Easy Moroccan Chicken one pot meal

The chill in the air is just right for warming one pot meals. Make them healthy, quick and easy to put together and you have a winner on your hands.Last year at the Cake and Bake show which I attended with a dear friend and fellow blogger ,  I ended up spending a bomb (£££!!!!) on four different sized pots – non – stick being one of their biggest virtues.One of them is a huge wok which I intend to use to make a stir fry over the weekend. The coating is said to last for years and each vessel comes with a glass lid. I can apparently also shove them directly into the oven but haven’t tried that yet. The big and rather saucepan is what I use as my crock pot for making one pot meals in. In fact there is something very comforting watching a warming curry or gorgeously tasty and nutritious one pot meals!

heaven in a saucepan - healthy , happy meals begin here!

Ok so coming back to my one pot recipe. I had a bag of baby spinach leaves in my fridge and was craving a wholesome soupy stew with lots of vegetables. So managed to gather a few things that I think would taste great together and then added in Knorr onion gravy pots and Knorr mixed chilli pot for flavour and the result was so very satisfying.  But the best part was adding in Ras El Hanout a delicious and fiery moroccan and North African fragrant spice mix. The delicate dried rose petals look so pretty , that’s why I decided to name my dish Moroccan Chicken one pot.I also devoured it for lunch today – umm.

 Moroccan Chicken one pot meal

Make this in a large quantity and it will freeze well. Batch cooking is highly recommended as it saves you time and ensures that you do not eat things that you will end up regretting when you are hard pressed for time and simply cannot cook.The freezer is a wonderful boon, use it!

I purchased a beautiful Red Leicester and Pumpkin seed batard to go with my meal – it is soul-satisfying to mop up the thick gravy with the bread while sitting on the couch watching my fav crime show on the telly, feeling all warm and happy.

The best part of this recipe is I haven’t added in potatoes or extra sugar to taste and yet the flavours are so well balanced. (Though both gravy pots do contain sugar) I love stocking up on these tiny Knorr flavour pots they are life-savers!

A recipe with enough spinach to make Popeye jump with joy! Spinach has several health benefits and is known to be a great source of folic acid and several essential vitamins and great levels of iron too. Best part is a big bag of spinach can be consumed in no time as the leaves are high in water content and it reduces in size when cooked.

 Moroccan Chicken one pot meal

Easy Moroccan Chicken one pot

Serves:4  Preparation Time: 10 minutes  Cooking time: approx 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • Olive oil 2 tbsp
  • 1 large red onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • Mixed bag of broccoli, carrot and cauliflower – 270 gm
  • Chicken thighs – 500 gm – appox 3 big pieces
  • Trimmed green beans – 75 gm
  • Chestnut Mushrooms – 4 – 5
  • 1.5 Knorr onion gravy flavour pot
  • 1 Knorr mixed chillies flavour pot
  • 4 handfulls of spinach leaves
  • Red lentils – without skin and halved 3/4th cup
  • 1/2 tsp of Ras El Hanout
  • 1/2 tsp of roasted cumin powder
  • Water

Method:

  • Remove the skin from the chicken thighs after washing thoroughly under running water.
  • Chop the chicken thighs to make strips of the flesh leaving just enough on the bone.
  • Wash and cut the broccoli, carrots,cauliflower, green beans and chestnut mushrooms bits into bite sized pieces.
  • Slice an onion lengthwise into fine strips.
  • Remove the skin from the garlic cloves and chop into tiny bits.
  • In a large saucepan or stock pot heat olive oil on a medium flame, when the oil becomes to heat up add the finely chopped garlic and saute’ until they turn a golden brown then add in the sliced onion.
  • Stirring occasionally allow the onion to sweat and just when it begins to brown add in the chopped vegetables and saute for half a minute.
  • Then add in the chicken thighs and saute for another minute.
  • Then wash and add the red lentils , add enough water to create a thick gravy – enough to allow the lentils to cook and not soak up all the water. Then add in the Knorr flavour pots and mix well.

Big, beautiful pot of healthy goodness - absolutely irresistible!

  • Then add the washed spinach leaves, cumin powder and cover and cook on a medium flame for 15 minutes.

Gorgeous Bowl of goodness with immunity boosting spinach and delicious veggies

  • By now the lentils will have cooked and the chicken will almost be done too.
  • Then taste the soupy water and if it is too spicy add just a very tiny pinch the Ras El Hanout , I added 1/2 a tsp as the taste reminded me of garam masala. Ras El Hanout is a moroccan mixture of fragrant spices with rose petals and gives the stock pot a gorgeous full bodied flavour.
  • Cook for a further 10-15 minutes on a gentle low flame.
  • Serve in large bowls with a big portion of the pumpkin batard bread.

Moroccan Chicken one pot meal recipe

Have linked up my recipe with the #NoWasteFoodChallenge hosted by the lovely Elizabeth who blogs at Elizabeth’s Diary. Find out all about this challenge in her blog post here.

Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary

Beetroot and Chickpea salad

Who doesn’t love a salad that you can put together in no time? This easy to make and super quick to put together Beetroot and Chickpea salad recipe is just the thing when you want to eat healthy and not compromise on taste at the same time.  I have added in amchoor powder which is a tangy  dried mango powder which will give this salad a fabulous twist when combined with balsamic vinegar.

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If possible try and buy baby beetroot cooked in vinegar as these would be the perfect size and also have the right amount of vinegar. If you are not sure of how much balsamic vinegar you can handle, add 1⁄2 tbsp first and then if you feel brave add another half. I have a whole collection of flavoured vinegar and if you can get your hands on cranberry infused vinegar, I highly recommend adding that in as it will totally elevate the flavour of your salad.

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Serves: 4 as a side and 2 as a main

Ingredients:

  •  1⁄2 a can of boiled and cooked chickpeas
  •  4 small beetroot cooked and peeled – roughly 250 gm
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 small red onion sliced length wise
  • 2 tsp amchoor powder
  • 2 heaped tsp pomegranate seeds

Method:

  • In a large mixing bowl add the chickpeas
  • Chop the cooked and peeled beetroot into bite size chunks. Add them into the chickpeas. Add the chopped onion and pomegranate seeds.
  • Add the vinegar and the amchoor powder and mix well.
  • Serve and sprinkle with more pomegranate seeds if desired.

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I have found the perfect linky to add my virtuous yet superbly delicious salad to. It’s this month’s Spice Trail with the theme ‘ Temple Food‘ hosted by the lovely Vanesther on her blog called ‘Bangers and Mash’. The whole concept of respecting your body by treating it like a temple is really apt for the way I have recently begun to think about food. I have to re-think and re-align what I feed my system and actually begin to ‘listen’ to what my body is speaking to me. It’s important that after years of neglect I FINALLY pay attention to what is entirely my own – my body.

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By linking to this challenge I take heart in knowing that I am not ALONE . There are other like-minded foodies who are re-thinking their ways of eating. I do hope my recipe is one of the many delicious , innovative and beautiful ones that will help my readers on their journey to eating healthy and feeling more energetic.

 

In my Veg Box – May 2014 Round up – Theme – Cauliflowers

Ok its that time to share the roundup for the May linky for ”In my Veg Box” an event run by Nayna Kanabar of Citrus Spice UK. The theme was  Cauliflowers and I am happy to say that a large variety of recipes were created by you and shared.Read on and enjoy,theres even an award winning recipe in here by Nayna!

My very first entry is from Sudha Neelam from her blog ‘Spicy Quiry Serendipitous’ .Her cauliflower and chickpeas stew recipe  is a spicy,thick,zingy recipe with thai red paste and comforting coconut milk .This scientist mum has shared a very beautiful part about her life and who all working mothers experience separation anxiety, reminds me of how my sister got back to work after having both her kids ,especially after her first baby when she braved Mumbai rains, the rush hour on her train journey and really slogged hard.She is my friend ,my philosopher and guide , but mostly she is someone I admire deeply for her steely determination, her ability to keep her family together and still achieve loads in her career.

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Next up is a very easy and tasty recipe for Cauliflower and green peas curry by Nayna on her blog Citrus Spice UK.This robustly flavoured curry is a fabulous addition to any menu, just as good with a hot roti as it is with rice or pulav ,a very worthy addition on the menu when hosting a vegetarian dinner party I think.

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Another cool link up from Nayna , her recipe for ‘Spicy Cauliflower Tempura’  won her the runner up prize in the National Vegetarian week– Betta Living ,held during 19-25 May 2014. Nayna winning entry got her a whooping prize money of  £250 prize! woohoo! Well done Nayna! Proof that cauliflowers rocks and vegetarian recipes are far from boring and actually require more creativity and culinary expertise to create flavour from simple ingredients! I also think the photo below is really beautifully done,agree?

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Linsy who blogs at Real Home Cooked Food has shared a tangy pickle based recipe for Aachari Cauliflower, Chana and Corn / Cauliflower , Chickpeas and Corn in Pickle spices. I love using pickle as marinade for my meat dishes and cauliflower take sup the flavours so readily it is a satisfying eat this dish am sure.

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After a stew and a tempura a manchurian recipe is up next.Cauliflower(Gobhi) Manchurian in Knorr Chinese Schezuan Sauce from the blog Hobby Chef  uses a store bought powdered packet sauce. Though the manchurian sauce is from a packet it looks really yummy and I’ve always like Knorr’s recipe mixes , a quick fix for days when you just can’t be bothered with making a sauce from scratch I guess, with my current crazy schedule and a cold from hell I could do with some warm soup made NOT by me 😉

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When I was in North Wales, hubster and I had fish and chips with a curry sauce at a dingy little place, the chips were blah but the curry sauce was super fab , ever since its stuck in some corner of my brain and everytime I pass by a fish and chip shop that does a fairly decent job I wonder if they have curry sauce on their menu.This Cauliflower Curry Sauce by Linzi of Lancashire is a minefield of all things good and wholesome. Its no fat,high fibre, can be made ahead and frozen for saving the day at a later date and is a fabulous way to hide veggies in a tasty sauce, if that wasn’t enough it is a versatile sauce which will go with meat ,fish or veggie curries.

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Up next another fabulous sauce this time a Hidden Cauliflower Cheese Pasta Sauce by Elizabeth of Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary.I just happened to heard in great detail her about me section and discovered that we have both done our B.Sc in Lifesciences! I also went on to do a year of Masters in Biochemistry which I ditched and went for a MBA in Marketing when I realised I didn’t want to sit in a lab and talk to test tubes which I had named with characters from a fav sitcom 😉 Another beautiful food photo for the round up and another great recipe for making in extra portions and saving a mid week meal !

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Another gem of a recipe from Sudha our scientist mommy blogger who has taken culinary creativity to a fab new level with this dish! Kudos to her! Her recipe for Hidden Surprises – Cauliflower Stems with Potatoes is easy but she got there after one failed experiment. Inmy mind she has 2 labs one at her work and one her kitchen 🙂 Go give this fab recipe a try NOW! I know I am 🙂

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Shobhas Bengali style recipe for Bengali Style Cauliflower with Poppy seeds & Mustard Paste is simple curry but packed with earthy moorish flavours.I thoroughly enjoy Bengali food and a big fan of seafood which am sure you know by now if your read my post regularly.

Jagrutis recipe for Spiced & baked cauliflower bhaja from her blog the Turmeric Kitchen came about as a result of being forced to rest up a sprained ankle hence its something that can be created in a flash and am sure will taste brill. I love the aroma of roasted cauli and roasted garlic.

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Nayna innovative recipe for Spicy Cauliflower Couscous is a clever way to use this versatile vegetable with a small amount of spices and get something yummy on the plate for everyone to enjoy.

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Another cool link up by Shobha who blogs at FoodMazaa , her Punjabi Pickle recipe is a lovely traditional recipe from the northern part of India. Pickles are to be stored for flavours to develop. I remember eating this with great relish at a Punjabi freinds place when I stayed over during my MBA final exams, I always tried to sneak in some extra pickle on my plate 😉

Another recipe for Achaari Gobhi ( Pickled Cauliflower) this time by Sarika is adapted from Sanjeev Kapoors original.

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Helen who blogs at Famly Friends and food has shared a beautiful Cauli Risotto with crispy eggs recipe ,I love eggs in any form and risotto is my go to comfort food when I am in the mood for a creamy delicious treat.

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Another recipe from Helen this time a Cauliflower with anchovy and garlic , very unusual combination with anchovies I must say !

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Sonal who blogs at simplyvegetarian777 has shared a recipe for Crunchy Gobhi Tandoori .Great idea for a summer BBQ party don’t you think ?

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Lastly my everyday recipe for a vegetable I like to have at least once a week with warm soft chapatis.

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I hope that this round up leaves you inspired to experiment with cauliflower and try any one of the many lovely recipes.

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Thanks to Nayna for letting me host this exciting linky event.
In my veg box cauliflower

 

In my Veg Box: Cauliflowers – Recipe Linky Challenge

Am back in May with another exciting challenge !This month, I am guest hosting In My Veg Box, an event run by Nayna Kanabar of Citrus Spice UK. This month’s theme is Cauliflowers.

Cauliflower – ”The kale of 2014, the budget-friendly superfood, the most underrated vegetable” is what the Huff Post,Canada mentions in a recent article about 10 health benefits of cauliflower.

Did you know that Cauliflower is an aid to weight loss! Yes! That’s why its the new kale and tastes much better too, don’t you think? My favourite new way to use cauliflower creatively is by shredding it in a food processor and cooking it with some water in a microwave as a replacement for rice.

Cauliflower is bursting with various vitamins like  Vit B and C , potassium and phosphorous that can support your body’s repair and maintenance of the nervous system, immune system, muscles and bones.

Its name is from Latin caulis (cabbage) and flower.

A brassica, like cabbage and broccoli, cauliflower is a mass of tiny, tightly packed flower heads (called curds), which grow from a thick central stem to form a single, round head, cupped by green leaves. It has a firm, almost waxy texture, and a mild, delicate flavour. Most cauliflowers are white, but it’s also possible to find green and purple varieties, as well as the sweeter Romanesco cauliflower, with its distinctive pointed florets.The orange cauliflower is also rich in beta-carotene and vitamin A.

I tasted the orange and purple coloured variants of cauliflower for the first time a few years back and my love affair with the beautiful Romanesco cauliflower has only just begun! Did you know that the English call romanesco – broccoli, the French – cabbage and the Germans and the Poles – cauliflower. Some of the undecided place it somewhere between broccoli and cauliflower. Taking into account its shape, romanesco rosettes bring to mind the pyramids or minaret towers, the theory, that it fell out of a flying saucers would seem to be rather interesting.

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Acc to the BBC Good Food Guide:  Like all brassicas, cauliflower smells very unpleasant if overcooked, so brief cooking is essential.

With me and my hubster cauliflower and green peas bhaji made using a simple hand me down recipe from my aai (mother in Marathi, my mother tongue) is a firm favourite.I make it atleast once a week. My aai, my sister and her kids love it too, we are a veggie friendly family that way!

If all this has not put you in the mood for cooking up something interesting or simple and easy with cauliflower then what will?! 😉

So get cooking,clicking and link up but first a few rules! I know , I know RULES.. But  I promise the rules are dead easy to follow!

Rules to Participate:

  1. Please prepare any vegetarian recipes using Cauliflowers and link your dish to the linky code below. You will need  to enter the name of your dish, as well as the url of your blog.
  2. Current theme is CAULIFLOWER.
  3. You must link this post to Sliceoffme and to Citrus Spice UK.
  4. Use of the logo is not mandatory but it helps to spread the word if you can use it.
  5. Multiple entries are allowed.
  6. Archived entries are also allowed, only if they are re-posted and updated with this event link, as well as the Citrus Spice UK link.
  7. Recipes must be added to the linky by 31st May 2014.

In the event of any problems with using the linky code, please email me your entry to fruitsnveg@yahoo.com. Please include your name, recipe name, url and an image no larger than 300 pixels.

Thank you! Can’t wait to see variety of recipes that I am sure are possible with the humble cauliflower! Get Cooking Bloggers!

In my veg box cauliflower

References: Wiki,Huffington Post Canada,Bonduelle

In my veg Box – Theme Cauliflowers – all entries.

Vangyache Bharit- वांग्याचे भरीत (Baingan ka Bharta) (Smoked Aubergine)

I have noticed that I have become a bit more inclined towards celebrating festivals after coming to London , maybe its out of being homesick during festive times and also to ensure that I remember the traditions involved I guess. ‘Makar Sankrant’ is  a Hindu festival celebrated by my community ”Maharashtrains” with great pomp and enthusiasm as it heralds the season of Harvest. Similar to this festival is Lohri which is celebrated by the Punjabis in the North of India, Pongal in the state of Tamil Nadu , Uttaryan in the state of Gujrat. One festival so many names and so varied ways of celebrating! Its not only in India that this festival is celebrated it’s also welcomed in Nepal, Sri Lanka ,Cambodia and Laos amongst others!

My mother always used to make a smoked aubergine vegetable dish called Vangyache Bharit – written in Marathi as – वांग्याचे भरीत on Makar Sankrant so I decided to make it too for Sankrant this year which was on the 14th of Jan’14. We also exchange small ladoos made of sesame seeds and jaggery called ”Tilache Ladoo” and wish each other by saying ”tilgul ghya god god bola” (तिळगुळ घ्या गोड गोड बोला) It means that we shall forget and forgive any past bitter exchange of words and start afresh with this sweet offering and only speak sweet words of love.

The recipe is modified in various regions of the state of Maharashtra and also the variety of vanga/eggplant/aubergine or brinjal as we know it in urban India, is different in various parts of the state and in various states of India, of course differing due to climate and soil .Aai ( meaning Mother in Marathi language – my mother tongue) always looked for the light green vanga or eggplant with white stripes  on its skin which she rightly said tastes way better than its darker purple skinned cousin.

Aai’s recipe which I will share now is how we have always made this dish at home. There are several variations and styles depending on which part of Maharashtra you hail from and also various sub-cultures and availability of local ingredients and palates.I guess what makes this recipe so special is that it brings back happy memories of childhood, festivity ,celebration and the unmistakable smoky and rich vanga (eggplant/aubergine) taste with the crunchy red onion and a slap of hot spicy green chilli mixed in between ,all balanced so well with the various masalas that go into this bharit ummm!

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Image Credit click here 

Serves:2 -as a main with chapatya(Marathi for Indian Naan Bread also called chapatis in Hindi)

Preparation Time :15 minutes

Cooking Time:25minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 large vanga/baingan/eggplant/aubergine
  • 1 large red onion
  • 2-3 green chillies
  • 5-6 large cloves of garlic
  • a few mustard seeds
  • Cumin/Jeera
  • Garam Masala – 2 heaped tsps
  • Salt to taste
  • A pinch of hing/asafoetida
  • Turmeric – 1.5 tsp
  • Red chilli powder – 1.5 tsp
  • Oil – 3-4 large tbsps
  • Coriander/Cilantro to garnish

Method:

  • The beauty of this dish lies in the deep and rich smoky flavour of the eggplant , I would love to use charcoals and do this bit on a open rustic fire but well I make do with my hob.You could use the oven  but it will take much longer but directly on the hob – though a bit messy , it’s quicker! Roast the eggplant completely turning it on the side and moving it up an down so you don’t miss any bits.

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  • Allow this to cool and then charred skin will come off easily.

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  • Mash with your hands in a smooth mass of soft cooked ,smoked eggplant.

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  • While the eggplant is smoking on the hob , finely chop one large red onion.
  • Skin the garlic and use a mortar pestel to smash the green chillies with the garlic
  • In a  dry saucepan ,add the oil and after it is hot , add a pinch of hing/ asafoetida  and mustard seeds , as the mustard seeds begin to pop add the cumin seeds and the garam masala powder and  the finely chopped red onion and stir it often till it turns colour and is still crunchy to taste.

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  • Now add the turmeric and red chilli powder
  • Then stir in the ”thecha”(Marathi for the green chilli and garlic mixture) and saute’ till the raw garlic becomes one with the mixture.Vary the green chillies depending on your personal tolerance of heat
  • Reduce the flame to a low and add the eggplant mash into this mixture and stir well so as to ensure equal distribution of the onion and all other flavours.
  • Cook with lid for under 5 minutes.
  • Garnish with finely chopped coriander/cilantro.
  • Serve with hot chapatya or steamed rice and dal.
  • We also enjoy this cold , cool the dish completely and serve with a generous helping of set curd/yogurt.
  • My aai didn’t add tomatoes to this and at times used some goda masala as well as it has dry grated coconut which can really alter the taste.
  • For Baingan Bharta add one finely chopped tomato as well after the onion has been fried.

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I found some very interesting variations to my recipe here are a few :

  1. For a recipe using Tamarind try this 
  2. For beautiful photos and an open air fire used to smoke the eggplant see this
  3. For a recipe using freshly grated coconut try this

I am adding this recipe into the Made with Love Mondays blog link love started and hosted by the lovely Mark aka Javelin Warrior – very interesting to read how that name came about !

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Just linked up to In my Veg box with Onions as the theme for April’2014 hosted by Tina who blogs at The Spicy Pear and created by Nayna who blogs at Simply.Food and CitrusSpice . I wasn’t able to download the logo for April but here’s a general logo that Nayna uses.

 

 

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Grated Carrot salad with Chobani Blood Orange Yogurt

This simple salad is a favourite at my mum’s .You can impress your guests with this simple and quick recipe that would look like you have really slaved to get it right. Nothing better I say 😉

Serves: 2

Prep Time: 15 minutes including the grating

You will need:

  • 3 fresh medium-sized organic carrots
  • 1 tsp small size black mustard seeds
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ teaspoon oil
  • 1 Large heaped tbsp Chobani Blood Orange yogurt

Method:

  • Peel and grate the carrots after beheading them – Ha! I wanted to write that just to reinforce the morbid tone here that the word ‘’Blood Orange’’ .Wonder why such a delicious fruit has such a murderous sounding name 😉
  • Heat 1 tsp oil in a saucepan and pop in the mustard seeds and the finely chopped green chilli
  • When the mustard seeds begin to explode like miniature heat bombs, add the grated carrot and stir lightly.
  • Add salt to taste and take off the heat. We don’t want to overcook the carrot here and need to ensure it stays nice and crunchy!
  • Serve in small portions with a large blob of the yogurt on top ensuring you use a spoon that goes to the BOTTOM of the pot of yogurt as the fruity bit and heavenly fruity yogurt likes at the BOTTOM of these pots, like a secret hidden treasure, ummm!

I hope you enjoy making these FAT free yogurt recipes and feel good about lowering the overall calorie count of these dishes.

Grated Carrot Salad with Chobani Blood Orange Yogurt

Young Entrepreneur Farrah shares how MOOSE MAPLE BUTTER was conceived- in her first ever Interview.

This is the first ever interview Farrah has given, she confessed, when we spoke over the phone trying to decide where we could meet. I told her that I would promise to keep it simple and conversational and I am so glad we spoke like long-lost friends exchanging ideas and chatting away. We decided on a beautiful pub called The Bolingbroke in Battersea and it was a hot, summer evening with the sunlight streaming in through open doors onto thick wooden tables.

Farrah is an especially inspiring person to meet; she seems to emit these waves of positivity around her in tiny, invisible bubbles; landing on me, they made me feel as if I could win any war I wanted to.

A high-flying lawyer by profession, Farrah divides her time between New York and London; and when she isn’t acting as legal counsel to some very big names, she is busy in her home kitchen making an extremely delicious spread called Moose Maple Butter. And yes, the recipe is a secret!

Read on to find out how she came about making this heavenly tasting, pure, wholesome goodness of butter.

(As it goes with my interviews, we shall refer to me as MJ and to my new-found friend as FM short for Farrah ‘’Moose’’; MMB is short for Moose Maple Butter)

MJ: What inspired you to create this amazing new product?

FM: Soon after a detox in France, where I spent a few weeks learning about healthy eating habits and especially learning to avoid “added sugar’’ in my diet, I was in New York for work and having breakfast at a hotel. I was looking for something sweet to spread on my already buttered, hot toast but I wanted to avoid added sugar at any cost. The jam and chocolate spread options available on the table were all laden with sugars and other artificial nasties that I really wanted to avoid! Finally, and really through a lack of choice and an insatiable desire for a sweet taste that morning, I poured some of the organic maple syrup – on the table for pancakes – over my toast. It was that ‘’Eureka’’ moment, coupled with the fact that I couldn’t find maple butter to buy in any shops, either Stateside or in England, that prompted me to experiment at home until I came up with my current recipe for Moose Maple Butter.

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MJ: Great! That’s an interesting and ever so creative way to make a whole new product. Now for my old favourite trusted question, why the name Moose?

FM (With a big smile) Well I have to admit, even though it’s probably going to make me sound a bit odd, that I have been obsessed with moose for years.  I have moose things everywhere!  I was doodling for the maple butter logo and cute, funny images of moose kept appearing … Moose Maple Butter just seemed a natural choice, especially as there are generally moose around where maple syrup is produced!

MJ: I must mention here that Farrah has the most beautiful and neat handwriting I have ever seen and her notebook has beautiful doodles, hardly doodles really, but neat, cartoon creations of a moose which ultimately became her logo, I even managed to get this quick picture of her final drawing that is now her officially registered logo. I love it. The little black doodle near the jar at the bottom of the page is the moose’s nose; talk about perfection and practice!

How the MOOSE logo was born

MJ: So now that you have created this wonderfull product and christened it, what happens next?

FM: Well, I have only just had the brand and logo registered, both in Europe and the US, so I now feel confident about getting Moose Maple Butter out there to as many people as I can! It’s a brand awareness campaign in full swing from now until November this year, when hopefully you’ll find Moose Maple Butter on the shelves of supermarkets!

MJ: Wow, that’s good news, pity you can’t give away any names (naughty smile). Any other ways of promoting MMB then? (Moose Maple Butter = MMB)

FM: Yes! I am looking at actively promoting MMB at various food fairs, events and festivals in the run up to November. As you know, I had a stand and basically introduced MMB, at the recently concluded Food Blogger Connect (FBC5). That was wonderful for MMB! I’m so glad they found me.

(Heck, so am I Farrah, or I wouldn’t have met you and would have lived my life not knowing Maple Butter existed! No way!)

MJ: Tell me more about your ‘’Eureka’’ moment and what followed.

FM: Initially, I was really only making Moose Maple Butter for family and friends and then also supplying, on request, to family and friends of friends! Everyone kept asking for more and where they could buy it and it all got me thinking!  Every time I had kids over at home, I had a little ‘’tasting’’ session and would lay out hot toast slathered with my maple butter spread along with some toast with chocolate spread on it and some with the usual butter and jam. It was always reassuring to see ALL the toast with Moose Maple Butter being gobbled up in comparison to the other offerings! That, along with lots of encouragement from everyone around me, gave me the shove I needed to sell Moose Maple Butter at a few of last year’s school Christmas fairs, in London and Los Angeles (Farrah’s second home). I have been flooded with requests ever since from a rapidly growing group of mothers and fathers alike and have been selling tubs of MMB ever since.

Of course there are all the not-so-fun things to deal with, like premises inspections and registrations and food hygiene certification and all the rest! I was so relieved when the local council left very impressed with my clean and shiny, brand-new kitchen!  I think I have a bit of an obsession on the cleanliness side!

(Farrah: I totally agree – I am sure I have cleanliness OCD geee)

MJ: I notice you have a very nicely done Facebook Page for Moose Maple Butter, I love it!

FM: Thank you! I love sharing art work done by my little fans who send me their pictures. You will see quite a lot of creative ones on the page. Of late, a lot of food bloggers have asked me for samples too and have created so many beautiful and delicious recipes.

Any recipe that calls for butter and sugar is a possible one for using Moose Maple Butter instead and results in a more wholesome but equally tasty outcome!

MJ: How does MMB compare to butter and spreads in its nutritional content?

FM: I am so glad you asked this question! MMB in comparison to say a chocolate spread is much more well ‘’spreadable’’ and hence you use up much less than say a thick peanut butter. Since I only use purely organic Maple Syrup at all times, what you get is much more taste with very little MMB.

So in the case of Moose Maple Butter a little goes a long way!

So everyone looking for any alternate spread, especially to chocolate spread, Moose Maple Butter it is!

I must say I agree with Farrah here, my first bite of Maple Butter was enough to make me fall madly in love with this new find – Hook, Line and Sinker if you will!

 To put this into perspective:

10 gms of average chocolate spread = 53 calories and one needs at least 30gms to properly cover one slice of toast, whereas only 10 gms of Moose Maple Butter will go a long way on that same one slice of toast! Brilliant! And tasty!

close up MMB close up shot with table details

MJ: So if I was to ask about the shelf life and nutritional contents of Moose Maple Butter what would you say?

FM:  I have currently given samples of MMB to Eclipse Scientific who will provide me with an accurate analysis of the exact shelf life and the precise nutrient content. But like any butter, it needs to be kept refrigerated.

Moose Maple Butter has no artificial additives; it has no E numbers, nothing. It is absolutely nothing but pure fresh butter and pure grade A maple syrup – with a dash of sea salt.  It is a superb alternative to processed sugar-laden products. It is a great, quick and easy breakfast option and just melts into the grooves of a hot crumpet and is of course best paired with pancakes.

Wow! That mention of hot crumpets makes me want to quickly grab hold of those cute sample jars from the table and run home for some tea and crumpet time. But to avoid such madness Farrah has kindly agreed to part with a large pot of Moose Maple Butter just for me to sample and make something delicious out of! So folks watch this space, in a few days you will see some delicious recipe posted on Sliceoffme with Moose Maple Butter as the divine ingredient.

MJ: What would you like to make of this new venture Farrah? Or put it plainly where do you see yourself in 5 years time

FM:  I’d just love to see Moose Maple Butter become a household name. I think the biggest kick would be when some kid I don’t know asks me if I’ve ever had Moose Maple Butter – that would be a great moment.

Our conversation becomes something of a friendly banter. The glorious sunshine refuses to go away but the shadows have shifted. The pub is filled with loads of families, kids running around; there is a buzz of activity. The usual lone ranger, armed with a net book and ale, occupies the table opposite us and looks down on me with disdain as I take some snaps of the cute jars.

(Image below is a picture of Farrah – the creator of Moose Maple Butter)

Farrah's Pic

I hate to tear myself away from this happy pub and evening chat but the promise of a dinner and movie by the hubby beckon.

Just realised that, of all the entrepreneurs I have met so far, 4 in all including Farrah, three of these entrepreneurs had never been interviewed before!

(To read the older blog posts with these inspiring entrepreneurial stories just click on the links below:

I am sure Farrah is as excited as I am if not more,about her first ever interview where she has shared her story and how Moose Maple Butter was born. Now can’t wait to use her creation in my home kitchen!

Apart from the fair amount of persuasion it took to meet the two first time interviewees in India, I must admit that the one common thing amongst ALL entrepreneurs is their humility and their generosity to share their dreams, a few apprehensions and most of all, their time. I cannot thank you all enough.

Do leave your thoughts and comments about this interview and while you are at it, spread the MOOSE!

Say Hello to MOOSE at: http://www.moosemaple.co.uk/

Find MOOSE on Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/MooseMapleButter

Follow MOOSE on Twitterhttps://twitter.com/FarrahMoose  (@FarrahMoose)

Buy Moose Maple Butter (or pick up a free sample) at The Petal Pusher in Kew.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Petal-Pusher/480191988667441

Share the MOOSE folks!

Love Salmon, Love Easy Meals!

This is probably my simplest ,fastest and yet very tasty AND healthy meal option. All you need is 2 slices of salmon some salad leaves and a hotch potch collection of any thing that can yumm up a salad! Few Minutes in the oven and hey Presto ! a healthy meal is ready to tuck in.

What I love about the after feel of this kind of a lunch or dinner is that it leaves me full and satiated and not feeling bloaty or heavy or drowsy for that matter!

So my ingredient list goes like this , but honestly for the salad just use any combination of leafy stuff and spices that you have in your fridge and cupboard and slam them together to make your own accompaniment!

  1. 2 slices of salmon fresh
  2. 2 thick slices of lime to wedge into the fish and a large slice to splash over the salad.
  3. one spoon olive oil
  4. Mixed italian herbs to season the fish – better if you have fresh herbs
  5. crushed black pepper and rock salt to sprinkle
  6. some capers for seasoning
  7. Salad leaves of your liking I use the mix leaves packets from the supermarket – rocket,spinach,lettuce mixed with some peppers and red onion sliced  for some colour, crunch and taste.
  8. Cherry Tomatoes
  9. A cheese slice – anything that you fancy
  10. Some onion flakes to dust over the salad

This meal takes lesser time to cook than it took me to write this blog post 🙂

Method:

  1. place the salom piece on a foil, lightly drizzle olive oil , wedge a slice of lime in between and sprinkle sea salt and crcaked black pepper and a generous sprinkle of italian herbs, mine came out of a bottle.
  2. Give the Salmon just enough time in the oven to cook, fish cooks fairly fast and these 2 slices took less that 7 minutes in a pre heated oven.
  3. Once done serve the salmon alongside a generous helping of salad leaves and juicy cherry tomatoes,toss a few capers , tear some cheese to season, give another drizzle of olive oil and a big squeeze  of lime ,finally add some crispy fried onion bits, finish off with sea salt.
  4. Dig in and feel full inside and light and skippity on a full stomach.

P.S: of the time you save when you choose this light, easy and quick dish , grab that novel you have been waiting to get done with enjoy a relaxed afternoon curled up on the sofa…I did…:)

The salmon is ready for the ovenThe salad is all done!Dig into crunchy wholesome goodness and juicy fish