Sprouts are a bit like Marmite; either you love them or hate them. I personally love them just as long as they haven’t been boiled forever which makes them soggy…then I hate them! My favourite way to cook sprouts is to roast them or finely shred them for a salad or coleslaw.
I’ve become somewhat obsessed with radishes lately. I used to always love them finely chopped through a salad to give a peppery kick but then I tried them in my noodle broth and I fell in love with them when cooked.
Raw radish is quite peppery but something happens when you cook them. It is such a subtle flavour and not the peppery taste you would normally associate with them.
Everywhere you look these days people are talking about cauliflower ‘rice’. I’ve been making it for a while now so thought I’d share the recipe.
People probably wonder why not just use rice? Whilst most people can tolerate rice there are others who can’t seem to digest rice too well and this makes a nice alternative and it is so easy to make which always helps!
Some people are a little taken aback when I say I’m eating or cooking with buckwheat as they think it is related to wheat, but fear not, it isn’t, as it’s not a grass and is actually related to rhubarb…who knew?! The person who called it buckwheat probably had no idea the confusion it would cause nowadays!
Buckwheat is my gluten free alternative to couscous. Whilst some people aren’t big couscous fans when they can eat gluten, it is one of the things I miss most. Quinoa is lovely but just doesn’t come close enough in texture to giant couscous (Israeli couscous) for me so I was loving life the day I discovered buckwheat.
I cook buckwheat the way I do rice – one part buckwheat to 2 parts water. Place in a pan and once it is up to the boil, cover with a lid and reduce to simmer for about 12 minutes until the water has been absorbed.
I think this salad will be featuring a lot over my Summer as it is so adaptable with what veggies and dressings you could use. Roast veggies with it would be lovely.
This can be served as a main or a side.
-150g-200g raw kale, cleaned, roughly shredded & tough stems removed
-juice of 1/2 a lemon
-1 & 1/2 cups cooked buckwheat
-handful cherry tomatoes, halved
-1/4 large cucumber, seeds removed & diced
-handful of fresh mixed herbs (I used mint & flat leaf parsley) roughly chopped
-1/4 of a small red onion, finely diced
-1 avocado, skin & stone removed, diced
-salt & pepper
-juice of 1/2 lemon
-2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
-1/4 tsp. Dijon mustard
-salt & pepper
How To Make
Place the shredded kale in a large bowl with the juice of half a lemon. Massage the kale with the lemon juice until it starts breaking down, this takes about 6-8 minutes so put your favourite tunes on and have a wee boogie whilst massaging the kale!
The photos below show the kale before and after massage.
Once you’ve massaged the kale, set aside as you will need to strain it through a sieve to remove the excess water it will produce.
In a separate bowl combine the tomatoes, buckwheat, cucumber, herbs and give a good stir.
Place the kale in a fine mesh sieve and strain the kale by squeezing it with your hand. Place the strained kale in the bowl with the other ingredients and give everything a good stir to combine. Check seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed.
Place all the dressing ingredients in a bowl and whisk together. Drizzle over some of the dressing onto the salad and stir.
Place the avocado on top of the salad just before serving.
The salad and dressing both store well in airtight containers in the refrigerator.
I received a spiraliser for a Christmas gift a couple of years ago and it is one of my favourite kitchen gadgets. It’s a great way for incorporating vegetables into your dish and I often have a spiralised courgette, sweet potato or carrots instead of pasta, noodles or rice.
I’ve noticed since I’m getting older my taste buds are changing. I was never one to have a lot of spice in my food, I was the girl who always ordered a korma and had yoghurt on the side to stir through it, but now I’m loving all different spices in my dishes and chillies too. I’m not at the point of having too much chilli that I cannot taste the food (I really don’t see the point in that as food is to be enjoyed) but I’m loving a little heat. I also disliked mushrooms for years, I couldn’t stand the smell, sight or taste of them, it wasn’t until I was in my twenties at a dinner party and presented with a mushroom starter which I forced my self to eat out of politeness then….BAM I actually realised I liked them!
My Mum used to make an amazing carrot and orange soup however as it’s not been soup weather of late I decided to combine the flavours in a salad. Quick and easy using just a few ingredients but still full of flavour. I like to serve this alongside roast chicken or a quinoa salad.
It really is too hot to spend too long in the kitchen at the moment with this hot weather – not that I’m complaining as it will soon be cold and raining. This salad is so easy and quick to make and is firm becoming one of my favourites to have made up and ready in the fridge to have as a side with grilled chicken, steak or even just on its own.
Some of the readers of Four Candles Kitchen may be aware that I love hummus. I have it every day as a snack or with a meal or just spooned right out of the blender and straight into my mouth! Lately though I’ve been wanting a dip/spread that isn’t hummus and concocted this recipe.
This actually reminds me when we used to go for Sunday lunch to my Gran’s house. She used to have mint growing in her garden and would put in with the new potatoes and through the peas too….it makes the dip fresh and Summery in my opinion.
Coleslaw is often thought of a side dish for Summer months, usually to accompany a few burgers and sausages from the annual barbecue. Using seasonal vegetables, coleslaw can be eaten all year round…much to my delight!
Now, some store bought coleslaws are, well, grim. All you can taste is onion and they are either too watery or overly loaded with mayo. In this recipe I’ve omitted the onion and instead of mayonnaise have used yoghurt. A little grated red onion would be nice through it but I didn’t have any in and to be honest didn’t miss it.