Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Old Fashioned Zucchini - Courgette Balls

Vegetable based or bean based 'meatballs' fall out of the limelight all the time as they are deemed old fashion, but give it another name and its Amazing... 

This way of making vegetarian meatballs with mashed beans, shredded vegetables, fresh herbs, cheese and binded with both breadcrumbs and egg can be found in many old cookbooks from the 1960s to the 1990s.
And now even in new cookbooks.  Except there is a difference.

Monday, 14 August 2017

Stuffed Courgette Tondo di Piacenza with Ricotta and Pine Nuts

Are you getting tired of my Courgette -  Zucchini recipes?!

If so, I am not that sorry as I am still set to continue with this seasonal vegetable.

Today, I share with you Stuffed Courgette Tondo di Piacenza with Ricotta.
This Courgette Tondo di Piacenza  with Ricotta with Pine Nuts is a little fancy to eat and sounds like a lot of faff to make, but it is actually quite simple to assemble.  The time consuming part is the hollowing out, the rest is a breeze.

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Briam - Easy Greek Vegetable Bake

This Greek Vegetable Bake is known as Briam.  Briam  is one of those dishes my Greek flat-mates at University used make and eat after a long day at lectures and tutorials.   

In fact, it was not my Greek flat mates that introduced this Briam or Moussaka, but another Greek girl staying two floors down that frequented the lads, she realised I was vegetarian and one day brought some over for me to try.  It was delicious and she told me how to make it and I thought, well that is easy.   It is also one of the reasons I veered towards making it last week during the working week, straight after work.   

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Zucchini - Courgette Orzo Pasta Salad

There is nothing fancy about this Orzo Pasta Salad, though I must admit it is quite colourful.
It was made last week for the working week, again making the most of my Zucchini aka courgettes growing in my garden, this time the stripy kind called Courgette Squash Striato di Napoli.  
I say its not fancy as its made with odd bits of vegetable either in the fridge or the vegetable basket like red and yellow peppers, cherry tomatoes and wilting rocket.  The dressing is simple made with equal part good olive oil and white wine vinegar and seasoned to taste.  I usually throw in some chopped cucumber, but that is where the Zucchini comes into play, it replaces the cucumber for crunch.
I am sharing this simple Roasted Zucchini and Popped Black Bean Salad with Soups, Salads and Sammies hosted by Kahakai Kitchen.  

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Zucchini Black Bean Croquettes

These Zucchini Black Bean Croquettes still waiting to be encrusted in Panko - Japanese breadcrumbs were made with black beans left over for popped black beans last week.  

I did not use canned beans but cooked them from scratch, sometimes I just like put myself through that time consuming ritual of soaking beans overnight, simmering them until soft tenderness and then cooking or baking with them.
We had these Zucchini Black Bean Croquettes twice last week.  Once as part of a vegetarian breakfast minus the baked beans as there are beans in the croquettes;  and one of the days we had it as part of a 'light buffet style meal' raiding left overs from the fridge and a green salad, as the weather was quite warm and I did not wish to be stuck in the kitchen.  By the way, this is what the finished panko crumbed croquettes looked like.  I know they don't look particularly attractive naked.
 

Monday, 7 August 2017

Zucchini, Apricot and Pumpkin Seed Flapjacks

Ah I am feeling a little mentally tired today to blog, so share a very simple Zucchini, Apricot and Pumpkin Seed Flapjacks I made over the weekend for the working week.

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Bloody Mary and Black Garlic Ketchup

I have got quite a few good and interesting things in my kitchen this month, but have not got round to photographing them as natural lighting is poor, so I will share them next month.  

Still for In My Kitchen this August we have plenty of zucchini known as courgettes in the UK and Summer Squash known as Marrow in the UK.

Friday, 4 August 2017

Homegrown Rhubarb Strawberry Chia Seed Crumble

I made this Rhubarb and Strawberry Crumble with the addition of chia seeds in the oat topping a few weeks back.

Since then the strawberries in the garden have come to a halt, I have to admit they have not been as productive this year as they have previous years.  Perhaps they are getting old and I need to renew the ground with new strawberry plants.  Also I have noted the wild strawberries from the neighbours garden are creeping into ours, oppressing the growth of the traditional strawberries with vigorous leafage growth. 
The rhubarb plant however is doing fabulously, emerging from the earth in true style . 

Birmingham Bears: Bearmingham - Big Sleuths

We were in the city of Birmingham a couple of weeks ago for a short break.

On the day we were leaving Painted Bear sculptures dubbed as The Big Sleuths were going on display all over the city.  There are over 100, but we managed to see a whole load purely by accident whilst wandering the city centre. 

You can also find the Big Sleuths at the Arcadian, Brindleyplace, Custard Factory, Gas Street Basin, Jewellery Quarter, Sea Life Centre and other locations in the city.  They will be on display until the 17th September 2017.
Let me first introduce you to Bearmingham.

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Roasted Zucchini - Courgette. Cherry Tomatoes and Popped Black Bean Salad

I mentioned in a previous blog post that I don't quite get the fuss around popped beans,  and now having made some at home, I am still bemused.  

Also I was a little unsure how to use them having now made them, as they are not like traditional popcorn made with corn, but waste not want not - I decided to scatter them over some Savoury Courgette Muffins and this Roasted Zucchini and Cherry Tomato Salad.  
The Popped Black Beans were elevated further by the generous dusting of some Outback Spirit Tasmanian Pepper Salt that Johanna sent to me last month.  I love it, so flavourful and zesty.  I can happily dip my finger in the bag and suck, but I am a grown up woman and won't do that, well that is what I am telling you.   

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Zucchini - Courgette, Popped Black Beans and Feta Muffins

I did have plans on making some Green Grass scones that I had bookmarked, but with the courgettes coming from my garden fast and furiously, I decided to use some of them for these Savoury Courgette, Popped Black Bean Muffins.

I had made the popped black beans over the weekend as I was curious to see what the fuss was about this trendy food gimmick of popping beans such as black beans, chickpeas and kidney beans.  Once made, I was not quite sure how to use them as not like your usual popped corn kernels that are pretty like snowflakes.  These popped black beans looked a little messy and not particularly photogenic.  
Also these Popped Black Beans were not really crunchy liked popped corn, but soft inside and a little crisp on the outside.  I didn't dislike them, but I don't think it is something that I would make at home for us again.  I'd only make it again to share it with curious guests, but then I would try a different recipe. Since making these popped black beans, I have found two other recipes that look a little more tasty.  The recipes are from Community Food Coop (2011) and Adora's Box (2012)*. I won't share the one that I used from a cookbook and I won't pretend that the popped black beans is my idea either.
I will say one positive thing about the popped black beans though, they make for an interesting addition to a salad dish scattered over.  I don't think they really add anything in flavour, but more in colour and texture.  

Hence the reason, I decided to scatter some of the Popped Black beans over these Savoury Courgette, Feta Muffins; and some were scattered with pumpkin seeds .
The savoury Courgette, and Feta Muffins were delicious though, we are still eating them - three days later.

I am sharing the Savoury Savoury Zucchini - Courgette, Popped Black Beans and Feta  Muffins with Treat Petite hosted by The Baking Explorer and CakeyBoi

Welcoming August Eat Your Greens

August is here and it is my turn to host the Eat Your Greens challenge this month.  To participate this month, just share a vegan or vegetarian recipe that is made with green vegetables on your blog.  Then copy the link to the comment section below.  The deadline is the 30th August 2017.
For more details Follow this link on how to participate just please remember to link back to the host page (this page) and co-host The VegHog.   The use of the logo is optional, but appreciated.

If you are tweeting your recipe, please use #EatYoursGreens #eatyourgreens and include @SeasonalShaheen @TheVegHog and we will retweet all those that we see.   

If you want some Eat Your Greens inspiration, see what food bloggers from around the world shared in February , then check out my co-host The Veg Hog for inspiration.

Monday, 31 July 2017

Zucchini - Courgettes come in all shapes and sizes

I have been harvesting mostly courgettes aka Zucchini since my last Harvest Monday blog post, but I am pleased that they are all different in shapes, size and even colour  - makes for more variety and interesting eats.  
Nestling in the trug are Courgette Gold Rush F1 ; Courgette Tristar  and Courgette Squash Striato di Napoli  which  think is more marrow than squash; and Courgette Tondo di Piacenza.  I am also growing some patty pans and hope to share them with you next week. 
Recipes made this month with courgettes aka zucchini
Roasted Courgette Layered 'Lasagne'
Courgette Zucchini, Apricot and Pistachio Bread 
Oven Baked Lemon Zucchini and New Potato Salad
Zucchini Chocolate Brownies
Zucchini Broad Beans and Peas Soup
Australian Zucchini Slice
Zucchini Frittata is made with  Courgette Tondo di Piacenza
I also harvested a good handful of French Beans Climbing Purple Cascade
and Runner Bean Relay
We also harvested two potato plants, the yield of 7 potatoes was disappointing though, still enough for two meals and the ground looks good.

I am sharing this with  Harvest Monday hosted by Dave over Our Happy Acres.  

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Tondo di Piacenza Zucchini Potato Frittata

This Zucchini Frittata is made with  Courgette Tondo di Piacenza - a round  globe variety from the garden plot.

You can see some  harvested Courgette Tondo di Piacenza  in the photograph below.  I used my mandolin to slice them thinly, so the finished Zucchini Frittata looked a little more impressive and pleasing to the eyes before it was sliced into triangles and shared. 
This may look like an ordinary Zucchini Frittata but it is very flavoursome, as it has been magically transformed by a generous sprinkling of Outback Spirit Tasmanian Pepper Salt that I got sent by fellow blogger Johanna who lives in Australian.  The Outback Spirit Tasmanian Peppercorn Salt really enhanced the Zucchini frittata slice making it super tasty. 

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Oven Baked Lemon Zucchini and New Potato Salad

This is a simple oven baked potato salad making the most of home-grown zucchini. 

Zucchini aka Courgettes in the UK as you all know are pretty bland and that is the reason I doused these with some zingy lemony oil.  

Friday, 28 July 2017

Zucchini, Apricot and Pistachio Bread

D moved my bread  loaf tins somewhere and could not remember where he moved them.  I have looked in all the obvious places. I told him many times, if he is unsure where to put kitchenalia to let me know and I will put them away.  He has done this to me a few times and it makes me frown when I go to look for whatever it is, even some of the ingredients for shopping are put away in wrong places. Grrr
He looked everywhere he would put them and he could not find them either. so over the weekend, we went shopping in Cardiff and I picked up a decent loaf tin as I wanted to make Zucchini Bread.  

Ah if this is all the grief he gives me, then I am in a happy relationship.  I know I am blessed and very very lucky.
The Zucchini Bread was very nice by the way.  D of course had his with a bit of butter, I don't think it needs it, but it definitely does need a cuppa of some sort with it to wash it down. Apricots are optional, but they are in season and I had some in a bowl that were not very juicy, so i used them in the loaf, but dried apricots will do just nicely too. 

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Australian style Savoury Zucchini Slice

The joy of food blogging is you will find some like minded people who share recipes that truly inspire you that you really want to recreate at home.  It is one of the reasons I continue to blog.

This Australian Zucchini Slice recipe comes from Johanna who blogs over at Green Gourmet Giraffe.  Apparently it is one of the most popular recipes in Australia and may have been brought to Australia in the 1950s by an Italian migrant. Whatever its background, Zucchini Slice also happens to be one of Johanna's childhood favourites and its a recipe that I have had bookmarked since 2012 to make.  
Johanna actually has two Australian Zucchini Slice recipe, a vegetarian version made with facon bacon and a vegan version made with chickpea flour and tofu bacon. I did not have any facon bacon either home made or shop bought, though I could have made some over the weekend, but was impatient and the courgette harvest pile from the garden was mounting higher and higher each day. Plus what to make for dinner.

So instead I tried to mimic the smoky facon 'bacon' flavours with liquid smoke and smoked paprika, but the balance was not quite right as these additional flavours did not come through strong, still it made for a tasty side - very tasty in fact as D said it was delicious. Its savoury, light from the courgettes and rich in flavour from the cheese. 
One of my favourite vegetarian food writers Celia Brooks in her World Vegetarian Classics section of Australasia also shares a recipe for Zucchini Slice and writes' its a classic from  Australian Women's Weekly, an institution of great home cooking championed by generations of housewives'. 

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Birmingham: Brum Yum Yum Vegetarian Places and The Oasis

On a recent trip to the city of Birmingham for a short break, not only did we go sight seeing, checking out graffiti art, we also ate out which for me is a bit of a treat as we rarely eat out.

I have to say I thought there would be more exclusively vegetarian/and or vegan eateries in a city like Birmingham, but there were not as many in the city centre.  In fact I think Cardiff may be able to rival Birmingham with its vegetarian offerings, regardless it did not disappoint. 
I had booked a table at The Warehouse Cafe.  I n a previous life (work related) I had visited The Warehouse as it was and still is the home to Friends of the Earth and Black Environment Network.  
We both knew exactly what we wanted from the Warehouse Cafe menu.  We actually both chose exactly the same starter and the same main.
For starters we had broccoli balls in a vegan hollaindaise sauce served with salad.  
And for main we had Halloumi 'Fish' and chips.  The halloumi 'fish' were  in a mild wasabi breadcrumb batter.  It was served with some pickled gherkins, piccalilli and ketchup.  It was good and we were proper stuffed, that we had no room for dessert. 

After eating, my heart warmed as I reminisce about my own past vegetarian adventures and feeling proud of what I had achieved.  D touched my hand and I knew he was proud of me too. On days I do miss cooking fancy grub for crowds. 

Monday, 24 July 2017

Birmingham Digbeth and Custard Factory Graffiti Art: Part 2

On a recent trip to the city of Birmingham for a short break, not only did we go sight seeing - we also went looking for graffiti art.  

This is part 2 of a selection of what we saw in the city of Birmingham, mostly in Digbeth and in and around the Custard Factory.    To view part one, go to the end of the blog post. 

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Birmingham Digbeth and Custard Factory Graffiti Art: Part 1

If your a regular reader of my blog, you will know that I do like graffiti art.

Well on our recent trip to the city of Birmingham for a short break, not only did we go sight seeing - we also went looking for graffiti art.  

Here are a selection of what we saw Birmingham, mostly in Digbeth and in and around the Custard Factory.    
Yes Indeedy I wrote graffiti 



Saturday, 22 July 2017

Birmingham Places of Brum

We told a few of our work colleagues that we were going to Birmingham for a break and they all looked at us for with dismay, well Birmingham these days is a city break location and actually has lots to offer as a tourist destination.

I have been to Birmingham many times with my family and through one of my previous jobs at  time when they were still revamping The Bullring, but D had never been there except through it on the train when travelling to see family down south from Scotland on the train.  

Birmingham is the UKs second largest city.  Like Cardiff it has changed dramatically over the past decade.  
Library of Birmingham affectionately known by some locals as 'The Cake'.
The glitzy disco ball dome like Bullring.
The famous Birmingham Bull. 
We did not go into the Birmingham Bullring as I had no desire to shop and only admired it from outside, 

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Roasted Courgette Layered 'Lasagne'

What is amazing about this recipe is that it uses zero pasta sheets, the courgettes are sliced thinly with a mandolin into thin sheets to replace the traditional pasta sheets.
It was really good.  I have never really been a fan of ricotta.  I had a pie once and the ricotta just tasted congealed to me and dry, but this was really nice and quite light to eat, compared to pasta based lasagne's that can sometimes be stodgy, but also a great way to use up those courgettes. 
This is one of those recipes you make when you have time on your hands and perhaps over the weekend when its raining and it certainly was.

I followed the original recipe which comes from Donna Hay with very few tweaks.  Round courgette for the tradition courgettes, Tuscan Black kale for spinach and kale  and cheddar cheese for the topping in place of mozzarella.  Just make sure you drain excess liquid from the vegetables otherwise it will exude a lot of liquid whilst cooking and you don't want a soggy lasagne.  The recipe states it serves 4, but I think could easily be stretched to 6 people with a salad on the side.
I am sharing this RoastedCourgette Layered 'Lasagne' with Eat Your Greens challenge hosted this month by The VegHog - You still have time to share your #EatYourGreens recipe with the VegHog, so go on what's stopping you!?. 

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

My Little Courgette Chocolate Brownies

One of my nephews has been calling me my little courgette because of my moss green rain coat, its term of endearment and affection, but its also a cheeky little request to make him a Courgette Cake, I promised to when courgettes were in season and indeed they are now. 
Courgette brownies are not new and nor are courgette cakes, they have been around a while - in fact throwing vegetables in sweet recipes including cakes, biscuits and rice pudding is not a new idea at all, even if some people think and convince themselves and those around them that they were the first to introduce the social media generation to this idea. Sadly I think its the same people who fall for fake news, which also is not new.  The world is indeed shrinking and everything according to them can be answered by google. 

One of my lecturers at Glasgow University, now a Professor Greg Philo teachings impacted and completely changed the way I viewed the mass media a.  I still have a copy of  his original publication Seeing is Believing: The Influence of Television,  which was gifted to me as a student. In the book, Greg Philo focuses on how the media has the power to influence and instil in the viewer negative and bias viewpoints.  One example of this was the way Arthur Scargill, a prominent British Trade Unionist during the British Miners Strike in 1984 - 85 was vilified by the British media. I remember as a child growing up in Wales also being duped by the popular media publications demonising this man and the protesting miners being portrayed in extreme negative light, after all the media could never lie (I am being sarcastic here).  A decade ago it was  bogus asylum seekers and refugees, today its around other migrants veiled under BREXIT and then we must not forget the Other as we see a rise in hate incidents towards the visible muslim community.   Since having both my eyes and mind opened to the power of the media to propagate misinformation and bias, I have always been sceptical of media portrayal around most things and this has extended nowadays to social media, therefore I am very selective in what I read these days even so called high ranking food blogs, as people put financial gain and popularity before ethics these days.  I could go on, but I will stop as it will become a rant, and this is a food blog after all.
So here are some slices of Courgette Chocolate brownies which I am sharing these with Tin and Thyme for We Should Cocoa and with Treat Petite hosted by The Baking Explorer and CakeyBoi.

Other Brownie Recipes on the Blog
Raspberry Brownies
Red Dragon Chili Brownies
Strawberry Cream Cheese Brownies
Sweet Potato and Cranberry Brownies
Vegan Hot Chocolate Marshmallow Brownies

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Zucchini, Broad Beans, Peas and Mint Soup

I am giving my readers advance warning, that the next few blog posts for the next few weeks will be packed with courgette aka zucchini recipes.

So if you have an aversion to this mild, yet versatile vegetable then don't visit - but let me tell you there will be sweet and savoury zucchini recipes, some new, some interesting and some traditional.
Here is the first of many...Zucchini, Broad Beans, Peas and Mint Soup - all the fresh green ingredients have been grown in my garden plot and were picked at the weekend.  
I know its warm, so why on earth would I make soup?

Monday, 17 July 2017

Meet Selwyn and Carys - The Scarecrows on the Allotment Plot

Since my last Harvest Monday blog post, the red from the roses and the strawberries has faded replaced with shades of orange from nasturtiums and greens, mostly from courgette.
But before I share with you my hefty green harvest, let me introduce you to Selwyn and Carys - (traditional Welsh names), my new scarecrows gifted to me by The  Waltons
Selwyns hovering above the courgettes and marrow plants. 
And Carys watched over the higgledly piggeldy brassicas, 
I was pleased to see some patty pans growing, I have never grown them before so am pretty excited.  I had run out of room on the plot and gave some of the extra plants to my neighbours who is growing hers in pots.  
I  harvested a whole trug of misshapen courgettes, some in the shape of gourds, some truncheon and some round. 
 Tucked under the courgettes and marrows are some peas. 

Oh and if you look closely, there is my first purple climbing bean.
A few weeks ago, my marigolds were in a sorry state that I thought they were dead, but this week they seem to have burst back into life with vigour and I am pleased, and so are the bees.
I  am sharing this with  Harvest Monday hosted by Dave over Our Happy Acres.