Veggie feast III – Courgette

Courgette main (serves 2)

Courgette

No picture of this dish, sorry! I’ll add next time.

  • 1kg courgette
  • 240g pastrami
  • 150g grated cheddar (or another non-descript cheese)
  • Salt
  • Spanish smoked paprika
  • Garlic flakes
  • Black pepper

Preparation
You can imagine that this is not going to be complicated. Wash and slice the courgettes along their length (slices less than 1cm tall). You’ll have to layer these slices in a wide, rectangular shaped oven dish, like a sort of lasagna. Add one first layer of courgette, plus salt, smoked paprika, garlic flakes and black pepper. Then create a layer with pastrami slices (the ‘filling’), and finally add another layer of courgette slices to cover. Don’t forget to season this last layer with a pinch more salt, smoked paprika, garlic and black pepper.  Add the grated cheese on top. Cover the tray with a sheet of baking foil. Put in the oven (250C) for as long as required until the courgette is cooked, which should be about 45min, depending on the oven. Uncover the tray in the last 15min, so that the juice evaporates.

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Veggie feast II – Carrot

Carrot main (serves 2)

Carrot

No picture of this dish, sorry! I’ll add next time.

  • 600g carrots
  • 150g celeriac
  • 120g onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tin cooked mixed beans
  • 50g coriander
  • 30g breadcrumbs
  • Salt, cumin, cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp Flora light

Preparation
Grate the carrots, onion and garlic into a large bowl. Put a small pot or medium frying pan on the hob, add flora and cook the onion and carrot until lightly golden. Add a bit of water (very little, only enough for the mixture not to get stuck to the bottom of the pan), salt, cumin and cayenne pepper to taste (I put a lot of cumin). Continue cooking in low heat for about 10min, until carrots are tender. In the meantime, mash the beans with a fork. Cook the celeriac in a bit of water with salt and mash it as well. Mix in both these mashes onto the main carrot mixture, until very homogeneous. Turn the hob off. Add in chopped coriander and about 30g of breadcrumbs or less, only about enough to make it a dry-ish mash that you can shape with your hands. Let it cool down, and shape the carrot mix into small, burger-like portions. Put in an oven tray – previously brushed with a little olive oil – and let the carrot burgers brown in the over (220C) for about 15min, or as much as required.

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Veggie feast I – Cauliflower

Concept
I’ve decided to dedicate about 2 weeks to worshiping vegetables. No, it’s not any weird religion and I didn’t become a vegetarian either.  I was already eating a lot of vegetables  before embarking on the veggie feast. So what is the veggie feast? *Clearing her throat*  Aham… It’s a period of reflection but also physicality, a time we set aside for ourselves to contemplate and enjoy the gift of vegetables……

The concept is: you dedicate each day to one particular vegetable. You start by saying thanks and doing a yoga posture inspired by the shape of the selected vegetable (I’ll do my best to add pictures at some point), and you then go onto creating a brand new recipe for a main dish AND a side dish based on that  vegetable. Most of these are not strictly vegetarian dishes, but they have very little meat or protein, and very little carbs too. Large quantities ensue; it’s likely you’ll feel very bloated at the end. But you’ll also feel very satisfied and inspired by a feeling of accomplishment. Hail Yo Goh Veggie.

Cauliflower main (serves 2)

Cauliflower

No picture of this dish, sorry! I’ll add next time.

  • 500g cauliflower
  • 380g celeriac
  • 130g onion
  • 1/3 tin of light coconut milk
  • 1 heaped tbsp curry powder
  • cumin, ground coriander, chilli flakes and cayenne pepper
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup freshly chopped coriander
  • 1 chicken cube stock
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 1 tsp Flora light (or 1tbsp olive oil)

Preparation
Cut the cauliflower in large florets and steam for a few minutes until slightly tender. We want to add this cauliflower to the sauce we’ll prepare in the pot and let it season for the last 10min, achieving a good consistency – not too soft, braking too much apart or melting away, but not too hard or uncooked either. Cut the celeriac in medium cubes (about 3cm wide) and boil them in water until tender, with one cube of Knorr chicken stock.

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Tzatziki (Τζατζίκι)

  • 250g Greek yoghurt
  • 1 cucumber
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • dill
  • parsley
  • 1 tbsp white wine
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • salt & pepper

Preparation:
Wash and grate the cucumber onto a large bowl. Use a clean kitchen (fabric) towel to squeeze the water out of the grated cucumber, getting it as dry as possible. Grate/grind the garlic cloves and mix in. Chop a generous portion of dill and parsley and add onto the main mixture. Add in 250g of Greek yoghurt, or a little less/more just to make it of a nice dip consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste, and also 1 tbsp of white wine and 1tsp of lemon juice. Mix well and serve with grilled meat or grilled veggie.

Salmon & vegetables in baking parchment

(Σολομός στη Λαδόκολλα)

  • 2 large salmon fillets
  • 2 small red peppers
  • 1 bunch (250g) of asparagus
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • spring onions (c. 4)
  • 250g tomatoes
  • 80g gruyère cheese
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Preparation:
Chop all the vegetables in small bits, onto a bowl. Grease 2 sheets of baking parchment with the olive oil, and add one salmon fillet inside each. Split the vegetables into two even portions, and cover the salmon fillets. Add salt & pepper. Wrap each of these ‘parcels’ and close (not too tightly) with a couple of toothpicks. Put them in an oven tray and bake in 200C until tender, i.e. for about 30-40min.

Meatballs

Summary

Traditional recipe for Greek meatballs coming from my grand mother but probably now a bit different than the original.

Variations

Traditionally meatballs are shallow or deep fried. But a few months ago I grilled them on a raclette and I was surprised that they tasted even better. Since them I always grill them and the best way is to charcoal them!

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Christmas stuffing (Γέμιση)

Summary

This is the exact recipe my mother is using to stuff the turkey (or more frequent chicken) for the Christmas dinner. I just prefer it without the chicken, prepared in the saucepan and then baked for some time to become more crunchy.

The most important part is to find very nice and very lean beef mince. The nuts already contain 70-80% fat, using a fatty mince will make the stuffing unpleasantly oily.

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