Category Archives: Recipe of the Week

Recipe of the Week – 10th July 2017 – Moroccan Aubergine and Potato Rice


I’m not sure where I got the inspiration for this recipe from – I think it was equal parts my love of aubergines and Moroccan spices, and what was available in the fridge at the time! Hopefully the end result is more than the sum of its parts though. I personally found it very satisfying and filling and will probably be making it again very soon!

Serves 4 as a main, 6 as a side

Ingredients

3 large aubergines, cut into 1cm thick slices, then halved

100g baby potatoes, cut into wedges

2 onions, finely chopped

3 cloves of garlic, sliced

5 tbs olive oil

2 tbs Ras-el-hanout

1 tsp ground cinnamon 

1 tsp cumin seeds

200g long grain or basmati rice, rinsed

1 x 400ml tin on coconut milk

50g sultanas

Handful of fresh pistachios 

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 200C.

2. In a large bowl, add the aubergine slices, potato wedges, onion, garlic and spices. Drizzle the oil over and mix well. Place on a large baking tray and put in the oven for 25 minutes until brown.

3. Meanwhile, cook the rice in a large saucepan of slightly salted boiling water until soft (approx. 12 minutes). Drain, rinse and return to the pan. Stir in the coconut milk and sultanas, season, and simmer gently for 5 minutes until sticky.

4. When cooked, add the vegetables to the rice, stir well, sprinkle the pistachios over and serve immediately.

Recipe of the Week – 26th June 2017 – Butternut Squash Noodle Salad


When the weather is warm (as it has been, unusually, here in the North of England), I often struggle to find inspiration to create new salad combinations. This recipe is based upon one I have tried before, as a Japanese Noodle Salad to eat as a side dish with veggie sushi. The roasted butternut squash cubes become even sweeter when cooled and really compliment the ginger and the noodles to give a filling yet refreshing salad which works as a side or as a main meal.

Serves 4 as a main meal

Ingredients 

1 large butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into 2cm cubes

1 large pack of dried noodles (egg or rice)

4 large spring onions, finely sliced

6 cherry tomatoes, halved

100g raw cashew nuts

5 tbs sunflower oil

1 small piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped

1 clove of garlic, crushed

1 green chilli, finely chopped

5 tbs soy sauce

Salt and pepper

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 220C. Place the butternut squash cubes on a large baking tray, sprinkle with the oil, season and roast for 25 minutes until soft.

2. Meanwhile, place the noodles in a large pan of boiling water and bring to the boil. Boil for 5 minutes, then rinse, drain and set aside.

3. In a large bowl, mix together the soy sauce, chopped ginger, chilli and garlic and season well. 

4. Toss together the noodles, butternut squash cubes and all the remaining ingredients and mix well.

5. Chill for 10 minutes before serving.

Recipe of the Week – 12th June 2017 – Baked Tofu Mushrooms with Salsa Verde


This recipe is for something a bit different for a light evening meal. I think that mushrooms are often used merely as an ingredient, rather than being given a chance to be the centrepiece. This is a variation on a Spanish recipe using feta cheese, but I have ‘veganised’ it using marinated tofu – both work as well, and I recommend also experimenting with adding nuts such as crushed toasted cashews or walnuts. The salsa keeps well by the way and can be used as a dressing on lots of other things, such as fresh pasta or salads.

Serves 4

Ingredients

4 large field mushrooms, wiped clean and stalks removed

1 pack plain tofu, diced

6 tbs extra virgin olive oil

3 cloves of garlic, crushed

Juice of a lemon

100g fresh baby spinach leaves

Small each handful of fresh parsley and coriander

Salt and pepper 

Method

1. Marinade the diced tofu overnight in a dressing of 2 tbs olive oil and the juice of half the lemon.

2. Preheat the oven to 180C.

3. In a small cup, mix together half of the crushed garlic and 2 tbs olive oil. Brush the mixture to the underside of the mushrooms and place on a baking tray.

4. Add the tofu to each mushroom and place in the oven for 15 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, add the spinach, herbs, remaining garlic, oil and lemon juice to a food processor. Season and pulse until smooth.

6. When the mushrooms are lightly brown, place a generous helping of the salsa on top, and serve with spicy wedges and a green salad.

Recipe of the Week – 5th June 2017 – Mini Veggie Quiches


There is something about making a good quiche that is really satisfying – I like the way that you can use any combination of fillings, plus they are generally as good cold as they are warm. Here is the recipe for two of my favourite ones that flew off the shelves in my cafe recently – Leek & Cheese and Butternut Squash & Red Pepper.

Makes 2 large or 6 small quiches

Ingredients

Pastry

230g plain wholemeal flour

120g butter

120g margarine

1 tsp English mustard powder

1 tsp smoked paprika

Pinch of salt

120g grated mature cheese

100ml water

For the filling

4 large free range eggs

150ml single cream

2 tsp Herbes de Provence

Salt and pepper

1 large leek, sliced and gently sautéed, plus 30g mature cheddar cheese, grated, or,

1 small butternut squash, finely diced, plus 1 red pepper, finely sliced

Method

1. Mix all of the pastry ingredients in a food processor until it resembles fine breadcrumbs, then slowly add water to bind to a dough. knead until smooth, wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

2. Beat the eggs, cream, herbs and salt and pepper together.

3. When chilled, roll out the pastry and line a 2 x 9″ flan tins or 6 x 4″ tins.

4. Preheat the oven to 200C. Put a baking tray in the oven to preheat.

5. Add the leeks, or quash and peppers to half-fill the tin and pour the egg and cream mixture over. Top with grated cheese.

6. Bake for 30 minutes or until brown. Serve hot or cold.

Recipe of the Week – 22nd May 2017 – Cauliflower and Cashew Biryani


I have always felt that the cauliflower is one of the most maligned and neglected vegetables, yet it is very versatile. It’s proper use in a number of dishes is a long way away from the over-boiled mush that some people may remember from their childhood. This recipe really highlights it’s subtle flavours whilst adding great texture, and it’s very filling!

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients 

300g basmati rice, rinsed and drained

1 medium cauliflower cut into small florets

2 tbs sunflower oil

1 onion, sliced

3 garlic cloves, crushed

25g root ginger, grated

1 green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp ground turmeric

600ml hot vegetable stock from bouillon

1 x 200g bag young-leaf spinach

50g cashews, toasted and chopped

3 tbs coriander leaves, roughly chopped

3 free range eggs

Salt and pepper

Mango chutney, to serve

Method

1. Place the cauliflower florets in a large pan of boiling water and simmer for 2 minutes only. Drain and set aside.

2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan then fry the onion, covered, over a medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, chilli, cashews and spices and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes, then add the rice and stir. Add the cauliflower and pour over the hot stock. Bring to the boil, cover and cook over a low heat for 10 minutes until the rice and cauliflower are tender. 

3. Add half the spinach to the pan, remove from the heat, cover and set aside for 2-3 minutes until the spinach has wilted.

4. Meanwhile, beat the eggs with 1 tbs water, season and fry in a small saucepan with 1 tbs sunflower oil until set as a thin omelette. Set aside.

5. Season, add the remaining spinach and coriander and top with a slice of the omelette. Serve immediately with mango chutney.

Recipe of the Week – 15th May 2017 – Easy Peasy Vegan Burgers!


With the ubiquitous restaurant chains and bad press attached to them, I think that burgers generally have had a bad deal. As a quick and easy snack or meal they can be ideal for a fast family tea, and don’t have to be unhealthy and high in fat, and of course they should always be meat-free! This recipe is simple, nutritious and low in fat, but most importantly, it is very tasty, and can be easily modified to your own tastes, by adding beans, or chilli, or your favourite herbs and spices.

Makes 6 burgers

Ingredients

200g soya mince

1 large sweet potato

2 tbl olive oil, plus 1 tbl for brushing

2 slices of wholemeal bread, toasted then grated

50 ml water

2 large spring onions, chopped

Salt and pepper 

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 200C.

2. Cook the sweet potato until soft. I microwaved it in the same way as you would a jacket potato, then halved it and scooped out the insides, but peeling, chopping and boiling works too.

3. Add all of the ingredients into a large bowl, then mix together well with your hands.

4. Form the mixture into 6 equally sized balls then place them on a greased baking tray and flatten slightly to make burger patties.

5. Brush the remaining oil on top of each burger and place in the oven for 20 minutes.

6. Serve in a bun with salads, garnish, sauces, or however you prefer!

Recipe of the Week – 7th May 2017 – Pea and Asparagus Risotto


I have recently come back from a trip to see my family in East Anglia, and a bonus to going at this time of year is that it’s asparagus season – there’s something about going to remote farms and buying bunches of the stuff that I love. This is a nice straightforward recipe that really brings out the best in the flavour of asparagus and complements it well with the subtle herbs and flavour of the rice – real comfort food!

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients

1 large bunch of fresh tender asparagus, roughly chopped, retaining 6 stems whole for decoration

2 medium white onions, finely chopped

4 tbs extra virgin olive oil

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

250g Arborio risotto rice

100g frozen peas

100ml white wine

750ml good quality vegetable stock from bouillon

1 tbs dried mint

1tbs dried marjoram 

20g vegetarian Parmesan style hard cheese, grated (optional if vegan)

Salt and pepper to taste 

Method

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the onion and garlic and fry gently until the onion is soft, ensuring it doesn’t brown.

2. Add the asparagus pieces and rice and stir continuously for two minutes to ensure the rice doesn’t stick and is coated evenly with the oil.

3. Add the herbs, vegetable stock and wine, bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes, stirring regularly.

4. Add the frozen peas and simmer for a further 5 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, in a griddle pan gently fry the whole asparagus stems in a little water until tender and set aside.

6. Season the risotto to taste, top with the whole asparagus stems and grated cheese if using, and serve immediately with a side salad or toast.