Ten out of ten for this one. You can use any type of squash or pumpkin but butternut is the best.
- 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cubed
- 2 celery stalks sliced
- 3 leeks sliced
- 2 carrots sliced
- 1 tsp black mustard seeds
- 30g butter or Bertoli (or oil if you want vegan)
Chuck everything in a big pot and sweat gently for 10 minutes.
- 1.2L light chicken (or vegetable stock to make it vegan)
Add the stock and simmer for 25 minutes. Whizz with a stick blender. Adjust seasoning and serve.
Even more incredible with Gremolata sprinkled on top:
- 1 tbs parsley chopped finely
- 2 cloves garlic chopped finely
- zest of one lemon
Mix the above. That is Gremolata. Sprinkle on meat and fish to zap it up a bit if it needs it.
Simple to make and flexible with main ingredients. Firstly make this awesome dressing which would go with other things too.
Boil 3 minutes. Add
Boil 2 minutes more. Drain, remove garlic skins and add to a blender (stick blender is best) with
- Juice of a lemon
- 2 tsp onion powder
- half a cucumber
Zap. Add the other half of a cucumber and zap again. You can experiment by adding herbs – tarragon, chives, etc but I am not sure that is necessary.
For the salad – you can swap vegetables around but I used the following:
- Red cabbage, cut into thin slices including the core so it stays together as a “steak”
- Sweet potato, peeled and cut into 2cm cubes
- Courgette, sliced
Fry in a hot pan until charred. Transfer to an oven 180C fan, season and roast 30 minutes. Less if your charring took a while. Take them out when soft all the way through, and cool for a bit. Meanwhile…
- Broccoli florets
- Chives chipped or spring onions in 3 cm lengths
In the same pan, add a bit more oil then toss the broccoli and chives around and char until bright green with charred bits. They should be still crunchy but not raw. Remove.
- Tofu (vegan) or halloumi (vegetarian)
In the same pan, sear until browned.
- Cherry tomatoes
- Lettuce hearts, quartered
Arrange the roasted and seared items with the fresh items in a tasteful display on your platter. Serve with the sauce.
You could also try asparagus, treated like the broccoli; button mushrooms left whole and fried with garlic and herbs in olive oil; swede or parsnip treated like the sweet potato.
The best side with Daddy Burgers. You will need:
- Large onion, sliced into 1cm slices and rings separated (1 onion = 2 servings)
- Fizzy water
- Self-raising flour
- Oil for deep frying
Make a batter with the flour and water, the consistency of double cream. Start with a cup of flour and add water until it looks right. Heat your oil in a saucepan to 180C. Dip onion rings into the batter and deep fry for 2-4 minutes until they look light brown. Drain on kitchen paper, serve with plenty of salt. Salt and deep frying are bad for you but the onion is good so I guess it cancels out.
- prepared squash
- 2 tbs mild curry paste
Put cubes of squash in an oven tray, toss in oil and curry paste and season. Cook in a 200C oven for 30 minutes until soft. Meanwhile…
- 200g green lentils
- 600ml vegetable stock
Put in a pan and simmer 40 minutes or in a pressure cooker for 6 minutes.
- 100g spinach
- 1 lime, zested and juiced
- pack of coriander, leaves chopped
Add to the lentils. Add the squash and heat until the spinach has wilted.
Heat in a pan until slightly brown
Serve in bowls. Add pomegranate seeds and coconut on top. Serve with warm naan breads and plain yoghurt.
- 2 tbsp sunflower oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced
- 1 large red chilli, halved, de-seeded and finely sliced
Fry gently. Add
- 500g potato cut into small cubes
Fry some more. add
- 1 tbsp chopped ginger
- ½ tsp each black mustard seeds, cumin seeds, turmeric
Fry some more. Add a splash of water and ½ tsp salt, cover and let cook for 10 minutes until soft. Add
Continue cooking until wilted. Done!
You might think – for 90p a pack of six in Tesco what’s the point? But these are awesome.
- 500gm plain flour
- 4gm dried yeast (half a sachet)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1tsp sugar
- Glass of warm water 40 deg C
Ideally, use a food processor. If not you may reconsider going to Tesco.
Pour the dry ingredients into the processor. Give it a whizz to aerate the flour. While the motor is running gently and slowly pour in the water. The mix will start to look like crumbs. Very gently add more water a splash at a time until the dough forms a ball. Whizz for another 40 seconds. Now take the dough out and let it rise in a warm place covered in oiled cling film or plastic bag. After about an hour when it has grown by at least 50% it is ready. Pull off a fistful of dough and roll thinly, about 4mm thick. Heat a heavy griddle or frying pan (no oil) , and cook the pittas on the dry pan turning once when the under surface has brown spots. When cooked through from both sides, keep warm in a kitchen towel while you make the rest. This mix makes about 6 large pittas.
If you buy a kebab from a genuine takeaway or van you will usually be offered (or find) some bright pink pickled vegetable with a nice crunch and a bit of a tang. These are surprisingly easy to make, and go well with your own kebabs at home. You will need some sort of glass jar, I used a Kilner but others are available. Wilco is a surprisingly useful source for these. There are other recipes available on-line. This one does produce good pickles though. Others appear to have more salt and less vinegar. Experiment!
- 1 large or 2 small turnips, 400-500g total
- 1 small uncooked beetroot.
Trim off the peel and slice into sticks the size of French fries, or shorter chunkier pieces.
- 175ml water
- 175ml distilled vinegar (white)
- 4 tsp salt
- 1 chilli stabbed with a knife (optional)
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole.
Mix the pickling ingredients and stir until the salt has dissolved.
Pack a jar with the beets and fill with the liquid. Place in the fridge and check it each day to see the pink tinge grow! The original recipe advised swirling around every few days. After a week it will be ready to eat. Keep it in the fridge and it will last a few weeks I am told. It didn’t last that long here – it was eaten. The Lebanese call these pickles “lift”. Yes, you can see Rudi in the photo.
- 2 sticks celery
- 1 onion
- 2 carrots
- 2 cloves garlic
Chop and sweat in a dash of olive oil for 10 minutes
- 2 tins good quality tomatoes (that is the -ish bit)
- 6 proper tomatoes
- 1 litre vegetable stock (a stock cube is fine)
Simmer 15 minutes
Add a small handful of fresh basil leaves and whizz with a stick blender. Adjust the seasoning and job done. Idea to table in 30 minutes. From a Jamie Oliver recipe. Great with our Irish Soda Bread recipe as you can see in the picture.
This is pretty simple if you have a food processor. Here are the steps.
- Chop an onion finely in a food processor.
- Fry in oil gently with two cloves of garlic.
- Whizz 4 slices of bread to breadcrumbs – put in a bowl
- Whizz 200g cashew nuts to crumbs. Put in bowl.
- Whiz 250g plain tofu and 140ml vegetable stock to a paste. Add to bowl.
- Whizz 200g mushrooms to a fine chop and fry in a little oil
- Add the onion to your bowl, and mix in with half a teaspoon dried thyme and half a teaspoon dried rosemary
- Grease a 2lb loaf tin or equivalent size pie dish and put half the mix in, pressing down.
- Add the cooked mushrooms and spread out.
- Add the rest of the mix and press down.
- Cover with foil and cook in an oven at 180C for one hour.
- Allow to rest ten minutes.
- Turn out and carve.
- Eat hot or cold.
As a non-vegan, I was surprised to discover that Jus-Roll pastry was vegan. Very useful. (So is Bisto gravy, can you believe that?) Quantities are a bit vague because we made this from leftovers so you may need to tweak a bit.
- Half a pack of Jus-Roll puff pastry
- Tin of Borlotti beans (or any beans really), drained
- salt and pepper
- Pinch of cumin
- Small pinch of chilli powder
- Large spoonful of Vegan Bolognese
- Tablespoon of vegan milk
Mush the beans with a stick blender, fork, end of a rolling pin or a clean jam jar. Mix with the other ingredients. It should form a stiff paste. Roll out the puff pastry to about 4mm thick. Cut into rectangles about 200mm by 150mm. Spoon a “sausage” up the centre line of each pastry rectangle on the long dimension. Roll the pastry round the filling and glue the join with a bit of water. Roll over so the join is underneath. Place on a greased baking tray. Brush the milk over the top to make a glaze and slash at an angle across the top of the rolls to allow steam to escape. Cook in a pre-heated oven at 200C for 20-25 minutes.
PS if you don’t have any vegan bolognese you could enhanced the mix with some finely chopped and fried onion, and a contrasting type of bean (white or red). You could add more seasoning, garlic and herbs if you prefer.