Tag Archives: Foccacia

Meatless Monday …week 2


Why Meatless Mondays?…

Lots of reasons but healthwise I know we should eat more plant-based meals not only for our health but for the environment…But there is so much information out there that to read, test and digest it takes a while …I have decided to do it in stages as to me it should be a permanent commitment and I wish to find some tasty dishes which are equal in taste to what I normally cook for my family.

I have stated many times that I will never be fully vegetarian or vegan as I believe in a healthy balanced diet coupled with exercise…but eating more plant-based meals seems to be the way to go…

I would like to thank Darlene, Lucy and Tori (my tofu) guru for the recipes and tips they have sent me…Thank you ladies xx

I will, of course, be adding more plant-based recipes each weekt as I try more different products…it does, of course, depend on what I can purchase here as not all foods as you know are available around the world.

Today my store cupboard revealed Mung Beans, Bengal Gram and kidney beans… I am going to have a closer look at the Bengal Gram and the Mung Beans…

I have always used beans in casseroles, chilli and for dips…lentils not so much…I am also finding there are also so many different names which I am just beginning to get my head around as depending on where in the world or which region you live the names vary…

Bengal Gram…is closely related to the Chickpea family…they are a yellow lentil rounded on one side and flat on the other…In Indian cuisine, they are known as Chana Dal.

They have many health benefits they are packed with nutrients and are rich in Plant-Based protein…it is also said that eating them may keep your appetite under control ( I need) some of that at the moment…sigh…

They are said to control blood sugars they are also inexpensive to buy and easy to add to your diet…

Gram Flour is also made from Chana Dal…

This plant-based eating is quite a big learning curve for me and as always I would be pleased for any input or recipes…

This recipe has been tried and tested on my family and was given to me a while ago by Darlene author of the Amanda books… A lentil stew from Syria. who also gave me another one last week which I have yet to try…


Yakhmat ‘Adas (from Syria and Lebanon)

  • 1 cup lentils, rinsed
  • 5 cups of water
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1/4 cup rice, rinsed
  • 1/4 cup fine noodles
  • 2 cups stewed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil or 2 teaspoons dried crushed basil

Place lentils and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes.
In the meantime, heat oil in a frying pan and sauté onions over medium heat until they begin to brown. Stir in garlic and rice and stir-fry for another 3 minutes.

Add frying pan contents along with remaining ingredients, except basil, to lentils and bring to a boil. Cook another 20 minutes, adding more water if necessary. Remove from heat and stir in basil.

Enjoy! Nice with pitta bread.

Note from Darlene: I usually cut the recipe in half as it makes a lot.
*Did you know that lentils are good for anaemia, low blood pressure and ulcers.
From my favourite cookbook, Classic Vegetarian Cooking from the Middle East and North Africa by Habeeb Salloum.

I used really fine vermicelli noodles, fresh ginger as I grow my own and don’t use dried and Thai basil…It definitely makes a lot though I am pleased I halved the recipe on Darlene’s advice.

I have since made this recipe a couple of times and made it slightly looser in texture …I like it how I first made it as I can scoop it up with my bread my family preferred it just a little looser. Like all recipes, the end result is down to personal taste…

Mung Beans: These have been languishing in my store cupboard for a little while imploring me to use them…they are also known as green gram…and are part of the legume family.

Mung beans sprout very quickly thick, white crisp shoots and are a popular source of beansprouts…unlike other pulses, they can be cooked without prior soaking although as always soaking reduces cooking time.

If soaking for the lunch the next day soak overnight…if it is for the evening meal the next soak in the morning not overnight as longer than 12 hours soaking is not advised.

How to sprout your own …

I absolutely love bean sprouts they make for a lovely side dish…just stir-fried with some chopped green onions, some garlic and chilli with some oyster sauce…delicious or a beansprout salad pop some into a bowl of soup at the end of cooking delicious.

Do you have a favourite mung bean recipe you like to share?

I am really getting into baking homemade bread ...Last week I experimented with Foccacia a recipe given to me by my son who is an excellent cook…

home made Foccacia

Home Baked


  • 500 gm All-Purpose Flour
  • 7gm instant yeast
  • 300ml warm water
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 1.5tsp sugar
  • Olive Oil
  • Fresh Rosemary …picked

Lets Bake!

Mix all the ingredients together and knead for 5 minutes until smooth. Cover and leave to prove for about an hour or until it has doubled in size.

Knock- back the dough and knead for another 5 minutes then press the dough into a baking dish…12 x 10…I used a 9 x8 the first time and it was too thick as it rose quite a bit.

Cover and leave to prove for a further hour. Then with oiled fingers press pieces of rosemary into the dough.

Mix 1.5 tbsp of good olive oil with 1 tbsp of water and a good pinch of salt then pour over the top of the bread. Sprinkle with salt.

Bake at 200C/392F  for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

home made Foccacia

Home Baked Foccacia with parmesan.

Drizzle with more olive oil while the bread is warm…cover with a clean t/towel to stop the top going crusty.

N.B I also grated some parmesan over the top…Just because and because the family requested it…Although it was a bit too high the texture and taste were good it was also good the next day split and toasted…


That’s all for today on my journey into eating more plant-based meals on a Meatless Monday…Next week it will be Tofu…

If you have enjoyed this post please leave a comment as any tips or comments I love as you all know I just love to chat…Love Carol xx

Saturday Snippets…16th January 2020…


Welcome to this weeks Saturday Snippets…in many ways, my favourite post of the week as I can indulge my whimsy…The healthy eating is..it is…starting slowly…the good news the Xmas cake is now eaten…the bad news is my neighbours gave us some lovely honey-roasted bananas yesterday..2 packs…xx

Did you know? While the world was sheltering last year and maybe people and children were beginning to think that nothing new and exciting happened…Well, it did… a new Monkey and the longest creature on earth was discovered last year…how cool is that?

The creature is more like a jellyfish than a worm and is actually a colonial organism made up of smaller, specialized polyps and medusoids, collectively known as zooids, which act like humans inside a submarine, each zooid managing a different physiological function such as propulsion or gastric function.

This week in my Kitchen…

The bread making is going well I am now tweaking the recipe by slowly increasing the amount of stone-ground whole wheat flour to my sandwich loaf ..so far so good I haven’t had to tweak the other ingredients yet although as I increase the ratio of whole wheat flour I will have to increase the liquid.

This is because the germ and bran that are present in whole wheat flour can absorb more liquid than the endosperm. … In general, the more whole wheat flour in the dough, the more water you will need to use.

Foccacia...was the new bread I made this week…for a first attempt it came out well the texture was good the size of my tin was not I should have used a bigger baking tin as the bread rose more than I anticipated…Recipe to follow next week…x

Home Baked Foccacia topped with parmesan cheese.

The one thing I do acknowledge though is cooking like many things is a learning curve especially with new recipes as ovens vary, humidity can affect baking so many varients which is why often when I try a new recipe I halve the ingredients and always follow the recipe exactly and if it comes out perfectly the first time that’s good… no tweaks required but often some tweaks are a given because of personal taste and that can be a big variable alongside other factors.

 National Food Days…it’s spicy hot chilly day…

It had to happen and who’s a happy bunny then? Moi…Its the red-hot day of the year…

The world’s chilli heads, heat-seekers and extreme eaters can take their passion to extremes. International Hot and Spicy Foods Day …There are habanero-eating challenges to fancy-dress contests and cook-offs of popular spicy hot recipes.

This little dip is a recipe from Bali given to me by my grandson’s girlfriend, it is very easy to make but made more special by the addition of tamarind. 

Called Rujak sauce it is lovely with mangoes.

  • Take 200 gm of palm sugar shaved.
  • 15 gm of tamarind flesh and 5 tbsp of water leave to infuse for 5 mins and then drain and keep the tamarind flavoured water.
  • 6 or more Thai chillies.
  • 1/4 tsp shrimp paste and 1/4tsp salt.

Blitz all these ingredients together and you have fiery little sauce.

There are so many different types, including Thai Birds Eye, Carolina Reapers, Ghost Peppers, Habanero, Red Cayenne Pepper, Serrano, Guajillo, Poblano, Peppadew, and much more. They all bring a different level of heat and a different type of flavour to dishes.

Among serious chilli lovers… it also re-kindles the great debate: which chilli pepper tops the official Scoville heat scale?

That crown goes to the…

#1: Carolina Reaper. 1,400,000 to 2,200,000 Scoville heat units.

The Washed Ashore Project:

A beautiful project or the artwork is… it also sends a message …This video only has one like and that is mine…please have look and if you like the art and the message please them a like.

Washed Ashore is a non-profit community art project founded by artist and educator, Angela Haseltine Pozzi in 2010. The project is based in Bandon, Oregon, where Angela first recognized the amount of plastic washing up on the beaches she loved and decided to take action. Since 2010, Washed Ashore has processed tons of plastic pollution from Pacific beaches to create monumental art that is awakening the hearts and minds of viewers to the global marine debris crisis.

Only In Thailand…

Bloggers Corner…Smorgasbord Blogger Daily…

Although my Fish Pie is featured here I am also sharing the post with two other fabulous cooks…I know you all know me but if you are not familiar with Amy and Dorothy please check them out as they both post some wonderful recipes…

Amy showcased Kalua Pork Loco MocoSpinach Salad with Pears and Walnuts and Dorothy showcased Roasted Shrimp Cocktail with Avocado and Melon all recipes which I am definitely going to try they sound delicious…So head over to Sally’s but after you have eaten or you will come away drooling and ravenous…xx


This week’s …Weird Fruit

kiwano melon

Looking like something from outer space (and, in fact, it once made an appearance on Star Trek, Deep Space Nine as a Golana melon (episode name: “Time’s Orphan”).but the Kiwano melon is actually grown in Southern Africa, California and New Zealand. Nicknamed the “horned melon,” its yellow, stubby exterior encases a bright green, jelly-like fruit with edible seeds. The fruit has a citrusy flavour that some liken to a mix of cucumber, lime and banana.

Time for some Music…

January 1992-Eric Clapton

Eric Clapton unplugged session for MTV included a reworked acoustic version of Layla which earned the album 6 Grammy Awards including the award for Record of the Year.

Thank you for popping in today I hope you have enjoyed Saturday Snippets …as always I look forward to your comments as you all know I love to chat…Thanx Carol xx