Friday, 29 January 2010

Lentil and Spinach Calzone



  • 1 quantity of pizza dough made as in here

  • 200g green lentils

  • 100g spinach, washed

  • 400ml water

  • 200g block of mozzarella cheese, divided into quarters and sliced



  1. Make the pizza dough as in the other recipe.

  2. Pre-heat the oven to 220 degrees.

  3. Place the lentils and water in a pan and bring to the boil.

  4. Simmer for 20 minutes and then add the spinach.

  5. Simmer for 5 more minutes until the spinach has cooked down nicely.

  6. Add salt and pepper to taste.

  7. Divide the dough into four and roll out one of the quarters.

  8. Place a quarter of the lentil and spinach mix in the center of the rolled out dough.

  9. Place a quarter of the cheese on top of the lentil mix.

  10. Carefully use a finger dipped into a cup of water to make the edge of the dough wet. Then fold the dough over so the damp edges touch and press firmly to stick them together.

  11. Place the calzone on an oven tray and repeat for the remaining three.

  12. Bake for 20 minutes.

  13. Serve with some tomato salsa on the side.

Serves 4.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Double Chocolate Chip Muffins

There is only one thing better than chocolate chip muffins and that's double chocolate chip muffins.


  • 100g butter

  • 180g caster sugar

  • 1 egg

  • 250ml milk

  • 350g plain flour

  • 1 tbsp baking powder

  • 1 tsp baking soda

  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder

  • 1 tsp vanilla essence

  • 50g dark chocolate chips

  • 50g milk chocolate chips



  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.

  2. Mix the egg, sugar and butter together with a whisk.

  3. Add the milk a bit at a time and mix it well.

  4. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa and vanilla essence. Make sure it's well mixed.

  5. Finally add both sets of chocolate chips.

  6. Bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes.

  7. Cool on a wire rack.

Makes 12.

Friday, 22 January 2010

Vegetarian Haggis with Neeps and Tatties

Some say that vegetarian haggis is an affront to man and god. Personally I love the stuff.


  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 4 carrots, finely sliced
  • 75g butter
  • 50g hazelnuts, finely chopped
  • 50g peanuts, finely chopped
  • 50g sunflower seeds
  • 400g oatmeal (or porridge oats if you can't find it)
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 600ml vegetable stock
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 kg potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 2 turnips, peeled and cut into large chunks



  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
  2. Fry the onions and carrots in the butter until the onions are soft.
  3. Add the nuts, sunflower seeds, oatmeal and cayenne pepper to the onions and stir well.
  4. Add the vegetable stock and simmer for a couple of minutes.
  5. Take pan off the heat and stir in the soy sauce.
  6. Press the mixture in the pan into a greased oven-proof dish and place in the oven for 45 minutes.
  7. While the haggis is cooking in the oven, boil the potatoes and turnips in separate pans for 20 minutes.
  8. Drain the potatoes and turnips and then mash them (again do this separately).
  9. Serve all together once the haggis has cooked. And don't forget to say the Ode to a Haggis

Serves 6.
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Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Nee-a-cock-a-leeky Soup

This is a vegetarian version of cock-a-leeky soup, without the chicken.


  • 3 large leeks, thinly sliced

  • 2 large onions, finely chopped

  • 35g butter

  • 750ml vegetable stock

  • 250ml milk


  1. Place the leeks in a steamer and steam for 10 minutes. Keep the water from the steamer to add to the soup.

  2. Fry the onions in the butter until soft.

  3. Add the cooked leeks, steamer water, stock and milk to the onions and bring to the boil.

  4. Serve while still piping hot.

Serves 8 as a starter.
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Friday, 15 January 2010

Layered BBQ Vegetable Bake

This recipe has BBQ in its name not because you cook it over hot coals, but because of the similarity in taste to BBQ sauce.


  • 1 onion, sliced and then slices quartered

  • 5 or 6 new potatoes, washed and sliced

  • 3 or 4 small carrots, washed and sliced

  • 3 tbsp soy sauce

  • 2 tbsp dark brown sugar

  • 3 tbsp cold water

  • 50g bacon-style pieces

  • 125g grated cheddar cheese



  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.

  2. Get an ovenproof dish and layer the potatoes, carrots and onion in it.

  3. In a cup mix the soy sauce, sugar and water together and then pour it over the potatoes, carrots and onions.

  4. Sprinkle the bacon-style piece over the top and then cover those with the grated cheddar.

  5. Cover the dish with foil and bake in the oven for 50 minutes.

  6. Remove the foil and bake for a further 10 minutes to crisp up the top.

Serves 2.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Green Lentil and Goat's Cheese Tart



  • 600g green lentils

  • 1200ml water

  • 1 packet of short crust pastry

  • 1 tin of tinned tomatoes

  • 300g goat's cheese, sliced



  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.

  2. Place the green lentils in a saucepan with the water and bring to the boil.

  3. When boiling reduce it to a simmer and simmer for 35 to 40 minutes, until tender.

  4. While the lentils are simmering, roll out the short crust pastry and line a pie dish with it, including the sides.

  5. Pour the tinned tomatoes into the bottom of the pie dish, on top of the pastry. Make sure they are evenly spread out.

  6. Once the lentils are done and have absorbed all the water pour them over the tomatoes in the pie. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  7. Place the slices of goat's cheese on top of the lentils.

  8. Bake for 30 minutes.

  9. Serve with a leafy salad.

Serves 6.

Friday, 8 January 2010

Vegetable Lasagne

Vegetable lasagne is a strange dish. If it's just for one or two people then it seems to take ages to prepare. But if you're cooking for eight or twelve (double or triple this recipe) it takes about the same amount of time. So it's a good dish if you're having lots of friends over, but a bit too much effort just for a single person's dinner.


  • 4 carrots, washed and cut into 2 cm chunks

  • 3 courgettes, washed and cut into 2 cm chunks

  • 100g mushrooms, washed and cut into quarters

  • 4 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 onion, finely chopped

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 tin of tomatoes

  • 4 tbsp plain flour

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • 2 pints milk

  • 8 large sheets of lasagne pasta (make sure it's the type you don't need to pre-cook)

  • 100g grated mozzarella



  1. Preheat the oven to 220 degrees.

  2. Toss the carrots, courgettes and mushrooms in 4 tbsp of olive oil.

  3. Place in a roasting tin and put in the oven to roast for 40 minutes.

  4. While those are roasting put the onion in a saucepan and fry on a medium heat in 1 tbsp of olive oil until soft.

  5. When the onion is soft add the tomatoes and simmer for at least 10 minutes. If it starts to get too dry add a bit of water, red wine or stock, depending on what you have to hand.

  6. While the tomato simmers and the vegetables roast, put the milk, flour and the last tbsp of olive oil in another sauce pan and slowly heat it to a simmer. Stir frequently until it starts to thicken.

  7. Hopefully the white sauce, red sauce and roasted vegetables will be ready at about the same time. If not, relax and turn the heat down on the saucepans.

  8. Take the vegetables out of the oven.

  9. Turn the oven down to 200 degrees.

  10. Put half the tomato mix in the bottom of a lasagne dish, then half the vegetables and then a third of the white sauce.

  11. Next put a layer of half of the lasagne sheets.

  12. Repeat with the rest of the tomato sauce, rest of the vegetables and another third of the white sauce.

  13. Finally cover it with the last lasagne sheets and the rest of the white sauce over the sheets. Make sure to cover all the sheets with sauce so they don't dry out too much.

  14. Cover the whole thing with the grated cheese and bake in the oven for 30 to 45 minutes.

  15. Remove from oven and serve.

Serves 4.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Galaxy Cake

This is a themed cake I made for my astronomer housemate. It was good chocolate cake if nothing else.


  • 220g self raising flour

  • 220g butter, at room temperature

  • 220g caster sugar

  • 4 large eggs

  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder

  • 1/2 tsp black food coloring

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 2 tsp baking powder

  • 50g white chocolate chips

  • 140g butter, at room temperature again

  • 280g icing sugar

  • A bit more icing sugar to dust on a pattern.



  1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees.

  2. Mix the flour, 220g butter, caster sugar, eggs, cocoa powder, food coloring, vanilla extract and baking powder in a big bowl. Mix until it's a smooth texture.

  3. Mix in the chocolate chips.

  4. Divide between two pre-buttered 7 or 8 inch sponge tins.

  5. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes.

  6. Remove from the oven, wait a minute for them to cool a tiny bit and then run a knife around the edge of the tins.

  7. Place to cool on a wire rack.

  8. After an hour or two when they are definitely fully cooled get the 140g of butter and put it in a bowl with half the icing sugar.

  9. Carefully mix until the butter has absorbed the icing sugar and then add the rest.

  10. Blend well until it's smooth.

  11. Take the cake half which has the roughest top and spread the majority of the butter icing over it.

  12. Place the other cake half on top and put a blob of the butter icing in the middle.

  13. Mark out a spiral on a piece of paper and carefully cut it out. Don't be tempted to fold it up as the way folding works won't make the spiral work. (Although folding can help you make the spiral even by marking the paper into quarters.

  14. Place the paper over the cake and carefully dust the icing sugar onto it.

  15. Remove the paper by slowly lifting it directly upwards and then over to one side.

  16. Serve the cake.


Friday, 1 January 2010

Oven-roast Carrot and Sweet Potato

This is a bright and colorful dish which, unsurprisingly, has lots of orange. It's quick to prepare, although to bring out the best of the flavours it does take a while to cook.


  • 4 large carrots, washed and cut into roughly square pieces

  • 6 medium sweet potatoes, washed, peeled and cut into square pieces

  • 6 tbsp sunflower oil

  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled but left whole

  • 3 or 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary



  1. Boil a large pan of water and add the carrots and sweet potatoes to it when it's boiling.

  2. Preheat the oven to 220 degrees.

  3. Boil for 10 minutes and then drain off the water.

  4. Place the carrots and sweet potato pieces in a roasting tin.

  5. Drizzle the oil over the vegetables and then add the rosemary and garlic.

  6. Mix everything together well so that it's all coated with oil.

  7. Roast in the oven for 45 minutes.

  8. Serve with peas and ketchup.

Serves 2.