Roasted Lotus Root

I had some lotus root in the freezer that I had no idea how to prepare. As I thoroughly cleaned the fridge/freezer, I’ve decided to prepare it. I looked online on the best way to prepare the lotus root. With the frozen lotus root there are less options comparing to the fresh one, but I did love it roasted. The lotus root has a similar taste to potatoes, but is not starchy. It’s high in Vitamin C, B6, fibers and with not a lot of calories. It’s a healthy vegetable, as it also has a unique mix of minerals including high percentages of Manganese and Phosphorus. I will buy it again, as it’s so easy to prepare and it offers diversity in our diet.

For me, a pack of 300g of lotus root makes enough for 4 side dishes or 2 light mains in a 3-course meal. We had the second option and this is why I’ve added the salad with it.

Roasted Lotus Root

Ingredients:
– 300g lotus root
– lime powder
– sea salt
– soy sauce
– black pepper
– 4 spoons of oil

Ingredients for the salad:
– mixed salad leaves
– 2 tsp sesame oil
– white sesame seeds
– black sesame seeds

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Mediterranean Soya Beans Salad

This Mediterranean Soya Beans Salad is delicious. It’s very filling, so I would suggest the recipe is enough for 4 servings as a main or 2 servings if that is the only dish for lunch. With lots and lots of Mediterranean spices, it’s a healthy and delicious lunch. The Mediterranean Soya Beans Salad is vegan, I made it like this because I really like these type of salads.

Mediterranean Soya Beans Salad

I used fresh basil and parsley from my herb garden. I also used frozen soya beans. I like them a lot. If you don’t have soya beans, you can use standard beans instead. I got the soya beans from the frozen section at Tesco, I imagine is widely available.

Ingredients:
– 600g defrosted soya beans
– 50g basmati rice
– 100g mixed leaves salad
– fresh basil
– fresh parsley
– 1 small tomato
– spring onion
– 2 spoons oil
– 2 spoons olive oil
– 1 tsp dried basil
– 1 tsp dried parsley
– 1 tsp paprika
– sea salt
– 1 tsp chilli oil

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Lapsang Souchong Rice

When it comes to tea, Lapsang Souchong is my favourite, I talked about it on my lifestyle blog, if you fancy a read. I tried it for the first time last year and I loved it from the first sip. I enjoy its smoky and intense flavour and I think it works great in savoury dishes. I made Lapsang Souchong Rice before, so this time I took pictures so I can share the recipe on my blog.

Lapsang Souchong Rice recipe, vegan, gluten free

I made a pretty basic recipe as I don’t think it needs more than that. If you want to make it a bit more complicated and add vegetables, then I would suggest to add a bit more tea. The recipe I shared is vegan and naturally gluten free.

Ingredients for 2 servings:
– 100g rice
– 4 teabags of Lapsang Souchong
– 1 spoon oil
– salt

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Polenta chips

I only recently started to make polenta chips and I find them very nice. Polenta chips are naturally gluten free and low in calories. For two servings I used only 80g of cornmeal, this means that a side dish of fried polenta chips will have a little over 200 calories. The only downside of making polenta chips is the waiting time for the polenta to set, a few hours in the fridge. The polenta can be made in the evening and left in the fridge for the following day.

I know that some people don’t make the difference between polenta and cornmeal, but it’s quite simple. The flour is called cornmeal and it can be fine, medium and coarse. Polenta is the porridge-like dish. Cornmeal can be used for so many other recipes, like for potato wedges, Bok Choi with tofu and cornbread-cupcakes.

 Polenta chips

Ingredients for 2 servings:
– 80g cornmeal
– 110g cold water
– 350g hot water
– salt
– white pepper
– 2 spoons of oil for shallow frying
– herbs

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Potato wedges

I love potato wedges and I don’t exaggerate when I’m saying this. The soft smooth texture inside, covered by a crunchy layer on the outside is so appealing for me. I’ve tried different ways to make potato wedges and finally I’ve discovered the best one. I want to share the recipe with you.
I made this recipe a few times before writing this post. Let’s say that I was aiming for consistent results and not an excuse to have potato wedges 3-4 times in a row. Using the same amount of ingredients, you can make 4 side dishes or 2 mains. We had the potatoes as mains, with some grated cheese on top.

Potato wedges

For this recipe I’ve used fine cornmeal because it was the one that I had at home. I imagine the other two types of cornmeal: medium and coarse will give extra crunchiness. Keep that in mind if you are buying the cornmeal specifically for this recipe.

Ingredients for 4 side-dishes:
– 750g potatoes
– 1 heaped spoon of cornmeal
– 1 tsp paprika
– salt
– white pepper
– 3 spoons of oil

Pre heat the oven at 200 C or 180 C fan.

Wash and cut the potatoes in big slices, pat them dry if they are too wet. In a bag, pour the oil, the spices and the cornmeal. Seal the bag and shake it until all the ingredients are incorporated. It should take less than a minute. Open the bag and toss in all the potatoes. Seal the bag and start shaking it until all the sides of the potatoes are coated with the oily mixture.

Place the potatoes in a baking tray or use a frying pan as I did. Bake the potatoes for around 45 minutes. Shake the tray or stir with a spoon twice, so they don’t catch the bottom of the pan.

Take the potato wedges out of the oven and enjoy them.

Potato wedges

Because they are baked they are a healthier option, relatively low in fat and very easy to make too. Do you like Potato wedges?

Vegan creamy courgette risotto

My Vegan creamy courgette risotto has coconut milk, deliciously prepared courgette and lots of lovely spices. I am so happy with the coconut milk and rice combination. I made a sweet version and I loved it, the recipe is here. This savoury side dish is amazing too, the creaminess from the coconut milk is just delightful. The addition of cardamon made the dish quite special. I will cook more with coconut milk, it’s a fab ingredient and so versatile.

Vegan creamy courgette risotto
I made it as a side dish for a hearty meal or on its own.

Vegan creamy courgette risotto
We had it with Celeriac steak, similar with roasted celeriac, but cut a little thicker and brushed with oil mixed with spices (smoked paprika, salt, dried parsley).

Ingredients for 2 servings:
– 140g rice for risotto
– 200ml vegetable stock
– 400ml coconut milk
– 1 courgette
– 2 spoons of oil
– salt
– white pepper
– cardamon
– dried parsley

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Chestnut and Brussels sprouts

I bought some Chestnuts because I really wanted to cook with them. I thought of a pie, but when I didn’t have loads of time I’ve ended up with a Chestnut and Brussels sprouts side dish for some vegan sausages. This recipe is vegan too and also delicious. I used only 3 spoons of oil, so that makes it perfect if you are on a diet.

Chestnut and Brussels sprouts

Ingredients for 4 servings:
– 500g frozen Brussels sprouts
– 200g cooked Chesnuts
– 3 spoons of oil
– 1 small onion
– 2tsp dried parsley
– salt
– black pepper

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