Sunday, 18 May 2014

Butterbean not-meatballs

Ingredients (made 16 'balls' but could make four decent sized burgers)
1 tin butterbeans, drained and rinsed.
1 small onion, chopped and softened in a little butter
garlic puree and chilli puree - a small squidge of each
4 tbsp fresh breadcrumbs (mine were from the end of a wholemeal loaf that was going a bit manky on the crust)
40g hard Italian cheese (the value kind because it is vegetarian friendly), grated
bit of salt
bit of pepper
bit of dried mustard
(and you could add some herbs if you want)
1 egg, beaten
a bit of flour
oil for baking

In a processor (or a Thermomix - guess which one I used!) place the butter beans, the softened onion, the grated cheese, the garlic and chilli purees, salt, pepper, breadcrumbs, mustard - everything, in fact, apart from the egg and the oil.

Zizz it around until it is the texture you want.  I made mine pretty smooth.

Place in a bowl and add the beaten egg.  Mix in well.

Flour your hands, then shape the mix into balls and place them on an oven sheet (I lined it with my teflon non-stick thingy).  Cover and chill for a while.  Heat the oven to about 180 degrees C.  When the oven is hot, oil your hands and then smear the oil around the balls.  Pop them into the oven and bake for about half an hour, turning them once midway

Serve hot with a gorgeous tomato sauce (see next recipe) and pasta with more grated Italian cheese over the top..

It was absolutely delicious and very filling although next time I will try cheddar as they seemed a little bit dry (although not with the sauce).

Bung it all in and cross your fingers soup

 . . . which is exactly what happened!

I had some manky salad veg that would normally get chucked but, inspired by Economny Gastronomy, I didn't.  This included radish, spring onion, lettuce, tomato and cucumber.  I added half a carrot, a quarter of a small onion left over from something else I was making, some celery, some veg stock powder, a squidge of garlic puree and chilli puree, some salt and pepper and some leftover beef that smelled and tasted fine so I decided to use my common sense.

All this went in Thermione and gott zizzed around until chopped.  Then I added some water and cooked it until everything was soft after which I gave it a thorough blending (one minute at speed 9).  The result is a surprisingly deliciously tasty soup that will do me for some lunches at school this week.  It looks like sludge but I don't care, it's made mostly from stuff I would otherwise throw away and it tastes good so that makes it a winner in my book!  I'm just waiting for it to cool before decanting into single portions.

Photo later when the camera has charged up (if I remember)

Friday, 9 May 2014

And finally: accidental soup

So called because it wasn't in the plan but was made from leftover bits.

Accidental soup:
So I looked and I had some ingredients left over from making my meals - kidney beans, peas, leeks, carrot, etc and over half a can of chopped tomatoes plus some herbs and the broccoli stalks which I wasn't going to throw away.
So I piled all the veg apart from the beans and the peas into Thermione, added the chopped tomatoes, salt, herbs and some water, chopped and then cooked it all until everything was soft.  Then I gave it a good zizz (I needed to add a bit more water) and checked the seasoning.
I then added the beans and peas before pouring the lot into a container to freeze it.

And because I am posting this after I had the meal, here's a photo!  There's some left over (it was thick and very filling) so I'm going to jazz it up a bit, add some chicken and have it with pasta for my meal this evening.  Mmmmmmm . . .

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Wednesday, 7 May 2014


I'm so used to not really getting comments on this blog that I failed to realise that there are a few recently.  So sorry, I wasn't ignoring you deliberately and I have answered now.

(note to self - check more carefully from now on!)

Living Below The Line: Three meals and a soup part 2

Second recipe . . . bit bogstandard really!

Beany filling for a pie
a selection of veg (I used peas, leeks, parsnips, carrots)
1/3 can kidney beans
2/3 tin chopped tomatoes and some water
some herbs (I used parsley, oregano, thyme, chives and bay from the garden)
salt and pepper
a bit of beef stock (or use a bit of stock cube or stock granules)

Chop the veg
Heat the oil, saute the leeks and carrots, add the other veg and the tomatoes, herbs, seasonings, etc.  I found a bit of chopped up garlic I hadn't used so I added that too.  Add the beans and peas and whatever else hasn't yet been added, bring to a gentle boil and simmer it all away until it's getting thick.  Check seasonings and adjust if necessary.

I might use this as a pie filling using that pastry I blogged about a few days ago or I may just have it on rice; goodness knows, I have plenty!  I shall see how I feel this evening.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Living below the line: three meals and a soup!

Thought I would share before I forget.
It's all rather bits and bobsy  because of being LBTL so please have patience with the muddles.

Meal 1!
Sort of egg fried rice without the egg.
This was inspired by this recipe.  (scroll down to get to Ginger Egg Fried Rice)  However the different ingredients and method mean that I can lay claim to a bit of it myself.

coconut oil (just a bit and it does make a difference)
a bit of root ginger, finely chopped
a garlic clove
an assortment of vegetables - could be frozen mixed veg  or garden veg or whatever.  I had leeks, parsnips, broccoli (garden), carrot (fresh), peas (1/3 value can).
Chicken stock and bits of chicken.  The latter is optional, I guess, but I had boiled up some free carcasses and this is the stock and the scraped off chicken.  You certainly need stock of some kind.
100g rice (mine was value because of LBTL)
(I think that was all the ingredients).

Put the ginger, garlic and a bit of salt in a mortar and grind to a paste with a psetle (OK, so showing off here, you can just flatten it all with the side of a knife, of course).  Set aside.
Wash the rice in a sieve to get rid of some of the starch (if you're using value rice)
Chop the carrot (I used half) and parsnip (mine was from the freezer so was already peeled and cored)) into small dice.
Slice the leek into half rings or smaller
Cut the 'heads' off the broccoli (reserve the stalks for something else, see below)

Heat the oil and gently fry the leek and carrot until starting to soften.  Add the parsnip.  Add the garlic/ginger paste and fry, stirring, until it becomes wonderfully aromatic.
Increase the heat a little and add the rice.  Stir well until rice starts to change colour.  Add the stock and some salt.  Bring to a gentle simmer, no lid, and allow the excess liquid to evaporate away as the rice cooks, adding more water if needed.
When it is nearly cooked, add the broccoli, peas and chicken bits, stir well and continue to simmer until it is how you want it.  Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.

The original recipe involved stirring in some beaten egg to become egg fried rice but I didn't as there's already protein in the stock and the chicken bits.

This made enough for two meals for me, a dinner one night and lunch the following day(reheating the rice until piping hot, of course).  It would have been even nicer with some soy sauce and I shall make it again but with different veg!