I always think food looks posh in ramekins. I also always think, because it looks posh, that means it’s going to be fiddly and difficult to make. These spiced baked eggs weren’t fiddly and difficult to make at all, and they tasted as good as they looked. The only bit I messed up was leaving them in the oven for too long which meant the yolk set – it would have been nicer runny.
Quick and easy and definitely a dish I’ll be making again. The original version used Swiss chard, but there was none in Tesco, so I used spinach instead.
Spiced Baked Eggs (serves 2)
(recipe adapted from Veggienomics)
15g butter, plus extra for greasing
1 tsp olive oil
125g field mushrooms, finely chopped
2 large handfuls of spinach, chopped
65ml/2fl oz double cream
1/2 tbsp mild curry powder
salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 190C/170C fan/Gas 5 and lightly butter two deep ramekin dishes. Heat the butter and oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the mushrooms and fry for 4 minutes until any liquid has evaporated. Add the spinach and cook for another 3-4 minutes until wilted.
Divide the mushroom mixture into the prepared ramekins, then crack an egg into each one. Mix together the cream and curry powder, season with salt and pepper and spoon over the eggs so they are completely covered.
Put the ramekins in a deep baking dish and pour in enough just-boiled water to come three-quarters of the way up the sides. Carefully transfer the dish to the oven and cook for 16-18 minutes until the whites of the eggs are just set but the yolks remain runny.
Combine all the ingredients except the spinach in the slow cooker. Cover and leave on low for 4-6 hours or on high for 2-4 hours. Add a little more stock during cooking if needed, or if it needs thickening remove the lid and leave to cook on high for a further 45 minutes or until you get the desired consistency. Stir in the spinach and heat through until wilted.
After making the Mexican Vegan Crustless Quiche yesterday afternoon, I had half a bag of spinach left over and spinach is always good to add to a pasta dish (or a curry dish for that matter) for a bit of greenery goodness.
Quorn Meat Free Swedish Meatballs with Tomato and Spinach (serves 4)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 bag frozen Quorn Meat Free Swedish Meatballs
2 tins chopped tomatoes
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 onion, chopped
2 or 3 large handfuls of spinach
Salt and pepper
Cook the Quorn as instructed on the packet and leave to one side.
Fry the onion and garlic in the olive oil for about 5 minutes.
Add the tinned tomatoes and simmer for about 10 minutes.
Tear in some fresh basil.
Stir in the spinach.
Add salt and pepper to taste, then stir in the Quorn and heat through until the spinach has wilted.
Serve with spaghetti and garlic bread (or whatever you like).
I’ve got a confession to make. None of the soup I’ve had on the two days I’ve had soup for lunch for Vegan Monday over the last four weeks has been vegan. This means I have only successfully completed one out of four Vegan Mondays (and that was only because I’d got up too late to have lunch).
Please forgive me though, as I had no idea. I’d been using Marigold Swiss Vegetable Bouillon and it never occurred to me that anyone would put dairy in stock. But after Ocado sent me some Marigold Swiss Vegetable Bouillon with ‘vegan’ written on it in nice big letters, I thought to myself ‘if they’ve gone to the trouble to label that vegan, does that mean the other one isn’t?’ and bah, yes it does mean it isn’t. It has lactose in it, which comes from milk [insert swear word of choice here; mine was ‘bollocks’, in case you’re interested].
Still, a lesson learnt and today’s soup (and therefore tomorrow’s for Vegan Monday) is 100% vegan.
Spinach and potato soup (serves 3-4) (Adapted from a recipe at BBC Good Food)
1 tbsp olive oil 4 shallots (I only used shallots as I didn’t have an onion), chopped 1 medium potato, diced 150g spinach 2 garlic cloves, crushed 400ml vegan stock 300ml soya milk 1 tbsp lemon juice 1 tsp nutmeg salt and pepper
Fry the onion and garlic in the olive oil for about 5 minutes.
Add the potato and fry for 1 minute.
Add the stock and simmer for 10 minutes.
Add the milk and bring to a simmer.
Add the spinach and lemon juice and simmer for 15 minutes.
A friend on Facebook mentioned he’d had a spinach and cheese muffin. I’d never heard of a spinach and cheese muffin but I love spinach and I love cheese and I especially love them together so I trawled the internet for a recipe.
I found this one at Uma’s Kitchen Experiments, went to the supermarket to buy spinach, muffin cases and a muffin tin (and accidentally came back with spinach, muffin cases, a muffin tin, a pack of Rolo Ice Creams, two Halloween-themed packets of cake bars, a big bag of crisps, a cardigan and a stripy top) and made my first ever batch of muffins. Delicious. Definitely not the last batch I ever make.
I halved the recipe to make six muffins instead of twelve, and also used a couple of shallots instead of buying a red onion just to use a quarter of it.
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.
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 (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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Looking for a protein packed curry? Here’s one I made in the slow cooker. With almonds and cashews, I thought as well as being mega-healthy, it would be mega-calorific, but after logging the ingredients into myfitnesspal, it’s only 329 calories per portion, so not bad at all. The best bit is the taste though – it’s by far the nicest curry I’ve made for a long time.
It does take a bit of cooking before it goes into the slow cooker but, believe me, it’s worth it.
Operation Stop Being A Fat Lazy Cow began yesterday and although I had a slice of cheese and onion pie for dinner, it was home made and therefore sort of healthy. Healthier than frozen pie and chips, anyway.
Today, I made spinach and lentil soup which is one of those soups that makes you feel healthier just by looking at it.
Yamas! sent me some some of their Saganaki cheese to try. Have you heard of Saganaki cheese before? No, neither had I. According to the packet you fry it in a dry pan for 30 seconds each side and it’ll turn brown.
Well, when I tried it, it didn’t turn brown but it did change in texture and taste. I used it with spinach as the topping on a portobello mushroom. I loved it (although the Saganaki was rubbery – maybe I fried it for too long?) but the flavour was too strong for The Meat Eater who said it tasted like blue cheese (it doesn’t).
Anyway, I enjoyed it and finished what The Meat Eater left on his plate.
Saganaki cheese and spinach stuffed mushrooms (serves 2)
150g Saganaki cheese 100g fresh spinach, chopped 2 portobello mushrooms Reggae Reggae Sauce (or marinade of your choice)
Brush the mushrooms with Reggae Reggae Sauce and bake at 180C for about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, fry the Saganaki on both sides for about 30 seconds each, then slice into cubes.
Rinse the fresh spinach and cook in the pan you cooked the cheese in, stirring until wilted.
Add the cheese to the spinach and mix together.
Place the cheese and spinach on top of the mushrooms and bake for 10 minutes.
Anjum Anand has a new cookbook out – Vegetarian Indian Feast. I’d been looking forward to trying out some recipes from this book and what better week to try one out than National Curry Week?
Anjum’s autumnal squash, butterbean and mushroom cobbler probably isn’t what you’d first think of when you think of curry, but it’s an Indian dish and it’s a pie and who can resist a pie?
It’s called a cobbler because in the book it has the ingredients and method for a cobbler topping, but Anjum says in the blurb above the recipe that the pie can be covered in puff pastry instead, so to save my hands getting dirty, that’s what I did. If you want the cobbler recipe, you’ll have to buy the book (you should buy it anyway, it’s fab).
(The recipe below is my deviation from the original)
Autumnal squash, butterbean and mushroom cobbler (serves 2-3)
200g butternut squash
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
10g ginger (I used that stuff you get in a tube)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tomatoes, quartered
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp garam masala
salt, to taste
good pinch of freshly ground black pepper
5 large chestnut mushrooms, thickly sliced
200g can butterbeans, drained and rinsed
3 tbsp double cream
1 sheet ready-made puff pastry
Preheat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6. Halve the squash, remove any fibres and seeds, but leave the skin on. Place it in a roasting tin and cook until soft, around 30 minutes. Cut into 2.5cm squares.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large saucepan until hot. Add the onion and cook until soft and colouring at the edges. Add the ginger and garlic and cook until the garlic just starts to colour. Add the tomatoes, spices and seasoning and cook down until the sauce has thickened and has released oil back into the pan.
Add the mushrooms, cover and cook for another two to three minutes. Pour in 100ml water and add the beans, squash and spinach and return to the boil. Cook for two to three minutes. Add the cream and milk and adjust the seasoning. Spoon into a large pie dish.
Lay the puff pastry over the filling and trim the edges.
Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes or until golden.