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Monthly Archives: November 2018

Vegetable Barigoule

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Vegetables in broth make a nice change my usual preparation. I used carrots (both white and orange), fennel, green beans and peas as my vegetables, leaving out the sugar snap peas in the original recipe. The beans were boiled like the carrots, except until fully cooked. Instead of a vanilla bean I used vanilla extract. Finally, instead of thyme I used rosemary, because I had some handy.

Spice Cake

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I made a spice cake to celebrate the autumn weather. I used this recipe, but reduced the butter to about 1/3 cup and added raisins. I think it could easily be made with more spices as the spices weren’t so pronounced right after baking, which is when I brought it to someone.


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According to this recipe, the dish can be made with ash gourd or with yellow pumpkin. I used Hokkaido pumpkin, which is widely available where I live. It is a simple dish, consisting of cowpeas and pumpkin in coconut milk.


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This is quite a fancy name for what is basically cabbage and potatoes. I reduced the cheese significantly, using it only for a topping and not mixing it in. I also used more Savoy cabbage and less potato. Mainly I decided to make this as I had leftover buttermilk and potatoes.

Baked Breakfast Polenta

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I was inspired by a recipe for baked polenta fries and a recent travel experience where I ate a fried polenta bread for breakfast.

To make my baked breakfast polenta, first cook polenta (cornmeal) in salted water according to the instructions on the package until thick. Next, mix in seasoning.

I made two variations. One was sweet, with liquid stevia and corn kernels added, and was served with sprinkled sugar and cinnamon, fruit compote, or maple syrup.

The second was savoury and contained coriander leaves (cilantro), corn kernels, and green chilli.

Next, the mixture should be spooned in to a lightly greased dish. Either a baking pan or a flat-bottomed bowl will do. It needs to sit for at least an hour to cool, but as a breakfast dish it’s best done the night before.

Preheat the oven to 200° C/375° F and line a baking tray with parchment paper. The now solid mix can be cut into shapes, either freehand or using a cookie cutter. Brush oil on both sides of the polenta. Bake for about 30 minutes, turning the polenta once.

If you are short of time, you can pan-fry it instead until it is lightly browned on each side, but this will use a bit more oil.

Vegan Chocolate Brownies

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I made these quickly one evening when I was in  the mood for brownies and had to work with what I had in the house.


  • 2 cups white flour
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup brown rice syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of chilli powder
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • liquid stevia to taste


Preheat the oven to 350° Fahrenheit/180° Celsius. Lightly grease a square baking pan.

Mix the chia seeds with the water and set it aside.

Combine the baking powder, cocoa powder, flour, sugar, chilli powder and cinnamon. A small pinch of chilli powder brings out the chocolate taste.

Add the oil, syrup, extract, stevia and chia seed water to the dry ingredients and mix to combine. The amount of stevia will depend very much on the brand and how sweet you like your brownies. Pour the mixture into the baking pan.

Bake for about 30 minutes, until a knife inserted in the brownies comes out clean. Allow it to cool for at least half an hour before cutting.

Greek Potatoes and Peas

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Potatoes and peas are cooked with onion, garlic, dill, lemon juice and wine in this recipe. (Be sure to get a vegan wine if you want the recipe to be vegan.)

Chermoula and Zhoug

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This summer, while travelling, I had lunch at a restaurant owned by an Armenian and a Syrian. The food was delicious and drew on the culinary customs of a wide region. One thing I found especially appealing was a green sauce which was served not just with grilled food, but also with bread.

Naturally I tried to work it out when I got home. I thought it might be chermoula, but I wasn’t sure. I’ve only had that with grilled food. So I whipped up a batch. Sadly it wasn’t what I was looking for. As nice as it is on the grill, chermoula isn’t so good with just bread.

So I tried another guess and made zhoug. It was just what I was looking for: nice with bread, as well as grilled foods.

The two sauces use similar ingredients, but there are important differences between them. Both require a 2:1 proportion of coriander leaves to parsley. Both use garlic, salt, lemon juice, cumin and olive oil. It’s the small differences that make all the difference when it comes to making a dip that’s nice with bread. While chermoula contains paprika, a pinch of cayenne and a little saffron, zhoug uses coriander, cardamom and a good quantity of chiles. I used 3 whole green chiles and topped it with dried chili flakes for a good measure.

Both chermoula and zhoug are great with the grill, but zhoug is also great with bread.

Runner Bean Curry

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Here’s the recipe for runner beans and potatoes in a coconut milk curry.

Butter bean mash with roast vegetables

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I left out the optional butter when making the mash from butter beans, which I cooked from dried. The mash is served with roast aubergine/eggplant, tomato, and sweet pepper.