Tag Archives: tomato

Recipe: Greek Stuffed Peppers

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I have been enjoying Rick Stein’s trip around the mediterranean sea from Venice to Istanbul. Although he’s famous for fish, he has also been featuring some vegetarian recipes. And this one, from Greece, was a lunch favourite for the crew, apparently.

Stuffed peppers, are nothing new for veggies, of course, but these are sunny and light-flavoured while still being substantial enough as a lunch dish on their own.

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Ingredients
2 large red peppers
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 tomato, skinned and chopped
1 tbsp tomato puree
150g long-grain rice
200ml vegetable stock
pinch chilli flakes
1 tsp dried oregano
1 small packet of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
2 sprigs mint, finely chopped
lemon juice (optional)

Remove the ‘lids’ from the peppers and scoop out the seeds.
Place upright in a roasting tin. Keep the lids to one side.
Heat some oil in a saucepan, and sweat the onion and garlic until the onion is translucent and softened.
Add the chopped tomato and tomato puree and simmer for a few minutes.
Add the rice, vegetable stock, chilli and herbs, season with salt and pepper stir thoroughly and simmer gently for about 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes the rice should have absorbed most of the stock, but it should still be a fairly wet mixture.
Spoon the rice mixture into the peppers and replace the ‘lids’.
Season with salt and pepper.
Pour 100ml of just boiled water into the roasting tin and cover with kitchen foil.
Put in a preheated over, 180C for an hour.
After an hour, remove the foil and put back in the oven for a further 30 minutes
Serve hot, room temperature or cold with some lemon juice drizzled over the top.

Serves 2 for lunch

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Recipe: Chilli Tofu

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Chilli Tofu

This is based on the recipe of Chilli Panner from
Meera Sodha’s Made in India: Cooked in Britain book. The recipe is delicious but it had one great failing as far as I’m concerned – there wasn’t enough of it. Meera’s dish is a snack, I wanted something to use as part of a main course, so I have added more tomatoes to carry the wonderful flavour on for a little longer.

You need to try this recipe. It has bags of flavour and cooks in less than 20 minutes (apart from pressing the tofu). And, considering the amount of garlic in it, it might be my new favourite way of dealing with a snuffly cold!

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Ingredients
400g tofu, drained & pressed, cut into 2cm cubes
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1.5 tsp cumin powder
1 green chilli, finely sliced
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 400g tin chopped tomatoes
Lemon wedges, to serve

Heat a little oil in a large saucepan and add the tofu. Fry the tofu until lightly browned on all sides. You may need to do this in a couple of batches.
Add all the tofu back into the pan and stir in the garlic, cumin and chilli.
Saute on a low heat for a couple of minutes, then add the tomato puree and chopped tomatoes.
Simmer for 5 minutes until the sauce has reduced a little.
Season with salt & pepper.
Serve with lemon wedges to squeeze over.

Serves 4

Recipe: Roasted Vegetable Pasta Sauce

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This is a lovely, warm, sweet pasta sauce. It’s fine on its own or it could be used as a base for other ingredients, garlic, chilli, balsamic vinegar, olives or all four!

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Ingredients
2 red peppers
4 tomatoes, halved
1 onion, quartered
1 large carrot, cut into chunks
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tbsp fresh basil, chopped

Pre-heat the oven to 200C.
Arrange the peppers, tomatoes, onion and carrots on a lightly oiled roasting tin.
Place in the oven for 30-45 minutes or until the carrots are soft and everything is nicely browned around the edges.
Put the vegetables in a blender and blend to a smooth paste.
Season with salt and pepper.

This sauce needs only reheating while the pasta cooks and a sprinkling of basil as it is served.

Serves 4

Recipe: Kisir with Tofu

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I found this bulgar wheat salad in a Slimming World Recipe book. Although it was very tasty and satisfying I didn’t hold out much hope for its authenticity. I did some investigating and found that it’s pretty much what you would expect from a traditional kisir. Naturally that’s not enough for me so I added some tofu to it to up the protein content.

Give this one a go. It’s easy to prepare and makes a great mid-week supper meal.

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Ingredients
1 onion, chopped
100g tofu, drained and cut into small cubes
1 tbsp tomato puree
2 tomatoes, finally chopped
100ml vegetable stock, boiling
150g bulgar wheat
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 spring onions, chopped
2 bottled roasted red peppers, chopped
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tsp ground cumin
60g pomegranate seeds
1 tbsp mint leaves, finely chopped

Add a little oil to a small frying pan and put in the onions and tofu. Fry gently until the onions are softened.
Add the tomato puree and stir for a couple of minutes.
Add the tomatoes, reduce the heat and let simmer gently for 5 minutes.
Add the stock and the bulgar wheat.
Turn the heat up until the stock is boiling.
Add the lemon juice, spring onions, red peppers, chilli powder, garlic and cumin.
Remove from the heat, stir well, cover and leave to stand for 15-20 minutes.
Once the bulgar wheat has absorbed the stock and plumped up, stir well.
Season with salt and pepper.
Scatter over the pomegranate seeds and mint.
Serve warm or at room temperature.

Serves 2

Recipe: Courgette and tomato tian

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This used to be one of my mainstay recipes – something hearty enough to have as a main course with mashed potato or good bread, or as a vegetable side dish if you’re feeding the 5,000.

I have a feeling the original recipe comes from St Delia, but it’s based on a French tian. So it was appropriate dish to make for friends on a holiday in France. It was dressed up with pig products for the meat eaters, and also served with a very good cheese bread. And it’s easy enough to make it vegan by leaving out all the cheese.

Serves four
Two large courgettes
Three or four large tomatoes
Cheddar cheese
Large onion
A couple of cloves of garlic
Veggie Parmesan for topping
Olive oil
Sea salt, black pepper, mixed herbs

Chop the onion and garlic and soften in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Spread in the base of a large oven-proof dish.

Slice courgettes thinly and fry for a couple of minutes in the garlicky oil to soften them slightly.

Slice the tomatoes and cheese thinly.

Arrange alternate upright rows of courgette, tomatoes and cheese so it looks kind of like roofing tiles. Season with salt, black pepper and mixed herbs. Sprinkle over the veggie Parmesan.

Cook in a medium oven for about 15 or 20 minutes until the tomatoes and courgettes have softened, the layers of cheese have melted and the veggie Parmesan layer has gone slightly crispy.

Greek Salad with Marinated Tofu

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Greek salad is one of my favourite light dishes. It’s simplicity, of course, is dependent on great quality ingredients and one of the benefits of making it yourself is that you can make sure they are up to standard. Alongside the vegetable and olives, is the feta cheese, it’s salty creaminess offset the sweetness of the tomatoes and the crunch of the cucumber. Of course, if you’re keeping away from dairy you have to find a substitute.

I thought of tofu, marinaded and then griddled to take the place of the feta and it has worked well beyond my expectations. It is, I think, down to the amount of salt I use in the marinade. 1/2 tsp is a lot, but most of it stays in the marinade and feta is salty. As ever with marinades, the more time you can leave your ingredients in them, the better. For this dish I’d leave it at least a couple of hours, so if you’re making it for lunch, I’d start things straight after breakfast.

Don’t try and pretty this salad up. It should be made by Greek grandmothers, cutting the vegetables straight into the dish without benefit of chopping boards, so keep things chunky.

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Ingredients

For the tofu and marinade
200g tofu, drained and pressed
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp salt

For the salad
1/2 onion, sliced
wine vinegar
2 medium tomatoes
1/2 cucumber
1/2 onion, sliced
wine vinegar
12 black olives
olive oil
dried oregano

Slice the tofu in half, widthways and put in a sealable plastic bag.
Mix the marinade ingredients together and pour over the tofu in the bag.
Seal or tie the bag and leave in a cool place to marinade for a couple of hours.
About half an hour before you want to prepare the salad, put the onion slices in a small bowl and pour over a splash of vinegar, set aside. This will soften the flavour of the raw onion.
When you’re ready to prepare the salad, put a griddle or frying pan on high heat and leave to get hot.
Chop the tomatoes and cucumber into bite-sized chunks.
Put in a serving bowl and scatter over the olives and drained onion slices.
When the griddle is hot, take the tofu out of the marinade and put on the griddle to sear.
Turn the heat down to medium and cook for five minutes or so, turning the tofu over so that it colours on both sides.
When cooked, remove from the pan and cut into chunks.
Scatter the tofu on the salad.
Season with salt and black pepper.
Drizzle over some olive oil and sprinkle a pinch of dried oregano.

Serves 2 as a light lunch with some crusty bread to mop up the juices

Recipe: Tofu Chasseur

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if you were on the Bakerloo Line one morning a few weeks ago and noticed a woman staring at you, if that woman was me, you needn’t have worried. I wasn’t staring at anyone. I was picturing a vision in my head and that vision was: Tofu Chasseur. I don’t know where the inspiration came from, but it arrived on the Bakerloo Line.

I’m not a huge fan of classic French cooking. A lot of it seems to consist of taking ordinary ingredients and adding butter and/or cream until they taste good. Chasseur sauce is the exception. There is no cream involved and you can swap out the butter for oil to make it vegan. The sauce is full-flavoured and great for a dinner party as you can make it in advance and reheat and the flavour will probably only improve.

I like this way of cooking tofu as well. I don’t often cook the kind of food that needs a direct replacement for a slab of meat, but this works very well. The garlic oil adds flavour and the frying means that you actually have something to cut into and its quite satisfying.

I’ll be making this again. And I’ll be looking for other French sauces I can adapt.

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Ingredients
400g firm tofu
6 closed cup or chestnut mushrooms, sliced
2 tbsp shallots, finely chopped
1/2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
250ml white wine
75ml brandy
250ml vegetable stock
4 tbsp chopped tomatoes (from tin)
1 tbsp mushroom ketchup
garlic infused olive oil
1/2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped

Half an hour before you’re ready to start cooking, wrap the tofu in kitchen towels and press under weights to remove the excess moisture.
Heat some oil in a medium saucepan and add the mushrooms and shallots.
Sweat for about five minutes until the mushrooms are browned slightly and the shallots are tender.
Add the thyme, white wine and brandy.
Simmer until reduced by a half to two thirds.
Add the stock, tomatoes, mushroom ketchup and simmer for 10-15 minutes until reduced by half.
Remove from the heat.
Cover the bottom of a large frying pan with the garlic olive oil and put on a medium heat.
Unwrap the tofu and slice into 4 ‘steaks’.
When the oil is at temperature put the tofu steaks in the pan.
Fry until the bottom sides are golden brown.
Turn the tofu steaks over and repeat on the other side.
When cooked, drain any excess oil from the frying pan and pour the sauce over the tofu steaks.
Let it simmer and reduce for a minute or two.
Serve with the remaining chopped thyme sprinkled over.

Serves 4 with vegetables.