An addictive new mapley-mustardy way to feast on sweet potato & kale fried wild rice…

Ok kids, hold onto your tummies and get ready for something exciting to hit your plate in great, greedy, overflowing spoonfuls because I’m gonna level with you here – this is one of the most delicious dishes I have ever made. I could literally eat it every day and not get sick of it and I’m so excited to share it with you because holy sauteed kale Batman, you are going to love it every bit as much as I do and you may even find yourself saying a little prayer of thanks that you took five minutes to read this post and expand your dinner repertoire.

The flavours are delicious – a completely addictive combination of sweet and savoury with balsamic tang nestling side by side with mustard heat and a gorgeous partnership of soft, sticky, caramelised sweet potato with earthy kale and nutty wild rice.

It’s simple. It’s quick. It’s flavourful and although you could easily serve it as a side to a beautiful piece of plump salmon or a protein packed grilled chicken breast, J and I have unashamedly taken the obsession to the level of eating whole platefuls of it as dinner…even as I write this, he’s sat beside me making yummy noises that are both endearing & understandable…

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A divinely delicious & healthy recreation of West Coast salmon rice bowls in North London…

One of my lasting memories of San Francisco – apart from the glorious weather, friendly people & stunning locale – is the amazing food. Whatever you look for, I guarantee you will find and it won’t surprise anyone who’s been there to hear you praise to the high heavens the generous breakfasts, fresh produce or the Michelin hotspots; as cities for foodies go, San Francisco is up there with the best.

Rice bowls have been around on the culinary scene and growing in popularity for some time now but it wasn’t until our Pacific Catch experience that we got to experience them for the first time. Steeped for the most part in and around Asian cuisine, they’re the perfect dinner for so many reasons – they’re simple to prepare & require no hard-to-say-and-even-harder-to-find ingredients that cost the earth; they can be made just as easily for one person as for 4, 6 or 10; there are no hard and fast rules about what goes in them so even the pickiest of eaters among your clan can be appeased including vegetarians, vegans or meat lovers…see? Nothing not to like, love and adore and if you’re fed up of dull, uninspiring salads that leave you hungry again before the last forkful is forced down and you’re after a healthy option that will leave you full and happy, let’s get on with introducing the rice bowl to your cooking repertoire…

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From frosty beer & NY pie to organic salad – Santa Barbara, a town of contrasts…

Many places on this beautiful planet are well-known for a particular culinary style. Whether this descends from the people who live there now or the historical & geographical references of a specific locale, there’s often one dish or type of food that you can be guaranteed to find. So far on the trip we’ve had amazing re-inventions of classic dishes in Seattle, street food to mow down your own best friend to get to in Portland and a burrito that was a credit to it’s south-of-the-border roots in San Francisco.

Now here’s the thing about Santa Barbara…after 24 hours in this college-student-come-eye-wateringly-rich-residents town, I have no idea what it’s traditional or local food is because, frankly, you can get whatever you want, pretty much whenever you want it. That’s true of lots of places you might say and yes, to a point it is, but even in places like London, New York & Paris where the food offerings are diverse, there is also something in each place to call a culinary trademark. Here in this pretty Spanish Colonial styled town, we dined twice, we dined well and we dined in two places that could not be more varied in their menu, their environment and their specialties.

Let’s start with the one we all have a craving for now and then…pizza. I’m not talking one you pop in the oven on a Friday night and watch hungrily through the glass fronted doors as cheese bubbles & makes a break for freedom over the side of your baking tray. I’m not even talking the really naughty one that you order from Papa John’s when nothing but a hot, crispy, doughy, cheese smothered disc of deliciousness will do. I’m talking New York style pizza – a vast expanse of thin crust (unlike its chubby Chicago cousin) which is coated with the ripest, sweetest tomato sauce and smothered with creamy mozzarella. I’m talking Uncle Rocco’s NY Pizzeria on State St.

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