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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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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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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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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Tomato Risotto

So the other night I wanted to cook something nice but we didn’t have much in the fridge, I decided to experiment and make a tomato risotto! A thick cheesy tomato sauce and some fancy mushrooms makes for a really lovely meal.

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You need, a tin of tomatoes, 25g butter, 200g arborio rice, 2 tablespoons of cream cheese, mixed herbs, 1 onion, 100g mozzarella cheese, 15g dried mixed mushrooms, 600ml vegetable stock, salt, pepper, 1 frying pan.20131213_201342First of all dice your onion and soak your dried mushrooms in boiling water (follow the instructions on the packet for how much). Melt the butter in your frying pan and add the onion. Once the onion is soft add the rice and after about a minute add a small amount of stock, just enough that the rice is covered. Like with any risotto, the key is to keep stirring and adding a small amount of stock once the rice has absorbed it.

Add the chopped tomatoes after fifteen minutes and keep stirring until you have used all the stock, then add the mushrooms and the water they have been soaking in and stir til the rice has absorbed all of the liquid. The rice should be soft after twenty minutes of cooking. Now add the cream cheese and stir into the risotto until it has melted into the sauce. Chop your mozzarella into small pieces and add this as well. Season with salt, pepper and mixed herbs.20131213_204859You could always use fresh mushrooms, and just add them at the same time as the tomatoes. I was really pleased with this recipe, and will definitely be making it again. Sometimes its worth just experimenting in the kitchen and trying to use up what you have instead of running out to the shops.

Hope you enjoy, Love Mrs Gardom