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Leek and Feta Cheese Bake and Cooking in the 80s & 90s in Britain April 22, 2013

Posted by astridjohnson in Baking, Books, Cooking, Vegetarian, Vegetarian Cooking.
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The colour brown and the 80's

The colour brown and the 80s.

This “see what we had for dinner tonight” post is inspired by my extremely beautiful young friend Arianhna and her lovely Arianha’s Kitchen Blog. She posts her home prepared lunches and dinners in a simple way, albeit in English and Japanese.

Since 10 days I have a little oven and I am using it every single day, at least once if not twice. It is a temporary addiction. With my baking attempts and some of my savoury dishes I am reminded of the vegetarian cooking style of the 80s and 90s, part of which I lived in London. I found some of the cook books I had at the time in charity shops since I moved to Manchester: Sarah Brown, Rose Elliot, Crank’s cooking books, Zorba the Buddha Rajneesh Cookbook and of course  Madhur Jaffrey. Most of the photography, if used at all, has this brownish tint. And everything I have baked the past week has this brownish tint…

Leek, Cannellini beans & Feta cheese Rye Bread Crumble Bake with Quinoa

If you google leek bake almost every recipe that comes up is by Jamie Oliver… well, there are probably similarities between all vegetable bakes, but this is what I threw together tonight. It is an ode to the 80’s and 90’s vegetarian cooking style.

This served me and my husband, will be my lunch at work tomorrow and there will be left overs, so it would be enough for four people. Ingredients are approximates.

The dark bread crumble on the top delivers the sourness or sharpness to this otherwise mild and almost sweet bake.

Preheat a oven to 180-200 Celsius. Altogether it took me not more than 40 minutes to make dinner. During the last 10 minutes I watched some West Wing.

Ingredients and method

1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
some salt, pepper, paprika, mixed dried herbs and Herbes de Provence
Method: Sweat a few minutes in a pan, while you slice and wash…

3 small leeks
2 tsp Marigold’s Vegan Organic Swiss Vegetable Bouillon powder (the vegan version adds a nice yellow tint to the food)
Method: Add to the pan, stir, cover with a lid and cook for a few minutes.

1 slice of seeded bread and
1 slice of German dark rye or pumpernickel
Method: While the vegetables are softening toast the bread and make breadcrumbs in a blender and while you are at it oil a small square tin or any baking dish.

1-2 tbsp flour
Method: Sweat in the vegetables.

2 glugs of milk
Method: Stir until the liquid is thickened.

1 (410gram) tin of cannellini beans, rinsed
half a block of feta cheese, crumbled
1/3 bunch of flat leaved parsley (not the expensive small bunches of parsley from the giant supermarket chains, but a proper one from an Asian supermarket), finely chopped
Method: Add to the pan and then pour into the prepared oven dish.

the bread crumbs
more chopped parsley
1 glug of olive oil
1-2 tbsp grated hard cheese
Method: Mix and scatter over the leek dish. Bake in the heated oven for 20-25 minutes

While the bake is baking bring 2 cups (US sized cups) of water to boil with a tsp of the same bouillon powder and some pepper. Once the water boils add 1 cup of quinoa (because or in spite of Gwyneth Paltrow getting ribbed about quinoa by Graham Norton and guests). Simmer on a lower flame for approx. 15 minutes.

The quinoa I made had more structure than this picture shows and this is the lovely pianist hand of my husband

The quinoa I made had more structure than this picture shows and this is the lovely pianist hand of my husband in the background, just before tucking in.

Here some photos of the bakes from the past week. Sorry, all from my iPhone and very blurry.

First a tart. Sweet pastry, some old pears and apples that were lying around, covered with a dark sugar crumble.

First a tart. Sweet pastry, some old pears and apples that were lying around, covered with a dark sugar crumble.

On the same day a quorn and mushroom pie with a shop bought puff pastry. I brought little violin cooky cutters from Vienna. :-).

On the same day a quorn and mushroom pie with a shop bought puff pastry. I brought little violin cooky cutters from Vienna. :-).

 

Dinner rolls with a very quick and easy yeast dough.

Dinner rolls with a very quick and easy yeast dough.

Poppy seed rolls.

Poppy seed rolls.

And just to finish, a Sunday still live.

And just to finish, a Sunday still live.

 

 

 

Banana Bread with Sesame Seeds September 23, 2012

Posted by astridjohnson in Vegetarian, Vegetarian Cooking.
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This has already a caption…

It is not as easy to find yeasty banana bread recipes as those with baking powder. This is for a bread maker.

I combined one of my favourite food blogger’s recipes (Heidi Swanson’s Sesame Banana Bread)  with one from a Marks & Sparks bread maker book and trusting my instinct. It worked twice now, so it is safe to post.

I am also trying out a an iPhone app called Comic Touch as per picture above.

Please read on for the recipe on the Cooking page: Banana Bread with Sesame Seeds

A nice crumb.

And here my second attempt at making some jam. Still fighting with getting the jars to seal properly… and using too much sugar. But it looks nice.

Nectarine, brandy and pistachio jam.

The Beauty of Wheat Pearls May 28, 2010

Posted by astridjohnson in Vegetarian, Vegetarian Cooking.
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Wheat grain and black-eyed beans make good bed fellows.

I know we do eat enough wheat with our Sandwich lunch diet in the UK. And most of the bread consumed is made of wheat and rarely includes other grains like rye, spelt, oats or barley. But eating whole wheat grain is a very different experience. I find cooked wheat grain or pearl barley added to lentils or vegetarian mince, for a Vegetarian Moussaka or Chilli for example) gives a crispy plumpness which simulates a meaty texture (something I miss at times in my vegetarian diet).

Anyway, we have seen some sunshine in Manchester (this city looks beautiful now that summer is approaching) and it is time to serve hearty  and balanced salads for dinner, hence the grain and the beans. The following was one of two salads which comprised our dinner yesterday.

To read the recipe and to get a glimpse of wonderful Manchester go to the Cooking page The Beauty of Wheat Pearls.

And on the Ninth Day… April 14, 2010

Posted by astridjohnson in Vegetarian, Vegetarian Cooking.
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My secret cooking totems. These fierce little creatures live in my kitchen and watch over me on days like this. Not secret anymore...

The last week in my job as a vegetarian chef at the Eighth Day is starting. The experience of working there for half a year will get it’s own blog post. I am still not able to do much physical work and so only working on some design projects for the Eighth Day. But today I spent the whole day, with many little breaks, cooking for a small dinner party for some colleagues of Mark from Bolton University…

To read more about this day and discover some excellent Indian recipes go to the Cooking page And on the Ninth Day.

Mark also blogged about the evening: http://dailyimprovisation.blogspot.com/2010/04

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