Thursday, 30 September 2010

Spaghetti with aubergine and ricotta sauce (3 colours)

Olive oil - 3 tbsp
Aubergine - 1 medium, cut into 1 cm cubes
Onion - 1, chopped
Garlic - 2 cloves, finely chopped
Chopped tomatoes - 400g can
Fresh basil - handful of leaves, torn into pieces
Spaghetti - 150 g
Ricotta cheese - 125 g, crumbled

1) Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a frying pan and fry the aubergine pieces until golden brown on all sides. Remove from the pan and set aside.
2) Add 1 tbsp of oil to the frying pan and fry the onion for 5 minutes until translucent. Add the garlic and fry for 1 minute until fragrant.
3) Place the spaghetti in a pan of boiling water and cook on a medium heat. Meanwhile add the tomatoes and basil to the frying pan and cook on a medium heat until slightly thickened.
4) When the spaghetti is almost cooked add the aubergine pieces to the tomato sauce and stir well. Drain the spaghetti and then mix with the sauce and the ricotta cheese. Serves 2.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Courgettes with tomatoes (3 colours)

For the meat eaters out there, I think this dish would also go very well with lamb.
Olive oil - 2 tbsp
Onions - 2, finely sliced
Tomatoes - 350 g, finely chopped
Tomato puree - 1 heaped tsp
Flour - 1 tsp
Dried mint - 1 tsp
Allspice - 0.35 tsp
Courgettes - 2, thinly sliced widthways
Mild red chilli - 1, finely chopped
Water - 100 ml

1) Heat the oil in a medium-sized pan and cook the onion for 5-10 minutes until softened.
2) Add the tomatoes, tomato puree, mint, allspice and flour to the pan and stir well.
3) Add the courgettes and chilli, stir and then pour over the water.
4) Bring to the boil then cover and reduce the heat. Simmer for 30 minutes until the courgettes are tender. Serve with pita bread. Serves 3.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Red lentil and tomato soup (2 colours)

Olive oil - 2 tbsp
Onions - 250 g, chopped
Tomatoes - 375 g, quartered
Split red lentils - 285 g
Water - 900 ml
Lemon juice - to taste

1) Heat the olive oil in a large pan and when hot add the onion. Fry for 5-10 minutes until the onion is just beginning to turn brown.
2) Add the tomatoes, water and lentils to the pan. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer on a low heat for 30 minutes.
3) Pour into a blender and blend to a creamy consistency. Return to the pan and reheat for 5 minutes. Serve with a little lemon juice or lemon wedges to squeeze over. Serves 4.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Lentil and vegetable shepherd's pie (4 colours)

This is a really tasty version of a traditional British classic and contains lots of healthy sweet potatoes too.

Olive oil - 1 tbsp
Onion - 1, halved and sliced
Garlic - 2 cloves, crushed
Red pepper - 0.5, chopped
Carrot - 2 large, chopped
Chopped tomatoes - 400 g can
Vegetable stock cubes - 2, chopped
Green lentils - 400 g can
Sweet potatoes - 900 g, peeled and cut into chunks
Margarine - for mashing
Cheddar cheese - 85 g, grated

1) Heat the oil in a frying pan. Add the onion and garlic and fry for 5 minutes until soft.
2) Add the carrots, pepper, chopped tomatoes, 150 ml of water and the stock cubes. Simmer for 10 minutes.
3) Tip in the can of lentils with their juices and then simmer for a further 10 minutes until the carrots are cooked, but not soft.
4) Meanwhile, boil the sweet potatoes in a large pan for 15 minutes or until tender. Drain and mash with a little margarine.
5) Pour the lentil mixture into an oven-proof dish and top with the sweet potato mash. Sprinkle with the cheese and bake in the oven at 190°C for 25-30 minutes. Serves 4.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Nectarine and raspberry muffins (2 colours)

Plain flour - 300 g
Granulated sugar - 150 g
Baking powder - 1 tbsp
Salt - 0.5 tsp
Raspberries - 70 g, halved
Nectarines - 150 g (approx 2), chopped into small cubes

Olive oil - 100 ml
Whole milk - 200 ml
Vanilla essence - 1 tsp
Egg - 1

1) Preheat the oven to 190°C. Grease a 12 muffin pan. Sieve the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Add the raspberries and nectarines and stir gently.
2) Place the egg, oil, vanilla essence and milk in a mixing bowl and quickly beat together.
3) Pour the egg mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients and stir well. Spoon into the muffin pan and cook for 25 - 30 minutes until golden brown. Serves 12.

Potato, tomato and garlic soup (2 colours)

This simple soup has a lovely flavour and is made with ingredients that we always have in the house. I'll definitely be making it again soon.
Olive oil - 2 tbsp
Onion - 1 large, sliced
Garlic - 4 cloves, crushed
Potato - 3 small, finely sliced
Paprika - 1 tsp
Chopped tomatoes - 400 g can
Thyme - 1 tsp
Vegetable stock - 900 ml
Cornflour - 2 tsp

1) Heat the olive oil in a large pan. Add the onion, garlic, potato and paprika and cook for 5 minutes, stirring regularly.
2) Add the tomatoes, stock and thyme. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 20 minutes until the potatoes are cooked.
3) Mix the cornflour with a little water in a small bowl. Add to the soup and stir well. Simmer for 10 minutes until the soup has thickened a little. Serves 5.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Turkish baked vegetables (4 colours)

Olive oil - 3 tbsp
Onion - 1, chopped
Aubergine - 1, chopped into 1 inch chunks
Courgettes - 2, chopped into small pieces
Yellow pepper - 1, chopped
Green pepper - 1, chopped
New potatoes - 225 g, cut into cubes
Frozen peas - 60 g
Green beans - 60 g, cut into 1 inch pieces
Ground cumin - 0.25 tsp
Ground cinnamon - 0.25 tsp
Paprika - 0.5 tsp
Vegetable stock - 175 ml
Tomatoes - 2, chopped
Chopped tomatoes - 400 g can
Garlic - 2-3 cloves, finely chopped

1) Fry the onion in the olive oil for 5 minutes until soft. Add the aubergine and fry for a further 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2) Add the courgettes, peppers, potatoes, peas and green beans to the pan with the cumin, paprika and cinnamon. Cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring regularly.
3) Preheat the oven to 190°C. Place the vegetables in a large oven-proof dish and pour over the stock.
4) Mix together the chopped tomatoes, tomatoes and garlic in a small bowl. Pour over the vegetables. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Serves 3.

Friday, 10 September 2010

Brown lentil and vegetable soup (3 colours)

Brown lentils (dried) - 325 g
Water - 3 pints
Onions - 250 g (about 2 medium sized), roughly chopped
Carrots - 250 g (about 4), roughly chopped
Potatoes - 150 g (about 2), roughly chopped
Ground cumin - to taste
Lemon juice - to taste

1) Place the lentils in a large pan with the water. Bring to the boil then add the vegetables.
2) Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 40 minutes.
3) Pour the mixture into a blender and blend to a creamy consistency (in batches if necessary). Return the soup to the pan. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 1 minute. Sprinkle with cumin and stir well.
4) Serve with toast and lemon juice to pour on the soup (this enhances the flavour). Serves 6

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Orange and cranberry muffins (2 colours)

I've finally got round to buying a muffin tin - something I've been meaning to do for several weeks. There are so many muffins I'm looking forward to making - blueberry and lime, blueberry, lemon and raspberry, raspberry and nectarine...

Thanks to Mark at cookbook for this recipe. I used frozen cranberries (defrosted) for this as we can't buy fresh ones at any time of year other than Christmas. The recipe actually makes about 15 muffins (the holes in my tin are 7cm wide by 4cm deep), so I poured the excess mixture into a small pyrex dish to make one large muffin:

Cranberries - 140 g
Orange juice - 175 ml
Unsalted butter - 170 g, warmed to room temperature
Granulated sugar - 170 g
finely grated rind of 1.5 oranges
Eggs - 3 large
Plain flour - 300 g
Salt - pinch
Baking powder - 3 tsp
Milk - 175 ml

1) Place the cranberries in a small pan with the orange juice and heat gently until the juice just starts to simmer. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
2) Cream the butter with the sugar and grated orange rind. Beat the eggs into the butter. Sieve the plain flour, salt and baking powder and fold in to the mixture along with the milk. Fold in the cooled cranberries and orange juice to form a batter.
3) Grease a 12 cup muffin pan. Divide the batter into 12 cups and bake in the oven at 190°C for about 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Serves 12.