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Geek, part-time cyclist, ecoist, bad photographer, vegetarian. I fiddle with WordPress and Edu Tech.

Tag: olive oil

Roasted aubergine and red pepper couscous with halloumi cheese recipe

This is fairly quick to knock up and makes enough for 4 portions, it’s also easy to make vegan by replacing the halloumi cheese with sliced tofu.

Ingredients – Makes 4 portions

220g uncooked couscous

Olive oil

Freshly ground black pepper

1 vegetable stock cube (I use a Knorr stock pot)

330ml boiling water

1 large or 2 medium red onions

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 large aubergine

2 sweet red peppers

1 250g block of halloumi or 1 block of tofu

1 can of cooked green lentils (Lentilles Vertes)

A drop of truffle oil – Optional

Method

Right, heat your oven to 200C, I’ve got a fan oven.

De-seed your peppers, chop them into pieces, make them however big you want.

Chop the aubergine into slices and then into pieces, again, any size you want but bear in mind you want all this to roast fairly quickly.

Throw the pepper and aubergine on baking tray, drizzle with olive oil, add a twist of black pepper and mix it all together.

Put that in the oven to roast and grab the onion(s).

Peel and chop the onions, put them in a large pan with a drizzle of olive oil and a twist of black pepper, cook over a medium heat until they’re turning soft and almost translucent. Add the minced garlic and cook for a few more minutes but don’t over cook the garlic.

Once the veg has been roasting in the oven for 10 minutes take it out, give it a shake and a turn and put it back in the oven for 10 minutes.

Slice the halloumi cheese into 8 slices, add a little olive oil to a frying pan and get it on a medium heat. Add the slices of halloumi and cook until golden brown, keep an eye on them, they can brown quickly. When both sides are done remove from the pan and set aside.

Your roast veg should have had about 20 minutes now, check to see if it’s done, I like it slightly crispy and almost burnt, each to their own. If it’s done, turn the oven off and get started on the cous cous.

Dissolve the stock pot in 330ml of boiling water, add the couscous to the pan with the onions and garlic and place on a very low heat. Add the stock to the pan, stir to cover the couscous and put a lid on the pan.

After 2-3 minutes give the couscous a stir, it should have swollen up and taken on all the water, if it hasn’t, put the lid back on and give it another minute but keep checking.

Once it’s done, drain the lentils and add them to the pan along with the roasted veg and halloumi cheese.

Add the totally optional drop of truffle oil and give it all a good stir, I know it sounds really pretentious but I think it really makes a difference. If you’ve not got truffle oil and you’re tempted to get some make sure it’s a good quality oil with some real truffle, I’ve got some of the Truffle Hunter oils.

Borscht – Beetroot soup with feta recipe

A friend gave me some home grown beetroot so I decided to make a bit of Borscht, or beetroot soup!

Ingredients – Makes enough for 3-4

600g (3-4 large beets), peeled and grated coarsely

500g (around 5-6) of ripe tomatoes, halved (I suppose if you’re really lazy you could use a tin of chopped tomatoes)

2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped

1 medium onion, peeled and chopped

A bit of olive oil

500ml of vegetable stock (I used 2 ‘Knorr Stock Pots’)

Freshly ground black pepper

Some feta cheese

Method

Place the halved tomatoes in an oven dish, pour a little olive oil over the top of them and throw on the chopped garlic.

Place in the oven at 190C (I’ve got a fan oven) until they’re soft, it took me about 30 minutes.

Place the tomatoes in a sieve and rub through into a bowl to remove the skins and pips.

Put a little more oil in a pan and sweat the onion with a twist of black pepper.

Add the stock and beetroot, give it all a stir and bring to the boil for about 10 minutes or until the beetroot is tender.

Stir in the tomato purée.

Using either a stick blender or a normal blender process the soup until completely smooth. If you’ve got white walls take care, it’s easy to spray the soup all over if you’re using a stick blender!

Transfer the soup to warmed bowls and crumble a little of the feta cheese on top.

Serve with crusty bread!

You might also want to…

  • Add a shot of vodka
  • Chill in the fridge and serve cold

Butternut Squash and Spinach Cannelloni Recipe

I’ve neglected the food part of the blog for a while so I thought I’d write this down, I had a butternut squash to use and came up with this!

Ingredients – Makes 6

A 1KG butternut squash, peeled and diced into 1-2cm cubes

A little olive oil

Freshly ground black pepper

1 onion, peeled and diced

2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed

A sprinkle of dried sage

200ml of vegetable stock

175ml white wine

150g of spinach

30g of toasted pine nuts

125g of crumbled vegetarian blue cheese

50g of feshly grated vegetarian Parmesan cheese

1litre of passata

6 sheets of fresh lasagne

Method

Pour a little olive oil into a large pan and add the diced onion, sauté for 5 minutes or until soft.

Add the peeled & diced butternut squash and garlic to the pan, give it a good stir.

Add the herbs, vegetable stock and wine, you may as well pour yourself another glass whilst you’re at it.

Season with freshly ground black pepper, stir, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until the squash is just soft.

If there’s any liquid left in the pan, drain it off then lightly mash the squash with the back of a spoon.

Add the spinach, crumbled blue cheese, half the parmesan and half of the pine nuts. Stir the mix and cover until the spinach has milted.

Lay out the lasagne sheets and place a hearty spoonful of the mix on each one, roll up and place in a greased baking dish.

Pour the passata over the cannelloni until they are almost covered and sprinkle with the remaining parmesan and pine nuts.

Bake in the oven at 200C for 20-30 minutes or until the pasta is tender.

Baked aubergine with almost ratatouille recipe

It’s almost ratatouille but not quite but it tastes really nice and smothered over a lovely soft baked aubergine it makes for an easy meal. It goes down equally well over some roasted butternut squash wedges or topped off with some paneer pieces and a light grilling.

Ingredients

1 aubergine, washed and cut in half lengthways

1 400g can of chopped tomatoes

2 onions, peeled and roughly chopped

1 orange pepper, washed and cut into chunks

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 teaspoon of sugar

A sprinkle of dried oregano

A sprinkle of dried sage

Freshly ground black pepper

A little olive oil

Method

Preheat your oven to 200C (I’ve got a fan oven).

Place the halved aubergine on a baking tray, score the flesh, rub with a little olive oil and add a little ground black pepper.

Bake in the oven for around 40 minutes but keep an eye on them!

Meanwhile in a large pan add a little olive oil and sauté the onion and orange pepper for a few minutes until the onion is soft.

Add the chopped tomatoes, garlic, sugar and a little black pepper, stir until combined.

Add as much of the herbs as you like, I probably added a teaspoon of each.

Give it all a good stir, have a taste, if it’s good let’s rock and roll.

When the aubergine flesh has turned golden brown and the edges catching move them to plates and spoon over the almost ratatouille.

Roasted butternut squash with spicy lentils

This recipe makes a lot of the lentils, you could add more squash or keep the leftovers and do something else with them, I had mine for lunch the next day! It could also be very easily made vegan by not using the butter!

Roasted butternut squash with spicy lentils

Ingredients

Olive oil

A little butter

Salt

Freshly ground black pepper

2 cloves of garlic, crushed through a press

1 large onion, diced

1 ½ tablespoons of curry powder (mild, hot, whatever you like) or garam masala

1 litre of vegetable stock

1 ½ cups of dried red split lentils, rinsed and drained

1 can of chopped tomatoes

1 large butternut squash

Method

Heat the oven to 180C (I’ve got a fan oven).

Peel and quarter the butternut squash.

Place in a baking dish and drizzle over a little olive oil.

Dot a little butter on the squash pieces and season with salt and pepper.

Roast in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour or until the squash is tender and has turned brown in places.

Whilst the squash is in the oven add a little olive oil to a pan and add the onion.

Sauté the onion for a few minutes over a medium heat and add the garlic.

Cook for a few minutes more and add the curry powder, stir to combine and add half of the vegetable stock.

Add the lentils, stir and cover.

Keep checking to make sure the lentils haven’t taken on all of the stock, top up with some of the left over stock if needed.

When the lentils are almost cooked add the chopped tomatoes and stir to combine it all.

Your squash should be done by now! You did keep checking on it didn’t you?

Transfer the squash to some bowls and spoon over the lovely hot spicy lentil mix.

Enjoy!

Butternut squash gratin recipe

I made this up so that I had something quick to reheat and eat the next day, the recipe might not be exactly how I made it! The breadcrumbs were a prize for coming joint first in a pumpkin carving competition at a Halloween party I went to 😀 I suppose you could even use pumpkin but the ones in the shops right now aren’t too tasty!

Ingredients

1KG butternut squash, peeled and diced into chunks

1 large onion, peeled and chopped

2 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced

Olive oil

1 free range egg

¼ tablespoon of salt

Freshly ground black pepper

5 tablespoons of mayonnaise

100g of vegetarian extra mature cheddar cheese

100g of vegetarian Parmesan style cheese

100g of breadcrumbs

Method

Preheat your oven to 180C (I’ve got a fan oven).

Place the butternut squash in a pan and cover with boiling water, place a lid on the pan and boil for around 10 minutes. You want the squash to still be a little firm.

Whilst the squash is cooking add a little olive oil to a pan and throw in the onion and garlic, sauté until soft.

Check the squash, if it’s done, drain it and set to one side.

Once your onion is done, take it off the heat and let it cool a little.

In a bowl, beat the egg and add the salt, a twist of black pepper and mayonnaise, half the cheddar, half the Parmesan, onions and most of the breadcrumbs (save a small amount to go on top at the end). Stir the mixture together and gently fold in the butternut squash without breaking it up.

Pour the mixture into an ovenproof dish, mix together the remaining cheeses and breadcrumbs and sprinkle on top.

Bake in the oven for around 1 hour, until the cheese on top has melted and is golden brown.

I made this in advance, only baked it for half an hour, removed it from the oven, allowed it to cool, covered it and put it in the fridge overnight. The next day I reheated it for 30 minutes at 180C.

Pasta with chili, garlic, ginger and tomatoes recipe

You’ll make sex noises throughout the whole time you’re eating this, I guarantee it! It’s quick to make and it’s got the got the right combination of heat from the chili & garlic and sweetness from the tomatoes.

Ingredients

150g of your favourite pasta

1 tin of chopped tomatoes

1 red chili, finely chopped

4 cloves of garlic, minced

A piece of ginger bigger than a big thumb, peeled and grated

125g of baby plum tomatoes, quartered

Olive oil

Freshly ground black pepper

Method

Bring a pan of water to the boil and get your pasta in there cooking away

In another pan, over a medium heat add a little olive oil and add the plum tomatoes, give them a stir and mush them up a bit. Cook for a few minutes.

Add the garlic, chili, ginger and chopped tomatoes. Add a twist of black pepper and give it all a good stir.

Let it bubble away whilst the pasta finishes cooking but don’t let it get too dry.

Drain the pasta and add it to the tomato sauce.

Enjoy!

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