Wednesday, 4 January 2017

One last post folks....

Hello there...firstly may I wish you all a Happy New Year and I sincerely hope that you all find happiness during the madness folks. I hope we all find some peace...

Those of you who regularly read my humble little blog and come back to access the archived recipes will know it's been a while since I've posted any new recipes. My health is now at a point where I never get anywhere near my much loved kitchen. In fact the last time was a year ago, a meal for my friends to celebrate 2016. And for me that is excruciating. 

My health doesn't seem to be taking the turn for the better that I'd hoped and after much thought and at times tears I have come to the decision to retire the blog. I have loved each and every post and recipe on here and so I leave the blog active so the archives can be accessed. But there will no longer be a presence here to answer questions on the comments or provide new content.  My little blog was a lifeline for me for many years so I am very sad to say goodbye. I hope over the years I've created some food for your tables that you have enjoyed and shared. Part of the reason to shut down is also due to the fact that blogging has moved on and now everyone seems to be busy with the video formats so my blog feels old and out of date now. I personally love watching the videos and would have loved to be able to give it a try myself. Its great fun and I have so much respect for their creativity.

I am still a vegan and I always will be because to me the most fundamental aspect for me has been I never want to kill a creature to feast upon it. Since being a very small child I have held this belief and still believe with every cell in body I never will. I welcome the changes that are being made to welcome new vegans or vegetarians every day. I don't believe being vegan is a trend because I hope that people are finally seeing the senseless slaughter of animals is redundant and cruel. I don't believe there is any validation to the belief that you can ethically eat an animal. You raise the for it..give it a good life....then murder it to eat it. way...never will I ever be changed on this matter. And believe me many people have tried. So I am not leaving the Blogging community because I no longer believe in plant based living. Just needed to be clear on this point. 

The loss of cooking from my life has been devastating for me. It was my therapy, my passion and my constant thought and friend. Being unable to cook for those I love is a terrible loss. I miss the times sat around the table with everyone after marathon hours in the kitchen to provide an abundance of foods for them to enjoy. I feel like I have lost my mojo and I haven't found anything to replace that yet. I hope I do. 

This morning I resigned from the SUMA Bloggers Network which was such a personal disappointment. But I have loved being part of the original Bloggers and I hope that they continue to be a source of inspiration to SUMA customers. SUMA is a great company and I was very proud to be a very small part of it. 

Thank you for reading my posts. Thank you for being loyal. Thank you for your support. Thank you for giving me a focus during years of illness. It has been said to me..."Oh its just a blog..." *sighs* but it was never just a blog. It was a creative space, an invisible support, a passion and a space where I was more than a person with illness. I was proud of my posts and recipes. If I inspired one person to pick up a knife and get chopping then it was worth every word. 

I wish you all peace in the coming year. I hope you keep cooking and take the time to sit with loved ones to enjoy every mouthful of food. I hope you never just inhale your food and see the cooking process as a chore. In this uncertain future we need to come together and share a meal and find the love and support around that table...I have a feeling we are all going to need so much more of that. 

Goodbye folks and thank you for one final time. You rocked! 

~Red~ xx

Monday, 24 October 2016

White Sweet Potato, Lentil & Rainbow Chard Soup (vegan & gluten-free)

Rocket & Roses Kitchen Play List:

Santana ~ (Da Le) Yaleo
The Zutons ~ Little Red Door
The Union ~ The Remedy
Nickelback ~ Because Of You
Brandi Carlile ~ Things I Regret
Nerina Pallot ~ When Did I Become Such A Bitch
Def Leppard ~ Turn To Dust
Colour Of Noise ~ Medicine Man
Shakira ~ La Tortura 
Mr Buble ~ All Of Me
Muse ~Psycho
Beth Hart ~ Missing You
The Dead Daisies ~ Sleep
KT Tunstall ~ Suddenly I See           

Wow, has it really been seven months since I last posted a blog? I'm really sorry about that but in all honesty I wouldn't be posting this one today unless I had found this recipe draft and attached photo in my archives. Its enough to say that my ailments have been winning quite a few battles of late but not the war! Which for me is the most important part. Anyway....

This recipe is one I made when on my bliss filled holiday in Kent last November. Goodness me, how I wish I was headed that way again in a couple of weeks. Good memories...even the bittersweet ones. As you can imagine two weeks living by the raging sea of Birchington was at times quite chilly. (Especially if you had all doors and windows open to listen to the waves! 24/7 Ahem! Righto...) So I was enjoying warm salads like my previous post and hot glorious soups for my lunches.

This one is an adapted version of a soup from the fantastic vegan cook Linda Majzlik and her inspiring A Vegan Taste Of Series. In particular A Vegan Taste Of Mexico. Its a deeply satisfying soup with a kick of heat from the chillies and paprika but the stars of this beautiful soup are the wholesome sweet potatoes and the red lentils. In the original recipe its the splendid orange jewels of sweet potato but my friend had found some white fleshed sweet potatoes and they worked equally as well. I also had a stash of beautifully coloured rainbow chard which I'd picked up from a Kent grocers that had an abundance of magnificent fruits and veggies for sale. 

This recipe is not hard work and greatly enjoyable as the aromas take over your home. The white sweet potatoes have a slightly reduced amount of natural sugars which really worked for me and the addition of the ribbons of chard made it a complete meal in a bowl. Spoil yourself and give this one a try...I haven't served it up to anyone who hasn't devoured it yet!

White Sweet Potato, Lentil & Rainbow Chard Soup (vegan & gluten-free)

White Sweet Potato, Lentil & Rainbow Chard Soup
(Adapted recipe from A Vegan Taste of Mexico/Majzilk) 

12oz/350g white sweet potato, peeled and diced
4oz/100g split red lentils
4oz/100g tomato, skinned and chopped
1 red onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 red chilli, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, micro-grated
1 dsp rapeseed oil
30 fl oz/900 ml veggie stock
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
6 rainbow chard leaves, heavy stalks removed and chopped, leaves cut into ribbons, set separately to one side
freshly ground black pepper 
fresh coriander leaves

In a soup pan gently heat the oil and add the onion, chilli and garlic. Saute until soft. Add the tomato and cook until pulpy. Stir in the paprika and evenly distribute before adding the lentils and stock. Season with black pepper. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 15 minutes then add the potato and chard stalks. Continue simmering for another 20 minutes or so until the potato is cooked. Then stir in the chard leaves and cook for a further 5 minutes. Serve with a generous amount of chopped fresh coriander over the top. Serves 4


Thanks for stopping by and I hope your day is being kind...


NB: This is not my recipe, I simply adapted Linda Majzilks fabulous recipe from her fantastic cookbook A Vegan Taste of Mexico. I send out thanks to her for sharing such great recipes. If using this recipe please give credit where it is due and thank the lady. Many thanks...~R~  

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Nigella's Warm Spiced Cauliflower & Chickpea Salad with Pomegranate Seeds (vegan & gf)

Rocket & Roses Kitchen Play List:

Dean Martin ~ Return To Me
Royal Blood ~ Loose Change
Van Morrison ~ Someone Like You
Marvin Gaye ~ Can I Get A Witness
Janiva Magness ~ I'm Not Ashamed
John Denver ~ Sunshine On My Shoulder
Dixie Chicks ~ Baby Hold On
Stevie Ray Vaughan ~ Tightrope
Fleetwood Mac ~ You Make Loving Fun
Bing Crosby ~ Little One
Dead Sara ~ Timed Blues
Muse ~ Time Is Running Out
Chopin: Nocturne #4 in F
Joan Jett ~ I Hate Myself For Loving You           

You know I have a serious little cook book addiction, don't you? Well in the couple of months I've been away from the blog that hasn't changed folks. 

What has changed is a serious slight bone breaking condition which means I am currently mid way through a 16 week bed rest order. Yep, 16 weeks but I am remaining upbeat on the whole and with the arrival of my new bed desk I am much more relaxed about it all. I have also taken up an old hobby of cross stitch and it really helps keep me as still as possible. But sadly this means I haven't set foot in my kitchen since January. Poor ML has been in total charge of cooking me healing and nourishing meals since then. But as you can imagine I haven't been a silent partner in this matter. Last week I was happy to recieve a report of a 'very slight sign of improvement' in the original broken bone so I feel I may have finally turned a corner folks. Happy days...

Right......back to the cook book addiction. I confess that I do enjoy Nigella Lawson's tv shows. ML is a huge Nigella fan. Over the years I've enjoyed Nigella's blatent love of food and I have envied her marvellous pantries. In the past you could never describe Nigella as veggie friendly...a sad fact indeed. Until this current series...Simply Nigella. From the moment the titles started there was clearly something new and fresh about her approach. She seemed stripped back and renewed and her cooking reflected that. There were vegetarian recipes amongst the mix and....AND...a few vegan ones! I was elated, overjoyed and down right impressed. Now I know there was the old guard kicking off about her 'new hippie' recipes and the really ridiculous 'avocado on toastgate' on Twitter. And I have to say...not once did she say that it was a recipe. She was simply sharing her preferred 'go to' breakfast that she has on busy days. People sometimes stagger me at their silliness. Anyway....

I was on holiday in Birchington, Kent last November. And I watched Simply Nigella on iPlayer and was so inspired by the veggie recipes that I bought the book. I spent the rest of the two week holiday cooking the veggie recipes from it. I have always veganised my favourite Nigella recipes from her programs but I had never felt the need to buy the books. ML had a few from years ago but I never ventured between the covers. With Simply Nigella I sat down, armed with my page markers and a pencil and set about reading it cover to cover. Of course there were a lot a non-veggie dishes but on most of those I had scribbled down ideas for veganising them. I enjoyed almost all of her cook book...obivously I will never endorse the non-vegan work and it saddens me greatly to see it. But if the Nigellas of the world are finally waking up to the benefit of eating more fruits, veggies and meals that don't include animal products....isn't that hope? Doesn't that mean that people are waking up to the health benefits of vegan living? And encouraging them should be the way forward...of course that's just my opinion. 

I made this salad whilst on that lovely holiday in Kent last year. I enjoyed making it as you get to use your hands to massage the spice mix into the cauliflower and the aroma as it cooks in the oven is a sensory delight. I lightly steamed some white chard to serve alongside it as I wanted more greenage. But just as it is comes, straight out of the oven and combined with the parsley leaves, it is a comforting salad. Cauliflower and chickpeas are as ever a satisfying combination and the Harissa spices spread warmth with a burst of freshness coming from the pomegranate seeds. The tomatoes are succulent and the parsley brings it all together with its slight bitterness. I enjoyed every mouthful and I know I'll make it again.

I just wanted to say thank you for coming back every day folks and reading through the archive of recipes and posts. It has been a rough couple of months and it felt good today to be back and I am thankful I had a recipe from the holiday to share. I hope to be back soon....      

Nigella's Warm Cauliflower & Chickpea Salad with Pomegranate Seeds

Nigella's Warm Cauliflower & Chickpea Salad with Pomegranate Seeds     Serves 2
(Recipe by Nigella Lawson from Red Magazine Article)

1 small cauliflower head
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 4oog tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1-2 tbsp harissa, to taste
4 smallish vine tomatoes
3-4 tbsp pomegranate seeds
100g flat leaf parsley, to serve

Pre-heat the oven to 220'C/GM 7. Trim the cauliflower and divide into small florets. Pour the oil into a large bowl, add the cinnamon and cumin, and stir or whisk to help the spices disberse. Tip in the cauliflower and toss/massage to coat. Pour the lot into a small oven tray and place in the oven for 15 minutes. Don't wash out the bowl just yet! 

Add the chickpeas to the bowl with 1 tbsp of the harissa, tasting it first to see if you want to add more, and toss to coat. Quarter and add the tomatoes and shake or stir to mix. When the cauliflower has had its 15 minutes, remove from the oven, quickly tip the chickpeas and tomatoes over the top, and toss to combine before returning to the oven for a further 15 minutes, until the cauliflower is tender. 

When it's ready, remove from the oven and sprinkle sea salt flakes over the top, then add half the pomegranate seeds and toss to combine before dividing between two bowls. Divide the parsley leaves - without chopping them - between the bowls and toss to mix. Scatter with the remaining seeds to serve. 


Thanks for stopping by and I hope you are finding a reason to smile today...


NB: This is not my recipe. Therefore I take no credit for it whatsoever. It is the creation of Nigella Lawson and hers alone. I send out thanks to her for sharing such great recipes. ~R~