Category Archives: Cauliflower

Pimp Your Veg part 7: flatbreads aplenty – perfect for adding more vegetables to any meal..and great for kids! 

 I was only introduced to the concept of flatbreads with vegetables as part of the dough last year via various of your blogs, in particular, Indian food blogs like Simply Vegetarian 777 (these cauliflower and mixed grain roti for example), Cooking With SJ (like these roasted beetroot parathas) and many more, you’ll know who you are! I would read these great recipes, especially recipes for aloo parathas (spiced potato filled flatbreads) and think it would be difficult to make them and it was a while before I was brave enough to try it, but once I did, actually it really is pretty easy and definitely worth it 🙂 

A bit like the fritters/patties, there’s a standard set of rules to making flatbreads and including vegetables in them..you can use pretty much any vegetables really, you’ll see that from the various recipes below, and once you’ve tried and tested a few recipes and feel confident making them, you’ll find the key thing is to feel your way with how much flour you add to create a dough. Adding herbs and spices adds extra flavour, and you can cook them with or without oil, or even bake or grill them. 

How fab does this dough look, full of spinach and spices? And this was a great success with my son, and is the only time he has ever eaten spinach, I was so happy to see him eating and enjoying them. 

I’ve made these several times now, and this week also used the same dough as a pizza base..

I also played around with the dough and made a gluten free grilled version too..

Last week I shared my sweet potato onion bhaji breads..

I’ve also made other sweet potato breads too..

The breads below are tomato versions..gluten free and very tasty..

And these tortillas are made solely from cauliflower and egg..

I hope you find this collection of flatbread ideas of interest and that they are useful, and maybe they will bring some new ideas for adding vegetables to your households meals like they have mine 🙂 

For tips and ideas about making flatbreads, have a good look round Sonal’s blog, including this post, complete with photo instructions. 

I am bringing all of these flatbreads to this week’s Fiesta Friday, co hosted this week by the lovely Loretta and Petra – both great cooks and lovely ladies 🙂 

Have a great weekend xx

Pimp Your Veg part 3: it’s in the pan…

 Although there are lots of eggs in this post, let me clarify that it’s actually not about eggs, but about pan cooking vegetables, sometimes with the addition of eggs!! And I use the term ‘pan cooking’ as opposed to frying or stir frying for good reason..

…because this is about cooking chopped/prepared vegetables in a pan with a small amount of oil, over a longer period than stir frying; it’s what I do on a regular basis for lunch or dinner, as an alternative to roasting if I don’t want to wait for the oven to heat up, or just for something different, and this therefore creates part 4 of my Pimp Your Veg series, hopefully bringing a new idea to how you cook your vegetables.  

I think this works well for any meal time, including Sunday brunch, and definitely for a quick, fresh evening meal, especially with the addition of eggs, and it works well with most vegetables too, there’s just a couple of tricks that might be useful..

Method/tips..

Assess the vegetables you want to cook, as some will cook faster than others, take this into account when preparing them

For example…peppers and onions will cook faster than sweet potato and butternut squash, so if you want to throw them all in the pan at once, consider that either the onions and peppers will get cooked more (which could be nice?) or leave them a bit bigger

I always chop potato, sweet potato, butternut squash and carrots into small cubes

Cut cauliflower into small florets

Cut brussel sprouts in half 

Shred cabbage 

Cut baby gems lettuces in halves or quarters 

 You get the idea 🙂 

In a wide based pan, heat a tablespoon of your chosen oil over a medium heat or spray a thin layer of olive oil in the pan 

Once it’s warmed, add your chosen vegetables and stir so that they get a coating of oil, then leave to cook

Stir every so often to ensure the pieces cook all the way throw, but don’t agitate too much 

You may want to use a splatter cover to protect your hob/stove 

Once the vegetables show signs of starting to cook through, add some spices, seasoning and/or sauces of your choice, whatever you fancy to add flavour. Don’t add them too early to ensure that they don’t get burnt

Add green leafy vegetables once everything else is almost cooked through so that they don’t get overcooked 

I sometimes add some of my own harissa, or seeds and chopped nuts, or some dukkah to add some crunch 

A note if you are cooking cauliflower:

Add it to the pan and cook in the oil initially then add some water to the pan and put a lid over it to cook the florets; you are basically creating some steam to cook them through, then remove the lid and continue to pan cook to get some colour and flavour into the cauliflower   

 If you’ve got various vegetables to use up, throw them all in together! 

If you want to add a egg or two, make a well in the vegetables and break the eggs into the pan and cook 

Maybe add some cooked grains and heat them through with the vegetables  

I have to be honest, I then tend to eat it all straight from the pan! Saves on washing up 😉  

    
  Be brave: see what vegetables you’ve got and chuck them in a pan to cook whilst you make whatever else you’re having. For me, this is my entire meal, a kind of ‘hash’ I guess, for you it might be a side dish, either way, enjoy! 

Pimp Your Veg part 1 : roasting vegetables 

Thank you all so much for your positive responses to my new series, it’s so lovely to know that you are all with me 🙂

So, here we go…part 1: roasting vegetables

If you recall from my introduction post, the inspiration behind this series is a friend of mine who is on a weight loss journey and who needs some ideas for making vegetables interesting. For me, vegetables are THE most interesting food, but for some people, it’s a challenge to include more of these wonderful plant foods in their meals, so I’m hoping to provide him, and maybe you, with new ideas..

Starting with the wonderful world of roasted vegetables.   

For me, this is my favourite way to enjoy vegetables. If all you ever do is steam or boil vegetables, I fear that you may not find them sufficiently interesting for long, especially if you don’t have much love for vegetables in the first place. 

Roasting them not only celebrates their flavour but also adds some colour, crunch or caramelisation, sometimes all three. How wonderful 🙂 

This is not about having your lovely vegetables swimming in oil, actually, I think that too much oil spoils the produce. That’s why I use spray olive oil. And I mean a 100% olive oil in a spray bottle, not one of these ‘1 cal per spray’ offerings that are anything but 100% oil. And I don’t use a spray because I’m limiting my intake of oil, good fats are so important in your diet, I pile on the olive oil, coconut oil, rapeseed oil at will, but for roasting vegetables I think that a spray works best. A light mist of oil is all the vegetables need, like this cauliflower..

  

So, here’s my method…let’s start with the cauliflower, this is honestly the best way to eat cauliflower..

Heat your oven to 200C (mine is a fan assisted oven – try between 200C and 220C in a standard convection oven – experiment until you find your perfect temperature) 

Take your cauliflower and remove the outer green leaves

Chop the cauliflower (all or half of it, however much you want to cook) into florets and then cut some in half or quarters as necessary, aiming to get even sized pieces 

Spread in a single layer across a baking pan 

Spray with olive oil so that each floret has a couple of sprays on it

In the oven and roast for 45-50 minutes (depending on the size of your pieces) until you see nice browned crunchy edges

NOTE: After 20 minutes take the pan out and move the cauliflower around and spray with another light mist of oil,  then put back into the oven and leave it to roast 

And that’s it – really simple, just chuck it in and leave it basically! And it’s so good!!

  
And this works with all sorts of vegetables. All that might differ is the cooking time, you need to keep an eye on your pan to gauge the time required…this broccoli didn’t need as long…and the tops were so wonderfully crunchy..The spring onion below needed a lot less time, more like about 15 minutes, and again, so tasty! 

With the sweet potato and courgette you need longer, and hang it out as long as you can, vegetables really benefit from that extra 5-10 minutes to get a really nice finish. I don’t always bother to peel my sweet potato, I like the skins, so consider just giving your sweet potato a wash then chop it into even sizes to roast..

As you will see below, you really can roast everything. And yes, those are radishes in the photo below and they are brussel sprouts in the top photo..if you think you don’t like sprouts, try roasting them! Just remove any grubby outer leaves, cut them in half, spray with oil and roast, the crunchy edges it creates are so good. The radishes and sprouts probably only need 25-35 minutes roasting. 

People are often concerned with how much oil you need to cook aubergines, but with roasting, just the spray is enough..and look at the browned edges, so good! It’s all, so good!! I keep saying it because it’s true! 

   Something I typically roast is a mixture of peppers, red onion/shallots, garlic and often mushrooms too, these are favourites with my husband..and roasting shallots and red onion really brings out their natural sweetness. If you leave them long enough, the onions start to caramelise, which is just so good!!!! (And really scrape all of the baked on bits from the pan, they’re the best bits!!!) 

Peppers and onions have a high water content and are therefore less dense than some of the other vegetables above, consequently they only need 25-30 minutes in the oven. 

So..to roast your vegetables, follow the guidelines above but assess the time required based on the texture of your vegetables – practice makes perfect. 

I often roast several trays of vegetables at a time, we always have a choice of several on the table. Try all of your favourites but also something new; butternut squash is wonderful roasted, again, I leave the skin on; cauliflower is a household favourite; try swede and pumpkin; and carrots work beautifully…you’ll see more roasted vegetables as this series goes on.

And if you’ve got leftovers, they are great cold the next day, or whizzed into dips…but more about that later…;)

Coming up in the next post: the wonderful world of spices – adding flavour to your vegetables. 

I hope you like my roasting ideas, please do ask me if you have any questions, or add your ideas in the comments..

Selma’s romanesco, feta and za’atar cakes..

   

Another of Selma’s recipes that has stuck in my mind are her romanesco, feta and za’atar cakes…this week I made my version..

 

I haven’t been able to find romanesco so, as Selma suggests cauliflower as an alternative, that’s what I used. I also used a crumbly goats cheese instead of feta as that is a staple in my fridge (and I confess I’m not a huge feta fan…sorry…too salty for me!). I also roasted the cauliflower instead of steaming it as my oven was on anyway and it worked well. 
  

The week after Selma died I confess I did a lot of ‘consolation shopping’; I don’t eat cakes or chocolate or anything sweet, and I don’t drink alcohol, or have any of those typical consoling foods in my diet, so shopping became my emotional tool, including buying these new measuring cups and little plates…I thought that maybe Selma would like the plates, so I used them to serve these cakes..I quite like the idea that they might represent the tree of life..

  

The cakes are lovely and everything I knew they would be, and simple to make. I enjoyed them with some of my homemade homous into which I stirred through some of the chemoula spice mix I made for one of Selma’s other recipes

Visit Selma’s wonderful blog for the recipe and check out all of her lovely other offerings whilst you’re there 🙂 

  

  

  

The Fiesta Friday Tribute page to Selma remains open so this is where I shall be sharing this post. Later I will be back with a whole mezze including these savoury cakes for this week’s Fiesta Friday party. 

 
Enjoy! 

More of my daily dishes of health and colour..

 As always, my recent lunches have been full of colour and health and flavour…so here’s a few tasters to inspire and tickle the tastebuds…

Last week I roasted a tray of cumin seeds to create my own roasted ground cumin, the smell was amazing! OMG! Just gorgeous! I keep smelling the jar of the ground roasted seeds it smells so good 🙂 I immediately threw some over some chopped tomatoes, mushrooms and cauliflower, along with some salt and olive oil, and roasted it all.. 

So tasty! 
Whilst cooking an Indian feast at the weekend, I followed a typical chicken madras recipe, but replaced the chicken with mushrooms and peas to create my own vegetarian dish.. 

 ..the leftovers of which made a great lunch the following day. 

I cooked up some quinoa yesterday – using my cooking method – and loaded it with my harissa sauce, this is harissa made as per my previous posts but made with the addition of lots of my own oven roasted baby plum tomatoes and garlic to create more of a sauce.  

This was topped with my ‘holy grail’ homous, dried barberries and raw cashew nuts. 
And today, after reading Julie’s post including braised lettuce, I decided it was time to give this one a try; I’ve seen several posts utilising lettuce this way and when I found a pack of mini lettuce gems in the reduced section of my local supermarket today, I felt fate had stepped in.  

I cut off the ends of the lettuce hearts and cut each one in half length wise; I melted coconut oil in a pan and laid the lettuce cut side down and cooked them for a few minutes until they started to brown, then turned them over to cook through some more. I served them in the pan with grated Red Leicester style goats cheese, my homemade Mexican chilli ketchup and sprinkled with aleppo chilli flakes.   

 It was almost like a pizza on a lettuce base! And very tasty, if I say so myself!! 😉 

I hope your week has started well xx

Chickpea & spinach chermoula stew and dip…

 I was pondering what to make for my lunch this week, I had chermoula in mind, plus Suzanne’s post, and spinach to use…so an amalgamation was born…
 Spinach and chickpea chermoula stew 

Ingredients 

1 x 400g can chickpeas, drained and washed 

250g baby spinach, washed and drained of as much water as possible 

10 medium tomatoes, quartered

1 large bunch flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped

1 large bunch fresh coriander, roughly chopped 

4 garlic cloves, minced

1/8 tsp ground black pepper

1 tbsp sweet paprika

1 tbsp smoked paprika 

1 tbsp ground cumin 

2 tbsp lemon juice

3-4 tbsp olive oil

1/2 tbsp salt 

 Method 

Heat a wide base pan over a medium heat and add a splash of your chosen oil, I used olive oil as it adds to the flavour

Add the tomatoes and start to cook until they soften

Add the chopped garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes

Add the spices and stir through, cook for 1-2 minutes 

Add the spinach and cook down, then add the coriander and parsley and cook them all through

Add the chickpeas and lemon juice, mix well and cook until chickpeas are warmed through 

Note: It shouldn’t need any additional liquid as the tomatoes provide sufficient 


Tuck in knowing that you’re eating a bowl of goodness!! 

The next day I whizzed up the leftovers with some tahini to see how it would turn out, and it was a success!! Very tasty! Lovely with a bowl of roasted cauliflower..  

   All good stuff!!! 

I am bringing my amalgamation dishes to this week’s Fiesta Friday (number 71 in the series, the year of my birth, it’s definitely going to be a good one!!), co hosted this week’s by the delightful and delectable Jhuls and a new co host, Laurie – welcome Laurie, I hope you enjoy the party 🙂 

I’m off to a local food festival tomorrow, can’t wait – have a great weekend xx

More of my super veggie dishes…and lots of goats cheese!! 

   

Taking photos of most of my meals as I do, they don’t all warrant an entire post to themselves, so here is a little collection of some recent dishes…

  

This was my lunch on Friday…

Half a large cauliflower, chopped into florets, sprayed with olive oil and roasted at 200C until cooked through with crunchy edges

3-4 heaped tablespoons of tomato kasundi sauce stirred through the cooked cauliflower

Goats cheese crumbled over the top and back into the oven to heat the sauce and warm the cheese 

    

The mix of flavours was lovely, the flavour of the tomato kasundi has developed since making it a few weeks ago and is probably tastier now than when I first made it. 

  

Yesterday’s lunch was an amalgamation of shashuka of sorts…My husband and I had been to the market and I had a kitchen piled high with beautiful fresh produce; we were both hungry so each made ourselves our personal versions of a perfect lunch: he made himself sausage sandwiches; I made myself this…our integral differences in one meal!! I never eat sandwiches, they just don’t inspire me at all, I find them highly dissatisfying, over and gone in no time at all – let alone the fact that I rarely eat bread! 

My lunch dish…

A pile of baby plum tomatoes, halved, drizzled with olive oil and cooked in a pan 

1 long red pepper, cubed, and added to the tomatoes

2-3 heaped tablespoons of my homemade harissa stirred into the tomatoes & peppers 

2 eggs cooked into the mixture + some crumbled goats cheese over the top 

  

Yesterday I made this Saag recipe from Whitbits Kitchen: it’s a lovely dish, packed full of spinach, kale, greens and spices. It’s so tasty! This morning the leftovers made a great brunch along with roasted tomatoes (as per my last post), fried eggs and the final remains of the goats cheese!!! 

 

Just a little peak into my meals 🙂

I hope you’re all having a great start to the week, see you on Wednesday with this week’s ‘What would you feed me?’ guest post…another absolute winner xx

Mexican style beans, enchilada sauce and cauliflower tortillas: this isn’t just food, this is healthy, homemade food! 

 This week I have read two different magazines, both sharing several cauliflower recipes, as if they were a new invention and the wonders of cauliflower was something new to the world; but us food bloggers know different! Cauliflower experiments and recipes have been around for a while, cauliflower and it’s wonders have been widely celebrated in blogworld, nowhere moreso than my own kitchen 🙂 

It’s been really interesting to see the timeline and see how long it takes new food ideas to start off in home cooks’ kitchens and become mainstream. I wonder how long it will take for BBC Good Food to publish chickpea juice recipes

So, following on from yesterday’s post about my new pressure cooker and the Mexican beans that I made…this is what I did next.. 

  I decided to make some homemade enchilada sauce; funnily enough a few of us have made Mexican dishes recently so I hope mine stands up in amongst such brilliance. And then it was finally time to make some cauliflower tortillas. I’ve wanted to make these for a while and when I saw Sally’s recipe recently, I knew it was time.

These gluten free, healthy, tasty tortillas are basically cauliflower and egg, plus seasoning of your choice. I halved the quantities in Sally’s recipe and it made two quite thick tortillas – it was my first time making them, I’d work on making them thinner next time, but they we still very good. And they could be folded around my filling of beans, sauce and cheese, to make a great big, hand full of healthy, tasty food 🙂  

 Homemade enchilada sauce

Note: I used coconut oil and buckwheat flour to make these healthy and gluten free to suit my taste and choices; you can use any oil and flour. I also left out sugar which you might find in other similar recipes.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 2 tablespoons buckwheat flour
  • 1 680g jar of passata 
  • 2 tablespoons paprika 
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder – I used ancho chilli powder 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Heat coconut oil in a saucepan over medium high heat. Whisk in flour until well combined, about 1 minute.
  • Stir in tomatoes, chili powder, oregano, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder and 1 cup water; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.
  • Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. 
  • I am bringing my healthy Mexican inspired plate to this week’s fabulous Fiesta Friday (better late than never!), this week co hosted by the fabulous Angie and Anna.
  • Enjoy!

For the love of cauliflower…

 

You may well be completely fed up with all of the cauliflower recipes out there at the moment, or you may be loving all of  the inspiration, or the wonders of cauliflower may be a new thing to you?? Either way, this post is not me jumping on the band wagon, my cauliflower experiments started long before the current food world cauli explosion, no, I decided to put this post together as I eat cauliflower almost daily and I thought I would share some inspiration, photos and past recipes all in one place. Call it maybe a one stop cauliflower recipe shop!! (Not that I’ve exhausted the subject yet or anything!!) 

 

Gone are the days of cauliflower merely being the over boiled roast dinner side dish of days gone by, cauliflower has become a king in the vegetarian and vegan world due to its flexibility whilst being healthy and fresh, and of course, low calorie. I was watching a food show the other night and a top chef had ‘created’ a cauliflower dish and I was literally shouting at the screen ‘that’s not new!!! Some of us, lots of us, have been doing that with cauliflower for years!!!’ (Obviously, Bob wasn’t impressed about being disturbed from his evening slumber, but it I couldn’t help myself.) I very rarely hear or see a chef presenting a ‘new’ vegetable dish nowadays, I usually have a feeling of seen/heard it all before, and that’s due to the amazing inspiration in blog world, as well as my own experiments. So many home cooks are doing amazing things in their kitchens, but of course, they are not out there being lauded and marketed, it’s not until a well known chef latches onto the idea that suddenly it’s applauded as an amazing new find! 

Anyway, my aim was not to bemoan chefs, but to provide cauli-inspiration: flavour, colour, health and happiness all in one dish 🙂 

It’s lovely just roasted…and it doesn’t have to be drenched in oil, I find just using a spray oil is enough to create lovely crunchy florets. You can roast it just like that, or add some spices and stir them through before roasting it. Roast it at around 200C, give it the odd shuffle around as it roasts, and take it out when it looks like this.. 

   

..you can marinate it to take on flavours…as I regularly do…like this or this, my cauliflower nirvana..

   

..use it in place of flour to make doughs for pizza 

 

..to make crackers.. 

 

..or ‘rice‘… 

 

..in a curryor like this one

   

..for lunch any day of the week, drizzled with tahini sauce, cooked with harissa, dotted with black garlic, or homous…

       

..pan cooked with leftover tomato sauces and topped with eggs.. 

 

..or just in a lovely complete dish, as a main or side dish… 

 

And of course, you can eat any leftovers cold, or throw them in a blender with tahini and lemon juice and make an interesting dip. The possibilities are endless, in all cuisines, and there’s lots and lots more inspiration out there if you look, this is merely a glimpse, there’s more in my recipe index and even more on my Instagram feed. 

I hope you like my offerings and feel the cauliflower love 🙂 

I am bringing my array of dishes along to this week’s Fiesta Friday and hope that everyone gets a taste of all the options! This weeks party is being hosted by the lovely Angie along with co hosts Julianna and Hilda – come along and join the fun xx

More adventures with black garlic: cauliflower, coconut and black garlic rice

IMG_0558Cauliflower rice is such a quick and easy dish, it’s healthy, tasty, gluten free, low carb, and open to all sorts of flavours, uses and experiments, like this one! It can satisfy a vegetarian, vegan, paleo, primal and healthy diet, or just satisfy the taste buds – it takes on flavours so well, and adding the chopped black garlic to this version gave it lovely little pops of fabulousness as I ate it.

I cooked this in coconut oil because it’s so lovely and so good for you – it doesn’t overwhelm your dish with the coconut flavour so if you’re not a coconut fan, don’t fear using it, it’s such great stuff it’s still worth you trying it out, and on this occasion, just don’t add the additional coconut to the dish.

IMG_7446

IMG_7583Ingredients

Half a head of medium cauliflower, roughly chopped into florets
1 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 cup shredded coconut (optional)
1/2 bulb black garlic, cloves cut into threes

Method

Pulse the cauliflower florets in a blender for literally less than a minute until it resembles a rice-like consistency
Add this to a wide bottom pan with the coconut oil and start to cook over a medium heat
Keep the cauliflower moving so that it all gets coated with some coconut oil
Add the turmeric (for the colour, flavour and health benefits!)
Add the shredded coconut and chopped black garlic
All the while keep it all moving in the pan
It will now be starting to cook and you could just keep frying it until it’s the softness you want it to be or, as I did, add a small amount of water to the pan and cover it with a lid to cook to the texture you would like.

Then eat it on its own as it is, or with everything and anything!

IMG_7449Of course, cauliflower rice can be a base for all sorts of additions; you can add anything to it that you would add to rice, you can add lots of flavours to it with spices and herbs.

Don’t forget that you can try black garlic yourself with 10% off the price plus free delivery (in the UK) using the code ‘foodbod’ until 28th February 2015. Order online or email them direct to enquire about delivery overseas at info@blackgarlic.co.uk

Having made this lovely rice last week, I ate it across a few days, it warms up again really easily. I finished it off by mixing it up with some roasted carrots and topping with some garlic, yoghurt dressing and, oh my word, it was so good!!!! This photo doesn’t do it justice, but believe me when I tell you I was in heaven!!

IMG_7462Have a great Sunday 🙂