Tag Archives: Recipes

Make your own organic cheese, then put it on pizza toasts!

It’s really easy to make fresh cheese just with whole milk and lemon juice, a pan and a teatowel- that’s it! Follow my tutorial here to make the cheese, then before you hang it up to dry fully and shape it for cutting, nick some of the curds out to enjoy it straight away with these quick and easy pizza toasts. They’re made extra delicious with the rewarding feeling of having made the cheese yourself.

1. Take your cheese curds freshly rinsed and squeezed dry from the cheese cloth, they should look like this…

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2. Spoon some into a bowl and mix with chilli flakes, herbs and olive oil. This is also great with chopped capers and lemon zest!

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3. Cut large slices of bread

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4.  Top with tomato paste

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5. Add fresh tomato slices and sprinkle with sea salt

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6. Top with your fresh, homemade organic chilli and herb cheese

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7. Add olives then place under a hot grill for a few minutes, the cheese won’t melt but the top of the bread will toast, the cheese will brown a little and the olives will smell devine.

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8. Add fresh basil and enjoy!

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A tiny harvest

The pots outside our one bedroom flat (which is without garden 😦 ) are flourishing with potato, courgette and tomato plants today (the few that survived the awful beginning of the summer we’ve had that is).

Tomatoes,squash, courgettes and some scraggly peppers and dwarfed aubergines- using every square inch makes plants flourish!!!

Tomatoes (which need some shoots pulling out)

Maris P’s in a pot!

Also, our allotment, despite not being tended for about 4 weeks has produced some lovely courgettes to join the couple from our pots: F1 Tristan, Black Beauty, F1 One Ball and F1 8 Ball.

Our first harvest for the year is a small bundle of these lovely fruits!

8 ball courgette! YUM!

What a handful!

A tiny harvest

We celebrated our crop, and the lovely (short-lived) weather, with a barbeque (or two) at the allotment…pure bliss!

Chopping onions for the veggie burgers

Our homemade BBQ- a shopping basket, some bricks and coals- with halloumi kebabs and Quorn best of british sausages- nom nom

Quorn burgers, Quorn sausages, frying onion in tin foil, and halloumi and veg kebabs!

Marshmallow anyone?

Despite the poor weather these few barbeques and relaxed times have made me feel very summery indeed. To make everyone else feel a little more summery and satisfied in their agricultural endeavours in the city, you may enjoy this farm and town paper animation set to Vashti Bunyan’s Diamond Day- what could be more summery?

By the way, we used the tiny harvest to make up the layers in a delicious vegetable lasagna, where instead of a layer of bechemal sauce I make a creamy layer of courgettes cooked  in garlic, herbs and cream cheese to place in between layers of quorn mince, passata and basil.

Colourful courgettes

YUM! Part of the tiny harvest cooked

Creamy courgettes in lasagna!

Finished lasagna, topped with ricotta and spinach, then gran padano and breadcrumbs for a twist

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Anyone for Tagine?

Vegetable Tagine, lentil salad and bread at Bab Bou Jeloud, Fes

James and I just got back from Morocco where we were travelling for 2 weeks from Fes to Marrakesh (through Ifrane, Azrou, Midelt, Er-Rachidia, Erfoud, Merzouga, Todra Gorge and Essouira).  Before going I was a little worried we would have a hard time getting vegetarian food, or encounter the awkward scenario of trying to explain in a foreign language that vegetarian really does mean ‘no chicken’.

However this was simply not the case, it was actually really easy to be vegetarian in Morocco, even in fairly small towns. We had a few dishes that tasted like they were likely cooked in meat broth, which wasn’t a nice surprise, but it was always really easy to find a menu with at least a couple of veggie options on- including tagine, couscous, pasta and pizza.

I thought I’d detail some of the places we ate in the nature of food tourism or for anyone looking for places to go:

We recommend

Le Kasbah, Fes

This place was right by Bab Bou Jeloud and served up some really tasty salad, veggie tagine with lemon peel and olives and couscous for a reasonable price, the veggie tagine tasted pretty “savoury” so for purists, I’d stick with the couscous!

James+FOOD

Riad Laayoun, Fes

We stayed at Riad Laayoun and it was truly excellent, the accommodation was unique and the meal there was very good, if a little more pricey than the medina, the top ups of mint tea and cookies during our stay were really nice too.

Ksar Sania, Merzouga

There were some things that weren’t so good about staying at Ksar Sania, like the crabby colonial french owner, the overpricing and the constant subtle pressure to buy excursions or extras (go for camels, avoid all lifts or excursions elsewhere), but the food was very good indeed.

Berber Omelette, with tomatoes and peppers at Ksar Sania

Auberge Le-Festival, Todra Gorge

Excellent people, excellent food in an amazing setting, this place rescued our diminishing faith in morocco being a nice place- what more can I say? It was GORGEous (get it, ‘cos it’s in a blummin massive gorge).

A candlelight meal for two! Enjoying a salad washed in bottled water (phew!)

Vegetable Moussaka- Maroc style!

Earth Cafe, Marrakesh

We ate twice at this vegetarian and vegan restaurant hidden in the souk,  just away from the central square. The lentil burger (despite sounding dull) was actually the best dish of the 2 nights we ate there.

Spring rolls and Lentil Burger

Spinach and Goats cheese parcel and lentil burger

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Chargrilled peppers with cheese and coriander

This is a bit of a titchy post about my lunch, but this was so yummy I can’t not do a quick post about it.

So we had a pretty dull array of foods in for lunch a couple of weekends ago. Some hummus, bread a few sundried tomatoes in oil and some red peppers and a few grates of low fat cheese left.

I chargrilled up the red peppers in some olive oil on my chargrill pan, and whilst they were still hot added the cheese and some fresh coriander while they were in a bowl- the results made a lovely extravagant feeling lunch with little effort.

Smushed on top of some hummus-smeared bread this was really yummy. Please excuse the big bite in the photo- I couldn’t wait to sample before taking the picture!

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Dinner last night…

…was Rice Noodles with Purple Sprouting Broccoli and Cashew Nuts!

Super easy and covers all your food groups! I just toasted 100g of cashews and a few black onion seeds in a pan, added some sesame oil and fried 2 cloves of garlic and a chunk of ginger (grated), then added some chopped purple sprouting broccoli and 2 sliced orange peppers. Rice Noodles and a light sauce made of sesame and olive oil, dark soy sauce, dried chilli flakes, sweet chilli sauce and rice wine vinegar was added at the last 2 minutes of frying…voila!

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Spicing up your bean burgers!

When you’re really busy I’ve found the old freezer favourite, bean burgers, can make a really nice veggie or vegan supper with just a few additions. It’s great if you need half an hour to do something when you get in after work as all these things can all be left cooking together for 30 mins. This is also pretty healthy, the bean burgers we get from the supermarket are only ~240 calories each!

I bung the bean burgers in the oven at around 200C, alongside another roasting tray with some sliced onion (use half a red onion for this, and save half for the potato salad below) and a sliced red pepper,  coated with a little olive oil and covered with foil, this is more a more energy-efficient way to cook than frying the onions as the oven is on already- and it takes less effort.

At the same time I boil some whole small new potatoes (no need to chop) for half an hour on the hob (maybe set these boiling just before you put the burgers in).

In a mixing bowl, I combine some light mayo (you could use vegan mayo if you’re so inclined) and a little olive oil and black pepper.

Chill out while everything cooks for 30 minutes, then drain the potatoes, and add them to the mayo/onion mix and break them up a little with a fork. Assemble the burgers with the roasted pepper and onion on top (bun optional), add a few slices of avocado, and put the potato salad on the side along with some green salad.

Voila! A weeknight feast. I have the low(er) carb version above, and James partakes of the supersize option below.

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Recipe: Herby Spaghetti with Courgette, Feta and ‘Sundried’ Cherry Tomatoes

This dinner came out of pure greediness.

I was wondering if I could eat two flavour combos I love at once without it being too overpowering; these being:

-Tomatoes, Basil and garlic

-Green Veg and mint

I thought individually the flavours all worked well with each other, and worked well with feta cheese (which could be left out for a vegan recipe); and it turns out if you combine them all together they taste even better!

Ingredients for 2 generous servings:

-250g of spaghetti (we’re greedy!)

-A large mug of frozen peas

-A handful of chopped yellow cherry tomatoes

-Around 50g of sundried/blushed tomatoes in oil (we used a home dried F1 Mini Plum variety, dried in our dehydrator (not the sun…we live in England after all!))

-150-200g of feta (leave out for a vegan recipe!)

-2 medium courgettes

– 2 cloves of garlic

-A handful of fresh basil leaves (torn or chopped)

-Around 5-6 fresh mint leaves (sliced very fine)

  1. Slice the courgettes into ¼ inch (~1cm) rounds and lightly fry in just a little olive oil on a low/med heat. Don’t fry for too long, you don’t want them mushy, but fresh and just cooked.
  1. As the courgettes are just fried add the garlic, then after another minute of cooking the frozen peas.
  1. Add the mint, it should be about a pinch, don’t be excessive as fresh mint is strong. Add around half the basil to the cooking veg.
  1. Turn the heat under the veg off when done; keep warm by covering if necessary. Drain your spaghetti, place it back in the pan with a good glug of olive all.
  1. Add the cooked veg mixture to the pasta, add the raw chopped and sundried tomatoes and the fresh basil. Crumble in the feta.

Voila, Greek? Italian? Who knows….but it’s yummy!

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