Dinosaur Kale Mac and Cheese

Because dinosaurs are cool.

Chili and Lime Black Bean Burger

The perfect vegan burger!

Beer Battered Halloumi

Nom, nom, nom.

Ginger and Chili Tofu

Crispy delicious tofu that's easy to make... say what?

Chocolate Cake Balls

Cakes, but not as you know them.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Tofu Thai Green Curry

I love tofu, and now I've discovered I love thai green curry so this really is a match made in heaven. The only problem is that sometimes tofu doesn't like to cooperate, resulting in sloppy messes or gross squelchy textures. So for this recipe the tofu really needs to be dry fried to prevent it from turning in to thai green tofu scramble (although I suppose that might be nice). There are some excellent instructions for how to dry fry here and for some reason I always find tofu easier to use if it's been frozen and defrosted (I'm not sure if you're supposed to do this, but I'm still alive sooo...). Any way I got this recipe from my friend Emma and have adapted it a bit, and I don't think there's any reason to ever try another recipe! It's amazing, her Dad even said he'd pay for it in a restaurant (but then as she she said, he is her Dad).

For 2 You'll need:

3 small green chilies, chopped and de-seeded (I like to roll them in my fingers and squeeze the seeds out)
4 small shallots, peeled and chopped
2 tsp ground coriander
2 stalk lemon grass, with the nubs cut off
2 clove of garlic, peeled and chopped
2 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp ground cumin
2 large handfuls of fresh coriander, stalks removed
A thumb of galangal or ginger, peeled and grated
2 tbsp oil
Juice of 1 lime
Green vegetables of your choice chopped (I used and red pepper because thats all I had) 
200g dry fried tofu
1 tin of coconut milk
  1. Put the chillies, shallots, coriander, lemon grass, garlic, soy sauce, cumin, corriander, galangal, oil and lime juice in to a food processor and blend until smooth to make the thai green curry paste.
  2. Heat a little oil in a pan and add the green vegetables, fry for around 5 minutes until just starting to soften.
  3. Add the tofu and 2 generous spoonfuls of the paste to the pan and fry for around 3 mins (you can add more paste to taste after adding the coconut milk if you want).
  4. Add the coconut milk, and heat to a gentle simmer.
  5. Once lovely and reduced (around 15 minutes) take off the heat and serve with some sticky white rice.
You may have some paste left over but I will post a recipe you can use it with soon :) and if you live near an ASDA you can pick up this handy pack which has most of the ingredients you need to make the curry!

Monday, 24 October 2011

Squash, Caramelised Onion and Goats Cheese Lasagna

I reckon I've eaten lasagna around 1000 times, so it's a bit mental that I've managed to write 127 posts on here without including it.  

As my first ever lasagna post I felt like this dish had a lot to live up to. I usually go for the classic spinach and ricotta or simple quorn mince, but as I was trying to force my anti-veggie boyfriend to eat this too I thought it would be best to include a few things that he liked as well. Recently he's discovered that he loves the good old caramelised onion and goats cheese combo, so I told him that's what we were having (I accidentally left out the squash part). We both like it (hoorah!), and it make a good change to the ushe.

Mr Hef was trying to ruin my pictures with his beer!
For 4 you'll need:

1 small acorn or butternut squash peeled and chopped (I used acorn just because it looked pretty)
Olive oil
1 red onion sliced
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp light brown sugar
1 tin of tomatoes
75 g goats cheese
1 pack of lasagna sheets
Some vegetarian Parmesan (or cheddar if you want) for the top

For the white sauce:

30g butter
30g plain flour
1 pint milk

  1. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees then pop the squash into an oven proof dish, drizzle a bit of olive oil over, season well and pop in to the oven for 20 mins. 
  2. While the squash is baking make the caramelised onion sauce by softening the onions in olive for around 4 mins, then add the sugar and balsamic vinegar and heat for a few more mins. 
  3. Add the tomatoes to the carmelised onions and leave to reduce while you make the white sauce. 
  4. In a separate pan, melt the butter and add the flour, stirring it in to form a paste, then slowly add the milk, whisking as you go, keep whisking until it's thickened then leave on a very low heat.
  5. Remove the squash from the oven and add it to the caramelised onion sauce. 
  6. Then make your lasagna by layering the lasagna sheets (in a lasagna dish), then the white sauce, then the squash and caramelised onions, then crumbled goats cheese and repeat. 
  7. When you get to the top, pour on lots of white sauce and sprinkle the veggie Parmesan over. 
  8. Pop in to the oven for 30-40 minutes/until it's bubbling and the pastas cooked. 
  9. Serve up with garlic bread (of course) and a nice side salad and enjoy! 

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Atomic Pizza

YES, YES, OH YAY. I got to go to Atomic Pizza last week!

I spy a Silver Surfer on the roof
As you may know by now I am a huge fan of Atomic Burger in Oxford, so when I heard that Atomic Pizza would be opening a bit further down Cowley Road, I could barely contain my excitement. I was trying to convince my boyfriend to take me by telling him it was our anniversary, (it usually works) but I think he's cottoned on. Luckily he's lovely and took me any way. 

The restaurant is much bigger than Atomic Burger, which means they could fit in a lot more memorabilia (i.e a Tardis, a carbonite frozen Han Solo, massive Simpsons on the couch, etc etc...). I could have taken a hundred pictures, but you really need to see for yourself! 

Mr Hef (haha) with the Simpsons
Any way, on to the best bit, the food. The menu is colourful and entertaining, with pizzas such as the 'Danger Mouse', 'Hell Boy' and 'Popeye' and has little men with green v flags for us vegetarians. I decided to have nachos for my starter, because... well I'm addicted to them and eat them at any given opportunity. This was definitely a good choice, I've eaten a lot of nachos in my time, and these were up there with the best of them, crispy, with just the right amount of toppings and cheese. My boyfriend (I want to call him Mr Hef on here, but he's not allowing me) had Captain Caveman's Buffalo wings, but I won't dwell on that because this is a vegetarian blog and they're defiantely not veggie. 

'Speedy Gonzales Nachos'
Then for the main I went for a nachoy one again (I really love them that much, I probably would have had a nacho based desert if I could). I had the Cheech and Chong which has veggie chili, jalapenoes, nacho chips and cheese on it. You also get to choose if you want thick, thin or folded crust, I went for thin which was perfect because there was a lot of toppings and I seriously struggled to get it all in. The pizza was amazing, spicy, crunchy and full of chili flavour which goes really well with pizza. The thing I loved most was that it was something you would NEVER find anywhere else, while meat eaters get to fatty on down on amazing pizza toppings, we're stuck with cheese and tomato or vegetables. At first my boyfriend wanted the He-man (bbq pulled pork) but after further examining of the menu and realising that Tony Stark was Iron Man he went for that (basically full of meat), he seemed pretty happy with his choice! AND we got to take the rest home, so we had it as a midnight snack after the first round went down (amazing).  So props to you Atomic Pizza, you've done it again! I'm one very happy customer.

'Cheech and Chong pizza'

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Chili Cheese Straws

This week I have been feeling really sad about the fact that I am no longer a student, that our house in Southampton is no longer ours and that I have to grow up, get married and have babies etc etc.

So I thought I'd take a little trip down student food memory lane. One of my house mates Simone would never let me go to bed at a reasonable time and so we'd sit there, pretending to do work and my mind would often wonder to food. After a while we would usually come to one of two decisions 1. to drive to Tesco (even thought it's a 5 minute walk) to get nacho materials and lychee juice. Or 2. to make chili cheese straws. We ALWAYS had the ingredients for the chili cheese straws between us, so we would end up making them for midnight snacks whenever we were too lazy to go on a nacho run. So I made some this week with some chilies that my dad grew and did a little cry about having to grow up.

To make around 30 you need:

150g flour
100g cheese
100g butter
1 tbsp finely sliced fresh red chili
Salt and Pepper

  1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees.
  2. Put all the ingredients in a bowl, season with salt and pepper and rub between your fingers to form a breadcrumb consistency.
  3. Bring the dough together in your hands to form a ball, then pop on to a floured surface.
  4. Roll the dough out (with a wine bottle in true student style) so it's around 1cm thick, cut into straw shapes and place on to a grease proof lined baking tray. 
  5. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes until golden brown.
  6. Serve up warm and enjoy! 

Monday, 10 October 2011

It's Christmas (cake) Time

I know some people hate the whole Christmas starts in October thing, but we all know that Santa Claus will be sliding down our chimneys quicker than we can say gingerbread house (sorry).
Here's a picture of my friends looking festive, to get you in the mood
So I've started baking along with the fabulous Pink Whisk to make my very first Christmas cake. I'm around 2 weeks late, but she says that even one week of soaking your fruit is better than none. Here's her instructions if you want to bake along too. Any way I'll update you with the progress in a few weeks, keep your fingers crossed for me (I've had many a kitchen disaster). Here's the first stage of the Christmas cake, the boozy fruit:

It smells like Christmas in a box! 

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Tropical Eton Mess

I thought I'd try and squeeze one last summery dish on here before this heat wave turns into full on winter next week. I've also decided that to survive watching the Great British Bake Off without a cake run after, I need to eat pudding before it's on (I realise it's a bit late, it being the finale tonight and all). So today I made this, if I was being a proper housewife Hef I may have made the meringue from scratch, but I wasn't, I was being lazy so I cheated and brought some... Life's too short! Enjoy! 

For 4 you'll need:

1 passion fruit
1 papaya
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp icing sugar
400ml double cream
100g raspberries
6 crushed up meringues
Cape gooseberries/ Physalis' to decorate

  1. Smoosh together the insides of the passion fruit and papaya and then mix in the lemon juice and icing sugar and put to one side.
  2. In a separate bowl whisk up the cream until it's nice and thick.
  3. Then create your lovely layers, starting with crushed meringues, then cream, then the Smooshed fruit, then some raspberries and repeat until you get to the top.
  4. Finish with a layer of cream and meringue and top with the physalis' to decorate.
  5. Serve immediately and enjoy! 

Tiny Oreo Cheesecakes

I know I'm not supposed to be being a fatty until holiday and I've been being good, honest, but life's to short to not be naughty sometimes. After I made the Oreo stuffed cookies I was searching the internet to see where they originated from and stumbled across this blog and oh my, I have fallen head over heels in love with it! My friend Leanne is coming over to help me with a photoshoot today and asked me to make her some cookies, but after I saw these Little Oreo Cheesecakes I knew I had to make those instead, (we are great lovers of cheesecake, you see) so Simone and I got to making them last night. You can find the recipe on the blog but I'm going to put the english measurements up here just to make it easier.

Makes 22 (we used fairy cake cases, would make less if using cup cake cases

28 Oreos, 22 whole, 6 crushed
450g cream cheese
110g sour cream
110g caster sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
tiny pinch of salt

Start by turning the oven to 180 degrees and placing the cake cakes in a cake tin, fill each case with 1 Oreo. Mix the cream cheese in a large bowl with an electric mixer until smooth, then slowly add while mixing (this is where it's handy to have 2 bakers), then mix in the vanilla extract. Beat the eggs in a separate bowl and then slowly add them to the mixture while mixing, then add the soured cream and mix in well. Add the crushed Oreos and salt and mix in by hand. Pour the mixture in to the cake cases until just full and put in to the oven. Cook for 22-25 minutes, turning halfway through. Chill in the fridge over night (or 4 hours if you can't wait) and enjoy.

P.s Don't eat them out of the oven, as Simone and I discovered hot cheese cake is not right.

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