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~     


Friday, 1 January 2016

SUMA: Rocket & Roses New Year Good Luck Noodles (vegan, gluten-free, refined sugar free)

Rocket & Roses Kitchen Play List:

Bob Marley ~ Natural Mystic
Shakira ~ Objection (Tango)
Royal Blood ~ Out Of The Black
Def Leppard ~ Rock Of Ages
R.E.M ~ What's The Frequency, Kenneth?
Connie Francis ~ Who's Sorry Now?
Count Basie ~ There Will Never Be Another You
Jamie Lawson ~ The Touch Of Your Hand
Madeleine Peyroux ~ River
Pearl Jam ~ Oceans
Bach: Cello Suite #3 in C
Thunder ~ Only You Can Make Me Cry

Happy New Year one and all! Are you in need of some good luck this year? Let's face it there are many people desperately in need of some right now. I start the year mindful of those poor folks who are displaced right now...for what ever reason...and naturally I hope that the good luck vibes reach out to them all the most. Personally for me it's a much needed good luck boost for my health which is...not great. But I am alive so this is not a posting that is containing any way!

I look forward to the start of each new year. After a couple of weeks of indulgence and celebrations for the festive season I really crave fresh and light meals. Don't misunderstand, I'm no longer in a place where I can afford to go mad (oh ok there may have been a couple of champagne/brandy cocktails enjoyed...ahem...right!) during the holidays. But I do relax a little and enjoy such delights as vegan cheese and biscuits and I shouldn't forget my individual serving of vegan Christmas pudding and custard. I know...I am a rebel, eh? Luckily for me the foods I enjoy the most at this time of the year are navel oranges, cinnamon, russet apples and clementines. 

When it came time to sit down with my notepad and get creative for my SUMA Wholefoods Blogger Network recipe...I had to start off from a very different head space than normal. My kitchen duties have all but gone recently with the exception of two days in the kitchen with my pal Ann. However today I had the help of ML and if not for that I probably wouldn't be doing this right now. A constant on my festive table is a large bowl of navel oranges, russet apples and clementines. So I sat there with the fruits tempting me as I scribbled down ideas. I had recently happened upon an article about foods that are eaten to encourage good luck. I read about long noodles for longevity, round fruits with 12 pieces to represent the upcoming year and of course the American good luck staple of black eyed beans. The symbolism behind each food made me smile and wish for a day where it was all that simple. And whilst sat staring at my lovely fruits awaiting inspiration, I suddenly realised I already had it tucked away. To create my own New Year recipe as an act of faith and belief that no matter how bad it gets...I am completing one act that will indeed help. Because the foods listed by every culture for good luck were fresh and healthy and isn't that, in some small way, an act of good luck? 

I chose noodles as my starting point. I love them and am always thinking up new ways to have an excuse to eat them. For this I chose King Soba Buckwheat & Quinoa noodles and cooked them off, rinsed them in a lot of cold water and set them to one side. 

I wanted this to be something more than a regular stir-fried noodle dish. So I put some of those oranges to good use and created a reduced down citrus sauce to be drizzled over the abundant mountain of noodles and vegetables. Pumpkin was my 'something more' and I pan seared the pieces in a very hot griddle to get those great black marks on each piece and also a little natural toastiness. I left them to slowly cook in the griddle pan over a reduced heat until just tender although you could also just put them on a tray in a medium oven whilst you finish cooking the other ingredients if they're not quite done. I wanted vibrancy in the choice of veggies so I finely julienned some carrots until I had a huge pile of carrot noodles. Seasonal Brussels sprouts were finely sliced and broccoli and its stalks was trimmed and cut into tiny bitesize pieces. Aducki beans were my final choice. 12 for each of the coming months of this new year. Some ingredients that already hold some belief that they bring good broccoli...well why not (and I am an addict, eh?) and sprouts because there is never a meal that isn't made perfect with the addition of my beloved little green globes of loveliness, however any other greenage would do.

The results were a meal in a bowl that was light and full of flavour and textures. The comfort from the noodles, the varying crunch from the different veggies and the succulent toasted pieces of pumpkin added with the spicy citrus sauce came together in each mouthful and I swear I could feel the embers of good luck beginning to spark. For me, this is a perfect meal. Now instead of pumpkin, you could use pieces of tofu or tempeh if that is your wish, but as my New Year celebration meal I loved it just the way it was. 

As always I send out thanks to Amy and all at SUMA Wholefoods for allowing me to be part of the SUMA Bloggers Network and I hope all the others in the blogger team have enjoyed creating their recipes as much as I have.     

SUMA: Rocket & Roses New Year Good Luck Noodles

Rocket & Roses New Year Good Luck Noodles   
(Original recipe from the Rocket & Roses Vegan Kitchen)   Serves 4

1/2 pkt King Soba Buckwheat & Quinoa Noodles,
cooked as per pkt instructions, rinsed in cold water 
and drained well, set to one side

2" sq piece of fresh ginger, micro-grated
2 tsp finely chopped chilli 
3 garlic cloves, micro-grated 
juice of 3 large oranges
1 1/2 tbsp tamari
1/2 tbsp sesame oil

1 small pumpkin, de-seeded and skinned, cut into 1.5"x1" pieces, rough sides cut away to make uniform smooth pieces

4 Imperator carrots (or other long thin carrots), julienned
12 Brussels sprouts, trimmed and finely sliced
1 med head of broccoli, stalk trimmed and cut into matchsticks, florets cut into tiny florets
1 14 oz tin of SUMA aducki beans, rinsed and drained

Heat a griddle skillet over a high heat. When smoking place the pumpkin pieces in the pan and press down with a spatula. When you have the grid marks on one side flip the pieces over to do the same on the other. Then reduce the heat and cook the pieces until just tender. (If you want very tender pieces of pumpkin you could place them on a baking sheet into a med temp oven to finish cooking) Remove from the heat and set to one side. 

In a small saucepan add all the sauce ingredients and whisk until thoroughly combined. Place over a med-high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the sauce has reduced down by half. Do not let it burn!

Heat a wok thoroughly and then toss in the broccoli and sprouts and stir fry until the sprout slices begin to take a slight colour. Toss in the carrot noodles and cook enough to heat them through. Throw in the aducki beans and stir fry for a further 2 minutes until the beans have warmed. Add the noodles to the wok and stir to combine. 

Place the noodle and veggies onto a serving platter. Place the pumpkin pieces over the top and drizzle the sauce generously over the serving plate. Add the leftover sauce to a jug/bowl and place on the table for extra sauciness if required. 


Thanks for stopping by and I hope luck is on your side this year...


NB: This is my creation. I have no problem with you using this recipe or sharing it. I simply ask that you give credit where its due and links back to this posting. Many thanks...~Red~