Valentine Lasagne

Valentine’s day, rather luckily, fell on a Saturday this year. This of course means the husband cooks dinner. I fancied a good lasagne, as vege lasagnes are in the main, quite disappointing in my experiece (maybe i’m just adept at choosing bad recipes!) There was a tasty, easy looking lasagne in the March edition of the new Cook Vegetarian magazine, so he decided to have a bash at it.

After informing me that he’s never really been fond of ‘skin and mince’ as he calls it, he set about his task. This was a foolproof recipe for mushroom and spinach lasagne, that tastes every bit as good as it looks. I only wish you could smell it.


2tbsp olive oil

180g pack spinach leaves

2 garlic cloves, chopped

250 mushrooms, sliced

400g can chopped tomatoes with basil

fresh lasagne sheets

400ml creme fraiche

100g mature cheddar

1/2 tsp nutmeg

heat the oven to 200c

fry the spinach and half the garlic in 1tbsp oil, until the leaves have wilted. remove from the heat, season, and set aside

in the remaining oil, fry the mushrooms until browned. stir in the remaining garlic.

Mix in the tomatoes, bring to the boil, and simmer for a couple of minutes. remove from the heat.

season the creme fraiche with nutmeg and ground pepper.

now layer up the lasagne:

put half the mushroom mixture in the bottom of the lasagne dish.

layer of lasagne

a third of the creme fraiche

half the spinach

third of the cheese

layer of lasagne

phalf the mushroom mixture

layer of lasagne

a third of the creme fraiche

half the spinach

third of the cheese

layer of lasagne

third of creme fraiche


popon a baking tray,t hen into the oven for 30 mins, or until the pasta is cooked, and the top is browned.

Published in: on March 10, 2009 at 9:06 pm  Comments (2)  

On a roll

I thought it was time the husband tried something a little more ‘involved’ for dinner on Saturday. With that in mind, I suggested he make one of his favourites, and something I do when I remember – a vegetable filo roll. Basically this is roast vegetables, and feta cheese forming a sort of swiss roll with filo pastry. It looks like  masses of work has gone into it, but the hardest part really is rolling it all up, and that’s dead easy.

I dug the recipe out for the husband, then went through the alterations I usually make (this bit winds him up something chronic) then let him set to work. I’d intended taking various pics at stages of the cooking, but took the first one, then forgot until it was served up!

It all went well anyway, the husband was worried by the frailty of the filo, but reassured once he started working with it, and I’d showed him it wasn’t a disaster if one sheet tore, because you use several together, and so on.

When it finally came out of the oven, he looked really pleased with himself, and rightly so. He’d made a delicious meal.


1 courgette

1 red onion

1 sweet potato


2 garlic gloves, finely chopped

1 red pepper

1 yellow pepper

olive oil







chop all the veg into small pieces, or slices. toss them in a little olive oil, and roast at 170 for about 20-30 mins ro until it’s all cooked.

allow to cool, the drizzle over 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar and about 200g crumbled feta cheese.

prepare the filo pastry:

you will need about 8 half sheets, with oil or butter brushed inbtween each layer.

spread the cooked veg over the pastry. Fold the long edges in a couple of cm, to stop the filling falling out.

starting at one short end, roll it up like a swiss roll. Transfer it to a baking tray, ensuring the seam is on the bottom. brush with oil or butter, and pop in the oven to bake and brown.


We had this with a few new potatoes, and a green salad


Published in: on March 10, 2009 at 10:28 am  Comments (2)  

chips and cheese

My colleague at work often get treated to the sights and smells of my leftovers, as I tend to take them in to reheat for my lunch. My work colleagues also laugh at me frequently because I always have pictures of food on my phone (and regularly show them.)

Not very long ago, I forgot to take lunch in to work with me, and was reduced to going to the canteen for something to eat. The only thing that looked edible were the chips. So I got a portion of chips with grated cheese on, and a twix.

The work colleagues were puzzledat the lack of home-cooked food, and quickly suggested that the offending chips were put on the blog for posperity. So here they are. Thanks Anne for taking the pic.


Published in: on February 19, 2009 at 6:50 pm  Leave a Comment  

Parsnip Soup

I love parsnips, and I adore them roast. I have a sweet tooth, and roasting brings out the sweetness in the parsnips.

This soup was perfect after a long walk with the dog round our local wind farm – there was still snow on the ground and we all had an absolute ball. Of course, when we got home, we’df left it too late to make a loaf of bread to go with the soup, so I just used up an old loaf, and made chunky croutons.


The recipe comes form the New Covent Garden Food Co, and is from their ‘Soup for All Seasons’ book. I didn’t have the maple syrup it suggested, so used honey instead.

2 tbsp oil

4 parsnips, cut into lengths

2 tbsp maple syrup/honey

knob of butter

1 onion, chopped

1 clove of garlic, crushed

1 tbsp plain flour

1 3/4 pints chicken stock

4 tbsp double cream

Pop the parsnips into a pan of water, and bring them to the boil. THen drain, toss in the olive oil, and roast at 190c for 15 mins.

Add the honey or maple syrup, and roast for a further 15 mins, until sticky and caramalised. Allow to cool

Melt the butter, fry the onions and garlic until soft. Add the flour and cook for a further minute

Add the stock and parsnips, and bring to the boil. simmer for 10 mins.

Blend it until smooth, stir in the cream and season to taste.

Published in: on February 17, 2009 at 10:49 pm  Comments (2)  


It’s been years since i’ve had lasagne. Never keen on mince at the best of times, it dropped off the menu at our place years ago. I’ve never been too enthused by the idea of veg lasagne, I don’t know why but it’s just never appealed. But last week I was scanning round looking for new things to cook, and this sort of stood out.



The recipe came our of one of my veg cook books. The ‘red’ layer is essentially onion, several red peppers, a tin of tomatoes, a splash of red wine and some tomato paste.

The ‘white’ layer is a mix of ricotta and goats cheese.

Published in: on February 2, 2009 at 8:12 pm  Comments (1)  

Sunday Soup

As usual Sunday was soup day. A late afternoon call at the in-laws meant I didn’t have long to make soup for tea. Luckily the husband had made a loaf of bread in the morning, so it was just the soup to make.

I had some brocolli stalks in the fridge, along with some more brocolli and had picked up a piece of stilton reduced to 45p in the supermarket. As brocolli and stilton soup is quite quick, this seemed the obvious choice.


I roughly chop and fry an onion, then add in a diced potato. Then i roughly chop the brocolli and throw this in along with enough veg stock to just cover it. I then chop stilton into small chunks and throw this in too.

When the brocolli and psuds are cooked through and soft, i blitz it all to smoothness.

Published in: on February 2, 2009 at 8:01 pm  Leave a Comment  

Leek and Potatoes

But with a twist. And not one for those on a diet!

The leeks are cooked in white wine, then mixed with cream cheese, and enclosed into filo pastry parcels.

The potatoes are sliced, part boiled, then layered with fried onions, and gruyere. The finishing touch is cream poured over the top.

Both the leeks and the potatoes are popped into the oven to cook


Published in: on February 2, 2009 at 7:55 pm  Comments (3)  

Toad in the Hole

Now, I’ve mentioned before that I don’t really eat meat. I still don’t.  I especially don’t eat sausages. I just can’t, they make me vomit. And you don’t really need to know that.

I do love toad in the hole though. Although not made with sausages. Obviously. I know that for many people it’s not toad in the hole without sausages, but according to wikipedia, a recipe from 1861 doesn’t mention sausages, but recommends using bits and pieces of any kind of meat, bought at the end of the day when it is cheapest. Seems that those of us who go supermarket shopping late at night for the bargains aren’t being as innovative as we think!

I make my toad in the hole using the large flat mushrooms, and rub them with oil, crushed garlic and some dried herbs before popping in the oven for 5 mins, to heat up the dish and start cooking the ‘shrooms. After that, the batter gets poured over. My batter comes from my excellent student cookbook (£5.24 from Amazon) and is made with 2 eggs, 4 oz plain flour and 14floz milk, whisked together. It’s never failed me, and the husband loves it.


Published in: on January 28, 2009 at 7:16 pm  Leave a Comment  

Taking a leek

Yeah I know my post titles are getting worse!

Having discovered that I love leeks, I went on a journey of discovery to see what went well with leeks. White wine and butter are leeks’ best friends, and goats cheese can cope really well with the flavours, so I decided to make a leek and goats cheese galette.Hot out of the oven it was lovely, cold the next day for my lunch it was equally lovely, but completely different. Cold the flavours of the wine come through more.

I can’t believe how long I’ve been missing out on the fantasticness of leeks! I buy them most weeks now from the farmers market – sometimes just to make glamorgan sausages (a firm favourite in this house!), but every so often I try something brand new with them. leek and goats cheese galette

For the pastry:

4oz plain flour

2oz butter

a little cold water.

Put the flour and the butter into your food processor and blitz till it resembles breadcrumbs. Add cold water until it just starts to come together. Pop it in the fridge while you make the filling.

pre-heat the oven to 180c

For the filling:

1 leek, sliced

large knob of butter

1/2 cup white wine

fresh thyme to taste

1 egg, beaten.

120g soft goats cheese (the goats cheese ‘log’ is good for this)

heat the wine and butter in a small pan till the butter melts, add the leeks, cover and cook for about 5 mins. Take the pan off the heat, and stir in the thyme and the beaten egg.

Roll the pastry out into a circle about the size of a dinner plate, and pop it on a baking sheet

Spread the leek mixture over the pastry, leaving a 1.5inch gap round the edge.

Sprinkle the cheese over the mixture.

Fold the border over the fillingan inch at a time, pinching the overlapping bits together as in the pic.

Brush the pastry with milk, and pop in the oven for about 20 mins or until golden brown

Published in: on January 20, 2009 at 10:42 pm  Comments (1)  

Brrrr – Chilli

One of my favourite things in the cold weather is a big pot of chilli. It’s easy to make, great to eat, and the leftovers heat up well the following day! My chilli is of course, not remotely authentic, but doesn’t lack in taste. What else can I say about it? Nothing except everyone should have one good chilli recipe!

Bean Chilli

Finely chop and fry 1 onion. Add in 1 crushed clove of garlic, and fry on a gentle heat until the onion is soft, but not coloured.

Slice a good handful of mushrooms and throw them in the pot.

After about 5 minutes chuck  in either finely chopped chillis or chilli powder to taste, and  2 squares of 85% chocolate.

Once the chocolate has melted, add in a tin of chopped tomatoes, and good squeeze of tomato paste, and two tins of beans – I tend to use Adzuki beans and Butter beans, but use what you like.

stir it all well, and bring to the boil then simmer gently while you cook the rice – adding more water if it gets too dry.

Published in: on January 20, 2009 at 6:51 pm  Leave a Comment