Eating out in Camden Market


It’s not all about cooking for me! Today we are in Camden Market looking for outfits and rings for our wedding in five weeks time.

This food is from inSpiral – the vegetarian restaurant/cafe that overlooks Camden Lock. They specialise in Vegan food and a lot of it is raw.

We have a raw burger on a bed of pickled butternut squash, a trio of salads and some tamari covered seeds. We also had some kale chips/crisps which were really yummy.

These have all inspired me to try and make these sometime soon!



Quicker Than Toast Courgette Salad

Courgette Salad

This really is the quickest thing you will every make. And it is so moorish you’ll just keep making it.

Freya said she was hungry and wanted to eat quickly – this was quick. Quicker than Toast quick.

Heat a pan. Get it hot – add a handful of pumpkin seeds until they pop. While that is happening grate a courgette. Tip the hot pumpkin seeds over the courgette and drizzle with olive oil and balsamic. Done.

It’s so easy – and it’s so good. I just wish I’d thought of it! You could eat this on its own – or it would make an awesome side for a BBQ or picnic. All I would say is make it as you need it. I can’t imagine a grated courgette maintaining its integrity for long after you’ve covered it with hot seeds. Not that I found that out – it was gone in less time than it took to make it!

It would probably also be awesome with tamari pumpkin seeds – but this will take longer (than toasting bread!). But not much I don’t imagine.

Kale Caesar Salad

Kale Caesar Salad - Tray View

Every other Thursday we have ‘Quick Drinks’ after work. It generally ends up being long drinks and we don’t get home until very late – and usually eat some sub-standard pub food.

This week however Freya wasn’t feeling great so we only had the one drink – albeit a jug of Pimms!

I scanned the Hemsley and Hemsley book for something quick and came up with this (and another recipe which I’ll blog separately). I darted over to the supermarket – bought the ingredients and had it made in 20 mins (maybe even less).

This – like every recipe I’ve made so far from the book – is very quick and very easy. It’s even quicker if your Kale is already prepared like mine was.

Make a dressing of lemon zest and juice, finely grated parmesan, olive oil, an egg yolk, garlic, Dijon mustard and anchovies. Just chuck all the ingredients in a blender until it emulsifies. You’re supposed to add the oil last (bit by bit) but I forgot and just blitzed it in one. It didn’t seem to matter.

Kale Caesar Salad in a Bowl

Obviously if you’re a vegetarian you should leave out the anchovies – and maybe just season with some more salt – or maybe even capers.

Pour your dressing over the kale and squidge it about a bit with your hands. The recipe suggests that you let the dressing break down the kale (and it really does) by leaving it for an hour but we were in a rush so the squidging just sped up the process a bit.

Then dice some multiseed bread and toast in some Ghee. When that’s done, put the kale mix, the bread, and then some parmesan shavings on top and serve. Super easy!

This really is yummy – and is really quick. I really enjoyed it. It smells amazing too with all that parmesan!

This may have been quick – but the next dish was done in less time than it takes to make toast!

Pea, Peach and Goats Cheese Salad

Peach, Courgette and Goats Cheese Salad

After remembering to take my cookbook home with me yesterday, I chose to make this very simple but incredibly tasty salad from Hemsley & Hemsley’s cookbook ‘The Art of Eating Well’. Not sure why the courgettes don’t get a mention in the recipe title – there are more of them than any other ingredient.

We took our daily walk to the supermarket, bought all the ingredients (of which there are very few) and I knocked this up in maybe 15 minutes.

Good quality ingredients are essential in dishes like this and – although the peaches weren’t as amazing as the ones we bought at Borough Market at the weekend – a slightly more juicy and sweet peach would have really lifted this dish. I guess the trick would be to go to a greengrocer and try them until you find the ones you want. I doubt the grocer would approve however!

The only cooking in this is to lightly caramelise some courgettes with a little ghee. The rest is all raw and simple construction.

While your courgettes are caramelising tear some lettuce into a bowl, add podded peas, cut peaches, sliced red onion and some soft goats cheese. Add the courgettes when they are done. Finally dress with some olive oil and balsamic – and season.

Very simple dish. And very adaptable. You could add shaved parmesan instead of goats cheese, add different fruits – the skies the limit.

Peach, Courgette and Goats Cheese Salad

I must admit I didn’t think I’d be fulfilled when it was ready. But two bowls of salad later and I was certainly satisfied. Another very quick and easy dish that you can add to your repertoire.

Chickpea and Sweet Potato Stew



First rule of cooking things from a recipe book is to remember not to leave the cookery book on your desk at work! Oh well. Hemsley Hemsley will have to wait until tomorrow.

Another impromptu dish then is this Chickpea and Sweet Potato stew which I’ve grabbed from the ladies at Honestly Healthy. This is from their first book and I chose it because I already had all the ingredients in the cupboard (apart from the aubergine which I popped out and bought).

This is a pretty basic stew. And it kind of looks after itself once you’ve done all the prep.

Quite simply this is sliced red onion and garlic softened, with some diced sweet potato, quartered vine tomatoes and a little water which you cook for a while until it starts to break down and the sauce starts to thicken. Oh – during this stage you also add some cumin, cayenne, a red chilli and some bay leaves.

You then add a couple of tins of chick peas, some diced aubergine, some more water and let it cook for around 30 minutes.

At the recipe’s suggestion – and because I quite fancied having enough leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch, I cooked some brown rice to accompany the stew.

Once your stew is ready, stir in some chopped coriander and serve with the rice.

We quite liked this although it did feel like it was missing something. That something was something unhealthy (obviously) because when you look at the ingredients this couldn’t be any lower in fat. I tasted like a low fat meal.

Also, don’t eat low fat food when you are watching 22 contestants making desserts on Australian Masterchef. You’re just going to feel like you’re missing out on something!.

Impromptu Coleslaw


I was clearing out the fridge on Saturday, trying to make room for the produce we’d bought at Borough Market. Freya was a little poorly so I decided to make something with the ingredients lying around in the fridge.

This coleslaw (naked of mayonnaise) was simply:

  • half a shredded red cabbage
  • a couple of grated carrots
  • a handful of sliced radishes
  • a sliced large red onion
  • a julienned apple
  • a diced half a cucumber
  • two finely sliced green chillis

I dressed it with some rapeseed oil mixed with honey and white wine vinegar.

It was pretty nice for something made up on the spot. In the end we had it in a wrap with some grilled paneer as a late evening snack whilst we started the mammoth task of watching 60+ episodes of Australian Masterchef Season 5 (you should watch this – it’s very inspiring).

The rest we had for dinner the next day as an accompaniment to the lovely dinner we shared with Freya’s family. It was still nice and crisp and tasted just as good the next day.

Borough Market

Fruit and Veg - Borough Market

This weekend we decided to go to Borough Market. Freya had never been before and we’ve been putting it off for weeks – but this weekend we got in the car nice and early arrived at the market by 8:30am.

Bread - Borough Market

Borough Market it literally just at the end of London Bridge on the South side of the river. Parking was a bit of a problem but we eventually found a space at £10 for two hours. This was a bit of a shame because Borough Market has its own car park – just near ‘The Rake’ (a great pub) – and it costs maybe £2 an hour. We’ll remember this for next time.

Mushrooms 2 - Borough Market

Being a market I assumed it would be in full flow by 8:30am – but I was very much mistaken. Borough Market doesn’t really get going until 10am – there were a lot of people still setting up when we arrived. Not that this was a problem. You get to see a lot more when it isn’t rammed with tourists.

Tomatoes - Borough Market

Borough Market is so colourful and is full of fresh vegetables, fruit, cheeses, bread and cured meats. We aren’t eating meat at the moment so we stuck to the cheese fruit and veg!

Berries - Borough Market

We had a really nice Halloumi Burger for breakfast from one of the stands in the uncovered part of the market. Very tasty and actually the only hot food we could get that early in the morning! Most hot food places weren’t ready until nearer 10am.

Garlic - Borough Market

We ended up buying some lettuce, figs, basil and peaches from ‘Turnips’ – which is a very large and impressive greengrocers in the covered part of the market. In hindsight we should have shopped around a bit more as there were better figs on other stands.

Mushrooms - Borough Market

We also went into Neal’s Yard – which is opposite The Market Porter (another great pub) and tried lots of cheese. We bought some too – £20’s worth in fact!

Neals Yard Cheese

We also found an amazing Foccacia Bread from which was covered in Olives and Rosemary. It looked and smelled amazing.

By 11am we had already left the market – just as it was filling up with people and getting a bit crowded.

Borough Market Haul

I can thoroughly recommend a morning at this market – it’s great fun – and there’s so much to choose from.

Papaya, Halloumi and Watercress Salad

Papaya, Halloumi and Watercress Salad

One of the many lifestyle changes we’ve adopted since moving to the boat is not doing our online shopping with Ocado. Now there’s nothing wrong with online shopping at all – in fact I am a very strong advocate of shopping with Ocado – you can’t beat the quality or the service they offer. That said – boats are smaller than houses and you don’t tend to see many boats with fridge freezers, or a larder. Baisically there’s nowhere to put a week’s worth of shopping!.

Our new approach is to decide daily what we are going to eat, and then go to the local shops and buy our ingredients. We have a fridge – and we can store maybe 2 days worth of fresh ingredients – but there’s no freezer. And it’s been very hot so you can’t just leave stuff out to rot.

In Brentford (where our boat is) there are many local shops – we like Al Shaam – they are a Cypriot shop (I think) and have so many different types of Halloumi, Goats Cheese, fresh Papaya, fresh everything. We really like the guys that run it and they are super helpful – and always have big bunches of the fresh herbs we want. They don’t have everything – so occasionally we have to venture elsewhere – but not very often.

Anyway enough of my life! – this recipe is incredibly easy. Apart from frying off the halloumi it’s all just preparation. I found it made every such a lot but maybe everything just looks so much bigger on a boat!

The recipe is the first one I’ve taken from The Art of Eating Well by Hemsley Hemsley. I chose it because it was very quick to prepare and I knew the shop up the road had all the ingredients. If this is anything to go by I’ll be making a lot more dishes from this book.

All you do with this is wash some watercress and lay it on a big plate or bowl, top it with halved cherry tomatoes and sliced red onion, sliced avocado and slivers of papaya.
Then you toast some pine nuts (I also added some pumpkin seeds) and then fry the halloumi until it is golden.

Add both the halloumi and the pine nuts to the salad, and dress with a some olive oil, runny hunny and apple cider vinegar.

This is really easy. I think I made it in 20 minutes tops. It’s incredibly tasty and because there is so much you can go back for seconds (and thirds in my case).

One thing this dish does highlight is the need for really good ingredients. If I’m honest my avocados were a little bland and the watercress wasn’t the best I’d seen – that said it was still very good indeed.