Friday, 27 July 2012

Chestnut Roast

I got this recipe from a friend's blog and I think I have to agree that it's one of the best vegetarian roasts that I've ever had.


  • 6 medium sized mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp sunflower oil
  • 200g cashew nuts
  • 2 slices of white bread
  • 100g soft goat's cheese
  • 200g vacuum packed chestnuts or a 400g tin of chestnut puree
  • 1 tsp dried tarragon
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees and grease a small to medium sized roasting tin.
  2. Fry the onion and mushrooms in the oil in a large saucepan until soft.
  3. While the onion and mushroom are frying, put the bread, cashew nutes and chestnuts (if using whole chestnuts) into a blender and blend until finely chopped.
  4. Once the mushrooms have softened, add all the other ingredients to the sauce pan and mix well.
  5. Gently press into the greased roasting tin.
  6. Place in the oven and roast for 45 minutes to an hour.
  7. Serve with roast potatoes and Yorkshire puddings.
Serves 4.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Red Lentil Sheppard's Pie

I suppose this should probably be called a lentil farmer's pie as it's not got any lamb in it, but I'll always think of it as a vegetarian sheppard's pie.


  • 200g red lentils
  • 800ml water
  • 4 large or 8 small potatoes, peeled, washed and cut into 2cm pieces
  • 3 carrots, washed, ends removed and thinly sliced
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 tbsp port
  • 75g blue cheese, such as Stilton


  1. Put the red lentils and the 800ml of water into a large saucepan.
  2. Bring to the boil and leave boiling rapidly for 10 minutes.
  3. While the lentils are boiling, cover the potatoes in water in a separate pan and bring to the boil as well.
  4. Simmer the potatoes for 15 minutes or until they are soft.
  5. Meanwhile add the carrots, onion, port and salt and pepper to taste to the lentil mixture.
  6. Reduce the heat and simmer the lentil and carrot mixture for 20 minutes. Add a bit more water during this time if it starts to look a bit dry.
  7. The potatoes should be done now, so drain them and then return them to their pan.
  8. While still hot, crumble the blue cheese into the pan with the potatoes and mash it all together with a potato masher.
  9. Put the oven on to pre-heat at 180 degrees.
  10. Once the lentils are cooked, check they are soft by trying the mixture with a fork. If they are soft then transfer the mixture to an oven proof dish.
  11. Cover with the mashed potato and use a fork to spread it out into an even layer.
  12. Place on a baking tray (to catch any overflow from the pie) and bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes.
  13. Serve while still piping hot.
Serves 4.

Friday, 20 July 2012

Egg Curry

When making an egg curry it's important to not make the sauce have too strong a flavour. If the sauce is very strong then it masks all the flavour of the egg, making it little more than some chunks of protein.


  • 2 onions, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 stick celery, washed and thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 chilli pepper, finely chopped and seeds removed (or leave the seeds in to increase the heat)
  • 2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp ground corriander
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp fenugreek powder
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 hard boiled eggs, peeled and cut into eighths


  1. Fry the onions and celery in the sunflower oil for 5 minutes until they start to soften.
  2. Add the chilli pepper, spices and the chopped tomatoes and bring to a simmer.
  3. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent it burning on the bottom of the pan.
  4. Add the chopped egg and mix well.
  5. Serve with rice.
Serves 2.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Baba Ghanoush

This is a dip, sometimes called baba ganoush, is made using grilled aubergines. They develop a lovely smoky flavour when they are grilled.


  • 5 whole aubergines
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 4 tbsp lemon juice
  • 4 tbsp tahini
  • a pinch of salt


  1. Pre-heat a grill on a medium-high heat.
  2. Place the aubergines on a baking tray with sides. Gently prick each aubergine neat the stalk and the end.
  3. Grill under the grill until the side goes from purple to maroon to blackened.
  4. Turn the aubergines as each of their sides is cooked.
  5. When all sides of the aubergines are cooked, remove from the grill and leave to cool.
  6. Carefully peel the burnt skin off the outside of the aubergine and put the soft juicy insides into a blender.
  7. Add the other ingredients and blend into a smooth paste.
  8. Chill in the fridge for a couple of hours.
  9. Serve with fresh bread or tortilla chips to dip.
Makes about 2 pints of dip.

Friday, 13 July 2012

Alcohol Free Trifle

This alcohol free trifle is quick and easy to make.


  • 100g swiss roll, cut into slices
  • 300g frozen raspberries
  • 1 packet of strawberry vegetarian jelly, enough to make 1 pint
  • 1 pint of fresh custard
  • 1 can squirty cream to top


  1. Line the bottom of a large bowl with the swiss roll slices.
  2. Cover with the frozen raspberries.
  3. Make up the jelly according to the instructions on the packet (this usually just means mixing it with some boiling water in a jug).
  4. Pour the jelly over the raspberries while it's still hot and liquid.
  5. Jiggle the bowl around to make sure that there aren't any air pockets.
  6. Cover and leave to cool for a couple of hours.
  7. Place in the fridge and chill for at least 3 hours.
  8. When you are just about to serve the trifle, pour the custard out onto the top and spread it out into an even layer.
  9. Finally top with cream and serve.

Serves 6.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

One-pot Courgette Stew

This is a really simple to make dish but tastes fantastic. The cooking time gives the flavours time to develop and the tex-mex style spices compliment the slight sweetness of the tomato and courgette.


  • 4 courgettes, ends removed and diced into 1 to 2cm pieces
  • 125g tomatoes, cut into 1 cm pieces
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp dried coriander
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 150ml single cream
  • 150ml water
  • a pinch of salt


  1. Place all the ingredients into a large pan and stir well.
  2. Bring to a simmer on a medium heat.
  3. Simmer for 30 minutes. Stirring every 10 minutes to check it's not burning on the bottom.
  4. Spoon out into bowls and consume.

Serves 2.

Friday, 6 July 2012

Oven Baked Beans

These taste so different from the usual tinned baked beans that I don't think they should really be called the same thing. I still like tinned baked beans, but the baked beans in this recipe are nicer, even if they do require more than 3 minutes in the microwave.


  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 3 tsp dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 cloves, finely ground
  • 1 tin (390g) of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tsp garlic puree or 4 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 150ml water
  • two 400g tins of haricot beans (with a drained weight of about 220g each)


  1. Preheat the oven to 150 degrees.
  2. Fry the onion in the sunflower oil until it starts to soften.
  3. Add all the remaining ingredients, apart from the beans, and mix well.
  4. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Add the haricot beans to the tomato sauce and stir well.
  6. Transfer to a large oven proof dish.
  7. Bake in the oven uncovererd for an hour and a half.
  8. Enjoy with a fried egg or on some toast.

Serves 3 to 4.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Stilton and Walnut Sprouts

I was looking for an interesting thing to do with sprouts and heard about cooking them with bacon and blue cheese. This is my vegetarian version, replacing the bacon with the walnuts.


  • 400g sprouts, tough stalks cut off and dry outer layers peeled off
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 100g walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 100g Stilton cheese, roughly chopped


  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
  2. Cut the sprouts in half and place in an oven proof bowl.
  3. Add the oil to the sprouts, season with salt and pepper and then mix around so it's all coated.
  4. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes. After 15 minutes take it out of the oven and mix it all around so that the sprouts on the top don't get too dry.
  5. After the 30 minutes is up remove from the oven and sprinkle the walnuts followed by the cheese over the top.
  6. Return to the oven for a further 10 minutes.
Serves 2 as a main or 4 as a side.