Monday, 25 April 2016

Buddha Bowl

I was scooting around the internet and came across the concept of a Buddha bowl recently.  Honestly?  I had no idea what it was or why it was meant to be good (being named after a famously overweight individual, it didn't seem great) but this is the basic idea...

You have a base of the bowl, this is normally a healthy grain like quinoa, brown rice, pearl barley or pulses which can be warm or cold but I have to admit I liked the idea of the warm and the cold coming together.  Then you add your ingredients which could be:

Raw vegetables
Roasted vegetables

There you go.  Well the idea of it got my juices flowing, in no way because it's meant to be healthy but because it sounded delicious.

So I've had a go at an different interpretation on this basic idea and I'm sure it's something I will come back to again and again...  In fact this may well become my new lunch option of choice because it just seems joyous.

I have an image in my head of a buddha bar with big steaming bowls of grains, delicious bowls of roasted and raw vegetables and stunning dressings for you to make up your own creation.  If only my work's canteen was like that I'd eat there every day!

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Salmon en Papillote with Summery Salads

Ok summer isn't here yet but spring is in the air and I love a simple salad with dishes like this.

I remember the days when "salad" meant a bit of cos lettuce, insipid tomato and cucumber.  It was something to be endured rather than enjoyed.  Nowadays with fantastic tomatoes available (and more starting in my greenhouse right now) there really is no excuse not to eat something as delicious and healthy as this.

I always cook salmon en papillote (i.e. in paper or you could also use foil).  It keeps it juicy.  You will find the cooking times below are far shorter than those recommended on packaging but if you follow those cooking times you end up with sad, dry, overcooked fish.  If you prefer, cook for longer.

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Raspberry Ripple Breakfast

Quark is soft cheese, normally found in a very low fat form which is high in protein.  The pack I have contains >10% protein but <0.5% fat.  This makes it a really satisfying ingredient which helps you feel full while not making you lose out on it's delicious creaminess.

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Why Parkrun Matters

I've been running since I took up couch to 5K, must be about 3 years ago now.  Despite a major setback with injury which had a huge knock on my fitness, I am still running now and on Saturday, I did my first parkrun.

Friday, 15 April 2016

Stuffed Mushrooms

"Life is too short to stuff a mushroom" - Shirley Conran

Ok, stuffing a mushroom sounds like a faff but actually it's really easy.

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Pasta Soup

I've struggled for an idea of what to call this but it's a mix up of minestrone with filled pasta.  There is a great selection of filled pastas available commercially nowadays but it's not always cheap.  This is a fantastic way to use it.

Friday, 8 April 2016

Tomato and Anchovy Salad

This is a very simple starter, side dish or light main course using lovely marinaded anchovies.

I first had anchovies like this in Spain so in my head I always want to call them boquerones (which is just the Spanish for anchovies which isn't very helpful) but they often sell them in deli counters or sometimes in the chill cabinet in film covered trays or small tubs.  Don't buy the anchovies in tins, they're great on a pizza or in pasta, not so good for a salad.

Friday, 1 April 2016

Toffee Cupcakes

Ok, not really toffee but these little cupcakes are flavoured with brown sugar to give a gorgeous caramel, molasses toffee flavour.

These were a big hit with my son.  It might not seem like making cupcakes or fairy cakes for one (or two) of you but you could always freeze any un-iced cakes as this recipe doesn't make an enormous amount, they would happily last three days in an airtight tin.