Burgers and Patties, Gluten-Free, Mediterranean Dishes, Salads, Vegan, Vegan on a Shoestring, Vegan Snacks

Greek Courgette (aka Zucchini) Fritters and Olive Tapenade

The simplest fritters in the world to make and frankly, they are so moreish they need to come with a health warning!

So here it is: eating fried food everyday is a very bad idea, but once in a blue moon ….  and when it tastes as good as these fritters do …that’s got to be OK with me.  🙂

I have an abundance of home-grown courgettes at the moment, but they’re readily available in the shops too!  Every year I promise myself that I will plant less courgette plants, and every year I fail to do so.  This year, I have six, and they seem to manifest courgettes overnight.  So I can categorically state that this is not my last courgette recipe post.  It can get bit frantic in the kitchen, but I know I will mourn them once they’re gone.  Particularly as they don’t freeze well.

So.  Back to the fritters.  I’m not a nutritionist, but I suggest taking a leaf out of the Japanese book, which is to eat fried foods (tempura for example) with fresh crisp radish, daikon or mooli. These vegetables will help cut through the fat and leave your digestive system feeling less overloaded.

I’ve made these fritters, (which are adapted from a traditional Greek recipe), gluten-free, simply by replacing wheat flour with chickpea flour.

§

GREEK COURGETTE FRITTERS

Serves 2-4 

Ingredients:   Continue reading “Greek Courgette (aka Zucchini) Fritters and Olive Tapenade”

Advertisements
Condiments, Mediterranean Dishes, Preserving, Salads, Vegan, Vegan Treats

Preserving Lemons and Limes. Moroccan Style.

There’s just a hint of spring in the air here in the UK, and my thoughts are already turning to fresh salads and light ‘spring-like’ food!

There are wonderful citrus fruit in the shops at the moment, and this recipe brings all the intensity of citrus flavours to the fore, while in the meantime gentling the sharpness that can sometimes be too overpowering.

Preserving lemons takes about a month, and then, stored in the refrigerator, they will last for months… which is great, because you don’t need much to bring a zing to any dish.

Typically preserved lemons are used in Moroccan dishes such as Tagine, and Couscous, but with just a little imagination I think there are many possibilities to introduce this gorgeous flavour : salads, pasta,  curries, marinades for tofu and tempeh, side dishes such as french beans, asparagus or carrots, as well as sauces, dressings and even desserts. As well as Mediterranean  dishes such as hummus or olive tapenade.

lemony lemonyness

§

PRESERVED LEMONS

I litre jar : 8-10 lemons (and limes)

Cook’ notes: 

  • 1)The favoured choice of lemon for preserving is Meyer lemon, but other types of lemon work fine.  It’s important they’re unwaxed, as you will be eating the rind …. 
  • 2) I used Himalayan salt … which is the only salt I use in the kitchen these days.
  • The best jar to use is almost certainly a glass kilner jar with a good tight seal.  Don’t use metallic lids as they will react with the lemon juice.  

Ingredients:   Continue reading “Preserving Lemons and Limes. Moroccan Style.”

Salads, Vegan

Blueberry Salad

My blueberry bushes are giving forth right now, so I thought I’d try some in a salad.

They’re lovely.

Everything else I used was green 🙂  because I liked the colour contrasts 🙂

Blueberries have a soft and mellow flavour, so I also went looking for other ingredients that would complement rather than overpower them….

Hope you like !

§

BLUEBERRY SALAD

I’ll leave the exact quantities up to you… just major on the blueberries  🙂

Ingredients: Continue reading “Blueberry Salad”

Gluten-Free, Salads, Vegan

Cauliflower Tabbouleh

A beautiful, bejewelled, crunchy, colourful salad, with raw, crisp, fresh cauliflower as a base, and a great deal more besides.

Cauliflower is fabulous raw, it has a wonderful texture and happily absorbs whatever flavours you might choose.  And it seems to have a completely different air about it when raw (rather than cooked)….it’s sweet, nutty and fragrant…

My redcurrant bushes (of which I have two, with their fruit just beginning to ripen),  gave me the idea for this salad, but redcurrants are readily available in the shops, and really do add a juicy zing to this salad bowl.

§

CAULIFLOWER TABBOULEH

 with a lemony dressing

should serve 4

Ingredients: Continue reading “Cauliflower Tabbouleh”

Condiments, Salads, Vegan

Thousand Island Dressing.

Thousand Island Dressing dates back to the beginning of the 20th century and was undoubtedly invented in the US. It’s now a global standard …with endless variations.

Here’s mine. Plant-based.  Naturally.

It’s a dressing that will work with a fresh green salad and stand up equally well to powerful flavours like a vegan BBQ’d mushroom and sweet pepper kebab or chilli bean burgers.

What’s not to like?

It has a surprising number of ingredients… and feel free to adjust quantities of each ingredient according to personal taste.

Moreover ….for extra pizzazz you can add even more 🙂

… maybe half-a-dozen crisp green (pitted) olives…

a small handful of pickled dill cucumbers….

… or a couple of red hot finger chillies…

… a big bunch of fresh herbs….

… or a couple of chopped spring onions …

?

 

THOUSAND ISLAND DRESSING

makes about 250ml……

Ingredients:
Continue reading “Thousand Island Dressing.”

All About Beans, Salads, Vegan, Vegan Snacks

Lazy Nancy Salad Dip….

A Lazy Susan is one of those things that sits in the middle of the table, on which you put all the dishes of food, and spin it round so you don’t have to lean over to get one.  This salad/dip/sandwich filling/ baked potato accompaniment  etc. ….lets the blender take the strain.  It goes round and round and then its done! 🙂

 

§

LAZY NANCY SALAD DIP

for 4

Ingredients: Continue reading “Lazy Nancy Salad Dip….”

Salads, Vegan, Vegan Main Dishes

Salads Galore!

Salads bring colour, crunchiness, freshness and any amount of an abundance of good things to any table…any meal…any time…

… so here’s a brief celebration of how to make a meal out of salad …’n’…stuff … 🙂

§

New Potatoes in a garlic dressing and scattered liberally with Sumac.

Boil the new potatoes, (get organic and cook them in their skins)… until very tender.

Strain, and allow to cool for 5 mins, letting the excess moisture evaporate…

In a bowl, add a glug or two of olive oil, a big pinch of salt and 3-4 peeled + crushed garlic cloves and a pinch of black pepper.

Place the potatoes in the bowl while they are still warm.

Toss the potatoes in the dressing.

Sprinkle liberally with Sumac – a beautiful lemony peppery spice from the middle east.

§

Ruby Red Crunchy Salad. Continue reading “Salads Galore!”

Quick Suppers For Two, Salads, Vegan, Vegan Quick Suppers

Swiss Rosti + Chicory Orange Salad with a Mustard Dressing

 Rosti is a Swiss dish, (definitely germanic swiss rather than latin swiss…)  and is a crispy potato pancake which is often eaten for breakfast.  It’s a very simple recipe, but I think there’s an art to getting it just right: golden and crispy on the outside, and soft and melty in the middle.

I’ve served it here with a salad of chicory and orange with a strong mustard dressing  … bitter, tangy and sharp flavours cutting through the mellow oily warmth of the pancake..

I hope you enjoy this lovely mix of contrasting flavours.

potato rosti and orange and chicory salad

§

SWISS POTATO ROSTI + CHICORY AND ORANGE SALAD WITH A MUSTARD AND SPRING ONION DRESSING

for 2

Ingredients: Continue reading “Swiss Rosti + Chicory Orange Salad with a Mustard Dressing”

All About Beans, Burgers and Patties, Salads, Vegan, Vegan Main Dishes, Vegan Snacks

North African White Bean Burgers with Papaya and Avocado Salad.

First… a word about beans.  The fact is, beans are designed not to be digested.  They contain ‘inhibitors’ to prevent digestion.  The way to unlock the goodness of bean is to soak for a good long time.  I soaked these small white beans for 60 hours.  Two and a half days.  You can soak them longer than that too. Rinse the beans and change the water twice daily. Keep them covered and in a cool place.  If possible, use filtered water.

In a deep saucepan with a tight fitting lid, place the rinsed beans, and add enough cold water to amply cover the beans.  Bring them to the boil and boil hard for 6 minutes.

Then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer gently for 2 – 3 – 4 hours….until the beans are really tender.  Add more water if necessary.

I cook them in batches, and then freeze them, so next time I need beans, I can just grab them from the freezer bag whenever I need them.  It’s worth the effort…. I promise! 🙂

§

Back to burgers, which is what this post is about lol……as most of us know, making a burger isn’t as easy as we imagine…. particularly without eggs… they fall apart, or they’re too dry, or they’re too wet and won’t fry/bake properly.  They won’t crisp up or they simply disintegrate…..hmmm..

So, here’s a nice little bean burger, that shouldn’t do any of those things, tastes great and fries, bakes, stores, freezes and reheats…and tastes good hot or cold.

§

Finally, Harissa.

According to Wikipedia:

“Harissa (Arabic: هريسة‎ | harîsa – Word Origin : from Maghrebi Arabic) is a Maghrebian hot chili pepper paste, the main ingredients of which are roasted red peppers, Baklouti pepper, serrano peppers and other hot chili peppers and spices and herbs such as garlic paste, coriander seed, or caraway as well as some vegetable or olive oil for preservation. It is most closely associated with Tunisia, Libya and Algeria.”

Harissa has a nice, clean, fresh heat.  It’s like a backdrop to all the other flavours.  It’s perfect with these relatively delicate white beans, along with the clean zing of lemon juice.

North African Bean Burgers + Papaya and Avocado Salad

§

NORTH AFRICAN WHITE BEAN BURGERS + PAPAYA AND AVOCADO SALAD

Makes 8 burgers

Ingredients:    Continue reading “North African White Bean Burgers with Papaya and Avocado Salad.”

Burgers and Patties, Salads, Vegan, Vegan Ingredients, Vegan Main Dishes

Cauliflower and Millet Croquettes served two ways: with melon, pomegranate and radish salad / or in a tomato and pea sauce. Vegan.

millet and cauliflower croquettes in a spiced tomato sauce

Millet is a wonderful grain.

millet

It has a long and interesting history : according to Wikipedia:

“Some of the earliest evidence of millet cultivation in China was found at Cishan (north). Cishan dates for common millet husk phytoliths and biomolecular components have been identified around 8300–6700 BC in storage pits along with remains of pit-houses, pottery, and stone tools related to millet cultivation. Evidence at Cishan for foxtail millet dates back to around 6500 BC. A 4,000-year-old well-preserved bowl containing well-preserved noodles made from foxtail millet and broomcorn millet was found at the Lajia archaeological site in China.

Palaeoethnobotanists have found evidence of the cultivation of millet in the Korean Peninsula dating to the Middle Jeulmun pottery period (around 3500–2000 BC). Millet continued to be an important element in the intensive, multicropping agriculture of the Mumun pottery period (about 1500–300 BC) in Korea. Millets and their wild ancestors, such as barnyard grass and panic grass, were also cultivated in Japan during the Jōmon period some time after 4000 BC.

Millet made its way from China to the Black Sea region of Europe by 5000 BC.The cultivation of common millet as the earliest dry crop in East Asia has been attributed to its resistance to drought,[4] and this has been suggested to have aided its spread.

Pearl Millet was domesticated in the Sahel region of West Africa, where it’s wild ancestors are found. Evidence for the cultivation of Pearl Millet in Mali dates back to 2500 BC,and Pearl Millet is found in South Asia by 2300 BC.”

§

It’s not difficult to cook, but it can turn sticky or soggy if it’s not cooked properly.  Millet is also rich in minerals, particularly magnesium, and can offer many health benefits.  It’s easy to digest, versatile to use, and is a great addition to a varied vegan diet.

Below is my recipe for baked millet and cauliflower croquettes, delicately spiced, and served two ways: with a fruity salad or in a spicy tomato and pea sauce.

MILLET AND CAULIFLOWER CROQUETTES

Makes 10-12 croquettes

Ingredients:   Continue reading “Cauliflower and Millet Croquettes served two ways: with melon, pomegranate and radish salad / or in a tomato and pea sauce. Vegan.”