Tag Archives: carrot

Purple carrot spaghetti

27 Oct

Purple carrot spaghetti

After a bit of a jog on a very cold October morning, I found myself in the supermarket looking for something inspirational for lunch.  And what did I find?  Purple carrots!  I assume, given the rather colourful packaging, that this product was aimed at children, to try and encourage them to eat vegetables and piggy-backing on the commercial wonderland of Halloween.  Nonetheless, i was sucked in.  Well done marketers.  Cartoons and bright colours obviously work in our supermarket aisles.

I have seen a couple of recipes recently profiling the “vegetable spaghetti”, so I decided this would be the perfect opportunity for me to give it a whirl.  I chose  to add some rice noodles as well to mix the dish up a bit, but you could use (gluten free) spaghetti instead, or even try some other veggies to “spaghetti”.

Now I used sesame seeds and toasted sesame oil to finish this off, but you could use pine nuts or other such ingredients.

The ingredients:

1 regular orange carrot

1 purple carrot

1 clove of garlic

1 red chilli (if you don’t like spicy food, only add ½ a chilli)

A good glug of good quality olive oil/rapeseed oil (maybe 5 tbsp)

Salt and pepper

A small sprinkling of Sesame seeds (optional)

1 tsp Toasted sesame oil (optional)

Fresh Basil

150g rice noodles (fresh, or dried, but if you use dried, make sure you have cooked them according to the packet instructions before use)


The Recipe:

  1. Cut both carrots into long thin sections.  I used a mandolin to get them all uniform (ish) so it was quite fast, but if you don’t have a mandolin, this could be quite a lengthy process, but a good excuse to practice your knife skills!
  2. Thinly slice the chilli and crush the garlic.
  3. Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the chilli and garlic and fry for about a minute, make sure the garlic doesn’t burn
  4. Add the carrot spaghetti and toss to coat in the oil and fry until the carrot has softened.  This will take maybe about 4-5 minutes.
  5. Add the rice noodles and toss to mix in with the carrot, chilli and garlic.
  6. Remove the pan from the heat and add the toasted sesame oil.
  7. Serve and sprinkle with a couple of sesame seeds and fresh basil.

Vietnamese mushroom dumplings in a noodle broth

10 Jul

Vietnamese mushroom dumplings in a noodle broth

Now I tried making dumplings in broth before, and though it was really yummy, the dumplings had a tendency to disintegrate as I softened them in hot water.  This time, I softened them in cold water and they remained much more robust.

The little bit of crunchy peanut butter in the dumplings was (ah-hem, modesty alert), a touch of genius!  And in the words of my dining companion, it sent the “yum factor” through the roof!

It is a bit of a long list of ingredients, so don’t let that put you off.  This meal is worth it.

The ingredients (serves 2):

For the broth:

2 pints of boiling water

1 carrot

1 onion

2 sticks of celery

3 cloves of garlic

1cm ginger

1 small chilli (deseeded)

Gluten free soy sauce (to taste – I used quite a lot!)

Fresh coriander, chopped

1tsp vegetable bouillon (powder)

Sweet chilli sauce (~2tbsp)

Sesame seed oil (~1 tbsp)

Rice noodles (as much as you require, I used about 100g of dried noodles for 2 people)

The dumplings:

2 handfuls of mushrooms

1cm ginger, crushed

1 small chilli, diced

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 carrot

Splash gluten free soy sauce

1 tsp soft brown sugar

1tbsp Rice wine vinegar

3 large tsps Crunchy peanut butter (I like to use whole earth peanut butter as it is pretty much 100% peanut)

3 Rice paper wrappers (I use ones about the size of a dinner plate)

The recipe:

1.       The broth:

Chop the onion, carrot and celery into large chunks and throw into a large heavy based  saucepan with the water.

Add the cloves of garlic (whole), ginger, 1 small chilli, chopped coriander, a very large splash of soy, and the vegetable bouillon.

Cover and leave to simmer whilst you prepare the rest of the meal.  We’ll come back to this later.

2.       The dumplings:

Take the cabbage leaves, cut out hard stems and discard, thinly slice the leaves and steam for 3 mins

Chop mushrooms into small pieces; throw into hot oil and sauté until lightly brown.  Add crushed ginger, chilli and garlic.

Add julienned/matchstick carrots

Lightly sauté for 5 mins

Add large splash of soy sauce, soft brown sugar, rice wine vinegar

Continue to sauté for another 5 mins.

Soften rice paper wraps in cold water until soft and pliable, place on chopping board and cut in half with a sharp knife.

Onto each hemisphere of the rice paper wrap add a little bit of cabbage, 2 tsp of the mushroom mix and ½ tsp of crunchy peanut butter

Carefully roll the rice paper wrap, tucking in the edges to make sure there are no holes in the dumpling

3.       The noodles:

Cook the rice noodles according to the packet

4.       Back to the broth:

Add a splash of sweet chilli sauce, the sesame seed oil and a bit more soy sauce to taste

Strain the stock to remove the vegetables etc

5.       To serve:

Place the rice noodles into serving bowls, sprinkle over any leftover steamed cabbage and place on the dumplings.

Carefully pour the stock over the noodles and dumplings

Carrot, Fennel and Quinoa Salad

13 Jun









Lunch on the go or at the office can be a bit of a problem.  Sandwiches, pasties, pasta salads etc are obviously out of the question so I find myself planning ahead far more (and relying on the beauty of Tupperware).

This salad has been created for 2 reasons:

  1. I had a bit of a fennel craving the other day, so here is my attempt to showcase the veggie in all its simple aromatic and aniseed-y goodness.
  2. I got a mandolin the other day and wanted to play with all the settings!

The ingredients:

1 carrot

1 fennel bulb

1 pepper

1 red onion

1 or 2 tbsp of capers (drained)

Couple of handfuls of qunioa

Vegetable stock/bouillon (of the gluten free variety, of course!)

Squeeze of lemon juice

Salt and pepper to taste

Extra virgin olive oil

Sunflower seeds


The recipe:

  1. Cook the qunioa according to the packet instructions, using vegetable stock or bouillon instead of just the water
  2. Whilst the qunioa is cooking, julienne the carrot, pepper and fennel and grate/dice the onion
  3. Squeeze ~½ a lemon over the veg
  4. When the qunioa has cooked and cooled, add to the vegetables.
  5. Add a drizzle of olive oil, the capers and salt and pepper to taste over the quinoa and vegetables. Mix.
  6. To serve, add a sprinkle of sunflower seeds