I’m aware that tagine and quickie are an oxymoron: tagine is a slow-cooking Moroccan stew.
This is a cheat veggie tagine/tchoutchouka type quickie. Simple to cook, five main ingredients, ready in 20 minutes tops: you can’t lose, and you’re in for an unexpected treat.
- 1 aubergine (or 2 organic red peppers)
- 1 big red onion
- 1 clove garlic
- 4 eggs
- 350 ml. organic passata (from Sainsbury’s, my favourite)
- 1 heap teaspoon ras-al-hanout (or 1/2 cumin, 1/2 ginger, 1/2 coriander)
- 1 generous squirt of harissa (or any other red chilli spice device)
- olive oil
- salt, pepper
Dice the aubergine. Cut the onion in half and then slice it. Chop the garlic finely. Sweat the onion and garlic in 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the aubergine. Cook for 5 minutes.
Add the passata and let it cook on medium heat for another 5 minutes. Mix in the spices and harissa.
Break the eggs on top of your sauce and cover. Leave to cook on low heat for 5 minutes or until whites are cooked but yolks are still soft.
Salt, pepper, a bit of olive and maybe some chopped flat parsley if available.
Serve with instant wholemeal couscous (prepared in 5 minutes).
Well, I’ve been really busy cooking today. This morning I decided to make completely homemade veggie burgers: wholemeal buns, relish, burger patties and all.
It was hard work but so worth it, and what else is one to do on such a miserable spring Monday with below zero temperature? The toddler had a great time playing around me opening and closing cupboards as I was chopping, baking, reducing the relish sauce. The husband was delighted to come home to such a veggie feast. All winners is this story.
These burger patties are really tasty because of the two kinds of onions, the chilli and the heavy sent of smoked paprika, that stuff cheers up any dish.
preparation: 1 hour 30 minutes
Oven: 10-15 minutes 200C
makes 12 burgers approx.
- 1 small butternut squash
- 200 gr. haricot beans
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 red onions
- 80 gr. corn flour
- 7 Scottish oat cakes
- 3 tbsp. spelt or wholewheat flour
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 2 teaspoons Spanish smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoons chilli powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 4 small spring onions
- salt, pepper, olive oil
First, cook the peeled and roughly diced butternut squash in a pot with a lid, with 1 inch water at the bottom for 30 minutes or more, until completely soft. Make sure there is always a bit of water at the bottom so it won’t stick. You can also steam it or roast it (if you have enough time). Leave to cool down.
Cook the haricot beans in a pressure cooker with 2 bay leaves. Drain and cool down.
Meanwhile chop onion and spring onion very finely. Place the oat cakes in your processor to make very fine crumbs. Put them in a bowl with the corn and spelt flours, the salt, pepper, spices and baking powder.
Put the butternut squash and haricot beans in a big bowl and mash with a potato masher. The haricot beans will not mash completely but make sure more or less all them have been squashed. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
Make some patties, in the palm of your hand, half an inch thick and 3 and 1/2 inches wide. Place in a plate with a bit of flour and turn each side into the flour, to make a very thin coat.
In a big pan, heat half an inch or so of olive oil. Fry all burgers for a few minutes on each side on medium-high heat, not too high or they will brown too quickly. Finish by baking them for 10-15 minutes in a 200C oven.
Serve with homemade purple coleslaw.
One of my favourite festive finger foods is mini-quiches. They are reasonably easy to make, very versatile and always a hit.
My version is a bit lighter than the usual French classic. I substitute creme fraiche by full-fat yogurt. I made these ones with leek and brie, but it can be made with red peppers and goats cheese, asparagus and parmesan, whichever combination of vegetable and cheese you fancy.
Makes 16 mini-quiches
Preparation: 45 minutes
Baking time: 35-40 minutes at 200C
- 250 mg. wholewheat flour
- 100 ml. warm water
- 100 ml. olive oil
- 1 tbsp. sesame seeds or poppy seeds
- 3 leeks
- 1 red onion
- 1 clove garlic
- 5 eggs
- 1/2 cup yogurt
- 1/2 milk
- salt, pepper
- olive oil
Make the pastry, make a ball of it and leave to rest for an hour.
Chop the onion and garlic finely and sweat them for a few minutes in olive oil. Add the finely sliced leeks and sweat for a few more minutes.
Oil the muffin dish. Spread the pastry and cut circles that are slightly bigger than the muffin holes. Shape the pastry into each hole.
Pre-heat the oven to 200C.
In a bowl, beat the eggs and add the milk and yogurt, as well as the salt, pepper and nutmeg.
Place the mix of vegetables in the pastry. Pour some the egg mix almost up to the top. Place a small square of cheese on top and push it slightly into the mix.
Place in the oven for 35 to 40 minutes, until the pastry is cooked and the filling is golden.
I had tried it a few years ago, and wasn’t too convinced. Last month at the farmer’s market, we bought a delicious spelt bread, and since then the idea of integrating this flour in my everyday baking has been teasing my imagination. I bought a bag of artisan, organic, stoneground, wholegrain spelt at Waitrose yesterday so the first thing I had to try it with was Sunday morning pancakes.
It was real success here.
The baby is the higher consumer of pancakes in the family. When he is teething he becomes fussy so I hide all of his veggies and some grated cheese in pancakes. He eats beetroot, kale, spinach, sweet potato, squash pancakes, and loves it.
I’ve managed to find an organic products for all the ingredients too, hurrah!
Preparation: 30 minutes
- 2 cups wholegrain spelt flour
- 1 cup skimmed milk
- 3 eggs
- 4 tsp. baking powder
- 3 tbsp. rapeseed oil
In a big bowl, pour the flour. Add the eggs one by one, the oil, baking powder and pour the milk little by little.
Bake the pancakes in a medium hot flat pan with a bit of vegetable oil. If it’s too hot it will get too brown before cooking properly inside. But if it’s not hot enough it won’t raise as much.
Find a happy medium and enjoy!
I’ve just watched this documentary about meat production and even if I knew a lot already, there’s a whole part I found out there. Especially the whole part about the exploitation of Uruguayan farmers and the bullying of the soy producers there. And more shockingly, South American babies being born with extreme malformations as a result.