Tomato and Courgette Pasta

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So this ‘pasta with two veg’ thing is actually becoming a thing – it started with my kale and mushroom pasta (which I’m still loving every week), and now I’ve got this absolutely delicious tomato and courgette pasta to add to my growing repertoire.

This one is absolutely divine – the tomatoes really come alive with the help of the garlic, and the courgette gives the dish some amazing texture. It’s super quick and easy to make, and just like my kale and mushroom dish, it came about from me coming home to find nothing but a handful of cherry tomatoes and an old courgette in the fridge!

What you’ll need:
– 300g pomodoro tomatoes (use cherry or vine if you prefer but I always go for Waitrose’s Pomo Dei Moro tomatoes, they’re definitely the best for this recipe) 
– 1 courgette (zucchini)
– 2 cloves of garlic
– 2 cups of wholewheat pasta
– mixed herbs
– chilli flakes
– olive oil
– chilli oil

What to do:
1. Add two cups of wholewheat pasta to a pot of boiling water and allow to boil on a medium heat for 12-14 minutes.

2. Prep your veg – slice your baby tomatoes in half, and very finely chop your 2 cloves of garlic. Prep the courgette by removing the top and tail, and very finely slicing it into thin circles.

2. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a saucepan on a medium heat. Add the finely chopped garlic and allow to simmer for 30 seconds – 1 minute.

3. Add the chopped tomatoes, and allow to cook for about 4 minutes, stirring often.

4. Add a dollop of boiling water to the cherry tomatoes before adding in the thinly sliced courgette. Cook on a low/medium heat for another 5-7 minutes, making sure you stir often. If the tomatoes start to stick, keep adding small amounts of water to the pan to maintain a creamy/pasty texture. 

5. When the pasta is cooked, drain and stir into the tomato/courgette.

6. Add a pinch of salt, a sprinkle of cracked pepper, some mixed herbs and some dried chilli flakes.

7. Then top with a splash of chilli oil, some of your favourite grated cheese, and a couple of fresh basil leaves if you’ve got any lying around.

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I hope you enjoy this one as much as I do 🙂 If any of you have any other ‘two veg’ pasta dishes you recommend, or any ideas for two veg pastas you want me to experiment with, just leave a comment below!

Courgettes and Love,

JoTeaPies

Insanely Delicious Vegetable Quinoa

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I don’t quite know where to start with this one, it’s so far beyond the point of delicious that I can’t really believe it’s healthy. I first came across this delicious recipe here, and have put my own twist on the idea. All you need is your favourite grain, all your favourite veg and a saucepan. This dish tastes divine on its own as a wholesome dinner, but would also be great tucked into some stuffed peppers or mushrooms, or even as a side dish.

What you’ll need:

  •  1 cup of your favourite grain. I used this mix of bulgur wheat with red and white quinoa, but you could also use pure quinoa or even couscous!
  • Your favourite vegetable stock (if you don’t have this just use your favourite curry powder, works a charm)
  • 7-10 chestnut mushrooms
  • 1 courgette
  • 2 of your favourite tomatoes (I used salad tomatoes, if using Piccolo or Pomodoro make sure you use a good handful)
  • ½ a head of broccoli
  • 1 red pepper (any colour will do)
  • vegetable stock

What to do:
1. Cut your pepper and mushrooms into large pieces and fry off in a saucepan with some olive oil on a medium heat for 3-4 minutes.
2. Rinse and drain your quinoa and add it to the saucepan once the veg is fried.
3. Add 1.5 cups of vegetable stock for every one cup of quinoa to the saucepan, cover the saucepan.
3. Cut the tomatoes up into slices and add them to the saucepan.
4. Once the water begins to boil, allow the quinoa to cook for about 5 minutes.
5. Then cut your courgette and broccoli into chunky pieces and add to the saucepan, stirring in well.
6. Make sure the heat is medium/low and cover the saucepan, allowing it to all cook for another 7-10 minutes, making sure all the vegetables are stirred in well.
8. When the quinoa has fluffed up, most of the water has been absorbed, and all the vegetables are cooked, take off the heat and allow it to sit for a few minutes. Add salt and pepper at this stage.
9. If you’re feeling naughty, stir in a dollop of coconut cream, or alternatively, grate a very light layer of your favourite cheese onto the dish for an extra creamy kick.

Serves 2.

It sounds super simple, and it is  – I’m still not 100% sure where the delicious flavours come from, because it tastes so much more complicated than it really is, that’s the beauty of this dish. Also, because it’s so versatile, you can make it with literally anything you have laying around in the kitchen – the original recipe linked above uses completely different vegetables such as beans and carrots, and also works well so just experiment with your favourite veg and see what you come up with. I’m super excited to stick some artichoke into my next batch and see how it turns out!

 

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Tip: This tastes delicious the next day for lunch!

Enjoy!

Vegetables and Love,

JoTeaPies

Perfect, Herby, Garlic Bread

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This is my fool-proof recipe for perfect garlic bread. I often make it alongside my pesto pasta and it works great with pretty much any pasta dish. It’s super quick, delicious and definitely healthier than the frozen off-the-shelf stuff.

What you’ll need:
5-6 slices of your favourite, good quality bread. I went for tiger bread this time.
butter
4 cloves of garlic
mixed herbs
dried chilli flakes
salt

What to do:
1. Pre heat your grill to about 180C.
2. Slice your bread and lay it out on some tin foil.
3. Finely slice 2 cloves of garlic into tiny pieces and dot them over each slice of fresh bread (about 4/5 tiny pieces of garlic on each slice).
4. Place the bread under the grill for 5-6 minutes, until the edges crisp up.
5. Whilst waiting for the bread to toast, melt 2 dollops of butter (or your favourite spread) in the microwave for 10 seconds.
6. Slice up the remaining garlic (2 cloves) and add them to the melted butter along with a generous amount of dried mixed herbs. Stir in well.
7. When the bread is golden and crispy, carefully remove from the grill and drizzle your herby butter over each piece (use a spoon, save yourself the mess).
8. Top each piece with a light sprinkle of salt, cracked pepper and chilli flakes.

Enjoy!

Crispy Bread and Love,

JoTeaPies

 

 

Perfect Sweet Potato Wedges

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For me, sweet potatoes have always lived in the ‘eurgh, no thanks’ zone alongside butternut squash, goat’s cheese and quiche. Simply couldn’t stand the stuff. I’d had a dodgy experience with a sweet potato fry in a Nandos a few years ago and had written the spuds off completely, opting for the ‘real thing’ (regular potatoes) every time.

That was until I discovered how to make sweet potato wedges at home, and now I’m a complete convert. They’re so easy to make and, if baked and spiced correctly, are absolutely delicious.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Two medium-sized sweet potatoes
Olive Oil
Two cloves of garlic
Piri Piri Salt (if not, just regular salt and regular chilli powder)
One lime

What to do:

1. Pre-heat your oven to 200C (fan assisted)
2. Scrub the potatoes well under running water (no need to peel)
3. Cut your sweet potatoes into wedges (cut the potato in half and then quarters first to make this easier)
4. Coat the wedges in a light layer of olive oil and place on a baking tray.
5. Cut the garlic cloves in half and place amongst the wedges (throw in some rosemary or other fresh herbs too if you fancy)
6. Bake at 200C for about 30 mins, until the wedges turn golden.
7. When baked, sprinkle over a generous dusting of piri piri salt and a couple of drops of fresh lime juice.

Serves 2.

This delicious and healthy treat can be enjoyed alongside a homemade burger or some roasted veg (try sticking some broccoli stems or baby sweetcorn in the oven to roast for 5-7 minutes when the wedges are almost done. Sprinkle with sea salt and enjoy!)

Sweet potatoes and love,

JoTeaPies

Green Beans and Veg Rice, Indian-Style

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This is my quick and delicious vegetarian dinner with an indian twist! It’s great for a wintery evening and is would be delicious served alongside my perfect paneer recipe 🙂

What you’ll need:

– 300g fresh green beans
–  150g basmati rice
– 150g mixed frozen vegetables
– mustard seeds
– turmeric
– aniseed
– red chilli powder
– cumin seeds
– coriander and cumin powder
– 2-3 cloves garlic
– curry powder of your choice!

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What to do:

RICE

1. Rinse 150g of rice in a sieve before soaking for 30 minutes (skip the soaking and move to the next step if you’re in a hurry!)

2. In a saucepan, heat a small amount of oil and lightly fry a pinch of mustard seeds, cumin seeds and 1 clove of chopped garlic. When the seeds begin to darken, drain the rice out and add it to the saucepan, along with a double quantity of water (1 cup rice to 2 cups water).

3. Bring the rice to a boil on a medium heat without the lid on the pan. When the water beings to boil, reduce the heat so that the pan is gently simmering and cover the saucepan, cooking for about 12-15 minutes.

4. Keep checking the rice as you move onto the next steps – add small amounts of water if you need to.

5. If you’re using mixed frozen vegetables (highly recommended for this recipe!) then place about 150-200g of mixed veg in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Cover the bowl so that the veggies can warm up for 5-10 minutes whilst you crack on…

At this stage it’s about time to move on to your green beans 🙂

GREEN BEANS

1. Cut your beans into 2cm pieces and rinse.

2. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a small pan and add in a pinch of mustard seeds, cumin seeds, aniseed, and 1-2 cloves of chopped garlic.

3. When the seeds begin to pop and darken, add in the beans and a small amount of water (2-3 tablespoons). Allow to fry, stirring occasionally.

4. Allow to cook for 7-10 minutes, ensuring that the water evaporates and the beans don’t become soggy.

5. Add in a pinch of turmeric, a large pinch of coriander and cumin powder, a small pinch of chilli powder and a pinch of salt. All done!

AND BACK TO THE RICE!

6. At this stage your rice should be almost done, check the water level and add a small amount more if needs be.

7. Drain the vegetables. Heat a small amount of oil in a saucepan and lightly fry the vegetables with a small pinch of mustard seeds. Fry for 2-3 minutes, stirring.

8. When the rice is cooked, stir in the vegetables, adding a healthy pinch of turmeric and curry powder (I always use tandoori), and a dash of butter if you’re feeling naughty!

All done! Now simply serve the veg rice alongside the green beans 🙂

Serves 1-2.

Enjoy!

Beans and Love,

JoTeaPies