Can you believe it? I was open mouthed with disbelief today as I witnessed myself tell a humungous lie to a shop assistant. ‘Are you off now to pick up the kids?’ she enquired, whilst carefully folding my long receipt into a concertina and handing it to me with a warm smile. I took a beat to ponder on the cut-off age for wearing red sequine teddy bear hair slides. She had two, taming a fringe set amidst a bushel of faded coppery hair. Resembling a singed halo. She looked like she’d long waved 50 goodbye. I returned her smile, and concluded any age is ripe for colour and a touch of sparkle. I leant in..’no, I don’t have children, I am going back home to do some baking. I am very excited’. I beamed. AND then I told such a fib. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, streaming from my lips. ‘Yes, I’m testing some recipes’. ‘Oh’, she said, affording me her total attention. ‘Yes….I write cookbooks’. There it was…. released into the air like a stink bomb. ‘Oi’, I mentally chided myself before biting back a giggle. I then basked in the moment as the words took a place in the atmosphere. I concluded I liked the sound of it. I took my leave and then pushed my trolley back out into the autumn sun. I never lie. They inevitably catch you out at some point. Acutally my inabilty to lie can be quite a downfall, but I had just told a whopper. Shame on me! But I laughed to myself. Well…I’ll just have to make it come true, won’t I. My prayers will be extended tonight as I represent ‘thou shalt not tell full fat lies’.
When I got home and unpacked, this is what I prepared (though I didn’t deserve it! Bad girl)..
MUSHROOM & KALE STEW WITH GLUTEN-FREE HERB DUMPLINGS
Recipe adapted from a book I have been reviewing 90 Mouth Watering Recipes for All Occasions)
Serves 4 – marries well with a dollop of creamed mash.
I know the ingredients list is of biblical proportions but I promise you it is worth it.
1/4 cup dried mushrooms
1/2 cup Puy lentils
1 vegan stock cube
2 cups chopped chestnut mushrooms (approx 180g)
1 medium onion
1 carrot julienned
3/4 cup frozen peas
1/2 small red bell pepper
2 handfuls of chopped kale
‘GRAVY’ (for step 4)
2 tsp arrowroot
1 tbs besan/garbanzo flour
1 tbs liquid aminos
2 tsp carob powder or 100% pure dark cocoa powder
1 tbs fruit syrup
2 tbs nutritonal yeast
2 tbs vegan tomato ketchup
1 tbs red wine vinegar
3/4 cup sorghum flour
3/4 cup potato flour
1/4 cup besan flour
1/8 tsp xantham gum
1/2 cup vegan milk (I used coconut milk. It’s ok, the coconut flavour doesn’t come through)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp Herbamere (herb infused sea salt)
1/2 tsp dried mixed herbs
1 tsp of fresh thyme
1/2 tsp fresh tarragon
2 tsp olive oil
1.put the dried mushrooms and lentils into a large saucepan and add the stock cube and 1 cup of water. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 20 minutes.
2.place all the dumpling ingredients into a bowl and mix. Divide and roll into a dozen balls.
3.add the remaining vegetables into the pan with the lentils.
4.put all the ‘gravy’ ingredients into a bowl and mix well. Slowly add this to the stew, stirring in gently. This will thicken the stew and deepen the flavours.
5.pop the dumplings ontop of the stew and replace the lid. Simmer for 25-30 mins until the dumplings are cooked.
Serve alongside a large spoon of your creamy mash. Comfort. On a plate.
A memory of my mums home cooking, made meatless!
Happy Autumn…Fall..whatever you call it wherever you are. x