Sunday, 30 March 2014

Besan Dosa with Carrot (vegan and gluten free)

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

Tina Dico ~ The Other Side 
Deana Carter ~ Turn Those Wheel's Around
The Pretenders ~ Hymn To Her
Edith Piaff ~ L'Accordeoniste
Deap Vally ~ Baby I Call Hell
Meredith Brooks ~ Shout
Paul Weller ~ Wings Of Speed
Colbie Caillat ~ Fearless
Sandi Thom ~ Times Like These
Kaiser Chiefs ~ Time Honoured Tradition
Fleetwood Mac ~ Say You Love Me
Pearl Jam ~ Let The Records Play

Happy Mother's Day to all the lovely Mums celebrating today in UK. I wish you all a love filled day...with lots of treats. 

My day is a lazy filled with catching up on with myself. Listening to my favourite Podcasts whilst pootling around then I'm going to enjoy snuggling up with an afternoon movie. I have plenty of leftovers from last nights meal so I have no cooking to do either. A total 'down time' day. 

Today's recipe comes from the Vegan Magic kitchen. I was looking for a flat bread to serve with the meal I cooked for myself and Ann last night. Ann being a lucky person can indulge in regular naan breads but I needed a gluten free option for myself. I found this recipe during a google search and loved the sound of it. And flipping through the photos and reading the posting convinced me that this was maybe a gluten free flat bread recipe that would indeed have many uses. I believed! And I wasn't disappointed as you can see from my hastily taken photo...not only were they easy to whip up, cooked quickly and were simple to move about but they actually did roll up so they could be used as a wrap too! The taste was slightly spiced with a hint of sweetness from the carrot...and the texture was very slightly dense but in the best way. I'm looking forward to making another batch and testing them out as wraps. I will update this post when I do...

Besan Dosa with Carrot

Besan Dosa with Carrot     Makes 5-6
(Recipe from VeganMagic)

1 cup chickpea flour (besan)
1/4 cup rice flour (I used brown rice)
2 garlic cloves, finely grated
2 tsp finely grated fresh ginger root
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/8 tsp turmeric 
1/8 tsp smoked paprika 
1 tsp salt (Himalayan)

1/2 - 3/4 cup water 
1 cup finely grated carrot 

1/4 cup oil for cooking the dosas (I used 2 tbsp)

Mix the ingredients in a bowl. Add 1/2 cup water and whisk to obtain a smooth paste. Add the grated carrot and mix it in with a spoon. Check the consistency and add more water if needed. (Usually 2-3 tbsp) The batter should be runny enough to spread it easily in the pan. Thinner batter makes softer dosas. The type of rice flour is also important, choose the powder typle. (If slightly grainy, it will absorb more water, so you need to add extra)

Heat a non-stick pan on medium. Add a couple of drops of oil and spread it around. Lift the pan off of the heat, drop a little less than 1/4 cup batter in the centre of the pan and quickly  spread it around with the back of a spoon. going in circles from the centre outwards. Put the pan back down and smooth the surface while the batter is still wet. Once dry (less than half a minute) drizzle with 1/2 tsp oil over and spread it around the top. With a spatual loosen the edges and then flip the dosa over and let it cook for half a minute or so until brown spots appear. 

The dosa should remain golden on both sides. Reduce the heat if they turn brown. If serving right away, you can stack and cover the with a kitchen towel to remain soft and warm. When making them in advance, cover the inside of a with a large kitchen towel letting the edges hangover the pan, place the dosas inside as you make them, cover them with the towel and place the lid on top. When all dosas are done transfer them to an airtight container. Eat within 1-2 days. If they become dry, you can steam them. 

For a little heat you can add cayenne pepper, chilli powder or finely chopped fresh chillies to the batter. 


Thanks for stopping by and I hope your Sunday is a peaceful one...


NB: This is not my recipe and therefore take no credit for it whatsoever. It is the hard work and creation of VeganMagic and I thank them for their great recipe. ~R~


Saturday, 29 March 2014

Kramer's Veggie Kofta (vegan & gluten free)

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

Pearl Jam ~ Alive (Live) 
Vivaldi: The Four Seasons "spring"
Joan Jett ~ Drunks
Slash ft Iggy Pop ~ We're All Gonna Die
Black Robot ~ Shake A Leg
The Zutons ~ Why Won't You Give Me Your Love?
Natalie Imbrugia ~ Beauty On The Fire
Buckcherry ~ Dirty Mind
Racal Flatts ~ I'm Moving On
Garrett Hedlund ~ Chances Are
The Eagles ~ Doolin-Dalton
Deacon Blue ~ Bound To Love 
Janiva Magness ~ You Better Love Me
Enigma ~ Second Chapter

I am home alone this weekend...I make that statement and realise this is probably the first moment I have actually been alone so far. ML is away working in London and taking advantage of a relaxing weekend with my lovely in-laws. The day has been a riot of noise with the company of my sister and her little ones...then for lunch we were joined by our Mum. It's Mothers Day tomorrow so it was a last minute sneaky lunch so I could give her, her card and gift. I hear new lipsticks are in her It was really good just spending the time with them. Mum is still looking a little fragile after her recent health scare but she managed to eat and enjoy a bowl of Carrot & Coriander that is a huge improvement. Its been a good day...

Their visits have been great and they didn't kick up a fuss whilst I kept busy cooking for tonight. I think they all know me well enough by now to let me do my Hey..I did actually leave the kitchen to sit with them whilst they ate lunch! The dishes I've been making today is for a meal tonight. My pal Ann and I are just sharing dinner and I'm looking forward to it. Ann appreciates a good home cooked meal and I appreciate her for taking one for the The main dish I've made today is from the kitchen of Alison Kramer although I didn't know this until after I made it. But naturally now I do I am very happy to send the credit where its due. 

I chose this recipe because back in my non-vegan days my favourite meal from the fantastic Indian restaurant in Helltown was Nireemissee Malai Kofta. Vegetable packed balls covered in breadcrumbs and fried off and served in a rich almond cream sauce. *drool* Yep, I would enjoy it with a plain naan bread and then not be able to move for hours. lol. It was most definitely a High Days & Holidays meal out. Of course my transforming to being vegan stopped this treat as the sauce had plenty of cream in it. And if any little hope was left in me...going gluten free killed it. And nothing....I repeat nothing....NOTHING!...has ever come anywhere close. I'll admit it...I became a little tearful as I read through Alison's recipe. Could this really be true? A vegan and gluten free version of my beloved dish? And in that moment I knew that is what I would be making for us tonight. 

The most costly ingredient in this recipe is the two tins of low fat coconut milk but that is because it's stupidly expensive to buy it here in the UK. The rest of the ingredients are everyday items you would most likely have in a vegan & gluten free kitchen. And the making of them is very easy. However, I did have a little ew, ew, ew moment when mixing in the veggies and chickpea flour with my hands. It sticks like glue! *shudder* But very soon after I had my rolled out koftas. I had 25 koftas and I wasn't sparing with my amounts. Now I never deep fry anything in my kitchen...the whole thought frightens me as I have the oil phobia and also I dislike fried foods. I almost always bake off everything that calls for frying even if it means they don't turn out as the recipe author would hope. But today I went with it...I heated probably 2" sunflower oil in my wok and then cooked them and flipped them over after 2 minutes. Yes...somewhere deep in my mind I was screaming...but my nostalgic kick for my old beloved treat kept me going. The accompanying sauce was again simple to make and smelt divine as it came together. 

The results...were gorgeous. The koftas were soft yet still retaining their firmness needed to stay together in the sauce. The veggies inside were perfectly cooked and the spices in the coconut sauce complemented them very well. Was it anything like my old love...kinda. The comfort of the koftas in the rich sauce was intense but the sauce was a very different experience to my old almond sauce. I am very happy to have found Alison's recipe and it will definitely be a dish I make for those special occasions and yes..I will confess that somethings do need to be cooked the traditional way. But I will try baking a batch very soon..

Kramer's Veggie Kofta
Kramer's Veggie Kofta    Makes 25ish koftas
(Recipe by Alison Kramer)

For the sauce: 

3 tbsp olive oil (I used sunflower)
1 tbsp mustard seeds
1 tsp anise seeds (I used fennel)
2 tbsp curry powder 
1 tsp turmeric 
1 tsp coriander 
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp Indian red chilli powder 
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 large Vidalia onion, chopped
2 cans full-fat coconut milk (I used low fat)
1/4 cup chickpea flour 
salt to taste 

For veggie balls:

1 cup tinned chickpeas
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 cups cooked and mashed thin skin potatoes, unpeeled
1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 cup chopped fresh spinach
1 tsp sea salt 
1 1/2 cup chickpea flour
vegetable oil for frying (*shudder* lol)
garam masala and chopped coriander 

The make the sauce: In a large well seasoned cast-iron skillet or nonstick pan, heat 1 tbsp of the oil over a medium heat with the mustard seeds. Cook until the mustard seeds pop. Add the anise, curry powder, turmeric, coriander, cumin, red chili powder, garlic and onion. Add the remaining 2 tbsp of oil and let simmer over a medium-low heat until the onions are very soft, stirring often. 

Mix in the coconut milk and sprinkle in the chickpea flour and whisk until no lumps remain. Continue to cook over medium-low heat, stirring continuously, until thickened, about 7 minutes. If your sauce thickens too quickly, stir in a bit of water and continue to heat until the desired consistency is reached. Add salt to taste, turn of the heat, and cover. 

To make the veggie balls: Pulse the chickpeas and lemon juice together in a food processor until a thick paste is formed. Transfer to a bowl along with the potato, carrot, parsley, spinach and salt. Using your hands, squish together the mixture until well combined. 

Sprinkle on the chickpea flour and continue to mux with your hands until all the flour has been Incorporated. Flatten into a large patty and chill in the fridge for about 3o minutes. 
Shape the chilled dough into approximately 20 1" round balls.

Pour the oil to a depth of 5" into a deep fryer and heat to 360'F/182'C. Add the veggie balls a few at a time and fry for 4 minutes or until dark brown and crispy. Transfer to paper towels to drain and repeat with the remaining balls. 

Freshly cooked koftas...beautiful, eh?

Add the veggie balls to the pan of sauce. Let simmer for about 10 minutes. Just before serving sprinkle with garam masala and garnish with the fresh coriander. Serve over basmati rice....


Gratuitous foodie shot...Yum! lol

Thanks for stopping by and I hope your Saturday has been good...

NB: This recipe is not mine and therefore I take no credit for it whatsoever. It is the hard work and creation of Alison Kramer and hers alone. I do send out thanks to her for a great recipe. For all the nutritional details for this recipe and two more teaser recipes from her new cookbook,  please visit Allison's here. ~R~ 

Friday, 28 March 2014

Cauliflower Tagine

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

Patti Smith ~ Dancing Barefoot
Zucchero ~ Feels Like A Woman
John Lennon ~ Mother
The Eagles ~ New Kid In Town
All Saints ~ Black Coffee
Wiser Time ~ Blame It All On Me
Joan Jett ~ Fake Friends
Tom Baxter ~ Tragic 
Bowie ~ Queen Bitch
Live ~ All Over You
Jack Johnson ~ Symbol In My Driveway
P!nk ~ Trouble
Marilyn Manson ~ Rock Is Dead
Bob Marley ~ Keep On Moving

It is pouring with rain today..a very grey Friday morning. On a grey day like this I like to inject some colour into my day by cooking a vibrant meal. And I had a cauliflower and some courgettes to use up so my mind instantly selected this cauliflower tagine. Now, was it cooked in a tagine?...well, no. Mine is safely packed away in the boxes that litter my house until the move so today's dish is a tagine by name only. But it doesn't lose anything for it as the veggies are cooked perfectly, the flavours are blended very well and the aroma as you lift the lid is guaranteed to put a smile on your face. It's a happy dish. And as a bonus it's very simple to make. Back in the day I would've served mine with some bulgar wheat or cous cous but being GF these days means I served mine with good old brown rice. 

My adaption was a simple one as I left out the raisins as dried fruits are off limits for me. To be honest the tagine is slightly on the sweet side so I was kinda pleased I left them out. Next time I would reduce the amount of veggie stock to 7 fl oz as the amount of liquid made it look almost like a soup. But I think that must be judged by the amount of juice in your tinned tomatoes will vary. I really enjoyed this tagine as I loved every ingredient in it...all personal favourites. Despite the slight sweet edge I still enjoyed it but I am very sensitive to naturally sweet foods these days...I even had to admit that my previous love for sweet potato is dying. I would definitely make this dish again on a grey day...

Sunny & Smiley Cauliflower Tagine

Cauliflower Tagine    Serves 6

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (I used 1 tsp)
1 large sweet onion, halved and cut in strips
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground ginger
2 lemon slices
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp kosher salt 
1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
14.5 fl oz vegetable stock
1 medium cauliflower, cored, cut into 2" florets
6 carrots, peeled, cut into 2" lengths
2 tins chopped tomatoes 
1 tin of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup raisins
1 stick cinnamon
2 medium courgettes/zucchini, cut into 1" chunks
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup of fresh coriander/cilantro leaves

Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat; add onion and saute for 6 minutes, or until soft and translucent. Stir in garlic, cumin, ginger, lemon slices, bay leaves, salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until fragrant. 

Pour in stock; add cauliflower, carrots, tomatoes with their juice, chickpeas, raisins and cinnamon stick. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low, cover the pot and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring several times. 

Add courgette/zucchini chunks, cover the pot and continue to simmer 10 minutes longer or until tender. 

To serve, spoon your grain into serving bowls, Top with the cauliflower tagine and juices from pot. Sprinkle with almonds and coriander/cilantro over each serving. 

Thanks for stopping by and I hope your Friday is a great one.  Re: today's photo..I have just realised that I have forgotten to sprinkle on the chopped coriander. So please do your best to imagine the lush green fleks Ooops. 


NB: This is not my recipe and therefore take no credit for it whatsoever. Once more it was posted by that talented person called ANON. 

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Carrot & Coriander Soup

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

Kellie Coffey ~ Thought I Knew You Well
The Feeling ~ I Want You Now
Terrorvision ~ Stab In The Back
Little Angels ~ Sail Away
Def Leppard ~ When Love And Hate Collide
KORN ~ Swallow
The Kinks ~ Sunny Afternoon
Wilson Philips ~ You Won't See Me Cry
Deacon Blue ~ Your Town
P!nk ~ Missunderstood
Missy Higgins ~ If I'm Honest
Temple Of The Dog ~ Your Service
INXS ~ Mystify
Anna Nalick ~ Paper Bag

I had a good day very good. I spent it walking by the sea at the local coastal town to where I live. Archie was a very happy dog when Ann arrived to visit and after a coffee and catch up we decided to escape to the seaside. We took the scenic route there and then strolled along the sea front. It definitely cleared the It was a beautifully sunny day but a little blustery. Archie was in heaven...sniffing out everything, marking his territory..ahem and then after some more seafront walking Ann took him down onto the beach and he enjoyed some off lead time. He was this huge ball of fur running circles around Ann...his smile was infectious. lol. We enjoyed the scenic route back to Helltown. Despite my attempt at flying down the stairs the evening before...ahem...I managed to keep a good pace despite being uncomfortable. I got home...I felt energised by the time spent by the water...mentally and physically. I felt peaceful and smiley but time spent by the sea always has that effect on me. And spending time with a good friend is always a tonic, isn't it? Thanks lovely..

Now what do you do when your loved one brings you home a large bag of organic carrots? They were a steal at 12p and it seemed almost a crime to chop them up and cook them in something. Better give them the respect they deserve and make them the centre of the dish. I confess I have never made carrot and coriander soup before and as I had a small amount of fresh coriander waiting to used, it seemed the time was right. I didn't adhere to a recipe and I basically made it up as I went along. And I am very happy with the results. A vibrant and flavour packed soup...

Carrot & Coriander Soup

Carrot & Coriander Soup   Serves 6-8

2 onions, peeled and sliced
900g carrots, peeled and sliced
2 garlic cloves, micro grated
2 tsp ground coriander
2ltr veggie stock
large handful of fresh coriander, chopped
juice of 1/2 lemon
Himalayan salt to season
freshly cracked black pepper to season
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

In a large soup pan place the carrot, onion and garlic and stir well to combine. Add a little water to steam saute for 8 minutes. Cover and stir frequently adding a little more water if necessary until the onions and carrots have softened. Do not allow them to darken in colour. Add the ground coriander and stir well. Pour over the stock,  stir well, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer until the carrots are very tender then add in the fresh coriander. Remove from heat. Stir well and leave the coriander to heat through in the natural heat of the soup.  Season with salt and pepper and then blitz until smooth. Serve..


Thanks for stopping by and I hope your Wednesday has been a bright one...


Monday, 24 March 2014

Garlicky White Bean and Kale Stew

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

Evanescence ~ My Immortal 
Harry Connick Jr ~ We Make A Lot Of Love
INXS ~ Never Tear Us Apart 
James Morrison ~ Person I Should Have Been
Fleetwood Mac ~ Man Of The World
Sting ~ Why Should I Cry For You
Foo Fighters ~ Breakout
Don Williams ~ Listen To The Radio 
KORN ~ Thoughtless
The Cardigans ~ Godspell
Buckcherry ~ Onset
Kenny Wayne Shepherd ~ Cryin' Shame 
Halestorm ~ Love/Hate Heartbreak
The Zutons ~ Dirty Dancehall 

Today I wasn't in the mood for cooking. Yes, you did read that't in the mood for cooking. Something strange is happening Only kidding, I'm just tired after a rough couple of weeks health wise. My strength is returning again but its slow going but that's the nature of the beast, eh? 

I needed today's recipe to be simple and very quick to make. I found this recipe printed off and in amongst a pile of random print offs. So I cannot give credit where it is due and you know how much I hate that. It grabbed my attention because it had three of my favourite ingredients...garlic, kale and butter beans. Well to be honest you can use any white bean but my mind instantly selects butter beans in these circumstances. lol. From start to finish it was a whole 15 minutes in the making and testing it was a garlicky delight. Tonight I will serve it with some brown rice to make it a complete meal. Maybe with some steamed brussel sprouts on the Most of the time the most simple recipes are the most filled with flavour. 

Garlicky White Bean & Kale Stew
Garlicky White Bean Stew      Serves 4

Coconut oil
2 med onions, sliced
6 garlic cloves, sliced
1 tsp smoked paprika
5 bay leaves 
Pinch of chilli flakes
salt to season
black pepper to season
2 - 2 1/2 cups white beans 
2 cups kale 
2 cups of veggie stock 
1 14oz tin of chopped tomatoes

In a large saucepan heat the coconut oil (amount is left to your judgement) and add the onions, chilli flakes, bayleaves, paprika and a pinch of salt and black pepper. Cook for a few minutes until the onions have softened, then add the sliced garlic. If it becomes too dry add a little of the juice from the tomatoes. 

Add the remaining ingredients, bring to the boil and season to taste. If you are going to let it simmer for a while, add kale about 5-10 minutes before serving so that it retains more of its nutritional value. Serve...


Thanks for stopping by and I hope your Monday is filled with adventure...


NB: This recipe is not mine and therefore I take no credit for it whatsoever. If you recognise it as your creation or you know the source please drop me a line at and I will be very happy to amend this post. ~R~ 


Sunday, 23 March 2014

Rocket & Roses Breakfast Burritos with Spicy Cavolo Filling (vegan & gluten free)

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

Chopin: Nocturne #2 in E Flat 
Gary Moore ~ Parisienne Walkways
Temple of the Dog ~ Hunger Strike 
INXS ~ Need You Tonight
Sweet ~ Alexander Graham Bell
P!nk ~ U + Ur Hand
Guns N' Roses ~ Sweet Child O' Mine 
Buckcherry ~ Brooklyn
Dinah Shore ~ It's Easy To Remember
Thunder ~ Loser 
Texas ~ Say What You Want 
Harry Connick Jr ~ Jambalaya 
Fiona Apple ~ I Know
The Zutons ~ Valerie 

The spring sun is shining, there is smokey chipotle hued cavolo filling cooking away in the skillet and there are breakfast burritos to be had for breakfast. I am well enough to be venturing out with ML and the four legged fella for a walk straight after...what is there not to be happy about? Happy Sunday all...

I created this recipe when I had a huge bag of cavolo kale to use up and some shop bought gluten free tortillas BFree...a thousand ingredients in them and sadly yeast being one of them. Not perfect for me but the closest I've come to flour tortillas since going gluten free. I was wanting to make a breakfast burrito that I could make many of at once and put most of them in the freezer for future breakfasts. I've made this recipe twice now..the first batch disappeared quickly between myself and my sister. All in the spirit of testing I'll have you Ahem! Anyway so today I doubled the filling and when back from my walk I will be stood folding burritos for the freezer. Marvellous. I look forward to that. What a fib..rolling of burritos and spring rolls is one of my kitchen chores! Ah well..still happy! lol. 

The filling is beautiful in colour and packed with flavours and a huge hit of heat from the Padron chillies and the chipotle chilli powder. I made an avocado cream sauce to complement it and it works really well. The tortillas are an interesting product...light, kinda easy to fold and are the perfect flavour for a gluten free product, meaning they don't overpower the filling but it would be hard to do that lol. I really loved these burritos and look forward to having them again on many more sunny mornings to come. Let me know what you think.... 

Rocket & Roses Breakfast Burritos with Spicy Cavolo Filling

Rocket & Roses Breakfast Burritos with Spicy Cavolo Filling  Makes 4
(Original recipe from the Rocket & Roses Vegan Kitchen)

4  small gluten free tortillas of your choice

1 tbsp coconut oil (optional)
1 small red onion, halved and sliced
3 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
2" piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
2 Pardon green chillies, de-seeded and finely chopped
2 mini yellow bell peppers, sliced 
3 mini orange bell peppers, sliced 
4 mini red bell peppers, sliced 
3 fresh plum tomatoes, cored, semi-seeded and chopped
1/8th tsp chipotle chilli powder
8 cavolo kale leaves, de-stalked and chopped
1 14oz tin of borlotti beans, rinsed and drained 
Himalayan salt and freshly cracked black pepper to season

Avo Sauce:
1 large ripe avocado, de-stoned and skinned
Juice of 1 lime 
1 tbsp garlic infused oil
1/8th tsp chipotle chilli powder 
Trace amount of Himalayan salt to season

In a large skillet gently heat the coconut oil and then throw in the red onion, stirring often cook for 5 minutes until softened. Toss in the chilli, garlic, ginger and cook until the garlic and ginger becomes fragrant. Add in the bell peppers, tomatoes, beans and chilli powder and stir well. Cover and allow to cook over a low heat for 5 minutes. Add in the chopped cavolo and stir well and once again cover, cook for another 5 minutes until the cavolo has wilted.  Season with salt and pepper. Set to one side. 

Spicy Cavolo filling smoking away in the skillet ~ beautiful colours

Whilst the filling is cooking, place the avocado sauce ingredients into a blender, processor or mash together by hand. Blitz until you have a smooth, creamy sauce. Season with salt and then set to one side. 

To assemble:

Take one tortilla and lay it down in front of you. Spread some avocado sauce over the tortilla and then spoon 1/4th of the filling down the centre of the tortilla. Fold the sides over and then fold up from the bottom until completely closed and set carefully to one side. Repeat with the remaining three tortillas. 

Clean out the skillet to remove an filling bits and then place the skillet over a med/high heat. Once the skillet has heated back up, place the burritos fold side down into the pan. press down gently with a spatula and allow to cook for 4 minutes then carefully flip over and cook for a further 4 minutes until heated through. Serve...


Thanks for stopping by and I hope your Sunday has been a great one...



Saturday, 22 March 2014

Dana's Vegan Zucchini/Courgette Gratin

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

BBC Radio 4 Desert Island Discs Podcast ~ Zoe Wannamaker

It's party day for little Noo so ML and I are enjoying a quiet hour before we get ourselves partied up and head out for the venue. Noo is 5 tomorrow but today is the party she is going to share with all her friends. There will be wall to wall little pirates and princesses and in Noos case, the one and only Pirate Princess Neve...ruler of all she sees. lol. Its gonna be fun...and the little sweetheart deserves every fun filled second of it. OK enough of the sappy auntie stuff...

I had two courgettes to use up and being lurgy ridden I had no idea what to do with them. Bummer, eh? And then during a inspirational fact finding mission on Pinterest..ahem..I found Minimalist Bakers..aka Dana's gratin recipe. I spent last week using up a wonderful bowl of cashew cream cheese and had been looking at recipes for cashew 'parmesan' for a while. The recipe seemed straight forward enough which was essential today. 

The hardest part of making this gratin is the thinly slicing of the courgettes but for me that's a peaceful process. Making the cashew parm is very simple as its a toss and blitz recipe. Tossing the sliced courgettes in pepper, salt, cashew parm and oil is a matter of moments and then the layering over the cooked onions is a few moments more. Then its popped in the oven to roast. 

I served mine with brown rice and steamed side veggies and I enjoyed it. However next time I would swap out the garlic granules with fresh garlic as I found the granules to be slightly bitter but that is just my personal preference. The absence of the asparagus, that Dana uses in her original recipe, wasn't missed. I chose not to use them. I reduced the amount of cashew parm because I found the smell of it alone to be overpowering but next time I would use a little less...again a personal preference thing. It is a good recipe and inspired me to try my own version. So thank you Dana...

Dana's Zucchini/Courgette Gratin

Dana's Vegan Zucchini/Courgette Gratin   Serves 4 
(Recipe from Minimalist Baker)

2 medium zucchini/courgettes, sliced in thin rounds
1/2 onion, cut into thin rings (I used one full onion)
sea salt 
black pepper
3/4-1 cup vegan parmesan cheese, recipe below
2 1/2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp garlic powder 

For the vegan parmesan:
3/4 cup cashews 
3 tbsp nutritional yeast
3/4 tsp salt 
1/4 tsp garlic powder 

Prepare vegan parmesan cheese by whirling all ingredients together in a food processor until a fine meal is formed. Don't over process or it will begin to get clumpy. Set aside. (Will keep covered in a fridge for about a month) 

In a 10" cast iron of oven safe skillet saute the onion in 1/2 tbsp olive oil over a medium low heat until soft - about 10 minutes- seasoning with salt and black pepper. Set aside. 

Preheat oven to 400'F/200'C/GM 6. Slice courgettes into very thin slices about 1/8th of an inch thick. Add courgette to a mixing bowl and top with remaining 2 tbsp olive oil, salt, black pepper, garlic powder and 2 tbsp vegan parm. Toss to coat. 

Spread the slightly cooled onions around the bottom of the skillet to create an even base and top with courgettes. It doesn't have to be perfect. Just start on the outside, and work your way in, keeping them in line as much as possible. 

Top with an even layer of parmesan cheese about 3/4 cup and bake for 30 minutes. Then grill on high for 1-2 minutes to toast up the top. (Optional but recommended). Watch closely as it can burn quickly. Let rest for a few minutes before serving. 


Thanks for stopping by and I hope your Saturday is a fantastic one...

ML's latest creation...Pirate Princess Noo's Pirate Ship & Island BDay Cake


NB: This recipe is not mine and therefore I take no credit for it whatsoever. It is the hard work and creation of Dana over at Minimalist Baker. I thank her for a good recipe...~R~ 

Friday, 21 March 2014

Anja's Herbed Cauliflower Carrot Falafels in Romaine Cups

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

QOTSA ~ First It Giveth
Harry Connick Jr ~ Don't Get Around Much Anymore
JET ~ Move On
Thunder ~ River Of Pain
Beth Hart ~ Burn Chile
NIN ~ Heresy
PCD ~ Don't Cha
Eric Clapton ~ What Would I Do Without You
James Morrison ~ Up
Adam & The Ants ~ Ant Rap
Nickelback ~ Something In Your Mouth
The Zutons ~ Long Time Coming
Janiva Magness ~ It's Your Voodoo Working
Halestorm ~ Unbreakable Promises

It is a beautiful, bright spring day here in England. Ha! As I typed that a dirty great big cloud covered the sun and I was pitched into Oh's Friday at least. It's a quiet Friday morning for me despite the fact I have the company of Little Legs (Layla). She's in a quiet mood and so am I. My energy levels have died this week as a side effect of my illness. I am also fighting off another don't have one for ages and then two come Buses and all that. But I am blasting the germs with ginger/chilli/garlic and drinking plenty of fluids so I will fight it off again...if only by sheer bloody mindedness. lol 

It is little Noo's 5th birthday this weekend so R & R HQ smells of chocolate cakes. ML was busy last night baking many chocolate cakes to make a Pirate Ship and Island with Treasure Chest cake for Noo's party tomorrow..the theme being Pirates and Princesses. She of course is going to be a Pirate Princess and I know she will rock it. Little Legs is going as a princess and Myles has had his pirate outfits for weeks and has been practising. lol. It's going to be great fun but my poor sister is going to be exhausted but little Noo is going to have the best time. So I am enjoying the quiet time because in a few hours it's going to be...mad. 

Todays recipe comes from the kitchen of Anja over at Anja's Food 4 Thought. I had a cauliflower I needed to use and wanted a dish that could be made in advance for a busy weekend. For Anjas original posting please click here. Anja's recipe caught my eye for more than one reason. I love falafel but I do tire easily of the same standard recipe. The cauliflower and carrot in place of beans in this recipe really hooked my interest so printed it off and then made a batch the next morning. 

The making of Anjas falafel's was very easy..if you have a processor. But it wouldn't take that long to chop down the veggies by hand. Anja's original post makes 6 palm size patties but I used a 1/4 cup measure and had 9 falafel to enjoy. I went with Anjas cooking instructions and pan fried the falafel but after the max cooking time my falafel were very soft. As my oven was already hot from cooking another dish I popped my falafel on to a baking sheet and cooked them off in the oven for 15 minutes. They were still a little soft after extra baking so next time I will definitely add extra almond meal. But after cooling they did firm up a little more. As I still haven't found a good gluten free and yeast free pita bread recipe yet I enjoyed mine in romaine cups with a little grated carrot, chopped radish and cucumber. The falafels were great. I loved the texture, the freshness of the added veggies and the slight hit of heat from the cayenne. I am going to make these often as they kept well in a container in the fridge for me to enjoy for lunch over the busy weekend. Thanks Anja!

Anja's Herbed Cauliflower Carrot Falafels in Romaine Cups

Anja's Herbed Cauliflower Carrot Falafels   Makes 9
(Recipe from 

2 tbsp flax meal 
6 tbsp boiling water

1 cup cauliflower florets
1 cup carrots, chopped
1 small red onion
1 garlic clove
1 cup fresh parsley leaves

1 tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed 
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp sea salt 
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper to taste 

1 tbsp sesame seeds 
1 tbsp pumpkin seeds 

1/2 cup almond meal

olive oil for frying (I used sunflower)

In a small bowl combine the flax seed with the boiling water and stir until well combined. Let stand for a few minutes to thicken. 

In a food processor combine cauliflower, carrots, onion, garlic and parsley. Pulse a few times until coarsely chopped. Add the lemon juice, cumin, salt and cayenne and pulse again to blend. The mixture should be very finely chopped now. 

Transfer mixture to a bowl. Add flax seed mixture and almond meal and knead until mixture holds together. Add more almond meal if the mixture seems too wet. Add sesame and pumpkin seeds. 

Form patties the size of the palm of your hand. You should get about six. (see notes above) 

Coat a frying pan with olive oil and cook patties over a medium heat for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until lightly browned. (see notes above) 

Serve immediately with a fresh salad and tahini or non-dairy yoghurt dip. 


Thanks for stopping by and I hope your Friday has been a peaceful one...


NB: This recipe is not mine and therefore I take no credit for it. It is the hard work and creation of Anja at I thank her for a great recipe. ~R~

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Rocket & Roses Breakfast Rice Bowl: Cumin, Lentil & Spinach

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

PCD ~ Sway
Feist ~ So Sorry
P!nk ~ Funhouse
Keith Urban ~ She's Gotta Be
Cyndi Lauper ~ My Baby Just Cares For Me
The Cranberries ~ I Will Always 
Dixie Chicks ~ Baby Hold On
Audioslave ~ Revelations
Shelby Lynne ~ Track 12
Gwen Stefani ~ Hollaback Girl 
Gina Sicilia ~ That Much Further
Dave Matthews Band ~ All Along The Watchtower (Live)
Gregory Porter ~ The Way You Want To Live 
Steve Winwood ~ I'm Ready

This morning I needed a speedy breakfast because my energy levels are a little low. So I turned to the combo that never lets me down. I started the dish off with my holy trinity of the moment...garlic, ginger and chillies. All dried versions. I allowed then to heat through in a little coconut oil then threw in some cooked brown rice, cooked green lentils and left them to cook whilst I rinsed and chopped some organic spinach. I added some fresh lemon juice, a little cumin and the spinach and voila! Speedy breakfast....

I enjoy breakfasts like this when I want the comfort of a hot breakfast but the speed of a convenience breakfast. However I have to confess I think I am becoming seriously addicted to fresh chillies and ginger. But that's not a bad thing, eh? 

Rocket & Roses Breakfast Rice Bowl: Cumin, Lentil & Spinach

Rocket & Roses Breakfast Rice Bowl: Cumin, Lentil & Spinach
(Original recipe from the Rocket & Roses Vegan Kitchen)

Cooked brown rice
Cooked green lentils
1.5" fresh ginger, micro-grated
2 cloves garlic, micro-grated
1 green chilli, finely chopped
1 tbsp coconut oil
fresh juice of 1/2 lemon   
1.5 cups of organic fresh spinach, chopped
1/2 tsp ground cumin

(No specific amounts as you should instinctively use what you need and for however many people you are cooking for..)

In a skillet gently heat the coconut oil with the garlic, chilli and ginger in it. When it becomes fragrant add the rice and stir well to make sure the garlic mix is evenly distributed. Add in the lentils, lemon juice and cumin and stir once more and leave to heat through. Toss in the spinach and stir through. Allow to heat through whilst you grab a bowl and then serve once the spinach has wilted. 


Thanks for stopping by and I hope your Thursday has been nice....