Zesty Vegan Shepherd’s Pie

DSC01434

 I’ve recently discovered that the celebrity chef Jamie Oliver offers many vegan recipes on his website. This one caught my attention straight away and I wasn’t disappointed.

DSC01439

It is a hearty vegetable, lentil and chickpea stew topped with a thick layer of mashed sweet potatoes. The whole thing is then covered with breadcrumbs and… lemon zest! I definitely was sceptical about adding lemon zest to a shepherd’s pie recipe, but it turned to be brilliantly. The lemon zest adds just the right je ne sais quoi that make this shepherd’s pie really unique.

Link to the recipe: http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/vegetables-recipes/vegan-shepherd-s-pie/

As always… bon appétit

A

Advertisements

Ratatouille – Tomato, eggplant and zucchini casserole

DSC01338

This meal will bring you straight to the south of France. It consists of a flavourful roasted capsicum and tomato purée topped with thinly sliced eggplants, tomatoes and zucchini. It is bursting with the most divine yet complex flavours. Cooking it will fill your house with the sweet smells of caramelizing fresh vegetables.

DSC01335

Look at those colours. It’s definitely an impressive meal to serve to your guests.

DSC01351

Keep it vegan by simply substituting the butter for a vegan butter (I use earth balance) or more olive oil. To keep it in the Provençal theme, serve it with fougasse (french focaccia) or extend your inspiration to the other side of the Mediterranean sea and serve it with couscous.

Here is the link to this amazing recipe: http://www.brunoskitchen.net/recipes/ratatouille-casserole.html

Bon appétit

A

Broad Beans and Vegetables Tajine

IMG_0321

We do our grocery shopping at a Lebanese grocery store and whenever there are fresh broad beans, there is always a huge crowd of people buying them by the (rather large) bag-full. So I followed the movement and bought some too (I’m such a sheep). The thing is, I had no idea what to do with them… so I came up with this tajine recipe and it turned out great.

The secret when cooking a tajine is to not be in a rush. Let it cook on low heat for a while and don’t turn the heat up, even though the amazing smell that will fill your house will make you want to speed up the process to devourer it faster. It is worth the wait.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tblsp of olive oil
  • 1 big or 2 small onions
  • 2 tomatoes diced
  • 2 carrots cut in fingers
  • 2 potatoes cut in wedges
  • about a 1/3 of a butternut squash cut in wedges
  • 10 to 12 fresh broad beans, cut open to use only the inside beans
  • 2 pinches of saffron
  • 1and1/2 tsp of ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp of ground dry ginger
  • 1 tsp of ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp of paprika
  • 1 pinch of ground cloves
  • 1/4 cup of fresh coriander (cilantro)
  • 3 branches of fresh thyme
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup of vegetable broth
  • some fresh parsley or coriander for garnish

Put the bottom plate of the tajine on low heat and add the oil. Cook the onions in the oil, stirring now and then until they are soft but not brown. Add the tomatoes to the onions and cook for another 10 to 15 minutes. While the onions and tomatoes are cooking, add all the spices to the broth and stir.

When the onions and tomatoes are both soft, place the vegetables in a circle creating a kind of a tipi shape (or tajine shape!). Add the broad beans, fresh coriander and thyme on top of your vegetable sculpture and poor the broth over everything. Cover and cook until the vegetables and beans are well tender, which can take anywhere from 60 to 90 minutes. Every 10 minutes, using a baster, pour some of the broth at the bottom of the tajine onto the vegetables. If the tajine overflows (happens to me a lot!), remove some broth and if the bottom gets dry (has never happened to me yet), add more broth.

Voilà

Bon appétit

xxx

A