Spicy Mediterranean Vegetables

Mediterranean Spicy Vegetables 8

A delicious healthy recipe that is packed full of flavour. This had a mild-medium taste, I didn’t want it too strong as my toddlers eat this too, but you can make this as strong or as mild as you like 🙂

Mediterranean Spicy Vegetables 3

This dish is so versatile, from how you cook it to how you serve it. I cooked this on the hob in a large pan, but this can be cooked in a slow-cooker, in a casserole dish in the oven or even in a tagine. So long as you saute the onions, garlic and spices first, this can be cooked however you find easiest.

Mediterranean Spicy Vegetables 5

I like to serve this with Cous Cous, but you can serve with Quinoa, Bulgar Wheat, Rice, Pasta, Spaghetti, Potato wedges. It can be served in a Jacket Potato or alternatively it can be eaten on its own. Enjoy! 🙂

Preparation Time: 30 Minutes
Cooking Time: 80 Minutes
Serves: 4
Calories Per Serving: 184 (Average)

Ingredients

  • 1 Aubergine/Eggplant, cut into small cubes about 1.5 cm
  • 1 Onions. diced
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 Courgettes/zucchini, cut into small cubes about 2 cm
  • 1 red or yellow pepper, cut into 3cm slices
  • 125 g/4.5 oz Mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 1 Tsp Cumin
  • 1 Tsp Dried Coriander
  • 2 Tsp Mild Chili Powder
  • 0.5 Tsp Ground Nutmeg
  • 1.5 Cups/375 ml Passata (Sieved Tomatoes)
  • 1 Tbsp Tomato Puree (Tomato Paste)
  • 0.5 Cup/125 ml Water
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • Cracked Black Pepper

Method

  • Place the Aubergine (eggplant) into a colander or bowl, sprinkle with salt and leave for about 30 mins
  • After the 30 minutes, rinse the aubergine thoroughly in cold water, then place on kitchen towel and pat dry
  • Heat up 1 tbsp of olive oil in frying pan over a medium heat
  • Add the aubergine to the frying pan and fry for about 10 minutes until the pieces are softened and are a golden brown colour
  • Heat up the other 1 tbsp of oil in a heavy bottomed pan over a low-medium heat
  • Add the onion to the pan and saute for about 5 minutes
  • To the onions add the garlic, cumin, coriander, chili powder and nutmeg and cook for a further 5 minutes
  • Keep stirring to make sure the spices don’t stick to the bottom of the pan
  • Add the cooked aubergine, courgette (zucchini), pepper, mushrooms, passata, tomato puree and water to the pan
  • Simmer over a low heat for about 60 minutes until the ingredients are soft and tender
  • If the pan becomes too dry you can add a little more water or passata
  • Best served immediately, but can be kept in the fridge for a day or two, or even frozen
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Pineapple & Banana Smoothie

Pineapple & Banana Smoothie

A quick and simple smoothie that you will want to make time and time again. I have to practically fight my toddlers for this as they love it as much as I do!

Pineapple & Banana Smoothie 1

Pineapple & Banana Smoothie 3

Pineapple & Banana Smoothie 4

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 0
Serves: 1
Calories Per Serving: 248

Ingredients

  • Half a fresh Pineapple, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 Banana, chopped
  • 1 Cup/25g/1oz Baby Spinach
  • 1 Cup/250ml Unsweetened Almond Milk

Method

  • Blend together the Pineapple and almond milk until you have a smooth consistency
  • Add the banana and blend until nearly all of the lumps have gone
  • Add the baby spinach and blend until fully smooth
  • Best served immediately

Tomato Soup

Tomato Soup

I think soup could be my new favourite food at the moment! It’s so simple to make, very healthy but also a great comfort food on these cold wintery days. What could be better than that really! 🙂

Tomato Soup 6

Preparation Time: 10 Minutes
Cooking Time: 120 Minutes
Serves: 4
Calories Per Serving: 197

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 White Onion, diced
  • 4 Garlic Cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 Small Red Chili, (about 6 or 7cm long) finely chopped
  • 12 Tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 4 Sticks of Celery, thinly sliced
  • 2 Red Peppers, thin slices 2cm long
  • 1 Cup/250ml/9 fl.oz Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 2 Cups/500ml/18 fl.oz Vegetable Stock
  • 1 Tsp Dried Parsley
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Method

  • Add the oil to a large pan and heat up over a low heat
  • Add the onions and saute for 5 minutes
  • Add the Garlic and red chili and saute for a further 5 minutes
  • Place the tomatoes into the pan and simmer for 10 minutes
  • To the tomatoes add the rest of the vegetables, milk and stock and simmer for about 90 minutes until all of the vegetables are nice and soft
  • Blend the soup with either a hand blender in the pan or in small batches in a food processor until smooth
  • Add a pinch of salt and pepper and the dried parsley and warm back through
  • Heat through and serve immediately, or keep in the fridge for 2 days
  • This can also be frozen

Broccoli & Spinach Soup

Broccoli & Spinach Soup 8

When you’ve only got a couple of things left in your fridge before you do your shopping, there aren’t that many things that you can make. This is were a good soup comes into it’s own. A simple soup that you can leave to cook while you’re busy doing other things. A few ingredients and you’re ready to go! Serve with some homemade crusty bread and this soup is a real winner 🙂

Broccoli & Spinach Soup 10

Broccoli & Spinach Soup 9

Preparation Time: 10 Minutes
Cooking Time: 90 Minutes
Serves: 4
Calories Per Serving: 177 Cals

Ingredients

  • 550g/1lb 3oz Broccoli, chopped into small florets
  • 50g/2oz Baby Spinach
  • 4 Celery Stalks, thinly sliced
  • 2 Onions, diced
  • 4 Cloves of Garlic, finely chopped
  • 2l of Water
  • 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Salt

Method

  • Heat the oil up in a large pan over a low-medium heat
  • Add the onion and celery to the hot oil and saute for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally
  • Add the garlic to the pan and saute for a further 5 minutes
  • Add the Broccoli and cook for a further 5 minutes
  • Pour the water into the pan and let the vegetables simmer for about 50 minutes over a low heat
  • Once the vegetables are nice and tender take the pan off the heat and blend the vegetables until smooth. You can either use a hand blender directly in the pan or a blend in batches in a food processor
  • Once the soup is smooth add the uncooked baby spinach and blend again until smooth
  • Taste the soup and decide if you want to add any salt or not
  • You can now either put the pan back on the stove and heat through to serve immediately, or store the soup in an airtight container in the fridge.
  • You can also freeze this soup if you wish

Mustard Dressing

Mustard Dressing 3

A good salad dressing can transform even the most dull salad into something special. That is why I am experimenting with a lot of different dressings and sauces at the minute. Once I have my dressings perfected I will be posting their recipes. Here is the first one, a mix of sweet and tangy and a little bit creamy 🙂

Everyone has their own personal tastes when it comes to dressings. Whether you like creamy, thick, tangy, smooth, it’s a very personal choice. Play around with the ingredients and see what you prefer. You could add more oil for a milder taste and a thinner sauce, or you could add various herbs to make different tastes, it’s all about experimenting. Have fun and enjoy 🙂

Mustard Dressing 2

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 0
Serves: Various
Calories per Tbsp (15g): 61

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp Wholegrain Mustard
  • 2 tbsp Vegan Mayo (“Veganaise”)
  • 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Agave Nectar

Method

  • Mix together all of the ingredients in a small dish.
  • Use straight away or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days

Sweet Potato Wedges

Sweet Potato Wedges

While I do try to eat healthy as much as I can, there are days where all I want is some good comfort food. Once upon a time I would have headed straight for a bowl of chips, but I now try to find new foods to avoid these. For me, Sweet Potato wedges are a perfect option. Delicious on their own or as an accompaniment to a main meal, they are packed full of nutrients and fibre, plus I don’t feel guilty if my toddlers eat a few of these 🙂

Oil and Spices

Coated Wedges

Sweet Potato Wedges

Sweet Potato Wedges

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 35 minutes
Serves: 4
Calories per serving: 241

Ingredients

  • 650g Sweet Potatoes
  • 3 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 3 tsp Paprika
  • 1 tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • Pinch of Ground Black Pepper

Method

  • Pre-heat oven to Gas Mark 5/190°C/375°F
  • Peel and cut the sweet potatoes into chunky wedges
  • Place the wedges into a large roasting tin
  • In a small bowl mix the oil, paprika, ground cumin, garlic powder, salt and pepper#
  • Pour the mixture over the wedges and shake them well to coat thoroughly
  • Spread the wedges into a single layer and place in the oven
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes

Vegan Bechamel (White Sauce)

Vegan Bechamel

Bechamel or white sauce, whether you are vegan or not is such a versatile ingredient to a whole host of recipes, that it is a great little recipe to learn. It’s so simple to make too, you’ll wonder why you ever bought a jar version!

You can really experiment with the type of flour and milk you use, there are a lot of different combinations that create different tastes. This recipe is what I would call “standard” white sauce, perfect for creating lasagna and pasta dishes, and also a delicious base for a faux-cheese sauce 🙂 The key to a successful sauce is to cook slowly, don’t be tempted to turn the heat up too high!

Preparation Time: 3 Minutes
Cooking Time: 15 Minutes
Serves: Various
Calories: 621 per full portion

Bechamel

Ingredients

  • 50g Plain White Flour
  • 50g Vegan Margerine or Butter
  • 500ml Oat Milk
  • Ground Black Pepper

Method

  • Melt the butter in a pan over a low heat
  • Once all of the butter has melted sieve in flour and combine together. This should create a stiff paste
  • Add 1/4 of the milk and mix together with the paste
  • Once most of the milk has been absorbed into the paste add another 1/4 and repeat
  • Keep adding the milk while stirring all of the time
  • Once you have added all of the milk you need to make sure that there are no lumps. If there are keep stirring
  • If you can’t get rid of any lumps you can use a manual hand whisk to mix together
  • Once you have a smooth sauce you will need to keep stirring while the pan is still on the heat to thicken up the sauce
  • The sauce should be still runny enough to slide off a spoon but should be a lot thicker than milk.
  • Once you have the sauce at a consistency you are happy with, add a pinch of black pepper
  • Best used immediately, but this can be stored for up to 3 days in the fridge or can even be frozen