Tag Archives: vegetables

Vegetable Couscous Salad

2 recipes posted in under a week? If you are guessing that I must have something really important to do, and that this is the perfect form of procrastination – then indeed you are right. This is pretty mild procrastination compared to the lengths of my desperation yesterday. I actually entered myself into this month long novel-writing challenge and while I should have been analysing identity theory, I was in my own fantasy world writing pages and pages about an impending apocalypse. I have serious issues when it comes to work motivation.

This recipe is SO easy but I know when it comes to new lunch ideas for kiddos that it is always useful to find a new meal. Ivy is admittedly a fantastic eater but she seems to usually reserve all her open-mindedness for dinner. While I am cooking dinner she is usually so desperate for food that I can get her to literally eat anything. I’m not even kidding. This kid snacks on raw pepper and spinach like its chocolate spread on ice cream. What kind of toddler does that? But when it comes to lunch, she is usually strictly a scrambled-eggs-and-toast kinda gal. A few days ago we had almost nothing in the kitchen and due to my inability to cope with a minor cold, I was still in pyjamas and didn’t fancy venturing out the house, so I came up with this. And it was surprisingly incredibly tasty, made even more enjoyable by watching Ivy shovel down huge chunks of raw tomato and cucumber. You could add anything to this salad, I would have added some chopped parsley or coriander if it weren’t for the still-in-pyjamas issue, and I was going to add  black olives but Ivy was getting so stressed out watching me try to open the jar for 15 minutes that I decided it was best for all of us if I just gave up.

Anyway, this is a yum recipe and would make a good side dish to a dinner of falafel, pitta and tzatziki.

Vegetable Couscous Salad (serves 2)

150g couscous

300ml vegetable stock

1/4 large cucumber, cut into chunks

1-2 salad tomatoes, de-seeded and cut into chunks

1 teaspoon cumin

A dash of lemon juice

1 tablespoon olive oil

Pour the stock on the couscous, cover and leave to stand for 5 minutes or until soft. Combine the rest of the ingredients and serve.

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Evidence (the serious look on her face means she is enjoying it):

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Right, back to the apocalypse.

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Thai Coconut Noodle Soup

Wow, I have been really crappy at keeping up with this blog. That is not to say that we have been eating crap this whole time, just that settling in in Brighton/festivals/enjoying the last of the summer has taken up my time. There isn’t a lot to report, aside from a lot of time watching Ivy go up and down those tacky slides they have along all English seafronts, buying a really expensive bell tent at last minute because the thought of festival-ing with our little shitty two man tent made me want to cry, and watching Ivy grow into a chatty little madam who is impartial to the odd poo joke every now and then.Image

So I came up with this recipe a few weeks ago and was surprised by how delicious it was. I made the mistake of using reduced fat coconut milk though so had to send Dom out on an emergency trip to buy creamed coconut as it just tasted too watery. You could also use a different thai paste if panang is too spicy for your liking, I am practicing the ‘forcing your child into having high spice tolerance’ style of parenting.

1 tablespoon oil (I use groundnut)

150g tenderstem broccoli, stalks chopped off

100g baby corn, halved

A few shiitake mushrooms, sliced

1/2 head bok choy

1.5-2 tablespoons of a thai paste of your choice, I used panang

1 tin of coconut milk

150ml water

1 teaspoon of palm sugar

Thai fish sauce

150g noodles – I used sharwoods ‘straight to wok’ noodles but only because my crappy local tesco didn’t supply rice noodles

A bunch of chopped coriander

Heat oil in the pan and add paste and a splash of the coconut milk and stir fry until aromatic. Add the chopped vegetables, the rest of the coconut milk and water, a few dashes of fish sauce and the palm sugar and simmer for half an hour, adding more water if it begins to thicken too much. Add noodles and simmer for a further 5 minutes then remove from heat, stir through chopped coriander and serve.

Voila.

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Simple Vegetable Risotto

It took me a long time to come to terms with the fact that risotto is not a culinary masterpiece and total pain in the ass to make. As a student, I thought that I could call myself a ‘good cook’ because I was capable of putting a quorn fillet in the oven and boiling pasta, anything that involved chopping an onion was considered too scary and abandoned. It still makes me embarrassed when I think of the look on my boyfriend’s face when he discovered that I didn’t know how to fry an egg, (I DONT EVEN LIKE EGGS WHY DO I NEED TO KNOW HOW TO COOK THEM????) but since having Ivy I have turned into a pretty decent cook, and oh how I love to prove that man wrong.

So, I digress; once I finally braved my risotto and realised it was pretty simple, albeit a little tedious, it has become a staple in the house when I need to use up vegetables in the fridge. My other using-up-veg failsafe meal is a vegetable thai green curry but it is so easy it doesn’t even warrant a post: Tesco thai green curry paste (the most mild), coconut milk, vegetables of your choice, a splash of fish sauce and a teaspoon of sugar, simmered for 20 minutes. Done.

The risotto takes a bit more effort (and even, GASP, involves chopping an onion) but the effect of this meal is magical, Ivy will literally eat anything that I hide in risotto. I could probably make a risotto of brussel sprouts and old pieces of play doh and she would still ask for seconds.

We don’t have a t.v because we are weirdos, so keeping Ivy entertained while staying close to the pan sometimes proves to be a bit of a challenge and I resort to In The Night Garden on BBC Iplayer so Ivy can dance to that stupid makka pakka song (what is that shit?) and I can stir in peace, but often she just sits on the countertop and “helps” by dipping a wooden spoon in and out occasionally and eating Rice Krispies out of the box after I ask her not to.

Vegetable Risotto (this serves 4 people)

Knob of butter or olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

1 clove of garlic, minced

250g arborio risotto rice

Vegetables of your choice – in this risotto I used 1 carrot quartered, half a pack of asparagus halved, half a head of broccoli chopped and frozen peas

1 litre vegetable stock

2 tablespoons of soft cheese

Head oil or butter in a pan until hot and add onion and fry gently for 5 minutes until softened. Add vegetables and garlic and fry for a further couple of minutes, then add the rice and fry until the rice is hot, stirring frequently. Pour in a good amount of stock (about half) and bring to the boil, then simmer. Once the stock is absorbed, add more with a ladle and keep adding until the rice is soft and cooked – it may take a little more than advised but the risotto still retain a good texture and shouldn’t be congealed. Add the soft cheese and stir through and serve.

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Great risotto. Shame my Rice Krispies stock is depleted.

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