Noodles with Vegetables and Peanut Chilli Sauce (v)

I thought I didn’t like kale, but last weeks veg box showed me that it can be really nice. So this week, when another culinary nemesis, chard, arrived, I thought I would do the same. However, I have decided I really, really, _really_ don’t like chard. The rest of this recipe is nice tho, and if you like chard I’m sure you’ll find it delicious.

For one person you need
1 bundle noodles
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1/2 head broccoli, sliced into small florets
2 leaves chard, sliced
1 small onion, sliced

Dressing
1 tbsp crunchy peanut butter
1 small clove garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp chilli flakes (or a whole chilli, sliced)
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp dark soya sauce
pinch sugar
juice and zest of 1/2 a lemon or lime

Place the noodles in a pan and cover with boiling water. Cook for 1-2 mins then add the veggies and cook for a further 1-2 mins until the noodles are tender and the veggies al dente.

Meanwhile mix all the dressing ingredients together. Drain the pan and dress the noodles in the hot pan. Eat.

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Three Good Things: Cucumber, Coriander and Yogurt Raita (v)

Another three good things recipe here, this time a simple raita to complement the bhajis. Take half a cucumber, diced, and add to 1 cup of plain yogurt along with a large handful of chopped fresh coriander. It’s the perfect thing to balance the spice of a hot curry or a nice cooling dip to contrast the crispy, crunchy bhajis. Nom.

Three Good Things: Onion, Coriander and Cauliflower Bhajis (v,gf)

My lovely boyfriend made us a lovely curry over the weekend and I rustled up these to stave off the hunger pangs and to use up some of the stuff languishing in the bottom of the veg box. Based on River Cottage’s three good things principle, they showcase three yummy ingredients perfectly and are, I have to say, the bestest bhajis I have ever made *polishes halo*.

For 10-12 bhajis you need
2 onions, sliced
1/2 cauliflower, the florets cut into thin slices
2 large handfuls of fresh coriander, roughly chopped
1/2 cup garam flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
salt and pepper
water to mix the batter
Oil for deep frying

Place the garam flour, baking powder and salt and pepper in a bowl and add enough warm water to make a batter with the consistency of fresh custard (you should be able to run your finger through it and it not fill back up again iyswim…). Toss in the veg and mix thoroughly.

Heat the oil and fry teaspoonfulls of the batter in the oil until golden brown. Turn over half way through to ensure even cooking. You can make larger ones if you want, but I find they tend to be a bit underdone in the middle and prefer the canape approach.

Serve with chutney or raita or whatever else you fancy. Leave some space for the main course! They keep well and are nice cold the next day for a packed lunch or you can reheat in an oven for about 10 mins.

Sunshine in a Glass aka Apple; Blood Orange and Pineapple Juice (v)

The perfect antidote to the snow outside. A glass of perky, sweet, delicious juice that makes you feel good from the inside out. You need a juicer to make this, obviously…
For one pint of goodness take 2 oranges (peel and pith cut off), 3 apples and half a pineapple. Juice together and enjoy the radiant glow.

Apple and Banana Crumble with Nutmeg Cream

It’s cold. And I have a cold. And a fruit bowl brimming with apples and bananas that needed to be eaten. So I created this and it warmed me. But it didn’t cure my cold, boo.

For 4-6 portions you need
4-5 eating apples, peeled and roughly chopped into bite sized chunks
3 bananas, peeled and sliced into thick slices
2 tbsp cinnamon demerara sugar
1/2 cup jumbo oats
1/2 cup plain flour
75g cold butter, coarsely grated
1/3 cup cinnamon demerara sugar

To serve: double cream and a fresh grating of nutmeg.

Place the fruit in an oven proof dish and sprinkle over the sugar. Mix the rest of the ingredients together and place on top of the fruit. Bake in a moderate oven (180 degrees) for 20-30 minutes until the topping is cooked and golden brown and the fruit is bubbling. Serve with lightly whipped double cream topped with a fresh grating of lovely nutmeg. Yummy.

Sweet CousCous with Rose Jam and Cashew & Pistachio Caramel (v)

I made my first tagine in a proper tagine over the weekend and wanted something deliciously light and sweet to eat afterwards. This hit the spot perfectly and combined delicate middle eastern flavours with a light but tasty finish to the end of the meal. Serve with a light orange and cinnamon sorbet to really intensify the flavours if you want!

For 4 portions you need
CousCous
1/2 cup couscous
1 cup boiling water
1 tsp each of rose water and orange flower water
1/2 tsp each of ground cinnamon, cardamon powder and freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
2 tsp caster sugar
2 tbsp sultanas
1 tbsp rose petal jam (optional)
A few rose petals to decorate

Place everything apart from the jam and rose petals into a bowl and stir well. Leave to steep for 5-10 mins until the water has been absorbed. Pack into a lightly greased bowl and push down well before inverting on a serving plate. Top with the jam and some rose petals.

Cashew and Pistachio Caramel
1 tbsp raw cashew nuts
1 tbsp raw pistachios
1 tsp agarve nectar (or honey if you’re not vegan)
2 tbsp vegan marge (or butter if you’re not vegan)

Place the nuts and butter/marge in a pan over a slow heat and gently toast the nuts. Add the nectar/honey and boil for 1-2 mins until the caramel is a light brown colour and the nuts are deliciously toasted. Take care not to burn or catch the pan! Tip onto a well oiled surface and leave to cool. Break into bite sized pieces once cooled and scatter over the cous cous.

Kale Chips (v)

And so my kale odyssey has ended. I’m more amenable towards the leafy green veg now than I was before this veg box, but it’s never going to be something I love as much as other veggies. This last recipe has been raved about for years by a Stateside friend but I’d never tried it. More fool me! They’re quick, delicious and very easy to both make and eat. So if that kale is languishing about in your fridge, make this and me converted 🙂

Wash and dry the kale thoroughly, having stripped it from the tough inner stalks first. Toss in a little olive oil and sprinkle over a little salt. Then roast in a hot (180 degree) oven for 10-15 mins until crispy, crunchy and utterly delicious. You may find some of the leaves turn a little dark brown but don’t worry about that, as long as they don’t go blackened and burnt you’re fine!

Kale and Smoked Paprika Stew with Butter Beans and Potatoes (v)

Yeah, another kale recipe! Again from the BBC Good Food website for initial inspiration… Tho, clearly this doesn’t have chorizo in it! But the echoes of the juicy flavours from chorizo are there in the sweet smoked paprika that is added. If you can get hold of Redwood Vegan Chorizo style chunks then add those to this for a delicious vegan alternative, but it works just as well without. Lex loved this as much as I did and it was the perfect dinner for a cold, dreary January evening.

For 3-4 portions you need
3-4 potatoes, cut into bite sized chunks, skin left on
2 leeks, sliced
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 can butter beans in water
1 tsp vegan stock
2 tsp smoked paprika
salt and pepper
pinch sugar
2-3 cups kale, stripped from the inner stalk and well washed
1 tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 pepper, cut into bite sized chunks

Begin by sauteeing the leeks in the oil. After 2-3 mins add the garlic and smoked paprika powder. Add everything else apart from the kale and peppers and bring to the boil, adding a little more water if you want a thinner sauce. Simmer for 10 mins then add the kale and peppers. Continue to cook for a further 5 mins until the potatoes are done, then serve with crusty bread to soak up all the gorgeous juices. Delicious!

Kale, Mushroom and Peanut Stir Fry with Hoisin Sauce (v)

My veg box came overloaded with kale this week. And I am not that keen on kale… I usually lob it into a minestrone style soup or steam it and have it with mash but wanted some different inspiration this week. Google showed me this rather yummy idea from BBC Good Food so I adapted it to what I had in the fridge and cupboards and a delicious, healthy lunch was created.

For one person you need
1 tbsp unsalted, shelled peanuts
1 tbsp veg oil
4-5 mushrooms, thickly sliced
1 leek, thinly sliced
2-3 cups of kale, stripped off of the tough inner stalk and well washed
2-3 tbsp hoisin sauce

Heat the oil in a wok and add the peanuts to it. Toss about for 2-3 mins until lightly browned then add the leeks and mushrooms. Keep the veggies moving about and cook for 2-3 mins till lightly browned. Add the kale and cover with a lid. Keep the veggies moving so nothing burns and cook for a further 2-3 mins. Add the hoisin sauce, recover and heat through for a final 1-2 mins. Nom.

Pasta with Onion, Leek and Tomato Cinnamon Sauce and Fresh Basil (v)

My mum makes a mean pasta sauce which uses cinnamon in it to balance the acidity of the tomatoes. It’s utterly delicious. This is a version of it for a quick, tasty and healthy dinner following an exhausting hike over Ilkley Moor this afternoon!

For 4 portions you need
1 can chopped tomatoes
2 small onions, chopped
1 leek, sliced
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp veggie stock powder
freshly ground black pepper
150ml water
2 tbsp olive oil
Handful fresh basil, roughly shredded

Begin by sauteeing the leek and onion in the olive oil for 5-10 mins until soft. Add everything else and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for a further 10 mins. Blend to a puree and check the seasoning. Serve on pasta topped with fresh basil. Nom.