Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Stuffed Courgettes and Honey Mustard Roast Potatoes

Courgettes stuffed with mushrooms, pepper, cheddar cheese and breadcrumbs served with delicious potatoes roasted in a wholegrain honey mustard dressing. Serves 2. Simply leave out the cheese for a vegan friendly version of the courgettes.


For the stuffed Courgettes-

2x Large Courgettes
1x Tomato, diced
1x Red Pepper, diced
150g Mushrooms, finely chopped
1x Onion, grated
3x Cloves of Garlic, grated
Breadcrumbs (one slice of bread lightly toasted and crumbled)
250g Cheddar Cheese, grated

For the Potatoes -

300g New Potatoes (with skins left on), washed and halved
3x tbsp Olive Oil
2x tbsp Lemon Juice
2x tsp Honey
2x tsp Wholegrain Mustard

Method - To make the dressing for the potatoes, simply mix together the oil, lemon juice, honey and mustard in a small bowl.

Bring a pan of water to the boil and add the potatoes, preheat the oven to 180°c. Parboil the potatoes for 15 minutes. Once the potatoes have cooked, remove them from the heat, drain and place them on a baking tray. Spoon over the dressing and place in the oven, cooking for around 25 minutes. Whilst cooking, it is a good idea to turn the potatoes every 5 minutes or so and spoon any excess dressing back over the top of potatoes to give them a nice, even coating. 

Whilst the potatoes are cooking add boiling water to a large pan, add the courgettes and simmer for around 7 minutes, until the courgettes begin to soften. Once cooked, remove the courgettes from the water and empty the pan.

Halve the courgettes and scoop out the soft inside with a spoon and mash with a fork. Set the courgette skins to one side on a grill pan. Heat some oil in a frying pan and add the onion, garlic and any herbs you want and heat for around 5 minutes. Next add the mushrooms, tomato, pepper, half of the breadcrumbs and half of the cheese and mix well, cooking for a further 5 minutes. This mixture makes up the stuffing for the courgettes.

Spoon generous amounts of the mix into the courgette skins, topping with the remainder of the cheese and breadcrumbs. Cook in the oven at 180°c for 15 minutes, until the cheese starts to bubble and the breadcrumbs become crisp.


Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Chick Pea & Sweet Potato Burgers

A tasty, vegan-friendly burger recipe. For this recipe I used tinned chickpeas as they need no preparation once drained. You can use dried chickpeas, however, they will require soaking and cooking beforehand. This amount of mixture produced about 10 burgers, great for keeping in the freezer for a quick to cook meal. Also, a large pan is vital here, as the amount of mixture you will end up with can make quite a mess. You can always personalise your burgers by chopping and changing what herbs, spices and nut combinations you like.

1x Onion, grated
3x Cloves of Garlic, grated
300g Sweet Potato (around 2 medium sized potatoes), sliced and cubed
400g tin of chickpeas, drained
2x Carrots, peeled and grated
A small amount of fresh Ginger, peeled and grated (about 16g)
200g Mushrooms, finely chopped
200g Mixed Nuts, finely chopped (Walnuts, Pine Nuts, Brazil Nuts and Cashews)
1x tsp Cumin powder
1x tsp Smoked Paprika
½x tsp Chilli Powder
180g Plain Flour
1x Lemon, juice
Oil for frying

Method - Prepare the ingredients as stated above. Bring a pan of water to the boil, add the sweet potato and cook for around 10 minutes, until the potato begins to soften. Whilst the potato is cooking, add some oil to a large frying pan, heat to a medium temperature and add the onion, garlic and spices to the pan. Heat for around 5 minutes, until the onion begins to brown. 

Add the mushrooms to the frying pan and heat for 5 minutes until they begin to soften, once soft add in the chopped nuts and turn the heat down as low as possible. Once the potato has cooked, drain the water and add in the chickpeas. Mash them together roughly, using a fork. Take care not to make this mixture too smooth as you will mash it further later in the recipe and making it too smooth can result in the burgers becoming too sloppy. Add the potato and chickpea mixture, ginger, carrots and lemon juice into the frying pan and mix together. 

Once mixed, remove the pan from the heat. The flour must now be mixed in, the best method for doing this is to measure out the 180g of flour into a bowl and gradually sprinkle, one tablespoon at a time over the mixture and stir well between each tablespoon added. After adding the first few spoonfuls the mixture will noticeably begin to thicken.

Now, in a separate frying pan, heat some more oil to a med-high temperature for frying the burgers. Once the mixture is completed, place a suitable amount onto a floured bread board and use your hands to shape into burger sized patties, ensuring to coat both sides with flour (as shown below) and add to the oil.  

Fry the burgers, turning them regularly until they are crisp and golden brown. They will be ready to serve straight away. I recommend cooking all of the patties and either freezing or refrigerating them. To reheat they can be cooked in the oven or refried.

Particularly nice with mustard, pickles, roasted Curly Kale and Broccoli.


Thursday, 4 October 2012

Walnut, Apple and Blue Cheese Salad

A personal take on a dish I had whilst on holiday in New Haven, CT. A nice and simple salad that requires very little preparation.

Ingredients - 
Cucumber, sliced
Tomatoes, sliced
Apple, sliced
Carrot, peeled and sliced
Stilton cheese, crumbled or grated
Broccoli, cut into florets
Walnuts, finely chopped
Balsamic Vinegar to dress

Simply prepare the ingredients as listed above. Cook the broccoli for 5-7 minutes (or longer if you prefer it softer). Place all the ingredients into a bowl, with the cooked broccoli on top and finally sprinkle the chopped walnuts and blue cheese over the salad. Dress with the balsamic vinegar to taste. Note - You may wish to leave the blue cheese to melt for a minute or two over the cooked broccoli before dressing.

Can be made vegan simply by leaving out the blue cheese, still very tasty.