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Recipes

Vegetable Pie with Butterbean Mash

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Origin

I’ve been making quite a few Greek dishes, and I love the creaminess of beans cooked in olive oil. This recipe made me think of making the beans into the mash in a pie-style dish. I am sure you could vary this with a different combination of vegetables, depending on what you have available.

Ingredients

  • 800 grams (cooked weight) giant white beans
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 200 grams potato
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1 handful of dried mu-err mushrooms
  • 150 grams tinned corn, drained and rinsed
  • 250 grams mushrooms
  • 2 handfuls of frozen peas
  • 3 stalks celery
  • 3 large tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon seaweed flakes (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • salt to taste

Process

Soak the mu-err mushrooms for at least half an hour in cool water and rinse them well before using.

Soak the beans overnight if using them dried. Cook in a little water with all but 2 tablespoons of olive oil until soft. If you are using canned beans, drain and rinse them and add them to a pan with enough water to cover and all but 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add salt and fresh thyme and simmer the beans for half an hour. Drain the beans, reserving the liquid. Remove and discard the thyme stems.

Mash the beans, using one tablespoon of olive oil and some of the reserved cooking water. Add salt to taste. Set aside.

The reserved bean liquid should measure about four cups. Reduce it if there is too much.

Dice the potato, carrot and tomato and put them to simmer in a pan with the reserved bean liquid. Dice the celery, mushrooms and mu-err mushrooms and add them to the pan.

Dice the onion and cook on medium-low heat in a frying pan with the remaining tablespoon of oil until soft and just beginning to brown. Add the onion to the other pan, along with the peas and corn. Preheat the oven to 180° Celsius/350° Fahrenheit. Cook until the carrots, potato and celery are soft and the tomatoes have dissolved.

Add nutritional yeast, seaweed flakes, Worcestershire sauce and salt to taste. Drain the vegetables, reserving the liquid. Put the vegetables in a square baking dish.

Put the cornstarch in a small bowl and add liquid to blend. Mix the slurry into the pan. Let the liquid cook down until thick, then pour it over the vegetables.

Top the vegetables with the bean mash and cook for 30 minutes, until the bean mixture is just starting to turn golden on top.

 

Baked Vegetables and Chickpeas in Green Yoghurt Gravy

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Origin

This is a simplified version of the gravy used in the vegetable biryani recipe I use.

Ingredients

  • 500 grams potatoes
  • 5 tomatoes
  • 400 grams (cooked weight) chickpeas
  • 2 cups packed mint leaves (1 large bunch)
  • 2 cups loosely packed coriander leaves
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 2″ (5 cm) of ginger
  • 2 large onions
  • 2 green chillis
  • 2 teaspoons coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 500 grams Greek yoghurt
  • Mixed vegetables, such as:
    • 250 grams mushrooms
    • 400 grams green beans
    • 2 courgettes/zucchini
    • 2 romano peppers
    • … carrots and cauliflower are other vegetables which might go well in this dish

Process

Chop the mixed vegetables, onions and potatoes and put them in a large bowl. Add the chickpeas to the bowl. Dice the tomatoes and add them to the bowl as well.

Preheat the oven to 180° Celsius/350° Fahrenheit.

Grind the mint leaves, coriander leaves, ginger, chillis and garlic. Add water as needed to ensure it is ground into a paste. Mix the paste with the yoghurt, salt, oil and spices. Pour this paste over the chopped vegetables and chickpeas and stir to mix.

Put the mix into a large baking tray and bake, covered, for 45 minutes. Remove the cover and stir, then continue to cook, stirring at 15-minute intervals, until the vegetables are completely cooked and excess liquid has evaporated (about 45 minutes).

Add additional salt to taste. Serve with Greek yoghurt. You could also serve it with pasta or rice.

Warm Corn and Bean Salad

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Origin

I cooked too many kidney beans one day and needed to use the leftovers, so I made a variation of rice and beans with vegetables without the rice.

Ingredients

  • 400 grams cooked and rinsed kidney beans
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 teaspoons oil
  • 250 grams corn kernels
  • 1/2 green chili (optional)
  • 1/2 pimenton or other sweet red pepper
  • 1-2 teaspoons taco seasoning mix
  • 1 spring onion (scallion) – green part only
  • a few sprigs of coriander leaf (cilantro)
  • salt to taste

Process

Dice the onion finely. Heat the oil in a frying pan on medium-low and add the onion when it is warm. Cook the onion slowly until soft and beginning to brown, stirring frequently.

While the onion is cooking, chop the sweet pepper and the chili and set them aside. Chop the spring onion and mince the coriander leaf.

Add the sweet pepper and chili pepper to the onion. Cook until beginning to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the corn, kidney beans and taco seasoning. Adjust to taste with taco mix and salt. Cook just until the beans and corn are warmed through.

Serve garnished with the chopped coriander and spring onion.

Light Potato Cucumber Salad

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Origin

I tried a French salad which had a similar taste and tried to recreate it with significantly more cucumber and less potato.

Ingredients

  • 3-4 fingerling potatoes
  • 1 English cucumber
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • black pepper
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • salt

Process

Bring a small pot of salted water to boil. Boil the potatoes whole until they are soft, about 10 minutes. Rinse in cold water and set aside until cool.

Meanwhile, peel alternating strips off the cucumber and dice it. Mix it liberally with salt and set it in a strainer to drain.

In a bowl, mix together the yogurt, black pepper, rice vinegar and mustard and set aside.

When the potatoes are cool, dice them and mix them together with the cucumbers. Toss the potatoes and cucumbers with the yogurt mixture to lightly cover them.

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Date Muffins

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These muffins have whole wheat flour, wheat bran and butternut squash in them, but the primary taste is of dates. They are more easily removed from the papers when they are cool, but taste even better warm. These are not as sweet as cupcakes, but they are sweeter than bread.

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Origin

I used the recipe for brown soda bread as my starting point.

Ingredients

  • 350 grams (about 13 ounces) whole wheat flour
  • 60 grams (about 2 ounces) white flour
  • 3 tablespoons wheat bran
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup oil (I used peanut)
  • 4 tablespoons date syrup
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup butternut squash or pumpkin purée
  • 1 egg
  • 12 dates

For the topping:

  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Process

Preheat the oven to 160° Celsius/325° Fahrenheit. Line muffin tins with muffin papers. This recipe will make 18 muffins.

Mix together all the dry ingredients. Add the oil, syrup, buttermilk, egg and squash and stir until just mixed. Remove the date pits and tear them into pieces with your fingers, then mix them in the batter.

Scoop the batter into the muffin papers, filling about 3/4 full.

Mix together the cinnamon and sugar for the topping in a bowl. Sprinkle it on top of the muffins.

Bake the muffins for 30-35 minutes. Cool on a wire rack, or enjoy them warm with butter.

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These are best eaten the day they are made, or the next day at the latest.

Healthy Cabbage Mushroom Soup for Two

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Origin

I had no particular inspiration for this dish.

Ingredients

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 6 fresh sage leaves
  • 1 teaspoon oil (I used coconut)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 dried mu-err mushrooms (black fungus)
  • 4 chestnut mushrooms
  • 3 large (outer) Savoy cabbage leaves
  • 4 medium carrots
  • 1 tomato

Process

Set the mu-err mushrooms to soak in warm water. While they are soaking, dice the onion. Heat the oil on medium-low heat in a pot and put the onion in to soften. Slice the garlic and add it, the sage leaves, and the bay leaf to the pot. While the onion and herbs are cooking, dice the tomato and set it aside. Dice the carrots and set them aside as well.

When the onion is soft, turn down the heat to low and add the tomato. Let it cook down until it has completely broken apart, stirring from time to time. Meanwhile, trim the chestnut mushrooms and cut them into quarters before setting them aside. Cut the cabbage into ribbons, removing any especially tough stems. Set the cabbage aside with the chestnut mushrooms.

Deglaze the pot with a bit of warm water. Add the carrots and nutritional yeast, a bit of salt, and sufficient water to cover the carrots. Turn up the heat and let it come to a boil, then turn down the heat to allow it to simmer.

Drain and rinse the mu-err mushrooms. Remove any thick fleshy bits, then dice them and add them to the pan with the carrots. Allow to simmer without a lid for 10-15 minutes.

Remove the sage leaves and add the chestnut mushrooms and the cabbage. The liquid should cover the carrots and mushrooms but need not cover the cabbage; add extra water if needed. Allow to simmer with a lid for 15-25 minutes, until the cabbage is soft. Add the Worcestershire sauce and adjust salt to taste. Remove the bay leaf before serving.

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Blue Cheese-Pesto Pasta with Okra

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Origin

I used this recipe as my starting point.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 teaspoon cooking oil
  • 10 okra
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 100 grams pasta (uncooked weight)
  • 50 grams blue cheese (I used Cashel Blue)
  • 2 teaspoons pesto
  • salt to taste

Process

Bring water to boil for the pasta. While it is heating, wash the okra and trim off the ends, then slice them in half lengthwise. Heat a frying pan on medium and lightly brush it with oil.

Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the package. While the pasta is cooking, pan-fry the okra. Cook for 2 minutes on high, cut side down, then reduce the heat to medium and cook for an additional four minutes before turning them over. Cook an additional 4 minutes at medium heat, then add the lemon juice and toss to mix.

Drain the pasta and return it to the pan. Add the blue cheese and stir until it has melted. Add the pesto and okra to the pasta and stir well, then salt to taste.

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Serves 1.