This is a sweet, crunchy side-salad that would do well as an alternative to coleslaw. You can vary the sweetness by maybe using a green apple or even a cooking apple to add a bit more tartness to it.
4 medium or 2 large carrots (about 250g), cut into battons
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp ground cumin
30g toasted hazelnuts, chopped
1 apple, grated
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp allspice
Heat the oven to 300C.
Toss the carrots in 2 tbsp olive oil and the cumin.
Lay out evenly on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 30 minutes.
When the carrots are tender and browned, put in a large bowl and add the other ingredients.
Mix well and season with salt and pepper.
Serves 2 as a side salad
London is famous for its fogs, but the really famous fog, the London Particular or Pea-Souper never happens now. Oh, it still gets foggy in London occasionally, but the yellow-tinged, lung-searing mix of smoke from coal fires and mist from the London basin, was ended by the clean air acts of the 1950s and 60s. It is just as well. Thick fogs sound romantic and very Sherlockian, but the last Great Smog of 1952, which lasted four days, is estimated to have contributed to the deaths of 12,000 people.
If the fogs have gone, the soup remains. This can be made with green or yellow split peas and I have stuck with yellow. The original recipe would include a ham bone, or a bacon joint. I have included a sprinkle of smoked paprika to add a smoky hit to the soup. If you have some smoked salt, that would be good added in right at the end, too.
1 onion, chopped
2 sticks celery, chopped
1 large carrot, diced
200g split peas
1l veg stock
1 bay leaf
1/2tsp fresh thyme
Smoked paprika for garnish
Soften the onion, celery and carrot in a little oil in a large saucepan.
Once the onion is translucent add the split peas, stock, bay leaf and thyme.
Season with salt and pepper.
Cover and simmer for 90 minutes or until the peas will break apart when pushed against the side of the pan.
Stir vigorously to break up the peas a little.
Check the seasoning and serve with a sprinkle of smoked paprika.
Serves 2 with a little extra for seconds
This is another recipe from Veggiestan. It caught my eye as being an unusual combination of yellow split peas and carrots, which is not something I’d ever thought of putting together before. I was also a little sceptical as to whether unsoaked yellow split peas would cook before the carrots turned into mush. Well I was wrong, the peas are cooked through and the carrots are tender, but hold their shape. The spicing is light with this recipe, the chilli just adds a background heat and the vinegar lifts the flavours.
There’s not much prep involved in this recipe and it cooks in an hour, it could just be a winner on a cold, rainy winter’s evening.
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1cm ginger, peeled and chopped
1 green chilli, chopped
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground coriander
300g chanteray carrots, or 2 large carrots cut into large pieces
150g yellow split peas
2 tsp tomato puree
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
2 tsp vinegar
300ml vegetable stock
Heat some oil in a large saucepan and add the onion.
Soften for a couple of minutes and then add the garlic, ginger and chilli.
Stir for a few more minutes and then add the spices and stir until they have all mixed in with the oil.
Add the carrots, split peas, tomato puree, tomatoes and the vinegar.
Add the vegetable stock, this should just cover the mixture.
Season to taste.
Bring to the simmer, then cover and simmer for 60 minutes.
Check every so often to make sure it’s not catching on the bottom of the pan and add some boiling water if it is getting too dry.
Serve with rice and some mango chutney on the side.
This is a gem of an idea, I only wish I’d thought of it, but the honours must go to Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and the River Cottage Veg Every Day recipe book. It’s a great lunch to take to work because you can prepare it the night before and it only needs boiling water to cook it. There isn’t a work place in the country that doesn’t have a kettle!
You can use any thin noodle, but the instant noodles (which are the cheapest as well) cook the quickest, which is important as you have soft green leaves that wilt very quickly. I think the secret to the success is how you make your layers, the flavour goes at the bottom, followed by the noodles and then the crunchy vegetables with the green leaves on top. You also need a sealable pot or mug about 500ml in size.
I couldn’t believe how well this worked, and it cost pennies to make versus the £5+ I’ve spent on something similar from a food outlet near my office.
1/2 tsp vegetable bouillon powder, or 1/4 vegetable stock cube
1 tsp soy sauce
Dash of chilli sauce, or tabasco
2 slices of lemon, or lime
Slice of fresh ginger
3-4 slices of fresh chilli
Packet of instant noodles, broken into pieces to fit your container
50g tofu, cut into cubes
1 spring onion, chopped
3 cm length of cucumber, deseeded and cut into matchsticks
3 cm carrot, cut into matchsticks
3 cm courgette, cut into matchsticks
1/2 little gem lettuce, shredded
1 tsp chopped coriander
Add the bouillon powder, soy sauce, chilli sauce, lemon, ginger and chilli to the bottom of your container.
Break the noodles into pieces so that they fit the container and put them on top of your stock base.
Add the tofu and then the vegetables, leaving the lettuce and coriander until last.
Put the lid on.
When you are ready to eat, pour boiling water into the container until the noodles are covered.
Put the lid back on and leave to stand for 5 minutes.
Remove the lid and stir thoroughly before eating.
Serves 1 for lunch
I like vegetable soups, but too often they are a bit unsatisfying to me. So, faced with a fridge drawer full of vegetable oddments, making a soup was a no-brainer but adding lentils to it makes it a lot more substantial.
This is a lovely, warming, satisfying winter warmer. It’s so good, you won’t even notice that it’s fat-free as well!
150g red lentils
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 medium potato, roughly diced
1 medium carrot, roughly diced
1/2 head broccoli, chopped
1 courgette, roughly diced
1 1/2l vegetable stock
1/2tsp fresh thyme
Add all the ingredients, apart from the thyme, to a large saucepan and bring to the simmer.
Skim off any scum that appears on the surface.
Stir in the thyme.
Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper and blend until smooth.
Add more boiling water if it needs thinning down.
I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with parsnips – I love them roasted, fried or boiled – I hate them mashed, pureed or souped. I think it’s a texture thing, something about a whole mouthful of soft parsnip makes me want to puke. One of my biggest culinary disappointments was when I made a big pan of curried parsnip and apple soup and couldn’t even eat a spoonful.
So I was really pleased to come across this recipe for spiced parsnip latkes. It got me thinking, if apple worked with spiced parsnip in soup, why not here? And why not a bit of carrot as well? I decided to call mine a rosti because I wanted to make a side-dish for two rather than starters/nibbles for several.
1 parsnip, grated
1 medium carrot, grated
1/2 small onion, finely sliced
1 small apple, grated
3 tbsp corn flour
1tsp curry powder
Add the ingredients to a bowl, season with salt and pepper and mix thoroughly.
Heat some oil in a small frying pan and when hot, spoon in the mixture.
Spread out until it covers the whole of the bottom of the pan.
Reduce the heat to medium
While the mixture is cooking, keep pushing it down in the pan so that it forms a solid cake.
Cook until the bottom is golden brown or caramelised to your taste.
Carefully slide a fish-slice under the cake and flip over to cook the other side. It doesn’t matter if it breaks up, just pat the pieces back down into place.
Cook until the new bottom is golden brown.
Serves 2 as a side to a nice stew or Serves 1 for lunch – some mango chutney would go well with it.
It’s apple season. I have a confession to make – I’m not that fond of apples. At least, I’m not fond of apples on their own. I was very pleased, therefore, to find this recipe for a fresh and zingy apple salad. It specifies green apples, but the lime juice in the dressing is sour enough so that sweet, red apples would do just as well. I’ve also made it considerably more substantial with the addition of chinese leaves and carrots (I had purple ones to hand so that’s why they’re a strange colour in the photo!)
This would do well alongside a curry or a tofu stew, but the Thai flavours aren’t so dominant as to rule out some falafel either.
For the garnish:
1 shallot, finely sliced
1 tbsp roasted peanuts, finely chopped
For the salad:
2 medium green apples
1 tbsp lime juice
4 cherry tomatoes, quartered
4 chinese leaf leaves, shredded
1 small carrot, julienned
2 tbsp coriander, chopped
For the dressing:
1 lime, juiced
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 red chilli, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
Heat some oil in a pan and add the shallots. Fry until golden brown and then put on to kitchen paper to drain.
Finely core and slice the apples and toss in the lime juice to stop them browning.
Add the rest of the salad ingredients and mix thoroughly.
Mix the dressing ingredients together and pour over the salad.
Top with the peanuts and crispy fried shallots.