Cheesy Veggie Sausages

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These aren’t going to win any prizes for being healthy, but sometimes you just want some comfort based stodge. Well I do at any rate..! I based these on Simon Rimmer’s Lancashire Cheese Sausages, but seriously, who would really use 600g of cheese in one recipe?!? That’s a ridiculous amount. Not to mention expensive. So I stripped it back and made a few other substitutions according to what was in my pantry. The results were so yummy we didn’t end up with any leftovers. The texture of the sausage was great too, it didn’t fall apart when deep fried and had a nice consistency.

For 12 sausages you will need:

  • 200g fresh breadcrumbs
  • 300g grated cheese – I used a combo of Wensleydale, Cheddar and Emmental
  • 2 onions, blitzed to a pulp
  • 2 tbsp dried mixed herbs
  • 1 tsp veggie stock powder
  • salt and pepper (be generous with these)
  • 2 eggs
  • oil for deep frying
  1. Mix together everything apart from the oil until well combined.
  2. Squidge into 12 sausages or patties. Cover and leave to chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
  3. Heat the oil and fry the sausages for 5-6 mins until golden brown. You might need to do this in batches depending on the size of your pan.

 

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. 

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!

Cheesy Carrot and Butterbean Burgers

I’m 21 days into my #vegpledge now and am really enjoying eating without meat. It’s made me go back and reassess the books on my shelf and rediscover forgotten recipes from my veggie past! This one was brilliant for hitting the “I NEED A BURGER NOWWWWWW!” spot when we only had 40 mins to cook tea and couldn’t go out to get any ingredients aside from burger buns cos it was 5pm on a Sunday… They took me 25 mins from start to finish and everyone loved them. Make double and freeze if you want to save even more time when the next burger craving hits!

For 4 burgers you need
For the burgers
1-2 carrots, coarsely grated
1 onion, grated
1 can drained butter beans
100g mature cheddar, grated
100g fresh breadcrumbs
1 egg
1 tsp dried mixed herbs

4 burger buns
Cucumber, red onion, tomato, mayo, mustard, ketchup etc to dress the burger
Chips and salad to serve
Oil for shallow frying

I use my food processor to make these and it makes them even speedier. Begin by using the blade to make the breadcrumbs, then place these in a large mixing bowl. Then puree the beans with the blade and add to the bowl. Switch to a grating disc and grate the carrot, onion and finally the cheese.

Mix everything you need for the burger together until combined and then shape into 4 patties. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and cook for 3-4 mins each side, flipping over once.

Load the burger into the dressed buns and scoff. Feel smug the craving has been sated sans dead animal.

Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms with Herb Crust

A simple lunch dish to use up some field mushrooms we didn’t eat for breakfast… And a good way to use up some of the cheese mountain left over from Christmas along with some bread that was going stale. Oh I am full of good intentions me.

For two people you need
3-4 field mushrooms
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1/2 cup grated cheddar
4 tbsp cream cheese
salt and pepper
fresh herbs of you choice (I used sage)

Peel the mushrooms and place in a baking dish. Cut out the stalk and chop leaving to one side for the moment. Spread 1 tbsp cream cheese inside each mushroom and then top with the reserved chopped stalk and some salt and pepper.

Mix the breadcrumbs with the cheese and herbs (I just blitzed all mine in a food processor for speed). Top each mushroom with some crumbs and then bake in a hot oven for 15-20 mins until the topping is golden brown and crispy and the mushrooms are tender and juice. Serve with a salad. An attempt at healthy(ier) eating in the new year…

Cheese Souffle with Watercress and Tomato Salad

It would have been my late dad’s birthday yesterday so in his memory I made one of his favourite meals: cheese souffle with watercress and tomato salad. I like my souffle gooey and runny in the middle, but cook it for a little longer if you prefer it firmer.

For three to four portions you need
Four eggs
50g butter
50g plain flour
200ml milk
salt and pepper
150g grated cheese (strong cheddar and gruyere are a good combo)
1 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp french mustard

Begin by making a roux from the butter and flour. Once melted, cooked out for a few mins then add the milk. Heat and beat to ensure no lumps then remove from the heat and add the mustard powder, mustard and grated cheese. Mix well.

Separate the eggs and whisk the whites to firm peaks. Add the yolks to the cooled cheese roux base and mis thoroughly. Let it down with a couple of spoonfuls of the whisked whites and then fold in the remainder of the whites. Scrape into a buttered souffle dish and bake in a bain marie in a moderate (170 degree) oven for 30 mins.

Serve with a tomato salad (see the recipe here for a good one!) and some saute potatoes if you need to be totally stuffed at the end! Enjoy 🙂 and Happy Birthday Dad xx

Courgette Frittata

This recipe is the happy marriage between courgettes delivered in my Abel and Cole veggie box and an Asda magazine which suggested a similar recipe. It made for a quick and easy light lunch.

For four portions you need
6 eggs
2 courgettes, sliced into discs 5mm thick (or near enough, no need for a ruler!)
1 onion, sliced
knob butter
75g grated mature cheddar
salt and pepper

You need a smallish frying pan for this to ensure the correct depth of egg mix to the veggies in it. A lid is useful for helping to steam the courgettes as the pan will seem crowded to begin with.

Start by melting the butter. Once this is done, add the onions and fry for about 5 mins. Add all of the courgettes and cover with a lid over a moderate heat. Shake/stir the pan regularly to ensure no sticking.

Mix the eggs with the cheese and season. Once the courgettes are starting to become tender add the eggs and shuffle the pan about to ensure an even layer. Cook over a low heat until the base is nice and browned and most of the eggs are set. Heat the grill and transfer the pan to the grill to finish off. Serve hot or cold.

Mushroom Double Swiss (aka cheese and mushroom omelette…)

Breakfast is such an important meal. And when I am at home it invariably involves eggs of some sort. I adore eggs, and the soft, oozy gooiness that an omelette gives makes me very happy indeed. This is called mushroom double swiss cos, like the burger of that name, it uses gruyere and mushrooms as a filling.

For one person you need:
75g mushrooms, sliced
1 knob butter
salt and pepper
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tbsp gruyere cheese, finely grated.

Begin by melting the butter in a small-ish frying pan. Once hot and the butter is bubbling, add the sliced mushrooms and season well with salt and pepper. Cook over a moderate heat till the juices have come out of them and they start to turn golden brown on their edges. When this happens, add the eggs to the pan and distribute evenly by shaking the pan. Sprinkle the grated cheese over the top and keep shaking the pan to move the eggs about and ensure they cook evenly. When the eggs are mostly set, flip one third of the omelette into the centre then turn the eggs out of the pan on to a plate, completing the fold as you do so. Scoff immediately with strong black coffee and copious orange juice. Delish.

Courgettes with Feta and Lemon

I thought the wonderful Ottolenghi had done a recipe for this but apparently I dreamt it cos I couldn’t find it so created this instead to satisfy a craving and a glut of courgettes…

For 2-3 people you need
2 courgettes, cut into 3 inch lengths then thin slices
2 cloves garlic, crushed
juice of a lemon
salt and pepper
2-3 tbsp excellent quality olive oil
1/2 pack feta
1 tub chilli olives

Griddle the courgettes till scorched in places and just tender. Meanwhile place everything else apart from the feta and olives in a bowl. Place the hot courgettes into the dressing to marinade then top with the feta and olives and eat with copious crusty bread to soak up the garlicky juices. Nomnomnom.

Salad of Haloumi and Croutons

A quick and easy salad to throw together from bits and bobs leftover from other days. And a useful way of using up stale bread too.

For 1 person you need:
1/2 pack haloumi cut into slices
lettuce
cucumber
red onion

For the garlic croutons you need:
1-2 slices stale bread
1 clove garlic
salt and pepper
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tbsp olive oil

Toss the crouton ingredients together in a bowl then toast in a hot oven for 5-10 mins taking care not to burn them. fry the haloumi till golden brown then serve with the salad and croutons. Yum.