Moroccan-style Low-carb Stew

This is a vegetarian dish, but can easily be made vegan by replacing the Quorn with a tin of chickpeas or other non-meat mince. It serves 6 with leftovers, and is easily freezable.

 

You will need:

2 onions, chopped (I use my food processor’s chopping blade to chop things quickly and easily)

2 celery sticks, chopped

4 carrots (I used three ginormous carrots), chopped

2 red or yellow peppers, chopped

1 tin reduced-sugar baked beans (chickpeas would be better, but I didn’t have any in the cupboard)

300g Quorn mince

2 vegetable stock cubes

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp asafoetida

2 tsp ready-chopped ginger (I used Batts Easy Ginger from Lidl) or a 5cm piece of ginger, chopped

5 tsp ready-chopped garlic (again, I used Batts Easy Garlic from Lidl) or 5 cloves of garlic

4 tsp ground cumin

2 tsp ground coriander

5 tsp paprika

4 tsp turmeric

100g dried apricots, chopped (you can buy chopped dried apricots if you’re a Spoonie, like me)

Water

img_20161028_134108

What a mess after I cook! I have to rest before I can begin tidying.

1. Put the olive oil in a large saucepan or in a slow cooker.

2. Add the onions and peppers. Cook on a medium heat until soft (around 20+ minutes on high if you’re using a slow cooker).

3. Add the remaining ingredients.

4. Add 2l water.

5. Give it a good stir.

6. Now you have several options:

a) bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

b) leave on the lowest hob (stove top) setting for four hours or more.

c) if using a slow cooker, cook on high for four hours or low for six hours.

7. Enjoy!

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TOP TIPS

Why not try some garlic bread or, for a low-carb vegetarian option try this recipe for Almond Flour Dumplings? It’s not my recipe but I am going to try it.

Savoury Vegetable Crumble

I love fruit crumbles. I try to make them with plain fruit nowadays, to lessen my family’s sugar consumption. I wanted to try a savoury crumble for a change. This is what I came up with. It is delicious served with chunks of home made wholemeal bread.

 

You will need:

900g mixed vegetables, fresh or frozen, such as broccoli, carrot, cauliflower, peas, etc.

1 onion, chopped

2 teaspoons olive oil

2 heaped dessertspoons of flour (soya flour works well)

300ml soya milk

1 teaspoon dried mixed herbs

1 teaspoon garlic granules

black pepper, to taste

 

For the topping:

120g wholemeal flour

25g margarine

50g smoked soya cheese, grated

75g mixed seeds (I use a blend of pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds and sunflower seeds)

 

1. Steam all the vegetables until they are cooked, or boil in a large pan with just enough water to cover.

2. Drain the vegetables but do not discard the water.

3. Heat the oil in a pan and add the onion. Cook over a gentle heat until the onion softens and glistens, then add the garlic.

4. To the onion and garlic add the two heaped spoonfuls of flour. Stir gently until the flour and onion have combined.

5. Add 30ml of the milk and stir until it forms a smooth paste.

6. Add the rest of the milk and 150ml of the vegetable water.

7. Turn the heat up and bring to the boil, stirring continuously.

8. Keep stirring for another minute or so, until the mixture has thickened into a sauce.

9. Add the herbs and seasoning.

10. Put the drained vegetables into a casserole dish (or other oven-proof dish).

11. Pour the sauce over the vegetables.

12. Now make the crumble topping. First, place the flour into a bowl.

13. Add the margarine and rub it into the flour using your fingertips. Continue until it the mixture resembles breadcrumbs (this will take a few minutes).

14. To the crumble mix add the smoked soya cheese and seeds. Stir with a wooden spoon until combined.

15. Spoon the crumble mixture over the top of the vegetables and smooth it out.

16. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 200°C  for 20 minutes, et voila! Enjoy.

 

TOP TIPS

If you’re baffled by the idea of rubbing margarine into flour, check out this youtube video. Gordon Ramsay does the crumble topping at about 2 minutes in, and although he seems to do it lightning fast, he demonstrates the technique required to make the crumble topping (of course, if you’re doing the savoury crumble above, you leave out the sugar, and instead of the muesli you add the soya cheese and seeds).

 

 

I have to say I love the combination of fresh apples with skins intact (I always leave the skins on apples) and dried cranberries. I might just have to try this dish for myself!

COCK-A-STRONE SOUP WITH GARLIC BREAD

This is not cock-a-leekie, nor is it minestrone, but it has elements of both. It is not too thick for a summer supper, but is chunky enough to be filling in winter. Serve with warm, crusty garlic bread. 

 

You will need:

3 leeks, washed and chopped into bitesize pieces (1-2 cm)

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

4 carrots, chopped into chunks

1 tablespoon tomato puree

1 tin baked beans

2 teaspoons Herbes de Provençe*

125ml white wine**

2 stock cubes***

1 tablespoon cornflour

black pepper

1 teaspoon garlic granules

1 packet of instant noodles (see below)

Water

noodles

Packet noodle, not pot noodle.

 

For the garlic bread:

One baguette

1 teaspoon garlic granules

1 teaspoon dried parsley

50g butter or margarine****

 

1. Place the vegetable oil in a large saucepan with the leeks and cook over a medium heat until soft. Do not allow to brown.

2. Add the carrots, tomato puree, baked beans, Herbes de Provençe, white wine and garlic granules.

3. Without opening the packet, crunch the noodles with your hands until broken into small pieces. Open the packet, remove the flavouring sachet and discard.

4. Add the stock cubes.

5. In a teacup, mix the cornflour with a little water. Add to the saucepan and stir.

6. Add enough water to cover all the vegetables by 3 or 4cm. Stir well.

7. Bring to the boil, then simmer over a low heat for 30 minutes.

8. Add the crushed noodles.

9. Meanwhile, in a small bowl mix together the margarine, dried parsley and garlic granules using a fork.

10. Cut slices into the baguette using a bread knife but don’t cut all the way through, leave about ¼ uncut.

11. Scoop a teaspoon of garlic ‘butter’ into each gap using two teaspoons.

12. Place in the oven at 180ºC for five minutes to allow the garlic ‘butter’ to melt and the bread to warm through.

13. Serve the soup with the garlic bread and enjoy!

 

TOP TIPS

*If you don’t have Herbes de Provençe, or you are on a very tight budget, use generic dried mixed herbs.

**If you don’t have white wine, you can substitute apple juice, white grape juice, or even water.

***You can use chicken stock cubes or vegetable stock cubes. You could even use one stock cube along with the contents of the favouring sachet from the noodles.

**** As we have two family members who are dairy free, I use a vegetable margarine called vitalite. It has more flavour than other vegetable margarines, although I do use a cheaper version for baking.

vitalite