Archive for category Vegetarian

Roasted Red Pepper and Carrot soup

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)
  1. Preheat the oven to 200 c, 400 f, Gas mark 6.
  2. Peel and chop the carrots into chunks of around 1.5 inches and place onto a baking sheet.
  3. 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.
  4. Sprinkle with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Thin the soup with some more stock until you have the consistency you like.

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Balsamic Roasted Beetroot

Its breast cancer awareness month this month and I wanted to do a “pink” recipe post to highlight that. Cake was my first pink thought but as I’m staying unprocessed this month I thought I ought to do a healthier recipe! So staying pink(ish) I have a simple recipe today for roasted beetroot, roasting is something people often forget to do with beetroot. It really doesn’t take that long and you don’t even have to peel the beets!

Beetroot season has all but come to an end in my Mother in laws allotment, the weather being what it was this summer we didn’t have the glut of beetroot repeated from last summer so apart from some jars of pickled beets I’ve mostly roasted mine this summer. Roasted beets are amazing, so simple yet so flavoursome. Roasting them brings out their sweetness and loses some of the earthiness that a lot of people find off-putting. I love them so much I can eat them like candy!

Roasted beets couldn’t be simpler to make. Just wash, tumble in some olive oil, season and roast.  I also like to add some balsamic vinegar to add to the sweetness.  In an hour or so you will have the most wonderful accompaniment to whatever dish takes your fancy, or you could just stand and eat most of them like I often do!

Balsamic Roasted Beetroot (serves 2)

  • 450 grams beetroot
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • I tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • a couple of sprigs of fresh thyme
  • sea salt and fresh ground pepper (in keeping with the pink theme I used pink salt and pink peppercorns but regular will do.)

Preheat oven to 200 C, 400 F, Gas 6

  1. Wash the beetroot and trim off both ends and any hairy bits, don’t bother to peel.
  2. I advise wearing rubber gloves to avoid pink stained hands, cut the beets into chunks a little larger than bite size. With small beets halves or quarters are fine but some of the huge beets I get from the allotment means cutting much more!
  3. Put the beets into a roasting pan and drizzle the olive oil and balsamic vinegar over them. With your rubber gloves on, rub the olive oil and vinegar into the beets, ensuring each beetroot gets coated.
  4. Holding one end of a thyme sprig strip the stem of its leaves, letting them scatter over the beets.
  5. Season with salt and pepper and roast for about 1 hour or until the beets are soft when poked with a knife and have darkened in colour.

Its so important yet so easy to forget, don’t forget to check your breasts regularly.

 

 

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Courgette Pickles

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.

 

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Quinoa Salad with Broad Beans

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.

As broad beans are in season I am linking this up with Simple and in Season over at Ren’s blog Fabulicous Food

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
  1. Cook the quinoa according to pack instructions. When cooked drain and allow to cool.
  2. 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.
  3. Thinly slice the spring onions, chop the cherry tomatoes in half and place both in the bowl with the broad beans.
  4. When the quinoa is around room temperature or just a little warmer add to the bowl with the broad beans, onion and tomatoes.
  5. To make the dressing whisk all the ingredients together and immediately pour over the quinoa. Stir to combine.
  6. 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.
  7. Best served at room temperature.

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Fridge Dump Lentil Salad

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
  1. Rinse lentils and add to a saucepan, cover with the stock made with the boiling water.
  2. Cook lentils according to package instructions, my pack said bring to boil and simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. While the lentils are cooking you can be chopping your vegetables.
  4. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and lightly fry the mushrooms, just until tender.
  5. When the lentil are cooked drain excess liquid if you have any and tip the lentils into a bowl.
  6. Add the mushrooms and all of the other vegetables. Stir to combine.
  7. Drizzle over olive oil and squeeze lemon juice to taste.
  8. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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