Pancake Day!

What you’ll need:

100g Plain Flour
Pinch of Salt
2 Eggs
300ml Milk

So simple!!

I’ve been using these ingredients for years and my children now say I am the master of Pancakes! It’s from my Bible Readers Digest New Cookery Year this is often the book I turn to for some good old fashioned advice as I’m not as good at cooking as Mr Lee is, he’s also the one I turn to for advice on cooking as when we first met all I lived on were tins of spaghetti hoops and I couldn’t even boil a potato, in fact (confession time) I used to buy ready made mash!!!!!

I know right! A Greengrocer buying ready made mash, shocking behaviour!! Well I wasn’t a Greengrocer then, I was a 19 year old Screen Printer who’d just left home and never knew how or what to cook, food to me was just something that you had to eat or you’ll die!!

Over the last 20 years I have learnt to LOVE food and to cook most things from scratch and I rather enjoy cooking now, some have been master pieces, others, well not so much!

Once I spent hours making a Chicken noodle dish from scratch for Mr Lee with all the herbs and spices etc etc, it took me soooooo long, when he came home from work he asked me if I’d tipped out a Chicken Pot Noodle onto the plate! Needless to say I was a bit annoyed by this, but I didn’t give up (we probably had a row though) and now I will give anything a go although I’ve never attempted that dish again!!

I’m a lucky girl with a great husband and two smashing kids who thankfully don’t take after me and are both pretty good at cooking too, our son makes the most amazing Lemon Meringue Pie (my absolute fave pudding!) and our daughter always wants to help out in the kitchen so we always try to encourage this, I certainly don’t want her living on tins of spaghetti hoops or ready made mash when she leaves home!

Vegetarians and Vegans are a Greengrocers Best Friend!

Newsflash!!!

A Greengrocers is a Vegetarian and Vegan shop!!!!

Most of us Meat eaters wouldn’t think of it like that but it’s true. I have recently been searching out other Greengrocers on Instagram 1. To share ideas and get ideas from and 2. For a bit of support and to give support to others as sometimes it can feel like you’re the only one trying to keep this ancient trade alive!

They have also confirmed to me what I have thought for a long time now. Many Greengrocers are evolving into a one stop shop for Vegans and Vegetarians.

It totally make sense, the Veggies and Vegans that shop in our shop spend the most money, mainly because Fruit and Veg is so cheap compared to meat, so they can afford to buy the best. So now many Greengrocers are starting to stock grains, beans, pulses, plant based alternative milks such as Almond milk, Oatly etc.

With meat becoming more expensive (and lets face most us can only afford chicken these days) Celebrity Chefs such as Jamie Oliver have caught onto the Instagram foodies such as @hemsleyhemsley @rawveganblonde and @deliciouslyella way of thinking. In Jamie’s latest TV series Superfood fruit and veg seem to be the main star of the show.

This is a sea change from the snarling and mickey taking of past celebrity chefs towards vegetarianism and veganism. As a non veggie half of my meals a week are probably veggie if not vegan. Ok this might have something to do with my wife being a vegetarian but also I’ve learnt that a meal doesn’t have to contain meat to be enjoyed.

I’ve never got the petty contempt on both sides the Meat vs Vegetarian and Vegan argument. Ok from the veggies/vegan side of things it’s about compassion for Animals which drives them but surely it’s better to communicate rather than isolate the meat eaters, and the Meat eaters……………… well you haven’t got any reason to dislike a Vegetarian or Vegan what difference does it make to you unless one’s coming to dinner.

The truth is us meat eaters better get used to the veggies/vegan way of thinking cos its growing in popularity due to health reasons, meat scares and the rising price of meat, we will all be eating more veggie dishes in the future.

This can be seen by the rise of vegetarian/vegan eating establishments in our towns and cities these a few years back would never have survived but now they are flourishing! Near to where I live in Colchester, a Vegan Cafe opened up The Den at twenty three http://www.thedenattwentythree.co.uk/ the first of its kind in the area.

I’ve been there a few times and its bloody lovely and that’s the key to get us non vegans/vegetarians through the door and show us how good this food is and that you don’t have to be a vegan or vegetarian to eat there, good food is good food!

I suppose what I’m saying is that maybe the Greengrocer isn’t an old fashion way of doing things maybe its the new way of doing things. A dog that’s learnt a new trick, I certainly hope so! So why not try a veggie/vegan dish even if its only once a week what harm could it do?!?!

Sweet potato, leek, cheese & mustard sandwich……

What you’ll need

One or two large sweet potatoes
Two leeks
Cheese
Sesame seeds
Mustard

Take the large sweet potato (baked potato size) and slice length ways so it looks like you have 4 slices of bread. Put the slices of sweet potato into boiling water and cook until soft but firm. Slice leeks and cook in boiling water and set aside. Now heat up griddle pan or frying pan.

Add the slices of sweet potato to the griddle pan, spread mustard on face up sides in the pan and then sprinkle with sesame seeds turn sweet potato over after 5 mins so the mustard and sesame seed side is now face down.

Leave to cook for a further 5 mins then on the two slices of sweet potato cover with leeks and grated cheese and pop the other two slices of sweet potato on the top making a sandwich.

Take the pan off the heat and cover sandwich in pan with bowl until the cheese melts.

And voila….you have a sweet potato, leek, cheese and mustard sandwich click the link below for a Bumbles step by step guide on You Tube.

You can also cook the sweet potato in the toaster and get a similar result I know it sounds weird but you can. I personally like the look of the griddle line on the sweet potato but either way is good.

see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o6PIcV-suzY&t=181s

Recipe of the week

My little girl loves a hot chicken wing and I’m a tad partial myself, especially with corn on the cob, fries and homemade slaw, but I didn’t want Shelly to miss out on the hot part of the meal.

So I began to look up alternatives and found out that Americans consume 1.3 billion chicken wings during Super Bowl which happens to be this weekend. So I thought who better to come up with a vegetable alternative, than the Americans themselves.

So I give you Cauliflower Buffalo Wings, I found a recipe on You Tube. These babies are super tasty and can be as hot or mild as you like.

First cut your cauliflower into florets and then get three bowls. In the first bowl beat two eggs, the second add plain flour (for a gluten free option we used rice flour) and in the third the hot sauce of your choice, we used Nandos hot peri peri sauce but there loads out there.

Now dip the cauliflower into the egg, flour and then the hot sauce and place onto a foil lined baking tray and repeat until you have as much as you need.

Pre heat the oven to Gas Mark 6, Fahrenheit 400, Celsius 200 and bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until crispy brown.

So simple I know but often good food is and is that not what we want simple tasty healthy food. Squeeze a bit of lemon or lime over these bad boys and boom you have wicked veggie addition to your meal.

Recipe of the week!

CURRIED SWEET POTATOES
My Wife (Shelly) is a vegetarian which makes sense when owning a Greengrocers, although people still find this strange, when I think it’s much stranger that I’m not!

Although at times I’m a vegetarian by proxy and that’s how this simple dish was born.

Us British love our Indian dishes so this dish is a veggie tip of the hat to them.

Ingredients (Serves 2)
2 Large Sweet potatoes
1 Bunch of coriander
2 Teaspoons of curry powder
4 Teaspoons of mango chutney
A pinch of black pepper

Bake or microwave your sweet potato until soft, sweet pots don’t take as long to cook as regular pots so don’t over cook it. Let them cool until you can handle them, cut them long ways and scoop out the flesh (keeping the skin in tact for refilling) into a bowl and mash.

To this bowl add the chopped coriander, curry powder, pepper and mango chutney and mix together. When all mixed up refill the skins with the mixture and bake for a further 15 mins or until reheated. Ta Da Curried Sweet potatoes.

They are AWESOME with poppadoms and if you like your food a bit spicy add some chillies or whatever you like, it’s about eating good food that you like.

No Rules apart from keep it fresh!

For a video on how to make go to https://youtu.be/WNUex74HdWU