Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Guest Post - 'Ratatouille Plus'

Quick, nourishing, healthy, hot and cheap - that's Ratatouille Plus.
It's colourful and warming and you can use it as a piquant sauce for fish or in a jacket potato for a dinner dish.
Add fresh chilli to give it an added kick for winter!

Ingredients:

Half a can of ratatouille
Half a can of chickpeas
One chopped spring onion
A clove of fresh garlic
A generous sprinkle of pine nuts
A generous sprinkle of Cheddar cheese (often cheaper ready grated!)
1 teaspoon of coconut oil
Freshly ground black pepper
Basil
Worcester sauce
Tomato puree
Freshly squeezed lime juice

Method:

In a large saucepan combine the ratatouille and chickpeas over a medium heat, stirringly frequently throughout. 
Between stirs, chop the spring onion and add to the saucepan. 
Do the same with the garlic and also add the coconut oil. Add basil, black pepper, Worcester sauce, (Lea and Perrins,) tomato puree and cook until just bubbling. Add the pine nuts and lime juice, stir in and serve with a generous sprinkle of cheddar.

Time to cook: 10 minutes



Monday, 13 January 2014

I Can't Be Asked - 6 Minute - Pasta

So, it's January, there are Exams looming, deadlines approaching, and Rent due. In this frame of mind cooking a meal from scratch is probably the last thing on your mind, but here's where I come in to brighten your day!

In just 6 minutes you can wrap your freezing hands around a bowl of warm, cheesy, pesto-covered pasta with nutritious wilted spinach and juicy chunks of pepper. How does that sound? :D

While the pasta was on a high boil, I heated up a teaspoon of oil in a frying pan and chopped up a small handful of red and yellow pepper. Once chopped I put it in the frying pan, reduced the heat to a medium flame and put a lid ontop to keep in any steam. 

While both pots were bubbling I opened a bag of spinach, took out my bowl, cheddar and a grater and waited.

Once the pasta was cooked I drained it and put it back on a low heat, added three big spoonfuls of pesto and mixed it in. Meanwhile I grabbed a large handful of spinach and let it wilt over the peppers, under a lid on a fairly high heat so that they'd get on with it.

Less than two minutes later, I plated it all up and put everything else in the basin to wash up later.

Ta Da! Delicious, Quick, Vegetarian food suitable for stressed out students! 






Thursday, 9 January 2014

Thai Food :)

Thailand is where I have spent a quarter of 2013 in total! If you'd like a very raw insight into how I felt being a Vegetarian in Thailand, please see my other blog:  http://melodymoxham.blogspot.co.uk/ and scroll down about 4/5 of the way!

However, my second trip, last December, was slightly more fruitful in terms of vegetarian options :)

Thais don't have a specific word for 'vegetarian', the closest term is 'jay' which means that the meal has no animal products in it at all. For example, if you say 'Pad Thai Jay, ka' that will translate as "Please can I have an animal-free Pad Thai?". When I tried adding 'jay' to favourite Thai meals, like Thai Red Curry and Pad Thai, however, people refused to make them because either they didn't know how to - without using things like fish sauce - or maybe they just didn't want to!?

The best meal(s) that I had, while I was staying on Koh Samui, were on Christmas Day. We ate at a wonderful restaurant on the South West side of the island, called Sunset View, which had a vegetarian set menu! Hallelujah!

In traditional Thai style, there were a lot of dishes on the table at the same time (instead of the Western tradition of having a starter, followed by a main, followed by a dessert). So I had a Red Curry with Tofu....


..."No Name"...which were deep fried vegetable nuggets, with sweet chilli sauce...


...mixed sweet and sour vegetables in what is very likely to be an oyster sauce (but I'm a little bit of an oyster sauce lover, so I let that slip...)...


....another Thai Curry, which was strongly flavoured with Holy Basil, a very aniseed-heavy herb, and had grapes in it too!...



...and a beautiful Thai Green Curry, with Tofu. The balance of sweet and heat was perfect! 


These were all accompanied with steamed rice, and for dessert we had deep fried bananas!

I'm so glad to be proven wrong about finding vegetarian food in Thailand, however, this is the only place that I have found to accommodate more than one option, let alone having a set menu...so if you are thinking about travelling to Thailand any time soon, maybe take a leaf from my book and put on a stone in weight before you fly! 

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Sweet Jacket Potato

Happy New Year VeggieTasties :)

I'm not one for fads, especially the 'Let's Eat Healthily In The New Year' one. Health is for life, not just for January :)

This evening I made a very simple, but vibrant and nutritious dinner: a Sweet Jacket Potato with Cheddar cheese, Tomato Pesto and a side salad.

Because I'm quite a fan of a microwaved potato - in 12 minutes you have fluffy insides! - and because I didn't have the patience to wait for an oven cooked meal, I chose the easiest route.

While it was being zapped, I shredded some lettuce, chopped a yellow and red pepper and grated a carrot to make a simple, colourful salad.

Hope you're still enjoying your food, even if you're on a diet! Keep following for more tasty, healthy, cheap, vegetarian meals!