Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Review of Busaba, Bangkok Thai Cookbook

I take a peek at Busaba - the new book all about Thai cooking - and make a pretty serious aromatic Thai Yellow Curry from scratch. Scroll on for all the deets.

Guidelines class this post as an advertisement feature because it includes affiliate links. However, all opinions are my own. I was not compensated for this review (although I did receive a copy of the book) but this post does contain some affiliate links to the book. This means that when you click on the links I may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, that helps me keep the blog going. Thanks for your support.

I love Thai food. I've been lucky to have come out the other side of AIP able to tolerate some chillies, potatoes and tomatoes, so now I'm healed up, I can eat some of these foods I love but just in moderation. Which means I can snuggle up in front of a film with a bowl of colourful, aromatic Thai curry, slurped with a spoon. 

Thai Yellow Curry from Busaba

I was emailed to see if I'd like to try a new book that was coming out, called Busaba. But don't for one minute think that it's just red and green Thai curries and maybe a bit of pad Thai. This is truly modern Thai cooking, brought to you by the restaurant chain Busaba, which has 13 restaurants in London. 

It's split into 5 main chapters - Street, Feast, Fresh, Sweet and Bar. In Street, there are some gorgeous twists on fried rice, dumplings, wings and omelette. In Feast, you'll find main meals - curries, stir-fries, burgers and treats like slow cooked pork belly, all with a Thai twist. Flick over to Fresh and you'll find loads of side dishes and salads - squid and mango; Yam Pak with Chicken and Hot and Sour Pork Salad. Sweets - obviously desserts. Rice puddings, sorbets, ice cream and banana wontons. And then the Bar section is snacks and drinks. Sugar and Spice Roasted Cashews, Matchstick Chicken Dips and Ginger and Mint Iced Jasmine Tea.

I LOVE the photography - it's bright and colourful and recipe shots are interspersed with shots of Thailand street vendors, and markets adding to the theme of the book. The cover is wood effect, textured with a gold disc in the centre showcasing the title. The book screams luxury but also authenticity. 

The book doesn't cater for specific diets - but it does mark recipes as vegetarian, vegan, nut free or gluten free. Quite often you can scan through the recipes and make your own subs or leave out potential trigger foods if you need to (coconut aminos vs soy sauce, for example). A chilli icon gives you a hint as to how spicy it is, too. 

I decided to make the Aromatic Spiced Chicken Curry, on page 126 of the book. It was easy to follow, didn't use every pan I had in the house (a bonus) and was only a little bit spicy - much less than I expected. The kids loved it, too, with some fluffy Jasmine rice and a tangle of crispy-fried shallots on top. 

Some of the ingredients in the book you'll perhaps struggle to get hold of, depending on where you live - but switch them out for something you can, or you'll probably be OK with sourcing it all from a large-ish supermarket. 

If you're a fan of Thai cookery, you're going to love it. It has the potential to increase your repertoire of Thai cooking, and venture, if you haven't already, into the world of steamed buns, wontons and stuffed crab. 

You can find out more about the book here, on Amazon

Have you tried anything from the book? Let me know what you think in the comments below. 

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Creative Nature Gluten Free Baking Mixes

I try out two of the gluten free baking mixes from Creative Nature - a chocolate chip muffin and a banana bread. Have a read to see how I got on.

This post contains some affiliate links.  This means that if you decide to click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive, at no extra cost to you, a small commission that helps me keep the blog running. Thank you for your support.

Have you ever heard of Creative Nature? They make gluten free, low sugar baking mixes and also some snack bars. When I was asked if I'd like to give them a try, with two hungry gluten-free kiddos here, well obviously I said yes. 

I like Creative Nature. They cater for allergies - the mixes I tried were free of dairy, gluten, nuts and soya and were organic - and although they do use sugar, they use the unrefined type, rather than refined white sugar. Yes, it's all sugar at the end of the day, but they're not claiming to be sugar free, after all. I guess the less refined, the better. I watch my sugar really carefully, so as not to flare up my scalp psoriasis - but my kids get treats every now and then and I'd rather they're gluten free. The fact that these are also free of nuts is a bonus, because my youngest can take them to her nut-free school. 

The first ones we baked were the chocolate chip muffins. They were easy enough to mix together, pour into cases and bake - and there's a vegan option on the back of the packet too, if you need it. 

They weren't dark like I expected them to be, but were light, a little chewy, and not too sweet at all. The girls took one in their packed lunch the next day, as a snack. I loved that I only needed to shop for three things - butter, an egg and vanilla - because buying different gluten free flours can be expensive when you don't eat this kind of thing very often, as well as filling up your cupboards. The only thing I wished was different was the quantity - the mix made 6 muffins - we all wished, especially for the price, that they'd made the full dozen. 

creative nature gluten free muffin chocolate chip

The banana bread was next. My daughters are really fussy over gluten free bakes - scrutinising the ingredients and casting anything aside that tastes 'powdery', 'grainy' or like coconut (yeah, they hate coconut which is a problem for a 50% paleo family, but there you go). 

This banana bread was chewy, dense but not cloying. It tasted of bananas, and had a real homely feeling about it - you could totally pass this off as your very own from-scratch creation if you wanted to. It was gorgeous served in thick, warm slices with a cup of tea after dinner. I went a bit overboard with the cinnamon, adding just under a teaspoonful - I love cinnamon - and it was wonderful. My 13 year old and I ended up fighting over the last few pieces. We enjoyed both the mixes, but this one was our favourite. 

creative nature banana bread

It's worth mentioning that as well as the bread and muffin mixes, they do also make energy/snack bars in flavours like Salted Caramel, Cacao Orange and Carrot Cake - have a read of the ingredients though, as these can contain some soy, just in case you're looking out for that. And they do superfood powders too. Go check them out on their website.

Overall, I like these Creative Nature mixes - as I mentioned, I'd totally buy the banana bread one again - in bulk, probably - to put an end to those nut-free school packed lunch panics when all I've made are some almond flour paleo muffins and my youngest daughter can't take them. 

creative nature baking mixes and snacks

Find out more about Creative Nature's range online, or look out for them in your nearest supermarket or Amazon - I saw them in my Sainsbury's the other day! 

Have you tried Creative Nature mixes or snack bars? Let me know what you think in the comments below... 

Friday, 5 October 2018

Paleo Salmon Burger Bowl

A colourful, nutritious salad bowl with fresh veggies and home made, paleo salmon burgers. And all ready in minutes. 

You know what my kids love? Burgers. 

And not just beefy, drippy cheese ones. They love these, which are made from salmon, too. 

They're a perfect weeknight food, because they come together with just 4 ingredients and cook in about 6 minutes. And they contain all those yummy omega 3 fats which are so good for you. Cook 'em up and tuck them into a bowl with lettuce, sliced tomatoes, peas, olives, avocado, boiled egg and radishes. Or mix it up with your own favourite combos. 

Paleo Salmon Burger Bowl
Serves 4
210g canned salmon (I used skinless and boneless salmon, 2 x 105g cans)
1 egg
1 tsp chopped parsley (I used freshly chopped, frozen parsley)
1 tsp coconut flour
2 tsp mild, unflavoured coconut oil

For the salad: 
4 handfuls frozen peas
4 eggs
1 round (soft-leaved) lettuce
2 ripe avocados
4 tomatoes
4 tbsp marinated olives
4 radishes, sliced
4 tbsp sauerkraut
extra virgin olive oil, to serve

First of all, make the salmon burgers. Drain the salmon and crumble it into a bowl, breaking it up as you go. Crack in the egg and add the parsley and the coconut flour. Give it a good mix until well combined. Leave to one side while you make the salad. 

Bring a saucepan of water to the boil and add the peas and the eggs. Cook for 5-6 minutes and then turn off the heat. 

Give the lettuce a wash to make sure all soil is removed, and shake dry. Rip off the leaves and fold into four small shallow bowls. Halve the avocados and remove the stones, dividing the avocado halves between the bowls. Wash and slice the tomatoes and divide between the bowls. Add the olives, radishes and saurkraut. Drain the peas and the eggs, rinse the eggs in cold water and peel the shells. Add the peas and eggs to the bowls, cutting the eggs in half as you go. 

Quickly cook the salmon burgers. 

Heat the coconut oil into a large frying pan and give the mixture a final stir. Divide the mixture into 4 and scoop each quarter out, separately, into the heated pan. Fry on each side for 3-4 minutes, turning them over when golden on one side. Serve the salmon burgers with the salad. 

Made this recipe? I'd love to see! Tag me in your pics on Instagram @joromerofood!

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