Sunday dinner: Chicken, radishes, courgettes, carrots, celery, rice
Chicken and summer vegetable stew.
Sauté finely-chopped onion, celery, and carrot in olive oil until soft. Push to the edge of the pan, add a little more oil to the revealed space, then add chicken meat (I used thighs, deboned, skinned, and cut into bite-sized chunks) and let it brown.
Add a splash of white wine, some finely-chopped capers, a splash of liquid from the caper jar, a good squeeze of tomato purée, and some vegetable stock (I used diluted Touch of Taste brand veg stock concentrate). Mix well, then add cubed radishes and courgettes.
Bring to a simmer, then cook for about 20 minutes until the chicken is cooked and the liquid is mostly gone.
Served with jasmine rice done in the rice cooker.
Sunday dinner: Lentils, sausages, spinach, onions
I have been under the weather for the past week due to food poisoning, and I’m only just getting back to the point where I really feel like eating. Last night, bob made pork sausages, Marmite roast potatoes, steamed green beans, and anchovy gravy. Tonight I used the leftover sausages and anchovy gravy to make…
Puy lentil, spinach, and sausage stew. Cook Puy lentils in vegetable stock until done; meanwhile, fry sliced onions until nicely browned. Combine the cooked Puy lentils, the cooked onions, some frozen whole-leaf spinach, a sliced cooked sausage or two, and some anchovy gravy. Simmer down until the spinach is thawed and cooked, and the liquid is mostly gone.
You could serve this with bread or potatoes, but I just had it on its own.
Sunday lunch: Artichokes, bread, carrots, chickpeas, cucumbers, edamame, peppers, rice
Buffet lunch for various friends.
Cucumber, edamame, and kelp salad. Scoop out and discard the seeds from a cucumber; cut the rest of it into chunks. Cook some edamame, take them out of the pods if they didn’t already come that way (I used frozen depodded ones). Mix with a packet of spicy kelp. Season with a little white vinegar, sesame oil, and sugar.
Chickpea, artichoke, and pepper salad. Mix cooked chickpeas with quartered artichoke hearts and chopped peppers; dress with olive oil vinaigrette.
Sweet and sour peppers. Slice peppers, fry in olive oil until very soft. Add balsamic vinegar, palm sugar, and a slosh of vegetable stock concentrate; cook down until the liquid becomes a thick glaze.
Vermicelli rice. Made with olive oil instead of butter.
Everything I cooked was vegan, though I did serve some non-vegan things (cheese, taramasalata, chicken wings) on the side. I also served various breads; black Lithuanian bread with cumin, Caribbean mongoose bread, Turkish bread (all these were bought within 5 minutes’ walk of my house).
Sunday lunch: Puy lentils, courgettes, aubergines, leeks, rice, vermicelli
Puy lentil stew. Finely-chopped onions, cubed aubergines and courgettes, tinned tomatoes, veg stock, squeezy garlic, puy lentils, bit of sugar and salt.
Sweet and sour leeks. Sliced leeks wilted in olive oil then braised with balsamic vinegar, jaggery, veg stock, and a pinch of salt. Made up while staring at the fridge contents an hour before lunch guests were due, turned out even better than I’d hoped.
Vermicelli rice. Done in the rice cooker, with the vermicelli cooked separately in olive oil in a frying pan and added to the rice cooker along with the normal amount of rice and water. Stirred well before serving.
Sunday dinner: Artichoke hearts, broccoli, pasta
Broccoli and artichoke pasta. Mix together: artichoke hearts from a can, drained, rinsed, and halved; broccoli florets, boiled until done to liking; pasta quills, boiled until done to liking; a good slosh of olive oil; a couple of spoonfuls of tomato pasta sauce from a jar; plenty of black pepper. Reheat if necessary.
I used gluten-free pasta, and it worked fine. I also put some grated parmesan on mine. The pasta sauce was non-vegetarian (it had anchovies in) but a vegetarian or vegan sauce would have worked fine. The idea with the tomato sauce is just to add a little extra flavour, not to make it very tomatoey.
This is very quick and easy if you have the ingredients on hand.
Sunday dinner: Aubergines, tofu, pork mince, rice
Sunday lunch: mushrooms, aubergines, mackerel, rice, potatoes, oranges, almonds
Gluten-free, dairy-free lunch for several friends. All vegetarian aside from the mackerel, all vegan aside from the mackerel and the cake.
[bob cooks] Sunday dinner: Pies, pies, pies
Pissaladière. This is traditionally made using a bread dough, but the version here used puff pastry. It was really nice — caramelised onions, roasted peppers, anchovies, and black olives on an open-faced tart (not a pie).
Leek, artichoke, and mushroom croûte. This was quite tasty too, though the filling wasn’t very cohesive — possibly bob should have chopped things smaller, though the recipe did say that the leeks and mushrooms should only be “sliced”, and the chestnuts should be “roughly chopped”. Actually I think what would have been really nice is if the filling had been made as a sort of coarse pate.
Plum and cardamom pie. This didn’t work — the plums bob bought were underripe, and although he baked it for the time specified in the recipe, the pastry on the bottom was undercooked.
[bob cooks] Sunday dinner: Beef, potatoes, green beans, carrots, winter purslane
Sunday dinner: Cauliflower, pine nuts, giant couscous
Caramelised cauliflower with giant couscous.
1. Slice a head of cauliflower thickly, toss it with some olive oil, spread it out in a roasting tin, and cook it in the oven (around Gas Mark 5/190ºC/375ºF) for an hour or so, stirring every 20 minutes.
2. Toast some pine nuts.
3. Cook some giant couscous in your preferred fashion — I sauté it in some olive oil then add veg stock (made with Touch of Taste concentrate) and cook until done.
4. Mix cauliflower, pine nuts, couscous, sliced spring onions, and lemon juice. Season to taste with freshly-ground black pepper and celery salt.
Note: slicing cauliflower might sound a bit weird, but it does come out fine. Don’t worry about the crumbly bits — they will caramelise more than the rest, but that’s OK. You can also just break it up into florets, as my friend Jack Sprat does, but I prefer slicing.