Sunday, May 27, 2018

Easy, everything, summer salad

This weekend is another long weekend in England (we get two in May) and, again, we are blessed with amazing weather. Indeed, it is more summery than spring-like but with the bonus of the vivid greens and bright flowers that spring provides.

Sissinghurst Castle Gardens (National Trust)

After losing most of our last long weekend to illness, we are soaking up outdoor time this time around. A repeat visit to Sissinghurst Castle Garden provided perfect picnic weather, and Mini Bite has taken to moving pebbles and stones around our garden and any other setting that offers the opportunity. She's getting good and messy in the sunshine.

Perfect picnicking

With the summery weather, salads are an appealing choice. Today's recipe offers a bit of everything and is more an idea than a recipe. I added new season tomatoes, sweet bell peppers, local Kent strawberries, celery, walnuts, tofu and chickpeas to a bed of spinach and finished things off with a scattering of alfalfa sprouts and a drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette (for the observant amongst you, the photos were taken pre-vinaigrette).

Summer and spring in a bowl!

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

New product discoveries: Vegan eating when out and about

Most of my supermarket product discoveries appear in monthly In My Kitchen posts, but foods I buy out and about often get neglected. I thought I'd summarise a few recent highlights in this round-up, featuring two restaurant meals and two take-away items.

First up, Fego. Mr Bite and I had a day off together earlier in the year, enjoying some solo time while Mini Bite was in nursery. We enjoyed a long country walk and then headed to Sevenoaks, a neighbouring town, for lunch. Fego was a new-to-us discovery in the Sevenoaks centre and there are 8 other restaurants around England.

Fego vegan-friendly vegetable curry

Friday, May 18, 2018

Carrot applesauce muffins

I'm pleased to say that Mini Bite and Mr Bite are back to full health. Mini Bite, in particular, is eating to make up for lost time and it is sometimes difficult to fill her up. I made these muffins to help get us through days of meals, snacks and more snacks!

We have also managed our long awaited first bike ride of 2018, and I hope to get out again this weekend. The weather is perfect for cycling and it is joyful to be on a bike again after so many months. 

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Giant wholemeal couscous salad with a tahini-maple dressing

I look back at my last post with a certain amount of wry acceptance. Alas, my hopes of long weekend bike riding and picnicking were not to be. Poor Mini Bite came down with a stomach bug early on Sunday morning and was unwell for the next 3 days. Poor Mr Bite had the same thing on Friday through to Saturday, and I am desperately hoping it ends there. (I had 24 hours of nausea but nothing more dramatic - at least to date!)

On to happier topics. This meal is, to me, the epitome of comfort food. 'Salad' usually conjures up images of crunchy greens but this dish is hearty and soothing. It pairs giant wholemeal couscous with sweet potato and peas, plus seasonings of paprika, turmeric and cinnamon and a simple tahini-maple dressing. You can enjoy it hot or cold, and as a side or main dish.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Orange and date pikelets (mini pancakes)

It is a long weekend in the UK, and contrary to stereotypes of rainy bank holiday Mondays, the weather is set to be glorious. I hope to do our first bike ride of 2018 and fit in a picnic.

These pikelets would work well for a sunny spring outing, but equally, they could cheer you up if the weather is cool and rainy. They are easy to make and easy to eat. Whilst sweet from the dates, they are also free of added / refined sugars.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

In my kitchen - May 2018

I am linking this into the monthly In My Kitchen round-up, hosted by Sherry of Sherry's Pickings.

We all say this regularly is it May? We're more than one quarter of the way through 2018 and I don't know where the days and weeks are disappearing to.

With the new month upon us I am sharing another peak into my kitchen, which this month brings a mix of old and new products.

'Old' includes these red onion and chive bagels from the New York Bakery Co. I've enjoyed them at various points over the years, moving through phases when bagels appeal and then phases when I'm not too interested. Mini Bite actively disliked these, which is unusual for her, but I find them a nice (if denser) change to bread.

Another rediscovered product is kiwi fruit. I have spent the last 25 or so years actively avoiding them, after I ate a kiwi fruit every day for months as a child and then got thoroughly sick of them. It seems 25 years is enough time for my kiwi interest to return.