Tuesday, 16 December 2008
Monday, 8 December 2008
I was reading the column "the green kitchen" from Richard Ehrlich on the Times magazine last week, we got this delivered together with our food shopping, and it was interestingly about using rice leftovers. The article is not yet online, but it is very much about re-using rice without killing yourself with harmful bacteria that can develop if the rice is not carefully packed and stored in the fridge. I shall link the article as soon as available.
Sunday, 30 November 2008
Lately, and for far too long I have been having lunch at my desk. This is WRONG.
Monday, 24 November 2008
Between this site and my friend charity shop I have collected a very tall pile of books, one of them is "Sweetness in the belly" by Camilla Gibb (can anybody help me to understand how come all good writers are from Canada?), she has her say about food too:
[...]"Do you miss eating with a knife and a fork?"
"But it's not very hygienic."
"It's much more sociable, though." There's something uncharitable about having your own plate, something wrong about stabbing your food with a piece of metal. Food tastes right from the hand."[...]
Other things which I discovered this month are that Gwyneth Paltrow has got her website, you can subscribe to her weekly newsletter, which she has not started yet, and receive it into your inbox. Considering that she has been following macrobiotic for few years, I am looking forward to find out what it's all about. I like the look of the site, in this recession time, it all sound very down to earth.
Also a nice list of tips that are actually reliable from Dan Lepard and all the best bakers in the world, because you probably know that the more reliable the source the better bread and cookies you get! But... he wants to know your baking tips, so write them as a comment to the Guardian article and you could win a cookbook.
Sunday, 23 November 2008
I am back, just back from the farmers market :) and also back writing this blog after... what seems like a lifetime. Did anybody notice? I am not sure, but definitely my friends did, which is really flattering :)
Saturday, 12 April 2008
Friday, 28 March 2008
- Marinated courgettes (sliced finely with a potato peeler), my marinate: 4 tbsp of eldelflower vinegar, 2 tbsp of olive oil, salt to taste, fresh marjoram
- Roasted and peeled peppers (bake till the skin gets dark, then place in a paper bag for few minutes and then peel of the skin once that they cool down), slice and mix with green olives, capers and mint (and again a bit of olive oil)
- tofu cream, which is just a packet of silken tofu blend with a small bunch of dill and a finely chopped leek plus 2 tbs of good shoyu or Tamari soy sauce (I prepare this the night before and keep in the fridge)
- olive pate' which consist in blend kalamata olives and basil
Monday, 24 March 2008
Sunday, 16 March 2008
I would like to thank the Hare Khrisna people that fed us at the protest to end the siege on Gaza, we were many in Trafalgar Square and they offered food for free. If you feel like giving back you could visit their London restaurant a classic vegetarian address (they are not vegan but you can find some dishes without dairy).
Friday, 14 March 2008
Wednesday, 12 March 2008
I don't know what's wrong with me but the more busy I am socially and at work the more prolific I become in the kitchen.
Sunday, 9 March 2008
Since when I was 18 I learned that to be a good vegetarian you need to soak the beans the night before, no matter if you are planning or not to use them, as once decided that you do ... then it's too late!
There are some pulses that can do the job without soaking like certain types of lentils, but to make an hearty soup you need to plan in advance!
I soak mine with a strip of kombu seaweed to avoid digestion problems for almost half of my life, and I try to avoid soggy disgusting canned ones. Canned beans have really the weirdest texture and I can only stand chick peas but really very rarely.
Cooking with dry pulses is incredibly rewarding and very cheap, the general rule for a satisfying balanced meal is: one soup, one grain selection, one long cooking vegetable, and one short cooking one, my long cooking dishes are normally beans.
Once that the beans are soaked overnight you need to boil them for 1 hour I add a strip of kombu seaweed this keeps the pulses more digestible.
Uplifting stir fry
Add 1 tbsp of extravergin olive oil to a pan, add 2 cups of shredded savoy cabbage and few juniper berry, 2 grated carrots, half a sliced red onion, when the vegetables are almost cooked add the cooked beans, a drizzle of tamari and a teaspoon of rice vinegar. Serve sprinkled with gomasio (roasted sesame seeds and sea salt)
This is just an improvised dish but I am trying to use more and more the aduki beans for their amazing properties, and the delicious sweet taste.
If you want to read more about them and wish to find fool-proof recipes click here
Friday, 22 February 2008
Having a blackberry is more or less like being kidnapped by the aliens and having a microchip
installed behind your ear, you know that they know where you are and there is no excuse and no hiding. I had it for he past week and it was a terrifying experience.
I got into my first trip to Paris after the launch of the new faster Eurostar and the new re-vamped St Pancras station opening, two hours and fifteen minutes can be an eternity if you use the time to reply to an infinite number of email and each flashing envelope on the screen makes you jump in your seat.
So was this a week of hard work and modern days slavery? Well just partly.
I enjoy Paris and go fairly often, even this time after ten hours work and when my thumb was about to fall off (yes the BB again) I still had the energy to go out, and exhausted the day after I never regretted it!
Paris has been difficult for me in the past as it is hardly a paradise for vegetarians, and even if there is a great deal of bakeries and ethnic restaurants I always felt like I was just filling myself with bread and cous cous and not much else.
But something is changing!As soon as I arrived at la Gare du Nord a group of dreadlocked-pierced people were giving food away to the commuters.
When I approached them the lovely girl that handed over the dahl told me that the food was végétalienne (vegan) and made with the supermarket donations (of ingredients near the expiring date).
they are part of FOOD NOT BOMBS how could I disagree?
was this really happening in Paris? In the country of the croque-monsieur and Beef Bourguignon?
The first night I went to one of my favourite restaurants: Le Potager du Marais, it is in fact located in the best area, it’s cheap delicious and the atmosphere is so great, I needed to book as he place is minuscule, if I was in Paris with a non-vegetarian I would choose this place for sure as their veg dishes are delicious, also they have great spelt and barley beers and good wines. I liked the fact that the waitresses spoke English, Italian and Greek!
22 Rue Rambuteau
A good snack in the afternoon in the Marais could be at the Victoire Supreme du Coeur especially if you don’ mind a bit of rudeness from the staff (maybe I was just unlucky?).
27-31 Rue du Bourg Tibourg
My favourite peaceful island to unwind is a macrobiotic place, where the food is delicious and clean and it works on your body when you have been really working hard and talked all day and there are no fashion people on sight…
Au Grande Appetit
9 Rue de la Cerisaie
You can drink as much Japanese tea as you like and even if you eat a lot you will not spend more then 17 euros. I loved their delicate petit assiette that is a complete and balanced meal that made me feel immediately home.
The ladies that run the place are very friendly and there is even a Japanese scenographer passionated about Italian theatre that works there part time as the food is soooo good!
The dessert are delicious too. In line with the macrobiotic principles don't expect a fancy restaurant but a simple and pleasant one.
A bizarre place is The Green Garden, the place is a Chinese specialized in Mock meats located in the China town of Paris. It is not central and when I booked it through my hotel (my French is rather poor) the lady at the reception gave me a strange look but I just ignored her and kept my eyes on the infernal device (BB if you were wondering)
20 rue National (M porte d'Ivry)
I visited the place as it was reviewed on the beautiful Chez Pim blog, the location is really unappealing but the owner is the nicest person and the food is really really good (if you like Chinese of course)
Much more convenient is the Vietnamese Tien Hiang restaurant in the Bastille area also specializes in mock meats but as that’s really not my favourite thing I ordered a fresh soup, and what arrived is like the soup I always dream of when I think Asian food. Lots of different ingredients, quite filling and superhot, it is exactly what I would expect to get at Wagamama (that is sadly always below my expectation). You don't get any cheaper then this in Paris and it is a cheerful simple place just 10 minutes walk from Bastille.
92 rue du Chemin Vert
Tanks to the friends that make Paris always a great place to be! That took me to the theatre, made me laugh, and to the ones that I met as a coincidence(!)
Monday, 11 February 2008
Back to the reality far too quickly and getting ready for the next work trip, while I am packing to go to Paris I remember that something terrible happened in the Gambia. My camera has been a victim of my carelessness. My camera has been with me every day ever since I got it as a gift but just in my peculiar style with no case. Of course!
The Gambia is no place for such lousiness and the sand is unforgiving, it gets everywhere.
Today I cook and was about to take a picture of the dish (freak I know) but I had to take it with my phone and I think this is very likely to be the trend till I get a new one…
Last night I went to see Carbon Casino it was the fifth night of the Carbon Silicon special gigs and you are still on time to catch the last one next Friday!
"The Carbon Casino" - each Friday from January 11th until February 22nd 2008. To give everybody a chance for entry, there is NO advance tickets for these shows - just turn up on the night holding a £10 note at the Inn on the green in Portobello.
Carbon/Silicon is a Garage Rock duo consisting of Mick Jones formerly of the Clash and Tony James (Generation X) but there is a lot more to see at Carbon Casino lots of other bands DJ set and the athmosphere is cheerful and genuine, lots of old punks, the audience is really enthusiastic.
As always after a gig when I woke up I was starving and I also needed to empty the fridge before leaving for Paris.
So the perfect solution was:
Punk Curly Kale Monsters
About 150 gm of Curly Kale
1 small parsnip
2 small leeks
½ cup of Oat flakes
200 grams of firm tofu
½ spoon of sodium bicarbonate
2 tbs tamari
I steamed the veggies till soft and blend them with the soy sauce and the other ingredients (a part from the almonds) till really smooth, I divided the blend in individual ramekin topped with almonds baked for 20 mins 180C° till golden and sprinkled with parsley.
Note that I used random vegetables that needed to evacuate the fridge before my departure, most greens will do.
The sun is shining on London again, we are getting spoiled!
If you are going down to Notting Hill to the last Carbon Casino take advantage of the cheap and great for vegetarians Malaysian Cafè Makan, that has been going for ages and on this neck of the wood that's a pretty good sign.
Friend: So how come you have not been cooking lately, nor you have been talking about some boring farmers market in London?
Glowing happy blogger: I have been to Gambia
Glowing happy blogger: Gambia West Africa near Senegal.
Gambia is an inspiring place. Food is probably not what is known for, but the experience of street food or even the family food that was cooked at our compound was truly excellent.
The Gambian food is mainly based on one grain that could be other rice, cous cous or millet, and root vegetables cooked in palm oil. Cassava is what you are more likely to eat every day.
I have to admit that having the vegan version of the Gambian food made me feel a bit of a spoilt child but our guesthouse was vegan so no fussing or embarrassment.
Nyima was our cook, she is an exceptionally beautiful young woman that has been cooking for this very special place for ten years.
My favorite bit of cooking was bought from the street vendors by our host for breakfast we had Accara (fried bean flower) accompanied by what is literally a baguette and some spicy sauce.
Having fried food first thing in the morning is not really the healthiest of things but it seemed perfectly suitable when I was there…
Interesting food facts from the Gambia:
for a cost reason everything in
Those that avoid sugar will find difficult to explain to Gambian friends why, Gambians are amongst the sweet-toothest people I
If want to know where you can learn to drum (djembe’ but also other drums on request), eat vegan food and maybe learn how to cook some west African delicacies just check here
Sunday, 27 January 2008
The best thing about living somewhere where the weather is almost always depressing is that it comes as surprise when it isn’t. Everything seems easier when it’s sunny!
On Friday night I didn’t sleep very much I was kept awake for most of the night by teenagers that were dancing and stomping and shouting on the flat above. Mummy was probably away and they are only sixteen so I didn’t feel like arguing and just accepted that on Saturday I would have been shattered. And shattered I was when the delivery company delivered my new bed!
So it was a sunny morning and I was finally saying bye bye to my futon.
Did it get even better? Yes my lovely friends put the bed together without me having to do anything :D
So as a reward for their hard wok I put together a little lunch, something maybe too summery but the day was glorious and all I fancied was salad!
So I got inspiration from the millet tostadas from Susan Marque:
The tostadas are really easy:
1 cup millet
3 cup water
1 pinch of salt
cook the millet in the water till it has absorbed it all, pour it in a baking dish and level it so that is all even, let it cool down.
Cut in squares and fry in a little olive oil. The millet would hold together even without frying it as long as you don't dry it out too much if you slightly overcook it it becomes really unpleasant though.. it's a fine line.
I served it with:
Jerusalem artichokes: peel, slice and bake with 2 tbsp of Shoyu and ½ cup of water
Adzuki beans, soaked overnight, simply boiled with added parsley
Sliced avocados (I know tropical, bad macrobiotic rating!)
Finely grate three carrots, add a pinch of salt and a finely sliced onion. Put a dish on top and a weight and leave for a few hours. Add cumin raisins and lemon juice.
In the beautiful daylight those colourful plates were so joyous!
Wednesday, 23 January 2008
Not just but their art and culture columns are probably the most interesting and stimulatin around and I end up making to do/read/watch lists much more that I would with the Time Out! I have a subscription that somebody that knows me really well gave me as a gift for my birthday last year.
On this week issue Anne Perkins wrote an interesting article about food that is also questioning why eating less meat is not a bad thing... well if you landed on this blog you probably are not eating much meat anyway!
Not writing any recipe now as I a simply enjoying cooking miso soups, grains and steamed veg, no need for a recipe for those!
Sunday, 6 January 2008
Apparently too much salt, saturated fat and added sugar and not enough fruit, vegetables, whole-grains or oily fish lead to a premature death yawn. What a novelty…
But the news I am afraid is a bit more upsetting that this, apparently the borough of London that will suffer the most will be
Tower Hamlets, Southwark and City and Hackney, as they are the “poor” boroughs. Not just they will be victim of their obesity but also of their smoking habits.
I am furious. I have been living in Shoreditch which isn’t exactly “a poor part” of tower hamlet, but still I did not have a supermarket or a market nearby.I tried to buy some breakfast cereal at the corner shop and it was impossible. Food for “poor people” is full of sugar preservatives colourings etc..
I chose macrobiotic like many people to embrace a more natural lifestyle a simpler way of living and as a more suistainable one. Soaking some dried beans (which I always prefer to tofu or tempeh) eating only seasonal and local seems reasonable and healthy. Reading this article it just feel painfully middle class.
Friday, 4 January 2008
What a great end 2007 had, the parties the joy, friends, family children, everything great, but now what a miserable beginning!
I am in bed, trying to get better after waking up with swollen glands and throat.
This is for me the time for a more careful diet as the reason for my current status may really be the way I ate during the holiday. I had so much white bread and Pasta and fruit that I was always hungry craving for more!
Hopefully I will be better quickly and enjoying the New Year to the full.
Today I cooked nishime style so “waterless” this should be a very strengthening way of cooking, as it is very “yang”, I am feeling so weak that I really hope that it helps!
I soaked a strip of kombu seaweed and cut it to small squares, I placed them in the bottom of my cast iron saucepan (the lid has to be heavy and fit tightly).
I added very little water (literally few tablespoons).
I cut Hokkaido squash and carrot but you can add a variety of root/round vegetables cut lager for long time cooking and smaller for short time.
I placed the squash as a first layer and the carrot on top. Once the pot is covered you need to put it on a high flame till the lid becomes really hot and you almost can’t touch it, then turn the flame down as much as possible. Cook for 35 min. Add a tablespoon of shoyu replace the lid and cook for further 5 mins.
Today I added few drops of grated ginger juice.