Vegetarian Quiche

Laughing. Yummy Cupcakes. Getting together….. and helping familys affected by cancer (Macmillan Cancer Support)

Vegetarian Quiche

Vegetarian Quiche

Wow….I can’t believe it’s been so long since I wrote my last post. What have I been doing, I hear you ask!? Well to be honest, I have taken a break from baking but hopefully that will change very soon.
It all starts again with the work Bake Off today. To make the most of my recent impetus, I have decided to try a new recipe and not a tried and tested one. Do you think that is the right thing to do? Well, we shall see. It is all for a good cause; Macmillan Cancer Support – Worlds biggest coffee morning.
If the cupcakes I bake do well, I will share the recipe with you. If not, I will have to go back to the drawing board.
Today, I would like to share my vegetarian quiche recipe with you. It is easier than you may think. I hope you like it.

This recipe requires you to have at least 2 loose-based tartlet tins of around 12cm.

Vegetarian Quiche

makes 4 small quiche’s

Ingredients

140 gr. rice flour
140 gr. plain flour
90 gr. butter
8-10tbsp. cold water
140 ml double cream
2 eggs
Salt and pepper to season
150-200 gr cheese, grated
Half a red onion
1 tomato
Half a medium courgette
3-4 grilled artichokes from a jar
5 small mushrooms
Half a large red pepper
Some oil for frying

Method

  1. To make the pastry, mix the two flours in a large bowl, add the butter and rub into the flour with your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs.
  2. Add the cold water 1 tbsp. at a time until the flour comes together to form a dough.
  3. Cover the dough in Clingfilm and leave in the fridge for at least 20 minutes, but longer if you have the time.
  4. Once the pastry is ready, divide into 4 equal pieces.
  5. Preheat the oven to 190C / gas 5
  6. Roll out each piece until it is slightly larger than your tin. I only have two tartlet tins, so I make 2 the first day and then 2 the following day.
  7. Lift the pastry into the dish and press into the bottom and sides.
  8. Trim the pastry that overlaps the dish to neaten the edges.
  9. Prick the bottom of the pastry several times with a fork.
  10. Tear off a piece of baking paper to the size of the tartlet tin and place onto the pastry. Add baking beans on top of the baking paper. If you don’t have baking beans, you can use some uncooked rice instead.
  11. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes.
  12. After the pastry case’s come out of the oven, remove the baking beans and baking paper and put the pastry in the oven for a further 5 minutes.
  13. Whilst the pastry is in the oven, whisk the eggs and double cream together in a big measuring jug.
  14. Chop up the vegetables as small as possible and lightly fry the ingredients in a frying pan until soft. You do not need to fry the tomatoes.
  15. Once the pastry case’s are out of the oven, add a layer of cheese so it lines the base.
  16. Spoon your fried veg and chopped tomatoes and fill the pastry cases to almost the top, leaving enough space to add another layer of cheese.
  17. Pour over the egg mixture so it fills the quiche. Leave about 5mm gap at the top.
  18. If you would like to put a decoration on the top, you could add slices of mushroom or tomatoes.
  19. Put the dishes in the oven for a further 30 minutes or until golden brown and firm to touch.

Suzy says:

  • These are great to eat cold at a picnic or heated up in the microwave to eat at work
  • Add a cold carrot salad with the quiche, delicious.

Bon Appétit

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Bolognese Pasta Bake

Penne for your thoughts (unknown)

I’ve been experimenting with new recipes which still need some tweaking before I post them.  In the meantime, try my Bolognese Pasta Bake:

Bolognese Pasta Bake

(Serves 6)

Ingredients

Bolognese Pasta Bake

Bolognese Pasta Bake

200-250 gr. turkey mince
1 tbsp. tomato ketchup
1 chicken Knorr stock pot
1-2 tbsp. dried basil
Approximately 150 grams frozen mixed peppers
1 large carrot
1 large courgette
1 clove of garlic
1/2 an onion
2 x 400 gram cans of peeled plum tomatoes
1-2 tbsp. tomato purée
A little oil for frying
Salt and pepper
300 gr. Gluten Free penne pasta
Approximately 50-100 grams of cheese

Method

  1. Start by heating some oil in a high sided large frying pan.
  2. Whilst the oil is heating up, mix the tomato ketchup, chicken stock pot, 1 tbsp. of dried basil, some salt and pepper into the turkey mince until well incorporated. (I wear food gloves and mix with my hands.) Don’t overwork the meat.
  3. Add the turkey to the pan and chop up as much as you can with a wooden spoon so the mince covers the pan.
  4. Leave it to cook for a few minutes and keep turning it until it browns.
  5. Add the peppers to the pan and leave to cook In the meantime chop the carrots, courgette and onion into small pieces and add to the pan Crush and chop the garlic as small as you can and add to the pan.
  6. Fry the veg for about 10 minutes.
  7. Blend the two cans of peeled plum tomatoes and add to the pan.
  8. Cook for five to ten minutes until it has reduced slightly.
  9. Preheat the oven to Gas 4/180C/350F.
  10. While this is reducing, place the pasta in a pan of boiling water and boil for approximately 10 minutes, until al dente.
    Spread half the pasta into a Pyrex dish.
  11. Ladle over half the bolognese mixture and grate some cheese over the top Add the rest of the pasta then bolognese and another layer of grated cheese.
  12. Place in the oven for 25 minutes
  13. Once out of the oven, you can portion into 6 servings.

Suzy says

  • Enjoy with a nice salad
  • This meal is great as a lunch.

Suzy’s Spag Bol

Suzy's Spag Bol

Suzy’s Spag Bol

Everything you see I owe to spaghetti. (Sophia Loren)

It’s an age-old favourite and I am sure you all have your own tweaks (which I would love to hear about!) but please do take a look at my version. I have made it healthier by using turkey mince and a selection of my favourite vegetables. My husband uses gluten free pasta with his. It is also a great for a packed lunch and you can make a big batch and freeze in advance for the working week ahead.

Suzy’s Spag Bol

(Serves 6)

Ingredients

500 gr. turkey mince
2tbsp. worcester sauce
2 tbsp. tomato ketchup
1 chicken Knorr stock pot
1-2 tbsp. dried basil
Approximately 220 grams frozen mixed peppers
1 large carrot
1 large courgette
1 clove of garlic
1/2 a large onion
2 x 400 gram cans of peeled plum tomatoes
1-2 tbsp. tomato purée
A little oil for frying
Salt and pepper

Serve with approximately 75-100 grams of pasta of choice (follow cooking instructions on packet)

Method

  1. Start by heating some oil in a high sided large non-stick frying pan.
  2. Whilst the oil is heating up, mix the Worcester sauce, tomato ketchup, chicken stock pot, 1 tbsp. of dried basil, some salt and pepper into the turkey mince until well incorporated. (I wear food gloves and mix with my hands.) don’t overwork the meat too much.
  3. Add the turkey to the pan and chop up as much as you can with a wooden spoon so the mince covers the pan.
  4. Leave it to cook for a few minutes and keep turning it until it browns.
  5. Add the peppers to the pan and leave to cook. In the meantime chop the carrots, courgette and onion into small pieces and add to the pan.
  6. Crush and chop the garlic as small as you can and add to the pan.
  7. Fry the veg for about 10 minutes.
  8. Add the two cans of plum tomatoes, break up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon and stir so all the veg are covered in the tomato sauce.
  9. Add the tomato purée. (At this point you may wish to add more basil, tomato ketchup, salt and pepper but that will be down to your own taste!) If the veg are not covered, add some more water.
  10. Leave to simmer until the sauce has reduced down as much as possible, stirring occasionally. At this time the sauce will cling to the meat, forming the thick Bolognese that you are used to enjoying.
  11. Serve with your cooked pasta of choice.

Suzy says:

  • Sprinkle some cheese over the mixture and as a treat make your own garlic bread to eat with your meal. You can make this by mixing finely chopped garlic with butter and spread over toast (add a bit of parsley if you like).
  • I always use food gloves so my hands don’t get too messy!
  • I also make a vegetarian version using Quorn mince and a vegetarian stockpot. I take out the Worcester sauce (as it contains anchovies) and add some more basil and parsley.

PS. Enjoy!!

Bean Casserole

Dieting is the only game where you win when you lose (Karl Lagerfeld)

This week I have chosen a simple, tasty and healthy recipe to share with you. Here it is:

Bean Casserole

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

Bean Casserole

Bean Casserole

1 x 420 gram can of mixed beans (I use mixed beans in mild chilli sauce by Sainsburys)
2 x 400 gram cans of peeled plum tomatoes
1 x 165 gram can of sweetcorn
1x 425 gram can of baked beans (you can use the value brand for this)
Approximately 220 grams of frozen mixed peppers
1 large carrot
1 large courgette
1 medium onion
1 clove of garlic
2 tsp. Cajun spice
Salt and peppers to taste
1 tbsp. olive oil

Method

  1. In a deep sided large frying pan, heat up the olive oil.
  2. Add the frozen peppers to the pan once the oil is heated.
  3. Whilst the peppers are cooking, chop the carrots, courgette and onion into small pieces and add to the pan.
  4. Crush and chop the garlic up as small as you can and add to the pan.
  5. Fry the veg for about 10 minutes.
  6. Open up all the cans.
  7. First add the can of mixed beans and stir.
  8. Then add the sweetcorn and stir.
  9. Pour the can of beans into a sieve and place under some cold water to wash away the tomato sauce. Add to the pan and stir.
  10. Finally add the two cans of plum tomatoes, break up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon and stir so all the veg are covered in the tomato sauce.
  11. If the veg are not covered, add some more water.
  12. Add the Cajun spice and some salt and pepper to taste.
  13. Leave to simmer for approximately 20 minutes or until you a happy with the consistency.
    Serve.

Suzy says:

  • Eat on its own or accompanied with rice or pasta.
  • If you like spice, add more Cajun or some hot chilli powder.
  • Try sprinkling some grated cheese on it as well. Delicious!

Bon appetit.

Soup of the Week

I always think if you cook once, you should feed twice. If you’re going to make a big chicken and vegetable soup for lunch on Monday, you stick it in the refrigerator and it’s also for Wednesday’s dinner. (Curtis Stone)

This week I decided to spend as little as possible on my weekly shop. I made an effort to use up what I could from my food cupboard/ refrigerator and create recipes using these ingredients. These cost-effective concoctions can still taste great, as well as being good for your health and your purse!

One recipe I often use towards the end of a week, is what I like to call my “soup of the week”. It is rustled up using a medley of any leftover vegetables I have in the fridge or freezer. I fry the chopped vegetables in some butter, pour in boiling water as well as any herbs I feel may go with the soup, add a stock pot, blend….et voila! I have been very fortunate with this dish as I can’t remember a time it hasn’t worked, no matter what the ingredients. This week was no exception.

Soup of the Week (serves 2-4 or maybe more, depending on how much vegetables you have left!)

Ingredients

Soup of the Week

Soup of the Week

1/2 onion
1 apple
2 celery sticks
2 large leeks
1/2 bag of kale
1 clove of garlic
1 chicken Knorr stock pot (vegetable stock also would work)
coriander and parsley (if fresh add 1 tbsp. of each or if dried add 1tsp. of each)
1 tbsp. butter
chives for decoration
salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Finely chop the onion, garlic and celery into small pieces Chop the leek into small pieces and wash in a colander with the kale.
  2. Peel and chop the apple into small pieces.
  3. Melt the butter in a saucepan on a low heat.
  4. Once melted add all the vegetables (including the apple and garlic) and stir.
  5. Place the lid onto the saucepan and sweat down the vegetables for 10/15 minutes.
  6. Pour some boiling water over the vegetables so it just covers them.
  7. Add the stock pot and the herbs and bring to the boil.
  8. Simmer for a further 20 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.
  9. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  10. You can eat the soup as it is or you can blend to make a smooth consistency. You may need to add more boiling water at this point.
  11. To decorate I snip a couple of chives and add to the top of the soup.

Suzy says:

  • Blending can sometimes change the taste of the soup and therefore you may choose to leave it just as it is.
  • I often add a can of washed and drained chickpeas to the soup for protein.
  • As yet, I haven’t found a vegetable or salad ingredient that doesn’t work in this soup, including lettuce and cucumber, which taste great and add a distinctive, fresh flavour. Plus, I always seem to have these leftover!
  • Sometimes your soup may not need any stock, especially if it’s packed with veg (or if you use herbs)- so try it first before you add any in.
  • I always have fresh herbs in my kitchen for my cooking- I keep them in the freezer and they are just as fresh and delicious when I come to use them.
  • Lastly, if you end up making more than is needed, the soup can be frozen to use at a later date.

Bon Appetit!

Gluten Free Mini Pizzas

The best things in life are meant to be shared  (Lucille and William, Brooklyn)

Gluten Free Mini Pizzas

Gluten Free Mini Pizzas

Have you ever had to rustle up a last-minute buffet and wondered what to make? Then try my Gluten Free mini pizzas! They are ideal as a snack at work or for a quick lunch, if you are travelling in the car.

I like to make these pizzas for Christmas day and have them as a treat in the interim between Breakfast and Christmas Day lunch, which let’s face it, always takes much longer than we think to prepare….! The great thing about this dish is that you can make them in advance; you just need to re-heat in the oven and dish up to your hungry guests!

Gluten free mini pizzas ( makes 30)

Ingredients

For the pizza bases

225 grams gluten free brown bread flour (I use Dove’s Farm but there are alternatives)
1/4 tsp. salt
1tsp. Quick yeast (I use Dove’s Farm)
1 tbsp. sugar
175 ml warm milk
1/2 tsp. vinegar
1 egg
3 tbsp. oil

For the tomato sauce

2 tins of plum tomatoes, blended
1/2 red onion chopped small
1 clove of garlic
2 tbsp. chopped fresh basil
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil for frying

For the toppings (ensure you check labelling for gluten free products)

250 grams of Mozzarella, grated.
Pepperoni
1/2 red pepper
1/2 yellow pepper
Or any other topping of choice.

You will also need a round cookie cutter (8 cm diameter)

Method

  1. Start by making the bases.
  2. In a bowl, mix the flour, sugar, yeast and salt.
  3. In a saucepan, on a low heat, warm up the milk and then add the vinegar and eggs. Beat until well mixed.
    Add the milk mixture into the flour and mix well to form a sticky dough.
  4. Start adding the oil 1 tbsp. at a time and mix with each addition. After you have added all the oil, roll it into a ball.
  5. Leave the dough in the bowl, cover with Clingfilm or a clean tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place for an hour.
  6. Whilst the dough is rising you can prepare the tomato sauce
  7. Add some oil into a large frying pan
  8. on a medium heat, fry the chopped onion and garlic in a little oil.
  9. Using a hand blender, blend the tinned tomatoes and add to the onion and garlic. I blend my tomatoes one tin at a time in a measuring jug. If you don’t have a hand blender, you can use passata instead, which is basically the same thing.
  10. Add the basil, salt and pepper and stir.
  11. Turn the heat up on the pan until the mixture starts bubbling and then turn down to simmer and reduce until you have a thick mixture. Last time I made this mixture, it took about 30 minutes to reduce.
  12. Once reduced, leave to cool.
  13. Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas 6/400F
  14. Once the dough has risen, take a large handful of dough and roll it out as thin as possible onto a floured work surface. Make sure you keep turning your dough as you roll so it doesn’t stick to the work surface.
    If the mixture is too sticky, just add some more gluten free flour. This works for me.
  15. Take the cookie cutter and cut out 6 pizza bases. The large handful of dough should make at least 6. I can only fit 6 bases on my baking tray so this works out perfectly for me.
  16. Place the round bases on a baking tray.
  17. Spread a teaspoonful of tomato sauce on each base and the add the pepperoni and peppers to your pizza.
  18. Finally sprinkle some of the grated mozzarella on each pizza and place in the oven and bake for 10 minutes.
  19. Repeat the steps until you have made 30 pizzas. You may be able to cook more pizzas in your oven at one time but I can’t fit more than six in mine.
  20. Take out of the oven and enjoy.

Suzy says:

  • Try with any other toppings of choice.
  • The pizzas taste good straight from the oven or as a cold snack during the day.
  • If you are going gluten-free, ensure you check labels for the logo!

I hope you give this recipe a try and of course, if you do not need to go gluten-free you can also use normal bread flour. However, I would actually go as far to say that it is easier to make gluten-free bread as you do not need to knead your dough as with the flour based recipe and in my opinion, you can’t even tell the difference

Bon Appetit!

Curried Chicken Wraps

Cooking is like love, it should be entered into with abandon or not at all (Harriet van Horne, Vogue)

Curried Chicken Wraps

Curried Chicken Wraps

When I was young, I used to be a fussy eater and would never eat anything with spices in. Now I eat almost anything! Of course, there are still some types of food I avoid but my general guideline when it comes to eating or cooking is to be daring.

Using spices is great way of adding flavour, without needlessly adding extra salt. My flavour of the moment is garam masala- I make my own curry using this and other spices. In fact, as my love of cooking grows so seemingly does my spice rack! When I cook with spices, I just shake them in the food and rely upon my own culinary judgement to shape the dish but in the recipe below I have tried to be a bit more accurate with the measurements. Therefore if you feel you want to add more spice, please do so. I do not like using ready-made sauces in my dishes so I spent some time reading up on recipes and experimenting with spices before coming up with the recipe below.  Experimenting can be fun and luckily I haven’t had too many disasters! If like me, you love the dips and relishes you get with poppadoms, you should like my recipe as I combined some of these relishes with the chicken curry and put them all in a wrap. They can be eaten for lunch or dinner and are tasty both hot and cold!

Curried chicken wraps (serves 4)

Ingredients

350-400 grams of chicken (I use chicken thigh fillets)
1 large courgette, chopped into strips of about 7 cm
2 large carrots, grated
Section of cucumber, 7cm long, halved and sliced into strips
1/2 red onion (medium/large) sliced
4 tortilla wraps
4 tbsp. of mango chutney
1 tbsp. curry powder (I use mild but feel free to spice things up more)
2 tsp. garam masala
1 tsp. ground fenugreek
1 tsp. sugar
1tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. whole cumin seeds
1/2 tsp. of hot chilli powder
Splash of lemon juice
Pinch of mustard powder
2 tbsp. olive oil
Bunch of coriander

Method

  1. Chop the chicken into small chunks.
  2. Into a large saucepan, on a low heat, add the curry powder, garam masala, fenugreek, turmeric, cumin seeds, mustard powder and the chilli powder. Mix for three minutes ensuring the ingredients don’t burn.
  3. Add in the oil, lemon juice and sugar. This will make your curry paste.
  4. Turn the heat up on the saucepan and add the chicken to the curry paste. Remember to keep stirring so the paste covers all the chicken. Allow to cook through.
  5. Grate the carrot, slice the onion lengthways and chop the cucumber into thin strips. Mix these ingredients up in a bowl.
  6. Slice the courgettes into thin batons and add to the chicken.
  7. Once the chicken and courgettes are cooked, chop up some coriander and add to the chicken.
  8. The final part is to assemble your wrap. Heat up the tortilla wraps in the microwave.
  9. Spread 1 tbsp. of mango chutney over the tortilla wrap.
  10. Take a quarter of the carrot, onion and cucumber mixture and place onto the tortilla.
  11. Finally, add a quarter of the chicken mixture over the carrots, wrap and serve.

Hints

  • Try chopping the wraps into bite size chunks. Great for serving to guests!
  • I often buy chicken in large quantities, chop into chunks and freeze, ready to use when needed. My friend Nikki told me to flat pack the chicken in freezer bags so if you forget to take the meat out of the freezer (like I do!) it doesn’t take such a long time to defrost!

It has taken me a while to buy all the spices in the ingredient list but I started with curry powder and garam masala and just bought the others when I could. The wrap would work with these two ingredients but I like to experiment with new spices. In future, I would love to make my own curry powder mix and my own mango chutney.

Enjoy.