Author: Lia Moutselou
As the year draws to an end and in the midst of this wonderful festive season it is time to reflect on our food consumption and the amount of edible food that may be wasted. What can you do to love your leftovers and to reduce your food waste?
This Christmas weekend we have had fantastic time in our kitchen using our limited leftovers from Christmas dinner. They went such a long way making us two delicious pie dinners (one with turkey and one with ham), bubble & squeak with our roasted veg, whilst we had planned to use our organic cabbage in a pickled raw salad with seeds because it lasts well over a week! Yesteday we cleared through our cupboards making sure that everything is clearly labelled and this week we will be mainly eating what’s already there.
Make a pledge to join us this year in our effort to help reduce waste, to take care of ourselves better through nutritional meals and to benefit our pockets. There is plenty of inspiration and help from us and Green City Events coming up with Love Food Hate Waste roadshows and cook ups scheduled most of the weekends of January and February 2016.
To stay up to date with booking links and further information, follow us on twitter and facebook, and subscribe to our mailing list.
This is a recipe that even the biggest sprout sceptic will enjoy – I have tested this with my partner whose face contorts with disgust every time I even mention sprouts. Slicing the sprouts finely definitely helps. For the host of a Christmas dinner this is a great side for any roast and rather helpfully the recipe can be cooked mostly on the hob, freeing up the necessary space in your oven.
As all recipes this month are inspired by Riverside Market Garden’s vegetable box all you need to do is place your order today (Wednesday 16 December) and you will have all the vegetable ingredients you need to execute this and the rest of the recipes.
The combination of ginger (in the stir fry), nutmeg and a hint of clove (in the roast nuts) is inspired by the French Quatre Epices (four spices) mixture but I have substituted the white pepper with crushed red peppercorns for a festive look. And I have added an optional pinch of crushed buckthorn seeds (hippophae) for a zingy lift. I have also shared my recipe for roasted spiced walnuts which I learned from Anna Hansen’s, The Modern Pantry cook book. In the past year I have used this method to roast nuts with any imaginable spice to suit my recipes – it is a real delight!
Ingredients (4-6 people)
- Salt to season as required
- ½ tsp buckthorn seeds (optional)
- 1 tsp red peppercorns
- Olive oil
- 3-4 Tbsp soya sauce
- 1 tsp paprika
- 50g fresh ginger, grated
- 2 medium onions, finely sliced
- 500g Brussel sprout, finely sliced
- 100g walnuts
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp icing sugar
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- Pinch of clove
- 1 Tbsp water
Preparation (30 minutes)
- In a baking tray mix the walnuts, salt, icing sugar, nutmeg, clove and water until the nuts are well coated.
- Place in a low to medium oven (160 centrigrade) for 20 minutes or until dried and golden.
- Finely slice and grate the onion, sprouts and ginger.
- Coat the base of a wide frying pan with enough olive oil and heat.
- Stir fry the onion and ginger with the paprika and a pinch of salt for 5 minutes and until translucent.
- Add the finely sliced sprouts and stir fry with the soya sauce for 15 minutes or until the sprouts are soft.
- Season with additional salt or soya sauce if required – the sprouts can definitely take it so don’t be shy.
- Crush the red peppercorns (and buckthorn seeds) in a pestle and mortar and sprinkle on the stir fry
- when the walnuts are ready sprinkle on the stir-fry.
Do you find it hard to get your little ones to tuck into root vegetable other than potato? This is a festive recipe that make everyone happy and it will use up your Riverside Market Garden festive vegetable box contents rather nicely. These oven chips are tasty, nutritious and comforting. Serve with Lia’s Kitchen beetroot and feta dip as a snack or side. They are so easy and fuss-free to make and once you try these you might never go back to deep-fried, potato chips. And as always you can sprinkle some home made dukkah on this delight – guess what …we have a dukkah recipe too.
Ingredients (snack quantity or enough for two)
- 350g parsnip, celeriac or turnip or a mix
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp sweet or smoked paprika
- ¼ tsp dried thyme
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- Wash the vegetable well with a brush or peel and wash.
- Chop in long chip sticks and in a baking tray toss in the thyme, paprika, salt and olive oil.
- Roast for 30 minutes in a medium oven (180 centigrade) or until cooked enough to pierce with a fork but not falling apart.
- For Lia’s Kitchen beetroot dip please see www.liaskitchen.com.
Continuing with the festive theme, here is another roast vegetable recipe which can accompany any chosen Christmas dinner meats or veggie roast. I think it will particularly delicious with goose.Once again this is a stress-free recipe which does not require extensive preparation. It is versatile enough for you to use with many of the white root vegetables that you can find in your Riverside Market Garden festive vegetable box. Personally I have great difficulty stopping myself from devouring these before I place them on the dinner table. Let’s hope I manage it this time for the family’s sake!
Ingredients (feed 4-6 as part of a roast dinner)
- 6 Jerusalem artichokes (around 250g)
- 1 large parsnip (around 200g)
- 2 Tbsp maple syrup
- 2-3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp ground salt to season
- 2-3 Tbsp olive oil to dress
- Wash the artichoke and parsnip well with a brush or peel. I prefer both vegetable with the skin on if you cut off any ‘hairy’ bits and chop the top and tail off.
- Roughly chop and mix well with all ingredients in a baking tray.
- Roast for 40 minutes in a medium oven (180 centigrade) or until cooked enough to pierce with a fork but not falling apart.
- Particularly delicious with roast goose, duck or a hearty nut roast.
Back to the roots #3 – December festive recipes: Parsnip or celeriac oven chips with beetroot dip
I am getting ready for Christmas, are you? Personally I don’t want to worry about getting the exact quantity of specific root vegetable for my Christmas dinner right – I rather like using what I have. So here is a recipe which is adaptable to any root vegetable at your disposal for your Christmas dinner. It is a moreish alternative to roast veggies you might have previously served at Christmas. And if you have already ordered a vegetable festive box from Riverside Market Garden you should have exactly what you need to make this dish which will complement your turkey, goose, pork or other roast of choice beautifully. I strongly recommend using a sprinkle of the delicious dukkah condiment, the recipe of which you can also find on Lia’s Kitchen website here.
Ingredients (feed 4-6 as part of a Christmas or other roast dinner)
- 600g mixed root vegetable, coarsely chopped (use equal amounts of e.g. parsnip, carrot and Jerusalem artichokes or celeriac and or 200g of each)
- 3 leeks, coarsely chopped
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- ½ tsp ajwain/carom seeds or dried oregano (optional)
- 2 Tbsp. sesame seeds
- 1 tsp salt
- Olive oil
- 2 Tbsp Dukkah mixture (optional- see recipe here http://liaskitchen.com/2015/12/12/the-wonderful-dukkah-condiment/)
- Peel or wash the root vegetable well with a brush and coarsely chop it together with leek.
- If using celeriac and Jerusalem artichokes place these in a bowl of acidulated water to avoid them turning brown, i.e. water with some lemon juice or vinegar.
- In a baking tray pour enough olive oil to line its wide base.
- Stir fry the vegetable and leek for 5 minutes after adding the salt and thyme.
- Add the sesame, adjwein or oregano (optional) and stir to make sure all veg is coated well in the oil.
- Roast for 40 minutes in a medium oven (180 centigrade) until the veg is cooked enough to pierce with a fork but does not fall apart.
- Sprinkle with the Dukkah mixture generously once you have removed from the oven. If you do not want to add the Dukkah season to taste adding a couple of pinches of salt.
One of the best ways to elevate the flavours of roast vegetable, dips, soups and salads is a sprinkle of the Egyptian dukkah condiment. Dukkah is a mixture of spices and seeds that can be unique to your taste. Mine is inspired by the recipe in Ottolenghi’s new book Nopi. However, I have made my own recipe mainly by replacing fenugreek with caraway seeds and adding the wonderful adjwain or carom seed to the mix. I have also changed the quantities to match my taste.
I use dukkah with root vegetable recipes not only for its wonderful flavour and texture but to also aid digestion. Many of the root vegetable I love and use in the winter months, such as Jerusalem artichoke, celeriac and even parsnip, can cause flatulence and cramps. Adjwain or carom and fenugreek seeds are well known remedies for indigestion and flatulence. I will be using dukkah on our Christmas roast vegetable this year to help us stomach the feast we are planning.
A small jar of homemade dukkah also makes an great, alternative Christmas gift. You can find affordable adjwein. Fenugreek and other seeds online but also in many of the shops of City Road, Cardiff if you live in the same city as us. It is so much fun to make it and your friends and family will love you forever.
Ingredients (enough for a small or medium jar)
- 70g hazelnuts, skin on
- 1 Tbsp sunflower seeds
- 1 Tbsp pumpkin seeds
- 1 ½ Tbsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp caraway seeds (or fennel)
- 1 Tbsp cumin seeds
- ½ tsp ajwain/carom seeds
- 1 Tbsp peppercorns, white or red
- 1 ½ Tbsp sesame seeds
- ½ tsp nigella or black onion seeds
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- ½ tsp coarse sea salt
- Roast the hazelnuts in the oven on clean baking tray for 15-20 minutes, making sure they don’t burn.
- Measure all seeds and place in separate containers.
- Use a heavy based pan and preheat well.
- Roast each seed and nut separately starting with the cumin and ending with pepper, for 30 seconds or until the seeds pop.
- Roast the sesame and nigella seeds together, and the pumpkin and sunflower seeds together.
- Return each seed to their separate container.
- Once cooled rub the hazelnuts in your hands to remove the skin.
- In a pestle and mortar crush the hazelnuts coarsely. Place in a medium jar.
- Coarsely grind each nut and seeds separately, apart from the sesame and nigella, in the pestle and mortar. Then add to the same jar.
- Finally crush the salt and add to the jar together with the paprika.
- Stir and shake the jar well. Store in a cool and dry place for about a month.
- Use on roast veg, salads and other dishes to spice them up.
This year our dream team consisting of Green City Events, Cynefin Cardiff and Lia’s Kitchen will be organising more food waste reduction events in Cardiff’s Roath/Penylan, Splott and Adamsdown areas. Our first Love Food Hate Waste Roadshow on 21 November 2015 kicked off a series of roadshows and workshops to follow in 2016. We cannot explain how much we believe in what we do so we hope that our enthusiasm and dedication is contagious. Now is a great time to think about reducing your food waste and to join the fight to help do something about this ever increasing problem.
At our November 2015 roadshow we provided advice and tips on how to use our imagination to cook with what we have at home. Our savoury and sweet cake samples inspired many of you to be creative in the kitchen. So here are the recipes below. Remember don’t be afraid to replace an ingredient you are missing with another. The cake recipes were inspired by ingredients most us of are likely to waste and seasonal, affordable ingredients such as squash.
The sweet cake recipe is based on a similar recipe shared with me by a dear friend Wendy Twell about ten years ago. Whilst the savoury cake is inspired by pumpkin and winter squash which is abundant at the moment – it is designed to help people not waste some of the larger pumpkins/squash they get hold off. For more inspiration on pumpkin see here.
Follow @greencityevens, @liaskitchen, @cynefincardiff for information on upcoming events.
Thanks to www.dangreenphotography.com and Luke From Cynefin for the snaps today.
Sweet Carrot & Banana Cake
Ingredients (8-10 portions)
- 1 carrot coarsely grated
- 2 ripe bananas mashed with a fork
- 100ml/g of fat (vegetable oil or melted butter)
- 250g self-raising flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 150 sugar (caster or light brown sugar or a mix)
- 2 eggs
- 50g chopped nuts of your choice or roughly chopped chocolate
- 1 tsp mixed spices of your choices (we recommend mixing half tsp ground cardamom, half tsp ground cinnamon powder, ¼ tsp ground nutmeg)
Preparation (1.5 hours)
- Grease and line a 20cm long bread tin or a 20cm round baking tray with flour.
- Mix the flour with the baking powder and the spices of your choice.
- Mash the bananas with a fork and grate the carrot in the same bowl.
- Add the banana and carrot and mix with the flour.
- Make a well in the middle and add the fat of your choice and eggs.
- Beat well until blended.
- Bake in a medium oven (170 centigrade) for 45-1hr or until a skewer pierced into the centre comes out clean.
- If you have one banana only add another carrot. If the mixture is tight add 1-2 tablespoons of milk to make it looser so that the cake is not dry.
- Cool down the butter a little before you add to your mixture. Mix in before adding your eggs.
- The cake keeps well in the fridge for about a week.
- Have too much leftover cake? Why not eat some of it for breakfast with Greek yoghurt and honey. Or soak the drier slices win some coffee and marsala or other sweet wine, topping it with sweetened yoghurt and fruit for an alternative trifle desert which will impress all your guests.
Savoury pumpkin and mushroom cake
Ingredients (8-10 portions)
- 1 small-medium squash/pumpkin or up to 500g peeled squash/pumpkin
- 1 onion
- 300g mushrooms
- 1 small bunch of sage (30g)
- 300g cornmeal or polenta
- 200g plain flour
- 4 tsp baking powder
- 100g butter melted
- 50-100g cheddar cubed or grated
- 300ml milk
- 2 eggs lightly beaten
- 30g sugar
- Olive oil for frying
- Butter for frying
- Grease and line a square baking tray (25cm x 35cm) or a deep round baking tray (20-25cm diameter).
- Cut and peel the pumpkin or squash removing sweet. Then grate coarsely or pulse in a food processor for 2 minutes.
- Finely slice the onion, mix with the pumpkin, add two pinches of salt and stir fry in a little bit of olive oil for 10 minutes.
- Slice the mushrooms, add a pinch of salt and fry in a little butter until soft.
- Fry the whole sage leaves and their chopped stalk in a little butter until crispy.
- Mix the flours together with the baking powder.
- Add the sugar, fried veg, the butter, the cheese , the milk and the two beaten eggs and mix into a soft batter that is neither too tight not too runny.
- Season with more salt if needed and add the fried sage.
- Bake for 45min-1hr in a medium over (175 centigrade) or until a skewer pierced in the middle comes out clean.
- Raw pumpkin does not in my opinion freeze that well uncooked. Stir frying pumpkin or squash is a great way to preserve it. If you have too much cook it, cool it, freeze it and use in cakes, pies and stir fries later on in the year.
- This recipe is adaptable to various and seasonal ingredients. You can use carrot and greens such as kale and spinach. Or add more mushrooms and less pumpkin. Ingredients such as carrot, pumpkin, courgette, aubergine are good for this cake because the keep this cake moist and soft.
- Same with the cheese- why not use a mix of cheeses, or blue cheese or whatever you might have in your fridge.
- You can replace the milk with yoghurt and a little bit of water.
- If you don’t have sage tarragon is a great alternative and so is rosemary. And of course you can use dried herbs instead of fresh. 1-2 tsp should be enough for this recipe.
- Polenta or fine cornmeal is a great ingredient to store in your pantry. Many shops on or around City road in Cardiff sell big bags for very little money. It will come handy for many savoury or sweet cakes which you can use your leftovers. Introduce cornmeal to your life – it is a great ingredient to cook with! s
- This cake keeps well in the fridge for about a week. It freezes well too.
- For the summer version of this cake see here.