Tag Archives: coriander

Mexican Squash and Red Bean Chilli with lemon, coriander and sour cream

10 Mar

This is an easy vegetarian version of a Mexican chilli that is really versatile. This recipe makes a lot for two people so I always have leftovers. You can serve it on its own in a bowl with sour cream, grated cheese and fresh coriander on top (above). Or use it as a stuffing for tacos, just put some soft tortillas in the oven or under the grill to warm, pile the squash and bean chilli on one side of the tortilla, use the same toppings and fold it in half.

Or put the chilli in an ovenproof gratin dish top with nachos, and grated cheese and bake in a moderate oven for about 20 minutes until it is warmed through and the cheese is bubbling. Top with guacamole and sour cream. Or use it as a stuffing for peppers. Just remove the top, seeds and membrane from a bell pepper and spoon in the chilli filling right up to the top. Top with grated cheese, oregano and drizzle with olive oil. Bake for about 25 minutes. Or halve a long green pepper lengthways, take out the seeds etc and pile the chilli in both halves like I did with this rice dish.

My favourite is just to serve it in a bowl with a spoon and a wedge of lemon or lime in front of the TV. This is Friday night comfort food at it’s best…

Butternut Squash & Red Bean Chilli Recipe

serves 4, vegetarian, vegan without the toppings

  • 1/2 butternut squash, about 750 gr, peeled if you like and cut into 1/2 inch chunks
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 or 2 chillis, deseeded and chopped
  • 1/4 tsp chilli powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp salt & 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes 400 gr
  • 200-400 gr cooked kidney/red beans, rinsed
  • about 500 ml veg stock
  • a big handful of coriander leaves and stalks, chopped plus leaves for garnish
  • 1 lemon or lime
  • sour cream
  • grated cheese (I used Manchego)

Heat the oil in a large pot over a medium heat, add in the onions & chillis and cook for few minutes until the onions have softened and are translucent. Add in the garlic and cook for another minute, being careful not to burn the garlic. Stir in the red & green peppers, chilli powder, cayenne, cumin, oregano, coriander stalks, salt & pepper. Next add in the tomatoes, the squash cubes and the veg stock, it should just cover the squash. Bring to the boil then lower the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.

Add in the rinsed beans, stir and cook for another 15 – 20 minutes until your squash is tender. Check for seasoning, add more salt if necessary and stir in the chopped coriander leaves. When ready to serve squeeze over some fresh lemon or lime juice and serve in warmed bowls topped with grated cheese, sour cream, and extra coriander leaves.

Sit back, relax and enjoy………..

Persian Spiced Lentil and Herb Soup with spinach and noodles

4 Feb

I love this weather we’re having here at the moment. It’s cold but sunny. Clear blue skies and you can see the snow on the mountains in the distance. It’s great for walking because you don’t get too hot and the views are spectacular…

You’ve got the snow on the Sierra de las Nieves on one side and the view down to the sea on the other…….

 And a lot of fragrant pines in between…

When I get back from walking I want something hearty, healthy and delicious for lunch. I have been meaning to try this soup for a while, it has all my favourite things in one dish. Lentils, Middle Eastern spices and loads of fresh herbs and greens. I’ve reworked a Persian recipe I found for Aashe Reshteh. Aashe (soup) Reshteh (noodle) is made with Sabzi (fresh greens) which can include parsley, coriander, mint, spinach, spring onions, dill and whatever else green you have. I used lentils and kidney beans but you could use chickpeas, white beans or whatever you have. The original recipe I found cooked this for 3-4 hours, I have no idea why it was ready as soon as the pasta was cooked. It took about half an hour in total and the greens are still fresh and delicious…

Persian Lentil & Herb Soup with Spinach & Noodles

serves 4 vegetarian

  • 175 gr (1 cup) brown lentils (uncooked)
  • 1-1 1/2 litres veg stock 
  • 200 gr cooked kidney beans, rinsed & drained
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 leek, rinsed & sliced
  •  2 stalks celery & leaves chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped or 1 garlic shoot
  • 1/2 head cabbage, cored & shredded
  • a big pinch of dried chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp sumac (optional)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp  Ras al Hanout (a Middle eastern spice mix)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp dried mint
  • a bag of spinach (300 gr) I used frozen chopped spinach which comes in portions I used about 6 squares.
  • a big handful of parsley, chopped
  • a big handful coriander chopped
  • 2 or 3 spring onions, chopped
  • salt & black pepper
  • 100 gr dried noodles (I used wholemeal spaghetti broken but you can use fine vermicelli, like you would for a minestrone)
  • 4 tsp greek yoghurt or sour cream

In a small pan cook the lentils in 600 ml (3 cups) liquid (I used 400 veg stock 200 water). Bring to the boil and then simmer for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile heat some olive oil in a big pot over a medium heat. Cook the onions, leeks & celery for about 8 minutes until they start to soften then add the garlic and cook for another minute. If it gets dry at any time add a splash of veg stock. Add in the spices and dried herbs then pour in the lentils and their cooking liquid. It doesn’t matter if the lentils aren’t cooked they will carry on cooking in the soup. Add in about a litre of stock, the cabbage, frozen spinach(if you are using fresh leave it till later) and the cooked beans. Bring to the boil add in the broken pasta/ noodles, lower the heat and simmer until the pasta is cooked (about 10 -15 minutes). About 5 minutes before you want to serve the soup add in the fresh spinach & half of the fresh herbs and spring onions.

Ladle the hot soup into warmed bowls and garnish with a dollop of Greek yoghurt/sour cream and the rest of the chopped fresh herbs and spring onions…..

I served this delicious soup with some Halloumi Cheese & Garlic Pull- Apart Bread (which tastes as amazing as it sounds) and I will be posting the recipe tomorrow……… Hasta Manana!!

 

    

Mountains of Greens Miso Soup

9 Jan

While walking the dog today it hit me how many greens there are growing here at the moment. There are cabbages…

Lettuces…

Acelgas (Chard)……

and spring onions…

All growing in very neat & tidy rows…

These are the greens I had at home..

I was inspired by a Japanese dish called Nanakusa-Shiru I found on Bittersweet which promises wealth, luck and a healthy clean start to the year. The ingredients are greens, herbs, brown rice & miso paste. Healthy, delicious, nutritious and warming. Proper feel good food that is good for you. I just used everything green that I had in my fridge…

Mountains of Greens Miso Soup

serves 4 – 6 vegan

  • 150 gr uncooked brown rice
  • 1/2 head cabbage, finely sliced
  • 1 leek, cut in half lengthways, rinsed & sliced
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped & leaves
  • 4 garlic chives/ajillos (look like scallions see photo above) sliced, or 2 cloves garlic. minced
  • 1 spanish spring onion (or 4 scallions) chopped
  • 1/2 bag spinach about 150gr
  • 1 little gem /lettuce heart, sliced
  • a thumbsize piece of ginger peeled & grated about 1tbsp
  • a handful of fresh coriander, chopped. Stalks chopped separately
  • 100 gr red miso paste
  • 1 litre veg stock
  • 1/2 litre water (maybe more)
  • a few drops sesame oil
  • 1 or 2 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine (optional)
  • salt
  • sesame seeds
  • dried chilli flakes
  • coriander leaves

Cook the brown rice according to the instructions on the pack, rinse well in cold water and set aside. Meanwhile, in a large soup pot over a medium heat, heat some oil then add the leeks, celery, garlic chives, spring onions, ginger, coriander stalks & a good pinch of salt. Cook for 2 or 3 minutes until softened & fragrant then add the sliced cabbage. Pour in the veg stock and water,(you may want to add more water) bring to the boil then reduce the heat & simmer for about 15 minutes.

In a small bowl mix the miso paste with a couple of spoonfuls of the hot stock and mix well to loosen it. Pour the miso into the soup pot and stir. Add in the cooked rice, the rest of the greens and the chopped coriander. Cook for a couple of minutes then season with a few drops of sesame oil and the Shaoxing rice wine. Taste and add some salt if necessary. Serve in warmed bowls garnished with coriander leaves, sesame seeds and a small pinch of chilli flakes.

This recipe can be adapted to use whatever greens you have.  Most greens can go in right at the end as they just need to wilt in the hot broth. Cabbage needs a little longer. 

This is one of those dishes that is really good for you and it also tastes fantastic, so you don’t feel like you are being deprived. In fact you can feel safe in the knowledge that you are treating your body as a temple for a change and really enjoying it…!

Caribbean Vegetable Patties with Mango and Coriander Yoghurt Chutney

13 Dec

These little pasties/patties were part of a Caribbean meal I made for friends on Friday night. They remind me of the vegetable pasties they sell in the Caribbean shops in Notting Hill and Portobello Road, the ones in the clear plastic packets. I used to live on them when I was working around there, well working & shopping, actually mostly shopping!! I do miss London occasionally, the multicultural buzz and the food, obviously. The fantastic choice of vegetarian food from all over the world. You could eat from around the world just in one street. Anyway, I suppose that living here, in Spain, makes me more creative. It means I continue to learn about food by cooking recipes from around the world rather than going out to eat, cheaper too…!

Caribbean Vegetable Patties

adapted from an www.101cookbooks.com recipe

makes about 15 mini patties, Vegetarian

  • 1 pack (375gr) frozen puff pastry, defrosted in the fridge overnight. If you want to make your own authentic pastry see recipe here
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil (I used vegetable oil)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp dried chilli flakes (I used 1 scotch bonnet fresh chilli, chopped)
  • salt & white pepper
  •  2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • the juice of 1 mandarin & 1/2 a lime
  • about 75 ml of veg stock
  • tbsp grated coconut
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 1 sweet potato, scrubbed & diced
  • a handful of frozen peas
  • a handful of frozen sweet corn
  • 1/4 cabbage finely shredded
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • the other 1/2 lime juice
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • cumin seeds

Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium-low heat, add the onion, spices & salt and cook for about 5 minutes until the onions are soft and caramelized slightly. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes more then stir in the juices, veg stock, carrots, sweet potatoes & coconut. Reduce the heat slightly, cover with a lid and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 10- 15 minutes. Stir in the peas, sweetcorn, cabbage, herbs and the rest of the lime juice and cook for 3 minutes more (you don’t want any liquid). Taste & season again with salt & white pepper and leave to cool for at least an hour (I left mine in the fridge over night)

When your filling has cooled preheat the oven to 210 degrees. Flour your work surface and rolling-pin and roll out the pastry, if necessary, to about 2 or 3 mm thick.  Cut out circles of pastry about 12cm (4 1/2 inches) in diameter (I cut around a small bowl). You will have to re roll the off cuts of pastry to get about 12 – 15 circles. Put a heaped tbsp of the filling in the middle of one half of the circle, being careful to leave the edges clear. Get yourself a cup of water, wet you fingers and wet the edges of the pastry. Fold the other half over the filling, press together with your fingers to seal and then crimp around the edges with a fork.

Place the patties on a baking tray lined with baking paper, brush the tops with beaten egg, sprinkle with few cumin seeds and bake until golden brown (about 25 minutes) turning half way through.

These patties are great served hot or cold so they would be perfect for a buffet table or as party food nibbles. Serve them with a chilli sauce or my easy mango & coriander yoghurt chutney. You may have some of the filling leftover, I did, so I made an individual Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie by topping it with mashed potato, grated cheese & breadcrumbs and baking for about 3o minutes. Really tasty Caribbean comfort food!!

Mango & Coriander Yoghurt Chutney

  • 2 pots greek yoghurt about 250 ml
  • about 3 tbsp mango chutney, if you want to make your own see my recipe here
  • a handful of fresh coriander, chopped
  • a good squeeze of lime juice

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl, taste and adjust as required. You may want more sweetness from the chutney or more lime juice, it’s up to you.

I served these as a starter as well as a Caribbean Lentil Soup (I will blog this tomorrow) and my Caribbean Squash & Plantain Curry with Roti Bread see recipe here.

Thai Pumpkin and Chilli Noodle Soup

1 Nov

This was my ideal Halloween dinner last night. Pumpkin based (of course), spicy, delicious & warming. Plus it was really easy to make which was important as I had to watch Strictly & The X Factor so I didn’t want to cook anything which meant I had to leave the sofa for long…

Thai Pumpkin & Chilli Noodle Soup

Serves 3 or 4 Vegetarian

  • 1/2 medium pumpkin about 500 gr cut into 1 or 2 inch chunks (you can peel it if you can be bothered, I didn’t)
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 or 2 tbsp thai yellow curry paste (you can use red if it is what you have)
  • 1 tbsp ginger paste
  •  1 tsp lemongrass paste (or a lemongrass stalk bruised)
  • 2 or 3 lime leaves thinly sliced (or lime zest from 1/2 lime)
  • 1 red chilli finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 litre veg stock
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  •  a handful of fresh coriander chopped (plus leaves for garnish)
  • lime wedges to squeeze over
  • salt or fish sauce
  • 150 gr noodles cooked according to packet instructions (rice noodles or whatever you have)

Fry the onion in a large pan over a medium high heat for a few minutes until translucent then add the garlic, chilli and the rest of the spices & pastes up to and including turmeric. Stir to combine for a minute then add the veg stock, soy sauce, tumble in the pumpkin chunks and bring to he boil. Season with salt (or fish sauce) put the lid on, turn the heat to medium low and cook for about 20 minutes(or maybe longer) until the pumpkin is really tender.

Meanwhile cook the noodles according to the packet instructions, drain, rinse under cold water and cover with a lid. When the pumpkin is really soft turn off the heat and put your stick blender in the saucepan and carefully blend until smooth- ish. (you don’t want to get hot orange soup all over your kitchen!). Stir in the chopped coriander and taste for seasoning. Ladle the soup into warmed bowls then place a pile of the cooked warm noodles in the centre garnish with coriander leaves & lime wedges to squeeze over.

We also had it for lunch today(above) without the noodles just with some crusty bread and it was just what we needed after a long walk in the mountains. I might have to go for a lie down now…. Siesta calling!

We found an old ruin so The Washer Up decided to collect some wood for the fire….

Honey Spiced Sticky Aubergines with coriander & lemon yoghurt

30 Oct

I know I said I was going to make a Wild Mushroom & Goat’s Cheese Lasagne. Well I tried but my wholemeal pasta turned out to be a bit of a disaster, too hot in the kitchen I think, it all stuck together. So I will keep trying but in the meantime I don’t have any more mushrooms.

Beehives

Today, while out walking, we got a closer look at the beehives, so it got me thinking about honey recipes. One of my favourite Spanish recipes is Berenjenas con Miel which is thinly sliced aubergines in a light batter served drizzled with Miel de Cana. Miel de Cana is a local honey made from cane sugar and the flavour is a mixture of maple syrup, treacle & honey. Apparently they are stopping making it because all the sugar cane in Malaga has been cut down to make way for the new airport terminal and surrounding buildings. This is a real shame because it’s a unique speciality to the area, it tastes fantastic & I love the label. If you see any buy it while you still can….

Berenjenas con miel has been a lifesaver on a number of occasions here in Spain as the vegetarian options available are basically non-existent, well they were when we moved here 10 years ago, it’s getting better now, slowly. I wanted to use the miel de cana and aubergine but spice it up a little as I like to do so I got some inspiration from The Traveler’s Lunchbox an amazing food blog where I have adapted a recipe for eggplant stewed with honey and spices. It really is so good you have to try it even if you hate aubergines, it delicious…

Honey Spiced Aubergines Recipe

serves 2 as part of a mezze or as a side dish

  • 1 aubergine sliced into about 1cm thick rounds
  • salt
  • olive oil
  •  2 1/2 tbsp clear honey (or miel de cana)
  • the juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
  •  1 tbsp minced ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp harissa paste*
  • a handful of chopped coriander

* Harissa paste is a hot spice paste from Morocco use cayenne pepper if you don’t have any.

Lay the aubergine slices on a board or clean tea towel, sprinkle with salt, leave them for 15 – 20 minutes for the water to come out then wipe dry with kitchen roll.

Heat a large frying pan or grill pan (the stripes would be nice) to a medium high heat, brush the aubergines with olive oil on both sides and cook until browned on both sides (You will probably need to do it in two batches). Then set aside.

Combine the honey and lemon in a bowl with about 4 tbsp hot water from the kettle and stir to dissolve the honey. Heat some olive oil in the frying pan over a medium heat, add the ginger & garlic and fry for about 30 seconds (don’t let it burn). Ad the cumin & harissa paste (or cayenne) and fry for another 30 seconds then stir in the honey & lemon water and bring to a boil. Put the aubergines back in to the pan with the sauce and cook on a medium heat for about 10 minutes turning occasionally to coat in the sauce.

Cook until the sauce has reduced to a thick glaze and the aubergines are really soft. You can add more water if the sauce dries up before the aubergines are cooked. Leave to cool and serve at room temperature sprinkled with fresh coriander. Mix some greek yoghurt with lemon juice, fresh coriander & mint, salt & cumin seeds to serve with them.  You can also serve them as part of a mezze with spiced yoghurt cheese (Labneh see recipe September) or as a delicious starter or even as an accompaniment to a Moroccan flavoured roast lamb.

Baked Feta with Mango Salsa Recipe

6 Oct

Having been inspired by my Dad’s comment on my “70’s” Stuffed Tomatoes recipe about bringing back the cheese & pineapple on a foil hedgehog, I have called his bluff & brought it up to date! 

We have a mountain of our homegrown scotch bonnet chilli peppers in the freezer & I had been thinking about doing a Caribbean inspired dish using them & the mango I have in my fridge. I was watching a programme called Caribbean Food made Easy (I think) where they cooked fish with Caribbean spices in foil on the barbecue & served it with a mango salsa. Obviously I don’t eat fish so I had to come up with replacement for it which is when I remembered the Foil Baked Feta recipe in Vicky Bhoghal’s book Flavour which is delicious. It was all starting to come together… 

Feta Ready for the Oven

 

Baked Feta & Mango Salsa Recipe 

Serves 2 Vegetarian 

For the Feta: 

  • 200gr block Greek Feta
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 clove garlic chopped
  • 1  small scotch bonnet chilli (deseeded & chopped) you can use any fresh chilli or dried 1/2 tsp
  •  a sprig of thyme leaves
  • some coriander leaves
  • 1/2 tomato chopped
  • 1/2 tsp tomato paste
  • 1/4 red onion finely sliced
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • Some crusty bread  for mopping up the juices
  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees
  2. Tear off a large piece of foil, put the feta in the middle and add the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Make a little pouch by folding up the foil and bake for 10 mins

Meanwhile make the Mango Salsa: 

  • 1 mango chopped
  • the other half of the tomato
  • the other half of the garlic clove
  • 1/4 red onion chopped
  • the juice of 1/2 a lime
  • 1 chilli deseeded & chopped(you can’t use a scotch bonnet as the heat only comes out when they are cooked)
  •  a handful of chopped coriander
  • a handful of chopped fresh mint
  • salt & black pepper
  1. Mix everything together in a bowl, taste for seasoning, and place in  a serving dish or bowl.

Mango Salsa

 

Baked Feta & Mango Salsa

 

Enjoy this straight away and imagine yourself on a Caribbean/Greek island! 

Obviously you can keep it real with Greek flavours in the pouch, oregano, parsley, chopped olives, whatever you fancy, just make it gorgeous…

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