Warm broad bean, butternut squash and feta salad

The final dish

The final dish

This was an experiment following an incredibly busy day and was prompted by the neglected squash that had been in the pantry (large cupboard in the kitchen) for over a month.

Having also recently received a bumper delivery of broad beans, it seemed only natural to have a go combining the two.

The latest soring temperatures in the UK (sweltering heat) inspired a salad as follows:

  • Approximately 15 x shelled broad bean pods
  • 1 x butternut squash
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1/2 roll feta
  • 1 x tin chickpeas
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • Dash balsamic
  • Squeeze lemon
  1. Cut the butternut squash into bite-sized pieces, drizzle veg oil in a baking tray and coat the squash in it. Season with salt and pepper and cook in an oven set at 180°C (fan assisted).
  2. Shell the bean pods and cook bea ns on the stove for approx 15 minutes, until soft.
  3. Chop up the cucumber, red onion and feta, and put in a bowl to one side.
  4. When cooked, drain the beans and combine with the chickpeas – squeeze lemon over and season with salt and pepper.
  5. After about 20 minutes  the squash ought to be done (should be a little cripsy, or as crispy as you like) so remove from oven.
  6. Pop all things into a larg e mixing bowl and combine with a drizzle of olive oil (or smoked rapeseed oil if you have it), dash of balsamic, s eason with salt and pepper and toss the lot.

In pictures:

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This would likely serve 4 for lunch, or make two large dinners with enough leftovers for lunch.

The consensus on this one is that Ben would eat it and have seconds.

This was an experiment following an incredibly busy day and was prompted by the neglected squash that had been in the pantry (large cupboard in the kitchen) for over a month.

One way with carrots – carrot fritter recipe

And not the wicked ones, unless you’re that way inclined. There was a recipe in one of the free London papers a few weeks back, that was adapted from its rather bland first appearance.

In case it isn’t obvious, here’s the carrot fritter recipe:

  • 6 medium carrots
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 spring onions
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of plain brown flour
  • Generous amounts of fresh corriandar
  • 2 tbsps cumin seeds
  • salt and pepper to season

It doesn’t take much by way of explanation. Quite frankly you just mix the lot and spoon fritter-sized amounts into a pan of hot veg oil. Then shallow fry, and prompty follow this up by draining off all that healthy oil on a piece of kitchen roll. It’s really very simple.

In pictures:

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Ben would eat this one, it tastes rather dandy.

A journey in strawberries

Strawberries are in season, so…
First attempt at making mini strawberry cakes

First attempt at making mini strawberry cakes

I had a go at making some mini sponge cakes, inspired by a recent bumper delivery of strawberries in the weekly veg box. As with most desserts I make, I was designing it to be super-quick, so all mixed in the food processor. A once-thought-to-be cardinal sin, now I swear by it. I threw a little ground almonds into the sponge mix and just favoured it with vanilla.

Recipe needs ironing out as cakes didn’t come out exactly as planned (it was more a crusty topping with a gooey vanilla filling – strawberries bringing up the rear). I’ll post the recipe once it is vastly improved, but I was reasonably happy considering they were a first attempt. They were still edible. Ben may not have eaten them though.

Probably the best veggie burger courtesty of…

Martha fricking Stewart. A little sloppy-Joe in consistency, but tastes damn fine – so much so that it got two avid meat fans reaching for bun number two. Served it up with the usual melted, sharp cheddar and salad.

This burger recipe is multifaceted however, a discovery made upon making too much mix for three people. So with the left-overs we made small, falafal-sized balls, lightly fried them and made some darned fine pitta filling, served up with home-made houmous and spicy tomato ketchup.

Fried quinoa balls with houmous and salad

Fried quinoa balls with houmous and salad

The houmous consisted of:

  • 2xcans chickpeas
  • 4xcloves of garlic
  • 1xlemon
  • 2xtbsps tahini
  • 2xtps cumin seeds
  • Olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  1. Rinse the chickpeas and put in blender
  2. Add the pealed cloves garlic, cumin seed, a squeeze of the lemon, the tahini and a drizzle of the oil
  3. Blend it up
  4. Add more oil according to how you want the texture – smoother = more oil
  5. Season to taste, adding more lemon/cumin/pepper/tahini/salt and pepper as so desired

If you don’t have a blender it is possible to pummel the chickpeas and associated ingredients in a pestle and mortar. You won’t get the same consistency but still the same idea.

Salad lunch with sesame seeds

Salad lunch with sesame seeds

Pittas were assembled with a generous layer of houmous, finely chopped red onion, cucumber, red pepper, rocket, the fried quinoa balls, yoghurt and spicy ketchup. Pittas, houmous and salad made a superb lunch the following day as well.

We need to diversify the freezer

What better way to begin a food blog, than with some food. Clearly I’m not offering food right now for eats,  just the stuff you see in photos rather generously accompanied by details on how to make it.

Fried aubergine and courgette with rocket salad

Fried Courgette and Aubergine

Let’s call this one “Fried&Floured, Courgette&Aubergine & a little bit of everything else”. Let’s also call it less of a name and more of a description.

Simple as:

  • 2 x courgettes
  • 1 x aubergine
  • White flour
  • 2 handfuls of rocket
  1. Slice up courgette and aubergine.
  2. Lay out and salt both sides.
  3. Rinse the salt.
  4. Dry on kitchen roll/towel.
  5. Season white flour with cumin, corriander, pepper.
  6. Coat each slice.
  7. Fry each slice in a pan (1cm veggie oil approx) until golden.
  8. Lay out on kitchen roll.

Then serve with rocket, houmous, yoghurt (obviously minus this for a vegan version) and chilli sauce or whatever you fancy/have laying around.

This happened to use up a lot of left-overs out of the fridge, so was really quick and was promptly woofed down by two hungry Londoners. Not to mention I’d already eaten a slice of cake upon arriving home. It’s a new thing, dessert first.

We’re diversifying the freezer by means of introducing more things (other than soup) to it. This meal brought about that revelation, so I thought it only fitting to title this post as such.