Posts Tagged ‘Delicious Dishes for Diabetics’

I published this recipe on the blog early on and am revisiting it tonight by special request.

It has been a favorite for over 30 years chez nous, and is a tasty standby for a rainy, grey day when going anywhere for supplies is the last thing you feel like doing.

Meredith, on her detox for a week, requested this dish, so we’re having it tonight with broccoli, (simply steamed, drizzled with olive oil, and a squeeze of lemon) and a some brown basmati rice.

It’s an Indian  Dal-but known in our house as ‘comfort lentils’.

This is from my first cook book Delicious Dishes for Diabetics.

for 4

500 g/1 lb red lentils

1 litre/1¾ pints/4 cups stock (I use an organic vegetable stock cube per 500 ml of water)

4 tbsp vegetable oil (I use olive oil.)

1 medium onion – chopped

1 tsp coriander seeds – pounded in a mortar and pestle

1½ tsp cumin seeds – pounded in a mortar and pestle

1 tsp garam masala

½ tsp chilli powder

  • Rinse the lentils very thoroughly – until the water shows clear.
  • Put them in a saucepan with the stock and bring gently to the boil.
  • Turn the heat down to low and let them simmer, covered, stirring from time to time.
  • They are done when a small puddle floats on the top.
  • Turn them off.
  • Heat the oil in a small frying pan.
  • Add the onion and fry gently until it colours nicely.
  • Add the spices and mix them in well.
  • Cook for a couple of minutes longer to release the aroma.
  • Add the cooked spices and the onion to the lentils and mix in thoroughly.
  • Heat through and serve.

Our Sikh friend, Tari, affectionately dubbed the ‘Carefree Cook’,  never panics when people turn up unexpectedly at mealtime. He looks to see how many extra guests are coming through the door and adds more water to the dal accordingly!

If there is dal left over, save it for another occasion! Form the cold dal into little burger shapes, coat with some chickpea or whole wheat flour and fry lightly in some hot oil.

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Making Poldark has been Nooked at last!

Nick it on NOOK–it’s a steal!

It’s available now on NOOK.

Making Poldark: Memoir of a BBC/Masterpiece Theatre Actor
Making Poldark: Memoir of a BBC/Masterpiece Theatre Actor
by Robin Ellis
This revised version came out in April 2012 and is greatly expanded–including new photos from Winston Graham’s personal Poldark photo album.
And while we are at it…
Delicious Dishes for Diabetics
Delicious Dishes for Diabetics 

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This is from Delicious Dishes for Diabetics.

Our friend Mark tried this the other day and wrote to me afterwards saying:

the peppers and onion you did for us – “salad with an edge” – delicious, but mine was way overcooked. So either my oven is hot, or yours is cool. Have you got a reliable thermometer to check it?

So I did it again a couple of days ago and reduced the oven time to 15 minutes–but kept the same temperature. Meredith thought they were still too charred–not for me though!

The thickness of the peppers is a factor.

These below are a thinner, cone-shaped variety grown locally.

The recipe asks for 220C –which I normally reduce by 10 degrees because I have a convection oven (fan-assisted).

(Next time I cook these, I’ll try them at 200C (fan-assisted) for 20 minutes.)

Thanks Mark–useful feedback!

Serves 4

Here’s a nice gooey slightly piquant salad that profits from the addition of some flaked very fresh feta or goat’s cheese.You could also add a few slices of thin pancetta for the last 10 minutes of cooking.

4 red peppers–cut in half lengthwise, deseeded and cut into strips

1 fresh red chili–not too hot, deseeded and cut into strips
4 tbsp olive oil
1 large or 2 medium red onions--peeled, cut in half and thickly sliced

2 cloves of garlic–peeled and sliced

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

fresh basil–chopped (if available)

Heat the oven at 210°C (normal oven–this is a CHANGE from the recipe in my book!)/425°F/Gas Mark

  • Put the peppers and the chili in a bowl and dribble over 3 tablespoons of oil.
  • Turn over and coat them thoroughly in the oil.
  • Line a shallow medium-sized oven tray with foil and brush with oil.
  • Spread the peppers and chili evenly over the tray.
  • Leave in the oven for 20 minutes before spreading over the onion and garlic and cooking for a further 20 minutes.
  • Everything should be lightly charred in a nice way, i.e. edible!
  • Sprinkle over the balsamic, the torn basil and more olive oil if you like.

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A package arrived in the post a couple of days ago.

In it were three sample copies of the new hardback edition of my cook book,  Delicious Dishes for Diabetics!

It’s a year to the day since our launch party in the garden, though the timing is purely coincidental.
(We served gazpacho as the first course--recipe to be posted tomorrow!)
This hardback is no coffee table tome with lavish photos–the kind that are too heavy to be of practical use in the kitchen.
It is a LARGE PRINT edition for people who forget where they’ve put their spectacles!
(My answer to that problem is to have MANY spare pairs–some of which I can find– sometimes….)
This new version (in black & white) is available via  Amazon.com/.

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Our friends Irv and Iris from Washington D.C. stayed over the weekend en route to Paris.

Ex-history teacher Iris kindly tore herself away from reading Hilary Mantel’s second installment of the Thomas Cromwell saga long enough to show me that Delicious Dishes for Diabetics is now available as a Kindle download– an ebook–for £4.93 from Amazon.co.uk/.

She’s thinking of downloading it for their time in Paris.
I’m thrilled!
(* ee by gum!– English expression of surprise and amazement!)

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Delicious Dishes–gone digital!

You can now download the cookbook to your Kindle.

In it you’ll  find the recipe for this spicy delight on page 114!

Spicy courgettes and prawns with fresh coriander

(Haven’t seen the Kindle version yet ourselves. We don’t have one. We’re  wondering how well Hope James’  lovely water color sketches come through….)

Here’s the link to the digital version: http://tinyurl.com/DeliciousDishes/.

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A brief talk to the assembled group

Wonderful book event in Georgetown last night!

Thanks to author, nutritionist and all-around whirlwind, Katherine Tallmadge for organizing the event; Nancy Taylor Bubes for opening her beautiful home to more than 80 guests, the American Institute of Wine and Food  for co-sponsoring, and Executive Chef, Janis McLean of Bistrot Le Zinc for demonstrating the potato-less salmon fishcakes recipe–and thanks to all who turned out, many bringing dishes prepared from recipes in Delicious Dishes for Diabetics.

The Washington Post’s Food Editor Bonnie Benwick was present the entire evening and wrote a wonderful account today: http://wapo.st/xGHO30/.

We leave balmy Washington D.C. where the magnolia blossoms are opening for the Windy City  tomorrow!

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Here’s the American tour schedule:

 Washington D.C.: Wed., March 7th 6-8pm, Georgetown event with cooking demonstration:
In Chicago area, a pop-up book-signing at the Starbucks in Barnes & Noble in Evanston (northern suburb)
on Sunday, March 11th at 3pm.
In LA, Chevalier’s Books in Larchmont on Saturday Mar 17th 1pm-3pm.
126 N. Larchmont Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90004
Tel: 323-465-1334
Fax: 323-465-6093
E-mail: chevaliers@earthlink.net
In the San Francisco area:
Wed, March 21st, 7pm, Books Inc,
Thursday, March 22nd The Booksmith, 7.30pm Downtown San Francisco in Haight-Ashbury,
1644 Haight Street, San Francisco CA 94117
415-863-8688 p 415-863-2540 f

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A packet of new books arrived in the post today–the first reprint of the cookbook.

Second printing of the cookbook arrives, this time with a credit to the illustrator

The reprint corrects one important omission: our dear friend, Hope James, the illustrator, now gets a credit for her  evocative watercolour sketches.

Meanwhile the celebrity chef controversy in America has created a window of opportunity (at last) to discuss Type 2 diabetes and the links to what we eat and how we prepare it:



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First “post-launch” post–we’ve been busy!

Twenty-two friends (many of whom, in one way or another, had helped with the book) sat down for lunch on Friday at tables set end on end under the trees–

Ma's Gazpaccio waiting patiently

–nicely protected from the sun but rain could be a problem and it has been uncharacteristically wet this year.

The skies were scoured for signs, forecasts checked hourly and finally a prayer went up to the heavens.

We were blessed–not a drop fell the entire afternoon.

A friendly sounding hum rose early from the throng–Ma’s Gazpacho was hitting the spot; as was the mellow Tuscan red poured from a 3 litre magnum–a gift from our friends Keith and Helen.

It–“the book”–was launched.

Hope James–the book’s illustrator–was there and I read this out from our friend Eva Marie’s email, received that morning:–

“Her beautiful sketches brought me right back to your cozy home and the French countryside. I am suddenly missing you and Meredith!”

That’s what they do–they bring the book to life.

Chicken was next, with unfamiliar spices–sumac and za’atar–[see part two–tomorrow– for the recipe]

An Ottolenghi special that lends itself well  to large parties.

Marinaded overnight on Wednesday, cooked in three batches Thursday afternoon and gently reheated–stacked in its juices–an hour before we ate it.

Served with plain green beans, a garlicky yogurt sauce and toasted Moroccan bread.

Then followed two lovely surprises–for me.

Fellow Poldark actor Donald Douglas [his chilled cucumber soup features in the book] tapping a glass and rising during the cheese course, meant only  one thing–he was going to speak.

He not only spoke–he sang!

“There is nothing like a Dame” from South Pacific–adapted for the occasion.

“He played Ross the brave and bold

Now here he is grey haired and old”.

Now another surprise.

My old friend George–one of three distinguished judges present–touched me and everyone with his words on long lasting friendship.

What a day!

[A second helping promised for tomorrow…!]

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