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Posts Tagged ‘vegetarian recipe’

If you are lucky enough to be harvesting your own crop of rhubarb why not try making these delicious rhubarb muffins – easy to make and popular with the whole family!

Ingredients

  • 400g rhubarb, finely chopped
  • 4 tbsp golden caster sugar
  • 300g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 100g golden caster sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 200ml milk
  • 100g butter , melted and cooled

Method

  1. Mix rhubarb with 4 tbsp of golden caster sugar
  2. Bake the rhubarb for about 10 minutes until soft, then drain well
  3. Mix plain flour with baking powder, sugar and cinnamon
  4. Beat eggs with milk and melted butter.
  5. Heat the oven to 180C
  6. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cases
  7. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ones along with the rhubarb
  8. Divide between the muffin cases, sprinkle the tops with a little sugar and bake for 25-30 minutes until risen and golden
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red-tomato-chutney

This morning there is a faint smell of vinegar in our house, yesterday I made Red Tomato Chutney using the crops that I had grown, Tomatoes (Large fleshy beef variety that contain very little juice or seeds), Onions and Bramley Apples, I made a large batch which produced 13 jars of this wonderful chestnut brown preserve, it cannot be eaten straight away as most chutneys take time to mature and should be left for at least a month before opening, I like to leave mine a little longer and will be eating this at Christmas with the Turkey. There are so many variations of Chutneys I think it is a case of anything goes whether its fruit, vegetables or a combination of both, it’s a great way to use up the last of your crops or alternatively to make good use of a glut. The word ‘Chutney’ is derived from the Hindu word ‘chatni’ which means strongly spiced if you like lightly spiced chutney then this recipe is perfect for you.

Red Tomato Chutney

Ingredients

  • 900g/2lb Tomatoes (firm but ripe)
  • 450g/1lb Onions
  • 450g/1lb Cooking Apples (weight when peeled and cored)
  • 450ml/¾ pint Malt or Wine Vinegar (I used Malt)
  • ½ – 1 teaspoon Ground Ginger
  • ½ – 1 teaspoon Ground Mixed Spice
  • 350g/12oz Sugar
  • 300g/10oz Sultanas
  • Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper to taste

What you need to do

  1. Skin and chop the tomatoes, peel and finely chop the onions and the apples.
  2. Put all the ingredients into the preserving pan except for the sugar, sultanas and the seasoning, simmer gently until tender.
  3. Add the sugar and stir over a low heat until dissolved then put in the sultanas and seasoning.
  4. Simmer steadily, stirring regularly until it is the consistency of a thick jam.
  5. Spoon into hot sterilized jars, add a waxed circle and tighten the lid securely.
  6. Store in a dark, cool and dry place.

Notes:

  1. I made 2.5 times the above quantities in a large stainless steel pan 17cm high x 25cm diameter, this is the maximum volume that can be made in this size of pan.
  2. Once the sultanas have been added you need to stir the mixture regularly as they sink to the bottom and can burn.
  3. If the chutney is slow to reduce down to a jam consistency, spoon off some of the watery mixture from the top of the pan and sieve out the vinegar liquid returning any pulp to the pan.

Homemade chutneys, jams and preserves make a lovely personal gift, why not plan ahead and give friends/family a home produce hamper this Christmas.

Gill

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We have been spoilt recently with the weather and it has definitely paid dividends in the fruit and vegetable garden; regular pickings of Autumn raspberries, pumpkins, squashes and marrows maturing and ripening ready for storing, apples, pears and plums still hanging on the trees, an extra spurt of growth in the vegetables extending their harvesting season, and the onions and garlic now completely dry and ready for storing.

Today the weather has changed and is back to what you could expect for October – wind and rain with frosts on the horizon, now is the time to pick and store what you can, when storing your crops choose those that are undamaged and disease free, once stored check them regularly and remove any that are going bad, these don’t necessarily have to go straight onto your compost bin, most will be perfectly edible once you have removed the bad bits. Why not use these in a Ratatouille it’s a delicious warming one pot dish perfect for a wet and windy Autumn day and a great way to use up your less than perfect crops, the ingredients can be always be varied to suit your taste and the availability of vegetables.

Autumn Ratatouille

What you will need

  • 2 large Aubergines
  • 3 medium Courgettes
  • 2 medium Onions, roughly chopped
  • 2 green or red peppers, deseeded and chopped
  • 6 large tomatoes or a 440g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Oregano
  • Grated cheese/Parmesan Cheese
  • Fresh basil to garnish

What you need to do

  1. Cut the Aubergines and Courgettes into 2.5cm/1” slices then cut each Aubergine slice into quarters and the Courgette slices into similar sized pieces.
  2. If using fresh tomatoes place them in boiling water for a minute then drain and allow to cool before peeling off the skins, cut into quarters, remove the seeds and roughly chop up.
  3. Heat the oil in a flame proof casserole dish or large saucepan, add the onions and cook for approx. 10 minutes until browned and tender.
  4. Add the Courgettes and Aubergines and cook for a further 5 minutes before adding the peppers, garlic, oregano and salt and pepper then mix well.
  5. Cover and cook over a gentle heat for 20 minutes.
  6. Stir in the chopped tomatoes and cook for a further 10 minutes.
  7. Top with the cheese and basil and serve with crusty bread, garlic bread or pasta.

This dish is packed full of vitamins and minerals and can help towards your five a day.

If you are looking for some storage ideas for your fruit and vegetables why not consider

Wooden Stackable Storage Boxes available from £19.95

Tubby Stack Pack Wooden Storage Boxes and Crates

or if you have a larger harvest to store a Wooden Fruit and Vegetable Larder, Rack or Store available from £40.00

in 4 sizes each with 4 height options

Wooden Fruit and Vegetable Larder, Rack and Store

for more information visit the Gardening Works website by clicking here.

Gill

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DSC05882

This week (18-24th May) we are being encouraged by the British Tomato Growers Association to buy home grown British tomatoes, tomatoes are very healthy and delicious whether they are eaten raw or cooked, they are a good source of Vitamins A, C and E and contain minerals such as potassium which can lower blood pressure and calcium which we need for healthy bones and teeth.

Here is a simple tasty idea to use your British Tomatoes:

Easy Pizza with home made Tomato Sauce

Ingredients

  • 800g ripe fresh tomatoes
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 to 2 tsp dried Italian or mixed herbs or a handful of fresh Basil chopped or torn into small pieces
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground Black pepper
  • Grated Mozzarella Cheese and toppings

What you need to do

  1. In a large pan heat the oil on medium/low and cook the onion until soft and translucent then add the crushed garlic and cook for a couple of minutes, do not allow to burn.
  2. Chop your tomatoes and add to the pan with the remaining ingredients and simmer for 30 minutes.
  3. Allow to cool and blend until smooth.
  4. This sauce is delicious with pasta and can be frozen.
  5. If you are making pizzas with children for speed and convenience use a packet pizza base mix or buy ready made pizza bases, then spread your Pizza Sauce over the base with the back of a spoon, sprinkle on grated Mozzarella Cheese and add your favourite topping the combinations are endless: Ham, Salami, Pepperoni, Chicken, Tuna, Prawns, Mushroom, Onion, Peppers, Pineapple, Olives, Sweetcorn…
  6. Bake in the oven at 230C/450F/Gas mark 8 for about 15 minutes until crisp and golden.

Making Pizzas

Nothing beats the taste of freshly picked home grown tomatoes, when they are ready it’s often a race as to who gets to them first, make sure you grow plenty a lot won’t make it back to the kitchen.

If you want to have a go at growing your own tomatoes young plants are widely available now in shops and garden centres for more information and full growing instructions click here.

Why not have a go at making your own Pizzas this week.

Enjoy

Gill

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Rhubarb buds

I am sure that most of you will have a clump of it in your garden or on your allotment, although it can grow quite big it is often overlooked and not really eaten – it’s Rhubarb.

If you do have a root or crown you will notice that it is coming to life, its large smooth coated ‘buds’ are splitting to reveal new leaves on short stems, to get long, tender, delicious pale pink stems you need to block out all light and ‘force’ them by covering the crown with a large container/bucket, old chimney pot, dustbin or a traditional terracotta Rhubarb forcer, my dad even uses an old dolly tub, place bricks on top to weigh them down, you can start forcing Rhubarb in January for an earlier crop. Harvest the forced stems when they are approx. 20-30cm long, cut off the poisonous yellow leaves, these can be put in your Compost Bin, to pick Rhubarb hold the stalk at the base, pull and twist away from the crown so that it tears off.

Rhubarb is actually a perennial vegetable although we often regard it as a fruit, it is available to pick fresh when other fruits are in short supply and often expensive, even if you have to buy some it is inexpensive when in season.

Forced Rhubarb

This picture shows forced taller, yellow leaved Rhubarb stems and smaller green leaved Rhubarb stems which haven’t been forced

Rhubarb is an easy plant to grow and will thrive on neglect, it prefers a moist fertile soil in a sunny position, plant Crowns in Spring or Autumn, although it can grow quite big it can be grown in a large Dirt Pot or Growing Bag (minimum size 40 litres), fill with a good quality Compost and mix into it well-rotted farmyard manure. Plant the crown about 3cm below the surface and water in well. Place the bags in a sunny spot watering the Rhubarb regularly especially during the Summer and during dry periods, allow new plants to become established for the first year before harvesting any stems, the following Spring only harvest a few stems at a time, remove any flower heads that appear these can be put in the Compost Bin. Rhubarb should only be forced every two years so if you prefer forced Rhubarb have two or more plants so that you can alternate them, don’t harvest stalks later than July. During Summer feed with a liquid or general-purpose fertilizer then in Autumn put your Rhubarb to bed; remove any old leaves and mulch around (not on) the crown with well-rotted farmyard manure.

Rhubarb makes a delicious dessert why not have a go at our

Easy Rhubarb Fool

Ingredients

  • 350g Rhubarb, washed, trimmed and sliced
  • Finely grated zest and juice of half an orange
  • 55g Caster Sugar
  • 150ml Double Cream
  • 150ml Greek Yoghurt
  • Shortbread or Oat Biscuits

What you need to do

  1. Place the Rhubarb, Zest, Juice and Sugar in a pan and heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved.
  2. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the Rhubarb softens and starts to break up, remove from heat and allow to cool.
  3. Softly whip the Cream and Yoghurt together, fold in half of the cooled Rhubarb mixture.
  4. Spoon the stewed Rhubarb/Orange mixture and the creamy Rhubarb mixture in alternate layers into glasses or small dishes and serve with the biscuits.
  5. For a grown up version add a splash of Cointreau Orange Liqueur to the Rhubarb/Orange mixture.
  6. Serves 4

Why not have a go at our other Rhubarb Recipes?

Click here for the Rhubarb Crumble Recipe or here for Rhubarb Muffins, I don’t think you can beat Rhubarb Crumble served of course with Custard, simply delicious.

Enjoy!

Gill

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I can’t believe what glorious weather we are having, scorching hot days and sultry evenings, it is wonderful and a real tonic. The soft fruit on the allotment is ripening fast, I will have to keep my eye on it and the opportunist birds too, netting will keep them off and allow me to get there first. I make Jams and freeze a lot of my fruit to use in pies and crumbles later on when fresh fruit is not available or expensive to buy.

Strawberries 2

Strawberries have done exceptionally well this year, as it’s hot I thought it would be nice to make something cooling with my bumper crop so I delved into my recipe books and found the perfect solution –

Strawberry Sorbet

  • 450g Strawberries hulled and chopped
  • 175g Granulated Sugar
  • Juice of a small lemon
  • 450ml water
  • 1 egg white
  • 25g Caster Sugar
  1. Puree the prepared Strawberries in a food processor
  2. Put 150ml water and the granulated sugar in a bowl and warm gently until the sugar dissolves.
  3. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining 300ml water, lemon juice and the pureed Strawberries, mix well.
  4. Pour into a freezer container and chill until cold.
  5. Freeze for 1 hour.
  6. Beat the egg white until stiff then add the caster sugar and whisk again until stiff and shiny.
  7. Place your fruit mixture in a chilled bowl and whisk until smooth.
  8. Gently fold in the beaten egg white then return to the freezer container and freeze for 45 minutes.
  9. Remove from the freezer, whisk again then return back to the freezer container and freeze for 90 – 120 minutes or until firm.

This is a very healthy alternative to ice cream why not serve it up whilst watching Wimbledon this week.

Enjoy

Gill

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Strawberries on plate

I seem to be surrounded by Strawberries: at my allotment, in my garden and even when I visit my parents, they have a strawberry bed which is simply overflowing with fruit (I can’t resist them and always leave with a tub full). This year has been an exceptional year for Strawberries, they are at their best now and simply delicious, however you choose to eat them.

HomeBetween 1st June – 31st August Breast Cancer Care are encouraging people to support them by holding a Strawberry Tea. Simply get together with friends and family, buy or bake some cakes, add some strawberries, put the kettle on and away you go!

You can hold a Strawberry Tea at home, at work, at your Sports Club in the clubhouse, with your community group, gardening club, art group and at school.

Holding a Strawberry Tea at School is a great way to get children involved, I am sure there will be lots of eager volunteers to help make the Strawberry Treats as well as designing posters, invitations and planning the event, why not combine it with the end of term Summer Fair.

There are some delicious Strawberry recipes on their website, this is one of my favourites, it’s perfect for parties too or as a cooling and refreshing treat on a hot day.

Mini Rainbow Jellies

This recipe uses small shot glasses, you can use larger plastic cups by increasing the quantities of Jelly and adding more Strawberries, why not try different flavours of jelly and use other seasonal fresh fruits.

Makes 12     Preparation time: 20 minutes     Chilling time: 3½ hours

Ingredients

  • 35g Pineapple Jelly Tablet
  • A drop of blue food colouring
  • ½ x 35g Lime Jelly Tablet
  • 4 Strawberries sliced

What you need to do

  1. Make up the pineapple jelly with water as the pack directs. Pour half into a jug and add a drop of blue food colouring to darken the jelly slightly. Allow the jelly to cool slightly.
  2. Pour the darker coloured jelly into the base of 12 plastic shot glasses then chill in the freezer for 15 minutes or until just set.
  3. Make up the lime jelly as the pack directs using half the amount of water. Leave to cool.
  4. Pour the lime jelly over the set coloured pineapple layer, then put back in the freezer for 15 minutes or until set.
  5. Press a slice of strawberry into each jelly then pour over the remaining uncoloured pineapple jelly to fill each glass. Chill in the fridge for about 3 hours or until set.

If you have a glut of Strawberries why not put them to good use; hold a Strawberry Tea, have a great time and raise money for a good cause at the same time. If you have a large crop turn them into delicious Strawberry Jam and bake some Strawberry Jam Drop Cookies or into Strawberry Smoothies.

Enjoy

Gill

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