Cashew nut and veggie curry

 

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A quick and delicious way to load up on veggies

 

 

Cashews are a great protein choice because they contain the fat oleic acid – the same heart-healthy monounsaturated fat found in olive oil. Plus, they’re a good source of iron and contain copper needed for healthy blood. They also contain magnesium which many of us seem to be short on.

Ingredients

 

For the curry paste

  • 10 long red chilies roughly sliced
  • 1 red onion, cut into quarters
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 4 cm piece of fresh ginger
  • Juice and zest of 2 limes
  • 1 stalk of lemongrass stalk, bruised and sliced
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 60ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 60ml soy sauce
  • Salt to taste

For the cashew curry

  • 2 x 400ml cans coconut cream
  • 4 zucchini cubed
  • 1 medium sized eggplant, cut into  cubes
  • 250g snow peas, sliced
  • Handful of salted cashews

Torn coriander leaves  and basmati or brown rice to serve

Method

To make the curry paste, blend all the ingredients in food process – blitz until smooth.

Heat the curry paste in a large heavy bottomed pan for around five minutes.

Add the eggplant and zucchini and stir to coat.

Pour in the coconut milk, cover and simmer for around 20 minutes or until the veggies are tender.

Add the snow peas and warm through. Taste and add salt if needed.

Serve with basmati or brown rice.

 

 

 

Pukka leek and mushroom pies

 

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Hands up who loves a pie!

Ingredients

 

For the filling

75g margarine, plus extra to grease

1 medium leek, halved lengthwise and finely sliced

2 carrots, chopped

One cup of fresh or frozen corn

250g mushrooms, chopped2 ½ tsp Dijon mustard

2-4 fresh thyme sprigs, leaves picked off (stems discarded)

40g plain flour

250 ml (8fl oz) vegetable stock

For the pastry

175g plain flour, plus extra to dust 125g margarine

Pinch of salt

Cold water

Makes four pies

 

Method

Start by making the pastry. Place the flour into a food processor and add the margarine plus a pinch of salt. Pulse until well combined.

Pour in 2 tbsp water and whiz until the mixture begins to clump together. Shape into a ball and wrap in cling film; chill for 30min or more.

 

To make the filling, melt about a third of the margarine in a large frying pan and sauté the leek and carrots for about five minutes. Add the mushrooms and corn – cook until any water released by the mushrooms has evaporated (about 8-10 minutes). Add the corn, thyme leaves and mustard into the mixture and stir to mix. Pour the veggie mixture into a bowl and set aside.

Replace the frying pan to the heat and melt the remaining marge and add the four. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the flour and continue cooking and stirring for 30 seconds. Take the pan off the heat and gradually add the stock, stirring well to disperse any lumps (you may need to use a whisk). Return the pan to the heat and cook, stirring, until thickened. Return in the vegetable mixture to the pan, check the seasoning and set aside to cool completely.

Preheat oven to 190°/ gas mark 5. Thoroughly grease 4 x 200ml (7fl oz) pie tins with margarine.

Roll out the pastry between two sheets of cling film until its 3mm thick and use it line the pie dishes but leave around a 1cm overhang over the top edge. Spoon in the cooled filling, then fold the overhanging pastry over the vegetable mix.

Roll out the remaining pastry as before and cut out around lids to match the pie cases. Lay on top of the filling and press edges lightly to seal. Cut a small cross in the centre to allow steam to escape and brush the lids with soymilk.

Place the pies onto a baking tray to catch any drips and cook for around 30 minutes or until golden. Cool for about ten minutes before serving,

Lemon scented peach tart

Deliciously moreish, this tasty peach tart is easy, vegan and has double the tang – from peaches and lemon zest.

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Ingredients

75g castor sugar

40g margarine

300g fresh peaches, halved and stoned (or try apricots or plums)

Juice and zest of one lemon

375g puff pastry

 

Method

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6.

Place the sugar in an ovenproof frying pan around 20cm and warm over medium heat until the sugar melts and then gets caramelised and light brown in colour. Swirl the sugar around the pan every now and then and don’t let it get too brown or burn.

Remove from heat and add the margarine stirring for a couple of minutes until the mixture turns to caramel and thickens a bit (it might separate at first but stir well and the caramel should come together). When it does, arrange the peaches, skin side down and allow to cool for 10 minutes or so before pouring over the lemon juice and zest.

 

Roll out the pastry or unfold if ready rolled to and use a plate to cut a circular shape – a dinner plate should do it.

 

Place the pastry on top of the fruit and use a fork to prick the surface so that steam can escape. Place the tart into the over and bake for 30 minutes or until the pastry is golden.

 

Allow a little time to cool and settle – around 10 minutes. Then, use a knife to loosen the tart from the pan.

 

Turn onto a dish and serve to your favourite people!

Andalucía style gazpacho

Both delicious and nutritious, this Andalucía style gazpacho is a great way to start a summer barbecue or family get together.

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Ingredients

  • 2 litres
 water
  • 250ml
 white vinegar
  • 125 ml peppery extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 loaf of Italian style pane di casa loaf, crusts removed, roughly cut
  • 4
 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 red 
onion, chopped
  • 6 
ripe tomatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1
 red capsicum, seeded and roughly chopped
  • 1
 green capsicum, seeded, roughly chopped
  • 1 
large cucumber, roughly chopped
  • 3 tbsp 
salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Pinch of chilli powder
  • Extra virgin oil for finishing

Method

In a large bowl, mix the water, vinegar and olive oil. Add the bread (leaving two slices for the croutons), garlic and vegetables (reserve a few chopped veggies for the garnish). Add the salt, pepper and chilli before stirring to mix. Cover with cling film and leave to cool in the fridge so that all the flavours have time to suffuse (about an hour).

Spoon into a blender until smooth and strain in a sieve if you need to. Pour into glasses or soup bowls.

Add chopped veggies and croutons and finish with a drizzle of olive oil. Yum!

Make ahead no nasties Punjabi masala for curry in a hurry

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Want a quick and tasty meal without spending hours grinding the garlic and cutting up coriander and stinking out the house with spices? Well so do we!

So we came up with a plan that our mum came up with years ago.

Here’s a quick and easy way to make a Punjabi curry masala in bulk. Do it when you have some time and store in the freezer for when life takes over and you don’t have the time to whip up a delicious home cooked meal. This cook-ahead sauce will warm you and is healthy, tasty and doesn’t contain any chemical nasties, you can have your curry in a hurry!

Try it next weekend and freeze in reusable plastic containers or store in your fridge for up to a week.

Ingredients

1kg onions, chopped in a blender

Light olive oil for frying

6 tablespoons fresh root ginger,

4 tablespoons garlic

Salt

4 teaspoons red chilli powder

4 tablespoons garam masala

4 tablespoons ground cumin

2 tablespoons ground coriander

4 tablespoons ground turmeric

3 x 400g jars of passata

4 bunches of coriander leaf

Method

  1. Add oil to a large and warm.
  2. In a food processor, chop the onions and add to the pot, stir and add more oil if needed – keep on cooking until the onions start to brown (this is important if you want a rich, dark sauce).
  3. Blitz the ginger and garlic in the food processor and add to the onions.
  4. Add the powdered spices and stir to mix.
  5. Turn down the heat and add the tomatoes; fry for a few minutes until the oil separates.
  6. Add 2.5 litres of boiling water.
  7. Stir well, cover and cook on a low heat, for 50 minutes. Add a little more water the sauce looks a bit dry.
  8. Remove the lid and turn the heat up to evaporate some of the excess water and so that your sauce is thicker.
  9. Turn the heat right down low and continue to stir until the oil separates the sauce looks shiny. You should be left with a thick sauce.
  10. Allow the mixture to cool before freezing, this will increase the shelf life. And you can store the masala sauce for up to six months in the freezer.
  11. Separate into cups – each cup of sauce should serve two people – and pour into jars or reusable plastic freezable containers.

When you want to eat, defrost a portion of sauce and add drained kidney beans or chickpeas or peas and cooked potatoes. Finish with more coriander leaves and a squeeze of lime.

Double cooked spinach and onion pakora

So delicious, you won't stop!
So delicious, you won’t stop!

These are easy, delicious and vegan. Plus, they taste great with small florets of cauliflower and thinly sliced potato. OK they’re not the best every day eat, but they are high in protein (thanks to the chick pea flour) and are totally yum! Try them – you’ll love them, we guarantee it!

Makes 17 – 20 pieces

Ingredients

1 x 280 g spinach leaves, sliced into strips

2 medium onion, sliced

2-inch piece ginger, peeled and grated or minced (1/4 cup)

2-4 Thai chillies, sliced

1 cup chickpea flour (besan)

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon red chilli powder or cayenne

1 teaspoon turmeric powder

half a teaspoon black pepper

1 heaped teaspoons garam masala

½ cup plus 1 tablespoon warm water

oil for frying (grape seed or light olive oil)

Method

  1. Heat oil in a pan – it should be about a 20cm depth.
  2. Place the veggies in a bowl and mix well.
  3. In a separate bowl, pour in the chickpea flour, salt and spices.
  4. Add water and whisk until smooth; the mixture should be thick – not too watery or the veggies won’t be coated.
  5. Add the veggies to the batter slowly – ensure they are completely coated with the batter.
  6. Test the oil to see if its hot enough – try adding a few cumin seeds. If it sizzles and rises straight away, it’s hot enough and ready to use.
  7. Using a tablespoon, drop in your spiced, veggie-filled batter try to stick with a maxim of four balls at a time.
  8. Cook on both sides until lightly brown (remove before they become golden).
  9. Using a slotted spoon, remove from oil and place on a tray lined with a paper towels. Press down on each one with a small, flat bowl. Place pakoras back in the oil and cook again until golden brown on both sides.
  10. Remove the pakoras with a slotted spoon to allow the oil back into the pan, then place on kitchen paper to allow the oil to leavy the crispy bites.
  11. Continue cooking until all of the batter is used.
  12. Serve warm pakoras immediately.