I love chocolate!

June 11th, 2010

More girls coming on board!

Galia, from CHOC Chick Chocolate, had a long love affair with chocolate for long long time…

“I love chocolate! Chocolate has always been a big part of my life and some of my earliest childhood memories are of making and eating chocolate as a child in South America.

Having rediscovered the chocolate of my childhood here in the UK, I resolved to set up CHOC Chick to promote the pure goodness of chocolate in its raw state and bring the delights and benefits of raw chocolate to everyone.

I must also confess to not being one who spent a lot of time in the kitchen. As a working mum, cooking was more of a chore and never a relaxing experience for me. What really amazed me was how simple and enjoyable making raw chocolate is and how much I enjoy experimenting and thinking of new ingredients to add to the chocolates.

The best part really was discovering how good for you raw chocolate is. The more I read about the benefits and properties of raw chocolate, the more amazed I was that raw chocolate ingredients aren’t simply a household staple, easily found in any shop. Not only is raw chocolate considered a “super food” chock full of antioxidants containing over 300 nutritional compounds, but made with Sweet Freedom (a natural sweetener made from fruit) the home made chocolates have a low glycemic index and are lactose and gluten free. Raw chocolate is also a recognized anti depressant, mood enhancer, appetite suppressant and my ultimate favourite…aphrodisiac!

I of course started making large quantities of chocolates for my family, friends, dinner parties, school fairs and any occasion I could find. Sunday mornings in our household have become infused with the smells of melting cocoa butter and chocolate powder and my children adore helping me and of course eating the chocolates!

This rediscovery was too good to keep to myself and circle of friends, so after sourcing ethical suppliers in Ecuador and designing our packaging, I launched my website in September 2008 and the first CHOC Chick Kit was born.

I hope you enjoy making and eating these decadently healthy raw chocolates as much as I do!”

When “passion” really means something: Clare, a passionate producer

June 10th, 2010

Interviewing produces like Clare Jones, The Bellevue Tea Company, just makes you realize what “passion for what you do” means in fact.

She has just come on board at FoodAdo, bringing her beautifully packaged tea, a lot of good energy and a fantastic story:

“My love affair with tea began nearly 25 years ago in Calcutta, as it was there that I first met Mike, my tea-trader husband.”

You listen and you know already you want to know more.

“Tea has been at the heart of my life ever since. From that essential, first cup of tea of the day, to an enjoyable afternoon tea at a friend’s house, I cannot help myself from appraising each and every cup. After years of sharing a life with someone who, quite literally, sniffs the contents of teapots, or dissects teabags in hotels, it was inevitable that I became, as it were, infused with the subject.”

“Over the years, I seem to have become, like my husband has always been, a tea “help desk” to anyone I know, or happen to meet. People do seem to want to talk about tea, and have all sorts of questions… Which tea to drink and where to buy it? Which tea bags are the best at the moment? What gives Earl Grey its flavour? Is this tea any good?

It became clear that the obvious thing to do, with the guidance of my own in-house expert, was to go into the business myself. So, for the last two years I have put much of my energy and enthusiasm into creating and building the Bellevue tea brand.

A trip to Sri Lanka was, of course, essential. I wanted to make sure that I was happy with the way the tea was being produced. I visited the estates where my tea is grown, and met the people where it is packed. I was reassured by what I saw – the people are well treated and proud of their work, and I was made to feel really welcome.

Bellevue tea finally launched in 2008 and the HQ is located in the London Borough of Wandsworth. The company is named after a local, picturesque shopping street called: Bellevue Road, in the heart of South West London.

During our first year in business, Bellevue teas were being sold all over the UK and as we celebrated our company’s first birthday, we were very pleased to welcome Harrods onto the list of stockists! Now in our second year, with demand for our teas growing to include customers in Eire, the USA and Canada, Bellevue tea still feels like a small, “boutique” brand.

Tea is more central to my life than ever before, as anybody who visits my house discovers when they see the tea piled high in the doorway. With the help and encouragement of my husband and my four very patient children, the brand building goes on. There are now five good-looking, fine tasting Bellevue teas - and many more in the pipeline!

I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas to help choose the newest addition to the Bellevue tea family. Please do get in touch any time, we always enjoy hearing from tea drinkers everywhere. “

Events for the weekend: More healthy food at the South of England Agricultural Society Show!

June 3rd, 2010

South of England Agricultural Society Show

June 10th – 12th 2010
South of England Showground, Ardingly, Haywards Heath, West Sussex, RH17 6TL

Something fun for a summer weekend..

National Vegetarian Week, day seven: Avocado salad with roasted red pepper dressing

May 30th, 2010

Avocado salad with roasted red pepper dressing


Serves 4

1 red pepper
2 cloves garlic, left whole with skins intact
olive oil, to drizzle
50g/2oz ground almonds
5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1tbsp Dijon mustard
1tbsp Balsamic vinegar
1tbsp fresh coriander
150ml/ 1/4pint dry white wine
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 large ripe avocados, peeled and stoned
1 packet mixed salad leaves
fresh coriander to garnish

Avocados are usually served cold, but quickly frying them develops the flavour and adds a new dimension.

You could also drizzle them with a mixture of olive oil, raspberry vinegar and a dash of balsamic vinegar over the top for a summery variation to this dish.

Preheat oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6

1 Place the red pepper and whole cloves of garlic on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.

Roast until the pepper skin is starting to blacken and char and the garlic is soft when pierced with a knife.

Remove the skin and seeds from the pepper, retaining the juices and squeeze the garlic out of the skins.

2 Blend the red pepper flesh, reserved juice, garlic, ground almonds, 3 tablespoons of olive oil, mustard, balsamic vinegar and fresh coriander together until smooth.

3 Add the wine and blend until the desired consistency is reached. Season to taste, pour into a saucepan and set aside.

4 Cut the avocados in half and then into slices. Heat the remaining olive oil in a non stick frying pan and when hot quickly toss the avocados in the oil until heated through but not soft.

5 Heat the sauce gently over a low heat. Meanwhile, arrange the mixed salad leaves on four serving plates with the avocado slices on top. Drizzle the warm sauce over them and serve garnished with fresh coriander leaves.

 

National Vegetarian Week, day six: hand-made hummus!

May 29th, 2010

Hand-made hummus

INGREDIENTS for the hummus base

400g chickpeas, boiled and drained.

50mls/2fl oz olive oil
100g tahini paste

50mls of water
2 cloves of garlic

85 mls of freshly squeezed lemon juice

Black pepper and salt

 

INGREDIENTS for the hummus seasoning

200g of black olives
100 of basil
2 onions
half fennel
a spoonful of sugar
chilli

METHOD for the hummus base

Boil chickpeas for 45 minutes with salt.
Put the chickpeas into your blender, and mix until you reach a rough texture.
Put the water and the tahini into a bowl and mix together with a fork until they have a smooth texture.
Add the crushed garlic and the tahini mixture into the blender with the chickpeas and process until it’s smooth.
Add olive oil and lemon juice.
Turn of the blender when you are satisfied with the consistency, and season with one of the three variations.

METHOD for three hummus seasoning

Olives: add the olives in the mixes with you hummus.

Basil: add you basil in the mixer (it is nice no to mix it for too long, so it can be seen in the smooth texture of your hummus)

Onion, fennel and chilli: roast your onion and fennel in a pan, with a bit of olive oil. Add them in the blender with chilli and hummus.

 

Recipe by www.DinnerClub.tk

 

National Vegetarian Week, day five: Ravioli!

May 28th, 2010

Delicious pumpkin Ravioli

Serves 4

Pasta Ingredients

400g of flour
4 eggs
1tsp salt
2tsp extra virgin olive oil

Filling Ingredients

2kg pumpkin, cut into quarters
15ml olive oil
1 large red onion, peeled and finely chopped
225g mostarda di frutta (or sweet chutney)
1tsp salt
½ tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
125g  cheese

To Serve

30g butter
30g fresh parley chopped
150g cheese

Method

1 Combine the pasta ingredients, lightly knead and leave in a cling filmed bowl to refrigerate for 1 hour.

2 Heat the oven to 200C, 400F, Gas Mark 6 and bake pumpkin until soft, approximately 30 minutes.

3 Remove the seeds and scoop out the baked pulp, finely chop and place into a bowl.

4    Heat the olive oil and sauté the onions.

5 Reduce heat and add the mostarda di frutta, salt, and ground spices, mix well.

6 Combine the cheese, pumpkin and onion/spice mixture into a bowl and set aside.

7 Using a pasta machine or fat rolling pin, roll out the pasta dough 15cm by 50cm and 2mm thickness. Layer the pasta sheets between tea towels to prevent them from drying.

8 Place a heaped teaspoon of the mixture into 2 rows at approximately 10cm distance apart.

9 Lightly spray the pasta with water and sandwich this with a top layer thus creating a sandwich effect.

10 Using a ravioli cutter, cut into 5 cm squares and place into boiling water as quickly as possible.

11 To serve, drain the pasta and return into the pan along with the butter, and parsley. Lightly mix and serve with grated cheese.

 

 

Recipe by The Vegetarian Society

National Vegetarian Week, Day Four: Pasta!

May 27th, 2010

 

Pasta with beautiful walnuts sauce


How to make the walnut sauce

200g/7oz shelled walnuts
25g/1oz unflavoured breadcrumbs
1 garlic clove, minced
30g/1oz finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 pinch minced fresh marjoram
175ml/6fl oz prescinseua (Ligurian curd cheese) or 150g/5fl oz fresh ricotta diluted with 2 tbsp tepid water
60ml/2.5fl oz extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to taste
sea salt (optional)

This sauce is more a thick paste than a traditional pasta sauce but it is a really versatile base to which other ingredients can be added and which could be used in all kinds of dishes.

Place the walnuts, breadcrumbs, garlic and salt in a mortar and pound with a pestle to form a paste. Alternatively, place these ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until they form a paste. Transfer to a bowl if you are not using a pestle and mortar. Add the Parmesan and marjoram, then the prescinseua or diluted ricotta. Finally, add the olive oil to the mixture, a little at a time, stirring to combine the ingredients. Serve on hot pasta.

How to served it: (per person) 2tbs of the paste, 100g cooked pasta, along with some chopped sundried tomatoes, black olives and parsley, as well as some chili flakes. Seasoned with salt, pepper, olive oil and parmesan.

 

Recipe by Lydia Goldberg

You can find this and other amazing recipes from Lydia at www.thefooddiaries.com

National Vegetarian Week, Day Three: Paella!

May 26th, 2010

From fabulous rice ..

… to fabulous Veggie Paella

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

3 tablespoons fruity green olive oil
2 onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 red pepper, seeded and sliced in rings
1 yellow pepper, seeded and sliced in rings
450g/1lb tomatoes, skinned and chopped
225g/8oz thin green beans, trimmed
450g/1lb peas in their pods, shelled
450g/1lb Valencia or Arborio rice
1 teaspoon paprika
300ml/1/2 pint dry vegetarian white wine
1/2 teaspoon saffron
900ml/11/2 pints boiling vegetable stock
salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons chopped parsley

Method

1 Heat the olive oil in a paellera or large shallow frying pan. Fry the onions and garlic gently until soft and golden. Add the peppers and fry for 4~5 minutes. Then add the tomatoes, beans and peas and cook for another 5 minutes.

2 Add the rice and paprika and stir well. Pour in the white wine and bring to the boil. Mix the saffron with the boiling stock and pour into the pan. Reduce the heat a little and simmer for five minutes.

3 Cover the pan with a lid or some foil and place in the bottom of a preheated oven at 180C/ 350F, Gas Mark 4 for 30~40 minutes, until the rice is tender and has absorbed all the stock. Alternatively, simmer on top of the stove in the same way as you would cook a risotto. Season to taste and stand, covered, for five minutes before serving sprinkled with parsley. Serves four to six.

Recipe by the Vegetarian Society

National Vegetarian Week, Day Two: Lasagne!

May 25th, 2010

How do you prepare Vegetarian Lasagne?

FoodAdo tried this recipe:

Ingredients

1 onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
2 medium courgettes (zucchini), chopped
4 oz (100g) boiled sweetcorn
3 oz (75g) chopped nuts
5 sheets Lasagne

For the sauce:

1½ oz (40g) wholemeal flour
¾ pint (400ml) soya milk
2 oz (50g) breadcrumbs
1 oz (25g) margarine

Fry onion and pepper for a couple of minutes. Add courgettes, cover pan and cook gently until courgettes begin to soften. Add sweetcorn, nuts, salt and pepper.

To make the sauce, heat 2 tbsps oil and stir in the flour. When it begins to colour, add soya milk whilst mixing to keep the sauce smooth. Allow to thicken and add salt and pepper.

In an overproof dish, put down a layer of lasagne, cover with courgette mix and then some of the sauce. Cover with pasta, the rest of the sauce and top with breadcrumbs. Dot the top with margarine and bake at GM 5 / 375 °F / 190 °C for 30 minutes.

Make sure the sauce isn’t too thick or their won’t be enough fluid to cook the lasagne properly.

Serve steaming hot, and enjoy!

by Simpleveganrecipes.co.uk

Vegetarian Week, Day One: Risotto!

May 24th, 2010

Vegetarian week?? One more reason to eat yummy food!

FoodAdo’s suggestion for an irresistible vegetarian risotto:

Risotto of Spelt and Lentil with Roasted Cauliflower
Serves 4-6

1/4 cup lentils
1 medium Cauliflower, in small flourettes
1 quart vegetable stock
5 tablespoons Butter
11/2 cup Leek thinly sliced
1 teaspoon caraway seeds, finely ground
2 tablespoons Olive oil
1 cup Farro
3 tablespoons cream
2 oz Grated Parmesan Cheese
Finely grated zest of 1 Lemon
1-2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped Dill
salt and fresh ground black pepper

Soak lentils 4 hours then drain well.

Toss the cauliflower in 2 tablespoons olive oil, roast in the oven at 450 degrees for 35 minutes until golden brown. Remove and set aside.

Place the stock in a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat

Brown the butter in a heavy saucepan 4-5 minutes over medium heat. Add the leeks and ground caraway and 1/2 teaspoons salt. Stir to prevent the butter from burning. Lower the heat and cook covered for leeks 8-10 minutes until the leeks have softened.

Add Farro and lentils and stir 2 minutes until fragrant.

Stir in stock 1/2 cup at a time, stirring until the liquid has been absorbed before adding subsequent stock. When 3/4 of the stock has been added, stir in the cauliflower.

Cook 3-4 minutes longer until the risotto is tender and still a little bit soupy.

Stir in the cream, cheese, lemon juice, lemon zest and dill, season with salt and fresh ground black pepper.

Divide among warm soup plates and serve immediately.

 

Recipe Courtesy of Peter Berley
Photography by Karen Mordechai
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