Category Archives: Vegetarian

Simple hummus

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This simple recipe has been on my list for a while in terms of something that I always meant to get round to making, something that is simple but maybe for that reason, I hadn’t quite got there yet.

I wanted to do a simple one first and without tahini and then with the intention of adding extra flavours to future recipes to experiment.  One of my favourites that I remember eating was a shop bought lemon and coriander hummus.  So that shouldn’t be too much of a stretch after this one.

As I said, the ingredients are pretty simple:

Juice of one lemon

4-5 tablespoons of olive oil

1 clove of garlic

A generous sprinkle of cumin

580g jar of chickpeas (drained)

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Just the chickpeas missing – they were being drained at the time!

I simply put all these ingredients into a blender and mixed until smooth.  I have to say that my initial recipe started with 3 tablespoons of olive oil which I increased to make the mixture smoother and also I added cumin to my taste (I really like it so probably added about half a teaspoon in total).

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When I put the hummus into pots I used glass as I heard it keeps longer that way and also added olive oil on the top to preserve it a little.  I’ve read various opinions on how long it keeps in the fridge and the consensus seems about 1 week.  As I made enough for 3-4 people I think it will be gone in a couple of days so I’m not worrying too much about this, this time!

Like many recipes, this is one I wish I had made earlier because it is so simple and tasty.  I’m looking forward to experimenting with more flavours to perfect my favourite 🙂

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Filed under Hummus, Simple Snack, Vegetarian

Assorted tapas

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This blog post is one I’ve been meaning to do for a while, using a few recipes from a great book I won at work!  With a few colleagues we had a really nice picnic in the park and all brought different dishes.  There was a prize for the most creative/colourful dish and my spicy couscous recipe won!!!

I had some free time today, so randomly selected 3 recipes as well as using some leftovers from a dish I cooked last night 🙂  I prepared them pretty much all at the same time but I will try and put some separation in here so it’s easier to follow and to group the many pictures in this veritable feast!

Broad beans with cheese and prawns

To start this recipe off I boiled 6 large shell-on prawns for 8 minutes and in the meantime chopped half a block of edam cheese (the recipe said gruyere but I went with edam) and boiled the broad beans (whole pods with the edges trimmed and then chopped into large pieces) with some dried thyme in the water for 7 minutes.

Once they were both done I let them cool before peeling and deheading the prawns and adding to a bowl with the cheese.

I then added a bit more thyme to a bowl and mixed with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 4 tablespoons of olive oil and some salt and pepper.  I then poured this sauce over the prawn, bean and cheese mixture and served.

 

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Aubergine and pepper dip

Luckily I got an array of aubergines in my organic veg box this week so this recipe was perfect to make some headway into them!

I pricked two aubergines with a fork, along with a red pepper, drizzled in olive and oil and baked in the oven for 45 minutes.  You will see the picture below also shows roasting garlic which is for the next recipe!

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Once they were cooked, I let them cool a little and then peeled the aubergines and chopped the flesh into large pieces.  I removed the seeds from the pepper and also cut this into large strips before cooking in some oil with the aubergine for 5 minutes.

I then added them to a blender along with 1 tablespoon of coriander, half the juice and rind of a lemon, half a teaspoon of paprika and some salt and pepper and mixed to a puree.  I served the puree on bread but I do think this dip would be better with tortilla chips or something similar.

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Potato wedges with roasted garlic dip

For the final dish here (although I did start this first as the potatoes took the longest to cook!), I halved potatoes and then cut the halves into three.  I drizzled over some olive oil, some salt and also one crushed clove of garlic.  Then I put them on a baking tray and cooked for 1 hr 15 mins.

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While the potatoes were cooking, I used the cloves of garlic I had roasted from before (1 garlic bulb, separated into cloves, drizzled with olive oil on 200 degrees for 25 mins) now they were cool.  I removed the skin and mashed until relatively smooth.  I added them in a bowl with 1 pot of natural yoghurt and 3 tablespoons of mayonnaise and seasoned with salt and paprika.  Then I covered the bowl with clingfilm and put in the fridge to chill while the potatoes continued cooking.

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I did reduce most of the ingredients with the intention of being able to serve 2 but we have plenty of leftovers for tomorrow so I would say all of the above would serve 3-4 people.

I enjoyed making all the recipes and was certainly good to make some headway into my tapas cooking experience.  I guess I’m still a bit of a whole dish kind of person so it’s good to extend my repertoire a little further!

And as for the favourite dish… it was probably the potato wedges with the roasted garlic dip!  Really tasty, quite easy to prepare, really enjoyed the crunch of the potatoes with the freshness of the dip!  All were good though and definitely will be repeated.

A big thanks to my work colleagues for letting me win and to Noa for choosing this great prize 🙂

Finally, I wanted to make a brief mention of the fourth dish as although it wasn’t from the book, it did accompany this tapas lunch as well as making a tasty dinner last night!  It was vegetable and salmon bake; another recipe from the BBC.  Really creamy and tasty and a definite recommendation!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/vegetableandsalmonch_84182

The one lonely picture from today (it wasn’t intended to be a blog post but was too delicious not to mention!):

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Filed under Cheese, Fish, Food, Food blogging, Healthy, Herbs, Recipes, Salad, Spanish, Starter, Tapas, Uncategorized, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Kohlrabi, leek and courgette soup

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I’ve had 3 kohlrabis in various vegetable boxes now.  I’m still learning about them and so far have definitely found them much better in soups.  I tried this recipe today and really enjoyed it so thought it was the best one to share.

I used half a courgette, one leek, one onion, one kohlrabi for the vegetables, chopping them into fairly big pieces.  This probably makes enough for four people.

I started by melting some butter in a large saucepan, adding the chopped leek and frying gently for 5 minutes.  I then added the rest of the vegetables along with 750ml of chicken stock and some chopped parsley and simmered for about 25 minutes.  I blended it until it was quite smooth and served straight into bowls before adding some freshly ground black pepper, a spoon of double cream and topping with some more parsley.

Another tasty dish and fast to make, just a shame it is 25 degrees outside so we are not really in soup season!  I think if the kohlrabis keep coming, I will have to advance the repetoire!

 

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Filed under Food, Herbs, Recipes, Soup, Starter, Uncategorized, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Spinach, spinach and more spinach!

Following the veg box delivery last week, I had a lot of spinach in my fridge so this weekend has been dominated by recipes including this green vegetable!!!

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It started Saturday morning with Eggs and Spinach en cocotte.  I had done a cocotte before:

https://creationsfromlacuineta.wordpress.com/2013/12/21/oeufs-en-cocotte-eggs-in-pots/

They are really tasty, a real treat for a weekend breakfast so a good way to use the spinach.  Again it was really tasty and you can find the recipe I used here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/eggsandspinachencoco_88059

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Next up was Saturday dinner 🙂  I really fancied a curry, so I did this Chicken and Spinach Balti recipe:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/chickenandspinachbal_86977

Really nice flavours from the yoghurt marinade and the spinach gave it something extra for sure.  I usually don’t have spinach in my curries and I’ve eaten a lot of curries over the course of my life so quite a turning point!

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And now this brings us to Sunday night!  As I’m writing this, I’ve been cooking a Ghanaian Beef and Spinach Stew for about 2 hours by now!

http://www.girlcooksworld.com/2011/03/shoko-ghanaian-beef-and-spinach-stew.html

It comes from a really nice blog which features gluten free recipes.  I didn’t have all the ingredients (serrano peppers for example) but I have suitable substitutes and also was able to add a couple of my organic carrots and some leeks.  You can see what it looks like below!  I just need to add the spinach and it will soon be ready to eat!

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For anyone who has not yet had enough of spinach while reading this post, you can find all the health benefits of spinach here:

http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/ingredient-focus-spinach

I should definitely be feeling stronger and ready to tackle Monday!!!

Thanks to the BBC for providing a lot of inspiration this weekend!

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Filed under Beef, Casserole, Food, Food blogging, French, Healthy, Herbs, Indian, Recipes, Rice, Slow cooking, Stew, Uncategorized, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Chickpea curry

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I’ve been ill for a few weeks now, with this week being particularly bad, so this recipe is an illness busting one!  I hope!  No meat or dairy which should be avoided with a cold and also containing chilli and turmeric which are good spices to help fight cold like symptoms.  I’ve been eating a lot of spicy food these days!

You can see the full chickpea curry recipe in the link below although I supplemented it with mushrooms, used dried ginger powder instead of root ginger and added some fresh coriander (which appears in the picture on the recipe below but not in the ingredients ;-)):

http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/chickpeacurry_2213

It’s a really simple, fast, straightforward recipe but with a lot of taste!  I’m someone who is reluctant to cook vegetarian food but with the chickpeas in this, it had a good texture so I didn’t miss the meat too much (I did think “ah, this would be great with some chorizo in also” but it is much healthier without it and cheaper too!).

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All in all, I think it took me only 15 mins to cook (mainly because of the rice cooking time) and is a really easy dish to cook when your fridge may be looking sparse!  If you have a jar of chickpeas in your store cupboard then you are pretty much there!

The jury is still out on whether it got rid of the illness though… 😦

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Filed under curry, Food, Healthy, Herbs, Indian, Recipes, Rice, Uncategorized, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Red onion and goat’s cheese calzone

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We are six weeks into the new year and I’m finally ready to blog again.  This conforms with the cliche that life moves faster every year!  I’m about to head into a busier time for the next few weeks so it really was a case of now or never for this post!

My inspiration for this blog came from reading other food blogs; I have still found the time for that 🙂  So this is the second time that I am featuring Frugal Feeding on here:

http://frugalfeeding.com/2013/02/05/red-onion-and-goats-cheese-calzone/

He really takes some amazing pictures that you can’t help being inspired by!  I am still taking the pictures on my phone so not quite the same standard but maybe in a future life I can dedicate more time to making everything look prettier 🙂

Calzone is not a dish I eat very often and it is in fact the first time that I’ve tried to make it.  It has happy memories for me as it reminds me of my student days in Sheffield.  If it was someone’s birthday we would always go to a restaurant called K Pasa (it seemed to cover Spanish, Mexican and Italian food!) and my favourite dish was the calzone with a bolognaise sauce.  Actually I even went there for my graduation meal with my parents so it must have been one of the more “upmarket” places I knew back then 🙂

This calzone recipe is quite different to the bolognaise one but I love goat’s cheese and red onion so it had to be good!

I started by preparing the basic tomato sauce by briefly frying some garlic before gently adding the tinned tomatoes (trying to keep them whole) and the oregano.  As I had not read the recipe well, I ended up simmering the sauce for about an hour (rather than the recommended two) as I was too hungry by that time!

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Next I chopped the onions (I used 3 as I wasn’t sure I needed the full 8 calzones that the recipe makes :-)).  I softened them gently for 30 minutes and then added them to the tomato sauce, after breaking up the whole tomatoes.

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I added balsamic vinegar, olive oil and some seasoning and then moved to the difficult task of the dough…. I rolled out the pre-bought pizza base and cut it down the middle to make two rectangles!  So my excuse is that in Spain it is really difficult to buy anything other than plain white flour!  I have looked for OO flour before and never found it and also the recipe I looked at said you could use plain flour with semolina flour but that seemed impossible to find as well.  So yes, I cheated on this step 🙂  If you don’t want to cheat, apparently this recipe is very good for the dough!

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Once I had my rectangles, I added a couple of tablespoons of the onion mixture (meaning I have sauce left over to make something else today), a big slice of goat’s cheese cut into smaller chunks and a handful of rocket.  In the Frugal Feeding blog, he states that too much liquid is a problem  and I was a bit concerned at this point because there did seem to be liquid spreading from the mixture (as you can see in the picture above).  However, not a lot I could do about this now so I folded the pastry over and crimped the edges together.  Things started to get a bit messy at this point and maybe this was my punishment for using shop bought dough!  The problem was how to get the calzones onto the baking tray without them breaking.  The extra liquid meant the dough was quite elastic at this point!  In the end I could use the paper the dough came in to turn the calzones upside down onto the tray.  So maybe not the prettiest but it got them there with minimal breakages 🙂  I cooked them on 220 degrees for 20 minutes before serving.

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I was happy with the result.  For sure, they could have looked nicer and potentially been even better with home made dough but the goat’s cheese and red onion combination is really good.  Next time I might add chorizo for some extra flavour or do a completely different filling.  If you do buy the dough already made, they are not much effort and really nice for a saturday night treat.

I’m going to be travelling on and off for the next three weeks, so it will definitely be a while before the next post.  However, on a more positive note, I hope I can feature some of the food I find on my travels.  I guess if I state that in black and white on here I have to do it…

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Filed under Cheese, Food, Herbs, Italian, Recipes, Uncategorized, Vegetables, Vegetarian