Posts Tagged Vegetarian
My posts are so infrequent at the moment one would be forgiven for wondering if I have stopped eating! Truth is I’m doing my first Whole 30 and although its going well (I’m on day 27!) I have found myself in the pattern of eating pretty much the same few meals on rotation, although it is a little boring its made my life the last month easier.
I made these canapes for guests at Easter and luckily remembered to take a picture, admittedly only when all the best looking ones had been eaten! So apologies for my “keeping it real” themed picture!
These canapes are just the easiest thing ever! Just 3 ingredients, it’s hardly even a recipe. I saw the idea in a magazine advertisement years ago and I have made them ever since when I want to produce a quick canape that tastes good and looks like I’ve made an effort. The original recipe called for Port Salut cheese, a mild semi soft French cheese made from cows milk. It used to be easy enough to get in the UK but this time I had to go to 2 supermarkets to find mine. If you can’t get hold of Port Salut, I think Muenster or Gouda work instead.
Couldn’t be Easier Cheese and Cherry Tomato Canapes
- 1 pack puff pastry
- 1 tbsp of butter, melted
- 2 packs of Port Salut cheese, cut into thin slices
- 12 cherry tomatoes, each sliced in half
- Fresh ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 220 C, 425 F, Gas 7. Grease a mini tart tin with the melted butter.
- Roll out the puff pastry and using a small cutter cut out 24 circles.
- Put the pastry circles into the mini tart tin, pushing the pastry down to line the bottoms of the tin.
- Place a slice of cheese into each pastry round. some of the slices cut at the wider end of the cheese will need trimming to fit into the pastry.
- Top each piece of cheese with a cherry tomato half.
- Give each tart a grind of black pepper and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the pastry has browned, some of the tomatoes will be starting to caramelise. You can at this stage take out the browner ones leaving the rest to cook a little more, I find they never cook evenly.
- Place onto a serving platter and serve at room temperature.
Following the discovery that I could buy Meyer lemons here in the UK I found myself with said lemons and no idea what to make with them! I’m a terrible hoarder of my favourite things. Not a hoarder in the sense that have tons of stuff (I don’t!) but when I get something that I love I can’t bring myself to use it! So there I was with these lovely lemons and suddenly no recipe seemed to appeal to me as I didn’t want to use all my lemons! Before one gets the impression that I’m crazy I will get on with what I actually found to make! I had heard that Meyer lemons were so sweet the whole thing was edible! So this salad using the whole lemon, skin and all, was the perfect way to use one of my precious lemons without any waste!
It was lovely the day I made this salad, sunny and above 10 degrees, which possibly made me enjoy this even more! After a winter of soup this was such a treat as it was so summery and so healthy, it was the best salad I’ve eaten in a long time! It’s true you can eat the whole of a Meyer lemon! It’s a zesty and quite bitter (in a good way) salad. It certainly wakes up your taste buds and the spinach, feta and walnuts all balance it out adding their creamier, softer flavours. The more eagle-eyed of you may notice there are no walnuts in the picture! That is because I cut my finger while chopping the parsley for the salad and in my haste to finish so I could deal with the cut finger I forgot to add them for the picture!
It’s hard to find radicchio in all supermarkets, I get mine from the green grocer. I’m long aware of the difficulties in getting Meyer lemons in the UK so if you are unable to get a Meyer lemon a 1/4 of a pink grapefruit may make a substitute, although I haven’t tried that.
Radicchio and Meyer Lemon Salad (adapted from this recipe from Whole Living)
Ingredients (for 2)
- 1/2 a Meyer lemon, washed and chopped
- 1 small radicchio lettuce, sliced
- 1 shallot, chopped finely
- a handful of fresh spinach leaves, washed and chopped
- 1 heaped tbsp of fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp Meyer lemon juice (the other half of the lemon was enough for this)
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- sea salt and fresh ground pepper
- 60 grams feta cheese, cut into cubes
- 30 grams walnuts, chopped
- Chop the lemon, radicchio, shallot, spinach and parsley. Add each to a bowl.
- Make the dressing by whisking the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper together until combined. Add to the salad ingredients and mix well.
- Add the feta and walnuts and gently mix in to the rest of the ingredients.
- Serve immediately.
I’m dragging myself kicking and screaming onto the healthy train this new year! I’m finding it hard to get out of bad habits left over from the holiday season, possibly the very cold weather we have had recently is making it harder. However I’m trying to get back into healthier habits. One thing we will be having for dinner this week is watercress soup. I first tried this soup in France, in a supermarket of all places! We were given a sample while shopping, if I had made that soup for my husband he wouldn’t have even tried it but in a French supermarket it was somehow appealing to him and not only did he try but he liked it! Always delighted to find a healthier meal for that my husband will have too, I recreated it when we got back. It’s very simple and quick to make. Watercress is high in antioxidants and it’s also a good source of vitamins A and C, helping to boost the immune system which is good for this time of the year. It’s also very low in calories which is always good news.
This is a very mild tasting soup, the watercress adds some peppery tones but it is overall a simple clean tasting soup, I will be having it accompanied with a salad but some crusty bread would be fabulous served with this soup. Be careful not to blend for too long or the potatoes go gloopy.
- 400 grams potatoes, peeled and chopped into chunks
- 1 large onion, chopped
- A splash of olive oil
- 250 mls vegetable stock (homemade if you have it otherwise try to find a stock that is lower sodium and doesn’t contain msg)
- 2 x 75 gram bags of watercress
- Add the olive oil to a large saucepan, when heated add the onions and potatoes. Stir to coat in the oil then turn the heat down, cover and leave to sweat for about 5 minutes, this will soften the onion and potato without browning.
- Add the stock and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, the potatoes should be almost ready.
- Add all the watercress, leave it resting on top and put the lid back on so the watercress can steam. Cook for 5 minutes, check to see that the potatoes are soft and the watercress wilted.
- Blend to your preferred smoothness. My husband likes no lumps at all so I use a blender but a more chunky finish with a stick blender is also nice.
- Serve immediately. This soup freezes well.
At this time of the year we are awash with recipes for soup. I have countless soup recipes on my “to make” list, yet still I seek more! Trying to get my husband to eat some/any vegetables is a constant trial. Vegetables blended in soup are my husband’s preferred way of eating vegetables, surprisingly even carrots. So when I saw this recipe I thought I was onto a winner. My version of that soup is a little more simple, I omitted the peanut butter to save a few calories. I find carrot soup verges on the over sweet for my taste so also left out the maple syrup. I prefer to use half coconut milk and half stock as I found all coconut milk added a little too much sweetness. I also like my soup a lot thinner so added more liquid.
This soup is so flavorful, extra sweet from roasting the peppers and carrots, the coconut milk adds another dimension to the flavour and for me the addition of chilli adds a punch of heat at the end. This soup is full of vitamin C and A and high in beta carotene all of which aid in boosting the immune system and are though to aid in the fight against cancer. At this time of the year, common for seasonal over indulgence its nice to have a quick, healthy meal up your sleeve.
Roasted Red Pepper and Carrot Soup (adapted from this recipe)
- 200 gram (7 oz) red peppers
- 450 gram (I lb) carrots (preferably organic)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- salt and fresh ground black pepper
- 1/2 can (200 ml) light coconut milk
- 200 ml vegetable stock plus more for thinning, I use about an extra 2oo mls
- 1 tsp chilli flakes ( or less to your taste)
- Preheat the oven to 200 c, 400 f, Gas mark 6.
- Peel and chop the carrots into chunks of around 1.5 inches and place onto a baking sheet.
- Remove the seeds from the peppers and slice into 4-6 largish slices. (I used the longer red peppers) and place onto the baking sheet with the carrots.
- Sprinkle with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Roast for around 40 minutes until the carrots are soft enough to pierce easily with a knife and the peppers have started to shrink and darken at the edges.
- If you have a blender tip the roasted vegetables into it and add the coconut milk, stock and chilli flakes. Blend until all the ingredients are well mixed and the resulting soup is thick and creamy. If you don’t have a blender use a stick/hand blender to blend all the ingredients in a saucepan the texture just wont be as smooth.
- Thin the soup with some more stock until you have the consistency you like.
I can not believe that I have not put this recipe on my blog before! Its been my go to Summer cake recipe ever since the regular gluts of courgettes have come my way.
I have no childhood memories of courgettes, not one! I don’t think they made it into our house, my parents must not have liked them. I only seem to remember discovering them after I came to the UK, therefore I usually call them courgettes. I use the word zucchini for this loaf however as when I first started looking for inspiration for the courgette glut it was American recipes for zucchini cake that first caught my eye and the name has stuck!
This is a light cake with no taste of courgette, lets face it they are a rather tasteless vegetable aren’t they? The courgette do however lend a lovely moistness to the cake. Think carrot cake, only easier! Another thing I love about this loaf is that it uses olive oil rather than butter, a blessing for last minute cake making, no waiting for butter to soften! Finally as if I couldn’t sing this loaf’s praises enough, it freezes very well so when I have loads of courgette and I’ve got the food possessor out I shred more and make extra cakes to store in the freezer.
This loaf also works well with wholemeal flour.
- 180 gram plain white flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 eggs
- 180 grams sugar ( I like to use unrefined)
- 125 ml olive oil – mild flavoured
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 200 grams grated zucchini (courgette)
- Pre heat oven to 170 c, 325 f, Gas 3. Prepare a loaf tin by greasing with a little olive oil and lining with baking paper.
- Weigh the flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon into a bowl, whisk together.
- In another bowl, or in your mixer bowl beat together the eggs, sugar, oil and vanilla.
- Add the flour mix and combine well.
- Gently stir in the zucchini/courgette.
- Pour the mixture into your prepared tin and bake for approximately 45 minutes.
- When cooked cool in the tin for about 20 minutes the turn onto a rack to cool completely.
Its summer, although apart from a few nice days one would think that Summer passed us right by this year! But Summer it is and the courgettes don’t seem to mind the weather, they still keep coming! I’ve mentioned before that my Mother in law has an allotment and passes her produce onto me. Courgettes seem to be the most prolific crop, pounds and pounds of them come my way. This year trying to keep the courgette situation under control I suggested that we try yellow courgettes, just yellow ones and only 2 plants. When we got back from our recent holiday it was to find bags of home-grown vegetables waiting for us, in the bags I found a couple of yellow courgettes and surprisingly even more green ones! I’m not sure when the green ones were planted or why they produce more than the intended yellow plants but once again I found myself up to my elbows in courgettes!
These pickles are one of the courgette/zucchini recipes I had bookmarked for the glut! I really wanted to make dill pickles with cucumbers this year but the cucumbers really did object to the Autumnal summer we’ve had, dying off after producing one mini cucumber each. When I came across this timely recipe I thought it would be a new way to use up some of my bounty, while perhaps satisfying my dill pickle craving. I really liked them, they are really easy to make and as they are refrigerator pickles they are really quick too. They have the right amount of sweet verses tart and I couldn’t help but add my own heat with some chilli flakes.
Courgette Pickles (adapted from Martha Stewart’s Judy’s Zucchini Pickles)
- 225 grams (7.5 0z) of zucchini/courgettes sliced very thinly
- 1 small onion sliced very thinly
- 1 tbsp salt
- 250 ml (1 cup) cider vinegar
- 125 gram (5 oz) sugar
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1/4 tsp dried chilli flakes
- 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
My quantities make one large jar of pickles, to see how to make them see here on Martha Stewart’s website
This recipe links up nicely with the August challenge of the Sustainable Eats Urban Farm Challenge that Im taking part in. The challenge this month is food preservation.
Time off work resulting in clearing out kitchen cupboards and finding some long-lost quinoa paired with a glut of broad beans concluded in this salad. I love quinoa, you know when you love something but completely forget to make it? That’s what happened to my long-lost quinoa, found behind 4 kinds of lentils and 3 kinds of rice, no mention will be made of how many bean varieties! I’m one of those shoppers that has to try everything! I have grown to love broad beans, growing up I hated them, they were invariably overcooked, grey and tough. Its only in the last couple of years since my Mother in law has started growing them that I’ve learned to appreciate them. When you look at them they are one of nature’s marvels, with that fuzzy, cosy pod protecting each bean. It was also a revelation when I thought to peel off the skin of each bean revealing a much brighter more tender green bean! The things you learn when you grow up!
This salad is quick to make and healthy too, quinoa is gluten-free and a good source of calcium and fibre. It’s great as a main dish, going well with grilled fish or meat. This is enough for 2 servings but if made in larger quantities it would also be a good make ahead take to work lunch, maybe add some feta – yum!
I used broad beans but edamame would make a great substitute.
Quinoa Salad with Broad beans
- 200 gram dried quinoa
- 100 gram broad beans
- 2 spring onions (scallions) thinly sliced
- few cherry tomatoes, chopped in half
- handful of spinach leaves, washed
- lime zest to taste
For the dressing
- 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1.5 tbsp. rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp. rice mirin
- Cook the quinoa according to pack instructions. When cooked drain and allow to cool.
- Meanwhile pod the broad beans and blanch in boiling water for a minute. Remove from the boiling water, drain and cover with ice-cold water to avoid further cooking. Slip each broad bean from its skin (I know this is tiresome but broad beans are so much nicer without that tough skin). Place the broad beans into a medium-sized bowl, large enough to fit the rest of the salad ingredients.
- Thinly slice the spring onions, chop the cherry tomatoes in half and place both in the bowl with the broad beans.
- When the quinoa is around room temperature or just a little warmer add to the bowl with the broad beans, onion and tomatoes.
- To make the dressing whisk all the ingredients together and immediately pour over the quinoa. Stir to combine.
- Add the spinach leaves and zest a lime directly over the salad, just a couple of scrapes with the zester will be enough. Give another quick mix.
- Best served at room temperature.
It’s National Vegetarian week here this week. I decided to take part in that by eating a vegetarian diet this week. I’ve had to think of new lunches for the week. One of the lunches I came up with was this lentil salad, I was led by what was in the fridge, which is why I call this Fridge Dump Lentils. I read that term somewhere on the internet and have mentally used it since whenever I’m gathering whats left in the fridge to make a meal. This salad was a winner! I love lentils but don’t get around to cooking them so often, which is a shame as they are really good for you. Lentils are a good source of fibre, good for your heart and can help to lower your cholesterol. This is also one of those lunches that you can make ahead and just keep in a Tupperware for the week ahead. It would be easy to make variations according to taste and make your own fridge dump version, just throw in what you have. I think the lentils, both types of tomatoes and the stock make a good base which can then be enjoyed with lots of different salad items. This just happens to be what I had in the fridge.
Fridge Dump Lentil Salad
- 225 grams Puy Lentils
- 2 tsp Swiss vegetable Bouillon stock powder, use cube or fresh if preferred
- 1 pint of boiling water
- 2 tsp Olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 8-10 Baby mushrooms each cut in half.
- 1 carrot, diced small
- 1 stick celery, sliced thinly
- 5 cm of Cucumber , cubed
- 8 Cherry tomatoes, each cut in half
- 6 Sun dried tomatoes cut small
- Squeeze of lemon juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Rinse lentils and add to a saucepan, cover with the stock made with the boiling water.
- Cook lentils according to package instructions, my pack said bring to boil and simmer for 20 minutes.
- While the lentils are cooking you can be chopping your vegetables.
- Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and lightly fry the mushrooms, just until tender.
- When the lentil are cooked drain excess liquid if you have any and tip the lentils into a bowl.
- Add the mushrooms and all of the other vegetables. Stir to combine.
- Drizzle over olive oil and squeeze lemon juice to taste.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
I love chickpeas any which way, cooked in stews and curries, cold in salad, even sprouted. This salad happened one evening when I realised I had no pitta bread to go with the falafel we were having for dinner. The tomato salad I was making now needed substantiating as it was now going to be the only thing to be served alongside the falafel, especially if I was going to try to keep my husband happy. Somehow I felt just falafel and tomatoes would be too healthy and not enough for my hard-working man! The can of chickpeas I saw in the cupboard was the answer. Happily we both liked this salad so much it has now replaced the pitta when we have falafel.
I admit the addition of kale goes in at the end only for me, that would be a healthy step too far for my green fearing husband! That is how I know that this salad also works with out the kale but it is better with it, my husband doesn’t know what he is missing! Spinach, if kale isn’t available, makes a good substitute. Chickpeas are a good source of fibre, low in fat and can help lower cholesterol levels so I’m so happy that my husband not only eats but likes this dish!
The tsp of chilli flakes make this fairly hot, use less if you don’t like so much heat.
Chickpea, Tomato and Kale Salad
- 1 can Chickpeas, drained
- 1 punnet cherry tomatoes, at room temperature, rinsed
- 3 Spring onions (scallions), trimmed, rinsed and sliced into small rounds
- 1 heaped tbsp Basil, rinsed and chopped finely
- a handful of Kale, rinsed and chopped into small pieces
- Juice of 1/2 a lemon
- 1 tsp cider vinegar
- 3 tbsp Olive oil
- 1 tsp Chilli Flakes
- Sea Salt to taste
- Cut each cherry tomato in half and add to a bowl along with the chickpeas.
- Add the spring onions, basil and the kale to the bowl.
- In a jug mix together the lemon , vinegar and olive oil until blended.
- Add the chilli flakes and salt, mix in and pour over the salad.
- Toss together and season more if necessary.
This stores really well in a Tupperware in the fridge and the recipe can be doubled to make a good make ahead lunch to take to work, the kale leaf is robust enough not to wilt too much, in fact some may prefer it a day or so after it has softened a little.
Cinco De Mayo (the 5th of May) doesn’t mean much in the UK, unless you are my cousin Celia whose birthday it is today! In America Cinco De Mayo is a holiday celebrating Mexican heritage. Growing up I remember doing the Mexican Hat Dance at school and looking forward to whacking the pinata at the end of the day, the eventual explosion of sweets/candy so exciting! We had tacos for dinner at home, it was a day of yummy food, like most celebrations!
As it is Cinco De Mayo today I thought it was the perfect day for a little salsa! This is just a few ingredients which quickly combine to make a salsa that will liven up anything from crisps to sandwiches or as a little spice on the side of your plate! Fresh salsa does not compare with the ready-made version in a jar, this will blow your taste bud socks off! It’s easily played around with if you want it hotter, milder, less onion. The olive oil isn’t essential, not traditional but, I think, adds a nice flavour and softens the sharpness of the lime and onion.
- 1 large beefsteak tomato (or 2-3 medium), chopped into small cubes
- 1/2 an onion, finely chopped
- 1 red chilli, finely chopped, seeds too if you dare
- Juice from 1/2 a lime
- Splash of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Small handful of fresh Coriander, finely chopped
- Sea salt and Fresh ground pepper to taste
- Add all of the chopped ingredients to a bowl and gently stir to combine.
- Test for seasoning, adding more salt and pepper to taste.
This will keep for several hours, covered in the fridge. It is best eaten on the day its made.
With the coriander used in this recipe in mind I am linking this with the Herbs on Saturday blog challengeon @KarenBurnsBooth blog Lavender and Lovage.