Archive for the ‘vegetarian food’ Category

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Banana and chocolate chip cakes

November 27, 2007

I was in a bit of a quandry about how to approach this recipe. There are quite a few healthy cake recipes on She Likes Her Food, such as courgette and ginger muffins and healthy chocolate brownies. So, do I add to that collection or go the way of the sticky ginger cake instead? I decided to meet in the middle. Brown flour (good), ground seeds (good), bananas (quite good) and chocolate chips (not so good). There are definitely enough good ingredients in these cakes for you enjoy them without feeling too guilty.

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Recipe for Banana and chocolate chip cakes
50g wholemeal plain flour
150g ground almonds
3 medium bananas, mashed*
120ml vegetable oil
240ml honey
2 eggs, beaten
100g white chocolate drops
10g dark chocolate drops
2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
2 tbsp sunflower seeds
2 tbsp linseeds
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp baking powder

Icing
200g cream cheese
1 banana, mashed
50g icing sugar

Grind the seeds together to a chunky consistency in a spice grinder or food blender. In a medium sized bowl mix together the seeds, flour, ground almonds, cinnamon, salt, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder. In larger bowl, combine the vegetable oil, honey and eggs and stir thoroughly until combined, then add the mashed bananas and mix well, then add to the flour mixture. Stir carefully until everything is properly combined, and transfer straight to your cooking tins. These quantities make a fair amount of mixture, and it’s up to you what kind of tins you use. I use a combination of large and small muffin tins, and a flat tray-bake style tin as well.

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Cook in the oven at 180C for 20-25 minutes, until golden and a tester comes out clean. Leave to cool for a while before removing them from the tins to a cooling rack.

Whilst the muffins are cooking, make the icing. Mix all the ingredients together, using an electric whisk, until the mixture is pale and fluffy, then cool in the fridge until needed. Smooth the icing generously over the muffins and chill until the icing is set. They are lovely and moist, so will not dry out in the fridge or freezer, in fact the cakes actually end up even more moist if they have been frozen.

* You can freeze bananas if you have a surplus, and frozen bananas work really well in this recipe. When frozen the skins go dark brown, but the flesh retains its pale yellow colour. They need about 30 minutes to defrost, and when you peel them you will find soft, glossy flesh that is slightly mushy and allows very easy mashing. You never have to let bananas go brown again – just freeze them! Read more about freezing bananas.

© Katheryn Rice 2007

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Potato and Kale Soup

November 18, 2007

Another interesting vegetable came from Abel & Cole this week: Kale.

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Soup’s a real comfort on a cold day, and making on a chilly afternoon is soothing and satisfying. I’ve made potato and leek soup many times, so what’s to stop it working with kale?

Mr Rice can be a little suspicious of my vegetable soups, but he loved this one as much as me, and I think it’s the best soup I’ve made.

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Recipe for Potato and Kale Soup
3 medium potatoes
300g kale
1 stick of celery
½ onion
500 ml vegetable stock
1 bay leaf
3 tbsp creme fraiche
1 pint of milk

Heat a dash of olive oil and a knob of butter in a large pan, then finely chop the onion and add to the pan, cooking until the onions are turning translucent, then finely chop the garlic and cook with the onions for a few minutes. Chop the celery into thin slices and add to the pan, and cook for another five minutes. Meanwhile, scrub the potatoes (peeling is optional) and cut into 5mm slices, then add these to the pan, stir it all together, then cover and cook for ten minutes.

Roughly chop the kale and add this and the bay leaf to the rest of the ingredients. Give it a good stir, then cover for five minutes, then add the stock, bring to the boil, and cover and cook for 40 minutes.

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Once everything has softened, remove the bay leaf, add the creme fraiche and half the milk and stir roughly, to begin breaking everything up. Next, you have to blend it all together, so remove the pan from the heat. I use a hand blender and gradually work my way round the pan until it is all liquidised and smooth. You can also transfer it into a blender in batches and then back into the pan, but this takes a little bit longer.

Once you’re happy with the texture, return the soup to the heat, and stir in the rest of the milk until you get a thickness you are happy with. If you want a thinner soup, or want to make it go further, add more milk. Just keep tasting it to make sure you don’t dilute the flavour too much.

Tips

  • The butter and creme fraiche are both optional, but help to give the soup its rich taste
  • Leeks and cabbage can be substituted for the kale. Add the leeks after the onions, or the cabbage at the same time as the kale.
  • Skimmed, semi-skimmed or full fat milk can be used
  • Grate some cheese onto the soup when you serve it for extra richness

© Katheryn Rice 2007

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Celeriac Dauphinoise

November 9, 2007

What would you do with this?

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Mr Rice and I asked ourselves that very question when he lifted this harsh looking vegetable from our Able & Cole box last week. After double-checking that it was a celeriac, we pondered on how to make it look and taste better than it does here. Underneath it has some ancient-looking roots that look more like something from Pan’s Labyrinth than something you would be able to eat.

How will we get into it? Will we even be able to peel it? And how will we eat it? These are all questions we would have to answer ourselves, using our own ingenuity and a bit of reading. So, an hour or so later I had a plan: Celeriac Dauphinoise.

It’s normally made with potatoes, and purely with cream, but I love my cheese, and wanted to make it slightly less painful on the calories, so I have used a combination of double cream and low fat creme fraiche, with cheese added to each layer too. It was difficult to peel, and chopping the tangle of roots off the bottom felt wrong – like I was killing a Mangrove root. But needs must, so I got on with it.

The finished result is almost as far removed from the original object as it could be. It looks creamy, cheesy, appetising and manageable. But by far the best thing for me was the taste. The celeriac has an amazing combination of sweetness and sharpness, and a hint of the familiar celery taste. Whereas normal celery veers towards savoury preparations, celeriac gets sweeter when cooked, so combining it with the cream and cheese was a master stroke. The texture was also rather lovely, being a little bit al dente, but still managing to melt in the mouth. Mr Rice loved it too, so hopefully next time Abel & Cole send us one of these unfortunate looking chaps, we will be a little less afraid.

Recipe for Celeriac Dauphinoise
1 whole celeriac
200ml double cream
200ml low fat creme fraiche
200g mature cheddar cheese, grated

Peel the celeriac, starting from the top, and slice the roots away, making sure all rooty bits have gone. This might mean slicing sections off with a knift, rather than just a peelet. The outer is quite tough, so it’s best to get rid of it. Slice the celeriac into 5mm pieces.

Butter a medium sized oven-proof dish, and add a layer of celeriac slices, then a drizzle of cream and a sprinkling of cheese, then repeat with a dollop of creme fraiche and a sprinkling of cheese. Repeat this process until all ingredients are used up, and finish with a thin layer of cream and cheese. You can sprinkle each layer with a pinch of salt and pepper if you’re that way inclined, but I think the flavours are strong enough.

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Cook at 190ºC for 1 hour, until the cheese is golden and the sauce is bubbling. If you have filled the dish quite full, make sure it’s on a baking tray to catch any overflow.

Celeriac Dauphinoise is a perfect, decadent side dish.

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©Katheryn Rice 2007

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Roast vegetables with Halloumi Cheese

October 19, 2007

Simple and delicious and really versatile, roast vegetables are an easy way to serve up a colourful and healthy meal. I have experimented with this dish a lot, and I recommend that you do this too. Everyone has their favourite vegetables, so test them out until you have the combination that suits you. This is my best concoction. Using red and white onionsand shallots gives the onion element real depth and variety. Introducing the cherry tomatoes towards the end adds a moistness and soft flavour to complement the stronger vegetables, and the Halloumi Cheese gives a hearty, salty dimension to fill you up.

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Recipe for Roast Vegetables with Halloumi Cheese

1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
1 red onion
1 white onion
3 shallots
1 courgette
10 cherry tomatoes
1 pack Halloumi Cheese
2 cloves of garlic
olive oil

Chop all the vegetables except the tomatoes into 1-2 inch chunks, mix together and scatter onto a foil-covered baking tray. Chop the garlic finely and scatter over the vegetables, followed by a drizzle of olive oil, then stir to ensure the vegetables all have a light covering of oil. Sprinkle with a pinch or two of sea salt.

Cook at 200ºC in the oven for 45 minutes, stirring and turning the vegetables every 15 minutes. After 45 minutes they should be softening and browning, so chop the cherry tomatoes into halves, and the Halloumi into 1 inch chunks, and add to the tray. Cook for a further 15 minutes, turning once, until the cheese has golden & brown patches.

Serve as a side dish or with pasta and chunky bread as a main course.

©Katheryn Rice 2007

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Braised celery

October 8, 2007

Raw celery has never done it for me. The taste is just too pungent and sharp. But I have learnt over the years to embrace celery as a superb ingredient for adding flavour to sauces. So, when Abel & Cole sent us some celery one week, and I had used it as a sauce and also forzen some away, I decided to set myself a challenge to prepare it as a dish by itself.

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Yet again, Abel & Cole came up with a corker of a recipe, this time for Braised Celery. I was staggered by how delicious it turned out to be, and how well it went with the rest of the sunday lunch I had prepared. The celery imparts its own flavour into the sauce, but also absorbs the flavour from the stock and the cheese, making it unbelievably delicious. And so easy too!

 Recipe for Braised Celery
1 head celery
240 ml chicken stock
2 tbsp olive oil
8 whole garlic cloves
1 pinch thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan

Cut the celery into thick matchsticks and chop the celery leaves too. Place the celery, stock, olive oil, garlic, and thyme in a medium frying pan over high heat.

Bring  to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, partially covered, for about 15-20 minutes, until the celery is tender and the liquid is reduced. Then remove the celery and put it in a serving dish. Keep the liquid in the pan and heat to reduce and thicken it, which should take about 4-5 minutes. Then pour the liquid over the celery and sprinkle the parmesan all over, ensuring full coverage. Then cook in the oven at 200°C for 10-15 minutes, until the cheese is well melted and starting to brown. Remove from the oven and serve.

© Katheryn Rice 2007

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Honey & maple glazed carrots

October 4, 2007

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Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Peel, top and tail 7 carrots, then add 1 tbsp of fat to a small roasting tin and put into the oven for 2 minutes to heat up. Remove the tin from the oven then toss the carrots in the fat until completely covered, then drizzle with 1 tbsp honey and 1 tbsp maple syrup. Cook in the oven for 45 minutes, stirring and re-basting every 15 minutes.

© Katheryn Rice 2007

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Vegetable Nut Roast

September 26, 2007
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Vegetable nut roast

When I was trying to come up with a nut roast recipe, this was the other on my shortlist. It has a much higher nut content than the cheese and tomato version. This also makes it more crumbly, but also gives it more of a crunch, and a definite nuttiness!

Recipe for vegetable nut roast
600g mixed nuts: peanuts, cashew nuts, hazelnuts, walnuts
100g mixed seeds: pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds
225g tin of green lentils
1 medium aubergine
2 sticks celery
1 medium carrot
1 medium courgette
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
100g brown bread crumbs
1 egg
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp marjoram
1 tsp paprika
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tablespoons mango chutney
50g cheddar cheese
salt and pepper

First, put half the nuts in a blender and whizz until they are in fine, 1mm chunks, then whizz the other half until they are a little finer and put into a large mixing bowl.
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Finely chop the onions and garlic, then gently fry them in a large frying pan. Chop the aubergine into 1cm cubes and add to the pan with the herbs, spices and seasoning and cook until soft.

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Meanwhile grate the carrots, celery and courgette and then add to the pan and cook together for about 10 minutes.

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Stir in the soy sauce, mango chutney and egg and then add the drained lentils, nuts and breadcrumbs and mix it all together evenly. Then transfer it all to a large silicon loaf tin, top with the grated cheese and cook at 190°C for 45 minutes.

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When it’s cooked, let it cool for a couple of minutes, then carefully turn out onto a chopping board, where it can be sliced to serve.

Tips:
– If all the grating and chopping is a pain, you can cheat by chopping it in a food blender – it saves load of time. The end result will be smaller pieces than if you had grated it, but that really doesn’t matter in the finished nut roast.

– If you or any of your diners think nut roast as a main course is not manly enough, it can also be served as a delicious side dish with pork or chicken, or any other meal you fancy putting it with (this made it much more palatable for Mr Rice).

– This nut roast freezes really well. Just cut the slices to the size you want, then wrap carefully and tightly in cling film. Re-heat it in the microwave with some extra grated cheese instead of cheese on toast!

© Katheryn Rice 2007

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