I have no idea whether I’ll be allowed two entries into the Betta Living vegetarian recipe competition#bettarecipe but I just had to enter this – it’s undoubtedly the most delicious stir fry I’ve ever made and super-healthy into the bargain too.
I have been enjoying learning about new ingredients lately and this is the first time I’ve cooked with buckwheat. It had a lovely nutty, chewy texture, and was easy and quick to cook. It made a refreshing change from rice.
1tbsp coconut oil or alternative
1 onion, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
A thumb sized piece of ginger, finely chopped
A bunch of asparagus, woody ends chopped off and sliced into two or three pieces
A bunch of purple sprouting broccoli
Half a Savoy cabbage, shredded
A 250g pack of tofu, chopped
A handful of lightly toasted seeds, eg sunflower, pumpkin
2tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tbsp tamari
1tbsp honey or maple syrup
1 tsp soy sauce
Place the buckwheat in a pan with double the quantity of water. Bring it to the boil then simmer for around 10-12 minutes until most of the water has been absorbed. Taste the water, it should have a firm feel but not crunchy. Drain if necessary.
Heat the oil in a wok. Add the onion, garlic and ginger and stir fry for a few minutes until softening. Add in the purple sprouting broccoli and cabbage and cook for a few more minutes, stirring frequently, before adding the cabbage and the tofu.
Lightly toast the seeds in a small, dry frying pan.
Mix everything together, pour the dressing over and stir well.
When everything is cooked
The dressing recipe is adapted from this one on the Deliciously Ella blog.
This is such a lovely fresh salad that works really well in all seasons. It’s light enough for summer, yet fills you up in winter, plus the lentils provide all-important protein for vegetarians.
It’s really simple to throw together and doesn’t require much cooking. I am entering this recipe into the Betta Living vegetarian recipe competition #BettaRecipe
250g brown, green or puy lentils
A large handful of green beans
100g feta, crumbled
100g walnuts, roughly chopped
110g bag of watercress
A handful of fresh parsley, thyme and mint, chopped
1 tsp mustard
1 tbsp honey
Juice of half a lemon
4 tbsp olive oil
Cook the lentils as per the packet instructions.
Bring a small pan of water to the boil, add the green beans and cook until soft, around 10 minutes, or longer if you prefer them to be softer. Lightly toast the walnuts in a small frying pan, stirring occasionally to ensure they brown on all sides.
Toss all the salad ingredients together in a large bowl.
Whisk the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl and mix gently with the salad ingredients.
Serve warm or cold.
I made this wonderful tart from Hugh Fearnly-Whittingstall’s Veg Every Day cookbook for last week’s Band of Bakers event, which had a theme of springtime. It went down very well, in fact I only had one slice left over to take home for my husband. I think it’s nicer warm, but it can be eaten cold as well and would be lovely taken along on a picnic. I like to make my own pastry, but you can easily substitute shop-bought making this a really quick recipe.
For the pastry
250g plain flour
A pinch of sea salt
125g chilled unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
About 75ml cold milk
For the filling
300g rainbow chard (or beetroot tops, or ruby chard)
1 onion, sliced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 handful of fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1 garlic clove
100g ricotta, finely crumbled
2 large eggs, plus 2 extra egg yolks
200ml double cream
200ml whole milk
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
To make the pastry, sift the flour and salt together. Add the butter and rub in with your fingertips or give them a quick blitz in a food processor, until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Mix in the cold milk, little by little, until the pastry just comes together, then turn out on to a work surface and knead briefly to bring it into a ball. Wrap and chill for 30 minutes. Or save yourself the trouble and use shop-bought.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry quite thinly and use to line a greased 25cm tart tin. Leave the rough edges of the pastry hanging over the sides of the tin. Line with foil and baking beans and bake blind for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and beans, prick the pastry in a few places with a sharp fork, and bake uncovered for a further 10-15 minutes, or until the pastry is just starting to colour. Using a small, sharp knife, trim away the excess pastry from the edge.
To make the filling, chop the stalks from the chard and shred the leaves. Heat the oil in a large frying pan, add the onion with the thyme and sweat gently for about 10 minutes until softened. Add the garlic and chopped stalks. Cook, stirring often for about 10 minutes, until the stalks are tender. Add the shredded leaves and cook for another five minutes or so until the leaves have wilted right down. Season well with salt and pepper.
Spread the leafy mixture in the tart case. Scatter the crumbled ricotta over the top. Lightly beat the eggs, egg yolks, cream and milk together in a bowl and season well with salt and pepper. Carefully pour this mixture over the tart filling. Bake for about 35 minutes until golden. Serve warm or cold.
Back in 2004 I visited Argentina for the first time. While delighted to discover the delights of the Argentine pizzeria – something of a godsend for a vegetarian in the capital of steak – I was slightly baffled by faina – a relatively thick pancake make of chickpea flour, a bit like a pizza base but without any toppings. According to our friends it was traditionally eaten alongside a slice of pizza as a stomach filler for those who were too poor to afford more than one slice of pizza.
I have no idea whether this is true or not but it makes sense as after a couple of slices of faina there wasn’t much room for anything else. And while my first taste of faina didn’t exactly win me over, by the end of a six month stint living in Buenos Aires in 2007 I was a total convert.
It hadn’t occurred to me to make it and it was only when I was researching ways to use up a bag of Indian gram flour, which I had bought to make pakoras and was now hanging around in the cupboard taking up space, that I realised that faina is basically the same as farinata (Italian) or socca (French) and could indeed be served with toppings on.
This is my first attempt and while it doesn’t necessarily look very pretty (oil was too hot and it stuck, then fell apart!) it tasted really good and so I felt it definitely warranted a blog post.
So here goes:
Ingredients (serves two)
120g gram (chickpea) flour
A pinch of salt
2 tbsp olive oil
200g butternut squash, peeled and chopped
1 courgette, sliced
1 red pepper, sliced
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
30g mushrooms, finely chopped
60g sundried tomatoes, chopped
100g feta cheese
Preheat the oven to 200°C.
Prepare the vegetables, place them in an ovenproof dish and coat with the oil. Bake for 30-40 minutes stirring occasionally, until soft.
Sift the gram flour, herbs and salt in a mixing bowl. Gradually whisk in the water until you have the consistency of batter. Leave to stand for five minutes.
Heat you 2 tbsp olive oil in a medium sized frying pan. Once it is hot pour over the batter mixture. Cook over a medium heat until the top starts to set. Turn onto a plate, then slide back into the pan to cook the other side. Place on a baking sheet and set aside.
Heat a little olive oil in a small pan and fry the garlic and mushrooms until soft. Mix with the sundried tomatoes and spread over the farinata base.
Now add the roast vegetables and finally the feta cheese. Put back in the oven for 10 minutes, remove and garnish with the black olives.
Based on this vegan version from The Gourmet Vegan. This could easily become a vegan recipe by leaving out the feta.
Ingredients (serves one very hungry person for dinner and a small lunch the next day)
1 large carrot, peeled
1 small parsnip, peeled
1/2 small cauliflower, broken into small florets
100g spring greens
100g rice noodles
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes, or 1/2 chopped fresh chilli
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1/4 tsp sugar
2 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
1 tsp lime juice
Salt and pepper
Cut your carrot into thin batons and the parsnip into thin discs. Shred the spring greens.
Cook the noodles according to the packet instructions.
Heat some sunflower oil in a wok over a high heat. Add the onion and chilli and stir fry for a few minutes. Add the carrot and parsnip, cook for a further few minutes before adding the cauliflower.
Cook for 2 more minutes then add the garlic and spring greens. Add salt and pepper to taste, and then stir in the sugar, soy sauce, five-spice powder and noodles. Cook, stirring well, for a couple of minutes and serve with a squeeze of lime juice.
Recipe adapted from one in Veg Every Day by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, as pictured above.
Should you happen to read my other blog, Sneaky Veg, then you’ll know that I have become a bit of a granola addict. I’ve been trying to find ways to sneak fruit and vegetables into my reluctant children, and granola seems to be one semi-successful way to do so (see recipes for banana and maple granola and standard granola). This time I was less concerned with sneaking fruit in, and more with creating a Christmassy taste, for what has become a breakfast essential for me. I’d love to hear what you think if you make this.
Juice and zest of half an orange
Zest of half a lemon
3 tbsp golden syrup
3 tbsp light brown sugar
3 tbsp sunflower oil
75g chopped almonds
250g oats, jumbo rolled oats are best, though any will do
50g dried cranberries
Preheat the oven to 120°C and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
Place the orange juice, the syrup, light brown sugar and the oil in a small pan and slowly heat through, stirring regularly until the sugar has dissolved and everything is mixed together.
Put the oats, almonds, lemon zest and orange zest into a large bowl. Pour over the syrup mixture and stir well. Tip out on to your prepared baking tray and bake for 45 minutes to an hour until golden brown. Stir every 15 minutes or so to ensure that it browns evenly.
Allow to cool completely before adding the dried fruit. This allows it time to stick together and turn it into granola, rather than just being oats and nuts in a sugary coating!
Add the fruit, mix well and stir in an airtight container.
I’m entering this recipe into Recipe of the Week…
To jelly or not to jelly? This seems to be a rather controversial subject amongst my friends with relation to trifle as I found out last weekend. However, I was in charge of making dessert so felt justified in making the decision not to jelly. Horrible stuff.
This very lovely recipe (it’s loveliness testified by the fact that at least two people went back for seconds despite having eaten an enormous Christmas roast dinner less than half an hour earlier) is based on Delia Smith’s one with the same name, I’ve just made a few changes based on what I had in the house/forgot to buy. I think this might be a perfect Christmas dessert alternative to Christmas pud. Definitely one for the grown ups only though!
For the trifle base:
5 trifle sponges
2-3 tablespoons orange marmelade
For the caramel oranges:
4 large oranges
The grated zest of one of these oranges
1 tbsp brandy
1 tbsp orange juice
2 tbsp soft dark brown sugar
500g ready made custard
For the topping:
275ml double cream
2 tbsp hazelnuts, chopped and toasted
First of all, cut the sponges in half lengthways, spread each half with marmalade, then put them back together into sandwiches. Spread the top of each sandwich with marmalade, cut each one into three, then put them in the bottom of a glass bowl.
Stab a few holes in the sponges with a knife, carefully pour the Madeira all over them and put aside for the sponges to soak it up.
Next, grate the zest from one of the oranges and keep on one side. Place the remaining oranges on a board and cut off all the skin and pith with a sharp knife.
Then, holding each orange in one hand over a bowl to catch the juice, cut out the segments by slicing the knife in at the line of pith that divides the segments (you need to cut each segment out with the pithy membrane left behind).
Cut each segment in half and place in a small bowl together with the grated zest.
To make the caramel, dissolve the soft dark brown sugar with one tablespoon of the orange juice in a small pan over a gentle heat. As soon as the crystals have dissolved, turn the heat up to caramelise the mixture: it is ready when it turns one shade darker and looks syrupy and slightly thicker than before.
Remove the pan from the heat and add the brandy. Pour this caramel mixture over the oranges. Leave to rest for around ten minutes before you strain the oranges, reserving the caramel juice. Arrange the oranges in amongst the sponge cakes in the trifle bowl.
Add the caramel juice to the custard and pour this on top of everything in the bowl.
Cover with clingfilm and chill for several hours before whipping the cream, putting this on top of the trifle and scattering this with the toasted hazelnuts.
Keep the trifle covered in the fridge and serve chilled.