Monday, 22 July 2019

Black Corn Salad

What is Black Corn?

Black corn is native to Peru, it is often known as Aztec Corn or Mexican corn. Black Aztec is an heirloom corn variety, it has a deep purplish/black kernels.

Black corn contains a plant pigment called anthocyanins. It has anti inflammatory and antioxidant benefits and contains many essential nutrients such as iron, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, magnesium, folate, phosphorus, and vitamin A.

Black corn stains very easily, it has a chewy starchy texture. It can be cooked in many ways such as boiling, grilling, steaming or roasting. It’s slightly tougher and less sweet than yellow corn and it can be used in many recipes such as salsa, salads, tortilla and cornmeal. It is not readily available in the UK but can be found in many specialist green grocers. 

Yield: Serves 2

Black Corn Salad

Crunchy black corn salad with a spicy Indo Chinese dressing.
prep time: 15 Mcook time: 55 Mtotal time: 70 M


For dressing
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon soya sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger paste

For Salad
  • 1 Black corn on the cob
  • 1/2 cup shredded cabbage
  • 1 carrot peeled and grated
  • 1/2 red capsicum finely diced
  • 1/2 yellow capsicum finely diced
  • 1/2 green capsicum finely diced
  • 8 mini silver pickled onions cut into quarters
  • 1 tablespoon red pickled jalapenos finely diced
  • 8 baby tomatoes cut into quarters
  • 2 sprigs coriander finely chopped


  1. In a large saucepan add the sweet corn, cover with water and boil until tender. (This took almost 45 minutes as black corn is very tough.)
  2. Once the corn is cooked cool it and then remove the kernels.
  3. In a large bowl add the sweetcorn kernels, cabbage,carrot, capsicums, pickled onions, tomatoes, and jalapenos and coriander. 
  4. In a jar with a lid add the vinegar, olive oil, soya sauce, lime juice,salt, pepper, chilli flakes,and ginger. Put the lid on and shake it all together.
  5. Pour the dressing onto the vegetable mixture and toss together.
  6. Serve immediately.


You can use yellow corn if black corn not available.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Dining experience at Copper Leaf, Hampton Wick

A short distance from Kingston-upon-Thames in Hampton Wick, Copper Leaf is a gin bar and restaurant with an extensive list of over 60 gins. It serves modern European cuisine with a fusion of many flavours.

The restaurant is tastefully decorated and offers an ala carte menu as well as a tapas menu. For the gin lovers the restaurant also offers a six-course gin pairing menu. 

Gin is the USP of the restaurant and it is the perfect place to enjoy food with a choice of 60 different gins from their bar.

I visited copper leaf with two friends, Manjiri from travelsfortaste and Heidi from kitchentalkandtravels. I am a teetotaller and also a vegetarian but to my amazement I had the most wonderful dining experience at Copper Leaf.

 My friends enjoyed the Gin of the week cocktail, which was Gabriel Boudier Saffron Gin, served with Fever-Tree Light Tonic, orange zest, chocolate bitters and hand carved ice made by mixologist Hannah.

Since I don't drink Hannah made me their their signature mocktails, the Lychee Rose and the Tropical Crush.

Both were beautifully presented and tasted amazing although, I really enjoyed the Lychee Rose which was very unique in flavour.

For dinner we chose to sample the Tapas menu rather than the a la carte menu, this was a good decision as it really was exquisite. Each dish was lovingly prepared and beautifully presented. My friends tucked into various meat dishes, and were totally wowed by them.

Being a vegetarian I chose the vegetarian options:

The Tempura Asparagus served with lime Aioli  and poached egg was really crispy and delicious. I chose not to have the poached egg with it.

The Manchego cheese croquettes, were crispy filled balls of oozing cheese served with caramelised onions and pickled walnuts. What a tantalising match of flavours this was.

My palate was craving Indian flavours and I was pleasantly surprised with the little bowl of rice with spiced chickpeas with pomegranate, potato, tamarind and chilli sauce arrived. The flavours and textures were well balanced.

Lastly I tried the pan fried green beans, sundried tomato, roasted garlic and pine nuts. The beans were al dente and perfectly cooked. 

Accompanying this I also had the Batata Bravas, in comparison to the other dishes these were not as exciting in presentation but still were very tasty.

The chef also offered us the paella option, but we declined it as at this stage we were really full and would have not done justice to it wholeheartedly.

Finally when my palate was dancing with a flavour explosion and stomach was screaming no more, I was enticed with the dessert menu. Now a girl can never say no to dessert!!

We had Grilled pineapple, rum infused cherries, fresh mint and coconut sorbet featured above.
My friends Heidi had the Peanut butter cheesecake, candied peanuts, miso caramel served with ice cream.

 The final  most watering dessert was lavender and white chocolate panna cotta, macerated strawberries and ginger crumble. It was so pretty like art on a plate.

The evening was wonderful, we had lovely food and the ambience was great too. We finally finished the meal with Negroni with tea cocktail.

I was a guest at Copper Leaf, all opinions shared are of my own experience. I will certainly be visiting Copper Leaf again with my family.

I enjoy eating out and always try to find restaurants that offer good vegetarian choice. You may like to read about my visit to Chakra and Ritorno for inspiration As both restaurants offer a varied vegetarian menu.

Monday, 15 July 2019

Eggless Cashew and Pistachio Cookies.

It's great fun being part of the Recipe swap group in facebook where like minded food bloggers join forces and create a recipe from their allocated partners blog. It's a great way to make new friends and discover new  recipes from around the world. For the July challenge recipe swap,  I was allocated  Pavani's  blog  -Pavanis Kitchen . Looking through the blog I found many lovely recipes. I finally settled for Eggless Cashew and Pistachio cookies as I was having friends for tea and wanted to  serve home baked cookies. 

 The  only changes I made was that I added 1/2 teaspoon of rose essence to the dough, recipe turned out absolutely delicious. Since I used whole wheat flour, the cookies had a slight texture in them, which I liked but you can make the cookies using plain flour too.

The cookies went really well with  Jasmine tea and the flavours complimented each other beautifully. I also made chocolate chip cookies and Spiral cookies to serve at the tea party.

Yield: 30 bitesize

Eggless Pistachio and Cashew cookies

Delicious nutty cookies that melt in the mouth with middle eastern flavours of cashew, pistachio and rose.
prep time: 10 Mcook time: 12 Mtotal time: 22 M


  • 1.5 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup salted butter
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom powder
  • 2 tablespoons custard powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon rose essence
  • 3 tablespoons chopped pistachios
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cashews
  • 4 tablespoons Milk  or as required.



  1. In a large bowl add the butter and sugar and cream together.
  2. In the same bowl sift the flour, custard powder, baking powder and cardamom powder.
  3. Gently bring all the ingredients with a sausage shape and wrap it up in cling film.
  4. Place the dough in the fridge for two hours.
  5. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C
  6. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  7. Remove dough from the fridge and using a sharp knife cut it into 5 mm  discs.
  8. Place them onto a baking tray and bake in the pre heated oven for 10-12 minutes.
  9. The cookies should be golden in colour.
  10. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.


NB- Allow 2 hours chilling time.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Don't forget to check out the other recipes from this month's Food Blogger Recipe Swap!

Saturday, 15 June 2019

Pineapple Chutney- Bengali Style.

I am really enjoying being part of the Recipe swap group in facebook where like minded food bloggers join forces and create a recipe from their allocated partners blog. This encourages you to discover new cuisines and broadens your culinary choice. 

This is the June challenge for recipe swap and this month I was allocated  by Priya Iyer' s blog The Photowawali. Her blog features many recipes as well as travel post which I really enjoyed reading.

Looking through Priya's blog I short listed about 5 recipes but finally settled for the Bengali Style Pineapple chutney called Anarosher Chaatni. I recreated the recipe with very little changes and it turned out delicious.  


Yield: 1 jar
Author: Nayna Kanabar

Pineapple Chutney-(Bengali Style)

Sweet and tangy Pineapple cooked with an aromatic spice blend to make the tastiest chutney.
prep time: 5 Mcook time: 25 Mtotal time: 30 M


  • 240g fresh pineapple diced.
  • 2 tablespoons jaggery
  • 1 teaspoon panch phoran (Bengali spice mix found in Asian supermarkets)
  • 1 tablespoon light olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 red dried chilies
  • 1 bayleaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon roasted cumin powder
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons raisins (optional) I did not use.


How to cook Pineapple Chutney-(Bengali Style)

  1. Add the chopped pineapple into a saucepan and add the water, cook the pineapple for 15 minutes until its soft.
  2. Using a potato masher break down the pineapple. You can blend it in a food processor but I like a coarse texture so just used the masher.
  3. In another pan add the oil , when it's hot add the bay leaf and red chillies.
  4. Next add the panch phoran, cumin, red chilli powder and salt and saute the spices for 30 seconds.
  5. Add the cooked pineapple and the jaggery and cook for another 5 minutes until the jaggery melts and the liquid has evaporated.
  6. Remove the chutney from the flame and allow it to cool. Transfer it to a sterilised jar and store in the fridge.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Don't forget to check out the other recipes from this month's Food Blogger Recipe Swap!

Wednesday, 5 June 2019

The Grand Expedition by Gingerline

Gingerline- The Grand Expedition gives you a Floating, Feeding & Falling Dream. This is a most unique theatrical dining experience that I have even tried.

The concept is simple you enjoy theater, whilst you are transformed around the world in a hot air balloon. You get to enjoy lovely cuisine in beautiful theatrical surroundings.

The USP of Gingerline is the secrecy of the whole thing. On the day of your booking you are sent a secret location text of the venue by 4pm. This is the start of your adventure. You have to follow the navigation instructions to arrive to the venue . 

The journey begins once you enter the doors. There is no specific dress code however you are encouraged to dress the part by wearing flight goggles, scarfs and hats for the adventure.

Not having all the details and the surprise element is something that was really fun. In this post I am not allowed to share full details as I don’t want to spoil it for those who have booked the experience. 

The entertainment is absolutely amazing and I loved the fact that the audience were invited to participate and be part of all the fun. I throughout enjoyed being asked to join in and had lots of fun.

The actual menu served on the day is also kept secret but rest assured Gingerline cater for all dietary needs and I was totally balled over with the efforts that were made to accommodate my vegan food request. 

The vegan options were excellent and I was rather impressed with the fact that I did not need to remind the waiters once or ask if the dish was suitable for me as they immediately explained each course before serving.  
The first course arrived in those wicker baskets in the photo. Any guesses to what it was?

Drinks were plentiful, there is bar service and diners can pre order drinks to be served at the tables during the show and meal, although you can also order at the table during the performance.

Tables sit 10 persons so this means that you may be sharing a table with a total stranger, unless you have a group of 10 however this does mean that you can make new friends.

You can book your Gingerline Experience on their website. I would highly recommend it as it was really different and I thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of it. The food, the entertainment and the ambiance were amazing.

Gingerline experiences change periodically and you can check out their past themes on their website. There is a new show in the making but its theme is  TOP SECRET at the moment.

** In collaboration with Gingerline, I was invited to the show and all the views and opinions are of my experience of the show. All photos provided by Gingerline

Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Flavoured fruit waters and a Zero Water Jug Giveaway.

Keeping hydrated is extremely for our body and health Water is essential for the kidneys and other bodily functions. During the day water is lost by the body in the form of sweating and urination, and this needs to be replaced. The amount of water needed each day does vary from person to person.However the average recommended amount for men is 3.7 litres and 207 litres for women. This seems rather a lot but this amount is made up from water you get from food, fruits, food, tea, coffee and drinks and drinking plain water too.

Water quality differs from area to area and this also affects the taste if it. With my 12 cup Zero Water jug gives me perfectly clear water no matter where I am. The jug is big enough for a family and is stylish in design. It is NSF Certified and comes with a 5-Stage Dual-Ion Exchange filtration system that reduces Lead, Chromium and Mercury and  removes 99.6% of all dissolved solids.

The filtered water taste delicious and it's perfect for drinking and cooking with too. The Jug comes with a filter, a water quality meter tool for checking the water quality and it has a push button tap at the base of the jug to allow filling bottles easily. This function is handy to use when the jug is full and too heavy to lift for some people.

To encourage my family to drink more water during the summer months I make my own sugar free fruit infused waters using the filtered water from my Zero Water jug.

You can make zero sugar fruit infused waters, our favourites are cucumber and lemon, cucumber and mint, pineapple and mint, mixed berries with mint. You can add any fruits to your water to flavour it and it makes a refreshing healthy sugar free flavoured fruit waters. I also make my ice cubes with the filtered water to add to the drinks.

I love my new jug and as always I love my readers to get a chance to try it out too.Zero Water have agreed to send one simplyf00d reader a jug to try out.

How To Enter:

  • Simply complete the Rafflecopter widget below to verify your entries
  • Entries can be via blog comment, Facebook, Twitter etc
  • Please read the rules they form the terms and conditions of this Giveaway
  • Closing date – 16th June 2019 12.00 am
  • Prize  One 12 cup Zero Water Jug
  • Open to UK residents  and over 18 years of age.

How Rafflecopter works:

  • You will need to complete the mandatory entry first – usually making a blog comment. You can do this by clicking on leave a comment at the bottom of the post and leaving your reply in the comment box. Please note your comment will not show immediately as it needs to be moderated however rest assured it will appear on the site, so carry on with rest of entries.
  • Login to Rafflecopter – click to see what the question is. Make a comment answering the question on the blog.
  •  Go back to Rafflecopter and click the green button to tell me you have made a comment, this will unlock all the other options. All entries are checked to see that the mandatory question is answered, if its not all bonus entries will become void. 
  • Rafflecopter will tweet, like and follow on your behalf.
  • For information on how to find the URL of your tweet click here
  • For bonus entries you can return to this page and enter the daily bonus entries. 
  • If you are still unsure as to how Rafflecopter works please do check out this short video.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

**In collaboration with Zero Water

Tuesday, 28 May 2019

Ginger Tea and the health benefits of Ginger.

Ginger is a flowering plant whose rhizome, ginger root or ginger, is widely used as a spice and for medicinal purposes. It belongs to the Zingiberaceae botanical family. Ginger is grown mainly in India, China, Japan, Indonesia, Australia, Nigeria and West Indies islands.

Ginger is very commonly used in south eastern Asia, India and China. Ginger contains very strong anti-inflammatory compound called gingerols. There are many benefits of the gingerols. 
Ginger is known to reduce risks of heart disease and high cholesterol.  It helps to reduce pain in osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Chewing a piece of ginger helps in reducing discomfort and pain in the stomach, colic, and dyspepsia.  

Those who suffer from motion sickness including dizziness, nausea, vomiting and cold sweating can benefit from taking ginger either in the form of ginger tea, chewing on it or in capsule form. It also helps with nausea caused by pregnancy. not only is ginger widely used for culinary use but for centuries ginger has also been used in Ayurveda and beauty products. It is commonly used to help with acne, dandruff and anti-aging.

Ginger is available in various forms:

  • Whole fresh roots
  • Dried roots  
  • Ground ginger 
  • Crystallised ginger 
  • Pickled ginger.  
  • Preserved or 'stem' ginger.  
  • Ginger oil
  • Ginger capsules

Preparation of fresh ginger:

Fresh root ginger will keep in the fridge for weeks f its washed and dried and wrapped in kitchen paper. Alternatively you can scrape the ginger root with a teaspoon and cut into slices. 

Add the slices to blender jug like the  powerful Optimum 9400 blender to make a pulp which can be stored in a jar in the fridge for up to a month to use when ever needed. The pulp can also be frozen in a tray and then stored in zip lock bags in the freezer to use as and when needed.

Ground ginger is also very useful to have to add to baking etc. Ground ginger can be stored in a clean airtight jar in a cool place out of direct sunlight.

The flavour of ginger is warm and fragrant and its perfect to add to masala tea, honey and ginger flapjacks and ginger syrup.  You can even have chutney with ginger in it. I love ginger tea and drink it daily. Its refreshing and totally healthy has lots of medicinal qualities.

Yield: serves 2

Ginger Tea

Aromatic and fragrant ginger flavoured tea with honey and lemon
prep time: 5 Mcook time: total time: 5 M


  • 200 ml hot water
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon ginger pulp


How to cook Ginger Tea

  1. In a jug add the hot water ginger pulp, lemon juice and the honey.
  2. Mix with a spoon and strain into serving cups.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Consuming this ginger tea is really helpful in keeping at bay colds, flu and minor ailments.

Ginger is a staple spice in my household and I use it daily in a majority of  my dishes. Most commonly ginger is added to curries and even rice dishes, I love the sound of this ginger and garlic rice.
I also love the flavour of ginger in sweet dishes too,  such as is these delectable gingerbread crinkle cookies and this lemon and ginger cheese cake.

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