All posts filed under: Winter

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 …

Mushroom, Lentil & Red Wine ‘Shepherd’s’ Pie… (He’s a veg shepherd. Obvs.)

The crisp cold and frosty season is well and truly upon us.  The air is cold and the sky is blue, which can provide light relief from the January blues…  The stillness of winter reminds us how important rest is though.  Pacing ourselves, and taking time to be still, whether that’s sitting with a warm drink, or switching fast paced exercise for a more restorative yoga practice.  Stillness in winter can be a way to reconnect to our sense of vitality (or lack of) and preserve our energies, it can also be a place where we begin to feel stagnant, where coughs and cold creep in and it becomes hard to move at all.  Balance is key (Not just tree pose -but it helps!)… One thing this time of year requires, however you’re feeling, is warming hearty food…Good nourishment and extra calories. This is a vegetarian shepherd’s pie recipe that’s hearty and rich, warming and comforting!  Just what’s required in the middle of winter… Ingredients for the Filling: 1 Red Onion 2 Cloves Garlic 2 …

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 …

Pink Potato, Fennel & Leek Soup

The temperature has dropped again and it seems like everyone is poorly… Mine included.  So we’re bundled up with sniffs and snivels and only hot soup and toast will do.  That along with chamomile tea and ginger biscuits!  No problem though, snuggling on the sofa and reading back to back Roald Dahl is a treat… We’re on ‘Danny the Champion of the World’… so gripping…The link to the site here is great too, lots of lovely interactive Roald Dahl quizzes, recipes and ideals for entertaining kids… So back to the soup.  Leek and Potato is always a favourite, but I had a bag of ‘Red Emmelie’ heritage potatoes delivered this week  from our good friends at Abel & Cole and they’re delicious.  They’ve also given this soup its lovely pink colour… It’s sweet and hearty and full of vegetable goodness!  I hope you enjoy it as much as us! Ingredients: 1/2 head large fennel 1 large onion 2 cloves garlic 2 large leeks 6 red emmelie potatoes 1 sachet red miso paste 2 tsp vegetable …

Spaghetti Puttanesca for One…

There’s something quite wonderful about being home alone, just myself to please and my own whims and fancies to indulge… It means strong salty flavours, preserved fish, anchovies, smoked mackerel, salmon and carbs.  There’s a whole lot of love wrapped up in a dish for one, and this spaghetti puttanesca sums it up for me… accompanied by a glass of red wine and ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ for company… Heaven!   Ingredients: 1 onion 2 cloves garlic 1 tsp chilli flakes 1 tsp mixed herbs 2 tbsp chopped anchovy fillets 1 Large handful kalamata olives 1 can plum tomatoes 1 large handful chopped parsley 1 tsp maple syrup Black pepper to taste 75g dried spaghetti Olive oil Method: 1) Bring a large pan of water to the boil, add a pinch of salt once its boiling and add the spaghetti.  Stir as the spaghetti cooks to avoid sticking. 2) Warm 2 tbsp olive oil in a pan on the hob. 3) Finely slice the onion, crush the garlic and add to the pan along with the …

Golden Beetroot Soup with Maple Roast Walnuts & Feta…

This one was a surprise to me!  Sweet, earthy goodness from the king of vegetables… The mighty, hearty, just plain delicious beetroot.  Can you tell I’m a fan? (Click here for ‘A Beetroot Affair to Remember’) I had a bag of beetroot in my latest veg box delivery, and in that bag was a golden beetroot almost the size of a swede… I pondered what to do?  A slaw?  Hide it in the kid’s mash?  Crisps?  Roast?  Actually any of those things would have been lovely, but today I panicked and decided it had to be eaten, and for lack of inspiration at 5pm today between beaver pick up (that’s scouts for 7 year olds for the sake of my transatlantic friends) and the dog escaping down the street (again) I souped it.  Plain and simple.  And actually I was more than pleasantly surprised with the result.  It’s smooth, sweet, a little earth and so so moreish…  Tim of course has had to make a side of eggy-bread to go with his (vegetables not being …

Spelt & Honey Split-Tin Loaf

It’s been ages since I’ve made a loaf using commercial yeast, but yesterday was an exceptional day… My boy was home sick, and so was I.  Nursing my sourdough, and getting up to bake it early this morning, was more than I could face.  Plus, being the last week of January we are utterly utterly skint… so if it’s not already in the cupboard, it’s not on the menu.  This recipe used up the last of my spelt flour, along with the last of the lovely school honey… it’s delicious!  And if you’re following us on instagram you’ll already have had a sneak pre-view!   Ingredients: 250g wholegrain spelt flour 250g white spelt flour 325mls warm water 2 tsp quick yeast 1 tsp sea-salt 1 tbsp honey 3 tbsp olive oil Method: 1. Use the dough hook attachment on a food processor, or mix in a bowl by hand (or with a wooden spoon). 2. Add the flour & yeast to the bowl. 3. Add the salt & honey to a jug of warm water …

Papaya & Coconut Porridge

It’s a tropical winter warmer… Sweet & fruity, but wonderfully warming on a cold winter’s morning… Porridge sets me up until lunch, providing there’s enough protein in it.  I definitely couldn’t get by on oats and milk, but the addition of coconut milk, and or nuts and seeds keeps me going.  I absolutely love that warming feeling it gives too, like being heated from the inside out…     Ingredients (serves 1): 1 handful oats 1/2 large papaya 1 tbsp chia seeds 1/2 can coconut milk Almond milk to top Method: 1. Put the oats and chia seeds in a pan on the hob.  Halve a papaya and remove the seeds.  Score length-ways and width-ways to create cubes, then scoop them out with a spoon in to the pan. 2. Top up with coconut milk and almond milk and heat for around 5 minutes to a gentle simmer.  Add more almond milk if the porridge is too thick. 2. Serve when it’s hot through and the consistency suits you! Follow us on facebook,Twitter, Instagram & …

Mighty Minestrone & Other Winter Warmers

In the thick of this cold snap, bundled up in chunky knitwear and just as I was gloating that I haven’t been ill since I can’t remember, it hit me.  The worst cold virus I’ve had since I can’t remember… hot & cold, aching all over, 3 days on the sofa and counting and most distressing (for me not my family), I’ve lost my voice, totally.  No sound, just whispers.  Actually I think my family are probably quietly relieved!!  So this is a recipe I meant to post a good few days ago, spurred on by Nigel over at The Hersham Hub and his request for winter warmer recipes…   Ingredients: 1 red onion 2 cloves crushed garlic 2 small leafy celery stalks 2 green chillis 1 courgette 1 pointed red pepper 1 sprig rosemary 2 tsp paprika 1 tsp mixed herbs 1 tsp vegetable bouillon 1/2 glass red wine 25g fresh basil 2 tins plum tomatoes 1 tin mixed beans 1/2 cup orzo (pasta) 20g butter 2 tbsp olive oil Method:   1. Heat …