Smoky Puy lentil and bean soup (vegan)

WisteriaI feel that spring is springing. The wisteria on our south-facing fence is out in full bloom, the bougainvillea is in bud and we had a pair of Cretzschmar’s buntings passing through the garden yesterday. I’ve never seen them before – they were so pretty in their rather eye-catching salmon pink and pale blue liveries – I had to pore for ages over the photos in our Mediterranean bird book to identify them. Any day we should be receiving visits from hoopoes and bee eaters, then we’ll know that summer is truly on its way. We had our first giant wasp in the kitchen this morning – no doubt house hunting, so I hope he eventually decided on a different neighbourhood. Continue reading “Smoky Puy lentil and bean soup (vegan)”

Hummingbird muffins

IMG_1795I think you could describe the weather around here this week as ‘mixed’, though that would be rather an understatement.

Earlier in the week, we awoke to beautiful sunshine and temperatures nearing the mid 20s in the middle of the day. The almond blossom and wild anemones are in full bloom at the minute, so we headed off for one of our favourite walks near the ancient Lycian city of Hoyran. Continue reading “Hummingbird muffins”

Mojito muffins

IMG_1737 (600 x 425).jpgSunshine, 21 degrees, my kind of spring day. Just a shame that we are both sporting ear/nose/throat/chest infections and are feeling way too feeble to do anything outdoors. This is what happens when you have a trip back to the UK – the place is clearly to be avoided on health grounds.

Anyway, this afternoon Linda and I are going to see our lovely hairdresser friend John, and we all know what that involves: yes, that would be cake. Continue reading “Mojito muffins”

My favourite vegan snack

img_1711-600-x-450With Veganuary declared well and truly over in this household, we suddenly find ourselves faced with a huge variety of ‘new’ foods to eat. While I did enjoy my roast chicken last night, we only had a really small amount and I can’t say I am desperate for more meat any time soon. I cut the chicken in two and only roasted half of it – this was tons for the three of us, with a bit leftover for the felines. Continue reading “My favourite vegan snack”

Chocolate banana marble cake

img_1706We have declared Veganuary¬† over for the year. I know we have two more days of January to go, but we decided that today would be a good opportunity to celebrate the approach of February with a roast dinner. It’s Sunday, it’s raining, it’s cold and miserable – what could be more appropriate? We’re breaking ourselves in gently and going for slow-roast chicken, rather than the more traditional beef, which we hardly ever eat, mainly because the quality here is so unreliable. Continue reading “Chocolate banana marble cake”

Spicy lentil ‘shepherd’s pie’ (vegan)

IMG_1601.jpgAnother grey day, though it hasn’t actually started raining (so far). I feel a day of catching up with a few jobs coming on, interspersed with a spot of light blogging activity. I think we are having a 5:2 day too – I was put off eating any breakfast this morning by having to deal with the regurgitated remains of a mouse – at least I think that is what it started life as – which had been left in the middle of the kitchen terrace, so I’m off to a good start. (Thanks guys). Continue reading “Spicy lentil ‘shepherd’s pie’ (vegan)”

Vegetable ‘Harira’ (vegan)

IMG_1581.jpgWe’ve just about recovered from our horrible Monday dinner experience, so Veganuary is back on track for now. We ate out with some friends last night and I managed to cobble together enough vegan-friendly items from the menu to form a very presentable meal. I may¬† yet make it to the end of the month without giving in – at the moment, the only thing I am really craving is cheese. Luckily, the cheese choice here is not exactly exciting, so that’s helping my cause – if I were within a stone’s throw of Neal’s Yard Dairy or Paxton & Whitfield, it would be quite another story and very likely that I would be found face down in the nearest wheel of Brie.
Continue reading “Vegetable ‘Harira’ (vegan)”

Extra-gingery ginger fairings (vegan)

IMG_1511_renamed_28603.jpgYou can tell by the little flurry of blog posts that today has been rainy, windy and largely unpleasant. The rain has now stopped and we have a bit of weak sunshine, so Robin’s been dispatched to get more wood before it starts again (I can’t get the wood in, I’m far too busy using up oranges that he’s picked for me).

Some friends have just been for coffee, so I made a quick batch of ginger biscuits by way of a treat. As we are trying to follow a vegan diet at the moment, of course these are a vegan version – but the only change I had to make was to swap the butter from my original recipe for vegetable margarine. They turned out surprisingly well – in fact, I am not sure that they are not better than their buttery cousins, which can tend to burn around the edges before the centres are cooked. I may well stick to the margarine version even after the end of January. Continue reading “Extra-gingery ginger fairings (vegan)”

Seville orange drizzle cake

img_1501Planting orange trees around here is a tricky business. It is hard to tell with a young tree whether the fruit is going to be sweet or bitter. We planted several trees when we came to live here, thinking they were sweet oranges and a lemon – but they turned out to be the Seville variety. We managed, eventually, to grow a sweet orange and a lemon, but we still have a glut of Seville oranges every year from the original trees.

I make tons of marmalade, to give away to friends and to various charity bake sales, but I am always at a loss to know what to do with the rest. Continue reading “Seville orange drizzle cake”

Herb-roasted vegetables (vegan)

img_1489-2The weather’s taken a serious downturn, so we are being treated to several thunderstorms each day, with short periods of sun in between the downpours. A perfect excuse to light the fire, stay indoors and catch up with a few chores.

Post-trip laundry and ironing are finished, so now I can turn my attention to using some of the produce from the garden. Our Seville orange trees are groaning with fruit, so I will make some more marmalade to share amongst my family next time we go back to the UK and I plan to make a Seville orange drizzle cake today, to take with us when we go out to dinner this evening. Our friend Cafer and his wife Sultan, who own our favourite restaurant in town, have just had a baby, so they are pretty busy with the new arrival, as well as chasing after their six-year-old and running a restaurant. All food treats are being gratefully received! Continue reading “Herb-roasted vegetables (vegan)”