Posts tagged stove top 1
‘Peanutty’ soup

I was a late starter with my ‘love for peanut butter’, actually make that a very late starter since it is only really in these last few months that I’ve begun to get on board with what all the fuss is about!

Growing up I just didn’t like the stuff. The ‘smoothness’ was too intense for me and the way it stuck to the roof of your mouth as you ate it – nope not for me! My perception of PB was also very limited…. a sandwich spread was all I knew… oh how wrong I was!

Moving to a largely vegan diet opened my eyes to the world of nuts and seeds in all forms and the idea of nut butters in all their many varieties came into view.  

Nuts have so much to offer, not just in terms of huge health benefits which I just hadn’t fully appreciated before, but in terms of their recipe potential. This revelation was kick started in part by the arrival of my Thermomix which made making your own nut butters a piece of cake (note- many other food processors can also be used!).  Strangely until these last few weeks I’d still not attempted to make my own PB even though I use PB in so many recipes. Along with cashew butter and coconut butter it is probably one of my key ingredients in many recipes… so I had to give it a go.

Not wanting to simply slather it on toast, I decided upon a recipe where it could take centre stage. This is based on a recipe by The Covent Garden Soup Co.

So here you have it… my little tribute to the good old faithful peanut butter.

Recipe: Peanut (and vegetable) soup

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 large onion- finely chopped
  • 100g crunchy peanut butter (or smooth PB but throw in extra nuts if you want some texture)
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 900ml vegetable stock
  • 170g potatoes- peeled and chopped
  • 1 red pepper           
  • 175g carrots- chopped
  • Small handful of chopped jalapenos (to taste!)
  • 75ml soy milk
  • ½ - 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½  - 1 tsp parika
  • Fresh coriander- to garnish (optional)

Method

Fry the onion with the peanut butter and 1 tbs of water in a large saucepan (or TM) for 5 minutes until soft. Add remaining ingredients except the soy milk and spices. Bring to the boil and simmer for approx. 20 mins until vegetables are tender. Stir in the soy milk and spices. Blend (to break down larger chunks) if preferred or leave chunky. Serve with a sprinkling of coriander.

I also ate a second portion or this soup the next day and to change it up a little topped it with some chickpeas and sliced kale- plus some homemade potato wedges on the side!


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Thai green noodle soup

Soups can tick all the boxes....

A hearty substantial meal or a light midday snack

A thick warming meal when it’s cold outside or a light refreshing dish when it’s too hot for comfort!

Either way, it’s easy to cater for all options and with a rich dish full of spices and veggies it's always going to be a winner!

Today was a lovely warm and sunny October day (hang on a minute didn't this happen the last time I made soup!) Perfect autumn day for this soup which has the light creamy base of coconut milk but with a hot and spicy kick, so it’s a bit of a contradiction (a bit like today's weather for this time of year!) The addition of the noodles makes it a more substantial meal- but you could use more or less noodles depending on your preference.

­Feel free to vary the veg in this soup, just make sure you cut the chunks into small similar sized pieces. I haven’t yet tried freezing it, if I was to do so I’d cook it up without adding the noodles and then cook those in a wok separately before adding to the soup once it has been defrosted and warmed through.

Recipe: Thai green noodle soup

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp vegetable or coconut oil (not coconut butter)
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 2 tbs thai green curry paste
  • 1 red chilli finely chopped
  • 300g vegetable stock
  • 300ml coconut milk
  • 150g mix of chopped veg suitable for stir frying (I used beansprouts, carrot, soy beans, and kale)
  • 150g sachet rice noodles

Method

Heat oil in a pan and cook the onion for 5 minutes until soft. Stir through the curry paste and half the chilli and fry for another minute. Add the stock and coconut milk and bring to the boil.  Stir through the vegetables and rice noodles and simmer for 5 minutes. Garnish with the remaining chilli.


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Crumble topping

Want to whip up a quick healthy dessert?

A bowl of fruit and crumble topped with a blob of soy yoghurt is your five minute answer!

I was reminded to put this post together when the boy grumbled that he was still hungry after the soup I served for lunch a couple of days ago. Five minutes later and we had a nice hot bowl of healthy apple crumble to finish off our meal.

This is a great simple recipe for getting all your fats, carbs and proteins, oh and did I mention it was made from oats…. You know how muchI love oats!  Any fruit can be used but I have used apple here. I also used this topping for the fried plantain recipe. So versatile.

Recipe: crumble topping

2 servings

Ingredients:

  • 100g oats
  • 1 to 2 tbs peanut butter
  • 1 to 2 tsp agave nectar
  • ½ tsp cinnamon

Method:

Lightly toast oats in a dry frying pan for a minute or so. Add remaining ingredients and keep moving round pan until melted and the oats a fully coated and just beginning to brown in places. Spoon over dessert or fruit… or just eat them as they are (wait a couple of minutes for them to cool first!)

If you are making the apple crumble as pictured. Dice the apple and pan fry this first with a little coconut oil and some cinnamon. Once nearly cooked, add the ingredients as per the method above, or if you’d prefer to have the apple as a base with the crumble on top- keep the apple aside and top with the oats. Finish off with a blog of soy yoghurt or cream.


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Soup Glorious Soup - Courgette, Pea & Mint

I love soup, especially when teamed up with a warm home baked roll. This post is likely to be the first of many soup related recipes… now that the weather is beginning to turn autumnal and also since purchasing my Thermomix soup-making is so ridiculously easy (easy without one too I might add!)

But, as typical British weather has it, on the first day I sit down to lunch with a bowl of hot comforting soup- the sun is hot and shining outside! Oh well, that didn’t stop me.

Soups are good for the soul in so many ways and so endlessly versatile. I can’t imagine many better ways to enjoy a such a healthy boost that tastes so comforting, refreshing and moreish in one bowl. Bumped up with pasta, bread or rice and there you have a quick simple meal for all times of day (and all weathers!) As with many of my recipes, this soup is also a great freezer companion- so whip up a big batch!

This soup was a full on ‘veg patch lunch’ as I used one of the last of the courgettes from my vegetable patch (summer is more definitely coming to an end) and also some fresh veg patch peas (mixed with some frozen ones as I didn’t have enough fresh ones) and last but not least some fresh mint leaves that are trying their best to take over the whole area!

Recipe: Courgette, pea and mint soup

serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 20g coconut oil
  • 10g olive oil
  • 1 medium onion- diced finely
  • 300g courgette chopped finely
  • 150g peas (fresh or frozen)
  • 400g hot vegetable stock
  • Handful of fresh mint leaves
  • 150g soy yoghurt (soy milk or other milk alternatives could also work but be slightly runnier)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

Heat coconut and olive oil in a large sauce pan and sauté onion until softened. Add the courgette and sauté for another 5 minutes before adding the stock, mint and peas. Simmer for 15 minutes. Add the soy yoghurt/milk and stir through before pouring the soup into a blender or food processor and blitzing until smooth. (you could also use a hand blender but I haven’t tried this as I make the entire thing in my Thermomix)

Serve will a warm roll or two… and pretend its cold and windy outside whilst you’re all warm inside!


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Pan Fried Plantain With Cinnamon Pan Crumble

I came across plantain entirely by accident whilst out shopping for something entirely different (no I didn’t find what I was looking for!) A new ethnic food market stall caught my attention and I had a little browse. So many random and exciting things, many of which I’d never even heard of gave rise to many new ideas in my mind. I’ll probably be going back there sometime soon!

I decided to play it safe and not get carried away on my first visit, after all that hadn’t been the reason I’d actually ventured into town. However, I couldn’t help but be seduced by plantain…..

I’d had plantain once before at a bbq where it was cut into thick diagonal slices and simply bbq’d until soft and the pale creamy yellow flesh had turned a deeper shade. It was delicious and I kept coming back for more.

A plantain looks like a ‘big banana’ but the starchy texture makes it more like a cross between a banana and a sweet potato. It can be used in sweet or savoury dishes and either in its green (unripe) or yellow/black (ripe) state. 

Once home, I did a little investigation to see what the options were, having never cooked it before I wanted to do it justice if I could! The most popular recipes seemed to be sweet dessert/brunch type snacks using ripe plantain, either grilled or fried with spices or syrup. An ideal opportunity for a Sunday brunch. So this morning, instead of the usual oats (as much as I love my oats- more on those later), I decided to surprise the boy with cinnamon fried plantain topped with peanut butter oat crumble (ok so I couldn’t quit the oats entirely!!)

Recipe: fried plantain with cinnamon crumble

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • One large ripe plantain- sliced on the diagonal approx. 10mm thick
  • Generous sprinkling of ground cinnamon- approx. 1 tsp 
  • 1 tbs oil (I used coconut)

For crumble topping:

  • Approx. 50g oats
  • 1 tbs peanut butter
  • 1 tsp agave syrup
  • ½ tsp cinnamon 

To serve- 2 large tbs soy yoghurt (or more)

Method:

Heat oil in large frying pan until hot then carefully place strips of plantain covering the pan. Fry on either side for 3-4 minutes until golden yellow and beginning to crisp.

Transfer cooked plantain to a side dish and without delay pour the oats into the pan and add the peanut butter, agave and spice. Stir briskly for approx. 2 minutes until the oats are toasted and clumpy.

Assemble the plantain on plates, add a dollop of soy yoghurt to the centre and top with the oat mixture and more yoghurt if prefered.

Mmmmmm…… perfect Sunday brunch or dessert!


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