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.

Beetroot and Mint Salad with Pomegranate Dressing

Gavin Wren Recipes, Salads, Side dishes, Vegetables, Vegetarian

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 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.

Roasted Broccoli with Herb Yoghurt

Gavin Wren Recipes, Side dishes, Vegetables, Vegetarian

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
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!

Jewelled Chickpea and Red Pepper Salad

Gavin Wren Recipes, Salads, Side dishes, Vegan, Vegetables

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…
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.

Chunky Ginger and Black Eyed Bean Soup

Gavin Wren Recipes, Soup, Vegan, Vegetarian

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, into the tall, strong and fat man I became by the age of 30. Bread had been so integral to my life that I had barely chosen…
Should I eat meat? fishing

Should I Eat Meat? Part 1 – Fishing

Gavin Wren Food Opinion Pieces, Writing

Last week I wrote about my moral dilemma around eating meat. I've decided it's morally incongruous to eat meat if I'm not prepared to kill, butcher and cook some animals with my own hands. As a city dweller, I've never experienced the killing and preparation of meat, or going fishing for my dinner, because they've been far removed from my daily lifestyle. The only way for me to resolve this dilemma is to go out and kill some animals, then prepare and cook them, before reflecting on how I feel about the process.

My recent holiday in Goa, on the west cost of India, should have provided abundant opportunities to head out to sea and catch some fish to begin exploring this dilemma. Whilst there I decided to embrace the chance to seek out and... come and read more...
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.

Chunky Butternut Squash and Lentil Soup

Gavin Wren Recipes, Soup, Vegan, Vegetarian

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 equivalent of popping down the road to meet for a coffee. We had a lovely time and I hope I’m still flying to the…