Veal Ragu with Zucchini Spaghetti (4)

FullSizeRender(56)

Zucchini/courgettes ‘spaghetti’ is a really good substitute for pasta and because it doesn’t taste of much it is the perfect foil for many different sauces. I  make my own with a spiralizer but I notice that it is now available to buy in supermarkets. It is very quick to cook – literally a few minutes – and you actually want it to be just ‘al dente’. The veal sauce is livened up with sliced baby bella mushrooms and fresh herbs – sage and rosemary.

1 tbsp. oil, seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 large onion – finely chopped

1 pound ground veal/pork

8 oz. baby bella mushrooms – sliced

1 cup chicken broth

1/2 tbsp. fresh sage – finely chopped

1/2 tbsp. fresh rosemary – finely chopped

Heat the seasoned oil in a cast iron casserole dish and when sizzling add the onion and let it brown slightly.

Next add the ground veal and sear it before adding the mushrooms, chicken broth and herbs.

Simmer for around 15 minutes then pour sauce over the zucchini spaghetti.

ZUCCHINI SPAGHETTI

1 pound of zucchini – spiralized

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cook zucchini in boiling water for around 3 minutes until they are cooked but still a little on the firm side.

Drain, then pat dry with a clean T-towel.

Place in a serving dish, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and mix well.

Pour the veal ragu over the top

 

Advertisements

Herby Mushrooms and Apples (4)

fullsizerender16

An interesting side dish using a mixture of mushrooms (cremini, baby bella and regular mushrooms, etc.) and apple. To add depth to the dish I added garlic and fresh oregano and thyme. Goes well with pork.

1 tbsp. olive oil seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 large clove of garlic – grated

4 oz. mixed mushrooms – sliced

1 medium sweet, crisp apple – sliced

1/2 tsp. each of oregano and thyme – finely chopped

Heat seasoned oil and a skillet/frying pan and when hot add the garlic and cook for a minute – so not let garlic brown.

Add mushrooms and apple and stir before adding the herbs.

Cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring quite frequently, until mushrooms are browned and apples are translucent.

 

Jo’s Fiery Mushrooms (4)

photo - fiery mushrooms

Harissa paste adds the fiery taste – a tablespoon is all you need (or more or less depending on how spicy you like things). Great as an appetizer/starter, side dish, to take on a picnic or to work as lunch. Can be eaten hot or cold, is vegetarian and if you are able to eat bread it would good for mopping up the juices.

1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1/2 an onion – chopped

2 cloves of garlic – finely chopped

8 oz. small mushrooms – sliced

1 cup crushed tomatoes

1 tbsp. harissa paste

1 cup veg. broth/stock (add more if needed but in the end you want a thickish sauce)

 

Place oil in a cast iron casserole dish and when sizzling add onion and garlic.

When softened, add mushrooms and stir for a moment.

Add crushed tomatoes, harissa paste and veg broth.

Bring to a boil, then simmer for 20 minutes or until sauce is thickish.

 

 

Vegetarian Breakfast

Vegetarian Breakfast

Who says vegetarians can’t have a good old fry up for breakfast? Instead of the traditional scrambled eggs, sausage and bacon try a poached egg with tomato halves and Portobello mushroom slices (cooked in a frying pan in a little seasoned extra virgin olive oil) and half an avocado, thinly sliced. A lovely way to start the day!

Jo’s Pad Thai (serves 4)

Jo’s Pad Thai (serves 4)

My Pad Thai may not be truly authentic but it tastes good. Chopping takes a little time and would be a great thing to do with another person – husband, son or daughter or a friend (I often cook with a friend of mine when she makes dinner). The added ingredient here is my newly discovered Tamarind Paste – Neera’s Tamarind Paste, found in Whole Foods; a different brand can be found in Waitrose in the UK. I used a gluten-free soy sauce, but it does contain soy, so may not be appropriate for some of you. On top of that I added fish sauce, lime juice, ginger and extra virgin olive oil. I purposely only used one chicken breast as am trying to reduce the amount of meat we eat and increase the veg. Ideal pan is a skillet with a glass lid. Cooking time is around 15 minutes.

A 1 inch piece of ginger – peeled and finely grated

1 tbsp. fish sauce

1 tbsp. gluten-free soy sauce

1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice

1 tsp. tamarind paste (not concentrate) – dissolved in 1 tbsp. of hot water

2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

Place all of the above in a bowl and mix together.

1/2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1 large bunch of scallions/spring onions – finely sliced

2 large garlic cloves – finely chopped

1 chicken breast – finely sliced and cut into small pieces (so they cook quickly)

1/2 a red pepper – cut into fine strips

1 large carrot – cut into matchsticks

4 oz. thin French green beans – cut in two

4 good size broccoli florets – cut into smaller florets

4 oz. baby bella mushrooms – sliced

Heat oil in skillet and when sizzling add scallions/spring onions and garlic and cook for a couple of minutes.

Add chicken and sear.

Add all veg. and pour over the sauce.

Cook for 10 minutes or until chicken pieces are cooked through.

Teriyaki Mushrooms (serves 4)

Teriyaki Mushrooms (serves 4)

These were listed as a side dish at a restaurant we ate at recently. Intrigued, we ordered them – delicious and sauce pepped up the mushrooms. I was all set to make my own teriyaki sauce when I spied a gluten free version in my supermarket – San-J Gluten Free Stir Fry and Marinade. Nothing could be simpler. 4 tbsp. of teriyaki sauce may seem a lot, but cook until reduced till only a little sauce left. Mushrooms will also have absorbed the flavor. Yum, yum, yum!

1 pound of mushrooms (I used pre-cut baby Portobello mushrooms) – rinsed
4 tbsp. teriyaki sauce

Place mushrooms in a skillet/frying pan
Pour over teriyaki sauce

Cook until teriyaki sauce is reduced and mushrooms are cooked.

Jo’s Stir Fried Vegetables (serves 4)

FullSizeRender

At the weekend I was visiting the Morikami Gardens and Museum in Delray Beach, FL. The Japanese Gardens and setting are very authentic and very peaceful. The restaurant there overlooks a lake and serves a variety of Japanese food. I so enjoyed my duck with stir fried vegetables in a ginger sauce that I decided to try and re-create the dish. I don’t have a wok so used a large metal bottomed frying pan. For the Japanese flavor I used garlic, scallions,  fish sauce and ginger. For the veg. I used carrots, broccoli florets, green beans and baby bella mushrooms. You could serve duck, chicken, pork or beef on top of the veg. with  quinoa on the side. For vegetarians/vegans probably soy sauce would be a substitute for the fish sauce.

1 tbsp. olive oil, seasoned with freshly ground black pepper (no salt needed because of salt in the Fish Sauce)

2 large cloves garlic – grated

1 bunch of scallions – finely chopped (only used white ends)

1 tbsp. Fish Sauce (Thai Kitchen brand Premium Fish Sauce)

1 piece of ginger (size of thumb from first joint to finger nail) – finely grated

4 tbsp. vegetable broth

2 medium size heads of broccoli – torn into smallish florets

2 medium carrots – very thinly sliced

Handful of thin green beans (amount you can get between thumb and forefinger) – topped and tailed and cut into thirds

6 oz. baby Bella mushrooms – washed and cut into 1/4’s or 1/6ths, depending on size

Heat the oil in frying pan and when sizzling add garlic and scallions and cook for a few minutes.
Add grated ginger and Fish Sauce and stir.
Add the vegetables and veg. broth/stock and cook until ‘al dente’ (about 5 minutes) stirring frequently.