Recipe of the Week – 31st August 2015 – Roasted Pepper and Quinoa Salad

  
This is a great simple warm salad recipe which I prefer in taste and texture to tabbouleh. If you wish the orange juice can be replaced with good quality vegetable stock, however I find the citrussy quinoa gives this a nice fresh flavour.

Serves 6 as a side

Ingredients

250g quinoa

50ml extra virgin olive oil

2 large red and 1 large yellow peppers, deseeded and sliced

100g sunflower seeds, lightly toasted

200ml fresh orange juice

1 tbs each chopped fresh basil and mint

2 medium tomatoes, finely diced

1 medium cucumber, finely diced

Salt and pepper to taste

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 220C.

2. Heat 3 tbs of olive oil in a large saucepan then add the quinoa, stirring regularly for 5 minutes to avoid burning. Add the orange juice and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes then allow to cool.

3. Meanwhile, place the pepper slices in a large baking tray with 2 tbs olive oil, and salt and pepper. Mix well then roast for 25 minutes.

4. Mix the remaining oil and the vinegar in a large bowl then add all of the other ingredients and mix well, breaking up any lumps of quinoa with a fork. Season and serve with bread and a green salad.

Recipe of the Week – 17th August 2015 – Mung Bean Dhal with Kale

  
This recipe is a variation on one that I do in my cafe on at least a weekly basis, but used Mung Dal instead of Red Lentils, which provides a nuttier flavour and texture. Traditionally spinach is stirred in at the end, however I found that lightly roasted chopped kale gives this even more flavour and interest.

Serves 6

Ingredients

600g mung beans, soaked overnight, then drained and rinsed

4 tbs sunflower oil

8 cloves of garlic, crushed

4 large onions, sliced

1 green chilli, finely chopped

4 medium or large carrots, peeled and finely diced

2 sticks of celery, finely diced

300g kale, roughly chopped

3 tbs lemon juice

1 large bunch of fresh coriander, finely chopped

1500ml good quality vegetable stock from bouillon 

1 x 400ml can of coconut milk

2 tsp ground turmeric

2 tsp ground cumin

2 tsp ground coriander

Salt and pepper to taste

Method

1. In a large saucepan, add the stock to the mung dal and bring to the boil before simmering for 20 minutes.

2. In a smaller saucepan gently dry fry the spices for 1 minute before adding the oil, garlic, onions and chilli. Reduce the heat and simmer covered for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Add the onion mixture to the dal, stir well, then add the chopped carrots and celery.

4. Meanwhile place the chopped kale in a roasting tray and cook in a preheated oven at 200c for 10 minutes before adding to the dal mixture.

5. Simmer the mixture for a further 20 minutes. Take off the heat, add the lemon juice and coriander and serve immediately with rice or naan.


Recipe of the Week – 10th August 2015 – Roasted Vegetables with Orzo

 
This dish makes a nice change from similar roasted vegetable paella and risotto recipes I have tried, and I am ashamed to say it is the first time I’ve tried orzo! This also worked really well served cold the following day.

Serves 4 as a main or 6 as a side

Ingredients

1 large aubergine, cut into 2cm dice

1 red and 1 yellow pepper, each roughly chopped 

1 large courgette, cut into 2cm dice

1 red onion, peeled and roughly chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

100ml extra virgin olive oil

250g orzo pasta

3 tbs lemon juice

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to season

Small handful of basil leaves

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 220C.

2. Toss the aubergine, peppers, onion, courgette, garlic and olive oil together and spread out on a large baking tray. Place in the oven and roast for 35 minutes, stirring frequently.

3. Meanwhile, add the orzo to a large saucepan of boiling salted water and simmer for 5 minutes. Rinse and drain.

4. 10 minutes before the end of the roasting time, add the orzo to the vegetables along with the lemon juice and seasoning. Stir well to combine.

5. Serve immediately topped with roughly torn basil leaves.

Recipe of the Week – 27th July 2015 – Vegan Peanut Butter Flapjacks

  
This is a fantistacally simple recipe, which would also be great to do with children, as it’s quite hard to get wrong but very easy to get messy! I’ve been trying to perfect a straightforward vegan flapjack recipe for a while, and this seems to hit the spot!

Makes 12

Ingredients

250g large porridge oats

3 tbs golden syrup

3 tbs chunky peanut butter

100ml water

1 large banana, mashed

A pinch of salt

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 160C.

2. Mix all of the ingredients together thoroughly in a large bowl and place in a lined baking dish.

3. Place in the oven for 50 minutes.

4. Allow to cool slightly, carve into pieces and that’s it!

Recipe of the Week – 20th July 2015 – Moroccan Vegetable and Bulgur Wheat Bake

  
This recipe makes for a perfect satisfying evening meal particularly after a hard day’s work when you need something filling but relatively simple. This really is the baking equivalent of one-pot cooking, but the result feels much more sophisticated!

Serves 4

Ingredients

3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2cm dice

1 large onion, roughly chopped

1 aubergine, cut into 2cm dice

2 courgettes, roughly chopped

1 red pepper, deseeded and roughly chopped

3 cloves of garlic, crushed

3 tbs olive oil

300g bulgur wheat, rinsed

2 tbs Ras-el-hanout 

2 tsp ground cinnamon 

500 ml good quality vegetable stock from bouillon

4 large free range eggs, poached (optional)

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 220C.

2. Place all of the vegetables in a large baking tray, add the oil, spices and bulgur wheat and mix well. 

3. Pour over the stock, mix well again, then cover with tin foil and bake for 35 minutes.

4. Serve immediately with a poached egg and some flatbread.

Recipe of the Week – 13th July 2015 – Warm Aubergine and Quinoa Salad

  

I really enjoyed making this very simple and yet satisfying salad – the nuttiness of the quinoa compliments the sweetness of the roasted vegetables perfectly. I also found that no further herbs or spices beyond stock and thyme were needed as the delicate flavours of the quinoa really add to the dish.

Serves 4 as a main or 6 as a side

Ingredients

250g quinoa

3 sprigs of fresh thyme

1 large onion, finely chopped

1 litre of good quality vegetable stock from bouillon

2 large aubergines, cut lengthways then into quarters

1 red or yellow pepper, deseeded and cut into chunks

2 tbs extra virgin olive oil

200 g (7 oz) cherry tomatoes (Preferably of the vine for easy roasting)

2 garlic cloves, crushed

Salt and pepper

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 190ºC. Put the quinoa in a sieve and rinse thoroughly before placing in a saucepan with the thyme sprigs and stock, and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer gently for 20 minutes until tender.

2. Meanwhile, brush the aubergines, onion and pepper with the oil, and batch fry on a griddle pan until brown. Then add the whole tomatoes and cook for a further 2 minutes until charred, turning once. 

3. Place the cooked quinoa, griddles vegetables and garlic into an ovenproof dish. Season with salt and pepper to taste and fold together gently.

4. Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Serve warm with a side salad.

Recipe of the Week – 6th July 2015 – Kisir

   

This Turkish salad recipe is really versatile, and goes very well with other salads, wraps, or even as a side with an omelette. The bulgur wheat gives it a great texture with a nutty flavour, and was soon gobbled up by my two small veggie tasters!

Serves 4

Ingredients

300g dried bulgur wheat 

2 red onions, finely chopped 

2 tbs olive oil

4 large tomatoes, roughly chopped

250ml good quality vegetable stock from bouillon 

3 tbs tomato purée

4 spring onions, finely chopped

4 roasted red peppers, finely chopped

2 tbs lemon juice

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

1 tbs ground cumin 

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon 

1 tsp cayenne pepper

Salt and pepper to taste 

Handful of fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped

Method

1. Add the olive oil to a large frying pan on a medium heat and fry the onion for 5 minutes until soft. Add the tomato purée and chopped tomatoes before stir-frying for a further 5 minutes.

2. Add the stock and bulgur wheat then take off the heat.

3. Stir in the remaining ingredients, with the exception of the mint, cover and leave for 15 minutes.

4. Stir in the mint and serve immediately.