Pumpkin and Goat’s Cheese Risotto

Pumpkins are not just for Halloween, Thanksgiving or for taking Cinderella home from the ball.

pumpkin, food, talking about food again, food blog,recipeBoth the flesh and the seeds of the pumpkin are an excellent source of many vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants. They are also lowfat, highfibre and low in calories.

In short, they are one of the superfoods of the vegetable world.

So, when one arrived in my organic veg box nearly 2 weeks ago, I was very excited (I know, I need to get out more).

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Bamia in a Rich Tomato and Onion Sauce

I first came across bamia in Damascus. Otherwise known as okra, ladies fingers or gumbo, the bamia is a green, hairy vegetable, a few inches long and tapered at one end.

Thought to be a native of Africa, this strange-looking vegetable is actually the seedpod of a lovely flowering plant belonging to the mallow family. If that’s whetted your appetite to find out more go here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Okra If not, read on.

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Greek Roast Potatoes With Tomatoes

There’s nothing like a well-cooked roast potato. Cooks and chefs reputations have turned on the quality of their ‘roasties’. There have been more recipes and articles written on how to make the perfect roast potato than any other food. Well, not quite but it does generate a lot of heated discussion. 

Let me now add to the mix a roast potato that is neither soft and floury nor golden and crunchy. In fact, it’s soft and sticky.  But it’s still a roast potato; it’s just a Greek roast potato.

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Orange, Celery and Beetroot Salad with Feta, Olives and Red Onion

Photograph by Moira BeatonThe sun is shining, for the third day in a row.  You may think I harp on about the weather but in Scotland, the sun shining and the temperature rising above 15C degrees is cause for celebration.

What do we think of when someone mentions salad? When I was growing up ‘salad’ meant soft lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber and perhaps a few slices of ham or cheese. No dressing apart from salt. It was probably healthy but it was tasteless.

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Butternut Squash, Coconut and Chilli Soup

It’s dreich in Edinburgh today. That means it’s grey, drizzly and overcast. When it’s like this, my mood usually matches the weather – not much energy.  But, what do we expect, it’s only June!  Seriously though, in Scotland we are used to constant variations in the weather, sometimes in the same day. We have learned to dress and eat accordingly, often at a moment’s notice.

So no summer salads today. I needed soup. Something quick and tasty with enough of a kick to wake me up. 

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Scones

For years, I struggled to make the perfect scone. They were either too flat, too heavy, too moist or too dry.  They never turned out the way I wanted them to. 

Then I decided I needed more focus rather than my usual hit and miss approach. I read books and recipes, watched TV cookery programmes, delved into the science of baking and baked and baked again.My research paid off and I’m glad to say I have come up with my idea of the perfect scone.

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Hector’s Waldorf Salad

Hector’s Waldorf Salad is a combination of fresh raw apples, celery slices, broken walnuts and sultanas, mixed with good quality mayonnaise. I like it because it’s quick and easy to prepare, tastes fresh and crunchy and is a change from the quick sandwich I usually have for lunch. It tastes quite sweet which satisfies any post-lunch sugar cravings.

It’s also a good way to use up the celery that sometimes arrives in our weekly organic veg box  (I’m not a great fan of raw celery sticks) and the stray apple that always seems to linger too long in the fruit bowl and never gets eaten.

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