Saturday 24 January 2015

A seedy breakfast: sweet and spicy oats

Not so very long ago, the phrase "seedy breakfast" would have meant something altogether different. Now it means that my breakfast is full of seeds. And turmeric, and cinnamon, and freshly grated nutmeg... it's pretty much the best breakfast ever.
Inspired by Leo Babauta and this blog post, I have given up making New Years Resolutions and focused on changing habits this year. As the Kundalini guru,Yogi Bhajan, taught: your habits define you. I've always believed in setting intentions for the year ahead, yet this may just be a more permanent way of doing it. My January has been all about health. I had an experience during the Christmas period (which I don't feel ready to go into here just yet) that made me realise the importance of it. Good health is a blessing that we often take for granted. So this month I have avoided processed sugar, alcohol and... meat. In fact, I've gone Vegetarian. Or Pescaterian to be precise. I'm not sure how long it will last, because I do love the taste of meat, but at the moment my body feels purer and happier without it.
This seedy, oaty breakfast was invented by my mum and pimped up by moi. The oats are cold - the idea is that you don't cook them, to preserve their nutritious value - instead, you pour hot (almond) milk over them the night before you want to eat them: 8-9 heaped tablespoons for 500ml milk. Then you mix in all the other ingredients down there and allow to cool overnight. The next morning, transfer it into bowls and put it in the fridge - you have breakfast for 3 days.


500ml almond milk
8-9 tablespoons oats
2 tablespoons linseeds
2 tablespoons raisins
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds
1 tablespoon sunflower seeds
1 tablespoon crushed walnuts (or flaked almonds)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Tuesday 20 January 2015

The best of cheesymash: 10 favourite recipes, rediscovered

Just as our homes accumulate stuff, so does a blog. I try to spring clean my flat every year (the success rate varies), yet I haven't spring cleaned my blog for at least 3 years. So you can imagine that amongst all the stuff, I have long-lost some cherished recipes. This week, whilst working on a particular project, I was forced into some much-needed housekeeping. I'm glad, because decluttering always feels fantastic and I have found some precious, little food-gems I forgot I had... which brings me to the "best of cheesymash" list. Here's to hoping that you'll also find something of interest here. And yes, the list is in order of preference.

1. Rummy coconut cake with cream cheese lime icing - Because this is the best cake I have ever invented (and not just according to me)

2. Chilli con carne with chocolate - Because this is a truly brilliant innovation and chilli con carne will never be the same again

3. Cold sorrel soup - Because despite sitting in an ants' nest, this was a wonderful day, with both my grans, and this tangy, refreshing soup will always take me back there

4. Cava-poached amandes clams - Because these are victory clams and look how beautiful they are, the best of the British seaside

5. Superfood salad - Because I can't believe that I forgot about this amazing salad! Just look at it. I need to eat it now

6. Sweet potato "placki" - Again, the picture says it all. These are a fun take on a Polish classic

7. Herrings "pod shuboy" - Because as a Pole, I love herrings, and this is a herring cake essentially. It's also a dish that harks back to my roots (my grand-dad was from Russia) while at the same time evoking something long-gone and mysterious; the taste of another time

8. Spicy lentil salad - Because this salad reminds me of bluebell barbeques - sunny days surrounded by bluebells, yummy food and my favourite people

9. Yucatecan chicken soup - Because everyone needs a chicken soup in their lives and this is the best one in my opinion

10. Roasted-corn tortilla with British Asparagus and tabasco butter - Because I miss Spring and this perfectly balanced snack tastes like Spring to me

Thursday 15 January 2015

Caramelised pecan and red maca frozen yoghurt

As far as Januaries in London go, this one's not so bad. It's brisk but not freezing. There's wind and rain, yes, but then there are also dazzling blue skies and vivid sunsets... So whereas during your average kind of January I probably wouldn't dream of making fro-yo, this January it seems a perfectly reasonable thing to do
I made this one by grilling the crushed pecans with some coconut oil, sea salt and maple syrup for about 5min, then adding them, along with more maple syrup, and a couple of tablespoons of powdered red maca, to Greek-style bio-yoghurt. It froze in about an hour. If you have an over enthusiastic freezer like this one, remember to keep stirring every 10-15min and don't leave it in overnight. Just put it in there about 1 hour before you want to consume it. Alternatively, you may just want to eat it all in one go, since it's so healthy and so mapley, malty, more-ish

Monday 5 January 2015

Pearl barley, wild mushrooms, blue cheese, gherkins

There is nothing more thrilling than the feeling of cultural progress. This was my elated thought as I picked up a packet of fresh wild mushrooms in my local Tesco's. Yes, the UK is now officially eating wild mushrooms, like the rest of our European neighbours. This is progress indeed. If we are moving towards a more advanced state in the tastebud department then I believe other areas will follow. We will surely soon be more understanding, compassionate and tolerant in all areas of our lives, n'est pas?
I fried these mushrooms up on some butter with a fresh shallot and dried oregano. I cooked the pearl barley in vegetable stock, adding the chilli sauce and crème fraîche near the end of the cooking time. I seasoned both. When serving, I piled the browned mushrooms on to the creamy pearl barley, topped off with blue cheese cubes and decorated with gherkin slices. Easy and delicious.


Pearl barley
Stock cube
Crème fraîche
West Indian chilli sauce
Wild mushrooms
Dried oregano
Blue cheese, cubes
Gherkins, sliced
Knob of butter
Salt and pepper