Tag Archives: vegetarian

Ful medames

9 Jul

ful medames

Mashed fava beans for breakfast… and why not?

It’s only a small step from the baked beans slopped onto every full English served in the UK.

And Egypt’s ful medames are all the nicer for not being in a sickly sweet tomato sauce. Continue reading

Churros with chocolate sauce

8 Jul

churros with chocolate sauce

Churros and chocolate sauce and another day of sun… It’s enough to make you feel like you’re on holiday… Continue reading

Kanelbullar (cinnamon rolls)

7 Jul

Swedish kanelbullar are more wholesome than the Canadian cinnamon buns I grew up with –  smaller, more bready, less sticky and sickly-sweet.

I was surprised at how well the citrusy cardamom stood its ground against the cinnamon sugar. All in all, a very satisfying thing to eat.

Continue reading

Tarte tropézienne

6 Jul

tarte tropezienne

I first discovered the marvellous tarte tropézienne on a family holiday in Provence.

Queueing in the local bakery, I noticed several of the customers ahead of me were choosing what looked like a large, cream-filled hamburger bun.

Continue reading

Jollof rice

5 Jul

jollof rice

Jollof rice is an excellent dish to bring to a buffet or barbeque.

Moderately spiced, with layers of flavour from the pepper-tomato paste and mix of spices, it’s definitely a crowd pleaser.

I usually keep it vegetarian so that everyone can eat it, but any leftovers reheat very well. Continue reading

Alegrías

2 Jul

allegrias

I’m always on the lookout for easy, healthy-ish snacks to make for the kids, and I thought these Mexican alegrías sounded promising.

Amaranth is a great source of protein and nutrients, but there’s too much sugar involved for me to consider alegrías healthy.

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Zapiekanka

30 Jun

zapiekanka

A zapiekanka is Poland’s answer to cheese on toast. Sautéed mushrooms are heaped onto a split baguette, covered with grated cheese and browned under a grill.

Zapiekanka is an excellent contender to represent Poland in our 2018 World Cup cook-off. Tasty (points all round), cheesy (ditto) and easy (extra points from me).

I even tracked down some Polish ketchup for authenticity. Its spicy sharpness was well received, and definitely worked in Poland’s favour.

The only thing dividing the judges was my younger daughter’s dislike of mushrooms.

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Krompir salata (Serbian potato salad)

27 Jun

With its sweet and sour dressing, krompir salata is a departure from our go-to potato salads – French potato salad and mum’s potato salad.

I made it to accompany these outsized Serbian hamburgers in our World Cup 2018 cook-off.

Continue reading

Papas a la huancaina

26 Jun

In this Peruvian salad, thick slices of potato are blanketed in a delicious spicy cheese sauce and teamed with hard-boiled eggs and olives.

It all plays very nicely together, and unlike the Peruvian team it is in with a chance in our World Cup 2018 cook-off.

The huancaina sauce is definitely the star of the show. It tastes like you hope that nasty yellow nacho cheese sauce is going to taste (and never does). Continue reading

Orange and olive salad

25 Jun

orange olive salad

I love this classic Moroccan salad. Sweet orange slices and salty olives are a winning combination in my book.

Also in its favour, it takes minutes to make and looks beautiful arranged on a contrasting platter. Continue reading

Salatu niebe

24 Jun

salatu niebe

Bright, colourful, spicy, fresh… Senegal’s salatu niebe is something I’ll definitely make again after our World Cup 2018 cook-off is over.

This recipe makes a lot, so it’s fortunate salatu niebe keeps well in the fridge.

I served it on a bed of shredded lettuce one day, and heaped it into avocado halves the next. It would also work well stuffed into a pitta or wrap. Continue reading

Icelandic pancakes

22 Jun

Icelandic pancakes

Iceland brings these delicious, crepe-style pancakes to our World Cup cook-off table.

They couldn’t contrast more with the Japanese fluffy pancakes, but once again the judges awarded them a perfect score.

Thin, light-yet-crisp, Icelandic pancakes have a welcome lack of sweetness. There is no sugar at all in the batter, just a little sprinkle of caster sugar after they are cooked. Continue reading

Lamingtons

21 Jun

lamingtons

Australia looks a strong contender in this year’s World Cup cook-off with their offer of lamingtons.

A delicate chocolate-coconut exterior conceals a substantial cake centre. Kind of like Giggs and Beckham on either side of Roy Keane, back in the day…:-)

The first time I made lamingtons was for an Australia Day celebration. I didn’t notice the advice about baking the cake a day in advance, and had a torrid time of the dipping and rolling.

There was much language and attrition, but the lamingtons I managed to produce met with our Aussie friends’ approval. Continue reading

Japanese fluffy pancakes

19 Jun

Japan’s inventiveness and attention to detail might take them all the way in this year’s World Cup cook-off.

According to my older daughter, these fluffy Japanese pancakes “are practically perfect in every way”.

They certainly look impressive, and have a lovely, soft (and fluffy) texture. Apparently, the mayonnaise is what makes these pancakes so moist.

I did find them a bit fiddly to flip, but I’m sure it’s a matter of practice. (Which I’m certain to get, as everyone loved them so much.)

Continue reading

Soparnik

16 Jun

soparnik

I’ve yet to visit Croatia, but I’ve heard wonderful things about the food. So I feared my version of soparnik had done the Croatians a disservice in our World Cup 2018 cook-off.

In this Dalmatian classic, a simple filling of chopped greens, onions and garlic is pressed between two thin layers of pastry and baked until golden and crisp.

It sounded lovely, but the first bite was a little underwhelming. But as it sat a little longer, pastry and filling merged into a more cohesive whole, the pastry softened and the flavour emerged. Continue reading

Garlicky aubergine dip (mirza ghazemi)

15 Jun

mirza ghasemi

This garlicky aubergine and tomato dip is the most moreish dish I’ve eaten in a long while.

Rich, deeply flavoured and velvety soft, it is delicious spooned onto warm bread.

I had visions of taking the leftovers for my work lunch. However the rest of the family fell upon this dip like a pack of starved hyenas.

I’ll be doubling the recipe next time. Continue reading

Green borscht

14 Jun

green borscht

From Russia with… green borscht. Actually, calling this soup green is generous. An unappealing khaki is closer to the mark.

But what green borscht (or shchaveloviy borscht to use its Russian name) lacks in looks, it makes up for in taste. Fresh and bright with lemony sorrel, herbs and gently cooked vegetables, it’s both light and satisfying. Continue reading

Tomato salad with pomegranate molasses

11 Jun

This tomato salad with pomegranate molasses is a recent happy discovery.

Someone brought it to a friend’s barbeque buffet, and only good manners stopped me from eating an unseemly amount.

It turns out freshly sliced tomatoes and pomegranate molasses do very good things to one another.

Continue reading

Tataki kyuri (smashed cucumber salad)

20 Apr

tataki kyuri

I tried this chilled cucumber salad at a Japanese pop-up kitchen the other day, and was intrigued both by the texture and the depth of flavour.

Turns out giving the cucumbers a few whacks with a rolling pin before dressing them is the secret. Continue reading

Cream of cauliflower soup

5 Mar

cream of cauliflower soup

This cream of cauliflower soup has the silkiest texture. I sometimes omit the cream– replacing it with more milk – and it still comes out rich and smooth.

Horseradish combines beautifully with cauliflower. Along with the lemon juice, it adds a bit of heat and brightness to the mix. Continue reading

Broccoli spread

28 Feb

confit broccoli

I wasn’t sure what to call this broccoli concoction…

It started out as broccoli confit, but I’ve cut so much on the oil that the name no longer fits. I thought of broccamole, but decided the lack of avocados ruled that one out.

Patés are too smooth, dips are for dipping. Which led me to “spread” – so broccoli spread it is.

Whatever the name, it’s very moreish stuff. I serve it as an appetiser on toasted sourdough or crackers. I also eat it with a spoon straight out of the fridge. Continue reading

Cauliflower and white bean stew

20 Feb

Cauliflower and white bean stew

Cauliflower and white bean stew is a one of those no-fuss, mid-week meals I’ve been making for years.

There’s something vaguely Mediterranean about it – Spanish or maybe Greek – which can be played up by adding smoked paprika, or a scattering of crumbled feta. But generally I just make it as below.

It took awhile for the girls to warm to it (courgette has always been a hard sell for some reason), but they eat it happily now. Continue reading

Israeli couscous, squash and preserved lemon salad

16 Feb

Israeli couscous, squash and preserved lemon salad

Israeli couscous, butternut squash and preserved lemon are an excellent combination of tastes and textures. This salad is a recent happy addition to the family dinner rotation. Continue reading

Seedy bites

12 Feb

seedy bites

This recipe for seedy bites is actually more of a template. I pulse some rolled oats for a base, then add whatever I’ve got in the fruit and seed department.

When the mixture resembles damp sand, I pack it into the mini-muffin cups and bake for ten minutes.

They are a bit soft when they first come out, but as long as I let them cool completely in the tin, they firm up nicely.

Continue reading

Breakfast burrito

8 Feb

breakfast burrito

On Sundays, we generally have a cooked breakfast (though it’s often noon by the time we sit down to eat it).

It’s often a full-on fry-up, heuvos rancheros, eggs benedict, or a homestyle egg McMuffin. But over the last year, these breakfast burritos have shouldered their way into the rotation.

Having experimented with different fillings and methods, I’ve pretty much settled on the version below: spicy hash brown potatoes topped with a fried egg all wrapped snugly in a warmed flour tortilla. Continue reading

Green beans with toasted almonds and lime

4 Feb

green beans with toasted almonds and lime

I love green beans, and have some great ways of preparing them – flash fried with garlic and chilli, steam-fried with mustard seeds and ginger, or tossed in an Indian-inspired dressing – but these green beans with toasted almonds and lime stands up to any of them.

The idea comes from my friend Debbie, who remembers being served delicious green beans dressed with lime when she was a student in Paris. Continue reading

Tomato soup

31 Jan

Tomato soup

I haven’t bought a tin of soup in years, but if I were to buy one it would definitely be Campbell’s tomato soup.

Their cream of mushroom soup always had disturbing starchy lumps, the veggies in their minestrone were weirdly tough, but everything about their tomato soup was just right. Continue reading

Panettone pudding

19 Jan

panettone pudding

I’m not a fan of bread and butter pudding, though I’ve warmed to it somewhat over the years. (As a child, I considered it a personal insult when mum served it for dessert.)

And I’ve never seen the point of panettone – that overrated, inevitably stale and dry-as-dust, identity crisis of a cake-bread, whose packaging is the best thing going for it.

But bring the two together in the form of panettone pudding, and it really is a case of two wrongs making a right… Continue reading

Winter slaw with poppy seed dressing

15 Jan

winter slaw with poppy seed dressing

With its bright, contrasting colours, and pomegranate seeds twinkling like little gems, winter slaw is a pretty salad.

I can find pomegranate seeds annoying. The amount of fibrous pit you grind through to release the juicy flesh detracts from my eating enjoyment.

But those pits are of no consequence in this crunchy riot of texture and flavour. Continue reading

Roasted tofu

11 Jan

Roasted tofu

These little roasted tofu cubes are dead simple to make.

The girls snack on them warm from the oven, they keep well in the fridge, and are a great addition to stir fries, Asian noodle soups, and salads. Continue reading

Mushroom risotto (risotto ai funghi)

7 Jan

mushroom risotto

Mushroom risotto is excellent, warming winter fare. It’s dead easy to make too, aside from all the stirring…

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Celeriac and dill soup

11 Dec

celeriac dill soup

This celeriac and dill soup has a wonderful nutty taste and velvety texture.

I usually stir through a splash of cream at the end, which gives it an added richness, but it’s perfectly nice without it.
Continue reading

Beet, bean and bulghur salad

5 Dec

Much of the pleasure of this salad is in the contrast of textures — chewy bulghur wheat, crispy beans, juicy beets.

Adding a hard-boiled egg makes it more of a meal…

Continue reading

Roasted almonds

1 Dec

Roasted almonds

Every Christmas, my sister-in-law made these salted almonds.

Even as a child, I didn’t have much of a sweet tooth, and I looked forward to salted almonds at least as much as the cherry slice, Nanaimo bars and shortbread. (Though maybe not the butterscotch fudge…) Continue reading

Pumpkin bread

14 Nov

pumpkin bread

Unlike Halloween Thanksgiving still isn’t a thing in the UK. I still like to observe it, and each year we have a Thanksgiving meal with the same family friends.

I’m Canadian and they have American roots, so we diplomatically set a date between the start of October and end of November. We take turns hosting, and the travelling family brings the pies.

Tinned pumpkin still isn’t readily available in the UK, and on several occasions I’ve made my own purée from squash or sweet potato before baking the pumpkin pie.

Now that the Internet era upon us, I can order pumpkin purée online. This year I picked up an extra tin so I could  make pumpkin bread. Continue reading

Mexican “hummus”

7 Nov

Chickpeas are swapped for black beans (and sesame for pumpkin seeds) in this delicious Mexican take on hummus.

Continue reading

Jamaican patties

20 Oct

Until last year, we had a corner-store/deli where I’d occasionally treat myself to a Jamaican patty for lunch.

Since it closed, I’ve been going without my patty fix, until it occurred to me that I could make my own.

Delicious warm or cold, Jamaican patties are great in a packed lunch or as an after-school snack. Having experimented with different fillings, curried beef and squash & corn are the clear family favourites. Continue reading

Bloody-Mary-infused cherry tomatoes

16 Oct

cherry tomatoes marinated in vodka

The idea for these delicious little tomato-vodka flavour bombs comes from from the Epicurious website, (via my godmother).

The original marinade involves sugar and vinegar (and is lovely). But as soon as I tried one, my thoughts turned to Bloody Marys. Continue reading

Savoury sacristains

12 Oct

sacristans

Sacristains are made by spreading a sheet of pastry with something tasty, slicing it into strips, then twisting each strip before baking. I usually make them when I have puff pastry to use up.

Sacristains can be savoury or sweet. These are made with tapenade, but I’ve made sacristains with pesto, mustard and grated cheese, sundried tomato paste, Nutella, cinnamon sugar… Continue reading

Red-red stew

8 Oct

red red

Red-red is a traditional Ghanaian bean stew that gets its name (and colour) from the tomatoes and palm oil used to prepare it.

The first red-red recipe I tried called for three types of chilli – fresh Scotch bonnet, chilli flakes, and chilli powder (plus additional minced chilli to garnish).

Despite cutting back significantly on the quantity of chilli (and omitting the chilli powder altogether), it was so blisteringly hot the girls were unable to eat it. Continue reading