All posts filed under: Autumn

Sweet & Sticky Fig & Pistachio Quinoa Porridge…& Eating Intuitively

“The weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful…” This line generates a feeling of warmth within me… not just that it connects me to my own inner fire, or Agni as it’s known in Yoga.  Tuning in to our own inner Agni can connect us to feelings of internal physical warmth, we might also refer to it as ‘the fire in the belly’ or our passion for life… it could also relate to our metabolism and the way in which our digestive fire transforms our food in to fuel. Fire is transformational by nature.  Turning matter in to gas and ash.  Untamed, fire can be a destructive force at one end of the spectrum (Think ‘burn out’ in the metaphorical sense) or a damp smouldering smoky non starter at the other end (a lack of passion or a ‘non starter’). Keeping our Agni burning just bright enough is the work of our yoga practice, and I don’t just mean Asana, I mean our true connection with ourselves.  The mind and body working …

An Hawaiian Poke Bowl meets an English Autumn

Traditional Hawaiian Ahi Poke recipes call for raw tuna, which, try as I might I’m just not keen on.  But in this poke bowl recipe you could absolutely switch out the tofu for tuna, or salmon.  The recipe is filled with warming spice and rich toasted sesame flavours, and the good old English Autumn’s staple green vegetable Cavolo Nero toasts up as fantastic seaweed substitute.  So sit on the couch, close your eyes and imagine you’re on an Hawaiian beach… See, I bet you’re feeling warm already! Serves 2 ~ Preparation 10mins ~ Cooking time 30mins Ingredients: 200g Tofu 5 tbsp Toasted Sesame Oil 250g Sushi Rice 6 Cavolo Nero Leaves 2 White onions 1 large red chilli 1 thumb ginger 3 cloves garlic 1 tbsp Tamari Soy Sauce 1 bulb fennel 1/2 Avocado 1 dstsp Agave nectar Method: 1) Pre-heat the oven to 150C.  Wash the rice in a bowl of water, rinse, drain and repeat 3 times.  Bring 350mls water to the boil in a pan on the hob.  Add the rice.  Simmer …

Roast Butternut Squash & Sage Lasagne

Sometimes, only pasta, baked in cheesy sauce will do.  Laced with nutmeg, layered with smooth seasonal roast butternut squash and herby tomato sauce… Served with baby spinach and rocket and eaten until it’s gone… because really, it’s never as good tomorrow, and I probably wont fancy it then anyway… digging my fork in the dish at the end might even be the best bit… “just one more mouthful” I’m thinking… “and then I’ll stop”… Ingredients for the cheese sauce: 2 tbsp butter 50g plain flour 1 pint organic milk 50g cheddar cheese 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg Ingredients for the tomato sauce: 1 tbsp olive oil 1 red onion 2 cloves garlic 1/2 red pepper 2 sprigs fresh rosemary 1 can chopped tomatoes 1 tsp maple syrup 1/4 tsp sea salt Other Ingredients: 350g Lasagne sheets 1 butternut squash 4 sprigs of sage Extra Cheese for grating Method: 1) Preheat the oven to 200C.  Peel and slice the butternut squash in to discs around 1/2cm thick.  Place on a baking tray drizzled with olive oil, cracked …

Wild Chestnut & Thyme Risotto

By next week they’ll be gone.  But while you can, there’s a bounty of smooth, nutty, sweet Autumn Chestnuts ready in abundance and littering the floor of the woods…  Don’t mistake them for conkers (or worse vice versa)… You’ll know a sweet Chestnut by it’s green shell of fine spines, which is almost impossible to penetrate without impaling a finger.  Inside you’ll find 3 cosy chestnuts, slightly tear-dropped in shape (compared to their more spherical conker cousins).  You’ll have to be creative getting in to them…. my preferred method is a sort of stamp squeeze with a foot, so that the chestnut pops free and my fingers are saved…  It’s worth it though.  Take a bag, collect plenty, top and tail them and roast them in the oven for 30 minutes and enjoy warm.  Or, add them to this delicious autumnal risotto…   Ingredients: 1 tbsp olive oil 1 tbsp butter 1 large onion 2 cloves garlic 1 cup arborio rice 1 glass dry white wine 2 large chestnut mushrooms Roughly 24 Whole Sweet Chestnuts …

Baked Apples… A Little Throwback to my Childhood

My grandparents had apple trees in the garden, crocuses that would grow up below them in early spring, and a tortoise in a pen who lived there in summer.  At the bottom of the garden they had a vegetable garden filled with potatoes, beans, herbs, fruit, salad, cabbages and probably more and it was bordered by roses.  When I stayed with them I always helped to collect vegetables from the garden. Mint for mint sauce, raspberries for pudding, apples for baking and when I went home my grampy would cut a rose for me to take with me. I remember there being so many windfall apples, and apart from making apple sauce, my nanny would make baked apples… She used golden syrup and condensed milk back then and stuffed them with nuts and raisins… My recipe is a little bit different, but most definitely dedicated to her and inspired by those baked apples I enjoyed as a child! For more on storing and preserving apples and autumn produce visit Patrick Whitefield. And for more on …

Simple Sauerkraut (it’s not just for supermodels!)

Whaaat?  Well what else would you do with a cabbage glut?  Who’s got a cabbage glut you say?  Well, not us exactly, but I do find us with slightly more cabbage than we can comfortably get through.  So with the latest haul from the allotment (and by haul I mean 2 cabbages) I thought I’d give sauerkraut a go!  I’ve read a lot recently about the health benefits of fermented foods.  They’re rich in live healthy bacteria and we can cultivate them ourselves for free!  So before you do as I did and think ‘it’s not for me’… think twice when you next look at a cabbage in your fridge… or on the supermarket shelf for that matter… They’re in season right now, making it easier to pick up cheap, organic, local products at their nutritional best!  This article in the Guardian says pretty much everything I want to say… so if you’re not convinced yet, but still slightly intrigued read more here… particularly the heading on ‘why sauerkraut is good for me’ which names …

Fridge Raider Green Curry and Rice aka c.1999 on a Thai Beach

This was a fridge raiding meal the day before the shopping arrived, so strictly speaking it’s not a ‘green curry’ proper… but for me it has enough of the elements to make it as good as!  And if you close your eyes and put on Moby’s ‘Play’ album then you’re in Thailand c.1999! (Scroll down for a quick blast of ‘porcelain’ from that album) Ahhh, the memories… (Take a moment) OK, back to business!  It’s very quick to make, hearty as it is, but could be beefed up for the weekend if you add chicken, prawns or a side of spring rolls… Ingredients: 1 onion 4 cloves garlic 1 thumb ginger (grated) 1 green birdseye chilli 1 stick fresh lemongrass 2 tsp ground turmeric 1 tsp ground coriander 1 tin chickpeas (drained) 1 small butternut squash 1 can coconut milk 1 bunch fresh coriander salt & pepper 1 cup wholegrain basmati rice 2 tbsp coconut oil Method: 1. Heat the coconut oil in a large pan on the hob 2. Finely chop the onion, crush …

Chocolate Coconut Granola

Oh my, this is the kind of breakfast I absolutely shudder at when I see it in the supermarket.  My contempt for chocolate breakfast cereal, and my resounding ‘absolutely not’ when the children ask for it!  But here am I making it.  The truth is this is beautiful, and this version is really nutritious too!  Actually this wasn’t supposed to be a granola at all, it was going to be snack bars for after school.  But for some reason I didn’t make enough wet to coat the dry and the result was snack bars that didn’t stick together, obviously!  But thankfully there is always granola… and this is going to be beautiful with some plain greek yoghurt in the morning! Ingredients: 200g Oats 100g ground almonds 100g desiccated coconut 6 tbsp maple syrup 6 tbsp coconut oil* 3 tbsp cacao powder Pinch of sea-salt 50g chia seeds 50g raisins 4 medjool dates,chopped 75g dark cooking chocolate min 70% cocoa solids Method: 1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C. 2. Mix the dry ingredients; oats, ground almonds, …