main-meals

Some of these recipes take longer to make so I tend to cook big batches of these and stick them in the freezer for a quick meal when I need them.

 

Camp Dahl Spaghetti

I was camp cook this weekend for some of the band. We had very little left over so I turned the left over dahl into a spaghetti dish.

 

Vegan, Serves 521150782_10156774405589152_866514577_n

5 portions wholewheat spaghetti

3 portions red lentil dahl

1 large onion

Vegetable oil/vegan spread

salt and pepper

 

1.Cook the spaghetti in a large pan of boiling water, along with a pinch of salt.

2. Meanwhile, finely chop 1 onion and fry in the oil or spread.

3. Add the dahl to the onion and heat through, stirring well and adding some of the starch water from the spaghetti pan to loosen the sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

4. Drain the cooked spaghetti and add to the sauce, mix thoroughly and serve.

 

Chickpea and Sweet Potato Curry

I had a craving for chickpeas so made an impromptu curry.

(Vegan, serves 4)

1 tbsp oilimg_0736

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 can chopped tomatoes

1/2 red chilli, deseeded and chopped

Handful fresh coriander, chopped

1 inch fresh ginger, grated

1 sweet potato, peeled and diced

1 can chickpeas, drained

Squeeze of lime juice

Salt and pepper

1.Heat oil in a large pan and fry the onion over a low heat for 10 minutes. Add the ginger, garlic and chilli and fry for a further 2 minutes.

2. Add the tomatoes, chickpeas, coriander potato and enough water to cover. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 30 – 40 mins, until the sweet potato is cooked.

3. Season with salt, pepper and a squeeze of lime juice. Serve with rice, mango chutney and garnish with some more coriander.

My Basic Risotto Guideline

I love using up any veg hanging about in the back of the fridge in a risotto. This guideline is for 1, so just multiply it to make it serve as many people as you need. The packets tend to say that a portion is 100g, but I find this too much so I’ve put a smaller serving as well as the packet suggestion.

(vegan, serves 1)

img_0717

75g – 100g risotto rice, unwashed

Approx. 300 – 375ml veg stock, make sure that it is really hot

1/2 onion, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, crushed

Salt and pepper

1 tbsp oil

OPTIONAL EXTRAS:

Lemon juice and zest – acid to cut through the creaminess

Left over veg, finely chopped (e.g. mushrooms, celery, peas ect.)

Herbs

Soy sauce – light or dark

1.Fry onion in oil and a pinch of salt, until translucent. Add garlic and fry for another minute.

2. Add the rice, stir with a bit of the stock and cook for 1 minute, until the edges of the rice become translucent. This is important to help the rice absorb all of the moisture.

3. Add any other veg (see ideas above) and some herbs, if using. Add the stock very gradually, stirring continually on a medium-high heat, until all of the stock is used, the risotto soupy.

4. Season with salt, pepper, lemon zest and juice (if using) and soy sauce (if using). Take the risotto off the heat, cover and stand for at least 3 minutes. Serve. Great with peppery rocket leaves.

SUGGESTED COMBOS AND VARIATIONS:

Mushrooms, fresh thyme leaves and a dash of dark soy sauce (see pic above)

Peas and fresh mint, squeeze of lemon juice

Use pearl barley instead of risotto rice

 

Red Lentil Dahl

Warming and comforting. A great one to do in advance to let the flavours develop.

(Vegan, serves 4)

2 tbsps veg oil

1 large onion, finely chopped

Pinch salt

2 cloves garlic, crushed

Little grated fresh ginger (I use a bit of ground ginger if no fresh)

1 tsp cumin powder

img_0744

1/2 tsp chilli/cayenne (or 1/2 fresh red chilli, deseeded and chopped)

1/2 tsp tumeric

225g / 8oz red lentils

1 stick cinnamon (optional)

850ml / 1 1/2 pints water

5 tsps tomato puree

Juice of 1/2 – 1 lemon

Bit of mango chutney

Chopped fresh coriander

 

1. Heat oil in saucepan. Cook onion, salt, garlic very gently for 5 – 10 minutes until soft, not coloured. Add ginger, cumin, chilli/cayenne, tumeric. Cook for 1 – 2 minutes.

2. Add lentils, cinnamon (if using) and water.

3. Simmer 10 minutes. Add tomato puree. Cook 20 minutes or till lentils soften, adding lemon juice and chutney to season.  Garnish with fresh coriander and serve with rice.

 

Roasted Butternut Squash and Pesto Rice

This started off as a bit of an experiment today, when we couldn’t decide what to have. I found butternut squash in the freezer and I had an idea for a rice salad for a packed lunch tomorrow so I combined the two! Turned out rather well so I’m sharing. It’s also very bright and colourful, which is always a good thing on a dreary day. I tend to measure my rice with a jug to help me to get the right amount of water. So here goes:

(vegan, serves 4)

Approx. 500g butternut squash, cubed img_0723

Oil

Pumpkin seeds

Approx. 1 tsp ground cumin

8fl oz (or 300g) rice, washed

16fl oz (or 600ml) water

salt and pepper

Handful of cherry tomatoes

1 tbsp Quick Pesto

1.Heat the oven to 200C (gas 6) and lay the squash on a baking tray. Drizzle with oil, season with salt, pepper and the cumin. Mix with your hands, until the squash is coated. Bake in the oven for 30 mins, turning once.

2. Meanwhile, quarter your tomatoes and boil the kettle. Put some oil on a piece of kitchen roll and grease a shallow pan. This is to stop the rice from sticking. Add your rice to the pan, cover with the water, season with salt and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down really low (or off), cover and leave to steam for 20 mins.

3. When the squash is golden and tender, remove from the oven and scatter some pumpkin seeds over the top to let them get toasty in the residual heat.

4. Make sure that all of the water has boiled off the rice, stir in some pesto and the tomatoes.

5. Serve.

I’m using the left over rice as a cold salad tomorrow, make sure to put it in the fridge as soon as possible to prevent it from going off. Rice has to cool down quickly!

Shepherd’s Pie

(vegan, serves 4)

2tbsps oil

1 onion, peeled and chopped

450g frozen soy mince

50g frozen peas

2 vegetable stock cubes

2 tbsps tomato purée

1 bay leaf

1 sprig rosemary

1 tbsp thyme, chopped

2 carrots, sliced and boiled until tender, liquor reserved

mashed potato to cover

salt and pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 200 C (356F, gas 5).

2. Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the mince with the onion, until the onion has softened. Add the peas, tomato purée, herbs and stock cubes, and cover with boiling water and some of the reserved carrot liquor.

3. Bring to the boil and reduce to simmer, covered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. You may need to add more liquid.

4. Season with salt and pepper and remove the rosemary sprig.

5. Spoon the mixture into an ovenproof dish, lay the carrot on top of the mince mixture and top with mashed potato. Rough the top of the mash with a fork and cook in the oven for a further 30 mins.

Tacos

You can make this taco mix in advance and reheat when you want to use it. You can serve this with rice as a veggie version of chilli con carne.

(vegan, serves 4)img_0734

450g frozen soy mince (beef-style)

2 tbsps oil

1 large onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 400g can chopped tomatoes (or 4 beef tomatoes, chopped)

2 tbsps tomato purée

1 400g can kidney beans, drained

1 tsp mild chili powder (or 1/2-1 red chili, deseeded and finely chopped)

1 tsp curry powder

1-2 veg stock cubes

water to cover

salt and pepper to season

1. Heat the oil in a large pan. Add soy mince, onion and garlic and fry over a medium heat until the onion is soft, stirring frequently.

2. Add tomatoes, purée, kidney beans, chili, curry powder and stock cube. Cover with enough water to cover and simmer for 30 mins, stirring occasionally and adding more water if it gets too dry.

3. Serve in taco shells, along with shredded lettuce and refried beans.

Variation – add sweetcorn and fresh herbs

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