Tag Archives: vegetables

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.

roasted veg

roasted vegetables

We love roasted veg, but for some reason we haven’t had them for ages and ages, so I rectified that last night.

I cut up a courgette, a red pepper, a red onion, half of a huge sweet potato and about four carrots, tossed them in olive oil, then … looked at them for a bit and wondered what to flavour them with. My eye lit upon the test tube of fennel seeds and I sprinkled some in. Further inspired, I added sesame seeds, then threw caution to the wind and hurled in some pumpkin seeds too. A dash of shoyu completed the dish, with some ground black pepper.

Roast veg always take longer than I expect them too, so this time in a weaselish cunning, I gave them about four minutes in the microwave first, then bunged them in a fan oven at 190C for about 50 mins. They were utterly delicious.

We tried very hard not to eat them all, and just managed not to – there was a small bowl of kidney beans in the fridge left from a marathon chilli making session on Sunday, so I have combined the leftover veg with the beans, and that’ll make a nice lunch today with some of the chapatti mounting (see previous).

rhubarb and pearsWe ate the veg unaccompanied,  as there was a pud of rhubarb and pear crumble. It was just going to be rhubarb, but there were some pears in the fruit bowl getting a little tired. Chopped up the fruit – just cored the pears, didn’t bother peeling them. Simmered with a little water and some fresh grated ginger for about 6-7 minutes – no sugar added, as we don’t have a very sweet tooth.

Made a crumble topping with 6oz wholemeal flour, 3oz butter and 2oz demerara, whizzed up in the Magimix, then added 2oz of porridge oats and pulsed.

Bunged it in the oven with the veg (oh, the joys of a fan oven 🙂 and baked for about 40 minutes. Very nice.

roasted veg

butternut squash and aubergines

This is a photograph from another roast veg, but all text makes a dull post 🙂

We used to have this a lot, but somehow got out of the habit.  But it’s a nice healthy meal while I’m battling with health issues, so off we went.

Chopped an aubergine, a yellow pepper, half a butternut squash, half a sweet potato and a red onion, and put in a bowl with about five cloves of chopped garlic.  Added olive oil and sesame seeds, mixed it together (I always use my paws), then put some clingfilm on it, and zapped for 8 minutes in the microwave, which knocks about 20 minutes or so off the cooking time.

Turned into an ovenproof dish, and baked for about 45 minutes at gas 6.

To accompany it, I did some chickpeas (as I’d boiled up a load the day before) – browned a chopped shallot in some olive oil, add the chickpeas and a good dollop of lemon juice, and warmed through.  Added chopped fresh coriander at the end.We had the remainder of the veg on a small ciabatta each for lunch, topped with a little feta and grilled for a couple of minutes.  Fab.

weekend cooking

muffins!

We were due at a Transition Town film meeting on Saturday afternoon, with tea and cake afterwards, so I baked muffins in the morning: I had some brown bananas, and a couple of rather tired clementines, so did a dozen each of clementine and poppyseed, and banana and bran flake. We were greedy, and kept 4 of each back for ourselves, and in the end, not many people turned up for the film, so I brought several muffins back home with me, which are safely stowed in the freezer for when I have a “must have CAKE!” moment.

It’s worth mentioning that the banana muffin mix freezes really well, and I’ve no reason to suppose that the clementine won’t do the same; certainly takes a lot less space than baked muffins, and they’re so much nicer freshly made.

Vegetable Tagine
Sunday, I took an aubergine, a courgette, a red and a yellow pepper, chopped them up and put them in the slow cooker. Chopped up a sweet potato, a butternut squash and a huge carrot, and parboiled them for about 7 minutes. Drained them, added to slow cooker. Chopped an onion and some garlic, fried them off in some olive oil, then added some home made Ras El Hanout and stirred it round for a couple of moments, then added a tin of tomatoes and some water, brought to the boil, added to slow cooker with some salt and pepper. Stirred, regarded, added a tin of chick peas (should have been organised to soak some overnight, but ho hum). Voila, vegetable tagine – after about 6 hours in the cooker. Made 8 portions.

Also knocked out a couple of gallons of fruit juice wine – one prune, one red grape. I’ve not tried this before, but Tesco were doing 3 for 2 on fruit juice last week, and so for about a fiver including sugar it had to be tried. That makes [counts] ten gallons on the go, and about 20 bottles in the rack, so we should be able to continue our alcoholic lifestyle for a while yet.

roasted veg


Using up: sweet potatoes, other veg

vegetables ready to be roasted

We haven’t had this for ages, and I really don’t know why. It’s simple to prepare, and utterly lovely.We had a couple of sweet potatoes in the veg box this week; not enough to make a sweet potato mash, so this is what I did.

Cut up into chunks: 2 medium sweet potatoes, 1 courgette, 2 carrots, 1 red pepper, 1 red onion.  Finely chopped 3 cloves of garlic.

Put all this in a bowl with some sea salt, and some good, strong olive oil and mixed it up with my hands. I have discovered through trial and error that this is the only way to get everything coated.

Put in an oven at gas 6 for about 45 minutes – 1 hour.  It’s hard to be precise because of the size of the veg chunks.  I was running late due to the cake making, and so I covered the veg with a tin foil hat for about 20 minutes to give them a kick start, or you could give them 5 minutes in the microwave.

Serve with cous cous.  Delicious!