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 saladΒ and, er, chips if you want πŸ˜‰ I added a hardboiled egg too but obviously omit if you’re vegan.

Spanakopita

This is very easy to make but looks impressive and is another yummy dish for warmer weather. It travels well so is ideal for picnics or packed lunches.

For 4-6 portions you need:
290g bag of fresh spinach, washed and drained
1 large onion, finely diced
1 tbsp olive oil for frying plus extra for brushing the filo pastry
2/3 of a 250g pack of filo pastry
1 block of feta
2 tbsp salted capers, rinsed well
freshly ground pepper
freshly grated nutmeg

Begin by frying the onion in the oil over a gentle heat for about 10 mins till softened. Add the spinach and cover with a lid. Allow the spinach to wilt then chop roughly with scissors in the pan. Season with pepper and nutmeg and add the capers and crumble in the feta. Mix well.

Meanwhile brush a baking tray with oil and layer in the filo, brushing each sheet with a little more oil. Use half the filo to line the base of the pan. Spoon over the spinach and feta mixture then top with the remaining filo, again brushing each sheet with a little oil. Tuck in the overhanging pieces of pastry and brush the top with oil. Score into diamonds then bake in a hot (200 degree) oven for 30-40 mins. Best served at room temperature.

Potato Hash with Spinach and Mushrooms (v)

The refuelling plan post geocaching bike ride last night was bacon butties, but the bread was mouldy 😦 A rummage through the cupboards provided potatoes, onions, mushrooms, spinach and, of course, quorn bacon and so this dish was born. It was very yummy and it’s not just the post bike ride OMG I’m so hungry and need to eat NOOOOOOOOOOW that’s talking πŸ˜‰ Leave out the bacon for a vegan dish (or use a vegan version).

For 2 people you need:
250g new potatoes (waxy ones, not floury), skins on, cut into small dice
1 onion, diced
1/2 bag spinach, washed
125g mushrooms, sliced
salt and pepper
vegetable oil
a little soya margerine
1/2 tsp dried mixed herbs
1/2 tsp smoked paprika

Begin by sauteeing the potatoes in a shallow pan for about 15 mins. Cover if you can to speed up the process. Make sure you stir thoroughly to stop the potatoes from catching on the bottom. Season and add the herbs and paprika. After about 15 mins add the onion and mushrooms and a little soya margerine. Continue to cook for another 10 mins or so until the potatoes are tender and the onions/mushrooms are beginning to brown. Add the spinach and cover to wilt. Cook the bacon in a separate pan and serve. A post cooking improvement to recommend is to chop the bacon and add with the spinach.

Creamy Sweet Potato, Spinach and Chickpea Curry (v)

Yes another curry. I like curry…

For 3-4 portions you need:
4 sweet small potatoes
1 can chickpeas, drained
1 can coconut milk
1/2 jar curry paste
1 onion, chopped
1/2 bag baby leaf spinach
1 tbsp oil

Begin by frying the onion in the oil till soft. Add the sweet potatoes and curry paste and cook out for about 5 mins. Add the coconut milk and chickpeas and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 mins till the sweet potatoes are tender. Add the spinach and cover with a lid. Cook for 2-3 mins till the spinach is wilted. Serve with rice.

Spinach, Mushroom and Tomato Brunch Eggs

This was a perfect way to start the seasonal festivities i.e. 3 of your 5 a day πŸ˜‰

For 4 people you need:
1/2 punnet mushrooms, thickly sliced
1 bunch spring onions, finely sliced
50g butter
1 pack baby spinach
8 eggs
1 punnet baby plum tomatoes, halved
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper

Begin by melting the butter in a large non stick pan. Add the onions and mushrooms and sweat for about 5 mins. Add the spinach and cover with a lid to wilt. Meanwhile heat the olive oil in a separate pan and add the halved tomatoes. Season both pans with salt and pepper. Add the eggs to the spinach pan and scramble. Serve with the tomatoes on the side and lots of toast. Yum.

Spinach and Tomato Pasta (v)

This is another quick after work meal that makes the most of the dregs of the veg box.

For 2-3 people you need:
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 pack spinach
1/2 punnet tomatoes, skinned and roughly chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 tub vegan cream cheese
250g pasta
1/2 glass white wine
salt and pepper
splash olive oil

Cook the pasta. Sautee the onion in a little oil for 3-4 mins. Add the spinach and skinned tomatoes along with the garlic. Cook for a further 3-4 mins and then add the wine. Allow to bubble briefly and then add the cream cheese. Cook out. Drain the pasta, reserving a little of the water. Mix the pasta with the sauce, adding some of the water if too thick. Serve.

Spinach/chard/kale, mushroom, tomato and egg ‘mess’ (can be vegan)

What do you do when your veg box delivers too much spinach? Make this of course! It’s a great brunch or light supper dish and nauseatingly healthy too with three of your five a day on one plate. Omit the egg for a vegan version

For two people you need:
1 bag spinach/chard/soft kale, washed and roughly shredded
1 red onion, sliced
1/2 punnet mushrooms, thickly sliced
salt and pepper
splash veggie worcester sauce
splash tabasco
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup small tomatoes, halved
4 eggs

Begin by sauteeing the onion in the oil for 2-3 mins. Add the spinach and mushrooms and cover to allow the spinach to wilt. Don’t cook for too long as you want the mushrooms firm and not soggy.

Season with salt, pepper, tabasco and worcester sauce. If you want it vegan serve as is with bread/toast. If you want to add the eggs, make four hollows in the vegetables and crack the eggs in to them. Cover again and cook for 3-5 mins till the eggs are set.

Baked Spinach Florentine with Poached Eggs

I recently told a friend I am not a fan of this, so quite why I made it is a good question. The answer I guess is we had a HUGE pack of spinach in the veg box and some left over cheese sauce in the fridge and lots of eggs. So this dish was born. It was actually rather nice. I might be converted…

For 2 portions you need:
1 bag spinach, leaves picked over and washed (no need to drain) and roughly shredded
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
knob of butter
salt and pepper
a little freshly grated nutmeg
cheese sauce – about 1/3-1/2 pint
2 eggs

Fry the onion and garlic in the butter till softened and lightly browned. Add the spinach, cover with a lid and steam for 5 mins or so. Once wilted season with salt, pepper and the nutmeg and transfer to an oven proof dish. Cover with the cheese sauce and bake in a hot oven till bubbling. 5 mins before the spinach is ready poach two eggs. Remove the gratin from the oven and top with the eggs. Serve with saute potatoes or bread. Flex those muscles…

Stuffed Mushrooms with Spinach & Ricotta

I adore baked mushrooms, and these were thrown together during the week to use up a glut of spinach that arrived in the veg box. Very tasty they were too πŸ™‚

For 2 people (as a starter) you need:
4-6 portabello mushrooms
250g spinach, washed and finely shredded
25g butter
1 clove garlic
1/2 tub ricotta cheese
salt and pepper
freshly grated nutmeg
1/3 cup finely grated gruyere

Begin by peeling the mushrooms and trimming the stalks. Place them stalk side up on a baking sheet and top with a little garlic and butter and seasoning. Bake in a moderate oven for 5-10 mins. Meanwhile wilt the spinach in a bowl in the microwave. Season and add some grated nutmeg. Mix in the ricotta. Take the mushrooms out of the oven and place the spinach filling on them. Top with a sprinkling of cheese and bake for a further 20 mins or so until hot and bubbling. Serve with lots of crusty bread to soak up the juices.

Puy Lentil, Spinach and Pepper Salad with Baked Goats Cheese and Asparagus

A veritable feast of flavours this. I adore lentils, especially the tiny, chewy texture of puy lentils. Add goats cheese, sitting on a bed of sticky onion marmalade to it and some salty, crispy roasted asparagus and I am in food heaven!

For 2 people you need:

200g puy lentils
2 tsp veg stock powder
400ml water
1 pepper, diced
1 red onion, finely diced
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic syrup
1 bag spinach, washed and shredded

2 goats cheese circles
2 slices bread
2 generous spoonfuls of onion marmalade
1 tbsp pine nuts

1 bunch asparagus
salt and pepper

Begin by preparing the lentils: place the lentils, stock powder and water in a pan with a lid. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 mins. Then add the pepper, onion and spinach. Cook for 5-10 mins longer before seasoning, adding the balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

Spread the bread with the onion marmalade and top with the goats cheese. Season with pepper and then drizzle with some olive oil and top with some pine nuts. Bake in a medium oven for about 20 mins till the cheese is oozing and golden brown.

Drizzle the asparagus with olive oil and season. Roast in a medium oven for about 8 mins.

Plate up with the lentils topped with the goats cheese and the asparagus on the side. Drizzle over some balsamic syrup and scoff. Utter foodie bliss. The lentil mixture is vegan on its own and makes a nice lunch dish. Obviously the asparagus vegan is too!