Eat-your-greens shak

Peas, brocolli and green bean shak

A very quick shak to make as it uses frozen veg – however it’s full of flavour and goodness. If you are aghast at using frozen, fresh will do but just take slightly longer.  I like the vegetables to have some bite so tend to stir fry the shak until the veg are just tender.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup frozen broccoli
  • 1 cup frozen green beans
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 tbs groundnut oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp grated ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 green chili chopped finely
  • 1 tsp salt (nimak)
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder (lal murcha)
  • 1/2 tsp coriander cumin powder (dhanna jeeru)
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric (hurder)
  • 4 curry leaves
  • Lemon juice to taste (I find a good squeeze of a half sufficient)

Cooking

  • In a large pan, heat oil over medium flame and throw in cumin.
  • Once cumin are sizzling, add ginger, garlic and chili. Stir
  • Add the vegetables, spices and curry leaves. Stir gently until the veg have softened slightly
  • Add lemon juice to taste, stir and cook for further 2 minutes
  • Serve with basmati rice.
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Purple mash

Not cooking at all but a review of the Purple Majesty – the new potato with lots of anthocyanins in. It’s grown in Scotland dontchaknow. We got some of these potatoes with our weekly shop this week. Last night we made sausage and mash. Two pans of mash – one with King Edwards and one with Purple Majesty.

Now idiot me forgot to take a photo. I love the novelty of the purple spud. Peeling it was just bizarre and hubby thought I was strange for sniffing them. Well as mash, the purple potatoes taste like POTATOES MASH. Yep no difference but the lilac coloured mash looked great on the plate and my tot gobbled it all up.

Can’t wait to make oven chips or aubergine and potato shak with the rest of them .. as you can tell I am very easily pleased.

Baked mac and cheese

Bit of a chill in the air…Quick run for the comfort food!! And the best kind after chocolate has to involve pasta and cheese for me. This is such an easy dish to prepare and tastes delicious with a fresh tomato salad. The proportions below make more than enough for 3 greedy adults and one small child.

Ingredients

  • 350g macaroni (dry pasta weight)
  • Enough water to boil pasta
  • 1 pint semi skimmed milk
  • 1 small onion – chopped finely
  • 1 large dry bay leaf
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 50g butter
  • 3 tbs plain flour
  • 1/2tsp fresh grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp Colman’s mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 250g mature cheese
  • oil / butter to grease baking dish

Cooking:

  • Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees centigrade (or 180 degrees if fan oven, gas mark 5)
  • Boil pasta to al dente as per packet instructions and then drain
  • In a small pan, bring milk to the boil. Then take off heat and throw in the onion, garlic and bay leaf. Leave for at least half an hour to infuse the milk. Strain out so that you only have the milk for the sauce. Discard the onion, garlic and bay leaf.
  • In a sauce pan, melt the butter. Take off the heat and stir in the flour. Mix well so there are no lumps. For some reason, wooden spoons are best for this.
  • Put the butter/flour back on a low heat and cook for 20 seconds, stirring to stop it sticking to the pan.
  • Take off the heat and slowly add the milk, stirring all the time to avoid any lumps forming.
  • Put the butter/flour/milk back on the heat and cook until it thickens, stirring to stop it sticking to the pan.
  • Once it thickens, take it off the heat. Grate in the nutmeg, add the mustard and stir. Season to taste
  • Add 3/4 of the  cheese and stir. The sauce should be quite thick now. DO NOT put back on the heat as the cheese will separate in a horrid nasty way
  • Grease a large baking dish with butter or olive oil. Put in the pasta then cover well with the sauce. Mix it all up. Then sprinkle the remaining cheese on top
  • Cook on the middle shelf of your oven until the top is browned and sauce mix is bubbling.
  • Serve with garlic bread, a fresh salad with lots of tomatoes and a nice white wine.

P.S. Sorry about lack of picture. I managed to delete the one I had taken after we gobbled up the food 😦

Stuffed pointed red pepper

I normally stuff bell peppers but tonight tried out some pointed red peppers and now they are my favourite. The taste didn’t seem as strong as the bell and I liked the way it complemented the spicy filling

Ingredients

  • 2 pointed red peppers
  • 35g brown rice (this is the uncooked weight).
  • 2 small potatoes
  • 1 medium brown onion diced finely
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger grated
  • 2 tbs groundnut oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
  • 1 green chili chopped finely
  • 1 tsp salt (nimak)
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder (murcha)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric (hurder)
  • 1/4 tsp cumin coriander powder (dhana jeeru)
  • Lemon juice to taste

Preparation

  • Wash and dry peppers. Chop off stalk end and then cut a slit along 3/4 of the length of each pepper. Take out the seeds
  • Cook the rice according to the packet instructions and allow to cool. Day old rice would work very well.
  • Peel and dice the potatoes. Cook until you can just slide a knife in but they aren’t mush. Allow to cool.

Cooking

  • Pre-heat oven to 185 degrees centigrade (200 degrees if non fan oven)
  • In a saucepan, heat oil over medium flame. Add the cumin seeds
  • Once seeds are sizzling add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes
  • Add ginger and chili and cook for a further minute
  • Add the spices
  • Stir in the rice, potatoes and lemon juice and mix well
  • Allow to cool slightly
  • Stuff the peppers with the mixture making sure you shove it into the pointed end
  • Place on an oil baking tray with the stuffed part on top (so the stuffing doesn’t fall out!)
  • Cook for 20 to 30 minutes until the pepper skin softens and starts to blacken slightly
  • Serve with a large salad

Cheese stuffed mushrooms

I like the earthy taste of mushrooms and these cheese stuffed mushrooms are very easy to do. They can be eaten as a light lunch, starter or accompaniment to steak (I gasp in horror being a Hindu vegetarian but hubby suggested this!)

Ingredients

  • 4 large Portobello mushrooms – wipe clean and remove stalks. Chop up the mushroom stalks into small dice.
  • 1 small onion dice very finely
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tbs oil
  • 2 blocks of frozen spinach – cook as per instructions on packet
  • 1 large slice of day old bread
  • 100g soft cheese. Take this out in advance and let it soften
  • Sprig of fresh parsley chopped finely
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 15g butter for brushing

Cooking:

  • Pre-heat oven to 185 degree centigrade (I have a fan oven. If you don’t then probably 200 degree is about right)
  • In a large frying pan, heat oil over medium flame
  • Add onions and garlic. Cook until onions are starting to caramelise
  • Add the mushroom stalks and cook until they are reduced. Stir frequently to stop the mixture sticking to the pan
  • Take the mixture off the heat and allow to cool on a plate
  • Once the spinach is cooked according to the packet instructions, add it to the oil from the onions/mushroom and gently cook until the water evaporates. Allow to cool
  • Put bread into a blender and whizz to tiny breadcrumbs
  • In a bowl combine the spinach, mushroom/onion mix, breadcrumbs, soft cheese and parsley. Season to taste
  • Brush the rounded part of each mushroom with melted butter and place on a baking tray gills side up. Then divide the mushroom mixture equally among the flat mushrooms. Place on a flat baking tray with some distance between each as they can sometimes flatten and spread.
  • Heat in the middle of the oven for about 25 minutes. The mixture should be browned on the top but the mushrooms should be firm
  • Serve with a salad and new potatoes or with a beef steak – if you aren’t a veggie and really must 😉