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Cibare Issue Nine, Spring 2017




A True Story 24 Dessert Wine Delight 44 Local Festival 48 No ‘n’ Chips 52 Chocolate Meltdown For Dogs 56

Can cheese be part of a healthy diet? 12 Nutrition for Pregancy and Breastfeeding 36



Toast 4 With Friends 32 Succulents And The Allotment 20

FOOD FOR THE SEASON Cheese 6 Yings Beef Noodle Soup 16 Prosecco Chocolate Cake 18 Penne With 4 Cheeses 26 Stuffed Mushrooms 28 RAW Chocolate and Cheese 40 Andy’s Cheesy Biscuits 30

BOOKS Simply Nigella 58


Cibare Food Magazine

This issue has been the hardest one yet as we have had multiple births at our magazine, and I also gave birth only a couple of months ago. Wow the sleep deprivation has kicked in with full force. But why should you go without our delicious food and foodie thoughts. God only knows I know I need some inspiration too. So here it is. A little late but still just as awesome. Cibare Issue 9 focusing on cheese and chocolate. It needs no more explanation. Enjoy x


Editor’s Note


Raise A Glass To Toast by Jon Moore

Food waste is a massive problem in the UK. In 2015 a reported £13 billion* worth of food was thrown away, 4.4 million tonnes of which was edible. A significant proportion of this was wasted bread, with 44% of sliced white bread produced in the UK going uneaten. Thankfully someone has found an innovative and tasty way to help tackle this waste problem: brewing beer with it.

In terms of flavour, it’s light and easy drinking, with a sweet malty caramel note complemented by the citrusy hops, which give it a lemony, pithy orange and slightly peppery aroma. Overall, it’s very refreshing and highly quaffable with a clean crisp finish.

Toast Ale ( is brewed with bread which would otherwise be thrown away by bakeries and other food producers. The beer is the brainchild of food waste campaigner and author Tristram Stuart, who initially brewed with Hackney Brewery before moving production to Hambleton Brewery in Yorkshire. The bread content of the beer is around 25%, which equates to a liquid slice in every bottle.

Try Your Hand At Homebrew

Tastes Good, Does Good

The beer itself is an accessible and balanced pale ale. It pours an attractive bright golden colour, but it’s also a bit hazy, presumably due to the wheat content from the bread. The toast gives the beer some extra body too. By no means is this anything like a wheatbeer, but it does have a touch of the rounded mouthfeel you get from that style. 4

And to top it off, all profits are donated to food waste charity Feedback.

I’m now curious to know if other wasted foods could be made into beer. There must be tons of cakes, pastries and biscuits which could be used to brew with. Perhaps it’s worth some experimentation. Toast publish a homebrew recipe on their website, so if you’ve got a loaf (or anything else) going spare, you can try it yourself. If you fancy some for a liquid lunch, Toast Ale is available online or from selected beer stockists. They’re currently increasing their range, with plans for an IPA and lager underway, as well as expansion to the US. If that means more tasty beer and less food wasted, I’m all in. * jan/10/uk-throwing-away-13bn-of-food-each-year-latest-figures-show

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And How To Make A Meal Of it by Gillian Balcombe

Cheese is one of the commonest foodstuffs we know. In some quarters, it’s celebrated and treated with the utmost respect. In others, it’s processed into slices, triangles and cubes barely recognisable as its original self. It’s made from the milk of a variety of animals and deemed by the medical profession to be healthy and unhealthy in equal measure. At its scrumptious simplest best, it’s a chunk of mature Cheddar on a hunk of crusty bread, slathered with good butter… (How do you like your cholesterol, sir?) But it’s so much more versatile than that. From the beginning of your meal to the end, cheese can be your hero. Here are a few recipes to demonstrate how widely you can use it.

Crunchy Parmesan Discs

The perfect nibble to accompany your pre-dinner drink, or a soup or salad starter. So easy to make and guaranteed to delight – just don’t munch them all before the guests arrive. Very easy to do!



Finely grated Parmesan cheese A little butter for greasing the baking parchment Your choice of: • Poppy seeds • Sesame seeds • Herbs (dried are actually best here) and spices such as freshly milled black pepper, thyme, rosemary, herbes de Provence, chili flakes, garlic pepper. The list can be as endless as your imagination and varied to suit the accompanying dish.


1. Preheat oven to 180°C, 170°C fan, Gas Mark 4. 2. Line a large baking sheet (or two) with baking parchment lightly greased with butter, or use a silicon mat. 3. Mix the Parmesan cheese with your chosen seasonings to taste. Don’t go too heavy on the flavourings so they’re not overpowering (no-one wants a black clump of poppy seeds in their soup). 4. Using a soupspoon and 5cm/2” biscuit

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The Cheese Part

Next for the Raclette cheese. Purists like to buy a large piece and slice it themselves but I prefer pre-cut versions because they’re easier to use and come in a variety of flavours. You can get classic with/without rind, pepper, onion, mustard seed, smoked and others that I’ve probably forgotten. What you choose is up to you but a combination goes down really well.

The Charcuterie Part

What you use here is again entirely your decision. The general rule of thumb is to have slices of a traditional Torchon (boiled) ham, Parma ham or other air dried meats, and slices of salami or mortadella. The choice in France is enormous and in the UK there’s now a growing variety of these delicious meats. And if you’ve got a vegetarian or nonmeat eater at the table, no problem. They’ll love the combination of melted cheese and boiled potatoes with pickles just as much as the carnivores!

This main course couldn’t be simpler, given that your guests will cook most of it themselves. All you have to worry about is presenting the various parts beautifully and boiling some spuds! This is an absolute favourite in autumn/winter in France and Switzerland. It lends itself to a really fun convivial evening, as platters of cheese and charcuterie tour the table and everyone helps themselves to the traditional accompaniments of The Potato Part cornichons and silverskin onions. For the boiled potatoes, you’ll need a nice firm variety like a Charlotte. Pick spuds of In truth, there isn’t really a recipe for this approximately the same size and cook them but there are ‘must-haves’. The first of these with/without skins (as you prefer) in slightly is the Raclette apparatus itself, together salted water. Pile into serving bowls and put with the cheese holders that slide in under on the top of the hot Raclette plate. the grill, and small wooden spatulas to ease the cheese off and onto the boiled potato in The Whole Glorious Shebang a glorious semi-liquid ooze. Lay out the slices of cheese and meat on separate platters so they can circulate, along No longer considered exotic, you can get with little bowls of silverskin onions and your electric Raclette grill (including cheese cornichons. And here’s where I differ from holders) online or in most electrical stores. the traditionalists – I love to have a big salad They generally cater for 6 to 8 people at a with Raclette too, plus a bowl of cherry totime. The top heats up to keep your bowl of matoes, because I can’t be doing with a meal boiled potatoes warm and the more sophisthat doesn’t include some veg and because I ticated versions include a pancake/waffle think the combination of salad with all the griddle so you could make cheese crêpes siabove is just perfect. All that’s left is to serve multaneously – but that’s for another time! plenty of wine and water, and just enjoy! 8

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PICTURE CREDITS: Gillian Balcombe

cutter, make discs of cheese mixture on the greased parchment/silicon mat about 2cm/1” apart. 5. Place in the oven for 5 minutes, then check them and watch them like a hawk until they’re done. They should bubble up, gently collapse, then become golden and crispy. 6. Allow to cool a little, then carefully lift them off with a palette knife and transfer to sheets of kitchen paper to absorb any excess grease. Repeat until you have as many as you want! 7. Once completely cool, store in an airtight box or tin.

turn the oven off and open the door, leaving the cake to finish setting and cooling for anStill hungry? Want dessert? This one’s a other hour. no-brainer. The cake can be refrigerated or frozen if made in advance, but it’s better eaten the day INGREDIENTS it’s made, as it retains a consistency almost 500g curd or ricotta cheese like that of a soufflé. Serve with fresh fruit or 4 eggs, separated a syrup made of blueberries and vanilla and 200g unrefined caster sugar you have the perfect dessert. 150g soured cream or crème fraiche

Traditional Baked Cheesecake

60g cornflour Juice and zest of a lemon 60g sultanas (optional) 200g crushed Digestive biscuits 80g butter 2 tbsps light Muscovado sugar

Now I’m not suggesting that you eat all these cheese-laden courses in one meal... Just pick one to add to your menu and enjoy how versatile the humble cheese really is!


1. Preheat oven to 170°C (160°C Fan) or Gas Mark 3. 2. Prepare a 10” (25cm) springform tin by lining base and sides with baking parchment. 3. Place curd (or ricotta) cheese, egg yolks, sugar, soured cream (or crème fraiche), cornflour and lemon zest and juice into the bowl of your mixer and set it going at a medium to high pace (avoiding splashing). Leave it happily churning away while you complete the next steps. 4. Add the butter, sugar and crushed biscuits to a saucepan. Allow the butter to melt and the mixture to combine. It should still be slightly ‘sandy’. 5. Pour the crumb mixture into the prepared tin and pat down, but don’t let the base become too tight. Ideally it should be a little higher round the edge than in the middle. 6. Now beat up the egg whites till they form soft peaks and fold them gently into the cheese mixture, making sure you don’t have any clumps of lemon zest stuck to the beaters or any unfolded egg white. 7. Pour into the prepared tin then bake for 45 minutes. At the end of the baking time, 10

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Can Cheese Be Part of A Healthy Diet? by Denise Chester

Do you love a strong blue, some crumbly Feta, melting Brie or a mature Cheddar? Or do you steer clear of it all, thinking it’s full of fat and not much else? Which side are you on? What’s the score with cheese – can it be part of a healthy diet? As with many things in the world of nutrition the answer isn’t as clear cut as we’d like. A quick look at the research shows us there are positives and negatives to having dairy products in our diet. But before we go there, let’s have a quick Cheese 101. What are the nutritional basics of cheese? If you look in the dictionary, you learn that cheese is “the quality of being too obviously sentimental”. Which is funny, but not helpful to our discussion here.

100g of cheddar

Cheese is a food derived from milk, produced in a variety of textures, forms and flavours, from the coagulation of the milk protein casein. There are literally thousands of different cheeses available around the world but for the purposes of the following nutrition info, I’m talking about cheddar cheese.

Cancer Links


• Contains 33g fat (of which 21g is saturated, 25g protein and 1g carbohydrates) • Provides around 400 kcals: 72% from fat, 26% from protein and just 2% from carbs • Contains 19 amino acids and is considered a complete protein • Is high in calcium, vitamin B2, phosphorus, zinc and selenium Let’s look a little deeper at some of the main concerns around dairy and cheese.

When it comes to the link between dairy foods and cancer, the evidence is mixed. A study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute found that breast cancer patients who consumed high-fat dairy products following diagnosis increased their risk of dying from the disease years later. A 2012 study in the Annals of Oncology found that milk was associated with a reduction in colorectal cancer, but that cheese didn’t have the same effect.

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There have been several studies showing a link between dairy and prostate cancer, but also some showing the opposite. A 2009 study on oestrogen from commercial cows’ milk reported that “after the intake of cow milk, serum oestrone (a type of oestrogen) and progesterone concentrations significantly increased”. At the very least, this shows us that dairy products do have significant effect on our hormones. And hormones are a causative factor in many types of cancer.

Menopause And Dairy

Menopause is obviously linked to hormones and the famous Harvard Nurses Health Study showed that an increased intake of low-fat dairy produce could delay the onset of natural menopause. There are pros and cons to this. Starting menopause later reduces a woman’s risk of cardiovascular disease and bone fracture, but is associated with increased risk of breast and endometrial cancer.

Bone Health

It’s no secret that both protein and calcium are essential for bone health, and menopausal women have traditionally been advised to drink lots of milk to support their bones once the protective effect of oestrogen is lost. However, returning to the Harvard Nurses Study (which now has 280,000 participants) we find that high calcium intake doesn’t appear to lower a person’s risk for osteoporosis. The authors of this 12-year study concluded, “These data do not support the hypothesis that higher consumption of milk or other food sources of calcium by adult women protects against hip or forearm fractures”. Whilst this may surprise many people, it has been further confirmed. When researchers combined the data from the Harvard studies with other large prospective studies, they still found no association between calcium 14

intake and fracture risk.

Cheese Impacts Ageing

One lesser known effect of cheese consumption is on telomere length. Telomeres are segments of our DNA. Scientists compare them to the plastic tips of shoelaces that keep the laces together. Each time a cell divides, its telomeres get shorter. When it gets too short to divide any more, it dies or becomes inactive – this is essentially how we age. Shorter telomere length has been linked to aging, cancer and a higher risk of death. A 2013 study in the Journal of Nutrition found a correlation between shorter telomeres and increased intake of whole milk and full fat cheese. Low fat cheese didn’t show the same results, leading to the conclusion that it is the fat in cheese that matters.

Dairy and Diabetes

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a review of available research into type 2 diabetes and dairy produce which concluded that “there is a significant inverse association between intakes of dairy products, low-fat dairy products, and cheese and risk of type 2 diabetes”. This means that as intake went up, risk reduced. But it’s not clear on what sort of amounts and who was included in the studies.

So What Conclusions Can We Draw?

Millions of people worldwide can’t digest the sugars in dairy, and a small number of people are allergic to milk proteins. These people should avoid it completely. For the rest of us, depending on age, gender, lifestyle, history of disease and hormonal status, cheese could convey some benefit, but it certainly isn’t without risk. Perhaps the most prudent advice is to enjoy it occasionally, in small amounts.

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Yings Beef Noodle Soup by Ying Bower


200g of beef topside Bean sprouts - as much as you like 4 to 5 basil leaves – more if you prefer Finely sliced spring onion for garnish 400g of rice noodles For the broth 450g of beef bones 1 large onion 1 to 2 carrots 2 teaspoons of Chinese Five Spice 1 teaspoon of sea salt 2 tablespoons of soy sauce 2 to 3 teaspoons of sugar 500 ml of water 16

Method for the broth

Boil the water and then add all the ingredients. Cook on a high heat for 45 minutes then lower it to a medium heat for another 25 to 30 minutes. Keep checking the water so that your pot doesn’t boil dry and if it is getting low add some more. You can leave it to simmer longer if you wish: the longer you leave it, the more intense the flavour will become. While the broth is simmering, prepare noodles by cooking them for 2 to 5 minutes depending on the thickness: rinse them thoroughly with cold water and leave them until all the water has drained away. Slice the cooked beef into thin pieces then put them in the colander and add the slices to the simmering broth for 1 to 2 minutes. Stir all the while to ensure that the beef is cooked through and then set it aside. Put noodles into the bowl then garnish them with the beef, bean sprouts, basil and spring onion: when the broth is ready just add it into your bowl and enjoy!

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In Thailand we don’t really use much in the way of cheese and chocolate so this time it was a little difficult for me to write an article on those themes. But of course in true Cibare style I wasn’t about to let you down. Many of you will know of the new obsession with Pho and want to replicate it for yourselves so I decided to adapt my Thai version of it that you can easily make and enjoy at home while still being bang on your food trend. I hope you enjoy my Beef Noodle Soup recipe.


Prosecco Chocolate Cake

Ingredience FOR THE CAKE

300g caster sugar 300g butter 6 eggs 75ml Prosecco 200g self-raising flour 50g cocoa powder 100ml cream


5 strawberries, halved 3 tbsp Prosecco

FOR THE BUTTERCREAM 100g milk chocolate 200g butter 300g icing sugar 100g cocoa powder Serves 10-12


1. Pre-heat the oven to Gas Mark 4 (160 C) and line two 7-inch cake tins with greaseproof paper. 2. In a large bowl, whisk together the butter, sugar and Prosecco until soft. Beat in the eggs one at a time until absorbed and continue until the mix is creamy and pale. 3. Sift in the cocoa powder and flour, then fold through until fully incorporated.

4. Pour the cake mix into the tins and bake for 35-45 mins, or until springy to the touch and a skewer comes out clean. 5. Allow to cool in the tins for 10 minutes before turning out on to a cooling rack. 6. Spoon 2 tbsp of Prosecco over the halved strawberries and leave to sit. 7. Melt the chocolate slowly in the microwave or a bain marie. Place to one side and allow to cool slightly but make sure it stays pourable. 8. Beat the butter, cocoa powder and icing sugar together. Pour in the melted chocolate and continue to beat. Then add the cream and whisk until the buttercream is soft and spreadable. 9. Pipe circles of buttercream over the bottom layer of the cake. Drain the strawberries and layer over the buttercream. Pipe more buttercream over the strawberries and place the second layer of the cake on top. 10. Then pipe a circle around the outside of the top layer. Using a small spatula, drag the centre of the piped circle towards the centre of the cake. 11. Pipe another ring of buttercream slightly inside the first, again use a spatula to drag the buttercream towards the centre. Repeat until the whole cake is covered. 12. Pipe a small mound of buttercream in the centre then top with Prosecco truffles. (Which you can buy as a pretty decoration.)


by Emma Walton


Succulents and The Allotment by Emma de Sousa

keep alive and care for with minimal effort – and they look great to boot. As long as Decorate Your Home With Easy-To-Care- they have lots of daylight, occasional water and plenty of drainage, they seem to happily For Beauties! Over the last few years there has been a muddle along, even in my house! growing trend for succulent plants, both in the wedding industry as a replacement for/ There are so many fabulous varieties too. addition to bridal flowers and also in the They make a lovely table arrangement, especially in a long low container or in little pots home. of threes or fives. They can be a bit pricey Now I may be a florist and a cut flower grow- but once you’ve invested they’ll go on looker, but anyone who visits my house regu- ing lovely for months and years to come, larly knows that it’s surprisingly lacking in and you can easily propagate them to make the fresh plants and flowers department. I more. always have fresh flowers in my downstairs loo – always. Occasionally I have them on THE ALLOTMENT PLOT my kitchen table too, but I don’t have plants At this time of year there is so much to do at anywhere in my house. I’m terrible at keep- the plot. It’s hard to give you advice because ing them alive, let alone having time to dust it’s ever-changing as the days and weeks go them, talk to them and water them once a by. So in this issue I wanted to talk about week. what you should be doing for the long-term, year-in year-out, to create the perfect enviMeet The Perfect Lazybones Houseplant. ronment in which to grow fantastic vegetaI honestly have enough on my plate looking bles. after three kids, three dogs and a small flock of chickens, as well as caring for my flower The Pros and Cons of Organic Gardening field. So when I discovered succulents a few I’m a firm believer in organic gardening. I’m years ago at last I’d found something I could a fan of a no-dig system and I believe that



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quick fixes can be to the detriment of the land – in the long if not the short term. Not that I’m right and everyone else is wrong, but to me the world has become too fast-paced. Everyone wants something now, they want it bigger and better, they want instant results. We see it in intensive farming systems where animals are pumped full of antibiotics and drugs to which their bodies become resistant. We see in food crops where pesticides are used to fix problems with disease and pests but, over the long term, end up destroying the soil structure which eventually dies along with the surrounding flora and fauna. I’m no expert but I see humans destroying the amazing world around us and I don’t want to be part of that if I can help it.

name it, I’ve got it by the bucketload. There’s nothing quite like sharing the early morning sun with the local robin hoping to get first dibs on any worms going spare. Oh, and my soil has just about as many worms as you could wish for – always a good sign.

Compost: The Veggie-Grower’s Best Friend

Everything that’s compostable goes into my compost bins. Back in February I did a light weed and spread a mix of compost and leaf mulch over the soil, adding to the layers from last year and the years before that. I grow on heavy clay soil but every year it just gets better and better, because anything I take out of the soil I replace before the next batch of seedlings goes in. For really good compost you need a mixture of brown and green matter – so veg peelings, grass cutI realise that’s almost impossible because tings, dry leaves and things like shredded everything we use, eat, wear etc has some paper and card, as well as manure are all sort of impact on the world. But, no mat- good. ter how small an effort we make, if we all proceed in a way that works with the envi- It’s not difficult to make a simple compost ronment rather than taking a quick fix ap- bin out of old wooden pallets. Having two proach, it can make a difference. It may be a bins is good and three is perfect, so that one drop in the ocean but it’s important we all at is ready to go on the plot while the others least try and do our bit. are being filled with fresh material. It real-

Make Wildlife Welcome On Your Patch

So when it comes to my micro-farm where I grow flowers for my floristry business, or my two little allotments where I try my best to grow veggies, or even my back garden which is a haven for birds, I grow and sow in a way that works with nature rather than against it. I don’t use any pesticides whatsoever, I cultivate the land by hand rather than constantly rotivating with machinery, and I companion-plant to attract good beasties and ward off bad ones.

ly is the most important thing you can do for your veggie patch. Take care of your soil and the rest is easy. You’ll be rewarded with strong healthy crops that can fight any disease or pests that come their way, and you’ll attract essential wildlife that will help keep your plants healthy.

As a result lots of wildlife visits me, from bees to ladybirds to butterflies to dragonflies to newts in the mini pond at my allotment. You 22

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A True Story of Chocolate, Chicken and Henry VIII by Samina Iqbal

A few weeks later we decided to try out this chocolate-chicken combo and I was quite prepared for a sickly-sweet ruined roast chicken. But it turned out that the key ingredient was not a bar of Dairy Milk, as I had envisaged, but some gorgeous earthy cocoa nibs. Calling all foodies, if you haven’t tried cooking with cocoa nibs yet, do so IMMEDIATELY. They will add depth to your dish. The chicken à la chocolate was a resounding success. It was so surprisingly more-ish that my daughter and I ate the whole lot, Henry VIII style, with no leftovers! Do try this at home, it is seriously good. 24

Chocolate Chicken INGREDIENTS 1 heaped tsp roasted cocoa nibs Half packet of butter 1 tsp grated dark chocolate Seasoning 1 chicken (whole) 1 orange ½ lemon 4 cloves of garlic Herbs – thyme is good, rosemary or parsley too METHOD

1. Preheat the oven to 230C Gas Mark 6. 2. In a bowl combine half the butter, the grated chocolate and some seasoning. Gently crush the cocoa nibs and add to the bowl. Mix well. 3. Loosen the chicken skin and push the contents of the bowl under the skin, next to the chicken flesh.

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My daughter went out with friends in London and came home raving about the most fantastic chicken dish in the universe. To be fair, I was a little nonplussed. How could this be better than my legendary roast chicken? When pressed for details, my daughter revealed that the dish was made up of chicken and chocolate. Like Shania Twain, I’m afraid that didn’t impress me much.

4. Fill the chicken cavity with the herbs, crushed cloves of garlic and the half lemon. 5. Spread the rest of the butter all over the chicken. 6. Juice the orange and stuff the orange halves into the cavity. Pour the juice over the chicken and cook for 15 minute. 7. Lower the temperature to 190C and cook for just over an hour, basting every 15 minutes. 8. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes. 9. Serve with green vegetables and use the pan juices as a gravy. Honestly, it’s to die for! This recipe is based around the House Of Chocolate Rabot.


Penne with Four Cheeses & Spinach By Dani Gavriel

Here’s one of my all-time favourite dishes, perfect when you have guests or fancy something indulgent. This is based on my Mum’s recipe, but I’ve added courgettes and spinach to make it lighter and less rich. Freshly cracked black pepper when you serve up is a must!


Slice of Stilton cheese, cubed Slice of Gorgonzola cheese, cubed Slice of Brie cheese, cubed 1 tbsp soft cheese Packet of baby leaf spinach 1 courgette, chopped 1 clove of garlic, crushed 1 onion 1 chilli, sliced Pinch of nutmeg Handful of fresh flat leaf parsley, finely chopped Freshly cracked black pepper Drizzle of olive oil Packet of penne pasta tubes 26


1. Sauté the garlic, onion and courgette in olive oil, then add all the cheese and melt. 2. Add nutmeg and chilli, then the baby spinach and allow to wilt. 3. Cook pasta according to packet instructions and drain. 4. Add the pasta to the cheese and courgette sauce. 5. Sprinkle over fresh parsley and freshly cracked black pepper. Enjoy!

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Baked Ricotta & Spinach Stuffed Flat Mushrooms By Dani Gavriel


8 large open flat mushrooms (stalk removed and chopped) 1 tub of fresh ricotta cheese, drained 1 bag of baby spinach, cooked and drained 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped Small white onion, finely diced 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped 2 egg yolks, beaten Handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped 3 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese 1/2 cup of grated mozzarella cheese Zest of 1 lemon Squeeze of a freshly squeezed lemon Extra virgin olive oil Olive oil spray Crushed pink Himalayan sea salt Freshly cracked black pepper



1. SautĂŠ onion and garlic until softened, wilt in spinach then drain. 2. Add beaten egg, drained ricotta, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese to mixture. 3. Spray mushrooms with olive oil spray then stuff them with mixture, add grated mozzarella and drizzle with olive oil. 4. Place on a baking sheet and cook in the middle shelf of the oven at 200C Gas Mark 6 for 25 minutes.

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Andy’s Cheese Biscuits By Editor

3. Lightly flour a work surface and take out the dough from the cling film. Cut it into 100g cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks slices of just under a centimetre each so as to 200g plain flour, plus extra for flouring not make the biscuits too thin unless that’s pinch salt what you want of course and put them onto pinch cayenne pepper a baking tray lined with parchment paper 1 heaped tsp mustard powder at least an inch apart - it may take two lots 50g finely grated mature Cheddar 50g finely grated Gruyère or similar vegetar- of baking to use up the entire ’sausage’ depending on how thick you cut your biscuits. ian hard cheese, plus a little extra 1 egg, beaten (optional) 4. Carefully brush the surface of each biscuit with the egg and sprinkle over some Method poppy seeds or sesame seeds should you 1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4. fancy or leave them plain - they taste just as good. Bake for 10 minutes, or until they are a 2. Place the butter and flour into a food gorgeous golden-brown colour; their smell processor with the salt, cayenne pepper, will also let you know that they are ready. mustard powder and cheeses. Process together to bind and then finely pulse the 5. Carefully lift the biscuits off the tray mixture until you see it turning into ‘breadusing a palette knife and place on a rack to crumbs’ and coming together into a ball of cool. Once they are cool the biscuits will keep pastry. Wrap in cling film, forming it into well in a sealed container for a few days. the shape of a sausage with your hands, and leave to chill in the fridge for at least an hour till hard.



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With Friends

By Despina Mina

Instead she encourages you to learn what works for you without preaching. At first glance, this colourful book feels more about Ella’s lifestyle and less about the food. Lots of images of beautiful happy people, hanging out and eating together. But on closer inspection it’s split into clear, concise chapters with recipes for Breakfasts & Brunches, Lunch (Light & Easy), Feasts, Sides, Parties and Sweets. Alongside some of the recipes, she adds little footnotes that give you handy tips on how to prep food, or how long it takes to get from pan to plate. As a home cook and food obsessive, I believe there’s only one way to judge a cookery book and that’s in the kitchen. So I called upon my A-Team of taste testers – a.k.a. my hungry friends – to see if we (Ella and I) could throw 32

together a three-course meal for six. So, will we all turn vegan, start everyday with sun salutations and become photogenic? Or is it all a bit too much of an effort to bother?

Choosing The Starter

I struggled on deciding what the starters should be. I had ruled out Beet & Sweet Potato Crisps and Mini Baked Potatoes with Cashew Sour Cream & Chives because the main meal included potatoes. The Charred Padron Peppers with Cashew Chipotle Cream looked delicious but alas Padron peppers aren’t easy to find in Edmonton Green Market. Instead I chose the Aubergine & Tomato Pesto Rolls with Coconut Tzatziki and Socca Pizza Bites as Ella tells me it’s one of the best recipes in her book. The pesto topping is a slight variation on both dishes, so I swap one for a homemade black olive tapenade, spread this on the Socca Pizza Bites and, in keeping with the theme, I make it vegan with no anchovies. The taste of basil cut through the tomato pesto and worked well wrapped in the aubergine rolls. Even the guest who’s convinced that aubergines are usually a bit slimy happily eats them.

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In the introduction to her latest cookbook, Ella (Deliciously) Woodward asks you to challenge those friends or family who are sceptical about eating well. Can it be delicious as well as nutritious? She touches on the subject of Clean Eating without actually using those dirty words, urging us to enjoy food and not feel guilty if we don’t always eat healthy and balanced meals.

The Main Course

As we were eating on a Sunday afternoon the obvious choice for the main was the Sunday Lunch Herbed Nut Roast with Maple Roasted Root Veg and Smashed Turmeric & Mustard Seed Potatoes with Mushroom Gravy.

tle crumbly, but the star dish unanimously agreed by all was the roasted root veg. Sweet and sticky with a kick of spice that kept everyone going back for more. On reflection, if you decide on trying this meal out, check with your guests first to see if they like spicy food as this flavour is in abundance.

Always Time For Pudding

Ella convinces me to bake the Orange & Polenta Cake for dessert as it’s her office favourite. Well, if it’s good enough for her team, it’s good enough for mine. I serve this with the suggested coconut ice-cream (shop bought) and a cup of Rooibos tea. The polenta makes this simple cake quite dense and gives it a lovely grainy texture. Soaking up the orange juice glaze it stays moist and sweet as expected with 180ml of maple syrup!

Should I have added the Chilli Garlic Broccoli or maybe the Carrot & Fennel Slaw? It felt like it was missing a dish, something a little lighter and fresher to balance all the strong flavours. Neither felt right so I made a simple shredded red cabbage and grated beetroot salad, lightly dressed in apple cider vinegar, olive oil, lemon and scattered some roasted melon seeds over the top. (Melon What’s The Verdict? seeds?! Yes, they’re a thing, don’t you know!) Once I’m left alone with a stack of empty plates, I’m wondering if this book’s a keeper. The overall feedback was that each dish on Does it stand out from an already crowded its own exploded with beautiful flavours, but market place? It will make a great gift for served together there was no balance. Add- those reconsidering their health and diet, ing a little helping of the cabbage and beet- but walks well-trodden cookery ground for root salad to the plate helped even this out. the initiated. The nut roast was light and tasty, if not a lit-


The Socca Bites, a little more like blinis than pizzas, are fun and easy to make. Worried that the tapenade would make the bases soggy if left to sit there for a while, I assembled these moments before serving and it took moments for them to be eaten. Good team work Ella.


Nutrition for Pregnancy and Breastfeeding by Jo Farren What with Cibare HQ being full of babies, it got me thinking about nutrition in pregnancy and breastfeeding. I’ve heard so many myths over the years, as well as plenty of sensible advice and guidance. The NHS has guidelines on foods to avoid during pregnancy and for good reason: too much caffeine can increase blood pressure, raw eggs could cause stomach upsets and liver contains too much preformed vitamin A – to name a few.

about 350 extra per day, not double your usual amount. It’s also wise to try and ensure these extra calories come from a range of healthy foods, despite the desire to get them from a big slab of cake. Not to say that isn’t well-deserved every now and again! Good essential fatty acids are important, as well as iron (some women need to supplement this), and calcium and fibre are also really useful. When you have morning sickness and general nausea, you might find regular snacking helps – it may be how you use up those extra calories! Keep fruit and crackers in your bag to help quell those hunger pangs with something healthy and nutritious.

To be honest, aside from these, diet doesn’t need to be restrictive. The way pregnancy and breastfeeding work means that the baby’s nutrition is prioritised over your own. This is great for the baby but of course can leave you really depleted and eventually ex- We hear a lot about folic acid and rightly so – hausted. it’s shown to be essential in helping prevent neural tube defects. But did you know that My advice for pregnant women is to eat well. folic acid is the synthetic form of this essenYou may find in those early days you sud- tial vitamin? If you can find a good denly go off foods, or have a real hankering supplement containing folate (methylfolate) for beetroot/smoked haddock/marmite on then you’ll have the form which is as close to toast. (No? Just me then.) And largely you its food state as you can get. Folate is found roll with those, particularly if you’re suffer- in leafy green vegetables, peas, beans and ing morning sickness and nausea, which is other legumes – though taking a supplement common in the first trimester. with 400 mcg is still advised, irrespective of diet. Try Not To Eat For Two There is a myth along the lines of ‘eating for Easy Nourishment For New Mums two’ whilst pregnant, which is sadly not true. Towards the end of pregnancy, it’s a great You do need more calories but probably only idea to do some batch cooking for your post36

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partum period, though you may well be tired and need to reserve energy for labour and those demanding first days after birth. So a fuss-free solution sounds like it’s in order, doesn’t it? My best friend is my slow cooker so towards the end of pregnancy I batchcooked using this, freezing dinners ready for life with a newborn. I felt like the goddess of lazy prep work but you know what? It worked for me. You may not feel like slaving over a stove for four hours when you’re close to giving birth, so just switch on the slow cooker and rest up.

when it really isn’t. A bad diet will still make good milk, but a better diet will help you feel well and brighter.

Can You Boost Your Breastmilk? In some cultures there’s also a lot of historical use of galactogogues, or foods thought to increase breastmilk production. There are several schools of thought and I waver from camp to camp. One belief is that a few lactation cookies won’t hurt because, let’s face it, who doesn’t like a cookie? On the other hand, there’s the more sinister idea that we’ve stopped trusting our bodies and With a new baby come inevitable visitors. would rather put faith in a biscuit than our Don’t feel like you have to entertain them – own biology. you’ve just had a baby and if you don’t want a houseful then politely decline. But if you’re In the unlikely event that a woman does up to it, feel free to suggest they pick up pas- have a genuine supply issue, all the biscuits tries en route, or come armed with a casse- in the world won’t have an effect, but those role to warm up for dinner… with perceived low supply (which is far more common) may see a small improvement from Breastfeeding Isn’t Just About The Baby gobbling loads of these galactogogues. HowEating well won’t affect your breastmilk but ever ultimately there’s likely to be an underit will affect HOW YOU FEEL, which is im- lying issue which could need proper support portant. Back when I qualified as a herbal- from a trained breastfeeding counsellor or ist, I would have been one of the first to say international board-certified lactation conthat if baby had wind then mum should give sultant. The use of galactogogues won’t fix up sprouts/beans/vinegar/delete as applica- the underlying issue and could sadly cause ble. However, I later trained as a breastfeed- a premature end to the breastfeeding relaing peer supporter and learnt loads I knew tionship. nothing about before. Pregnancy and breastfeeding are demanding Did you know breastmilk is made from your on the body. Mum is often forgotten about blood, not your stomach contents? So it re- and that’s where more attention is needally doesn’t matter what your diet contains, ed. Not just to debunk the perpetual myth the milk will be the same good quality stuff that we’re all doing something ‘wrong’ and no matter what. And unless you or baby has need to spend money to fix our problems, an allergy, there’s no reason to cut out or but because insisting on good nutrition and avoid entire food groups. self-care is important for the mother’s own health. It doesn’t sell cookies or cereal bars, In recent years, foods and recipes aimed at but it’s the truth. breastfeeding mums have become popular. But they’re not needed to ensure good I’ve attached a couple of my favourite EASY breastmilk production. They are often com- recipes because, let’s face it, who has time to plex recipes with expensive ingredients whip up a soufflé with a baby on the hip? or costly supplemental foods, which make breastfeeding come across as difficult or Slow Cooker Roast Chicken something we have to work at to achieve, 1. Stuff a whole chicken with a quartered

lemon, thyme sprigs and garlic (dried is perfectly acceptable). 2. Season the chicken with 2 parts paprika, 1 part smoked paprika, salt and pepper. 3. Pop into the slow cooker on a vegetable trivet. 4. Set the heat to low and cook for 4-6 hours depending on the chicken size. Check before serving. 5. Serve with broccoli, green beans, carrots and whatever takes your fancy. You could even use frozen veg (gasp). The juices created in the slow cooker make an awesome stock or gravy base and contain all of the goodness of the chicken – very nourishing indeed.

Fajita Chicken Bake

This firm family favourite uses the leftovers from the roast chicken. 1. Take any cooked leftover chicken and set aside. 2. Fry some onions and sliced peppers. 3. Add a tin of chopped tomatoes, red kidney beans and spices (cumin, paprika, garlic powder, thyme and chilli powder) and heat thoroughly. 4. Add the chicken and warm through. Transfer to an ovenproof dish and cover with grated cheese. 5. Pop into the oven on 180C (160C Fan) and bake until cheese is melted and bubbling 6. Put some basmati rice on the hob to cook. Brown basmati is even richer in B vitamins if you prefer, but start it at the same time as frying the onions as it takes longer to cook. 7. Remove the bake once the rice has cooked and serve.

ly magnesium and essential fats, something you need in times of stress.

Top Tips

• For some reason, onions don’t taste great when slow cooked. So when I adapt a stove-top recipe like bolognese or chilli con carne, I leave them out. • Slow cooking preserves the moisture in food, so you don’t need as much liquid if you’re adapting a recipe. Keeping the lid on helps! Removing it extends cooking time by approx. 5 mins. • One-handed food is brill when you have a baby – fruit is perfect and filled pittas work a treat. • Prepped veg sticks and hummus are an ideal snack. Celery, cucumber, carrot and pepper make beautiful multi-coloured crudités. If you can spare five minutes (or know someone who can) homemade hummus is even better. • Keep snacks nearby. Oatcakes come wrapped in packs of six and make a great handbag snack. Bananas and apples are ideal too. • Stay hydrated! If you ever need guidance in pregnancy, speak to your midwife. If you can’t reach him/her NHS Direct can also be really helpful when you need more urgent attention. The National Breastfeeding Helpline (0300 100 0212) is run by qualified breastfeeding counsellors and La Leche League (0345 120 2918) have branches across the country to support you. If you’re at all concerned about breastfeeding, allergies or just need a friendly ear, don’t hesitate to get in touch with them.

And finally – enjoy your pregnancy and your Adding avocado to your plate provides a baby! splash of colour, plus a hefty dose of love- Jo xx

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RAW Chocolate & Cheese by Alison Matthews

What a perfect duo – chocolate and cheese!


Chocolates are the easiest thing to make raw. I’ve been making them from the very beginning of my raw journey, eaten lots of them and given them as presents. Raw chocolate has antioxidant properties, so it’s good for you as well as being tasty. If you don’t want to start from scratch yourself, Raw Chock Chic sells lovely little packages with everything you need to make your own raw chocolates via Or you can buy raw chocolate bars and truffles over the counter, there are now too many brands to mention. But it’s so much fun to make them for yourself. You can buy raw chocolate in a lot of good supermarkets as well as health food shops. Raw chocolate powder is very rich so you don’t need as much as you might think. Here are some recipes to try but making it is messy – wear an apron! 40

Chocolate Truffles

INGREDIENTS 100g raw cacao powder 100g finely ground almonds 1 tsp vanilla essence 4 tbsp honey (set) 40g raw cacao butter or coconut oil METHOD 1. Melt the cacao butter/coconut oil and the set honey in a bowl over a saucepan of warm water (not boiling). Keep it warm, not hot, otherwise it’s no longer raw. 2. Mix cacao powder with ground almonds and vanilla in a mixing bowl and add the melted mixture. Use a food processor if you prefer. 3. Roll a small amount of mixture in your hands, coat in cacao powder and put in fridge to set. These will keep for a couple of weeks in the fridge.

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Raw Dark Chocolate INGREDIENTS 75g cacao butter 2-3 tbsp cacao powder – add 2, then a little more if needed for taste 3 tsp agave nectar, to taste ½ tsp lucuma ¼ tsp vanilla essence, to taste

CHEESE I have an admission to make here – I haven’t made raw cheese. Well, not successfully. I tried a while ago and chose a very advanced recipe which didn’t turn out too well. There are simpler ones and it’s something I’d like to perfect so I can give up eating normal cheese.

1. Melt the cacao butter in a bowl over a saucepan of warm water, not boiling, so you keep your chocolate raw. 2. Mix together the cacao powder, agave, lucuma and vanilla. 3. Mix in the cacao butter and keep the mixture runny – if you mix too long, your chocolate will go lumpy. 4. Pour straight into chocolate moulds and put in the fridge to set. It’ll keep for 2-3 weeks in the fridge.

I do make a lot of raw yoghurt and cream using nuts. Nuts are the basis of raw cheese, and most raw cheese contains nutritional yeast which is easily available.

You could add some other flavours such as orange, peppermint (just a drop or two to taste) or goji berries, raisins, nuts – anything which goes with chocolate. If you want to learn all about making raw chocolate for yourself, check out the expert Amy Levin of Amy runs online and face-to-face courses.

There are some great raw cheese recipes to be found in the march 2017 issue of ‘Vegan Food and Living’ magazine. You should be able to get back copies via www.facebook. Also Kate Bronte-Stewart of has developed vegan cheeses and, as she does a lot of raw food, I’d anticipate many of them are raw too. Now I’m inspired to try my own cheese-making again!

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Dessert Wine Delight by Matt Phillips

It turns out that Neil is a big fan but there’s a rule to remember when making a choice from the wine list: “I love dessert wine but they’re complicated to make and expensive to buy so it goes without saying that the key is to make sure you’ve ordered a good one. That’s right readers, we’re heading into un- The main rule is that the wine should be chartered territory on the wine list, pushing sweeter than the food.” past the Pinot pages and rushing through the Rioja and Rosé until we land on the The Secret Strength of Sauternes unfamiliar terra firma that is known as… One of the famous regions for dessert wine dessert wine. is Sauternes in the Graves area of Bordeaux where they’re reliant on mouldy grapes. Every great expedition requires a helping Yes, you read that correctly. Mouldy grapes. hand so fear not, we’ve found our Dr LivOver to you Neil for further info. ingstone in Essex wine aficionado Neil Bull. “They use grapes that have been affected by A former executive in the city, Neil traded noble rot which is a fungus infection that in stocks and shares in exchange for Essex dehydrates the fruit but creates a higher Wine School, one of East Anglia’s premier sugar level. Because of that you’re looking wine tasting companies that caters for at wine that suits a fruit tart dessert, somegroup and home visits plus corporate days. thing a little tropical like mango is perfect.” So, it’s a jungle out there – where do we start? “We have dessert wine on my tasting sessions and people tend to want to carry on with the whites and reds as they’re the traditional favourites,” explains Neil. “But people do like them once they know a bit more about what they’re drinking and have had a little taste.” 44

And Neil’s choice of Sauternes dessert wine can be found at Majestic in Castelnau de Suduiraut, retailing at 12.99 per half bottle. Warm Up To Ice Wine It might be shorts and t-shirt weather but we’re heading into the depths of winter for Neil’s next selection. Welcome to the world of Ice Wine.

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PICTURE CREDITS: Celtic Whiskey Shop

We’re getting a little adventurous in this issue of Cibare so pick up your Indiana Jones hat and get ready to follow in the footsteps of the great explorers such as Magellan, Hillary and Columbus.

“They’re very common in Canada and Germany where they have very harsh winters,” explains Neil. “The winemakers wait for temperatures to fall down to -8 and then pick the frozen grapes off the vine knowing they won’t defrost anytime soon. “Ice wine is an expensive process as you send the pickers out a few times a week at all hours to select the best grapes and you’re also losing a lot of crop that doesn’t make the required standard, as much as 80%, so Ice Wine tends to be more expensive to buy as a half bottle.”

Cibare readers, we came and we conquered. We now stand on top of the dessert wine landscape with our flag fluttering in the wind as experts in the field. Fancy a fun wine tasting session? Enjoy with friends, family or office colleagues – just drop Neil a line via www.

Peller Ice Wine Vidal from Canada is Neil’s choice, available at £34 per half bottle from Great Western Wine. “It’s another great tasting wine that goes well with fruit,” says Neil. “Think citrus, maybe a lemon tart, even a chocolate tart would go well with the Peller Ice Wine.” Port: A British Favourite “Legend has it that Port was created by British sailors on the old merchant routes to India. They found that the wine on board didn’t travel well so they added spirit to prolong its life while they were at sea and Port was born,” explains Neil. “We love Port in the UK, it’s really been a favourite over the years.” A Suffolk-based beer brewery is the home of Neil’s port of choice in Quinto Do Crasßto. This port clearly still travels well as Adnams in Southwold bring it over from Northern Portugal at £13.99 per bottle. “Port requires a dessert that is a little more autumnal so you’re looking at fruit cake and sticky toffee pudding,” concludes Neil.


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A Local Festival by Gillian Balcombe

centre of the village, now Le Donjon restaurant. A small petting farm is set up on what is normally the boulodrome – every town or village worth its salt has at least one space that’s dedicated to playing the national game of boules or pétanque. Donkeys, cows, sheep, lambs, geese and chickens move in. Stalls sprout all over the village centre and down the road that leads to the Gendarmerie. People get very busy showing off their floral artistry for the competition, the only proviso being that the finished objet d’art must contain oranges.

So the adjacent village has the Fête des Courges (anything pumpkin or marrow-like) in October, the Provençal town of Orange has the Fête d’Ail (garlic) in September and Menton, just up the Riviera coast on the border with Italy, has the Fête des Citrons (lemons) in February. And in our little village (population approx. 2300) which has awarded itself the rather grand and slightly delusional title of ‘La Cité des Orangers’ (The And the centrepiece of the entire festival City of the Orange Trees), we have La Fête is installed in front of the Mairie. An enordes Orangers every Easter Monday. mous pile of oranges, all of which are gradually peeled all in one piece by a man in For days beforehand volunteers string or- traditional costume (who also provides inanges on lengths of rope to decorate build- struction on pruning orange trees) and the ings, fences, walls and so on. Orange bunting peel hung on racks to dry. It’s made to look is draped across the narrow streets. Lamp- like a farmyard. The tarmac is covered in posts suddenly sport orange baubles and straw and for some reason he’s surrounded decorations. The Mairie (town hall) is decked by a couple of mannequins – there’s a bloke out in the village’s favourite colour and a gi- dressed like James Bond and a priest whose ant orange ball (which to me looks like the nose has been broken at some time down aliens have landed) suddenly appears on top the years – both clutching village produce in of the old Fort Carré, the square fort in the their plastic hands. There’s also a giant sabot 48

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PICTURE CREDITS: Gillian Balcombe

Since I first started coming to France years ago, I’ve realised there’s a general rule of thumb for local festivals. As far as I can tell, it’s this: If it grows (and generally speaking if you can eat it) there’ll be a festival for it somewhere.

In front of the Mairie traditionally-dressed folk dancers and musicians entertained us, the women’s skirts swirling in the soft breeze, the colours of their outfits made all the more glorious by the sunshine. And what a treat it was to wander down the optimis50

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PICTURE CREDITS: Gillian Balcombe

(or clog) covered in leaves and oranges for tically named Grande Rue and discover, in decoration, just in case anyone’s forgotten a space between a couple of village houses, what this is all about. a chamber quartet playing classical music, surrounded by listening visitors and their If you want a comparison, think Women’s dogs. Institute in the sunshine. They may be judging flower arrangements based on oranges And you couldn’t possibly go hungry! Apart and jams made from oranges, but there’s from all the lovely people offering free samalso a committee sampling rather alcohol- ples of their wares, including the very nice ic Vin d’Orange made by the locals. Winning man with the delicious chilled rosé (hic), is an honour, because down here just about there were stalls selling local favourites everyone makes their own Vin d’Orange and that were cooked and enjoyed on the spot. Limoncello, and they’re all delicious. The ubiquitous pizza that appears everywhere these days; pissaladière which is the Today the sun shone, the ex-mayor chauf- Provençal equivalent, a scrumptious confeured the shuttle between car park and coction of caramelised onions, tiny black village, and the atmosphere was brilliant. olives and anchovies on a thin pastry base; Families of all ages and nationalities were socca, a speciality from nearby Nice which is out enjoying the sunny bank holiday, sam- a kind of fine pancake made just with chickpling the goodies proffered by the various pea flour, olive oil and salt and pepper, then stall holders, treating themselves to yummy cooked on a griddle or in a wood fired oven; delicacies or one of Monsieur Quaranta’s grilled lamb basted with olive oil and herbeautiful wrought iron pieces to decorate bes de Provence; beignets de fleurs de courtheir homes. Children enjoyed BarbaPapa, gettes, which are bright yellow courgette the French equivalent of candyfloss, and flowers dipped in a tempura batter and deep toffee apples. fried. And of course, freshly pressed orange juice! Local producers flock to these festivals with all manner of fabulous produce. There were It was one of those days when you could feel olive oils, orange aperitifs and cordials, or- the happiness and goodwill, and the village ange jams, gorgeous new season strawber- showed itself off at its very best, turning itries, cakes and pies, macaroons and biscuits, self into a family and foodie paradise. Nesspices and teas, dips and olives, dried fruits, tled against the gorgeous surrounding landwine, caramelised nuts, nougat, chees- scape and under the clearest of clear blue es, salamis, hand carved olive wood items, skies, it looked like a typical picture postcard handmade jewellery, hand thrown ceramics, of Provence. What’s not to love?? hand woven baskets, plants and more organic-ness than you could possibly imagine in one small place!


No ‘n’ Chips? No Thanks Mum! By Gemma Speakman

before their 5th birthday.’ Great to know but surely that’s down to the wider availability of exotic foods? The world is small when it comes to food these days.

Over the years, the level of readily available so-called ‘exotic’ items and staples is unrecognisable compared to when I was growing up in the 80s. It was all rusks, toast, Weetabix and porridge at weaning time. So if this is the case – and the availability and curiosity are inherently there – In my experience, kids who’ve binged why on earth does it all go so categorically on sweet fizzy drinks and salty or sug- wrong when you take your kids out to eat? ary snacks aren’t as happy as they are after chowing down a salad or something Seen Any Exotic Kids’ Menus Lately? healthy. There’s a better energy all around. It’s not the word I’d use to describe the It’s that old mantra, you get out what you ones I’ve seen anyway – and I’ve taken my put in. children to eat in very many places over the years. Adventurous neither. The current A Good Relationship With Food Is All About kids’ offering in the majority of eateries is Balance a depressing conveyer belt of samey uninA recent study commissioned by Kiddyli- spired white food, showing very little/no cious published in March 2017 found that inclination to prolong or expand their apthe Under 5s had more ‘exotic’ diets than parent natural desire to consume ‘exotic’ their parents, ‘with many having their first food. taste of curry, aubergine and even pak choi ...


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Good, bad, healthy, not healthy… we all generally have a food consciousness. Good days are when we stay on an even keel – no gorging on heavy stodgy foods or filling up with sugar and our bodies feel good, ‘clean’ even. Bad days might mean feeding that insatiable hangover, craving grease and bad stuff but our bodies feel drained, lethargic and in need of a good sleep to ‘get over the alcohol’ when actually what makes the feeling worse is the bad food.

Chicken nuggets and chips. Pizza. Pasta with tomato sauce. Macaroni cheese. Bangers and mash. Almost EVERYWHERE. Really? Where’s the thought? Where’s the imagination with such easy exoticness at our fingertips? Where’s teaching them about seasonality? About how and where foodstuffs grow?

Eating Well Is A Basic Life Skill Healthy meals aren’t top of the agenda in every school, and certainly completely absent in any hospital I’ve experienced, but also on inspection, glaringly amiss in the private sector too. Really? And moreover, why? Isn’t properly understanding basic survival more than vital? Don’t we have a bulging obesity crisis that’s getting worse? Is this major fat problem down to lack of education and a basic failure to understand food properly? Generally, yes. Was it wise to stop teaching home economics at school because non-life skills were considered more important? A resounding NO.

As if by some cruel irony, the Kiddylicious study went on to state: ‘The early exotic start could have a lasting effect, with 72% of parents believing a child with a more varied diet will be more adventurous and willing to try new foods as they get older.’ That won’t happen if their parents dine out a lot. And tagging on a small sad bowl of tired-looking pre-cut raw veg (goodbye vitamins!) doesn’t make the menu healthy. It’s at best token I think the overarching grate about dining and, with everything that’s so available, a out with kids is that you go to the provertotal wet fart of an effort. bial whole pig of an effort at home. You get them to eat broccoli and other little gastroLet’s Inspire Healthy Eating for Life nomic adventures you know taste good (and In my research for this piece, things didn’t that they’ll probably like eventually) and of get much better. My usual forthcoming course you do this mostly despite tears, tansources chimed back with a deathly quiet. trums and outright defiance, even though it Most didn’t even bother replying - silence would be so easy to give up. is sometimes LOUD. The thing was, I wasn’t asking for hardcore ‘quinoakaler’ type joints, But forget all that when you go out. The kids nor was I on the offensive, looking to morally are gleeful at the dirty greasy white goods on bash those who feed their kids crap. Because offer. And that’s fine sometimes – we’re all I sometimes do, fast-paced real life dictates partial to a bit of ‘dirt.’ But the point is, is that that’s a reality. There’s a place in the there an alternative? Generally not. There’s world for all of types of food. It’s a balance. the rub. I don’t want to spend money feeding my kids crap food. I can do that at home All I was looking for was an offering that when I can’t be bothered. So I’d rather stay showed a bit of imagination and health home. No wonder Jamie Oliver started a awareness for little ones. Let’s face it, we crusade. drum times tables and spelling into our future generations during their formative So Where Can Families Go for A Healthy years because the old establishment said Bite? academia is critical to getting along well in For the record, of the very few places that did life. But food? Nah, don’t bother it seems. reply to me, none had a really healthy dediClearly not considered as important. If, as cated kids’ menu, bar one. That was Terre A parents, you want to feed them healthily in- Terre in Brighton (sticky tofu, poached egg doors, that’s fine – but not as a bigger soci- on toast, homemade crackers and guacaetal collective. mole) All the other 54

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eateries who got in touch still followed what appeared to be the stencil form of pizza, chips, burger, some greasy cheesy concoction and chips. Not necessarily in that order/format but similar enough to be an unhealthy square kids’ menu trying to wedge its obese self into a healthy round hole when the opportunity arose. It didn’t wash.

seasonal snacks. Plus you can dine in timber-clad tree houses. At least they’re trying to entice kids with the appeal of healthy eating by offering something submersive. Sorry readers – it’s not much in terms of a list and it certainly doesn’t inspire. It’s quite a despondent selection, a bit like how the whole topic makes me feel in fact. Is that all there is to offer? SURELY NOT. I don’t believe that for a second. It must be me, looking in the wrong places. Look, perhaps we can do this ourselves. The most reliable impartial audience, not concerned with PR plugs and column inches, is YOU.

Las Iguanas For example, you could go to Las Iguanas (chains nationwide) but the offering is not healthy – pizza, burger, quesadilla… Although they have just done a collaboration with Bristol-based Aardman Animations, so whilst your kid chews on wacky tacos, at least they can colour in exceptionally welldrawn characters that hail from very good Answers on a postcard or recommends@ stock. if you know of somewhere that kicks the ‘sumfink ’n’ chips’ diatribe out of Bistrot Pierre the park. PLEASE. Bistrot Pierre also got in touch but with burger, goujons and croque monsieur on offer. Again, hardly screaming healthy to me Ideas for A Perfect Children’s Menu and so slightly missing the point. bistrot- Lettuce and salami with French dressing Cubes of feta with watermelon and pomegranate Harrissa Hummus and pitta bread chunks This Newcastle-based restaurant has a menu Cucumber and tomato salad awash with healthy treats which sound won- Prawns with Marie Rose dip derful. But there isn’t a child-specific menu and so, as promising as it might be, it doesn’t Chicken drumsticks with cubed garlic fully fit the brief. If no forethought has gone Potatoes with grated carrot and black olive into creating a kids’ menu, it can’t then try with white wine vinegar dressing and fashion itself as having one when the Steamed salmon or cod with broccoli and a question arises. pesto dip side Half a jacket potato with pancetta and grated Squirrel cheese This all-day fast casual dining concept in Slices of cold beef with hot potato wedges South Kensington is a wonderful idea but and chunky coleslaw again not entirely kid-specific. Although the draw is bigger with its interesting inte- Cheese and crackers riors and the charming forest features that greet customers: a tree-lined walkway, bespoke ‘Drinking Well’ and 21-foot fallen oak tree service counter showcasing colourful

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Chocolate Meltdown For Dogs by Roz Lishak

Are you wondering why? It’s because our favourite Easter treats contain one of the most toxic ingredients for dogs, namely theobromine. Even the smallest of amounts will cause great discomfort and, in some extreme cases, death. Be Aware and Take Care At this time of year there is probably more chocolate in and around our homes, let alone at purchase points. Along with the chocolate egg, the foil wrapping surrounding the offending oval can also attract and be devoured with relish too! If you leave half an Easter egg for later, and it’s within reach, it may simply disappear and become a source of tummy disruption. (Think about it – it’s the best excuse for eating it all at once.) 56

However, you may be comforted to know that carob is not a toxic substance although, as with most things, portion control is healthier by far. Remember that the moderation method works best. I’m Not The Easter Egg Police! I’m simply reminded of the childhood memory of finding my Labrador Rusty shaking and foaming at the mouth, having devoured a box of chocolates that was a birthday gift. It had been left up on the side board, but that didn’t stop his keen nose sniffing it out, flipping off the lid and tucking into the entire top layer. We opened the front door, saw him in the hall and managed to whisk him to the vet in time. My story luckily had a happy ending, but it’s a sight no pet parent should ever have to witness. With a clever dog, no hiding place is sacred when it comes to the C-word!

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PICTURE CREDITS: fotojagodka

I can hardly even bear to write these two words in the same sentence but here goes... canine chocolate. Phew! As chocolate is one of the most dangerous things that can be set before a dog, it totally taps into my four-legged fears to see this written on a page, let alone in real life!


Simply Nigella By Nigella Lawson by Rebecca Stratton

Bowlfood starts with one of my all-time favourites, Ramen – not something I’ve ever made at home but will definitely be trying in the future. Other recipes include Sweet Potato Macaroni Cheese and Indian Spiced Shepherd’s Pie, as well as wholesome rice bowls and noodle dishes. Dine is the ‘food for entertaining’ chapter. Caramelised Garlic Hummus, Lamb Ribs with Cumin Seeds, Butternut and Halloumi Burgers, Fish Tacos, Greek Squid and Orzo all look amazing in the gorgeous photos which accompany each recipe. I could happily pick anything in this chapter to serve for dinner.

The chapters are as follows: Quick and Calm, Bowlfood, Dine, Breathe, Sides, Sweets and Beginnings. A lot of recipes in the book seem to have a Thai influence which I found great, because although it’s something I eat when out, I don’t have much experience cooking it at home. Breathe is the ‘slow cooked, spend a bit more time in the kitchen’ chapter. Asian Short Quick and Calm focuses on easy recipes for Ribs, Beef Chilli, Veal Shank Stew, Pulled two with minimal preparation and ingredi- Pork and Moroccan Chicken Stew all sound ents – it’s the weeknight dinner chapter, if nourishing and filling for a relaxed evening you will. Recipes include Cauliflower and in or for feeding a crowd. Cashew Nut Curry (I have it on good authority that cauliflower is going to be a star veg Sides is veg-heavy with some great new idethis year) which was heavenly. Made using as, including quick pickles, slaw and dhal. Thai red curry paste and coconut milk, it was both quick and easy, plus very well re- And no Nigella book would be complete ceived. A new take on the Caesar salad and a without a killer Sweets chapter… Pumprecipe for ‘Brocamole’ also stood out. kin Bundt Cake, Matcha Cake with Cherry 58

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Now, Nigella Lawson isn’t someone you’d usually associate with a ‘healthy eating’ book. And if you have her other books (like I do) and have cooked up all the treats (like I have) it’s probably time you stopped indulging and went on a diet (like I need to). So I had high hopes for this one, which had an accompanying BBC series last year, and prayed it was packed with flavourful fun recipes that would be a little easier on the waistline.

Icing, Lemon Pavlova and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Pots all look incredible. And I wouldn’t feel as guilty indulging if I’d first cooked dinner out of the rest of the book. Oddly, the last chapter is called Beginnings and is all about breakfast food. Breakfast is undoubtedly my favourite meal of the day – and as I work from home I’m lucky enough to have time to prepare it every morning. This chapter really rings the changes of the way we now eat. It includes lighter choices with a firm focus on fruit, vegetables and some of the new healthy eating ingredients which now appear everywhere: Avocado Toast, Matcha Latte, Compote, Breakfast Bars, Buckwheat Muffins, Chia Seed Pudding, Breakfast Burrito, Oat Pancakes, Baked French Toast and Egg Hash. What’s The Verdict? I found this book a welcome change from Nigella’s usual recipes. A bit lighter, but still very flavourful and well executed. I always trust that the recipes work and I like the little blurb before each recipe explaining a story or ingredient. Sometimes I need a bit more than just a list and a picture to entice me to make it! So I’d definitely recommend it to anyone looking to go down a healthy, lighter-eating route who doesn’t want to go full-on sugar-free vegan. Another great book Nigella – keep them coming!

Send love to the Cibare Team for this amazing issue Check them out on ... and sign up to our newsletter! Photo Credits Prosecco Chocolate Cake © Emma Walton Yings Beef Noodle Soup © Phil Bower The True Story of Chocolate Chicken and Henry VII © Samina Iqbal Local Festival Raclette © Gillian Balcombe Chocolate Meltown for Dogs © fotojagodka No ‘n’ Chips © Brent Hofacker Cookbook Review © Nigella Lawson Matt Philips © Celtic Whisky Shop

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Cibare food magazine issue nine  

Cibare Food and Drinks Magazine for the masses! We love eating out, eating great easy food in and we always like a drink! Passionate about...

Cibare food magazine issue nine  

Cibare Food and Drinks Magazine for the masses! We love eating out, eating great easy food in and we always like a drink! Passionate about...

Profile for cibare