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Full of Beans!

As you know G’NOSH are all about delicious, wholesome and fresh food as well as inspiring ideas of how to re-invent classic dishes or create entirely new ones. I wanted to share with you a few suggestions of how to make the most of G’NOSH Black Bean Dip – the Smoky & Sweet dip in the range. The dip is a beautiful blend of black ‘turtle’ beans, roasted red peppers and honey with chilli chipotle and the list of ways to enjoy this sweet and smoky flavour are endless. Here are my top five ideas:

1. Make a mushroom risotto wonderful by creating to a typical ‘risotto bianco’ recipe, use a variety of wild mushrooms such as girolles or ceps. This will create an amazing woody and delicious flavour and stirring through a tablespoon of the G’NOSH Black Bean Dip will elevate this and bring out a smoky and sweet taste and aroma – this is the ideal dish when serving vegetarians too

2. Make a Mexican-style wrap topped with paprika-spiced chicken, half an avocado, some chopped, fresh tomatoes, a squeeze of lime juice and some G’NOSH Black Bean Dip – if you’re feeling naughty you could even add some grated cheese such as Edam or Emental to this dish!

3. Marinate a tuna steak with the G’NOSH Black Bean Dip for a couple of hours then grill on the BBQ or in a griddle-pan, so the flesh is nice and pink in the middle and serve on a green leaf salad with some potato salad

4. Make the ultimate steak sandwich by piling some crisp Iceberg lettuce, a couple of slices of juicy beef tomato, and some sliced gherkins on top of half of a ciabatta loaf, then top this with a generous portion of G’NOSH Black Bean Dip – place your cooked steak on top and add some fried onions and then the bread lid – this is a great Saturday afternoon treat

5. Make a crunchy stir-fry of your favourite vegetables such as bean sprouts, water chestnuts, sliced carrot, chopped Chinese cabbage and mushrooms. Add flakes of some smoked mackerel fillets and a spoonful of the dip and keep on the heat until warmed through – serve alone or with plain boiled rice for a tasty dinner

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Lunch Box Lust

The summer holidays are over and as you prepare for another school year with your children, I wanted to share some inspiring ideas to send your little ones back to school with some nutritious lunch box fillings that will excite them and get them interested in enjoying good food from a young age.

Pasta Salad:
Use Farfalle or ‘pasta bows and butterflies’ as this type of pasta tends to go down well, at least with my children. Make a simple tomato based sauce by sautéing onion, some chopped mushrooms and some G’NOSH Sun-Dried Tomato & Basil Dip. Stir the dip through the cooked pasta and allow to cool. Once cooled, you can add a little low-fat mozzarella or feta which will add some much-needed calcium to this lunch time dish. This pasta dish is a good way of sneaking in some veggies too, as you could also chop up some courgettes, add spinach, or peppers to make sure the little ones are getting their daily fibre dose too.

Veggies, Pitta & Dip:
As a variation and to feel like a treat to the kids, toast some pitta and slice into three sections and wrap in tin foil once cooled. Cut carrots, cucumbers and bell peppers into batons to make up a crunchy but delicious selection of crudités to be served with a little pot of their favourite G’NOSH Dip.

‘Shape’ Sandwiches:
Some younger children might not yet be great with eating, and need a little gentle encouragement. A tactic I find works is serving food in interesting ways rather than a bland square sandwich, I found that my using a pastry cutter that I had in the shape of a clowns face and a heart, this somehow made the sandwich ‘cool’ and enticed my two into eating them. Make sure you vary the sandwich fillings too and for fussy eaters, make sure it’s something they love. Ham, plain cheese and cucumber sandwiches are often popular.

A Treat:
It’s important that throughout the day, your children have things to look forward to break up the day, especially for younger ones who might be missing their parents. So the lunch box is a little mid-day treat from their home, and should reflect that. Always include a piece of fruit to encourage eating healthily but also sometimes it’s nice to also include a baked treat, particularly if they have helped to make it. A Sunday afternoon spent baking flapjacks or muffins is a great way to spend quality time together, and this way the little ones will look forward to eating something they have had a hand in preparing.
Here’s to a good school term!

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Dippables – The Next Stage

As you know, here at G’NOSH, we love to share all of our news with the loyal G’NOSH followers, and I’m delighted to announce some incredibly exciting news. Following our success this year, we are adding to our gourmet dips range with a brand new innovative snack pack – G’NOSH dippables.

Available in three delicious flavours – G’NOSH dippables will combine a flavourful, natural G’NOSH dip with bespoke hand-twisted rosemary, polenta and black olive grissini, baked by artisan Italian bakery Crosta & Mollica who we are thrilled to be working alongside.

Two of our favourite G’NOSH dip flavours, Sweet Black Bean and Smoky Aubergine Babaghanoush are included and due to popular demand, a brand new and mouth-watering third flavour is being introduced with this launch – Smoky Chipotle Hummus, which I’m really excited about.

The dippable range is aiming to make snacking convenient for busy modern lifestyles without compromising on the finest, wholesome ingredients as is the G’NOSH way – a unique and delicious snacking solution for people on-the-go is born!

The authentic Crosta & Mollica grissini dippers have been baked specially to complement the fresh G’NOSH dips by a bakery near Turin in Piemonte, using carefully sourced local ingredients, including Taggia olives and maize from Piemonte.

G’NOSH dippables are available at £1.89RRP from national retailer Budgens as well as Booths and independent retailers including John Lewis Food Hall, Wholefoods, Planet Organic launching from September through to the autumn.

Do share your feedback with me at the G’NOSH Facebook and Twitter pages.

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Step into September

As you know, G’NOSH is passionate about enjoying great food and with this in mind, as we step into a new month of the year, I thought I’d share with you two of my favourite foods that come into season during September, with a couple of suggestions of how best to enjoy them.

Rabbit comes into season during this time. Now a lot of Brits seem to balk at the idea of eating rabbit but I have to say to those of you that aren’t keen, you’re really missing out! Not only is the meat on a rabbit incredibly lean due to all of the hopping around that rabbits tend to do, the meat is versatile and works in many ways. Here are my top two ideas for making the most of rabbit season:

1. Make a nutritious and hearty rabbit stew. Firstly sauté some onions, garlic and tarragon in a pan with a little oil, add the rabbit meat, chopped and just sear until coloured then remove and place into a stewing pot or casserole dish if you prepare to stew in the oven. To the rabbit, onion, garlic and herbs mixture add a pint of good quality, fresh chicken stock, a glass of dry white wine and some chopped vegetables. Butternut squash, carrots and celery work really well – and these are all in season too during September so are perfect. Towards the end of cooking stir through some G’NOSH Black Bean Dip which will give this warming dish a sweet and smoky flavour. Serve with some fresh crusty bread

2. Another great way to turn a classic dish into a seasonal sensation is to make a classic Bolognaise dish using minced rabbit meat, which is far leaner than beef or lamb mince which is traditionally used. Use your favourite Bolognaise recipe and to counteract the sweet flavour of the rabbit meat add in some G’NOSH Muhumarra Spicy Red Pepper Dip which will make a nicely balanced and unusual alternative to this old favourite. Serve with spaghetti or linguini with some garlic-rubbed toasted ciabatta

Apples also come into their best during September and they are such a versatile fruit that can be used in a number of sweet or savoury dishes. Here are my top two ways of enjoying the humble apple:

1. Stew some Granny Smith apples with a little brown sugar for 30 minutes and serve on the side of some sliced pork fillet, sage spiced-new potatoes and some seasonal vegetables – I like mashed swede and marrow which are great in September too

2. Make a traditional apple crumble by peeling your choice of apple, cutting into chunks and placing into an earthenware dish. Top with a little brown sugar to ensure that delicious, caramelised flavour so associated with this sweet dish. Next, with your hands rub together 100g salter butter with 100g brown sugar and 50g chopped almonds until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs, add in some spices such as grated nutmeg and cinnamon and place the mixture over the apples. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown and serve with some home-made egg custard or vanilla ice cream!

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