Tag: tomato

a vegetable curry … ish

Well, it was meant to be a vegetable curry, but I’m not convinced it turned out like that.

I love pulses and beans, and keep serried ranks of jars in my cupboards, all containing various varieties of same. Last weekend, I thought I’d cook up some kidney beans, so I poured some into a bowl and covered them with water, left them to soak. Then on the Sunday, I cooked ’em up in the slow cooker. On Monday morning, I drained them into a colander, and thought “Gosh. That’s a lot of beans”. I do this regularly, and I really must learn how many cooked beans a given quantity of dried beans transmutes into. “Lots” seems to be the general answer.

In a “lets clear the fridge of all the old veg”, between us Pete and I chopped red onions, aubergine, butternut squash and sweet potato. And garlic and ginger was liquidised into a paste. I took the black Le Creuset out of the cupboard, looked at the bowl of beans, and got out the enormous faux Le Creuset that I bought in Sainsburys for about 45 quid (about ¼ of what a genuine one would cost).

In my ongoing attempts to lose weight, I’m using far less oil to cook, so I put about, oh, a dessert spoonful of groundnut oil, in which I softened the onions, then added quite a lot of garam masala and cooked it off. In went the garlic/ginger paste, then the cubed veg. Turned it all round to coat it, and get it started, then added passata, and sufficient water to cover the mix, and some seasoning. When the veg were almost cooked, we shoehorned in the kidney beans (not easy, I can assure you), and left it another 15 minutes or so.

It was really, really nice, but not very curryish. No matter. And it made 10 portions for really not very much money at all.


As my loyal reader will have noticed, we’re moving house in a few weeks.  And we have to empty the freezers.  We just about eaten our way through all the prepared meals, so now we’re starting to make inroads on the raw ingredients.

For some reason, we had 3lbs of sausage meat in the freezer; I suspect it was left from Xmyth, when I would have planned and failed to make sausage rolls.  So out came 2lbs, and 1lb of mince.  Pete combined these with some allspice, ground dried ginger, black pepper, salt, fresh thyme, sage, majoram and savory, and a teaspoon of lazy garlic.  That made 53 small meatballs.

In the meantime, I sliced up two red and one yellow pepper, and sautéd them down with 1.5 thinly sliced red onions.  Bunged that in the slow cooker, then set to frying the meatballs in batches.  They went in the slow cooker too.

Then I tipped the oil out of the frying pan, and added a jar of tomato salsa (well, why not? – it needed eating!), a glass of red wine – the end of a bottle that had, inexplicably, not been drunk, and the last of the lazy garlic.  And a generous teaspoon of chilli flakes.  All into the slow cooker, with a bit of water.

It smells gorgeous, and will make lots of meals.

chickpeas and chard

There was a bunch of swiss chard lurking in the fridge; and we were slightly over-tomato’d.  So I soaked some chickpeas overnight on Friday, and bunged them in the slow cooker with some boiling water at early o’clock on Saturday, so that we could construct something for supper.

Sliced the chard into 1 cm strips, and blanched it for 2-3 minutes.  Skinned and chopped three fat tomatoes (actually, I got Pete to do that, as raw tomato makes me heave).

Fried about 1 dessertspoon of caraway seeds and an onion in some olive oil, then added tomatoes, ground coriander, some tamarind paste (watered down), some water and cooked that down for about 20 minutes, then added chickpeas and chard.  Chopped fresh coriander went in at the end, along with the juice of half a lemon.

We ate it with rice, and it was lovely.  A tub went in the freezer, and the last couple of spoonsful served as a base for a chickpea salad to go with yesterday’s barbie.

As usual, of course, there are Still More Chickpeas.  Some are being dealt with for tonight’s supper (details to follow), and the rest will go for hummous, I think.

green beans and tomato

We’re a bit over veg’d this week, as we bought mushrooms and asparagus as well as the box, and so we’re starting to panic a bit over what’s left this week, given another box arrives tomorrow.  Think I’ll have to cancel next week’s …

Tonight, we looked at the large number of runner beans, and I used half of them thus:

Topped and tailed the beans, cut them into chunks of about – oh – 3cm, I guess, and simmered them for about six minutes.  While that was going on, Pete chopped an onion and some garlic, and I sautéd them in some olive oil till soft, then added a carton of passata (sieved tomatoes, for those who haven’t tried it).

Put some fusilli on to boil.

We had half a bunch of parsley in the fridge, left from making a beef stroganoff on Saturday (bad, bad …) – I wouldn’t normally buy parsley at this time of year, but mine has been slow to take off in the herb garden this year.   So Pete chopped up the remains and we added it to the tomatoey mix close to the end; added some fresh ground pepper too.

We topped it with grated parmesan, and it was really nice – very simple summer food. It would work with all sorts of veg, I reckon.

courgette and fennel "cottage pie"

courgette, fennel and potato

Using up: fennel, courgette, potato

Chopped a courgette into chunks, and the other half of the fennel into thin slices, and chopped an onion.  All into a frying pan with some olive oil, and left to sauté down.  I left it for 20 minutes, but I think it would have been better to either put a lid on it, or left it another ten – the end result was quite crunchy.

While this is going on, I boiled some spuds for mash,

Added a tin of tomatoes to the vegetable mix, a dash of salt and a good grinding of black pepper, and cooked for another 6-7 minutes.

The spuds were mashed with a combination of Red Leicester and gruyere cheeses (that’s odd – why did I capitalise the red leicester and not the Gruyere?), with some reserved for the topping. With hindsight, I thought it was too much cheese – either in, or on – but Pete thought it was just right.  We also added some chopped chives to the mash.

Veg/tomato mix into an ovenproof dish, top with mash, sprinkle with remaining cheese. Cook at gas 6 for about 20 minutes.