How To Sprout Mung Beans

Gavin WrenBasic Ingredients, Recipes, Salads, Vegan

Once you've learned how to sprout mung beans you'll be converted to these incredibly nutritious legumes, being crammed with protein, carbohydrate, low fat and high in nutrients, vitamins and minerals. They're fantastic to have in salads and there's a lovely pleasure in seeing them grow as you sprout them over a few days!
Over the last month I've become infatuated with creating hearty, delicious salads for my lunches, based on delightful sprouted mung beans. Salads needs to be wholesome and filling, I have little truck for a bowl of leaves and a dressing, I want something substantial. They need are a good base, a nutritionally sturdy underpinning, hence my love of legumes as the base for my salads this summer. Once I knew how to sprout mung beans, I became a convert to them!
Leguminous Lunch.
I began the summer using tins of chickpeas, kidney or black eyed beans, yet quickly became tired of the tinned burden when shopping, not to mention the space they take up on my shelf. I needed something fresh, healthy and less tinned.

I've been using Mung beans for years in curries and occasional salads, since being introduced to them via some Indian recipes and an... come and read more...

Dairy Free Banana Milkshake with Peanut Butter, Shame and Sharing Life Experiences

Gavin WrenDairy free baking, Drinks, Vegan

Ice cold and ready for summer, this dairy free banana milkshake with peanut butter is also vegan, perfect for a hot day and anyone's diet, it's a summer drink that will keep you cool and your tastebuds tantalised. Made with any non-dairy milk, frozen banana, a smattering of peanut butter and topped with crushed pecans, it's even more delicious than it looks.
What's more important in life? Honest, open connection to other people or a dairy free banana milkshake recipe mixed with peanut butter and topped with pecans? The answer lies in their similarities, as you'll see...

I'm lost. Really, I don't know what I'm doing. I hit two hundred blog posts just over a month ago, I'm about to hit three years of blogging and I'm reaching a creative hiatus. I promised myself at the beginning that blogging will be what I want it to be. I swore never to cling to a certain subject or style, simply because that's what I did last week; it's the creative freedom which brought me to blogging, so creative freedom is what I must defend if I'm to continue to thrive in my blogging.

To be frank, I enjoy writing about life the most. Food may feature, because there is something utterly compelling about... come and read more...

Clementine and Fennel Salad with a Zesty Dill Dressing

Gavin WrenRecipes, Salads, Small Bites, Vegan, Vegetarian

Clementine and fennel salad with a citrussy dill dressing, a light, sweet side salad with the zesty overtones of clementine and the uniquely aromatic flavour of dill, which pairs beautifully with citrus flavours. Anise-scented fennel is the ideal vegetable to base this salad upon, bumping it up to a full sized, slaw-esque side salad. Perfectly suited to light summer dinners, shared lunches, picnics or alongside fish. It’s vegetarian and vegan as well, plus dairy free so perfect for most diets.
Today’s recipe is a clementine and fennel salad with a citrussy dill dressing, a light, sweet side salad with the zesty overtones of clementine and the uniquely aromatic flavour of dill, which pairs beautifully with citrus flavours. Anise-scented fennel is the perfect vegetable to base this salad upon, bumping it up to a full sized, slaw-esque side salad.
Milestones in Blogging.
This is post number one hundred and ninety six in the history of le petit oeuf, meaning that the big two-hundred is fast approaching, a massively significant milestone in my blogging life. Those 196 posts comprise approximately 200,000 words and around 1,000 images. If that's not enough words, I write another thousand every morning of every day, as part of my morning pages ritual. This practice is fast approaching it's first anniversary on the 9th May, meaning I will have written nearly 365,000 painful

Jewelled Chickpea and Red Pepper Salad

Gavin WrenRecipes, Salads, Side dishes, Vegan, Vegetables

Sweet, crunchy pomegranate seeds sit alongside the sweet, sharp pomegranate molasses in this light chickpea and red pepper salad which makes a great side dish, accompaniment to bread & cheese or alongside a bigger meal or picnic. It really is simple, with no cooking and just a few ingredients, most of which can be kept in the cupboard to whip together at the last second. It's vegetarian and vegan as well, so perfect or everyone!
Today’s recipe is a chickpea and red pepper salad jewelled with delicious, crisp pomegranate seeds and dressed with a pomegranate molasses dressing infused with za’atar, which I knocked up in a hurry whilst trying to use up some leftovers. Yes, I genuinely had everything except the rocket knocking around in the cupboard. I keep an excessively large jar of roasted red peppers in the fridge and I was gifted a couple of enormous pomegranates along with a whole basket of other fruit and veg by my neighbours, after I cut down their trees for them (I had asked first). The Best Olive Oil in the UK? The basis of this dish goes back to an unassuming side street in Clerkenwell, a short stroll down the road from City University, the seat of learning where I study Food Policy. There exists an electrical store, a purveyor of junction boxes, consumer units…

Chunky Ginger and Black Eyed Bean Soup

Gavin WrenRecipes, Soup, Vegan, Vegetarian

Today I'm making a vegan black eyed bean soup which is crammed full of healthy vegetables, making a chunky soup that will fill the emptiest of bellies but also bursting with bold flavours to satisfy the most demanding of taste buds. It's easy double or triple up the quantities to make ahead and freeze for next week's lunches.
About 10 years ago I lost a lot of weight. Over 4 stone to be exact, it also proved to be a turning point in the food history of my life, it was a time when seismic change occurred to some of my most deeply ingrained, English eating habits. Soup became my new lunchtime God, eschewing the bread it replaced, leading me to hunt high and low to find or create the perfect, filling, tasty soup. This vegetarian ginger and black eyed bean soup is my latest effort, and boy, it’s a good’un. Death of the Sandwich. I gave up eating sandwiches. That stalwart of the lunch table, which had filled my boots and nurtured me through my childhood, adolescence and twenties, into the tall, strong and fat man I became by the age of 30. Bread had been so integral to my life that I had barely chosen…

Chunky Butternut Squash and Lentil Soup

Gavin WrenRecipes, Soup, Vegan, Vegetarian

A filling and sustaining chunky soup loaded with goodness and hearty ingredients. This chunky butternut squash and lentil soup is a meal-in-a-bowl which virtually becomes a stew as the liquid is almost entirely soaked up by the lentils, chickpeas and squash. The Indian influenced spices have come in to play, featuring a warming host of flavours which will warm your cockles even when the temperature's so cold that the central heating doesn't. It's so good that it's my lunch bowl for the next three weeks, yes, I've just made a triple batch of this, giving me a happy fridge and freezer full of lunchtime joy.
Today I’ve got a fantastically filling, Indian influenced, chunky butternut squash and lentil soup with chickpeas that will keep your tummy filled, your body fuelled and your cockles warmed throughout the coldest days of the winter. Fantastic India. I’ve just returned from a truly beautiful holiday in Goa, India, where I spent three weeks doing yoga, laying by the sea, reading and travelling across the width of the country to the eastern city of Ranchi, to visit my 93 year old, Canadian resident great uncle. I rarely see him, as we’re separated by 4,368 miles and the Atlantic Ocean, but we had both travelled to India for our Christmas breaks this year, so travelling a mere 1,200 miles across India to see him was the itinerant equivalent of popping down the road to meet for a coffee. We had a lovely time and I hope I’m still flying to the…