Cheesy Butter Bean & Carrot Burgers

My son has his GCSE Food practical exam on Wednesday and is making these burgers, invented earlier in the week. His previous choice of lentil burgers kept turning out too soft in the trials so hopefully these will be more robust.

For 4-6 burger patties you need

  • 1 large carrot, coarsely grated
  • 1 onion, peeled and cut into rough chunks
  • 400g can butter beans, drained
  • 100g mature cheddar, grated
  • 100g fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • onion salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • a little plain flour to thicken the burgers if they are too sloppy
  • A little vegetable oil to fry the burgers
  1. Using a mini food processor, make the breadcrumbs
  2. Then pulverise the onion
  3. Then pulverise the drained beans
  4. Add everything into a mixing bowl and combine. It’s easiest to do this with your hands.
  5. Add some flour if the mixture seems too soft.
  6. Shape into burgers and cook in a frying pan over a moderate heat for 3-4 mins each side, turning once.
  7. Serve in a bun with whatever accompaniments you want.

Pornstar Smoothie (v)

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Why should martinis get all the fun eh? Sadly no chaser of prosecco to follow, just a healthy dose of fruit and vitamins.

For one portion you need

  • 2 oranges, skinned and cut into quarters
  • 1 banana
  • 1 apple, cut into chunks
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 150ml apple juice
  • 1 tbsp freshly grated giner
  • 1 passion fruit for garnish
  • A nutribullet or similar high speed blender

Place everything apart from the passion fruit in a nutribullet goblet and blitz until smooth, about 1 minute. Pour into a serving glass and garnish with the passion fruit. Drink. Pretend this has undone all the bad things you have eaten and drunk over the festive period and beyond.

 

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Green Lentil Soup with Cumin and Coriander (v)

My son said this tasted “healthy” πŸ˜‚ he was right. It tasted like the inside of a 1980s health food shop would smell but in a warming and pleasant way.

For six portions you need

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 leek, washed and cut into 1cm slices
  • 2 sticks celery, ditto
  • 1 cup green lentils
  • 1.5 litres vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp each ground coriander and cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  1. Saute the leek and celery in the oil for 5 mins.
  2. Add the spices and lentils. Stir to coat then add the stock.
  3. Bring to the boil and cook for 20-30 mins until the lentils are tender.
  4. Blitz until smooth with a stick blender, season to taste and add the parsley. Enjoy with a side of alfalfa and a sprinkle of nostalgia πŸ˜‰

Quick Satay Sauce (v)

I am sure there will be many people rolling their eyes in horror at the recipe I am about to write but I don’t care. It tasted delicious and was quick and easy. WINNING!

For 4 portions you need:

  • 4 tbsp crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 large garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1″ piece of fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 tbsp light soya sauce
  • 1 tsp stock powder
  • About 100-150ml boiled water
  1. Place everything in a small pan and combine. Using boiling water helps to soften the peanut butter and make this more manageable.
  2. Heat gently until slightly thickened, adding more water if necessary. Check seasonings and serve. We like it with noodles or with griddled tofu πŸ˜€

Chickpea, sweet potato and carrot tagine (v)

I needed a quick tea for tonight, and one which made use of the few veggies in the house. Vegetable tagines are quick affairs if you use tinned pulses. This one combines fresh ginger with deeper flavours of cumin and paprika for a flavourful but speedy supper.

For four portions you need:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, cut into chunks
  • 1 sweet potato peeled and cut into bite sized chunks
  • 2 carrots, likewise peeled and chopped
  • 1 leek, cut into 2cms slices
  • About 250ml veg stock
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tsp each of ground cumin, paprika and tumeric
  • 1″ piece of ginger, grated
  • Fresh coriander, chopped
  • Cooked brown rice and quinoa to serve
  1. Add the oil to a large pan and saute the veggies, covered with a lid, for about 10 mins, stirring often.
  2. Add the spices and ginger and cook out for 2-3 mins.
  3. Add everything else apart from the coriander and cook, covered, for 10 mins until the veggies are tender.
  4. Serve with brown rice/quinoa and garnish with the coriander.

Thai Yellow Curry (v)

Quick. Easy. Delicious. Perfect after work fare on a cold and dark evening. Either find a vegan paste or make your own from ginger, garlic, chillies, lemongrass and tumeric blitzed together with an onion.

For a generous four portions you need:

  • 250g tofu, pressed over night. We prefer Cauldron. Cut into bite sized pieces.
  • 2 cans coconut milk
  • 3 tbsp curry paste or make your own (see above)
  • Whatever veg you fancy. We used 1 leek, 1/4 cauliflower, 1/3 head broccoli, 2 carrots
  • 1 tbsp oil
  1. Begin by sauteing the tofu in the oil in a hot pan.
  2. Add the paste and cook with 2 tbsp coconut milk for 2-3 mins.
  3. Add the veggies and remaining coconut milk. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 mins until the veggies are cooked.
  4. Serve with rice and soya sauce to season.

Cider Sausage Casserole with Black Quinoa (v)

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Yeah. Black quinoa mofos. I’m so totally more hipster than you πŸ˜‰ And no, there isn’t much difference between the normal type and this one or the red one! I foundΒ  it lurking at the back of the cupboard when I had a New Year clear out so thought I’d better use it… I also found some unpleasant cheap cider that I’d got to mull but hadn’t got round to using. This was an inspired chuck it all in and see what happens dish and what happened was I’d definitely make it again so here is the recipe!

For four portions you need

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 8 vegan sausages
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into fat discs
  • 4 potatoes, cut into chunky cubes
  • 1 leek, sliced
  • 1 can cider
  • 2 tsp stock powder
  • 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • 1 tin black eyed beans, drained and rinsed
  • 200g spinach, washed and shredded
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup black quinoa
  1. Begin by frying the leek, carrots, potatoes and sausages in the oil until the vegetables are starting to get tender and the sausages have browned a little, about 10 mins.
  2. Add the cider, stock powder and mustard and bring to the boil. Add the quinoa, beans and sage and cook gently covered for 10-15 mins until the quinoa, potatoes and carrots are cooked. You may need to add a little more stock if necessary as you want a bit of sauce left.
  3. Season to taste and add the spinach. Leave to wilt, covered and with the heat off, for 5 mins. This will also allow the quinoa to finish cooking and relax a little.
  4. Delicious served with some apple sauce on the side.

Gnocchi (v)

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I have never made gnocchi from scratch before, only ever purchased those pre-made packages from the supermarket. I’d wrongly assumed that they would take forever and be messy and not worth the effort. How wrong I was. These took a few minutes to make, and cooked just like shop bought ones in a few mins in a pan of boiling water. The texture was lovely – really light and fluffy, not dense, heavy and disappointing like every other gnocchi I’ve eaten has been. Recipes online say use an egg, but I subbed that for 4 tbsp soya milk.

For 4-5 portions you need

  • 400g mashed potato (mine was a mix of potato and swede)
  • 200g plain flour
  • 2-3 tbsp soya milk or 1 egg if you eat them
  • salt and pepper
  • extra flour for dusting or some semolina/polenta
  1. Mix all the ingredients together to form a dough. Don’t over knead.
  2. Break into 4 tennis ball sized portions and roll each out into long sausages on a floured work surface.
  3. Cut into equal sized pieces and push the back of a fork lightly in to each piece (to help the sauce cling apparently). Dust with polenta to prevent them from sticking.
  4. I left mine to chill for 45 mins in the fridge because they took less time that I thought they would! They should be fine to cook straight away however.
  5. Bring a pan of water to the boil and then add the gnocchi one piece at a time to prevent them from sticking together. Allow to simmer and once they start to float to the surface, remove and scoff. We had ours with a quick and easy to make rich tomato and vegetable olive sauce. Really delicious!

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Cashew and Vegetable Stir Fry with Miso Sauce (v)

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We’ve been on holiday for a week and eaten out every night. Whilst that was lovely, my body was craving something not deep fried and actual vegetables now we are home. I have an open jar of miso paste in the fridge that needed using up so this stir fry was created. Savoury, filling and nutritious it certainly hit the spot.

For three portions you need

Vegetables

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • Small handful cashews
  • 1 carrot, peeled and sliced
  • Handful broccoli cut into small florets
  • Handful cauliflower cut into small florets
  • 1 leek, trimmed and sliced into 0.5cm slices
  • A little water
  • Rice/quinoa to serve with the stir fry

Sauce

  • 3 tsp miso paste
  • 3 tbsp soya sauce
  • 2 tbsp mirin
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • A little water
  1. Heat the oil in a wok and toast the cashews, ensuring they don’t burn.
  2. Add the carrots, broccoli, cauli and a splash of water. Cover with a lid to help them steam. Cook for 2-3 mins.
  3. Meanwhile cook the rice/quinoa and make the sauce by combining all the sauce ingredients in a jar, stirring well to mix in the miso paste.
  4. Add the leeks and miso sauce. Keep covered and cook for a further 5 mins or so until the vegetables are done to your liking (I like mine quite al dente).
  5. Serve and feel super smug.

Thai Sweet Potato Soup (v)

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I like soup. We eat a lot of soup. The teen will still eat things as soup he wouldn’t eat as separate components, and this soup is a good example of that. He won’t eat Thai red curry or coconut milk. But he will eat this, go figure…

For 6 portions you need

  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 2 onions, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1″ piece of ginger, roughly chopped
  • 3 tsp red curry paste (make sure it has no fish sauce in it if you’re veggie/vegan)
  • 750g peeled and diced sweet potatoes
  • If you want to increase the heat, then add a couple of extra thai chillies, roughly chopped
  • 750ml veg stock
  • 400ml can coconut milk
  • Juice of two limes
  • Small bunch of fresh coriander
  1. Begin by frying the onion in the oil for about 5 mins till softened.
  2. Add the garlic, ginger and curry paste. Stir for 2-3 mins.
  3. Add the potatoes and cover in the spice paste for 1-2 mins.
  4. Add the coconut milk, stock, chillies and bring to the boil. Reduce to a gentle simmer and cook for about 10 mins until the potatoes are soft.
  5. Add the coriander and the blitz the soup using a stick blender until smooth.
  6. Stir through the lime juice and adjust the seasoning to taste. Serve.