Tag 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

Mini pizzas

I haven’t blogged for a while and was keen to get one out there before the year end!  So this one is a recipe/recipes that I have used a lot over recent months.  Partly because they are so quick, partly because they are relatively healthy, as you control the ingredients, and mainly because I have never been disappointed whatever combination of ingredients I have decided upon!

The main ingredient in this dish is the Buitoni mini pizza bases.  You get 8 in a pack so good for 4 people (2 pizzas each) or a good party size if you halve them after cooking.

pizza

From there I’ve used a base topping of either creme fraiche or tinned tomatoes.  The creme fraiche topping was inspired by a trip to France earlier in the year and I have to say it is my favourite.

I usually spread some herbs on the main sauce (basil, oregano, pesto, parsley, etc).  Well some combination of these, not all!

Then on top of that I’ve added chicken or chorizo as my meat of choice (I always pre-cook the chicken to be on the safe side).  And then some vegetables from mushrooms, onions, peppers, courgette (which I usually pre-cook if I’m doing it with chicken although it’s not really necessary).

From then I might add cherry tomatoes before the cheese (I usually choose between feta or cheddar or parmesan).

I bake them in the oven for 10 mins on 220 and enjoy a great dish afterwards.  Recently we made them with our niece so they are child friendly and can be quite a good interactive cooking dish with kids.  Also I made a few for our house warming so great party food also.  I’ve tested them on various guests that came to visit and no disappointment yet even amongst foodies.  Alternatively I have a couple with salad for my dinner.  They are an easy thing to make quickly from whatever you have in the fridge so definitely my recommendation from 2014, even if they are not the most advanced dish!  Sometimes the most simple are the best 🙂

Here you have a picture of one of my favourites:

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Happy New Year to anyone reading!!!

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Filed under Cheese, Chicken, French, Healthy, Italian, Pizza

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

Pasta with fresh fava beans, chard and pancetta & Cream of butternut squash soup

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I had my second veg box delivery this week after being on holiday for a week and the main item was fava beans or at least that was how it seemed based on size.  There was also butternut squash, lettuce, chard and leeks but the fava beans were the ingredient most unfamliar to me.

For this recipe I was able to utilise both the fava beans and some of the chard and it led to a tasty pasta dish:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/fettuccine-with-fresh-fava-beans-and-pancetta-recipe.html

I would definitely recommend this recipe but with the disclaimer that to use fresh fava beans, you should set aside a good few hours!!!  The ones I got seemed to be very small and the process of taking them out of the pods took almost an hour alone.  Then after blanching them in the water it was probably close to another hour to take them out of the shells.  Due to the fact they were so small, I’m not 100% convinced I could really taste them in the recipe either!  But well, one of the aims of this blog was to learn more about different foods so I will think twice about including them in a recipe in future 🙂  Also it is Sunday, so a couple of hours working on a dish is a treat anyway!

All the favas at he beginning:

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Step 1; taking them out of the pods

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Step 2; about to be blanched:

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Step 3; taking them out of their shells after blanching:

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The easier parts of the recipe…:

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From my box this week I also made a tasty butternut squash soup. The butternut squash was the complete contrast to the fava beans as it was enormous, meaning I made quite a thick soup!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/creamybutternutsquas_88084

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Filed under Food, Food blogging, Italian, Pasta, Recipes, Soup, Starter, Uncategorized, Vegetables

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

Cream of Jerusalem Artichoke Soup

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It was a very exciting day today; I got my first veg box delivery!!!  I’ve wanted to do this for a long time but always struggled with the idea of where it could be delivered when working most of the hours in a day.  I discovered last week that some people at my work were organising a once a week delivery, so I snapped up the chance to be involved.

The first box contained spinach, lettuce, carrots, spring onions and artichokes.  Part of the reason I wanted to get a veg box was to encourage me to use ingredients I hadn’t before.  Artichokes was the only one in the box that I hadn’t used, so tonight I got to work with Artichoke Soup 🙂

I loosely followed this recipe:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/creamofjerusalemarti_84614

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Although I only had 4 artichokes and I used 4 spring onions rather than an onion.  I kept the remainder of the measurements more or less the same and it resulted in a very tasty and creamy soup.  I am a very happy cook right now!!!

One warning on this recipe; having never peeled and cut an artichoke before, I have to say it wasn’t the easiest process!  I watched a couple of youtube videos which helped me more or less.  Even though they mention the speed of oxidisation I was pretty shocked at just how fast this happens.  Therefore, definitely have a bowl of water and lemon ready to put the chopped artichokes straight into!  Also I wasn’t 100% sure that I got all the bits I should but the soup tasted good and didn’t have hard pieces in it so that was what I was hoping for at least 🙂

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Filed under Food, Food blogging, Healthy, Recipes, Soup, Uncategorized