Green Bean and Herb Superfood Soup

Okay, so maybe this green is not the best shade of green. Try not let this put you off this amazingly tasty healthy soup though! Personally I am a huge fan of everything Green. Green veggies are my all time best.  I know they are piled with goodness, and all that goodness mixed with herbs is like a match made in heaven.

This Green Bean and Herb Superfood Soup, kind of snuck up on me the other day.  It was a situation of green beans in the fridge, lunch time approaching and wanting something different. (there is only so much salad a girl can have and with winter approaching here, soup seemed just perfect) Anyway, so with the help of a bunch of herbs from my garden, this bean soup was created. Then just for a bit of a ‘why the heck not’ decided to splurge with a few more nutrients, in the way of a dash of Spirulina.  Please note, I did say ‘a dash’ meaning a little bit, because if anyone has had Spirulina before, ummmmmm well let’s face it…..the taste is not really the best, but by putting in a little, the taste was totally camouflaged. Maybe you think I am crazy putting it in, but why not, just that little bit extra goodness goes a long way…but hey, it is totally up to you.

Green Bean and Herb Superfood Soup

Preparation time:  10 minutes

Cooking time:  7  minutes

Total time:  17 minutes

Makes 2 cups

Ingredients:

280 – 300 gram Green Beans, chopped

I medium sized onion, chopped

1 cup vegetable stock

2 – 3 fresh rosemary stalks (about 15/20 centimeters long)

Handful of fresh basil

salt and pepper to taste

1/4 teaspoon of spirulina powder (Optional)

Chia seeds for topping

Instructions:

In a medium sized pot, on medium heat saute onion.

Add beans, stock and herbs (leaving the leaves of the rosemary on the stalk, they will fall off whilst cooking)

Cook until the beans are tender about 5-7 minutes.

Remove the rosemary stalks and throw them away.

Add the pot contents to a blender, and blend until smooth.

Taste, and see if anymore salt or pepper is needed.

Add spirulina. Give it a quick blitz.  Place into soup bowls.  Top with chia.

Enjoy 🙂

Advertisements

Lentil and Nut Stuffed Roasted Peppers

Look I just added a liittttle cheese !!! We had such an onslaught of cheese the other week (which of course was divine), so I thought today I would just keep it simple, with a minimal amount of cheese.

These little guys are so awesome and really is such a versatile meal.  For as long as I can remember I have LOVED roasted peppers.  Hey, I am not even picky about which colour pepper I have.  I know some people do have their preferences, but not me…. So, I know stuffed peppers is not a new thing….but then it is all about the filling.  So if you want to go the ‘veggie way’ these I think will impress you !  These Lentil and Nut Stuffed Peppers can easily just be eaten as is. Don’t be shy, be like me and try all the colours and make it a meal. I served these little babies with a ton of roasted veggies…(yes, that is how I like them) but knock yourself out and serve them pretty much how ever you would like to serve them.  No matter what….I know you’ll enjoy  🙂 !

Lentil and Nut Stuffed Roasted Peppers

Preparation time:  15 minutes

Cooking time: 20 – 30 minutes

Total time:  35 – 45 minutes

Makes 8 – 9 whole peppers, depending on the size

Ingredients:

8 – 9 whole peppers

1 cup cooked lentils (I used brown)

1 cup grated carrots

approximately 3/4 cup diced white onion

1 clove garlic crushed and diced

a handful of grated matured cheddar cheese  – optional (for the cheese lovers, you can add one cup)

1/2 cup dry toasted nuts, slightly chopped (I used walnuts)

1/2 cup dry toasted sunflower seeds

100 grams tomato paste

2 teaspoons dried oregano

2 teaspoons dried parsley

2 teaspoons dried basil

Salt and Pepper

For the topping:  extra matured cheddar cheese – optional

extra dry toasted nuts (I used walnuts)

Instructions:

In a large bowl add all the above ingredients except for the extra cheese and nuts.

Cut the top off each pepper (so it acts like a lid or hat for the pepper LOL)

With a tablespoon generously fill each pepper.

Top with extra cheese and nuts.

Place in the oven (place some aluminium foil/tin foil over ovenproof dish) and allow to roast. Check peppers after 20 minutes.  Roast in oven until the cheese is bubbling. You may want to take the foil off from the ovenproof dish nearing the end of roasting time.

Remove from the oven.

Serve hot either with roasted vegetables or with a salad.

Enjoy 🙂

NB*

1)  To make it vegan,  omit the cheese.

2)  Preparation time can literally be cut in half with this meal if the cheese is already grated, and the nuts and seeds are already dry toasted.

3)  This recipe can easily be cut in half if wanted, as it does make a fair amount.  Leftovers can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge and utilized again, even making alternative meals.

 

 

Raw Vegetable and Quinoa Salad

007

Salad anyone?  Well, today it is good ol’ Quinoa ! Man, I love this stuff. Okay, I don’t mean ‘stuff’ in a bad way, I just love quinoa.  The other day I brought out a fair-sized bowl (actually quite large), and loaded it up with a few cups of cooked quinoa, and then topped it up with mountains of raw vegetables and fresh herbs.  I then dug a tablespoon into this mountain of delicious vegetables and sunk the spoon down into the quinoa.  I then tossed and mixed this amazingly delicious concoction all together, and I am not going to lie, I was VERY tempted to take that spoon and dump a huge mouthful of all that deliciousness into my mouth….but I held myself back, took a deep breath, collected my thoughts, counted backwards from ten…. and dished some up on a plate for myself.

When the hubby came home, he opened the fridge and saw this massive bowl of quinoa salad, and by the look on his face I think he thought it would be his food for the week…but fear not, I am not that cruel…although the thought did enter my brain….The salad did not last 24 hours, thanks to my continual snacking on it every time I opened the fridge door !  And man…it was so good, it was like I just could not get enough.  🙂 Haha Quinoa obsession !!!

For me, this salad is just the best.  It is totally versatile.  Use whatever veggies float your boat, and if you decide to have corn, do yourself a favour, don’t cook it, have it raw, enjoy that crunch…..it is Cra-zy good !!!

The recipe below is enough for 2 people, but feel free to double up or quadruple the recipe as I did.

002

Raw Vegetable and Quinoa Salad

Preparation time:  20 minutes

Cooking time:  15 minutes

Total time:  35 minutes

Makes for 2 people

Ingredients:

1 cup quinoa, cooked

1 cup black-eyed peas, cooked and roasted with salt, pepper and origanum

1 corn on the cob, kernels cut off

20/30 cherry tomatoes, halved

1/4 – 1/2 cup thinly shredded purple baby chinese cabbage

3 sliced spring onions, green parts as well

1/2 large red pepper, sliced or diced

1/2 large yellow pepper, sliced or diced

2/3 jalapeno’s, sliced finely

60 grams sugar snap peas, uncooked and chopped finely

a handful of herbs, I used mint and basil leaves and chopped chives.

Instructions:

Quinoa – cook as per packet instructions.

Black Eyed Peas – cook as per packet instructions, then place on a baking tray, with a little olive oil, salt and pepper, and dried origanum.  Allow to roast in a preheated oven at 180 degrees Celsius for about 15/20 minutes or until crispy.

Once all the veggies are sliced and prepared.  Place in a dish and serve.

Enjoy 🙂

NB*  This can be a salad to have on the side or as a main meal.

 

 

 

 

Butternut and Herb Scones

009

Hey, hey….lets talk about savoury scones for awhile.  Who is more into savoury than sweet? Personally, I am not fussy. My mom was the queen of scone making, she would throw together a batch in like no time.  Unlike me, who still goes by the written out recipe!  Yip, there is no hope ! She would add this or that, or keep them plain so we could have jam and cream with them (yum). No matter what, they were always delicious :-). Anyway, scones just seemed to be on my radar lately, but I wanted to just change it up a bit so savoury scones it was.  I have been on a bit of a butternut vibe lately (but that is a story for another time, and apart from the fact that I had bought a pocket of butternuts…I just thought butternut scones just had to happen, I mean …come on, we have butternut everything happening these days, so why not butternut scones! Let me tell you, these Butternut and Herb ones are the Thing !  Just saying!!!

013

Butternut and Herb Scones

Preparation time:  15 minutes (prep time will be longer if you do not have pre-roasted mashed butternut)

Cooking time:  20 minutes

Total time:  35 minutes

Ingredients:

125 millilitres (1/4 cup) salted butter

500 millilitres (2 cups) cake wheat flour

1 jumbo-sized free range egg

125 millilitres (1/4 cup) buttermilk

125 millilitres (1/4 cup) mashed roasted butternut

125 millilitres (1/4 cup) chopped spring onion

125 millilitres (1/4 cup) chopped fresh rosemary

a little extra milk for the tops of the scones

Instructions:

Firstly, preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius (170 degrees Celsius Fan Oven)/350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Dust a baking tray with a little flour, to prevent sticking.

In a large bowl add the flour, baking powder and the chilled butter.  Using your hands, yes, I prefer using my hands with this next step, it is a bit messy but persevere and scrunch the butter into the flour mixture with your fingers, with a lifting up motion. Continue to do this until you literally have a bowl of ‘breadcrumbs’.  Shake the bowl, and you will notice any big clumps sitting on the top, just break those down.

(You may want to wash your hands now quickly) Then add the egg, buttermilk, butternut, spring onion and herbs.  Stir well with a metal spoon.

Empty the scone mixture onto a floured surface.  (This may sound ridiculous, but now is the time to flour your hands) Flatten the scone mixture slightly. Using a knife divide the scone mixture into eight. I usually cut, as if I were cutting a pie.

With a little extra milk, moisten the top of each scone.

Place in the preheated oven and let cook for 20 minutes.

Once done, enjoy with a nice smearing of butter.

Enjoy 🙂

 

Vegetarian Casserole with Cheesy Dumplings

 

080

Another Vegetarian Meal guys…I am just on this crazy but wonderful Vegetarian ride at the moment, and its like…I just don’t want to get off it.

Well, its Spring here in good old South Africa, but with the weather we have been experiencing lately, it is hard to believe.  We have had bouts of some miserable weather, I mean about two weeks ago it was even cold for a day to two !  It was like we all of a sudden had the winter we never had this year ! Weird…. Now, these last few days have been so windy, to the point of unpleasantness, and I do not like wind.  Wind, really is not my friend….

But its cool, because over the real Winter time, it was so hot, we were eating salads, and now for Spring we are eating curries and all those nice comfort warming meals…..hence Vegetarian Casserole with Cheesy Dumplings !

070

Yum, yum and yum :-). This dish is filled with delicious vegetables, and again it is very adaptable.  I basically again, used the veggies I had in my fridge before they started to look sad and bedraggled…you know how it goes.  Usually I throw them all into a pot and make a soup, or throw them…. (that really sounds awful….I don’t really ‘throw’ them….I place them…yes…I place them….) in a pan and make a delicious healthy frittata or definitely some form of a veggie concoction.

Anyway, back to the dish of the day…..super easy, scrumptious, warming to the soul and those dumplings….to die for :-).

072

073

I thoroughly enjoy dumplings with a casserole, I remember years ago jotting down a recipe from  a cooking show, in which Rachel Allan hosted.  It was a Chicken Casserole with Cheesy Herb dumplings.  Well, need I say the recipe was divine, and the dumplings really just added this special touch to the dish. Since then, if I am wanting something special…dumplings in all forms will be added :-).

079

This Vegetarian Casserole with Cheesy Dumplings is easily adaptable and can be made into a Gluten-Free meal as well, just by using a Gluten-Free Self Raising Flour for the dumplings. You can also substitute the full cream milk with a milk of your choice, and then obviously the cheese can be changed, if you don’t want to use tinned tomatoes, you can also use fresh chopped tomatoes…. I love versatile recipes !!!

078

Vegetarian Casserole with Cheesy Dumplings

Preparation time:  15 minutes

Cooking time: 50 – 55 minutes

Total time:  1 hour 5 minutes – 10 minutes

Ingredients:

3 – 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil/olive oil/coconut oil

2 – 3 medium-sized onions, peeled and roughly chopped

1 large garlic clove, peeled and crushed

3 – 4 large carrots, peeled and grated

2 medium-sized turnips, peeled and grated

3 – 4 sticks of celery, chopped thinly

800 grams of tomatoes

250 millilitres (1 cup) vegetable stock

3 -4 large baby marrows/zucchinis, sliced fairly thickly

1 teaspoon dried rosemary

2 teaspoons dried thyme

1 teaspoon dried origanum

200 millilitres (1/2  tin) of Coconut Cream

salt and pepper to taste

For the Dumplings:

660 millilitres self-raising wheat flour

60 grams salted butter

160 grams cheddar cheese

250 millilitres (1 cup) of full cream milk or buttermilk

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C/390 degrees F.

Firstly, once all the ingredients are prepared and measured out, in a large pot, on medium to high, heat up the oil and saute’ the onions, carrots, turnips, and celery. This will take a few minutes, stirring constantly to prevent burning.

Add the tomatoes and stir.

Pour in the prepared vegetable stock and baby marrows (zucchini’s).

Cover the pot with a lid and bring to the boil.  Once the mixture has reached boiling point, reduce the heat to simmer and allow the vegetables to simmer for ten to fifteen minutes.

Add the coconut cream and stir.

Taste, and season well with salt and pepper.

Place the vegetables in an oven-proof casserole dish approximately 20 centimeters in width by 10 centimeters in depth (8 inches in width by 4 inches in depth – it needs to hold at least 1.5 Litres/6.5 cups) and then allow extra for the dumplings on the top.

To make the dumplings:

Place the self-raising flour in a large bowl.

Add the chopped butter, salt and grated cheese.

Make a “well” in the flour, and pour in the full cream milk or buttermilk.

Using a knife, stir and mix in the flour into the milk until this mixture forms a dough.

If you feel the dough is a bit dry, add a little more milk by the tablespoon,  This should not be a very sticky dough at all.

With your hands, form balls of dough, (approximately golf ball sizes). These don’t have to be exact, the more rough and rustic they look, the more character they will have. Pack the balls of dough onto the vegetable mixture.  Brush each ball of dough with some milk and bake for about 35 to 40 minutes or until  the dumplings are golden brown and cooked through.

Serve hot and from the oven.

Enjoy 🙂

NB*  If you are wanting to add more to this meal, serve with cooked quinoa or rice…personally though, the dumpling mixture makes quite a few, so that serves as the carbs 🙂

NB*  This meal does keep in the refrigerator if need be, but it must be covered.

NB*  Check your carrots, they may just require washing and not peeling. Remember all the nutrients are in the skins, so if the skins look good, rather not peel :-).

NB*  The oven-proof dish I used was not the correct size, it was far too shallow.  The recipe does state the correct size (no less than 1.5 litres/6.5 cups)

Toasted Sesame and Herb Omelette with Crunchy Cabbage Salad

036

I honestly do not know where to start…

I came across the most fascinating cookbook, I have seen in a long time.  It is called The Australian Women’s Weekly Cookbook of Main Course Salads, which was first published in 2004.  Apart from this book being beautifully illustrated each recipe is tested three times in their Test Kitchen for guaranteed perfect results.

This recipe just immediately stood out for me, and after reading the ingredients found it to be very doable with simple instructions.  It really was a matter of throwing everything together and doing a salad dressing. I mean, what could be easier than that ! I did make very slight deviations to the original recipe according to what I had in my refrigerator, as I felt it was a recipe, I had to do there and then for dinner, and was not prepared to wait another day, I was that desperate !!!

With South Africa coming into Spring and with the warmer weather just around the corner, I have been keen to find salad recipes that I would be able to have as a main meal, and this being solely vegetarian was a plus.  Nothing wrong with a meat-less meal :-).

039

Toasted Sesame and Herb Omelette with Crunchy Cabbage Salad

Preparation time:  30 minutes

Cooking time:  15 minutes

Total time:  45 minutes

Serves 6 – 8 depending on portions

Ingredients:

For the omelettes:

8 free range Jumbo eggs

125 millilitres (1/2 cup) full cream milk

hand-full of fresh chives, chopped

4 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds *

For the salad:

325 grams finely shredded green cabbage

325 grams finely shredded red/purple cabbage

1 large green pepper, thinly sliced (insides discarded)

1 large red pepper, thinly sliced (insides discarded)

1 large yellow pepper, thinly sliced (insides discarded)

2 fresh red chillies, seeds taken out and finely sliced

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh lemon grass

2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

Dressing:

4 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds *

60 millilitres  (1/4 cup) sweet chilli sauce

60 millilitres (1/4 cup) rice vinegar

60 millilitres (1/4 cup) peanut oil

1 tablespoon dark sesame oil

Instructions:

For the omelettes:  In a large-sized jug or bowl, beat together with a whisk the eggs, milk, chives and 4 tablespoons of toasted sesame seeds.  Then, divide the omelette mixture into four equal parts and set aside. Each equal part will make one omelette.  Heat a little oil in a large frying pan, and pour in one part of the omelette mixture.  Cook the one side of the omelette, and then turn the omelette over and cook the other side.  Once done, remove from the frying pan and place on a plate to cool.  Continue this method until all four omelettes are cooked, placing each cooked omelette on a separate plate to cool.

Once the omelettes are cooled completely, roll each omelette up.

For the salad:  Combine all the salad ingredients together.

Just before serving, slice the rolled up omelettes up into ‘wheels’ and together with the salad vegetables assemble in a large salad bowl.  (I basically did this in layers, one layer salad veggies, omelette wheels, salad veggies, ending with a layer of omelette wheels on the top)

For the dressing:  Combine all the dressing ingredients in a container with a tight-fitting lid and shake well.

Pour the dressing over the salad, just before serving.

Enjoy 🙂

  •  For toasting sesame seeds:  Dry toasting is the best.  Put the sesame seeds into a frying pan and turn on the heat to a medium level, and with a wooden spoon or spatula, continuously keep turning the sesame seeds. After a few minutes the seeds will start popping, just keep on moving the seeds around to prevent burning.  Once they turn golden brown, they are done.

Vegetable and Nut Patties

045

This is my all-time favourite vegetarian meal.  I originally found the recipe many years ago in an old South African cookbook called Budget Recipes.  It is a cookbook written in both English and Afrikaans by Robin Ayrdon.  Budget Recipes was published by Pick ‘n Pay Hypermarkets (Pty) Ltd.  Unfortunately I was not able to find an actual date in which it was published.  This recipe impressed me to the extent ‘I had to try it’, and that was the start of a vegetarian meal being cooked each and every week.

When I first tried it, I was a little dubious as the hubby is a real meat and potatoes kind of man, but he surprised me with compliments on the meal and is now looking at vegetarian meals with an open mind (but only once a week, I am not allowed to push it.)

004

I have slightly changed some of the quantities of the ingredients from the original recipe…. Anyway these patties are easy to make.  I find them a little messy when making into patties with all the ingredients sticking to my hands and fingers, but that is the joy of making patties. The ingredients are not too crazy either so that makes it great.  I did add my home made Sweet Chilli Sauce just for a bit of  ‘kick’ to the dish this time, but this is totally optional.  In the past I have also added my home made Mayonnaise to the dish with pureed green chillies, both go exceptionally well with the patties.

All in all it is a great supper dish.  I love the crispness of the patties on the outside and the crunch of the vegetables and nuts on the inside.  The combination is to die for !

After eating them, it is a feeling of pure health, it is amazing, and definitely a feeling of wanting more.

050

Vegetable and Nut Patties

Preparation time:  20 minutes

Cooking time:  20 minutes

Total time:  40 minutes

Serves 4 -6

Ingredients:

125 grams (125 ml) red/orange lentils

150 grams (125 ml) raw peanuts

1 large white onion

3 large carrots

2 celery stalks

10/12 weetbix cereal blocks

5 ml dried parsley, 5 ml dried thyme and 5 ml dried origanum)

4 extra large Free-Range eggs*

salt and pepper to taste

a little vegetable oil for frying

Instructions:

Soak the lentils for a few minutes and cook in microwave for 2 minutes.

Once done, drain well and set aside.

Dry toast the peanuts *

Chop the toasted raw peanuts till course and leave some whole if preferred.

Finely chop up the white onion.

Grate the carrots.

Slice the celery.

Crush the weetbix.

In a large mixing bowl add half of the crushed weetbix.  The remaining crushed weetbix place in a shallow dish, this will be used for the coating of the patties before frying them.

Then add the cooked lentils, toasted peanuts, onion, carrots to the large mixing bowl with half of the crushed weetbix.

Add the herbs, salt and pepper.

Stir well.

Lightly whisk 2 eggs with a fork and add to the mixture and combine thoroughly. (if you feel the mixture is too dry and you are unable to combine into patties, add another egg.)

In a separate bowl add some flour.  This is for coating the patties.

Whisk the remaining eggs in a bowl and set aside.  This will be used for the coating of the pattie before the coating of the crushed weetbix.

Add some flour to your hands, and with the help of a tablespoon, start making the patties.

Place each pattie into the egg mixture making sure the egg coats the entire pattie,  then cover the pattie with the crushed weetbix. *

On a medium heat, fry the patties in a little oil until each side is golden brown. Do not deep fry.

Drain the patties on paper towel to absorb any excess oil.

Serve immediately with a crisp salad or potatoes of your choice.

Enjoy 🙂

*  Depending on the size of the eggs, you may require another egg for coating the pattie.

*  I toast or ‘dry fry’ my nuts on top of the stove in a pan, with no oil as nuts produce their own natural oils.

*  Depending on how much you love weetbix, you may need to add extra crumbled weetbix for coating.