Friday, 26 October 2012

Heron a Moment


It took me by surprise. I walked alongside the still bird, mistaking it for a statue, then it twitched, stretching elegantly, without want. After a few seconds I reached for my camera, as I focused the lens, the battery went. This moment was uncaptured, it was free, like the heron itself. As it opened her wings, a nearby father with his toddler looked on in wonder, the little boys eyes lit up. Expect miracles, was my morning affirmation, and what was most lovely about this unexpected, unplanned and totally unpredictable encounter, was that it was as welcome as the sunshine on a cloudy day, and a rare sighting amongst the sirens and hum of the city, that reminded me of the ethereal qualities that is only present with natural beauty.

Now, this golden jade jewelled recipe, rippled with dreamy spices and speckled with Indian magic had a similarly surprising effect, not least because my teenage son who is recently adverse to eating vegetables, loved it. Quite simply, everyone whose tried it does.

One of the main ingredients in this recipe is turmeric. Turmeric is to spices, what Christmas lights are to pine trees – the body ripples with healing nourishment upon eating it. Turmeric is a potent healer and you’d be wise to start cooking with it, if you don’t already. Chilli powder brings a sharp and necessary kick to the mash, with popping cumin and sprightly green peas ornamenting it. I served it with a spoonful of tiger prawns on top, it will go with a simple steak just as well - whatever you prefer.

I call it feminine mash, as that is how someone described it, and I think it’s apt. I hope you give it a try. It would also work well as part of a Halloween Dinner party!!!

Happy Weekend to you,

FFX

Feminine Mash


Per person you will need

Sweet potato, 250g peeled and roughly chopped
Olive oil, 1 tbs
Cumin seeds ½ tsp
Turmeric, ½ tsp
Chilli powder, ½ tsp
Frozen green peas, a handful

SIMMER sweet potato in lightly salted water until tender, about 15 minutes.
DRAIN and set to one side with lid on.
POUR oil into a pan, over a medium heat.
THROW in cumin seeds and add the turmeric and chilli powder once they begin to pop.
SAVOUR the spice moment – half of the joy of making this dish is the fragrance it gives.
REMOVE from the heat after a minute.
STIR spiced oil into the sweet potato and mash until smooth and silky.
SCATTER over peas and replace lid, there is no need to cook them, the steam from the potatoes does the trick.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Chocolate and Beetroot Cake


Smell of the earth,
One I do not know.

Taste and see,

One may find flow...

This Chocolate cake has a surprise and welcome guest... a couple... Firstly introducing an earthy purple presence, that is truthfully a depth of indulgence to enjoy - beautiful Beetroot. 

I love beetroot! In fact one of my most popular posts is this Beetroot Pie - I wanted to see how the majestic root would work in a chocolate blend.

Dark chocolate is a wonderful antioxidant and with beetroots plethora of goodness – on paper these ingredients seem like a match made in heaven? Proof is in the pudding, and sure enough the taste buds were jubilant.

Dark moist chocolate sponge, with a flavour of the earth is the result. And if mud were sweet and edible, this cake may be likened to it. 

A very long time ago, I used to make mud cakes, out of actual mud! I never ate them of course, though the soothing simplicity brings to mind this recipes charm. And upon reflection, I remember also scattering rose petals around them - and so... welcome another special ingredient to the mix! Rosewater! 

Now I know that comparison may not sound appetising, and for the truly sweet toothed Cadbury lovers out there, this may not be your cup of tea – it is similar in texture to a carrot cake, though with its super food nourishment and betain benefits, namely the bodies natural mood lifter serotonin, combined with chocolate, well all I can say is whoosh!!! One is left sweetly full and feeling great, my kind of fabulous favourite Chocolate cake. The most important part is that it is indeed delicious.

Sift over some cocoa powder to serve with a quenelle of cream on top for an uber moment of beetroot meets chocolate magic.

I hope you enjoy!

What's not to enjoy?


FFX

CHOC BEET CAKE
Plain flour, 175g
Baking powder, 10g
Cocoa powder, 75g
Soft brown muscavado sugar, 225g
Eggs, 3 organic medium
Raw beetroot, 175g peeled
Hemp seed oil, 200ml

Rose water, a drop (it's potent stuff, so I really do mean a drop!)
For the piece de resistance AKA Ganache
Dark chocolate, 200g – or your favourite chocolate
Double cream, 200ml
PRE-HEAT oven to gas 6, 200’C.
GREASE and line 20cm cake tin.
BLITZ beetroot in a blender.
ADD eggs, rose water and hemp seed oil and blitz again until smooth.
SIFT dry ingredients into a large bowl and fold in the beetroot mixture,
BAKE for 35 minutes.
MEANWHILE heat cream up until simmering point.
POUR into a bowl and stir in chocolate until melted.
CHILL and spread luxuriantly over the beetroot choc cake!
SCRUMDIDLEY  for now, is a time for perpetual dawns and deep healing bear like yawns!

Friday, 5 October 2012

Peace and Pie


Orange is the colour of warmth and kinship, and it is also said to stimulate the appetite.
Sunshine on rowan berries is one of my favourite autumnal shades, bright and gently warming.

This recipe is terracotta terendipity (one of my favourite words is serendipity, sorry! Couldn’t help myself). 

It’s a humble pie, with a curiously coconut base that is sweet and soulful. This pie is a nourishing hug for the taste buds - and you'll be left feeling as light as a fluffy cloud! The star of this recipe is the pumpkin, though any winter squash may be used in place. If coconut is not your cup of tea, then try using almond or macadamia oil instead.
Stevia gives this pie its sweetness and is now widely available; it is a naturally sweet herb from South America and has been used for centuries. Stevia has very few calories and makes sweet treats healthy – if you can’t find it, muscavado sugar will be just as delicious, though not as healthy and you’ll need to use four times as much to get the same level of sweetness.

I believe the food we eat affects every part of our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual being. And I take great pleasure in sharing my recipes and ideas with you. I recently took part in a nutrition workshop, which further sparked my growing interest in nutrition, something we discussed overlapped with an interesting article I read the other day. Essentially what we eat, shapes who we become – in such a profound way, that our first few years of life imprint the rest. 

“In the first few years of life, 700 new neural connections are formed every second. Neural connections are formed through the interaction of genes and a baby’s environment and experiences, especially ‘serve and return’ interaction with adults… These connections build brain architecture – the foundation upon which all later learning, behaviour and health depend.”

Last weekend we had a little gathering to celebrate my sons first birthday. It was lovely; the rain retreated for one glorious afternoon, sandwiched between a week of flooding. As we sang Happy Birthday a gust blew, the candle flickered on his Blueberry Birthday Cake, and out it went. We sang on, re-lit the candle and Leo, with a little help from me, blew it out. You see, in that second of the candle blowing out, I closed my eyes and held him that bit tighter, LOVE is what makes the world go round, no question about it, and if what we eat today, effects our future generations, indeed 

You've heard the saying, "You are what you eat." While there is truth behind that statement, epigenetics show diet may also influence your DNA and the DNA of future generations. That means, your grandchildren are what you eat.

To you, I wish peace,
To you, I wish tender touch,
To you, I wish a heart that feels love,
To you, I wish a life that fits like the softest glove.

Lots of love,

FFX

Pumpkin and Coconut pie


SERVES 10 

FOR THE CRUST
Rolled oats, 60g
Walnuts, 60g
Sweet freedom, 60g
Coconut oil, 50g melted
Vanilla extract, 1tsp
Salt, ½ tsp
Whole grain flour, 75g

FOR THE FILLING
Pumpkin, 500g cut into chunks
Ground nutmeg. ¼ tsp
Ground ginger, ¼ tsp
Ground cinnamon, ¼ tsp
Salt, ¼ tsp
Maple syrup, 4 tbsp
Stevia, 1 tsp
Eggs, 3 large
Soya cream, 200ml


PRE-HEAT oven to 350°F gas 4 180’. 
BLITZ crust ingredients in a food processor and pulse to mix.
GREASE a 22cm tarte tin with a little coconut oil and press crust evenly along the bottom of the pan, gently spreading it up the sides.
HALVE pumpkin and scoop out seeds.
LAY pieces over a baking tray.
SPRINKLE with spices and maple syrup.
COVER with foil and bake for 50 minutes.
COOL pumpkin and then scoop out the flesh.
BLEND all remaining ingredients together.
POUR over the tarte crust and bake for 45 minutes.
REMOVE tart from oven and allow to cool and then cover with foil and keep in the fridge.
SERVE chilled with a dollop of cream or Greek yogurt.



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