I haven’t posted a recipe in a while, so let me tell you about what I made for dinner last night. It’s vegetarian, very easy, and delicious! The amounts below were enough for dinner for two of us plus leftovers for my lunch today. I have a lot of leftovers, so it could possible be stretched to 4 people. As always, I apologise for my terrible photos!
You will need:
1-2 garlic cloves (believe it or not, the photo below is a single clove)
Oil or butter for frying
Seasoning/herbs/spices of your choice
1 yellow pepper
1 tin of kidney beans
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
100g cheese (I used Cheddar)
Handful of salted tortilla chips
1. Chop or crush the garlic, heat some oil or butter in a small pan and then fry the garlic in the butter for a few minutes.
2. Add the bulgur to the pan with the garlic and cook according to the packet instructions. Also add seasoning/spices at this point – I used dried chilli flakes, black pepper, cayenne pepper and oregano.
3. While the bulgur cooks, chop your avocado and pepper.
4. Place the bulgur and garlic mix, pepper, avocado, kidney beans and tinned tomatoes in an oven proof dish and stir it all together.
5. Top with cheese then break up a handful of tortilla chips and scatter them over the top of the cheese.
6. Bake for around 20 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the vegetables have had a chance to heat through, then serve. You could also add a dollop of sour cream on the side of your portion – I didn’t because I didn’t have any.
That’s it. Easy peasy. You could easily adapt it as well… use couscous or quinoa in place of the bulgur. Use different vegetables (chickpeas or different kinds of beans like haricot, black beans, whatever you want… courgette (zucchini), aubergine (eggplant), sweetcorn). You could also add chicken or another meat (cook it first). It’s a really versatile dish!
Good morning! I hope those of you who celebrate Valentine’s day had a good one? We don’t really bother with it (except that one time Jan felt bad about ignoring our anniversary and got me flowers. This year I got chocolates for our anniversary, so not Valentine’s gift ;-)) so it was just a normal day. We both worked, then I did laundry and cooked. Jan came home at around 7:30, I ate at around 8 (he faffed around on the laptop doing work stuff and only ate the food I had placed in front of him half an hour later! Standard.) then we played Scrabble, in English, and I lost both times. How is he better at my native language than I am?! I had almost all vowels for most of the second game so I’m claiming that as my excuse! I did give him a chocolate heart in the morning and he shared it with me after dinner, but that was the extent of our “celebrating”.
Anywaaaay… you didn’t come him for an entirely uninteresting account of a random Tuesday in my life! Today I wanted to share a recipe with you, although it has so few ingredients/steps that calling it a “recipe” almost feels like an exaggeration… Remember that time I made pancakes with avocado and goat’s cheese spread? Welll, I liked the spread so much that I decided to make it again, only this time use it as a dip. And with sheep’s cheese, because that’s what I had. If you like avocado, goat’s/sheep’s cheese and garlic, you will love this. If you don’t like one or more ingredients or you’re vegan, I apologise. Come back another day for a post that might interest you.
Above you see an awful photo of dip. Apologies! There’s a reason I’m not a food blogger. Anywaaaay…
You will need:
1 pack of sheep’s (or goat’s cheese) – give or take
1 clove of garlic
Seasoning of your choice (salt, pepper, etc.)
Take all your ingredients (except the seasoning), place them in a container and mash them all together with a fork until mostly smooth. Season to taste – I used a little bit of salt, a LOT of black pepper and a pinch of cayenne pepper.
Serve with raw vegetables for dipping, or spread on pancakes (or crackers… or toast). Or just eat it with a spoon if you feel that way inclined 😉
We had it alongside bell peppers stuffed with bulgur wheat (part of the sheep’s cheese went in the bulgur mixture, but if I wasn’t using the cheese for other things I would have put the whole block in the dip).
Et voilà – world’s easiest recipe showcased in world’s worst photo (seriously guys… how do you all photograph food so well?!)
With all the ridiculously hot weather we’ve been having lately, the idea of cooking full meals is just not pleasant. The result: lots of salads for dinner! This one is probably technically more of an autumn salad as it uses apples, but since they’re available all year round these days it’s an easy one to make at any time and the fruit is lovely and refreshing on a hot summer’s day. Here’s the recipe:
Apple, Walnut and Cranberry Salad
100g lettuce leaves (I use lamb’s lettuce – I find it goes well with the walnuts)
100 g walnut halves
75 g dried cranberries
2 dessert spoons walnut oil
2 dessert spoons apple cider vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper
1. Toast the walnuts by placing them in a hot frying pan for around 5 minutes (or do them in the oven), then set aside to cool for a while. While they’re cooling, core and slice the apple.
2. Wash the lettuce and place it in a salad bowl, then add the walnuts, sliced apple and dried cranberries and toss everything a bit to mix it evenly.
3. For the dressing, mix together the walnut oil, apple cider vinegar, a pinch of salt plus black pepper to taste.
4. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss so everything is covered in dressing. This amount serves 2 as a side dish. We had it with marinated grill cheese, but I imagine it would also go well with pork (thanks to the apples) or grilled chicken.
As regular readers will know, I have recently been having some problems with my stomach. For over a week, the only foods I could eat without immediately being in pain were plain porridge made with water (yuk!) and plain couscous with a bit of spinach stirred in. Exciting, no? Towards the middle of week two, I started to feel able to introduce slightly more flavourful foods to my diet, so I decided to make some soup. Being already blended, I thought it would be easy enough to digest while allowing my taste buds to get some action again! I enjoyed the soup so much that I knew I would have to make it again. So when my stomach started playing up again yesterday (apparantly greasy fish and chips at the Irish pub weren’t its friend), I did, and this time remembered to record it for my blog. So here is my recipe for Carrot and Ginger Soup with Coconut Milk (completely made up by me – if there are similar soups already on the internet it’s entirely coincidence!). I apologise in advance for the crappy photos (even more crappy than usual that is). My camera is in the process of dying a slow and painful death…
Carrot and Ginger Soup with Coconut Milk
Ingredients (serves 2 as a main meal with bread) 5 or 6 carrots (750g) 1 medium potato (200g) Fresh ginger 1 tin of coconut milk Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Put some water in a pan and set it on to boil (or boil some water in the kettle and pour it into a pan) 2. Peel the potato and all but one carrot (two if they’re small ones) and dice them into small pieces, then place them in the boiling water and cook until soft.
3. Drain out the water then place the potatoes and carrots in a blender (or back in the pan if using a hand blender) and blend to a purree.
4. Return the purree to the pan and grate in about a teaspoon of fresh ginger – sorry I can’t be more precise with the measurement. I just chopped a chunk off and grated it! – (or stir in some powdered ginger if that’s all you’ve got – I won’t tell anyone), then season with salt and freshly ground black pepper 5. Place the pan back on the hob on a low heat and stir in the tin of coconut milk 6. While the mixture is heating, peel the remaining carrots then grate them into the pan. Once all the carrot is grated, stir it in and immediately remove the pan from the heat.
7. Check the seasoning, add more if required, then serve the soup along with some bread.
The step with the grated carrot is optional – if you prefer, you can purree all the carrots. Personally, I like the texture the grated carrot adds and I like to kid myself that it makes the soup more healthy because it ends up practically raw so none of the vitamins can have been cooked out yet 😉
This soup is gluten free, dairy free and both vegetarian and vegan, so basically perfect for almost everyone.
I bought myself a hand blender just after we came back from our New Year’s trip and I was dying to try it out, so yesterday I decided to make this Creamy curried carrot and butter bean soup from the BBC Good Food website.
I made a list of the ingredients I didn’t already have at home and headed to the shops directly from work. Once home, I logged on to the computer to print out the recipe only to find… no Internet! (I’ve since found it was a larger problem that affected 150,000 customers). I was already planning to improvise as the place I went shopping didn’t sell butter beans so I bought a tin of something calling itself “white beans” instead (they looked like haricot beans to me). I still wanted my soup – and of course to use my new blender – so I decided to make my own version, based very loosely on what I could remember of the recipe. And so I bring you my own personal Curried Carrot and Bean Soup.
For this recipe, you will need:
1 small onion, chopped
1 large or 2 small cloves of garlic, chopped or crushed
Some dried chilli flakes or a fresh chilli chopped small
400g of carrots, half of them sliced, the other half grated
1 large or a few small potatoes, diced
400g tin of white beans (haricot or cannellini)
About 200 ml vegetable stock
200 ml tub of cream
(This amount served 2 of us as a main meal with plenty of bread. As a starter, it will probably do for 4-6 people)
1. Fry the onions and garlic in some oil (I used olive oil) for about a minute
2. Add the chilli flakes (or fresh chilli if you have one – I didn’t) and fry for about another minute or 2
3. Add around 1-1.5 teaspoons each of curry powder, turmeric and cumin, depending on how spicy you like it, and stir well until everything’s mixed together
4. If the spices have soaked up all the oil, put a little more in the pan then add the chopped carrots and potato and fry for about 2-3 minutes, stirring once in a while
6. Add half of the tin of beans, stir in and fry for another minute or so
5. Boil the kettle and before making the vegetable stock pour a little boiling water onto any onion/spice mixture that’s stuck to the bottom of the pan. The stuck on stuff will come off and you can stir it in. Now make up around 200 ml of vegetable stock and leave everything to simmer for about 5-7 minutes until the vegetables have softened and most of the water has gone (I grated the remaining carrots while I was waiting)
6. Blend the vegetable and stock mixture to form a puree then return the pan to the heat (if you used a real blender, obviously return the mush to the pan first) and add just enough water to make it slightly runny again, although not completely liquid (about 30ml should do it)
7. Stir the grated carrots and the rest of the beans into the mixture then gradually add the cream until it reaches the consitency you want. I used all my cream, but you might not want to
8. Season to taste with freshly ground black pepper (and salt, if you like. I didn’t bother as I thought vegetable stock would be salty enough). At this point, you might want to add more of the spices (turmeric, cumin, curry powder) if the cream has taken away too much of the heat. Add some chilli powder too, if you like.
9. Heat the soup through completely, stirring frequently then serve with buttered crusty bread (or if, like me, you forgot to buy decent crusty bread, with toast…)
This ended up being a really tasty meal. I liked the way the grated carrots and non-pureed beans gave it some texture while the blended ingredients and the stock/cream gave it a soupy consistency in the background. Also, I was rather proud of myself for inventing my own soup recipe (albeit loosely based on someone else’s – looking at the Good Food recipe, it seems I didn’t actually remember much though…).