I love the mixture of vegetables you get at this time of year, summer berries still ripening, apples clustered on thick boughs, spinach and chard giving generously, rows of dewy green kale curling at the edges, and carrots and Jerusalem artichokes in the earth ready to be plucked and roasted and
gobbled up savoured in autumnal roasts. The sun is warm, the evenings cooling into misty dampness and nature is so busy before the winter, the plants lush from a rain-filled August. Hairy moth caterpillars are everywhere in our garden, feeding up, readying for their tremendous moment of change, and alarmingly large spiders are finding their winter homes inside, making us squirm as they rove around the house.
Dan’s been helping out a neighbour on her allotment plot, where Jerusalem artichokes are growing gangly. so tiny underground, so tall above! He is tending to our own next year’s onions (exciting!!). Rae tending to making Mummy smile ♥
Health-wise I’ve been battling more than ever the past months, in a lot of pain as my fybromyalgia and arthritis flared up badly and I’ve caught bug after bug, whilst pouring all my energy into nurturing (dearest) Rae, who is thriving, already crawling and pulling herself up, and who makes every day so important and so full of wonder, fun and challenge.
i need good, restorative, wholesome food more than ever.
I am now well stuck into avoiding corn and soya again and poised ready to take the next step of cutting out all grains i.e. oats and rice (I’ll do an elimination diet) in order to be as pain-free and inflammation busting as I can be. Vegetables are once again taking a truly starring role in my life as I emerge from planet New Baby back into the kitchen, preparing her delicious mashed concoctions, reminded again and again how very beautiful fruits and vegetables are, how they give and they give and lift you up with their goodness ♥
When cooking it is so important that your food nurtures you, all the time. Food should make you feel good BEFORE, DURING and AFTER you eat, and be such a positive thing to cherish and share ♥
Cook the Jerusalem artichokes until the skins are caramelised and they ooze beautifully, and the cauliflower is charred and delicious. Alarmingly blackened is in this case so good!
Nutritional yeast flakes are packed with B vitamins, essential to supplement in a vegan diet, and add a really cheesy flavour that is boosted by lemon, salt and sweetness, and goes so well with coconut milk. Refresh with extra lemon. You can find it in any health food shop or online, but if you don’t have nutritional yeast it is delicious without also. Beans add protein and low carb thickness to the sauce but you can also make it without and add more flour, try gram for higher protein content. You could use spinach, the fresher the better, instead of chard but chard has such a robust flavour and so is better for the sauce. I like it to keep its texture with long tender stalks. You could also serve with a simple coconut milk creamed parsnip and roasted spiced chickpeas, or eat as it is.
- Jerusalem artichokes, about 300g
- Carrots, I used a bunch of spindly rainbow
- 1/2 medium cauliflower
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 3 tsp ground coriander
- 3 tsp ground sumac
- 2 tsp maple syrup, other natural sweetness
- 1 1/2 tbs olive oil
- 1 tsp salt, to taste
- Firm white beans, about 100g, flagolet or haricot are good
- Chard, I used rainbow
- 1/3 tin coconut cream
- Water, to loosen
- 3 tbsb or so of buckwheat flour, gram, or other wholemeal variety
- 1 med onion
- 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- Salt, to taste
- 2 tsp bouillon powder
- 3 tbsp+ nutritional yeast flakes
- Lemon juice, squeeze of
- 1/2 tsp maple syrup, other natural sweetness
- Large bay leaf
- Black pepper, to taste
Massage the spices and oil, freshly ground if possible, into smallish cauliflower florets (tbsp sized), rub salt and oil and a little sweetness into the carrots and oil and salt into the artichokes (try to make sure the artichokes are all of a similar size, cutting larger roots in half or so). Bake in a hot oven for about an hour, until beginning to char and when the artichoke skins are caramelised and soft inside. Make sure does not burn beyond your liking but remember the cauliflower is going to be dark with spices as well as charred. If your're worried about this then cover with tinfoil when you think they're charred enough but need more cooking - Jerusalem artichokes can need a lot of cooking for such a small root, but they're worth it!
Saute finely chopped onion in the oil with the salt and bay leaf on a low heat with the lid on for about fifteen minutes or more, to soften and sweeten. Add the chard, I keep it chunky, tearing in pieces with still long stalks. Blend the beans until smooth with the coconut milk and add to the onions and chard. Mix the flour with a little nut milk and add to the hot sauce, stirring until thickened. Add water to loosen and the sugar, lemon, pepper, nutritional yeast and bouillon powder, adjust seasoning to taste. Remove the bay leaf. Serve hot.
WE’VE BEEN WATCHING… The Great British Bake Off (loving Noel!!xx)