Smoked Paprika Avocado Salad

Gavin WrenRecipes, Vegan, Vegetarian

A healthy chickpea salad dressed with sweet white balsamic and smoked paprika, diced avocado and aromatic coriander is a beautiful lunchtime treat that's bursting with mexican and middle eastern flavours. It's vegetarian and vegan to boot, a meatfree treat to have for lunch or dinner and tastes even better if you make it in advance!
Most of the writing on my blog is not about food, but life in general and how I cope with it or not, in some cases. On occasion I veer onto a food-related social or political bent, but it's rare for me to write lovingly about the flavours and story behind a recipe. Today, I've been staring at my screen for 53 minutes and have only written the preceding sentence. The first 51 minutes and 13 seconds were spent typing then deleting, typing then deleting as I attempted to coax a story about smoked paprika onto the page.

Constructive Procrastination.
I also checked out the bulk price of Kalamata olives (c.£20 for 2kg on eBay, £16 on Amazon fresh) and appraised which size Really Useful Boxes I need for my cupboards (none, they're not quite the right size), to round up the disparate bags of half... come and read more...

Indian Sprouted Bean Salad with Avocado

Gavin WrenRecipes, Salads, Vegan, Vegetarian

Here's a spicy, zingy Indian style sprouted bean salad which has been my default lunch option for a few weeks, because it ticks all my boxes for a great lunch. It's simple to make (once you've got the sprouts), it's ridiculously tasty with the combination of seeds, spices, lemon and chilli, plus it's got a big tick next to all the major nutrients we need. All this alongside it being completely vegan, it really couldn't be more versatile and all satisfying.
Here's a spicy, Indian style sprouted bean salad which has been my default lunch option for the last few weeks, because it ticks all my 'great lunch' boxes. It's simple to make (once you've got the sprouts), ridiculously tasty with the combination of seeds, spices, lemon and chilli, plus it's got a big tick next to all the major nutrients we need. Alongside it being completely vegan, it really couldn't be more versatile and all satisfying.

Social Sprouts
Sprouts say one thing to me. Brussels. I'm not talking about the cosmopolitan city, lying a mere 121 minutes away from London St Pancras, rather the bitter green orbs of distaste which I was deigned not to like well before one had ever crossed the threshold of my trap. Society seemed constructed for little children who Don't Like Sprouts. Perhaps it's their bitter flavour, or perhaps there's an entire social... come and read more...

Cinnamon Roasted Squash with Lentils

Gavin WrenRecipes, Side dishes, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

The divine pairing of butternut squash and cinnamon sit so beautifully together in the amazing plant based, vegetarian and vegan recipe, it would be easy to assume that God himself had blessed us with their co-operation. A tray of simple cinnamon roasted squash, mixed up with a mash of garlicky lentils, is incredibly simple and simply incredible. It creates the perfect foundation for a meat free meal or a simple vegetable side dish.
The divine pairing of butternut squash and cinnamon sit so beautifully together, it would be easy to assume that God himself had blessed us with their co-operation. A tray of simple cinnamon roasted squash, mixed up with a mash of garlicky lentils, is incredibly simple and simply incredible. The discovery of this pairing hallowed a eureka moment for me, they sit so perfectly that this recipe needs no more than a hungry mouth and a willing fork to accompany it.

Discrete Divinity.
There are pairings in the world which fit together so perfectly, it were as if God or some other mystical being set them as a challenge for us in life, to see if we could discover these secret little puzzles. Like the easter eggs hidden by the developers in computer games, the little puzzles, rewards, cheats or shortcuts, buried within the fabric of the game... come and read more...

Spelt Tempura Asparagus with Aioli

Gavin WrenRecipes, Small Bites, Spelt & ancient grains, Starters, Vegetables, Vegetarian

It's time to take advantage of the beautiful British asparagus season, what better way than simple spelt tempura asparagus, served with a delicious garlicky aioli. This may sound complicated, but they are such simple recipes that give a feeling of mastery and sound utterly seductive. These vegetarian dishes make beautiful starters which your guests will be seriously impressed with.
There are recipes in this world which are hurried through the dining room with an aura of devout reverence, as their presence at the table embodies the pinnacle of gastronomic endeavour. I have always held tempura in such lofty esteem, regarding it a delicacy of such immeasurable finesse, that it would be sacrilege for a homely cook of my standing to even attempt it. God forbid.

Yet, after an afternoon of frolicking with flour, ice cold sparkling water and the most beautifully fine, delicately fresh, organic British asparagus, tempura's spell has been broken. I now feel comfortable sharing this delicacy with you, fully believing that it is within the reach of every single one of us, because it is beautifully simple.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I bring you Spelt Tempura Asparagus with Aioli.

Spring, along with the asparagus season, has well and truly sprung. The past few days of high twenties... come and read more...

Beetroot and Mint Salad with Pomegranate Dressing

Gavin WrenRecipes, Salads, Side dishes, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Today's recipe is a simple beetroot and mint salad with a pomegranate dressing, made with just a few ingredients and prepared in a matter of minutes. This delightful vegan and vegetarian dish makes a perfect side dish for a quick lunch or salad staple for the summer BBQ season.
Today’s recipe is a simple beetroot and mint salad with a pomegranate dressing, made with few ingredients and whipped up in a matter of minutes. This delightful vegan and vegetarian dish makes a perfect side dish for a quick lunch or salad staple for the summer BBQ season. My spiritual culinary hero, Edouard de Pomiane sums up beetroot beautifully in his book ‘cooking in 10 minutes’. “Beetroot can be a very pleasant vegetable. Its [sic] possibilities are exploited far too little.” - Edouard de Pomiane He continues to describe several beetroot recipes which redefine the word simplicity, the most straightforward recipe being laid out using thirteen words, including the title. That, however, is not the shortest in the book.
Hero.
Edouard de Pomiane published that book in 1930, becoming hero to many of today’s most lauded cookery writers. The inside cover sparkles with comments from pillars of culinary knowledge Elizabeth David “

Roasted Broccoli with Herb Yoghurt

Gavin WrenRecipes, Side dishes, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Roasted broccoli is a revelation! It’s a great way to cook this green, adding a welcome texture which can easily be ruined by boiling. Coated with garlic and olive oil, along with slightly crisped and browned edges, it brings a completely different flavour to this Brassica. Throwing in some chickpeas and a herb yoghurt rounds it off beautifully, making a truly engrossing vegetarian side dish to bring to the table.
A Big Day.
Today is spectacular milestone in the history of my blog. It’s the day that I publish my two hundredth blog post. I can feel a huge surge of pride and satisfaction having created such a significant body of work. This is a very special moment for me, I feel a sense of joy, in recognition of the commitment required to reach two hundred blog posts. I love a few stats, so here’s what 200 posts consists of, since 31st July 2014... 33 months, 1003 days, 193408 words, 1325 images, approximately 1280 hours writing, cooking, photographing and editing ...not to mention untold hours researching, using social media or swearing at Wordpress and my theme.
What have I learned?
A lot, I’ve learned a phenomenal amount whilst creating this blog. I have gained a heightened knowledge, not only about writing, photography, cooking and creating a