Archive | November, 2012

Lettuce and Spring Onion Soup

16 Nov

Jess cooked this light soup to remind themselves of summer, but when Ro tasted the soup he was like “Oh! This soup is so good for winter!” A soup for all seasons, then.

You might be suspicious of cooked lettuce. Kai certainly was:


Have no fear, however. When cooked, romaine lettuce goes wonderfully nutty and scrumptious. Try it stir fried and you’ll never look back. This soup is quite gentle and goes really well with good crusty bread.

Ingredients: 4 cloves garlic (minced), 1 large romaine lettuce (chopped up), 1 onion (fine chopped), 1 large potato (diced), 1 bunch of spring onions (chopped up), knob of vegan marg, olive oil for frying, 450 ml soy milk, 300 ml stock, lots of freshly ground pepper and salt to taste, 2 bay leaves, 1-2 tsp of ground nutmeg, fresh chives

Heat the marg and olive oil in a pan. Add the chopped onions, bay leaf, and potato and sweat down until the onions go clear. Add the garlic, spring onions, lettuce and sauté until everything is covered in butter. Add the soy milk and stock and bring to the boil. Reduce to simmer for 15 mins. Take off the heat and cool for a bit before removing the bay leaves and liquidising. Bring back to the hob and heat gently, adding the nutmeg, salt and pepper, and adjust seasoning until just right. Serve with a topping of freshly snipped chives.

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Warm Potato Salad with Samphire and Rocket

7 Nov

Jess found some samphire at the local supermarket and bought it cause we have never cooked with it before. This lovely salad of deliciousness is the result.

If anyone hasn’t heard of samphire before; its a seaweed with a characteristically salty taste. Combining it with rocket makes it this dish practically a salt and pepper salad. Sort of.

We didnt have a picture of any of us with the salad so heres a pic of Jess at NVC HQ : )

Ingredients: 400g cherry tomatoes (halved), 1 tbsp brown sugar, 60g samphire, 2 handfuls of spinach leaves, 2 handfuls of rocket leaves, 1 handful of parsley (chopped), 1 garlic cloves (crushed), 600g salad potatoes, olive oil, juice of half a lemon, salt and pepper

Heat the oven to a low setting, say 130C. Place the tomatoes cut-side up on a baking sheet or roasting tray. Sprinkle with the sugar and season with salt and pepper. You want to leave them to bake for 90 minutes, until  they basically resemble sun-blushed tomatoes. Remove from the oven and put in your salad bowl.

Make sure your new potatoes are in easily eatable sized bits, and boil them in a pan with a dash of salt for 20 or so minutes until cooked. Drain and cool.

Make a dressing for the salad by combining the garlic, lemon, olive oil and seasoning in a jam jar and shaking. Add to the salad and toss through. Enjoy!

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Stuffed Butternut Squash Heads with Kale and Peppers

2 Nov

Halloween this year has been absolutely awesome. We don’t want it to end! Good news then that we can stretch it out a little longer by posting more scary recipes! This delicious stuffed squash recipe comes from regular guest poster Sandra, and looks fantastic. Thanks so much Sandra!

Ingredients: A bag of kale (either ready sliced, or with the tough stalks removed and leaves sliced), Three garlic cloves, An onion, A large green pepper, 1 tsp cumin and mustard seeds, 1 tsp thyme, 1 (small) butternut squash for each person eating, A pack of vegan mince, Cajun seasoning, Passata/sieved tomatoes, Olive oil

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
First up, slice the tops from the squash and set aside. Scoop the seeds out, carve the faces and drizzle the bowl shaped parts with olive oil. Put them on a baking tray and bake them for around 25 minutes, or until the flesh is soft. While they are baking, slice the onions, peppers and garlic, and peel and chop the leftover squash, and sautee them in some olive oil, with the mustard and cumin seeds until the onions are transparent and the squash chunks are soft. Fry the mince according to the pack instructions (usually with a little water or stock), add the Cajun seasoning and passata to taste, and leave to simmer on a low heat. Bring some salted water to the boil, and add the kale and blanch the leaves for a few moments until they are a deep green colour. Once they are cooked, drain them and add them to the onion/pepper/garlic mixture with a rough teaspoon of thyme (if using dried thyme you may need slightly less than if using fresh), and mix well over a low heat.
To serve, spoon the mince into the hollowed out squash heads and sit them on a bed of the kale/pepper mixture. They do have a tendency to drool the sauce out of their mouths, a pretty spooky effect! If you wanted to make this more obvious, making a roux or other thick sauce and pouring into the squash heads before the mince would give a rather grotesque image!
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