Saturday, 30 April 2011

Caper & Dill Coleslaw and Deli Potato Salad

As I am still laid low with the lurgy and as it's such a beautifully sunny weekend out there I thought I would post up two of my favourite salads for you. I know the blog has been heavy on the salads lately but as soon as I am fighting fit I shall be varying the recipes again. So please stay with 

I like the coleslaw because the flavours are so different and as there is no onion in it, it's more mellow then the usual kind. I really enjoy it. The potato salad is the very salad that got me hooked on...well..potato salad! I had spent my whole life thinking I didn't like it...but no..I just didn't like mayo smothered potato salad! Who knew? lol Both recipes are from Joanne Stepaniak's wonderful Vegan Deli

Caper and Dill Coleslaw
(Recipe from Vegan Deli/J.Stephaniak)

3 cups of finely chopped or shredded green cabbage
1 cup of finely chopped or shredded red cabbage
2 medium carrots, grated
1/2 cup of vegan mayo 
2 tsp capers, drained
2 tsp dried dill
1/4 tsp crushed garlic

Combine the cabbage and carrot in a large bowl, and toss together

Blitz the remaining ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth and creamy. Pour over the cabbage and carrots, and toss to thoroughly combine. Store in an airtight container in the fridge until needed. 

Deli Potato Salad
(Recipe from Vegan Deli/J.Stephaniak)

6 medium, red skinned potatoes
1 1/3 cups of Deli Dressing (recipe to follow)
2 - 3 tbsp finely minced or grated red onion
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp prepared yellow mustard
1 tsp celery seeds
Salt and pepper

Cut the potatoes into cubes or bite sized chunks, making about 6 cups. Steam until tender. Set aside to cool slightly. 

Combine the dressing, onion, vinegar, mustard, and celery seeds in a large glass or ceramic mixing bowl. Mix well. 

Add the cooked potatoes, salt, and pepper to the dressing, and toss gently. Chill thoroughly. Garnish with paprika just before serving. 

Deli Dressing Makes approx 1 1/2 cups

1 1/2 cups of mashed firm silken tofu
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp dry mustard
1/4 cup canola/sunflower oil

Place the tofu, lemon juice, salt, and dry mustard in a blender or food processor, and process until smooth and creamy. With the appliance still running, drizzle the oil in a slow, steady stream through the cap opening in the lid. Store in the refrigerator. It will keep for at least a week. 


Many apologies for the photos...I am on a learning curve and will do better...especially when my new shiny camera turns up! lol

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Supportive Sock Stealer Moment

I couldn't help but take this snap of the Sock Stealer. He frets like anything when My Love or I are ill so he waits to see where we are sitting and then sets up camp in a position where he can watch us. And this is where he has been whilst I've been laid up with this lurgy..on the back of the sofa...just snoozing and 

Veggie and Butterbean Dahl

As you will have picked up from my Twitter feed I am currently laid low with a nasty viral lurgy. And when that happens My Love takes over the kitchen duties for me and when the lurgy is at its worst My Love always throws together a Lentil Dahl and brown rice. It is spicy and comforting and is always appreciated when I feel dreadful. I would swear it's

The Dahl last night had veggies and butter beans..well mine did...I find great comfort in the lovely plump bean but My Love doesn' they are heated and then stirred into my share of the dahl at the end. lol. But however it's is comforting, tasty and makes me feel a little better. 

Veggie & Butterbean Dhal

400g/14oz split red lentils
4 thin slices of fresh ginger
1 tsp tumeric
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp ground coriander
large pinch of chilli powder
2 medium onions, sliced
4 carrots, thinly sliced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
250g/8oz frozen peas
1 14oz tin of Butterbeans, rinsed and drained
Juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper to season

In a large saucepan, combine the lentils, ginger, tumeric, cumin, coriander and chilli powder with 2 litres of water and bring to a boil.

Add the veggies to the boiling lentil mixture. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for approx 25 minutes until the mixture goes from loose to thick and porridge like.

Add the peas and the butterbeans and cook for approx 3 minutes then stir in the lemon juice and season to taste. Serve over brown rice...enjoy..I

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Gadgets ~ Rocket Ice Lolly Moulds and Umbrella Ice Lolly Moulds

I have very fond memories from my earlier childhood of running around on hot summer days and then being called into the house by my Mum and being given an ice lolly from the freezer. The flavours were usually lemon, orange or tropical fruit. The moulds were from Tupperware as my Mum was once a rep for them. I loved these lollies and they were always so refreshing. I remember with great excitement one summer when a blackcurrant batch came out of the freezer and me and my cousins M & H fought to be in the front of the line. lol. Ah memories...

I'm going to start a section of this blog and devote it solely to this wonderful homemade treat. As the number of my nephew and nieces and friends children expand I am shocked and stunned by how expensive the store bought ices are. And the preservatives in them are awful. And My Love and I enjoy an iced treat every now and then too. So I am going to start creating healthier ices which will have all the flavour and less of the junk. I hope you try them out. 

As part of our wedding presents we were given a voucher for a store that we rarely use but was very surprised when we found a set of Rocket lolly moulds. So they were purchased and sat along side the ice cream maker we bought with the same voucher. The store bought 'Rocket' lollies are one of our favourites to this day so we had to buy these moulds.

Rocket Ice Lolly Moulds
 I was very lucky to be given a voucher from a friend for my birthday for Argos. And as I thumbed through the catalogue I found the most lovely set of Umbrella Ice Lolly Moulds. And as I have a collection of Umbrellas and the idea for the 'Lolly' section had already formed in my mind I took it as a sign that I should purhcase them. So I did..and they make me smile..

 Sometimes you just have to have things around that make the everyday reality a little lighter and these definitely make me smile. These Umbrella moulds can be bought from Argos for £4.99. 

So I shall be making lollies with many differing ingredients and I hope as the weather heats up you will try them yourself. I have tried a test run on both moulds with just water and that worked very well so I am confident they will work well in the future. 

So look out for the Yummy Ice Lollies label in the future and I hope you enjoy!  ~Red~  

Monday, 25 April 2011

Grated Carrot Salad and Vinaigrette Potato Salad

We very rarely have dressings with our salads or a cooked cold salad. Daily we eat a large fresh salad with a 'topping' instead. Dressed salads are for high days and holidays, like my recent birthday celebration. The carrot salad is always very popular and is seriously tasty and the best part is that it's so simple to throw together. The potato salad is a relatively new salad to me, for years I hated regular potato salad, thinking I hated cold potatoes. Only to find out it wasn't the potatoes I hated it was the mayonaise they were covered in. So when I tried a Deli Potato Salad recipe which I made for My Love, I was shocked to find I actually loved it! Oh dear! lol. Then I started to experiment with all types of potato salad. Both of these recipes come from the wonderful Vegan Deli: Wholesome, Ethnic Fast Food by Joanne Stepaniak.

Grated Carrot Salad
(Recipe from Vegan Deli/J.Stepaniak)

1lb carrots, grated
1/4 cup/4tbsp fresh lemon juice
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup minced fresh coriander or parsley (I use parsley)

Place the grated carrots in a bowl. Dress with the lemon juice, oil, salt and pepper. Stir in the herb. simple! lol 

Vinaigrette Potato Salad
(Recipe from Vegan Deli/J.Stepaniak)

6 med thin skinned potatoes (I use a 1lb bag of baby new potatoes)
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (I never use that much...1/4 cup/4tbsp)
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons tahini
1 tbsp dried tarragon
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp salt
Several dashes of Tabasco sauce
1/2 cup minced red onion
2 tbsp minced fresh parsley

Cut the potatoes into cubes (if using baby new just halve), making about six cups. Steam until tender, then set aside to cool slightly.

In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, lemon, tahini,tarragon, mustard, salt, and hot pepper sauce to taste. Add the potatoes, onion, and parsley, and toss gently. Serve warm or thoroughly chilled.


Sunday, 24 April 2011

Vanilla & Sugar Easter Cookies

Jazzy Easter Cookies ~ Baby Chicks, Baby Bunnies, Mummy & Daddy Bunnies and Bugsy Bunnies. lol 
Happy Easter All! We had the pleasure of making these fabulous Easter cookies with our nephew M and niece N yesterday. The cookies were simple Vanilla Sugar Cookies and then they were topped with coloured glace icing which the little ones helped to mix up. Then they were let loose with the sprinkles and jellies. The hard part was trying to stop N eating the jellies before they had a chance to be used as toppings! lol But we had a lot of fun whilst my sister enjoyed some time to herself. A lot of fun..highly recommended. The cookie recipe was from The Joy of Vegan Baking

Vanilla Sugar Cookies
(Recipe from Joy of Vegan Baking/Patrick-Gourdreau)

1 3/4 cups (220g) all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup (112g) vegan butter
3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp egg replacer (equivalent of one egg) 
2 tbsp (30ml) water
1 tsp vanilla extract

Various coloured glace icing
sprinkles for toppings

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a bowl combine the flour and baking powder and set to one side. 

Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg replacer, water, and vanilla extract and beat for at least another minute. Add the flour mix  and beat until you have a smooth dough. 

Divide the dough in half and wrap each half in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 1 hour or until firm enough to roll. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350'F/180'C/Gas Mark 4. 

Remove one half of the dough and on a lightly floured surface, roll out to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out the cookie shapes using cookie cutters and place them on the baking sheets and then place the sheets into the fridge for 15 minutes to chill the dough, which stops the cookies from spreading and losing their shape while baking. 

Bake the cookies for 11 - 15 minutes, or until they begin to brown around the edges. Remove from the oven and place on cooling racks until completely cooled and then glaze with icing and top with sprinkles of choice. 

But they are lovely just plain and the decorating part is purely for fun! lol 

Frosted cookies will keep for several days in an airtight container. Store between layers of parchment paper or waxed paper.

Friday, 22 April 2011

Hungarian Cauliflower Paprikash

Kitchen Play List: R&B Club Mix Compilation Album

This wonderful and tasty recipe is one of our regular meals. It's easy to make, tastes delicious and is quite easy on the budget. It comes from the excellent Vegan Deli by Joanne Stepaniak. 

We usually serve it hot over some brown rice and leftovers are used up served over a jacket potato. But recently I made a salad buffet and I thought that maybe this might be also good served cold. And it was! Very tasty indeed. So now I would happily eat it hot or cold...on its own or with rice etc. Once again thank you to Joanne Stepaniak for an excellent recipe. 

Hungarian Cauliflower Paprikash
(Recipe from Vegan Deli by J/Stepaniak)

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 red or green bell pepper, sliced
3 large ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1 tbsp paprika
1 tsp sugar
Salt and cayenne pepper
1 medium cauliflower, cut into bitesize florets

Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and pepper and saute until soft. 

Add the tomatoes, paprika, sugar, salt, and cayenne pepper and mix well. 

Add the cauliflower, cover, and simmer, stirring often, until tender (about 20 minutes). Add a little water if the mixture becomes too dry. 



Thursday, 21 April 2011

10th Anniversary Flowers

10th Anniversary Bouquet ~ Beautiful, no?

Today is our 10th Anniversary...and I received the most beautiful bouquet of white roses, red gerberras, lillies, deep red carnations and green foliage. They were wrapped in a thin black lace and the card was held by a polka dot bow. Lol. They are very lovely and took my breath away when presented with them. What can I say....I'm a sucker for 

As flowers never last as long as I would like them too...I just wanted to share them with you and the stunning colours...

Red Gerberra and White Roses ~ Perfection to me!
Bright, beautiful and
Well I hope their beauty has made you smile?  Red x

Rocket and Roses Simple Fennel and Kale Soup

Kitchen Play List:   Rainbow ~ Greatest Hits Album

My mystery ingredient item this week was the rather splendid Fennel bulb...4 of them to be exact. One of my favourite ways to eat fennel is steamed on a bed of kale. To me the flavours just fit together perfectly. So with this in mind I created this soup. I know you may be thinking "..but it's too warm to eat soup!" But in the Rocket and Roses kitchen we eat soup and salad for lunch most days. Yes for the healthy aspect of eating a good salad every day and the ease on the digestion of soup but mainly because we enjoy it. So I am always collecting soup recipes and creating new ones of my own. 

I wanted to keep the flavours in this soup very simple. I didn't want to take away from the natural flavours of the lush green kale and the aniseedy fennel. But you really do need to be a green leafy lover to enjoy this soup! lol. We have loved it and I hope you try it too. 

Can you feel the goodness in this soup? lol
 Rocket and Roses Simple Fennel & Kale Soup
(Original recipe from the Rocket & Roses Vegan Kitchen)

1 tbsp olive oil
1 large or 2 small fennel bulbs, trimmed and roughly chopped
1 large potato, peeled and cubed
1/2 litre of veggie stock
1 200g bag of Curly Kale
1/2 litre of water
pinch of salt
generous amount of freshly cracked black pepper

Heat the oil in a large soup pan and then saute the fennel for 3 minutes. Add the potato to the pan and saute for a further 3 minutes. 

Add the stock to the fennel and potatoes and leave to simmer for 10 minutes. 

Add the remaining water to the pan and kale. Leave it to sit on top of the water and cover with the saucepan lid. Leave for 5 minutes. After the 5 minutes the kale should easily be stirred into the soup so stir it well and cover again and leave to simmer for 10 minutes. 

Season with the salt and the freshly cracked black pepper and then using a stick blender or regular blender blitz the soup until silky and smooth. 


Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Garlic Puree Croutons

Kitchen Play List: No Doubt ~ Greatest Hits Album

I really like garlic bread. But not the pre-made ones that are bought from supermarkets as it's almost always made with butter which I won't eat and if it's made with oil it loses most of its flavour during the production. That's just my opinion. But I do enjoy homemade garlic bread in all its various forms. And this recipe is fantastic as it's simple to make and with very few ingredients and works really well on a platter as part of a buffet table.  The recipe is from The Mediterranean Vegan Kitchenby Donna Klein. 

The first time I made this garlic puree I wasn't convinced at all. The whole time the garlic cloves were boiling...I thought it surely couldn't end up being tasty..but as the plate of croutons disappeared I realised that I was very wrong. Then I tried one myself and was completely bowled over by the taste. The garlic puree is mellow and smooth and as it's melted into the crispy crouton the textures are amazing. Always good to have that extra bit of crunch! lol. So please don't be put off by the cooking process...keep the faith...and try the end product...its all the flavour of garlic bread without the huge dollops of butter or preservatives you find in the shop bought ones, with just 1/2 tbsp of olive oil it's a real treasure of a recipe. Thank you Donna Klein! 

Garlic Puree with Croutons
(Recipe from The Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen by D/Klein)

2 heads of garlic, separated into cloves, skins on
1 cup of veggie stock
2 cups of water
1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 large long baguette, sliced into 1/2" slices

In a small saucepan, combine the garlic, stock and water,bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, birskly for 1 hour. Or until almost all of the liquid has evaporated. 

Pre-heat your oven to 400'f/200'c/Gas Mark 6 and arrange the sliced baguette evenly over a baking sheet. Bake in the middle of the oven for 5 minutes...or until lightly toasted. Take out of the oven and then onto cooling racks to stop them going soft.

Drain the garlic cloves and retain the leftover stock/water. Gently push the garlic from each clove into a bowl and discard the skins. Using a stick blender or fork break up the garlic and add in the leftover stock/water and the oil and keep blending or beating until the garlic mix is smooth. 

With a 1/2 tsp measure spoon some garlic puree on each crouton and spread to cover.  Serve at room temprature. 


Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Sesame Broccoli Salad

Kitchen Play List:   Thunder ~ Gimme Shelter
                                      Shakira ~ Fool
                                      Jace Everett ~ I Gotta Have It
                                      Colbie Cailatt ~ Breaking At The Cracks
                                      Jack Johnson ~ Constellations
                                      Simon & Garfunkel ~ Cecilia
                                      Chris Cornell ~ Arms Around Your Love

This salad has to be my favourite! I am a broccoli addict..that's on record lol. But the tender crisp steamed broccoli and the sesame, garlic and tamari are perfect together to make a fantastic foody experience. The bright green broccoli florets and red pepper strips make for a visual delight. As a salad its quite delicious and as a filling for wholemeal pittas it's a pleasure. The recipe is not's from Vegan Deliby Joanne Stepaniak.  

Sesame Broccoli Salad...Heaven on a plate! lol
Sesame Broccoli Salad
(Recipe from Vegan Deli by J/Stepaniak)

6 cups Broccoli, cut into bitesize florets (roughly two very large heads of Brocs)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large red bell pepper, sliced into matchsticks
1 small garlic clove, crushed
2 tbsp lightly toasted sesame seeds
1 tbsp dark sesame oil
Salt or natural soy sauce (I used tamari)

Steam the broccoli until tender crisp. Leave to drain in a colander for a couple of minutes and then place in bowl. 

Heat the olive oil in a skillet. Add the red bell pepper, and saute until tender. Stir in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Remove from the heat and pour over the broccoli. Add the remaining ingredients and toss gently. Serve warm or thoroughly chilled. 

We tried it both ways....equally delish! Enjoy!

Monday, 18 April 2011

Cook Book Junkie - Vegan Deli by Joanne Stepaniak

A sample salad platter...
This cookbook has been a joy since the moment I tore open the packaging and sat down and read it through from cover to cover. I have tried out almost all of the recipes and have enjoyed all of them...except the 'chopped liver' spread. I recently celebrated my birthday and as my oven has been acting up and the weather had finally begun to feel like spring, I put together a salad table. And almost all of the recipes were from this one cookbook. Above is a sampler of some of the salads I made for the day. Everyone who came commented on how much they were loving the food and came back for 2nd's. 3rd's. 4th's,5th' see where I am going with this? lol. This cookbook has never let me down and is a comfort to know it's sat there on my cookbook shelf for those 'deli' days. 

If you love the 'deli' shops but are struggling with affording the ridiculous prices they now charge then invest in this cookbook and make your own. It's worth every single penny I paid for it and Joanne Stepanick is a genius. 

I will be posting salad recipes quite regularly and many will be ones I served on my birthday...Treat yourself and go and buy Vegan Deliby Joanne Stepaniak

Very Tasty Vegan, Gluten Free and Yeast Free Pizzas

Kitchen Play List: Maroon 5 ~ Hands All Over Album

Oh how I wish I could take credit for this fantastic recipe...but I would never do that. And frustratingly I can't give the credit where it's due as I found it posted by Anon on a website. Seriously...Anon...take some credit for a really good creation! lol.

I'm not Gluten Free personally but I have friends who are and have been experimenting with them in mind. I actually have a 'flour' cupboard in my kitchen with nearly 20 different flours. And I have to say I'm enjoying the experiments and now include many gluten free recipes in our eating plan. Don't misunderstand me..there have been some truly horrific outcomes too! lol

As part of my cold salad buffet for my small birthday gathering I wanted to add a few things to 'pad it out'. The vegans were more than catered for in the plan and I suddenly had a thought that it would be nice to have some pizza on offer. But I wanted it to include the GF's not exclude them. So I set about researching gluten free vegan pizza bases...and then remembered one of my friends can't tolerate yeast either!! And out of desperation I added yeast free to my search and found many differing versions of this pizza base. I guess with each individual's spin added in. I had all the ingredients and decided to give it a shot.

The results were a very easy to make and tasty pizza base. OK it's not as bendy as traditional wheat based bases but its got a good texture and a good starting point for delicious quick pizzas. From start to finish I had these pizzas on the table in under 30 minutes. So quick. And personally I always prefer homemade 'rustic' pizzas to the ones from the frozen section of a supermarket or from an over priced pizza shop. They have their place but now I have this's homemade from here on in lol.

Tomato and Basil Pizza
Tomato and Basil Pizza
(Base recipe created by Anon)
(Topping created by Rocket and Roses)

2 cups GF flour blend (I used Doves Farm Rice Flour Blend)
1 1/2 tsp of GF baking powder
1 tsp Xanthan gum or 1 1/2 tsp guar/gum
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp parsley
1 cup of water
2 tbsp olive oil

1/2 cup passata
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dried oregano

1/2 cup grated soya mozzarella
1/2 cup sliced fresh basil

Preheat your oven to 400'F/200'C/Gas mark 6 and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. 

In a mixing bowl add the flour, baking powder, xanthan gum, salt, herbs and stir to combine. Make a well in the centre and the water and oil. Mix with a fork until all the ingredients are mixed and then push the dough together with your hands. Then place it onto the baking sheet and with your hands press it out and over the sheet. If it gets sticky sprinkle some flour over the dough. Keep going until you reach your desired thickness. Then place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. 

In a small bowl mix the passata, herb and garlic powder. (using garlic powder gives you a more evenly spread out taste and means no more salt be added but you could use fresh if that's your preference)

When the base has had it's initial baking time take it out of the oven and spread the passata mix evenly over the base and then sprinkle the cheese over the pizza. Drizzle very thinly with extra virgin olive oil but this is optional! Then return to the oven and bake for 10 minutes more. 

When you take the pizza out of the oven sprinkle with the sliced basil and then serve....

Chilli Pizza

Chilli Pizza
(Base recipe 'based' on one posted by Anon)
(Topping created by Rocket and Roses)

2 cups of GF flour blend
1 1/2 tsp GF baking powder
1 tsp xanthan gum or 1 1/2 tsp guar/gum
1 tsp salt
1/2 heaped tsp of dried chilli flakes
1 cup of water
2 tbsp olive oil   

2 tbsp tomato paste
4 tbsp water
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp olive oil

1/2 cup grated soya mozzarella
1 hot red chilli, deseeded, halved and sliced
1 hot green chilli, deseeded, halved and sliced

Chilli oil

Preheat your oven to 400'F/200'C/Gas mark 6 and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. 

In a mixing bowl add the flour, baking powder, xanthan gum, salt, chilli flakes and stir to combine. Make a well in the centre and the water and oil. Mix with a fork until all the ingredients are mixed and then push the dough together with your hands. Then place it onto the baking sheet and with your hands press it out and over the sheet. If it gets sticky sprinkle some flour over the dough. Keep going until you reach your desired thickness. Then place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. 

In a small bowl add the tomato paste, water, garlic powder and olive oil and whisk until smooth and creamy. 

When the base has had its initial baking time remove it from the oven and spread the tomato paste mix over the pizza base. Sprinkle the grated cheese over the tomato and then evenly drop the chilli pieces over the pizza. Drizzle over a small amount of chilli oil...this is optional. 

Place back into the oven and bake for a further 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve....

Hope you enjoy them as much as we all did....

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Mooli and Carrot Salad with Sesame Seeds

Kitchen Play List:     Adele ~ 21 Album

Mooli ~ A giant white Asian radish! That was my mystery ingredient this week, provided by my friend D. And I had a lot of recipes waiting to use it in...but no real kitchen time as we were busy with birthday celebrations! Darn! lol. It was a real shame as I haven't been able to find the elusive radish around here. But D happened to be walking down the street and saw some outside the grocers and thought of So as I was making a buffet for my celebrations that consisted of 12 salads I thought "...well why not try the Mooli Salad recipe out?.." And that is what I did....

The results were a very refreshing salad. Simple and clean flavours...I hope I can find a constant supply of these radish because it was a pleasure to use. 

 Mooli and Carrot Salad with Sesame Seeds
(Recipe post by Anon)

250g/9oz Mooli/white radish/diakon, peeled and grated
150g/9oz Carrot, peeled and grated
60ml/4 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 pinch of salt
1 tsp black or white sesame seeds

Soak the grated mooli and carrot in cold water for 15 minutes

Drain well and season, dress with the vinegar and toss well

Serve with a sprinkling of sesame seeds 



Saturday, 16 April 2011

What a fab surprise...My red gerberra birthday cake!!!

D's splendid work of art! 

I have been enjoying a lovely day with my friends...a belated Birthday celebration and I have looked forward to seeing them all and having fun. It's been a beautiful day outside and I feel truly blessed to have such good friends. I made 13 salads for the buffet and experimented with Gluten Free pizzas and have drunken (with help from friends) many bottles of fizz...white, pink and martini...but the most special moment for me has been the lovely surprise from my pal D...who baked and beautifully decorated a birthday cake for me. A red gerberra cake at that! Perfect...and I can report that it tasted as good as it looked. So thank you made my day!

So I just wanted to share this with you whilst they are all throwing themselves about playing on the Wii! lol. I really do hope your Saturday has been as good as mine?

With candles! 

Once again...thank you D & B...and everyone else who came today!

Rocket and Roses Coriander Guacamole

Kitchen Play List: Christina A ~ Candyman 
                                      Elvis Costello ~ Let's Misbehave
                                      (both repeated for fun kitchen dancing! lol)

I was given a very fresh and lush bunch of coriander recently and I had some left over after making the Mystery Ingredient recipe. And I had two rather large Avocados in the fridge that were past their best to be used in anything other than a dip. So I set about throwing together a Guacamole. I made it up as I went along and I know it's not very original but its one of My Loves favourite things to why not? lol. 

Rocket and Roses Coriander Guacamole
(Original recipe from the Rocket and Roses Vegan Kitchen)

2 large very ripe avocados
1/2 tsp ground cumin
pinch of cayenne pepper
3 med tomatoes, hard stalk out and roughly chopped
1 1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
large handful of fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped
juice of two limes

Scoop out the flesh of the avocados into a medium sized bowl and mash them down with a fork or a masher, until creamy. Then add the cumin and cayenne and stir to combine. 

Add the remaining ingredients into the bowl and stir thoroughly. If not eating straight away then push the avocado stones into the guacamole and store, covered tightly, in the fridge until needed. 


Friday, 15 April 2011

Strawberry 39ers Birthday Cupcakes

Kitchen Play List: Riotous giggles, shouting, begging and chuckles

Yesterday I turned 39! my head it just can't be so but my Mum assures me that I am indeed knocking on 40's door! I was treated to a lovely breakfast cooked for me by My Love..a lovely Red Cabbage Scramble. 

I really didn't have time to worry about turning 39 before my family turned up to help me celebrate. I was sat in my work room when the front door burst open and my nephews M and J came running through the house trying to find me whilst shouting Happy Birthday Auntie R...and then they found me in my workroom and threw bunches of daffodils at me and gave me great big hugs and kisses..then seconds later my niece caught them up...shouting Happy Birthday at me whilst throwing another bunch of daffodils at me and giving me a quick hug and kiss before she ran off to find the boys to make sure she wasn't missing out on anything! lol. My sister then came in carrying my niece L who was looking very adorable in her matching pink hat and sweater! But sound asleep so I had to wait for birthday hugs there. But others kept me very busy in the mean time. 

They helped me make my birthday cupcakes which I have named Strawberry me...My Love and I gave this some deep thought...and yes that was the best we came up with..we liked it straight away. lol. 

So sat around my dining table I cut the vanilla cupcakes into little cup shapes, leaving the cut outs on a plate for the kiddies and adults to snack on, J very precisely took 1/2 tsp measures of Strawberry Jam and smoothed it around the cups whilst M sat with a safety knife and cut the strawberries in half. This of course was hard work for the little ones as they were practically drooling over the strawberries. lol. The next part of the assembly was madness as J smeared the whipped cream into the cups and M followed behind him with the strawberries with N running around the table, jumping up and shouting "..Strawberries!!!.." and trying to grab a strawberry...which she did manage once and there was uproar from the boys so more strawberries had to be brought through, cut up and placed...on the cupcakes and in their mouths lol. The results were beautiful and having them help me with them made them even more special. Thank you M and J for your wonderful help and N for just making us laugh so much! 

After they were finished I returned the favour by helping them make their Chocolate Easter Birds Nest Cakes...which translates that I got covered in chocolate and shreddies and had a blast! It was a pure pleasure....

Auntie R's and M, J & N's Strawberry 39ers Birthday Cupcakes! 

Strawberry 39ers Birthday Cupcakes
(Cupcake recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World/Moskowitz & Romero)
(Assembly and creative ideas from the Rocket and Roses Vegan Kitchen...and little ones)
1 cup of soya milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 tbsp cornstarch
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup sunflower oil
3/4 cup sugar
2 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

In a small bowl stir together the milk and the vinegar and leave for a few minutes to curdle. 

In a large mixing bowl pour in the curdled milk, oil, vanilla extract and the sugars. Whisk until well combined and bubbly. 

Sift in the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, soda and salt. Then stir until there are no large lumps left but do not over stir. 

Fill a muffin tin with cupcake liners or using cake release, grease the muffin pan and fill each one two thirds full with cupcake batter. Then bake in a pre-heated oven at 350'F/180'C/Gas Mark 4 for 20 minutes. Then put onto a cooling rack and lift out after a few minutes. Leave to cool completely before topping. 

I usually make mine the day before I need them as they have set beautifully by then. This mix usually makes between 10-12 cupcakes. But as I'm usually catering for at least 25 people I have to make many batches!! lol 

1/2 cup reduced sugar strawberry jam
1 carton of Soya Whipping Cream
1 punnet of fresh Strawberries (or two if you have little ones helping! lol)

Taking a completely cooled cupcake carefully cut out the top of the cupcake, leaving a cup shape. Whip the cream until it's good and thick. 

Using a 1/2 tsp measure spoon in the strawberry jam and smooth around the cavity of the cupcake. Then spoon a 'dollop' of whipped cream on top. 

Hull and halve the strawberries and then place one on top of the cream on each cupcake. 


Thursday, 14 April 2011

Rocket and Roses Mixed Bean Salad with Almond Dressing

Kitchen Play List: Duffy ~ Stepping Stone
                                   Duffy ~ Warwick Avenue
                                   Shakira ~ Long Time

I wanted to share this very quick and very easy bean salad. It's the one I make when I haven't had time to make a proper salad topping. Who am I kidding? I sometimes make it even when I do have a topping made! lol. 

Rocket and Roses Mixed Bean Salad with Almond Dressing
(Original recipe from the Rocket and Roses Vegan Kitchen)

1 14oz tin of mixed beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp ground almonds
 1/4 tsp dried oregano
Fresh flat leaf parsley leaves 

Put the rinsed and drained beans into a microwave bowl and heat for 2 minutes on High.

In a serving bowl add the remaining ingredients - except the parsley leaves - and stir until slightly thickened. When the beans have heated add them to the serving bowl and stir well to coat all the beans. Then scatter the parsley leaves over the top. 


Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Nine-Jewelled Vegetables with Wholemeal Chapatis

Kitchen Play List:  Enrique Igleslas ~ Somebody's Me
                                     Martina McBride ~ Some Say I'm Running
                                     The Quireboys ~ You Shook Me All Night Long
                                     Don Williams ~ I'll Be There
                                     Madeleine Peyroux ~ The Summer Wind
                                     Freemasons ~ Uninvited
                                     Bowes & Morley ~ Better Times

This wonderful dish has been enjoyed in our home many times and I have served it to many guests. All have enjoyed it and I have been asked for the recipe a lot. The recipe comes from The Low-Fat Indian Vegetarian Cookbook 

Don't let the long list of ingredients put you off! It's just a matter of getting organised with four bowls. Put on some good music and enjoy a glass of wine or a bottle of beer and get chopping, although the music alone does it for me. lol. Bowl one, chop and toss in the shallots, chilli and ginger...bowl two, chop and toss in the potatoes, carrots and green beans....bowl three, chop and toss in the aubergine/eggplant, butternut squash and turnips...bowl four, chop and toss in the cauliflower and mushrooms...and have the spinach chopped and ready on your chopping board. Then the recipe doesn't take that much effort after that. I also mix up my spices in a tiny glass bowl so they can just be tossed in too! But that's only for this recipe...I'm not that organised usually. lol. 

This was the first recipe I made after buying this book. I cooked it up and served it with a rice dish and chapatis but we both agreed that it really didn't need the rice. As there are a lot of starches in this dish we felt bloated and heavy afterwards. The next time we tried it I served it with just the chapatis and it was a totally different experience. We found it to be a light and very tasty meal and since then that is how we have it...

May just look like a pile of veggies and a chapati but it tastes like heaven! 
Nine-Jewelled Vegetables
(Recipe from The Low-Fat Indian Cookbook)

1 tbsp unsalted cashews
1 tbsp sunflower seeds
200ml/7fl oz/ 3/4 cup warm water

2 tbsp sunflower oil
4 green cardamons, bruised
1 2" piece of cinnamon stick

5-6 shallots, finely chopped
2 green chillies, chopped (de-seeded if that's your pref)
1" piece of ginger, peeled and finely grated

1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp tumeric

450ml/16fl oz/ 2 cups of luke warm water

175g/6oz/1 cup potatoes, peeled and cut into 2" cubes
125g/4oz/ 2/3 cup fresh green beans, chopped into 2 inch pieces
90g/3oz carrots, cut into chunks

150g/4oz/1 cup aubergine cut into 2" pieces
150g/5oz/1 cup butternut squash cut into 2" pieces
125g/4oz/1 turnip cut into 1" cubes
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar

125g/4oz/1 cup cauliflower florets, divided into bite sized pieces
90g/3oz/1 cup of button mushrooms, halved

125g/5fl oz/2 cups of fresh spinach, chopped down

140ml/5fl oz/ 2/3 cup soya cream
50g/2oz/ 1/4 cup soya yoghurt

1 tbsp lemon juice

In a large skillet, dry roast the cashews and sunflower seeds until lightly browned. Remove, cool and then puree in a blender with the warm water and set side. (Mine never 'purees' but is more liquid..and does separate but just give it a quick stir when needed! It's fine!)

In the skillet, heat the oil gently and add the cinnamon stick and the cardamon. Let them sizzle in the oil for 30-40 seconds. 

Add the shallots, ginger and chilli pepper. Increase the heat to medium and fry until the shallots are soft and translucent. (3-4 minutes)

Add the spices and stir, then add the potatoes, carrots and beans. Pour in the lukewarm water, stir to combine and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and cover with the lid and cook for 5 minutes. 

Add the aubergine, pumpkin, turnips, salt and sugar. Stir, cover and cook for 5 minutes. 

Add the cauliflower and mushrooms and stir. Pile the spinach leaves on top of the vegetables and cover the skillet. Cook for 5 minutes. 

Add the (stirred) cashew/sunflower puree, cream and yoghurt. Cook, uncovered, for 4-5 minutes. (I sometimes find that the potatoes and turnips need a little longer cooking time..but no more than an extra 4 minutes..) 

Stir in the lemon juice and remove from the heat. Spoon into bowls and serve with chapatis or naan.