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The Culinary Alphabet, Beginning with A

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Hello from sunny Thailand and welcome to my monthly post on the Recipe Hunter… I have decided that as this is a regular post then I will do the culinary alphabet kicking off with the letter A.


The foods or recipes which I choose will all be made from scratch..from foods readily available and if they are not I will suggest substitutes…Some of the foods or recipes will also be alternatives to some standard foods either because it is what I prefer to use or to offer you a healthier option.

Today I have chosen to start with Almond Milk.almond-milk-1623610_1280

Why? Well, I know many people whether it is choice or because of health reasons are looking for alternatives to cows milk. Saying that some kinds of milk which are advertised as being healthy are not when you read the label so if you prefer to make your own to ensure there are no nasties then here is a recipe for you.

Before you make the Almond milk you must ensure that you do the following:



When the almonds are dry you are ready to use them to make your almond milk…

2 cups raw sprouted almonds
1 cup pitted dates (use more or less to control desired sweetness)
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1 cup water
1½ cup raw coconut water

Let’s Cook!
Blend all ingredients in a vita mix or blender until thick and creamy.
Line a fine strainer with a “nut milk” bag or cheesecloth and strain.
Put your Almond milk in the refrigerator for several hours to cool and enjoy.


Next Arrowroot powder is fast gaining in popularity in the western world as people are looking for substitutes and alternatives to cornstarch either because they have corn allergies/sensitivities or they want to avoid anything GM modified and laden with pesticides.

A starchy substance which is extracted from the root of a tropical plant known as Maranta arundinacea which is cultivated to produce Arrowroot it is also known as Prayer Plant due to the way the leaves close at night they also when harvested look very similar to cassava or underground tubers.

Arrowroot, however, does not go through the same extraction process as cornflour by using high heat or harsh chemicals it is extracted using simpler traditional methods.

It is simply a white, powdery starch that is naturally gluten and grain free.

Cornflour has a slight taste and a cloudy appearance Arrowroot, on the other hand, is much better as it has no taste and leaves food glossy and clear…It is a great thickener and can easily replace cornstarch.

Arrowroot powder is also great mixed with dried herbs and used to coat chicken or fish before frying and produces lovely crisp and crunchy food.


Asparagus Pea or wing beans as I call them are pretty beans with four winged edges very unusual looking beans.

Winged beans are nutrient rich and all parts of the plant are edible. Leaves can be eaten like spinach, flowers can be used in salads, the tubers can be eaten raw or cooked and the seeds used in similar ways to the soya bean.

Sliced and cooked with garlic, oyster sauce and a little Magi (Thai) seasoning sauce they are delicious as a light meal with rice or as a side dish.

Simple and easy and quick to cook…

Aubergines nice just sliced, seasoned and put on an oiled baking sheet in a hot oven for 5-7 mins then brushed with a mixture of herbs of your choice and popped under the grill for 30 seconds. Serve immediately. Nice as an accompaniment to chicken or fish with a nice salad on a summer’s evening. Now I do know that some of you are experiencing colder weather than I  and some others are but they are equally at home with some hot chicken and rice or potatoes with the aubergines as a tasty side vegetable.

Fancy a quick dip for unexpected guests… or for valentine’s day if you are staying home and want a nice dip with your cocktails.


2 Aubergines
100 ml natural yogurt
juice ½ lemon/lime
1 garlic clove
1 green chili, chopped
1 tsp ground coriander
Olive oil, to drizzle

Char the aubergines over a flame or cook in the oven and remove skin. Tip into a food processor with the yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, chili, coriander and olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Blend until smooth tip into a bowl, and drizzle with more olive oil. For a chunkier dip, the aubergine, garlic, and chili can be chopped by hand and mixed with the other ingredients.


Aubergine dip the Thai way.

1 medium eggplant
2-4 chilies
2 garlic cloves
2 med shallots
1-2 tsp fish sauce
tbsp lime juiceBig handful coriander

BBQ your eggplant, shallots, chili and garlic the chili and garlic will be done first, pop the chilies into a sealed plastic bag to cool it makes it easier to remove seeds and skin.

When eggplant is soft then scoop out flesh and add all the ingredients to your food processor or just a pestle and mortar like it is done here.

Taste and adjust seasoning if required more fish sauce or lime juice.
Serve with noodles or raw vegetables.
Lastly on my culinary trip through the letter A is the Avacado

AVOCADO…Guacamole…lovely if you have friends round for drinks and nibbles.


1 ripe avocado
1 ripe tomato
1 finely chopped shallot
1 birds eye chili finely chopped
1 -3 tbsp fresh coriander
Lime Juice
Salt & Pepper for seasoning.

Let’s Cook!

Peel and roughly chop the avocado stir in the chopped onion, chili, tomatoes and the coriander. Season the guacamole to taste with salt, black pepper, and a generous squeeze of lime juice.
Cover bowl with clingfilm and chill before chilling before serving.

My thanks to Esme for letting me loose once again on her lovely blog I do hope you have enjoyed your trip through the letter A, next month it will be B and so much to choose from.

Thank you for reading this post, what is your favorite is it a fruit? A vegetable? A spice or herb….meat, fish…??? Let me know in comments xx

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  • Make tomorrow more amazing than today!
  • Just believe in yourself and dream big.
  • Do not give up on your hopes. Take care always.


I, Esme Slabbert, am the author and creator of this site, EsmeSalon. It is unlawful to re-use any content from this blog, without my written permission. Please contact me should you wish to discuss it further.



My goal is to provide the best homemade recipes that are healthy for all families to enjoy. I also endeavor to showcase and share other bloggers and promote them on my Blog.    You will also find Resources and Courses and Services for Bloggers which I promote from time to time. 

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