Tag Archives: sweet potato

My Easy Vegetable Korma Recipe- Try it!

Cooking a vegetarian meal for a party can be a little bit more challenging if certain staples are off the menu. I have a real dislike for chickpeas in anything other than hummus. I think, to be honest, its the texture. I’m not a fan of baked beans- and they are texturally speaking in the same family.

Korma is a dish originally made in India, and consisted of meat, fish or vegetables braised with yogurt/ cream/ coconut milk and spices.  In this case I made a Korma with vegetables.  But the method works the same for a meat version, with maybe extra cooking time depending on what meat/ fish you are using in the korma. Continue reading

Roasted Cauliflower- honestly- it’s a good thing

I know it sounds chic and what not- and if I’m being perfectly honest a little pretentious.  If I saw it on the menu at a restaurant, it might be one of the last things I’d consider ordering- after quinoa salad.  But it’s good.  A pretty spectacular vegetarian dish that’s easy to prepare and looks good presented on the table.

cauliflower

Originally from Cyprus, the cauliflower was introduced to France from Italy in the 16th Century.  Mark Twain is famously quoted as saying that cauliflower is simply cabbage with a college education.

Of course JUST cauliflower would be a teeny boring and not sufficiently colourful for me as a meal. So I added a warm sweet potato salad.

Roast Cauliflower & Warm Sweet Potato Salad

Ingredients:

1 large Cauliflower

4 Tablespoons of Olive oil

Some spices of choice- I like using garam masala, turmeric and coriander- ½ teaspoon of each

2 Sweet Potatoes, peeled and chopped into small “chips”

½ Teaspoon of Chilli Flakes

2 red onions, peeled and quartered

1 can of chickpeas, drained

200g of cherry tomatoes, halved

Fresh Coriander, torn

1 avocado, peeled and sliced into cubes.

Method:

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, with a pinch of salt.  Add in the washed and de-leafed cauliflower. Simmer, whole for 8 minutes. Remove to the side after this time.

Heat a large roasting tray in the oven at 200oC.

Toss the red onion, sweet potatoes, chickpeas and chilli flakes in 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  Roast for 20 minutes.

Mix the remaining spices with the remaining olive oil, and then spoon this over the cauli.  Add it to the roasting vegetables and return to the oven for a further 15 minutes.

Cauliflower

The Addition of Herbs

Remove from the oven, move the cauliflower to a serving dish and gently toss the coriander, avocado and tomatoes through the roasted vegetables. Serve slices of the cauliflower with the tasty roasted vegetable salad.

Cauliflower

Sweet Potato and Aubergine Curry

Sweet Potato and Aubergine Curry was the vegetarian dish du jour for our team dinner the other day.  And although it sounds a bit daunting, it’s very simple and perfect for the athlete to fuel before a race. The benefits come from both the sweet potato and the anti inflammatory effects of the turmeric in the curry.

Sweet potato is nothing to do with the British Queen, and is only a very distant relative.  The first Europeans to taste sweet potatoes were members of Christopher Columbus’s famous expedition in 1492. Later many explorers found many varieties under an assortment of local names, but the name which stayed was the indigenous name of batata. The Spanish combined this with the Quechua word for potato, papa, to create the word patata for the common potato. The first record of the name “sweet potato” is found in the Oxford English Dictionary in 1775.

Sweet Potato

Sweet Potato

Besides simple starches, raw sweet potatoes are very rich in complex carbohydrates, fibre, and vitamin A. When cooked by baking, small variable changes in micronutrient density occur to include a higher content of Vitamin C at a whooping 24%. (Nutritiondata.com)

But these are going into a curry- with some Graffiti Aubergine. And before you admonish me at the end of the piece-

Disclaimer: Due to the starving hoards there is no nice plated picture at the end.  You’ll just have to use your imagination!

Grafitti aubergine

Sweet Potato and Aubergine Curry

Ingredients:

2 peeled onions

3 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped

1 teaspoon garam masala

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 Large Sweet Potato

1 aubergine- can be any variety

1 tin of tomatoes

1 tin of coconut milk (I use a lovely organic one from Lidl)

Rice to serve

Method:

Fry off the onions, garlic and spices in some olive oil, until translucent with a curry twinge! Season well at this stage.
Onion

Finely chop the peeled sweet potato and the aubergine into cubes.  A commi chef comes in handy here when you are multiplying up the recipe, thanks Nigel!

Sweet Potato

Chopped Sweet Potato with some sneaky tomatoes

Fry all of these off with the onions, cover and leave with occasional stirring for about 15 minutes.  Then simply add the tomatoes, coconut milk. Rinse the cans out with about 200ml of water and add this to the pan.  Bring to a simmer and leave for 20 minutes.  season again if necessary. Meanwhile, cook your rice, and serve with a big green salad to bring the colour balance back!

Sweet Potato

Sweet Potato and Aubergine Curry

Birthdays and Parties- The Big Family Events

As we have a large extended family, there are regular birthdays and various celebrations.  We all give a hand, and this makes life easier for everyone!

Robert was away for his 17th birthday in Romania, so we had a cake for him when he came home for his stopover-

Robert and his Birthday Cake

Robert and his Birthday Cake

It was a variation on his favourite- vanilla layers with raspberries and cream, covered in an Italian Meringue, finished with a blow torch.

This weekend I’m on savoury duty for my nieces birthday, I’m thinking a nice salad- and a vegetarian tart- maybe asparagus if I can lay my hands on some nice stuff.

Asparagus

Asparagus

We learnt so many salads in Ballymaloe, and I really came to love making those salads that weren’t simply based on lettuce.  The roasted sweet potato and red onion with bulgar and herbs is one of those.  So simple.  So Healthy.  So tasty.

Roasted Sweet Potato and Red Onion with Bulgar and herbs

Roasted Sweet Potato and Red Onion with Bulgar and herbs

The tart took more time and effort, as it has many stages, but is totally worth it.  First the pastry base is made and blind baked,

Pastry Shell ready to be baked blind.

Pastry Shell ready to be baked blind.

While that’s baking I prepared the fillings, sautéing the finely chopped onions, blanching the asparagus tips, and whisking the eggs, milk and cream.

Asparagus tips

Asparagus tips

After quickly combining everything in the shell, and a 30 minute bake…. voilà!

Asparagus Tart

Asparagus Tart

And everything went down a treat.  Now just the washing up to tackle….