Serves 2 (or 4 as a starter)
Time: 30 minutes
Good with: warmed pitta bread.
I recently found a half-used bag of quinoa pushed to the back of a cupboard. I have never been a great fan of quinoa, but as you know I hate to waste food, so I set myself a challenge to invent a recipe to showcase the ingredient.
These quinoa stuffed peppers are tasty, healthy, economical and quick to prepare (if you use bottled peppers). What more could you ask for!
- 1 large red and 1 large yellow pepper, or 2 bottled peppers.
- 85g quinoa
- 25g mixed seeds: pine nuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds
- 25g black olives
- 50g feta cheese
- 50g sun-dried tomatoes
- 2 tbsp shredded basil
- If you are using fresh peppers, cut in half (including the stalks) and remove the seeds and pith. Pre-heat the oven to 220C. Bake until the peppers are soft and partly collapsed – probably about 45 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cover the quinoa with 275ml of water, bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Drain off any excess water.
- Toast the mixed seeds lightly.
- Crumble the feta, chop the tomatoes and olives, shred the basil.
- Mix the chopped ingredients into the quinoa, and add seasoning to taste.
- Stuff the peppers when cool enough to handle.
- Bake at 220C for about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool somewhat – I think they are nicest when warm rather than hot.
Serve with rocket and warmed pitta bread.
The peppers are also very good served as a starter.
Salad Tortillas make a healthy lunch, or a great accompaniment to Mexican dishes or soups.
Time: 10 minutes
Good with: Black and White Soup.
I really enjoy a bowl of soup, especially in winter. But sometimes, no matter how delicious, it is not quite substantial enough. Take this recipe for Black and White Soup. The ‘black & white’ refers to the beans used to prepare it. It is actually two soups, added carefully to the serving bowl (either individually of a tureen) to form two separate puddles.
To make it more substantial, I serve it with a tortilla filled with shredded salad vegetables, grated cheese and sour cream.
Or you could serve Black and White Soup as an elegant starter, in which case omit the tortilla.
Time: 60 minutes
Good with: Salad Tortilla
Time: 75 minutes
Good with: see above
Roasted Ratatouille and Mozzarella Pies: the key to success is to roast halfthe vegetables first, so that they acquire a light caramelisation but remain juicy. Also, do not cook the pies too long. The mozzarella should be still oozy; too long and it will have the texture of a school rubber.
Time: 90 minutes
Good with: Hasselback Potatoes and glazed parsnips go really well with it. Good waxy boiled potatoes are also nice. I also like to serve it with Baked Butternut Squash, Petits Pois Frais à la Française and Haricot Bean Cappuccino.
One of my favourite salads is Red Cabbage Salad. However, there is always plenty of red cabbage left over. I have tried various methods to use up the surplus, but my attempts were usually based on the French method of cooking very slowly for 3 hours, and were not entirely successful. Then I had an idea, why not cook it similar to Gujarati Cabbage and Carrot! The result, Spicy Red Cabbage, is quick to prepare and deliciously, well, spicy.
Time: 30 minutes
Good with: Vegetarian Sausages
These hearty and versatile Vegetarian Sausages are as good as any meat variety – and that is from meat eaters! Or you could use the recipe as a basis for vegetarian sausage meat for Scotch Eggs.
Time: 30 minutes (but any accompanying potatoes and vegetables will take longer)
Good with: Mashed Potato, Creamed Spinach, Carrots Forestière, Spicy Red Cabbage, Rich Gravy, Vegetarian Full English Breakfast
I call this recipe French Biryani Stir-fry for want of a better name. It is sort of a cross between a Paella and a Biryani (Biryella?) with French overtones. The secret is how you cook the rice. I like to use a mixture of basmati and risotto rice with truffle. I also like to use a mixture of tomatoes, Roma for sweetness and cherry for acidity. The rice takes a little time and care. The vegetables are stir fried quickly at the last minute.
Time: preparation 75 minutes – this includes soaking and draining the rice
Roasted Pumpkin Soup makes a stunning main course, served in a half pumpkin with Roasted Red Pepper Coulis carefully swirled through it. My photograph does not do it justice.
It is rather time consuming but I promise you will not be disappointed with the result!
Time: 150 minutes
Good with: Naan Bread