This has been an exciting first year for me! First I brought out my second cookbook At My table, which has a selection of vegetarian menu plans with all the recipes to go with each occasion. Then I launched the P for Peckish vegetarian food blog, a labour of love. I was invited to a talk with the delightful Monty Don interviewing me at the Hay festival, we discussed At My Table and vegetarian cooking in front of a live audience. This year there were lots of interviews and press to promote the cook book, talking with Graham Norton on BBC radio 2 sticks in my memory. I was quite nervous to do live radio but he was a real joy to talk to and good fun, so I needn’t have worried. Towards the end of the year I took part in the Stylist live – a four day event in central London – championing, health, fitness, food and women! I did my first live cooking demo with recipes from the book and gave a talk about P for Peckish, followed by a book signing.
With the year drawing to a close I wanted to look back at some of my favourite highlights from P for Peckish this year. I like to use a plant based milk in my breakfast smoothies and when I realised how easy Almond milk was to make I started preparing batches to keep chilled in the fridge. Just soak the almonds over night in clean water and then they are ready to blend and sieve in the morning, now you can have this milk plain or add a little flavour of your choice, maybe vanilla extract, or maple syrup. You can use the left over pulp in baking, try making these delicious cookies too… Great this time of year for homemade treats! Another new favourite that I had never tried to make before was cold brew coffee, delicious and cost effective.
The breakfast recipe that stands out for me is my version of a traditional shakshuka, I think these succulent flavours with baked eggs nestled in would make a perfect festive brunch addition! For any time of day and working well for an indulgent brunch treat, my fritters are quick, simple and satisfying – in the recipe I call for asparagus but they will be harder to find at this time of year, so substitute for green beans or grated raw Brussels sprouts.
Burgers with all the trimmings are always a huge favourite on P for Peckish with people reposting them! I have two on the blog, one black bean burger from my second cookbook, At My Table, and the other I made to include in my ‘B for Barbecue’ P for Peckish newsletter (in June) – a delicious kidney beans and red pepper burger, protein rich and full of flavour. Another satisfying and protein rich meal was the sweet potato, chickpea and kale dish, I hadn’t cooked a lot with kale before this year, now I find it adds a good flavour to many recipes plus it is full of health boosting credentials.
Finally, one of my all time favourite recipes to cook and share is a clafoutis. This time of year I would swap the cherries for a more season fruit such as sliced firm pears, or damsons (don’t forget to take the pips out). It never fails to impress with the fruits poking out of the sweet almond infused filling!
Hope you have all enjoyed P for Peckish as much as I have been creating all these recipes.
Thank you for your continued support. Wishing you a happy healthy Christmas and 2016!
Love Mary x