Tag Archives: Vegetables

Frugal Meals #1 The easiest tomato soup you’ll ever make

16 Apr

Now I’ve managed to pull myself out of my winter stupor enough to be interested in cooking decent meals again I’m determined not to break the bank with organic food. Therefore, as always I’m on a mission to buy and cook good, wholesome, healthy, organic meals each day on a budget.
It’s not going to be easy as food prices have gone up noticeably in our local shops (I paid £2.69 for one organic red pepper the other day!) so that means I have been busy rummaging through my emergency ‘frugal meals’ recipes, and thought I would let you in on the best over the next few weeks.


More…I want to know how to make this soup!


Non-Vegetarian Sausage, Onion and Tomato Pie

9 Jan

img_8972We have a man who comes into our bookshop to plant vegetarian propaganda. It drives me crazy. Don’t get me wrong, I respect the choices of vegetarians and vegans and I even agree with some of the points they make about meat production. However, what I don’t appreciate or respect is this guy hiding propaganda in my books which says things like ‘Why Jesus would be a vegetarian’. It just makes us look like some type of cult church, we believe no such thing! GRR.

Anyway the other day I found a Viva! ‘Reasons to go Veggie, Vegetarian Recipes’ booklet in our literature rack and instead of throwing it into the recycling muttering darkly I thought I would try some of the recipes. Last night I cooked a Sausage, Onion and Tomato Pie (using normal sausages instead of veggie) and it was delicious! 

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Creamy Vegetable Pasta Bake

24 May

I haven’t put any recipes on here for ages so I thought I would let you in on this yummy dish which I made with cobbled together ingredients we had left in our cupboard on Thursday. It serves 4 and takes about 40 minutes to make.

• 250g Penne or Fuseli Pasta
• Half a courgette – chopped
• 1 head of broccoli florettes
• About 7 mushrooms – chopped
• 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 1 ½ tablespoons of butter
• 2 tablespoons of plain flour
• 400ml milk
• 150g grated cheese
• 400g chopped tomatoes
• Handful of sunflower seeds
• Seasoning
1. Preheat the oven to 200°/180° (fan assisted).

2. Cook the pasta according to pack instructions. While this is boiling gently fry the mushrooms, courgette and broccoli with the oil for about 3-4 minutes.

3. Take the vegetables off the heat. Put the butter, flour and milk into a saucepan on a medium heat, whisking all the time until the mixture begins to thicken (you’re making a white sauce here!). Then stir in the cheese until it is melted, leaving a little left for sprinkling. Season.
4. Stir the chopped tomatoes to the cheese sauce and whisk until relatively smooth and combined. Add the chopped, fried vegetables.
5. Pour the pasta into an oven proof dish and pour the sauce over it, making sure it is well mixed and covered. Add seasoning and sprinkle over the rest of the cheese and sunflower seeds6. Cook in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until the bake looks golden and bubbling! Serve with crusty homemade bread and salad.

Versatile Vegetable Bolognese Recipe

12 Feb

I realise that I keep mentioning ‘Vegetable Bolognese’ in my detox diaries so I thought I would share the recipe with you as it is delicious.

I first got the idea off the BBC good-food website when my sister and family came to stay as I needed an easy vegetarian option to serve 6.
However since then it appears to have disappeared off their website, and I have adapted it for my own cooking anyway…

Individual vegetables can be left out or substituted with pretty much any others you have in the fridge, the dish is so versatile.
It can be served with spaghetti to make vegetarian spaghetti bolognese. It is really nice mixed in with brown rice or served with a helping of mashed sweet potato, or can be used as a light lunch served over a baked/jacket potato.  

To Serve 4 People….

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Courgette
  • 2 celery sticks
  • 1 pepper
  • 1 carrot
  • 100g Red Lentils
  • 500ml Vegetable Stock
  • 400g Chopped Tomatoes
  • Parmesan cheese (cheddar is fine!)

1. Chop all vegetables (chop finely for serving with spagetti, but when serving with rice or potato it is nicer to keep some more chunks).
2. Fry onion and garlic in the oil for a couple of minutes. Add all other vegetables and fry for another minute.
3. Add lentils, stock and chopped tomatoes. Simmer for 15/20 minutes until sauce has reduced down.
4. Serve with grated cheese over the top. 

Why not add a pinch of chilli flakes to give it some kick?

Detox Diary – Day One

8 Feb

Okay, so yesterday was my first day of detox.

Porridge with raisins and dried apricot
1 glass of orange juice

2 glasses of water
Sunflower seeds 

Vegetable broth
Natural ‘live’ yoghurt with Satsuma
1 glass of water 

1 glass of water
1 cup of herbal tea 

Vegetable Bolognese with mashed potato 

Natural Yoghurt sweetened with honey
Plain popcorn
3 Glasses of Water

It hasn’t been too bad as I normally eat this kind of thing. I have really missed having something ‘solid’ to chew on and make me feel like I’m filled up. I could have really done with some sweet flapjack!
Felt slightly better after having honey with yoghurt as the instant sugar gave me a pick-up.
Drinking so much water was the most difficult thing as almost had to force it down. Didn’t feel thirsty at all.
Now need to try and find a recipe for something more solid and chewy and I’ll be okay for the week.

Meet our new friend

17 Dec

We have got a new friend, although he doesn’t say much! We picked up a brace of pheasants from the local butchers on Saturday. After splitting the cost we a friend we came away with a beautiful cock pheasant for £2.25.

A bit of a bargain as it will be the meat for our “first married Christmas meal”. 

Pheasant Friend 

I must admit that I was (and still am) dubious about getting a feathered pheasant but Josh finally wore me down and I agreed. There is an obvious hypocrisy about people who hold their nose and grimace at animals hanging outside butchers if they then eat meat themselves, but that isn’t really the case here.
I just hope that there isn’t too much mess and smell in the confined conditions of our flat! It would be better if we had a large, clean, well ventilated area!

Although it saved us quite a few pounds having them feathered I’m not convinced it’s necessarily worth it to have to do all the prep yourself, but Josh assures me it should be an experience and hopefully some fun(?!). 


Anyway, it’s been hanging off our kitchen cupboard for the last few days and we are planning to pluck and gut it tonight. I’ve been looking at several recipes but think we will probably just do a straight forward roast as by the time you buy all the extra ingredients included in some we will have cancelled out any money we may have saved! Will let you know how it goes! 

Josh also pickled some beetroot which were included in our veg box on Saturday and they turned out really nicely. Very fresh and crunchy. We have been enjoying it in salads with nuts and some lovely goats cheese we picked up at the farmers market. Yum!


Fractal Food

26 Oct

What’s bright green, knobbly and makes your skin crawl?

A Romanesco Cauliflower, that’s what!
They are the most freakish vegetables I have ever seen and it has made me feel itchy and weird all afternoon (from looking at it, not eating it I should add). 


I can’t find many recipes which include it either, but I think I will serve it with a creamy mustard sauce as that seems to be a recurring theme on the internet sites I have looked at…will get back to you about that one. 

As you can probably guess from my ramblings, we got our latest Veg box. The experiment is going well so far, we haven’t had to throw away any vegetables yet – although we have got a couple of mushrooms and carrots that are on their last legs (the carrot really did have crazy leg-like projections). We got grapes today too…yummy! 

All quiet in the life of Rachel really, other than vegetables (what an interesting life I lead). Autumn is setting in and I love it. I did, however, see some dolphins off south beach the other day which makes me think it can’t be too near winter after all. 

Lovely recipe I would suggest everyone makes because it’s yummy and SO easy…

Chicken, Sweet Potato and Coconut Curry (from GoodFood) It says it serves 2 Adults and 2 Children, but in reality if you have naan/ puppodums and you toss in a bit more potato it serves 4 adults.

  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 2 tsp mild curry paste
  • 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 medium-sized sweet potatos, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces
  • 4 tbsp red split lentils
  • 300ml chicken stock
  • 400ml can coconut milk
  • 175g frozen peas


  1. Heat the oil in a deep frying pan or wok, stir in the curry paste and fry for 1 minute. Add the chicken, sweet potatoes and lentils and stir to coat in the paste, then pour in the stock and coconut milk. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 15 minutes.
  2. Tip in the peas, bring back to the boil and simmer for a further 4-5 minutes. Season to taste before serving.

Vegging Out

12 Oct

The weather in Aberystwyth is rubbish today. Neither raining, nor dry, but that annoying drizzle that soaks everything and is miserable.However, I am so NOT miserable today because we finally got our first organic fruit and vegetable box!

SOOOO excited! On first impressions it didn’t look like there was much in the box for nine pounds and it looked very different from what you would expect to get from a supermarket, but after thinking rationally it’s a very good selection, considering it’s organic too.Lots of fruit, and in small portions which is good because I always get bored of having to eat loads of the same…bananas, plums, oranges, kiwi, pears, apples.
Lots of staple veg like potatoes, onions, carrots and salad, and also some interesting vegetable, courgette, broccoli, red pepper, and a corn on the cob (think we will have to flip a coin for that one!). 
I just had a plum and a (yellow/green) orange and they were VERY yummy, and made me feel healthy, even though I think that was just psychological 

My brother recommended the book ‘A life stripped bare’ by Leo Hickman and I can’t wait to read it, although can’t afford to buy it yet. Looks like the thing that will inspire me to do lots more ethical and sustainable stuff.  I think we’ll need lots of encouragement along the way as it is going to be hard to keep going at times, especially as we don’t have much money. I really don’t think that you have to be rich to eat organic though.
We only spend £25 a week between us on shopping…is this a lot compared to what others spend? I’m not sure, but we manage fine on that. 

Other good things that have happened today…

Found out my MOT doesn’t expire until April 2008 (had a scare that it was April 2007!).

I tricked the people who always hang up on me into talking to me…one point to me! Veg Box