Category Archives: A love of food

Very Sticky Brownies #baking #vegan

This recipe has been marked in the cookbook for ages as one to try, but I didn’t and I don’t know why! Perhaps it’s the name, it’s a recipe by Ella Mills which she calls ‘Raw Brownies’ which does not do them justice. Simple to make, no baking involved, and impossible to stop nibbling. They are very rich, so perhaps mark out portions slightly smaller than your usual brownies!

In the list of ingredients, the syrup is included as optional. However I found my mixture was crumbly so added 1½ tbsp of agave syrup until it became sticky. This probably depends on your dates, be sure to use dates from the fresh fruit section rather than the longlife dried version found in the baking aisle which are not sticky enough.

Makes 10-15 normal sized brownies
140g pecans
400g Medjool dates, pitted
3 tbsp raw cacao powder
2 tbsp maple syrup, honey or agave syrup [optional]

Place the nuts in your food processor and pulse until they become gritty.

Add the pitted dates, cacao and blend. Now decide if you want to add syrup, or need to add syrup if the mixture is a little crumbly. Pulse until the mixture sticks to the back of a spoon and gathers into a large ball.

Spread the mixture on a clean baking tray, no need to grease it first. Spread it out evenly, I found this quantity used less than half the space of the baking tray. Place the tray [above right] in the freezer for one hour. Remove the tray from the freezer [above], cut into bars, and place in an airtight plastic box. Store this in the fridge.

What I will do differently next time:
Add a few drops of vanilla essence
Substitute almonds for the pecans
Use maple syrup instead of agave syrup
Mark out the portions before the tray goes into the freezer

If you like this,try:-
Gluten-free cherry cake 
A sweet and sour cranberry cake
Peanut butter biscuits 

5 to remember
el polvo de cacao crudo – the raw cacao powder
los dátiles Medjool – the Medjool dates
deshuesado – pitted
imposible dejar de mordisquear – impossible to stop nibbling
hermético – airtight

 

This recipe is from ‘Deliciously Ella’ by Ella Mills
Amazon

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
Very sticky brownies #Recipe by @DeliciouslyElla #baking #vegan https://wp.me/p3dYp6-2A8 via @Spanish_Valley 

Rib-sticking lentil and sausage casserole

Practically made in total with store cupboard/fridge/freezer ingredients, this casserole is brilliant for chilly days when you are cold and starving hungry. Eat it from a deep bowl with a spoon. It is very satisfying and, made in one saucepan, is quick and easy.

Serves 4
3 tbsp olive oil
8 vegetarian sausages [we used Quorn]
2 onions, chopped
25g fresh root ginger, peeled and grated
2 large garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp ground turmeric
2 tsp paprika [we used half and half pimentón dulce and pimentón dulce]
2 tsp tomato puree [we used more]
tin of chopped tomatoes
100g cooked chestnuts [we used vacuum-packed], roughly chopped
250g Puy or brown lentils
650ml vegetable stock
salt
pepper
Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large saucepan, then add the sausages and cook until browned all over. Remove from the pan, and set aside.

Add the remaining oil to the same pan, add the onion and cook until lightly coloured and tender. Stir in the ginger and garlic and cook until the aroma rises. Add the spices [above] and tomato puree and cook for another two minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook for a few minutes.

Return the sausages to the pan and add the chestnuts, lentils and stock. Bring to a simmer and cook gently for 20-30 minutes until the lentils are tender and the sausages are cooked through. If the mixture gets too dry, add a splash more water. Season to taste and serve. 
Next time I will:-
Throw in a handful of frozen peas.
Add chopped fresh parsley at the end.
Add a little more fresh ginger.

If you like this,try:-
Salmon and New Potato Traybake
Asparagus and horseradish pasta
Sweet potatoes + coconut + ginger

5 to remember
muriendo de hambre – starving
envasado al vacío – vacuum-packed
las castañas – the chestnuts
si la mezcla se seca demasiado – if the mixture gets too dry
añadir un poco más de agua – add a splash more water

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
One for a cold winter night: rib-sticking lentils and sausage casserole #recipe #veggiefood https://wp.me/p3dYp6-2zU via @Spanish_Valley

A quick salad for a sunny day in winter

On one of those winter days that feels like July, when the thought of hot food is overwhelming but the fridge is lacking salad ingredients, I rustled together this Jamie Oliver lunch dish. From the freezer, the cupboard, and the parsley pot on the terrace. I cut out one step from the original recipe to make it quicker: I didn’t roast the red peppers from the jar. It seemed a redundant step to me, as they are already roasted. I also didn’t add brine from the jar to the salad dressing, I made up the quantity with a splash more olive oil and red wine vinegar.

Serves 2
200g fresh podded broad beans, or frozen broad beans
30g whole almonds
1x 480g jar of roasted red peppers in brine
½ bunch of fresh flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
30g manchego cheese [or any other hard cheese]
Dressing:-
1½ tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp brine from the pepper jar

Boil the broad beans for three minutes, drain and set aside to cool. If any are large, pinch off the pale green outer skin.

Toast the almonds in a dry frying pan over a medium heat until pale golden. Remove and finely slice.

Drain the jar of peppers, open out flat and slice into strips. [At this stage, Jamie roasts the peppers in a griddle pan, without oil. I didn’t].

Sort the parsley and discard the thick stalks. As the parsley is effectively the salad leaf in this dish, I left the leaves whole.

Mix the dressing ingredients together in a jar and give a good shake. In a serving bowl, toss together the peppers, parsley and broad beans with the dressing. Season to taste.

To serve, using a potato peeler, shave the cheese over the top of the salad. Add the almonds and an extra drizzle of 1 tsp olive oil. Served with a side of roasted sweet potatoes. 5 to remember
si alguna– if any
realmente– effectively/really/truly
los tallos gruesos– the thick stalks
un pelador de patatas– a potato peeler
sobre la parte superior de – over the top of

If you feel hungry, try these recipes:-
A gooey creamy salad
Light and fresh tabbouleh
Crunchy tahini green salad 

 

‘5 Ingredients’ by Jamie Oliver [UK: Michael Joseph]

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
A quick #salad for a sunny day in winter #Spain #recipe by @jamieoliver https://wp.me/p3dYp6-2st via @Spanish_Valley

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Salsa roasted beets

These are the best lentils I have ever eaten, teamed with sweet beetroot and a tangy herb salsa. A fine supper for a winter evening. There are three elements to combine, all simple. Serves 4
For the beetroots:-
8 medium firm beetroots, peeled and quartered
4 tbsp red wine vinegar
extra virgin olive oil
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
For the lentils:-
400g Puy or brown lentils, rinsed
4 whole cloves of garlic
1 small tomato, whole
1 bay leaf
a few sprigs of fresh thyme
1 litre vegetable stock
For the salsa verde:-
2 tbsp capers
2 tbsp cornichons or gherkins
bunch of fresh mint
bunch of fresh parsley
bunch of fresh basil
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
juice of ½ lemon

Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 6. 
Put the quartered beetroots onto a baking tray. If your beetroots are large, cut them into smaller wedges as they can take a long time to roast. Add the vinegar, a good glug of olive oil and a splash of water. Season with salt and pepper, toss everything to coat. Cover the tray with foil and roast in the oven for 1 hour, until the beetroots are cooked through and the juices are neon pink.

Meanwhile, cook the lentils. Put the lentils into a saucepan with the unpeeled garlic, whole tomato and herbs. Just cover with the vegetable stock. Put on a medium heat and bring to a simmer. Cook for 20-25 minutes until they are cooked and the water evaporated [if they are cooked and spare water remains, simply drain it away]. If they are a little dry and not quite cooked, add a splash of boiling water.
To make the salsa, finely chop the capers and cornichons. Add the herbs and chop again. Put into a bowl and add the olive oil and lemon juice. Season to taste, add more oil or lemon until you are happy. Set aside. Once the lentils are cooked and all the water has evaporated, scoop out the tomato, bay leaf and garlic. Set the flavourings aside in a bowl to cool. When you can handle them, remove the garlic skin and tomato skin, mash the flesh and add back into the lentils. Mix, season to taste, and add a final glug of olive oil and red wine vinegar [be sparing with the latter, add a little and taste until you are happy].
When the beetroots are cooked, you are ready to serve. Pile the lentils onto plates, top with the roasted beets and drizzle over the roasting juices. Drizzle over the salsa to finish.
If you have some salsa left over, it will keep in the fridge in a sealed jar for 2-3 days.

What would I do differently next time:-
To make the leftovers go further, we added a pile of roasted broccoli, roasted carrots and onions.
Drizzle thick natural yogurt over the top
Substitute balsamic vinegar for the red wine vinegar

5 to remember
los tres elementos – the three elements
evaporado – evaporated
si estan un poco secos – if they are a little dry
se mantendrá – it will keep
un frasco sellado – a sealed jar

This recipe is from ‘A Modern Way to Eat’ by Anna Jones
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If you feel hungry, try these recipes:-
Green Shakshuka
Light and Fresh Tabbouleh
Golden Drops of Salt Cod

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
Salsa roasted beets #vegetarianfood #Recipe by Anna Jones @we_are_food https://wp.me/p3dYp6-2zJ via @Spanish_Valley

Baked eggs in magical mushrooms

I love these one dish baked suppers. This one can be prepared in advance and cooked later and is made of mostly store cupboard ingredients. It also performs a magic trick on cheap supermarket mushrooms by serving them in a dense rich tomato sauce. I added some additional spices to add flavour, rather than heat, and a jar of chickpeas for protein. Eat with a spoon and bread to mop up the sauce and yolk. This is great to make ahead and keep in the fridge, then put in the oven when you are ready to eat. If you make this early to cook later, remember to allow a little more time in the oven. Always taste and test before serving, and check in the centre to ensure it is full heated through.

Serves 4, or two very hungry people
3 tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 tsp coriander seeds, crushed [I didn’t have seeds so I used 1 tsp ground coriander]
2 tsp tomato paste
½ tsp thyme leaves [I used dried]
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp olive oil
25g sultanas
20g pine nuts [I used chopped almonds]
Juice of ½ lemon
250g button mushrooms, quartered
4 eggs [I used two]
1 tbsp 0% fat Greek yogurt
I added:-
1 tin chopped tomatoes
2 tsp pimenton dulce
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
In a saucepan place the tomatoes, coriander, tomato paste, thyme, bay leaf, oil and additional spices [if using]. Season with black pepper. Add 150ml water and simmer gently for 8 minutes. Increase the heat then add the sultanas, pine nuts, lemon juice, mushrooms and chickpeas [if using]. Cook for a further 5 minutes. If you are cooking later, halt the process here.

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 5. Spoon the mushroom mixture into individual ramekins [if using, or into a wide baking dish]. Make a well in the mixture for each egg.

Break an egg into each hole, then top each egg with a spoonful of yogurt. Bake for 9 minutes if the mixture is hot, or 12 minutes if cold. I baked mine straight away and it was happy in the oven for almost 30 minutes, though the sauce did bubble over so I was glad I had put the baking dish on a baking tray. Next time I will:-
Leave out the fresh tomatoes and just use tinned chopped tomatoes
Use finely chopped fresh thyme
Serve with toasted sourdough bread rubbed with fresh garlic

If you like this, try:-
Moorish rice with saffron braised carrots
Herby baked halloumi with tapenade
Baked pesto and tomato pasta

5 to remember
un truco de magia  – a magic trick
una cucharada de yogurt – a spoonful of yogurt
un ramekin – a ramekin
si vas a cocinar mas tarde – if you are cooking later
a la próxima, lo hare – next time I will

 

This recipe is by TV chef Anthony Worrall-Thompson Amazon

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
Baked eggs in magic mushrooms #Recipe by @AntonyWT #veggiefood https://wp.me/p3dYp6-2wK via @Spanish_Valley

Mushroom and butternut lasagne

This recipe is the result of not shopping properly. I thought I had bought everything needed to make this vegetable lasagne recipe from the Cranks recipe book, but it turned out I was missing a couple of key things. Sheets of lasagne. Crème fraiche. So I improvised and added a couple of extra things I happened to have. This is the result. It demonstrates that being flexible can often be a nice surprise. Whatever you change, always include the roasted butternut squash slices in pesto, that’s lovely!As with a lot of ‘vegetarian’ recipes, I find them sadly lacking in protein. So I added a tin of haricot beans which I had in the cupboard. It would work with any type of tinned bean.

Serves 4
900g butternut squash, peeled, de-seeded, and cut into long thin slices
olive oil
1 tbsp basil pesto [I used about 4 tbsp]
600g mushrooms, any combination, wiped with dry kitchen towel
6 lasagne sheets [I used gluten-free penne instead]
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp tamari/soy sauce
8 tbsp crème fraiche [I used fat free natural yogurt]
600g spinach
30g Parmesan, grated
a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
60 Gruyere or other hard cheese, grated [I used more Parmesan]
tin haricot beans, drained [optional]
packet fresh basil [optional]

The separate elements for the lasagne can be prepared in advance, and assembled just before eating. Preheat the oven to 230°C/450°F/gas 8. Place the slices of butternut squash in a bowl and toss with 2 tbsp olive oil, season to taste. Spread in a single layer on two baking trays and roast in the oven for about 20 minutes until soft when checked with a knife, and going brown around the edges. Put into a bowl to cool slightly, add the basil pesto and set aside. Meanwhile, cook the lasagne sheets or your own preferred pasta. Drain and set aside. Slice the cleaned mushrooms. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil, two chopped garlic cloves and the tamari in a wide frying pan. Add the mushrooms and cook gently until they begin to release their juices. Add 1 tbsp crème fraiche, turn the heat down and simmer until the juices begin to reduce. Set aside.

Put the spinach, and fresh basil if using, into a saucepan with a splash of water. Cook with the lid on over a gentle heat so the leaves wilt. Drain in a sieve and press out the excess liquid using the back of a large spoon. Chop on a board then put into a bowl. Add 30g grated Parmesan, 1 clove chopped garlic, nutmeg, salt, pepper and 4 tbsp crème fraiche. Set aside. If cooking straight away:-
Turn the oven down to 190°C/375°F/gas 5.

Layer the vegetables and pasta in a large ovenproof casserole dish, finishing with a creamy spinach layer and the remaining crème fraiche. Sprinkle the top with the grated Gruyere or hard cheese.

Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes until the cheese is melted and golden. If cooking later:-
Pre-heat the oven to 190°C/375°F/gas 5. Assemble the dish as above.

Bake in the oven with a lid on the casserole, or cover with a layer of foil, for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and continue to bake for a further 15-20 minutes until the cheese is melted and golden. Test with a fork to make sure the vegetables at the bottom of the dish are hot. What would I do differently next time?
Add more yogurt
Stir the haricot beans into the spinach and yogurt sauce
Substitute courgette for the spinach, sliced thinly and fried lightly in a little olive oil If you like this, try:-
Mushrooms + wine + butternut
Cheesy nutty herby mushrooms
A cassoulet of aubergines

5 to remember
un par de cosas clave – a couple of key things
la nuez moscada – the nutmeg
la cazuela – the casserole dish
prueba con un tenedor – test with a fork
las alubias – the haricot beans

 

This recipe is from ‘The Cranks Bible’ by Nadine Abensur [Weidenfeld & Nicolson]

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
Mushroom and butternut lasagne #Spain #vegetarianfood https://wp.me/p3dYp6-2vD via @Spanish_Valley

Salmon and new potato traybake

This is a versatile supper dish that, with a few seasonal amendments, works well throughout the year. And it is very tasty! In spring add asparagus, in the winter use leeks and frozen peas, add baby broad beans in the summer and in the autumn try Brussels sprouts. If you can get lightly smoked salmon fillets, they work well too.

Serves 4
2 tbsp rapeseed or sunflower oil
750g baby new potatoes
3 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon leaves [I used a combination of tarragon and dill]
juice and zest of a lemon, plus lemon wedges to serve
175g leeks, trimmed
2 tsp Dijon mustard
6 tbsp crème fraiche or natural yogurt
1 tbsp capers, drained and rinsed
4 fillets salmon
200g frozen peas, gently defrosted

Preheat the oven to 220°C/ 200°C fan/ gas mark 7. Pour the oil into a large roasting tin and out in the oven to preheat.

Cut the potatoes into evenly sized quarters and out into the heated tin. Add 1 tbsp tarragon and half the lemon zest. Season well and toss well to coat in oil. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, put the leeks in a bowl and cover with freshly boiled water. Set aside for 10 minutes, then drain. 

For the dressing, whisk together the mustard, crème fraiche, capers, 2 tbsp lemon juice, 1tbsp tarragon and 1 tbsp water (to loosen the mixture). Season to taste. After 15 minutes, remove the potatoes from the oven and test. They should be almost tender; if they’re not put back into the oven for another five minutes. If they are almost tender, add the drained leeks, toss briefly with the oil then place the salmon fillets on top. Over the top sprinkle the remaining tarragon and lemon zest, check the seasoning.

Scatter frozen peas on top then return to the oven for a further 8-10 minutes until the salmon is cooked through.

To serve, drizzle with the dressing and squeeze the lemon wedges. From a recipe in Good Housekeeping magazine.

If you like this, try:-
Mint, lime & lentil salad
Punchy leeks on toast
Roasted cauliflower salad

5 to remember
el estragón – the tarragon
un filete de pescado – a fillet (of fish)
agotado – drained
a lloviznar – to drizzle
un trozo – a wedge

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
Salmon & potato traybake: a versatile supper dish that works well throughout the year #Spain #Recipe by @GHmagazine https://wp.me/p3dYp6-2mk  via @Spanish_Valley

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