally Healthy Breakfast £9.95 (scrambled tofu, aubergine bacon, tomato, mushroom, greens, beans, organic gluten free toast, hash browns). I was incredibly impressed by the aesthetic presentation of the brunch. I've tried tofu on one occasion and was disappointed, but the scrambled tofu was surprisingly good, the tofu was lightly seasoned and flavoursome. The hash browns were more like saut矇ed potatoes, but equally delicious. The whole breakfast was a plate of deliciousness and I'm convinced I ate 5 out of my 5 a day. After a gorgeous vegan, organic, and gluten free breakfast, my cousin checked out the ferro rocher cheesecake which was rich, dark and nutty.

I would definitely visit Naturally Healthy Foods again, it's centrally located and a dining here is a fab way of eating great tasting nutritious and vegan meals.

Disclaimer: I was invited to review Naturally Healthy Food, all opinions are my own.
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