Cumin Roasted Caulifloer (v)

This is a great way to use up any leftover cooked cauliflower you may have hiding in the back of your fridge, but is also a yummy way to jazz up a sometimes overlooked veggie.

For one person you need
1/2 cup prepared cauliflower florets (lightly steam for 2-3 mins if not using up leftovers)
1 tsp olive oil
salt and pepper
1/2 tsp cumin seeds

Toss the cauli in the oil, cumin and seasoning and then roast for 15-20 mins until lightly browned and starting to crisp. Delicious on its own or with anything you fancy!

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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.

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.

Cauliflower, Carrot & Spinach Curry (v)

It’s officially autumn today. The lights were on in the living room from 4pm and it’s grey, murky and dankly drizzly outside, sigh. This is the sort of food you need on days like that…

For 4-6 portions you need:
2 onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 cup split red lentils
600ml water
2 tbsp tomato puree
1/2 jar minara madras curry paste
3 large carrots, peeled and chopped
1 cauliflower, broken in to florets
1/2 bag spinach
1 tbsp oil

Sautee the onions in the oil for 10-15 mins, adding the carrots after 5 mins. Add the curry paste and garlic and cook out for 1-2 mins. Add everything else apart from the spinach and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15-20 mins till the lentils are cooked. Add the spinach and cover with a lid to allow it to wilt. Serve with mango chutney, lime pickles, indian salad and, er, chips if you want 😉 I added a hardboiled egg too but obviously omit if you’re vegan.

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.

Mixed Vegetable Curry with Chickpeas (v)

This is a proper, pseudo-takeaway curry with vegetables i.e. a rich sauce, lots of different vegetables and chickpeas. Yum.

For 4 portions you need:
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
250g button mushrooms
1/2 head cauliflower, cut into bite sized florets
1/2 head broccoli, ditto cauli
2 large handfuls salad potatoes, cut into thick slices and par boiled till tender (about 10 mins)
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
4 carrots, peeled and sliced into pieces about the thickness of a £1 coin
1/2 jar minara curry paste
1-2 chillies, sliced (depending on heat preference!)
1 tbsp vegetable oil
125ml boiling water
Roti to serve

Fry the onion in the oil for 5mins or so. Add the carrots, garlic and curry paste and cook out for another 5mins or so. Add everything else, aside from the roti, and cook till the vegetable are tender. Add the potatoes part way through once they have cooked enough.

Hazlenut Tofu with Japanese Broth and Sticky Rice (v)

This was lush. Really lovely and stupidly healthy too. I am a culinary genius. Just, please, don’t try making this whilst intoxicated like I did. Muchos ouchos.

For 2-3 people you need:
1 packet hazlenut tofu (available from the rather marvellous 8th day in Manchester) cut into thin 1″ square slices
1 leek, finely sliced
2 carrots, sliced on the diagonal
1 packet pok choi, shredded
1/2 packet snow peas, cut in half
4 florets of cauliflower, cut into slices the same size as the tofu
1 cup sherry
1/2 cup soya sauce
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1″ piece ginger, grated
about 1/2 cup boiling water
1 cup sushi rice

Begin by cooking the rice – place in a pan with 1.5 cups boiling water. Bring to the boil, cover with a lid and simmer for 10 mins. Turn off the heat and allow to steam cook.

Meanwhile place the sherry and soya sauce into a pan. Add the garlic, ginger, leeks, carrots and tofu and bring to a gentle simmer. Add the water to taste to make sure the broth isn’t too overpowering with the soya sauce etc. Once the rice has finished cooking add the remaining veggies and heat through briefly. Serve with the rice and feel disgustingly healthy.

Cauliflower and Broccoli Risotto

This is a variation on the usual risotto bianco.

For 4-6 portions you need:
For 4-6 portions you need:
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
50g butter
2 tbsp olive oil plus extra for the squash
250g risotto rice
1 litre veggie stock
125ml white wine
salt and pepper
100g Parmesan, grated
1/2 head cauliflower
1 small head broccoli

Fry the onion in the oil and butter till soft and translucent. Add the garlic and rice and cook for a further 2-3 mins till the rice is lightly toasted. Add the wine and bubble off. Add the broccoli stalk (finely chopped) and then add the stock a ladle at a time till all absorbed and the rice is plumed up and delicious. About 10 ins before the end add the cauli and broccoli florets. Season and stir through a touch more butter. Serve with parmesan.

Romanesco and Brassica Soup with Blue Cheese

OK cauliflower and broccoli then…

For 1-2 portions you need:
1/2 head each leftover cooked cauli and broccoli
1 onion, diced
small knob butter
500ml stock
salt and pepper
1/8 cup crumbled blue cheese

Sautee the onion in the butter till golden. Add the cauli and broccoli and stock and cook out till hot. Blitz to a puree and then stir in the cheese. Quick and delicious.

Spiced Cauliflower and Peas (v)

Yes it’s Sunday. Yes it’s curry night… This is quite a dry curry but very tasty too.

For 4-6 people you need:
1 head cauliflower broken into medium florets
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground tumeric
1 tablespoon ginger, grated
2 cloves garlic, crushed
125ml veg stock
125g frozen peas
2 tomatoes, chopped
2 dried chillies, crumbled
3 tbsp oil
2 tsp mustard seeds
1 onion, sliced

Place the cauli and spices in a bowl and toss to coat. Add the oil to a pan and heat. Tumble in the cauli and stir fry for 5 mins or so. Cover with a lid and leave to steam fry for a further 5 mins. Add everything else and cover again. Keep stirring often for 10 mins or so until everything is tender and fragrant and cooked. Delish.