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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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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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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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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