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by Blondie

Potato & Vegetable Bake

March 7, 2012 in Veggies

I’m NOT a vegetarian!

In fact, I’m a very bad example to my sons when it comes to eating *mumble* portions of vegetables per day.

But every now and again my body demands its annual quota of vegetables and I know better than to disobey my body’s demands!

This is a really easy and delicious dish, which can be served with salad and/or crusty bread as a main course, or as an all-in-one side dish with whatever meat you’ve cooked. It’s also highly adaptable – you can use whatever combination of vegetables you want, so feel free to ignore the veggies I’ve used & swap them with whatever takes your fancy (except for the potatoes, which are non-negotiable).

Red & white onion with garlic, all sliced & waiting ...

POTATO & VEGETABLE BAKE – Serves 4 as a main, or 6 as a side dish

3 large potatoes, peeled, par-boiled & thinly sliced

15ml butter & 5ml olive oil

1 red onion, halved and sliced

1 white onion, halved & sliced

3 large cloves garlic, sliced

1 punnet mushrooms, sliced

1 green pepper, seeded & diced

2 tspns sliced bottled jalapenos (optional)

5ml dried thyme

200g fresh baby spinach leaves

2 – 3 rounds of feta cheese, diced

125ml cream & 125ml milk (or 250ml cream)

4 eggs

1 tspn Dijon mustard

freshly ground salt & pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 180C and grease a medium-sized ovenproof dish.

Heat the butter & oil in a deep frying pan and gently saute the onions, garlic, green pepper & mushrooms until slightly softened,

Stir in the jalapenos & thyme.

Veggies being sauted

Mix the eggs, milk, cream, Dijon mustard & seasoning.

Line the dish with some of the potato slices, then some of the onion mixture, then some spinach and some of the feta.

Repeat these layers, ending with what’s left of the onion mixture.

Layering in progress ...

Pour over the egg & milk mixture and bake for 1 hour.

Bon Appetit! :)

 

 

 

 

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by Blondie

Meat-free Monday – Summery Gazpacho

February 26, 2012 in Mains, Veggies

It’s been too hot to even think of cooking this weekend … that’s my excuse, and I’m sticking to it! :)

I adapted this recipe from one I copied yonks ago from one of the many diet-books I’ve owned over the years. It’s absolutely delicious, with no hint of being a ‘diet’ recipe. It’s also a perfect light & refreshing meal for a baking-hot meat-free Monday.

SUMMERY GAZPACHO – Serves 6

Finely chop the following ingredients & toss them all into a large glass bowl (I always use my 2 litre Pyrex jug, which is the ideal size):

2 large tomatoes, peeled & seeded

6 – 8 celery fingers

5 inches cucumber, seeded

1 green pepper, seeded

120g spring onions

1 large clove garlic

The finely-chopped veggies, waiting for the liquids to be added!

To the chopped vegetables, add the following:

1 litre tomato juice

2 Tblspns white wine vinegar

2 Tblspns olive oil

2 Tblspns chopped parsley

1 tspn salt

1/2 tspn freshly-ground black pepper

1 tspn Worcestershire sauce

Combine everything, cover with clingwrap and refrigerate overnight.

Serve cold.

Chilled gazpacho - refreshing & healthy!

 

 

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by Blondie

Take-5 … February – creamy peppered mushrooms on toast

February 2, 2012 in Take-5, Veggies

Reading Sue’s comments about Masterchef in her latest post reminded me of some of the programmes I really used to enjoy way back when I was still married & could afford DSTV (OK, so it was my ex who could – and still can – afford DSTV, but that’s a minor detail)!

One of the most inspirational programmes for me was ‘Ready, Steady, Cook’ – I was regularly awe-struck at the masterpieces the chefs could create in less than half an hour with only a limited number of ingredients.

This got me thinking (along with the fact that, although it’s only the 2nd of the month, various factors have conspired to make it the financial 20th of the month for me) and I thought it might be fun to set myself a monthly challenge called ‘Take-5′, where I post a recipe using only 5 ingredients (and, if it’s around the 20th of the month, these must be ingredients I don’t have to buy).

I realised it wouldn’t be realistic to count ‘everyday’ ingredients that everyone has in their kitchen, so my personal challenge allows me (or you, if you’d like to take up the challenge too, sometime) to exclude these ingredients, for example: oil & butter etc; seasonings, including herbs & spices; flour; stock, wine (and other liquids, unless they’re ‘unusual’ & have to be specially bought); ginger, garlic, curry paste/powder etc; bread/rolls/roti/pita/tortillas etc … this isn’t a closed list, but you get the general idea.

If you’d like to give this challenge a try, please let me know in a comment so I know to come and see what you’ve achieved … and please also include a link to this post  of mine, in case anyone else is keen to give it a bash.

My first “Take-5 Challenge” recipe is creamy peppered mushrooms on toast. This is not only a perfect Meat-free Monday recipe (please ignore the fact that I’ve posted this on a Thursday – thank the Pope it’s not Monday!!), but it’s also great as a light supper for two, or a filling meal for one. But be warned: fewer ingredients does NOT mean fewer calories (just in case any of you were thinking of suing me for your increased waistline or cholesterol levels)!!

CREAMY PEPPERED MUSHROOMS ON TOAST – Serves 1 – 2

My 5 Ingredients:

1 punnet (250g) button mushrooms, sliced

a few spring onions, sliced (I used the last 8 in my fridge)

1 onion, chopped

1 tspn Robertsons Peppercorn paste (see pic below)

2 1/2 Tblspns sour cream (you could use normal cream, but I already had an open half-used tub in my fridge)

Other ‘non-counted’ ingredients:

1/2 Tblspn olive oil

25g butter (plus another 1 Tblspn softened butter for later)

1 tspn chopped garlic

ground salt to taste

a liberal dash of ground nutmeg

2 sliced buttered toast

Before I get to the method, I want to rave about the relatively-new Robertsons paste range – I’m completely hooked on the mixed peppercorn one, spreading it onto steaks before frying, mixing it into coatings for fish, combining it with softened butter for baked potatoes etc … ok, I’m sure I’ve convinced you that I quite like this paste!

Moving on …

Heat the oil and butter in a large frying pan over medium heat.

Add the garlic, peppercorn paste, mushrooms, spring onion and onion – cook for a few minutes, stirring until softened.

Stir in the cream and salt – cook for another few minutes until the cream has reduced and thickened.

Remove from the heat. Stir in the nutmeg and softened butter – when this has melted and the mixture looks nice and glossy, serve on slices of buttered toast.

Finally – and this is the most important part of this recipe … don’t even THINK of having your cholesterol checked for at least 7 days after eating this (rather just relax and wallow in the wonderful comfort-food experience that’s a so-much-nicer side effect of this recipe)!!

 

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by Blondie

Supa Salmon with Chilli-garlic Mash & Roasted Veggies

October 23, 2011 in Fish, Mains, Veggies

I found a lovely piece of Norwegian Salmon in our Pick & Pay yesterday. It was only R60-something and was big enough for 3 single servings …. I live alone most of the time & I’m not a big eater so, for me, this was a good bargain.

Many, many moons ago, Sue posted a recipe for salmon with  a herb crust which sounded so yummy that I saved the recipe to my Documents for ‘one day when I find a decently-priced piece of salmon.’

I’m really glad I did that, as it took me yonks to find the ruddy recipe on her blog again so I could do the whole link-thingy here!!

I didn’t have a lemon, so used a squirt of lemon juice instead of the rind. Not having tasted the original recipe, I can’t say whether this made a difference or not … all I can say is that it was Supa-Yummy!!

I served the salmon with roasted veggies (tossed with Robertsons Veggie Sprinkle, crushed garlic & olive oil) and Chilli-garlic mash, which is based on what I can remember of a description of something similar from a good friend of mine who, being Indian, shares my passion for chilli & garlic.

To make the Chilli-Garlic mash, peel & boil the potatoes as usual.

In the meantime, finely chop an onion & fry this in butter with crushed fresh garlic and minced chilli to taste.

You’re looking for a ‘zing’ here, not an ‘eish’, as you don’t want to overpower the subtle-but-orgasmic flavour of the salmon (no comments about me having been single for too long, thank you)!!

Once the potatoes are cooked, drain and mash, then mix in the chilli, onion & garlic mix, adding more butter and milk as needed.

Season to taste.