Tag: Vegetarian

Mediterranean Veggie Wrap

Mediterranean Veggie Wrap

I’m officially half way through the term and therefore half way through the year!! I have no idea where that’s gone, all I know is that it’s crazy hectic and I’m having the time of my life. At the moment I’m gearing myself up for a 12 hour get-in in the theatre where I’m working on a play right now. It’s going to be a long week of very little work, very little sleep, but lots of incredible theatre stuff – so quick, wholesome dinners are what  I need to focus on making otherwise I will 100% live off snacks. These wraps are so easy to throw together, can easily be taken to rehearsals/lectures etc and are much cheaper to make yourself than to buy from a sandwich shop!

Recipe

Serves 1

Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 100g Halloumi
  • A few strips of Aubergine
  • 1/4 Red pepper
  • 1 Brown tortilla wrap
  • 1-2 tbsp Hummus

Method

  1. Put a large frying pan on a medium heat. Slice the halloumi into 1cm wide strips and then fry them in the pan for 2-4 minutes on each side until golden brown and crispy. Take the halloumi out of the pan and set to one side.
  2. Then take a peeler and make thin strips of the aubergine. Dry-fry the strips in the pan for 5-8 minutes, until softened and starting to brown. Leave to one side for later.
  3. Slice the red pepper into strips, then you’re ready to assemble!
  4. Put the wrap on a plate and spread the hummus evenly over it. Arrange the aubergine, halloumi and the red pepper on top (I find doing this in a line makes it easier to roll up!). Roll the wrap up and then serve!

Thanks for reading!

Emma x

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Lentil and Kidney Bean Bolognese

Lentil and Kidney Bean Bolognese

We all have that one vegan friend. You know, the one who eats falafel and carrot sticks and likes to remind you that they’re vegan? Well soon that’s gonna be me! My friend Kat and I are planning on going Vegan for Veganuary, however as that’s a pretty big step we’ve decided to work our way up to it by first going vegetarian and refined sugar free for November (bring on the hummus and carrot sticks!). I was veggie a couple of years ago, and so I’ve got a few recipes up my sleeve to start with like this insanely good Bolognese. This is something I made all the time way back when and I now make it way more than the beef version. It’s full of beans and lentils so it’s got lots of protein in it and as lentils can be kept in the cupboard for years you can rustle this up whenever you want! For any meat eaters out there who are thinking why make something meat-esk, just use meat, try this. It tastes amazing. You won’t regret it.

Recipe

Serves 4

Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp Oil
  • 1 White onion
  • 2 Carrots
  • 2 Garlic cloves
  • 500g Red lentils
  • 400g Chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp Tomato puree
  • 1L Vgetable stock
  • 1 tsp Mixed herbs
  • 500g Spaghetti
  • 400g Kidney beans
  • Chedda cheese, grated to serve (optional)
  • Fresh Basil to serve (optional)

Method

  1. Put the oil into a large saucepan. Peel and then finely dice the onions and then add them to the oil. Place over a medium-high heat and fry until starting to caramelise.
  2. Peel the carrots and garlic cloves and then dice them. You want the carrots in chunks and the garlic to be finely diced. Add to the onions, mix and then fry for another 2-3 minutes until soft.
  3. Put the lentils, chopped tomatoes, tomato puree and vegetable stock into the pan and leave to simmer for 15-20 minutes until the lentils have cooked through.
  4. Meanwhile put another pan of water on a high heat for the spaghetti. Bring to the boil and then add the spaghetti and cook to the packet’s instructions (normally about 10 minutes).
  5. Add the mixed herbs, kidney beans to the bolognese mix and leave to simmer for another 3-5 minutes.
  6. Drain the spaghetti and serve with the bolognese, grated cheese and a little basil!

Thanks for reading!

Emma x

 

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Mediterranean Lunch Bowl

Mediterranean Lunch Bowl

There’s this big vegan food trend at the moment in the food-sphere which is big bowls full of bits and bobs, making up a delish lunch. I think the key idea is that they create a balanced, interesting, healthy bowl of goodness which will also fill you up. As I’ve got really into Mediterranean cooking recently I thought I’d do a bowl full of med veg and bites! As with most things, all the items in here are easily mixed and matched, so anything you like/don’t like you can substitute in/out. In this one I’ve got some spicy couscous, aromatic roast aubergine, crispy kale, and hummus, all served with pita bread and salad to mix with everything. Portion wise this does make a hearty lunch for one, but you could always add in some more salad and it’d easily do a good lunch for two.

Recipe

Serves 1

Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 Aubergine
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp Zaartar spice blend
  • 30g Couscous
  • 1/2 tsp Rasel Hanout spice blend
  • A handful of curly kale
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • A large pinch of salt
  • 1 Pita bread (or other flatbread)
  • 1/2 Red pepper
  • 2cm Cucumber
  • 3 Cherry tomatoes
  • A handful of salad leaves
  • 5g Feta cheese
  • 2 tbsp Hummus
  • A pinch of Smoked paprika

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180˚C.
  2. Slice the ends off the aubergine, then halve it and chop it into slices.
  3. Put the aubergine into a roasting tin, drizzle over 1 tbsp of the oil, sprinkle with the zaatar spices and season with a little salt. Then roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes until soft.
  4. Meanwhile prep the couscous. Put the couscous into a bowl with the rasel hanout spices and pour over boiling water according to the packet’s instructions. Leave to soak and then break up with a fork, season with salt, and set to one side.
  5. Now prep the kale. Put the kale into a roasting tin. Drizzle over the 1 tbsp of the oil, then sprinkle over the salt and sugar.
  6. Mix everything together and then put the kale into the oven to cook for 10-15 minutes until crispy. The kale will go from crisp to burnt really quickly so keep a close eye on it.
  7. Put the flatbread onto a tray and put it into the oven to warm up.
  8. Whilst waiting for everything to cook/warm up, prep the salad.
  9. Begin by de-seeding the pepper and then chop it into strips. Then halve and quarter the cucumber lengthways before chopping it into chunks. Then chop the tomatoes into quarters.
  10. Put the salad leaves, tomatoes, cucumber and feta into a bowl and mix together.
  11. Take the bread out of the oven and use kitchen scissors to chop it up into strips.
  12. When everything’s ready start to plate. Begin by spooning the couscous onto the bowl/plate in a mound. Then work clockwise round the bowl, piling up the salad leaves, bread strips, kale, aubergine and then the red pepper strips. Finish off with a dollop of the hummus in the centre and then sprinkle a little paprika over the hummus to add some extra heat. Serve and enjoy!

Thanks for reading!

Emma x

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Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Homemade Passata

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Homemade Passata

The first time I had gnocchi was in Sorrento in Italy and it was one of the most delicious things I’ve ever eaten. We were in a very Italian restaurant in the middle of the town, with red chequered table cloths and plastic tables, and as the Italians eat a lot later than we do we were the only ones in there at the time. I remember being served this very simple-looking bowl of potato dumplings with a basic tomato sauce and a little sprinkle of parmesan, so it didn’t look like much, but the taste of it was just perfection in a bowl.

Every time I go back to Italy now I always order gnocchi, and it never fails to impress. Not to mention the incredible passata (aka tomato sauce) they can make over there to go with it. If you’ve been following my other posts you’ll know by now I’m obsessed with Italian tomatoes. Apparently the volcanic soil makes them super good, and it’s really true! Whilst we don’t have tomatoes like that here, I find that a way of making the most of what we do have is to make your own homemade tomato passata, which will always taste so much better than the ones you buy in shops.

It’s a bit weird that it’s taken me this long to get round to making my own gnocchi, especially as it’s a lot easier than you’d think to make and it’s really tasty. These are slightly different to the traditional as they’re made with sweet potato, which makes them slightly heavier than the normal potato gnocchi, but it also gives them a really rich, sweet flavour, which works really well with the sauce! This recipe makes quite a lot of gnocchi, so if you can’t get through it all in one sitting you can blanch it (as in step 6) and then put it in an airtight pot in the fridge for up to 48 hours before carrying on and frying it.

Recipe

Serves 6

Time: 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 2 Medium sized Sweet potatoes (about 500g)
  • A sprinkle of Salt
  • 300g Pasta flour (plus extra for dusting)
  • 50g Unsalted butter

For the Passata:

  • 1 Small white onion
  • 2 Garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • 8 Beef tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp Sundried tomato paste
  • 2 tsp Mixed herbs

To serve:

  • 2 Balls of Mozerella
  • 4 Handfuls of Baby spinach
  • A few leaves of Basil

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180˚C.
  2. Put the potatoes onto a baking tray and sprinkle over the salt. Leave to roast in the oven for about an hour until soft. Cut in half and then leave to cool.
  3. Once cool enough to handle, scoop the flesh out of the potatoes with a spoon. (The skins aren’t used in this recipe, but keep them as they’re great for making crispy, stuffed potato skins!)
  4. Mash the potato flesh with a fork so it becomes smooth. Season with a little salt and pepper and then slowly add the flour, squeezing he dough with your hands to make a pliable dough.
  5. Divide the dough in half and roll each half into a thin sausage, about 60cm long. Cut the lengths into little pillow shapes about 2cm wide.
  6. Bring a pan of water to the boil. Drop the gnocci into the water and boil for a couple of minutes to blanch them. Normal potato gnocchi will rise to the surface when ready, but these are a little heavier so they might not. Scoop the gnocchi out of the water and place on a plate to cool.
  7. Now make the passata. Peel and finely chop the onion and garlic. Put the oil into a pan and heat gently. Add the chopped onion and garlic and fry, stirring occasionally, for a few minutes until the mixture starts to caramelise.
  8. Then chop the beef tomatoes into chunks and add them to the onions. Stir in the sundried tomato paste, mixed herbs and a little salt and pepper to season. Then leave to simmer on a medium heat for about 15 minutes, until the tomatoes have gone mushy and the mixture has begun to reduce down.
  9. You can leave your passata like this, but if you’d prefer it to be smooth take a hand-blender and puree the passata to make a smooth sauce. Taste again and season the sauce if needed. Then keep warm until the gnocchi is ready.
  10. Put the butter into a large frying pan and leave to melt. Then add the gnocchi and fry for 2-3 minutes. When one side is golden brown flip them over and cook on the other side. Once all the gnocchi have become crispy and golden-brown all over, transfer them to a plate and then serve with the passata, mozerella, baby spinach and a handful of fresh basil.

Thanks for reading!

Emma x

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Stuffed Aubergines with Feta and Pomegranate

Stuffed Aubergines with Feta and Pomegranate

Inspiration for my recipes comes from loads of different places – books, websites, social media, tv shows, and everything in between. The other day I was watching the new TV series with Nigel Slater about his trip around the middle east – a very good watch if you come across it by the way. I’ve never done much middle eastern cooking but I’ve always wanted to as I love those kind of flavours, so when I saw his stuffed aubergine dish on the show I knew I wanted to do a little variation of my own.

This is the first time I’ve worked with roasted garlic and I’m definitely going to use more of it in the future. By roasting the cloves the pungent garlic flavour is muted and instead a caramelised, nutty flavour is created, which in this case goes really well with the earthy aubergine. I’ve also used coriander here as it adds some bright colour and a bitter herbal element which works really well in the dish. However, I’m not a big fan of coriander, and I’ll admit that I picked the leaves out of my portion when it came to eating it, so if you’re like me and the mere thought of coriander makes you recoil don’t worry, it’s not essential to the recipe.

 

Recipe

Serves 4

Time: 20 minutes, plus cooking time

Ingredients

  • 2 Aubergines
  • 4 Garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 4 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1/2 Pomegranate
  • 100g Feta
  • 35g Runny honey
  • 4 tbsp Corriander (optional)
  • Salt and Pepper to season

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180˚C.
  2. Cut each aubergine in half and then score the flesh into a criss-cross pattern, being careful not to pierce the skin.
  3. Put the aubergines, skin side up, and the garlic cloves into a roasting tin. Drizzle over the oil and sprinkle with the salt. Rub this into the flesh and then bake for 30 minutes, or utill soft.
  4. Take a spoon and scoop out the flesh from the aubergines, being careful not to tear the skin.
  5. Take the skin off the garlic. Then put this roasted garlic into a bowl with the aubergine and crush it all into a pulp. Then fold in 2/3 of the pomegranate seeds, the honey and 1/2 of the feta. Season to taste with more salt and pepper.
  6. Spoon this mixture back into the aubergine skins. Crumble over the rest of the feta and then garnish with the rest of the pomegranate seeds and coriander leaves. Serve!

Thanks for reading!

Emma x

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