Panoramic view of Lanzarote

Top 10 Foodie Reasons to Visit Lanzarote

I recently went on a pre-birthday holiday to the beautiful Island of Lanzarote in The Canary Islands with a friend of mine. Here are just a few reasons why I loved the Island and why I would recommend foodies to go and visit it!

1. I stayed at the gorgeous Villa Natalia. Its a self-catering villa with all mod-cons and it sleeps 12 people with its own heated pool. It’s a stones throw away from Playa Blanca and The Montana Roja volcano.

Villa Natalia http://www.lanza-villa.com/

Villa Natalia
http://www.lanza-villa.com/

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Gorgeous!

2. Drinking a pint of ice cold lager with a view of the sea is truly something special! I didn’t even bother to get the name of the lager. It was good though!

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Ice cold lager

3. Seafood galore! I had various seafood dishes…alas I was so excited that I forgot to get the name of most of the actual types of fish! But trust me they tasted just as good as they looked.

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4. Spanish food is delicious (if you go to the right places). We had an absolutely scrumptious black rice seafood paella dish in Lanzarote. It was one of the best Spanish meals we had. My rule is the bigger the menu of a restaurant the higher the probability is that they food will be just average. Overall though we ate well and enjoyed most of the authentic food we ate.

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Paella

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Black rice

5. Post dinner liquor – Honey Rum, Peach Schnapps, Strawberry Cava…you name it we drank it after most of our meals and we loved it! They were complimentary too!

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Pink peach schnapps

6. The tour of Cueva de Los Verdes was impressive and great value! They have summer supper clubs as well as concerts in the cave so if you’re lucky you can be eating beneath a volcano. it really is a spectacular tour.

Cueva de los verdes

Cueva de los verdes

7. Dinner is nice but dessert can be glorious! We didn’t always have dessert at the restaurants we ate at, opting instead to go to dedicated dessert bars. This is a yummy apple pie with ice cream that I devoured on an especially hot day!

Apple pie

Apple pie

8. No ordinary snacks. On the rare occasion that we had a snack we didn’t quite go local but we went large! I was craving chicken wings and these were drenched in honey, a bit too much honey for me but still a good snack for me.

Honey chicken wings

Honey chicken wings

9. Pack a picnic and climb a Volcano. We climbed the Montana Roja volcano and teh views of the island were breath-taking. We didn’t pack a picnic but if we had it would have been perfect!

Montana Roja

Montana Roja

10. I found the perfect steak or 2. We discovered El Argentino, an Argentinian restaurant in Playa Blanca and the only restaurant we ate at more than once. I had the most amazing beef ribs and Centro de Entraña (Hanger steak) which I have to say were some of the best cuts of meat I have ever had! The beef ribs were perfectly barbequed and the fat on the bone was just perfect! The Hanger steak was cooked to perfection, I had mine medium and it was a melt in the mouth cut of steak.

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Centro de Entrana

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Cheese stuffed peppers

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Beef ribs

If you ever feel the urge to visit the Canary Islands, make sure that you head down to Lanzarote! It really is a great destination and as you can see you won’t go hungry.

Chilli and Coriander

Some Secret Sausages For A Vegetarian Breakfast!

Anyone who knows me, knows that I’m a proud meat eater…I really do adore a good rib-eye steak. But once in a while, I like to have a meatless day; I’ve recently started doing Meatless Mondays (when I can remember) and I actually enjoy finding new creative vegetarian recipes to try. I have a good friend who is a vegan and although initially wondering if I would have to stage an intervention I soon realised that not eating meat is NOT such a bad thing afterall, it’s actually rather good for you. So I was delighted when the team at Secret Sausages sent me a couple of packs of their vegetarian sausages to try.

Chilli and Coriander

Chilli and Coriander Secret Sausages

I was sent Chilli and Coriander and Cumberland sausages and couldn’t wait to have them for an alternative full English breakfast. I decided to share my  Chilli and Coriander sausages with Mr WFD (he always seems to be around when I have yummy new foods to try *sigh*) and popped them under the grill. They came out looking perfect! I forgot to lightly coat them with oil, despite reading the instructions, which meant they weren’t as crispy as they should have been. The sausages are filled to the brim with vegetables and the unique rice and seaweed casing means that they look and cook just like a traditional sausage! Of course they taste nothing like meat, and rightly so, I don’t like “pretend” meat or anything which tries to taste like meat in my food. There was not nearly enough of a chilli kick for me, but I’m as you know I could pretty much eat a whole scotch bonnet pepper so it’s probably a good thing that it was milder than I was expecting. I’m saving my Cumberland sausages for another big breakfast day.

Even though these sausages are “vegetables in disguise” they taste as healthy as the list of ingredients suggest so the “secret” is out! They are a great alternative to meat and even though I don’t have kids, I would say that this is a great (if not a little sneaky) way of getting kids to eat more vegetables. I love the fact that they’re so healthy too, I’m not the biggest fan of breakfast, if I had my way I would eat a full English every day and actually with these I might be able to! They are gluten free, have less fat and less salt then meat sausages. The packaging, in my opinion is awesome too, just thought I’d mention that!

Get yourself some Secret Sausages for breakfast or for lunch or even for dinner.

www.secret-sausages.com

@vegindisguise

Chilli and Coriander

 

Path from The Castle Drogo

A Delicious Weekend in Devon at The George Hotel

Mr WFD took me away for the weekend recently, on a surprise trip to Devon! He took me to The George Hotel in Haverleigh and we had a wonderful time. It’s a quiet village but it was really nice to be away from the hustle and bustle of London. We found plenty to keep us occupied including a trip to Castle Drogo and the River Teign. We spent hours walking around, enjoying nature and even getting a little bit lost once.

Of course food was top of the list of priorities to me and The George certainly did not disappoint. We inadvertently ended up eating all our meals at the hotel, we had the intention to eat out but we had left it too late to reserve anywhere. This turned out to be a good thing as the food at The George was actually very good.

We arrived just after 9pm, and the hotel’s kitchen had closed, even the local chip shop had closed (that’s how small the village is). The team was kind enough to get the chef to make us some sandwiches though. I’m not a fan of sandwiches full stop so I’m not going to spend too much time on the sandwich I had…it had fresh salmon and brie, I love salmon and I love cheese so it worked.

 

 

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The next day we decided to go for a big breakfast. There was plenty of choice; croissants, yogurt and cereal and a great menu, the only thing missing for me was fresh fruit. we both had full English breakfasts, I had the veggie option as I don’t like pork. As you can see they were healthy sized portions which kept us going until well past lunchtime, we actually skipped lunch! That’s how big the breakfast was. I didn’t particularly enjoy my eggs, I probably should have requested for them to be scrambled as I’m a fussy egg eater but overall it was a good breakfast.

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Later that evening we had the most wonderful dinner, that was definitely my favourite meal of my stay. We had homemade chicken liver pate to share as a our starter, with chutney and toasted bread. The texture of the pate was perfect, smooth and creamy just as a pate should be. For my main I had steak and chips (I know! I know! But you know how much I like steak!) and Mr WFD had Roast pork belly with sage mash & vegetables and cider sauce. My  10oz rib-eye steak was cooked to perfection, I mean it literally melted in my mouth and the chips were freshly made. I had some of Mr WFD’s vegetables and really enjoyed the snap peas, I think I ended up eating most of them. Mr WFD fell in love with his pork belly, even the crackling (which he’d never tried before). All in all, we were very happy people after that meal. The service was superb and the overall atmosphere was perfect.

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Chicken Liver Pate

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Rib-Eye Steak

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Pork Belly & Sage Mash

The George Hotel is the perfect place for a romantic weekend or for just an opportunity to get away from it all. The food is homely and well-made, befitting of the hotel and the location. It may not be haute cuisine but that’s OK because sometimes all you want is good food, in a great location with a wonderful person.

You can book yourself a lovely getaway to The George Hotel by visiting http://www.thegeorgehotelhatherleigh.com/. Have fun and let me know if you do end up there.

Beautiful Food at La Bella Rifa’s Caribbean Cuisine

Just wanted to write a quick review on a lovely little food van I discovered about a month ago in Woolwich! La Bella Rifa’s is located in Woolwich Market and serves fresh caribbean food at great prices. Mr WFD and I shared a large portion of Curry Mutton with rice and peas and it was so good, I almost forgot to take a picture.

The mutton was cooked to perfection, with the right balance of spice, sauce and additional vegetables. I added hot sauce because I love that extra kick but to be honest you could eat La Bella Rifa’s food without. As you can see you get a generous portion of food for about a fiver! It really was a beautiful meal, the kind of food that hits the right spot at the right time, you know what I’m talking about! Friendly service from a great entrepreneur who knows how to cook great Caribbean food.

IMG-20140624-WA0002Follow La Bella Rifa’s on Instagram http://instagram.com/labellarifas and tweet her @labellarifas – she caters for events too, so why not invite her down for your next function!

Ohhh and here’s a crowdfunding link to fund-raise for the restaurant that she dreams of opening one day: http://www.gofundme.com/ajjt4c.

Who’s For A Recipe? Hijiki Quinoa Salad with Orange Ume Plum Dressing

My new favourite “superfood” is Quinoa and this fantastic recipe from the team at Clearspring, looks fantastic. It’s perfect for the summer and totally different from the usual salad recipes, the plum dressing sounds divine!

Have a go at making this and let me know what you think! I’ll be giving it a try one day soon.

Hijiji Quinoa Salad

Hijiki Quinoa Salad (Image from Clearspring)

Hijiki Quinoa Salad

Ingredients;

1 cup Clearspring quick cook rice & quinoa
3 cups filtered water or organic vegetable stock

½ cup Clearspring hijiki (rinsed and soaked for 10 minutes)

½ yellow pepper very thinly sliced
1 bunch fresh watercress
1 small bunch of red radishes, very thinly sliced
Fresh sprouts, mung beans or alfalfa

3 tbsp. Clearspring roasted seeds with goji berries

Directions

Prepare the quick cook rice and quinoa as per pack instructions. Remove to a large bowl and leave to cool then fluff up with a fork.  Cook the soaked hijiki in a small saucepan with enough water to cover, simmering for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, drain any excess water and allow to cool.   Add the hijiki to the rice along with the watercress, yellow pepper, radishes and sprouts and mix gently. Pour over the orange ume plum dressing and top with the Clearspring roasted seeds/goji berries.

Yields 4 servings

Orange Ume Plum Dressing

A delicious dressing that works well with hijiki salad or simply serve over fresh greens or noodle salads in the summer.  Store in a glass jar in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Ingredients;

Juice of half a lemon
Juice of 1 orange
2 tsps. Clearspring umeboshi puree
2 tbsp. Clearspring omega a day flaxseed oil

2 tsps. finely chopped chives

Directions

Place the lemon and orange juice with the umeboshi puree and flaxseed oil in a blender, and blend until smooth.  Stir in the chives.

Visit http://www.clearspring.co.uk/ for more recipes