Sunday, 22 November 2015

Wicked Patatas Bravas

Patatas Bravas, one of my favourite vegetarian tapas dishes. It is made with humble ingredients, but together they pack a punch! I swapped some of the potatoes for Brazil nuts and it added a fantastic bit of crunch to it - yum!

Wicked Patatas Bravas
(Serves 3-4 for tapas or 2 as a light lunch)

1 large baking potato, diced
2 tbsp olive oil

For the sauce:
2 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 tsp thyme
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 chilli, deseeded and finely chopped (I used green - red is too hot for me!)
400g chopped tomatoes
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp honey (or brown sugar/syrup etc)
Salt and pepper

1/2 cup whole Brazil nuts
Parsley or chives

- Start by making the sauce: Heat two tbsp olive oil in a medium sized pot and add the onions, sautĂȘ for about ten minutes until glistening, add a little more oil if needed.

- Boil up some water and add a good drizzle of salt, add potatoes and boil for about 10 minutes until just tender.

- Add garlic and chilli to the onions, and let it simmer for a minute. Now, add the paprika, honey, salt and pepper along with the chopped tomatoes, turn down the heat and let it bubble for about 10 minutes until you have a thick sauce.

- Drain the potatoes and heat up 2 tbsp olive oil in a frying pan, add your potatoes and fry on medium heat for about 10-20 minutes (depending), turn occasionally and make sure they are nice, golden and slightly crisp.

- Heat up the sauce and swirl through Brazil nuts. In a bowl, scoop half of the potatoes in, pour over the sauce and top with the remaining potatoes. And it is ready to serve!

Despite working yesterday (on a SATURDAY!) I managed to make the most of it and actually have a fantastic weekend! A bottle of wine, amazing company, easting way too much hummous and crackers, watching (500) Days of Summer, adventures to a loch, laughing at the strange noises that sea gulls sometimes make, look at the majestic heron, enjoyed a full vegetarian breakfast out, more hummous and crackers, Sherlock, and Trollhunters... What a bizarre movie that is! But I enjoyed it actually, and it was nice to watch a movie in my mother tongue - it has been a while. I guess I have to practise again for when I go over for christmas, I am a little rusty!

I hope you have had a good weekend? *smiles* It was really sunny today, but almost frosty too - but I suppose for November that is nothing! We could have had snow here! Brrrrr.... I should put the kettle on!

Original source:
River Cottage, Veg Everyday, p. 322

- Jules

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Warm Quinoa & Roast Butternut Squash Salad with Walnuts

There was a time around four years ago when I ate too much butternut squash. I had never tried it before and then when I did? Well.... I figured I could pop it in lunches, dinners and sometimes even for breakfast...

Since then, I have had to use sweet potato in most savoury recipes that called for pumpkin, but now however - I have overcome this and it is all thanks to this hearty warm salad!

I swapped a few things from the original recipe, and I decided to make it vegan!

Enjoy *smiles*

Warm Quinoa & Roast Butternut Squash Salad with Walnuts
(Serves 2)

1 cup quinoa
1 stock cube
Juice of 1/2 lime
Handful fresh parsley, chopped

1 small butternut squash, deseeded and diced
2 tbsp oil
Salt and pepper
1 cup of artichokes in oil, drained and chopped
1 fat garlic clove, finely chopped
70g walnuts, roughly chopped

-Pre-heat the oven to 180C. Toss the butternut squash in oil salt and pepper and place on a baking tray, roast for about 15 minutes.

- Ten minutes in, cook the quinoa in water as instructed and add the stock cube.

- 15 minutes of roasting of the squash, it is time to add the garlic and artichoke! Leave in the oven for an additional 15 minutes until lightly browned and tender.

- Once the quinoa is done and has absorbed the rest of the water off-heat, swirl in the lime juice and parsley.

- Once the vegetables are aaaalmost done, add the walnuts to the roasting tin and pop back into the oven for a further 5-10 minutes so the nuts are lightly toasted!

Serve up! Plate first with the quinoa and top with the squash and walnut mix. Do you approve?

THis weekend has been short of amazing, and it is not even over yet! I have sampled some fine vegetarian burgers in courtesy of Meathammer ltd. I have spent time with people I care about and despite the rather wet weather we have had here, I feel all Autumny and catch myself smiling... Making the most of every day despite things not going according to plan is key - just go for it! I had a really nice and crafty evening last week, and when it was raining cats and dogs one day I was supposed to go to the gym, I went home after work and did exercise there instead.

Later on I will brave the weather again once more and meet up with friends for lunch, so that'll be nice *smiles*

How has your weekend been so far?

Inspiration from Veg Everyday, p. 72

- Jules

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Snickers Dip

Second sweet recipe in a row? Well.... there is a reason for that - today I have been a vegetarian for 8 months! And what better way than to whip up something sweet (and moderately healthy).

This was meant to be posted closer to Halloween, however I failed due to being ridiculously busy.

Enter: my twist on Ragnhild's caramel dip!

I had to tweak the recipe due to missing a couple of ingredients, but it turned out pretty sweet indeed. Spread it on toast and top it with banana, have it on sliced apple or anything else you reckon this would go well with!

In the picture below, there is home made healthy pumpkin pie, vanilla ice cream, topped with the dip and M & Ms! Went down a treat when I had a couple of friends over for dinner and I served this for dessert.

Snickers Dip
(Makes 1/2 cup)

5 tbsp date syup (or soak 1/2 cup dates in boiling water, drain and whizz until smooth)
2 tbsp crunchy peanut butter
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1 tbsp agave syrup (optional)

Toast, bananas, apples or other such things to serve

- Simply mix all the ingredients in a bowl and store in a small air-tight jar. Due to the healthy fats and natural sugar, this will at least last for 5 days in the fridge. I doubt that it will last that long though!

This weekend has been nothing short from lovely, I had Friday and Sunday off and spent it with a bunch of fantastic people. I had a lot of amazing food, picnic on the floor, I made lots of crafty things this evening (picture above is part of a candle I made earlier... It is still going strong on the table here in front of me *smiles*), I was given a tour of a part of Glasgow I had never seen before, and I received my first t-shirt from RedBubble (check it out for amaaazing tee designs!) - I got the one where there is an overly awesome raccoon doing the dishes... You better believe it!

Now, I am knackered, I have made some home made soup to bring for work the next couple of days, and I am ready for a good, long night's sleep... I hope your weekend has been eventful as well!

Recipe by yours truly, inspired by Ragnhild

- Jules

Friday, 6 November 2015

Honey Glazed Orange with Nuts

Here is a quick little recipe when you fancy a sweet treat any time of the day but haven't yet hit your five-a-day.

Oranges are packed full of vitamin C and as it is getting colder here in the North, we're going to need all the nutrients we can get our paws on. Honey is anti-flammatory, and the nuts contain healthy fats and helps a vegetarian get some extra protein! Not to mention the great crunch!

Honey Glazed Orange with Nuts
(Serves 2)

3 oranges, peeled and chopped
2 tbsp honey (syrup for vegan)
2 handfuls walnuts or mixed nuts

- Simply serve the orange topped with honey and the mixed nuts and enjoy!

Possibly one of the quickest home made sweet treats ever?

Hope you enjoy!

The other day, I bout a monster of a spice cake with me to work, I finished early, but when I came in the next morning - it was demolished! OH and I only figured out the other day when I was making it again that the original recipe doesn't have any eggs in it!

I hope you have had a good week so far? I am off today and on Sunday this week, so trying to make the most of it. I was cooking a little this morning so I have food for the next couple of days already made up - life has been hectic this last month!
The BBC Good Food show is in town this weekend, but I KNOW I would only end up spending way too much money, so I'm spending some quality time with friends instead. What have you got planned for the next couple of days?

Original source:
Friske Vegetariske Oppskrifter, p. 260

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Zazou Carrot Salad

I love this little side dish!

The fact that the name of the salad is the same as the funny little grumpy parrot in Lion King certainly peaked my interest when I found this recipe!

I served this as a lunch, along with vegetarian sausaged, and it worked a treat!

Zazou Carrot Salad
(Serves 2)

3-5 carrots, grated
1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
3/4 cup tahini (I used the light tahini)
1 1/4 cup water
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tbsp sesame seed oil
2 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
2 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)

- Start by mixing the tahini and water, followed by garlic, lemon, sesame oil, soy sauce and the nutritional yeast (if using), then stir in the carrot and parsley.

- Serve as a side to a main meal, or as a lighter bite along with some vegetarian sausages!

Original source:

- Jules

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

North African Squash & Chickpea Stew

This is another little nifty recipe from River Cottage's "Veg Everyday"

I have been wanting to cook more African food, so when I had a look through the recipes and saw this - I knew I had to make it!

The saffron adds that little "cannot quite put my finger on it" flavour and has your guests, flatmates, family or special someone guessing...

North African Squash & Chickpea Stew
(Serves 3)

1 tbsp sunflower oil
1 large onion, diced
1 fat garlic clove, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1/2 tsp ground black pepper (or whole peppercorns)
1/2 tsp turmeric
Pinch cinnamon
1/3 tsp ground ginger
100g red lentils
400g tin chickpeas, drained
Pinch saffron
250ml passata (add 2 tbsp red pesto or aivar if you have it handy!)
Handful parsley, roughly chopped
Handful coriander, finely chopped
200g butternut squash or pumpkin, diced
600ml vegetable stock
1 bay leaf
A good handful dates (optional - but it works really well!)

Vegetarian sausages (optional - NB vegan sausages for vegan)
Bread for mopping or rice to serve

- Simply heat the oil in a pan and soften the onion and garlic for 5 minutes or so.

- Add the spices and stir for a minute before adding celery, lentils, chickpeas, saffron, tomatoes and herbs - followed by the butternut squash, stock and bay leaf, I just worked my way down the list really! Leave out the dates for now, cover and simmer until the lentils are cooked and the pumpkin is tender for about 15-20 minutes). Five minutes before it is ready, add the dates so they are just heated through but doesn't fall apart.

- Using vegetarian sausages? Add at the same time as the butternut squash to allow for it to cook through.

- Serve with bread or rice, or simply on its own, and enjoy!

Despite the typical Weegie-weather, today has been a good day! Work was all right, and I had a cuppa after the shift, walking home when the weather was a little more forgiving and it was just a light drizzle.

Are you ready for Halloween? Cooking up a storm, snuggling up with horror movies or going to a party?
As for me, I am going to a friends to watch the hell out of some cheesy horror movies, because I don't like scary films and thus I have to watch the less scary ones, I am such a child!

Original source:
Veg Everyday, p. 30

- Jules

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Tear'n'Share Cinnabons

In September when I had a bunch of friends over, I made a good few cakes and Katrina's cinnamon rolls - it has THE best icing, I think it is because it features coffee, and I myself love the stuff!

Being from Scandiland I am used to eating cinnamon rolls without icing, but there are version with it as well. I had never baked the cinnabons that you have to tear off, but I have always wanted to, so here you have it! All this recipe needs... is a little patience, and you'll get it right!

Who can resist the whiff of cinnamon and and pastry as they come in?

Tear'n'Share Cinnabons
(Makes 1 large cake tin's worth)

1L milk
1 cup vegetable oil (neutral flavour, or sunflower)
1 cup sugar
2 packages active dry yeast
8 + 1 cups flour (one is for the kneading)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tbsp salt

1/2 cup melted butter
2 cups sugar
Generous sprinkling of cinnamon

For the Frosting:
1 bag powdered sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup melted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 STRONG coffee

- For the dough, mix together all the dry ingredients in a large baking bowl.

- Heat up the milk and oil until it reaches body temperature (37C, test a drop on your wrist, if you cannot feel it, it is the right temperature.. I was always fascinated by this as a child!). Turn off the heat and mix in the yeast until dissolved. NOTE - only pour in HALF the milk mixture first, and see how you get on with the dough, as I had to make quite a bit of adjustment to it.

- Make a well in the dry mix, and pour in the liquid. Mix until you have a dough, knead a little and cover it with a cloth. Leave it to rise for about 1 hour.

- Then, punch down the dough and roll out on the floured surface using the remaining cup of flour. Divide the dough into two (makes it easier to handle) and take one piece at a time, rolling it out into a triangle and then spread out the butter, sugar and sprinkle with cinnamon. Roll up and cut into approximately 1 cm thick slices and place in the cake tin. Repeat with second part of the dough, and leave to rise for a further 30-40 minutes.

- Turn the oven up to 200C, and once the temperature has gone up-up-up place the tray with the buns in the middle of the oven and bake for 15-18 minutes.

- Take out the tray and leave to cool. It is important that the buns are quite cool before you pour over the icing. So about half an hour after they've come out of the oven, simply mix all the ingredients for the icing together and pour over the rolls generously.

- Serve fresh and enjoy!

Original source:

- Jules