Archive for October, 2012

Spooky cakes

The Little Cat Cafe presents some spooky cake designs.

Speaking of the cafe – opening hours are changing as of today – throughout winter we will be opening Friday  to Sunday, 10am -3pm. Just so that you can grab your morning coffee and have lunch in the park.



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Mirta is our new, lovely Food Hero. She has shared with us her secret home recipes. No recipe book inspirations, everything coming straight from Mirta’s heart and because of that I post a photo of her and her husband instead of photos of the food. Because sometimes more than a recipe it matters who you prepare food for.
She says: A good attitude whilst cooking is the main ingredient.

These recipes serves 3 good portions.

Lentils with pumpkin as a side dish:

1 large cup (250 gm)  lentils

4 to 5 cups of water

1 cup peeled, cubed (1-inch), seeded pumpkin

4 medium size tomatoes – grated

2 medium size onions – grated

3 presssed cloves of garlic

Handful fresh coriander, finely chopped

salt and pepper (according to taste)


Put the lentils and pumpkin with the water in a saucepan.  Bring to boil and then reduce the heat to low.  Simmer for 25 minutes or until almost soft.  As it is for a side dish check that it’s not too watery. If so, take water out.

Fry the onions and garlic in some oil, then add the tomatoes and at the end the coriander and salt and pepper. Add this sauce to the lentils and pumpkin.

Yellow rice

Health benefits of rice can be found in more than forty thousand varieties of this cereal available in the world.

Both lentils and rice have been food staples for many centuries. Eaten together, they offer a low-fat, nutritious source of complete protein, fibre, iron and other essential minerals.

1 large cup basmati rice

Double the amount of rice

Pinch of turmeric

1 small stick of cinnamon

5 cardamom pods

One handful of raisins

2 tablespoons of butter

Salt, according to taste

Put all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to the boil uncovered.

Once it boils, cover, reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 20 to 30 minutes (depending on the type of rice). Check that the rice is fluffy and water has been absorbed.

Turn the cooker off and fluff with a fork.

Eggplants and tomatoes

This fibre-rich vegetable (eggplant) provides a number of vitamins and minerals along with disease-fighting antioxidants, making it a healthy addition to any diet.

Eating more tomatoes and tomato products can make people healthier and decrease the risk of conditions such as cancer, osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease.

2 small (or 1 very large) eggplants sliced

3 big tomatoes

salt & black pepper

olive oil, if possible

2 cloves of garlic

basil leaves or dried leaf basil

grated cheese (opcional)

tomatoe paste

Heat oil in a large nonstick saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the eggplant, salt, black pepper.  Saute the tomatoes in a separate saucepan; stir to combine. Add the basil leaves, cover, reduce heat and simmer 3 minutes. You can layer the eggplants and tomatoes and sprinkle grated cheese. Put in the oven briefly.

Rice pudding

Rice pudding offers more health benefits than other desserts, such as custard or ice cream.

1 cup short grain rice

1 litter whole milk (you can replace some of the milk with coconut milk

1 small tin of evaporated milk

1 large tablespoon butter


cinnamon sticks (preferably)

nutmeg powder

1 handful of raisins

dried shredded coconut

Cook the rice first with the butter in two cups of water.  First bring to the boil and then in a low heat. When it is almost dried, add the hot milk, evaporated milk, sugar, cinnamon stick, nutmeg powder, dried shredded coconut. Bring to boil again and then simmer for about 20-30 minutes.  Add the raisins towards the end.

All starches are carbohydrates, but not all carbohydrates are starch. For example, honey is a carbohydrate, but it is not starch. Grapes are carbohydrate, but they are not starch. Bread is both a carbohydrate and a starch.

Lentils are both a carbohydrate and a starch.


Thank you, Mirta, for sharing your broad knowledge about nutrition with us.

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Family Breakfast Club

One of the facilities we are most proud of at Myatt’s Fields Park is Mulberry Centre with children’s play area, a state of the art one o’clock club designed in partnership with Glasshouse, a charity that specialises in community-led design.

Every Friday 9.30-11am Mulberry Centre hosts a group of  local parents who sit around a table with their children to exciting breakfast treats. Afterwards, many of them attend a story telling session in Minet library. Must be a perfect morning which always makes me jealous!

The session is free for all participants thanks to funding we got from Big Lottery’s Local Food scheme. ALL PARENTS WITH CHILDREN UNDER 5 WELCOME!

Here is the programme of Friday’s sessions until Christmas:

12th Oct Extra healthy- extra sweet Muffins

19th Oct Nutella pancakes

26th Oct Yoghurt & Rhubarb crumble

2nd Nov Fruit salad faces

9th Nov Bircher Muesli

16th Nov Fun with toast

23rd Nov Smoothies and shakes

30th Nov Cupcake Frittata

7th Dec Raspberry-Cinnamon French Toast

14th Dec Chocolate bran flake cakes

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Mexican Saturday

Last Saturday Rochelle taught us how to make some easy Mexican snacks. We got a nice comment from a first-time participant saying that she could not believe to be able to have restaurant standard dishes for free and in such friendly atmosphere.

This is what was on the menu:

CORN TORTILLAS filled with refried beans and chill beans., baked in the oven covered with salsa and cheddar cheese
GUACAMOLE: avocado dip with mashed avocados, garlic, chilly peppers, cumin, olive oil, lemon,  salt and pepper
FRESH SALSA: tomatoes, onions, garlic, peppers, vinegar, olive oil, spices
SOUR CREAM: served with the beans
MATEE tea: traditional South American tea.
Next week 10.30am-1pm, healthy continental vegetarian dishes. Hope to see you there!

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Goan Snacks

Daphne, our Food Hero made some delicious Goan snacks a couple of weeks ago. Here are some recipes. Hope you’ll enjoy them!

Coriander & Coconut Green Chutney‪


1 bunch fresh coriander (including small, tender stalks)

3 pods garlic – roughly chopped

half inch piece of ginger- sliced

200g creamed coconut – sliced/pared

2 tablespoons tamarind juice extract

1 teaspoon sugar

½ teaspoon cumin powder

3 green chillies – sliced

1 small onion – roughly chopped

½ teaspoon of salt


1. Blend all the ingredients together. Adding the salt and tamarind juice to taste.

2. Serve on bread


Sausage bites


500g packet pork sausage meat

1 large onion (finely chopped in cubes)

1 green chilli (finely chopped)

2 pods garlic (crushed)

1″ piece of ginger (grated)

1 handful fresh coriander

½ teaspoon tumeric powder

½ teaspoon cumin powder

1 tablespoon vinegar

Pinch of salt

Pinch of sugar



Mix all the ingredients together then make into small flat balls.

Grill for 10/15mins on a medium heat grill. Turning on both sides until cooked.


Sooji Doce (Semolina Halva)


1 cup of course semolina (Sooji)

¼ cup butter

½ cup sugar

1 cup milk

1 teaspoon freshly ground cardamom powder

1 handful of sultanas

1 handful of shredded almonds (leave some aside to garnish)



1. Melt butter in a saucepan on medium heat.

2. Add the semolina and keep stirring until it begins to become golden brown.

3. Add the sugar and sultanas and almonds and stir in to cook slightly.

4. Stir in the cardamom powder.

5. Add the milk, just enough to cover the dry ingredients. Stir well so that all that all the mixture emulsifies.

6. Pour mixture onto a plate and when cool, slice into diamond shapes.

7. Garnish with shredded almonds.

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The little cat

I think our Little Cat Cafe can be most proud of this cat somebody drew by the cafe yesterday during our Art in the Park event. The two circular objects are definitely some planets.Image


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Our Food Manager, Fiorella, meets with local school children every Thursday afternoon and teaches them to cook something simple. Usually they also get a chance to see how food is grown in our greenhouse. We are aiming to  encourage healthy eating in children. Get them young!

You know how when you talk about vegetarian food, there will always be this one stubborn carnivore who can’t imagine a meal without meat. Well, Fiorella managed to convince one yesterday that maybe at least potato and cauliflower hash doesn’t need it.  Want to try it at home?


Potato and cauliflower hash

cauliflower, ½, cut into florets
olive oil, ¼ cup
potatoes, 600g, peeled, cubed
cooked angel hair pasta, 2 cups
onion, 1 small, roughly chopped
dried mixed herbs,
2 teaspoons
eggs, 4
tomato relish, to serve

Preparation method
1. Blanch cauliflower 4-5 minutes, until just tender. Drain well
and refresh.

2. Heat oil in a large deep-frying pan on medium. Saute potato 5-6 minutes, until golden.
Add pasta, bacon, onion and herbs, cooking a further 3-4 minutes.

3. Spread mixture evenly over pan, making 4 indents with the back of a spoon. Crack an
egg into each. Cover and cook on low heat 5-6 minutes, until potato is tender and eggs are
cooked. Serve with tomato relish.

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