Naan Bread

Easy & delicious naan bread to go with your curry

These were easy to make & delicious. The recipe said it would make 6 naan, but I split it into 5 to avoid arguments about who would get the extra one. Perfect for me, DH & the 3 kids (6, 9, 11)

Naan Bread

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 x 7g sachet dried yeast
  • 2 tsp golden caster sugar
  • 300g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 0.5 tsp salt
  • 0.5 tsp baking powder
  • 150g plain yogurt
  • 25g butter or ghee, melted, plus extra 2-3 tbsp for greasing and brushing
  • garlic (optional)
  • nigella seeds (optional)

Instructions

  1. Put 125ml warm water into a bowl and sprinkle over the yeast and 1 tsp of the sugar. Leave for 10-15 mins or until frothy
  2. While you are waiting, put the flour, remaining sugar, 0.5 tsp salt and baking powder in a large bowl & mix together.
  3. Once the yeast mixture is ready, make a well in the flour mix & pour in the melted butter, yogurt, nigella seeds and yeast mixture.
  4. Stir well, then start to bring the mixture together with your hands until it makes a nice soft dough. If it’s too wet add flour. If it’s too dry, add a splash of water.
  5. Kneed for about 10 mins on a floured surface
  6. Grease the bowl with melted butter, pop the dough in the bowl & cover with a damp towel. Leave for about an hour or until it’s twice it’s original size.
  7. If you want to keep the naan warm in the oven while you cook them all, put the oven on to a low heat now.
  8. Heat a frying pan up.
  9. Split the dough into however many pieces you want (I did 5) & roll into balls. Put them on a floured surface & cover with the damp tea towel.
  10. Roll a piece out into the shape of a naan bread, when the frying pan is hot, lay the naan in the pan & dry for for 2-3 mins, then turn over & cook for another 2-3 mins.
  11. Once cooked, brush with a little butter (add some garlic if you want)
  12. If you want to keep it warm while you cook the rest, put it on a baking tray, cover with some foil & pop in the oven. Alternatively, put straight on the table & let the fastest child win.
  13. Repeat with the other naan, piling them up on the baking tray as you go.

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Singapore Noodles with Tofu

Singapore Noodles with Tofu
Singapore Noodles with Tofu

We always need quick & easy meals, which are still reasonably healthy – a quick search on BBC Good Food suggested this which seemed to fit the bill.

The original recipe called for Tikka Masala Paste, but as I have ishoos with buying jars of stuff I’m only going to use once, DH made his own using a Jamie Oliver recipe which I’ve included below.

We didn’t have beansprouts as my sprouter is languishing in a cupboard somewhere, and used a splash of lime juice instead of real lime wedges to serve.

Singapore Noodles with Tofu

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 100g fine rice noodles
  • 140g firm tofu
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 3 spring onions, shredded
  • 1 small chunk fresh root ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 100g mangetout
  • 100g beansprouts
  • 1 tsp tikka masala paste (see JO recipe below if you don’t have any)
  • 2 tsp reduced-salt soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
  • roughly chopped coriander and lime wedges, to serve

tikka masala paste

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 thumb-sized piece fresh root ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons groundnut oil
  • 2 tablespoons tomato puree
  • 2 fresh red chillies
  • 1 small bunch fresh coriander
  • 1 tablespoon desiccated coconut
  • 2 tablespoons ground almonds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds

Instructions

  1. drain the tofu (we do this by wrapping in a clean tea-towel & placing under the heavy chopping board)
  2. make the tikka masala paste if making from scratch
  3. cook the noodles as per instructions. Drain & rinse under cold water & cut into short lengths
  4. heat 1tbsp of the oil in a wok or frying pan, add the tofu & stir-fry until browned all over. Drain on kitchen roll
  5. heat the rest of the oil in the wok. Add the spring onions, ginger, pepper and mangetout, then stir-fry for 1 min. Add the noodles and beansprouts, then stir to mix.
  6. mix together the tikka masala paste, soy sauce, chilli sauce and 1 tbsp water, then add to the wok, stirring until everything is well coated in the sauce.
  7. serve sprinkled with the coriander, with lime wedges for squeezing over.

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Thai Green Tofu

Thai Green Tofu
Thai Green Tofu

I’ve been really enjoying thai red curries recently, so thought I’d try a green one for a change.  This recipe popped up on the Tesco site so I thought Id give it a go as their own-brand thai curry paste is fish-free! 🙂

DH & I both really liked it & it was dead easy to make, but the next time I made it I added some tofu to increase the protein.

Obviously the amounts & types of veg below can be changed to suit whatever you like/happen to have in the fridge and how hungry you are!

Thai Green Tofu

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • tofu, drained & cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 large tin (400ml) of coconut milk
  • 2 heaped tbsp of Thai green curry paste
  • 1 medium courgette, sliced
  • 1 head of broccoli, divided into small florets
  • 100g mangetouts or snow peas, trimmed
  • 100g baby sweetcorn, cut in half
  • 50g unsalted cashew nuts

to serve

  • rice or noodles

Instructions

  1. Dry the tofu (I wrap it in a clean tea-towel & put under the heavy chopping board for 30mins)
  2. Don’t forget to put the rice or noodles on!
  3. Heat some oil in a frying pan or wok and brown the tofu
  4. While that’s cooking, put the coconut milk into another pan, then stir in the green curry paste and bring to a simmer.
  5. Add the courgettes and simmer gently for 5 minutes.
  6. Add the broccoli florets, mange touts and sliced baby sweet corn and simmer gently for a further 5 minutes.
  7. Serve topped with the tofu, toasted whole cashew nuts with some boiled rice or rice noodles.

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Creamy White Bean Soup

Creamy White Bean Soup
Creamy White Bean Soup

I was intrigued by how this creamy bean soup could be vegan & was surprised to learn that the creamyness actually comes from ground up cashews!    Note: these need soaking for several hours before cooking – don’t forget!

The original recipe used coconut oil, but as I don’t have any I just used olive oil.

Both DH & I liked it, but the kids didn’t – they just ate the butterbeans & demanded more bread!

Creamy White Bean Soup

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp chopped basil
  • 1½ tsp dried sage
  • 3½ cups low salt vegetable stock
  • 3 cups white beans (cooked or canned)
  • 1/2 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  • ½ cup raw cashews
  • ½ cup water
  • 5 cups shredded kale
  • Salt & Pepper

to serve

  • warm crusty bread

Instructions

  1. Soak cashews in water for 6-8 hours. Drain, rinse and set aside until ready to make the soup.
  2. Heat some oil in a large saucepan & Sauté onions and garlic
  3. Add the basil, sage, salt, stock, beans, and tomatoes.
  4. Simmer, covered, for about 10-15 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, combine the soaked cashews and water in a blender and blend until smooth.
  6. Add the cashew cream and kale to the soup and mix to combine.
  7. Cover and turn the heat off. Let it sit for about five minutes.
  8. Serve

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Butternut Squash Chilli (slow cooker)

Butternut Squash Chilli (slow cooker)
Butternut Squash Chilli (slow cooker)

I think I saw this on Pinterest & thought it would be a change from our usual chilli & being able to do it in the slow cooker is always appealing!

It was easy enough to make (I am a huge fan of chucking everything into the slow cooker & walking away!), and everyone liked it, but I think I need to make some changes the next time I make it….. as I was feeding it to the kids, I think I played it too safe by omitting the chipotle peppers & using mild chilli powder – it definately needed more spice.  It was also a bit wet for my liking, so will either use a bit less stock next time I make it or try to thicken it up a bit.

Instructions

  • 1 medium onion – diced
  • 1 red pepper – seeded and diced
  • 14 oz chopped tomatoes
  • 14 oz kidney beans – drained and rinsed
  • 1 large butternut squash – peeled and diced
  • 2 cups low salt vegetable stock
  • 1 cup sweetcorn
  • 3 cloves garlic – crushed
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo – minced (remove seeds to lower heat) – optional
  • 2 tablespoons cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste

to serve:

  • rice
  • spring onions, chopped
  • greek yogurt or sour cream
  • corriander, chopped
  • tortilla chips, crushed
  • avocado, chopped

Instructions

  1. Put everything into the slow cooker and heat on High for 4 hours or Low for 8 hours.
  2. Serve with rice & what ever garnish you fancy

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Vegetarian Christmas lunch – I need your help!

What are you having for your Christmas lunch?

I’ve been collecting a few ideas on Pinterest, but nothing we have tried so far has really hit the spot so would love to hear your suggestions!

Bessie x

Curried Red Lentil Soup with Chickpeas and Quinoa

Curried Red Lentil Soup with Chickpeas and Quinoa
Curried Red Lentil Soup with Chickpeas and Quinoa

I thought this soup looked very tasty, and with lentils, chickpeas & quinoa in it, it must be hearty & wholesome!

I missed out the chilli sauce as I was making it for the kids, and DD1 (4.5) can be a bit fussy about anything too spicy, but it was still very tasty.  Thankfully, the kids both loved it too, so we’ll definitely be having this one again.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 stick celery, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 inch ginger, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder (or 1 tablespoon garam masala + 1 teaspoon turmeric)
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 700ml low salt stock
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon chili sauce (optional)
  • 1 tin chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 0.25 cup dried quinoa

to serve

  • fresh coriander (chopped)
  • Greek style yogurt

Instructions

  1. Cook the quinoa as directed.
  2. Heat the oil in a pan.
  3. Add the onions, carrots and celery and saute until tender, about 10-15 minutes.
  4. Add the garlic, ginger and curry powder and saute until fragrant, about a minute.
  5. Add the lentils, stock, tomatoes and chili sauce.
  6. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the lentils are tender, about 10-15 minutes.
  7. Add the chickpeas and quinoa and warm them up.
  8. Season with salt and pepper and serve with a garnish of cilantro and a dollop of Greek style yogurt.

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Quick Tomato soup

Quick tomato & pesto soup
Quick tomato & pesto soup

The kids love it when I make tomato soup, so I decided I had to try this quick tomato soup recipe by @mamacook_Blog.  As an added challenge I thought I’d try making my own veggie pesto.

It was all very easy to make & very, very tasty!

The girls both loved it, and although DD1(4.5) didn’t want to try the pesto, DD2(2) made up for it, by demanding more & eating it straight off the spoon!

I ate the leftover pesto later in the week in some hummus sandwiches. <yum>

Ingredients

Pesto

  • 2 cups, washed, loosely packed stemmed fresh herbs- basil, cilantro, parsley, mint
  • 1/2 cup shelled pecans or walnuts or pine nuts
  • 1-2 cloves fresh garlic
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup good tasting extra virgin olive oil, as needed
  • Sea salt, to taste

Soup

  • 1 tsp Olive Oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled & crushed
  • 1 Tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 x 500g Pack of passata
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • Black Pepper

to serve

  • fresh crusty bread & butter

Instructions

First, make the pesto

  1. Combine the fresh herbs, nuts, and garlic in a food processor and process the mixture until it turns into a coarse meal.
  2. Slowly add extra virgin olive oil in a steady drizzle as you pulse the processor on and off. Process until it becomes a smooth, light paste. Add enough olive oil to keep it moist and spreadable.
  3. Season with sea salt, to taste.
  4. Cover and store chilled for at least an hour to saturate the flavors.
  5. Pour a thin layer of extra virgin olive oil over the top to help keep it bright green.

then make the soup

  1. Fry the garlic gently in the olive oil for a couple of minutes (without browning!)
  2. Add the tomatoes, passata, sugar, and pepper.
  3. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes.

then serve the soup with a dollop of pesto on top, and some bread & butter on the side – delicious!

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Ethiopian Sweet Potato and Okra Curry

Ethiopian Sweet Potato and Okra Curry
Ethiopian Sweet Potato and Okra Curry

I’ve never been a huge fan of okra. I remember eating it in a restaurant years ago & it was horrible & stringy – a bit like too old green beans, but worse. <ugh>

But I decided that I should do what I’m always telling DD1(4.5) to do, and try it again. This recipe by @vegetariandad1 looked like the perfect thing, as I thought I could just leave them on the side of the plate & eat the rest of the curry if I didn’t like them!

DH made this (he omitted the fenugreek as we didn’t have any) & said it was easy enough to make, and I was very pleased to find out that I do like Okra! 🙂  It was absolutely lovely, and I am annoyed now at all the years I haven’t been eating it, just because of one badly made dish!

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, diced
  • 100g fresh okra, topped and tailed then halved
  • 1 large red pepper, deseeded and diced
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 4 tbs red split lentils
  • 1 tbs tomato purée
  • 300ml water
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp each of the following ground spices; allspice, fenugreek, ginger, cinnamon
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

to serve

  • rice &/or naan

Instructions

  1. Add the onion, garlic, ginger, red pepper and sweet potato to a large saucepan with the olive oil and saute over a medium heat for about 8 minutes.
  2. Add the lentils, okra, tomato puree and water and bring to the boil before adding the ground spices.
  3. Reduce the heat and simmer until the water has been absorbed (about 20 minutes).
  4. Season to taste and serve.

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Sweet and Sticky Cashew Tofu

Sweet and Sticky Cashew Tofu
Sweet and Sticky Cashew Tofu

I love tofu, and this recipe, where it’s served in a sticky sauce with shiitake mushrooms looked too good to miss!

It was easy to make and very tasty, so we will definately be making it again soon. I’m even considering making it for the kids – despite her dislike of cooked mushrooms I think DD1(4.5) will love the rest of it!

Ingredients

for the sauce

  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup mirin
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp cold water, whisked with 2 tsp cornstarch

for the tofu and vegetables

  • 1-2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 block of firm tofu, sliced into triangles (no need to press it)
  • 2-3 small shallots, quartered
  • 4-6 shiitake caps, sliced thinly
  • handful or so of broccoli florets
  • 1/3 cup raw cashews

to serve

  • sesame seeds
  • noodles or rice

Instructions

  1. Mix all of the sauce ingredients except for the cornstarch and water into a small bowl and set aside.
  2. In a pan, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add in the ginger and garlic and allow to soften for a minute or two. Then, scrape the contents into a small bowl and set aside.
  3. Return the pan to the stove and add a little more olive oil. Increase the heat to medium, then place the tofu triangles into the pan.  Allow the tofu to brown on one side for about 6 minutes, then flip and allow the other side to brown for the same amount of time. Transfer the tofu to a plate and wrap in kitchen roll.
  4. Next, add in the shallots to the pan. Poke them around a bit after a minute to allow the layers to separate. Add in the mushrooms, stir, then deglaze the pan with a tablespoon of water. Allow to sizzle for a minute or two, then toss in the broccoli florets and cashews. Once the broccoli is bright green after a minute or so, transfer the pan contents to another plate.
  5. Now return the tofu to the pan. Whisk together the sauce, then pour it over the tofu. Stir gently to combine. Stir the water and cornstarch together in a small bowl until combined, then pour into the pan, stir and allow to slightly thicken, then remove from the heat immediately.
  6. Place cooked noodles or rice into a bowl. Add the vegetables and other reserved components to the bowl, then place the tofu triangles over everything, using a spatula to scrape any leftover sauce out of the pan. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds, then serve immediately.

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