Posts tagged vegetables
Chili Veg Pitta Pockets

Sometimes a meal comes together very haphazardly and not at all how it had been planned. This is one such example….

I will admit I am solely to blame for this scenario since labelling the leftovers to go into my freezer is not always my strong point. I often make the mistake of thinking ‘well it will be obvious what it is, I won’t need to write a label on the bag’.   Hmmm, once frozen solid with ice fuzzing up the outside it isn’t always quite that obvious!

You see, I had thought that I had taken out a portion of soup from the freezer and the plan was to serve this along with a salad and homemade bread rolls, however upon investigation it turned out to be a portion of vegetable chilli… quick rethink, so instead we have an alternative meal for two:

A dish of vegetable chilli

A dish of roasted veg (in this case parsnip, pepper and carrots)

A serving of toasted pittas cut into pockets

A quick and easy DIY fill-your-pittas experience…. the soup can wait for another day!

Recipe: Vegetable chili

Serves 4 

Ingredients

  • Large glug of olive oil
  • 1 onion- diced
  • 2 peppers- cut into chunks
  • 1tsp mild chilli powder, 1tsp cumin seeds, 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes- peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 large carrot- peeled and cut up
  • 400g tinned tomatoes
  • 150g red lentils (pre-soaked)
  • 200ml hot vegetable stock
  • 400g can red kidney beans
  • 50g green beans
  • 1 courgette- cut into chunks
  • 100g frozen peas
  • Tomato puree and hot water- if needed
  • (Other vegetables can be added or substituted)

Method

Pre-soak red lentils in hot water for approx. 20 mins. Fry onion in oil for 5 mins, add the peppers, garlic and spices and cook for 2 mins. Stir in the carrot and sweet potato then add the tomatoes, lentils, and vegetable stock. Simmer for 15 mins. Add remaining ingredients- kidney beans, green beans, courgette and frozen peas, and simmer for approx. 10 mins until all vegetable are tender. Addtomato puree with extra water if more sauce is needed. Serve with wholegrain rice or pasta if desired. 

Note- in this recipe I served one portion size of chilli with some extra roasted veggies- I simple cut the veg into batons drizzled over a little olive oil and some salt and pepper then roasted for approx. 20 mins. Warm the pittas in the oven right at the end.

Freeze left over portions in individual bags- label them up (don’t say I didn’t warn you!)


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My veg patch

I have a vegetable patch. Not that unusual, I mean loads of people have them these days now that being healthy is much more the ‘in’ thing and doing it yourself gives the thumbs up to ‘people power’!

The difference is that my veg patch is at work. Now I think far fewer people could make that claim! Don’t get me wrong I also grow some veg on the patio at home but it is the veg patch we’ve created in the field outside the office where I work that really produces.  It began as a team effort, to compliment the company ethos to be green and sustainable and also to take advantage of the countryside setting where the office is based- pretty unusual for an architects practice- no high rise city office block here! 

It’s only really me who looks after the veg now, but I don’t mind that at all. I’m quite proud of my patch and all that it’s taught me over the last three years.

I enjoy spending my lunch breaks doing a little gardening, planting some seeds or picking a selection of veg and wrapping them up in little bags for my colleagues to take home (otherwise, despite their best intentions and promises of going outside to pick some veg for themselves it won’t get eaten!). I've grown an assortment of fruit and veg over the last few years but my biggest successes have been strawberries, potatoes and courgettes- keeping up with the courgette harvest is a challenge in itself, I ended up practically forcing them upon people!

Hidden amongst the veg!

Early season planting the seed potatoes with the amazing meadow backdrop (not a bad place to work- even if it is work!)


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Easy Roasted Vegetable Tart

One of the winning dishes (other than the sweet potato curry ) served to my colleagues when I cooked them lunch recently was this roasted vegetable tart. Soooo simply and sooooo delicious, this was also a requested recipe that they wanted me to write up for them and so I wanted to share it here also.  Ok, before I start-  I know puff pastry is not typically healthy- BUT- this is topped with loads of healthy veggies and the proportion of pastry to veg is really not too naughty (particularly if you team this up with a quinoa salad or similar as I did when I cooked for my colleagues).

This is another really versatile recipe and you can use whatever veg is in season. Asparagus worked really well here as it looks so pretty laid out across the tart. Strangely enough, the first comments from my colleagues were ‘wow, a pizza’, obvious this is not pizza at all although I guess visually it’s not so far off… and I reckon it tastes so much better!

Note, I was pushed for time when I made this tart (with so many other dishes to create) and I cheated a little and bought ready-made puff pastry which happens to be vegan anyway (check the packet when buying). Feel free to make your own puff pastry (and make me feel guilty in the process!)

Recipe: Roasted Vegetable Tart

Serves 4 (or more if serving with other dishes)

Ingredients:

  • 1pack of ready-made puff pastry (I used Jus-Rol available in most UK supermarkets)
  • Paste- 1tbs tomato puree, 1tsp lemon juice, handful of tomatoes, small onion, 2 cloves garlic, ½ a pepper, 1tsp oil. (or could simply use 2-3 tbs tomato puree)
  • 2 tbs hummous
  • Veg for roasting- 1 onion, 1 or 2 peppers, cherry tomatoes, sweetcorn, approx. 10 asparagus stalks (or other combinations)
  • Olive oil
  • Vegan pesto or other herb and garlic seasoning

Method:

Prepare veg topping for roasting- cut all veg into chunks but keep asparagus whole (break off woody ends). Coat in oil and pesto or other seasonings and roast in oven for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile blend paste ingredients in food processor and set aside (or omit this and use tomato puree). Roll out the puff pastry until thin (approx. 3-5mm thick). Spread hummous in centre leaving a 1” space from the edge of the pastry. Spread tomato paste on top of this.

Pile the roasted veg on top of the paste laying the asparagus across and putting the other vegetable pieces on the gaps. Lightly brush the 1” space around the edge in olive oil. Bake in the oven at 220 C for 10-15 minutes until pastry is puffed and golden.

Serve hot or cold.

Aw, almost too pretty to cut up and eat…. Oh well dig in!


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