Archive for the 'Verdure' Category

Cinnamon spiced squash and butter bean stew

cinnamon spiced squash and butter bean stew

cinnamon spiced squash and butter bean stew

First of all apologies for the long absence from the blog but work interferes with my experimenting in the kitchen big time! I am turning into a sad person: all work and not much play. Anyway, I finally managed to try something new last weekend: this lovely, winter warmer stew, straight from the Mildreds cookbook. Lovely served with rice or cous cous. A must for all the veggies out there. Continue reading ‘Cinnamon spiced squash and butter bean stew’

Puy lentil salad with roasted vegetables

Puy lentil salad with roasted vegetables

Puy lentil salad with roasted vegetables

Time to blog something healthy. I fear we have had too many calory laden things lately. As I was entertaining guests for Christmas I made this gorgeous salad courtesy of the  cookery book which my son’s lovely girlfriend kindly gave me for Christmas to add to my collection. Thank you Lucy!! It is called “Mildreds, the cookbook” and it is basically the recipe book of this vegetarian restaurant in London called…surprise, surprise, Mildreds (which is fab, by the way).  The book is full of really interesting, mouth watering vegetarian recipes. I can see me blogging more recipes from it. The good thing about this super healthy  salad is that you can eat it hot or cold and you can add goat’s cheese or feta cheese  to it, if you wish, thus making it a complete meal. I will definitely make it again. I didn’t follow the recipe religiously as I didn’t have all the vegetables, however I am sure there is room for variation. This is definitely something I shall make again…. Here is the original recipe, straight from the book. Continue reading ‘Puy lentil salad with roasted vegetables’

Courgette and feta cheese bake

courgette and feta cheese bake

             courgette and feta cheese bake

I have had much better luck with my courgette plants this year then in previous years when they looked sad and mouldy (see pic below of my happy babies!) so I had to come up with some recipes in order to use my beloved organic zucchini. I invented this simple bake using what I had in the house at the time: courgettes, eggs, flour, onions and feta cheese. BINGO! Really quick to make but so delicious! I’ve already baked it three times with success. As I invented the  recipe I’m kind of guessing the quantities. I’m sure that if you slightly adapted them not much harm would come to it. Do try it if you are in a hurry. Serve it with a nice salad. Voilà! Continue reading ‘Courgette and feta cheese bake’

Roasted summer vegetables

roasted summer vegetables

roasted summer vegetables

Let’s blog something healthy for a change… I love roasted vegetables! And this dish is really straightforward, pleasant to look at and also very tasty. Ideal as a side dish for a barbeque, a quiche, grilled fish or whatever takes your fancy. I let it cool right down and served it at room temperature. I think the flavours develop even more. The inspiration came from Jamie Oliver. Feel free to add/take away any veggies you want: courgettes, butternut squash, asparagus, aubergines, etc. I have made it twice already  in the last couple of weeks, varying the veggies combination. Lovely both times! Continue reading ‘Roasted summer vegetables’

Pumpkin, lentil and leek nut roast

pumpkin, lentil and leek nut loaf

pumpkin, lentil and leek nut roast

Hello everyone, and sorry for not blogging as often as I could but sadly, once the academic term starts, free time is at a premium! Still I must continue experimenting in the kitchen when I have the opportunity so here is this lovely recipe for you to try. I kind of half invented it. It’s a mix of several nut loaves recipe I found on line. Really tasty and not particularly difficult. Plus this is the pumpkin season so what better way of using them. I favour the pumpkins which have a more fleshy, dense texture, not the watery ones. I usually get these from markets and independent vegetable stalls. In supermarkets they tend to sell the watery variety.  Continue reading ‘Pumpkin, lentil and leek nut roast’

Broccoli, feta and sundried tomato salad

broccoli, feta cheese and sun dried tomato salad

broccoli, feta and sundried tomato salad

You must be impressed with me considering the amount of healthy stuff I have been blogging recently. Not a cake in sight for ages! What’s wrong with me, eh? Mind you don’t be fooled into believing I haven’t EATEN any cakes! I haven’t tried any new ones lately, that’s all. Anyway,  to continue in this healthy frame of mind here is a new salad I made last week, which was packed with flavours and one I am happy to share. Definitely a nice change from your average lettuce, tomato and cucumber salad. The original one, from the Cookie and Kate blog I have already mentioned, is made using raw broccoli but I thought they would be too difficult to digest so I parboiled them for a minute and a half. Still plenty of crunch but easier on the old digestive system. You can substitute the feta cheese with black olives if you wish it to be dairy free. Continue reading ‘Broccoli, feta and sundried tomato salad’

Baked mushrooms with ricotta and pesto

baked mushrooms with ricotta and pesto

baked mushrooms with ricotta and pesto

Here’s a nice, easy starter  or indeed a light lunch, for you to try. And very simple too. I used 4 large field mushrooms but it works really well with small chestnut mushrooms.  I really like mushrooms and this is an incredibly easy recipe to do. The reason why I decided to try it was that I had a bit of home made pesto left over. All you have to do is mix it with ricotta a bit of extra garlic, if you wish, some grated parmesan and presto! It’s done! The recipe comes, once again, from the BBC good food magazine. Don’t be put off by the not so very appealing picture. The taste is what you have to focus on, which is lovely. Ok, I know you can’t taste the photo but you have to trust me on this one. :-) Continue reading ‘Baked mushrooms with ricotta and pesto’

Spiced red cabbage

braised spicy red cabbage

spiced red cabbage

Welcome back, dear Candi! How I missed you… I did patiently wait for you return but I do confess it was beginning to feel like a monologue. Well …merry belated Christmas and a happy Boxing day to you and everyone else who reads this blog. For my Christmas lunch yesterday I made a nice roast crown of turkey (my vegetarianism took a bit of a knock) but also a nut roast (recipe to follow). Of course I also made lots of lovely vegetables to accompany them. One of them was the spiced red cabbage you see here, which is traditional to make at this time of the year.  My sister in law Stefania asked for the recipe so I thought I might as well blog it. There are many similar recipes around. I used one from Riverford, the organic farms website. I am not a lover of cabbage, I have got to be honest,  but I have got to say this way of making it is rather nice. The good thing about it is that you can make it in advance and eat it cold as well as hot. It keeps really well. The only problem is I slightly overestimated the amount we would need. I could probably have fed a battalion with the quantities I made! :-) By the way another nice variation on the theme this year in the vegetables department was with the brussel sprouts. Instead of the ones with chestnuts I usually make  I cooked them with caramelised onions and blue cheese. Yummy! Definitely a success!  Continue reading ‘Spiced red cabbage’

Caponata siciliana

caponata siciliana

caponata siciliana

This is a famous sweet and sour Sicilian dish which I had been meaning to make for a very long time and somehow never got round to do until recently. There are several versions available out there, depending on what part of Sicily they are from (please Carmelita don’t shoot me down if this recipe is not how you make it :-)) . The basic ingredients are aubergines, celery, onions, tomatoes, sultanas, capers and olives. But I have also seen it with peppers and pine kernels and a few other things besides. The version I have made was a bit of a compilation of  the recipes I saw on line. In some of them you have to salt the aubergines beforehand in order to make them expel some of their liquid. I didn’t bother doing that. Life is too short. Caponata is better eaten the day after you have made it so that the flavours get a chance to develop. Also it shouldn’t be served hot but at room temperature. I served it as a starter with some homemade bread but it could accompany a variety of other dishes and dips. Ideal for a buffet. It’s really delicious!  Continue reading ‘Caponata siciliana’

Green veggies stir fry with egg-fried rice

green veggies stir fry with egg fried rice

green veggies stir fry with egg fried rice

I don’t know why I don’t make stir fries more often, particularly now that I am the proud owner of a fabulous non-stick ceramic wok (thanks to a massive hint dropped in my husband’s ear before my birthday). :-) Stir fries are quick, they are easy to make and they are healthy. Not to mention cheap. Now, thanks to the aforementioned wok, I won’t end up with an almighty burnt mess at the bottom of the pan.  A massive plus point there, then! This recipe is from the mighty Hugh (Fearnley- Whittingstall. Who else?)’s River Cottage book Eat veg every day, which I LOVE.  I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is vegetarian. So many appealing recipes in there! In the book it  goes by the name of Summer Stir-fry but I couldn’t call it that, being November! So I re-christened it. Why not? By the way I have tried it with egg-fried rice as the recipe suggests, as well as with rice noodles. I liked them both. Of course you can add other ingredients like mushrooms, broccoli florets, cashew nuts,  prawns, etc..  and I might just do that next time. The only faff (if we can call it that) is that you have to chop all vegetables beforehand and have everything ready, which means stacks of little bowls/plates/chopping boards all over the place. Still, definitely worth the effort and the mess in the kitchen! Continue reading ‘Green veggies stir fry with egg-fried rice’