Thursday, 16 October 2014

Roasted buckwheat with wild mushrooms and feta for busy days

As you may or may not have noticed my routine has gone out of the window recently. Flown away to another time and place, one where I didn't have a full time (if freelance) job and wasn't working nights and weekends on another creative project (which I am very excited about). I am still cooking and eating of course, and when the light is right, I still may take a picture or two, it's just that I haven't found the time to calmly sit down and write about it. It's not easy maintaining good habits when life suddenly switches gear from one to five. And it's even harder to find the motivation to start again, when you know that your failure to do so has already lost you half your readership. It's a catch 22. As are so many things in life I find... Yet here I am again. And here's the kind of food that helps me keep my energy levels up and constant at times like these...
It's tempting to stuff your face with the biscuits and cakes that are always readily available is offices. Especially when you're rushed, tired and the weather changes... All I can say is: don't. I've been there and it's another one of those pointless loops. We all need treats, but I suggest we should think carefully about what we believe is a genuine treat and what's going to end up harming us in some way. Buckwheat is delicious and wholesome in its simplicity. The roasted stuff you will find in a polish shop or the East European food section of your supermarket. We cook it like rice, only steam it for longer at the end of the cooking time. I used dried wild mushroom, rehydrating them before and using the water to cook the buckwheat too. You can use fresh mushrooms. Fry them with some onion and thyme, using a mild olive oil, while cooking buckwheat separately. Combine the two on the frying pan, and add feta chunks. Eat hot or cold as a salad for lunch, like you see up there, with a million radishes to stave off any colds and other infectious diseases that may be going round. 

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Sweet potato quinoa salad

One of things I love about cooking is that paradox of nostalgia and newness. For example, I write this blog whilst munching on a warm, slightly crispy tortilla with Marmite. The reason I eat Marmite on tortillas rather than on toast like normal people, is because when I was in the Himalays aged 17, we ate ate marmite and chapattis every morning of our trek over Pin Parvati Pass. By the end of the 14 days I couldn't stand the sight of them, but now... It's the nostagia, clearly. At the other end of the scale we have this salad I made last week, which I've never made before but, from experience, knew was going to work
It's a blend of 3 different types of quinoa - red, black and pearl. You can get a ready mix in (some) Waitrose, with home grown cherry tomatoes and chillies (luckily I have a man who grows these, because I still haven't quite got my head round that part), toasted almond flakes, coriander and cinnamon sweet potato (roast the chunks of unpeeled sweet potato in the oven with olive oil, honey and cinnamon). The dressing consists of lime juice, mild olive oil and fish sauce. We ate it with southern fried chicken a bit like this one, but with more spices in the marinade. Yas says the trick is to add a little a bit of cornflour to the flour and breadcrumbs and the oil you fry them in should be hot but "not too hot". Having made this chicken about 5 times in a row now, he's the expert