River Cottage Veg Every Day

cookbook, reads, recipes

There are a lot of things I can spend my money on and a few things that I should spend money on and books always prove to be a good investment. This series called Weekend Read, will include posts about my favorite reads and resources related to cooking, healthy nutrition and tips for well-being.

IMG_2043

When we decided to move to the UK, our suitcase space was limited and a lot of things just didn’t make the cut. I ended up having to do things the old fashioned way and hand-write my favorite recipes from my family binder and personal cookbook collection. Pinterest, Instagram and food blogs are just about my favorite way to find recipe inspiration these days but there is something nostalgic and endearing about a shelf full of cookbooks in the kitchen including hand written recipe cards from generations past and friends present.

This cookbook by River Cottage is definitely worth checking out. River Cottage is known for easy and healthy recipes that incorporate the best of British larder. A dear friend recommended Veg Every Day right after moving to Scotland. Yes, I bought it. Yes, I broke the pact I had with my husband about accumulating things. And no, I don’t feel bad because it’s a book!

I turn to this book when I need inspiration for something quick, healthy, in season and creative. Everything we have tried, has been delicious. The recipes are funky and get my taste buds dancing… peanut butter + lime + chili in a Sweet Potato + Peanut Gratin? Oh yes, ma’am. Since we are approaching the pot-luck, bring your own side dish, holiday season, here are two recipes that I tried recently and will definitely be sharing with friends this year.

Seasonal produce: beetroot, parsnips, and red cabbage

Both of these salads can be served warm or cold. They are bright, crunchy, flavorful and packed with nutrients!

Beetroot Salad with Walnuts + Cumin 

IMG_2057     IMG_2052

INGREDIENTS – serves 4

75g walnuts
2 tsp cumin seeds
About 400g beetroot
2 tbsp chopped parsley
Juice of 1 small orange
Squeeze of lemon juice
2 tbsp olive oil
Sea salt and ground black pepper
A pinch of hot smoked paprika

METHOD

Heat a dry frying pan over a medium heat and add the walnuts. Toast gently for a few minutes, tossing often, until they smell toasted and are browning in a few places, put aside. Put the cumin seeds into the frying pan and toast gently for a minute or two, tossing a few times, just until they start to release their scent. Tip on to a plate to stop them cooking further.

Peel the beetroot, grate it coarsely and put it in a bowl. (If you have fresh baby beetroot, just slice it very thin.) Add the parsley, orange juice, a squeeze of lemon and a tablespoon of rapeseed oil, and season. Stir, adjust the seasoning to taste and, if possible, leave for 20 minutes or so, during which time the dressing will marinate and soften the beetroot.

Spread the beetroot in a dish. Crumble the walnuts and scatter with cumin over the beets. For a delish finish, add a few drops of olive oil and dot with a couple spoonfuls of plain yogurt. Sprinkle on the remaining cumin and the paprika.

Red Cabbage, Parsnip + Orange Salad with Dates 

IMG_2061     IMG_7336

INGREDIENTS- serves 2

1 orange, ¼ small red cabbage, core removed and finely shredded
1 parsnip, peeled and grated, 1 small handful dates, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil, ½ tsp fresh thyme leaves

METHOD

Cut the top and bottom off the orange and stand it on one of the cut ends on a chopping board. Work your way around it, cutting off the skin, pith and membrane, then cut out the segments. Squeeze the juice from the segmented orange into a small bowl.

Arrange the cabbage on a large plate, or two smaller plates, along with the orange segments, parsnip and dates. Trickle over the reserved juice and olive oil, then sprinkle on the thyme leaves. Serve at once.

Click here to view recipes from Veg Every Day! on the River Cottage website where you can find an index of many of their recipes.

What are your favorite go-to cookbooks?

x

Advertisements

Thanksgiving: herb roasted root vegetables

appetizer, holidays, mains, recipes, sides

It is time to celebrate our second Scottish Friendsgiving.

Thanksgiving is less than one week away and we are grateful to have friends to share the occasion with in Scotland. This time of year, many people find it impossible to eat healthy. This side dish is seasonal, festive, mouth-watering and it won’t break the bank or increase the waistline. This recipe is great for a crowd because you can easily double the quantity and roast baking sheets full of veggies.

This year I am contributing these delicious herb roasted root vegetables. The mix is a wonderfully colourful and comforting mix of roasted parsnip, butternut squash and sweet potato. You can use any combination of root veggies you like. If you don’t like sweet potato, you can substitute white or red potatoes. Not a fan of parsnip? Use carrots instead. It’s a great way to clear out your produce drawer, and the process could not be easier.

image

image

Ingredients

Serves 4

1 large butternut squash, halved, seeded and cubed
3 large sweet potatoes/ yams, scrubbed and cubed
1 medium yellow onion
3 large parsnip, cubed
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (or coconut oil), plus more for drizzling
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, chopped garlic, mixed herbs + thyme
Freshly ground black pepper
Top with 2 handfuls of pumpkin seeds

* Dairy options in notes below

Method

Place 2 baking sheets in the oven and preheat to 425 degrees F or 220 C/Gas Mark 7.

Cut all the vegetables into 1 1/2-inch pieces or cubes. Cut the onions through the base core to keep some of the layers in chunky pieces. Toss all the vegetables with garlic, oil, seasoning and salt in large bowl. Season generously with pepper.

Carefully remove the heated baking sheets from the oven, brush or drizzle with olive oil. Divide the vegetables evenly between the 2 pans, spreading them out to assure they don’t steam while roasting. Roast the vegetables until tender and golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Notes
-If you tolerate dairy, some sprinkled feta, parmesan, or crumbled goat cheese would be a nice addition.
– Best to keep seasoning simple in this recipe.  Root veggies have such earthy and wonderful flavors. For more flavor, you could sprinkle them with rosemary, oregano, a little cumin, or fresh chopped parsley. Be creative as you want.

-If you use red beets in this recipe, keep in mind that the roasting will release a pinkish juice that will color the other vegetables. If you’d rather not have pinkish veggies, use golden beets or omit the beets completely.

For more inspiration click here to see several healthy vegetarian side dishes for Thanksgiving from Food Network and Delish.

What do you plan to cook this Thanksgiving? I hope your day is a special and delicious time with family, friends and the ones you hold dear. May peace and grace be yours abundantly!

 

x