Friday, 12 February 2016

Avocado & Cucumber Gaspacho

OK, so it might be a little early with chilled soups, however this version here by Gordon Ramsay is lovely! When I had it, I felt a little tinge of Summer sunshine - surely not a bad thing?

Whipped up in about 7 and a half minutes (not that I counted), you will have yourself a bowl of Summer in no time!

Avocado & Cucumber Gaspacho
(Serves 2 as a starter)


For the soup:
1 cucumber, chilled then peeled
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 ripe avocado
4 tbsp Greek yogurt (I used soy, making the dish vegan)
Splash of tabasco or hot chilli sauce (I used quite a bit to bring the heat through the mellow flavours)
Salt and black pepper

For the garnish:
1/4 red onion, finely chopped
5-6 baby plum tomatoes, finely chopped
A drizzle of olive oil
2 basil leaves, finely chopped

- Start by whizzing the soup ingredients until smooth.

- Now, chop up the ingredients for garnish and top the soups as you go along, ending with a slight drizzle of oil and the basil leaves.

I enjoyed this with some toasted slices of bread once, and another time just on its own!

What is your favourite chilled soup?

I hope everyone has a good weekend ahead whether you're a fan of Valentine's Day or not. I myself am going to an Estonian friend of mine for a clothes swap with a group of lovely people. In Estonia, they celebrate this day with friends more-so than with lovers, and I don't tend to be overly cheesy. It will be good fun having our own little swap-event, and hey! Maybe I will find some old-new-pretty things!
What are your plans?


Original source:
Ramsay's Best Menus 019

- Jules

Monday, 8 February 2016

Minty Melon, Feta & Fennel Salad

This salad had my tastebuds intrigued, tangy, cheesy, sweet, minty? All of the above... And I tell you what, it was a refreshing experience!

Minty Melon, Feta & Fennel Salad
(Serves 2)


4 handfuls of washed leaves (I used mixed baby leaves)
1 fennel, trimmed and thinly sliced
300g cantaloupe, deseeded and cut into long slices
100g feta

Dressing:
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
Juice of 1/4 lime
3 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
2 sprigs of fresh mint, finely chopped

- Divide the leaves between two plates, and if you want to crisp up the fennel, you can leave it in a bowl of icy water for five minutes - but I skipped this step, still crunchy! Sprinkle the slices of fennel across the plates, followed by the cantaloupe. Crumble over the feta... Aaaaalmost done now, just one more thing...

- Mix the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and drizzle atop of the salad - ta dah!


The colours on the plate made me really happy... Trying to suppress the early Winter evenings, eating happy food packed full of goodness!


Original source:
Ramsay's Best Menus 004

- Jules

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Muhammara

I am a sucker for dips, the more exotic the better! And within a week, two of my favourite blogs posted recipes for muhammara - a red bell pepper and walnut-based dip which tastes fantastic! If you like hummous, you'll like this!

Serve as a snack with wholemeal pita bread and crudites, or serve as part of a main meal!

Muhammara
(Serves 4)


1 red bell pepper
3/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup wholemeal breadcrumbs
3 Spring onions, chopped
Juice of 1/4 lemon
1 tsp cumin
A good pinch of salt
1 tbsp agave syrup (or pomegranate molasses)
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp water

Pomegranate seeds and oil for topping

Pita bread, and vegetable sticks for dipping

- Start by roasting the red bell pepper on high heat in the oven until blistered, wrap in tin foil until the skin is easy to peel of the pepper.

- Have the pepper along with all the other ingredients in a blender and swish until you have a slightly coarse but smooth dip.

- Simply top with pomegranate seeds upon serving, a good drizzle of oil and serve with sides of choice or as part of a main!

We made this as part of three dips (We also made Egyptian Foul Mudammes and Zingy Avocado Hummous!) and it was quite the spread!


What is your absolute favourite veggie dip?

Today, one of my colleague had brought in heart shaped vegetarian jelly sweeties and asked if I would be her Valentine <3 It is cheesyness like this I can deal with, not to mention the slight sugar-high that hit! Giggles in work *smiles*


Original source:
http://warmvanillasugar.com/2016/01/14/muhammara/

- Jules

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Creamy Vegan Veggie Soup

Substituting the parmesan for garlic, the butter for oil, and coconut- and or unsweetened almond milk (or soy) makes this a vegan version of Cathleen's deliciously creamy vegetarian soup!

Usually, I grow tired of having the same dish three days in a row (unless...perhaps...it's cake), but this... This worked really well at any occasion. I even had some for breakfast one of the days!

Creamy Vegan Veggie Soup
(Serves 3)


2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 small (red) onion, chopped
1 fat garlic clove, finely chopped
150g broccoli, cut into florets
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
100g frozen peas
Chopped mushrooms (optional, I had some leftover)
1L vegetable stock (I used 2 stock cubes)
2-3 cups almond/light coconut/soy milk
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt

- Start by heating up oil in a large casserole and soften the onion for about 5 minutes. Add garlic and fry for a further 2 minutes.

- Toss in vegetables and stir lightly for a minute, before pouring in the stock, the milk and the spices. Turn heat down to a simmer and cover. Cook until the carrots are tender, about 15-20 minutes.

- Season to taste and serve with some good crusty bread, or just enjoy a cup-a-homemade-soup at your leisure!

The last couple of days, sadly I have been poorly again and so it has been very quiet here and not a lot of cooking involved. For Robert Burns' night last night though, of course I rattled up some traditional (but vegetarian) haggis, neeps and tatties! Gotta make sure to celebrate the few special days of the year, right? Not to mention that it is absolutely deeeelicious! I hope you have had a good week so far *smiles*


Original recipe:
http://www.atasteofmadness.com/2015/02/30-minute-creamy-vegetable-soup.html


- Jules

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Honey & Garlic Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

This might be one of the best toast topping or side to accompany antyhing this Winter! Maybe as tapas? The tomatoes are packed with vitamin C, garlic is super good for you, and honey is anti flammatory. Now how about THAT?

I made this one of the days when I was packed with pharyngitis, and just needed to make the most out of a little. I used a little extra oil then in the original recipe, as well as honey, cause I was afraid it wouldn't stretch!

Honey & Garlic Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
(Serves 3)


500g cherry tomatoes
2 tbsp + 1 tbsp sunflower oil
1 1/2 tbsp runny honey (syrup for vegan)
2 garlic cloves, minced or finely chopped
Salt and black pepper

- Start by pre-heating the oven to 190C.

- Now, pour 2 tbsp oil into a baking dish and make sure it is spread all over the base.

- Halve the tomatoes and place them cut side up.

- Mix the remaining oil, honey and garlic in a small bowl. Spread over the tomatoes, and then sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Place in the oven and roast for 30 minutes until tender and juicy.

- Serve on fancy bruscetta, or as an accompaniment!



Original source:
Veg Everyday, p. 343

- Jules

Saturday, 16 January 2016

Curried Bubble & Squeak

Bubble and Squeak, something I had never tried until this! I had some cabbage that needed used and when I came across this curried version of it, it sounded great! In season, healthy and exciting flavours.
I didn't have normal curry powder, so I used a korma mix - just use whatever you have at hand and I am sure it will go down a treat!

Curried Bubble & Squeak

(Serves 2)


2 tbsp neutral oil
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 tbsp curry powder or paste (I used Korma)
1 large potato (or 400g smaller ones), small dice
200g cabbage, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
2 handfuls toasted cashews or other nuts (for vegan) or a poached egg to serve

- Start by boiling up water and have in a medium pan along with the potato and cabbage. Cook for about 10 minutes.

- In the meantime, heat oil in a pan and soften the onion for about 5 minutes, then add the garlic and fry for a further 3-4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and add the curry powder.

- Once the potatoes and cabbage is ready, drain off most of the excess water. Tip into the pan,and stir until everything is combined. Cover and cook for a further 5 minutes and make sure the potatoes are cooked through.

- Serve either generously topped with toasted and lightly salted cashews, or with a poached egg!


Today, I was working and in the afternoon my colleague pointed out the window - it was snowing! So the snow has finally arrived Glasgow... I must admit I chucked a few snowballs on my way home after the shift... I mean, how could one possibly resist?! Tonight, I have been gymming, cooking, reading some Sherlock Holmes short stories, and now it's feet-up time, think I will watch a movie. I hope you are having a fantasmic weekend!


Original source:
Veg Everyday, p. 228

- Jules

Monday, 11 January 2016

Oska's Fennel & Squash Lasagne

Usually, I have people bringing food as well as making a dish myself when I have parties - food brings people together you know? And it makes the morning after a whole lot easier when you're not up all night dancing - eating is not cheating!

This once, my friend brought this amazing vegetarian lasagne, and the flavours were fantastic! Wanna know how the recipe goes? Keep readin'.

Oska's Fennel & Squash Lasagne
(Serves 4-6)

PS the one Oska made looked waaaaay better, but it was gone before I could take a snap!

For the filling:
500g squash, peeled, deseeded and chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1/2 tsp thyme
2 fennel bulbs, the hard outer layer removed, the rest sliced
150g goats cheese, crumbled
20g parmesan

For the sauce:
1 litre milk (I used almond plus 1 tbsp vegetable stockto make it savoury)
1 bay leaf
1 onion, chopped
1 celery stalk,finely chopped
1 tsp peppercorns
30g unsalted butter
30g plain flour (I used cornflour)
1 tsp Dijon mustard

Lasagne sheets or more courgettes sliced lengthways to separate the layers

Side salad to serve

- Pre-heat the oven to 180C.

- For the bechamel sauce, heat the milk with the bay leaf in a casserole, add the celery, onion and peppercorns and heat through until right before it starts to simmer. Remove from the heat and set aside to infuse.

- Toss the squash with2 tbsp oil in a roasting dish, season with salt and pepper and roast in the oven for half an hour until softened, then toss immediately with the garlic and thyme, and set aside.

- Heat 1 tbsp oil in a frying pan and soften the fennel for about 5 minutes, and set aside. Guess what? It is composition time!

- Gently re-heat the sauce and straing through a colander. Heat up the butter in a small saucepan and stir in the (corn)flour until you have a smooth rue, then add to the sauce and cook until it thickens, stirring constantly so it remains smooth. Stir in mustard season to taste and set aside.

- Spread a third of the sauce in the bottom of a large baking dish. Layer half of the lasagne sheets over, and then roast squash on top of that, another layer of sauce, then lasagne sheets followed by fennel. Scatter the crumbled goats cheese on top, and spoon over any remaining sauce. Sprinkle with the grated parmesan cheese and a trickleof oil.

- Bake for about 30 minutes (or longer if needed) until golden. Serve with peas and a green salad.

Now how is that for a lasagne? Thank you so much for the recipe Oska!

What is your favourite vegetarian lasagne?


- Jules