Vegetarian Pad Thai

pad-thai

This was probably nothing like an authentic Pad Thai. In fact, I know it wasn’t, because I’ve eaten Pad Thai dozens of times in Thai restaurants. But it had eggs and peanut and noodles in it, so as far as I’m concerned it was a Pad Thai. Feel free to let me know what puts the ‘Pad’ into a Pad Thai.

I thought it was going to be a disaster as it ended up looking more like a creamy broccoli sauce for pasta – despite it not actually containing any broccoli – than an eggy thing for noodles, but it was a success. And, as The Meat Eater said, it had a base of mushrooms and kale, so there wasn’t much to go wrong really.

Vegetarian Pad Thai (serves 2)

1tbsp vegetable oil
50g kale, chopped
2 large mushrooms, chopped
Large handful of beansprouts
2 eggs, beaten
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
1 tbsp lime juice
50g dry roasted peanuts, chopped
2 spring onions, chopped

  1. Heat the oil in a frying pan or wok.
  2. Add the mushrooms and fry until almost cooked.
  3. Add the kale and fry for a couple of minutes.
  4. Add the beansprouts.
  5. Add the soy sauce, sweet chilli sauce and lime juice.
  6. Add the eggs and stir everything until the eggs are cooked.
  7. Serve on top of egg noodles (or those other noodles that usually go with Pad Thai) and garnish with the dry roasted peanuts and spring onions.
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Mushroom pot with feta and herb topping

mushroom-pot-with-feta-and-herb-topping

‘There’s too much black pepper in it.’ Honestly, one episode of Masterchef and The Meat Eater thinks he’s an expert. (I agreed with him, but – sshh – don’t tell him that.)

Too much black pepper aside, this was a lovely dish. The feta gave it a wonderful tang.

the-more-veg-cookbookI’ve written out the recipe as it appears in The More Veg Cookbook but I didn’t put any wine in it because, as far as I’m concerned, wine should be in a glass, not in food so I added more stock instead. I also used 200g of feta, not 150g and, as you can see from the photo above, it still didn’t completely cover the dish. Then again, the recipe says to use a casserole or ovenproof pan and I used a wok (a Tefal one that I’ve used for about ten years as a frying pan/saucepan. It’s huge and brilliant and practically cleans itself) then transferred the mixture into an oven dish.

You’ll need about an hour to make this but that’s mostly cooking time, as the preparation is minimal.

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Mushroom pot with feta and herb topping (serves 4)

2 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp paprika
grated zest of 1/2 a lemon
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 green peppers, halved, deseeded and sliced
200g chestnut mushrooms, quartered
200g button mushrooms
1 small glass dry white wine
450ml vegetable stock

For the topping
150g feta cheese, crumbled
2 eggs
handful of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

  1. Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole or ovenproof pan, add the onion and cook for 2-3 minutes on a low heat. Stir in the garlic, oregano, paprika, lemon zest, and some salt and pepper and cook for a further 1-2 minutes.
  2. Add the green peppers and cook on a low heat for 5 minutes, or until beginning to soften, then add the mushrooms and cook for a further 5 minutes. Increase the heat, add the wine, and bubble for 1 minute. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Partially cover and cook on a low-medium heat for 20 minutes; it should begin to thicken slightly. If it is too thin, uncover, increase the heat a little, and cook for a further 3-4 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4. To make the topping, mix together the feta, eggs, half the parsley and a little salt and pepper. Pour this over the mushroom mixture and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until the egg has set and the top is golden. Remove and sprinkle with the remaining parsley to serve.
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Omelette cannelloni with spinach filling

I’ve made this a couple of times and I’ve obviously been in a hurry to eat it before photographing it, as it’s not on my blog already.

omelette-cannelloni-with-spinach-filling-2

I love cannelloni but gave up trying to stuff those tubes years ago and I find using fresh lasagne isn’t the same. This is much easier and although it doesn’t beat a real pasta cannelloni, it’s a gorgeous alternative.

The recipe is adapted from Rose Elliot’s Vegetarian Supercook. I used cheddar instead of Parmesan-style cheese and left out the nutmeg. It also only made 6 omelettes not 8 (although you could make thinner omelettes) and served it between the two of us, not the four the recipe states. Also, it took nowhere near 25 minutes in the oven, it was more like 15.

omelette-cannelloni-with-spinach-filling

Omelette cannelloni with spinach filling (serves 4)

750g spinach, washed
125g low-fat soft cream cheese
8 tbsp grated Parmesan-style cheese
Grated nutmeg
4 eggs
2 tbsp water
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper

  1. Put the spinach with just the water clinging to the leaves into a large saucepan, cover and cook for 6-7 minutes, or until tender. Drain well.
  2. Add the cream cheese to the spinach along with 4 tbsp of the Parmesan-style cheese. Mix well and season with salt, pepper and grated nutmeg. Set aside.
  3. Whisk the eggs with the water and salt and pepper to taste. Brush a frying pan (preferably non-stick) with a little of the olive oil and heat, then pour in enough of the egg – about 2 tbsp – to make a small omelette. Cook for a few seconds, until it is set, then lift out on to a plate. Continue in this way until you have about 8 small omelettes, piling them up on top of each other.
  4. Spoon a little of the spinach mixture on to the edge of one of the omelettes, roll it up and place in a shallow gratin dish. Fill the remaining omelettes in the same way, until all the spinach mixture is used, placing them snugly side by side in the dish. Sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan-style cheese and bake in a pre-heated oven, 190C/Gas Mark 5, for about 25 minutes, or until bubbling and golden brown on top.
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Asparagus, tomato and feta frittata

Last night’s dinner was a disaster and ended up in the bin. It was a tofu stir-fry with some ready made sauce. I don’t know how Cauldron have managed it, but they’ve made their tofu even more soggy than it used to be and there was no way I could squeeze enough water out of it to adequately fry it until it was in a less blancmange-like state. It was like boiled tofu and absolutely vile. The stir-fry sauce I used with the tofu and vegetables (sugar snap peas and broccoli) was too strong and bitter, even though I’d watered it down. I served the saucy tofu/veg combination on some noodles, The Meat Eater ate a couple of mouthfuls before declaring it inedible and he heated himself up some leftover chilli, while I bravely ploughed on, eating the noodles but pushing the soggy tofu to one side.

Tonight, however, I redeemed myself. This asparagus, tomato and feta frittata out of 200 Veggie Feasts was absolutely delicious and I served it with new potatoes, cauliflower and broccoli.

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Asparagus, tomato and feta frittata (serves 4)

3 tbsp olive oil
2 leeks, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, crushed
250g asparagus, trimmed
6 eggs
100g feta cheese, diced
4 tablespoons grated Parmesan-style cheese
175g cherry tomatoes
salt and black pepper

  1. Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the leeks and garlic and cook over a medium heat, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes until tender. Leave to cool.
  2. Cook the asparagus in a large saucepan of lightly salted boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain, refresh under cold water and pat dry. Cut into 5cm (2 inch) lengths.
  3. Beat the eggs in a bowl and stir in the leek mixture, asparagus, feta, half the Parmesan-style cheese and salt and pepper. Pour the mixture into a 20 cm (8 inch) square baking dish and top with the tomatoes. Sprinkle over the remaining Parmesan-style cheese and bake in a preheated oven, 190C, Gas Mark 5, for 25-30 minutes until puffed up and firm in the centre.
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