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Archive for 'vegetarian'

Receipe: Mango, Feta and Avocado Salad

This year I’ve decided to try more new-to-me recipes instead of cooking the same old thing every week. To this end, I grabbed two recipe books from the library and started looking for enticing recipes.

The first book was Lorraine Pascale’s Fast, Fresh and Easy Food, which I chose because I’ve seen her on the Food channel and enjoyed her recipes. It’s summer here in New Zealand, and with the abundance of avocadoes and other salad ingredients, I thought I’d start with a salad.

Mango Salad

Ingredients:

Mango

Feta cheese

4 radishes

1 ripe avocado

Fresh basil

1 bag of salad greens or rocket

1 lime

Olive oil

Salt and Pepper

To Make the Salad:

1. Place salad greens on platter.

2. Slice radishes. Cube mango, avocado and feta cheese and arrange all on top of the salad greens. Tear the basil leaves and add to the salad.

3. Dress with lime juice and olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Shelley’s Notes:

1. I didn’t have any radishes and improvised with some kobari (spelling?) It’s a large radish-like vegetable, which I grated. I think radishes would have been better for the crunch factor and the dash of color would have looked good.

2. Other than that, I enjoyed the salad very much and would make it again.

Recipe: Polenta and Vegetable Hotpot

With the current wintery blast through New Zealand, I checked my recipe books and decided to try a new recipe, one that would cook in the crockpot while I worked on my writing. I came up with this recipe for Polenta and Vegetable Hotpot from One Pot, a book published by Bay Books.

Polenta Vegetable Hotpot

Recipe:

300 grams (2 cups) polenta

2 tablespoons oil

1/4 teaspoon paprika

pinch of cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon salt

1.5 litres (6 cups) vegetable stock or water

3 spring onions, chopped

1 large tomato, chopped

1 courgette (zucchini), chopped

1 red or green capsicum (bell pepper), chopped

300 grams (10 oz) pumpkin (winter squash), peeled and cut into small dice pieces

100 grams (3 oz) button mushrooms, chopped

300 grams corn kernels (either tinned or frozen)

100 grams (1 cup) grated parmesan cheese

1 handful chopped parsley

125 ml (1/2 cup) cream (optional)

Method:

1. Pour one tablespoon of oil into the slow cooker and spread over the bottom and sides to prevent the polenta sticking.

2. Pour in the polenta, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt and ground black pepper.

3. Stir in the stock and the remaining oil and combine well.

4. Add the spring onion, tomato, zucchini, capsicum, pumpkin, mushrooms and corn and mix well.

5. Cook on high for 2–3 hours or until the vegetables are cooked and the polenta is soft. Make sure to stir several times during the cooking to prevent sticking.

6. Before serving, add the parmesan and parsley. You can also add the cream if you want to add extra creaminess.

7. Test seasoning and add extra salt and pepper if necessary. Serve with a green salad.

Shelley’s Notes:

1. I enjoyed the end result very much, but if I made it again, I’d fry off the vegetables for a few minutes in a pan and add them a little bit later in the cooking process. I think this would add a little more flavor and color to the end product.

2. I don’t think the cream is necessary.

3. I’d serve it with a salad plus some garlic bread.

4. This really was delicious and would work for a vegetarian who eats dairy products.

Recipe Review: Fix-It and Forget-It Vegetable Soups, Stews and Chilis by Phyllis Pellman Good

Fix It and Forget It Vegetarian Soups, Stews and Chilis

Today I’m reviewing a vegetarian cook book.

Blurb:

Fifty scrumptious and savory soup recipes for any season

These time-tested, easy-to-manage recipes for soups of all flavors have one thing in common: loads of healthy vegetables. Whether you’re looking for a hearty supper or a light weekday lunch, Fix-It and Forget-It Vegetarian Soups offers delicious choices to make in your slow cooker or on your stovetop, such as:

Vegan Chili·      Corn Chowder·      Homemade Vegetable Soup·      Sweet Potato and Ginger Soup

And much more!

Review:

As the title suggests, this book contains a collection of vegetarian recipes for soups, stews and chilis. The recipes are from home cooks and most of them are perfect to cook in a crockpot/slow cooker.

What I liked about this book:

1. The recipes give an indication of preparation and cooking times.

2. The ingredients were all things I’d find in my fridge or pantry.

3. As a New Zealander I often find American recipes use measurements that I need to convert. This book is easy to follow with no maths required. Measurements used are cups and spoons.

4. The recipes were appealing. I’d be happy to try most of them, and they weren’t overly complicated.

5. They’re mostly recipes that can be made ahead and are perfect for busy cooks.

6. It’s a vegetarian cook book!

What I didn’t like about this book:

1. The title suggests that there are soups, stews and chilli recipes. While this is true, the majority of the recipes are for soup with only about four chilli recipes and one or two stews.

2. Not every recipe has a photo to go with it. I think that most cooks like a photo so that they can compare their final dish with the one in the recipe book. At least that’s what I do when I’m cooking. I like to think that my dish turns out just like the one in the book.

Conclusion:

This is a handy and inexpensive book to have in your cooking library. It would be a great gift for a busy parent or maybe a student who flats and doesn’t have much time to make nutritious dishes. It would also be excellent for a beginner cook since the instructions are clear and concise.

Received via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase Fix-It and Forget-it Vegetable Soups, Stews and Chilis

Vegetarian Recipe: Carrot and Mushroom Loaf

Last week I mentioned a surplus of carrots in our vegetable plot. Some of them had turned woody, although they were fine when grated. Right, I thought. It’s time to make a carrot and mushroom loaf. As it happened we had visitors for dinner. They were all carnivores, but they enjoyed a slice of loaf on the side. This recipe comes from Alison Holst’s Meals Without Meat book, which is a good basic reference for beginners.

Carrot and Mushroom Loaf

My loaf differs in that I added extra mushrooms. I love mushrooms in everything!

Carrot and Mushroom Loaf

Ingredients:

1 medium onion

1 – 2 cloves garlic

2 Tablespoons oil

a good handful of mushrooms (200 grams) I used about 12 button mushrooms

1 teaspoon basil

1/4 teaspoon thyme

1/2 teaspoon salt

black pepper

3 cups grated carrot

1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs (I used fresh since that’s all I had on hand)

1/2 cup grated cheese

1/2 cup milk

2 eggs

Topping:

2 Tablespoons dry breadcrumbs (used fresh again)

2 Tablespoons grated cheese

paprika

Method:

  1. Chop the onion and garlic finely and cook in the oil until soft.
  2. Add the sliced mushrooms and cook until softened.
  3. Place these in a bowl and add the basil, thyme, salt, pepper, grated carrot, breadcrumbs, grated cheese.
  4. Beat the eggs and milk together and add to bowl. Mix well.
  5. Place in a well greased tin and smooth out. I usually line my tin with baking paper.
  6. Sprinkle the topping ingredients – breadcrumbs, cheese and paprika – on top of loaf.
  7. Cover tin with foil and bake at 180C (350F) for 30 minutes. Remove foil and cook for another 30 minutes.

Notes:

  1. I used fresh bread crumbs rather than dried ones and it didn’t seem to matter.
  2. My oven cooks quickly so I didn’t cook my loaf as long as the recipe said. The cooked loaf should be firm in the center when pressed with your fingers.
  3. I served my loaf with green vegetables and a baked potato.
  4. This loaf also tastes good cold and served with salad.
  5. This is an excellent recipe for disguising vegetables when trying to please fussy eaters! Winking smile
Comfort Food Recipe — Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie

This week the weather has been cool here in New Zealand, and when I checked out the contents of our fridge, I decided to turn to comfort food – vegetarian shepherd’s pie.

Vegetarian Shepherds Pie

“After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one’s own relatives.” ~ Oscar Wilde

This recipe comes from Alison Holst’s Meals Without Meat and I’ve given it my own twist.

Recipe:

Filling

2 large onions

2 Tablespoons of butter or oil

1 red or green capsicum

8 button mushrooms. (I used some brown mushrooms too)

3 Tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon vegetable stock

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon paprika

2 Tablespoon chopped parsley

1 teaspoon soya sauce

1 1/2 water

2 Tablespoons tomato paste

1 can of kidney beans 440 grams

Topping

6 potatoes medium size

2 Tablespoons butter

1 cup grated cheese

milk

1. Peel the potatoes and boil in salted water. Once cooked drain, add butter, a dash of milk and mash. Add half of the grated cheese.

2. Dice the onions and slice the mushrooms and fry in the oil/butter until golden brown. Add the sliced capsicum then add the flour. Stir until the flour has browned slightly. Add the stock, basil, oregano, paprika, parsley and soya sauce. Add the water and tomato paste and bring to the boil, stirring all the time. Add the kidney beans. Check the seasoning and add salt to taste. Place in a baking dish.

3. Spread the mashed potato over the top and sprinkle on the remaining cheese.

4. Cook in the oven for 20 – 30 minutes at 180 C/350 F. The top should be golden brown.

5. Serve with green vegetables such as brussel sprouts, beans, peas or broccoli and a nice glass of wine Winking smile

What comfort foods do you turn to when the weather turns cool?

Tempting Double Pea Curry

I’ve made this new-to-me recipe for Double Pea Curry twice now. The recipe comes from The Best of Annabel Langbein, Great Food for Busy Lives by New Zealander Annabel Langbein. It’s a vegetarian recipe and is quick and easy to make. This is a perfect dish for me to make when I’ve had a busy day and want something tasty for dinner because the ingredients are usually found in my pantry.

Double Pea Curry

Double Pea Curry

1 tablespoon oil
2 teaspoons of crushed garlic
2 teaspoons curry powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons garam masala
1 teaspoon ground fennel seeds
1 teaspoon tomato paste
2 cinnamon quills
3 cups cooked chickpeas or 2 x 300g (10.1 oz) cans of chickpeas
1 diced red pepper (capsicum)
400g (14oz) can of chopped tomatoes in juice
1 cup green peas, thawed if frozen
salt & pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped toasted cashews
2 tablespoons chopped coriander

Heat the oil in a large pan and cook the garlic, spices and tomato paste for 30 seconds.
Add the chickpeas, red pepper, tomatoes, peas, salt and pepper.
Cook over medium heat for 15 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add water if the mixture appears too dry – it should be moist but not sloppy by the end of cooking.
Mix in the cashews and coriander.
Serves 4 – 6

Shelley’s notes:
I halved the recipe.
I decided to add chopped onion, which I fried off with the spices.
I didn’t worry too much about precise measurements for the chickpeas and tomatoes, adding one can of each. It all worked out in the end.
Ms. Langbein notes that this recipe freezes well.

Recipe: Zuppa Di Ceci (Chickpea Soup)

This is a new recipe I tried recently. It’s both quick and easy to make and the final result was delicious.

Chickpea Soup

2 cups of chickpeas (cooked)
4 tablespoons of Olive oil
2 onions, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely diced
2 sticks celery, finely sliced
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 zuchinni, diced
3 x cans Italian tomatoes, chopped
4 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup water
salt
freshly ground black pepper

Heat oil and add onion, carrots, celery, rosemary, garlic and zuchinni. Fry gently without browning for 10 minutes or until the onion is soft.

Add the cooked chickpeas, tomatoes and tomato paste plus the water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes or until soup is thick and creamy. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil on top of soup. Serves 4 – 6 people

Note: I halved the quantities of most of the vegetables and used one can of chickpeas and one can of tomatoes. I also grated a little parmesan cheese on top.

Serve with Beer Bread

Source: Cuisine Magazine, New Zealand

Vegetarian Nicoise Salad

Earlier today I was browsing the cook books in Borders while waiting for Mr. Munro. This recipe for a vegetarian Nicoise-type salad caught my eye and I decided I’d make my version for dinner.

recipe,salad,vegetarian

Ingredients:

1 cup cous cous
1 cup boiling water
knob of butter or a little olive oil
tomatoes
sliced green beans
black olives
parsley
2 hard boiled eggs
salt and pepper to taste

Add boiling water and butter or olive oil to the cous cous and combine with a fork until the the cous cous has soaked up the water and is fluffy. Cook the green beans and drain. Chop the tomatoes finely. Chop the parsley. Combine these ingredients with the cous cous and arrange the quartered eggs on top. Add salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle with your favorite vinegarette dressing.

Verdict: Very yummy. I’d definitely make this salad again.