Roasted Moroccan Vegetable Soup with Toasted Pine Nuts (v)

I had a glut of veggies that needed to be used so roasted a whole big batch of them and turned half into this soup and the other half into a yummy lunch of roasted veggies, cous cous and spinach. The soup is beyond easy to make but tastes like you’ve slaved over it for hours!

For 4 portions you need
1 sweet potato
2 beetroot
2 onions
2 parsnips
4 carrots
2 courgettes
1.5 litres of veg stock
Handful roughly chopped coriander
2 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp each of baharat, ras el halour and berber spice mixes (or whatever moroccan spices you fancy)
salt and pepper
1 tin drained cannelini beans
150g spinach, washed

Begin by chopping sweet potato, carrot, onion and parsnips into small chunks. Toss in the oil and spices and roast in a hot oven for 20-30 mins until tender and starting to catch a little.

Prepare the beetroot and courgette in the same way and roast on a separate tin.

Once the tray with the root veg has done, place the roasted veggies in a pan and cover with the stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for 2-3 mins.

Add the spinach to the pan and blitz to a puree. Return to the pan and add the beans. Heat through.

Serve in warmed bowls topped with a couple of spoonfuls of the roasted beetroot and courgette, pine nuts and coriander. Serve with copious bread.

Thai Style Courgette Fritters with Spicy Peanut Sauce and Beetroot and Carrot Salad

I’ve been meaning to blog this for ages as someone asked for the recipe (sorry!) but just hadn’t got round to it… Well better late then never eh ūüėČ You can make this dish as spicy or not as you wish. I like mine ferociously hot.

For 4 people you need
1 large courgette, grated coarsely
1 large carrot, grated coarsely
1 large onion, likewise grated
2 tbsp red curry paste
1 egg
1/2 cup plain flour (about 100-150g)
vegetable oil for shallow frying

4 tbsp crunch peanut butter
1 can coconut milk
2 tbsp red curry paste
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2-6 red chillies, sliced

2 beetroot, peeled and grated
1 carrot, peeled and grated
1 onion, finely sliced
Juice of 1 lemon
4 thai chillies, finely sliced
2 tbsp fish sauce or mushroom soy sauce if you’re veggie
2 tbsp soya sauce
2/3 bunch fresh coriander, roughly chopped

Plain boiled jasmine rice, Raw peanuts, lightly pan roasted and fresh coriander to serve.

Begin by making the salad. Using a food processor if you have one, grate everything and place in a bowl with the dressing ingredients. Mix thoroughly and leave to one side while you prepare everything else.

Make the sauce by placing everything in a pan and bringing to a gentle simmer. Cook for 2-3 mins then leave to one side.

Make the fritters by mixing everything together in a bowl. Heat about 1cm of oil in a large frying pan and fry spoonfuls of the mix for 3-4 mins on each side until lightly browned and cooked through. Drain on kitchen paper.

Serve garnished with peanuts and coriander and with plenty of plain rice to cool your mouth down on!

Courgettes and Onions with Quinoa (v)

I have a large collection of cookery books. Some might argue too many. And often I admire them in my living room and then head to the kitchen to create something myself. But I am on a mission to cut my shopping bill in half, and to use up everything we buy along with getting out of the food rut we are currently in. My recipe book of choice at the moment is therefore River Cottage Veg Everyday as we are working our way through our weekly veg box and I am already bored with some of the contents (namely courgettes!!).

This recipe is very easy to do and tastes delicious hot, warm or cold. It makes a lovely light lunch on its own, or a yummy side dish. If you’re not vegan, add some feta to it for a salty tang. It’d also be delicious served up alongside a lamb cutlet or similar.

For two people you need
2 medium courgettes, sliced on the diagonal in 5mm thick slices
2 red onions, finely sliced
2 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2-3 sprigs of thyme leaves (not the stalks!)
juice 1/2 lemon
100g quinoa
25g pine nuts
salt and pepper
large handful of roughly chopped flat leaf parsley

Begin by sauteeing the thyme leaves, onions and courgettes in a pan with the oil. Keep the heat medium so that after 20 minutes or so the onions and courgettes are nicely golden. Add the garlic at this stage and cook for another 2-3 mins.

Meanwhile cook the quinoa in 200ml of water. Bring to the boil and then simmer gently for about 8 mins. Turn off the heat and leave to steam until all the water is absorbed (about another 10 mins).

Toast the pine nuts until golden.

Toss everything together in a large bowl, season to taste and then eat hot, warm or cold. Nom nom nom.

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.

Thai Massaman Curry (v)

We had a Thai extravaganza at the weekend (can you guess from recent blog posts ;-)) and this was pronounced deeeeeelicious by both boyfriend and son. Result.

For four greedy portions you need
1 tub massaman curry paste (I like the Thai Taste one but it contains shrimp paste, use one without obviously if you want it to be vegan…)
1 can coconut milk
1 onion
2 courgettes, sliced
1/2 pack each mange tout and green beans
1 head pak choi
1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1-2 sweet potatoes (equal quantities to the squash), peeled and cubed
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp fish sauce or mushroom soya sauce if vegan

Begin by frying the curry paste and onion for a few minutes. Add the squash and sweet potato along with the coconut milk. Season with the sugar and fish sauce/mushroom soya sauce and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer gently, covered, for 10 mins. Add everything else and cook for 3 mins until the remaining veggies are al dente. Serve with sticky rice and sigh with pleasure as the fragrant, rich curry fills that hole in yer belly.

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.

Vegetable Fritters (v)

Yes my blog has been sadly neglected recently, but I have moved house again and had a new kitchen fitted and and and and and…..

Anyway. These are dead simple vegetable fritters, one of the first things I made in my lovely new kitchen. They’re very quick and easy to make and don’t require the exact ingredients listed out below, so experiment and see what you come up with.

For 8-10 fritters you need:
1-2 courgettes, coarsely grated
1-2 carrots, treated like the courgettes
1/4 cup plain flour
1 egg (omit if you’re vegan and use water instead)
zest of one lemon
2 handfuls fresh coriander, roughly chopped
salt and pepper
vegetable oil for deep frying

Mix the grated veggies with everything else and season. Heat the oil and drop spoonfuls into the hot oil and fry for about 5 mins until golden brown. Drain on kitchen paper and serve with salad and sweet chilli sauce.

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.

Umami Noodles with Peas and Courgettes (v)

I adore the dark, salty, savoury magic that is umami. I can eat marmite from a jar I like it so much. Ditto soya sauce. This speedy noodle dish blends savoury soya sauce with black bean sauce for a really satisfying salty umami kick. The peas give a nice sweetness to balance the overall flavour of the dish. Yes I am aware that writing a description in that way makes me sound like a poncy twat. Care much lol?!

For one person you need:
1 bundle soba noodles (or eggs ones if you are not vegan)
1/2 onion, roughly chopped
1 courgette cut into chunks
1/4 cup frozen peas
2 tbsp dark soya sauce
2 tbsp black bean sauce
splash mirin
1 tsp vegetable oil

Cook the noodles in water and drain once done. Meanwhile fry the onion in the oil and add the courgette and peas. Once the noodles are cooked add to the vegetables and add the mirin, soya sauce and black bean sauce. Cook till warmed through and serve.

Infamous Courgette Bread…

OK it’s only infamous cos it’s got courgettes in it and it’s called bread and people on twitter, and facebook wanted the recipe. Maybe it should be called intriguing courgette bread instead… Anyway, I digress. This is a Rachel Allen recipe (p72 of Bake) and jolly fine it is too. A lovely crunchy sugary topping forms during baking and the whole flat smelled of yummy spices as it cooked. It freezes really well and is great for lunch boxes. As the week goes on it can be toasted and topped with butter or honey or whatever you fancy really. Peanut butter on it is suprisingly good. Honest.

For 2 2lb loaves you need:
400g plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp bicarb
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 freshly grated nutmeg
300g vanilla caster sugar
100g demerara sugar
3 eggs, beaten
200ml vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 medium courgettes, grated (skin an’ all…)
75g walnuts, roughly chopped

Mix everything together and scrape into two lined loaf tins. Bake in a slowish (160 degree) oven for 60-90 mins. The loaves are done when a cocktail stick comes out clean when inserted in the centre. Leave to cool and then slice and scoff as you wish. Et voila…