You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘recipe’ tag.

Wow, on typing the blog post title I’ve realised we are 2 weeks into our meat-free month and therefore about half-way through.  It feels like a positive achievement – I never stick to anything like this.  Today’s post sounds like rather a lot of days to cover, but I’m going to miss out day 12 and maybe write a separate post about that experience.

Thursday 19th January

leek and roquefort pizza

Leek and Roquefort pizza (we also made a plain pizza with tomato sauce and mozzarella, but for this post I’m focussing on the leek one).  Pizza dough spread with garlic and chilli infused oil, scattered with a mixture of grated mozzarella, Parmesan and herbs, then topped with lightly cooked leeks and blobs of Roquefort.

This pizza is from the Riverford Cookbook but I must say it was a bit much just on its own – and I found the Roquefort quite overpowering.  In the end we shared one leek and Roquefort pizza and one tomato and mozzarella, just to balance it out.  An interesting version though, perhaps one I would tweak to our tastes another time.

Friday 20th January

A post for another day.

Saturday 21st January

mushroom stoup with pearl barley

Mushroom ‘Stoup’ from Hugh’s Everyday Veg – a cross between a soup and a stew.  A soup of onion, celery and carrot all chopped very finely, sliced fresh mushrooms and dried Porchini mushrooms, and a good amount of mushroom stock (I’ve discovered Kallo do a lovely organic mushroom stock, although the only place I’ve seen it is The Organic Farm Shop in Gloucestershire).

Hugh’s recipe serves it with dumplings, which are one of my favourite foods ever – however, we only had meat suet and I couldn’t be bothered to buy a whole box of vegetarian suet just to make a few dumplings.  Instead, we added a couple of handfuls of pearl barley as also recommended in the recipe, and ate it with large hunks of butter bread.  Such a comforting bowl of yumminess, although Mr Rigg felt it was rather ‘mushroomy’.

Sunday 22nd January

raw vegetable rice papper wraps

Raw vegetable and glass noodle wraps with a soy and ginger dipping sauce.  Thinly sliced carrot, cucumber and lettuce (and a few spring onions this time) mixed with glass noodles, coriander and mint.  This mixture is then wrapped up in rice paper wrappers, before dunking in a dipping sauce made with soy sauce, Mirin, rice vinegar, fresh ginger and chopped spring onions.

Read the rest of this entry »

I am really enjoying our meat-free month and not really finding it a challenge so far – it’s really great to be trying out a lot of recipes that I would usually not cook because we seem to default to others.  The only downside was this evening realising that we couldn’t eat fish and chips at the pub – I was pretty gutted.

Monday 16th January

Dev-Mex Pumpkin Soup

Dev-Mex Pumpkin Soup from the Riverford Cookbook.  Pumpkin and tomato soup with a hint of chilli, topped with crumbled tortilla chips, avocado chunks tossed in lime juice, grated Jarlesburg, and coriander.

Utterly, utterly amazing.  It’s always those dishes that you want to like, but don’t think you really will, maybe because it contains an ingredient you don’t think you like, and WHAM –  so delicious!  If there’s one recipe so far I would recommend you make, it would be this one.

Tuesday 17th January

Mushroom Risioniotto

Mushrooms, creme fraiche and pasta.  This is Hugh’s mushroom risioniotto…at least I think that’s what it’s called.  He does make up some odd names.  It’s basically tiny pasta that looks like rice, I love it, it’s very comforting and moreish – probably because you can eat big mouthfuls of it along with some rich sauce.  The mushrooms were simply fried in butter until they start to go golden, then some wine and creme fraiche stirred through to make a sauce.  I miss calculated the amount of mushrooms and did half the recipe…turns out it was only for 2 people so I definitely won’t mess this up next time, as it did need more mushrooms.

Wednesday 18th January

Roasted tomato mozzarella risotto

Roasted tomato and mozzarella risotto.  Another from Hugh’s trust Everyday Veg book, and one that we had been cooking regularly before we even considered doing a meat-free month.  Yes, perhaps eating tomatoes in January isn’t the most seasonal choice, but my body was craving it and they were bought from Unicorn Grocery in Manchester so not as bad a supermarket tomatoes.

Hugh’s recipe uses a roasted tomato sauce that he also provides a separate recipe for – I just sliced a whole load of plum tomatoes in half and roasted them in the oven with olive oil, sliced garlic and herbs until they were soft and gooey.  I think pop the whole lot through my mouli, a carboot bargain that I couldn’t now live without.  If the Dev-Mex Pumpkin Soup was my top recommended recipe, the mouli would be my top recommended piece of kitchen kit.

I mentioned in my previous post that we’d made a birthday cake for my parents, who both celebrate their birthday’s during January.  This is it.  I am pretty proud of this cake, I usually seem to have all kinds of disasters when it comes to cake making or they are disappointing.  Not this one however.

After these first few weeks back at work after the Christmas break, Mr Rigg and I, like most of the population I imagine, are exhausted.  We didn’t want to make a complicated birthday cake, so opted for this simple chocolate cake recipe.  My dad had requested a chocolate cake with fresh cream, so that’s what they got.

We also made the chocolate butter icing from the chocolate cake recipe, but just half of it.  In the centre we put freshly whipped cream, and a good layer of it too!  On the top we spread the chocolate butter icing, which was actually a brilliant recipe as it was dark and chocolately, rather than overly sweet or buttery.

I had this vision in my head of topping the cake with crushed Crunchie bar and crumbled chocolate Flakes.  We also picked up a big bag of Maltesers as I suddenly imagined them around the edge like a border.  Anyway, I am pleased to say the cake looked exactly how I imagined it, and my parents we delighted.

My only regret?  Sending them home with the majority of it.

So I’m lagging behind on updating what we’ve been eating on our meat-free month, so I will speedily try and do some catching up.  On the weekend we had a day at home and a day visiting family.  Visiting family wasn’t a big deal as my parents don’t really eat meat, in fact I’m sure my mother was quite pleased!

On Saturday morning before we headed off to Leicester to see my granny and meet my parents, we whipped up a quick salad from Hugh’s Everyday Veg book to take as our lunch offering (we were each making something).  We also had made a birthday cake as both my parents’ birthdays are in January – pictures of that to follow.

Saturday 14th January

Pearl barley salad with roasted squash and fennel, lemon juice, parsley and cheese.  This is a fresh wintery salad with the roasted squash and fennel tossed through the cooked pearl barley, and the other bits added to taste.  I am neither a huge fan of squash or fennel, but all together it was delicious.  I am learning to trust a few certain chefs to the point where I know I can make most of the recipes, irrespective of whether we think we like the ingredients, and know that we’ll love it.

My mom loved the salad and decided she might give in and buy the book – although she refused to watch anymore of the TV series after Hugh slaughtered a sheep during one episode and didn’t think it was appropriate for a programme encouraging vegetable eating.  I do see her point, although I understand Hugh’s motivations to encourage us to eat meat that is well-cared for.  Mommys.

(Sorry for the measly picture – I forgot to take any photos on Saturday so this is my leftover lunch on Monday)

Sunday 15th January

Broccoli and chilli pasta.  Penne pasta with steamed broccoli that had been tossed in lightly cooked garlic and chilli flakes and a good knob of butter.  I used to eat broccoli pasta all the time at University, but in the past few years haven’t been enamoured by the idea so have been reluctant to make it.  I’m so pleased we did though because there is something very comforting about this combination.  We didn’t follow a recipe we just made it up as we went along – some of the best cooking is done this way I think.

My meat-free month thoughts at the end of week 1

Last night we were chatting about how we were finding our meat-free month so far.  We’ve both had the odd pang for meat, salty crisp bacon in particular.  Bacon, egg and toast even more specifically for me.  But otherwise, I haven’t really had any meal where I’ve missed meat.  Mr Rigg says the one meal we’ve had that he would have enjoyed more with the addition of meat, again bacon, was the colcannon baked potatoes with the poached egg.

I am feeling much more cheerful about what we are cooking and eating, and I am excited about carrying on this way.  It is great to be challenged to come up with interesting and diverse meals that don’t contain meat or fish, and in the process we are discovering some firm new favourites, which we might not otherwise have found.

It also makes me want to carefully look at and work out how much meat we eat in the future – I’m sure somewhere I read guidelines on the suggested weight of meat we should each eat a month, I believe this was from a sustainable point of view, but probably also good for your health.

Days 3 and 4 of our meat-free month have seen some good old favourites appear – the quesadilla and baked potato.  Quesadillas we most often make meat-free, but baked potatoes are often adorned with crispy bits of bacon or fragrant honey roast smoked salmon – but not this week.

Wednesday 11th January

quesadillas with roasted peppers and onion

Quesadillas filled with onion, jarred roasted peppers, jarred jalepeno peppers, grated cheese and coriander.  I gently fry the sliced onions, peppers and jalepeno peppers so they’re cooked, then it’s just a case of popping a flour tortilla into a fry pan, sprinkling over some cheese, the onion-pepper mixture and some coriander, then slapping another tortilla on top.  Once the underneath starts to go golden you carefully flip it over and wait for that side to go golden and crisp.  We pop the finished ones in a warm oven while we make the rest.

We eat them with homemade salsa (sliced spring onions marinated in red wine vinegar and salt, then chopped cherry tomatoes added along with salt and pepper – quite a lot of liquid will appear, I’m weird and like to drink it with a spoon while I’m waiting for the quesadillas to cook – my husband thinks I’m weird, but you could always just strain it off) and a dollop or sour cream or cream cheese.

Thursday 12th January

colcannon baked potato poached egg

Colcannon filled baked potatoes with a poached egg.  Hot potato with a bit of boiled celeriac mashed into it, then mixed with gently fried leeks, sprout tops, and savoy cabbage, and the likes of salty butter, a dash of milk and seasoning.  Quickly baked again before topping off with a poached egg.

Last week we watched How to Cook Like Heston – I must admit I was sceptical about it, and didn’t think much of many of his suggestions (his way of cooking scrambled eggs sounded way too fangled), but I was interested to see how he recommended making poached eggs.  We find poaching eggs hit and miss, so we thought we’d give his poaching method a go.  In short – we won’t be trying his method again, it didn’t work for us.

colcannon baked potato poached egg

When I’ve got the time I love making those baked potatoes where you take the potato out of the skin once they’re baked and mix nice ingredients into, then pop it back into its skin, scatter cheese over the top and cook it a bit longer.  Inspired by a colcannon recipe in an Abel & Cole leaflet that came through our door yesterday, I wonder why not apply it to my filled baked potatoes.

The whole idea of colcannon filled baked potatoes with a poached egg on top was delicious, and I would definitely make them again.

Friday 13th January

At the end of a very tiring week we didn’t have the energy to cook from scratch, so it was two plain frozen pizzas – once they were cooked I added to mine a handful of salad leaves and a drizzle of truffle oil, which made them more palatable.  I am too disappointed by readymade food that it makes me feel terrible for giving into conveniance.  Not worth a photo.

Yesterday I dug up my horseradish plant that’s been growing all year not having any idea on what to expect.  It certainly put up a fight trying to dig it out, with at least two long roots that disappeared into the depths of my raised bed and beyond.  In the end I had a good poke about, took a couple of long roots and put the main plant back in the soil – it’s got lots of new growth and hopefully it will continue to grow.  Only time with tell.

Mr Rigg made us Jamie Oliver’s meal for baby Yorkshire puds with a creamy smoked trout and horseradish pate.  The horseradish was for the smoke trout, and we just grated it in – the heat from the horseradish was incredible.  Along with a pile of green leaves it made a light and delicious dinner.  And very satisfying to use our own homegrown horseradish.

mushroom ragout and soft polenta recipe

This weekend it’s been all about Hugh.  Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall that is.  Hugh has to be up there with one of my favourite cooks, so I’ve been enjoying watching his new Veg Everyday series, albeit it a little slower than everyone else as I’m watching it online when I get a free hour in the evenings.

We made two meals this weekend that he’s made recently and both were delicious – I hope they become part of our cooking repetoir.  The first one I wanted to share was his Mushroom Ragout with Soft Polenta, which we made for tea last night.  I’ve only tried cooking polenta once before and it was a disaster – it didn’t taste of anything and we ended up dumping the lot.

This time the polenta was delicious – I think maybe last time I was too shy with my seasoning – a nice loose texture spiked with chopped rosemary from the garden and finely grated Parmesan.  The mushrooms too were to tasty – I added quite a bit more red wine than the recipe asks for because the liquid kept disappearing (we were doing half the recipe) but it didn’t seem to be a problem!

We ate it with a pile of peashoots and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

hugh fearnley-whittingstall mushroom ragout

Today I have made my first attempt at vegan cupcakes, or fairy buns as I want to call them.  Fairy buns because I have made them mini, although they look deceptively larger in the photos – they are in fact made in petit four cases.

I have a good friend whose little girl turns 5 next week, and tomorrow she goes to a wonderful school in a small wood, set up by her mom. Sadly my friend is really unwell at the moment and asked if I could make cupcakes for her to take to school with her.

Read the rest of this entry »

Following yesterday’s post on processing large amounts of pumpkin puree, we put the first lot to use in a Pumpkin Cinnamon Spice Bread.  I followed a recipe from Sunny Side Up in San Diego for Pull-Apart Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Bread.

Originally the recipe came from this Pumpkin Spice Pull-Apart Bread with Butter Rum Glaze created by Willow Bird Baking – a brilliant blog full of delicious sounding recipes.

It is such a delicious, soft bread that I will definitely be making it again – I would like to try it with less sugar and more pumpkin though. It involves making a bread dough that has the pumpkin puree in, then rolling this out, brushing it with butter and covering in a sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg mix.

You get to then press it in with your fingers…

Read the rest of this entry »

Sunday was spent mostly dealing with this beast…

This is a Zucca de Marmellata grown on our allotment, seeds bought from Sarah Raven.  After doing a bit of research it seems to be an Italian variety often known as a jam pumpkin – funnily enough for making pumpkin jam.

In total this pumpkin weighed over 20kg – can’t quite believe it!  As you might be able to see from the top picture it had started to go mouldy in the centre, so we will have to ‘process’ the other pumpkin we have of this size soon.

Read the rest of this entry »

Bookmark and Share

Eat the Earth

I love food, especially locally grown and seasonal food. This is my place to share my food finds and the food I like to eat.

My Pictures

All pictures are my own unless stated. I would kindly ask that you don't use them elsewhere unless you ask permission first. Many thanks x

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Recent recipes

Food memories: Greece

Food Memories: Dordogne

Food Memories: Amalfi Coast

Food Memories: Naples

Food Memories: Loire Valley

Food Memories: Sweden

Food Memories: Barcelona