Curry ‘n’ Chips – but not as you know it

We decided to have a veggie day once or twice a week to break up the meat-heavy diet that everyone – except me – seems so fond of.  I didn’t eat meat at all for 15 years until we came to live in Spain – blame the Jamón.

Anyway, we also try and cook and eat in-season ingredients – because: 1. They’re better for you and haven’t travelled miles to your plate and more importantly 2. They’re cheap.

When something is in-season here in the village – the neighbours usually give us bucketloads of the same thing, although the aubergines this year have been may colours and shapes – variety is the spice of life!

By Grey Geezer (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

By Grey Geezer (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

Talking of spice – we really cannot cook without it – I have no idea how I survived as a child in Ireland on ham and potatoes and stew.

We just discovered a wonderful site, called my ginger garlic kitchen, with the best recipes – every one a winner so far. So Stan attempted the 3 bean thick Dal Makhani and for a side used James Martin’s aubergine chips. Little cubes of peeled aubergine, rinsed and drained and deep fried with plenty of salt thrown on afterwards.  Quick homemade flatbreads on the side.  A quick, economical meal – and delicious too!


Albondigas de Arroz – leftover rice balls!

Elle over at Spain Buddy was extolling the tasty delights of these little fried balls of leftover rice, so when I was about to throw the leftover brown rice from the curry last week, I stopped an inch short of the dog’s nose – poor chap –  and remembered her post.

Stan was El Cocinero del Día, as he tends to be during the week – and most weekends too  – so he went about making them up.   Actually, we thought of the recipe at the same time, he having read it in one of our cookery books.  We have many…the latest is just gorgeous – literally.


Anyway he set about rolling the rice, using grated cheese and bit of cheddar stuffed in the middle, spices and herbs and seasoning.  Then he dipped them in beaten egg…


Then flour and breadcrumbs…


A little left-over rice sure goes a long way!



He fried them in hot olive oil in a shallow pan, and we ate them with chilli dipping sauce and some tsatziki.  Next time maybe a bit of chilli inside too – but that’s personal taste.  And yes, there were some left over for the canines!


Shy eaters we have…


Leftover magic under the Spanish sun

I was working hard this past week, travel articles and organic beauty were in fierce competition with the upcoming Mijas Rocks Málaga Music Festival, which I’m promoting like a dervish, as well as looking forward to!  My Twitter feed has swelled to incorporate tweets from movers and shakers, and a few head-bangers – all good!  I’m just waiting for Jon Bon Jovi to ask my advice on his leather trousers. Ahem.

So, meanwhile, Stan cleaned and washed and he’s a pretty good ‘housewife’ – well, basically I’m pretty crap at it, probably the most disorganised one you should ever meet…

And he cooked. He’s pretty inventive too. Some leftover Keema mix from his delicious Samosas were transformed into this, hmmm, let’s give it a Spanish angle and call it Picante Picada con Huevo.  That’s what it is, and it would be just as easy to use up some Bolognaise or Shepherd’s Pie filling – but we do like a bit of spice at our house… 🙂

A couple of flatbread strips on the side for dipping.  (Flour and water, griddle, hey presto)


He added some home-made Triturate (cooked and sieved tomatoes) to the Keema mixture. Then added a couple of sheets of Filo, or Brick, as layers, and in a centre hollow dropped in an egg to each cazuela.  Baked until the egg whites were set but yolks still runny  – and we ate lunch in the little tat-filled courtyard we grandly call our garden.  The simple pleasures of leftovers and sunshine!  And a glass of vino too of course!  Ah, the rock star life…lol.


Deep fried Artichokes

Alcachofa – Artichoke. Much loved and greedily devoured in Spain, we had them this week in an Italian restaurant in Granada city.  A spring vegetable not to be missed, cheap and plentiful and in-season now – the best reason to try this recipe and enjoy them, dry and crispy, with a sauce of Parmesan, Artichoke, and fragrant Basil.  Spring on a plate!

Artichoke  - deep fried

Guardian recipe for deep fried artichoke – enjoy!

Meatless sausages from Spain

That title sounds like a contradiction, in a country where the pig is devoured right down to the squeak.  Vegetarian I am not – but I was once, for 15 years, 2 of those in Spain.  To eat out in Spain as a vegetarian is a test in patience, as discussed last week with Kiersten, where Jamón and Tuna and even Chicken are all considered to be ‘not really’ meat, or suitable for someone who would rather not eat something with eyes.  But of course eating out in the cities as a vegetarian is easier.

Speaking of Kiersten, take a look at her Alpujarras Walking page.

So, this recipe adapted from one by the delicious Mr Slater is one we tried this week and all loved, carnivores too, and it was also a chance to test the mettle of the new pressure cooker – which, incidentally, I am terrified of.

Any Spanish housewife worth her saffron loves her beans.  Any pulse in fact, you know that appetite-whetting, mouth-watering feeling when you walk through a little quiet village around 1pm and you can smell Chorizo and onion stewed with beans?  Stews from all over Spain almost always include the humble pulse.

So we bought some dried white beans and Googled pressure cooking times, adjusted Nigel’s recipe, and came up with this:

2 cups (I use those American cup measurements for almost every recipe) dried white beans

3 bay leaves

3 large garlic cloves


Put all of these into the pressure cooker and top with 2″ water.

Cook on high for 25 minutes, until they’re squashy enough to pop the skins with your finger and thumb.




Chilli pepper

Mash the beans with 2 cups of a strong cheese, we used Irish Cheddar. Fry or boil a leek and add it to the mix.  Chop a red chilli pepper and throw it in.  Add a beaten egg and combine.



Form into sausage shapes (no sniggering in the cheap seats) then egg, breadcrumb, repeat.

Fry until golden brown….eat 🙂

*Save a few of the cooked beans, add another clove of garlic, juice of a lime, a chilli, fresh mint, olive oil and blitz to spread on griddled breads.

Random Health… Are you in on the new birch sap craze?

Monsoon of Random

Do you remember when coconut water was the brand new health drink craze? Full of goodness, great for rehydration and the must for anyone doing any kind of exercise. Well, I think birch sap is going to take the market by storm in much the same way pretty soon, and I was sent some Nordic Koivu Birch Sap Drink to try – thanks to MyPure.

It’s been enjoyed by the Baltic and Nordic countries for many years, and now this mineral and vitamin rich tree sap is finding its way around the globe.  But it’s not just vitamins and minerals this luscious liquid contains – it’s packed with with a list as long as your arm of bio-available nutrients (enzymes, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, zinc, sodium, iron, vitamin C, fruit acids and amino acids), I really don’t see how it can be anything but good for you!


So, what does…

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Sticky Citrus and Marmalade Tray Bake


Chica Andaluza

My mum had a bit of a marmalade making session last week and gave us several jars of her delicious marmalade to enjoy. Thanks Mamma! Putting the marmalade in the cupboard, I came across a jar of my own marmalade from last year which I decided to use up quickly so that I could get onto enjoying the fresh batch more quickly. I decided to make a quick cake and at the same time try out a new baking tin I had just bought – well…why not?!

Going, going....nearly gone! Going, going….nearly gone!

A BBC Good Food recipe caught my eye, I substituted a mild olive oil for the butter which (I think) makes this cake suitable for vegans as it contains no egg. The vinegar in the recipe sounds odd, but don’t leave it out as it helps the cake to rise and it won’t taste of vinegar, I promise!

Ingredients (to…

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