Skip to content

Goan Clam & Mussel Soup

August 9, 2022

Surprisingly delicious with short prep time (once the mussels have been de-bearded) and easy to make.

Serves 4
Cook time: 15 mins

Ingredients:

  • 1kg fresh mussels / clams mix
  • olive oil , for frying
  • 1 onion , chopped
  • thumb-sized piece ginger , grated
  • 4 garlic cloves , crushed
  • 2 green chillies , chopped
  • 1 tsp black mustard seed
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 400ml coconut milk
  • coriander sprigs, to serve

Method:
1. Remove the beards, then wash the mussels well in cold water. Refresh the water and repeat until it is clear. Discard any mussels that are broken or stay open when tapped.

2. Heat the oil in a flameproof casserole. Fry the onion until very lightly brown, then add the ginger, garlic, chillies, spices, a good pinch of salt and a grinding of pepper. Cook for 2-3 mins until fragrant and toasted. Pour in the coconut milk and bring to the boil, then simmer for a few mins to get everything mixed together.

3. Tip the mussels into the dish, cover, turn up the heat to maximum and boil for 3-4 mins until the mussels have just opened. Scatter over the coriander sprigs and serve with lime wedges for squeezing over.

Red lentil, chickpea & chilli soup

August 9, 2022

Serves 4
Cook time: 25 mins

This is an old favourite from BBC Good Food that has been on rotation in our house for more than 10 years. Never goes out of favour.

Ingredients:

  • 2tsp cumin seeds
  • Large pinch chilli flakes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 140g red split lentils
  • 850ml vegetable stock or water
  • 400g can tomatoes
  • 200g can chickpeas (or half a 400g can), drained and rinsed
  • Small bunch coriander, roughly chopped
  • Greek yoghurt to serve

Method:

  1. Heat a large saucepan and dry fry 2 tsp cumin seeds and a large pinch of chilli flakes for 1 min or until they start to jump in the pan and release aromas.
  2. Add 1tbsp olive oil and the chopped red onion and cook for 5 mins.
  3. Stir in the red lentils, 850ml stock or water and a can of tomatoes then bring to the boil. Simmer for 15 mins until lentils have softened.
  4. Whizz the soup with a stick blender or in a food processor until it is a rough purée, pour back into the pan and add the chickpeas.
  5. Heat gently, season well and stir in the chopped coriander, reserving a few leaves. Finish with a dollop of yoghurt in each bowl and top with extra coriander leaves. Delicious with crusty bread.

Marinated Aubergines

August 3, 2022

Taken from LostInFood.co.uk who got it from Ellie who passed it on from her Italian friend, Cadia. Share and share alike :). Feel free to add other veg – charred red peppers would go especially well.

Serves 4
Cook time: 20 mins

Ingredients:

  • 1 aubergine (sliced)
  • 1 clove garlic (crushed)
  • 1 red chilli (de-seeded and finely chopped)
  • 1 small bunch flat leaf parsley (chopped)
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • juice of half lemon
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper

Method:

  • Slice the aubergine into rounds and place on either a hot barbecue or grill pan and char on each side until softened. Turn frequently taking care not to burn the aubergine. Do not add any oil to either the pan or the aubergine as this will make the vegetable soggy. Once done set the aubergine aside to cool.
  • Place all the remaining ingredients into a bowl, add the cooled aubergine and mix well to combine. Transfer to a good sealing container, ensuring the olive oil completely covers the aubergine, if not then top up with more olive oil. Place in the fridge where the aubergine will keep well for a week if properly sealed.

Mushroom Burgers with Haloumi

July 13, 2022

Serves 4
Cook time: <30mins

Ingredients:

  • 125g butter, softened
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped herbs (parsley, thyme, basil, oregano….)
  • 1 anchovy fillet
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 lemon
  • 4 large portobello mushrooms
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1 cup good quality mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp chipotle in adobo sauce (?!)
  • 4 slices haloumi
  • Plain flour for dusting
  • Pickles to serve
  • 4 burger buns of your choice, toasted on cut sides

Method:

  1. Mix butter with herbs, anchovy, garlic, curry powder and a squeeze of lemon juice to make a spreadable consistency.
  2. Heat a grill or barbecue until hot, brush mushrooms with herb butter, season and grill for 5 minutes on each side or until well cooked. Brush liberally with herb butter while cooking.
  3. Meanwhile mix mayonnaise with chipotle sauce and set aside. Dust haloumi with flour and cook on grill on both sides until golden and place on top of mushrooms. Squeeze over some lemon juice and dollop with spicy mayonnaise. Add pickles and serve. Leftover butter can be frozen.

Vegetarian Sausage Rolls

July 13, 2022

These are very yummy 😋

Makes a large batch
Cook time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 450g puff pastry
  • 100g pinhead (steel cut) oatmeal
  • 300ml vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp oil or butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 200g chestnut mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 200g almond butter
  • 50g dried cranberries, roughly chopped (optional)
  • Fresh herbs – thyme, parsley, Italian herbs, whatever…
  • Ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp (or less might be better) Marmite
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Sesame seeds

Method:

  1. Put the oatmeal in the pan with the stock, bring it to a simmer then turn down the heat and cook for about 10 minutes until very thick. Let cool.
  2. Fry the onion in the oil until soft and golden then tip into a bowl and fry the mushrooms until soft and not too wet. Add to the onions and stir in the almond butter and oatmeal. Add remaining ingredients – start small with the Marmite, say a teaspoon and work up to your taste as you may find a whole tablespoon renders the mix too salty. Taste check. Heat oven to 220°C.
  3. Cut pastry to 20 x 50 cm. Spoon filling down the long side of the pastry, paint egg along the other long side then roll as tightly as possible. With seam side down cut into 3 cm pieces. Repeat until all the filling is used up.
  4. Transfer to a baking sheet, brush with egg and use scissors or the tip of a knife to snip a small hole in the tops and then sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes until golden.

Coleslaw Asian Style

July 13, 2022

This recipe is taken from Recipe Tin Eats, a brilliant food blog by Nagi in Sydney. I have made this slaw multiple times and love it – the dressing makes it pop. Nagi suggests having this with shredded chicken and says simply to bring a large pot of water to the boil, submerge room temperature chicken breasts in the water, put a lid on, bring back to the boil, remove from heat and leave for 20mins. Up to 45 mins is ok – it won’t overcook.
Check out Nagi’s site for loads of meals inspiration: www.recipetineats.com

Serves 4 as a side

Ingredients:

For the Slaw:

  • 1.5 cups green or Chinese cabbage, shredded
  • 1.5 cups red cabbage, shredded
  • 1 large carrot, julienned
  • 3 spring onions
  • 4g / ¼ cup chopped coriander leaves
  • 4g / ¼ cup chopped mint leaves
  • Asian fried shallots to garnish

For the Dressing:

  • 1.5 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1.5 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1.5 tbsp peanut oil
  • 1 dsp sugar
  • Red chilli, about a half, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed

Method:

  1. Combine the dressing ingredients in a jar and shake well.
  2. Combine the salad ingredients except the shallots.
  3. Pour over the dressing and toss to combine. Garnish with shallots and serve.
  4. If using poached chicken, allow to cool, shred or slice and toss in with the slaw.

Chilli Con Carne

July 11, 2022

Serves 10
Cook time:

Ingredients:

  • 1.25kg shoulder pork, cubed (or mince if you prefer)
  • 2 tbsp malt vinegar
  • Sugar
  • 8 tbsp cooking oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1.2 litres pinto or kidney or your choice of beans
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 onions
  • 4 green chillis
  • Fresh coriander
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 10 cloves (or fewer if , like me, you’re not a fan…)
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp marjoram
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
  • 2 – 4 tbsp chilli powder
  • 1 – 2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 6 tbsp tomato purée
  • 400g can crushed tomatoes
  • Salt & pepper

Method:

  1. Season the meat with the vinegar, half a tsp salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar and leave to marinate for 20 minutes.
  2. Heat the oil and when it is very hot lightly fry the meat in it. Remove the meat and simmer it with the bay leaves in 1.2 litres water until tender.
  3. Meanwhile roughly chop the garlic, onions and chillies. Then put 150ml or so of liquid from the beans, the garlic, onion, chillies, herbs and spices together in a blender and liquidise. Fry the mixture in the remaining oil for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  4. Strain the meat and add it to the mixture together with the tomato purée, tomatoes and beans; simmer gently, stirring occasionally so that it does not stick. Add a little water if it’s too dry.
  5. Serve with rice, sour cream and grated cheese.

This dish freezes well and can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days..

Nuts & Seeds Slice

July 10, 2022

Added bonus – they’re low carb if you’re cutting down on sugar. They’re also very filling and make a great breakfast-on-the-go.

Serves – makes 12 slices
Cook time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • ½ cup pumpkin seeds
  • ⅓ cup your favourite nut butter
  • ¼ coconut oil
  • ⅓ cup sugar substitute, such as stevia, monk fruit, coconut sugar etc
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp (or less) cinnamon
  • ½ tsp (or less) sea salt
  • 2 eggs

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 175°C and line a 20cm x 20cm baking tin with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the almonds, sunflower seeds, coconut flakes and pumpkin seeds.
  3. In a small saucepan, stir together the nut butter, coconut oil and sweetener and heat for 2 – 3 minutes over low heat until everything is smooth and combined.
  4. Remove from the heat and stir in vanilla extract, cinnamon (if using) and salt. Pour over the nut/seed mixture and stir.
  5. Add the eggs and stir together until all the dry ingredients are coated with wet ingredients. Transfer to the tin and use a spatula to press down firmly into a flat, even layer.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes until the edges are lightly browned.
  7. Allow to cool completely. Use the parchment paper to remove from the pan, and use a sharp knife to slice into 12 even bars.

Nut & Chilli Brittle

July 10, 2022

My favourite sweet snack from Ottolenghi’s OTK book. Beware, it’s addictive.

Serves 8
Cook time: 50 minute

I find the quantities of nuts and seeds to be a bit low, so feel free to go over a bit when measuring them out, or add another type of seed in that you like.
To save time on tempering your chocolate, microwave it on LOW power and keep checking it so that it does not burn. Take it out once it’s two thirds melted and stir to melt the remainder.
Use orange juice instead of orange blossom water if you don’t have it. I find that the orange zest alone provides a sweet orangey tang.

And finally, I find that the cooking times here are not quite enough, so keep an eye on your brittle and take it out when it’s golden brown.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp whipping cream
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 100g golden syrup
  • 70g butter, cut into 3cm cubes
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp flaked sea salt
  • 1 tsp Aleppo chilli or ½ tsp regular chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp good quality orange blossom water
  • 15g orange zest / 1½ tbsp finely grated zest
  • 150g flaked & lightly toasted almonds
  • 90g pecan or walnut pieces, lightly toasted and finely chopped
  • 90g pumpkin seeds, lightly toasted
  • 50g sesame seeds, lightly toasted
  • 20g dried cranberries (OTK uses barberries soaked in 100ml boiling water for 10m then drained)
  • 30g dark chocolate, roughly chopped

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 145°C fan. Line a large, 40cm x 30cm baking tray with baking parchment.
  2. Add the cream, sugar and golden syrup to a medium saucepan on a medium heat. Cook just until it starts to bubble, stirring occasionally, until it is very lightly golden and smooth. Remove from the heat, add the butter, vanilla, salt, chilli, orange blossom water and orange zest, and stir continuously until the butter has melted. Stir through the toasted nuts and seeds until well combined. If using cranberries, mix them in now, then transfer the mixture to the prepared baking tray. Use the back of a rubber spatula to spread out the mixture into a thin rectangle that covers the base of the tray.
  3. Bake for 10 minutes, then rotate the tray and bake for 15 minutes more. Sprinkle evenly with the barberries if using, pushing them gently into the mix with the back of a spoon and return to the oven for another 2 minutes. Set aside to cool completely, about 30 -45 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, temper the chocolate. Put into a heatproof bowl set over a small saucepan of simmering water, with the base of the bowl not touching the water. Once two thirds melted, remove the bowl from the heat and gently stir until the chocolate is completely smooth and melted – this helps the chocolate set at room temperature.
  5. Drizzle the melted chocolate all over the surface of the cooled brittle, then leave to set completely, about 30 minutes, or refrigerate to help it set faster. Break the brittle apart into randomly-sized large pieces and serve piled on to a plate or board.

Tandoori Chick Peas

July 10, 2022

Another Ottolenghi (OTK) favourite of mine.

Serves 4
Cook time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 tins chickpeas, drained
  • 11 garlic cloves, peeled, 1 crushed, 10 left whole
  • 30g fresh ginger, peeled and julienned
  • 400g cherry tomatoes
  • 3 red chillis, a slit cut down their length
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds, roughly crushed with a pestle and mortar
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds, roughly crushed with a pestle and mortar
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes
  • 2 tsp red Kashmiri chilli powder
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 200ml olive oil
  • 180g Greek yoghurt
  • 15g mint leaves
  • 30g fresh coriander, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • Salt

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 150°C fan.
  2. Put the chickpeas, whole garlic cloves, ginger, tomatoes, chillies, tomato paste, spices, sugar, oil and 1 tsp of salt in to a a large sauté pan (or casserole) for which you have a lid and mix everything together to combine. Cover with the lid, transfer to the oven and cook for 75 minutes, stirring halfway through, until the aromatics have softened and the tomatoes have nicely broken down.
  3. Meanwhile, put the yoghurt, mint, fresh coriander, lime juice, crushed garlic clove and ¼ teaspoon of salt into a food processor and blitz until smooth and the herbs are finely chopped.
  4. Serve the chickpeas directly from the pan with the yoghurt and lime wedges alongside.

Cannellini Beans with Preserved Lemon & Chilli

July 10, 2022

This is the first recipe in Ottolenghi Test Kitchen and it’s also the first dish I made when I received the book as a gift. It remains in my top three favourites, along with Confit Tandoori Chickpeas and Nut and Chilli Brittle, a sweet treat.
These beans are easy to make and utterly scrumptious

Serves 4 as part of a spread
Cook time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 mild red chillis, finely chopped incl. seeds
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds, finely crushed with a pestle & mortar. Easier to crush if you toast them first 😉
  • 3 preserved lemons (80g), inner parts discarded and skin finely sliced
  • 1½ tbsp roughly chopped thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary – OTK says to use 4 fresh rosemary sprigs but I find the tough leaves unpleasant to chew on – your choice
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 170 ml / cup olive oil
  • 2 tins cannellini beans – OTK uses butter beans. I sometimes mix it up with a tin each of cannellini and black beans. Go with your own preference!
  • 2 large vine tomatoes, roughly grated and skins discarded
  • Salt & pepper

Method:

  1. Put the first 8 ingredients and 1¼ teaspoons flaked salt into a medium sauté pan on a medium low heat and stir everything together. Heat gently for 25 minutes, or until very fragrant but not at all browned. If the oil gets too hot, turn the heat down to low. Stir in the beans then turn the heat up to medium and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to infuse for at least an hour (or not), or longer if time allows.
  2. Meanwhile, mix the grated tomato with teaspoon of flaked sea salt and a good grind of pepper.
  3. To serve, pour the bean mixture into a shallow bowl and spoon over the tomato, roughly mixing it in here and there.

Jackfruit Chilli

July 10, 2022

Thank you, Vegan Punks, for this lovely recipe

Serves 4
Cook time: 45 mins

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1/8 tsp / 0.33g cinnamon
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 300g carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 green peppers, roughly chopped
  • 500g jackfruit, drained weight
  • 800g chopped tomatoes
  • 400g tin black beans, drained
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh coriander, chopped
  • 1 tsp salt

Method:

  1. Put a splash of oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Add onions and cook until translucent, around 5 mins, then add garlic for 30 seconds.
  2. Sprinkle in spices, bay leaf and tomato purée. Mix well for about 30 seconds.
  3. Immediately add in the green pepper, carrot and jackfruit. Pour in the tomatoes, stir well and bring to a simmer. Leave to simmer 30 minutes.
  4. Add in the black beans. Stir everything really well, then leave to simmer uncovered for another 15 minutes.
  5. Squeeze in the lime juice, mix in the fresh coriander and remove the bay leaf. Season with salt. Serve.

This recipe uses young or unripe jackfruit in brine or water, as jackfruit in syrup or ripe jackfruit is meant for desserts.
Can be kept in the fridge for 3 days.
Freezes well and can be made ahead.

Simplest Stuffed Mushrooms

June 15, 2022

Serves 2

Cook time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 4 large flat mushrooms
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • Baby spinach
  • Black olives, pitted and sliced
  • Semi-dried small tomatoes in oil and herbs (from the deli counter), roughly chopped
  • Dried chili flakes
  • Grated Parmesan
  • Pesto
  • Cheddar or other bitey cheese
  • You can add any other bits and pieces you like to this dish, or leave out any you don’t like 🙂

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180c on a fan grill setting. Remove stalks from mushrooms and chop the stalks finely. Add some olive oil or butter to a frying pan and add the mushroom stalks along with the crushed garlic and stir. Throw in the olives, tomatoes, chili flakes if using and some baby spinach. Once the mixture is starting to wilt add some grated parmesan if you like. Add pepper to taste and salt only if required. The Parmesan is already quite salty. Mix gently.
  2. Lay the mushrooms on a parchment-lined baking tray. Spread about a teaspoon of pesto or to taste onto each mushroom and then spoon over the mixture from the pan. Top with Cheddar slices to cover each mushroom and its stuffing.
  3. Bake/grill for 10-20 minutes or until cheese is golden and melted.

Vietnamese Mint & Prawn Stir Fry

June 15, 2022

A friend gave me some Vietnamese mint from her garden so I sought out a recipe.

Serves 2
Cook time:

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, diced
  • 4 cm ginger, peeled and grated
  • 12 large raw prawns, peeled and deveined
  • 1 large spring onion, cut into 3 cm pieces
  • 10 Vietnamese mint leaves
  • 1 small chili, diced

    For the sauce
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 2 tbsp fish stock, or water
  • 1 lime, juice only
  • dash sesame oil

Method:

  1. Heat a wok over high heat and add the oil. Add the garlic, ginger and prawns and stir fry for 2-3 minutes. Add the spring onion, Vietnamese mint and chili. Stir fry until the prawns are pink and cooked. Place aside.
  2. Add the sauce ingredients to the wok and simmer until reduced. Add the sesame oil and pour over the prawns. Serve immediately.

DIY Baked Beans

June 15, 2022

I never eat baked beans from a tin but I find these addictive and so easy to make.

Serves 4
Cook time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 3 rindless bacon rashers, finely chopped
  • 250 ml / 1 cup passata
  • 125 ml / 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tbsp golden syrup
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 400g tin cannellini beans, drained & rinsed
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsely

Method:

  1. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add bacon and onions. Cook stirring occasionally for 5 minutes until bacon is crisp and onion is soft.
  2. Add passata, water, golden syrup and paprika and stir until well combined. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until the mixture thickens.
  3. Add cannellini beans and cook stirring for 3 minutes or until heated through. Stir in parsley, season with salt and pepper.