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.
Homemade Baked Beans is a very good way of using up leftover cooked white haricot beans.
Time: 15 minutes
Good with: Vegetarian Full English Breakfast, or on toast as a snack
Tabbouleh is a Middle Eastern dish traditionally made with bulgar wheat and served as part of a mezze. I like to substitute couscous, which is quicker and easier.
Traditionally also, it contains copious amounts of chopped parsley, and lemon juice. My recipe calls for more judicious quantities.
Time: 20 minutes
Origin: Middle East
Good with: Falafel, barbecue
Gazpacho, if you did not know, is a chilled soup made from raw vegetables and stale bread from the Spanish region of Andalusia. After puréeing, I like to add some chopped raw vegetables to add a bit of texture. I duly chopped a Trinidad chilli and added it to the soup, but on a whim remembering that Mrs DAVEggie is not quite such a big chilli-head as myself, decided to taste a piece – just in case.
Anyway, once I had stopped frothing at the mouth and my breathing had returned to normal, I began the laborious task of fishing out 90% of the chopped Trinidad I had added. The moral is of course, the heat of chillies can be very unpredictable, so always taste a piece first before adding!
Spaghetti with Sour Cream and Chanterelles is really a vegetarian version of Spaghetti alla Carbonara, replacing the frizzled pancetta with mushrooms. Pancetta traditionally add crunch and saltiness, but I think my version is more subtle…But I suppose I would say that.
Time: 15 minutes
Good with: works really well with fresh spaghetti.
Some years ago, the hallowed Heston Blumenthal presented a television series called ‘In Search of Perfection’, in which, employing a sinister combination of gastronomy, alchemy and black magic, he attempted to elevate humble favourites such as Spaghetti Bolognaise to a whole new level of excellence.
I was an avid viewer, and following his principles perfected my own recipe for Chilli Con Carne (of which I was mightily proud) using all sorts of exotic ingredients such as pomegranate molasses, sun-dried tomato paste, Bull’s Blood (the wine, not literally), vanilla, rose petals and bath salts. I served this with a fearsome array of condiments including coriander Guacamole and at least 3 different grated cheeses (cow’s goat’s and sheep’s)
Recently, arriving home late and hungry and tired, I knocked together an ultra-light version as quickly as possible. The result was vastly superior to my earlier kitchen sink variety!
Time: 45 minutes
Good with: Sweet Corn Salsa.
This is a fantastically vibrant and colourful recipe from the Genoa region of Italy. It is also quick and easy to make. Do not be tempted to use ready-made pasta!
Time: 30 minutes
Good with: other Italian recipes
These little Pitta Bread Pizzas are incredibly quick and easy to make, and are extremely moreish.
Serves 2 as main, 4 as starter
Time: 10 minutes
Good with: a mixed salad with plenty of rocket.