Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Some thoughts, some noodles


Recipe of the week...
... Silky cashew nut noodles


Ingredients: 80g chestnut mushrooms, 10g coriander, 1 red onion, 1 garlic clove, a large glug of soy sauce, 2 wholewheat noodle nests, 60g cashew nuts, 1 courgette, 1 carrot, 1 tablespoon honey, ½ teaspoon dried chilli flakes, vegetable oil, olive oil, salt and pepper

Serves: 2 proper platefuls… and a packed lunch for someone to take to work!

Time taken: 45 mins max


Hi readers,

How are you all today? You doing good?

As I write, it’s a Tuesday evening in February. The sun’s been out for most of the day, and I’ve had a good one at work – I got to do some writing today! I survived a laptop drop this morning (as did my laptop) and the resulting soup explosion, too. Although it looks as though I’ll be finding dried soup on the contents of my workbag for quite a while…

But things are good with me. How are things with you lately, readers? How’s Feb shaping up for you?

In truth, things are very good with me right now. In the spirit of writing what you feel… things are sparkly and exciting, readers. Yes – I’m mooning over a boy. It’s been a long time! But here I am, starry eyed. I like a boy and a boy might like me.


Here’s some food for thought, readers. Is happiness your friend?

I’ve been considering this a lot the last few days. Because – and bear with me here – I’m wonderfully happy at the moment! Don’t hate me. It feels like I’ve been given a special jewel, readers, and it’s so hard not to wave this gem around and shout about it from the roof tops and mould myself around the jewel, ready to treasure it forever…

BUT. It’s also like I’ve been given a special jewel that I know will likely be taken away again one day. And I can see friends of mine who’ve just had jewels taken away from them, and they’re really down about that. So, it’s scary to hold it. And scary to feel so up up up… when experience tells me that, one day, I’ll be back down again. As happiness is fleeting.


I know that my friends – however up or down they may be – will always will be there for me and will likely far outlast the happiness. And that it’s terrifically unfair for me to have been given a jewel now when friends have had theirs taken away. And that I should defo keep my jewel on the down low, so it doesn’t hurt any of my friends’ feelings.

BUT. Even if happiness isn’t here to stay. Even if it might be snatched away or could fade at any moment – leaving me empty handed and hunched over, and embarrassed for having worn my jewel on my sleeve for anyone to see – is that any reason to turn away from it? Is there anything I can do, right now, other than feel sparkly and excited, and scared shitless at the same time?


I think that, perhaps, happiness isn’t my friend in the long run. Although, some friendships last the length of a job or a summer or a lottery win – and they’re spectacular! You wouldn’t trade your true friends for them, but you wouldn’t want to be without them either.

So, I think that happiness is a fickle friend. But if you know that, readers. If you keep your real friends in your heart, and make room for your jewel without poking your friends in the process, then hopefully you’ll never be down down down. Because your friends are there for you.

What do you think?

Along with that food for thought… I have a recipe for real food for you, readers! Yay! This recipe is VEGAN, as the boy I’m mooning over is vegan, and I cooked us this meal for dinner recently in a Date Night bid to impress. The recipe is a Gousto one, for silky cashew nut noodles, and you can throw these noodle together in just ten simple steps…

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Recipe: Silky cashew nut noodles


Ingredients: 80g chestnut mushrooms, 10g coriander, 1 red onion, 1 garlic clove, a large glug of soy sauce, 2 wholewheat noodle nests, 60g cashew nuts, 1 courgette, 1 carrot, 1 tablespoon honey, ½ teaspoon dried chilli flakes, vegetable oil, olive oil, salt and pepper


1.     Do what you need to do to enjoy your time in the kitchen – pour a drink, open a window, wipe the surfaces, set some music playing in the background…

2.     Heat a large, dry, frying pan or wok over a low heat. Add your cashew nuts and cook for a few minutes until they begin to colour. Then set aside to cool – keep your pan ready for later.

3.     Fill a kettle and set it boiling. While the kettle boils you can begin with veg prep. Top, tail and finely dice the carrot and courgette, then slice your chestnut mushrooms. Peel and finely slice the red onion, and peel and finely chop the clove of garlic.

4.     Once the kettle’s boiled, add the wholewheat noodles to a saucepan along with a pinch of salt, and fill with water. Leave to boil for ten minutes until tender.

5.     While your noodles cook, return the wok to a medium heat with a splash of vegetable oil. Once hot, add the carrot, courgette, onion and mushroom to the pan, along with half of the chopped garlic and half a teaspoon of dried chilli flakes.

ChefBeHere Top Tip: Not a fan of food that has you fanning your mouth?? Ease off the chili flakes, compadre!

6.     Season the contents of your wok with a pinch of salt and pepper, and keep stirring your veg about the pan every now and then. Cook for 10-15 mins, or until the veg start to caramelise.

7.     While your veg and noodles are cooking, grind ¾ of your cooled cashew nuts using a pestle and mortar. Add your remaining chopped garlic, a tablespoon of honey, 3 tablespoons olive oil, and a large pinch of salt. Then add 3 tablespoons water from your noodle pan and grind this all up into a creamy nut butter.

8.     Once cooked, drain the noodles and rinse briefly under a cold tap. Finely chop a handful of coriander and coarsely chop the remaining cashew nuts.

9.     Once the vegetables seem caramelised (use your best judgement here), then tip the cooked noodles into the wok, along with the cashew nut butter. Add your chopped coriander and a rather large glug of soy sauce, then season generously with salt and pepper. Give everything a good mix together to combine.

10.  Plate up your noodles and garnish with the remaining cashew nuts – then tuck in! Any leftover noodles you can Tupperware for lunch tomorrow.


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What do you think, readers?? Would you give this noodle recipe a try? Does it look like your kind of food? Would you have guessed – looking at the pic – that this meal was a vegan one? Or does it just look like a tasty plateful of food??

In the words of Gousto…

“This is a dairy-free, wholesome vegetable noodle dish where you create your own very ‘on trend’ cashew nut butter. Brimming with vegetables – it feels comforting yet sinless!”

… and I highly recommend! These noodles went well in the kitchen, readers, I had no trouble with the recipe and I’d say they turned out well, tasting great. I wasn’t left craving fish or dairy, I was full, and I enjoyed the food. My date was complimentary of the cooking (I think sincerely!) and he cleared his plate.

So – a success in the kitchen! If you’re looking for a healthy, great tasting tea to try, and if you’re open minded to trying vegan food, and if you’re a fan of a noodle dish – then I recommend. Please let me know, readers, if you give this recipe a go how you get along in the kitchen. And do you like the noodles?? Feedback, please!

And have a fabulous rest of your week everyone. Take care, feel sparkly, embrace happiness…

Grind safely,

Hayley





Monday, 5 February 2018

Recipe round up - spotlight on fifteen fab UK food blogs


Hi readers,

How are things today? I hope life is treating you WELL so far this week, and that Monday hasn’t been all that bad after all. Often it isn’t, is it?

My car wouldn’t start this morning and frankly it’s been a dull day at work – not the kind that warranted a pre-coffee battle with jump leads just to get to the office – but I’m good. I’m all good. Hope you are, too! Sending love.

And, as I’ve spent February so far frolicking about with carbs (after a January spent low-carb), I thought I’d send you some recipes from other UK food bloggers. From food bloggers who’ve actually been trying out and typing up exciting recipes in this past week.

Here – coming to you all the way from the world wide web – are 15 veggie recipes from UK food bloggers other than me, posted over the last week. Go visit their blogs! I hope you find some fantastic recipe inspiration…


Leitchy Creates



Rebel Recipes


Supper in the Suburbs


Veggie Desserts


Lucy Francis


Little Sunny Kitchen


My Primrose Hill Kitchen


SpamellaB


Nadia’s Healthy Kitchen


Sophie’s Scran


Will Flirt for Food


Tinned Tomatoes


Only Crumbs Remain


Lavender & Lovage


Hungry Healthy Happy


Chef safely,


Hayley