Summer Salads

Healthy Eating

We all love eating al fresco, whether it be a formal meal, in the garden or seated on the sun drenched terrace of that little Greek Taverna. Out door eating, brings out the best – or worst – in us all. It takes just a few golden rays pushing through the grey English gloom and POW! we go into lunatic mode and out comes the Barbeque. Of course, that means a frenzied rush to the Supermarket to gather the lurid red, synthetic coated, chicken wings, pork chops and gristly burgers, made from more animal derivatives than you would find in your average tin of dog food. In the bread aisle we grab a couple of packs of cotton wool textured baps – I can’t even call them bread. – Next you head for the chiller cabinets to pick up some salads? Why? OK, I can hear you crying “I don’t have the time”. Of course you do, with a little bit of organisation and less time on Social Media, you can make the time.

Freshly prepared, homemade salads, grains, beans, fruits, veg, dressings
Home made and healthy

Recently, through the media, we have been made aware of the dangers of obesity and various medical conditions, emanating from our consumption of unhealthy foods. Processed, fast food is all about flavour enhancing sugar, salt, fats, chemical additives and preservatives. The craving for these foods, have little to do with the food itself, but more to the added synthetic textures & flavours, giving you a sensory overload, to get you hooked. – Think nicotine. – Why do we want to eat these and feed them to our children, encouraging them to develop a taste for over sweet, salty, synthetic foods. Give them a taste of real homemade food & they won’t like it. You, have fed them these unnatural foodstuffs and denied them the fresh natural taste of homemade, unadulterated food. Processed foods and ready prepared, chopped fruits and veg, apart from being more expensive, have less nutritional value than their home made, freshly prepared counterparts. Pre-packed fruits and veg, once chopped quickly leak their Vitamin content and many have sugar, salt & preservatives added to them to preserve there colour. How long does it take to chop carrots or shred a lettuce?

Next time you visit the Supermarket, take a look at the labels on the foods you are purchasing. Out of interest, I looked at a pack of pre-cooked chicken breasts. You will be aware that foods have to be labeled with the ingredients in decreasing order. These chicken breasts contained, chicken, sugar, salt and various preservatives! Why do cooked chicken breasts need sugar?? I will leave it for you to work out.

chillis, chutneys, harissa paste, home cooking, peppers
Chop yourself some chillis

Prepacked, processed, convenience foods are not in the shops to provide you with healthy options, despite what the labeling might say. They are convenience foods which have been designed by marketing agencies. With their smart packaging and snappy slogans they fool you into believing you are providing yourself and family with fresh, healthy, natural food. In reality they are convenience foods, placed on the shelves to play on your insecurities. Forget it. These products are there to make money for the Supermarket and food manufacturing companies, they have no thought for your health.

Don’t give in, make the time, to prepare your own food from scratch. What have you got to loose? you will save money, eat healthier and once you become aware of the taste of real food, probably lose weight and certainly not expose yourself to the plethora of illness associated with unhealthy eating. Go on, you owe it to yourself and your family.

In my blog next week, I will be giving you some simple recipes, for salad dressings and salads. All will take you under 30 mins to prepare. If you make up a large amount of the basic dressing recipe, you can use you imagination to add different ingredients to create other dressings and salads of your choice. You can find some of my previous recipes by following the links below: https://truffleicious.blog/2018/02/10/warm-butternut-squash-black-kale-salad/ https://truffleicious.blog/2019/03/22/harissa-chutney/

Until next week. Happy healthy eating.

Freshly prepared fruits & veg salads & dressings

Merry Christmas

Christmas Countdown 22 Recipes for a Merry Christmas

If you have been. Thank you for reading. This concludes the 22 recipe Christmas Countdown. All thats left for me to say is “I hope you have found these recipes useful & you have enjoyed, reading these blogs.

Click the photos below to take you to the individual recipes. OR the blue link below will take you to all the recipes, mentioned below in the drop down menu of Christmas Countdown.

WISHING YOU ALL A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS & A HEALTHY & HAPPY NEW YEAR

The Christmas Starter

Smoked Trout & Avocado recipe

There’s a touch of vintage to day ten of the Christmas Countdown. 

If you want a nod to the 70’s you could fill the centre of this ring -when you have turned it out-. with good old Prawn Cocktail. This would make a substantial starter, or a fishy addition to the Boxing day Buffet. You could even serve Melba toast as an accompaniment.

For myself, I would fill the centre with some fresh leafy shoots & herbs, in a light lemon dressing.

This recipe can be make a couple of days ahead & kept, covered in the fridge. When the time comes to serve,  dip the mould in hot watet for a few seconds, place a plate on the mould & quickly turn over, to release. Place back in the fridge, until ready to decorate & serve.

avocado, smoked trout, greek yoghurt, mascapone, dill
Smoked Trout & Avocado

Smoked Trout & Avocado ring.

Serves 6.  G/F, V.  Allergens:  Dairy, Fish      Equipment: 800ml ring mould

Time taken:  45 mins + chilling time 

INGREDIENTS 

200g Pack Smoked Trout         

2. Ready to eat Avocado’s  Peeled & chopped 

Fresh Dill to decorate

225g Mascapone Cheese

225g Greek Yoghurt

1/2 level tspn salt

White pepper

1 Tbspn Creamed Horseradish

150ml Cold Water

15g powdered gelatine (Vegetarian)

METHOD

Measure the cold water into a small saucepan, add the salt & sprinkle over the gelatine. Allow to soak for 5mins, & heat gently, stiring, until the gelatine has dissolved. DO NOT ALLOW TO BOIL Remove from the heat & allow to cool.

Rinse out the rind mould with cold water & line,  with the smoked trout slices.

Place the Mascapone, 1/2 the yoghurt, horseradish & pepper to taste into a bowl & mix well to blend.

Stir in the cold gelatine & chopped avocado & gently fold in the remaining yoghurt.

Spoon the mixture into the fish lined mould. Cover with cling film & place in the fridge until set.

When ready to serve, turn out, see above. Decorate & serve.

Variations: 

Substitute the trout, for thinly sliced parma ham, & the avocado for diced sundried tomatoes & olives.  Fill the centre with rocket leaves, dressed in olive oil & shaved parmesan.

For a vegan option. Line the mould with thinly sliced cucumber. Replace the cheese & yoghurt with vegan substitutes.

I am sure you can all get your creative caps on & experiment with many different variations on the above recipe.

That all for today. As always, if you have any questions about your festive cookery. Please ask, by leaving a comment in the box below. I will answer tomorrow.

Have a great evening.

Summer Food

We tend to think of Christmas as a time of food & feasting, but for me, Summer will always be the time, when feasting on fresh healthy food comes to the fore.

I can think of nothing nicer than whiling away a hot summer’s day with friends, whilst enjoying a delicious light lunch. Maybe you grow your own herbs & veg to make your own salads & dressings. Serve them with this light summery dish, made the night before. Toss a salad on the day & serve with my Small batch, Artisan, Fennel & Sesame Bread.   Add some fresh strawberries & raspberries for dessert & Voila a tasty, healthy, summer meal.

SMOKED SALMON & CUCUMBER MOUSSE

Gluten Free. Vegetarian.        No Cooking time. Prep time: 20mins. Chill Overnight.

Equipment  1.2Ltr Ring Mould.

Serves 6 as a main Course, 12 as a starter.

INGREDIENTS.

Tspn Olive Oil for greasing

200g Smoked Salmon Slices.

1 Medium Cucumber, finely diced.

225g Cottage Cheese, Sieved,

7g Sachet of Gelatine

150ml Water

150ml Homemade Anchovy Mayonnaise

150ml Greek Yoghurt

METHOD.

Lightly grease the mould with olive oil.

Line the sides of the mould with the smoked salmon slices.

Finely dice the Cucumber.

Put the water into a small saucepan, sprinkle the Gelatine over & allow to soak for 5mins. Place over a very low heat, until dissolved. DO NOT ALLOW TO BOIL.  Allow to cool.

Place the cottage cheese, mayonnaise into a bowl & mix well.

Working quickly, add the cooled gelatine mix to the cheese & mayo. Mix well.

Add the diced cucumber & fold in the Greek Yoghurt.

Season with white pepper. Pour into the mould, shake to level to top.

Cover with cling film & allow to set overnight.

Bread, Baking, Small batch, Artisan, Bakery
Bread. The Staff of Life

TO SERVE

Loosen the edges carefully with a palette knife & turn out onto a serving dish.

Decorate the edges with lemon slices & fresh herbs.

Serve with Crunchy Cos Lettuce & herb salad and a lemon Viniagarette dressing and slices of my fresh Fennel & sesame Bread.

Don’t forget the Chardonnay.

Chardonnay, wine, summer eating, summer drinking, food
Half empty. Half full ?

 

 

 

Truffleicious, our food at Great Chalfield Manor.

food, homemade, takeaway, Stables Kitchen, Great Chalfield Manor, Wiltshire
Food for thought

   

07778 157375 TRUFFLEicious 07778 157375

The Stables Kitchen Great Chalfield Manor SN12 8NJ

MENU

SUMMER 2018

Our opening hours: Sundays 1-4pm Tues, Wed, Thurs 12.30-3.30pm Until 31st Oct 2018 Bookings advisable. Coach Parties catered for.

Selection of Freshly Home made bread £2.50

Mediterranean Low Gluten, V. – Rye, Sweet Potato & Walnut Low Gluten, V, Vegan (Allergen Nuts) – Rye & Spelt Low Gluten, V, Vegan. – Italian Cheese, V.

Cheese Twists £3

Olives in home made lemon & Herb Dressing £4-50

Light Take away Lunches

Cheddar Cheese ploughman’s. Salad & Home made Picillili , Choice of Bread

Greek Goat Herder’s.  Feta, Olives, Sundried Tomatoes, Salad, Choice of Bread

Fisherman’s Creel. Smoked Mackerel. Horseradish Dressing, Salad, Choice of Bread

£6.50

Fishy Supreme. Smoked Salmon, Avocado & Lemon Dressing, Salad, Choice of Bread

£8.00

Homemade Fritatta of the Day & Salad  £6.50

Various Salads £4.50

Home made Cakes

Wiltshire Cider & Spelt Cake V. £3.50 Low gluten V.

Orange & Berry Iced Tea Bread £3.50

Fresh Lemon Mousse Cake. G/F. V   £3.50

Chocolate & Orange Mousse Cake. G/F. V £3.50

Devonshire Split Served with Clotted Cream & Jam £3

Fresh Seasonal Fruit Daquoise. GF, V £3.50

Home made Ice Cream GF/V £3.00

All food subject to availability. 

Web site: www.truffleicious.org  Recipe/Travel site  www.truffleicious.blog

teaching : www.truffleiciousteaches.com

email: info@truffleicious.co.uk

————————————————————————————————————————————–

Our food is homemade using fresh natural ingredients. Please ask if you have any allergy concerns. All of the above are subject to availability.

I am a registered food business with Wiltshire Council & hold a 5* Scores on the doors & a Level 2 Food Hygiene Certificate

Warm Butternut Squash & Black Kale Salad

Salad, probably doesn’t spring to mind when you are thinking of warming winter food!

salad, Mediterranean diet, healthy eating, kale
A bowl of goodness

We have an abundance of colourful, healthy vegetables available at this time of the year just crying out to be made into tasty dishes, which can be served either on their own as a side or turned into a main dish, with the addition of , meat, fish, cheese, pulses, grains or what ever takes your fancy. Add some warming spices and there you have it, an easy, healthy meal.

Serves 4,  Gluten free, Dairy Free, Vegetarian, Vegan,  Time Taken  40 mins

INGREDIENTS:

5 Tbspns Walnut Oil

1 Butternut Squash, Peeled, halved, seeds removed, cut into small chunks

1 Red Pepper, de-seeded & cut into small chunks

2 Large Red Onions, Peeled & thinly sliced

Bag of Black Kale, Washed & Sliced. I like to leave the stems in for a bit of crunch.

2 Cloves Garlic, peeled & chopped

2 Tbspns Walnuts

1 tspn Sumac

2 Tbspns Pomegranate Molasses or 2 taste

METHOD:

Heat the oil over a medium heat, add the onions a fry covered, for 5 mins, stirring occasionally, add the squash & fry covered for a further 10 mins.

Remove the cover, turn up the heat & add the red pepper & sumac, stir frying for a couple of mins.

Add the kale & garlic & walnuts & stir fry for a further 5 mins, Season to taste. Remove from heat & stir in the Pomegranate Molasses.

Serve at once.  I topped mine with some crumbled danish blue cheese, but you can add what ever takes your fancy.  As well as being a healthy meal, it also adds a liitle bit of colour to our dull winter days. Enjoy.

Veg, salad, healthy eating, winter warmer, spices
Healthy, colourful mix of winter veg