Out and About

Malvern in May

Spring was a long time coming this year. The month of May has been really uplifting. The month of May is always special in Malvern and it’s been a pleasure to share the beauty of it with lovely B and B guests.

The apple and cherry blossom was stunning. My cherry tree was laden with flowers so hopefully lots of delicious fruit to come. The bluebells and the wild garlic flowers looking amazing as ever. I’m enjoying using the wild garlic leaves in the cookery school.

The wells were decorated for May Bank holiday weekend. The theme this year was celebrating the anniversary of women gaining the right to vote.

The Weavers Well was my personal favourite: it reminded me of Our Lizzy HQ!

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Spring Greens!

I love Spring – so many shades of green! The morning light has been amazing, highlighting the many shades of green as the blossom fades!  It’s been good getting out for walks. I always enjoy collecting wild garlic and it’s been good sharing it at cookery demonstrations this Spring.

wild garlic

It works well blended with white beans to make a delicious pate.

Wild Garlic Pate                                                                                

  • 1 tin white beans e.g. butter, cannelini
  • handful of wild garlic (approx25g)
  • 1 tbsp olive/rapeseed oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • salt and pepper (to taste)

Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend.

Season, more lemon juice could be added to taste. A small amount of water may be added to achieve a dip-like consistency.

I’m also enjoying asparagus season, it’s lovely to make use of this local ingredient while it’s here. Here’s a recipe which has gone down well at local food festivals.

Our Lizzy beans

Fried Butterbeans with asparagus

 2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 tin butter beans

zest of 1 lemon

1 red chilli finely chopped

handful of sliced asparagus

salt and pepper

handful chopped parsley

2 tbsp extra virgin rapeseed oil

Put pan on the heat, add the asparagus with a small amount of water.

When the water has absorbed add some oil. Add the butter beans and fry for a few moments.

Add the garlic, chilli and lemon zest and cook for two minutes more.

Remove from heat, season to taste and sprinkle with chopped parsley to serve.

 Serve with flatbread or cous cous. Broccoli spears work well when asparagus goes out of season.

It’s been great being part of Asparafest in Evesham this year, celebrating asparagus and all things green!

Gus 2

 

Veg Fest Brighton

I am delighted to be giving a cookery demonstration this year at Brighton Veg Fest.
Our Lizzy Veg fest
This is in partnership with Animal Aid who are guests of honour. I train school speakers on behalf of Animal Aid to give cookery demonstrations to in food technology lessons. I will be sharing some of these recipes in my cookery demonstration on Saturday 28 March at 3pm.

The recipes are all healthy, low cost and really quick to make.

Vegetable Chilli
Serves 4
Ready in 15 minutes

 2 tbsp olive oil
 1 chopped onion
 1 or 2 cloves of garlic crushed
 1 pepper, chopped
 1 tin of chopped tomatoes or a carton of passata
 1 tin of kidney beans
 Approx 100g meat free mince – Linda McCartney, or any supermarket own brand.
 ½ to 1 tsp crushed dried chillies to taste
 100ml water

1. Heat oil in a pan, sauté the onion and peppers until soft.
2. Add the garlic and cook for two minutes more.
3. Add the remaining ingredients, along with the dried chillies. Bring to the boil and stir well.
4. Reduce the heat and simmer for at least 10 minutes; add more water if needed.
5. Taste; add more dried chillies if required.

Serve with rice or soft tortillas and salad. Leftover chilli is great for filling a jacket potato. Try adding some grated carrot or some mushrooms along with the peppers. Or replace the mince with different beans to make a mixed bean chilli.
Our Lizzy Vegetable Chilli
Sausage and Bean Casserole
Serves 4
Ready in 15 minutes

 2 tbsp olive oil
 1 onion, sliced
 1 courgette/carrot sliced
 1 tin white beans e.g. butter, cannellini, rinsed and drained
 4 ready cooked veggie sausages e.g. Redwoods/Fry’s Polony, sliced
 1 tin chopped tomatoes or a carton of passata
 ½ tsp paprika or smoked paprika
 chopped parsley to taste
 black pepper to taste

1. Heat oil in a pan, sauté onion and courgette add paprika and stir briefly.
2. Add the tomatoes/passata, beans and sausages.
3. Stir well, add water if needed.
4. Cook for 10 minutes until the liquid is reduced.
5. Add fresh parsley and black pepper as required.

Good served with jacket potato or rice. Try it with baked sweet potato. Other vegetables could be used, for example peppers and mushrooms. Butternut squash works well. A red onion could be used – this gives a sweeter flavour. Experiment with gently frying the slices of sausage first before adding to the dish.

Cooks tip: Passata works well. If you are using tinned tomatoes you may need 1tbsp tomato puree to help thicken the sauce.

Spicy Chick Pea

One of my all time favourite recipes, see my website for instructions on how to make it.

http://www.ourlizzy.com/recipe-vegan-spicy-chick-pea.htm

Amazing Autumn Squashes

I love the colours of autumn; these are shown in the amazing variety of squash which is harvested at this time of year.

I was fortunate to meet Hayley and Jim from Hotchpotch Organics which is based at Elmney Castle near Pershore. http://www.hotchpotchorganics.co.uk/ they grow a fabulous selection of squash, it was a great opportunity to try out varieties that I had never used before.

Celebration, sweet Dumpling, Onion, Delicata, Buttercup

Celebration, sweet Dumpling, Onion, Delicata, Buttercup

My favourites were:
Delicata oblong-shaped squash has a golden flesh with a nutty flavour and creamy smooth texture. Buttercup is large and dark green in colour. It has a dry, flaky, almost potato-like flesh that bakes and roasts really well.

During the last weekend of September it was the Malvern Autumn Show at the Three Counties Showground. I demonstrated on the Wot’s Cooking stage.

Malvern Autumn Show Our Lizzy on the Wot's Cooking Stage

Malvern Autumn Show Our Lizzy on the Wot’s Cooking Stage

One of the dishes I made was a risotto using spelt and onion squash the recipe for this in on my website. http://www.ourlizzy.com/butternut-squash-risotto.htm

I run a course dedicated to autumn squashes. We make a selection of soups, casseroles and stuffing’s.

Hope you enjoy this recipe; it works well with Sweet Dumpling or Delicata.

Stuffed Squash

Wash and cut the squash lengthways. Scoop out the seeds and membrane using a spoon, trim with a small knife if needed.

  • ½ onion finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves crushed
  • 1 roasted red pepper chopped
  • 1 tin flageolet beans
  • ½ tin chopped tomatoes/passata
  • 1 tsp tomato puree
  • ½ tsp Italian dried herbs
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil

Rinse and drain the flageolet beans.

Heat oil and sauté the onion until soft then add the garlic, peppers and beans. Sauté until the beans are turning golden. Add the tomatoes and stir well – you may want to add some tomato puree if needed.

Add the mixed herbs and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Spoon the filling into the squash. Cover with foil and bake at 200°/Gas 6 for 30 minutes. Remove the foil drizzle with oil and bake for 15 minutes more.
end result

Cooking with local food

I love living in Malvern there are some great places to shop for food, and I love having the opportunity to take part in food festivals.
food_festival_logo_bg
The Great Malvern Food Festival was on Bank Holiday Monday. It was held in the grounds of Great Malvern Priory. Boffy Markets featured some of the in best local food and drink.

I ran a hands on cookery workshop, ‘Spice up Your Veg Box,’ which gave people a taster of my vegetarian cookery classes. Participants learnt how to make the most of seasonal vegetables from Skylark Organic boxes. http://www.skylarkorganics.co.uk We made my quick and easy Spicy Chick Pea and a simple bulgur wheat salad.

I also gave a cookery demonstration the Wot’s Cooking Stage.

I demonstrated how to cook polenta. When cubed, it works really well in salads instead of bread. I buy my polenta at The Bran Tub in Malvern, which specialises in allergy foods. I flavoured the polenta with sundried tomatoes from The Great Malvern Deli. They always have a really good selection of locally produced products.

I made a smoky bean and mushroom topping for the polenta. This was cooked in my favourite golden extra virgin rapeseed oil from Croome Classics http://www.croomeclassics.co.uk For flavour I used double smoked paprika from Wright’s Culinary delights http://www.wrightsdirect.com
who are based in Colwall. They do a really good selection of salts and spices. Other favourites are the wild garlic salt and the Mexican Fiesta Dip.

I served this with a selection of salad leaves from my garden. I have a selection of plants from Cottage Herbery http://www.thecottageherbery.co.uk It’s good to be able to go out into the garden and snip a few leaves of chicory and sorrel, rocket and wild garlic. I finished this with lightly steamed asparagus and a raspberry vinegar dressing.
cookery theatreveg boxworkshopIMG_20140526_140822297

Celebrate St David’s Day

daffodils

Happy St David’s Day!  I’ve got my  first bunch of daffodils of the year! It’s good to be thinking about Spring menus. I love using leeks, one of my favourite recipes is the Leek and Bean no Bake. It works as a quick supper with pasta, or enclosed in pastry as a pie, or strudel for a dinner party.

How to prepare a leek for cooking

Place leek on chopping board and slice down the length, but leave the root intact. The root holds everything together.

Hold the leek under running water and wash the soil and grit out of all the layers.

Shake off excess water, and place on a cleaning chopping board to slice.

Place in a pan and start cooking – the water will help stem the leek before you add oil for cooking.

Click on the picture below to get the recipe for Leek and Bean no Bake.

leeks