Thursday, 22 June 2017

Salmon salad wraps

 The hottest June day in 40 years!  Well!  Actually, it wasn't that hot in Tod in comparison with the rest of the country - but it was a lovely summer's day - so what better than a light salady (is that even a word) dinner (the veg dodger was not home, so that made it easier).   We had some broad beans in the fridge too, so a garlicky bean medley joined the steamed salmon and salad in the wraps - delicious.

Broad beans
Green beans
Olive oil
Red pepper
Baby plum tomatoes
Spring onion
Avocado oil
Balsamic vinegar
Tortilla wraps
Garlic mayonnaise

1.  Double peel the broad beans, and steam with green beans.
2.  At the same time steam the salmon - put it on some greaseproof paper in a second layer of the steamer.
3.  Crush a big clove of garlic and heat gently in olive oil.
4.  Splash wraps with a tiny splash of water - just to create a little steam - wrap tightly in foil, and put in a medium oven for a few minutes to heat through.
5.  Make the salad - shred the lettuce, chop the other bits and toss.  Dress lightly with avocado oil and balsamic vinegar.
6.  Serve, build wraps ... like this ....

7.  Roll the wrap over, and scoff .... with lots of filling most of it falls out, so this can end up being a delicious messy event!

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Vegan curry

It's British Nutrition Foundation Healthy Eating week, and World Meat Free Day - we also had leftover roast potatoes (unbelievably!) so, I fashioned together some vegan curry thingies.

Basmati rice
Red lentils
Tikka masala paste
Olive oil
Black mustard seeds
Fennel seeds
Cumin seeds
Coriander seeds
Chilli flakes
Green beans
Tinned tomatoes
garam masala
Curry leaves
Cardomon pods
Cumin seeds

Start the rice, then the dhal ... then the two curries - then go back to finish the dhal.


Put rice in a heavy pot, cover with cold water to an inch above the surface of the rice, stir once and bring to the boil.  Slam the lid on and turn right down. Leave for 20 minutes.


Boil red lentils until they are gloop.  Just before serving stir in the tarka - hot olive oil, with curry leaves, cardamon pods, chllies and cumin seeds flash fried.

Bombay potatoes

Sautee chopped onion and garlic in olive oil, add a spoon of tikka masala paste and left over potatoes.  Stir around - add half a tin of chopped tomatoes and the same of water and leave to simmer.

Vegetable curry

Sautee chopped onion, crushed garlic and spices.  Add chopped vegetables - beans, mushrooms and cauliflower today ...  add half a tin of tomatoes and the same of water, lid on and simmer until veg are softer ... stir in garam masala to taste, add more tomatoes/water if needed.

Serve, scoff ...

Monday, 12 June 2017

Piri piri roast chicken thighs, aubergine and courgette bake with za-atar, feta and hazelnuts

We've had sunnier June days!

I wanted a cheap, tasty, and summery dinner ... and I had a look in the fridge - courgettes and aubergine which needed using, lots of mediterranean flavours added to give it some sunshine.

Olive oil
Chicken thighs
piri-piri seasoning
Salad leaves
Avocado oil
Balsamic vinegar
Spring onion

1.  Chop potatoes into big chucks and roast in olive oil.
2.  Cut 4 fat garlic cloves into chunky peices and put into oven dish.  Add chicken thighs, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with piri-piri spices. Bake for 40 minutes or so.
3.  Cut aubergine and courgette into slices about 4mm thick, griddle in a hot pan with olive oil.  Slice tomatoes to about the same thickness.  Layer them - auberine, courgette, tomato in an oven dish.
4.  Roast hazelnuts briefly in the griddle pan when you have done the veg - roughly chop and sprinkle over the vegetables.
5.  In the same griddle pan briefly fry crushed garlic and chopped oregano is olive oil - drizzle this over the vegetables and sprinkle the dish with za-atar.  Bake for 20ish minutes.
6.  Put together a simple salad - salad leaves, thinly sliced radish and spring onion - dress with avocado oil and balsamic vinegar.
7.  Tear some feta onto the vegetable bake.
8.  Serve, scoff

The veg dodger dodged the veg and the salad, the vegetarian didn't have the chicken - I had the lot.  Happy days.

Friday, 9 June 2017

Pork and chorizo casserole, chickpea casserole and baby potatoes

Living with a vegetarian and a veg dodger leads me, fairly frequently, to making several different dishes so that people can mix and match.  Today I just decided on a bit of a spanish vibe - so for the vegetarian a chickpea and red pepper casserole - which is infact totally vegan.  As I'm pretty much an omnivore I get the best of both worlds and had a bit of each.  Once again - all ingredients available from Todmorden Market Hall.  Pork steaks from any of the 3 excellent butchers, chorizo, beans and spices etc from The Mediterranean Pantry.  Veg from Traynor.

Olive oil
Pork steaks
Red pepper
Tinned tomatoes
Baby potatoes

1.  Sweat down chopped onion and crushed garlic in two separate pans.
2.  When soft add pork steaks, diced, into one of the pans.
3.  Add diced carrot, red pepper and mushrooms and a pinch of paprika to the other pan.
4.  Put the potatoes on to boil.
5.  When the pork has browned a little add chunks of chorizo and turn the heat down a little.
6.  To the veg version add a tin of drained, rinsed chickpeas.
7.  Add a tin of chopped tomatoes, a perhaps a little stock, to each of the casseroles and simmer until done - about 15 minutes.
8. Drain potatoes, serve, scoff.

I hid some leftovers for my lunch - the veg dodger finished the entire chorizo version for supper.

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Smoked mackerel biryani, roast beetroot with hard boiled egg

This dinner was made in stages, but is incredibly easy.  The beetroot was actually roasted yesterday, bunged in the oven while I was roasting potatoes.  The ricey bit - I'm calling it biryani because I used a biryani spice mix, and it uses raw rice, rather than kedgeree which uses cooked rice) takes a few minutes (about 8) to start, and then you just leave it gently cooking itself until 5 minutes before serving.  Eggs - simply put on to boil in cold water, done 3 minutes after the water starts to boil.

Roast beetroot

Olive oil
Balsamic vinegar

Smoked Mackerel biryani

Olive oil
Biryani spice
Basmati rice
Vegetable stock
Frozen peas
Smoked mackerel

Boiled eggs


1.   Wash beetroot, put, unpeeled, in a roasting dish with lots of garlic - just bash a few cloves and stick them in.  Drizzle with a little olive oil and cover tightly with foil.  Roast until beetroot is soft ... about an hour.
2.  Cool beetroot.  When cold - peel - I always wear gloves as otherwise you end up looking like an extra from the Texas chainsaw massacre - this time I had run out of gloves so improvised with 2 plastic bags on my hands ... clumsy, but it worked.  Chop into chunks and drizzle with balsamic.  Store in the fridge.
3.  Sweat off chopped onion and crushed garlic in olive oil, in a heavy bottomed pan with a tight fitting lid.
4.  Add a teaspoon, or so, of biryani spice mix (or curry mix of your choice).  Stir in.  Add basmati rice, stir until every grain has a thin layer of oil.  Add stock to 1 inch about the rice, bring to the boil.
5.  As soon as the rice boils stick the lid on it, and turn it RIGHT down.  Leave for 15 minutes.
6.  Boil the eggs.  (From cold, bring to the boil, simmer for 3 minutes, put under running cold water to cool quickly ... peel)
7.  Stir frozen peas into the rice, add flaked smoked mackerel - stir gently, slam the lid back on for 5 minutes.
8.  Serve, scoff

Monday, 5 June 2017

Steak, with stuffed mushrooms and tiny roasties

Sunday night tea - nice bit of steak.... and with it some mini roasties, stuffed mushrooms, roast tomatoes and speiced squash (leftovers).

Olive oil
Cherry tomatoes
Field mushrooms

1.  Dice the potatoes and roast in olive oil.
2.  Chuck the cherry tomatoes in to roast at the same time.
3. Sweat down chopped onion with some crushed garlic in olive oil.
4.  Roast the mushrooms in olive oil for about 10 minutes each side.
5.  Add spinach to the onion mix, allow it to wilt.
6.  When the potatoes are nearly ready - put cheddar into each mushroom, top with the spinach mix, and stick back in the oven.
7.  Fry the steak for a couple of minutes, on each side, in a hot pan.  Rest for at least 5 minutes.
8.  Serve, scoff ...

... and relax - film night for us.  "Inception" ... I won't do a review - but the others enjoyed it.

Saturday, 3 June 2017

Pan fried sea trout, mini roasties and herbed courgettes

Paul the fish had some excellent sea trout, so that made the decision of what to have for tea - also, it was quite late, I had a few jobs to do and I didn't fancy too much faffing.

Olive oil
Italian seasoning
Sea trout

1.  Cube potatoes and roast in olive oil for about 45 minutes.
2.  Faff about doing jobs.
3.  10 minutes before serving toss courgettes in polenta mixed with italian seasoning, fry in olive oil.
4.  Fry the fish in a hot pan, skin side down first for a couple of minutes on each side.
5. Serve, scoff

Simple and delicious.

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Vegetarian moussaka

The picture isn't much good - but the moussaka was!  It all started when I looked in the fridge to be met with an aubergine and a red pepper ... and not a right lot else - well, it was that time of the week.

Olive oil
Red pepper
italian seasoning
fennel seeds
cumin seeds
tomato puree
tin of chopped tomatoes
GF flour
soya milk
bay leaves

1.  Sweat down chopped onion in olive oil, add crushed garlic.
2.  Dice the aubergine and red pepper and add them to the onion.  Now add in some herbs - italian seasoning - and spices - cinnamon, fennel seeds, mustard seeds, a few cumin seeds.
3.  Squeeze in some tomato puree, add a tin of chopped tomatoes, and a tin of water ... simmer.
4.  Slice potatoes into rounds and boil.
5.  Start the bechamel sauce by stirring GF flour into butter in a pan.  When it forms a smooth paste add some soya milk (or regular milk), keep stirring to form a sauce.  Add a bay leaf and a good grating of nutmeg.  Add more milk, and keep stirring, until it looks like a nice, glossy thickish sauce.
6.  Keep checking the aubergine mixture, add more water if its getting too dry.  When the veg are soft it's done.
7.  In an oven dish compile the layers - veg, then white sauce, then a layer of drained potatoes.  Top with a drizzle of olive oil and grated cheese.
8 Pop in the oven for about 25 minutes until the top is golden.
9.  Scoff, received fulsome praise. ... the cinnamon and nutmeg lift it out of the run-a-day.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

National vegetarian week: Day 3: Broccoli and cashew, szechuan kidney bean and vegetables

An oriental feel to english vegetables for day 3 of national vegetarian week ,,, this is one step further in being totally vegan - also GF if you use GF soy sauce.

Peanut oil
Spring onion
Cashew nuts
Black bean sauce
Kidney beans
Tomato puree
szechuan pepper
soy sauce
rice wine
sesame oil
sesame seeds

1.  Cook rice - cover with water - to an inch over the rice, bring to the boil, slam on tight fitting lid and turn right down.
2.  Prep all the veg - spring onion chopped, garlic finely chopped and ginger into tiny slivers,  broccoli into small florets and thinly chopped stem, slice mushrooms.  Peel and chop carrots into skinny batons, cut pepper and courgette into similar shapes.
3.  In 2 woks, or similar, start both dishes with spring onion, garlic and ginger in hot oil.
4.  Add mushroom and broccoli to one, and carrot, pepper and courgette to the other - stir fry.
5  To mushrooms and broccoli add a spoonful of black bean sauce and a drop of water, stir fry.
6.  To other veg add a squeeze of tomato puree, crushed szechuan peppers, a splosh of soy sauce and a splosh of rice wine, a tin of drained kidney beans, and half a cup of water.
7.  Keep both on a high heat, tossing about until done - it doesn't take long.
8.  Sprinkle sesame seeds on the szechuan mixture.
9.  Serve, scoff ... we all managed chop sticks!

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

National vegetarian week: Day 2: Quorn linguine

National vegetarian week is not the veg dodger's idea of fun - but we shall plough on regardless.  Well, I did think that if I tried a meat substitute ... so that there was some mince texture about it, it might be a softer blow!  The linguine is GF, for our requirements, but it could obviously be standard linguine, spaghetti of tagliatelle.  The mix of veg is more about what was in the fridge than a particular plan.

Olive oil
Yellow pepper
Butternut squash
Quorn mince
Italian herbs
Tin tomatoes
Linguine (or other long pasta)
Grated cheese

1.  Sautee onion and garlic in olive oil.
2.  Prep and chop all other veg into similar sized pieces and add to the onion mixture, stirring farily frequently.
3.  In 5-10 minutes the veg will have started to soften, so chuck in the quorn mince and a good pinch of italian herbs.
4.  Turn the mixture over, the quorn will start to brown slightly - then add a tin of tomatoes and at least a tin of water ... simmer.
5.  Chuck in some finely chopped fresh oregano (optional)
6.  Cook pasta, grate cheese.
7.  Serve, scoff

Veg dodger wasn't exactly effusive in praise - but finished the lot off for supper - so it can't have been so bad!