Cooking from the garden

This week I’m handing my blog over to Sharon Goodyer. Sharon and I met about a year ago at a series of events being run by Women’s Enterprise Kent aimed at digitally empowering entrepreneurial business women.

Sharon has a recipe to share using produce from her garden. Over to you, Sharon …

I love this blog. Julie has brought a fresh look to flower arranging for me. I have always picked flowers in the garden and put them in a container in the house. Sometimes I arrange them sometimes I don’t.

That is really what I am about. I so enjoy learning from talented experts but then I find what works for me.

Professionally I have been a secondary school teacher, a published author, an assertiveness trainer, a play scheme leader, an assistant gardener, a waitress, a food manufacturer. I have owned and run a big business and a small one. Now I am a freelance consultant in educating about healthy eating, new food product development and efficient food production. I work to support those who want to improve their diets and lifestyle and I encourage lots of pride in our own small achievements.

Every day I like to contribute something from my garden to what I cook. I garden near the coast in Kent so the soil is poor and dry. I very rarely grow enough of anything to be able to make a whole meal from my own produce.

Saag Aloo

Tonight I am making Saag Aloo. This delicious fragrant, spicy dish is an excellent way of using some of my shallots, the last of the garlic, the first of the chillies and tomatoes and the chard I froze earlier in the year. I might even find some potatoes I missed when I dug the crop up. What I cannot harvest myself I will buy from the supermarket.

FlowerStart 4-week online_flower_arranging_class

This recipe is for two as a main course. You will need a large deepish pan or dish you can use on the hob.

  1. Heat up 2/3 tablespoons of local rapeseed oil (quantities do not have to be strictly accurate for this dish to work and be delicious).
  2. Fry 2 teaspoons of each of the following:  crushed mustard seeds, ground cumin, turmeric and garam masala.
  3. Add 2 cloves garlic, 1 small green chilli (seeds removed) and a thumb nail sized piece of fresh ginger – all finely chopped.
  4. Next add a large handful of roughly chopped onions and or shallots and continue to fry. Stir in 3 to 4 big handfuls of even sized chunks of potato (I leave the skins on.)
  5. Add 1 mug of water, cover, simmer for 20 minutes. Stir in a small mountain of fresh spinach or chard (washed and chopped, including the central ribs in the leaves) cover and simmer for another 10 minutes.
  6. Leave lid off to let the excess liquid evaporate away and to concentrate the flavours.
  7. Stir in big chunks of unpeeled tomato and keep simmering, stir gently every so often. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

This dish is even better left to cool, refrigerated and reheated the next day but it rarely happens like that here! Sometimes there is some left over which gets reheated and served on toast.

I serve this with yogurt and wholegrain rice.

FlowerStart 4-week online_flower_arranging_class

FlowerStart 4-week online_flower_arranging_class

 

Saag Aloo happens to be a Saturday night staple in our house, so I’m looking forward to using Sharon’s recipe next weekend.  I love the sketches Sharon draws – and the beautiful flower arrangements she creates from her cutting garden.

FlowerStart 4-week online_flower_arranging_class FlowerStart 4-week online_flower_arranging_class FlowerStart 4-week online_flower_arranging_class

5-day mini-course

If you’re planning to find your happy with flowers this week don’t forget you can amaze your friends with your knowledge about getting your flowers to last longer.  Sign up here for access to my free five-day mini course and make a start on getting your flowers to last longer.

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Until next time, happy flowers

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