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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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.

pepper pasta bake

Love, Mrs Gardom

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Vegan Pesto Pasta Salad

Vegan Pesto Pasta SaladI’ve recently started a new job and Sam has been working loads so cooking excellent food and blogging about it has kind of been on the backburner this week! As lunch times are either just before or just after work I wanted to make something quick and healthy that could stay in the fridge. So I made my pesto pasta salad. I always make this for buffets or family parties because it is just so simple yet the taste and texture are awesome. These quantities are for a massive batch that you can shove in a bowl, leave in the fridge, and grab yourself a plate in a rush but if you want to make smaller portions, go ahead!

You will need: 200g Fusili, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 5 tablespoons of green pesto (I love pesto!), 2 tablespoons of sunflower seeds, a good handful of walnuts, 100g pitted queen olives and 25g chopped nuts.

Pop your pasta in a pan and cook (I cook mine for 12 minutes). When it is done to your liking, drain in a colander and leave to cool. Take a large salad bowl and pour the cool pasta in. First of all add your pesto and give it a really good stir with a wooden spoon. Slice your olives and add them along with the rest of the ingredients. Season to your liking (I used aromat, black pepper, and some basil) and make sure everything is mixed together.Vegan Pesto Pata Salad

And that’s it. A really gorgeous healthy meal that takes no time to cook and is a bit different from an egg mayo sarnie. It’s also vegan (hurrah!) but if you fancy you could put some chunks of mozzarella or feta in. In fact, I am tucking into a plate myself now.

Love, Mrs Gardom

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Warm Mediterranean Salad

DSCF1518This is a really quick, healthy lunch that tastes amazing. It was my cousin’s wedding on Saturday (congrats Jenny and Nicola!) so we spent Sunday in bed nursing hangovers and eating pizza (even food bloggers need junky days occasionally!). So it was time for a healthy lunch – this salad is full of flavour and a nice detox lunch!

You will need: a handful of black olives, mixed salad, 100g feta cheese, 1 small courgette, 125g cherry tomatoes, 3 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons mixed herbs, 1 teaspoon chilli flakes

DSCF1512Chop up courgettes into bitesized chunks, half the black olives and the tomatoes. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan, add the mixed herbs and chilli flakes and cook for 5 minutes. Toss the courgettes in the oil and heat for 3 minutes, add the tomatoes and olives and cook for another 5 minutes, add the feta, keep tossing everything in the pan and once the feta has started to melt turn off the heat. Place your salad leaves onto the plate and pour your warm veggies onto it. Drizzle the leftover olive oil onto the salad for a bit of extra flavour – crumble a little extra feta on top.DSCF1516

A lovely healthy lunch – packed with Mediterranean tastes and veggie goodness in less than 20 minutes. The sun is shining, summer’s on the way and this is the perfect dish to get you in the mood!

Love, Mrs Gardom

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Grandma’s Lentil Soup

2014-02-20 17.17.56My Grandad is a butcher, so vegetarian cooking isn’t the most established tradition at my grandparents house but my Grandma makes the best veggie lentil soup whenever I’m there. It’s completely vegan, it’s full of goodness and has barely any fat. The slow cooking on a low heat really brings out the flavours and this is a lovely lunch.

You will need: 2 pints vegetable stock (my Grandma swears by organic stock cubes but it’s up to you), 1 cup of lentils, 1 large carrots, 1 large onion, 1 large potato, salt, pepper and mixed herbs.

2014-02-20 17.19.07Pour the stock into a large saucepan on a low heat. Peel your veggies, dice the onion and potato and slice your carrots. Add the carrots, lentils and onion to the pan. Cook on a low heat for an hour. Add the diced potato after an hour and leave to cook for another half hour. Season with slat, pepper and a big pinch of mixed herbs and serve.

2014-02-20 17.19.38This is a dead simple recipe, you just need a bit of time to let it cook. I’ve made this for my friends, my in laws, and obviously Sam and they all love it. It is a proper old fashioned soup, almost like a broth – absolutely full of flavour and so healthy.

Love, Mrs Gardom

 

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Broccoli and Cashew Soup

20140211_151220There is a tiny vegetarian cafe in my hometown and they made the best soup. I tried their broccoli and cashew (which seemed like an odd combination) and loved it so decided to make my own. This is one of those recipes that I make all the time for lunch – really healthy and full of flavour.

You will need: a whole broccoli, one large potato, one and a half pints of vegetable stock, one onion, three garlic cloves, oil and 100g roasted cashew nuts.

Dice the onion and the garlic and fry in some vegetable oil for about 5 minutes. Add the stock. Peel your potatoes and chop into small chunks and add to the pan. Chop your broccoli into chunks and add that as well. 20140211_135243Bring everything to the boil and then simmer for 10 minutes. Add the cashew nuts and cook for another 10 minutes. Blitz the soup in a blender until it is a thick consistency. I think the flavour from the stock is enough but if you want to add salt and pepper feel free (if you are using salted cashew nuts I wouldn’t recommend adding more salt). Let the soup cook for another 5 minutes and serve with some chunky bread.20140211_145909

This is a great soup, dead simple to make and very good for you. The cashew nuts add a really interesting flavour and it makes a nice filling lunch. It’s also completely vegan.

Love, Mrs Gardom

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Mum’s Mushroom Soup

20140206_172106My Mum makes the absolute best mushroom soup – it’s from a really old cookbook, with a fallen off spine and splashes on the page. This is the recipe – creamy, tasty and fab!

You will need 1oz butter, 1 onion, 1 garlic clove, 2 tbsp flour, 1 1/4 pint vegetable stock, 6oz mushrooms, 2 egg yolks and 2fl oz milk.

Melt the butter in a pan, dice your onions, crush the garlic and cook them in the butter.

20140206_162830Cook the onions and garlic til soft and stir in the flour. Cook for a minute and add the stock, stir til it has all blended in and then bring to the boil. Slice all your mushrooms and add to the pan.

20140206_164047Take the pan off the heat and blend the soup with a hand blender. Separate your eggs and add the egg yolks to the soup, add the milk and stir everything together. Season your soup with salt and pepper and cook for 10 minutes. 20140206_164830

There we go, this is a really lovely recipe – nice and comforting. Serve with crusty bread and lots of butter

Love, Mrs Gardom

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