Tag: vegetarian

soup of the week ending 14 oct 2018

morphy richards 501021 soup makerMonday I went for a Thai sort of thing. Three carrots, some frozen sweet potatoes, an onion, about 40g of creamed coconut, two teaspoons of smooth peanut butter, pinch of chilli flakes. I think the third carrot made it too thick, but it tasted lovely.

Tuesday 45g of lentils (soaked for 30 minutes), 1 medium carrot, small onion, teaspoon of smoked paprika, a dollop of tomato ketchup, about half a cup of yesterday’s soup. No bouillon! Very nice, but lacking … something. Bit thin, maybe, and needed more seasoning. Might try some thyme.

Thursday small amount of broccoli, the green part of a large leek, ¾ of a small courgette (the rest had gone mouldy). This wasn’t all that nice; it tasted a bit raw, and not blended enough. Of course, there is a “blend” button on the machine, but I didn’t think about that till we’d eaten it!

Friday one medium-large potato, which was sprouting in the cupboard, and a bit soft (I cut the sprouty bits off, but didn’t bother peeling it), and the white part of yesterday’s leek. This was really nice.

Reminder: all soups have a teaspoon of Marigold vegetable bouillon, salt, and black pepper.

So that’s another week done – we’re still hugely enamoured of the soup maker, and it has earned its permanent place on the worktop.

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soup of the week ending 7 oct 2018

sweet potatobutternut squash

Short week this week, as we are away for a couple of days, but:

Tuesday: cabbage stalk, broccoli stalk, two leek tops (the green bits), two salad potatoes.

Wednesday: two carrots, one courgette, pinch of chilli flakes

Thursday: butternut squash, sweet potato (both bought from Iceland’s frozen veg, £1 per bag, used about ⅓ of each, so 60p), cumin seeds, pinch of garlic powder.

Saturday one leek, two medium potatoes, eaten with crackers and Dutch cheese (we were in Rotterdam on Friday).

Note that all soups have a teaspoon of Marigold bouillon powder, salt and black pepper added.

We are thrilled wth it – a really good buy. Recommended.

sprout stirfry!

ingredients for sprout stirfry

Like a lot of people, we found ourselves eating up all sorts of bits and pieces after Christmas. We bought sprouts onnastalk for our festive dinner of roast goose, cooked a load up for the meal and subsequent bubble ‘n’ squeak, and then … forgot all about them. I’d stashed the stalk in the log store, and only remembered it on 8 Jan! But they were fine, bless them. I don’t understand why people don’t like sprouts – they’re only teeny, tiny cabbages, after all. We 💛 ’em.

So, I chopped a red onion, and sliced a fat carrot into thin batons. These, together julienned ginger and garlic, were stirfried together in a hot wok for a few minutes. Then, I sliced/diced the sprouts and added them to the wok for a couple of minutes more, add soya sauce, and a handful of flaked almonds.

Served with egg noodles cooked with a teaspoon of sesame oil in the water. Quick, delicious.

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a timed supper

 

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As my regular reader will know, Tuesday night is pasta night. I just open the fridge and concoct something from its contents. For people who don’t have time to cook, here’s a 15-20 minute supper.

Bear in mind I have an ceramic hob, so you can skip the “put the rings on” bit if you’ve got gas.

  1. Switch on the big ring, put a deep frying pan on it, add a slug of olive oil
  2. Switch on the medium ring, put some cold water and salt in a pan, set it on the ring
  3. Slice up a big leek and put it in the pan with the oil.
  4. Weigh out the pasta (if you do such things – we do, because carbs/diabetes)
  5. Slice up some mushrooms, and add to the leeks
  6. Notice pasta water is boiling – add pasta, set timer for ten minutes (this is dried pasta – your pasta may vary)
  7. Remember you haven’t put any garlic in, so quickly peel and chop two cloves and throw them in with the vegetables
  8. Put a colander in the sink for drainage purposes
  9. Grate black pepper into the veg
  10. Open the fridge for some lemon juice, find a bottle of white wine open, and add some of that instead.  Too much, so turn up the heat to boil it down a bit
  11. Remove block of feta from fridge and cut up about one third of it
  12. When timer goes, drain pasta then add it to vegetables, together with the feta.
  13. Stir it all together, decant into bowls, scoff.

green beans and pasta

green beans and pasta

This is another ridiculously quick and easy supper, and pretty cheap too (depending where you shop) – certainly well under £1 per serving. Works well with runner beans as well.

serves 2:

1 pack green beans (89p from Aldi, I think)
125g of pasta (fusilli, quills, whatever – Aldi fusilli is 49p for 500g, so that’s (counts on fingers) 12.5p)
1 chopped onion (20p)
1 dessert spoon (ish) of olive oil
lemon juice – a bottle is easier, and cheaper, than fresh
black pepper
about 25g grated parmesan (35p?)

Top and tail the beans, while you put a decent amount of water on to boil. When it has, put in the pasta and set a timer (mental, if necessary) for 10 minutes. I put the beans in that pot when there was eight minutes left, which left a nice crunch to them.

While the beans and pasta are cooking, cook the onion off in the olive oil. Add to the drained pasta/bean mix, stir in a good slug of lemon juice, the parmesan, and some freshly ground black pepper.

Light, quick, simple, healthy, cheap. Vegetarian, and vegan if you leave out the cheese.

indian black-eyed peas

I made a batch of these for a friend’s curry evening, and they were so nice, I’ve just made another huge batch for us! I might have gone ever so slightly overboard with the quantities, so think on if you’re going to try this 🙂

1kg black-eyed peas (£3.69 for 2kgs from our local Indian shop)
1 carton Sainsburys passata (£0.55)
2 chopped onions (£1.80 for 4kgs from the Turkish shop so – 30p max)
⅓ big carton of Aldi mushrooms, sliced thinly (about £0.50)
groundnut oil (about a dessertspoon)
various spices to suit (listed below)

12 generous servings for a fiver, absolute max.   I made this in the slow cooker, but if you don’t want to/don’t have to, I’d give it a couple of hours on the hob to get the flavour right through.

Put the black-eyes in to soak for about 12 hours/overnight. They do say you don’t need to soak them, but I always soak beans and peas. They will absorb water at a rate of knots, so use a bowl rather bigger than you might think you’ll need.

Put them in the pot, add the mushrooms and passata, and about half a passata carton of water.

Grind/mix some Indian spices; Pete always does this, but it’s not writ in stone. Cumin, coriander seeds, cardamon, bit of chilli, turmeric – whatever works for you. But we tend to go for Lots, because you want the taste. Fry off the onions in some oil (i use groundnut) until they’re just starting to catch, then add the spices and cook them off a bit. A small splash of water is a good idea here. Decant that lot into the pot, add a bit of salt and black pepper.

if slow cooking, about eight hours on low. If hobbing, bring to the boil then a very gentle simmer for a couple of hours. Sprinkle fresh coriander on top if you have any (ours has bolted, sadly).

Freezes beautifully, makes a tasty vegan meal on its own, or a great accompaniment for a curry.

basic lentil mix

This is one of my standards – you can use it for lasagne, moussaka, shepherds pie … anything you do with mince, really.

There are just two of us in the household, but I always cook for at least six so I can freeze some. Also, this recipe is a bitsa, using up what I have in the fridge.

Into the slow cooker: one chopped onion, three diced carrots, one diced courgette, half a red pepper, 4 cloves garlic, small slug of olive oil, and any spice you fancy. I usually use Ras el Hanout, but anything middle eastern is good. Left on low for about an hour. Add 1 pint of red lentils and 2 pints of water, switch to high, leave for about four hours. If you didn’t fancy the spices, substitute a splash of red wine for some of the water, and bung in some herbs.

I made a lentil bake with this yesterday, which I shall write up in a bit.

two caulis, two bunches of asparagus

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We were in Norfolk last weekend, to celebrate the 7th birthday of our grandson. A very nice time was had by all, and on our way home on Sunday afternoon, we kept an eye out for roadside stalls, looking for asparagus and strawberries. Nothing on the roadside, but we stopped at a huge farm shop somewhere … in the South Holland district in Lincolnshire, according to Foursquare.

Two bunches of asparagus at £1.50 each, and two caulis for a quid. So all that lot for £4.00!

One bunch of asparagus went into a quiche, with three eggs, some milk and some rather elderly brie, chopped up. Also a shallot fried off in a little butter, and some chopped chives. That did supper with some Jersey Royals, and lunch the following day.

The second bunch was stir fried with chilli and ginger, one of our absolutely favourite dishes.

One cauli was last night made into a veg curry, which will do at least two more days (if I can find some freezer space!), and the other will be enrobed in cheese sauce for tonight’s supper.

No strawberries (just a little bit too early, I guess), but all the same – that’s really cheap living (although I suppose it’s rather far to go if we weren’t passing …)

cheesy irish potato scones

Cheesy potato scones.

Potato scones are a doddle. 3-2-1 potato, flour, butter or marg. I usually do 150g of spud, but there was 225g leftover from last night and really, what am I going to do with 3oz of mash? To hell with it, it’s Friday, I used it all.

So – rub flour and marg/butter together to make breadcrumbs. Squish in the mashed potato* to make a dough. You’ll need some milk at this point – somewhere between a dribble and a splash, I guess – just to make the dough more pliable. If you make it too sloppy, don’t worry – just add more flour!

Roll it out into (an approximation) of a circle – the thickness doesn’t matter, really, it only affects the cooking time – and divide into six. You can bake these in a hot oven for 10-12 minutes, but I tend to do them on the gas hob on a cast iron griddle (any heavy bottomed frying pan would do). It uses less energy. Turn them after 5 minutes or so, or when they’re browning and cook the other side. I actually had time to wash up and wipe down the worktops while they were cooking.

Traditionally, these are served with bacon in Ireland, but we just scoff them as is, with lashings^H^H a tiny bit of butter.

*If I have cold potato, unmashed, I tend to bung it all in the food processor, but I did it by hand today.

 

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.