Tag: Vegetarian Main Course

Veggie Sushi

We have been amazed by how many people come to us looking for the ingredients to make Sushi.  Food pedants look away now because this recipe is about as Japanese as I am.  Don’t be nervous about giving this a try – its much easier than you might think, great fun and really tasty.


250g sushi rice
Pinch of salt
1 tbsp Mirin (optional)
3-4 sheets of toasted Nori
2-3 tbsp Japanese rice vinegar

To Serve

Soy Sauce or Tamari
Wasabi (hot Japanese horseradish)
Sushi ginger

Suggested Fillings
Thin strips of cucumber, red/orange pepper, avocado, root ginger, scallions or cooked asparagus, grilled  courgette & toasted sesame seeds.


Rinse the rice in cold water & transfer into a saucepan (Do use proper Sushi rice as this will stick together well when you are rolling the sushi out later).  Add enough water to cover the rice by about 2cm.  Cover, bring to the boil & simmer for about 15 minutes until the water is absorbed.  Remove the lid, cover the pan with a clean tea towel and then replace the lid. Leave to rest for about 10 minutes.

Transfer the cooked rice into a large non metal bowl, adding the rice vinegar & Mirin (a Japanese Rice seasoning).  Put a sheet of nori, shiny side down, on a sushi mat or sheet of tin foil. Using wet fingers, put a handful of rice on the nori and spread it over the top leaving a strip of about 2cm uncovered on the edge nearest to you.  Using the back of your finger, press a shallow groove down the middle of the rice. Lay 1 or 2 strips of each of the filling ingredients in the groove and sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds.

Starting from the front edge, roll the mat or foil away from you so that the filling is enclosed in the nori.  You should end up with a tight tube with the nori on the outside and the rice & filling inside.  Place the tube join side down & using a sharp knife dipped in hot water, trim the ends and then cut the sushi roll into 1cm thick pieces.  Repeat with the remaining sheets of nori.  Serve chilled with soy sauce, pickled sushi ginger & wasabi – a hot Japanese horseradish.


Chickpea Chilli

200g dried chickpeas (or one 400g tin)
1 onion, finely chopped
75ml olive oil
2-3 red chillies
1 400g tin chopped tomatoes
2 tsps cumin seeds
a handful of chopped fresh coriander
(or 1 tbsp of dried coriander leaves)
salt & pepper

Serves four

This recipe has never failed me & is really quite simple. If using dried chickpeas, you’ll need to soak them overnight and then boil them in lots of unsalted water until tender. This normally takes about an hour, but as with all dried beans it could take up to three. Remember that chickpeas never get soft like other beans.

Gently fry the onion in about a tablespoon or so of the olive oil. Slice the chillies into thin rounds and add them to the onions together with the cumin seeds. Just how many chillies you use and whether you de-seed them depends upon how hot you want the dish to be.

Fry gently for a minute of so before adding the tinned tomatoes, drained chickpeas, the remainder of the olive oil and just enough water to cover everything. If you are using dried coriander leaves add them now. Season & cook uncovered at a brisk simmer until the water has gone and you’re left with a lovely shiny looking sauce.  If using fresh coriander stir, it in just before serving.

This is a really versatile dish that is great as a main course with brown rice or to accompany a piece of grilled meat like a lamb or pork chop. It is even great cold as a lunch, or served as a salad or with a barbeque.


Baked Butter Beans

500g dried butter beans
400g tin of tomatoes
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried thyme
180ml olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
Salt & ground black pepper

Serves four

This is a Greek dish, and if you want to show off, tell people you’re making Gigantes Plaki.

Soak the beans overnight. Rinse, and cook in unsalted water until soft (this usually takes 45 minutes to an hour). Drain and set aside while you’re making the sauce.

Heat the oil in a pan and cook the onions gently for a few minutes until soft. Add the chopped garlic and continue to cook on a low heat for a further minute or so. Add the tomatoes to the pan, together with the herbs and seasoning.

Put the beans into an oven dish and pour the sauce over. Bake in a preheated oven at 350oF/180oC/Gas Mark 4 for 45 minutes.

This is a really versatile dish that is great as a main course with brown rice or to accompany a piece of grilled meat like a lamb or pork chop. It is even great cold as a lunch, or served as a salad or with a barbeque.

If you want to make it meaty, fry some sliced chorizo or other sausage with the onion and garlic and then continue the recipe as normal.


Brazil Nut Loaf

1 large onion
225g mushrooms
2 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground ginger
2 tbsp olive oil
200g tin chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato puree
200g brazil nuts, roughly chopped
100g wholemeal breadcrumbs
salt & ground black pepper
1 large egg, beaten

Serves four to six

I made this moist & tasty loaf for a vegetarian family member last Christmas. It was so good that everyone else had a slice too.

Preheat the oven to 190oC/375oF/Gas Mark 5 and lightly grease a large loaf tin. Chop the onion in a food processor; add the mushrooms & garlic and whiz until the whole mixture is a thick paste.

Cook the paste with the spices in the oil for 4 to 5 minutes, until the juices run from the mushrooms. Added the tomatoes and tomato puree and cook for a further 4 to 5 minutes to reduce the tomato juice.

Transfer the mixture to a large bowl & add the chopped nuts & breadcrumbs. Season with salt & pepper. Mix in the beaten egg to bind. Spoon the mixture into the prepared loaf tin. Cover with lightly oiled foil and bake for an hour, or until set. Remove the foil and bake for a further 10 to 15 minutes to brown the top.

A simple home made tomato sauce or salsa really brings out the flavour. Served hot, this makes an ideal alternative roast, simply sliced and served with vegetables and roast potatoes. It also tastes great cold with salad.

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