Heaven on a Stick

We have just had a children’s party but these fruit kebabs can be adapted for adults. They are health and can be served at any time.
1 dozen mini kebab skewers
1 pear, cubed
1 banana, thick sliced
6 strawberries, halved
2 oranges
1 small tin coconut cream or small container of soy yoghurt
Peel one of the oranges and cut into chunks removing any pips and segment membrane.
Thread chunks of pear, banana, strawberry and orange onto the kebab sticks.
Grater 1 tsp orange zest and squeeze 1 Tbsp orange juice. Stir them into the coconut cream or the yoghurt. Pour into a small serving bowl.
Serves 4 people.
For adults substitute the orange juice for a fruit liqueur such as Cointreau.

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Lovely to drink in the early evening as the sun goes down on a hot day.
1 bottle dry white wine, chilled
400 ml apple juice, chilled
400 ml peach juice, chilled
1/4 lemon, thinly sliced
1/2 orange, thinly sliced
1/2 lime, thinly sliced
10 leaves of mint, lightly crushed
Place all the ingredients in a 2 Lt jug.
Add ice and stir to combine.
Serve in cold glasses.

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Chickpea Soup

Thank you Mavis for this quick, easy and filling soup. Nice and warming on these cold winter nights.
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
250 ml vegetable stock
410g can of tomatoes, chopped with their juice
2 400g cans chickpeas, drained
5 sprigs of rosemary, 10 cm long, washed
In a large pan heat the olive oil and fry the onions for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and 4 sprigs of rosemary. Simmer for 1 minute.
Add the stock, tomatoes and chickpeas and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the sprigs of rosemary.
Serve hot. Garnish with the leaves from the 5th sprig of rosemary, a drizzle of olive oil and a grinding of black pepper.
Serves 4 people.
Serve with hot bread rolls.

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Herb Risotto with Red Pepper Puree

This recipe is very colourful.
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
400 ml 3/4 pt vegetable stock, heated
3 Tbsp watercress, Chopped
6 Tbsp basil or coriander, or both according to taste
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp vegan margarine
1 yellow pepper, chopped
100 mg 6 oz Arborio rice
250 ml 1/2 pt white wine
2 red peppers, whole
salt and pepper to taste
Heat the oven to 180 C.
Bake the red peppers on a baking tray in the oven turning occasionally until the skin blackens. Allow to cool. Remove the skin and the core with the seeds. Puree with 1 Tbsp olive oil. Keep warm in the oven.
In a frying pan melt the margarine and olive oil. Cook the onion for 5 minutes until soft. Add the yellow pepper and garlic and cook for 2 more minutes.
Stir in the rice and allow to fry until opaque.
Ladle in the hot stock and allow to cook until creamy, about 15 minutes. Add the wine and sprinkle in the herbs and bring back to the boil.
This will serve 2 people. Place the risotto in the centre of the table and put the red pepper puree around the edge.

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Summer Fruit and Lavender Brulee

It is summer where my sister-in-law lives and she has given me this recipe, thanks Marina.
Mixed summer fruit ie. strawberries, raspberries, blueberries or your choice of fruit
1 tsp lavender
1 Tbsp demerara sugar
1 carton of soy yoghurt
Clean all the fruit.
Fill a shallow heatproof dish with the mixture of summer fruit.
Scatter over the top a good sprinkling of lavender.
Cover with a thick layer of soy yoghurt.
Sprinkle over the demerara sugar.
Put under a grill or use a blowtorch to melt the topping of sugar until it is a hard caramel crust.
Serve immediately. Serves 4 people.

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Banana Soup

Since breaking my shoulder I have found it difficult and dangerous to work in the kitchen. My husband has been a wonder and cooked up delicious meals. This was his offering last night as we had too many ripe bananas. I didn’t think I would like it but there was none left. 
3 ripe bananas
200 ml coconut cream
1 vegetable cube dissolved in 750 ml
5 tsp soy sauce
2 fresh chillies or 1 tsp chilli powder
3 Tbsp oil
4 cloves garlic
2 tsp wholegrain mustard
6 – 12 spring onions depending on size
salt and pepper to taste
bread rolls
Chop the onions, garlic, spring onions and chillies.
Fry the onions for 2 minutes until soft. Add the remaining chopped vegetables and cook for further 2 minutes.
Place all the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.
Pour into a pan and simmer gently until the soup thickens.
Serve immediately with warm bread rolls.
Serves 3 people.

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Lavender, Apple and Celeriac Soup

Another lavender recipe from my sister-in-law, Marina. Thank you.
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
25 g vegan margarine
1 celeriac, peeled and cubed
1 cooking apple, peeled, cored and chopped
1 Tbsp dried lavender
500 ml vegetable stock
salt and pepper to taste
150 ml soy yoghurt
Melt the margarine in a large frying pan. Fry the onion and celeriac until lightly brown.
Add the apple and lavender and cook for 2 minutes.
Add the stock and cover the pan. Simmer for 20 minutes.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Liquidise or pass through a sieve.
Reheat. Serves 4 people.
Serve hot with a swirl of yoghurt in each bowl.

Celeriac is excellent served roasted, boiled or mashed. It can be sliced and fried into chips.
Serve with a main meal or a salad.
It has a very aromatic flavour.

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