Category Archives: Recipes

COOKING FOR A VEGETARIAN (2nd May 2015)

Have you ever been caught out when you invite someone for dinner and they tell you they are vegetarian or when one of the grandchildren has decided to give up meat?  I had this conversation recently with a couple in the library who were looking for ideas now that their daughter had announced she was going to be vegetarian.  It’s worthwhile having one or two recipes up your sleeve in case you’re faced with this dilemma yourself.  There’s also a trend now to have one or two meat free days each week.  You can really cut the weekly food bill in this way and enjoy being inventive while at the same time providing yourselves with plenty of nourishment.

I like to eat vegetarian myself though my husband is partial to some meat.  To help out I would like to share a couple of easy recipes with you.  You won’t need to buy in special ingredients because I am sure you will have what you need in your cupboard already.  The recipes serve 4 but you can cut back on the quantities or reserve portions for another day.  Believe me, with these recipes you won’t miss the lack of meat.  I challenge you to try them out.

BEAN CURRY

1 medium tin red kidney beans
1 clove garlic, 2 onions
4 mushrooms, 4 medium carrots
300ml/half pint stock (I use vegetable)
2 cooking apples
3 large potatoes
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp yeast extract1 clove garlic, 2 onions

Fry onion and garlic gently in a little oil then add sliced apple and continue cooking until pulped.  Add sliced mushrooms and carrots together with curry powder, stock and yeast extract.  Cut potatoes into small chunks and add to curry mixture.  Bring to the boil then reduce heat and simmer very gently for half an hour.  Add kidney beans and continue cooking for a further 20 minutes.  If preferred you can cook the curry in the oven.

CHEESEY VEGIE BURGERS

2 medium potatoes and 2 large carrots grated
1 onion finely chopped
1 zucchini grated
100g/3oz cheddar cheese grated
2 eggs
100g/3oz flour and 1 tbs butter

Melt butter and add vegetables, cheese, eggs and flour and stir to thoroughly mix.  Mould into burgers and fry gently on either side until browned.  Halve quantities if you want to make less.

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Last week I spent quality time with Jo Marty who is the author of How to Eat for next to Nothing (available through Amazon).  She has some amazing recipes and, as previously in this Blog has allowed me to reproduce one of them for you here.

ZUCCHINI, CHEESE AND PASTA

This fabulous recipe makes excellent use of zucchinis which are very economical in summer.  It is a complete meal with plenty of carbs and protein to fill and nourish.  The recipe allows for 2 batches from a 500g packet of penne pasta and a 500g tub of cottage cheese.  These slices would also be suitable for serving cold for lunches and picnics.

250g penne pasta
3 medium zucchini, grated
250g cottage cheese or ricotta
1/4 cup/60ml vegetable oil
4 large or 5 small eggs
1 cup/150g self raising flour
Salt and pepper to taste
70g grated cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 180C.  Cook the pasta in salted boiling water for 9 minutes or until al dente.  Drain.  Whisk the eggs in a large mixing bowl, then whisk in the oil, cottage or ricotta cheese, flour and seasoning.  Stir in the zucchini and cooled pasta.  Spoon into a greased and lined 24cm x 24cm square baking tin or similar rectangular tin (do not use a tin with a removable base).  Sprinkle with grated cheddar cheese.  Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until golden and cooked through.  Set aside for 10 minutes or so before cutting an serving.  Serves 6 – 8.

zucchini cheese and pasta slice 001

 

I hope you enjoy trying out these recipes.  Good eating.

Janice

Harvesting home grown crops 11/12/14

Hello everyone

It’s time to think about harvesting some of our home grown produce before the blackbirds completely devastate the crops.  This year there seem to have been an army of them ready to pounce.  Ken netted the fruit trees and the berries but the birds always find an opening somewhere not to mention digging up tiny seedlings in search of worms.   We also have to contend with snails, slugs and white fly which are so hard to eradicate.  I remember the advice of a friend who said you have to grow twice as much as you need so that you can share with the wildlife;  how very true.

On Tuesday Ken noticed the cherries were under serious attack and so he decided to harvest them before the message went out to all and sundry,  as it does in the jungle, that  a particular tree was in fruit.  So far I have made two large cherry pies and sampled many in the process.  I still have quite a few bottles of apples in the cupboard from last season so included some of those in one of the pies.  Wasn’t sure what the result would be but it turned out to be a good combination.

Cherry pies

Cherry pies

While on the subject of cooking I would like to share with you a really delicious recipe from The Quintessential Quinoa Cookbook by Wendy Polisi.  Wendy has kindly given me permission to reproduce her recipe for which I thank her.  To save time I always cook a batch of quinoa and save it in portions in the freezer then it’s always ready for the next stage.  You don’t have to be a vegetarian to enjoy these fritters.

QUINOA FRITTERS

1 cup quinoa
1 1/4 cup vegetable broth
1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
1/3 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 cup chopped onion
Pinch salt and black pepper
1 tbs chopped parsley
2 eggs
1/4 cup oil

Put quinoa in saucepan with the broth or water, bring to simmer, reduce to low and cook for about 20 minutes. Leave covered for 5 mins.
Then combine quinoa with flour, cheese, onion, salt, pepper and parsley. Beat eggs and add to mixture. Form into required portions and shallow fry. I actually coat them
in fine breadcrumbs before frying. They cook quite quickly usually a few minutes.

Homemade Ketchup

1 sachet tomato paste/2 tbs coconut palm sugar/2 cloves garlic minced/pinch cumin and sea salt/1/2 tsp dry mustard/2 tbs apple cider vinegar

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan.  Bring to boil over medium heat.  Reduce to medium low and simmer for about 18 minutes.

Do try this recipe and let me know what you think.

I’ll be back soon

Janice