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...

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

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…

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. I expected hustle, bustle, noise and expensive food, which was entirely correct, however I hadn’t prepared myself for the heart and soul of Venice, which is the important part.…

Mustard Roasted Fennel and Carrot

Gavin WrenRecipes, Side dishes, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

This mustard roasted fennel and carrot recipe is an easy vegetable side dish that goes perfectly with roasted fish or meat, a great autumnal dish to warm up the kitchen after the summer disappears. The cosy cinnamon and the mustard seeds make this an easy but tasty vegetarian or vegan side dish.
Today’s recipe is a roasted fennel and carrot recipe tossed in mustard seeds, cinnamon and olive oil, to make a warm, slightly spiced vegetable side dish that has almost no preparation (no peeling – woo-hoo!) and looks like a show stopper when you put it on the table. Go fennel, go! Fennel? Funnel? Huh? Fennel is one of those peculiar ingredients which I didn’t eat for a very large swathe of my existence. Not through choice, simply because it didn’t ever get to my plate or kitchen for some reason. It also sounds a bit like ‘funnel’, which is a very odd image to have when considering what vegetables to eat. Nonetheless, it’s absence from my diet remained intact for a long time, even though I was aware of it’s existence, hovering on the sidelines of my world, like a substitute waiting for his chance at a goal. Mysterious vegetable.…

Paprika Sweet Potato Skewers with Tahini Lemon Sauce

Gavin WrenRecipes, Side dishes, Vegan, Vegetarian

BBQ paprika sweet potato skewers with a lemon tahini sauce make a fantastic vegetarian and vegan BBQ grilled side dish to serve up this summer or can go with meat, fish and cheese really well. Using just sweet potato, and red onion coated in warming paprika, plus a sauce of tahini, lemon juice and gentle cinnamon, topped with coriander, these skewers are sure to make everyone around the lunch or dinner table happy!
This recipe is a vegetarian and vegan hit for the BBQ, and your meat eating friends won’t mind because these also make a fabulous side to go along with meat or fish as well. Sweet potato skewers coated in warming paprika with a creamy tahini sauce drizzled over the top make a great addition to any BBQ spread. Yawn. I’m sitting here today, feeling thankful that I have got through a ridiculously turbulent few weeks of life. Sometimes, I don’t seem to notice life, it just happens around me, I move the parts of my brain and body that are required in response to those outside inputs. I only deal with what needs to be done when it’s in front of me, rather than planning too far ahead or looking too far behind. Over the last three weeks and two days I’ve moved house, decorated the lounge on my first…