Steamed Tofu with Ginger Chilli Sauce (v)

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One of my friends blogged about still eating Christmas food a few days ago. It prompted me to think of different ways to use up the nearly-but-not-quite-finished bottle of cream sherry and the chilli jam I make every year but never seem to eat…

For three portions you need

  • 1 pack firm tofu, drained and cut into 6 equal slices
  • veggies of your choice – we had broccoli and carrots
  • rice or whatever starch you want to use

For the dressing

  • 1/2 cup soya sauce
  • 1/2 cup sherry (or mirin)
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp chilli jam
  • large handful of fresh coriander roughly chopped
  • 1″ piece of ginger, grated
  • 2 fat garlic cloves, grated
  1. Mix the sauce ingredients together, check the seasoning and adjust to taste
  2. Cook the rice as per instructions on the packet
  3. Steam the veggies and tofu for 5-6 mins
  4. Serve

Hipster Halloumi Burgers

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My poor blog 😱 it’s been so neglected recently. Due to the house build I’ve barely been able to cook. But now we’ve moved back in and my kitchen, oh my kitchen! This recipe was given to me by a friend at work who in turn got it from Olive magazine. It’s quick but delicious. Perfect for a lazy weekend supper or after work tea.

For three greedy portions you need

  • 1 pack halloumi sliced into six slices
  • 1 pepper sliced into three big ‘cheeks’
  • 1 red onion finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • Three brioche burger buns for the essential hipster component
  • 3 tbsp mayo
  • 1 tsp hot smoked paprika
  • Rocket
  • Chips of your choosing. We cheated and used frozen oven chips…
  1. Begin by tossing the red onion with the vinegar, sugar and salt and pepper. Leave to one side to macerate.
  2. Meanwhile heat a griddle pan until hot and char the pepper slices on it. Allow to blacken slightly and soften.
  3. Toast the burger buns. Mix the paprika with the mayo and spread generously on the base of a bun.
  4. Cook the halloumi until browned and crispy.
  5. Layer up rocket, onions, pepper and halloumi on the burger buns and serve with lashings of chips. Deeeelicious.

Super Purple Breakfast Smoothie (v)

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I’ve long enjoyed making smoothies, but I recently upgraded my blender to a nutribullet type one. Oh my, all that extra power makes for an extra smooth smoothie! This combo used up some bits of fruit in the bottom of the fridge, and turned it my favourite colour. PURPLE!!

For one smoothie you need

  • 1 ripe banana
  • Handful red grapes
  • Handful blueberries
  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup non dairy yogurt
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  1. Put everything in the blender goblet, invert and blend, blend, blend!
  2. Enjoy and feel super smug.

Butterbean Burgers with Sunflower Seeds and Carrots (v)

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I love good, old fashioned bearded home knitted yogurt veggie fayre. This falls firmly into that camp. Hearty, disgustingly good for you and versatile. We served these hot as full burgers with all the trimmings including sweet potato fries and home made skinny french fries. They were also yummy cold the next day with salad, drenched in hot Thai chilli sauce.

For 6-8 burgers you need

  • 1 tin butterbeans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 onion
  • 100g fresh breadcrumbs (about 3-4 slices bread)
  • 2 carrots, coarsely grated
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 tsp each of ground cumin, coriander and garam masala
  • Trimmings of your choice depending on how you want to serve them e.g. burger buns, relishes, salad, chilli sauce etc
  1. In a food processor make the breadcrumbs. Tip into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Blitz the onion and beans together until mushy (20-30 secs). Tip into the bowl with the breadcrumbs.
  3. Swap the blade for a grater attachment and grate the carrots. Yep, tip into the mixing bowl…
  4. Add everything else and squidge together with your hands.
  5. Form into 6-8 patties depending on appetite and greed. Place on to a lined baking sheet and bake in a 180 degree oven for 20 mins, turning halfway through the cooking time. Enjoy 🙂

Roasted Sausages and Apple

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Sometimes you get to that point in the month where (i) you’ve run out of enthusiasm for things to make for tea after a long day at work and (ii) it’s a loooooong time until payday. When those things hit in a double whammy in January you need to be creative! A recipe similar to this appeared in my twitter feed and I adapted it for a veggie feast last week. Quick to throw together, it filled our bellies and used up some sad neglected apples from the fruit bowl.

For three portions you need:

  • 1 pack veggie sausages – we used cauldron but any will do
  • 2 onions, cut into wedges
  • 2 apples, cored and cut into wedges
  • 3 carrots, cut into chunks
  • 1 tsp oil
  • salt and pepper
  • Mashed potato to serve
  • GRAVY!!!!!
  1. Toss everything apart from the sausages in the oil and season.
  2. Roast in a hot (180 degree) oven for 20 mins.
  3. Add the sausages and cook for a further 15-20 mins until everything is done.
  4. Serve with mash, lashings of gravy and whatever other veggies you can find, I think we had peas and sweetcorn from the freezer!

Antonio Carluccio’s Pasta with Courgette Sauce

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We have an abundance of courgettes in the greenhouse at the moment (look, LOOK!). And the novIMG_6877elty of growing and eating our own food hasn’t yet worn off. Rather than hiding our carefully nurtured and hand reared courgettes in something like cake or a bake like I might do in a few weeks when, frankly, I’ve had enough of them, I served them centre stage in this oh-so-quick but oh-so-good dish from Antonio Carluccio. I skipped on the spinach balls, too much faff for a lazy hot summer Sunday…

For three portions you need

  • 300g pasta
  • 3 courgettes, grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 45g parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper

Begin by cooking the pasta. Meanwhile heat the olive oil in a pan and gently fry the garlic and chilli. You do not want it to colour at all. After 2 or so mins add the courgette and gently heat through. Once the pasta is cooked, drain, reserving a couple of tablespoons of the cooking water.

Add the water to the sauce along with the cheese. Mix thoroughly then drench the pasta with the sauce. Eat and marvel at how easy it was to prepare and how delicious it tastes.

Dairy Free Peanut Butter Brownies

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I’ve long wondered what peanut butter brownies taste like, and now I know. These are a doddle to make – done and dusted in under 45 mins. Not bad for a work night when you’ve run out of cake and need a chocolate hit quick stat! They’re very rich so eat is small pieces! The original recipe is here but I’ve tweaked the method, mainly because I didn’t read it properly but they don’t seem to have suffered for it…

For 16 squares you need

  • 225g peanut butter
  • 200g plain chocolate
  • 280g light soft brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 100g plain flour

Gently heat the chocolate, peanut butter and sugar in a pan until gloopy.

Beat in the eggs one at a time then add the flour. Scrape into a lined brownie tin and bake at 175 degrees for 25-30 mins. You want a serious amount of goo left in the middle once cooked as they’ll firm up on cooling.

Cut into 16 squares and devour. They’re especially nice served warm with raspberry sorbet.

Butternut Squash Risotto with Smug Bastard Homegrown Salad Leaves (v)

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A quick rifle through the contents of the fridge yesterday provided an oddment of vegetables needing to be used: a leek, some broccoli and a butternut squash in the cupboard. The salad leaves in the greenhouse have burst into life – despite being cut three times in four days, there was still a glut of deliciousness begging to be eaten.

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I was banned from using any of the teeny tiny courgettes for another week to let them mature. The flowers are so pretty however so here’s a gratuitous picture…

Unfortunately the boy didn’t like the risotto, but Fuz and I did and there were leftovers for my lunch #win.

For six portions you need

  • 1 leek, sliced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1cm cubes
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 400g risotto rice
  • 200ml dry white wine
  • 1 litre veggie stock
  • 1 head brocolli, cut into florets
  • salt and pepper
  • vegan margarine (or butter if you’re not vegan)

Begin by sauteeing the leeks and onion in oil for about 5 mins. Then add the squash and garlic and cook for a further 3-4 mins. Add the rice and cook for 2-3 mins. Once everything is searingly hot, add the wine and allow the bubble furiously for a few mins to reduce. Then add the stock, all in one go, and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 mins. Yes I know this method is sacrilege but I don’t care. It works.

After 10 mins, add the broccoli to the pan and stir. Cover with a lid and cook for a final 5 mins. Check the rice is cooked through and not too chalky. If it’s underdone leave simmering for a final 1-2 mins. Add a generous knob of margarine or butter to the pan and leave to melt into the risotto for 2-3 mins.

Serve with salad leaves on the side and a large glass of it’s-nearly-Friday-so-sod-it-and-it’s-open-now-anyway-so-it-needs-to-be-drunk-wine.

Quick and Easy Lemon Cheesecake

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I had some lemons to use up, and google told me to make a quick lemon cheesecake. So I did. You can assemble this in 10 mins or under, but it does need to sit in the fridge for at least a couple of hours to firm up. You can scoff it in under 10 seconds 🙂

For 12 portions you need

  • 1 can condensed milk
  • 300ml double cream
  • 2 X 200g tubs cream cheese (tbh a little more or a little less doesn’t matter)
  • 1 packet ginger nut biscuits
  • 80g butter
  • Zest and juice of four lemons

Begin by melting the butter and whizzing the biscuits to fine crumbs in a food processor. With the motor running, pour the melted butter into the biscuit crumbs.

Line a 20cm springform tin with clingfilm. Press the buttery biscuit crumbs into the base of the tin.

Mix together the cream cheese, condensed milk and cream using a hand whisk. Add the zest and juice and mix until thickened (it will naturally start to thicken when the lemon juice hits the creamy mixture).

Pour into the tin, cover with clingfilm and wait patiently for it to set. Enjoy with summer fruit compote. Yummy.

Pasta a la Norma, sans Norma… (V)

  

With no plans for dinner tonight, we attempted pasta with aubergines. But the shop didn’t have any so we ended up having dinner without Norma. The end result was yummy and more crucially eaten by the boy. Had aubergine been included I predict a big pile would have been relegated to the side of his plate. 

For six portions you need

  • 1 bottle passata
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp veg stock powder
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • Large handful fresh oregano, finely chopped 
  • Large bunch basil, stalks and leaves chopped separately
  • Cooked pasta of your choice to serve

Gently fry off the garlic in the oil with the oregano and basil stalks. 

Add the passata along with the seasonings, sugar and vinegar. Bring to the boil and reduce to a simmer for 5-10 mins until slightly thickened. Just before serving stir through the chopped basil leaves. 

Serve mixed into the cooked pasta.