Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Nigella's Warm Spiced Cauliflower & Chickpea Salad with Pomegranate Seeds (vegan & gf)

Rocket & Roses Kitchen Play List:

Dean Martin ~ Return To Me
Royal Blood ~ Loose Change
Van Morrison ~ Someone Like You
Marvin Gaye ~ Can I Get A Witness
Janiva Magness ~ I'm Not Ashamed
John Denver ~ Sunshine On My Shoulder
Dixie Chicks ~ Baby Hold On
Stevie Ray Vaughan ~ Tightrope
Fleetwood Mac ~ You Make Loving Fun
Bing Crosby ~ Little One
Dead Sara ~ Timed Blues
Muse ~ Time Is Running Out
Chopin: Nocturne #4 in F
Joan Jett ~ I Hate Myself For Loving You           

You know I have a serious little cook book addiction, don't you? Well in the couple of months I've been away from the blog that hasn't changed folks. 

What has changed is a serious slight bone breaking condition which means I am currently mid way through a 16 week bed rest order. Yep, 16 weeks but I am remaining upbeat on the whole and with the arrival of my new bed desk I am much more relaxed about it all. I have also taken up an old hobby of cross stitch and it really helps keep me as still as possible. But sadly this means I haven't set foot in my kitchen since January. Poor ML has been in total charge of cooking me healing and nourishing meals since then. But as you can imagine I haven't been a silent partner in this matter. Last week I was happy to recieve a report of a 'very slight sign of improvement' in the original broken bone so I feel I may have finally turned a corner folks. Happy days...

Right......back to the cook book addiction. I confess that I do enjoy Nigella Lawson's tv shows. ML is a huge Nigella fan. Over the years I've enjoyed Nigella's blatent love of food and I have envied her marvellous pantries. In the past you could never describe Nigella as veggie friendly...a sad fact indeed. Until this current series...Simply Nigella. From the moment the titles started there was clearly something new and fresh about her approach. She seemed stripped back and renewed and her cooking reflected that. There were vegetarian recipes amongst the mix and....AND...a few vegan ones! I was elated, overjoyed and down right impressed. Now I know there was the old guard kicking off about her 'new hippie' recipes and the really ridiculous 'avocado on toastgate' on Twitter. And I have to say...not once did she say that it was a recipe. She was simply sharing her preferred 'go to' breakfast that she has on busy days. People sometimes stagger me at their silliness. Anyway....

I was on holiday in Birchington, Kent last November. And I watched Simply Nigella on iPlayer and was so inspired by the veggie recipes that I bought the book. I spent the rest of the two week holiday cooking the veggie recipes from it. I have always veganised my favourite Nigella recipes from her programs but I had never felt the need to buy the books. ML had a few from years ago but I never ventured between the covers. With Simply Nigella I sat down, armed with my page markers and a pencil and set about reading it cover to cover. Of course there were a lot a non-veggie dishes but on most of those I had scribbled down ideas for veganising them. I enjoyed almost all of her cook book...obivously I will never endorse the non-vegan work and it saddens me greatly to see it. But if the Nigellas of the world are finally waking up to the benefit of eating more fruits, veggies and meals that don't include animal products....isn't that hope? Doesn't that mean that people are waking up to the health benefits of vegan living? And encouraging them should be the way forward...of course that's just my opinion. 

I made this salad whilst on that lovely holiday in Kent last year. I enjoyed making it as you get to use your hands to massage the spice mix into the cauliflower and the aroma as it cooks in the oven is a sensory delight. I lightly steamed some white chard to serve alongside it as I wanted more greenage. But just as it is comes, straight out of the oven and combined with the parsley leaves, it is a comforting salad. Cauliflower and chickpeas are as ever a satisfying combination and the Harissa spices spread warmth with a burst of freshness coming from the pomegranate seeds. The tomatoes are succulent and the parsley brings it all together with its slight bitterness. I enjoyed every mouthful and I know I'll make it again.

I just wanted to say thank you for coming back every day folks and reading through the archive of recipes and posts. It has been a rough couple of months and it felt good today to be back and I am thankful I had a recipe from the holiday to share. I hope to be back soon....      

Nigella's Warm Cauliflower & Chickpea Salad with Pomegranate Seeds

Nigella's Warm Cauliflower & Chickpea Salad with Pomegranate Seeds     Serves 2
(Recipe by Nigella Lawson from Red Magazine Article)

1 small cauliflower head
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 4oog tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1-2 tbsp harissa, to taste
4 smallish vine tomatoes
3-4 tbsp pomegranate seeds
100g flat leaf parsley, to serve

Pre-heat the oven to 220'C/GM 7. Trim the cauliflower and divide into small florets. Pour the oil into a large bowl, add the cinnamon and cumin, and stir or whisk to help the spices disberse. Tip in the cauliflower and toss/massage to coat. Pour the lot into a small oven tray and place in the oven for 15 minutes. Don't wash out the bowl just yet! 

Add the chickpeas to the bowl with 1 tbsp of the harissa, tasting it first to see if you want to add more, and toss to coat. Quarter and add the tomatoes and shake or stir to mix. When the cauliflower has had its 15 minutes, remove from the oven, quickly tip the chickpeas and tomatoes over the top, and toss to combine before returning to the oven for a further 15 minutes, until the cauliflower is tender. 

When it's ready, remove from the oven and sprinkle sea salt flakes over the top, then add half the pomegranate seeds and toss to combine before dividing between two bowls. Divide the parsley leaves - without chopping them - between the bowls and toss to mix. Scatter with the remaining seeds to serve. 


Thanks for stopping by and I hope you are finding a reason to smile today...


NB: This is not my recipe. Therefore I take no credit for it whatsoever. It is the creation of Nigella Lawson and hers alone. I send out thanks to her for sharing such great recipes. ~R~ 


Monday, 11 January 2016

Rocket & Roses Thai Scented Veggies (vegan & gluten-free)

Rocket & Roses Kitchen Play List:

Mr Bowie ~ What In The World
Styx ~ Babe
KT Tunstall ~ Hopeless
Gregory Porter ~ I Fall In Love Too Easily
Bizet ~ Marche: Carmen
Kay Starr ~ If I Could Be With You 
Blackberry Smoke ~ Crimson Moon
Neal Schon & Beth Hart ~ I Wanna Know You
Willie Nelson ~ Georgia On my Mind
Truth Hurts ~ Addictive
Blur ~ Country House
The Beautiful South ~ Dream A Little Dream
KORN ~ Got The Life
Beethoven: Piano Sonata#14 in C Sharp "Moonlight"

Shortcuts! A necessary evil in my kitchen right now. I will happily harvest fresh herbs and spend time chopping them up and filling bags and stashing them in my freezer. When I am well buying the vastly overpriced frozen packets of the same thing from the supermarkets always causes me to twitch with horror. But I do cruise those frozen aisles and check out if they have anything new. And a recent visit to a supermarket near us I found something new indeed. Waitrose have started selling a frozen Thai Mix which has blend of chopped lemongrass, garlic, chilli, coriander and ginger. How could that be wrong in the world of cooking shortcuts? 

I often crave the scents and intense Thai flavours but setting about with the often lengthy list of ingredients is beyond my capabilities right now. So a bag of ready chopped Thai basics seemed like heaven to me. I had a stash of fresh veggies that I wanted to use to cook in a coconut milk sauce. When buying this shortcut I also picked up some beautiful little baby potatoes and a box of rainbow carrots. I decided to forego the usual noodles or rice to accompany this type of dish and go for the root veggies and enjoy them without guilt. Its all about balance, eh? 

Rocket & Roses Thai Scented Veggies (vegan & gluten-free)

Rocket & Roses Thai Scented Veggies    Serves 4
(Original recipe from the Rocket & Roses Vegan Kitchen)

1 tbsp coconut oil
1 large onion, sliced  
4 tbsp Waitrose Thai Mix 
2 cups baby potatoes, left whole

3 long thin orange carrots, trimmed and sliced
1 long thin yellow carrot, trimmed and sliced
1 long thin red carrot, trimmed and sliced
OR 5 long orange carrots
1 cup fine green beans, cut into 1" pieces
6 thick asparagus stalks, tips removed & set aside, stalks cut into 1.5" pieces
1 heaped cup of frozen edamame beans
1 cup hot veggie stock
2 cups Brussels sprout tops, finely sliced or other dark green
1 14oz tin of coconut milk
1 1/2 tbsp hot chilli paste
large handful chopped fresh coriander
8 fresh Thai basil leaves, finely sliced
freshly ground black pepper - to season

Heat the coconut oil gently in a wok or skillet. Add the onion and saute until softened. Add the Waitrose Thai Mix to the onions and evenly distribute. Add in the potatoes and stir well to coat. Cover and cook stirring frequently for 5 minutes. 

Add in the carrots, green beans, asparagus stalks, edamame beans and the stock. Stir well. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook 3 minutes

Stir in the coconut milk and chilli paste, cover and cook for 5 minutes or until bubbling. Sprinkle the sliced greens and asparagus tips over the top and cover again. Leave to cook for 5 minutes. 

Stir in the fresh coriander and Thai basil leaves and season with freshly cracked black pepper. Spoon into serving bowls with extra coriander scattered over the top. 


Thanks for stopping by and I hope your week is a good one.  


NB: This is my creation. I have no problems with you using it or sharing it. I simply ask that you give credit where its due and provide links back to this posting. Namaste...~R~