Sunday, 31 August 2008


Like many keen CR cooks, I often do a makeover on recipes I get from books and magazines. I used to like those big one-pot dishes with rice, but nowadays I tend to use grated cauliflower instead of rice which is easy as a side dish but as an ingredient means I have to tweak things a bit as it doesn’t absorb water and takes less time to cook. Here’s how I did a makeover recently. I started with a standard recipe for Spanish pork and rice. First I substituted chicken breast for the pork. (This would also work well with Quorn). The liquid required was a combination of chopped tomatoes in juice and vegetable stock. Most of this would be absorbed by rice, but as I was using cauliflower I reduced the liquid but not the flavour by using half a crumbled vegetable stock cube (organic low salt) instead of the stock. The cubed chicken, chopped garlic, sliced red peppers and onion were simmered in the tomatoes plus stock cube until about done, (thus omitting the original recipe’s suggested initial browning in 3tbs olive oil!) then I stirred in the grated cauliflower, added some drained water-canned artichoke hearts (the original recipe used ones from a jar in oil) and cooked gently for five minutes more until the cauliflower was done, the sauce thick and the artichokes heated through.

Thursday, 28 August 2008


This is, I know illusory but I feel as if I have spent the last 9 days eating at twice my normal rate! This is because I have been working as a volunteer with a venue management company at the Edinburgh Fringe. I worked shifts in the kitchen rushing about with trays of food and also walked miles around Edinburgh. The food was provided to volunteers for free and every day there were big cauldrons of soup made from fresh vegetables, also lots of veggie casseroles and bakes. So it was possible to eat pretty healthily. But my energy expenditure was huge! So not CR'd but I do feel that the sheer buzz of Edinburgh at Festival time and being surrounded with so many young creative people had a rejuvenation effect all of its own. It was a fantastic experience and if anyone is keen to sample what the Fringe has to offer without breaking the bank (accommodation and many of the shows were also free to helpers) it can recommend it!

Friday, 15 August 2008

The meeja

I was contacted recently by someone wanting to interview a CR'd woman prefereably aged 25-45 in the UK for a magazine article. Obviously I am way out of the age range, but I thought I would ask anyone out there if they might be interested. If you are let me know and I will pass on the journalist's details. She writes for magzines like Marie Claire etc.

Saturday, 9 August 2008

Patty pan delight

Apologies for not posting recently - I can only plead the hectic and exhausting life of a retired person! Last autumn I loved experimenting with the many varieties of little squashes I was able to get on the farmers' market and have felt a bit bereft over the spring, however the first little disc shaped patty pan or summer squashes have arrived and I have been able to try something I had on mind - quiche. They are so lovely and tender you can eat the lot - even the thin skin and soft little seeds. I steamed one, then cut it across into two discs. I then scooped out the centre and mashed it with herbs, tomato paste and a few chopped olives. (There have to be a gazillion variations on this) Then as the mixture is a bit watery I added a teaspoon of powdered eggwhite. The mixture was put back in the cases and microwaved until set, which didn't take long. Hey presto, quiche without the pastry!