Slowly Does It... (2015)

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Pumpkin Risotto with Hazelnut Butter

Chickpea Curry

Aubergine & Lentil Curry

Saag Aloo

Lentil Casserole

Moroccan Chickpea Stew

Baked Tomatoes & Fennel

Roasted Ratatouille

Leek & Broccoli Bake

Caramelised Onion & Goat’s Cheese Tart

Roasted Vegetable Salad with Mustard Mayonnaise

Aubergines in a Hot Sweet & Sour Sauce

Pumpkin Risotto with Hazelnut Butter

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Preparation Time 15 minutes • Cooking Time 40 minutes • Serves 4 • Per Serving 706 calories, 50g fat (of which 27g saturates), 51g carbohydrate, 1.1g salt • Vegetarian • Gluten Free • Easy

50g (2oz) butter

175g (6oz) onion, finely chopped

900g (2lb) pumpkin, halved, peeled, seeded and cut into small cubes

2 garlic cloves, crushed

225g (8oz) risotto (arborio) rice

600ml (1 pint) hot stock

grated zest of ½ orange

40g (1½oz) freshly shaved vegetarian Parmesan (Cook’s Tips)

salt and ground black pepper

FOR THE HAZELNUT BUTTER

50g (2oz) hazelnuts

125g (4oz) softened butter

2 tbsp freshly chopped flat-leafed parsley

1. To make the hazelnut butter, spread the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and toast under a hot grill until golden brown, turning frequently. Put the nuts in a clean teatowel and rub off the skins, then chop finely. Put the nuts, butter and parsley on a piece of non-stick baking parchment. Season with pepper and mix together. Mould into a sausage shape, twist at both ends and chill.

2. To make the risotto, melt the butter in a large pan and fry the onion until soft but not coloured. Add the pumpkin and sauté over a low heat for 5–8 minutes until just beginning to soften. Add the garlic and rice and stir until well mixed. Increase the heat to medium and add the hot stock a little at a time, allowing the liquid to be absorbed after each addition. This will take about 25 minutes.

3. Stir in the orange zest and Parmesan and season with salt and pepper. Serve the risotto with a slice of the hazelnut butter melting on top.

COOK’S TIPS

If you can’t find pumpkin, use butternut squash.

Vegetarian cheeses: some vegetarians prefer to avoid cheeses that have been produced by the traditional method, because this uses animal-derived rennet. Most supermarkets and cheese shops now stock an excellent range of vegetarian cheeses, produced using vegetarian rennet, which comes from plants, such as thistle and mallow, that contain enzymes capable of curdling milk.

Chickpea Curry

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Preparation Time 20 minutes • Cooking Time 40–45 minutes • Serves 6 • Per Serving 291 calories, 8g fat (of which 1g saturates), 46g carbohydrate, 1.3g salt • Vegetarian • Gluten Free • Dairy Free • Easy

2 tbsp vegetable oil

2 onions, finely sliced

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 tbsp ground coriander

1 tsp mild chilli powder

1 tbsp black mustard seeds

2 tbsp tamarind paste (Cook’s Tip)

2 tbsp sun-dried tomato paste

750g (1lb 11oz) new potatoes, quartered

400g can chopped tomatoes

1 litre (1¾ pints) hot vegetable stock

250g (9oz) green beans, trimmed

2 × 400g cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed

2 tsp garam masala

salt and ground black pepper

1. Heat the oil in a pan and fry the onions for 10–15 minutes until golden – when they have a good colour they will add depth of flavour. Add the garlic, coriander, chilli powder, mustard seeds, tamarind paste and sun-dried tomato paste. Cook for 1–2 minutes until the aroma from the spices is released.

2. Add the potatoes and toss in the spices for 1–2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and hot stock and season with salt and pepper. Cover and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, half covered, for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are just cooked.

3. Add the beans and chickpeas and continue to cook for 5 minutes or until the beans are tender and the chickpeas are warmed through. Stir in the garam masala and serve.

COOK’S TIP

Tamarind paste has a very sharp, sour flavour and is widely used in Asian and South-east Asian cooking.

Aubergine & Lentil Curry

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Preparation Time 10 minutes • Cooking Time 40–45 minutes • Serves 4 • Per Serving 335 calories, 15g fat (of which 3g saturates), 39g carbohydrate, 0.2g salt • Vegetarian • Easy

3 tbsp olive oil

2 aubergines, cut into 2.5cm (1in) chunks

1 onion, chopped

2 tbsp mild curry paste

3 × 400g cans chopped tomatoes

200ml (7fl oz) hot vegetable stock

150g (5oz) red lentils, rinsed

100g (3½oz) spinach leaves

25g (1oz) fresh coriander, roughly chopped

2 tbsp fat-free Greek yogurt

rice to serve (optional)

1. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large pan over a low heat and fry the aubergine chunks until golden. Remove from the pan and put to one side.

2. Heat the remaining oil in the same pan and fry the onion for 8–10 minutes until soft. Add the curry paste and stir-fry for a further 2 minutes.

3. Add the tomatoes, hot stock, lentils and reserved aubergines to the pan. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a low simmer, half-cover the pan with a lid and simmer for 25 minutes or according to the lentils’ pack instructions.

4. At the end of cooking, stir the spinach, coriander and yogurt through the curry. Serve with rice, if you like.

COOK’S TIP

Choose aubergines that are firm, shiny and blemish-free, with a bright green stem.

Saag Aloo

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Preparation Time 15 minutes • Cooking Time 55 minutes • Serves 4 • Per Serving 295 calories, 10g fat (of which 1g saturates), 47g carbohydrate, 0.2g salt • Vegetarian • Gluten Free • Dairy Free • Easy

2–3 tbsp vegetable oil

1 onion, finely sliced

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 tbsp black mustard seeds

2 tsp ground turmeric

900g (2lb) potatoes, cut into 4cm (½in) chunks

1 tsp salt

4 handfuls of baby spinach leaves

1. Heat the oil in a pan and fry the onion over a medium heat for 10 minutes or until golden, taking care not to burn it.

2. Add the garlic, mustard seeds and turmeric and cook for 1 minute. Add the potatoes, salt and 150ml (¼ pint) water. Cover the pan and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and cook gently for 35–40 minutes or until tender. Add the spinach and cook until the leaves just wilt. Serve immediately.

Lentil Casserole

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Preparation Time 20 minutes • Cooking Time 1 hour • Serves 6 • Per Serving 239 calories, 6g fat (of which 1g saturates), 36g carbohydrate, 0.4g salt • Vegetarian • Gluten Free • Dairy Free • Easy

2 tbsp olive oil

2 onions, sliced

4 carrots, sliced

3 leeks, trimmed and sliced

450g (1lb) button mushrooms

2 garlic cloves, crushed

2.5cm (1in) piece fresh root ginger, peeled and grated

1 tbsp ground coriander

225g (8oz) split red lentils

750ml (1¼ pints) hot vegetable stock

4 tbsp freshly chopped coriander

salt and ground black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan oven) mark 4. Heat the oil in a flameproof ovenproof casserole, add the onions, carrots and leeks and fry, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms, garlic, ginger and ground coriander and fry for 2–3 minutes.

2. Rinse and drain the lentils, then stir into the casserole with the hot stock. Season with salt and pepper and return to the boil. Cover and cook in the oven for 45–50 minutes until the vegetables and lentils are tender. Stir in the chopped coriander before serving.

Moroccan Chickpea Stew

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Preparation Time 10 minutes • Cooking Time 40 minutes • Serves 4 • Per Serving 232 calories, 9g fat (of which 1g saturates), 29g carbohydrate, 0.6g salt • Vegetarian • Dairy Free • Easy

1 red pepper, halved and seeded

1 green pepper, halved and seeded

1 yellow pepper, halved and seeded

2 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, finely sliced

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 tbsp harissa paste

2 tbsp tomato purée

½ tsp ground cumin

1 aubergine, diced

400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

450ml (¾ pint) vegetable stock

4 tbsp roughly chopped fresh flat-leafed parsley, plus a few sprigs to garnish

salt and ground black pepper

1. Preheat the grill and lay the peppers, skin side up, on a baking sheet. Grill for around 5 minutes until the skin begins to blister and char. Put the peppers into a plastic bag, seal and put to one side for a few minutes. When cooled a little, peel off the skins and discard, then slice the peppers and put to one side.

2. Heat the oil in a large heavy-based frying pan over a low heat, add the onion and cook for 5–10 minutes until soft. Add the garlic, harissa, tomato purée and cumin and cook for 2 minutes.

3. Add the peppers to the pan with the aubergine. Stir everything to coat evenly with the spices and cook for 2 minutes. Add the chickpeas and stock, season well with salt and pepper and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

4. Just before serving, stir the parsley through the chickpea stew. Serve in warmed bowls, garnished with parsley sprigs.

Baked Tomatoes & Fennel

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Preparation Time 10 minutes • Cooking Time 1¼ hours • Serves 6 • Per Serving 127 calories, 9g fat (of which 1g saturates), 7g carbohydrate, 0.1g salt • Vegetarian • Gluten Free • Dairy Free • Easy

900g (2lb) fennel, trimmed and cut into quarters

75ml (2½fl oz) white wine

5 thyme sprigs

75ml (2½fl oz) olive oil

900g (2lb) ripe beef or plum tomatoes

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan oven) mark 6. Put the fennel into a roasting tin and pour the wine over it. Snip the thyme sprigs over the fennel, drizzle with the oil and roast for 45 minutes.

2. Halve the tomatoes, add to the roasting tin and continue to roast for 30 minutes or until tender, basting with the juices halfway through.

COOK’S TIP

This is an ideal accompaniment to grilled fish or meat, or a vegetarian frittata.

Roasted Ratatouille

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Preparation Time 15 minutes • Cooking Time 1½hours • Serves 6 • Per Serving 224 calories, 18g fat (of which 3g saturates), 14g carbohydrate, 0g salt • Vegetarian • Gluten Free • Dairy Free • Easy

400g (14oz) red peppers, seeded and roughly chopped

700g (1½lb) aubergines, cut into chunks

450g (1lb) onions, cut into wedges

4 or 5 garlic cloves, unpeeled and left whole

150ml (¼ pint) olive oil

1 tsp fennel seeds

200ml (7fl oz) passata

sea salt flakes and ground black pepper

a few fresh thyme sprigs to garnish

1. Preheat the oven to 240°C (220°C fan oven) mark 9. Put the peppers, aubergines, onions, garlic, oil and fennel seeds into a roasting tin. Season with sea salt flakes and pepper and toss together.

2. Transfer to the oven and cook for 30 minutes (tossing frequently during cooking) or until the vegetables are charred and beginning to soften.

3. Stir the passata through the vegetables and put the roasting tin back in the oven for 50–60 minutes, stirring occasionally. Garnish with the thyme sprigs and serve.

TRY SOMETHING DIFFERENT

Replace half the aubergines with 400g (14oz) courgettes; use a mix of green and red peppers; garnish with fresh basil instead of thyme.

Leek & Broccoli Bake

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Preparation Time 20 minutes • Cooking Time 45–55 minutes • Serves 4 • Per Serving 245 calories, 13g fat (of which 4g saturates), 18g carbohydrate, 0.4g salt • Vegetarian • Gluten Free • Easy

2 tbsp olive oil

1 large red onion, cut into wedges

1 aubergine, chopped

2 leeks, trimmed and cut into chunks

1 broccoli head, cut into florets and stalks chopped

3 large flat mushrooms, chopped

2 × 400g cans cherry tomatoes

3 rosemary sprigs, chopped

50g (2oz) vegetarian Parmesan, freshly grated (optional Pumpkin Risotto with Hazelnut Butter)

salt and ground black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan oven) mark 6. Heat the oil in a large flameproof dish, add the onion, aubergine and leeks and cook for 10–12 minutes until golden and softened.

2. Add the broccoli, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, half the rosemary and 300ml (½ pint) boiling water. Season with salt and pepper. Stir well, then cover and cook in the oven for 30 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, put the Parmesan into a bowl, if using. Add the remaining rosemary and season with pepper. When the vegetables are cooked, remove the lid and sprinkle the Parmesan mixture on top. Cook, uncovered, in the oven for a further 5–10 minutes until the topping is golden.

TRY SOMETHING DIFFERENT

Use sliced courgettes instead of aubergine.

Caramelised Onion & Goat’s Cheese Tart

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Preparation Time 10 minutes • Cooking Time 1 hour • Serves 6 • Per Serving 480 calories, 28g fat (of which 14g saturates), 44g carbohydrate, 1.5g salt • Vegetarian • Easy

230g ready-made shortcrust pastry case

275g jar onion confit

300g (11oz) mild soft goat’s cheese

1 medium egg, beaten

25g (1oz) freshly grated vegetarian Parmesan

50g (2oz) wild rocket

balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil to drizzle

salt and ground black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan oven) mark 6. Line the pastry case with greaseproof paper, fill with baking beans and bake blind (Cook’s Tip) for 10 minutes. Remove the paper and beans, prick the pastry base all over with a fork and cook for a further 15–20 minutes until golden.

2. Spoon the onion confit into the pastry case. Beat the goat’s cheese and egg together in a bowl until smooth, season with salt and pepper, then spoon on top of the onions. Level the surface with a knife and sprinkle the Parmesan over. Cook the tart for 25–30 minutes until the filling is set and just beginning to turn golden.

3. Leave to cool for 15 minutes, then cut away the sides of the foil case and carefully slide the tart on to a plate. Just before serving, arrange the rocket on top of the tart and drizzle with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Serve warm.

COOK’S TIP

Baking blind

Cooking the pastry before filling gives a crisp result. Preheat the oven according to the recipe. Prick the pastry base with a fork. Cover with foil or greaseproof paper 7.5cm (3in) larger than the tin. Spread baking beans on top. Bake for 15–20 minutes. Remove the foil or paper and beans and bake for 5–10 minutes until the pastry is light golden. When cooked and while still hot, brush the base of the pastry with a little beaten egg, to seal the fork pricks or any cracks. This will prevent any filling leaking, which can make it difficult to remove the pie or tart from the tin.

Roasted Vegetable Salad with Mustard Mayonnaise

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Preparation Time 15 minutes • Cooking Time 40 minutes • Serves 4 • Per Serving 420 calories, 43g fat (of which 6g saturates), 5g carbohydrate, 1g salt • Vegetarian • Gluten Free • Dairy Free • Easy

900g (2lb) mixed vegetables, such as fennel, courgettes, leeks, aubergines, baby turnips, new potatoes and red onions

2 garlic cloves, unpeeled

4–5 fresh marjoram or rosemary sprigs

5 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp sea salt flakes

mixed crushed peppercorns to taste

4 tsp balsamic vinegar

warm crusty bread to serve

FOR THE MUSTARD MAYONNAISE

150ml (¼ pint) mayonnaise

2 tbsp Dijon mustard

salt and ground black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 220°C (200°C fan oven) mark 7. For the vegetables, quarter the fennel, chop the courgettes, leeks and aubergines, trim the turnips and cut the onions into petals. Place the vegetables, garlic, marjoram or rosemary, the oil, salt and peppercorns in a roasting tin and toss well (Cook’s Tip).

2. Cook in the oven for 30–35 minutes or until the vegetables are golden, tossing frequently. Sprinkle the vinegar over and return to the oven for a further 5 minutes.

3. To make the mustard mayonnaise, mix the mayonnaise with the mustard, then season with salt and pepper and set aside.

4. Arrange the vegetable salad on a serving dish and serve with the mustard mayonnaise and crusty bread.

COOK’S TIP

It’s best to roast vegetables in a single layer or they will steam and become soggy. Use two tins if necessary.

Aubergines in a Hot Sweet & Sour Sauce

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Preparation Time 10 minutes • Cooking Time 35 minutes • Serves 4 • Per Serving 136 calories, 7g fat (of which 1g saturates), 17g carbohydrate, 2.5g salt • Vegetarian • Gluten Free • Dairy Free • Easy

3 tbsp vegetable oil

200g (7oz) onions, thinly sliced

2.5cm (1in) piece fresh root ginger, peeled and finely chopped

2 red chillies, finely chopped, plus extra whole red chillies to garnish (optional)

1½ tsp cumin seeds

1½ tsp coriander seeds

3 cloves

5cm (2in) cinnamon stick

1 tbsp paprika

juice of 2 limes

3–4 tbsp dark muscovado sugar

1–2 tsp salt

450g (1lb) aubergines, cut into 2.5cm (1in) pieces

rice to serve

1. Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan, add the onions, ginger and chopped chillies and stir-fry for about 4 minutes or until softened. Add the cumin and coriander seeds, cloves and cinnamon and cook for 2–3 minutes.

2. Add 300ml (½ pint) water to the pan, then stir in the paprika, lime juice, sugar, salt and aubergines. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes or until the aubergines are tender.

3. Uncover the pan and bring the sauce back to the boil. Bubble for 3–4 minutes until the liquid is thick enough to coat the aubergine pieces. Serve with rice, garnished with whole red chillies, if you like.

TRY SOMETHING DIFFERENT

Braised Aubergines

Omit the cumin, coriander, cloves, cinnamon and paprika. Add the aubergines to the onion mixture at the end of step 1 and stir-fry for 1–2 minutes. Add 1 tbsp sugar, 1 tsp salt, 3–4 tbsp yellow bean sauce and the water, then complete the recipe.