Cheesy Garlic Mushrooms

20141005_190719I 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.20141005_183334 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.20141005_185946

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.

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Enjoy, Love Mrs Gardom

Saturday Night Curry

veggie curryFor 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. veggie curryPop 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. veggie curryThere we go – serve with heaps of basmati rice, poppadums, naan bread, chutney and enjoy a proper feast on your saturday night.

Love, Mrs Gardom

Mushroom and Feta ‘Sausage Rolls’

20140817_203759Sausage 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. 20140816_114645Fold 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. 20140816_114758Pop 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.20140816_122314These 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.

Enjoy,

Love Mrs Gardom

Cherry Chocolate Fridge Cake

fridge cakeThis 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.

fridge cakeCover 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.

Love, Mrs Gardom

Tomato and Red Lentil Soup

20140612_122332Soup 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.2014-06-18 11.21.10 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.tomato lentil soup

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.

Love, Mrs Gardom

Easy Peasy Veggie Burgers

veggie burgersVeggie 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.veggie burgersNext, 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.

veggie burgersThere 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.

Love, Mrs Gardom

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Cinnamon Waffles with Caramelised Apple

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I haven’t been well recently so I’m sorry for the lack of blogging! However I did make some pretty awesome apple cinnamon waffles! These are the ultimate feel better meal – horrendously bad for you but oh so delicious. These would make a great birthday breakfast or a lovely pudding after a fancy meal.

You will need: 250g plain flour, a teaspoon of baking powder,  30g caster sugar, 475ml milk, a teaspoon of cinnamon, 2 eggs, 30ml melted margarine
For the caramelised apples: 2 apples, 50g sugar, 50g butter, 1 tablespoon cinnamon.

Place the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and sugar in a mixer and whisk them together.  Break your eggs into a jug with the milk in it and beat together.  Add to the mixer and whisk everything together until little bubbles start to form. Leave to stand.

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Turn the waffle maker on and when it is ready place a little bit of margarine on the plates to stop the waffles from sticking. Pour a ladle of waffle mix onto the plates and close the waffle maker until the waffles are cooked. Our machine has a light which says when they are done, check the instructions on yours.

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For the apples heat the butter in a pan until it starts to melt then add the sugar. Peel the apples and chop into slices.  When the caramel starts to bubble pop the apples into the pan. Leave on a high heat until the apples are soft – poke with a knife to check.

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Layer the waffles with ice cream and apples and then pour the extra syrup over the waffles.

This is a fab treat, if you have any extra waffles they will last for a couple of days.  The apples should be really sweet and tasty, with a crunchy toffee coating.

Love, Mrs Gardom

‘Morning Gorgeous’ Orange and Raisin Pancakes

orange and raisin pancakesSometimes you wake up in a great mood, when I do I like to cook something fab. Normally, I’m not a big breakfast eater, I’m usually running late or trying to get the rabbit into his cage whilst brushing my teeth and tying my shoelaces at the same time. But the other day I woke up nice and early, wasn’t at work til 1 and made these fab orange and raisin pancakes for breakfast. Because you use fresh orange instead of lots of sugar and raisins for fibre, these are actually quite a healthy breakfast. I like something light to start the day, and normal pancakes can be a bit stodgy but these are lovely and light and full of summery flavours.

You will need: 75g plain flour, 1 egg, 70ml milk (I use semi skimmed), 1 tsp baking powder, the juice of one orange, 50g raisins, 1 tsp sugar, 2 tablespoons softened margarine (plus some for frying).

orange and raisin pancakesWhisk your flour, sugar and baking powder together in a bowl. Pour the milk into a jig beat the egg, milk and butter together with a fork. Add the orange juice, I squeezed it directly into the bowl, so there are some nice pulpy bits in the pancake mixture, but just use the juice if you’re not a fan of bits. Then add the milky eggy mixture and whisk everything together. Stir in the raisins and leave to stand for about twenty minutes.

Add a teaspoon of margarine or butter to a frying pan, turn up high and once it has melted, use a ladle to spoon the mixture into the pa. The trick is to use small amounts to make nice small fluffy pancakes and pour slowly so the mixture doesn’t spread too thinly. Once you see little bubbles start to form in the top of the pancakes, flip and cook until nice and golden.orange and raisin pancakes

Serve with a drizzle of orange juice or just eat them as they are. This is a fab breakfast, not too heavy, nice and sweet and a great start to the day. Morning, gorgeous!

Love, Mrs Gardom

 

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Chocolate, Ginger, Almond Easter Cake

easter layer cakeI had my in laws up for Easter this year and wanted to make a really special dessert that would feed 6, 2 of which had given up chocolate for lent! I thought about warm puddings, cheesecake, torte, all sorts, so I decided to make a combo. This was a seriously amazing dessert, super indulgent, really tasty and just so naughty! A crunchy ginger nut base, a layer of chocolate torte, topped with an almond cream – this is a real showstopper. Make it the day before you plan to serve and don’t think about the calories!!

You will need: 1 pack ginger nuts, 100g butter, 300g dark chocolate, 700ml double cream, 4 tablespoons golden syrup, 3 tablespoons soft cheese, 50g ground almonds, 4 tablespoons cinnamon, 4 chocolate bunnies, cocoa for decoration.

First of all empty the pack of ginger nuts into a large bowl and crush them until they are like breadcrumbs. Melt the butter in a pan and add the gingernut crumbs to the pan, add the golden syrup and stir until everything is combined. Cut a circle of greaseproof paper the size of your tin and place it in the bottom. I used a large springform tin. Pour the gingernut mixture into the bottom of the tin and press down with the back of a wooden spoon to make a flat layer. Cover the top of the tin with clingfilm and pop in the fridge.

For the chocolate torte layer, break the chocolate into small pieces and melt in a bowl over a pan of boiling water. Measure out 500ml cream and the chocolate starts to melt stir in the cream, a little at a time. Keep stirring with a wooden spoon, add a tablespoon of golden syrup and 2 tablespoons cinnamon. When all the ingredients are combined, whisk in a large electric mixer until little bubbles start to form then pour the mixture over the gingernut base. Clingfilm the top of the in again and leave in the fridge for another hour.

For the almond cream topping add the rest of the cream to a large mixer and whisk until it starts to thicken. Add 2 tablespoons cinnamon, then the soft cheese. Keep whisking everything together, then add the ground almonds. I whisked my mixture for about ten minutes until it formed a lovely thick creamy texture.  Check in the fridge that the torte layer has set, it should be firm to the touch. Then spoon the almond cream onto the torte layer. Use a wooden spoon to flatten the top. Place your chocolate bunnies on the top and sprinkle with a little cocoa. Cover with clingfilm and leave to set in the fridge overnight.

Easter Layer CakeWhen you are ready to serve the cake, release the springform sides of the tin and lift it off. Place the cake onto a plate or a cake stand and serve!

This is one of the most complicated recipes I have created, it is also one of the best. I think it’s great to have a lovely, restaurant quality dessert for special occasions. The almonds, chocolate, cinnamon and ginger complement each other perfectly and this is a perfect Easter treat.easter layer cake

Love, Mrs Gardom

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Perfect Nut Roast

sunday roastI hate to sound unpatriotic but British food is notoriously bland, and a roast dinner is more British than the Queen wearing a Geri Halliwell Union Jack minidress. But it’s a classic and my version is neither bland nor boring – a tasty nut roast is how a vegetarian sunday dinner should be. It’s a healthy meat alternative and a great protein source.

You will need: 5oz mixed nuts, 2oz breadcrumbs, 2 small onions, 1 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp in marmite dissolved in 1/4 pint of  boiling water, 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice, 1oz butter.

To make the nut roast, dice your onions and put in a mixing bowl, add the breadcrumbs, then the olive oil. Stir together and then add your dissolved marmite to the bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl and stir everything, until your nut roast is a thick texture, like stuffing. sunday roastGrease a loaf tin and then cut a sheet of greaseproof paper slightly larger than the tin. Place the paper in the tin and then scoop the nut roast mixture into the loaf tin. I usually sprinkle some sunflower or pumpkin seeds on top of the nut roast for a nice crunchy topping but it’s up to you. You could also wrap it in shortcrust pastry and cheese for a special occasion.sunday roastBake your nut roast in a preheated 180 degree oven for 30 – 40 minutes. Test with a knife – if it comes out boiling it’s ready.

Serve with crunchy roast potatoes, fresh boiled vegetables, like carrots and broccoli, cauliflower cheese and vegetable gravy if you like. This is a great meal when you have friends or family over. The nut roast has a rich nutty taste and a great texture. This recipe would serve 4 so I usually keep some in the fridge for the next day and microwave it.

Love, Mrs Gardom

 

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