Love food Other

Coconut braised potatoes

I recently tried a new recipe from a favourite book – Maria Elia’s The Modern Vegetarian – Coconut braised potatoes. If Thai flavours are your thing then this is for you. This dish was a perfect match for our fish goujons.

I’m going to give you the recipe as it is, however, I have each time only used one tin of 450 ml of coconut milk but kept the quantities of everything else the same. You can of course adjust the quantity of chilli and ginger to suit your own taste. This is not a recipe you have to be exact, go with what suits you.

The pic here is before the dish was cooked. Once cooked, it will thicken and caramelise. Not so great for photographing but a truly scrummy side dish.


  1. 1 tbsp veg oil
  2. 2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
  3. 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  4. 1 red chilli, deseeded & finelty chopped
  5. 1.5 cm fresh ginger, grated
  6. 30g coriander – chop roots and leaves separately
  7. 700 ml unsweetened coconut milk
  8. 500g baby potatoes, halved lengthways
  9. 2 tbsps Thai sweet chilli sauce
  10. 1 tbsp soya sauce
  11. 2 tbsp Thai basil, chopped (optional)


  • Preheat oven to 190 C
  • Heat oil in a saucepan, then add shallots, garlic, chilli and ginger. Cook for 1 min
  • Add chopped coriander roots to the pan, cook until softened
  • Add coconut milk, potatoes, sweet chilli & soya sauce.
  • Stir and bring to the boil. Pour into a roasting tin or ovenproof dish & cook in the oven for about 50 mins until the potatoes are tender. The dish will darken a little in the oven
  • Stir through the basil and coriander (if using) and enjoy this delicious dish.
Love food Main event Other Vegan

Carrot pancakes

These are not really pancakes as you and I know them but more of a fritter. They are an amazing combination of flavours with an Indian vibe. The recipe is one by Maria Ella and genuinely very easy to make. I have served them exactly as Maria suggests for a classy looking starter but most commonly have them together with salads or other veg sides for a main course. I often make a double batch of these and freeze them. They reheat brilliantly in the oven, defrosted or straight from frozen.

One more feather in the cap of these wonderful carrot panackes/fritters is that they are totally vegan.

Recipe link

Love food Other Vegan

Romesco soup

In my last food post I mentioned one of the joys of winter being a lovely bowl of soup. Here is my first soup of the season. It is courtesy of the Minimalist Baker site, one which we have found to have very reliable recipes.

For this recipe, take note that you will need to roast your peppers, garlic and almonds a little while before you want to make the soup. The peppers will need to cool down sufficiently so you can peel the skin from them. When I’m organised I will do this the day before. Everything after that is very simple indeed. I put the peppers and the garlic in one dish to roast and the almonds in another. The almonds will come out of the oven first, then the garlic and then finally the peppers.

To smash the chickpeas, I put them all into the soup pan whole and then use a potato masher to crush them a bit.

For some ideas of breads/muffins to accompany the soup, take a look at some of my blog posts, including cornbread and feta and nigella seed muffins.

Love food Other Vegan


Falafel is obviously not a new dish for anyone but I guess that these are mostly reserved for a takeaway or as a ready meal. In my humble opinion, these are definitely better than the shop bought falafel. Although, I readily admit that nothing beats those bought on a stand in Israel or from Pilpel in London – my favourite place for lunch. I am sincerely hoping that it can ride out the Coronovirus crisis.

Recipe – makes enough for 6/8; any spare freeze well

  • 450g dried chickpeas
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup parsley
  • 3-5 garlic cloves
  • 1.5 tbsp flour
  • 1 3/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • pinch of ground cardamon


  • Soak the chickpeas overnight, you’ll need a big bowl for this, they always swell more than I expect.
  • Put all ingredients into a food processor
  • Refrigerate for 1-2 hours
  • With slightly oiled hands, shape the mix into balls ready for frying; or you can do this as you go along as I do
  • Find a pan that you can heat a good amount of oil in; they don’t have to be deep fried, they can be turned but the oil will still need to be a few cm high. I fry mine in a wok and turn over with a metal slotted spoon.
Love food Other

Spinach & sweet potato fritters

Sabrina Ghayour is one of my favourite cookery writers/chefs. I’m sharing these with you now as they are very adaptable to Pesach. Just replace the flour with matzo meal. Add a bit at a time and mix to a good consistency for frying. Too little and they won’t hold, too much they will be very stodgy.

They freeze well and can be reheated in the oven for 10/15 mins if defrosted – longer if from frozen. If putting in the oven frozen then don’t preheat first.

Ingredients (makes 20-ish)

  • 300g sweet potato, peeled and coarsely grated
  • 150g baby spinach leaves, finely chopped
  • 3 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 3 large eggs
  • 100g plain flour (can use matzo meal for Pesach)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Salt and pepper
  • Vegetable oil, for frying


Put the sweet potato, spinach, turmeric, chilli flakes, eggs, flour and baking powder into a large bowl and mix well. Season generously, then leave the batter to rest for 15 minutes.

Heat the oil over a medium-high heat and bring to frying temperature (add a pinch of the batter: if it sizzles immediately, the oil is hot enough). Line a plate with a double layer of kitchen paper.

When the oil is ready, stir the batter. Using slightly oiled hands shape the batter into fritters and put into the hot oil. Fry the fritters for one minute, then turn them over and fry for another minute or so, or until nicely browned all over. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fritters from the oil to the paper-lined plate to drain. Serve hot.

Breakfast/brunch Love food Other

Welsh rarebit

For a cheesy supper or brunch snack not much beats welsh rarebit. I know you could simply grill some cheese on toast but this is really worth the additional 20 minutes or so to make. There are many variations of the basic welsh rarebit recipe, I particularly like this one made with Guinness (or any other stout).

As you can see from the pic above we had it here on toast. Although I didn’t do it this time, my favourite way of serving it is atop a portobello mushroom. If going with the mushroom option then brush them all over with oil and place in the oven for 15 minutes to cook before spooning the rarebit mix on top.

Whether topping toast or mushrooms, when ready to eat pop under the grill for a few minutes to heat through, until golden brown in spots and bubbling.

This quantity will make enough for 4/6 servings. If you have spare mixture left over it freezes well to be used another time.

The left over Guinness can be used to make soda bread or find yourself a Guinness chocolate cake recipe. Of course, if you are being really organised you can make the bread first to use as your toast base.


  • 25g butter
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 75 ml Guinness
  • 140g mature cheddar, grated
  • 1 tsp English mustard
  • 2 eggs beaten

To make

  1. Melt the butter in a saucepan and fry onion for 10/15 mins until soft and translucent.
  2. Add the flour and cook for 1 minute.
  3. Gradually add the Guinness to make a smooth sauce; add the cheese and mustard.
  4. Finally add the eggs on a low heat until the mixture thickens. Do NOT overcook or have the heat too high otherwise your eggs will scramble.
  5. Your mix is now ready to top on your toast (toast both sides of the bread) or mushrooms and grill.
Love food Other

Winter Pesto

I have just made this winter version of pesto. I am so amazed and delighted that I just have to share it with you. Those who know me well know that I try hard to buy reasonably local and seasonal – so that means no strawberries in winter or in the case of pesto basil. I do admit though that it is a minefield as tomatoes can be found in the supermarkets all through the winter grown in the UK but they generally lack much flavour and secondly green houses in the winter are not very energy friendly. But I do admit, I can be a bit inconsistent on some things (eg mangos and avocados). It is a work in progress. Concern for the climate aside, there is something quite special about eating your first strawberry in season, having English asparagus and we particularly get excited about the first brussel sprouts.

Waitrose can once again be thanked for this great recipe of Pesto made with Cavolo Nero. The recipe makes approximately 150 ml. Enjoy.