Pasta with Cabbage and Chickpeas (v)

A really tasty and satisfying yet very quick supper dish, and one where the pasta doesn’t get cold even tho there’s no ‘wet’ sauce covering it. Everyone loved this, even the boy who porports to “hate cabbage”. I think the garlicky oil, flecked with spicy chilli heat, is what made him over come his cabbage consternation… This is another from River Cottage Veg Everyday.

For three portions you need
225g pasta, we used rigatoni 
1 can chickpeas, don’t bother to drain them
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 chilli, finely chopped
1 onion, finely sliced
5 tbsp olove oil
4-5 cavolo nero cabbage leaves, tough stems removed and finely shredded.
Cook the pasta. Heat the oil in a pan and fry the onion over a medium heat until lightly golden. Add the chilli and garlic and cook for a few mins longer.
3 mins before the pasta is done, lob in the chickpeas (juice an’ all) and the cabbage. Heat for 3 mins then drain. Toss into the onion pan and mix thoroughly. Serve in warmed bowls and add some cheese if you’re not vegan. Delicious. 
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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.

Mixed Vegetable Makhanawala (v)

I am slowly working my way through Rick Stein’s India, a very fine book on curries and Indian food. This recipe caught my eye as I was meal planning over the weekend, and Abel and Cole obliged by providing most of the ingredients for it in their weekly box this week. The curry is delicious, rich and creamy but not heavy. Spiced and fragrant with a little kick of heat but not searingly hot. It might look complicated but it’s not, it was very easy to make and was definitely worth the effort.

For 4-6 portions you need
800g mixed vegetables – I used potatoes, carrots, cauliflower and french beans
50g butter or oil
1 medium onion, sliced
5 large garlic cloves, finely minced
5cm stick of ginger, finely grated
400g fresh tomatoes pulverised to make passata (don’t use tinned or a jar, you want the lightness of fresh tomatoes)
1 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp each of ground cumin, ground coriander, ground cinnamon, garam masala and tumeric
1 tsp desiccated coconut
1.5 tsp salt
25g cashew nuts
1/2 tsp sugar
75ml yogurt/soya yogurt
4 tbsp double cream/soya cream (or coconut cream)
Handful of fresh coriander leaves to finish

Begin by boiling the carrots and potatoes until just cooked. Drain and leave to one side.

Melt the butter in a large heavy based pan and add the onion. Cook over a medium heat for about 10 minutes until the onions are soft and golden. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for a further 5 mins. Add the tomatoes, bring to the boil and simmer for 5 mins. Add the spices, salt, coconut and 100ml of water and cook for a further 10 mins.

In a mini food processor blitz the cashew nuts with a little water until smooth. Add this to the pan along with all the vegetables apart from the potatoes. Add another 100ml of water and simmer for 10 minutes until the veggies are cooked. Add the yogurt, cream and potatoes and heat through for 2-3 mins. Serve garnished with the coriander. It’s truly delicious.

Mock Duck Noodle Soup (v)

There was a bit of a shopping fail this week, as I’d planned to make fake chicken noodle soup for lunch on Sunday but upon opening the freezer realised that we had no quorn chunks left, d’oh. I did however remember that there was a tin of mock duck languishing in the cupboard where it had lain for months. It made for an excellent and very tasty soup. So now I need to buy another tin to replace the one I used!

For three portions you need
1 tin mock duck (available from larger supermarkets or Asian/Chinese grocers), gluten sliced into bite sized pieces
3 nests noodles
1 litre vegetable stock plus the sauce/liquid from the mock duck tin
1 onion, halved and then sliced
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 red pepper, deseeded and cut into thin strips
125g closed cup mushrooms, cut into quarters
1 cup frozen sweetcorn
1 inch ginger, grated
3 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
1/2 tsp chinese five spice powder
1 tbsp soya sauce

To garnish
3 tbsp fresh coriander, roughly chopped
chilli flakes, tabasco sauce and soya sauce to serve

Place the stock into a large pan and add the noodles, onion, garlic and ginger. Season with soya sauce and the chinese five spice powder. Add all the other ingredients, apart from the pepper and mushrooms, and cook for 3-5 minutes until the noodles are done. Add the mushrooms and pepper and heat through for a further two minutes. Serve in large bowls garnished with the coriander and chillies to taste. Delicious.

Quick Tomato and Mozzarella Brushchetta

This was a simple, quick and tasty Sunday lunch thrown together to use up some leftovers and lagging ingredients.

For two portions you need
2 thick slices of bread
1 clove garlic
Olive oil
Red wine vinegar
salt and pepper
Fresh tomatoes
Basil
Red onions
Mozzarella cheese

Begin by placing the bread on a baking sheet and drizzling with a little olive oil. Bake in a hot oven for about 5 mins. Remove, and rub with the garlic clove. Place back in the oven for a further 5 mins until lightly golden brown.

Meanwhile slice the tomatoes and onions and place in a shallow bowl. Drizzle over about 1 tbsp red wine vinegar and 2 tbsp olive oil. Season well with salt and pepper and sprinkle over some chopped fresh basil.

Once the bread is toasted, slice the cheese and place on the bread. Top with the tomatoes and serve. Summer on a plate!

Chorizo and Butter Bean Savoury Crumble (v)

Over Easter we visited the continental market in Norwich and I got suckered in to buying seven salamis for £10. So of course now I need to use them up…! We’ve done pizza and risotto but I think this savoury crumble is my favourite. It uses two different types of smoked paprika to add depth to the flavour and the breadcrumb topping is a great way to use up a stale heel of bread. If you’re veggie/vegan then Redwood Vegan chorizo is an excellent substitute.

For 4 portions you need
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 salami chopped into bite sized chunks
2 tins chopped tomatoes
1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
1 tsp hot smoked paprika
1 can butter beans, drained
1 tsp vegan stock powder
salt and pepper
1/2 tsp sugar

Crumble Topping
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1/2 cup mixed freshly chopped parsley and coriander
1/4 cup grated cheddar (omit if vegan)

In a large oven proof pan, sauté the onion, salami and garlic in the oil until the onions are translucent and the salami has released it’s fat. Add the remaining stew ingredients and bring to the boil. Check the seasoning and leave to simmer for 5-10 mins whilst you prepare the crumble topping.

For the crumble, mix the breadcrumbs with the cheese and herbs, and sprinkle over the top. Bake in a hot oven for 20 mins until the crumble is crunchy and browned and the stew underneath is bubbling. Delicious served with green veggies to contrast the spicy rich stew.

Lamb, Date and Almond Lentil Tagine

I adore Moroccan food. Absolutely, totally love it. Thankfully Fuz does too 😉 This was an easy and quick meal to use up some of the left over lamb from our Sunday roast. It would work well with leftover beef too.

For 2 portions you need
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, sliced
4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, grated
1/2 tsp each turmeric, ground cumin, chilli flakes and ground coriander
1 tsp each of ground cinnamon and ground ginger
salt and pepper
1 can chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp dates, roughly chopped
1 cup diced cooked lamb or beef
300ml lamb stock
1/2 cup red lentils
2 tbsp whole skinned almonds, toasted

Begin by frying the onion in the oil in the base of a tagine or other heavy based pan. Add the garlic, ginger and spices and cook for another 5 mins or so. Add everything else apart from the almonds and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, for 30-45 mins.

Add the toasted almonds 15 mins before you want to serve, and remove the lid to thicken the sauce. Delicious with the orange, onion and almond salad.

Orange, Onion and Toasted Almond Salad (v)

A lovely light fragrant salad which cuts through the richness of a tagine brilliantly or is fabulous on its own on a hot day. So not like the weather today then…!

For 2 people you need
1 orange, segmented
1/2 red onion, finely sliced
1 tsp dried mint
2 tbsp toasted flaked almonds
1 tbsp argan oil (or use olive oil)

Arrange the ingredients on a plate and leave to infuse for 30 mins or so before serving. Serve at room temperature, don’t chill.

Lentil Bolognese (v)

This recipe is a good base recipe for all sorts of things, but today we used it for pasta sauce. It’s dead cheap, uber healthy and very yummy. Permission to feel ultra smug when creating and consuming granted 😉

For 6-8 portions you need
2 cups green/brown lentils (not puy)
2 cans chopped tomatoes
2 onions, finely diced
4 coves garlic, crushed
pinch sugar
salt and pepper
vegetarian stock powder
3 tbsp tomato puree
1 tbsp olive oil
2 carrots, peeled and finely diced
2 bay leaves
2 tsp dried oregano

Begin by placing the lentils in a large pan of water. Bring to the boil and then boil fast for 10 mins. Reduce to a simmer and then cook for a further 15 mins or so until they are tender and cooked. The actual cooking time will vary depending on the lentils so keep checking for done-ness every 5 mins after the initial 15 mins of simmering.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large pan and fry the onion for 5 mins till translucent. Add the carrots and garlic and continue to fry for another 5 mins. Add everything else to the pan and bring to the boil. Check the seasoning and simmer for 20 mins until thickened and delicious.

Add the drained cooked lentils to the pan and heat through thoroughly. Serve over pasta with shredded fresh basil and veggie parmesan if you’re not vegan.

Christmas Soup

So called as it’s a taste of Christmas in a bowl 🙂 A very quick and easy dish to throw together in seconds but tastes like you’ve spent ages making it!

For one hungry person you need
2 carrots, roughly chopped
2 sticks celery, roughly chopped plus the leaves of some, finely chopped for decoration
1 onion, roughly chopped
2 tbsp veggie stilton
1 tsp Gourmet Garden crushed garlic
400ml vegetable stock
salt and pepper
1 tsp vegetable oil

Begin by sauteeing the celery, carrots and onion in a pan with the oil for 8-10 mins until tender. Add everything else, apart from the celery leaves and stilton, and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5 mins until the veggies are all cooked then add the cheese and blitz until the soup is lovely and smooth. Reheat, season and serve decorated with the celery leaves. Perfect December fare.