Showing posts with label Vegetarian. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Vegetarian. Show all posts

Butternut, Sweet Potato and Spinach Bake

Now I do love a good frying pan, saucepan or any other kind of pan for that matter! Just recently I've been trying out the Dura Forge range of frying pans from Prestige which also includes an excellent grill pan.

Butternut Sweet Potato and Spinach Bake

When looking at what I call a good pan they really get top marks from me if they can also go into the oven and the Dura Forge range can; so my Butternut, Sweet Potato and Spinach Bake started on the hob and then got popped into the oven to bake! The pans are oven safe up to 180°C/350°F or Gas 4 which makes for easier and faster cooking since there's no need to change pans half way through the recipe. That's not all as it also means less to wash up ๐Ÿ˜‰

The interior of the pans have reinforced ridges which provides a great non-stick surface and makes them easy to clean. As you can see from my picture the frying pan hardly looked like it'd had food in it when I dished out some of the butternut bake - brilliant.
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Sweet Potato and Chickpea Casserole - Wonderbag Review

I must admit when I was asked if I'd like to review a Wonderbag (which I might point out I had never heard of before) I was intrigued.  Can it really work, I mean really?  Well the answer is, YES it does.

So, the Wonderbag looks like a big comfy beanbag but of course it isn't; it's an eco-friendly slow cooks that cooks and keeps food hot for up to 12 hours, but with a difference - there's no battery, plug or fuel required.

Check out my deliciously warming Sweet Potato and Chickpea Casserole - cooked in the Wonderbag!


Sweet Potato and Chickpea Casserole and the Wonderbag

This was another of my experiments in the kitchen and it worked. The lovely warming spice cumin and honey go perfectly together but the addition of coconut milk gave the casserole a nice and creamy rich flavour; yep sucess.

The Wonderbag is light in weight, easily portable and compact for easy storage when not in use. There's no need to supervise the cooking of your dishes and it will never overcook or burn your dishes.  It even doubles as a cooler bag to keep food and drinks chilled as long as they went in really cold in the first place they will stay really cold.

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Breakfast in a Jar - Overnight Oats with Berries

As we all know breakfast is the most important meal of the day but so many people skip it because they say they don't have time. Totally understandable in this day and age (been there done that) but I can not function without breakfast.  Always hungry am I so actually I can't function without lunch, or dinner either for that matter.

Anyway, back to breakfast and I say breakfast in a jar is the way to go and is far better for you than a piece of toast. You could even eat it straight from the jar whilst on the train to work ๐Ÿ˜‹ but if you drive to work, this is never going to be a good idea so please don't attempt it!

Breakfast in a Jar

Transform your breakfasts and make them not only wholesome and filling but healthy too.

Rolled Oats - Porridge Oats, what's the difference?
Porridge oats, usually, are not just flattened, but also ground so they are broken up into smaller pieces. The whole oat is still there, but the result is more powdery.  Rolled oats are good  for making a chewier and larger-textured porridge, and take slightly longer to cook. Oh yes, full of knowledge me.

So for this reason I say rolled oats such as Scott's or Quaker work better simply because after soaking they don't end up mushy. But with that said if you prefer mushy then go for porridge oats.  Just for goodness sake don't use Ready Brek or you'll end up with a jar of glue.
  • Fill a 500ml jar to just below half way.  Now add milk until the oats are covered plus a tiny bit more. You can of course use soy milk, almond milk or whatever it is you fancy.
  • Add a squeeze of of runny honey and throw in some berries such as raspberries and blueberries.
  • If you don't like honey, try adding cinnamon to sweeten.  You can also add a dollop of yogurt and a few nuts if nuts are your thing.
  • Put the lid on and pop the jar into the fridge.

Overnight Oats with Berries

If you really don't have time to eat it now you can eat it as soon as you get to work.

Top Tips!
You can make ahead a couple of jars at the same time, so tomorrow and the next days breakfast are sorted. But with that said this really does take two minutes so I'd say do it the night before for the next morning.

Prepare and leave in the jar for at least an hour but overnight for best results.  But actually you can eat rolled oats straight away as you don't have to cook them. In a list of questions and answers Quaker say 'Yes, you can eat rolled oats without cooking them as during the milling process they are cleaned and heat treated'.

If you don't like the idea of cold oats just pop the jar into a microwave (without the lid if it's metal of course) for a minute or so, remember they are already soaked so they just need warming.

You can add frozen berries if that makes life easier for you; whatever works for you, do it.

You can use any jar really as long as it's thoroughly washed and squeaky clean; but I like to be all fancy so I use Kilner or Mason  jars.
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Warm Potato Salad with Spinach Asparagus Tomatoes and Gremolata Dressing

We love potatoes in our house, especially new potatoes. I say new potatoes are just the best thing ever since you don’t even have to peel them!

Now that the baby potato season is now in full swing I was pleased to be asked to try 'Taste the Difference' British Gems Baby New Potatoes which are available right now until the end of August from @Sainsburys - give them a go, we're now hooked on them. Grown by British growers and freshly dug every day before being washed and packed and making their way to Sainsbury’s stores within 48 hours. They have a lovely buttery flavour and are perfect simply boiled and served with a nice salad.


Just recently we've also been trying to eat more spinach and so for my recipe I just had to include it in my warm salad with a gremolata dressing; extra vitamins and all that healthy stuff!

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Persian-style Jewelled Rice - Multi Cooker Recipe

As you know I've been busy experimenting with my Optimum Pressure Cooker PRO which is a multi cooker meaning is can also be used as a slow cooker.  But as it's also a pressure cooker it can cook Slow or Fast.  It also has Induction technology which means food cooks evenly.
Since we eat a lot of rice in this house I thought I'd see if I could make Persian Jewelled Rice - oh my goodness how exotic am I?!

I've referred to my recipe as 'Persian-style' because proper Persian or Iranian Jewelled Rice as it's sometimes referred to, has a lovely golden crust on the bottom which I didn't attempt to do using the multi-cooker (it's not to say it can't be done but I haven't tried as yet).  Anyway I was really pleased with the result; so many flavours and different textures and of course it means you are eating, rice, nuts and fruit all in one dish which has got to be a good thing ๐Ÿ˜‰

Persian-style Jewelled Rice

Don't you just love all the colours and textures?  A mix of nuts, seeds, carrot, sultanas and orange peel and rose petals - yep rose petals but not from roses in the garden!  These are proper dried rose petals that are for use in cooking.  Available from Amazon although I got mine at the Good Food show.

So in my bid to get healthier for #Jumpstart17 my Jewelled rice had to happen as it's a great way to liven up boring plain rice.  In any case, how impressive is it to say 'Oh I just rustled up some Persian Jewelled Rice'?!

Although the rose petals are dried they come to life once added to a tiny bit of liquid; I just put them in a bowl along with a tiny bit of water for 10 minutes before adding to the nut, seed and fruit mixture. By the way in case you're wondering, where to buy barberries I got mine in Waitrose; in fact they probably sell rose petals too.
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Vegetable Pasta Bake Recipe - No Need to Cook Pasta First!

This colourful comforting vegetable pasta dish was on the table ready to dive into in under 20 minutes; and that includes preparation.  And it was all cooked in ONE pot with no draining or need for another pan to saute the veg first, or even to cook the pasta first; bet you wouldn't believe me? Well it's all true and to find out more and for a giveaway read on!

Vegetable Pasta Bake

As part of my healthy eating plan and to lose a bit of weight for the #Jumpstart17 challenge I said I would have at least one meat free day per week.

You may have read my review of the Optimum Pressure Cooker PRO - with this fantastic piece of kitchen kit you do not need to cook the pasta first; just add dry pasta straight from the packet! 
I mean how fantastic is that?

Optimum Pressure Cooker


Think how much time and washing up you save on, not to mention the mess of pots and pans everywhere.
  • I sauteed the chopped vegetables directly in the pan of the Pressure Cooker Pro.
  • I then added in a tin of tomatoes, plus herbs and seasoning along with 300 ml vegetable stock.
  • Add the dry pasta straight from the packet and pressed 'PASTA' setting.
  • 12 minutes later it was DONE and ready to serve!
Read on to enter the GIVEAWAY where one lucky reader will win one of their very own Optimum Pressure Cooker PRO!
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Love Potatoes - Mozzarella, Plum Tomato and Roast Potato Salad

If you ask the question 'hands up who doesn't love potatoes'?  I expect not too many hands would be raised as I'd bet pretty much that everyone loves potatoes!

Whether it's proper roasties served with a traditional Sunday roast, or gorgeous new potatoes simply washed, skin on, boiled then served with a good knob of butter melted over the top.  Or how about Roasted with Crushed Garlic Cloves and Slices of Lemon, a sprinkling of Sea Salt to season?  Then just then dive in and enjoy.  

This Mozzarella, Plum Tomato and Roast Potato Salad recipe from Love Potatoes who have created a new selection of recipes for the spring season.  I was asked to have a go at making it and I must say it was really easy to make, lovely and colourful, healthy and more importantly, very tasty too.


As we all know, leaving the skins on potatoes means you are getting all the goodness of the potato, including fiber and vitamins which are found just under the skin.  This salad is packed full of vitamins from the added vegetables and watercress.  You can use pea-shoots which I would have loved to have done but could I buy any round here?  Sadly not, so watercress it was, which of course is still good.
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Spicy Fried Eggs on Ciabatta - Stellar Cookware Chef's Pan

Just about everyone's into cooking these days; magazines are full of recipes and the television is pretty much non-stop cooking shows; which as far as I'm concerned can only be a good thing.  Everyone has to eat, but few people want to spend hours in the kitchen.

Fast food is what we all need after a busy day, something that can be rustled up in next to no time, tastes good and looks good.  So if it can be made using just one pan, surely that's even better?  My Spicy Fried Eggs take under 10 minutes to make including the prep!

spicy fried eggs

Not many people want to spend a fortune on fancy pot and pans either, but it has to be said a good pan will make all the difference to your cooking results.

Now, this is where the Chef's Pan from Stellar Cookware is fantastic as it's ideal for those that don't have much space in the kitchen as it can be used as a frying pan, saucepan, or a wok and it's a great price too.
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Winter Vegetable Lasagne - Lower your Cholesterol with Flora ProActiv

High cholesterol is a major risk to heart disease as it contributes to the narrowing of vital arteries which can lead to a heart attack or stroke.  There are no obvious signs or symptoms with high cholesterol and HEART UK and Flora ProActiv are urging people to get their cholesterol level checked out.

If you do happen to have a high level of cholesterol the good news for most people is, there are simple and effective ways to lower cholesterol which include changes to diet and lifestyle.  Eating healthier, including super cholesterol busting food like plant sterols and getting more active helps lower cholesterol and most people will see an effect in as little as 3 weeks.

Simple diet changes are often all you need, check out this Winter Vegetable Lasagne recipe by Flora ProActiv.

Winter Vegetable Lasagne

The recipe was simple to make, tasty and very filling.  Fantastic for a midweek family meal and it's a great way to get kids to eat vegetables too!

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Cheesy Topped Potatoes and Peppers - Panasonic CS894S Steam Oven

Having had my Panasonic Steam Combination Oven a few weeks now I've been busy experimenting with the steam function.  Of course it's not necessary to have a steam oven to make this recipe since you could par-boil the potatoes and cook in a regular oven.  But the Panasonic Steam Oven really does make life easier as everything is done in the one oven, so there's far less washing up, which can only be a good thing!


You can read my review of the Panasonic NN-CS894S for more information.

My Cheesy Topped Potatoes and Peppers are tasty enough on their own or served as side dish.
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Vegetarian Stew with Peppers and Cannellini Beans - ThermoCook Recipe

An easy to make, vibrant vegetable stew packed full of flavour.  The addition of cannellini beans makes this a filling meal especially if served fresh crusty bread for dipping and mopping.   Of course you don't have to own a ThermoCook to make this recipe, but it does make it extra simple to make and really does cook stews perfectly.


All stews taste even better if reheated to following day making this the perfect quick mid week meal or to take to work for a tasty lunch; just heat it up in a microwave.
Of course the ThermoCook can chop everything but since we want chunks of vegetables rather than finely chopped for this recipe it's better to cut them by hand.
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Optimum ThermoCook - Mini Review

Thanks to ThermoCook it's beginning to look like I'm redundant in my own kitchen!  Let me tell you about this truly amazing piece of kit; introducing the Optimum ThermoCook Professional Cooking Assistant!  When I was asked if I'd like a ThermoCook all of my own I almost fell off the chair; I mean this is  seriously an excellent state of the art piece of kitchen equipment.  It's not only stylish but it's smaller than I imagined it to be, which is great since our kitchen is really tiny.

Oh yes, the ThermoCook is a cooking lovers dream come true.  Of course it's not that I or anyone else can't cook, but the ThermoCook makes everything so much easier. 



There's so much I have to tell you but it would mean this post would go on forever, so I intend to write a series of posts covering the many different tasks the ThermoCook can do.


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Roasted Cauliflower and Cheese Soup

With Autumn weather now full swing there's nothing like a nice bowl of steaming hot creamy soup.  Of course once the cauliflower has roasted this soup can be made in a saucepan and the blended with a stick blender but I prefer to use my Power Blender since there's no messing about with extra pots and gadgets, which means there's less to wash up!


If you've never roasted cauliflower before why haven't you?!  Roasting cauliflower gives it a delicious sweetness that tastes so good you'll wonder why you didn't try it before.

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Quick-n-Easy - Spicy Rice and Bean Feast

Along with a few other bloggers I was asked to join the Veetee Bloggers Community and to create a recipe using a pack of Veetee's rice. 

I don't know about you but sometimes I just want dinner to be something quick and easy.  So I've got a recipe for when; you're in a hurry and want something quick and filling but still on the healthy side. 

Quick-n-Easy - Spicy Rice and Bean Feast

Of course it's so easy to just order a takeaway, but with Veetee's 'Heat and Eat' rice range (it takes just 2 minutes in the microwave) which is great, but you still need something else to go with it; so instead of a ready meal why not try my recipe?

Veetee's range of ready cooked rices include not only Long Grain Rice but Basmati, Basmati and Wild Rice, New Orleans Style, Peri Peri and more.
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Meat-free Sausage and White Bean Cassoulet

We keep being told we're going to have a heat-wave here in the UK; but it has to be said I'm thinking they are perhaps talking about next year!  So with summer sadly not too on the summery side at the moment, how about trying my meat-free sausage and white bean cassoulet?  This easy one-pot meal is made with Quorn sausages which are high in protein and fibre but low in saturated fat this is a nice and filling but healthy kind of meal.


Personally I'm not a huge fan of Quorn sausages but their 'Chef's selection are far nicer than the regular ones and make a meat-free meal in next to no time.
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Super Quick and Healthy Vegetable Sauce for Pasta

Some people may think that making your own sauce is just too much trouble but it really isn't and vegetable pasta sauce is a great way to get your family eating their 5-a-day too.
Shop bought pasta sauces often contain a lot of sugar and salt so this is also a great way to eat more healthily. 


My vegetable pasta sauce can be made in pretty much the time it takes to boil a saucepan of water and cook the pasta!  

To make it in super quick time, I used the Zyliss® Easy Pull manual food processor which allows you to chop food with ease and consistency.  Chopping, mixing, blending and pureeing easier and is convenient too with no need or fuss for electric tools and gadgets. 
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Vegetarian Chinese-style Spicy Beef and Peppers made with Quorn

Although we're not vegetarians it is sometimes good to have a meat free dinner.  In any case Quorn is super quick to cook.

Chinese Beef Quorn

I must say the Quorn beef strips (sold frozen) are as I say, easy to cook but in my opinion actually taste more like tofu rather than beef; that said personally I much prefer the Quorn beef than the chicken, I find the chicken a bit dry.  This dish can be on the table in a matter of minutes and since you cook the beef strips from frozen my recipe really is a doddle to make and is really tasty.

Print Recipe

https://sites.google.com/a/aglugofoil.com/a-glug-of-oil/home/quorn-chinese-style-spicy-beef-and-peppers
    



To serve 2-3 you will need:
Vegetable oil
250g Quorn frozen steak strips
1 red bell pepper – cut into bite sized pieces
1 green bell pepper – cut into bite sized pieces
1 large onion – peeled and cut into bite sized pieces
1 clove of garlic very finely chopped
Root ginger – peeled and very finely chopped to make just half a teaspoon
4 spring onions – trimmed and sliced
A good pinch of chilli flakes

For the sauce:
2 tablespoons corn flour
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
2 and half tablespoons of Ketjap Manis (Indonesian sweet soy sauce)
1 and half tablespoons of Shaohsing (rice wine)
good pinch of white pepper
1 and half tablespoons of sesame oil
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons water

How to do it:
Prepare the vegetables and set aside.  Make the sauce simply by mixing together all of the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

Heat up a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a wok and over a high heat; stir-fry the Quorn beef strips for about 5 minutes. 

Now add in the peppers, onions, spring onions, garlic and ginger and continue to stir-fry for about 5 minutes.  Add the chilli flakes and the sauce mixture.

Stir-fry for another couple of minutes until the sauce has thicken slightly and coats the Quorn strips and vegetables.   Serve straight away with rice or noodles. 

Beef and Peppers Vegetarian


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At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen

Anyone, especially vegetarians and vegans will love this book; a sophisticated vegetarian cookbook with everything you need to feel at home in the kitchen, cooking in the most nourishing and delicious ways.

Amy Chaplin has a love for whole food and with her expertise as a chef has written a book to entice everyone to eat well every meal, every day. She provides all the knowhow for creating delicious, healthy dishes based on unprocessed, unrefined food - from the basics of good eating to preparing seasonal feasts all year round.


Part One; lays the foundation: how best to stock your cupboard. Not simply a list of ingredients and equipment, it provides real working knowledge of how and why to use ingredients, plus an arsenal of simple recipes for daily nourishment.

Part two; is a collection of recipes celebrating vegetarian cooking in its brightest, whole, most delectable form, with such vibrant dishes as black rice breakfast pudding with coconut and banana; fragrant aubergine curry with cardamom basmati rice, apricot chutney and lime raita; and honey vanilla bean ice cream with roasted plums and coconut crunch. Inspirational, healthy, sustainable and delicious - this is whole food cooking for everyone.
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Carrot and Ginger Soup - Made using the Optimum 9200 Power Blender

When reading the Optimum 9200 Next Generation Power Blender could make hot soup by friction heat alone (caused by the fast spinning blades) my thinking was it would be lukewarm at best.  As it turns out I was wrong. 


Running on high speed the blades rotate 44,000 rpm which creates friction heat and the Optimum 9200 will raise the contents of the jug by 4 degrees every 30 seconds.  In order to make hot soup it has to be running for approximately 5 to 6 minutes depending on the amount of vegetables in the jug.

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Butternut Squash Chickpea and Spinach Curry

Looking at the ingredients list at first glance may seem like this is a bit too much faffing about for your liking, but I think you'll find the end result is so worth it.

Panch Phoran is a bland of a few simple spices and doesn't require grinding - the spices are kept whole so it can be made very easily in just one minute.  Fantastic to keep in the store cupboard and will make a huge difference to any Indian style curry you make. You can see in a previous post of mine just how easy it is to make Panch Phoran - also known as Indian Five-spice.

Vegetable Curry

The butternut adds lovely vibrant colour and a slightly sweet taste to this richly spiced curry.  Be assured that the word 'spiced' does not actually mean this is extra hot (as in spicy) this is just a lovely warming delicious and very tasty curry.  That said if you do want it hotter just add more chilli.
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