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

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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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Melty Aubergine Bakes

2014-03-11 19.43.27You know when you are planning a meal and you realise you don’t have one ingredient? It always happens to me so I’ve learned to improvise. I’d already sliced an aubergine (but had no eggs) so I created these  – thick slices of aubergine underneath a tomato and onion layer, then covered with cheese and breadcrumbs. It’s dead quick and easy and doesn’t need many ingredients, have ago!

You will need: 1 large aubergine, 1 small onion, 2 big tomatoes, 2 garlic cloves, mixed herbs, salt, pepper, 25g cheese, 1 tablespoon cream cheese, 1 slice of breads worth of breadcrumbs, olive oil, 2 tablespoons tomato puree, balsamic vinegar and rocket to serve.

Dice your onion and pop in a big frying pan with a teaspoon of olive oil, finely chop your garlic cloves and add these. Cook for 5 minutes, chop the tomatoes into chunks and add these and the tomato puree to the pan. Add a big crack of black pepper, a pinch of salt, your cream cheese and some mixed herbs and then take the pan off the heat when the cheese has melted in.

20140311_190041Grate your cheese and mix it in a bowl with the breadcrumbs and a bit of pepper. Turn your oven on to 200 degrees. Chop your aubergine into 4 thick slices and place on a baking tray. Divide the tomato mixture between the slices and then sprinkle a big handful of cheese and breadcrumbs on top. Pop in the oven for 10 minutes.20140311_190545While that’s cooking, put your rocket on the plate and drizzle with a little balsamic and some good quality olive oil. When the aubergines are cooked put them on your salad and serve. Voila!

This dish seems really posh but it’s actually dead simple and doesn’t take more than 20 minutes. 1 slice of aubergine would be great for a starter and like always, add more cheese, or tomato if you like. It’s really healthy, cheap and delicious – what’s not to love?!

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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Goats Cheese, Mushroom and Caramelised Onion Quiche

20140202_184034I hate shop bought quiche, but I love my Grandma’s homemade quiche so I thought I’d try my hand at making my own. It’s sat in the oven now and it smells AWESOME! This is a jumble together of a few recipes, based on the contents of my fridge and cupboards – feel free to customize ingredients as you like!

You will need: 125g plain flour, 75g margarine, water, 2 small onions, balsamic vinegar, 125g soft goats cheese (cut off the rind if you have that variety), 100g mushrooms, 2 eggs, 150ml milk, olive oil, flan dish.

20140202_170312To make your pastry, pop the margarine and plain flour into a mixing bowl and rub together til it forms a breadcrumb like consistency Add 3 tablespoons of warm water and form the pastry into a ball. Put it in the fridge.20140202_173429Slice your onions into circles, fry in a little oil on a medium heat for 10 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar to the onions and cook for another 5 minutes. Slice your mushrooms and add them to the pan, cook for 10 minutes.20140202_174153While the onions are cooking preheat your oven to 180 degrees. Roll out the pastry so it will cover the flan dish and the edges. Bake this for 5 minutes in the oven.

20140202_173736Beat your eggs in a measuring jug, then add 150ml milk, mix it with a fork. Slice your goats cheese and then crumble it into the eggy milk mixture. Mix with a fork until it forms a thick creamy consistency. Take your onions and mushrooms off the heat and add to the mixture.20140202_174132

Take the flan dish out of the oven, pour the mixture into the pastry case and pop in the oven for 15  minutes. Turn down the heat and cook for another 30 minutes.20140202_174941Take your quiche out of the oven, slide a knife into the middle and check it comes out clean, it should be a golden brown colour on top. If the knife comes out wet, cook for another 5 minutes. Serve with a salad or just eat a slice for a nice lunch. This is a lovely dish, really nice flavours and a light texture.

Enjoy, Love Mrs Gardom

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Vegan Spicy Bean Soup

20131228_183431So it’s 2014 soon and we sat down and did the budget… eek! Looking at some money saving tips, one was to make batches of food and freeze them. I realised the only reason we ever get takeaway is because I can’t be bothered to cook, so yesterday I made a massive batch of spicy bean soup and froze it in tupperware, as a standby for a quick, healthy, cheap meal to bung in the microwave. This is one of those dishes I made using whatever we had in the cupboards, and lots of lovely spices. It takes a couple of hours to cook for all the flavours to come out but you just add all your stuff to one pan and leave to simmer, so it’s rather easy. It’s a bit hot so use less spices if you wish, but I love a good hot soup on a cold day. And in Liverpool in December, it really is cold!

You will need a tin of chopped tomatoes, 400g chickpeas (if you are using dried ones make sure they have soaked for at least 4 hours), an onion, 1 tin of mixed beans (I used one with cannellini beans, adzuki beans and flagolet beans), 4 carrots, 1 onion, 3 tbsp cumin, 1 tbsp cayenne pepper, 1 tsp chilli powder, 1tsp garlic salt, 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp salt, 1 stock cube dissolved in 450ml boiling water, oil for frying.

20131228_162722Dice your onion, peel and chop the carrots and drain all of your beans and the chickpeas. In a large saucepan, fry the onion in a teaspoon of oil until it is soft. Add your tin of tomatoes, then add the chickpeas to the pan. Then add your stock and the spices. One really good tip for buying spices is to look in the indian section of supermarkets, rather than buying the expensive little jars, you can buy 400g packs from brands like East End and Indus for about two pounds! Add the mixed beans to your pan and the chopped carrots. Bring it to the boil and then cook on a low heat for 2 hours until everything is soft and well cooked.

20131228_162517 Serve with a big dollop of cream cheese and some lovely chunky bread. This soup is ridiculously healthy, it’s vegan, if you want a break from dairy, and is full of flavour.

Enjoy, Love Mrs Gardom