Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Meatballs with Pasta

I use Quorn 'Swedish-style' balls for this, but it would work equally well with non-vegetarian meat balls.


  • 300g pasta, penne works well

  • 1 large onion, chopped

  • 400g of meat balls or vegetarian 'meat' balls (about 20)

  • 1 chilli, finely chopped

  • 1 sweet pepper, cut into strips

  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes



  1. Put on a pan of water to boil for the pasta. Salt it well and add a little oil to stop it boiling over.

  2. Place the onion, meat balls and chilli in a frying pan and fry on a medium heat until the onion is soft.

  3. Add the pasta to the (hopefully) now boiling water. Start a timer for the length of time the pasta says it takes to cook.

  4. Add the sweet pepper and chopped tomatoes to the meat balls. Simmer until the pasta is done, stirring every couple of minutes to make sure it doesn't burn.

  5. Drain the pasta and serve everything with freshly milled black pepper over the top.

Serves 3.
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Friday, 24 April 2009

Roast Onion and Halloumi Wraps


  • 5 red onions, peeled and a large cross cut into the top

  • 5 tsp olive oil

  • 1 block halloumi, sliced

  • 4 flour tortillas

  • 1 red pepper, cut into thin slices

  • 16 green olives, cut in half



  1. Place the onions on a baking tray and put a tsp of olive oil on the top of each one.

  2. Bake at 220 degrees for 30 minutes.

  3. Fry the halloumi slices in a pan with a little oil over a medium heat, turning after a couple of minutes. When the halloumi is golden brown remove it from the frying pan.

  4. Cut the halloumi into thin strips.

  5. Construct the wraps but putting a quarter of the halloumi, pepper and olives down the center of each tortilla wrap and rolling the wrap up.

  6. Serve with two wraps on each plate and half the roast onion mixture in between the rolled up wraps.

Serves 2
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Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Quorn Fillets in Cider

This recipe works with pork chops, but I use quorn fillets as pork isn't vegetarian. If you do want meat, just replace the quorn with pork chops. If you want to pad out the meal for more, either multiply up the quantities or serve with baked potatoes.


  • 4 large cooking apples, peeled and sliced

  • 2 onions, thinly sliced

  • 4 quorn fillets

  • 400ml dry cider

  • 50g cheddar cheese, finely grated

  • 50g bread crumbs



  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.

  2. Layer the onions and apples in large oven proof dish.

  3. Place the quorn fillets (or pork chops) on the top.

  4. Pour in the cider.

  5. Sprinkle the cheese and bread crumbs over the top.

  6. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until the cheese on top is crisp and brown.

Serves 2.
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Friday, 17 April 2009

Cheese Straws

I love cheese straws. There is something delightful about savoury biscuits flavoured with cheese.


  • 150g plain flour

  • a pinch of salt

  • a pinch of cayenne pepper

  • 75g butter, at room temperature

  • 100g cheddar cheese, finely grated

  • 2 eggs


  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.

  2. Mix the flour, salt and cayenne pepper in a bowl.

  3. Rub the butter into the flour. To do this press the flour and butter between your fingers and rub. Continue to do this until the mixture looks like fine bread crumbs.

  4. Mix in the finely grated cheese.

  5. Break in one egg and mix well. Kneed until a stiff dough is formed.

  6. Roll out to about 5mm thick and cut into straws. Make some of the straws into loops and place them on a baking tray.

  7. Break the other egg into a cup and whisk it with a fork until it's well mixed.

  8. Brush the egg onto the straws using a pastry brush or a bit of kitchen towel.

  9. Bake in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes. The top should be a nice golden brown colour, but not burnt.

  10. Remove and leave to cool on a cooling rack.

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Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Tofu with Okara Stir-fry

Okara is the part of the soya bean left over after making soya milk. It seems fitting to bring it together in a dish with tofu, which is made from soya milk. Okara is available from speciality supermarkets.


  • a 250g block of tofu, sliced into 2cm chunks

  • 1 tbsp malt vinegar

  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil

  • 1 tsp mustard powder

  • 1 tbsp sesame oil

  • 2 sweet peppers, chopped into strips

  • 4 carrots, finely sliced

  • 400g rehydrate or fresh okara

  • 2 tbsp soy sauce



  1. Fry the tofu in a wok with the vinegar, sunflower oil and mustard powder. Use a high heat and turn it frequently.

  2. Once the tofu is nicely browned on all sides put it in a bowl.

  3. Re-use the wok by adding the sesame oil, peppers and carrots.

  4. Stir-fry the peppers and carrots for 5 minutes.

  5. Add the okara and turn the heat down to medium. Stir-fry for a further 5 minutes.

  6. Sprinkle in the soy sauce and mix well.

  7. Serve immediately (cold okara can start to clump together)

Serves 3 or 4 if served with some rice.
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Friday, 10 April 2009

Carrot and Onion Okara Stir-fry

Okara is the fibrous matter left over from soya beans when soya milk is made. You can either make it yourself (at the same time as making soya milk) or you can buy it from specialist supermarkets.


  • 4 carrots, washed and cut into strips

  • 1 onion, finely chopped

  • 1 tbsp sesame oil

  • 300g rehydrated or fresh okara

  • 2 tbsp soy sauce

  • Soy sauce to sprinkle on top before serving



  1. Fry the carrots and onions in the oil in a wok on a high heat. Stirring often.

  2. Once the onion starts to go soft (should be a couple of minutes) add the okara and the soy sauce.

  3. Stir fry for a couple more minutes, making sure all the okara gets heated.

  4. Serve immediately with soy sauce on top.

Serves 2.
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Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Lemon Glazed Tofu with Sticky Rice

Continuing my phase of having lemon in food I decided to glaze home-made tofu with it.


  • 4 tbsp lemon juice

  • 1 tbsp honey

  • fresh salt and pepper to taste

  • 1 tsp mustard powder

  • a 250g block of tofu, thinly sliced

  • 3 carrots, thinly sliced

  • 5 mushrooms, thinly sliced

  • 200g sticky rice

  • 450ml fresh water



  1. Mix the lemon juice, honey, mustard powder and salt and pepper to form a marinade.

  2. Marinade the tofu in the marinade for at least an hour.

  3. When you're ready to cook, put the carrots, mushrooms, rice and water in a pan and bring to a simmer.

  4. Place the tofu under a grill and grill gently on each side. Keep the marinade and brush it over the tofu as it starts to dry out under the grill. Keep doing this until all the marinade is used up.

  5. Turn the tofu and grill the other side

  6. The rice should have been simmering for about 15 minutes now. If it hasn't then wait until it has. If the tofu takes more than 15 minutes to brown under the grill then turn the heat off from under the rice.

  7. Serve immediately.

Serves 2.
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Friday, 3 April 2009

Lemon and Honey Halloumi with Dumplings

Lemon and honey is a combination which I find almost irresistable so I couldn't help myself with this recipe. The sharp and sweet complement the halloumi very well. A good dish to remind yourself of sunny summer days.


  • 1 Lemon, sliced and cut into quarter slices

  • 4 tbsp lemon juice

  • 2 tbsp honey

  • 4 tbsp water

  • 125g vegetarian suet

  • 250g self raising flour

  • 10 tbsp water, maybe more

  • 1 block of halloumi

  • 3 tomatoes, sliced



  1. Put the lemon, lemon juice, honey and 4 tbsp of water into a pan and simmer slowly.

  2. Put on a pan of water and add a generous amount of salt. This is the pan the dumplings will be cooked in.

  3. Mix the suet, flour and 10 tbsp of water to make a dough. If it's too dry add more water. Kneed well.

  4. Divide the dough into 6 balls and place into the pan of boiling salty water. Boil the dumplings for 15 minutes.

  5. Slice the halloumi and put a bit of oil in a frying pan and heat it on a medium heat.

  6. Add the halloumi to the frying pan and cook for a couple of minutes on each side, until it's a lovely golden brown.

  7. The dumplings and the lemon and honey sauce should both be ready now. Serve with the tomatoes and the lemon and honey sauce in a jug.

Serves 2 to 3.
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Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Creamy Quick Fondue

This is a really quick and easy fondue to make. It uses milk instead of the usual alcohol and so comes out very creamy.


  • 75ml milk

  • 10g butter

  • 1 tbsp plain flour

  • 1 tsp mustard powder

  • 75g cheddar cheese, finely grated

  • 12 rough oatcakes


  1. Put the milk and butter in a saucepan.

  2. Carefully sprinkle the flour and mustard powder over the milk and butter.

  3. Heat the milk, butter and flour gently until the butter has melted and all the flour has dissolved. You will need to stir this constantly to stop lumps forming while it heats up.

  4. Once it starts to simmer, turn the heat down as low as it can go and leave it simmering for 10 minutes. Stir it every minute.

  5. Mix in the cheddar cheese and stir it until it's all melted in. Increase the heat a little if you want to speed up the melting of the cheese.

  6. Pour and spoon the cheese mixture into a bowl and serve with the oatcakes.

Serves 2. This recipe scales up really easily, just increase the quantities.
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