Carrots

 

7carrots

 

If you must eat raw carrots, there is no need for this to be a punishment.

A carrot salad consists of grated carrot, cumin, lemon juice, salt and pepper and herbs of your choice – I use mint and tarragon, but fennel leaves, parsley or coriander might be nice. marinate – the carrot will soften slightly.

Here is a cooked version from what was at the time time the ubiquitous travellers’ friend: “The Famous Turkish Cookery“:

  • 500gm carrot (grated or sliced)
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • salt
  • 1 dessert spoon olive oil
  • 1 cup yoghurt

Cook the carrots lightly, puree and mix with the other ingredients. Decorate with black olives.

 

Elizabeth David’s recipe for Carrots Vichy requires them to be boiled in Vichy water or, failing that, a pinch of bicarb. She also mentions carottes rapees, which is similar to the carrot salad recipe above.  The dish consists of finely grated  carrot, olive oil, lemon juice, ‘a small amount’ of finely chopped shallot, salt and a pinch of sugar. Quantities? Nah – this is Miss David writing here.

 

A large carrot costs 14p. Knock yourselves out.

 

Image by Jonathunder. Rights here.

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Truly Excellent Instant Salad

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  • Some spinach/leaves of some kind/lettuce
  • 1 fillet smoked mackerel
  • 1 orange/clementine/satsuma etc
  • 1 cooked beetroot sliced
  • 1/2 tin chickpeas drained and rinsed
  • Herbs to your taste – dill or parsley would be nice
  • Dressing: 1 tsp horseradish, 1 tbsp yoghurt, splash of lemon juice, pepper, herbs if required – mint or tarragon perhaps

 

Arrange as you desire. Serves two.

Mix and match, add or omit ingredients or change the dressing according to your taste and store cupboard. Smoked mackerel is cheap, delicious and nutritious but you could also use tuna, sardines or…. rollmops! For greenery, rocket, dandelion leaves or watercress can serve instead of spinach or lettuce. Enjoy. Because you’re worth it.

 

 

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Superfoods

 

Every book I read seems to have contradictory nutritional advice.  So I follow my own sense of what is correct. What I have noticed, however, is that books, blogs, TV shows, and so on, always seem to concur in recommending the most expensive, and often rare, ingredients.

That’s tricky.  So I try to find the cheap superfoods, the fruit and veg in season, the better alternatives. You can eat well, eat healthily – and not break your budget.

On the foodie front, I have bought dried peas and intend to sprout my own pea shoots – even though they’re so very 2015….

 

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Franz Snyders – Fruit Stall

 

Bread

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William Hemsley – Baking Day

 

Bread-making is good for the bingo-wings and the spirit.  It is nurturing, therapeutic and sort of cheap compared to the cost ‘artisan loaves’ (FOUR QUID!).

The Grant loaf requires no kneading and you can add as many nuts, seeds, fruit, spices and so on as you wish.  Here’s the wiki recipe:

 

  • 450g strong wholemeal flour (alternatively you can use Spelt)
  • 1 tsp brown sugar such as Muscovado (1 tablespoon of honey may be used instead)
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • Yeast
  • 400-450ml of hand-hot water

Begin by warming the flour in your oven for about 10 minutes on the lowest heat.

Place the warmed flour into a bowl and add the salt, sugar and yeast. Mix these together, make a small well in the centre and gradually add the water, using your hands or a wooden spoon to combine all the ingredients into a dough. (At this point the dough may seem quite wet, which is normal for a Doris Grant loaf.)

Move the dough to a floured pastry board and stretch it out into an oblong. Take one side, fold it into the centre and do the same for the other side, turn it over and repeat. Place the dough into a well greased tin, cover with a sprinkling of flour and leave to rise for 30–40 minutes in a warm place, or for about an hour at room temperature.

Pre-heat the oven to 200°C and bake the bread for 30–40 minutes. The bread should sound hollow when tapped if it is fully cooked. Return the bread to the oven (out of the tin) for a further 5–10 minutes to crisp up the base and sides. Leave to cool on a wire rack.

 

 

Shopping and Cooking

 

You don’t need to buy the fancy brands

You are not too grand to go to the pound shop

It takes five minutes to write down your expenditure every evening

Frozen vegetables are your friend

Frozen fish is definitely your friend

Get wise about spices

 

 

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Image by:  judepics – http://www.flickr.com/photos/judepics/409841087/, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4587646