Moroccan Vegetable Stew

Spicy Moroccan vegetables in a delicious sauce with a crazy but oh-so-perfect secret ingredient served with wild rice and fresh flat leaf parsley all for under 400 calories.

5 mins prep :: 25 mins cook :: 30 mins total :: 4 servings :: 380 cals per serving :: Doubler :: Lazy Leftovers

Ingredients:
* 2 sweet potatoes
* 2 courgettes
* 1 onion
* 1 red pepper
* 2 garlic cloves
* 1 inch cube of peeled ginger (approx)
* 400g tin of chickpeas
* 1tsp dried cumin powder
* 1tsp dried curry powder
* 1tsp dried chilli flakes
* 1tsp dried cinnamon
* 1tsp dried coriander leaf
* Big pinch of salt (this is for 4 servings)
* 350ml of vegetable stock
* 1 tbsp olive oil
* 400g tin of tomatoes
* 1 tbsp lemon juice
* 2 tbsp peanut butter
* 2 tbsp fresh flat leaf parsley
* 40g of wild rice & basmati brown rice per person (makes 100g cooked serving per person)

Directions:

1. Boil a kettle of water and cook the wild rice as per pack instructions (about 25 minutes).
2. Meanwhile, crush the garlic; grate the ginger and cut the sweet potatoes, courgettes, onion and red pepper into similar sized pieces (about 1 inch).
3. Heat the olive oil on a medium heat in a large pan, then add the garlic and ginger and fry gently for 1 minute to release the flavour. Then add the sweet potatoes, courgettes, onion, red pepper and salt then stirfry for about 5 minutes.
4. Add the cumin powder, curry powder, chilli flakes, coriander leaf and stirfry for a further minute before adding the tomatoes, lemon juice and stock.
5. Bring to a gentle simmer and keep simmering for about 20 minutes until all the vegetables are cooked. In the final couple of minutes stir in the secret ingredient – peanut butter to warm through and thicken the sauce. Then serve with the rice, scattered with the fresh parsley.

Foodwitch Factoid:
Enjoy leftovers the next day with a pitta bread instead of rice for about the same calories or you can even enjoy it cold for lunch with a green salad to save 150 calories per serving (that’s a mere 230 calories and about 4 portions of veg per serving!).

Veggie Toad in the Hole

Roasted mediterranean vegetables and veggie sausages wrapped in a light and crispy rosemary and garlic infused Yorkshire pudding, served with lashings of gravy.

Quorn veggie sausages and Cauldron vegetrian sausages both come in packs of 5, which is why this recipe calls for this for every 2 servings. You can simply split it down the middle, so there’s 2.5 sausages per serving. Alternatively, someone with a smaller appetite can have 2 sausages for 650 calories per serving and someone indulging in 3 sausages will increase their calorie intake to 708 per serving. You could also use meat sausages instead but this will shoot the calories up to about 849 for 2 sausages and 1007 for 3 sausages.

15 mins prep :: 45 mins cook :: 50 mins total cooking time :: 2 servings :: 689 cals per serving :: One-off wonder

Ingredients:
1 red pepper
1 courgette
1 red onion
5 veggie sausages
3 garlic cloves (crushed)
1 bunch fresh rosemary
2 medium free-range organic eggs
250ml semi-skimmed milk
4 oz flour
Sea salt
Black pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
Gravy granules to make 250ml of gravy

Directions:
1. Heat the oven to 220c. Add the olive oil to a roasting tin and heat whilst preparing the vegetables.
2. Cut the courgette into slices; the pepper into small pieces and the onion into wedges all about the same size and crush the garlic. Add the vegetables and garlic to the roasting tin and swirl around to coat in the oil then roast for about 15 minutes.
3. Meanwhile make the Yorkshire pudding batter by sieving the flour into a bowl creating a well in the middle of the flour and breaking the eggs into it. Using a wooden spoon beat the eggs until the yolks and whites have combined, then gradually beat in the flour until you have a doughy mixture. Add the milk a little at a time, beating out any lumps until you have a batter (similar to the consistency of paint). Once your batter is ready stir in a pinch of salt, a twist of pepper and the fresh rosemary leaves, discarding the woody stems.
4. When the vegetables are starting to colour, remove the tin from the oven and add the veggie sausages arranging them between the vegetables so that when the dish is ready it’s easy to ensure everyone gets their fair share of sausages and vegetables! Then simply pour the batter between the vegetables and sausages and put back in the oven for another 30 minutes or so until the Yorkshire pudding has risen and is a rich golden brown colour.
5. Just before the Veggie Toad in the Hole is ready, boil a kettle of water to make up your gravy using the gravy granules. Then divide the toad between the plates and serve with the gravy.

Foodwitch Factoid:
This is not only a great winter warmer recipe, it’s also an extremely well balanced meal so you don’t have to feel guilty of the giant plate experience that you’ll enjoy! With a great mix of anti-oxidant rich vegetables to prevent colds and which are are also handily high in fiber. Plus with tasty protein rich veggie sausages you get everything you need in one sitting!

Vegetable Lasagne

Chunky peppers, onions and courgettes in a rich tomato sauce, layered in between spinach lasagne pasta and topped with a deliciously thick, low fat cheese sauce. Whip this little beauty up in 25 mins, slam it in the oven and it’s ready in another 25. My top tip is to make more than you need to enjoy it again with zero-cooking another day.  Plus there’s no cook-in sauces so this vegetable lasagne is really cheap to make – costing about £1.50 per serving.

This vegetable lasagne recipe does involve making a bechamel sauce from scratch, but do not fear, it’s really not that complicated. If it goes lumpy just keep stirring until the lumps have gone – it’s great for those arm muscles! Only add a little bit of milk at a time and when you’ve added it stir the mixture quite vigorously. For the best lump-free results, create a little well for the milk to go into and gradually stir in from the edge of the well incorporating a little of the milk on each stir.  Don’t forget that the heat is constantly under the sauce so don’t leave the sauce to do anything else, it only takes about 5-7 or so minutes to make. If you absolutely must leave it, just take it off the heat temporarily and return it when you come back.

4 servings :: 500 calories per serving :: 25 mins prep :: 25 mins cook :: Lazy leftovers

Vegetable Lasagne

Vegetable Lasagne

Ingredients
3 tri-colour peppers (red, yellow, green)
2 red onions
4 courgettes
2 tins of chopped tomatoes with herbs
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
4 garlic cloves
Salt & pepper
4-5 spinach lasagne pasta sheets (no pre-cooking type)
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2pt semi-skimmed milk
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp plain flour
2 tbsp cheddar cheese
1 tbsp parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp nutmeg

Method:

1. Heat the oven to 220c. Peel and crush the garlic. Chop the courgettes. Heat the oil in a large pan on a medium/high heat. Add the garlic and courgettes and stirfry for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile deseed/chop the peppers into 1 inch pieces and peel/chop the onion into wedges and add straight to the courgettes, strirfrying until the vegetables have softened and starting to colour.
2. Stir in 2 tins of chopped tomatoes with herbs (add 1 tsp of dried basil/oregano if the tomatoes don’t have herbs already). Stir in 2 tsp of balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper to taste.
3. To make the low fat cheese sauce, take a small saucepan and melt 1 tbsp butter over the lowest heat setting. When the butter is melted add 2tbsp plain flour and make a “roux” (classic bechamel sauce base) by stirring together with a wooden spoon. The roux should have a similar consistency to sticky dough (just add a touch more flour if it’s too gloopy). Measure out about 1/2pt milk  and gradually add a generous splash to the roux, working in the milk into the dough until the milk has been absorbed and the roux is smooth. Continue to add a splash more milk, stirring it in so there are no lumps, until you have no more milk left and the sauce is a similar consistency to paint (add a bit more milk or stop adding if need be). Then just grate in some nutmeg and some cheddar, give it a stir and it’s done (taste test the sauce and adjust if necessary – “cook’s perk”).
4. To compile the vegetable lasagne take a large oven proof lasagne or casserole dish. Add a third of the vegetable sauce to the bottom, followed by 2-3 spoons of cheese sauce, followed by 2 sheets of lasagne sheets. Then repeat and repeat again so you have 3 layers, making sure you leave plenty of cheese sauce for the topping. Spread the cheese sauce to cover all the lasagne sheets (if they’re not covered they won’t cook). Grate some parmesan to help it go a lovely rich golden brown colour. Then bake it in the oven for about 25 minutes until you can’t wait for it any longer. Enjoy!

Sweet Potato & Spinach Chermoula

Spicy sweet potato, spinach, apricots and chickpeas in a morroccan inspired sauce. Serve with a grilled flat bread on the first night and enjoy the leftovers with cous cous the 2nd night – or go mad and do it the other way round! Either way you only need to cook the dish once, but eat it twice.

Serves 4 :: 30 mins cook :: 10 mins reheat :: 300 calories per serving :: Lazy leftovers :: Double destiny

Sweet Potato & Spinach Chermoula

Sweet Potato & Spinach Chermoula

Ingredients
4 sweet potatoes (cut into small chunks)
250g spinach
1 onion (diced)
1 lemon (juice only)
400g chickpeas (cooked)
16 dried apricots (halved)
3 tbsp harissa paste
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp dried coriander
1 tsp turmeric
2 tbsp olive oil
1 pt vegetable stock
Flat leaf parsley
Sea salt
Crushed black pepper
Mixed seeds

Method:
1. Dice the onion and fry gently in 1 tbsp of olive oil on a low heat for 5 minutes, whilst cubing the sweet potato.
2. Add the juice from 1 lemon, cumin, coriander, turmeric, salt, pepper, harissa paste to the onion, followed by the sweet potatoes and stir.
3. Boil a kettle of water and make a pint of vegetable stock. Add this to the pot so the water covers the potatoes and boil covered with a lid for 10-15 minutes.
4. Once the sweet potatoes are tender add the apricots, chickpeas and spinach and simmer for another 5 minutes until the spinach is wilted and the sauce has reduced. Grill the flatbread. Serve scattered with torn flat leaf parsley and a small handul of seeds, together with the grilled flatbread.

Foodwitch Factoid
I leave the skins on the sweet potato, it saves valuable cooking time and they are very good for you as the skins are where the essential nutrients are found (good for fighting for winter colds).

Mediterranean Vegetable Stew

Courgettes, peppers, new potatoes and onions in a rustic stew, topped with feta cheese and served with crusty bread to mop up all the juices. It’s an early version of a classic ratatouillie and is made with potatoes instead of aubergines. This is so easy to make and is one of my absolute favourites, I love the way the fresh herbs infuse in to the potatoes. Plus it’s so healthy you can have an extra big helping and not feel guilty.

Prep time 15 mins :: Cook time 1.5hrs :: 400 calories per serving :: Lazy leftovers :: Easy Peasy :: Serves 4

Mediterranean Vegetable Stew

Mediterranean Vegetable Stew

Ingredients:
12-16 new potatoes
4 courgettes
3 peppers (red/yellow/green)
2 onions (white or red)
6 vine ripened tomatoes
4 garlic cloves
4 tbsp fresh mint
4 tbsp fresh flat leaf parsley
1 tbsp olive oil
190 ml vegetable stock
50 ml white wine
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp smoked paprika
Sea salt
Freshly milled black pepper
Crusty french bread (buttered)
200g organic feta cheese

1. Heat the oven to 200c or equivalent.
2. Chop the courgettes, peppers and onions in to similar sized chunks (about an inch) and crush the garlic.
3. Heat the oil in a large heavy casserole dish with a lid and gently fry the garlic.
4. Add the courgettes, peppers and onions and gently stirfry for a few minutes while you make the stock, chop the herbs and halve the new potatoes and tomatoes.
5. Stir in the stock, potatoes, wine, paprika, lemon juice, sea salt, peppers, together with the chopped mint and parsley (keep back a couple of pinches for later).
6. Place the halved tomatoes skin-side down on the surface and drizzle with another glug of oil. Put the lid on the dish and place in the oven for 1.5hrs.
7. Meanwhile, cube the feta and butter the crusty bread. When the stew is ready, serve in bowls scattered with the feta, remaining herbs on top and the bread on the side.

Foodwitch Factoid
This dish is great cold or reheated the next day. Sometimes I make a massive vat of it and have it for a no-cook healthy lunch for a few days! You can make this dish vegan by ommitting the cheese and the butter from the bread or using vegan alternatives.

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Winter Vegetable Hotpot

Deliciously nutty pearl barley with chunky carrots, swede and leeks in a herb infused stew, topped with slices of crispy golden potato. The pearl barley gets all fat and plump from absorbing all the lovely stock and the veg gets all sweet and yumptious. Just what you need on a cold winter’s night to warm the cockles.

By leaving the skins on the carrots and potatoes you make sure you get all the vitamins and minerals, which will help you fight off any nasty bugs that might be going around at this time of year.

If you haven’t got a pot with a lid or if you won’t have a chance to remove the lid half way through, do not fret, you could leave the lid off the whole way through but I just haven’t tried that myself yet (I’d maybe add a bit more stock as it will evaporate otherwise and leave your veg and barley all dry). If anyone tries the lidless option then do share the love.

This recipe is so easy to make and it uses all the gorgeous winter veg that is so cheap at the moment cos it’s in season. Yes ladies and gentlemen this gorgeous, easy, healthy, seasonal recipe is also just 75p a go.

Serves 4 :: 250 calories per serving* :: 75p per serving* :: 30 mins prep :: 60 mins cook :: lazy leftovers

Ingredients:
3 carrots
3 leeks
1 swede
4 potatoes
140g pearl barley
2 stock cubes
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp dried bay leaves (crushed)
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp butter
0.5-1 tsp sea salt (a generous pinch to suit your tastes)

Directions:
1. Heat the oven to 200c. Put 1tbsp olive oil in a heavy bottomed pan that has a lid and heat over a low heat on the hob.
2. Wash and chop the leeks, then add them to the pan followed by the chopped carrots (leaving skins on). Peel the swede, chop and add to the pan.
3. Boil a pint of water in the kettle and make up a pint of vegetable stock using the vegetable stock cubes. Meanwhile add 1tsp each of bay leaves, rosemary, oregano and sea salt to the pot. Pour the stock over the top and turn up the heat underneath until simmering. Measure and add the pearly barley, ensuring all the grains are submerged so they cook (add more water if necessary).
4. Slice the potatoes (leave skins on) so they are about 1cm thick and lay them on top of the stew, overlapping each other in an ever decreasing circle until the stew is covered. Add a couple of small knobs of butter to the top, put the lid on and bung in the oven for 1hr. About half way through remove the lid to get a lovely crispy golden finish on the potatoes. Divide into 4 portions and serve (add a piece of bread and butter for an extra 150 calories).

* These figures are approximate and are based on averages.

Hearty Farmhouse Minestrone

Satisfying thick and chunky version of the classic italian soup, made with autumn vegetables, pasta and beans. The sweetness of the swede and tomatoes combines with the rosemary to create a wonderfully heady aroma. Don’t worry if the cauliflower breaks up towards the end, this helps to create the thickness without needing to put the soup in a processor.

Serves 4 :: Make in 50 mins :: 420 calories per serving :: One-Off Wonder :: Easy Freezy Ready Meal :: Lazy Leftovers

Ingredients:

1 cauliflower
1 swede
2 carrots
1 onion
200g red kidney beans (1/2 tin)
400g ratatouillie (1 tin)
1 tbsp olive oil
2 vegetable stock cubes
1 tsp dried bay leaves (crushed)
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp rosemary
Sea salt
200g wholewheat fusilli pasta
4 tbsp parmesan cheese (or vegetarian/vegan cheese alternative)
4 tbsp fresh flat leaf parsley

Directions:

1. Chop the onion and fry gently in the olive oil in a heavy bottomed pan until starting to soften (5 mins).

2. Boil a kettle of water, crumble the vegetable stock cubes into a measuring jug and make up a pint of stock.

3. Meanwhile, chop the carrot into chunky slices. Peel the swede and chop into similar sized pieces. Chop the cauliflower into small florets. Add the carrot, swede, cauliflower, ratatouillie, vegetable stock, sea salt, dried oregano and dried bay leaves to the pan. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, shave the cheese (lol), chop the fresh parsley, drain the beans and measure the pasta.

5. Add the pasta to the vegetable stew and boil hard, stirring occaisionally until the pasta is cooked (about 7-8 minutes – a minute or so longer than usual). Take care that the vegetables don’t stick to the bottom and burn.

6. Add the kidney beans about 3-4 minutes before the end to warm through, together with the dried rosemary to create an intenser flavour.

7. Serve up in bowls, scattered with the cheese and parsley.

Suggestions: Serve on it’s own or with a slice of bread and butter for an extra 150 calories. Freeze and simply defrost 10 hours before use or in the microwave. Reheat from fridge temperature in the microwave in 3-5 minutes, stirring half way though. Reheat on the hob on a medium temperature for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occaisionally.