Wild Garlic Soup

Wild Garlic Soup

  I cant help but have a little chuckle when I pick wild garlic because it gives me the image of my Grandpa who absolutely detested onions and garlic with a passion, so much so they were not aloud in the house. I vividly remember the look of deep (but comical) disgust on his face, when as small children me and brother picked handfuls of wild garlic and waved it under his nose. I wish I could show you his face, I’m laughing now as I think of it!   I took Ollie and his friend to Leigh woods today to forage for wild garlic to make pesto, we found such an abundance covering the slopes of the valley, I filled my basket and decided to make soup too.. pretty sure my Grandpa would run for the hills if he could smell my house (or my breath!) right now.   This is recipe couldn’t be simpler. It tastes like spring and it is such a beautiful bright green. Ollie at first turned his nose up, but after taking a tiny lick of my spoon asked for a whole bowl full.    Wild garlic has all the antimicrobial, antiviral properties of regular bulb garlic, and is even more effected at lowering blood pressure. Garlic is fantastic for the cardiovascular system.   Wild Garlic Soup    Ingredients  1 Tbs butter, ghee or coconut oil 1 onion 1/2 a leek 2 cups of potato (when chopped into roughly 3cm cubes) 2 packed handfuls of kale  2 packed handfuls of wild garlic (about 80 leafs) 5 – 6 cups (or 1.2 litres) of...
Roasted Winter Salad with Quinoa & Kale

Roasted Winter Salad with Quinoa & Kale

This salad is just ticking so many boxes for me right now. Colourful √ Warm √ Sooooo tasty √ Nutritious √ Good fats √ Protein √ Easy √ ….yes I am using a square root symbol in place of a tick because I cant find a tick! Where there is colour there are protective phytonutrient antioxidants, but I’m actually going to champion this salad for CALCIUM! Calcium is not just important for kids growth.. we all need this mineral to maintain our bones and teeth, but also our nervous system and heart health and whole cardiovascular system. Calcium has also been shown to reduce the risk of colon cancer and help reduce and prevent premenstrual tension. A couple of calcium facts for you. We NEED vitamin D for our bodies to actually utilise Calcium and send it where it needs to go. So if your not getting sunshine, a good vitamin D supplements is important during the winter months. Taking calcium supplements without good vitamin D levels can calcify the soft tissues. Calcium and Magnesium must be balanced. More often than not people have too little Magnesium and this can lead to hypertension, insomnia, stress and in fact tension in both the muscles and the mind.. read THIS POST to see if you are deficient in Magnesium. Did you know that Sesame seeds, Carrots, Kale, Parsley and Cashews are all excellent sources of Calcium? AND they are all more observably and better for the planet than cows milk. Win Win. Aside form all of nerdy stuff, this salad is just yum.. I love the balance between rich roasted & gently caramelised onions, beetroots and butternut.. with fresh and lively...
Nasturtium pesto

Nasturtium pesto

  Pesto is one of things that without fail is 10,000 times better made fresh that it is from a jar.. you cant beat the intensity of those fresh flavours!!! And you cant really go wrong – any combination of basel, rocket, spinach, kale, wild garlic, coriander.. plus olive oil, lemon, garlic, nuts  and you’re winning! You could add some nutritional yeast flakes for a dairy free cheesy taste. So 3 things happened that brought me to making a pesto with nasturtium leafs. Firstly nasturtiums spread like wildfire through my garden, I planted 3 small seedling in the spring and no joke, I have a grown a carpet! Then, my old school cook (and much appreciated follower of my Facebook page) Grandma Benson, told me that you can eat the leaf’s of Nasturtiums! Pretty obvious really, but I never thought of it before, so I was excited to try making something tasty with them. And thennnn.. I needed to come up with a simple recipe from my garden to prepare for a shoot I was asked to do, for a series coming up on health and fitness in Bristol (more on that exciting stuff soon!!!) and seeing as I had an overgrown courgette just begging to be picked and spiralized, zoodles (zucchini noodles) with nasturtium pesto seemed like the obvious Solution! I love the feeling of creativity  and resourcefulness that comes with making something out of nothing. You know, when your ‘fridge scraps supper’ turns out to be the best thing you ate all week? I feel the same about using the whole plant, the bits that often get...
Herby Quinoa Salad with Roasted Butternut

Herby Quinoa Salad with Roasted Butternut

Ive been forbidden from calling this a Tabouleh …probably rightly so, because it isn’t at all really, although it would have made a better title, I thinking on ‘Butternut Quinoa Tabouleh’..?  Clearly I’m not a traditionalist with recipes, maybe it comes from personally having, and working with people with food intolerances, and so always coming up with ways of not missing out on all the yummy stuff! So for those of us can’t eat wheat or tomatoes, or both, this ‘Tebouleh’ is for you! The other day my sweet friend Ariadne over at  Ariadne Kapsali  tagged me in a pic of her tabouleh ingredients and it reminded me that I’ve wanted to post my own version for ages now, as well as giving me a huge a quinoa craving! I’m so delighted with how this turned out, fresh herbs, sweet butternut, crunchy cucumber and of course earthy quinoa, perfect for a summer lunch or light dinner.. maybe with a little crumbly organic cheese if you are so inclined. I also added some garlicky ‘massaged’ kale (this just means chop the kale up small and cover with olive oil, lemon, salt and garlic and then kind of rub it a bit and it goes all soft and delicious!) **As I love to take every opportunity to harness the healing powers of herbs and spices in my food, whenever I roast butternut or other squashes I add a sprinklings of turmeric, along with black pepper which aids the absorption of the turmeric. So this is optional, but turmeric has such a mild flavour its all but lost in here with all the...
Miki’s Fully Loaded Miso Soup

Miki’s Fully Loaded Miso Soup

  I ate a lot of miso soup as a child. I was very lucky because from the age of five, Miki lived with us for at least half the year, every year, for most of my childhood. Miki came from Japan to study at the language school in Totnes, but she fell in love with England and it became her second home, so luckily for us she just kept coming. I LOVE this women. Miki is the most genuine, kind, gentle, graceful and beautiful in every sense of the word, women that I think I’ve ever known..  She would always arrive with the biggest suitcase you’ve ever seen in your life and it was so exciting to watch her open it because there was always presents from Japan for me and by brother…. and of course she made amazing Japanese food which is still my favourite cuisine. So there was a lot of Miso soup at home, and it became something my mum would make (when Miki wasn’t there to make it) as a comforting food, or a ‘lazy’ food, and it still has those kind of nostalgic feels for me now. It’s a cold rainy day food, a recovery from illness food.. and an ‘I cant be bothered to wash up more than one pot but still want to eat something yummy’ food. So this is Miki’s recipe how I remember it, except maybe I added the courgette because Ollie and I love courgette in everything. Miso soup is often thought of as a starter or a side dish to a meal, but I like to load...
Raw Pasta with Wild Garlic Pesto

Raw Pasta with Wild Garlic Pesto

Doesn’t life feel easier in the warmth and sunshine? Aahhhhh, less layers.. sunshine and air on bare skin.. being able to sit down on the grass!!! I know officially spring began a while back, but it’s small pleasures like these which mark this refreshing change of season for me. This is one of my absolute favourite times of year. Suddenly the hedgerows are lush and green with nettles, clevers and wild garlic, we are surrounded by beautiful pink and white blossoms, yellow primroses and blue forget-me-nots.. Watching the world come to life, with all the joyful colours of spring makes me so happy. Last weekend, me and a friend catered for our gorgeous friends Chelan and Emily’s Yoga retreat in Devon, near my home town Totnes. It was wonderful, such a special group of women that we had the honer to feed. ….and yep, you guessed it, we were in wild garlic heaven! This Raw Pasta Pesto with Wild Garlic Pesto was Saturday evening’s dinner, followed by my Raw Lime Cheesecake Our ladies loved this sauce and I promised I would post the recipe. Wild garlic is seriously EVERYWHERE right now, and now is the perfect time to pick. Make sure you pick away from paths and roads to avoid fumes and dog pee, and wash well just in case! If you are reading this after wild garlic season, or don’t fancy going on a forage mission, you can just leave it out and perhaps add a little more regular garlic.   Raw Pasta with Wild Garlic Pesto Serves 2 large or 4 small portions Pasta – 2 small carrots...