Saturday, 26 December 2009

But what do you eat????

Do you ever get asked as a veggie 'but what do you eat?' The answer is obviously 'lots of good stuff!' I find I get asked this even more around Christmas time, I think certain meat eaters think I'll be pulling my cracker over an empty plate. Of course, there is more to Christmas dinner than turkey. Here is a photo of mine to prove we didn't just eat peas!
Roast potatoes, roast parsnips, carrots, broccoli, brussels sprouts, mashed potato, Yorkshire puddings, nut stuffing and lashings of gravy! Enough to cause a post-dinner snooze of the sofa. Hope you are all having very happy holidays!

Friday, 4 December 2009

Mon Petit Chou-Fleur...

Mark Twain described a cauliflower as 'nothing but a cabbage with a college education'. I wonder what cauliflowers study?

Cauliflowers are currently being sold at a bargain price of 39p each here! A credit-crunch vegetable if ever there was one. One idea to use up the big stock of cauliflowers was to roast them, with a little green pepper and tomato. Chili flakes & curry powder for bite. Put in the oven for about 20 mins, and om nom nom... a lovely veggie side dish. In these chilly months there is nothing more comforting than the taste of freshly baked bread to dip in piping hot soup. Luckily for me, Tapa is just round the corner, providing a delicious array of breads. Perfect for dipping into a spicy cauliflower soup.

  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 head of cauliflower chopped
  • 1 carrot chopped
  • 1-2 teaspoons of cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon of curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons harrisa paste
  • a generous squeeze of tomato ketchup
  • 2 pints of veg stock
  • a little oil for frying
Gently fry the onion with the spices, then add the cauliflower and carrot.
Once the onions are soft, the all the veggies are coated with spices, add the stock. At this point add the tomato ketchup & harrisa paste too. Cover and simmer until the cauliflower and carrots are soft. Leave to cool for a little while.
Once cool, blend until smooth. I like a super thick blended soup, but add more stock if the consistency is too thick for you. Reheat & then serve with bread.
Finally, ever wondered what to do with the remaining cauliflower leaves & heart? Donate to a hungry guinea pig called Godber, he will be very happy!

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Thai style noodle & sweet potato broth

After spending the majority of the day hungover and zombie-like, a spicy tasty noodle broth is needed to perk me up and make me feel alive again!
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped in to small pieces
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • handful of beansprouts
  • fresh coriander
  • 1 teaspoon of coriander seeds, ground in a pestle and mortar
  • 1 garlic clove - crushed
  • Approx 2cm grated fresh ginger
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 10 spring onions chopped (scallions / salad onions - whatever you call them)
  • 1 chili chopped finely
  • Creamed coconut (I used a 50g sachet)
  • Noodles (I used a super cheap 15p packet from the supermarket)
  • 1 stick of lemongrass
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Oil
  • Black pepper

In a large saucepan heat oil, gently fry the chopped onion, chili, garlic, ginger, lemongrass and ground coriander.
Make up 2 litres of vegetable stock (I just use one stock cube, so the stock flavour doesn't overpower) and add this to the onions once soft. Also add the carrots, sweet potatoes and creamed coconut, cover and leave to simmer.
Once the veggies are almost soft, add the noodles, beansprouts, lime juice and almost all the spring onions and fresh coriander. You may need to add a little bit more stock here.
After a few minutes the noodles should be soft, season with black pepper. Serve with the remaining spring onion and coriander sprinkled on top.
Relax & enjoy the goodness... and as if by magic my hangover is cured!

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Butter bean stuffed Butternut squash

Brrrrr... It's chilly here in Glasgow and this demands cosy warm food!

I love butter beans almost as much as I love butternut squash, here is a creation of mine combining them both, resulting in autumn-tastic food.

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 1 small onion
  • 100g rice (I used basmati)
  • about 1 pint of veggie stock (I used a veggie oxo cube)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of harissa paste
  • a few broccoli florets
  • half a tin of butter beans
  • black pepper
  • handful of fresh coriander
  • 50g soft goat's cheese (could use any soft cheese - like philadelphia if you wish)
  • a little oil
Slice the butternut squash in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, and then brush the inside flesh with a little oil. In a large oven proof dish (I use a lasagna tray) fill with about 2cm of cold water, then lay the butternut squash halves on top, skin side up. Put in a oven at about 150 degrees Celsius for about 30mins. When it is cooked the inside flesh should be super soft.

Meanwhile, chop the onion and gently brown in a little oil in a large pan. Then add the uncooked rice, stir, add the vegetable stock and the harissa paste. Cover, after about 5mins add the broccoli florets (chopped into small pieces). Cover until the rice is cooked and the stock absorbed.

Then take the rice mixture off the heat, add the butter beans and some coriander. Take the butternut squash out of the oven (carefully please - the water surrounding it will be very hot!), transfer the squash halves on to a baking tray, flesh side up. Using a spoon scoop out some of the flesh, to create hollows, adding this flesh to the rice mixture.

Now add the goat's cheese to rice mixture and give it a good stir.
Spoon this mixture into the butternut squash hollows, and top with a little black pepper. Put this under a medium grill for about 5mins & then serve.
The sweetness of the squash, combined with the creamy taste of the butter beans & goat's cheese is just delicious!

Monday, 3 August 2009

Aubergine, Tomato & Goat's Cheese Bake

nom nom nom... A summery dish of aubergine, tomato and goat's cheese bake. For this you will need:
  • One aubergine
  • Two peppers
  • One red onion
  • Tomatoes ( I used 6 large plum toms)
  • Handful of spinach leaves
  • 100g of hard goat's cheese chopped into chunks
  • One garlic clove
  • Handful of sunflower seeds
  • Black pepper & fresh herbs (I used basil, oregano & rosemary)
Aubergine is a fickle beast, when it's good - it's very, very good & when it's bad - its awful. Who hasn't had some tasteless, watery aubergine spoiling their meal - yuk! This recipe requires some prep work with the purple fella - but it is well worth it, I promise!

Firstly chop an aubergine into slices, put in a colander over a bowl, cover with salt & leave for half an hour (don't worry the aubergine will not take on the salty flavour). Then rinse the aubergine well in water and put on kitchen towel to dry off. Once they are dry (about 10 mins or so) fry the slices in a little oil to brown them and leave aside.

Chop a red onion into slices, crush garlic clove and gently cook them till the onion is soft in a little oil. Then in an ovenproof dish layer the aubergine, onion, tomato and pepper slices, spinach leaves and goat's cheese. Season with black pepper and add fresh herbs as you go along.

The last layer should be lots of tomato slices, goat's cheese, sunflower seeds (for extra bite). Cover and put in the oven on 180 degrees for about 40 minutes.
Once cooked serve with some green salad and crusty bread. You could change the cheese to your favourite and add some courgette or squash chunks if you fancy it.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Warm Paneer, Courgette & Pepper Salad

This is a spicy tasty salad for summer nights. For a vegan alternative replace the paneer with tofu. Firstly make a marinade by mixing together in a large bowl...
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 inch grated ginger
  • 1 clove garlic crushed
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • half teaspoon of mustard seeds
  • half teaspoon of turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon of chilli flakes (adjust to personal preference!)
  • half a teaspoon of fenugreek leaves
  • 5 cardamon pods
Add to the marinade one courgette, two peppers (I used red & yellow for colour) and about 6 spring onions (all cut into chunky pieces). Also chop up a block of paneer and add this to the marinade. Stir in to the mixture, cover and leave for about an hour. Then put into an oven proof dish, and place under a medium grill for 20mins (approx) stirring occasionally.
Serve with a simple green salad. Handy tip - take out the cardamon pods before serving, cause you really don't want to bite in to one!

Monday, 1 June 2009

Lazy Summer Puff Pastry Tarts

Today the weather is hot, hot, hot. A summery, quick, easy meal is required.
Behold, Lazy Summer Puff Pastry Tarts...

Using pre-made puff pastry, roll out and cut into a rectangle and place on a lightly greased baking tray. You could make your own puff pastry - but then it wouldn't be very lazy then! Pierce the pastry with a fork, leaving a 1inch gap round the edge.

Spread some shop brought pesto (again, another lazy move) on the pierced section of the pastry. Add some chopped cherry tomatoes, basil leaves & soft goats cheese on the top. Season with black pepper. Put in the oven at about 200 degrees Celsius for about 15mins until the pastry has risen & is golden.

Serve with salads & scoff. Alternatively change the toppings to thinly sliced red onions, peppers, olives or sun dried tomatoes. Try using passata or tomato puree instead of pesto, and different types of cheese.

Thursday, 30 April 2009

Parsnip, Carrot & Spinach Curry

Dear blog,

I have neglected you for too long. Please accept my apologies by sharing my delicious dinner with me :)

This is a tasty meal that will use up those root veggies that are harboring at the back of the fridge (and vegan friendly).

Firstly chop 2 red onions into quite large chunks, add to a pan with hot oil, on a low-to-medium heat. Add a tablespoon of cumin seeds, teaspoon of curry powder and half a teaspoon each of turmeric and chilli powder. Add one clove of crushed garlic, one finely chopped green chilli and about 1cm of grated fresh ginger. Allow the onions to soften.

Once the onions have started to soften add one chopped parsnip & two chopped carrots. Stir and leave for a few minutes. Then add half a can of chickpeas and a couple of handfuls of spinach (roughly chopped). Give it all a big stir then add about 2 cups of water (till everything is almost covered) and a squeeze of tomato puree.

Stir once more, cover and leave on a low heat for about half an hour. During this time have a nice potter about, read a magazine, check your emails, generally just dilly-dally (though at some point remember to put some rice on!). When you return to the pan the water should have mostly disappeared & your veggies soft.
Serve with boiled rice, some yogurt (just in case your chillis are fiery) and a chapati or two.

Monday, 16 February 2009

Sweet Potato & Celery Soup

Simple, tasty soup (and suitable for vegans too!).
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • about 5 celery sticks, chopped
  • about 600g sweet potato, peeled & chopped
  • 1.5 litres of veg stock (I used an oxo cube)
  • black pepper
  • a little veg oil
In a large saucepan add the onions & celery to the oil, soften gently. Then add the sweet potato and black pepper.Add the stock, cover & simmer for about half an hour. The sweet potato should now be lovely and soft. Blend the soup, personally I like this soup to be super smooth, but if you prefer you could just blend half the soup. Put the soup back on the heat & ensure it is warmed through, then serve with crusty bread.

Food Glorious Food!

Dear blog readers,

You destined to are to share my love of tasty veggie food. Enjoy!