A classic recipe this. I like mine garlicky. And lemony. And with tahini. Frankly you can experiment and design your own flavours depending on what you like. This is what was produced last night for lunch today:

For 3-4 servings you need:
1 can chickpeas
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp tahini
2 tbsp olive oil
4 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp water
pinch salt

Blitz everything together in a food processor, adding more water if you need to make it thinner. I made this batch up smooth but it’s also nice chunky. Serve in 1000’s of different ways. Today it’s a lunch dish with crudites and pitta bread.

Tofu Patties

I hesitate to call these burgers cos they’re not really. But they are quick and easy to make.

For 4 patties you need:
1 pack tofu
1 onion
1 clove garlic
1 tsp miso
2 tbsp sesame seeds

Bung everything in to a food processor and blitz till smooth. Add the sesame seeds and form into 4 patties. Place on a baking tray and bake at 180 for 15 mins till golden brown. Serve with relish and other burger things!

Fruit and Nut Muesli

I used to make loads of home made muesli, but then an incident with too much bran put my off (no, you don’t want to know!). But recently I haven’t been able to find a brand that I like, and the ones that are OK are very expensive for what they are so it’s prompted an interest again.

This recipe uses up a packet of Jordan’s fruit and nut muesli which had too many bran flakes in it for me, and not enough soft oats.

For about 20 servings you need:
1 box Jordan’s muesli (or any other luxury brand muesli)
2 cups economy oats (i.e. small, soft oats)
1 cup hazlenuts
1 cup mixed dried fruit (I mainly used apples as they needed to be used up).

Mix everything together in a large tub.

I like to serve it soaked:
put 1/3 cup muesli in a tub/bowl and add 2/3 cup soya milk. Leave to soak overnight.

Vegetable and Bean Cheesy Gratin

OK OK so it’s another variation on an old favourite but it tastes goooooooood!

For 4-6 servings you need
Leftover cooked veggies (we’ve got cabbage, broccoli and carrots)
1 tin pulses – black eyed beans here tonight
1 quantity thin cheese sauce (30g butter, 30g flour, 500ml soya milk, 1 cup grated cheddar)
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
3 tbsp grated parmesan

Layer the veggies and beans in a gratin dish. Make up the sauce and pour over. Top with breadcrumbs and parmesan and then bake in a hot oven for 25 mins till bubbling, crispy and browned on top. Scoff with leftover roast potatoes and cold quorn roast. I love leftovers!

Sweetcorn Noodle Soup

A variation on miso this one. But a yummy one “Mmmmmm mummy, sweetcorn marinaded in miso, I’m in heaven” as Lex summed it up lol!

For 3-4 generous portions you need:
1 tin sweetcorn, drained (or equivalent amount of frozen kernels)
2 bundles ramen noodles
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 inch piece ginger, grated
3 tbsp miso
1.5 litres boiling water
3 carrots, thinly sliced
Chopped corriander to garnish
soya sauce to garnish

Fry the onion gently in 1 tbsp sunflower oil then add everything else. Cook for 5 mins and then serve topped with the corriander and soya sauce.

Puy Lentil and Semi Dried Tomato Salad

I saw this in Febs Delicious magazine and decided it was worth a try. It smells good!

For 2 portions you need:
200g puy lentils
1 red onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
olive oil
1 tub semi dried toms/mozz salad
Lemon juice (1/2 lemon)

Cook the onion and garlic till soften in some olive oil. Add the lentils and just cover with hot stock. Cook till tender (about 20 mins). Drain and then add the lemon juice and a touch more olive oil. Once cooled a bit add the mozz/toms and leave to marinate overnight. Serve topped with salad leave and feel virtuous. For a vegan version omit the cheese and either serve as is or add some sliced marinated or smoked tofu for extra protein.

Quorn Roast

I love a roast dinner and so does Lex. Plus cooking one gives me leftovers for a quick lunch or dinner after work.

The quorn roast is pretty straight forward – take it from the freezer and put it in the oven for 45 mins! It’s being served with steamed veggies (also easy, wash, prep and steam for 10 mins or so) and roast potatoes (peel, cut into chunks, par boil for 10 mins then roast in butter/oil for an hour till crispy). Serve with gravy and feel the warm glow of a Sunday roast.

Meal Plans for Next Week

Forgot to do this earlier in the week and it shows as there’s a lot of food to be used up by the middle of the week. Ho hum.

Plans are:
Italian feast for my birthday
Pizza (cheated and went out for lunch to Pizza Express!)
Roast dinner with steamed veggies and roast potatoes
Puy lentil salad with seni dried tomatoes and mozzarella
Tofu satay and stir fried veggies
Leftover veggies in cheese sauce with roast potatoes
Caesar salad
Cous cous salad with dried fruits

Mozzarella with Chillies and Basil

Again, in honour of eat something hot and spicy day, a variation on the classic mozzeralla, tomato and basil salad.

For 2 servings you need:
1 ball fresh, good quality mozzarella
handful torn fresh basil leaves
1/2 finely chopped chilli
pepper/chilli flakes
6 cherry tomatoes
good quality olive oil

Slice the cheese and lay on a plate. Add slices of tomato. Top the cheese with the chilli then basil and finish with the pepper/chilli flakes and the fresh basil. Drizzle over the oil and serve either on its own or with some italian crusty bread to mop up the lovely juices.

Spaghetti and Meat(less)balls

Today is eat something hot and spicy day. Apparently. So in honour of this we hat spicy meat(less)balls and spaghetti for dinner.

For 3-4 portions you need:
300g spaghetti
1 tin chopped toms
1 large onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 whole chili, deseeded and finely chopped
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp stock powder
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper
1 packet quorn swedish style meatballs
freshly grated parmesan

Begin by sauteeing the onion in some olive oil. After about 5 mins add the garlic and chillies. After a couple of mins add the oregano and fry for 1 minute. Then add everything else apart from the pasta and parmesan. Cook, covered, for about 15 mins till the sauce is reduced and the meatballs cooked. Check the seasoning.

Meanwhile cook the spaghetti. When cooked drain and add to the sauce. Mix till the pasta is covered then serve with a grating of cheese on the top.