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

Coronation butter beans recipe

Coronation Butterbeans

A Coronation Chicken alternative for veggies, pretty damn tasty!

Coronation Butter Beans
Coronation Butter Beans

Ingredients – Makes about enough for 8 people to dip into at a party!

4 tins of good quality butter beans, drained

1 large tablespoon of mango chutney

2 large tablespoons of Greek yogurt

2 large tablespoons of good mayonnaise

1 large tablespoon of madras curry powder (hot)

A sprinkling of flaked almonds

1 large carrot, peeled and grated

1 small red onion, thinly sliced

A handful of chopped coriander

You might also want…

Flat bread, pitas or naan

Method

Place the mango chutney, Greek yogurt, mayonnaise and curry powder in a large bowl, mix until combined.

Taste the mix to see if it’s to your liking, add a bit more curry powder if you like!

Add the butter beans and flaked almonds, stir until coated.

If you’re ready to serve now, then carry on, if you’ve got a few hours, cover and place in the fridge for the flavours to get into the butter beans.

Transfer the mixture to a serving dish, sprinkle on the grated carrot, sliced red onion and grated coriander.

Serve with flat bread, pitas or naan!

Peanut butter triple chocolate brownie recipe

Eat!

I made this (without the peanut butter) to give as Christmas presents to friends last year. It’s gooey and incredible, the peanut butter gives it a lovely taste and crunch!

Ingredients

300g of unsalted butter
300g of good dark chocolate
135g of plain flour
60g of cocoa powder
120g of good white chocolate, chopped into small pieces
120g of good milk chocolate, chopped into small pieces
A large handful of milk chocolate drops
6 medium free range eggs
410g of caster sugar
A jar of good crunchy peanut butter (Meridian brand if you can get it)

Method

Cut up the butter and chop the dark chocolate into chunks, add them both to a heavy pan and melt slowly over a low heat. Use the bain marie method if you can be bothered. When melted, leave to cool.

Sieve the flour and cocoa into a bowl and set to one side.

Break the eggs into a bowl, add the caster sugar and beat with an electric mixer until the mix has doubled in size. If you lift the beaters from the mix and it leaves a trail for a few seconds, it’s done!

Pour the cooled chocolate over the eggs and sugar. Gently fold it in to avoid knocking all the air out of the mixture.

Hold the sieve over the eggy chocolate mixture and re-sieve the flour and cocoa into it, gently fold it into the mixture to avoid knocking more air out.

Add the chopped white and milk chocolate to the mix and stir in.

Line a 3cm high brownie tray with baking parchment and pour in the mixture, ease it in to the corners and smooth out the top.

Place dots of peanut butter on top of the mix (I did half with peanut butter and half without) then sprinkle the chocolate drops on top.

Place the tray in the oven at 175C (I’ve got a fan oven) for 30 minutes.

Leave to cool, cut up into chunks!

Hob Nobs recipe

Hob Nobs

Quick and easy, much more satisfying than buying a pack! These can easily be made vegan by substituting butter for vegan spread.

Hob Nobs
Hob Nobs

Ingredients – Makes 30 – 40 depending on size

225g of self raising flour
225g of sugar
225g of good whole porridge oats
1/2 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
225g unsalted butter
1 tablespoon of golden syrup
1 tablespoon of hot water

Method

Place all the dry ingredients into a large bowl.

In a pan melt the butter, syrup and add the hot water.

When melted add to the dry ingredients.

Mix well, make into small balls and place on a greased baking tray, flatten slightly.

Bake at 180C for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Cool on a rack and nom!