Aglio Olio con Peperoncino – Garlic Oil Chilli Spaghetti

Gavin WrenMain Dishes, Recipes, Vegetarian

Traditional Italian pasta dish, aglio olio con peperoncino translates as garlic, oil and chilli in English, a trio of simple flavours which make a truly epic dish, full of elegant beauty. Gently infused garlic works it's way into the olive oil, which is rounded off with a kick of chilli and a hint of parsley, topped with a good dousing of pecorino or parmesan cheese. It's a truly authentic yet quick pasta dish, which is a real treat to eat.

Aglio olio con peperoncino is a beautifully elegant, authentic Italian pasta dish. It’s sheer simplicity is it’s genius, with intermingling flavours of garlic, olive oil and chilli creating a sensational dish that takes just minutes to prepare. Today, I realised that I’m completely pre-occupied by the thoughts in my head. They’re always there, incessantly telling me what to do and what not to do, what I will do and what I won’t, what I’m supposed to be doing, but not doing. It’s tireless, which makes it equally exhausting at the same time. These thoughts rarely achieve anything, aside from distracting me from the actual task in hand, whatever that may be; working, relaxing, eating, cooking, listening, talking, thinking etc. How …come and read more!

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, …come and read more!

Rocket and Goat’s Cheese Pancakes with Pomegranate Dressing

Gavin WrenDairy free baking, Main Dishes, Recipes, Vegetarian

Whether it's shrove tuesday or any other tuesday, you can always eat pancakes! Topped with crumbled goat's cheese, rocket and a rich, sweet pomegranate olive oil dressing, these savoury pancakes need very little prep so make an easy dinner. You can use the maple syrup on the next one!

Today’s post is full of childhood reminiscences of gorging on piles of syrup soaked pancakes, and how despite this gorging, we never ate savoury pancakes. I’m redressing that balance in my life by creating simple, flavourful pancake recipes such as these rocket and goat’s cheese pancakes, topped with a rich, powerful pomegranate molasses and olive oil dressing. Once these goat’s cheese pancakes are taken care of, you can start the main job; sweet pancakes! Best Day of the Year. In every calendar year, there exists a small handful of very special days, which most children hold with a spectacular cachet, or at least, I did. Christmas day was the highlight of the year with it’s magical myths of reindeer drinking the saucers of …come and read more!

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 …come and read more!

Melanzane in Saor (aubergine)

Gavin WrenRecipes, Side dishes, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Melanzane in Saor is an amazing vegetarian and vegan aubergine (eggplant) dish in a sweet and slightly sour sauce, which is unique to Venice and follows a proud history of Italian food using love, respect and time to get the best of the ingredients. It's a serious make ahead dish, needing 2 days to mature but worth the wait for those fantastic flavours and perfect for buffet spreads or picnics.

Today I’m recounting an amazing Italian dish called ‘melanzane in saor’, or aubergine ‘in Saor’. It’s a very simple yet beautifully balanced Italian dish that has sweet and sour flavours that work just beautifully together. The age is the important thing, you need to make this dish well in advance to let the flavours develop, it’s perfect to make a day ahead for a buffet spread or to take along to a picnic, but don’t hurry it. If there’s one thing that Italian cooking has ever taught me, it’s that love and respect are the ingredients that make food beauteous. Visiting Venice. Just over a year ago I visited Venice, one of the most confoundingly beautiful places I’ve ever been to. …come and read more!

Roasted Cumin Chickpeas

Gavin WrenRecipes, Small Bites, Vegetarian

Roasted cumin chickpeas coated with cumin seeds, cumin powder, garlic, oil and salt then baked in the oven until they're crunchy, crispy little morsels of finger food, making the perfect nibble to go with your festive party plans. They're very easy to make and scale up to make a big batch easily, just keep a tin of chickpeas in the cupboard and amaze your guests with how resourceful you are!

Today I’ve trawled through a total of FIVE different recipes to bring you one of the most awesomely easy snacks you can make this festive season. Simple chickpeas rolled in cumin seeds, cumin powder, garlic and oil to create a delicate little nibble that’s punching a big flavour. Crunchy Little Creations. A few months ago I discovered the delights of roasted chickpeas, learning how the process of heating them in the oven adds a delightful crunch to these popular little pulses. Back then it was summertime and they were adorning the top of a mixed leaf salad, creating a fantastic layer of texture over some roasted root vegetables, mixed leaves and a creamy kefir dressing. They were a delight. With the festive season …come and read more!