This is the moment we have been waiting for. The signs are here.
After months of lockdown, cold winds and the cruel, unnerving cessation of all contact with our friends and work colleagues over the last year. We are slowly creeping and coming out of the woodwork. I've been kept realatively sane by Freddies Flower deliveries of stunning bouquets every couple of weeks. They are not only stunningly beautiful arrangements that make our home feel special, they seem to last and last. Let me know if you would like a free box and I'll give you my code.
But now, back to the garden, and what a joy it is to see the blossom, bluebells, tulips and daffodils popping and shining its light and coming back to life. In the kitchen, this week I've curated my favourite healthy, wild and vegan failsafes with a round up of 5 Spring time ingredients and recipe ideas that can turn the ordinary into that bit of extra ordinary!
Enjoy and let me know how you get on,
Love Caroline x
1. WILD GARLIC
Who doesn't love free food when it tastes this good. Wild garlic can be found in the cool, shady patches of woodland. You'll probably smell it before you see it – so don't forget to follow your nose while you're out walking.
Add it to salads, sarnies, stir fries. Here I've added it to my sort of Cauliflower 'Cheese' version.
1 small head cauliflower, blanched
2 large leaves kale, finely chopped, stalk removed
250ml almond Milk
100g fresh shiitake mushrooms, finely chopped
2 tbsp tamari
2 wild garlic leaves leaves, finely chopped
2 tbsp yeast flakes
35 g grated vegan cheese or crumbled feta cheese
2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
Put the cauliflower into a saucepan of lightly salted water and cook for 7 minutes or until tender. Add the kale and cook for another minute. Then drain, keep warm
Put the almond milk, mushrooms and Tamara in a saucepan and simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes or until reduced by one quarter. Add the wild garlic and yeast flakes then remove from heat and pour over lightly steamed cauliflower florets. Sprinkle with the vegan cheese, pumpkin seeds and pop until a warm grill until golden and bubbling. Served with some extra wild garlic leaves for garnish. .
2. ROASTED DANDELOIN COFFEE
OMG. If you love coffee but can't take the side effects. I highly recommend trying roasted Dandelion Coffee. It's time consuming to make as you need to root up the dandelions and it takes about 15 root plants to make one cup. As much as it's fun to do that. It's kind of long winded in our time starved days. My preference is to grab a bag of this Cotswold Roasted Dandelion Coffee here.
I love a flat white and Oat Milk Oatly which I like to buy in bulk from Costco is really smooth and creamy when frothed.
Dandelion Flat White - 1 Cup
The flavour is extracted from infusing in water, more like a tea. However, I like to loosely grind the roasted dandelion in a my coffee grinder on the coarse setting. Then add 2tbsp roasted dandelion powder to a small cafetière and top with hot water. Allow to seep for 4 - 5 minutes. Half fill a warm cup and top with the frothy Oat Milk. I find I get the same satisfaction as if I was drinking a flat white, but without the jitters!
3. VEGAN BUTTER - Naturli Organic Vegan Butter
I really miss cows milk butter but this product is great for making pastries with, or spreading on crackers. Here is a really great recipes for gluten free scones. It also doesn't contain palm oil!
Oaty Scones - Gluten and Dairy Free
I'm a right fuss pot over scones and I love this combination of oats which compensates for the lack of gluten.
120g self raising gluten-free flour 100g oat flour 1 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp salt 2 tbsp brown sugar 50g Natural Organic Vegan Butter, I found it in Sainsbury's 4 tbsp oatmilk
1 tbsp coconut yoghurt or keffir, Coyo Organic with a probiotic capsule added 1 flax egg – 1 tbsp milled flaxseed + 3 tbsp water. Mix in a small bowl and leave to set for 15 minutes
Preheat your oven to 220C/200C fan/400F Mix the flour, oat flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Add the dairy-free spread and rub in with your fingers until the mix looks like fine crumbs. Stir in the sugar, then fold in the milk, yoghurt or keffir and flax egg. Kneed until you have a dough consistency.
Transfer the dough onto a sheet of baking paper and top with another sheet and roll out to a thickness of 3cm. Use a small cutter to cut out the scones, place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 15 minutes. Leave to cool completely before slicing. Serve warm with my Chia Berry Jam and Coconut yoghurt.
4. TAHINI DRESSING
Tahini dressing really is a magic provider. Drizzle over soups, salads, or roasted veggies. It's great to make in bulk and keep in the fridge. It's so easy to make and I like to jazz it up with turmeric for a bright yellow variety or make a 'black' version using black tahini.
Turmeric Tahini Dressing
260g tahini, white or black
juice of 1 lemon
2 tsp salt
120ml olive oil
4 tsp turmeric (optional)
Kimchi is a staple traditional Korean side dish made of fermented and salted cabbage and radish. Easy to make but I also love this brand. LOVING FOODS KIMCHI WITH TURMERIC AND BLACK PEPPER
I'm eating it here on my toasted Life Giving Bread, which is totally gluten free. Sainsbury's Free From Soft Cheese and Sainsbury's Cheddar and Onion Vegan Cheese cucumbers and sea spinach from Abel and Cole
..... hope you enjoy these recommendations and recipes. Do ask me any questions in the chat box.
Meanwhile, it's good bye from me and my couple of rascals. Who are firmly a 'couple'. x