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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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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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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Crunchy Cauliflower Crumble

DSCF1615Oooh, use of alliteration there, folks! This is a dead quick and simple recipe – super healthy, really tasty and a good sunday roast alternative. I love apple crumble and cauliflower cheese and this is a strange fusion of the two – it tastes good though, promise! Crunchy broccoli and cauliflower and baked mushrooms covered with crunchy cheesy breadcrumbs – simple! Also if you’re vegan, leave out the cheese and add a bit of olive oil to the breadcrumb mix instead.

You will need: 1 small cauliflower, 1/2 broccoli, 2 slices of breads worth of breadcrumbs, 35g cheddar cheese, 150g mushrooms, salt, pepper, Aromat, teaspoon sunflower seeds/pumpkin seeds (optional)

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees. Chop your broccoli and cauliflower into chunks, and pop in a pan of boiling water. Boil for 10 minutes (make sure they aren’t too squishy) and drain in a colander. Grate the cheese and then mix the cheese, breadcumbs, a pinch salt, pinch of pepper, seeds and a pinch of Aromat in a bowl. Chop your mushrooms in half and wash them.

DSCF1604Place the broccoli, mushrooms and cauliflower chunks into a casserole dish and pour the cheesy mixture over the top, make sure everything is covered. Then put in the oven for 15 minutes and you’re done!

DSCF1609You don’t have to just use broccoli and cauliflower – I’ve used potatoes and carrots for this recipe. As I said, it’s a really simple meal, but nice and hearty. Serve with crispy roast potatoes and yorkshire puddings for a great sunday roast or have it with a nice salad for tea, like we did.

Love, Mrs Gardom

Banana, Fruit and Nut Squares

   banana fruit nut squaresWell I thought my chocolate fudge traybake was a success so I decided to do another! I had some bananas in that were past their best (I like them when they are green!) so I decided to make a banana based cake. I must admit it was a bit of a throw everything in and hope for the best recipe, but it tastes great! Instead of just banana bread, these tasty squares are packed with raisins, nuts, maple syrup and bananas – awesome!

You will need: maple syrup, 150g sugar, 100g butter, 100g self raising flour, 25g plain flour, 3 overripe bananas, 40g chopped nuts, 2 eggs, 2 tablespoons milk, 50g raisins.

First of all preheat your oven to 190 degrees and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper, then pour a couple of tablespoons of maple syrup onto the greased baking tray (it makes the top of the squares lovely and gooey). 20140314_143136Mash the bananas in a bowl with a fork, till it forms a sort of puree. Cream your butter and sugar together in a mixer and add the eggs, banana and milk. Sift in the flour, add 3 tablespoons maple syrup, and mix it all together. Then add your raisins and nuts, mix together, and then pour the mixture into the baking tray. 20140314_143301Bake for 25 minutes, turn out on a wire rack and chop into squares.

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p style=”text-align:center;”>This is a really lovely bake, with a light, moist texture and loads of great flavours. And it has fruit in so you could even say it was healthy (I’m not convinced either!) Eat a slice as an afternoon snack with a big cup of tea, or drizzle with maple syrup and enjoy for pudding!banana fruit nut squares

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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Chocolate Fudge Traybake

chocolate fudge traybakeI was watching Mary Berry Cooks the other night and she made a chocolate traybake – I thought I’d have a go at my own, I’ve used elements of her recipe (Thanks Mary!) but added my own twist. Instead of the usual cakey texture, this chocolate traybake has a really chewy, sticky fudge texture, with a crunchy top – which I love.

You will need:60g hot chocolate (it’s a sweeter flavour than cocoa and fudge should be sweet), 3 eggs, 150ml milk, 1 tsp baking powder, 100g margarine, 275g sugar, 175g self raising flour, 120ml boiling water, 50g white chocolate buttons.chocolate fudge traybakePut the cocoa powder and the boiling water into your mixer and whisk it together. Then add in the butter and sugar and mix. Add the eggs and milk and whisk and then add the baking powder and flour. Crush up the white chocolate with a rolling pin into little pieces, add them to the mix and make sure everything is combined.

Heat your oven to 180 degrees and line a baking  tray with baking parchment. The cake mixture should be really runny and gloopy so you are able to pour it into the baking tray.chocolate fudge traybake

Place into the oven and cook for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, turn off the heat and leave your cake in the oven for another 20 minutes. Take the cake out and check it is cooked (pop a knife in the middle- if it comes out clean you’re good). Turn onto a wire rack and leave to cool.

chocolate fudge traybakeI served this with a homemade chocolate sauce as a dessert – my Swiss Grandma’s recipe, and I will post that soon! If you want to make a really posh dessert, you could use cookie cutters to cut the tray bake into round shapes and smother with homemade chocolate sauce. This is a lovely gooey, tasty treat, perfect for having friends over or a slice yourself.

Love, Mrs Gardom

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The Ultimate Shroomaloumi Burger

Mushroom Halloumi BurgerFancy burger chains are popping up everywhere in Liverpool – Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Byrons, even Nando’s do mushroom and halloumi burgers – but they come at a price – you won’t pay less than £10 for a meal (and you have to pay extra for chips, what?!). I like the idea of a simple food like a burger being made all gourmet – with fancy cheeses, relishes and veggies piled high so I thought I would create my own ultimate burger – taking all the things we love the most from eating out and putting it in my own fabulous burger! The mushrooms and halloumi are marinated so do this step a couple of hours before you want to eat (If you are super organized do it the day before and pop in the fridge for 24 hours)!

You will need (for 2 burgers): 2 large flat mushrooms, 2 burger buns, 175g halloumi cheese, olive oil, peri peri sauce, 2 garlic cloves, mixed herbs, lemon juice, lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise.

Take a large flat dish (I used a casserole dish but a mixing bowl would be fine) and pop 4 tablespoons olive oil, 1 pinch of mixed herbs, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, 1 teaspoon peri peri sauce into the dish. Crush your garlic and add this as well. Mix everything together so all the ingredients are combined.MarinadeChop you halloumi into big chunky slices, peel the mushrooms (they soak up the flavours better) and take out the stalks. Put these in the marinade and rub the marinade all over the halloumi and mushrooms – then cover with cling film and leave in the fridge.

DSCF1527Place the mushrooms and halloumi on a baking tray, drizzle any leftover marinade on to the tray and pop on the grill for 7 minutes – make sure you keep an eye on them. Now for the important part – assemblage! Spread some mayo on the bottom of the bun, then layer lettuce, tomato, mushroom, halloumi, lettuce, mayo – perfect! Serve with some homemade chips (check out the recipe on the beer battered halloumi page)

This is one of my fave meals – the marinade adds a lovely subtle flavour and flat mushrooms and halloumi is a match made in heaven. It’s good to have veggie dish with so much flavour, this would be great to have at a BBQ or having friends over watching a film.DSCF1558Love, Mrs Gardom

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Homemade Vegetable Pie

2014-02-24 19.32.45I love pie, pie is awesome. Everybody loves pie. Unfortunately veggies don’t get much of a choice in the pie department so I have decided to create one – so you may also enjoy the joys of vegetable pie. It’s got a lovely rich taste,  crunchy pastry and would make a fab Sunday roast alternative or as a really tasty tea.

You will need: 6oz plain flour, 3oz butter, 3 tablespoons water, 2 large potatoes, 8oz mushrooms, 2 carrots, 1 onion, 1 garlic cloves, 250ml vegetable stock, 4oz spinach, 2 tablespoons thick double cream, tablespoon coriander, pinch salt and pepper, splash red wine.

First of all make some pastry, crumble your butter and flour together until it forms breadcrumbs, then add a couple of tablespoons of warm water and form the pastry into a ball. Cover it in clingfilm and pop in the fridge for half an hour. Cut two thirds of the pastry – roll it out and place in the pie dish. Bake it on 180 degrees for 10 minutes.2014-02-24 16.59.31Peel the potatoes and carrots and cut them into small pieces. Fill a pan of water and boil the potatoes and carrots for 10 minutes. Dice the onion and garlic and fry in a tablespoon of butter. Chop the mushrooms into quarters and add to the onions. Add the stock to the pan after the mushrooms are brown, add a splash of red wine (3 or 4 capfuls) and 2 tablespoons of thick cream. Turn onto a low heat and simmer for twenty minutes. 2014-02-24 19.35.00Add more stock to the pan if it is looking dry. Add the spinach to the pan and stir everything together. Once the spinach has wilted take the pan off the heat. Fill the pastry base with the filling. Roll out the last third of patsry into a circle and place on top of the pie, pinching the edges. Don’t worry about holes, just patch them up with a bit more pastry. 2014-02-24 19.33.55Because you have cooked the filling and the base already, it doesn’t take too long to cook. About ten minutes on 180 degrees is fine. Serve with some crunchy homemade chips (check out my recipe for beer battered halloumi and chunky chips for my chip recipe) and a bit of salad. Or you could always go for it and add roast potatoes, yorkshires and veg. 2014-02-24 19.30.42This is a lovely family meal, my cousin came round for tea and enjoyed it with us, and she’s not even a veggie! It really is a proper english classic, with a nice vegetarian twist, and the wine and mushrooms give it a lovely rich flavour.

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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