I love garlic mushrooms, there is something so rich and tasty and fab about them. But it’s always on the starter part of the menu wherever you go. Why can’t it be a main? I decided to rectify this situation with these slices of toasted baguette, piled with garlic mushrooms, covered in cheese and served on a bed of spinach. All in the comfort of your own home!
You will need: 250g chestnut mushrooms, 2 tablespoons butter, 2 tablespoons garlic puree, a handful of spinach, one baguette, mixed herbs, coriander, 15g grated cheese (I used a nice mature cheddar).
Turn your oven to 160 degrees, slice your baguette into inch thick slices and pop into the oven to warm up. Place the butter into a frying pan, add the garlic puree (use fresh garlic if you wish, but I like the slight saltiness of garlic puree) and stir to make a sauce, then add a pinch of coriander and a pinch of mixed herbs. Quarter the mushrooms and fry in the garlic butter for ten minutes. Take the baguette slices out of the oven, place the garlic mushrooms on to the slices and cover with grated cheese. Put back in the oven, on a low heat. In another pan, wilt the spinach for half a minute in a pan of boiling water with a pinch of salt and pepper, then arrange on your plate.
Take your slices out of the oven, place them nicely on your spinach and voila – a lovely restaurant quality dish that only takes a couple of minutes and is super healthy. And if you’re having a dinner party – this will really impress.
For some reason I haven’t put my recipe for curry up yet – I’m not sure why because it is one of my go-to dishes that you can pretty much throw anything fresh and veggie into. I like a nice strong curry, using madras paste, but if you’re not such a fan of the heat use a mild curry or tikka paste instead. This is the perfect meal for a saturday night in front of the telly, with a beer and some poppadoms, naan and chutney – awesome.
You will need: 1 onion, 100g lentils, 2 tbsp madras curry paste, 150g mushrooms, 1/2 courgette, 200g cauliflower, 1 tin chopped tomatoes, a handful of peanuts (and whatever else you fancy – chickpeas, raisins, aubergine – go crazy!), 50ml water and a little oil for frying.
Dice your onion and pop into a pan with a teaspoon of oil, then cook on a high heat until the onion’s soft. Add your curry paste so that it coats the onion and then add 1/2 tin tomatoes. Stir everything together, then chop all your veggies into good sized chunks. First of all add the lentils, leave for 5 minutes then add your cauliflower, then after a couple of minutes add your courgette, turn the heat down. Pop your rice in a pan of boiling water and simmer about now! Add your peanuts then your mushrooms, give it a good stir, then add the rest of the tomatoes and the water until the sauce is the consistency you like. Taste your curry, add salt if you fancy, then simmer for another ten minutes. There we go – serve with heaps of basmati rice, poppadums, naan bread, chutney and enjoy a proper feast on your saturday night.
Sausage rolls are one of those typically wonderful British snacks that you would never want to know what it’s made of, let alone make yourself. As a veggie, you are quite limited when it comes to pies and pastries so I decided to make my own version of sausage rolls – using feta, onions and mushrooms as a filling. These are lovely warm but make a whole batch so that you have some in the fridge to eat on a picnic – it’s still summer after all!
You will need: 700g Rough puff pastry – I made my own using Gordon Ramsay’s recipe on BBC Good Food – http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/2403/roughpuff-pastry- which was fairly successful but if you want to use ready made pastry go for it! 250g mushroom, 1/2 large onion, 100g feta cheese (any greek salad cheese will do), 1 beaten egg, salt to taste.
Preheat your oven to 200 degrees celsius. First of all roll out your pastry to about 5mm thick on a floured surface. Then dice your mushrooms, onion and feta, mix everything together in a large bowl. Chop your pastry into large squares. Place two large tablespoons of filling into a column in the middle of the square. Fold the top and bottom of the pastry square on top of the filling. Fold one third of the pastry over the filling, then the other half over that. Then gently roll the sausage roll on the surface to seal the pastry into a nice rolled shape. Brush the rolls with the beaten egg then place your lovely sausage rolls onto an oven tray. Pop in the oven for 20 minutes, until they are lovely and golden brown. Stab one with a knife to check the filling is cooked and then place on a wire rack to cool.These make a great summer treat, you could even make mini ones to serve at parties, or as aperitifs before a dinner party. You could also add some different fillings – but the mushroom and feta combination is really tasty and filling.
This is a great, indulgent no-bake cake. Lots of amazing rich flavours – fresh cherries, dark chocolate and crunchy granola. It’s a bit of a bodge recipe, chucking in handfuls of lovely tasty ingredients, you can add whatever you like – dessicated coconut, honeycomb, glace cherries, enjoy!
You will need:
350g dark chocolate, 120g butter, 2 tbsp golden syrup, 2 tbsp milk, a handful of – hazelnuts, fresh cherries, granola, raisins, and whatever else you fancy.
First of all melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of boiling water. When the chocolate has melted add the butter and syrup and stir everything together. Take the pan off the heat when everything has melted together. Add the milk and leave to cool while you chop the cherries into quarters and remove the stones. Add the granola, raisins, cherries and hazelnuts to the melted chocolate and then stir everything again.
Cover a 1 inch deep baking tray with cling film and grease it with butter. Pour the mixture into the baking tray and then pop in the fridge for 2 hours. Chop into nice chunky slices and enjoy.
This is a lot tastier and cheaper than shop bought cereal bars. It’s probably not the healthiest of snacks but it’s fresh, delicious and easy to make.
Soup is normally a winter thing in our house, but I decided to try make a summery soup this week. It has a lovely Mediterranean flavour, it’s a nice healthy lunch and is dead easy to make. It could also be frozen and kept for when you need a lunch quick!
You will need: 4 fresh tomatoes, 1 onion, 600ml vegetable stock, 1 tin chopped tomatoes, 200g red lentils, a teaspoon basil, pinch of salt, a little olive oil.
Dice your onion and cook until brown in a large saucepan with a little olive oil. Pop the lentils in the pan, then pour 3/4 stock over them. Bring to the boil and then leave to simmer for 30 minutes. Chop your fresh tomatoes into lovely big chunks. Add the tin of tomatoes to your saucepan and give everything a good stir. Simmer for another 10 minutes and add the fresh tomato, basil and salt. Stir, leave for 5 minutes and you’re done.
This soup tastes lovely and fresh, even though the core ingredients will be in your cupboards. It’s a good one to make when you’ve ran out of food as well! If you want to add some more spice, I would recommend a little paprika and cayenne pepper for a nice smoky taste. It is quite a simple recipe so add as much or little as you like.
Veggie burgers are one of those things that you always buy at the supermarket and pop in the freezer just in case, but they are ridiculously easy to make yourself. These ones are chickpea based, and seasoned with coriander and chilli flakes and they taste amazing. You could always make some up and freeze them instead of frying and save them for when the weather is hot and it’s BBQ time. These are a great, healthy alternative to beef burgers, and they taste even better.
You will need: 400g chickpeas, 1 egg, 100g breadcrumbs, 1 tablespoon oil, 25g flour, 1 teaspoon coriander, 1 pinch chilli flakes, bread cobs, lettuce and tomato to serve.
Blitz your chickpeas with a blender until they form a paste, then add the egg and mix everything together in a big bowl. Add your chilli flakes, coriander and breadcrumbs to the bowl and stir everything together again. Add 20g of the flour and the oil, the burger mix should now be nice and thick – almost like a dough.Next, cover your hands in flour, and form the burger mix into round patties. Add a splash of oil to a large frying pan. When the oil is hot place the burgers into the frying pan and squish so they are about 2cm thick. Fry for about 3 minutes, then flip. Once both sides of the burgers are nice and crispy serve with loads of lettuce, tomato and mayo in big tasty burger buns. If you’re hungry make some of my homemade chips, or serve with some nice oven baked mash.
There we go – ultimate veggie comfort food, that tastes good and won’t pack on the pounds. Feel free to season with whatever you fancy, or add some feta cheese or mozzarella if you’re feeling adventurous.
I’ve been trying to back into my cooking, lots of healthy greens in the fridge, lots of making from scratch. It’s getting nicer outside, so light healthy meals are a great way to enjoy it. This risotto just tastes of healthiness. It’s lovely and green and full of summer flavours.
You will need: 200g arborio rice, a teaspoon olive oil, about 6 asparagus sticks (are they called sticks? Or stems? You know what I mean), an onion, 500ml veg stock, 75g mozzarella (leave this out if you’re vegan), 300g curly kale.
Prep your veg, slice the asparagus into chunks and shred the kale. Pop your oven onto 160 degrees. Place the oil in a large saucepan and add your diced onion. Cook for 3 minutes, add the rice and cook for 1 minute. Add half the stock and stir, then add your kale and asparagus to the pan, cook and stir for ten minutes, adding stock whenever the rice looks dry.
Now pour the risotto mix into an oven dish. Make some little holes in the risotto and fill with little chunks of mozzarella. Sprinkle some kale on top – or goes lovely and crunchy. Then just put in the oven and bake for about half an hour. Check the rice is nice and soft and then serve.
This is a lovely dish, it doesn’t really need any extras but some homemade potato crisps would be nice. Eat this on a summer evening in the garden with a glass of pinot grigio – bliss.