Tag Archives: vegetarian

Hummus

8 Dec

Hummus

Hummous

The ingredients:

1 tin of chickpeas (410g)

2 garlic cloves

3 tbsp tahini

1tsp cumin seeds (toasted)

Pinch of salt

Squeeze of lemon

Olive oil (optional)

Paprika (smoked or otherwise)

2 tbsp water (optional)

The recipe:

  • Drain and rinse the chickpeas and sift through to remove any loose skins from the chickpeas.  By removing all of the skins (it may be a bit laborious) but it will give you a much smoother result

chickpea close up 2

  • Put the chickpeas, tahini, garlic cloves, and cumin seeds in a food blender and pulse for a couple of seconds (I like my hummus to be a bit rustic with a few of the chickpeas still whole, so I don’t tend to blend too much)
  • Add in the olive oil and pulse for a few more seconds
  • Season with salt and lemon juice to taste
  • Serve and add a few whole chickpeas and a little sprinkle of paprika on top

Babaganoush

8 Dec

Babaganoush

Babaganoush

The ingredients:

1 large aubergine

2 cloves of garlic

Squeeze ½ lime

1 tsp cumin seeds (toast and grind)

1 tsp tahini

2 tbsp Olive oil

Pinch of salt and grind of pepper

The recipe:

  • Light the gas on the hob, then lay the aubergine directly on it.  It will blackened on the flame, and when the skin begins to blister and flake, use tongs to turn the aubergine until it is completely charred on all sides.

roasting aubergine 2

  • Once done, place the aubergine in a plastic bag and when cool enough to handle, strip away the blackened skin and put the flesh (which should be cooked and soft) in the blender along with the garlic, cumin seeds and tahini.
  • Blend in short bursts until smooth, adding the olive oil, lime juice, salt and pepper to taste.

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.

Butternut Squash Gnocchi

3 Oct

Butternut Squash Gnocchi

Now, I made gnocchi once before, but with sweet potato, but I think they were too dense and not the fluffy little pillows that I was hoping for.  I think part of the reason was because I boiled the sweet potato rather than roasted and so it retained a lot of water, so I had to compensate by adding LOADS of (gluten free) flour.  I learnt my lesson, so this time, roasting was on the cards.

What with Hallowe’en round the corner, I was contemplating pumpkin gnocchi.  But obviously my local supermarket didn’t have the same idea as me, so I had to plump for butternut squash.  If you don’t fancy this, you could try with (roasted) sweet potato, normal potatoes, maybe even parsnip gnocchi might work… maybe too sweet… I’m sure someone out there has tried it.

The ingredients:

2 butternut squash (medium)

Drizzle of olive oil/vegetable oil

Salt and pepper

At least 400g Gluten free flour (I used Doves Farm Plain white flour blend) the amount will probably vary depending on how watery your butternut squash is, so it is best to have a plentiful supply.

The recipe:

  1. Peel and cut the butternut squash into chunks (smaller pieces will cook faster)
  2. Put into a baking tray with a drizzle of oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper, toss to make sure the squash is coated in the oil and put into a pre-heated oven at 190 degrees Celsius until cooked through (about 30 mins, but again this depends on the size you cut the squash into!)
  3. When cooked, mash the butternut squash until smooth (I even squished mine through a sieve but I don’t think it was entirely necessary)
  4. Put the mash into a mixing bowl and add the flour (about 50g) at a time, mixing well, until you get a dough like consistency.
  5. Lightly dust a clean work surface with (gluten free) flour, take a ball of the dough and roll out into a long thin sausage.  It should be about the width of your little finger, and even.
  6. Chop the butternut squash sausage into little sections of about 1cm each.  These are your gnocchi.  Try to make sure each piece is the same size so that it cook evenly.
  7. Boil a sauce pan of water and add about a large handful of the gnocchi.  Be gentle with it and don’t try to put too much in the saucepan as it will all stick together.
  8. When the gnocchi rise to the surface, they are cooked.  This should take about 3 minutes.
  9. Drain and serve with your favourite sauce (I did mine with a beurre noisette sauce with roasted tomatoes and basil, in case you were interested!)

 

Spinach and ricotta cannelloni

19 Sep

Spinach and ricotta cannelloni

A Saturday night in.  What better way to recover from the week than with some home cooking and a trivial pursuit marathon.  So here is what I created and served it alongside steamed green beans, served with a squeeze of lemon and a sprinkling of sesame seeds.

And as if there wasn’t enough cheese in this meal anyway, we found an extensive cheese plate and a beautiful red wine to be a delightful accompaniment to the trivial pursuit and a perfect way to round off the meal.  Although in the interests of everyone’s cholesterol levels, the cheese plate isn’t a necessary finale to this meal.

The ingredients:

For the tomato sauce

1 medium onion

1 clove garlic

Pinch of dried chilli flakes

300g cherry tomatoes

1tbsp tomato puree

Salt and pepper

For the pancakes

110g plain flour, I used doves farm gluten free plain white flour

2 eggs

275ml milk

50g butter

For the filling

250g ricotta cheese

50g parmesan cheese

250g fresh spinach

Handful of fresh parsley

50g Pine nuts (save some for sprinkling over the cannelloni when you serve)

Pinch of ground nutmeg

To finish

50-100g Parmesan cheese

Pine nuts

The recipe:

  1. Dice the onion and crush the garlic.  Sauté with a splash of oil (~1tsp) on a medium/low heat with the chilli flakes until the onion has softened and is translucent.
  2. Quarter the cherry tomatoes and add to the onion with the tomato puree and about 150ml cold water and simmer for 20-30 mins, adding a little more water if it dries out.  Season to taste.
  3. Roughly chop the spinach and parsley and add to the ricotta in a mixing bowl, along with the nutmeg.  Grate in the Parmesan cheese Grate and season to taste.
  4. Toast the pine nuts in a frying pan (don’t use any oil for this, there is enough oil in the pine nuts), but take care not to burn them.  Add to the spinach and ricotta mix, saving a few that you can use to sprinkle over the cannelloni when you serve up.
  5. For the pancakes: I could tell you how I did it, but Delia pretty much has it covered, so just follow her recipe (but with gluten free flour) and instructions (leaving out the lemon and sugar topping) here.
  6. To compile the cannelloni, take a pancake, spoon the spinach and ricotta mix down the middle and roll up.  Lay the cannelloni rolls in an oven proof dish.  I made my rolls quite fat like this
  7. Pour the tomato sauce over the pancake rolls (cannelloni), grate parmesan over the top (top tip, don’t hold back on the parmesan!  But then again, I am a cheese fiend)
  8. Pop the dish under the grill for ~5 mins, or until the parmesan is golden and bubbling.
  9. Serve with greens and a sprinkling of pine nuts.

Sweet Potato and Pea Samosas

16 Sep

Sweet potato and pea samosas

The ingredients:

1 large sweet potato

Peas

Small handful of cashew nuts

Rapeseed oil

1 onion

1 clove garlic

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp garam masala

1 handful fresh chopped coriander

1 tsp chilli powder

1 fresh green chilli

150g plain flour (I made several batches and used doves farm bread flour blend AND Juvela white flour mix)

50 butter (melted)

The recipe:

  1. Score the skin of the potato and cut into large chunks and boil until cooked.  Add the peas for the last few minutes.  When cooked, drain and put the potato and peas into a mixing bowl.
  2. Dice the onion and crush the garlic and add to hot oil in a frying pan.  Sauté until the onion becomes soft and translucent.  Don’t let the onion go brown.  Then add the cumin seeds and continue to sauté for a couple of minutes
  3. Add the onion to the potato in the mixing bowl, along with the coriander, garam masala, chilli powder and fresh chilli.  Mix well.  (You can afford to crush the potato at this point, but make sure you leave some chunks, it’ll make a good combination of textures in the finished product!
  4. Image
  5. Cover and pop in the fridge for the flavours to blend for up to 2 hours.
  6. Take the plain flour in a new mixing bowl, add 1 tbsp of rapeseed oil and bring together with a fork, adding small amounts of cold water to the flour until it comes together in a dough.  Take care not to add too much water, but if you do, just add a sprinkle more flour to balance it out.  You end up with a dough like this:
  7. Image
  8. Cover in cling film and pop in into the fridge to rest for 15-30 minutes.
  9. Make a floury paste with a little flour and enough water to make a thick sticky paste (try to avoid making it too lumpy, too thick or too runny)  this will be the “glue” to keep you samosas in shape.
  10. When ready, roll out the dough to about 1mm thickness.  If you find the dough crumbles a bit too easy, just add a tiny splash more water.
  11. Cut the dough into circles the size of a tea plate, then cut in half to make semi circles.  (Top tip: If you are not immediately making the dough into a samosa, cover with a damp cloth or the cling film to keep it from drying out.)
  12. Take a semi circle of dough, imagine cutting it into 3 slices of pizza (but don’t cut!!)  fold the 1st third over the middle third like this:
  13. Image
  14. Then fold the last third over the centre third, using a little of the flour paste to stick it together.  You should now have a little cone.
  15. Image
  16. Take a spoonful of the potato samosa filling and gently put it in the cone, taking care not to overfill the cone
  17. Image
  18. Now add a little more of the flour paste to the top of the cone and push the edges of the cone together to close the samosa
  19. Brush with melted butter and pop in the over at 220 degrees celsius for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown
  20. Serve with chutney as a yummy snack

Broad bean and leek risotto

9 Sep

Broad bean and leek risotto

For some reason, risotto is known as the “death dish” in Masterchef as it is so tough to “master”.  Now I don’t profess to be a “master chef”, but I do think my risotto is pretty tasty (even though I do say so myself), and no matter how much of it I make, it always disappears as people go back for seconds and even thirds.

I think there are a couple of points to take note of when making a risotto and these are:

  1. Never add all the stock at once.  Add in bit by bit and wait until it has been absorbed by the rice before adding more.  This way you won’t end up overcooking the rice and left with a soggy pan of rice.
  2. Don’t let the risotto run dry, make sure that there is always just enough liquid in the rice to keep a nice creamy texture and not thick and stodgy
  3. Use fresh parmesan and lots of it.  Ready grated parmesan just doesn’t give the right taste and texture.

The ingredients (Serves 3-4 people):

100g of butter/buttery margarine equivalent

2 tbsp olive oil

1 medium white onion (diced)

2 cloves of garlic (crushed)

2  leeks (sliced into circles)

125ml white wine (a dry wine is best)

~2 pints gluten free vegetable stock (you probably won’t need all of this)

300g Arborio rice

~200g fresh or frozen broad beans (shelled)

Juice of ½ lemon

100g Parmigiano Reggiano (or other hard cheese similar to parmesan)

Salt and pepper

The recipe:

  1. If you are using fresh broad beans, make sure that you remove the beans from the pod, but also to take the beans out of their little shells.  Pod the beans by popping the beans into boiling water for a couple of minutes, drain, rinse in cold water, make a slit down each pod and using your fingers, push the beans out.  Then remove the thin skin that covers each bean using your fingernail to slit the skin and the bean will pop out!
  2. Melt about 30g of the butter in a pan with the oil and when hot, add the diced onion and crushed garlic and sauté on a low heat until the onion is translucent and soft.  Keep moving the onion around the pan to make sure it doesn’t brown.
  3. Add the sliced leek and continue to sauté for a couple of minutes
  4. Add the rice to the onion and garlic and sauté for a couple of minutes, stirring to make sure the rice kernels are coated with the oil/butter
  5.  Add the white wine to the rice and let it gently simmer until the liquid has been absorbed
  6. Add about 100ml of the vegetable stock to the rice, and again, let it gently simmer, stirring occasionally
  7. Once the liquid has been mostly absorbed by the rice, add in another ~100ml of the stock.  Continue until the rice is cooked (soft but with a bit of a bite), but make sure that stock has been absorbed before you add the next splash of stock.  NEVER ADD ALL THE STOCK IN ONE HIT!!!  If you find you need more liquid, add boiling water in the same fashion until the rice is cooked.
  8. Just before the rice is cooked, add in the broad beans as these only need a couple of minutes to cook and the heat from the rice will do this nicely.
  9. When the rice is cooked, remove from the heat and add a squeeze of lemon juice, a knob of butter and about 50g of freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano.  Stir in and season to taste.  You probably won’t need much salt because of the stock, butter and cheese, but freshly ground black pepper will be a beautiful addition to the dish.
  10. Serve with freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano