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My Darling Lemon Thyme: Every Day by Emma Galloway

Emma Galloway is a former chef, food photographer and creator of the popular food blog My Darling Lemon Thyme.

Her new cookbook My Darling Lemon Thyme. Every Day is filled with over 100 easy, tasty vegetarian and gluten free recipes which she created in her family kitchen in Raglan. Many are dairy free also.

I had just one week to test some of the recipes before we would head off for a roady around the East Cape, keen to explore our local environment while Auckland was at Level One. Enough time to make one recipe every day so I could write an honest review.

Day 1: Speedy nachos with the lot. Everyone in our whanau loves nachos so I just had to make this recipe! The preparation could be done a few hours beforehand and then it was just a matter of arranging the corn chips in individual bowls and adding generous dollops of the reheated black bean mixture, guacamole, salsa, and a drizzle of homemade chipotle cashew sauce. With a few sliced jalapenos and coriander leaves scattered on top it looked very colourful and was enjoyed by all.

Day 2: Overnight buckwheat crepes with raspberry and maple. Emma’s secret is to make use of the fact that buckwheat ferments very easily. So, I had left the batter to stand overnight to ferment. This resulted in very tender crepes, crisp around the edges. So delicious with a compote made from frozen raspberries and maple syrup, with a scoop of coconut yoghurt, perfect for Sunday brunch.

Day 3: Grilled banana splits with miso caramel sauce. Grilled banana splits, such a popular dessert in the eighties, were a walk down memory lane! The sauce made with coconut sugar, coconut milk and white miso was Emma’s contemporary twist, and I was keen to try it. Would the salty umami flavour really work? For us it did! Drizzled over the bananas, with some melted chocolate and roughly chopped toasted peanuts on top it was an extravaganza! For those who do not like the flavour of miso Emma suggests it can be replaced by a good pinch of fine sea salt.

Day 4: Any nut or seed milk

As Emma Galloway was writing this cookbook Coved unexpectedly began to sweep across the world putting many countries into lockdown. If cooks ran out of ingredients dashing off to the supermarket was often impossible. So, a recipe for quickly making a nut and seed milk using just a few pantry staples could be a real lifesaver.

We are so lucky that our national lockdown lasted only 4 weeks but her recipe for a low-cost vegan milk is always useful.

I made the coconut milk by blending just 3 ingredients, shredded coconut, warm water, and a couple of teaspoons of maple syrup and then straining it through fine muslin cloth. It was not as thick as store bought coconut milk, so I would probably not use it in a curry, but it was delicious in a breakfast banana smoothie.

Day 5: Everyday buckwheat chocolate chunk cookies. The buckwheat flour added an appealing earthy and nutty flavour while the rice flour made them light and crisp. (I squirreled some away in the freezer for later, always good to have a sneaky sweet treat handy).

Day 6: Any-veg frittata. There was a random selection of vegetables in the fridge’s crisper drawer that needed using up before we headed away as well as a few straggly silverbeet and spinach plants in the garden. So, this was a really good way of using them up. It made a hearty meal and there was plenty left over for lunch the next day.

Day 7: Mushroom and Lentil spaghetti. I left a big bowl of the lentil sauce for our vegetarian house sitters. A good make ahead recipe that should keep the wolf from the door for a couple of nights! All they need to do is to reheat it and serve it over spaghetti.

My verdict:

  • I really like the fact that Emma is not at all preachy. She just nudges us gently towards a healthier lifestyle which is also good for the planet. There are sections on how not to waste, how to make things from scratch, and how to grow your own food. And she encourages us to buy seasonal, local food.

  • The lovely photographs of the recipes, taken by Emma herself, in her own kitchen add to the allure and will entice you to try them for yourself.

  • I think it is an immensely useful and practical book. The recipes are quick and easy and use only a small number of ingredients, all of which are readily available. And there are lots of ideas for variations on the recipes if you do not have all the ingredients to hand.


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