Recipe of the Week – 23rd April 2018 – Cauliflower and Courgette Fritters

This recipe is very much inspired by what was available in the fridge on a Friday afternoon prior to the weekly Big Shop! I have tried experimenting with grated cauliflower before, and with limited success in some cases, but I thought that this might work in providing an easy (low carb) meal with a twist. It was actually pretty simple, but the key is definitely compacting the Fritters as much as possible before baking to help them stick together. Definitely a recipe I will do again anyway!

Makes 12

Ingredients

1 small cauliflower, leaves removed and roughly chopped

1 medium leek, finely chopped

1 courgette, grated

2 tbs olive oil

2 free range eggs

4 tbs self raising flour

2 tbs fresh herbs (I used chives and rosemary)

1 tsp chilli flakes

Salt and pepper

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 180C.

2. Place the oil in a large frying pan and gently sauté the chopped leaks and grated courgette for 5 minutes then set aside.

3. Put the cauliflower pieces in a food processor and blend until finely grated then place in a large pan of boiling water for 5 minutes to soften. Drain and set aside.

4. Crack the eggs in a large mixing bowl, and beat together with the herbs, chilli flakes and seasoning. Add the leeks, cauliflower and courgette together with the flour and mix well to combine.

5. Take a handful of the mixture and squeeze well to remove excess moisture before forming into a large patty. Place on a large baking sheet covered with greaseproof paper. The mixture should make 12.

6. Place in the oven for 20 minutes before carefully turning over for a further 20 minutes until golden brown.

7. Serve immediately with a yoghurt and mint dressing (I also added baked aubergine slices, pittas and feta to make a Mezze).

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Recipe of the Week – 9th April 2018 – Turkish Roasted Cauliflower and Aubergine with Turmeric Yoghurt

This recipe was something that I stumbled upon whilst trying to find inspiration for an evening tea involving a surplus cauliflower and some aubergines that I had in the fridge. I was looking for something fresh and light, yet filling enough to satisfy two hungry children, and this is my variation of a recipe that popped up when I googled the ingredients! This would also work well as a starter without the rice, or as an addition to a tapas-style meal combing lots of different dishes and flavours.

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 large cauliflower, cut into florets

2 aubergines, cut into 2cm dice, salted and set aside

1 medium onion, sliced

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

4 tbs olive oil

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp Baharat spice mix

4 large free range eggs

150g basmati rice

Small handful of fresh parsley, chopped

For the yoghurt dressing;

100ml plain yoghurt

1 tbs extra virgin olive oil

1 tbs lemon juice

1 clove of garlic, crushed

1/2 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground turmeric

Method

1. Place the salted aubergine cubes in a large bowl for 30 minutes then rinse, drain and set aside.

2. Preheat the oven to 180C.

3. Pour half of the oil in a small saucepan and gently sauté the onion for 5 minutes.

4. In a large mixing bowl add together the remaining oil, coriander, cumin seed, baharat, crushed garlic and some salt and pepper and mix well.

5. Add the cauliflower and rinsed aubergine to the bowl and mix well to coat.

6. Add the onion slices then pour the mixture onto a baking tray and put in the oven for 30 minutes, stirring once halfway through.

7. Whilst this is in the oven, cook the rice and hard-boil the eggs.

8. Meanwhile, to make the dressing, combine all of the ingredients in a large jug and whisk well to combine. Feel free to add a splash a water to thin the sauce slightly if preferred.

9. When the vegetables have turned light brown, served immediately on a bed of rice with the halved boiled eggs then pour the dressing over each portion and scatter some shredded parsley leaves over to finish.

Recipe of the Week – 26th March 2018 – Moroccan Giant Couscous Salad

This is a great recipe if you’re looking for a filling but nutritious lunch idea, but don’t have a lot of time (I’m in this situation quite often!). I have based this on a traditional Moroccan side dish, but modified it a bit to include the flavours that I particularly like, and most variations work really well in a warm salad like this – the addition of pine nuts and roasted peppers is also recommended!

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients

300g Giant wholewheat couscous

600ml good quality stock from bouillon

2 small red onions, sliced

3 tbs olive oil

1 aubergine, cut into 2cm dice

50g sultanas

6 baby tomatoes, halved

1 tbs ras-el-hanout

1 tsp ground cinnamon

100g fresh spinach leaves, rinsed

Method

1. Place the aubergine cubes in a colander, sprinkle liberally with salt and leave to drain for 30 minutes. Rinse thoroughly.

2. Meanwhile, place the giant couscous in a large saucepan, add 400ml of the stock, bring to the boil, then simmer for 20 minutes. Rinse and set aside.

3. Add the oil to a large saucepan (I used a wok), and gently sauté the onions and rinsed aubergine cubes for 10 minutes.

4. Add the spices, mix well to combine, and sauté for a further 5 minutes.

5. Add the couscous, chopped tomatoes and sultanas together with the remaining stock. Stir well and cover then simmer for a final 5 minutes.

6. Serve warm on a bed of spinach leaves and with flatbreads if preferred.

Recipe of the Week – 12th March 2018 – Butternut Squash Hash

This is a perfect filling recipe for a quick brunch or evening meal, which could also work as a main with rice or couscous, but actually was very nice just on its own with a poached egg and some toast!

Serves 6 as a side or 4 as a main

Ingredients

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

2 medium red onions, finely chopped

2 tbs olive oil

1 red pepper, deseeded and roughly chopped

1 tsp chilli flakes

2 tsp smoked paprika

1 tbs freshly chopped rosemary

200ml good quality vegetable stock from bouillon

2 tbs cider vinegar

1 tbs honey or agave nectar

Salt and pepper to taste

Method

1. Place the butternut squash cubes in a large pan of boiling water, bring back to the boil then par boil for 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.

2. Meanwhile in a large frying pan (I used a wok), gently heat the oil and add the onions and peppers and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the paprika and chilli flakes and sauté for a further 5 minutes.

3. Stir in the butternut squash cubes then add the honey and rosemary and stir to coat.

4. Pour over the stock and vinegar, then cover and simmer for 10 minutes until soft.

5. Season to taste and serve immediately.

Recipe of the Week – March 5th 2018 – Mexican Rice and Bean Wraps

When I’m looking for something quick but filling to make for a snack or a light lunch at home I often turn to flour tortillas for inspiration. This simple recipe is a nice twist on Mexican rice dishes and provides a more filling and satisfying meal than a simple wrap (I couldn’t eat more than two anyway!)

Makes 8 wraps

Ingredients

200g brown rice, rinsed and drained

2 tbs sunflower oil

1 large onion, roughly chopped

3 cloves of garlic, chopped

1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced

1 tsp ground cumin

2 tsp chilli powder

1 tsp medium curry powder

1 tsp smoked paprika

800ml good quality vegetable stock from bouillon

1 x 400ml tin of chopped tomatoes

1 x 400ml tin of red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

Large handful of fresh coriander, chopped

100g fresh spinach leaves, rinsed with the large stalks removed

8 wheat flour tortilla wraps

Method

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and gently sauté the onion and garlic for 8 minutes.

2. Add the tomatoes and spices and mix well. Cook gently for a further 5 minutes.

3. Add the rice and sweet potato cubes, stir to combine then add the stock. Bring to the boil then simmer for 30 minutes.

4. Add the beans to the mixture then simmer for a further 10 minutes.

5. Season to taste then spoon 1/8 of the mixture in each wrap, add the spinach and chopped coriander, roll up and halve each wrap.

6. Serve immediately on its own or with a side salad and guacamole.

Recipe of the Week – 26th February 2018 – Simple Moroccan Roasted Vegetables

For me this time of the year is all about comfort food – it has to be warm and filling, but that doesn’t mean that winter food has to be plain and stodgy. This recipe is a good example of something that is easy to prepare and will provide a great meal that will keep the cold out and fill you up at the same time. It’s also great for using up any root vegetables that you may have left over, so can be different every time!

Serves 4

Ingredients

500g baby potatoes, halved

1 large aubergine, diced

2 red peppers, sliced

1 large courgette, diced

2 small fresh beetroot, peeled and diced

1 large carrot, sliced

1 x 400g tin good quality chopped tomatoes

1 x 400g tin of chickpeas, rinsed and drained

5 tbs olive oil

5 cloves of garlic, peeled

2 tbs Ras-el-Hanout

1 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp ground turmeric

1 tsp ground cinnamon

Salt and pepper to taste

Large handful of fresh coriander, roughly chopped

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 220C.

2. Place all of the vegetables (not the chickpeas yet!) on a large baking tray. Drizzle the oil over, sprinkle with the spices, season then mix well to coat.

3. Place in the oven for 30 minutes, stirring well halfway through.

4. Add the tomatoes and chickpeas, stir well again, and return to the oven for a further 10 minutes.

5. Serve immediately, with rice, couscous or flatbreads, garnished generously with the chopped coriander.

Recipe of the Week – 12th February 2018 – Feta and Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms

I always think that mushrooms are a fantastically versatile vegetable (fungus?), and can add flavour and texture to any dish, whether chopped, sliced, sautéed, fried, baked, or in this case, simply stuffed. This recipe is something that I’ve come up with using some ingredients from a recipe for a Spanish spinach tortilla, but the combination of onions, spinach, cashews and nutmeg complements the feta and mushrooms really well, making this a nice light lunch, or a great addition to a tapas.

Makes 4

Ingredients

4 large field mushrooms

3 tbs olive oil

1 medium red onion, finely chopped

1 clove of garlic, chopped

80g fresh spinach leaves, roughly chopped

100g feta cheese, diced

50g cashews, chopped

1 tsp ground nutmeg

Salt and pepper

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 180C.

2. Carefully take out the stalks of the mushrooms, chop and place in a bowl.

3. In a small frying pan, add 2 tbs of the olive oil and gently sauté the chopped onions and garlic for 5 minutes. Add the cashews and chopped spinach and simmer for a further minute.

4. Add the mixture to the bowl with the mushroom stalks, then add the nutmeg, feta and seasoning and mix well.

5. With a pastry brush, coat the bottom of the mushrooms with the remaining oil and place on a baking tray. Fill the mushrooms with the mixture then place in the oven for 10 minutes.

6. Serve immediately with bread or a green salad.