Balsamic and Maple Brussel Sprouts

Are you dreading sprouts tomorrow (why?! they might be my favourite thing about Christmas dinner, in fact we have a wreath made of paper sprouts)  then I am here to save the day. I found this recipe on Nutrition Stripped a couple of years ago and have been using it regularly ever since. I’ve made a few tweaks over the years but it never lets me down. Excuse the picture, I was too desperate to eat them.



Ingredients:

  • 1 kg of brussel sprouts
  • 1 cup of red grapes
  • 0.25 cup of maple syrup
  • 0.25 cup of balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp or more of pine nuts
  • 1 tbsp of garlic infused olive oil (or olive oil and two cloves of minced garlic)
  • 1.5 tbsp of fresh thyme
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 180C.
  2. Place the sprouts and grapes into a large baking dish.
  3. In a small bowl mix together the syrup, vinegar and garlic oil.
  4. Pour over the sprouts and use a large spoon to make sure they are all coated.
  5. Sprinkle pine nuts and fresh thyme over them, followed by salt and pepper.
  6. Roast for 45 minutes or until soft inside and browned outside.
  7. Serve with your dinner of choice this festive season. 

 Merry Christmas you lovely people!

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Adventures in Sourdough

What I like about sourdough is the deep rich flavour, the texture and the process leading to some of the gluten already being broken down. If people are slightly gluten intolerant, sourdough can be a great alternative. When it comes to sourdough, I have two bibles, both written by Yoke Mardewi (somewhat of a sourdough oracle): Wild Sourdough and Sourdough: From Pastries to Gluten-Free Wholegrain Breads. These books, particularly the latter, offer a load of information about the types of wheat and other grains available, and the benefits of sourdough. You can make sourdough with completely gluten free flours, I opt for flours with a lower gluten content, like rye and spelt because those are the flavours I like the most. Yoke’s books contain an enormous number of different recipes using a sourdough starter as the rising agent, from loaves, to croissants, pancakes, Christmas cake and crumpets to name a few.

Starter

I am by no means an expert but having sourdough in my life is a joy (and I promise that I’ll share the crumpets recipe soon) and I thought I’d share my adventures in sourdough with you and how to begin the process by making a sourdough starter. Continue reading

Wild Rice Salad

I’ve been looking for new, healthy lunches to take to work. Something that isn’t too time/effort consuming to make but that is nutritious. I turned to Deliciously Ella‘s cookbook and spotted this salad made with black rice and pine nuts; I was sold. Black rice most definitely isn’t photogenic but when paired with some steamed veg it makes for a tasty lunch. I changed quantities and ratios in the recipe to my tastes but the basic ingredients are the same.

Wild Rice Salad

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Spiced Winter Vegetable Cous Cous

I mentioned a little while back about cooking a birthday dinner for my friend Jenny, when I shared the dessert recipe ‘Chocolate Heartache Cake‘. Well here is part of the mains, we had grilled meat (steak or chicken) with this spiced winter vegetable cous cous, an Ottolenghi recipe (bound to be delicious) shared by one of my favourite blogs, Orangette. It was so good that I also made it as a side dish to accompany the rhubarb and ginger roast belly pork that I cooked for mother’s day; which I promise to share soon, it would be criminal not to (it was to die for). Don’t be put off by all the ingredients and stages in this recipe, once you’ve cooked it once, you’ll have it down. It isn’t complicated at all, there is just a few spices involved; it is worth it though, trust me.

image

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Baked Beans

I’m a huge advocate for home made, unprocessed, clean food. Whilst these are far from growing the beans and tomatoes yourself, they do have less rubbish in them than shop bought baked beans. They are also so much tastier! The sauce is a delicious, rich tomato sauce, equally as at home on your toast, with your English breakfast or on a baked potato with a little cheddar and a handful of kale (my lunch of choice every day this week and I have looked forward to it without fail). The great news is that they don’t even take that long to make. The recipe is one from my newest and treasured cook book ‘Deliciously Ella‘ by one of the queens of whole foods, Ella Woodward. The book comes out in a few days in the US, so any of you in the US, keep your eyes peeled!

Baked beans

Can I just talk about how tasty the sauce is again? I’m not a huge ketchup fan and always opted for baked beans to provide any kind of sauce with chips or breakfast. These baked beans though, it is a whole new level of delicious sauce for dipping your chips or sausages etc into. I will be making these regularly from now on, that’s for sure.

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