Spinach & Feta Triangles

I came home from work tired tonight, but determined to use up that bag of spinach!

Luckily I had already bought some filo pastry in anticipation, so I was able to try out Spinach and Feta Triangles or Spanakopita as they are known in Greece.

I pretty much knew what was going to be in them, but did a google search, just to make sure. Phew! I had everything I needed!



Spinach and Feta Triangles

150g spinach, rinsed and chopped
150g feta cheese, crumbled
1 egg
1 box filo pastry (12 sheets)
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
melted butter, for brushing
fresh nutmeg, grated
salt & pepper to taste


Heat the oil in a frying pan and cook the onion and garlic until translucent. Add the spinach and cook for a couple of minutes, until the spinach has started to wilt. Season with grated nutmeg, salt and pepper.

Whisk the egg in a bowl, add the feta cheese and then stir in the spinach mixture.

Lay down your first sheet of filo, brush sparingly with butter and layer the next sheet on top. Do this for a total of 4 sheets. Slice down the middle, length-ways. Lay a dollop of mixture to one side and fold over from corner to make a triangle. Keep folding triangles up the pastry (hope that makes sense)! Do the same with the rest of the pastry until you have used up all the mixture.


Brush with butter and place on a baking tray (you will probably need two). Put in a preheated oven at 375f, 190c, GM 5, for 20 minutes until golden.

Makes 6 triangles

I served each triangle with harissa potatoes. 

I got a great recipe for harissa from Lisa's Kitchen. I made my first ever batch at the weekend. 


So I am trying it out for the first time tonight, maybe not a traditional use, but I thought it would contrast well with the mild feta cheese triangles.






The harissa is spicy and yet smoky at the same time.

Graham described it as hot but without the kick at the back of your throat! Anyway it was a good dressing for potatoes!

Hope you give it a go!
10

Lemon Syllabub


When I was young I was always going out with my parents for meals.

There was a particular hotel that my dad loved and he would often invite friends and colleagues out with us for dinner.

I remember the hotel dining room overlooked a beautiful garden (I thought fairies lived in it). I remember learning how to tackle so many forks and knives (outside in) and I remember my favourite dessert, strawberry syllabub!

Delicious!

Here is my recipe for a lemon one!



Lemon syllabub

284ml tub whipping cream
50g/2floz caster sugar
50ml/2floz white wine
zest and juice of 1/2 lemon


Whip the cream and sugar together until it forms soft peaks. Stir in the wine, most of the lemon zest and the juice.

Really easy, isn't it?

Graham doesn't like alcohol, being a bit straight edge, so I split the cream mix into two and added fruit juice into his, instead of wine and it worked just as well!

Who would know that I would be a wine-lover at such a young age!


12

Aparagus, Egg & Potato Salad


























To make my salad, I hard boiled eggs in boiling water for 5 mins, cooled them, then peeled them and cut them in half lengthways. The potatoes, I boiled until they started to become tender and then I sliced and fried them in a little olive oil. I cooked the asparagus in boiling water for 3 minutes.

I added the asparagus, egg halves and potato slices to a bed of watercress, baby spinach and rocket leaves. I then drizzled my salad with a lemony dressing and topped with little wafers of veggie parmesan.

Dressing
 
2 tbps olive oil, 1 tbsp freshly squezzed lemon juice, 1 tsp wholegrain mustard and lots of feshly ground black pepper. Whisk until emulsified.


The salad was really tasty and very filling, which is something you can't always say about a salad (the filling bit, not the tasty bit). I think if I made the salad again I might use baby new potatoes, just to cut down on the calories a bit. But those fried potatoes were lovely. So, what the heck!

























I found some interesting nutritional information, showing just how healthy asparagus is. I gleamed the info from The Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board .

Nutrient Values:

Serving size ............ 5.3 ounces
Calories ................ 20
Protein ................. 3 grams
Carbohydrate .......... 3 grams
Fat ..................... 0 grams
Cholesterol ............. 0 milligrams
Sodium ................. 5 milligrams
Potassium ............. 400 milligrams
Dietary Fibre .......... 3 grams

% of RDA

Folacin ............. 60%
Vitamin C.......... 20%
Vitamin B6 ........ 10%
Vitamin A ......... 8%
Riboflavin ......... 6%
Niacin ............. 6%
Magnesium ....... 4%
Copper ............ 4%
Calcium ........... 2%
Pantothenic Acid .. *
Iron ................ *
Vitamin E .......... *

That's a lot of folic acid ,which is supposed to help in the prevention of liver disease. The Vitamin C protects cells and helps the body absorb iron from food and Vitamin B6 is good for the immune system! Go Asparagus!
9

Giant Macaroni Cheese





This is the first dish that my mum taught me to make and it is a favourite in our house. I've even come up with a creamy and cheesey tasting vegan version of macaroni cheese for my husband. I used giant past for my dish this time, and to be honest slightly over cooked it, but it was still very tasty.

Just a note about the cheese I used in the dish. When I buy cheddar I always buy one that is suitable for vegetarians. As to the parmesan, well it isn't suitable for veggies, but you can get several parmesan style cheeses that taste just the same, are made the same way but without animal rennet and have the same texture. I like the Twineham Grange Pasta for Cheese, it used to be called Vegetarian Parmesan, but a ruling from the Eu meant they had to change the name.  Sainsburys also do a nice basic range parmesan style cheese that is suitable for veggies.

Thanks to one of my readers for pointing out that I wasn't clear in my recipe.



Macaroni Cheese

500ml milk
25g butter
25g plain flour
100g mature cheddar, grated
50g veggie style Parmesan, grated
10 black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper
400g macaroni


Heat the milk in a saucepan with the peppercorns and bay leaf. Bring to the boil and then strain off the peppercorns and the bay leaf.

In another saucepan, melt the butter and stir in the flour. Add a little milk at a time and whisk until mixture thickens, then add a little more milk and do the same until all the milk is used.

Bring the sauce to the boil and simmer for a couple of minutes, keep whisking. Add the grated cheddar and Parmesan and stir until melted. Season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, cook the macaroni in a large pan of salted water according to the packet instructions until al dente. Drain and return to the pan. Stir in the cheese sauce.

This is not the original recipe my mum passed on to me, I have added peppercorns and a bay leaf to the milk for extra flavour and my mum never added Parmesan! But that is just tweaking as you go along isn't it? I used Pennoni Rigati for a change instead of macaroni. It is a bit like giant penne. It held the sauce beautifully! I served the pasta with some fresh coriander and freshly grated vegetarian Parmesan .

When I make macaroni cheese with traditional macaroni, I like to finish it off in the oven after I have topped it with either mushrooms or cherry tomatoes and more grated cheddar. This gives it a crispy topping and adds a little interest!

If you have a slow cooker, try my luxury slow cooker mac and cheese.
22

Spicy Tiffin Eggs


I've been craving eggs all week and I just don't know why! Maybe it's my body's way of telling me I need protein. I really do believe that when you have a craving, it's a signal of something missing in your diet. Let's just leave chocolate out of the discussion!

So here is my homage to eggs. A recipe gleamed from the pages of BBC Good Food Magazine , May 2007 issue. I bought this magazine about a month ago, what is it with magazines being sold a month before the date?


Spicy Tiffin Eggs

7 large eggs
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
250g/9oz grated carrot
2 heaped tbsp korma curry paste
200g/8oz granary breadcrumbs
85g/3oz roasted cashews, finely chopped


Put 6 of the eggs in a pan of cold water and bring them to the boil. Boil for 5 minutes, then cool quickly in cold water. Carefully shell.

While the eggs are cooling, heat the oil, fry the onion for 5 mins, then add the carrot and cook for 10 mins more until soft. Stir in the curry paste and fry for a few mins more. Stir in the bread, then, when the mixture is cool, beat the remaining egg and stir in the seasoning to make a paste.

Divide the mixture into 6 and flatten with your hands (wetting them makes this a bit easier), then use to wrap around each egg - the mixture will seal well as you press it together. Roll in cashews and chill until ready to cook. The prepared eggs can be kept in the fridge overnight.

Heat the oven to 190c/fan 170c/gas 5, then bake the eggs for 15-20 mins. Cool for 5 minutes, then carefully cut half using a very sharp knife. Serve with a bowl of mango chutney and a salad to make a main meal.

Makes 6

Well my eggs were giants! They looked much more delicate in the picture! But we did enjoy them. We ate them for lunch with spiced apple chutney from Rose Farm in Somerset. It was a good combination, but Graham said he would like to try them with mango chutney. We both thought that the egg coating could be improved with more curry paste, but when we ate them again the next day for lunch, the flavours had developed and you could
really taste the curry. 


So if you are making them for a picnic, make them the day before!

I really loved these! I don't have to look longingly at scotch eggs anymore!
13

Giant Beans in Tomato Sauce (Greece)

Taste Test 2

World Vegetarian Classics
by Celia Brooks Brown

Another dip into my new cookbook! This time, some Greek Fassoulia. This is one of many courses served at a Greek feast.

I served it as a main course with some pitta bread and salad.

Giant Beans in Tomato Sauce (Greece)

4 tbsp olive oil
2 medium onions, sliced,
4 plump garlic cloves, chopped
2 x 400g/14oz cans of elephant beans, butter beans or other white beans, drained and rinsed
2 x 400g/14oz cans chopped Italian plum tomatoes

1 tsp dried oregano or 2 tsp fresh, chopped
1 tsp dried dill weed or 2 tsp fresh, chopped
2 tsp dried thyme or a cluster of fresh thyme sprigs
1 tbsp honey
2 tsp red wine vinegar
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Toasted pitta (pita) bread, to serve


Heat a wide pan over a low heat and add the olive oil. Add the onions and cook until soft and translucent.

Add the garlic, beans, tomatoes, herbs, honey, vinegar and salt and pepper to taste, bring to a simmer and cook gently for about 1 hour. Some of the beans will break up and thicken the mixture towards the end of cooking. If it seems to be catching the base, you can add a tiny bit of water, but the final texture should not be soupy - it should be so thick it stands up when pushed to the side of the pan.

Serve warm or cold with toasted pitta bread. If left overnight, the flavour improves.

Serves 4

I was really eager to try these beans, as I had eaten a similar dish in a cypriot home, whilst on holiday. This recipe did not let me down and brought back memories of sunny days spent in good company!

I substituted the elephant beans for cannellini beans and it worked really well!


Go Celia!

8/10
11

Saganaki Fried Halloumi Cheese (Cyprus)

A simple recipe for Greek Style fried halloumi cheese with lemon and olives

Saganaki Fried Halloumi Cheese

As a vegetarian, there is nothing better than fried halloumi It's glorious stuff. It's crisp on the outside and has that squeaky chew on the inside and it has that salty flavour.

This recipe pairs fried halloumi with lemon, olives and fresh basil. The recipe is from World Vegetarian Classics by Celia Brooks Brown



World Vegetarian Classics


World Vegetarian Classics


Following my rant about this being:

"A real bible for vegetarians!"

and

"The best vegetarian cookbook I have every read!",

What could I do but try out a couple of the recipes and share them with you. Today I am sharing Saganaki Fried Cheese.


halloumi cheese, fried halloumi, Greek halloumi recipe, Cypriot halloumi recipe, halloumi
starter, appetizer
Greek, Cypriot, vegetarian
Yield: 4

Saganaki Fried Halloumi Cheese

A simple recipe for Greek Style fried halloumi cheese with lemon and olives.
prep time: 5 minscook time: 10 minstotal time: 15 mins

ingredients


  • 250g Halloumi Cheese
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • juice of 1/2 large lemon
  • handful of fresh oregano leaves
  • 12 black Kalamata olives in oil, drain, remove stones and halve.
  • pared yest of 1/2 lemon, chopped
  • freshly ground black pepper

instructions


  1. Slice the cheese into 5mm slices, lengthwise.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat. Fry the cheese until golden underneath, then use tongs to turn the cheese over and cook until golden.
  3. Squeeze the lemon juice over the cheese while it's frying.
  4. Place the cheese on warmed plates, scatter over the fresh herbs,  olives, lemon zest and season with black pepper.
  5. Serve immediately.
  6. Enjoy!
calories
353
fat (grams)
30.7
sat. fat (grams)
8.7
carbs (grams)
5
protein (grams)
15.2
sugar (grams)
1.4
Created using The Recipes Generator


I was off to a good start with this one, as I love Halloumi cheese and I had some in the fridge.

I swapped the oregano for basil, which I prefer and left out the olives. I don't know what it is about olives, I just can't get a taste for them! The strange thing is that I do love olive oil, go figure!

When you make the recipe, you can try my version or if you like olives, do try the recipe above.

This dish was simple and delicious! I couldn't believe the difference the lemon juice and zest made to the Halloumi. The cheese was soft and chewy on the inside and crisp on the outside, there was the tangy lemon, the bite of the pepper and an occasional drift of basil!

I'll definitely return to this dish!

8/10
15

World Vegetarian Classics

The best vegetarian cookbook I have every read!

A real bible for vegetarians!

When I pick up a new cookbook, I usually find only a handful of recipes I am interested in (I love a good cookbook for a spot of bedtime reading)! But I have to say I am very excited about this collection! I just want to cook everything in it! Although I'll probably have to negotiate with Graham over the use of blue cheese and walnuts!

Celia Brooks Brown has trawled the world for genuine vegetarian dishes true to each area instead of adapting meat dishes. She has also made it that little bit easier by including alternatives to unusual ingredients!

Tofu Pocket Sushi form Japan, Coriander Peacakes in Coconut Curry from Mauritius, The Priest Fainted (Stuffed Aubergines) from Turkey, Fried Cheese from Cyprus and Giant Beans in Tomato Sauce from Greece to name but a few. And the photos are simply sumptuous!

Disclosure Statement: I did not receive this book free from the publisher to review, this is my own copy. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
8

Cola Cube Cocktail

A simple cocktail with the flavour of the traditional British sweetie, the cola cube.

Cola Cube Cocktail

I have a sweet rather nostalgic flavoured cocktail to share with you today, thanks to a friendly barman.

Despite still feeling rather ill with a chest infection, I decided that, yes, I would go out to celebrate a friend's birthday!

So off I went in my glad rags.

We started off in a bar for some typical pub grub. The veggie choices were not extensive :


  • vegetable curry
  • vegetable chilli 
  • macaroni cheese 
  • a grated cheese salad
  • baked potatoes with the above toppings


I decided on the macaroni cheese and it was actually very tasty. It was accompanied by fries and sweetcorn, a somewhat bizarre paring, but hey!

We washed this down with some rather bland white wine! But then I do have a stinking cold, so it could have been divine!

We then toddled off down the street to a rather pretentious cocktail bar, where I enjoyed a Margarita or two and some great chat.

We finished off in a pub, with nearly all the same people that were in the cocktail bar! This is where I sampled the delight that is a cola cube cocktail.

What are cola cubes?


A British classic, cola cubes (sometimes known as kola cubes), are a cube shaped boiled sweet with a cola flavour that ate coated in sugar and have a soft chewy centre.

Not in the least bit healthy, but a lovely and occasional treat.


Cola Cube Cocktail


I don't know if cola cubes have worldwide fame, but I love them! This tasty little cocktail had the flavour of a cola cube and contained one nestled right at the bottom of the glass which melted as you sipped the cocktail.

My dentist would not approve!

This is definitely an occasion treat. Thanks so much to the friendly barman who shared the recipe for me. He described it as one part, but what ever measure you use, just use the below quantity.  If you have a little nip glass you could use that. Feel free to also add more lemonade if you find it too strong.


cocktail, rum cocktail, cola cube cocktail, candy cocktail
drink
cocktail
Yield: 1-2 cocktails
Cola Cube Cocktail

Cola Cube Cocktail

A simple cocktail with the flavour of the traditional British sweetie, the cola cube.
prep time: 3 minscook time: total time: 3 mins

ingredients


  • 1 part Spiced rum
  • 1/2 part Blackcurrant cordial
  • 2 parts Lemonade
  • 1 cola cube
  • Ice cubes

instructions


  1. Mix all the ingredients bar the cola cube in a cocktail shaker (or a in a flask). 
  2. Pour into a cocktail glass containing a cola cube.
  3. Enjoy!
calories
108
fat (grams)
0
sat. fat (grams)
0
carbs (grams)
9.1
protein (grams)
0.1
sugar (grams)
8.7
Created using The Recipes Generator


Beware, it is only for those with a sweet tooth!


You can buy cola cubes (Kola Kubes) online from A Quarter Of . The cola pips are good too!




TRY THIS NEXT

Purple Stag Cocktail

Purple Stag Cocktail


A fruity cocktail made with fresh blackberries, blackcurrant jam and J├Ągermeister. Drink up! Slurp!



8

Easy Turnip and Feta Soup

A simple spiced turnip soup served with creamy feta cheese.



One turnip sitting in the fridge, looking out at me forlornly.

I should really say neep and not turnip, how very unscottish of me!

Anyway it needed to be used and I hummed and hawed for a few minutes before I decided to make some soup and yes I had some feta sitting in the fridge waiting to be used up too.

Perfect and what a great combination.



What is a Scottish turnip?


I think before we go any further, we need to clear one thing up.


What is a turnip?




A turnip is a winter Scottish root vegetable with a yellow flesh

It's a big heefer of a vegetable and totally hellish to cut, but it tastes wonderful in soups or mashed with lots of butter or vegan spread, salt and pepper.


What are neeps?



To confuse things, in Scotland we also call it a neep as in neeps and tatties (potatoes). We have a nickname for it too, we also call it a tumshie.


What's a turnip called elsewhere?



Now this is where it gets complicated. We quarrel with our neighbour England about many things and one of them is the humble turnip. 

English call these turnips a swede and in the USA they are called rutabaga.

Yes it's one that confuses many people.

I hope that clears it up for you.





soup, Scottish soup, turnip soup, swede soup, easy soup recipe, vegetarian soup recipe
lunch, starter
Scottish, vegetarian
Yield: 4

Easy Turnip and Feta Soup

A simple recipe for spiced turnip soup served with creamy feta cheese.
prep time: 10 minscook time: 40 minstotal time: 50 mins

ingredients


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • I red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 1 large turnip, chopped
  • 1/2 red chilli, deseed and finely chopped
  •  a handful of fresh coriander, chopped
  • 3 pints vegetable stock
  • a good grinding of salt and pepper
  • 100g feta cheese, for garnish

instructions


  1. In a large pot, saute the onion, garlic and chilli in the olive oil until translucent.
  2. Add the turnip, carrot and cook for a few minutes.
  3. Add the stock and cook gently for a further 30 minutes..
  4. Blend the soup and add the coriander, salt and pepper.
  5. Serve topped with crumbled feta cheese (optional).
  6. Enjoy!
calories
135
fat (grams)
9.2
sat. fat (grams)
4.3
carbs (grams)
9.4
protein (grams)
4.8
sugar (grams)
4.7
Created using The Recipes Generator


This soup is earthy, but with a slightly sweet flavour which contrasts beautifully with the salty feta.

It was just what I needed as a have a stinking cold just now!

Also try this fabulous Cress and Potato Soup  recipe from The Great Big Vegetable Challenge or my root vegetable soup.


4

Stuffed Peppers with Ricotta Cheese and Mushrooms

A simple vegetarian recipe for stuffed bell peppers with a creamy filling of ricotta cheese and mushrooms.

Stuffed Peppers with Ricotta Cheese and Mushrooms

post updated January 2019

Stuffed peppers are such a classic vegetarian dish, but don't turn your nose up at them. Stuffed peppers are so tasty and it's a great way to use up peppers sitting in the fridge.

Especially if you buy one of the bargain bags of peppers, where you might end up with more peppers than you need.


bell peppers

Bell Peppers


I have to hold my hands up and say I can't stand those green peppers that come in a mixed bag. They are just too bitter for me. I stand in the supermarket and rummage through the bags for one with the least or even better no green peppers.

I would rather pick the peppers individually and pack them in a paper bag instead of picking up a plastic bag of peppers, but it's always dearer to buy them individually. Why is that?

Actually the green pepper aren't too bad when roasted. It seems to soften the flavour, so it's definitely the thing to do if you aren't keen on the green ones either.


Gino D'Acampo


I had a few peppers to use up in the fridge, so I decided to try this recipe by Gino D'Acampo

I tweaked the Gino's recipe. The original recipe calls for oyster mushrooms, but they weren't available when I was shopping.  When it comes to mushrooms, I think just use which you prefer of what is available. Especially in a recipe like this where they aren't the star of the show.

You could also make a vegan version of this using vegan cream cheese and Parmesan.


pin it for later


Roasted peppers stuffed with mushrooms and ricotta cheese. #stuffedpeppers #stuffedvegetables #ricotta #peppers #bellpeppers #vegetarianrecipe #mushrooms


Serving stuffed peppers


I like to serve one of these stuffed peppers with spiced potato wedges and a dressed salad, but you could also serve it with roast potatoes, vegetables and a spicy tomato sauce for a weekend dinner.

These are really good and you may think you could manage two, but one is really enough as they are quite creamy.



stuffed peppers. stuffed bell peppers, vegetarian stuffed peppers, stuffed vegetables,
dinner
British, vegetarian
Yield: 4
Stuffed Peppers with Ricotta Cheese and Mushrooms

Stuffed Peppers with Ricotta Cheese and Mushrooms

A simple vegetarian recipe for stuffed bell peppers with a creamy filling of ricotta cheese and mushrooms.
prep time: 10 minscook time: 25 minstotal time: 35 mins

ingredients


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 large mixed peppers,
  • 100g chestnut mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 250g ricotta cheese
  • 2 tsp of wholegrain mustard
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 5 tbsp vegetarian parmesan
  • a good grinding of salt and pepper
  • A handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped (optional)
  •  4 tooth picks, to secure peppers

instructions


  1. Preheat oven to 180c/160c fan/ 356f/gas 4.
  2. Place the peppers on a baking tray and roast for approximately 20-25 minutes until beginning to char.
  3. Place the peppers in a bowl and cover it with cling film, then leave the peppers to cool. Once cool peel off the skin, discard the seeds and cut the pepper in half lengthwise.
  4. While the peppers are cooling saute the mushrooms in olive oil until soft, seasoning with salt and pepper as they are cooking. Set aside to cool.
  5. Mix the ricotta with the cooled mushrooms, mustard, onion powder, 2 tbsp of the grated parmesan, salt and pepper and the herbs if you are adding them.  
  6. Fill each pepper with the creamy filling. Secure with a tooth pick.
  7. Place the peppers on a baking tray and sprinkle with the parmesan cheese, then grill for approximately five minutes until the cheese has melted.
  8. Serve and enjoy!
calories
216
fat (grams)
13.1
sat. fat (grams)
6.3
carbs (grams)
11.2
protein (grams)
15.3
sugar (grams)
3.4
Created using The Recipes Generator




TRY THIS NEXT


BBQ Pizza Stuffed Mushrooms


BBQ Pizza Stuffed Mushrooms


The oozy cheese and tomato filling for these smokey, succulent grilled mushrooms is inspired by pizza toppings. These stuffed mushrooms can be served vegetarian and vegan depending on which cheese you use. Cook on the BBQ or in the oven.


4

Penne Funghi



Well it's ' what's in the fridge' tonight! 

Some penne pasta (there is always a bag of it in the cupboard) and a yummy mushroom sauce. 

I sauteed the mushrooms in a pan with some garlic and then added some white wine. I cooked this down and then added a dollop of creme fraiche and a glug of cream. I added freshly ground black pepper and torn basil leaves. 

I topped it all off with some balsamic cherry tomatoes and some fresh vegetarian parmesan

Just what you need after a late night at work! Well it works for us anyway (so much for trying new things!).
1
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