Tag Archives: vegetarian

Recipe of the Week – 9th July 2018 – Butternut Squash and Spinach Salad

I will make no apologies for posting another salad recipe here – as the (unprecedented) heatwave continues here in the U.K. I am definitely struggling to find enthusiasm to create anything hot, but I am especially pleased with this warm salad recipe. There are lots of different flavour combinations within this, from the filling and satisfying butternut squash to the fresh spinach, crunchy cashew nuts and sweet cranberry pieces – it’s definitely not a boring side salad!

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 large butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cubed

2 red onions, finely sliced

1 clove of garlic, minced

1 tbs olive oil

100g fresh baby spinach, rinsed and drained

50g cashew nuts

2 tbs dried cranberries

100g feta cheese, cubed

Method

1. Add the butternut squash cubes to a large saucepan of boiling water, bring to the boil then simmer for 15 minutes.

2. Add the drained squash cubes to a large bowl with the onions slices, cashews, garlic, and oil, and season. Mix well then pour into a large frying pan and fry gently for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.

3. Meanwhile, add the cranberries to a small bowl of boiling water and allow to soak for 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.

4. In a large salad bowl, mix together the spinach leaves, butternut squash mixture and cranberries. Top with the feta cubes and serve at room temperature with some fresh toasted pittas.

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Recipe of the Week – 2nd July 2018 – Herby Summer Salad

We are currently going through a bit of a heatwave here in England, and for once in my life I am finding it hard to get enthusiastic about cooking hot food! If you are also struggling and crave something lighter, here is a nice simple salad recipe which also made good use of the many herbs that seem to spring up in our garden at this time of year.

Serves 4 as a main or 6 as a side

Ingredients

200g baby salad potatoes, sliced

1 yellow bell pepper, deseeded and finely sliced

100g green beans, cut into small pieces

50g fresh spinach, washed and roughly chopped

3 tbs extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp mustard seeds

Small handful each of fresh mint, parsley and chives

2 tbs runny honey (or agave nectar if vegan)

3 plain flour tortilla wraps

Salt and pepper to taste

Method

1. Place the potato slices and green beans in a large saucepan of boiling water, bring to the boil then simmer for 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.

2. In a small frying pan add the mustard seeds and place on a high heat to toast for 30 seconds. Set aside.

3. Place the spinach, potato slices, beans, pepper slices and mustard seeds in a large salad bowl.

4. In a small jug mix together the oil, herbs, honey and seasoning and pour over the salad. Mix well to combine.

5. Heat a large frying pan and gently toast the tortilla wraps (10 seconds each side), then cut into wedges and mix with the salad.

6. Place in a fridge to chill for 15 minutes then serve.

Recipe of the Week – 25th June 2018 – Puy Lentil and Courgette Salad

I’m not going to take the credit for this one – this is the first post in five years that doesn’t feature one of my creations. This excellent dish was made my by long-suffering wife based upon a Slimming World recipe and was really tasty, and was definitely a case of giving credit where it was due. This recipe was light yet filling, very tasty, almost fat free and perfect for a warm Summer evening. Take away the egg and topping and it’s vegan too!

Serves 6

Ingredients

250g dried Puy lentils

2 large red onions, sliced

2 courgettes, sliced

6 tomatoes, halved

1 yellow pepper, deseeded then sliced

Low calorie olive oil cooking spray

2 tsp cumin seeds

1 small red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

Small handful each of fresh mint and coriander, roughly chopped.

200g fresh spinach, rinsed and drained

6 free range eggs

100g quark

For the dressing;

2 tsp smoked paprika

Juice from 2 lemons

1 tsp chilli powder

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 150C.

2. On a large baking tray lined with baking parchment, place the tomatoes (cut side up), the onions, pepper slices and courgettes and spray them lightly with the oil. Sprinkle the cumin seeds over and slow roast for approximately one hour.

3. Meanwhile, place the lentils in a large saucepan, cover with water, bring to the boil then reduce to simmer for 25 minutes. Drain and allow to cool.

4. Mix the dressing ingredients together and season.

5. Add the roasted vegetables, spinach leaves, lentils, fresh herbs and dressing, and stir well.

6. Poach 6 eggs until just cooked and place one on each bowl.

7. Mix the chopped chilli with the quark and place a tablespoon of the mixture on each egg.

8. Serve immediately with fresh bread.

Recipe of the Week – 4th June 2018 – Butternut Squash and Feta Wraps

During the Summer I often find it difficult to get the inspiration to make something light to eat that is also nutritious – I don’t feel like I want something stodgy when it’s warmer but still crave some vitamins. These wraps proved to be ideal – I felt that they were a cross between a salad and a pasty, and provided a light and relatively healthy snack when it really is too warm to cook!

Makes 8

Ingredients

1 large butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cubed

2 tbs extra virgin olive oil

2 cloves of garlic, minced

100g block of Feta cheese, cubed

100g baby spinach, washed and larger stalks removed

2 large tomatoes, roughly chopped

8 flour tortilla wraps

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 200C. Place the butternut squash cubes in a large bowl and add 1 tbs of the oil. Season then mix well. Pour on a baking tray and place in the oven for 25 minutes until beginning to turn soft. Remove and allow to cool slightly.

2. In a large bowl, add the butternut squash cubes, the feta, tomatoes and the spinach and mix well.

3. Place 1/8th of the mixture into each wrap and fold into quarters.

4. Place the remaining oil and minced garlic in a large frying pan and gently fry the wraps for 1 minute on each side until light brown.

5. Serve immediately or allow to cool for a light snack.

Recipe of the Week – 21st May 2018 – Sweet Potato Falafels with Cashew Houmous

This is a surprisingly simple recipe which also turned out to be a great way to entertain my children. We had lots of fun mashing, smashing, mixing and shaping these delicious falafel and that was before we’d even got round to dreaming our own individual pitta creations! These are also a great low-fat alternative to the deep-fried version, but are just as versatile. The Cashew houmous was a made-up-at-the-time idea, but the nutty texture worked really well in contrast to the sweet potato.

Makes 12 Falafel / Serves 4

Ingredients

2 medium sweet potatoes

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

2 tsp ground coriander

2 tsp ground cumin

100g gram flour

2 tbs lemon juice

2 tbs olive oil

Small handful of fresh coriander, roughly chopped

For the Houmous;

1 x 400g can of Chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1 clove of garlic, chopped

2 tbs extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tbs tahini

50g cashew nuts

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 200C.

2. Prick the sweet potatoes all over with a fork then microwave for 10 minutes until soft, turning over half way through. Allow to cool then peel.

3. In a large bowl add the sweet potato, garlic, spices, lemon juice and flour, season well then mash together.

4. On a floured surface, form the mash into the size of table tennis balls and lightly dust with flour. Place on an oiled baking sheet and place in the oven for approximately 30 minutes, turning once halfway through, until light brown.

5. To make the houmous, place all of the ingredients into a food processor and blend well. Add a little water during the mixing if too dry. Dust with smoked paprika to finish.

6. Serve the falafel in warmed halved pittas with a green salad and a large dollop of the houmous.

Recipe of the Week – 14th May 2018 – Baked Mushroom Stuffed Peppers

This is a nice Summery recipe which will compliment most salads, but is actually really quite filling. The combination of the mushrooms, nuts and seeds gives it a nice firm texture, but it retains some of its moisture after baking, and so isn’t dry as some stuffings can be. Very happy with this one!

Serves 4

Ingredients

4 medium sized peppers, halved, cored and deseeded

2 tbs sunflower oil

20g button or chestnut mushrooms, finely diced

4 cherry tomatoes, diced

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

Small handful of sunflower seeds, lightly toasted

50g walnut pieces, finely chopped

100g breadcrumbs (I grated 2 slices of toast!)

5 tsp vegan pesto

Small handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped

Salt and pepper to season

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 200C.

2. Place the oil in a large frying pan and gently fry the mushrooms and walnuts for 5 minutes. Set aside and allow to cool.

3. Add the mushroom mixture and all of the other filling ingredients to a large mixing bowl and stir well to combine. Season well.

4. Fill the prepared peppers with the mixture and place in a large roasting tin. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes until the peppers are soft. Serve straight away with a salad of your choice.

Recipe of the Week – 30th April 2018 – Butternut Squash and Chestnut Tagine

There are times when only a spicy stew will do, and this recipe definitely hits the spot! I love making tagines, and playing around with the different combinations of vegetables and spices to try to create something a bit unique each time. The dried chestnuts in this were brought back from holiday last month in Madeira, but if you can’t get them dried, the vacuum-packed ones are very nice too.

Serves 6

Ingredients

1 large butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and diced

2 red peppers, sliced

3 tbs olive oil

2 large onions, sliced

3 cloves of garlic, crushed

1 small red chilli, chopped

100g dried chestnuts

2 tbs Ras-el-hanout

1 tbs dried cinnamon

500ml good quality stock from bouillon

1 tbs honey or agave nectar

Small handful of fresh coriander, finely chopped

Method

1. Place the chestnuts in a small saucepan and cover with 300ml of the stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, add the oil and sauté the onions, garlic and chilli over a low heat for 5 minutes.

3. Add the chopped butternut squash and peppers to the pan, together with the spices, and stir well. Simmer for a further 5 minutes.

4. Add the remaining stock and the chestnuts with the cooking liquid, bring to the boil then simmer, covered, for 25 minutes.

5. Add the honey or agave nectar, season, and simmer for a further 10 minutes.

6. Serve immediately with a sprinkling of the coriander, and with rice or couscous.