Friday, 28 January 2011

Onion and Mushroom Burgers

These burgers use whole vegetables and so make a nice change from the mashed up vegetable burgers which you generally see.


  • 2 large red onions, peeled and cut in half
  • 4 large mushrooms, washed
  • 4 tsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 burger baps


  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
  2. Remove the center core of the onions so that they can fit over the stalks of the mushrooms.
  3. Place the mushrooms and onion stacks on a baking tray.
  4. Pour a tsp of olive oil over each one and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Roast in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until the onion is nicely caramelised. 
  6. Serve inside the baps, possibly with some relish or ketchup.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Sprout and Almond Pasta

Another day, another sprout recipe. This one uses the different textures of the cream, pasta, sprouts and almonds to provide interest and variety as you chew.


  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 40 Brussel sprouts (about 400g), ends chopped off and outer leaves remove, quartered
  • 250g spaghetti
  • 50g almond flakes
  • 250ml double cream


  1. Put on a large pan of pasta to boil.
  2. Use a large frying pan to fry the garlic and sprouts in the olive oil over a medium heat.
  3. Stir the sprouts and garlic every minute or so.
  4. After frying for 5 minutes, add the spaghetti to the water and cook as per the instructions (about 10 minutes).
  5. When the pasta is almost done, add the almonds and double cream to the sprouts and mix well.
  6. Heat the cream and sprout sauce just long enough so that it starts to steam but not bubble.
  7. Drain the pasta and then add it to the almonds and cream mixture.
  8. Stir well and serve.
Serves 2.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Sprout and Potato Patties

With it being the time of year that Brussel sprouts are available, it seems appropriate to make as many interesting and exciting recipes with them as possible. They really aren't the hated vegetable of your youth that you remember, especially if you cook them in interesting or unusual ways.


  • 4 potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 20 sprouts, end chopped off, yellow layers of skins removed and chopped into quarters
  • 4 tsp plain flour
  • 2 tbsp olive oil


  1. Put the potatoes in a pan with enough water to cover them and bring them to the boil.
  2. Boil the potatoes for 15 to 20 minutes, or until soft.
  3. In a frying pan fry the garlic in the teaspoon of olive oil until it just starts to darken. Over a medium heat this should be a couple of minutes.
  4. Add the sprouts to the frying pan and stir well. Keep the heat at a medium heat and fry for another 10 minutes, stirring frequently to cook the sprouts evenly.
  5. Drain the potatoes once they are done and put them in a large bowl.
  6. Mash the potatoes with a potato masher and then add the sprouts and mash some more.
  7. Add the plain flour and mix well.
  8. Divide the mixture into quarters and use your hands to press into burger shaped patties.
  9. Heat the rest of the olive oil in the frying pan on a high heat.
  10. Add the four patties to the frying pan and fry for about 7 to 10 minutes on each side.
  11. If you don't have a non-stick frying pan then slide a fish slice under them every minute or so to make sure they don't stick.
  12. Serve with dressed sliced tomatoes and some relish or pickle.
  13. It's also possible to make many more of these and to wrap them in foil and freeze them. When you want to use one, defrost it for five or six hours on a metal baking tray and then fry as above.
Serves 2.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Red Kidney Bean Hommous

This is an easy dip/sauce which can be made with ingredients which you just store in the cupboard. It goes well with tortilla chips or as a side dish for tex-mex dishes. Just don't be put off by the colour!


  • 1 tin of red kidney beans, drained
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • A pinch of salt


  1. Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend into a smooth paste.
  2. Chill for at least 2 hours before serving.
Makes about 400ml of dip.

Friday, 14 January 2011

Mushroom Pate

One of the meat dishes I miss from being vegetarian is a thick pate on toast or biscuits. Luckily mushrooms make an excellent replacement for liver.


  • 350g mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely sliced
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 2 tsp dried majoram


  1. Add all the ingredients to a saucepan and fry over a medium heat. Stir frequently
  2. It should take about 15 to 20 minutes for all the mushrooms to cook down and turn from white to a dark grey colour.
  3. Turn the heat down to a simmer and simmer for 5 minutes to remove some of the liquid.
  4. Take the pan off the heat and let it cool for half an hour.
  5. Use a blender to make the mixture into a thick paste.
  6. Transfer to a bowl and then place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving.
  7. Ideal served with toast or savoury biscuits.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Roasted Sprout Noodles

This is a tasty alternative to boiling or steaming sprouts. I recommend trying it, even if you're not keen on steamed sprouts normally.


  • 400g brussel sprouts, washed
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 3 blocks of medium egg noodles
  • 50g cashew nuts, chopped in half


  1. Preheat the oven to 220 degrees.
  2. Put on a large pan of water for the noodles.
  3. Carefully cut the tough end off each sprout and peel off one or two layers of skin to get at the fresh skin below.
  4. Chop the sprouts in half (so that the blade goes splits the stalk in half, otherwise one half will fall apart).
  5. Place the sprouts in a large roasting tin.
  6. Mix the sugar, lemon juice, soy sauce, water and ginger in a cup until well mixed.
  7. Pour the lemon juice mixture over the sprouts and make sure all of them have a good coating.
  8. Add the noodles to the boiling water and cook as per instructions. Once cooked drain immediately, add a few drops of oil, mix well and then put to one side in the pan with a lid on.
  9. Shift the roasting tin from side to side so the sprouts are one layer deep on the bottom on place in the oven.
  10. After 10 minutes remove from the oven, add enough water to clean off the sticky sugar solution and stir well so that all the sprouts are coated again.
  11. Return to the oven for another 10 minutes and again add just enough water to clean off the glazed sugar from the pan. Add in the cashew nuts, stir well and return to the oven.
  12. Leave the cashews and sprouts roasting in the oven for a further 10 minutes and then remove them.
  13. Add a bit water to deglaze the dish once again and then mix with the noodles and serve.
Serves 2

Friday, 7 January 2011

Cauliflower Quesadilla

Cauliflower is an unusual combination to have in a quesadilla, but as long as you cut it into really small pieces it works really well.


  • 1 tsp sunflower oil
  • 2 small onions, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cauliflower, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground corriander
  • 1 tsp ground paprika
  • 4 wheat tortilla wraps
  • 60g grated cheddar cheese
  • 10 green olives, cut in half


  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
  2. Fry the onions and cauliflower in the oil in a large frying pan or wok for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the cumin, corriander and paprika and stir over a medium heat until the cauliflower becomes softer.
  4. Lightly grease a large baking tray and lay two of the tortilla down on it.
  5. Divide the olives and then the cauliflower mixture over the two tortilla.
  6. Cover with cheese and then put the other tortilla on top.
  7. Press gently down to make sure it's reasonably flat and then place in the oven.
  8. Bake in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes.
  9. Cut into quarters and allow to cool slightly before serving.
Serves 1 to 2.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Swede Tagine

This recipe requires quite a few spices and ingredients, but don't let that put you off! The combination of flavours is worth it and once you've got all the spices you can make this, or similar dishes, many times.


  • 1 swede, peeled and cut into 2cm cubes
  • 3 carrots, washed and cut into 2cm pieces
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp harissa paste (or finely chopped chili if you can't find harissa paste)
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 400ml vegetable stock
  • 20g almonds, finely chopped


  1. Heat the oven to 200 degrees.
  2. Toss the carrot and swede in the sunflower oil and roast in the oven for 30 minutes.
  3. Fry the onion in the olive oil over a medium heat until soft. Use a large saucepan with a lid or, ideally, a tagine if you own one.
  4. Add the coriander, cumin, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, harissa and honey to the onion pan and mix well.
  5. Add the vegetable stock and the roasted carrot and swede and stir well.
  6. Turn the heat down low, put the lid on the pan and leave to simmer for 20 minutes.
  7. Serve on a bed of cous-cous.

Serves 2.