Archive | November, 2014

Asian Rice Wraps with a Peanut Butter Dressing

28 Nov

This recipe is easy but takes a little bit of work. Very refreshing, light and tasty, it’s ideal for serving at Christmas and New Year’s Eve Parties.

You will need:
1 22cm pack of rice wraps /rice paper
500-750g Asian greens sliced (e.g Chinese cabbage , bok choi , springs onion, mustard greens, watercress, rocket , spinach , green beans, etc)
Herbs 50-75g (coriander , basil, parsley)
100g mixed peanuts and cashews

For the Sauce
50ml soya sauce
2 inch ginger, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
50ml toasted sesame oil
4 tbsp peanut butter powder
50ml sweet chili sauce
50ml water (if needed)

Method:
Slice your greens, herbs and green beans into thin strips. Add to a bowl and mix gently but thoroughly.

Get a large pot or bowl of cold water big enough for the wraps to soak in. Soak 2-3 wraps at a time for 2-3 minutes until soft. Place on a damp cloth and remove any excess water .

Take a handful of the greens and place in the middle of the wrap. Add some mixed nuts and roll and fold in the sides to completely close the leaves in place (see pic) do this until all the greens are gone. It should make 12-13 wraps

To make the sauce, add all the ingredients in a bowl and mix about half of the water and add more if needed. The sauce should be a dipping sauce consistency. Serve cold and enjoy.

Eoin

Top Tips:

Get creative and add in any greens that you wish. Just avoid water based veggies like cucumber as they will leek and split the rice paper.

Try adding grated carrots, bean sprouts , etc

If you don’t have powered peanut butter, you can always use regular peanut butter. You may need to add more water to get the right consistency.

Rice wraps can be found in most Asian markets/shops or in you local health food shop.

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Mixed Pepper and Black Bean Pasta with Dee’s Sausages

26 Nov

This is the perfect hearty dish for a cold winter’s day. Filling and satisfying, it’s got hints of sweetness from the peppers and a touch of mild smokiness. It’s great with pasta or rice, but then I discovered this amazing GF black bean pasta, which is delicious with this dish.

You will need:
1-2 packs of Dee’s Sausages
1 red pepper, chopped in big chunks
1 yellow pepper, chopped in big chunks
1 onion (red or white), sliced
1 can of chopped tomatoes
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tbsp of dry Italian herbs
25-50g of sugar
2 tbsp of smoked paprika
Salt and pepper
Oil
1 pack of black bean pasta

Method:

Heat up some oil in a pan, add the onion and the chopped peppers.

Cook for about 5-10 minutes until soft and starting to brown. Next add the herbs, spices and garlic and cook for a further 1-2 minutes.

Next, add the can of tomatoes and a little salt and pepper to taste. Add a pinch of sugar if it needs it! Leave it to simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the sausages according to the pack instructions. Then leave to cool and cut into pieces.

Bring a pot of salted water to the boil and cook the black bean pasta for 7-10 minutes. You can use regular pasta or rice or even potatoes if you wish.

When the pasta is done strain it and place it on a plate with some of the sausages and the onion and pepper sauce.

Top Tip:

This actually tastes even better the following day as the flavours improve and marry together.

Think about adding spinach or some other mild greens to increase the vegetable intake.

Enjoy, Eoin

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Irish Winter Vegan Vegetable Stew

21 Nov Irish Winter Vegetable Stew

There’s nothing more comforting than a homemade stew. When I was small my sister and I would go veggie shopping with my dad and we’d come home and help him wash, peel and chop the veggies and make the stew together. It still reminds me of those happy childhood days. Hope you enjoy this recipe, Eoin.

You will need:
2-3 tbsp. of oil
2-3 carrots
1-2 parsnips
½ turnip
1 large leek or onion
100g mushrooms
1 ½ litres of vegetable stock
5 cloves garlic, sliced
2 sprigs of thyme
1 sprig of Rosemary
5-6 potatoes
Salt/pepper

Method:
Wash, peel and chop the vegetables and potatoes leave aside.

On a medium heat, add the oil and onion and cook until soft. Next add the herbs and sliced garlic and cook for 3-5 minutes.

Add in the vegetables and stock bring to the boil and remove any scum that floats on the top. Cook for about 25-35 minutes until the vegetables are almost done, then add the potatoes.

Keep the pot at a low simmer until the potatoes are cooked but not falling apart.

Season with some salt and pepper to taste and serve with some fresh bread.

The perfect comfort meal on these cold evenings.

Top Tips:
If you don’t have any potatoes handy you could always add grains or lentils.
Make a big batch and eat it during the week or freeze it for later use.
Experiment and make the stew with any types of winter veggies that take your fancy.

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Dee’s Tuscan Kale and Butter-Bean Bake

19 Nov Dee's Tuscan Kale & Butterbean Bake

Tesco has amazing vegetables in store at the moment in their “Finest” range. I spotted this Tuscan Kale or “Cavolo Nero” that is grown in Ireland. This really is the steak of the vegetable world. It has a lovely texture – slightly chewy and is juicy with a wonderful flavour. It was reduced to €1.49. I bought some “Ugly” mushrooms (these are mis-shappen vegetables that are now being used in supermarkets – finally!) and a tin of butter beans. This recipe serves 4 people for approx €1.00 per person, who says healthy eating is expensive! This would make a wonderful Saturday lunch or a light midweek meal.

Ingredients:-

1/2 bag of Cavolo Nero, washed and cut into bite size pieces
1 tin of butterbeans, drained
250g mushrooms, quartered
1/2 stick celery, diced
1/2 red chilli, chopped
3 cloves garlic, grated
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 cup kallo low salt vegetable stock
1/2 cup water
black pepper
1 cup breadcrumbs
1 tbsp olive oil

Method.

Preheat Grill. Make breadcrumbs – set aside.

Add the olive oil to a saucepan, heat for 1 minute. Add the chopped mushrooms and celery. Cover pan and cook until brown – approx 5 minutes. Add garlic, chopped red chilli and fennel seeds. Cook for 1 minute. Add the drained butter beans, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Add the chopped kale, stock and water. Bring to the boil and cook covered on a medium heat for 5 minutes until water reduces by 1/4. Pour mixture into a casserole dish and top with breadcrumbs. Place under grill until breadcrumbs are golden brown. If you wish you can add some nutritional yeast to the breadcrumbs for a cheesy flavour.

Serve and enjoy!

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Juice of the month

10 Nov

Green Zing!

I’ve just come off a 3 day juice detox and this fab Green Zing is one of the juices I used for my lunch meal. Its wonderful array of ingredients are the perfect natural remedy to help ward off colds. It’s also really fresh and tangy. Enjoy, Eoin.

You will need:
2 sticks of celery
½ head of broccoli
2-4 inch ginger
3 green apples
1 head of gem lettuce
50g baby spinach or kale
1 whole lemon
1 pear
1 parsnip
5-6 radishes
½ cucumber

Method:
Wash the fruit and top and tail the parsnip but don’t bother peeling it. Place everything in a juicer, one to two items at a time depending on the type of juicer you have.
If you’ve got a bit of a sweet tooth then try using a sweeter variety of apples such as gala or pink lady etc.
With the ginger use as much or as little as you like, but remember as its cold and flu season ginger is a fantastic natural remedy.

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Spiced Bulgur Wheat and Persevered Lemons.

3 Nov

Dee’s Moroccan Veg Pot with Spiced Bulgur Wheat and Persevered Lemons.

Something I’ve recently discovered are persevered lemons! They are an amazing product to use in your cooking. With a floral citrus tang and salty taste they really bring something special to a recipe.

You will need:
1 Dee’s Moroccan Veg Pot
200g bulgur wheat
300ml stock
1 onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
25g tomato paste
Spices –
1 tsp cinnamon, coriander, cumin and chilli
1 tsp cumin seeds and onion seeds
½ can diced tomatoes or 2-3 fresh tomatoes
2-3 small persevered lemons, diced
Salt /pepper
15g fresh mint to garnish

Method:
In a large pan cook the onion on a medium heat until soft. Add in the cumin and onion seeds and cook for 3 minutes. Add in the bulgur wheat and cook for 3 minutes more, then add in the stock and stir well.
Next, add in the tomato paste and the tomatoes along with the rest of the spices and persevered lemons. Cook for 5-10 minutes and then turn off and leave the lid on and allow it to sit for 10-15 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the Dee’s Veg Pot according to instructions on packet.
Serve the bugler wheat on a plate, making a well in the middle and add in the veg pot. Top off with some fresh chopped mint.
If you wish you can add some of the persevered lemon liquid instead of salt to season the dish.
Makes 2-3 servings.
Enjoy, Eoin!

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