I’ve been eating a lot of food out of packets recently, so tonight I decided to have something healthy. There’s a farm shop local to me that sells seasonal vegetables, so I scooted down there to see what they had and made a super-healthy dish that probably contained at least 8 of my 5-a-day.
Pasta with roast vegetables and tomato sauce (serves 6)
1 tbsp vegetable oil 1 onion, chopped 1 leek, sliced 1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped into chunks 1 aubergine, chopped into chunks 1 courgette, thickly sliced 200g mushrooms, sliced 100g spinach 2 cans chopped tomatoes 2 cloves of garlic, crushed 1 tsp mixed herbs salt and ground black pepper
Pre-heat the oven to 200C. Place the red pepper, aubergine and courgette into a roasting tray and drizzle with some oil. Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes. Fry the onion and garlic in the vegetable oil for a few minutes until soft. Add the mushrooms and leeks to the onion and fry for about 5 minutes. Add the roasted red pepper, aubergine and courgette to the onion, mushrooms and leeks. Add the tinned tomatoes to the vegetables and simmer for about 20 minutes. Add the mixed herbs and season to taste. Add the spinach and cook until wilted. Serve with pasta of your choice.
While making tonight’s dinner, I sliced one finger on the mandolin while getting it out of the cupboard, poured boiling water on another finger and burnt my other hand on the oven. The food had better be worth all this pain, I thought.
I wanted to cook something tonight instead of heating up something frozen from a packet (like I often do on Fridays) but I didn’t want to go shopping for ingredients and so I looked in the fridge and there was a red pepper, a bag of spinach, some green beans and a savoy cabbage. I couldn’t think of anything to do with them and so I decided to have the meatfree balls that were in the freezer and make a tomato sauce and chuck in the red pepper and spinach. So that’s what I did. I also chucked in a red chilli.
Meatfree balls in a spicy tomato and spinach sauce (serves 4) 1 packet of meatfree balls (I used Sainsburys own) Olive oil 1 onion, chopped 2 garlic cloves, crushed 1 red chilli, chopped 1 red pepper, chopped 2 tins chopped tomatoes Half a bag of spinach, roughly chopped Salt and pepper
Cook the meatfree balls according to the instructions on the packet.
Meanwhile, fry the onion and garlic in the oil for a few minutes, then add the red chilli and fry for another couple of minutes.
Add the red pepper and fry for a bit longer.
Add the tins of tomatoes and simmer for a few minutes.
Add the meatfree balls and spinach and warm through until the spinach has wilted.
I had planned to make Lazy cheesy vegetable hotpot from the BBC Good Food website but I didn’t have any leeks and I didn’t want to cook it in the microwave, so I kind of did my own thing and I’m glad I did, as the result was The Meat Eater telling me to never cook it again, which translated to English means he enjoyed it very much and would like to have it again some time in the near future.
It was creamy and cheesy and crispy and everything else that makes a proper dinner.
Brie and potato vegetable bake (serves 2 if you’re too lazy to make anything else to go with it)
1 onion, chopped
2 potatoes, thinly sliced
1/4 small cabbage, chopped
2 large handfuls of spinach, chopped
8 chestnut mushrooms, sliced
1 pack of Brie, rind left on and cut into pieces
4 large tbsps of crème fraîche
Put the oven on at 180C
Heat the oil and the butter in a frying pan
Add the onions and fry for a few minutes until soft
Add the cabbage and mushrooms and fry for a few more minutes
Add the spinach until wilted
Stir in the creme fraiche and season
Put the vegetable mixture into a dish
Lay the potato slices on top
Scatter on the cheese
Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes
Mmm, my first post-detox dinner. I had some spinach, broccoli and chili to use up, so I went to the supermarket and bought some marinated tofu, mushrooms, spring onions, beansprouts and hoisin sauce (oops, processed food, naughty) and managed NOT to buy any wine and went home and heated a bit of sesame oil in a wok, stir-fried the tofu and veg, added the hoisin sauce, boiled some basmati rice and had my first hot, cooked, solid food of the week, eaten out of a bowl with a fork and not drank out of a smoothie jug.
And I didn’t even have a massive portion. Full of self-control, me.
A cookbook I haven’t used for a while is Vegetarian Express by Rose Elliot so I had a flick through it yesterday looking for inspiration for this week’s soup and came across a recipe for spinach and potato soup.
It was very nice.
And very green.
Ingredients (serves 5) 1 small onion, chopped 400g spinach 400g potatoes, diced 1400ml vegetable stock 1 tbsp olive oil Ground nutmeg salt and pepper
Fry the onion in the olive oil for about 5 minutes
Add the potato and cook for about 5 minutes
Add the spinach and press down, stirring occasionally until it softens and wilts, about 5 minutes
Add the stock, bring to the boil and simmer for about 10-15 minutes, until the potato is tender
Remove from heat, add nutmeg, salt & pepper and blend