#Veganuary soup – Beetroots red pepper and mustard

Beetroots red pepper & mustard soup

Beetroots red pepper & mustard soup

Beetroots red pepper and mustard soup

Serves 3

  • 4 small precooked beetroots
  • 1 big red sweet pepper
  • A hand full of fresh coriander
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 tea spoon wholegrain mustard
  • Salt
  • Mustard oil

Method:

Peel the outer layer of the beetroots, rinse and roughly chop. Do the same for the onion, cut the sweet pepper and the coriander. Rinse all and place in a deep pan with 1L water or stock. I did mine just with water and salt to keep it simple.

Add 2 tablespoons of mustard oil and 1 teaspoon of wholegrain mustard. Cover and place on the hob to simmer for 20 minutes. This will allow the vegetables to soften.

 

To gauge that the soup is ready, taste the hardest to cook vegetable in the pot. Here it would have been the beet if they were not precooked. So, I tasted the onion quarters and sweet pepper.

Adjust the seasoning, take away from the hob and using a hand blender. Liquidise the soup to your liking.

I like my soup with bits in it and others prefer theirs smooth.

Beetroots red pepper & mustard soup

Beetroots red pepper & mustard soup

Serve with croutons or… potato wedges on a skewer.

Enjoy. x

See original recipe on my vegan blog here

#Veganuary mains – Creamy Spinach & garlic roast potatoes

Creamy Spinach & garlic roast potatoes

Creamy Spinach & garlic roast potatoes

Dinner for 2

Ingredients:

  •  150ml Alpro cream

    Creamy spinach ingredients

    Creamy spinach ingredients

  • 1 medium carrots
  • 200g bag of spinach
  • 2 white shallots
  • 6 small potatoes
  • 25g soya mince
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 4 Brazil nuts
  • 1 spring onion
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Groundnut oil.

Prep:

Re-hydrate the mincemeat in boiling water for 10 minutes, then sieve and set aside.

Ready to roll!

Ready to roll!

Wash the spinach and set aside.

Parboil the potatoes in salty water and halve them.

Peel and chop the carrot, garlic, shallots & spring onion. Keep them separated and leave aside.

Grate the Brazil nuts.

Method:

Preheat the oven at 180°C.

In an oven dish, place the halved precooked potatoes with 1 chopped garlic and spring onion, a pinch of salt and 1 table spoon of groundnut oil. Toss to mix well. Place the potatoes face down in the dish then, using the potatoes masher press the potatoes down to mash them a bit. Place in the oven for about 10-15 until they start crisp.

Crushed potatoes

Crushed potatoes

Crushed potatoes 2

Crushed potatoes 2

Crushed potatoes 3

Crushed potatoes 3

In the meantime, in a hot pan with 2 table spoons of groundnut oil, fry the shallots until brown, add the mincemeat with salt, pepper & garlic.  Stir until the mince starts to crisp. Now add the chopped carrot. Hope fully the latter has been chopped thinly enough not to take too long to soften. In this case, it took about 2 minutes. As all that starts to brown it adds flavour to the dish.

Now add the grated Brazil nut and the cream. Leave to simmer for about 3-5 minutes then, stir in the spinach, adjust the seasoning and leave to soften for about 2 minutes.

All this shouldn’t take more that 10-12 minutes and the potatoes should be ready by then. Serve.

This dish is the worst nightmare of a person with nuts allergies make sure none of them is around.

Enjoy!

See the original recipe from my vegan blog here.

#ChristmasScraps – The cheese board 3

HJ's Filo quiche

HJ’s Filo quiche

Filo quiche

(Also using left overs roast vegetables & bacon)

Ingredients:

Serves 6

  • 250g roast vegetables – Leftover
  • 3 slices of bacon – Leftover
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • 1 small onion
  • 100ml double cream – leftover
  • 150g mix cheeses – leftover
  • 100g cucumber
  • 100g leek
  • Garlic granules
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 4 sheets of filo pastry – (£1.39 for 12 sheets)
  • 25cm tart dish
  • 10g butter
  • Green salad to serve with.

Total spend: £1.39p

Method:

 Preheat the oven at 180°C

Cut the leek in half and separate the leaves. If the leaves are too large, cut them in half, length ways so they look like strips. Cut the cucumber in strips using a mandolin or potato peeler. Cut the bacon in strips too, grate the cheeses, chop the tomatoes and slice the onion as in the picture above.

In a bowl, add the grated cheese, the cream and 100ml water. Also add salt and black

Quiche filling 1

Quiche filling 1

pepper, garlic, mix, taste and adjust seasoning. Set aside.

Butter the bottom and sides of the tart dish and layer in the filo sheet crossing each leaf: the sheet are rectangular so if you lay a sheet one way, lay the next one across it as if creating a star or the British flag.

Once that is done, stretch out at the bottom of the dish, the

Quiche filling 2

Quiche filling 2

leek and cucumber strips, spread the roast vegetables, the

bacon and then the tomato. Pour over it the cheese and cream mix, then the onion slices. Give it a slight shake then fold inward to the ends of the filo sheets. Brush butter over the filo ends before placing the quiche in the middle tray of the oven.

Bake for 50 minutes at 180°C.

Quiche filling 3

Quiche filling 3

Quiche filling 4

Quiche filling 4

Cooked quiche 1

Cooked quiche 1

Cooked quiche 2

Cooked quiche 2

Quiche serving suggestion

Quiche serving suggestion

Leave to cool down a bit before serving. I served mine with a spinach and cherry tomato salad.

To see the whole leftover series, type #XmasScraps #ChristmasScraps in the search box. You will also find ides for using leftover Christmas pudding, Turkey etc… Don’t forget to post your comments!

Happy Christmas.

#ChristmasScraps – Leftover turkey 2

Cocoturkey

Cocoturkey

Turkey & coconut milk stew

For 4

Ingredients:

Roast potato

Roast potato

  • 400g roast turkey (meat only) – leftover
  • 400g Roast potatoes – leftover
  • 400ml Coconut milk – 69p
  • 100ml stock
  • White pepper
  • 1 big leek – leftover
  • 3 celery sticks – leftover
  • 2 banana shallots or any onion
  • 2 garlic cloves

    Cocoturkey Ingredients

    Cocoturkey Ingredients

  • Thyme
  • Chili
  • Vegetable oil
  • Any bread to serve

Total spend: 69p

Prep:

Pull the meat off the bone and set aside (feel free to keep the bones of your prefer).

Cut down the roast potatoes if necessary. I used whole roasted hasselback potatoes (with skin) and had to cut them by 4. So, it is up to you. Try not to cut them too small. As they might disintegrate in the stew. Leave them to one side.

Rinse then cut the celery and leek roughly about the same size in length. Peel and quarter the onions. Peel and press the garlic set all aside.

In a hot large pan, heat 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil, then fry in the onion and thyme until the onion starts to brown. Add the turkey, the cut celery sticks, garlic, white pepper, chili flakes and salt then stir fry for 2 minutes. This will allow the former roast turkey to absorb new flavours and the celery will start to soften. 

Now add the stock, coconut milk, potatoes, stir and adjust seasoning before covering the pan to simmer the stew for about 10 minutes on high heat. Remember, both the turkey and the potatoes al already cooked… the more you leave the pan on heat, the more the potatoes will disintegrate…

Serve hot.  And enjoy with some slice of bread to soak up all the juices.

The coconut milk is very flavoursome, but the starch from the potato does a good job making the sauce less watery… If you’ got some coconut cream, use it, it will be a treat!

PS: Over indulgence is not good for your diet… Make sure you eat some salad…. Tomorrow!

Bon appetit

#ChristmasScraps – Leftover turkey 1

With turkey, like chicken, you can do anything you want, you can strip the meat from the bones and make a sandwich wrap, make it crispy and add it to a salad, or top a noodle soup, why not? With my leftover roast turkey, I made a vegetable stir fry, a coconut milk stew and a brioche sandwich… All quick and easy to make… See the first recipe below.

Turkey & Orange stir

Turkey & Orange stir

Turkey & orange stir fry

For 4

Ingredients:

  • 400g roast turkey – Leftover
  • 1 red pepper – 20p
  • 1 orange – leftovers
  • Thyme
  • 3 spring onions -10p
  • 250g chestnut mushrooms – £1
  • Dry garlic
  • Chili flakes
  • Black & green olives – leftovers
  • Butter

Total spent: £1.30

Prep:

Remove the meat off the bone and cut as big or small as you wish.

Pulled meat - Turkey leg

Pulled meat – Turkey leg

Rinse and cut the mushrooms as your mood dictates. Keep separate. Slice the red pepper, remove the seeds and cut as you wish. Do the same for the spring onion.

Cut 4 large peels of orange and 3-4 slices of the peeled orange.

Measure a handful of black and green olive and rinse the vinegar off them.

The idea of this dish came out of a Cuban menu I made earlier this year. The final taste will have a very slight bitterness with a hint of orange.

Method:

Heat a large enough pan with 30g of butter, in it, fry the orange peels for 2 minutes, then add thyme and the turkey. Dry fry until the turkey starts to brown. This should take 4-5 minutes for all the pieces to start being crispy.

Add the mushrooms with chili flakes, dry garlic, salt and stir fry for 5 minutes allowing the water that came out of the mushrooms to dry out again. Now add the spring onion, pepper, olives, and orange slices. Toss stir continuously until the pepper softens.

It should take 5 minutes. Aside from the mushrooms, the red pepper is the only element in this dish that would take long to soften. Once

the hardest vegetable is soft, then the dish is ready.

Turkey and Orange Stir with Duchesse

Turkey and Orange Stir with Duchesse

Remember to remove most of the orange slices and peels to avoid the dish being more bitter than necessary.

Once it is done, remove from heat and allow to seat few minutes before serving

Turkey and Orange Stir with Dauphines

Turkey and Orange Stir with Dauphines

I served mine with some Pommes Duchesse (piped mash potato) and Pommes Dauphines (deep fried).

More leftovers Turkey ideas here and here.

#TurkishByHJ – Kıymalı Fasulye-Ispanak

Kıymalı Fasulye-Ispanak

Kıymalı Fasulye-Ispanak

Mains for 5 people

This Turkish main that consist of meat & either beans (Fasulye) or spinach (Ispanak). It is ideally served with rice cooked in butter, but I am service mine with wheat which is much firmer.

 Ingredients:

  • 300g flat beans (50p)

    Kıymalı ingredients

    Kıymalı ingredients

  • 300g spinach (40p)
  • 1 tinned of chopped tomato (50p)
  • 1 red onion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 800g lamb chops (£4.00)
  • Oregano
  • Fresh Mint (50p)
  • Fresh coriander (50p)
  • 3 Turkish peppers (25p)

    Raw wheat grains

    Raw wheat grains

  • Paprika
  • Chilli flakes
  • Black pepper
  • Salt
  • Ground Cumin
  • Vegetable oil.
  • Pomegranate (50p)
  • Natural yogurt (45p)

£7.60

Accompaniment:

  • 500g wheat (99p)
  • 50g butter
  • 25g onion

Total cost for the main £8.59 or £1.71 per person.

All the above ingredients were necessary as I tried to make this dish as authentic as possible. The most costly item on the list was the lamb chops, found in Iceland. For even lower budget, revert to chicken which can be bought from £2.00. The yogurt and pomegranates are also extra and often found in Turkish mains. Both are not really necessary. Instead of wheat, I could have stuck to rice or barley which are half the price of wheat. Excluding the yogurt and Pomegranate well as using chicken wings instead of lamb and rice instead of wheat would have bought the main’s cost down to around £5.15

Method:

Rinse and cut the lamb chops in smaller pieces big enough to be a mouth full. Place in a bowl. Peel & press the garlic over the lamb then add black pepper and salt. Mix well and set aside.

Lamb cuts

Lamb cuts

Rinse the flat beans, cut off the extremities and cut them in pieces of about 3cm in length. Do the same for the Turkish peppers and set aside. The Turkish pepper are much more flavourful than your regular green sweet peppers and they are not hot.

Cut off the spinach leaves from their stalks, rinse the leaves individually before roughly cutting them. Set aside. I used the large spinach leaves.

Peel and chop the onion, set aside. Pick off about 15 leaves of mint and a hand full of fresh coriander, rinse and chop finely. Set aside.

In a large sauce pan, heat 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil, add the meat and fry for 5 minutes turning the pieces of meat until all sides are browned. Now add ¾ of the chopped onion, mix and cover the pan. Allow the meat to sweat for 10 minutes.

Flat bean and Turkish pepper cut

Flat bean and Turkish pepper cut

Now, add tomato, cumin, paprika, chilli flakes, oregano, mint, coriander and 100ml water. Mix well, taste and adjust seasoning before covering to simmer for 20 minutes.

Halfway through the 20 minutes, add the flat beans & Turkish peppers, stirs and cover again. At the end of the 20 minutes, add the spinach stir well and cover to simmer for another 5 minutes.

By the time the spinach are softened, the meat would have been cooking for 45 minutes in total, so it should be really tender and almost falling off the bone.

Steaming Kıymalı

Steaming Kıymalı

Now on to the Wheat. The Turkish would have served the meat above with a Sade Pilavi, which means rice fried in butter, then cooked with stock… Please read the Wiki page about Turkish food, such an interesting mix of flavours and techniques. I am not using rice obviously, but I am cooking my wheat in the “Sade” way.

Rinse off the starch from the wheat, set aside. In a big enough pan with a lid, heat 50g butter and add the chopped onion. Until it starts to caramelise. Now add the wheat with a pinch of salt and stir fry for about 5 minutes to obtain a very slightly toasty smell (or burn if you will) coming from the pan.

Close up cooked wheat

Close up cooked wheat

Now pour over it 500ml of stock and cover to simmer for 30 minutes.  You will need to open the pan very often to check the water levels and add more water until the wheat softens.

Now. Wheat does not soften to the level of rice and can be very chewy, if you have never used it, after cooking it for 20-25 minutes you should be able to eat it without too much efforts.

Wheat is a great alternative to rice.

I server mine hot, topped with the Lamb Kıymalı with yogurt and fresh pomegranates jewels.

I chose to use the pomegranates instead of dry fruits because they are less sweet and bring much colour to the plate.

Kıymalı Fasulye-Ispanak serve with sade wheat , natural yogurt and pomegranate

Kıymalı Fasulye-Ispanak serve with sade wheat , natural yogurt and pomegranate

Enjoy!

To read how I came up with the menu read here… Other elements from this Turkish menu include a meze with Babaganoush, beans hummus, flat bread, cabbage dolma & tomato/almond dip

#Whats4Lunch – The hot combos 5

Waste not!

Waste not!

Leftover vegetables – Waste not (Total spent 0p)

Ingredients:

  • 25g red onion
  • ¼ red pepper
  • ¼ green pepper
  • ¼ orange pepper
  • 10 cherry tomato
  • Anti pasti courgettes
  • Anti pasti mix mushrooms
  • Chilli flakes,
  • Black pepper
  • Mix herb
  • Fresh garlic.

Method:

This is one of the easiest lunches that I do often.

It is an ideal way to use leftover or cut offs vegetables… usually if I am cooking for a dinner party and have cut offs I won’t be using them during the week.

In this instance, I had red onion, sweet peppers and cherry tomato. I sometimes have also carrots, parsnips or marrow left over… (This does not work for potatoes or plantains. So, do not freeze them

Unfrozen cut offs

Unfrozen cut offs

So, all you have to do is to chop the vegetables up and place them in microwave proof dishes with lids. Place those in the freezer until you need them for your work lunch.

The night before you use the vegetables for lunch. Take the bowl out of the freezer and leave the vegetables out overnight.

In the morning, drain the excess water, then top up with the antipasti and season with the pressed fresh garlic, chilli, sea salt, mix herbs, pepper from the grinder. Drizzle with flavoured oil from the mushroom jar. Place the lid back on the bowl and shake to mix.

At lunch time, just open the lid of the Tupperware and place it in microwave for 7-10 minutes max and enjoy as it or just with a piece of baguette.

If you were at home and using this same vegetables, just heat oil, add some fresh onions with fresh thyme before stir-frying the vegetables for 5 minutes on high heat. Either serve on a warm garlic & herbs. Would be great with marinated griddled pressed tofu. Yum.

That’s it.

Sorry forgot to take the plated dish.

#Whats4Lunch – The hot combos 4

Spinach, Chicken and potato

Spinach, Chicken and potato

Spinach & Chicken (total spent 30p)

 Ingredients:

  • 5 – 6 cubes of frozen spinach 30p – (1 pack of 15 cubes costs £1)
  • Leftover roast chicken – A thigh or a leg (a single ready cooked thigh cost 70p at Sainsbury’s rotisserie).
  • Black pepper
  • Salt
  • Garlic granules
  • Mix herbs
  • A pinch of stock cube
  • 1 tea spoon butter
  • Chilli flakes
  • Leftover roast potato – Or jacket potato

Method:

Put 5-6 cubes of spinach in a bowl and leave out of the freezer overnight.

Seasoning the spinach

Seasoning the spinach

In the morning, squeeze out the excess of water from the spinach and season the raw spinach with black pepper from the grinder, dry garlic, chilli flakes and salt.

Now use half of the butter and mix it up in the spinach before pouring it in the Tupperware and topping it with the chicken and the potato that you would have cut in smaller pieces.

Spread the leftover butter on the chicken before placing the lid on the lunch box.

Spinach, Chicken and potato

Spinach, Chicken and potato

When you get to work, place the lunch box in the fridge and at lunch time, lift the lid a little bit to let out steam. Place the box in the microwave for 7-8 minutes.

Stir the spinach from bottom to top to spread the juices that no doubt would have cumulated at the bottom of the lunch box.

Plate and enjoy.

All the unpriced can be found in the house and the spinach had to be bought specially. So, the total spent is 30p.

#Whats4Lunch – The hot combos 2

Petit pois lunch with smoked haddock

Petit pois lunch with smoked haddock

Mix veg petit pois & Smoked haddock (total cost 90p)

Ingredients:

  • 1 smokes haddock steak – 55p (pack of 5 cost £2.75)
  • 250g Frozen vegetables mix – 25p (1kg cost £1.00)
  • Mix herbs
  • Black pepper
  • Sundried tomato – 10p
  • Dried garlic
  • Flavoured oil from the sundried tomato jar

Method:

It can be very practical when you are thinking of work lunches to buy a variety of frozen vegetables. The other option is to chop the left over fresh vegetables and put them in Tupperwares before freezing them ready for when you need them.

And just in case you didn’t know, yes you CAN cook some meals in the microwave.

If you are planning on using frozen vegetables for lunch, first measure the quantity you need and defrost overnight.

In this case, I have measured up 250g of mixed petit pois, carrots sweet corn overnight with a haddock steak.

The next morning, drain the water then, rub the fish with salt, pepper, garlic and a bit of oil from the sundried tomato jar.

Petit pois lunch in the lunch box

Petit pois lunch in the lunch box

Now season the vegetables with herbs, pepper, garlic, salt and oil from the sundried tomato jar. Toss to mix. Place in the lunch box with the fish on the top and pieces of sundried tomato.

Keep your lunch box very well refrigerated as fish can be very fragile. Place this in the fridge as soon as you get to work.

At lunch time, all you have to do is flip your lunch upside down for a minute with the lid still on. This will allow all the juices accumulated on the bottom to flow back to the top and wet the vegetables and fish. Be careful to do this over the sink to avoid pouring the liquid over your shirt.

Now place the box in the in the microwave slightly ajar (the lunch box) and cook for 7 minutes… not a minute longer or the fish will be too dry.

And before you ask where the carbs are to top it all up? Note that carrots and sweet corns have nearly 20g of carbs per 100g, but also are full of vitamins and fibres. This dish has almost all the nutrients needed in a meal. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.

If you are still hungry after eating your meal, top is with a yogurt or a piece of cake for dessert. But the next time, measure enough vegetable to feel you up and avoid you spending more than necessary.

The great thing about haddock is that it is not as smelly as mackerel.

Enjoy.

Up next, baked potato and cheese.

The Barsotto (barley risotto)

 

Barsotto with Crispy mince soya and griddled spring onion

Barsotto with Crispy mince soya and griddled spring onion

For 6 people

Ingredients:

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 500g barley (55p)
  • 200ml Alpro single cream (£1.00)
  • 6 spring onions (45p)
  • 125g butter (soya butter)
  • 5 small green chillies (10p)
  • White ground pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 100gr white onion
  • Fresh thyme
  • 2 stock cubes

For the topping:

Trimmed spring onions

Trimmed spring onions

  • 50g soya mince (25p)
  • Black pepper & salt
  • Vegetable oil

Cost: 1 bag of mince soy meat costs £1.49/300g and lasts a long time as it is dry. Cost for this dish £2.35 or 40p per person.

Method:

Start by rehydrating the mince and make 1L of stock in the process.

Place the mince in a bowl with the two stock cubes. Pour on it one litre of boiling water and leave to hydrate for 10-15 minutes.

What this will do is allow the mincemeat to absorb a bit of flavour while hydrating and also, the stock will have as after taste of mince.

After rehydrating, sieve to separate the mince from the stock. Make sure to squeeze water out of the soya as it is a bit like a sponge and does absorb a lot of liquid. Set the stock aside and set the mince aside for later use.

Now in a pan with 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil fry the now rehydrated mince with black pepper from the grinder and salt. Fry until the mince become completely dry and brown. It will go through stages. The mince will first absorb the oil in the pan, don’t worry keep stirring. Then it will completely dry out then, start rendering back the oil it absorbed earlier. By the time oil starts to be visible again in the pan, the mince should be browning. The whole process will take about 10 minutes. Do not leave the pan unattended. You must continually stir. Once he mince is brown, remove from the pan and set aside for serving later. Do not cover completely as it may lose its crispiness.

Now onto the Barsotto.

Starting on the Barsotto

Starting on the Barsotto

In a pan, heat about 110g soya butter with chopped onion, garlic, chilli and the thyme at the same time. Vegan butter has more water content than the regular butter so, place the butter onion and thyme together in the pan for 3 minutes until the water from the butter has evaporated and the onion starts browning.

Now add the barley without rinsing it as we need all the starch to make the Barsotto creamier. So, add the barley, white pepper, stir and add the stock. Stir and place the lid on the pot. Leave to cook for 20 minutes. Check the pan every 5 minutes and stir to avoid the barley sticking to the bottom. If you have ran out of stock add water. And each time you add water, stir the content of the pan well to distribute the moisture.

After you have cooked it for 20 minutes, add 200ml cream stir will and cover for 5 minutes. Meanwhile wash the spring onions, cut the green ends and chop roughly. Add the chopped herbs in to the Barsotto, stir, cover and remove the pan from the heat. This is ready.

Now, griddle the spring onions stalks.

As they are already washed and trimmed, rub them generously with butter. Dust with black pepper from the grinder and salt on all sides.

Heat the griddle pan, make it really hot and line the spring onions on it. If it is hot enough, it should be smoking. The smokiness will add to the taste. Allow to cook 2 minutes and half on each side.

Heat the griddle pan. It should be very hot. Once it is very hot, carefully line all the spring onions on it.

If necessary, press them down to make use of the heat.

Griddled and ready

Griddled and ready

Only griddle the spring onions if you are about to serve as they do not taste good reheated.

Serve the dish as suggested topped with the crispy soya mince and enjoy!

Don’t forget to warn you guests about the whole green chillies. 🙂

Until next time!

 

Barsotto with Crispy mince soya & griddled spring onion

Barsotto with Crispy mince soya & griddled spring onion

See the starter and dessert for this vegan menu by clicking on the links.