Hello everyone!! I hope you’ve all been having an excellent holiday season, wherever in the world you are. My break has been and continues to be wonderful – family and friends and food and general merriment! It’s been going by much too quickly, as always, but I’m working on this whole ‘living in the moment’ thing 😛
I was extremely spoiled for Christmas: my parents gave me… A DSLR!!!! I am SO excited about it and have been annoying everyone with my incessant practising, and I can’t wait to start improving my food photography! But for now, I thought I’d end 2015 with an ode to the dishes I loved most this year.
If you follow me on Instagram then this will come as absolutely no surprise. Since I first tried this soup in the summer (weird I know), I’ve probably whipped up a version of this at least every other week – my favourite is with butternut squash! I also make a delicious one with tomato. Coconut milk + rice + lentils. So simple, so satisfying. WHO KNEW?! This takes top spot because it has seriously been a revolution for me – something I’d never tried before but that I am absolutely hooked on now.
This is another trusty favourite that’s always in rotation at home. Hearty, wholesome, filling and easy, with a note of indulgence from that delicious roast-y cauliflower and the creamy avocado. I actually whipped up a version of this for some friends a couple days ago, but two things went somewhat wrong: (1) I somehow overcooked the barley (the pressure was TOO MUCH!!), and (2) a head of cauliflower cost SEVEN DOLLARS so we opted for broccoli. Still good, but I intend to redeem this little beauty!
3. Turkish-style eggs – A Modern Way to Eat by Anna Jones
I posted about this in the summer and I’m still not over it – a definite winner for 2015. You fry up some eggs and pop them onto flatbread smothered with Greek yoghurt, then top everything off with fresh herbs and lots of sumac. Easy and delicious and wonderfully fragrant. I’d never tried anything like it before – another revolution in my kitchen!
This dish is, for all intents and purposes, a lifesaver. It’s what I whip up whenever I can’t be bothered to try anything new/don’t know what I want/am getting hangry and can’t think 😛 And it never disappoints. Although one-pot pasta on its own is always a winner, taking the extra step of roasting some eggplant to toss into the pasta makes it feel more like a treat – and if your baking sheet is lined, you’re still left with very minimal dishes!
I love pretty much anything Ottolenghi puts together, but this particular combination is something I tried for the first time in 2015 (thanks Marjolein!) and absolutely loved, so it feels appropriate to pop it in this list. The flavours are so vibrant, and the textures are marvellous – a wonderful side! This recipe also introduced me to the versatility of pomegranate seeds and I’ve never looked back (see exhibits a, b, c and d).
The salad also inspired my own lentil salad with tomato, beetroot and pomegranate (pictured above) – another favourite!
I HAVE to include this dish because it introduced me to world of lentil risottos, and I haven’t looked back. Have you tried one? If not, get your butt to this recipe immediately! The dish is extremely rich from all the mushrooms, and hearty from the lentils, and just delicious and indulgent and magnificent. Yes, magnificent. I actually make it with whatever lentils I have on hand – the lentils I thought were white turned out not to be the first time I tried – and it’s always good, so don’t stress too much about that.
Pieter can attest to the fact that we ate A LOT of these in 2015 – in burger form and as falafel, and with all sorts of different toppings. The patties stick together with little trouble and are delicious either baked or fried, which isn’t always a given. You can also easily add whatever spices you like into the batter and experiment with toppings – my kind of wild Saturday night 😛
Have a wonderful end to 2015 and a happy new year!! I’m looking forward to getting back into recipe developing and especially photography in the new year. Until then, I’ll be stuffing my face at every possible occasion… For research, obviously.