We’re having a bit of a funny day today, food wise. A friend asked if we could hold a birthday party here for him tonight, and said he would order takeaway pizza. *Takeaway pizza*. I ask you. So I said we’d cook, and indeed I have – a vat of Madhur Jaffrey’s lemony chicken with coriander has been constructed, and Pete will make a big dish of dhal, later. Also two cakes baked this morning.
But the party won’t be kicking off until about 9 p.m.for various reasons, and I really can’t wait until then to eat my Indian Feeeeast, so I thought I’d made something a bit more substantial that our usual lunch, and grab a mug of soup later to keep me going.
So … to serve two.
Removed the green end bits from two nice fat leeks, and sliced the rest into rings. Set them to sauté down in some olive oil and a knob of butter. Put water on to boil for 150g of penne pasta. Added a couple of cloves of garlic, finely chopped, to the leeks. Ventured out in the snow for some thyme, chopped and added that. When the pasta was done, added it to the leek mix, and hurled in half a tub of low fat creme fraiche. Quick, easy, tasty. Just under 400 calories a serving. Win.
We had a cauli in the fridge last week. Now, I like cauli, and we make cauli cheese, or a cauli and lentil curry. Sometimes we even just have it as a side veg. But none of them appealed, so I went rummaging through the books, and came up with Satyamma’s cauliflower curry. I didn’t follow the recipe precisely – they’re guidelines, is all.
We added sweet potato rather than “ordinary”, and adjusted the spices a bit (but not enough – needs about twice as much as the recipe, to my mind), and added a can of chickpeas*; it was absolutely lovely, and I reckoned it at about 190 calories a serving, without rice or whatever. We had roasted peanuts left in from the festive season, and everything else was in the house already, so that was a win too.
I really must go through that book more, because I’m currently in a bit of a rut with cooking.
Also, note to self: take photographs!
*Yes, I know, but I do keep a few tins of pulses in for such occasions; normally I would have soaked and boiled. Mea culpa.
I was all set to make a Thai veg curry the other night. There were aubergines, sweet potatoes, mushrooms and peppers in the fridge, Pete was despatched up the road (in the cold, in the dark, with an owl) for coconut milk, and I was good to go. Except I didn’t want veg curry. I wanted soothing lentils, a comfort food in this household. So lentils I had.
I chopped two small onions, some garlic and fresh ginger, and fried them down in some olive oil. While this was going on, I chopped an aubergine and a couple of peeled sweet potatoes. Added them to the mix with cumin seeds and chilli flakes, turned it all round in the oil. Bunged in a mugful of red lentils (an old WordPerfect mug, in fact, an integral part of our batterie de cuisine here), and a can of coconut milk. Despite my precautions, the wretched stuff still managed to squirt a stream of clear coconut up my arm under the sleeve of my fleece.
Stirred that all round, went “um”, and added two cans full of water, and about 2 teaspoons of Marigold bouillon powder, a very useful thing indeed. Seasoned with salt and black pepper, brought it to the boil, and then put it on a diffuser for about 45 minutes.
It was absolutely gorgeous – that made six portions, and we liked it so much that we ate it again for lunch the next day. I did managed to put one tub in the freezer before we pigged it all, but I shall be making that again. And again.
Two fat leeks, a bit wrinkled, looked accusingly at me every time I opened the fridge. There was also about 1/4 of a bag spinach left, and some rather elderly eggs.
I trimmed and washed the leeks, and sliced them up, then sauted slowly in olive oil and butter; threw in some fresh thyme part way through. I was going to do some garlic, but I forgot! I shredded some spinach, and when the leeks were softened, I hurled in the spinach and turned the heat off.
Made some pastry with 6oz of wholewheat flour, 2oz of Trex, and 1oz of margarine, rolled it out and lined a rectangular flan tin (such a useful thing – much easier for serving than a round one). I beat three eggs with a dash of milk and some seasoning (I’d normally use cream, but we didn’t have any in). Poured the veg mix into the pastry case, then poured the egg mix on top.
Then, with what I will describe as a flash of genius, I crumbled half a pack of goat’s cheese that was lurking at the back of the fridge and sprinkled it on the top. Into the oven for about 25 minute at 200 in a fan oven. It really was lovely.
I bought a pack of baby aubergines at the weekend – I’m not normally seduced by such things, but they were so pretty … We had about a third of them in the roast veg on Sunday, and I was left with not enough for moussaka, but some. There were also some cold cooked new potatoes lurking in the fridge. So:
Heated some groundnut oil in a shallow pan, and put in some black mustard seeds. Added a chopped red onion, and cooked till translucent. Lobbed in some standard Indian spices, ground (tumeric, cumin, coriander) and a fresh red chilli, sliced. Stirred it all round.
Added the aubergine and potatoes, cut into largish dice. Stirred round some more. Added about 1/2 mug of water, put lid on, left for 15 minutes. Stirred in a load of fresh coriander at the end.
It was utterly lovely – we shall be eating *that* again!
We used up the last of the button mushrooms in a poor man’s mushroom pilau – shallot, cinnamon, mushrooms, rice.
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.
Another big bag of broad beans in the box this week. I wanted something quick and simple for supper, but of course failed to allow the time required to shell a big bag of broad beans. Ho hum.
Once they were released from their furry prisons, I set (far too much) pasta on to boil, and simmered the beans for about 7 minutes. Chopped an onion and sauteéd it in olive oil. Chopped the half a pack of feta that was in the fridge. Hurled everything into one pan when done, and stirred round with a little more olive oil and the juice of the half lemon lurking in the fridge.
Nice quick, fresh, summer supper (even with the bean depodding time).
The veg box brought us a pair of sweet potatoes, and we had a cauliflower left over.
Not wanting to cook too much in the heat, I peeled the sweet potatoes and cut them into 2cm-ish chunks. They were simmered for about 18 minutes, and I put the cauliflower florets in the steamer basket for the last 7 minutes.
I chopped an onion and a red pepper, and minced ginger and garlic, and fried that lot off in some olive oil, while Pete ground some spices with a Morrocan twist (including pomegranate seeds), and I put them in the frying pan with the onion mixture for a couple of minutes.
Tipped everything into the slow cooker, and added the rest of the broad bean stock. Cooked on low for about 8 hours, and ate with rice, but cous cous would have worked too.
I looked at all the pods from the broad beans, and thought “I should be able to make some stock with those”, so I threw them in the slow cooker with some water for a few hours.
There were two rather tired leeks in the fridge, so they were sliced and sautéd in olive oil and butter, then I added 5 oz of arborio rice and stirred it round. I added some finely chopped lemon balm from the garden too.
Then in went 1 pint of the pod stock (which was not great, but OK), bit by bit, stirring as I went to allow the rice to absorb it.. Some sea salt and black pepper, and half a block of feta at the end, chopped into small chunks, which made it nice and creamy.
Still more green beans to eat …
Topped and tailed them, chopped into 2cm chunks (this is starting to sound like a repeat :). Simmered for 6/7 minutes. Drained and rinsed in cold water.
Chopped an onion and some garlic, oh and some fresh ginger. Heated groundnut oil in the wok, added about a dessertspoon of mustard seeds and waited for them to pop. Then hurled in onion, garlic and ginger and cooked until soft, splattering self in hot oil in the process.
Added the beans and some five spice powder, stirred about for a couple of minutes, added a good splash of tamari, cooked for about 2 minutes.
I used too much oil, but it worked really well. We had it with basmati rice, which had the juice of half a lemon added to it, which is really nice.
And now the green beans are all gone – hurrah! But another veg box arrives tomorrow …