It had to happen sooner or later, didn’t it? Yes, we were bound to post a recipe with seaweed in it. The only surprise really is that it didn’t happen sooner. Seaweed used to be much maligned as hippy dippy food. Now though, with the relentless rise of sushi (they sell it in meal deals in the supermarket – who could have predicted that?) it’s quite commonplace in many people’s diets.
You can get a lot from adding seaweed to your diet. It’s high in essential amino acids, making it good source of vegetable protein for vegetarians. It’s high in Vitamin K and also contains Vitamins A and C. And it’s like a mini-mineral mine, containing potassium, magnesium, iron, calcium and iodine. Not bad for a food that many cultures have ignored for centuries. Continue reading
When Bibi was little her favourite joke went like this.
Customer in restaurant, pointing to his dish: ‘Waiter, what’s this?!’
Waiter: ‘Why, it’s bean soup, Sir.’
Customer: ‘I know it’s bean soup but what is it now?!’
Ho ho, how we laughed. Bean and been – to a child just learning to spell this was truly hilarious. Sad truth is, we still find it funny now…
Anyway, on to the bean soup. As you know, where possible we’re all about the fast and easy. Oh, and tasty. This fab soup fulfills all of those criteria and then some. It’s super-quick to make, great for freezing and has protein, carbs, fibre and several of your 5-a-day too. Plus it has Basil the Wonder Herb; for such pretty little leaves, cleverly anti-oxidant basil provides a mind-blowing range of valuable nutrients, including vitamins A and K, and iron. All this goodness from a soup that’s ready in 10 minutes.
We used Greek basil to make this – the leaves are more tightly packed and, if anything, it’s even more fabulously fragrant than the regular kind. If you can’t get Greek, the regular will do just fine though. As long as the basil is fresh, your soup will be a winner.
I once read on a blog that you have to be damned sure that you’re commited to someone before you buy a cabbage together, as it takes so long to use it up. I wish I could find the post again, because I think of it every time I have a cabbage languishing in my fridge for weeks. I understand why Charlie Bucket’s family in Willy Wonka lived on cabbage soup – the things last forever!
With one head of savoy cabbage, I made a batch of 6 servings of my grandma’s incredible vegetable soup (and other veg, will blog the recipe soon!) and still had something bigger than a croquet ball knocking about.
This recipe is beyond simple – I don’t know why I never thought of it before. I checked google for timings and went straight ahead. This is one of those roasted vegetables (like cauliflower) that becomes much more than just a warm version of itself. Some bits cook down to be yielding and aromatic, while some bits catch a bit and have a fantastic oriental crunch. You know that weird emerald green ‘seaweed’ that they serve in Chinese restaurants? That’s just finely shredded cabbage, and this dish possesses a hint of it. Give it a go – you’ll be impressed. I ate mine with a shake of tamari and a big bowl of quinoa, but it would make a great side, for Sunday dinner or most anything else.
Serves 3, eaten like I did, or many more as a side
Head of cabbage
Salt & Pepper
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees
- Cut the cabbage lengthways in to 1 inch slices, leaving the core in. (You can leave core or eat it once it’s cooked, but keep it now to retain the shape)
- Place the thick slices on a baking tray and brush with a little olive oil, and season quite generously.
- Roast for 20-25 minutes, checking to make sure it doesn’t catch too much.
Image by Zsolt: www.zsoltsandor.com
Pad Thai can be a bit of a faff to make. There are a lot of ingredients and it can look a bit daunting. If you’ve read our recipes before, you’ll know that we don’t like to operate like that. We love great food and appreciate that it can take time to get a dish just right.
However we’re not big on making life complicated, so even though this Pad Thai is delicious we’ve tried to cut out the complexity. If you’re seeking a recipe for a 100% authentic Pad Thai made with lemongrass slow grown by moonlight on the banks of Choa Phraya or something, maybe try this one from Real Thai Recipes.
We opted for speed and simplicity, making use of the kind of everyday ingredients most vegetarians cooks will have in their cupboards. Plus, we recommend getting everything prepped before you start cooking. The whole thing will come together quickly once you start and you don’t want to let your life get too complicated.
There’s plenty of protein in here – tofu, cashew and (purists look away now!) peanut butter – and, of course, a heap of carbs in your rice noodles.
If you have a favourite recipe that uses peanut butter, let us know in the comments below. We’re happy to try PB in more or less anything!
4pm on Saturday at our local market is bargain time. It’s when all of the stall holders are selling their fresh produce on the cheap, getting rid of things that will perish before they open again on Monday, or just making room for new deliveries.
Being a bit of a sucker for a bargain, I’m forever coming home with gigantic bags of, well, anything really. Half the time I have no idea what I’m going to make with it. It’s just so hard to resist 4kg of plums for £1 or more carrots than I can carry for 50p that I don’t think about what I’ll make. I can plan all that as a gleefully schlep home, laden with cut price goodies. Continue reading
The basis for this easy-to-make roast vegetable dish comes from our Canadian friends Lehna and Jamie. They call it Jamie’s Amazing Broccoli And Veggie Sausage Roast but we’re probably not allowed to do that, on account of Jamie’s name being claimed as a brand by a rather more famous chef. We’re erring on the side of caution and calling it the Amazing Broccoli and Veggie Sausage Roast (because it is – amazing, that is – and we won’t get in to trouble).
The recipe uses 1/4 cup of our hugely popular non-dairy Besto Pesto (also created by Lehna and Jamie – aren’t they wonderful?!) If you don’t have the ingredients for that to hand, you can use shop-bought (though do treat yourself to a batch of Besto Pesto sometime; you’ll never look back).
This is not a roast in the traditional sense btw, in that it’s not a slice-able block of stuck-together roasted stuff. It’s more like a big pan of the most delicious roasted veg you’ve ever tasted, with bonus added sausage-y-ness (a culinary term that you may not have encountered before). Broccoli is a good source of protein for vegetarians and you’ll get an extra boost from your sausages too, though the amount depends on which type you use, of course. We added sweet potato as well for extra carbs, making this a beautifully rounded, well-balanced dish that also happens to be spectacularly delicious.
After the Amsterdam marathon recently, my running buddies and I treated ourselves to dinner on the town. Well, it wasn’t quite on the town, as we were a) preserving our post-mara muscles by staying close to our hotel and b) skint. We found a great place with the use of my trusty 2008 guide book. Yes, I had an actual book made of real paper! Much better than the app-schmapp thing my friend was using, which kept sending us off on wild goose chases around the city (as if we weren’t running around enough already!)
We were staying near Albert Cuypstraat, where the famous market is, though to be honest it’s hard to understand why it’s famous. I can buy cheese and cheap shoes anywhere, thank you very much. Anyway, the trusty guidebook led us to a place called Bazar, a restaurant housed in a former synagogue – a quirky space with kitsch decor that includes vintage 50s advertising signs and enough twinkly lights for a thousand Christmas trees. Continue reading
Recently, we did a Listen To Your Body post on eating – you know, recognising your cravings and trying to understand why you’re getting them. If you’re in the northern hemisphere, it’s probably starting to feel pretty wintry for you. That means your body’s telling you to stay indoors and pile on a few pounds, right? Wrong!!
OK, so it’s not all salads and sunshine but you can still eat healthily when the weather turns. Indeed, this recipe is an excellent cook and run option – chuck it in the oven, put your beanie hat and running gloves on and go out and get a few miles in while it’s cooking. Note: you probably ought to put the rest of your running gear on too.
This one has all the Ps. The pinto beans and pistachios add up to a healthy dose of protein, great for keeping those muscles in a good state of repair if you’re training through the winter months. P-p-p-perfect, eh? Continue reading
First, on naming – they’re aubergines to some, eggplant to others and brinjal to others still. You know the things I mean though – purple, sheeny and strangely lovely to hold (or is that just me?) It’s a little known fact that they’re also low in fat and calories but practically ooze the B-complex vitamins required for metabolizing fat, protein and carbs. Ooh, they get better and better the more you think about them…
Thanks to the blessed powers of the Internet, we found a way of cooking them with minimum effort but maximum taste. With big thanks to Stone Soup, who based her recipe on one from Nigel Slater (this is clearly a caring, sharing recipe), we added a quick, easy and absolutely delicious cashew nut pesto to give it an added protein boost.
Note: readers ask us occasionally if it’s necessary to salt aubergines. The happy answer is NO! They were more bitter in the old days but the varieties grown now have had their bitter-twistedness grown out. This is great news, as there are clearly better things to spend your time on that salting aubergines…
Other note: you can make this dish vegan if you use Engevita yeast instead of cheese in the pesto.
Photos by Zsolt - www.zsoltsandor.com
One of our favourite restaurants in the whole wide world is Rebar in Victoria, British Columbia. We haven’t actually been everywhere in the whole wide world, of course, but we have been to this restaurant many times, mainly because a) it is wonderful and b) we used to live just up the road. We did try to provide a link to their website but, in typical ‘hey, man, no hurry’ west coast fashion, it says ‘Full website coming soon.’ This could take some time but you could buy their cookbook in the meantime, should you feel that way inclined after making this dish.
This recipe is so good it’s been featured in Hello magazine alongside Kate and Wills, Victoria Beckham and Brangelina. That’s right. We’re proper celebrities. Or at least our tofu is…