Vegetable Gratin with Butterbeans 

  
I love a good cheese sauce gratin. I’ll smother anything tbh with a blanket of mustardy cheesy goodness. Perfect fuel for these dreary January days. Use any combo of beans and veggies you want. It’s a fab way to use up spare cooked vegetables so don’t feel you have to prep them from scratch. 
For 3-4 portions you need

  • 1 can drained Butterbeans
  • 600ml milk
  • 50g butter
  • 50g plain flour
  • 150g grated strong cheddar
  • 50g grated Parmesan style veggie friendly cheese
  • 1 tsp English mustard powder
  • 2 tsp French mustard (pref Maille)
  • Cooked vegetables eg 3 sliced carrots and 1 head broccoli 
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  1. Begin by steaming the veggies until tender. Leave to cool. 
  2. Make the cheese sauce by adding everything apart from the cheeses and beans to a pan and heating gently. Bring to the boil then simmer for 1-2 mins. Remove from the heat. 
  3. Add 2/3 of both cheese and mix until melted and the sauce is smooth. Season with freshly ground black pepper. 
  4. Tip the slightly cooled veggies into an ovenproof dish. Scatter over the beans and distribute vaguely evenly. Pour over the sauce then sprinkle with the remaining cheeses.
  5. Bake in a 200 degree oven for 20-25 mins until browned, bubbling and delicious. Serve with potatoes of your choice. 

Vegetable Paella with Spicy Tomato Sauce (v)

I’m not sure this is authentically paella because it uses easy cook short grain rice. But it’s easy and quick to make and is the first recipe/rice combo I have found that actually works without producing a claggy sticky mess or under cooked rice. It’s also vegan and a brilliant way to boost your veg intake. It’s based on a Rose Elliott recipe for Red Beans with Brown Rice and Vegetables in her fabulous New Complete Vegetarian Cookbook (p246).

For 4 portions you need
Paella
2 onions, chopped
4 tbsp olive oil
350g easy cook short grain rice
1 tsp tumeric
850ml veg stock
salt and pepper
A mix of vegetables e.g. we used 1 large carrot, diced, 2 sticks celery, sliced, and a pack of stir fry tenderstem broccoli, baby sweet corn, mange tout and pak choi.
1 can drained kidney beans

Spicy Tomato Sauce
1 can tomatoes
1 clove garlic
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
1 tsp dried chilli flakes

Start by sauteeing the onion, carrots and celery in the oil, covered. I like to use a large lidded non stick frying pan for this recipe.

After about 10 mins add the rice and garlic and stir well. Add the stock and beans and bring to the boil. Cover with a lid and leave to simmer for 10 mins. Stir then add the broccoli and corn and cover again for a further 5 mins. Check the rice is done and if it is, add the remaining veg and take off the heat and leave covered to steam for a final 5 mins.

For the sauce put everything in a pan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 mins. Puree in the pan with a stick blender and leave to one side.

Serve the finished rice with the tomato sauce. Leftovers are delicious cold or used as a stuffing for peppers etc.

Roasted Asparagus, Halloumi and Potatoes

It’s finally the UK asparagus season again, hooray! I love asparagus, and particularly like it roasted. This recipe is an adaptation of one in Three Good Things by the Whipping Tool.

For 2 portions you need
1 bunch asparagus
2-3 potatoes, cut into bite sized chunks
4 garlic cloves, left whole and unpeeled
1 pack haloumi, cut into large chunks
2 large handfuls of sprouting broccoli
Juice 1 lemon
1 thai chilli, sliced
olive oil
Salt and pepper

Begin by tossing the cubed potato in oil with salt and pepper. Bash the whole garlic cloves and place with the potatoes on a roasting tin. Place in a hot oven and roast for 30 mins until the potatoes start to brown.

Snap the asparagus off at their woody bases and cut into inch long sections. Trim the broccoli and cut into similar size lengths to the asparagus.

Once the potatoes have had their 30 mins and are browning, add the veggies and cheese to the tray and roast for a further 10-15 mins until the cheese is browned and the veggies are cooked.

Toss in a bowl with the chilli and lemon juice and then scoff like no tomorrow. It’s very good cold the next day too, assuming there is any left!

Broccoli with Rice Noodles (v)

It’s the start of a new term and I am on a new regime again. To blog again, now the horror of being really ill is behind me, and to revive my go-to recipes again and cook more interesting things with vegetables. The River Cottage Veg Everyday book gave me inspiration for broccoli.

For 2-3 people you need
One large head broccoli
Handful rice noodles
1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 tsp soya sauce
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp sesame oil
freshly ground pepper
3 spring onions, finely sliced
2 tbsp sesame seeds

Cook the broccoli and noodles in boiling water for about 5 mins. Drain and leave to steam for a few minutes to get rid of any excess water.

Gently toast the sesame seeds until lightly golden.

Place everything in a large bowl and toss to mix. Scoff.

Dark Sweet and Sour Vegetables with Sesame Cashews and Noodles (v)

This is very quick and easy to prepare and tastes lovely. A brilliant healthy mid week supper for all the family. The recipe is based on a Lorraine Pascale one in Fast, Fresh and Easy Food.

For 3-4 people you need
2 onions, chopped into big chunks
2 carrots, peeled and sliced thin
1 head broccoli cut into florets
425g tin pineapple in juice
5 tbsp tomato ketchup
5 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp soya sauce
1-2 tsp agarve nectar (according to your taste)
2 tbsp raw cashew nuts
2 tsp sesame oil
3 nests of noodles
fresh coriander for garnish

Beging by placing everything apart from the cashews, sesame oil, noodles and coriander into a pan. Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer and cover with a lid. Cook on a low heat for 5 mins until the veggies are al dente. Remove the lid and increase the heat to reduce the sauce slightly.

Toast the cashews in a pan until lightly toasted. Toss through the sesame oil.

Boil the noodles for 1-2 mins until cooked. Serve garnished with the coriander. Yummy.

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.

Quinoa with Broccoli and Tofu (v)

I had lunch with my lovely lovely friend today and made this for us to share 🙂 It was pronounced delicious. Result 😉

For 4-6 portions (depending on greed) you need:
1 cup white quinoa
2 cups water
1 tsp vegan stock powder
1 packet tenderstem broccoli, trimmed and cut into bite sized pieces
1 tbsp dark soya sauce
1 tbsp mirin
1 tsp rice wine vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil
6 spring onions, trimmed and sliced
1 packet smoked and marinated tofu (taifun is best imho)

Place the quinoa, water and stock in a lidded pan. Bring to the boil and cook for about 8 mins. Add the broccoli and turn off the heat (keep covered). Leave to steam for a further 15 mins. Add everything else and scoff. Simples. Delish.

Pasta with Chickpeas, Tomatoes and Broccoli (v)

This was suggested to me by @DixxyD and mighty fine it is too. It’s a recipe from Rose Elliot’s Vegetarian Express (p92) which I have tweaked slightly by adding tenderstem broccoli to it. It’s lovely hot but the leftovers are equally nice cold the next day for lunch.

For 4-6 people you need:
1 tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 onion, chopped
2 fat cloves garlic, crushed
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
1tsp vegan stock powder
splash red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp sugar
1 pack tenderstem broccoli, trimmed, washed and cut in to bite sized chunks
325g wholewheat pasta

Fry the onion in the oil for about 10 mins till softened and lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for a further 1-2 mins. Add the tomatoes and bring to the boil. Add everything else apart from the broccoli and pasta and cook for 10 mins or so till thickened. Season to taste.

Meanwhile cook the pasta, steaming the broccoli over the pasta for the last 5 mins. Add the broccoli to the sauce, then drain and pasta and add this too. Mix well and serve.

Sweet and Sour Thai Style Vegetables (v)

My moogi made this for me and Lex tonight and it was deeeeeelicious.

For 4-6 portions you need:
1 onion, roughly chopped
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 head broccoli, cut into florets
1 red pepper, cut in to chunks
1 tin pineapple, cut into chunks (reserve the juice)
1/2 head chinese leaf, finely shredded
1/2 pack baby corn, cut into bite sized pieces

2 tbsp soya sauce (mushroom soya sauce is the best one to use apparently but I don’t think the world will stop turning if you use dark or light soya sauce…)
reserved pineapple juice
4 tbsp tomato ketchup

Place everything in a wok with a lid and heat. Cook for 5-10 mins, covered, till the veggies are tender. Serve with jasmine rice.

Bottom of the Fridge Soup (v)

This is made from the veggies left in the vegetable draw at the end of the week. The ones you can’t be bothered to use in anything else but don’t want to throw out either.

For 4-6 portions you need:
1 onion, roughly chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
1/2 head cauliflower and brocolli, cut into rough florets
750ml vegetable stock
1 tbsp oil
Nutritional yeast and dried, fried onions to serve

Begin by sweating the vegetables in the oil for about 10 mins. Add the stock and simmer for 10 mins until tender. Blitz and then serve with nutritional yeast and dried, fried onions on the top. Add some grated cheese if you’re not vegan if you want.