I don't know why it has taken me so long to put in a vegetarian section. I make lots of meals without meat, I suppose it's the title "vegetarian" that puts me off as it sounds a bit faddy. There have been periods in my life when I didn't meat though. In one such period, I related this to our neighbour Vera, she responded "Oh that wouldn't do for me, I like to have something that has drawn breath".
Another reason I havn't done this before is that generally, I tend to put together what I happen to have to hand or what I can find cheap in the market or in profusion at the allotment. So like much of the rest of the cooking to be found here, recipes per se are in short supply.
Having said that, there are vegetarian recipes here and I have linked to some of them below:
Perhaps the lack of vegetarian dishes comes from my inability to find names for them. This one appears in several different guises and with different accompaniments and ingredients and a title for it escapes me. Use the base, or just simply cooked lentils, instead of minced meat in mousakka or lasagne.
You can either choose and cook a set of pulses yourself or use a very handy pre-cooked mixture of grains from Merchant Gourmet which makes for a very quick and simple preparation. [I get these from the The co-operative, but other retailers have them as well.]
Enough for two if you use the mixed grain [250g packet] or for four if you use two aubergines and the dried pulses.
EITHER use a packet of mixed grains from Merchant Gourmet [250g] OR choose three grains from the following list:
I have to admit that I have a very small glass that just holds 80g that I use as a measure, its also quite useful for the cook's wine once its been used as a measure.
I like to serve a fresh vegetable of some sort on top of a bed of the pulses, favourites are: grilled aubergines, asparagus or courgette.
so take your pick from:
Choose three pulses and boil them up for about 20 minutes with three times their volume of water. Meanwhile, fry the spice seeds and then add the onion, garlic and mushrooms. Strain the pulses, add to the spices and onions, stir in a can of chopped tomatoes along with the tamarind concentrate. [Tamarind is appearing in a lot of my recipes at the moment as I bought a jar of it some time ago (at a reduced price) as it was approaching its sell by date. I won't disclose its official sell by date but note that it is within the same decade (just) as today, 2013]. A further bonus is that it is manufactured by Fudco in Willesdon, providing canalside fragrence for Cribbit on her Paddington Arm peregrinations near Alperton.
I like to top off the pulses with grilled aubergine slices. I have tried various ways of doing these but what works best for me is to cut them into 15mm slices, brush their tops with olive oil and then char under a hot grill for about 10 minutes. Turn them, brush the other side with olive oil and repeat under the grill. The second side does quicker than the first so keep an eye on them. The slices should be charred on the outside and fluffy on the inside.
The idea for this recipe came from receiving a can of sweet corn in the Oakley Village , Relief of the Poor, Christmas basket.
Top and tail the okra and chop into 2cm lengths.
Sweat the onions, garlic, pepper and coriander in the olive oil until the onions are translucent then add the okra pieces, the chopped tomatoes, the sliced olives, sugar, lemon juice and zest.
Simmer for about 30 minutes until the oil and tomatoes 'invert'.
Shortly before serving, stir in the sweet corn and continue simmering until it is heated through and then add the basil/parsley as a garnish before serving.
When I first made this I insisted on calling it a nut loaf, that most stereotypical of vegetarian dishes. This recipe hardly has any nuts in it, and they can be dispensed with entirely if desired, hence veggie loaf and this is version one. The main ingedient is oatmeal though I have been known to substitute muesli for this item.
Boil the split peas or lentils until they are al dente. If using peas, reserve the water they were cooked in.
Sweat the onion, garlic, pepper and coriander in the butter until the onions are translucent. Add the rest of the ingredients with sufficient of the pea water, to make a firm but sloppy mix. [use plain water if using lentils]
When cooked, allow to cool and then turn out onto a serving plate. Carve into 3cm wide slices.
Serve with mashed potatoes, vegetarian gravy and vegetables.
Also suitable for meat eaters.
Saute the garlic, pepper onions and mushrooms [if using] in the olive oil until the onions are well browned.
Mix the cornflour with some cold water to make a runny paste.
Pour 300ml of vegetable stock onto the fried onions,add a squirt of soy sauce [this gives flavour and colour] and the cornflour paste. I'm not avers to adding a bit of red wine at this stage either.
Bring to the boil, stirring the while until the mixture has thickened, adjust its consistency by adding extra stock or plain water.
Check the seasoning before serving.
We have had a lot of courgettes on the allotment this year . This came about as last year they were in short supply due to the poor weather and my over confidence in their fecundity. This year I was determined to do better and put in more seeds and of course, more of them came to maturity. So I put in more plants even after giving away a whole bunch to the gardening club plant sale. I have especially liked the round yellow ones I grew for the first time this year. Previously, I have grown round green ones which I have found to be watery, but these have been very good. They look like a cartoon bomb, complete with green fuse.
I had also made a late sowing of broad beans so these came together as a nice stuffing for the courgettes I thought. When I told Rosemary what the stuffing was she remarked, 'What! Vegetables stuffed with vegetables' I think that basil goes rather well with broad beans so that is what is used here.
Cut round the stems of the courgettes and hollow out their interiors. Wipe all over, inside and out, with olive oil.
Gently fry the chopped onions, garlic and pepper corns in some olive oil. When the onions are translucent, add the chopped tomatoes, basil and the broad beans. Simmer and reduce.