Wednesday, 29 August 2018

Cookbook of the Month August 2018: River Cottage Light & Easy.

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

August is nearly at an end and so it's time for me to share my cookbook of the month with you all.
This month, I chose to cook through a healthier cookbook. Let me show you what I made from River Cottage Light & Easy

 Breakfast - Spiced Berry Salad: This is the second recipe in the book and is a really easy and quick one. All you do is stir together raspberries, blueberries, honey, and Chinese 5-spice. You can eat the berries straight away but I left mine overnight to macerate in the honey and spices. The 5-spice is only a pinch by the way, and I actually felt that you could get away with adding in more.
The next day, I ended up eating the spiced berries with yoghurt for a snack. Lovely!

Breakfast - Limey Bananas: Another quick breakfast recipe is this one using banana. All you do is slice up a ripe banana, grate over lime zest, squeeze on some of the juice, and finish with a few pinches of soft light brown sugar.
Perfect for a light breakfast or quick snack if you're bored of just bananas on their own!

Breakfast - Fruity Soda Bread: Soda bread is the quickest bread that you can make. Instead of yeast, bicarbonate of soda is used which helps the bread to quickly rise meaning there is no need for you to sit around and wait for the dough to rise.
This fruity version used brown rice flour, light rye flour, raisins, dried apricots, apple juice, honey, and rapeseed oil among other things. The apple juice and oil are the liquids in the recipe and replace the traditional buttermilk.
Mix, shape ...
... and bake!
So pretty! And, lovely toasted with butter and jam.

Breakfast - Potato Cakes: This was the perfect addition to our weekend cooked breakfast.
I mixed together cold cooked mashed potatoes, baking powder, rice flour, egg yolk, salt and pepper. The mixture was shaped and cooked until golden brown in rapeseed oil.
These were great for Sunday morning breakfast with scrambled eggs and beans.

Breakfast - Masala Omelette: We cook so many versions of masala eggs in our house but I'm always open to trying other people's versions.
The recipe in the book used eggs, curry powder, green chillies, cherry tomatoes, and spring onions. Not too different from when I make quick masala eggs in the morning except I don't put in tomatoes and use onion instead of spring onions.

Baking - Socca: So, I have been wanting to try this Italian chickpea-flour pancake for ages. As I was making this recipe, my Mother informed me that we Punjabis also have a version of this pancake. This got me even more interested and I cannot wait to try her recipe sometime soon. The socca was tasty but plain and I think it would be great with the addition of red onion, green chillies, spices and fresh coriander.
The simple batter is just gram flour (besan), salt and water. Gluten-free and vegan!
Pan-fried until golden and crispy.
We ate ours with hot and spicy red lentil curry.

Soup - Chickpea Soup: I remembered this soup recipe one Wednesday evening when I wanted to cook something quick for dinner.
The soup was made with tinned chickpeas, garlic, preserved lemon, tahini, and veg stock. I think I added in too much stock because my soup was a bit too watery for my liking.

Salad - Lettuce and Pea Salad with Lemony Dressing: I love the green colours of this salad!
The dressing is made with oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, mustard, honey, and fresh chives. Chives grow really well in our garden. I love their purple flowers!
Dressing ready! Time to assemble the salad.
The base is little gem lettuce leaves.
Peas go on top. Mangetout are a good addition here too but I didn't have any.
The dressing is drizzled over.
Finished with lightly toasted pine nuts!
Great with lunch which here was leftover carrot, raisin and almond pilau.

Fish - Fish and Tomato Curry: I hadn't cooked a fish curry in ages and this one looked pretty simple. A base of onion, ginger, garlic, curry powder, and cinnamon. The sauce was made with coconut milk and passata. It simmered down before I added in haddock pieces. Once the fish was cooked, the curry was finished with lime juice, fresh coriander and some black onion seeds.

Fish - Storecupboard Fishcakes: Another recipe that I've made before from the fish section were these storecupboard fishcakes. Ingredients include cooked potatoes, tinned sardines or mackerel, spring onions and capers. You can see the full recipe here!

Meat - Chicken with Lentils and Rosemary: I cooked this dish back in 2015. It's a great supper for a cold night. If I were to cook it again, I would definitely use chicken pieces on the bone. They have so much more flavour!
Back in 2015, I served the stew with sesame roast carrots. They're featured next!

Veg - Sesame Roast Carrots: The carrots are roasted with oil, salt, pepper and sesame seeds. Once cooked, they are tossed with a mixture of orange zest, orange juice, honey and raisins - all cooked together a little until the raisins plump up. For crunch, toasted almond flakes to finish.

Fruit - Peach and Orange Sorbet: As we are in August, I couldn't resist making the most of an abundance of Summer peaches. This peach and orange sorbet sounded delicious and so I gave it a try.
The hardest part was peeling and stoning the peaches. I ended up using a potato peeler to help me along.
The peaches were blended with icing sugar, orange zest, orange juice, lemon juice and lemon zest.
The mixture chilled in the fridge overnight before I churned it in my ice cream machine. 
 Summer in a bowl that we can continue to enjoy for a few more weeks!

Treats - Oaty, Nutty, Fruity Cookies: These cookies jumped out at me as I was flicking through the treats section. They looked really easy and I had all the ingredients in the house. Always a bonus!
 Here is the cookie dough - it's made with natural peanut butter, raisins, egg, honey, bicarbonate of soda and oats.
 On the left is the pre-bake. On the right is the post-bake. These were SO good. I couldn't stop snacking on them!

See more Cookbook of the Month ----> here!


Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!


Spice Enthusiast

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