The ultimate, no added sugar granola guide

Gavin WrenBaking, Breakfast, Dairy free baking, No Added Sugar, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian

Home made granola no added sugar
What is Granola? Now, this might sound like a stupid question, but do you know what granola is? Google says ‘denoting people with liberal or Green political views, typified as eating health foods.’, so who knew? I’m part-granola! But keeping this on topic, it also said ‘n. a kind of breakfast cereal resembling muesli.’ Which is more like the granola I’m thinking of. But I have a problem with that definition. It’s not particularly accurate and sounds like it was created by two buddies on a Friday afternoon in an office… ‘So, what’s next on the list today… hmmmm, granola…. ‘Hey, Dave! Isn’t granola that health freak rabbit food stuff?” ‘Yeah, it’s just a posh name for muesli’ ‘OK, sweet. So, let’s see… ‘Granola noun A kind of breakfast cereal resembling muesli.’ Maybe I’m being unfair on these people, they’ve got a hugely responsible job…

Free oven temperature conversion guide PDF

Gavin WrenFood Education, The World of Food

Free oven temperature conversion guide
Today I’m writing about an extremely serious subject, oven temperature conversion. I hope you’re sitting comfortably because this is a seriously hot topic. Badum-tish.
Converting oven temperatures accurately
OK, I promise, no more awful jokes. Sometimes, we need all the help we can get when it comes to cooking a new recipe. Like when you’ve worked and fretted for hours before cutting into a cake, only to find the base is STILL soggy despite an extra 30 minutes in the oven. Or those roasted vegetables that simply WON’T BROWN LIKE IN THE PHOTO. And we’ve all had something, errr, how do I put it, ‘caramelise’ a bit more than intended. Some of these situations are completely avoidable. And I want to help you with these problems through the simple process of accurate oven temperature conversions, because the internet is full of incorrect information, and you might have been using that…

Harissa and herb aubergine with bulgur

Gavin WrenMain Dishes, Recipes, Salads, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Harissa herb aubergine with bulgur
If I had to describe this dish in one sentence, I’d say it’s like listening to opera whilst doing circuit training in a tutu. Now, taken literally, you could assume that this dish makes you feel like an utter idiot, which is not my intention. But if you look beyond that superficial lunacy, at the component elements, they all represent something within the dish to give you an idea of it’s characteristics. The harissa is the circuit training, the hit of spice that makes you sweat and gives the dish a kick. The opera is the mixed drama and high notes of the coriander, mint and lemon that give a bright, liberating, romantic flavour. And finally, the aubergine is the tutu, soft, silky and bringing it all together. By this point you might be feeling sorry for the poor bulgur wheat, for not getting a headline mention, but it’s not…

BBQ charred pepper, onion and lentil soup

Gavin WrenRecipes, Soup, Vegan, Vegetarian

red pepper onion and lentil soup with parsley
So the season of soup has swerved surreptitiously into softer summer styles. I would love to continue this entire post with such extravagant alliteration, however I don’t think my mind, or thesaurus for that matter, is quite up to it today. Alliteration n. the occurrence of the same letter or sound at the beginning of adjacent or closely connected words.But, if such a thing as culinary alliteration exists, in the form of repeated use of similar sounding ingredients, then this soup would be a perfect example. You’ve got red peppers, red onions, red lentils and one of the best spices out there (in my opinion), which also happens to be red, smoked paprika. All of these red ingredients combine to make a really wholesome soup that’s got a delicately balanced set of flavours, topped with parsley oil which gives a flavour twist and a real visual makeover. Your starting point…

Spinach and walnut pesto

Gavin WrenBasic Ingredients, Main Dishes, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian

Spinach and walnut pesto with wholemeal pasta
Hello folks. Another straightforward recipe for you today, one whose big, powerful flavours bely it’s simplicity. This is something that you can whizz up in the time it takes your pasta to cook and tastes a million times better than anything you might pour from a jar. You just need a blender and your ingredients to hand and you can have this pesto ready to eat in minutes. It also falls into a theme on my blog, something that’s popped up a few times over the most recent recipes. Simplicity. Keeping the ingredients list short and the preparation straightforward can be a winning combination, compared to the easily muddled complication of complex flavours. It allows the ingredients that are in the dish to find their own places and shine through, without getting lost in the fray. Now, the keen eyed among you might have noticed that I don’t include cheese…

Guardian readers’ recipe swap winner!

Gavin WrenFood Blogging, The World of Food

Guardian Cook readers' recipe swap asparagus
I feel utterly charmed and enthused at one of my recipes being named reader’s recipe of the week in The Guardian’s cook supplement, which comes with the paper on a Saturday. After seeing the brief of ‘asparagus’ I decided to come up with something simple, which wouldn’t detract from that seasonal superstar of an ingredient. And it proved worthwhile as my recipe, Asparagus with preserved lemon was named as winner in the 9th May edition, also available online at The Guardian website And it’s with great honour that I accept this award, so I’ve got a few people I’d like to thank who I couldn’t have done it without. Firstly, Yildiz Supermarket in Archway for the asparagus, thanks for sticking with me through all of this. Phoenicia in Kentish Town for the preserved lemons and for always being there for me, especially when I’ve needed an unusual ingredient (usually for…