River Cottage Puy Lentils with Capers and Olives (v)

I wanted something savoury and tasty to go with a glut of potatoes, and an idle google suggested the savoury lentils in River Cottage Veg were just the thing. I have adapted the original recipe by adding extra capers and olives along with a diced red onion for extra tang and crunch.

For four portions you need
250g puy lentils
2 cloves garlic, peeled and bashed to release the juices
1 packet pitted green chilli olives
1/3 jar capers, well rinsed
2 tsp stock powder
1 red onion, finely diced

Place the puy lentils in a pan with lots of water. Bring to the boil and boil for one minute only. Drain and put back in the pan with just enough stock to cover them. Add the garlic and simmer for about 10-15 mins until the lentils are al dente. Once cooked, add the onion, capers and olives and leave to steam gently (off the heat) for 5 mins to infuse. Serve with a crisp salad. It’s also lovely cold the following day for your lunch 🙂 http://rcm-uk.amazon.co.uk/e/cm?t=beceat-21&o=2&p=8&l=as1&asins=1408812126&ref=tf_til&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr

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Proper Potato Rosti (v)

These are a cinch to make, as long as you give them enough time, but taste amazing and are such a nice contrast to the ubiquitous chip.

For one rosti that feeds 2-3 you need
3-4 small to medium potatoes. Floury ones are best, waxy ones won’t work!\
1/2 tbsp sunflower oil
1 tsp vegan marge (or butter)

Coarsely grate the potatoes. Heat the oil and fat in a large non stick frying pan till the fat bubbles. Place the grated potatoes in the pan and squish down to form an even layer. Season with salt and pepper.

Over a low to medium heat cook the potatoes until the bottom side is totally golden brown and starting to crisp. Place a dinner plate over the pan and invert, then slide the uncooked side of the rosti into the hot pan and cook for another 10 mins or so until both sides are golden, crisp and cooked. Serve as you wish. I had it with seasoned puy lentils and a soft side salad. Utter bliss and total comfort food 🙂

Double Chocolate Banana Cake (v)

This is an adaptation of Nigella’s banana bread from her Domestic Goddess book. I got so sick of making the plain banana cake as although lots of my friends and family liked it, I wasn’t that keen (unless I was eating the raw batter!). However, the addition of chocolate to it makes it utterly delicious. Why I haven’t made this one before is beyond me, but I have now, and so must you 🙂

For 2 x 2lb loaf cakes you need
6 very ripe bananas, mashed to a puree
25g cocoa powder
100g sultanas
75ml southern comfort (or other booze of your choice)
150g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp bicarb
100ml sunflower oil
150g caster sugar
100g plain chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preferably soak the sultanas in the booze overnight, but if you’re short of time, place in a saucepan and heat gently then leave to speed soak for 15-30 mins.

Mix everything together and scrape into two lined loaf tins. Bake in a moderate (170 degree) oven for 45-60 mins until the cakes are risen and a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool. Eat with copious cups of tea.
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Side Salad (v)

Yeah, I know, you hardly need a recipe for a side salad right? Well, I was asked to do some simple basic recipes as part of the Vegan MoFo, along with what I normally blog, so here you go 🙂 This is my fave side salad for all sorts of things, but most especially pasta.

For one person you need
Mixed salad leaves
Cucumber
Tomatoes
Red pepper
Red onion
Salt and pepper
Balsamic syrup
Olive oil

Place the lettuce leaves in a bowl and then top with the cucumber, tomatoes, onion and pepper. Drizzle over balsamic syrup and 1-2 tsp oil before seasoning and consuming. Yum.

Pasta with Courgette, Tomato and Lemon Garlic Sauce (v)

This was a spur of the moment, what on earth do I cook for dinner, how can I use up some languishing ingredients dinner and very tasty it was too.

For 2 portions you need
1 courgette, cut into slices then quarters as in pic
6-8 cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 clove garlic, crushed
grated zest of 1 lemon
2 tbsp olive oil
pasta of your choice

Begin by cooking the pasta as per the instructions on the packet.

For the sauce, heat the olive oil gently and sautee off the courgette until softened and lightly browned (keep the heat quite high to ensure it browns before going mushy). Add the tomatoes, zest and garlic and cook for another 1-2 mins to warm everything through. Season with salt and pepper. Drain the pasta and then place in the sauce pan and coat everything with the sauce. Scoff. Nom.

Roasted Squash, Carrot and Onion Soup with Chilli (v)

It’s definitely autumn here now: cold, misty, and in need of filling, warming food! This soup hits the spot fair and square. It’s a delicious combination of velvety smooth pureed squash and warming chilli and spices. A doddle to make, but luxurious to eat.

For 2-3 portions you need
1 spaghetti & 1 acorn squash (or equivalents of other squashes!) deseeded and cut into rough slices, skin on
1 onion, peeled and quartered
3-4 carrots, cut into rough chunks
1 tsp each of cumin, ground cinnamon and ground nutmeg
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
2-3 birds eye chillies
1-1.5 litres of vegan stock (depending on thickness of soup desired)

Place the squash, carrots and onions onto a baking sheet and drizzle with oil. Sprinkle over the spices and season with salt and pepper. Roast in a moderate (170 degree) oven for about 30 mins until soft and cooked.

Scoop the squash off of the skin and place in a pan along with the onions, carrot and chillies. Add the stock and bring to the boil. Puree using a stick blender, check seasoning and serve with oodles of fresh crusty bread. Delicious!

Cauliflower (non)Cheese (v)

And so the Vegan MoFo has begun, and here is my first offering… Made yesterday as part of a roast dinner requested by my boy, this is cauliflower baked in a tangy, tasty mustard sauce. Just like cauliflower cheese, sans the cheese…

For 3-6 portions, depending on greed and other bits with it you need
1 cauliflower, de-leaved but left whole
2oz vegan margarine
2oz plain flour
1 pint soya milk
salt and pepper
1 tsp french (Dijon) mustard
1 tsp english mustard

Place the whole head of cauliflower in a pan and add 1-2 cms of boiling water froma  kettle. Cover with a lid and leave to cook for 10 mins. You want the tougher base cooked in the water, with the florets steamed. Once cooked, drain and leave to cool.

For the sauce, place the marge and flour in a pan and melt to form the roux. Once it’s mixed together, gently heat and allow to cook out for 2-3 mins. Add the soya milk in stages, mixing well between each addition to minimise lumps forming. I find a whisk the easiest to use but not in a non-stick pan! Once all the milk is mixed in, allow the sauce to cook thoroughly and thicken. Season with salt and pepper and add the mustards and mix well.

Place the cauliflower in an oven proof dish and pour over the sauce. Bake in a hot oven for 15 mins until bubbling and delicious. Serve as you wish, we had it with roasted spuds and parsnips and steamed cabbage. Delicious on a murky, yukky autumnal day.