Menemen with peppers and feta

Menemen is a Turkish dish which is very similar to a Bulgarian dish called Mish-Mash. Fair bit of Bulgarian cuisine is inspired by Turkish and Mediterranean cuisine so it’s hardly surprising. The main ingredients are onions, tomatoes, peppers and eggs. While the finished version doesn’t look the most appealing, it is indeed really tasty, especially when topped with feta and served with crusty bread or warm flatbreads. This makes a nice light dinner dish when served with salad, but it’s equally lovely for breakfast. Slightly adapted from a Waitrose & Partners Food magazine recipe.

More dishes with eggs: Green Eggs; Spanish Baked Eggs; Two Ways with Eggs & Chorizo.

Menemen with peppers and feta

Serves 3-4 | Prep 10 mins | Cooking time 15 mins
Easy | Vegetarian | Gluten-Free

Menemen-02

You’ll need:

  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil;
  • 227g can chopped tomatoes;
  • 1 onion, finely chopped;
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed;
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes, plus extra to serve;
  • ½ tsp dried oregano;
  • 2 pointed peppers, sliced;
  • 8 eggs, beaten;
  • 100g feta, crumbled;
  • ¼ x 25g pack flat leaf parsley, leaves roughly chopped

Put the oil in a large non-stick pan and set over a medium heat. Add the onion, chilli flakes, oregano and peppers and cook for a couple of minutes until slightly softened. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds, before you add the tomatoes. Season and cook gently for 10 minutes, until the onions have softened and the sauce has reduced.

Add the beaten egg, season and gently stir until scrambled and barely set. Remove from the heat, scatter over the feta, parsley and a few more chilli flakes. Serve with pickled chillies, crispy bread or warm flatbread. You can also serve with salad if making for lunch or dinner.

Original recipe from Waitrose & Partners Food, April 2019 issue, available online here.

Chickpea, tomato and spinach curry

Veganuary might be almost ending but vegan isn’t going anywhere. More and more friends and people I know are turning to more plant based foods in a bit to save the environment. While we need more change in the world to support sustainability and reduce pollution, I do believe, in the words of Tesco, that every little helps. While I’m not planning to go vegan (sorry, I can’t live without cheese…) I am looking to introduce more veggie and plant-based meals at home, by my meat from sustainable sources and doing little things like reducing dairy intake like swapping milk for oat milk in my coffee..

Anyway, back to this recipe. This chickpea curry is just great in all fronts! With just around 150 kcal per serving (according to BBCGoodFood), low fat, containing 2 of your 5 a day, AND it costs around £6 to make (that’s under £2 per serving!). You guessed it, it’s also really quick to make. You just can’t go wrong with this one. If you need to dial down the heat, halve the chillies.

Chickpea, tomato and spinach curry

Serves 4 | Prep 10 minutes | Cook 25 minutes
Easy | Vegan | Gluten and Dairy Free

Chickpea tomato and spinach curry 1

You’ll need:

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • ½ finger length piece fresh root ginger, shredded
  • 2 mild red chillies, thinly sliced
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • ¾ tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp ground cumin

  • 4 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tsp tomato purée
  • 400g can chickpea, rinsed and drained
  • 200g baby spinach leaves
  • rice or naan bread, to serve

Heat the oil in a large, deep pan or a sauce pan, and fry the onion over a low heat until softened. Stir in the garlic, ginger and chillies and cook for a further 5 mins until the onions are golden and the garlic slightly toasted.

Add the turmeric, garam masala and cumin, stirring over a low heat for a few secs. Tip in the chopped tomatoes and add the tomato purée, then simmer for 5 mins.

Add the chickpeas to the pan with 300ml water (fill the can three-quarters full). Simmer for 10 mins before stirring in the spinach to wilt. Season well and serve with rice or naan.

Nutrition: per serving

kcal 145, fat 6g, saturates 0g, carbs 17g, sugars 6g, fibre 5g, protein 7g, salt 0.56g

Original recipe and nutritional information from BBCGoodFood issue December 2009, available online here.

~Em.

Quick spinach, sweet potato and coconut stew + bonus Korma Paste recipe

This is a super easy recipe from Waitrose magazine which is perfect for a quick meal this winter. It’s warming, filling and not at all heavy. I love the amount of vegetables inside! It makes for a fantastic meal for two (though the original recipe says it is for four) and it’s vegan and gluten-free! I made my own Korma curry paste for this (recipe at the end) but you can also use a ready made one if you are in a rush.

Quick spinach, sweet potato and coconut stew

Serves 2 | Prep 10 minutes | Cook 35 minutes
Easy | Vegan | Gluten and Dairy Free

Sweet potato stew

You’ll need:

  • 1 tbsp vegetable or coconut oil;
  • 1 onion, finely chopped;
  • 1 red chilli, thinly sliced, plus extra to garnish;
  • 3 tbsp korma curry paste (For a homemade recipe see below);
  • 1 red Romano Pepper, deseeded and chopped;
  • 2 medium Sweet Potatoes, peeled and diced into 1.5cm pieces;
  • 400ml can coconut milk;
  • 115g pack baby spinach;
  • 1 lime, juice, plus extra wedges to serve;
  • 4 tbsp chopped coriander, to serve.

Heat the oil in a wide saucepan set over a medium heat. Add the onion and stir-fry for 5-6 minutes until softened. Stir in the chilli, curry paste, Romano pepper and sweet potato, then add the coconut milk. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes, until the vegetables are soft.

Stir through the spinach and cook for 3-4 minutes, until just wilted. Remove from the heat, squeeze over the lime juice; season. Serve with cooked basmati rice, the chopped coriander sprinkled over and the lime wedges alongside.

Original recipe from Waitrose Magazine October 2018, available online here.


 

Korma Paste

This makes more than you need for the recipe above but you can store it in an air tight container for a few weeks.

You’ll need:

  • 2 cloves garlic;
  • 5 cm piece of ginger;
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper;
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala;
  • 2 tablespoons groundnut oil;
  • 1 tablespoon tomato puree;
  • 2 fresh green chillies;
  • 3 tablespoons desiccated coconut;
  • 2 tablespoons ground almonds;
  • ½ a bunch fresh coriander , (15g);
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds , for toasting;
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds , for toasting;

First peel the garlic and ginger. Put a frying pan on a medium to high heat and add the spices for toasting to the dry pan. Lightly toast them for a few minutes until golden brown and smelling delicious, then remove the pan from the heat.

Add the toasted spices to a pestle and mortar and grind until fine, or put them into a food processor and whiz to a powder. Either way, when you’ve ground them whiz the toasted spices in a food processor with the rest of the ingredients and ½ a teaspoon of sea salt until you have a smooth paste.

Recipe from Jaime Oliver, available online here.

Pitta Pizzas

If you are in a need for a quick meal, or looking for an idea for a tasty party snack, these pitta pizzas is what you are looking for. I got this base recipe from BBC Good Food, but you can also play around with the toppings. You can make it vegetarian, or top with other favourite pizza combinations. For example, next time I’d spice this up and add some chopped chillies or add some pickled jalapenos.

Pitta Pizzas

Serves 2 (Or 4 as a snack) | Prep 10 minutes | Cook 10 minutes |Easy

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You’ll need:
  • 4 wholewheat pitta breads;
  • 4 tsp sun-dried tomato purée;
  • 3 ripe plum tomatoes, diced;
  • 1 shallot, sliced;
  • 85g chorizo, diced;
  • 50g mature cheddar, grated;
  • few basil leaves, if you like. 

    Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6 and put a baking sheet inside to heat up. Spread each pitta with 1 tsp purée. Top with the tomatoes, shallot, chorizo and cheddar.

    Place on the hot sheet and bake for 10 mins until the pittas are crisp, the cheese has melted and the chorizo has frazzled edges. Scatter with basil, if you like, and serve with a green salad.

Original recipe from BBC Good Food magazine issue June 2010, available here.

Quick miso soup with dumplings

This is a really quick, delicious and filling recipe which is perfect for a quick dinner. It will also do you well for lunch too. There are lots of Asian supermarkets in Glasgow now, which is really fantastic and has given me access to a wide variety of really good Asian ingredients to try at home. Last week I tried OAKA Supercity, close to George Square, where I got a set of delicious pork dumplings to cook in this soup. There are many other fantastic Asian supermarkets, and I strongly recommend that you make good use of them. This is my own recipe, so hope you enjoy it!

Miso soup with dumplings

Serves 2 | Takes 10 minutes | Easy

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You’ll need:
  • 10 frozen dumplings (I used pork, but you can also use prawn or vegetarian) – you can find them in the frozen aisles of most Asian supermarkets;
  • 50g Miso soup paste – available in Asian and large supermarkets;
  • 100g Mange Tout, shredded;
  • 1/2 Chinese Leaf, shredded;
  • 2 spring onions, thinly sliced (optional);
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped (optional).

Bring 700ml water to the boil in a pan. Add the soup paste and stir until dissolved. Add the dumplings to the pan and simmer for 3 minutes. Add the shredded Mange Tout & Chinese Leaf and simmer for another 3 minutes, or until the dumplings have cooked through and are soft all the way through.

To serve, split between to bowls, sprinkled with the spring onions and the red chilli.