Sunday, 13 January 2008

Vegetarian cauliflower, spinach and chickpea balti

I cooked something! From a proper recipe and everything!

OK, I haven't spent the whole of the last three months or so living off frozen meals I cooked months ago and takeaway, but I haven't cooked anything that felt recipe worthy. It was mainly stuff I found in the fridge, combined in a randon, non recipe related way. There were some interesting soups (parsnip and apple worked, as did a celeriac concoction, and plenty of roast veg served with veggie sausages and the like, but nothing with the complexity of


Not only would copying it out in full no doubt be a copyright infringement, it would also take several days, but it's been quite therapeutic to not just make a curry, but to make my own balti sauce from scratch. Actually, the list of ingredients probably makes it look more complicated than it is, at the moment I'm at the cooking the veg in the sauce before adding the spinach phase, and it's all gone to plan so far. Famous last words?

Anyway, I'll try to come up with another recipe before April...

Thursday, 22 November 2007

Lentil and Rice Casserole

1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 tsp each cumin and coriander seeds
1 tsp peppercorns
2 garlic cloves, chopped
150g brown rice
150g green lentils
1/2 tsp salt
350g tomatoes, sliced
1 cinnamon stick, halved
850ml vegetable stock

Fry the onion and garlic in the oil for 5 minutes until lightly browned.

Crush the seeds and peppercorns with a pestle and mortar, add to the pan. Fry for 2 minutes, then stir in the lentils, rice and salt.

Take out half the mixture, and add a layer of tomatoes on top of the rest before putting the lentils back in. Then add the stock, bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 35 minutes. You might need a bit more water.

Serves 4.

Saturday, 17 November 2007

The best thing about winter...

It seems like ages since I've had the opportunity to try out new recipes. If you've been reading my main blog you'll know why, but to cut a long story short I haven't had much time at home recently, and have been resorting to easy but not particularly blog worthy staples like pasta and beans on toast.

But this weekend I decided to make an effort and picked out a few recipes, bought loads of veg and went for it. Obviously celeriac, butternut squash etc doesn't always come in exactly the quantity you want. Sometimes I just lob it all in the main recipe for the hell of it, but when it comes to root veg I love being able to save all my leftovers, shove them in the oven with some oil, herbs and honey, then blend the result into a lovely sweet roast veg soup with some stock.

I'm not sending my food "waste" to landfill, oh no...

Spicy Lentil and Parsnip Pie

50g butter
1 onion, sliced
2 carrots, diced
225g red lentils
2 tbsp medium curry paste
1 can chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato puree
650g parsnips, sliced
1 leek, sliced
85g cheddar

Melt half the butter, add the onion and carrots and cook for 5 minutes. Add the lentils, curry paste, tomatoes, tomato puree and 300ml water. Cover and simmer for 25 minutes.

Meanwhile boil the parsnips for 10 minutes, adding the leek for the final 2 minutes. Drain and mash with the remaining butter. Season.

Put the lentil mixture into a dish. Top with the mashed parsnips and cheese, grill until golden.

Serves 4

Celeriac and Apple Soup

450g celeriac, cubed
2 tbsp lemon juice
25g butter
1 leek, sliced
2 sticks celery, chopped
375g apples, peeled, cored and chopped
150ml dry cider
850ml vegetable stock

Put the celeriac and apple in a bowl with the lemon juice to stop it going brown. Melt the butter, add the leek and celery and cook gently for 5 minutes. Add the celeriac and apples, cook for 10 minutes. Add the cider and increase the heat. Boil for 3 - 4 minutes to reduce the cider by half. Add the stock, bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Blend, season and serve.

Serves 4

Butternut Squash Kutta

1 large red onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp lazy ginger
1 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp olive oil
500g butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and diced
1 tin tomatoes
handful sultanas
2 celery stalks, chopped
handful celery leaves
1 tbsp lemon juice
handful coriander leaves
55g whole almonds
1 tbsp sugar

Saute the onion, garlic, ginger and turmeric in the oil for 3 - 4 minutes.

Add the butternut squash, tomatoes, sultanas, celery, celery leaves and 400ml water. Bring to the boil then simmer for 20 - 25 minutes.

Add the lemon juice, corander, almonds and sugar, cook for 5 more minutes, serve.

Serves 4.

Thursday, 20 September 2007

Butternut Squash Soup

1 butternut squash, diced
2 onions, quartered
5 cloves garlic
250g cherry tomatoes
olive oil
1 litre vegetable stock
Toss the squash, onions, garlic and tomatoes in the olive oil and honey and roast for 25 minutes in a hot oven with the rosemary.
Blend, adding the stock until it reaches the desired consistency. Season, heat through and serve.
Serves 4.