Lazy leftovers cake…a cake for all times

A gloriously laissez faire affaire full of bonhomie and warmth. It has its roots in the frugality of Nana’s war time fruit cake when eggs, butter and sugar were scarce. This was simply what you did for the generation that believed throwing away food was “the work of the devil”. Fast forward to these food sensitive times and we have a right on “recycled vegan low GI GF  gateau” oh trendy dears. Whatever its name..it is a cake for all times in every sense – judging by the number of second helpings this Easter and enthusiasm from the marauding feline contingent too.

 

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Zingy Miso Ginger Dressing

Ginger, carrots, miso, mirin – Engage taste buds and lets go

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I like my dressings with salad. I like salad leaves glistening with oil.  I dip bread in olive oil for breakfast.  The only thing more revolting to me than low fat dressing is low fat yoghurt. But this dressing works for me.  Its based on a traditional Japanese dressing that can also be made completely fat free.  I prefer  unsurprisingly a version with oil – but good oil – here I’ve used hemp oil but flax or sunflower oil is great. Olive il is not a great flavour in this particular dressing tho – avoid.

If you cannot find white Miso then use brown – the sauce wont be quite as bright but it will have that “umami” taste. Failing any miso then blitz up dried porcini or shitajke mushrooms with a little soya sauce. Ive put in quite a lot of substitutes so dont be put off…have a go..its a great dressing. 

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Mellow Yellow Gazpacho

Superfood smoothies 

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Of course the Spanish have been making turbo charged superfood smoothies for centuries, its just that classic Gazpacho made in summer from sun ripened vegetables in sleepy Andalucian villages seems less headline grabbing than kale, spirulina and avocado smoothies made by people practicing yoga poses before breakfast in California.  I joke of course……I love my kale smoothies……

“Gazpacho is indeed one of “the” dishes of summer. On a sweltering day in those whitewashed hilltop towns  sipping a glass of this salady gloop saves a great deal of energy.  No need to sweat cutting up a salad and chewing through vegetables and your other hand is free to hold a glass of something very cold indeed – preferably a Manzanilla or Fino.   If those delectable drinks are not to hand then because a good gazpacho is fairly sweet (and don’t please even think about making this recipe with anything other than over ripe probably splitting in their skins sun ripened tomatoes)  then a fruity ripe white or rosé is best.  I’ve been enjoying with the Catleya Rosé and the Caloian White (yes) Zinfandel.  

In this “mellow yellow” version the tomatoes used are yellow ones which makes for a showstopper iridescent blast of colour whether you serve in regular serving sizes (I like to serve in wine glasses or nice tumblers with a drizzle of something on top) or as pictured here in little shot glasses with a blob of pesto in the centre for a party. This is one of those recipes where the quantities are for guidance.  If you see good things in the market that are screaming at you “we are ripe” then scoop them up and use them!  Your gazpacho will taste infinitely better than following recipe quantities slavishly with not quite ripe ingredients.

 You Are What You Eat

Tomatoes contain all four major carotenoids: alpha- and beta-carotene, lutein, and lycopene which apparently are even better for you in a group than individually.  They contain inordinate amounts of the king of carotenoids “lycopene”thought to have the highest antioxidant activity of all. So far so good… add to this mix the raw onions and you can weep for joy because those tear jerking  sulphur compounds ensure that your blood clots less easily and  contains less cholesterol and triglycerides.  The olive oil and all that oleic acid  just further makes this a shot of something very very good indeed. 

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