The Lurch Spirali Vegetable Spiralizer / GET SOME COODLES

Coodle that noodle!

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I’m always looking for healthy alternatives, and while some just make one mourn for the real thing, others can work fantastically well. When I read about Lurch’s Spirali I was immediately interested. It is an appliance with various attachments which you can use to either make thin or vegetable noodles, as well as ultra-thin slices. I am generally more bothered by pasta sauce than the actual main event, so Coodles (courgette noodles) seemed to me the perfect compromise.

As you may have already gleaned, I love reading reviews online. My particular favourites are the ones obviously written very late at night, sans proof reading that are full of rage. Sure enough, well buried under the masses of raving reviews there were a few extremely negative comments: – “DO NOT BUY, THIS PUT ME IN HOSPITAL! I SLICED MY WHOLE HANDS OFF!” “SO DIFFICULT TO USE I COULD BARELY USE IT”*

Obviously I had to see what all of the fuss was about. I ordered mine off Amazon, you can find it here.

I started off with good intentions – a nice feta and oven roasted cherry tomato combination ala The Londoner. Very healthy and full of vegetables. I didn’t read the manual and managed to create the noodles on the second attempt – I recommend chopping the stem and the bottom off your veg so that you can insert it at a straight angle. After the damning indictment of the reviews, I was expecting it to be much more difficult to handle than it was – in fact it is really very straightforward to use.

The first time I made the Coodles, I liked the recipe well enough, but found the cold courgettes a bit too raw-food-diet for my liking, and so the second time round heated them through in a pan. I much preferred the coodles this way – a lot less hard work to chew and more akin to actual spaghetti. This however could be down to personal preference, the cold version is probably really delicious in summer when the weather is hot (any day now!).

As soon as I got the hang of how to use the Spiralizer, no fruit or veg in my kitchen was safe – in went a whole apple with excellent results. When it occurred to me that I could make homemade pomme frites with minimal effort, any fantasies of healthy compromising went out of the window.

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So delicious, so dangerous

Underneath the Spiralizer there is secure storage space for the two blade options that are not in use, as well as little sucker pads underneath each leg, which minimizes the chances of chopping off your whole hand – just be careful people, don’t get ridiculous with it and I’m sure you can avoid getting hurt! Plus its very easy to clean, all of the moving parts slide out easily. I love the way it looks too, and the colours are complimentary to a range of kitchen colour schemes.

I’ve started buying them for everyone I know. One of my friends got married, and she is in to her veggies so I bought her one as a wedding present.

She has tried one of the small hand held ones, and says the Lurch Spiralizer works a lot better. Which brings me to my next plus point – the price. I think its terrific value for money, and I think it would be even more so for those who are gluten free.

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Very well received

All in all, an excellent product!

 

 

 

*Only exaggerating slightly

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June 14, 2015

I’m sorry if you have found our conversation a bit STILTONED

Sorry for the pause in conversation these past few months. I had some issues with my old host, and then managed to delete all of my posts off here, so had to go through and find all of them again and find the pictures, and some new material I had written out got lost which was like BAW. Excuses excuses I know, I’m apologise, I will try to be better.

Recently I found myself with a surplus of Stilton. It has been almost fully demolished, no mean feat considering I am the only lover in my current household. I thought I would share with you these recipes for lovers and haters alike. The small amount I have left is residing in my freezer, apparently Stilton is the one of the best cheeses to freeze.

stilton in oven

1. Delia’s Stilton Welsh Rarebit

This super recipe convinced even the Stilton-haters! I think the other ingredients kind of mask it and make it seem more like a strong cheddar toastie. 

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2. Pear Walnut Sage & Stilton Tart

I was inspired to make this after having it at a friend’s house. I blindly followed the recipe, without really paying attention to what I was doing. My friend’s tart (ahem) was quite a thin affair, whereas this recipe is fairly thick, voluptuous and dense. Not for the Stilton shy as there is a fair whack of the cheese in it. I also made the pastry by hand rather than in a blender and it came out so beautifully. It was kind of an ache though, and the fact it was so nice could be down to the recipe, rather than the extra effort. 

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Pie went a bit mad with making pies…

In other reading…
I came across a really great article the other day about a food lover’s review of all of the eating scenes in the new Fifty Shades of Grey movie. It is by far the best article I have read about the Grey empire. I also loved it because so often when food appears on TV or movies..or anywhere, everything else just becomes white noise to me.

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March 7, 2015

Chicken and biscuits

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So the countdown to Christmas has begun! I’ve managed to consume two turkey dinners complete with pigs in blanket already.

The weather has gone really cold suddenly, and currently I will use any excuse to avoid leaving the house. When I actually make it out, its layers and layers of leggings and jumpers. Its times like these that call for serious comfort food, and chicken and biscuits is just the ticket. Its kind of like a chicken stew with savoury scones… or an inside out chicken pie.

A bit of chicken and biscuits trivia – I was a vegetarian for 5 years, and chicken and biscuits is finally what broke me. My parents joke that my mum would have made it much sooner if she had known it was my achilles heel.
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December 1, 2014

Rivington / Shoreditch

It is always nice to catch up with mum and dad. At the moment it is a rare treat for me, because most of the year they live a quarter-way-around-the -world. When I saw them, we found ourselves in North-East London around brunch-time with an hour to kill. My parents, frequent visitors of Shoreditch chose Rivington, a favourite haunt of theirs.

The outside of Rivington Shoreditch looks like an old converted warehouse – brick walls and giant windows. Inside the décor light, airy and all chunky wooden tables and steely modern touches. There’s a big curved bar that I can imagine sitting on and frittering away an afternoon drinking Bloody Marys and nibbling on their pork scratchings.

As soon as we sat down, we were brought a chunk of rustic bread – potato, onion and herbs – freshly baked of course. We wolfed it down as we poured over the menu. We had the British Charcuterie board and pickles to start to share, plus I immediately honed in on the Hereford beef Carpaccio with sauce gribiche and Kentish rocket. The Carpaccio was perfect, and the accompaniments balanced the flavours nicely.

 

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Carpaccio my love

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Charcuterie board in some of its glory – I didn’t get a picture until after we had started it


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November 23, 2014

WIHFDD goes to AMSTERDAM / Febo is hilarious

Last weekend it was my boyfriend’s birthday. It was a milestone one, and after a lot of wine we had the clever idea of going to Amsterdam for the weekend. Keen but skint, on looking at last minute flight prices it seemed impossible. I remembered the coach as an option from a way back when trip to Belgium for Pukkelpop. Cheap, and always last minute tickets available. We took a deep breath and booked coach tickets departing from London, to arrive in Amsterdam approximately nine hours later. The coach through Megabus was twenty pounds, and with plug sockets and Wi-Fi on board one could only complain moderately.

If any of this entices you, I think you can find even cheaper ones through Eurolines, but it takes longer and the busses lack the mod cons of the Megabus. Top tip: there were these girls who managed to snag the front row seats of the top deck, and they had come prepared with pillows and blankets. I was very jealous.

As we decided to go so last minute, the hostels and hotels were looking expensive. We started researching Airbnb apartments, and as I had only ever been on there to perve at other people’s houses, actually booking something was very exciting. We picked a host who had solid reviews, with a nice looking apartment located just outside the centre. At £300 for the three of us for a weekend in an apartment that could have comfortably slept four we felt we got a very good deal. Our host, Bart was very welcoming, and provided us with a map with key locations circled in red of various good restaurants and bars nearby. Tired out from spending the night on the bus, we realised we had two options – either have a nap for the rest of the morning, or have a shower and get going. We decided on the latter, but figured we needed some serious coffee, so headed out to Bart’s first recommendation – Lot Sixty One Coffee Roasters.

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12kg Probat coffee roaster


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WIHFDD FESTIVAL SPECIAL / Glastonbury Gastronomy

I went to Glastonbury this year. It is a holiday of endurance – endless mud that just seems to get everywhere, long drop loos covered in all sorts of unimaginable things, and of course sleeping in a tent. I feel like I need another holiday to recover! Moaning aside, I had an amazing time, and I can see why it’s so popular. There are so many parts of it that I wish I had explored, but I didn’t have time to because it is so vast! As clichéd as it sounds – there really is something for everyone.

In all of the madness I managed to form some coherent opinions on the food I ate there, so I bring to you whatihadfordindins Glastonbury Festival special!
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Claim back your lazy weekend / Easy cinnamon rolls

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The past few weeks I’ve been working on this new site, which is why I haven’t posted any new material in a while. I hope you like the new look!

I also hope you had a nice time over the bank holidays, whether you’re one of those unfortunate souls who had to work them or one of those lucky people who had them off. Either way, I imagine that you get to claim back this weekend and do what you fancy, which if you’re anything like me involves a lot of lazing around.

This recipe is perfect for such weekends, or mornings. It doesn’t require yeast unlike most of its cousins, which are more hard work. To measure out the ingredients, use a medium sized mug – it works effectively and saves washing up! I added some blended nectarines as an after thought as I needed to use them up. It gave them a nice pink hue, but I couldn’t taste them all too much through the cinnamon so other than that they don’t make much difference to the recipe. I also shoved some raisons in them too, the boyfriend was all ‘Then it will be cross between a cinnamon roll and a Chelsea bun, awesome.’ For the record, he was totally right!
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May 12, 2014

Cuckoo’s Bakery / Pancho Villas / Muscle Show

The other week I went to visit friend-from-school-friend Cree and show support as he took part in the Adler Complex Premier Body Building Show, and I was in good company as his girlfriend Jess attended also. Saturday morning we woke up early and drove from from Edinburgh to Dundee. The entire show is run from start to finish both in the morning – when the judges make their decisions about who wins what prize – and then again in the evening where the prizes are given. Each category sees the contestants stand up on stage posing in various positions, showing off their crazy muscles. They then take it in turns to as I described it ‘Do a muscle dance routine’ to music. I must admit, I was doling out the loud ‘Woos’ a lot more in the latter part of the day after a few ciders! There were people from all walks of life there, and it was a friendly crowd. It was my friend’s first competition, and he did amazingly well, coming second. The dedication involved is impressive – strict diet and vigorous gym attendance are mandatory. Not to mention the pre-show rituals – no water for 18 hours for starters. I believe in regards to this particular pursuit I will always be a voyeur rather than a participant!

Pancho Villas, Edinburgh
That night we went to a Mexican restaurant in Edinburgh called Pancho Villas. If you love a strong margarita and some decent nachos as I do, then this is a great place to go for both. The service staff were both efficient and attentive. Plus anywhere that will allows a swap rice for fries as a side wins my affection. I had the chicken quesadilla my main, and a pina colada to finish, all perfect. I only wish I had taken some photos to further encourage you to visit it!

Location: 250 Canongate, The Royal Mile, Edinburgh, EH8 8AB
Tel: 0131 557 4416
Open: Mon – Sat: noon – close, Sun: 5pm – close, Open all day throughout summer



Cuckoo’s Bakery, Edinburgh


After all of that dieting, Cree allowed himself one night of food related debauchery. The next day, Jess sensed that we would fancy something healthy as the night before we ended up eating a pound of chocolate between us. We visited Cuckoo’s Bakery which manages to run together salads and cupcakes in one tea room seamlessly. The salad I had came with grilled vegetables and a marinaded chicken. It inspired me to make a big tray of roast veg in the future to tupperware as an addition to salads. Although hugely tempted by the full size cupcakes, I opted to take out some mini ones instead, which were a variety of salted caramel. They were delicious and everything a cupcake should be. I devoured them in one sitting.

Mini Cupcakes

Location: 150 Dundas Street, Edinburgh, EH3 5DQ
Tel: 0131 556 6224
Open: Closed Mon, Tues – Thur: 10am – 5.30pm, Friday & Sat: 10am – 6pm, Sun: 11am – 5pm



Enjoyed this post? May I suggest:
‘Coca Cola Pork Quesadilla’
‘Mexican’

Pad Thai / Fam Robinson Cross Time

Pad Thai is one of my all time favourite things to eat, and this recipe has carried me through cooking for  various picky eaters at University and freed up other options other than Pad Thai when I go to Thai restaurants because I know how to make it at home. In my opinion it tastes just as good cold, so any leftovers (rare) can be boxed up and refrigerated to eat the next day for lunch. Its very versatile – if you want it spicy you can put the spices in at the beginning to make it really hot, or if you’re cooking for little ones then you can sprinkle the chillies on at the end for those that like it. I’ve used this recipe and substituted chicken for a packet of Quorn fake chicken before and it tasted just as good, maybe a bit better than chicken as it soaks up all the flavours in the sauce! Its quite a plain dish, so using a couple of table spoons of Tom Yum paste gives it a good depth of flavour too. When I visited last week I cooked this for my sister and her family, and it got eaten up by everyone with everyone asking for seconds. The only hitch was when I was cooking the fish sauce and paste, Winston (5) cried because “It smells so bad!” He finished his plate though!
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Falafel Mango Spinach Salad

I’ve been trying to get healthy this week. I get the most enjoyment out of the preparation rather than the actively being healthy. Like, arranging my salads and breakfasts into pretty little patterns, then putting them on Instagram. Or stalking greatly reduced expensive running gear on EBay. On second thought, I do also love devouring my creations. As for the running, the less said about that the better.
In English news last week it was announced that the national recommended daily allowance for fruit and vegetables has gone up from five to seven. I struggle to fit in five sometimes, seven seems like a mammoth task. Maybe they’re just exaggerating so that we now hit five instead of three?
This salad I recon includes about three. I threw it together out of stuff I could find in the cupboard and found that falafel and strawberry are match made in heaven. Who knew?!
 
Mango strawberry falafel salad
 

-Mango

-Strawberry
-Falafel
-Spinach
-Sunflower seeds
-Pine nuts
-Cos lettuce
-Red onion
 
Dressing
-Cider vinegar
-Lemon juice
-Olive oil
April 9, 2014