Beetroot and Halloumi Burgers

IMG_5394“The beet is the most intense of vegetables. The radish, admittedly, is more feverish, but the fire of the radish is a cold fire, the fire of discontent not of passion. Tomatoes are lusty enough, yet there runs through tomatoes an undercurrent of frivolity. Beets are deadly serious.

Slavic peoples get their physical characteristics from potatoes, their smoldering inquietude from radishes, their seriousness from beets.

The beet is the melancholy vegetable, the one most willing to suffer. You can’t squeeze blood out of a turnip…

The beet is the murderer returned to the scene of the crime. The beet is what happens when the cherry finishes with the carrot. The beet is the ancient ancestor of the autumn moon, bearded, buried, all but fossilized; the dark green sails of the grounded moon-boat stitched with veins of primordial plasma; the kite string that once connected the moon to the Earth now a muddy whisker drilling desperately for rubies.

The beet was Rasputin’s favorite vegetable. You could see it in his eyes.”               –          Tom Robbins

When I hosted my blogiversary giveaway and asked you what you’d like to see more of, a lot of people asked for recipes of the delicious veggie (and mostly healthy) food I like to eat.

Well, ask and you shall receive! And today’s recipe is an especially good one.

I rediscovered my love of beetroot when I read Jitterbug Perfume in 2008 and I’ve been obsessed ever since.

I often get into food ruts – eating the same meals week after week because it’s easier when I’m pressed for time and trying to eat on a budget. But lately I’ve been craving new flavour combinations and itching to try new recipes. So when I saw a recipe for beetroot and halloumi burgers, I decided to make it my own by adding fresh mint for a fresh, zingy flavour to accompany the earthy beets and salty cheese. The result was absolutely delicious.

IMG_5389Beetroot and Halloumi Burgers

Adapted from Wanderlusting

3 small steamed beets, grated
125g (half a block) of halloumi, grated
half a cup of quick cook oats
1 large egg, beaten
10 mint leaves, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil (for frying)

  1. Mix all of the ingredients, except for the olive oil, in a bowl.
  2. Divide the mixture into four and form into patties. Set them on a plate and put them in a fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  3. After 30 minutes, lightly line the bottom of a frying with olive oil and place over medium heat.
  4. Fry patties until golden brown and then flip. Approximately 3-4 minutes per side.

IMG_5397These burgers are great on a bun with all of the traditional fixings, but I loved them even more on a bed of lettuce topped with smashed avocado and served with a side of roasted sweet potato fries. Mega yum!

Now I can’t wait to concoct all sorts of other burger recipes. Sweet potato, cheddar, & jalapeno. Chipotle, chickpea, & kale. Mushroom, walnut, & sage. The possibilities are endless!

What’s in your favourite burger?

Let me know if you decide to give these ones a try!

Love & foodgasms,

How to Bake the Perfect Cake

IMG_5214The Great British Bake Off seems to have all of England in a baking frenzy and I couldn’t be more on board. As someone who loves to bake cake almost as much as I love to eat it, when I was invited to the Curry’s #SeriousAboutBaking event, I sent off my RSVP straight away.

To celebrate their new range of KitchenAid appliances, Curry’s brought together a group of bloggers for an evening at CakeBoy, learning about baking and sampling cakes with celebrity chef Eric Lanlard. We were greeted at the door with a glass of champagne (my favourite greeting!) and had a chance to mingle with the other bloggers while sampling delicious canapés before getting down to business.

Eric used his favourite Kitchenaid appliances to demonstrate making two of his own recipes: a red velvet cheesecake and West Indes chocolate tart, before we had a chance to try icing our own little red velvet cakes. All through the evening Eric dished out his top tips for becoming a master baker and creating perfect cakes every time. Today I’m going to share my favourites with you.

IMG_5186“You’re having a bad day? Bake a cake. … Bake to put a smile on someone’s face.” – Eric Lanlard

heartIf you’re baking with food colouring be sure to buy bake stable food colourings, not the generic ones from the grocery store. Otherwise your gorgeous rainbow cake will come out looking like a muddy mess.

heartUse the highest speed on your hand mixer when creaming butter. Use the lowest speed for mixing in eggs and add them in one at a time to avoid curdling. If  the mixture does curdle, add a little bit of flour to recombine it.

heartAlways sift your dry ingredients, even if the recipe doesn’t call for it. Especially in a humid climate like Britain’s, it’s inevitable that a little bit of moisture will get into your flour and cause clumping (no one wants a clumpy cake, right!?)

IMG_5197heartFor the perfect cake, use self-raising flour plus a little bit of plain flour to give it “bite” (Eric argues that grocery store cakes are too fluffy).

heartIt’s no longer true that you need to avoid opening the oven door to check on your cake while it’s baking – in fact he encourages it (how else are you going to properly ogle that beauty?). Modern ovens can maintain their temperature, as long as you don’t hold it open for too long.

heartThink of your hand mixture as an extension of your arm and move it around in figure 8’s for best results.

heartIf your ganache separates add in a couple of tablespoons of COLD cream and fold it in by hand. Ta-da! Problem solved.

heartStart by mixing icing sugar into your frosting by hand so that it doesn’t make a mess when you turn on your mixer.

heartUse lots of flour on your counter when rolling out pastry so that it doesn’t stretch, because if it does stretch it will “stretch back” in the oven and you’ll be left with a thick crust.

serious-about-bakingheartPush the crust of a tart a little bit higher than the top of the tin so that it will stand slightly above the filling.

heartBaking beads should be piled high in your baking tin to keep the sides of your crust from sinking down.

heartJust like a fine wine, you should serve chocolate desserts at room temperature for best texture and full flavour (my favourite tip of the night! Who knew?).

What could be better than an evening of cake, blogger babes, and champagne? Well, I suppose the fact that we were all sent home with a KitchenAid hand mixer of our own. You better believe that as soon as I get moved into my new house, I’ll be getting busy in the kitchen and putting these tips to good use. I might not be ready for a spot on GBBO, but that won’t stop me from practicing!

What are your favourite baking tips? Please, teach me your secrets!

Love, chocolate ganache, & glittery sugar lips,



Beautiful Abundance Bowl

Processed with VSCOcam with s3 presetI’ve been out and about a lot lately, which often means I opt for eating the most delicious sounding thing, rather than the healthiest. So when I’m at home all I want are green smoothies and big bowls of veggies to keep me feeling vibrant and balanced.

This recipe was inspired by Sarah and my most recent trip to the farmers’ market. It’s exactly what I want in a summer meal: light yet filling, full of veggies and flavours with a balance of fibre, protein, and healthy fats. The avocado and hummus make this bowl deliciously creamy, with earthy flavours from the beet, a slight spiciness from the radishes, and the zingy freshness of mint. I’m completely in love with this particular flavour combination, but think of it more as a formula than a recipe, as it will lend itself well to any seasonal farmers’ market bounty.

Processed with VSCOcam with s3 presetBeautiful Abundance Bowl
2 cups mixed salad greens
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
1 large beet, steamed and diced
1 small avocado, diced
1/2 bunch of radishes, thinly sliced
3 slices of halloumi (approximately half an inch wide)*
1/4 cup hummus
3tbsp toasted pumpkin seeds
10 mint leaves, thinly slices
juice of half a lemon
salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat a frying pan over medium heat and add halloumi slices.
2. Flip slices when they begin to brown, approximately one minute per side.
3. Assemble lettuce, quinoa, beet, avocado, radishes, and halloumi in a bowl.
4. Top with hummus and pumpkin seeds.
5. Squeeze lemon juice over top.
6. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, if desired.

*for a vegan version, substitute marinated tofu for the halloumi. My favourite version is from the Fresh at Home cookbook.

As it feels like summer is closer and closer to ending (say it ain’t so!), is anyone else trying to soak up every last drop of seasonal goodness while they can? All I want to do is BBQ, eat ice cream, and snack on farm fresh berries – which is exactly why I’m planning a picnic for Saturday! What are you up to this weekend?

Love, studded sandals, & rainbow sundresses,

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