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Butternut squash, tofu and radish salad

Both Alex and I have been ridiculously busy with work recently, without much time for making a note of recipes. Which will never do!
However we did have this colourful, pretty salad for work lunches over a couple of days and it really helped to brighten the mood.
I baked the squash and tofu one after another, as there wasn’t quite room for them both in the same tin, the squash was quite large.
But if there’s space cook them both together to save time!

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butternut squash, radish and tofu salad

makes 4 servings


1 butternut squash, halved
1 tsp oil
6 – 8 radishes, sliced
4 small cucumbers, diced
4 handfuls rocket
juice of 1/2 to 1 lemon depending on size
salt and pepper
200 g cooked rice (I used a sachet of Tilda whole grain rice and quinoa)
1 400 g tin green lentils
for the tofu
1 400 g block of tofu, cut into cubes
2 tsp oil
2 tsp dried ramsons
2 tbsp tamari


Preheat the oven to 200 degrees c.
Rub the butternut squash halves with a little oil and put cut side up in a roasting tin. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, turning half way through, until tender and cooked through.
Cool a little, and then scoop out the seeds and peel off the skin. Chop into chunks.
In the same roasting tin, toss the tofu with the oil and bake for 20 minutes until starting to brown.
Mix in the tamari and ramsons and cook for a further 10 minutes, cool. To assemble, mix the squash, radishes, cucumber, rocket, rice and lentils together with the lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper. Mix the tofu through at the end.


By E.

0

Broccoli, butterbean and basil salad

I seem to have slipped into making pretty uninspired salads for work lunches recently, so this time I wanted something a little more coherent, with complementary flavours and textures.
Enter broccoli and basil!
I go through phases with broccoli, sometimes I can take it or leave it and other times I really crave it. It’s so nice in salads and paired with basil makes a lovely dish for the end of summer.
I’ve also added butterbeans for a creamy texture, olives and sun dried tomatoes to complement the basil, and cucumber for crunch. Lovely!

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Broccoli, butterbean and basil salad

serves 2


1 medium head of broccoli, cut into florets
1 400 g tin of butterbeans, drained
30 g fresh basil
3 tbsp water (save it from steaming the broccoli if possible)
1 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
4 sun dried tomatoes from a jar, and 1 tbsp of the oil
20 small olives
about 6 cm cucumber, diced
salt and pepper


Steam the broccoli until just cooked. I did mine for 3 minutes in the microwave, with a little water.
Pick and separate about 1/3 of the basil leaves and set aside.
Blitz the rest with the oil from the tomato jar, vinegar, water, and salt and pepper.
Mix together the drained broccoli, butterbeans, olives and dressing. Leave to cool completely and then fold through the cucumber and basil leaves.


By E.

0

Spinach, kale and apple soup

Doesn’t green soup always feel ever so nutritious?
And this one is, being full of spinach and kale 🙂
There are also apples for sweetness and acidity, sun dried tomatoes to add a little richness, and potato for a lovely texture.
All the flavours come together to make a very satisfying soup!
It’s so easy to make, everything just goes in the pot together. It could be cooked in the oven as most of our soups are but this time we used the hob. Add around 10 -15 minutes to the cooking time if you’re using the oven.
It’s pictured below with a sandwich made from our beetroot bread, which makes for a very pleasing colour palette!

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Spinach, kale and apple soup

serves 2 to 4


100 g kale, shredded
100 g baby spinach
2 small apples, chopped. We used braeburn
2 large sun dried tomatoes
1 medium potato, chopped
1 heaped tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp dried thyme
600 ml hot water
salt and pepper


Put the spinach and kale into a large pot on a medium heat and pour over the hot water. This will start the spinach wilting and enable you to fit the rest of the ingredients in!
Add the apples, sun dried tomato, potato, oregano and thyme. Bring to a simmer, partially cover and cook with the heat on low for around 25 minutes until the potato is soft.
Blend the soup until smooth (we used an immersion blender), and season to taste with salt and pepper.


By A. and E.

6

Spice roasted whole cauliflower with beetroot and butternut squash

Doesn’t a whole roasted cauliflower look pretty! Even a little one, like in my photo.
I made this colourful roast to have as a work lunch with a little rice, but it would be great served warm too.
The slightly orangey notes of the coriander seed along with the caraway and thyme match very well with the flavours of each individual vegetable.
You could use a larger cauliflower, as it’s essentially cooked before roasting. You would need to make more of the spice mix though, perhaps double the spices, vinegar and oil.
And of course you can also use raw beetroot, just be sure to cook it a bit (steam or roast) before it goes in with the butternut squash as it takes substantially longer to cook through. I like the ready cooked kind for convenience though!

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Spice roasted whole cauliflower with beetroot and butternut squash

serves 2


1 small cauliflower, about 300 g after trimming
a few of the outer leaves of the cauliflower if they’re good
300 g butternut squash, diced
250 g cooked beetroot, diced (the sort you can buy in a vacuum pack in the supermarket, not pickled)
1 tbsp coriander seed
1 tsp caraway seed
1 tsp dried thyme
a large pinch of salt
1 tsp vinegar (I used sherry vinegar)
2 tbsp oil


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees c.
First steam the cauliflower until just tender, I did mine in the microwave for 5 minutes. I find that the texture of roasted cauliflower is more pleasing if it’s steamed first.
Toss in any larger cauliflower leaves for a couple of minutes too, the smaller ones shouldn’t need it.
Crush together the coriander seed, caraway seed, thyme and salt. They don’t need to be powder by any means, a bit of texture is good.
In the corner of a large roasting tin, mix together the spices, vinegar and oil.
Roll the cauliflower in the spice mix until nicely coated and then toss the rest of the vegetables in the remainder.
Arrange the cauliflower prettily in the centre of the tray with the butternut, leaves and beetroot around it.
Bake for 45 – 55 minutes until everything is cooked through and the cauliflower is lightly browned.
Cut the cauliflower into wedges or slices to serve.


By E.

2

Rosti, apple dill coleslaw and walnut pate

I’m not sure why potato rosti is so satisfying, but it really really is!
I guess, like with roast potatoes or chips, it’s the combination of potato with a crisp outer layer and a soft inside, which is always going to be such a comforting combination.
This recipe makes a great lunch, combining the rosti with a lovely fresh apple and dill coleslaw, and a savoury, creamy walnut pate.
It’s really quick to prepare if you have a food processor with a grating attachment, but if not you can always slice the cabbage, celery and apple for the coleslaw. The potatoes and carrot do need grating though! The ground ginger in the coleslaw may seem an unusual ingredient, but do try it, it’s just a tiny bit so you don’t taste it as such but it complements the flavours of the vegetables beautifully.
We ate the rosti between the two of us, and had coleslaw and pate left for another meal, but you could serve it as a starter for 4 with the rosti cut into quarters.

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Rosti, apple dill coleslaw and walnut pate

serves 2 to 4


for the potato rosti
5 medium potatoes, grated
salt and pepper
1 tbsp oil
for the apple dill coleslaw
200 g white cabbage, grated
1 large carrot, grated
2 sticks celery, grated
2 small apples, cored and grated
2 tbsp sherry vinegar
2 tbsp rapeseed oil
a pinch of ground ginger
a pinch of salt
15 g fresh dill
for the walnut pate
100 g firm tofu
50 g walnuts
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
50 ml soya milk
1 tbsp dried ramsons or a small clove of crushed garlic
a big pinch of salt
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce


Grate the potatoes first, and then tip them into a clean tea towel and wring out over the sink.
Heat the oil in a (preferably low-sided) frying pan on a medium heat. Add the potatoes, with salt and pepper, to the pan and squash out into a large round, about 5 mm thick. Cook for around 5 minutes until golden brown. Flip, and cook the other side for a further 5 minutes. While the rosti is cooking make the coleslaw. Simply combine the vegetables and apple with the oil, vinegar, dill and seasoning and mix well.
For the walnut pate, whizz all the ingredients together in a food processor or with an immersion blender until combined but still with a little texture.
Serve the rosti cut into halves or quarters, with the coleslaw and pate on the side.


By A. and E.

9

Creamy tarragon, cashew, courgette and butternut spaghetti

This weekend Alex and I have been stripping wallpaper and sanding walls, it’s hard work, and so dusty!
So for lunch today we needed something easy and nutritious, with minimal time spent in the kitchen.
We’d picked up some spiralised vegetables cheap at the supermarket the other day, so we combined them with gluten free spaghetti, toasted cashew nuts, tarragon, and a cheaty sauce made from vegan cream cheese (we used violife brand).
It was gorgeous, comforting while still giving us a good amount of vegetables, and some protein from the cashew nuts. The tarragon really makes it though!
It’s a combination of flavours we’ll be making again, possibly with the vegetables diced rather than spiralised, the textures will work just as well.

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Creamy tarragon, cashew, courgette and butternut spaghetti

serves 2


180 g courgette, spiralised or diced
50 g butternut squash, spiralised or diced
80 g gluten free spaghetti
50 g cashew nuts
2 tbsp fresh tarragon, chopped
100 g vegan cream cheese
2 tbsp soy milk
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
salt and pepper


In a dry saucepan on a medium heat cook the cashews, stirring often until starting to brown, around 3 minutes. Tip into a dish to cool.
Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil (use the cashew pan for ease), and cook the spaghetti according to the packet instructions. Steam the courgette and butternut squash (I use the microwave), 2 – 3 minutes each if spiralised, a little more if diced.
Drain the pasta and return it to the pan on a low heat. Add the vegan cream cheese, tarragon and soy milk. Stir until the cream cheese has melted into a sauce.
Mix in the nutritional yeast and salt and pepper to taste.
Toss through the courgette, butternut and cashews.


By A. and E.

2

Lentil and vegetable bake, moussaka style

I didn’t really feel like I should be calling this a moussaka, with it being vegan, but the flavours definitely have a nod to the Greek classic!
I guess with there being a meat free base, and a dairy and egg free topping, it should maybe be called moussaka, veganbungalow style… The first time I made moussaka, many moons ago, it was with a white sauce based topping, but as I researched more recipes over the years I changed to the type more like a savoury custard. So that’s what I’ve recreated here. Soy yoghurt and silken tofu blended with tapioca and flavourings sets up nicely and add a lovely richness.
Also, although aubergine (eggplant) are more well known in a moussaka, Alex would grumble furiously if I used them, so here I’ve gone for courgettes (zucchini). I actually prefer them!
The only oil in the recipe is drizzled on top to brown the courgettes, making it super healthy. To be honest though, that was mainly laziness, I didn’t want to wash up a frying pan…

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Lentil and vegetable bake, moussaka style

makes 4 generous servings


for the lentil layer
1 carrot, grated (I used the food processor, as it’s also used for the creamy sauce)
2 sticks celery, grated
250 g mushrooms, chopped
100 g red lentils, rinsed
100 g green lentils, rinsed
1/4 tsp cinnamon or cassia (I’m not fond of a lot of cinnamon, feel free to add a little more if you like it)
2 tbsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1 tbsp dried ramsons or 2 cloves chopped garlic
1/2 tsp yeast extract (make sure it’s a gluten free one)
500 ml water
salt and pepper
for the vegetable layers
2 medium sized potatoes, quartered
3 medium sized courgettes, cut into 5 mm rounds
1 tbsp oil
for the savoury custard
250 ml unsweetened soy yoghurt
175 g silken tofu (half a standard tetra pack)
3 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp brown rice miso
2 tbsp tapioca flour


Preheat the oven to 200 degrees c.
Put all of the ingredients for the lentil layer, apart from the salt and pepper, in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for around 25 minutes, uncovered, until the red lentils have disappeared into the sauce and the green lentils are tender.
Season to taste.
While the lentils are cooking, steam the potatoes and courgettes. The potatoes need to be tender, and the courgette slices starting to go bendy. Cook them separately, I used the microwave.
Whizz together the ingredients for the savoury custard in a food processor until smooth.
Slice the potatoes into 5 mm slices and place them in a layer in the bottom of an ovenproof casserole dish. I use a 20 cm round one (I also used this to cook the lentils, and then transferred them to a bowl for the layering).
Add the lentils next, and then a good thick layer of courgettes, use about 2/3 of them.
Next the savoury custard, and then arrange the last 1/3 of the courgettes prettily on top.
Drizzle with the oil. Bake for 20 minutes, and then flash under the grill for a few minutes to brown the top if you like.


By E.

3

Jackfruit salad with capers, apple and parsley

I do tend to serve jackfruit hot, as in the recipes we’ve published before, but it’s great as a salad ingredient too!
So this time I’ve paired it with salty sharp capers, sweet apple and lovely fresh parsley.
There’s a little bit of pickled gherkin too, and a simple dressing made from unsweetened soy yoghurt and Dijon mustard.
It’s a very moreish salad with great textures! We’ll be eating it for work lunches, with some of our gluten free pittas and a simple salad of carrot, cabbage and sugar snap peas dressed with lemon juice. Yum!

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Jackfruit salad with capers, apple and parsley. With gluten free pittas!

makes 4 servings


1 tin of young green jackfruit in brine, cut into bite sized pieces (500 g tin, 365 g drained weight)
3 tbsp capers, chopped. Use either the little type or the larger caper berries, either is good. Rinse them if they are the ones packed in salt
1 apple, peeled and chopped
15 g parsley, chopped
2 tbsp chopped sweet pickled gherkin
120 ml plain unsweetened soy yoghurt, or use vegan mayo
1 tsp Dijon mustard


Put the vegetables, fruit and herbs in a medium sized bowl as you chop them. Add the soy yoghurt and mustard and gently mix everything together until well combined.
The capers should season the salad so you won’t need to add salt.


By E.

2

Salad of cannellini beans, sweet potato and greens

I got a giant sweet potato from the shops the other day, one of those really huge ones that look so much fun, until you have to try and peel them…
But I persevered, and a good job too as without it I wouldn’t have been able to make this delicious salad!
The sweet potato is roasted so it gets lovely caramelised bits, and then mixed with creamy cannellini beans, baby spinach leaves and crispy baked cavolo nero.
Simply finished with lemon zest, juice and basil leaves it made a lovely work lunch filled with great texture and flavour.

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Salad of cannellini beans, sweet potato and greens

makes 3 to 4 servings


1 400 g tin of cannellini beans, drained
1 really big sweet potato, peeled and diced
3 big leaves of cavolo nero, thickest section of stem removed and cut into pieces roughly 4 x 4 cm
2 tbsp oil
50 g baby spinach, roughly chopped
juice and zest of half a lemon
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
salt and pepper


Preheat the oven to 220 degrees c.
Put 1 .5 tbsp of the oil in a roasting tin along with the sweet potato and a pinch of salt and toss to coat. Roast for around 25 minutes, turning once, until the sweet potato is soft and caramelised in places.
Remove from the tin to cool.
For the cavolo nero, pour the remaining 0.5 tbsp of oil into the palm of your hand and add a little salt. Swiftly rub your hand together to distribute the oil over both, and then rub it into the cavolo nero pieces, making sure they are all coated.
Transfer to the roasting tin and bake for around 10 minutes until crisp. Keep an eye on it and check after 5 minutes, it burns quickly and if that happens it does not taste good.
Toss together the beans, sweet potato, spinach, lemon juice, lemon zest and basil along with a pinch of black pepper.
Add the cavolo nero just before serving, otherwise it will lose its crispness.

By E.

7

Herb broth with rice noodles, tofu and vegetables

Whenever I make noodle soup, the default flavours I go for are Chinese or Vietnamese. And while both are delicious, the herbs I have growing at the moment don’t quite lend themselves to those flavour profiles, I have a lot of sage…
So, it was time to experiment!
I’ve used a standard vegetable stock as the base, flavoured with a little caraway, and sage, basil and mint for the herbs.
For the vegetables I’ve used tomato, radish, courgette and chilli, which was a great combination, and very pretty too!
Little cubes of silken tofu add protein as well as texture, and a squeeze of lemon completes the dish.
It was really good, ever so satisfying and a new combination of flavours for my noodle soups. A sort of euro pho if you will!

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Herb broth with rice noodles, tofu and vegetables

makes 1 large bowlful


500 ml light vegetable stock (I used marigold made to half strength)
a pinch of ground caraway seed, (you really don’t need a lot)
2 tbsp fresh basil, small leaves left whole and the rest roughly chopped 1 tbsp fresh mint, as above
3 fresh large sage leaves, shredded
2 small tomatoes, quartered. I used yellow ones
4 radishes, sliced
1/2 a courgette, diced
green or red chilli to taste, thinly sliced. I used 1 red chilli
a squeeze of lemon juice, about a tsp
a pinch of black pepper
175 g silken tofu, diced
45 g rice noodles


Bring the stock to the boil and add the caraway and courgette. Simmer for 3 minutes until the courgette is starting to soften.
Add the noodles, chilli and sage and simmer for a further 2 minutes. Next, the radishes, tomatoes and tofu. Cook for a further minute, you just want to warm them through.
Carefully stir in the herbs (so as not to break the tofu up), and season with lemon juice and black pepper.


By E.