Plum Ice Cream Sundae

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The other day, I poached lots of red plums so that they didn’t have a chance to go bad. I just like the cooled down plums as they are, but this time, some of them ended up in the following concoction:

The next day, a friend arrived with lots of ice cream in tow, so we ended up making the following ice cream sundae (layers from bottom to top):

cooled poached plums
1 scoop of vanilla ice cream
1 scoop of mango sorbet
half a split banana each
toasted almonds

Baked Potatoes With Cheese & Toasted Almonds

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I’ve recently become hooked on baked potatoes. I like them really plain, just with a bit of butter and cheese, accompanied by a salad or coleslaw. The other night, I actually had nothing in the house but potatoes, butter, cheese and flaked almonds, so I wondered whether they’d go together. I baked the potatoes, cut them open and buttered them a little. Next, I put grated cheddar and freshly toasted almonds on top. Absolutely hit the spot!

Minted lentil soup

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The other day, a friend took me to a lovely Turkish café where we had a beautiful minted lentil soup. This Sunday, I tried to recreate it from things I had in the house. There was not much in the house, so apologies in advance for this rather poor, but actually rather tasty copy!

Today’s ingredients:

oil or butter for frying
1 big or two small shallots, or 1 onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic, chopped
1-2 cups of red lentils (either dry or pre-soaked)
water
vegetable or other stock
lots of dried mint
cumin
turmeric
cinnamon

Fry the chopped shallot/onion pieces for a bit, then add garlic for another little while. Finally, pour in the lentils and the stock. While everything is simmering, add the herbs and spices. The soup is ready quite quickly, as red lentils don’t take so long. You will need quite a bit of stock/water. Since different people like their soup thickness differently, I have not specified a fixed amount. I like my soups quite liquid, so am using more stock than perhaps most people. You can also additionally blend the soup for a smoother texture (I personally can’t be bothered on a Sunday).

Bibimbap

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This is a dish that I became addicted to when in the States. I usually find American food too heavy & the portions too large (especially in combination with jet lag), so I end up eating lighter than normal. Last time, I ate mostly bibimbop/bibimbap (not sure about the correct transcription) and tofu stews at Korean restaurants. Since then, I’ve been making it at home with varying ingredients. There are not many Korean people in my neighbourhood, so I have to improvise the ingredients (e.g. I can’t get the proper sauce, pickles or radish).

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This was my first attempt, using grated courgettes/zucchini, oyster mushrooms, cabbage pickle and spring onions (see photo just above). Second version involved carrots, tofu, turnip, pickles and spring onions (see picture at the top of the post).

Basically, you put some short grain rice (this recipe needs sticky rice) into a pot or pan, just cover it with water and let it soak for about 20-30 mins. Add salt and simmer for about 10 mins until the water has been absorbed & the rice is done. Stir, put on the lid again and leave to sit for a bit.

Put cooked sticky rice into a big bowl.
In a frying pan, stir fry anything you fancy: finely cut beef, mushrooms, tofu, vegetables. You can also do this dish with shredded raw veg as a type of warm salad.
Place on top of the rice.
Fry an egg so that the yellow remains liquid (you can also use raw egg).
Place egg on top of everything. Add pickles if you like the dish to have a bit of a tang. It’s especially nice with spicy/hot pickles.
Add any type of sweet-sour or sweet chilli sauce.
Stir everything. Let the egg break in the process.
Eat immediately!

Broccoli Pasta

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My friend Lee made this amazing pasta for me when I was just out of hospital.

Spaghetti
Broccoli
Lemon rind
Garlic
Oil
Optional: grated parmesan

Put pot of cold water on stove.
Add broccoli, broken into florets
Bring water and broccoli to the boil.
Add pasta (leave broccoli in).
Cook until pasta is done (I prefer the pasta quite firm, especially for this recipe).
Pour off the water.
Crush the broccoli gently with a fork and mix with the pasta, a dash of oil, a crushed/grated garlic clove and grated lemon rind.
Sprinkle with grated parmesan if available.

Patti Smith’s Lettuce Soup

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Source: Brainpicker on Soundcloud

Some more new recipes coming up in a bit, until then, Patti Smith’s recipe for lettuce soup:

Patti Smith’s reading her recipe for Lettuce Soup

Boil water.
Throw in a bouillon cubes, vegetarian or meat flavoured.
Cut head of lettuce into halves or quarters, throw into the stock.
Immediately take off the stove & add salt and pepper if available.
Soup is ready to serve!

Courgette Fritters + Broccoli & Cauliflower Soup

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Quick & dirty recipe for all occasions: grate 1 courgette, mix with flour, smoked paprika, salt, pepper & garlic. Shape into fritters, fry & eat!

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Been experimenting with broccoli and cauliflower recently. I usually boil them separately or together in plenty of salted water and blend the whole thing with some vegetable stock powder, milk and cornflour (sometimes I add leftover mashed potato). This week, I boiled the broccoli, took it out, put it to one side and used half of it in an omelette. I then boiled the cauliflower in the broccoli water and ate half of it with some fish cakes. Left over was some nicely flavoured water, half a broccoli and half a cauliflower. Again, I blended everything, but I did not need to add stock, as the water was strong enough as stock in itself. I just added a bit of cornflour dissolved in milk to make the soup a bit thicker, although it almost didn’t need that addition either. Also managed to find a whole loaf of rye bread for 49p in the supermarket, so had that with the soup (toasted and buttered). Housemate appreciated!