So, we have a pretty good selection of cookbooks but we rarely pick a recipe and follow it. I am on a mission to change this, and started with Jane Noraika's "New Food for thought". Food for thought is a lovely little vegetarian restaurant in Covent Garden of London, which I used to regularly visit when I lived over there in 2004-2005. It was also the first ever restaurant I took my meat eating boyfriend to, with success I think. He took me to Pizza Hut. :D
He gave me this book around 2006 (we can't agree on the year...) but not many recipes have been followed, as I said. I browsed through the book and decided to start on Moussaka, as it is most certainly apt food for the dark cold wintertime.
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 sticks celery, sliced
1 carrot, grated
tinned chopped tomatoes, 400g
2 tbsp tomato puree
splash of soy sauce
bunch of fresh basil, chopped
50g flour (2tbsp in the original recipe, found that it wasn't enough)
pinch of nutmeg
150 ml milk
100g cheddar (think I nearly doubled this...oops)
(original recipe adds a beaten egg white but I gave it a miss)
100g green lentils (bought mine ready cooked)
675g potatoes, cooked and then sliced
2 aubergines (aka eggplant), sliced
275g mushrooms, cut into quarters
1 red pepper, de-seeded and sliced into thin strips
450g FRESH spinach, washed very well
1. Preheat oven to 180C.
2. Cook lentils if didn't buy them ready cooked.
5. Cook the spinach quickly in a saucepan in olive oil and butter (no butter in the original but I think spinach needs it) until it's wilted. Squeeze extra liquid out.
6.In a large saucepan fry the onion, garlic, celery and carrot in olive oil until soft. Add tomatos, tomato puree and soy sauce. Bring to the boil and season with basil, salt and pepper. Let it cool down for a while.Combine with lentils, mushrooms, peppers and spinach.
|The best ever white sauce I ever made! (Might be the first one too...)|
9. Cook in the oven at 200-225C for 20-30 minutes until the cheese is golden brown and bubbling.
I look forward to making more yummy vegetarian recipes from this book. I really need to experiment more with pulses and stuff to get more vegetable proteins, I eat too much fish for my liking at the moment. I'd like to eat soups more regularly, so the next recipe might be a red pepper and almond soup. And we are hoping to visit UK at some point this year, maybe it's time to visit the good old Food for thought again...