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!

Wholemeal Ginger Cookies

Gavin WrenBaking, Recipes, Spelt & ancient grains

Wholemeal ginger cookies made with spelt flour and reduced sugar, as well as some wholesome oats, to really bump up the micronutrients in this recipe. Fiery ginger makes for a perfect flavour to go alongside a mug of hot milk on a cold day.

Today I’m making wholemeal ginger cookies, using spelt flour and trying to curb the sugar content. These are lovely, light cookies with a deep flavour and soft bite, perfect to go on the side of some hot milk to warm you up on those winter days. What is Going on? I’m in a mess. Existentially. Everything I do leaves me in an existential mess these days. Maybe I need to stop saying that word so much. The world is just a mirror of what I put out, so if I say I’m a mess, it’s a self fulfilling prophecy, I’ll always get back what I put in. Nonetheless, my mind is befuddled and discombobulated, a tangled labyrinth of misdirection. I want to write …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!

Soul Warming Golden Turmeric Milk

Gavin WrenDrinks

Hot, soul warming golden turmeric milk packed full of the spices turmeric and cinnamon, plus a fiery dose of ginger, a twist of pepper and some rounded honey to sweeten things up. This hot milk drink can be made with any milk, from cow and goat to any of the dairy free options you might like. It's the perfect way to kick off your day, or to round your evening off after a hard day.

Today I’m making my version of golden turmeric milk, a traditional hot drink made with turmeric, cinnamon and ginger to give your body a heart, body and soul warming hug from the inside. It’s simple to make and incredibly comforting, plus features a wide range of health benefits associated with the consumption of turmeric. This one’s a keeper! Winter Wonderland. When I made and photographed this recipe a few days ago, there was a clear narrative in it’s seasonal timing. A hard frost had fallen across the land, I had spent 5 minutes de-icing my car before being able to move anywhere and my 6am dog walk felt like an arctic exploration, with the amount of warming layers of clothing being considerably increased. It was baltic, …come and read more!

Easy Thai Curry

Gavin WrenMain Dishes, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian

A simple, easy Thai curry that's influenced by the cornerstones of Thai cooking, fish sauce, lime, garlic and chilli. This is a vegetarian or vegan recipe can also be made with fish or chicken, it's up to you. Whatever you choose it makes a spicy, creamy, aromatic dish that tastes and smells divine without having to bash away at a pestle and mortar.

Today my recipe is an easy thai curry, it’s a quick way to make a curry that’s got some of the signature flavours of Thai food but can be whipped up in a matter of minutes. It’s a vegetarian recipe you’ll find here today, however you can substitute chicken, fish or prawns for the tofu and still have a lovely, creamy, spicy Thai curry on your hands. Thai Thai. I remember my first ever genuine Thai curry, in a small cafe behind the Khaosan Road in Bangkok in the year 2000. I was amazed, I couldn’t believe what it tasted like. This was something new, something different, a way of using ingredients that set itself apart from any other cuisine I’d tried before. I fell in …come and read more!

Black Rice with Miso Mushrooms

Gavin WrenMain Dishes, Recipes, Side dishes, Vegan, Vegetarian

Black rice and wild mushrooms are the star of this one pot cooked on a base of onion, garlic & ginger, mixed with miso paste, mirin and vegetable stock then garnished with chilli, sesame seeds and coriander. It's a dark, rich and mysterious vegetarian and vegan one pot!

Black rice is the mysterious, dark, hidden jewel of the rice kingdom. A jet black, enveloping chasm of colour, a deep unknown place of hidden beauty, sparkling in the shadows. Black rice – the forbidden fruit. It was the forbidden fruit, a royal treat stored only for the Chinese Emperor, his family and concubines. A mere peasant such as myself could be put to death for laying his hands on black rice, a very dark association to go with this darkest of grains, which earned the name ‘Forbidden Rice’. The Emperor was not stupid, he understood something which we are now learning through scientific analysis, which he must have gleaned through intuition and anecdotal evidence. Black rice is loaded with more antioxidants …come and read more!