Category Archives: Vegetarian

Floyd’s Tomato Sauce

I thought it was about time to try something from ‘Floyd’s Food’ so I decided to cook up something I would never normally choose, in this case “Chicken Breast with Langoustines” (recipe to come) and one of the ingredients was a coffee cup of his own “Tomato Sauce”. So I found the recipe and set about cooking this sauce that reminded me of a very fragrant mediterranean pasta sauce. I’m going to make this again to use with other dishes in future!

(Printable Recipe)

Ingredients:
14 oz/400g Tin Tomatoes
2 Cloves Garlic, chopped
1 Onion, finely chopped
1 tsp fresh or dried Basil
1 tbsp chopped Parsley
1 tbsp White Sugar
1 tbsp Olive Oil
Black Pepper

1 Fry the onions and garlic in the olive oil until soft.

2 When soft, add all the other ingredients and cook over a low heat for 15 minutes.

3 Then liquidize the lot. This sauce can be served either hot or cold.

Enjoy!

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Orange Marmalade

I seem to remember that from the end of January to the beginning of February our kitchen was filled the fragrant smell of Seville oranges cooking. I think my mother and grandmother made enough to last almost the whole year! Sometimes I mince the fruit and then use exactly the same method. I also use an organic granulated sugar and that can cause scum (which can be scraped off) but I prefer that to the preserving sugars that have added pectin. It was my treat, as a child, to have the crust off the loaf spread liberally with butter and then a dollop of warm marmalade on top – it is still good but not quite the same with gluten-free bread!

Everyone has their own method of making marmalade. Some people slice the fruit before cooking it and others like me cook the fruit first. This is the method I have always used.

(Printable Recipe)

Ingredients:
2lbs (900g) Organic Seville Oranges
1 Unwaxed Lemon
4lbs (1.8g) Organic Granulated Sugar
4 pints (2.25lt) Water
Require:
Preserving pan, muslin, sieve, small bowl, string, jam-jars, lids and labels

1 Put 2 or 3 saucers in the fridge. These will be used to test for setting

2 Wash and rinse the jam-jars and heat in the oven

3 Cut the oranges and the lemon in half and squeeze out the juice, placing the pips in a square of muslin laid over a sieve over a bowl.

4 Put the cut fruit in the preserving pan with the juice and the water.

5 Tie up the pips in the muslin with the string and tie onto the handle of the preserving pan, so that it sits in the juice/water. Bring to the boil and then simmer for about 1½/2 hours until the fruit is soft.

6 Allow to cool a little and then slice the fruit into quarters and then into thin slices.

7 Return the fruit to the pan with the juice/water and add the sugar. Stir it over a low heat until all the sugar is melted.

8 Increase the heat so that the mixture comes to a fast boil and then boil for 15 minutes.

9 Check to see if the mixture has set by spooning a little of the mixture onto the cold saucer.

10 Allow to cool a little, and then push the mixture with your finger, if it has a skin that crinkles it is set. If not put the mixture back on the heat and boil for another 5 minutes. This can be done again until the marmalade has set.

11 Remove the pan from the heat and if there is some scum around the edge of the pan spoon it away.

12 Leave the marmalade to settle for about 15 minutes and then pour into clean warm jars (I use a soup ladle but be careful as the mixture will be hot). Cover the jars with a clean teacloth until cold.

13 When the marmalade is cold put on the lids and label.

NB: Instead of slicing the oranges I sometimes mince them which gives a very different marmalade. I also like my marmalade less set than some bought marmalades – that is up to you.

Enjoy!

Creamy Butternut Squash Gratin

This is a great all year round accompaniment for any hot dish and this year it was perfect along with the Turkey and other vegetables and trimmings on Christmas Day. The idea came from a food workshop day. This is one recipe that I am going to adapt and try with other root vegetables like parsnips and celeriac.

(Printable Version)

Serves 4

Ingredients:
1 Large Butternut Squash, peeled, deseeded and sliced 5mm thick
1-2 Garlic Cloves peeled, crushed or grated
175ml/6fl oz Double Cream
75g/3oz Parmesan or Gruyere Cheese, finely grated
Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper

Preheat oven to 190C.

1 Place the butternut squash in a large (1 litre) pie dish and season with salt and pepper.

2 Place the garlic and cream in a saucepan, bring to the boil, then pour over the butternut squash in the dish.

3 Sprinkle with the grated cheese.

4 Cover the dish with foil and bake in a preheated oven for 45-60 mins, removing the foil after 30 mins.

5 When cooked, the butternut squash should be soft and the top golden and bubbly.

Enjoy!

Butternut Squash on Foodista

Braised Red Cabbage

Red cabbage is a good vegetable to buy this time of year. It can be pickled in vinegar but I think served hot with any meat is my preference. It is also very good with cold meat too.

The recipe I have used, has evolved over the years and I am not sure who gave it to me or where it came from, but I know, that when I was a child, we used to have it on Boxing Day with the cold turkey and ham, after we had been out into the countryside to work up an appetite.

It can be made two days in advance and kept in the fridge – it freezes well too. I try to use all organic ingredients as the red cabbages used to come from my grandparent’s garden which never had chemicals on them!

(Printable Recipe)

Ingredients:
1 Red Cabbage (approx 2lbs/1kg)
½/1lb (225g/450g) Red Onions, finely chopped
1 large Cooking Apple (approx 1lb/450g) peeled, cored and chopped small
1 Clove Garlic, finely chopped
2/3tblsp Dark Brown Sugar
2/3tblsp Red Wine Vinegar and/or Red Wine
¼ teaspoon each of Ground Cinnamon, Cloves and freshly grated Nutmeg
A little butter
Salt & pepper

1 Remove the outer leaves of the cabbage, cut and shred finely removing the hard stalk.

2 In an oven-proof large pan, melt half the butter and then put a layer of cabbage on top, then add some of the chopped onion, apple and garlic, sprinkling it with some of the sugar and spices.

3 Continue the layering until all the ingredients are in the pan, and then pour over the red wine vinegar and/or red wine. Dot with the rest of the butter and put on a lid.

4 This can either be cooked very slowly on top of the stove or in the oven at 150C/300F Gas Mark 2 or 140C Fan Oven, stirring it occasionally during the cooking time.

Enjoy!

Red Cabbage on Foodista

Blackberry and Apple Jam

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Blackberry and Apple jam is a perfect autumn recipe – delicious, straightforward and very satisfying, especially when the fruit comes straight from the garden, making it organic too. I love that this is another of those family recipes handed down from generation to generation. As ever, I asked my mum where she first learnt about it and this is what she told me…

My grandma always said that blackberries should not be picked in October as they must be left for the rest of nature to enjoy and also the witches! I disobeyed her this year as the blackberries were so plentiful and juicy and hoped that there was enough for us all! Her jam recipe is a favourite of mine as I remember having it piled onto hot toast for tea as the evenings drew in. A good Autumn recipe. It is also good on real vanilla ice-cream.

(Printable Recipe)

Ingredients:
4lbs (1.8g) Blackberries
1½lbs (680g) Cooking Apples
½pint Water
Juice of ½lemon
Sugar – either jam sugar or granulated

1 Put the blackberries and ¼ pint of water into a pan and simmer until the fruit is soft. They can be left whole or sieved to remove seeds.

2 Peel, core & slice apples, add remaining water, bring to the boil and simmer until tender and cook together until thick.

3 Weigh the pulp and add equal amounts of warmed sugar and simmer until all the sugar is dissolved.

4 * Bring to the boil and boil rapidly until setting point is reached.

5 Leave to cool slightly in the pan, having removed any scum that collects around the edge, and stir.

6 Pour into warm sterilised jars, leave to cool and cover.

Enjoy!

* NB To know if the setting point is reached, put a saucer to get cold in the fridge. Remove the pan from the heat, pour a teaspoonful of the jam onto the cold saucer and if the jam wrinkles when pushed with the finger setting point has been reached. If it doesn’t wrinkle put it back on the heat and cook and test until it does.

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Roasted Butternut Squash Soup (Gluten Free)

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Soup season is now well and truly upon us and it seems my whole family is making fantastic soups to share with everyone. This roasted butternut squash soup is a new creation by my mum and one that we will be trying shortly!

I had a butternut squash and thought I’d make some soup. I searched on-line for a recipe, looked at James Martin’s recipes on the BBC site, but they all seemed too complicated. So I made this up as I tend to make all my soup recipes up. Usually I just guess at the weights of ingredients, and also the amount of stock I use, but I have weighed everything this time just to make sure it works for this blog. It is a good soup for Hallow’een or Bonfire Night. I like it I hope you do too.

2¼lbs (1kg) Butternut Squash
2 tablespoons Olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1oz (25g) Butter
1 Medium onion
1-2 Cloves of garlic – depending on your taste
1½ pints (1ltr) Vegetable stock
A few sprigs of thyme leaves – to taste
Cream or Crème Fraiche
Grated cheese or pesto – optional

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F Gas 6 or 180C Fan Oven

1 Cut the Butternut Squash into chunks, removing all the seeds, rub with the oil, season well and roast in the oven, skin-side down on the tin, for approx 30mins or until tender.

2 Leave to cool and then slice off the skin and cut the flesh into smaller chunks.

3 In the meantime, melt the butter in a saucepan, chop the onion and cook gently in the butter until soft but not browned, then add the chopped garlic clove and cook for a further 2mins.

4 Add the chopped squash and any juices from the tin, the stock and some of the thyme leaves – check for your liking. Sprigs can be added but make sure they are removed before blending.

5 Cover and simmer for 20/30mins

6 Leave the soup to cool slightly and then, either using a hand-blender or liquidiser, blend until smooth and taste for seasoning.

7 Ladle into warmed bowls and swirl the top with a little cream or crème fraiche, a scattering of thyme leaves, before serving with warm crusty bread.

If the soup is too thick for your liking add some milk to loosen it. Grated cheese is also good scattered on top as is a dollop of green pesto. This soup can also be frozen.

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Butternut Squash on Foodista

Leek and Potato Soup (Gluten Free)

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You always know when Autumn arrives, as evenings get darker quicker, the temperature starts dropping and the idea of making a warming soup doesn’t sound like such a silly idea!

Leek and Potato Soup is a home favourite and perfect for any autumnal lunch or supper, plus it is so easy to make.

3-4 Leeks
6-8 Large Potatoes
1 Large Whte Onion
50g (1.8 oz) butter
1 1/2 pints of vegetable stock (gluten free preferably)
1/4 pint semi-skimmed milk
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to season

1 Peel and roughly chop all the vegetables into thick cubes. Add them all to a large dish or pan and add the butter, stirring the vegetables until they are all coated. Leave on a very low heat with a lid on the pan for 15 minutes to allow the vegetables to gently sweat. Stir occasionally.

2 Then, add the stock and the milk and stir. Leave to simmer with the lid on the pan for another 20 minutes, Do not let the soup reach boiling point or the milk might burn. Stir occasionally.

3 After the 20 minutes, the vegetables should be lovely and soft.

4 Use a liquidiser or a hand-held blender straight in the pan and liquidise the mixture. You need to make sure all the lumps are gone.

5 Gently heat the soup through in the pan and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with pretty much anything you like!

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Vegetable Balti

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While cooking my Chicken Korma recipe, I thought I would make my life a little more fun (or should that be difficult) by making a second curry dish for the first time too, on our curry night. This is one of my girlfriends’ favourite currys, so had a search online and came across this Vegetable Balti Curry recipe on the BBC Good Food site. I knew she would be happy when telling her it would be high in fibre and vitamins, while low in fat and hopefully very tasty!

This recipe sounded perfect, though I wish I could have made the paste for this as well as the Korma! Instead, I had to get a jar of Patak’s Balti curry paste which I had never used before, but fingers crossed was hoping would do the job ok.

After getting all the ingredients for the Korma ready and having made the Korma paste, I set about peeling, chopping and cutting all the veg needed for this dish. I didn’t use all the same veg as mentioned on the Good Food site but used what I had in my vegetable racks, which was close enough! My only major change was using parsnips instead of turnips and only using half the amount of butternut squash and making up the rest, using some sweet potatoes that needed to be used up.

I found this such a simple recipe to make and was really glad I could leave this to cook and simmer while working on the more complex Korma at the same time.

The best part about this curry, was the fact my girlfriend and I both thought it tasted as good as the Vegetable Balti from our local restaurant. We ate half of it on our curry night and froze the rest in the hope of having it again one night soon! This I think, will become a regular home favourite with us.

Serves 4

1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 large onion , thickly sliced
1 large garlic clove , crushed
1 eating apple , peeled, cored and chopped into chunks
3 tbsp balti curry paste (we used Patak's)
1 medium butternut squash , peeled and cut into chunks
2 large carrots , thickly sliced
200g turnips , cut into chunks
1 medium cauliflower , weighing about 500g/1lb 2oz, broken into florets
400g can chopped tomatoes
425ml hot vegetable stock
4 tbsp chopped coriander , plus extra to serve
150g pot low-fat natural yogurt

1 Heat the oil in a large pan, then add the onion, garlic and apple and cook gently, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens, about 5-8 minutes. Stir in the curry paste.

2 Tip the fresh vegetables into the pan and add the tomatoes and stock. Stir in 3 tbsp of the coriander. Bring to the boil, turn the heat to low, put the lid on and cook for half an hour.

3 Remove the lid and cook for another 20 minutes until the vegetables are soft and the liquid has reduced a little. There should be some liquid remaining, but not too much. Season with salt and pepper.

4 Mix 1 tbsp of coriander into the yogurt to make a raita. Ladle the curry into bowls, drizzle over some raita and sprinkle with extra coriander. Serve with the remaining raita and warm mini naan breads.

Try different vegetables – shallots, broccoli, swede, sweet potatoes, peppers and mushrooms would go well together.

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Simple Sweet Potato and Other Veg Soup (Gluten Free)‏

Having got in touch with my family for further inspiration for the blog, my sister emailed me this recipe that sounded perfect to share with everyone…

I first fell in love with sweet potatoes while living in Sydney – where you can’t move for colourful delis jam-packed with antipasti and homemade soups, such as beetroot, pumpkin and of course my favourite… sweet potato. Perfect to pop in and buy for dinner after a long day at work. This recipe was inspired by Sydney and the process is loosely based on Delia Smith’s soup making. Good and old-fashioned, but very hearty and cosy food (they have winters in Sydney too!).

Serves: 6

3 sweet potatoes
1 leek
1 white onion
4 carrots
1 large potato
50g (1.8 oz) butter
425ml (approx 3/4 pint) of chicken or vegetable stock (gluten free)
140ml (approx 1/4 pint) semi-skimmed milk
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to season

1 Peel and roughly dice all the vegetables into approximately 1cm (0.39-inch) thick cubes. Add them all to a large, thick-bottomed pan and add the butter, stirring the vegetables until they are all coated. Leave on a very low heat with a lid on the pan for 15 minutes to allow the vegetables to gently sweat. Stir occasionally.

2 Then, add the stock and the milk and stir. Leave to simmer with the lid on the pan for another 20 minutes, Do not let the soup reach boiling point or the milk might burn. Stir occasionally.

3 After the 20 minutes, the vegetables should be lovely and soft.

4 Then the fun bit – either pop into a liquidiser or use a hand-held device like me, straight in the pan – and liquidise away. You need to make sure all the lumps are gone.

5 If you used a big liquidiser, return the soup back to the pan when you’ve finished blending.

6 Gently heat the soup through in the pan and season with salt and pepper to taste.

The soup will be thick – just how I like it, but it can be thinned out with a cup or two of water if you find it too much.

Serve with chunky bread or the next best gluten-free variety.

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