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

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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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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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Spicy Carrot and Coriander Soup

carrot and coriander soupI just love soup but I’ve found myself sticking to old favourites – broccoli and cashew, mushroom, lentil (see the links at the bottom of the page), so I’ve tried a new one! I like soup with a nice hit of spice so this carrot and coriander also has a big spoon of curry paste. It’s really simple, you just need to cook it for a while, it’s also a fab orange colour so would look great if you were entertaining.

You will need: 2 onions, 4 large potatoes, 2 carrots, 1 tablespoon hot curry paste (I used Madras), 2 teaspoons coriander, a teaspoon butter, 600ml vegetable stock, salt and pepper.

Dice the onions and pop them in a large saucepan with the butter. After 3 minutes add your curry paste and stir so the onions are coated. Dice the carrots and add to the pan with half the veg stock. Bring to the boil, then simmer for ten minutes. Dice the potatoes and add to the pan. Simmer for half an hour then add the coriander. carrot and coriander soupStir everything together and simmer for another 5 minutes. Blend everything together until it is a nice smooth consistency, add the rest of the stock and stir. Higher the heat and cook for another 5 minutes then serve.

This is a gorgeous soup, really spicy, really tasty and a healthy lunch. It’s also vegan, but if you wanted to add some double cream you could. It will also freeze, if you put the leftover soup into tupperware.

Love, Mrs Gardom

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Red Pepper Pasta Bake

pepper pasta bakeSometimes it’s worth just looking at the fridge and deciding to put things together that seem fairly logical. This evening I made a lovely tomatoey cheesy pasta bake, with ricotta stuffed peppers we had in the fridge. I made this bake with slightly less sauce than normal, so the cheese flavours come through. Dead quick and simple after work, really tasty and healthy, healthy as always!

You will need: a tin of tomatoes, 1 onion, 3 garlic cloves, mixed herbs, 40g cheddar cheese, 100g ricotta stuffed peppers (or if you don’t have any, use normal peppers, mushrooms, whatever 🙂 ), olive oil, 200g fusili.

pepper pasta bakeBoil your pasta in a big pan for 10 minutes. Chop up your garlic and onions and fry in olive oil, add the tinned tomatoes and the mixed herbs, and give everything a good stir. Chop the peppers in halves and grate the cheddar. Drain the pasta and put it into a casserole dish. Add the sauce and toss everything together. Pop your pepper halves in the dish and add half the grated cheese then stir. Sprinkle the other half of the cheese on top of the pasta and bake for 20 minutes on 180 degrees.

Serve straight out of the oven in a big pile and enjoy. This would be a great meal for friends if you just double the quantities. Lots of Mediterranean flavours make a really great meal.

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Love, Mrs Gardom

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