Archive for May, 2010

Hot Artichoke Dip

Sunday, May 23rd, 2010

Fresh Spinach Leaves
This recipe is adapted from one of my favourite American cookbooks: generations eats by Amy Rosen.

1 pack fresh spinach (or chard)
1 jar artichoke hearts
1 cup grated mozzarella
2 minced garlic cloves
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 tsp salt
some grinds of black pepper

Preheat the oven to 180c.  Drain all but 1 tbsp of the oil from the artichokes (if you are using tinned artichokes in water, once you have drained them, add a tbsp olive oil or mayonnaise to this recipe).  Wash and dry the spinach (or chard) and remove the tough stalks.

Roughly chop the spinach and artichokes and mix with the rest of the ingredients and bake for around 40 mins until browned on top.  Serve while warm with melba toast, toasted bagels, pitta or baguette.  Soooo nice.

You can mix it up in advance, then bake later, so great for parties.

It can also be made with defrosted frozen spinach, just squeeze out the excess water before chopping.

Chocolate Balls

Sunday, May 23rd, 2010

Dates
These are completely addictive!

1 mug stoned dates, covered in boiling water
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp cocoa
(tbsp whiskey, rum, orange water or other flavouring opt.)
2 mugs porridge oats (not the whole rolled ones!)
2 tbsp coconut oil or butter
dessicated coconut, icing sugar, hot chocolate poweder, cocoa or ground almonds to roll them in

Cover the dates in boiling water and leave to stand. Mix together the other ingredients in a bowl.  Blend the date mixture until smooth, then add to dry mix and stir well. 

The mix should be firm enough to handle, but still a bit sticky; if not add some more oats or some coconut, if too dry add a little water (or something stronger).   Shape into small balls and roll in a plate covered with coconut.  Store covered in fridge for up to 2 weeks, or freeze up to 3 months.  This makes about 60.

Organic Box 19th May 2010

Sunday, May 23rd, 2010

fruit: bananas, oranges, kiwi, Galia melon, rhubarb
veg: onions, potatoes, celery, carrots, courgettes, mushrooms, wild rocket, green chard

It has been such a busy week with a wedding, a Mela and a Parks for Life event that I’ve only just found time to write this.  The bananas have been smoothied (with a pot of yoghurt and a cup or two of fresh orange juice), the rhubarb crumbled and the kiwi and Galia melon devoured as breakfasts.

I made a garlic mushroom and courgette pasta bake, a potato gratin and a rocket and grated carrot salad.  The chard is still to be made into a Saag Aloo type curry (normally potato and spinach) and I’ve finally got round to making my artichoke dip, which I’ll post shortly.

At the parks for life event, Kai from the Shoreditch Spa demonstrated some rather tasty Chocolate Balls, which I’ll post too, as they are perfect summer snacks.

Wrapped Asparagus

Thursday, May 13th, 2010

Fresh asparagus
This makes a great, simple starter.

1 bunch asaparagus (1/2 bunch per person)
4 slices parma ham (or similar)
1 tbsp crumbly blue cheese (something like Shropshire Blue)

Preheat the oven to 180c.  Snap the hard ends off the asparagus (the woody parts should just snap off at the right point, leaving tender stems.  You can use the ends to make stock).

Boil the asparagus in salted water for 2 or 3 mins.  It should be just tender.  Time will depend on how thick your stalks are, so adjust accordingly.  Try not to overcook them.

Divide the asparagus into four and wrap the thick ends with ham, making four bundles.  Lay them in an ovenproof dish and crumble over the blue cheese.  Bake for 10 mins or until the cheese has melted and browned a little.  Serve with Hackney salad and a lemony vinaigrette.