Sunday, 26 May 2013

Carrot & Courgette Fritters

Today marks the end of Vegetarian Week, during which I have been able to test different recipes including the one that made it to this post.
I'm really trying to use up all of my leftovers lately cause I used to waste way too much food, so on Thursday evening I looked online for a meal that would include some mixed veg and eggs..I found many veggie fritters recipes but in a way or another I always needed to change a few ingredients so decided to make up my own.
In my fridge I still had a bag of beautiful organic carrots from the Islington Farmers Market, 1 courgette, some spring onions, parsley and two eggs. And that's how the magic happened.
When sauteeing or frying I'm now using coconut oil instead of olive oil as it isn't as damaged or chemically altered by heat as olive oil is.
Also coconut oil smells fabulous and contains lauric acid which strengthens the immune system.
Not bad  right?
The fritters came out really good, colourful and super tasty. I think I made at least 12 which meant two whole dinners with a side salad each.  Yummy dinners + money saved=  awesomeness.
So here's the recipe which, as I'm posting it today (Sunday), you can easily make tomorrow evening as your Meat Free Monday dinner baby!

INGREDIENTS (please choose organic when possible)

2 Large Eggs, beaten
1 Courgette, grated
2 Carrots, grated
1 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast (for a cheesy flavour without dairy plus mine is fortified with vitamin B12!)
1 Handful of chopped parsley
3 Spring onions, finely chopped
Salt & Pepper to season
1 Tsp coconut oil for frying
4 heaped Tbsp of gluten free flour or whole wheat flour ( I used gluten free)

Grate your courgette, carrots (I'm lazy so I let the food processor with grater attachment do the work) then put them in a colander and push them down to drain any extra liquid.
Finely chop your spring onions and parsley.
Put your vegetables in a bowl, add the remaining ingredient and mix well.

Spoon the coconut oil in the pan and turn on the stove to medium heat than start adding spoonfuls of the mixture (I managed to fit 4 spoonfuls at a time in my pan) and lightly push on top of each to form a patty.

Leave it 4-5 min. on each side or till they become golden, then transfer to a plate on top of kitchen paper (to absorb extra oil) and once the first layer is full add and extra sheet and pop the second batch on etc...

How easy is that? I made everything in 20 minutes. And so will you. Enjoy your dinner.x

Sunday, 12 May 2013

The Ice Kitchen

Here's my latest most wonderful discovery.
Last weekend the weather was finally pretty warm here in London and as me and my beau were wandering around the Real Food Festival on the Southbank, we noticed a colourful new stand we had never seen before..
Enter The ice Kitchen.
The sign reads Hand Made Ice Lollies and had pictures of multicoloured  popsicles with wonderful mouthwatering flavour combinations. Many I had never seen before. I HAD TO TRY IT.

I had a Raspberry and Lime lolly and Patch had a Strawberry and Cream (which seems to be one of the most popular flavours).
By the time we were done we both had pretty big smiles on our faces, the amount of real fruit you can taste when biting into these lollies is amazing and it's exactly what's going to bring me back this stand for more.

Cesar (chef and joint founder) explained to me that he does add a little sugar syrup (equal parts of water and sugar) " in minimal amounts just to take the edge off the more sour fruits" which seems more than fair to me.
He also said that one of the most special flavours he makes is 50's Orange a: sour based creamsicle, flavoured with orange juice, dipped in white chocolate and sprinkled with candied orange zest!
Are you drooling yet?
Just in case you wanted to keep it 100% natural then you should know that a sugar free Fresh Mango Pop is available and  I am definitely going to try it next time I head to the market.
And after that I'll try the Tart Plum (with roasted yellow and red plums) and after that...
Well, I could stay here all day  listing all the amazing flavours I want to try but I have a whole summer to work my way through all these incredible Artisanal Ice Lollies.

I used to have ice lollies a lot during the hot summers I spent in Italy but they were always the commercial, almost fluorescent ones that would only taste of sugar with some more orange, lemon or mint tasting syrup added in.
Don't get me wrong, at the time I didn't really care but right now I'm always looking for something a bit special, something that makes my taste buds go MAMMAAAAAAA MIAAAAAAAAAAA!!!
Which is why I had to write this post.

So next time you're on the Southbank on a weekend and the sun is out, take a stroll  over
to The Real Food Market on The Southbank Centre Square, just behind The London Orchestra and find this gem of a stand.

The Ice Kitchen will be at the Real Food Market every weekend starting May 18th.

See you there.x

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Easy Raw Wrap

I've been meaning to write a post about this quick lunch to go because I've had a few weeks where I was working at the film school almost every day and just couldn't afford to buy lunch on each single occasion, also I do prefer to make lunch myself if I can, that way I know exactly what kind of ingredients go in it.
I normally do this wrap in the morning, it takes 5 min tops and it's healthy delicious and satisfying.
The avocado is added in at the last minute, so you take it with you whole and I always have with me a spoon and knife (reusable ones) to cut it and spoon it out before adding it to my wrap.

INGREDIENTS  (makes two big wraps)
1 ripe Avocado
1/2 Cucumber thinly sliced ( probably less than that, use what you can and munch on what's left like I do)
1 Tomato thinly sliced
Hummous (bought from a shop, I use sainsburys organic hummous, or you can make your own)
2 Handfuls mixed salad (or whatever you have in the house ex: watercress or spinach)
Wholewheat large tortillas (I use discover Wholemeal Wrapbread, but you can get corn tortillas or any other kind you'd rather use, just make sure they are large otherwise it'll be hard to fold them with the filling in)

Now, it's all about layering! Spread some hummous first leaving a few cm from the border, otherwise it'll get messy when you roll it, add a little salad, then half cucumber slices and tomatoes, finally roll it and put it in your airtight container or lunchbox. Same thing with the other one.

As I said before all you have to do before eating is unroll, add half avocado in one wrap and half in the other then roll up again and bite into it!x

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Le Comptoir Lebanese Canteen

This morning I was filming near Carnaby Street with a wonderful cast and crew including Ezra, possibly one of the loveliest people I know here in London. He's not only a ridiculously talented singer, songwriter and musician (I strongly recommend checking out his band here but he's also the amazing man who lead all of us to Le Comptoir after we wrapped filming today.

I have seen this Lebanese Canteen a few times as I was walking around town and today I finally got to try it out. And man, was it worth it!

The first thing I noticed is that being someone who's constantly cold, I did feel all nice and warm as soon as we walked in and even though our table was next to the door I could not feel any type of draft whatsoever and was able to really enjoy my meal at a perfect body temperature ( I know all of this might not interest some of you but I'm sure if any Spanish or Mediterranean people should read this they will definitely know what I'm talking about).

It's a colourful relaxed environment with some upbeat music in the background but thankfully not too loud ,
as it can be in some restaurants, so we were able to have a conversation while enjoying our food.

Aahhh...The Food...My favourite part. We ordered two mezze dish starter of hummous, babaganoush and zaatar with warm pitta to share between us. We had to order a few more pitta bits as there was quite a few of us but all three starters were creamy and delicious.

As a main, I followed in Ezra's steps (he had been here before so was able to enlighten me on some of the dishes), he went for a Marinated Chicken Wrap Platter and I decided to order a Falafel Wrap Platter which means that you get your wrap on a plate with a big refreshing mixed salad (mine had crunchy cucumbers, parsley, mint and my first ever bright pink pickled turnip!) and some more hummous.

Everyone's portion was really generous including three of us who decided to opt for a Chicken and Olive Tagine with Preserved Lemons served with a choice of organic cous cous or organic rice (how good does that sound?).

I washed everything down with and incredibly refreshing and delicate Rose and Mint tea which no doubt I'll order again next time I'll head there.

A few of the guys had some freshly made juices which looked incredible and judging by their faces after the first sip, it sure looked like they were pretty tasty too!
They had many refreshing drinks to choose from and I already have my eyes on their Pomegranate and Orange  Lemonade to try out in the near future.

As i said, the portions were pretty generous so we didn't have any space left for dessert but that's one thing I might try next time (it's a my duty as a food blogger after all isn't it?).

With a warm, welcoming environment, good music, exquisite fresh food and drinks and on top of all this affordable prices, I URGE you to try this venue out. You won't regret it. I promise.x