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February 03, 2009


I once made a little vegtable dish to accompany a little chinese feast that I had prepared.

It was beansprouts, garlic, onion and chilli.

I underestimated the power of my home-grown chillies, everyone in the kitchen got blinded as if a pepperspray grenade had gone off. Oops.

I do really love cooking though.

looks very tasty

the question is what will you mix the fish fingers with?

Olive oil, heated; Sweat the onions; add the garlic; Tomatoes quartered (plenty of); Courgettes, chopped; Aubergine, chopped; Green and Yellow Peppers, chopped coarsely; Mushrooms (whole or quartered) - add moisture; and, fresh pitted black olives (add most of the liquid too). Season with freshly milled salt and pepper.

Splash white wine, generously :-)

Place in the oven for 25 mins on 200 degrees celcius

veg should crispen on edges slightly.

Stir if neccesary (after 20 mins) to prevent burning (depending on oven)

with 10 mins to go: Boil a kettle of water. Measure equal quantities of Cous-cous and Water. Boil water, splash of virgin olive oil. Take off heat. Add cous-cous - leave for 5 mins.

when veg is ready, remove from oven, pour over one small pot of waitrose goats cream (my wife is dairy free - you can use normal cream too) and leave to absorb into the veg. yum!

serve together on big white plates.

Avocado on toast:

(it helps if you read this out loud in the style of Gordon Ramsay, for a Michelin-starred extra)

Bread – toast!
Avocado – peel!
Arrange avocado slices on toast. Mash!
Add black pepper to taste…

…delicious avocado on toast – DONE!'s a dessert to go with all the dishes. Its fruity and a bit like a hot smoothie.

1. Get a saucepan, fill it 1/4 full of water and set to boil.

2. Take 2 eggs per person. Separate. Put the yolks in a bowl with about 1 tbs of caster sugar per person. Beat together.

3. Put the bowl on the saucepan so you're cooking with steam. Make sure the boiling water isn't touching the bowl.

4. Add about 2 tbs of marsala wine/sherry/sweet wine per person to the bowl 1 tbs at a time and stir it in.

5. This is the fun bit. Get a whisk and, um, whisk away for 10-15 mins until the mixture has the consistency of custard. This needs strong wrist muscles so some people are better than others.

6. With your spare hand (the one not whisking), get about 50g of raspberries, a tablespoon of water and a teaspoon of caster sugar per person and place them carefully in a small saucepan before squishing them all together until only a few lumps are apparent.

7. Heat through the raspberries until they're slightly bubbling and spoon the mixture into a teacup (student/working class), ramekin (middle class) or wine glass (sheer class). Top up with the custardy mixture. Add a raspberry on to make it look a bit special and then serve with sponge fingers before it all gets cold.

Tuscan fish soup

Take a bunch of shellfish - i like to use mussels and large prawns, half with shells, half without. you can also throw chunky fish, like monk fish in too. Add them to a large pan with 2 tins of chopped tomatos, half a pint of veg stock and simmer until the mussels have opened (throw out any that stay closed - they are clearly evil).

take two pots of tuscan bean stew and stir through the fishy stock.

Simmer for a few minutes until heated through and nicely mixed. you may want to add salt, pepper, tomato puree to taste.

Serves 4 for a great wintery lunch with big lumps of warm crusty bread.


Roasted pumpkin risotto:

Peel and chop a pumpkin (or butternut squash), toss it in olive oil, chilli flakes and sage, pop it in a roasting tin and put in a 200C oven for an hour or so - until it's all roasty and squashy, anyway.

Meanwhile, melt some butter in a nice big saucepan and saute gently a finely chopped onion and a couple of cloves of garlic until lovely and soft and fragrant. Add some risotto rice - about 2 mugs' worth - and stir it all about (in-out-in-out and do the hokey cokey) until the rice is coated and shiny.

Whack the heat up to full and put into the pan a wine glass of white wine and let it bubble down - it won't take very long at all.

Now, add hot vegetable stock to the pan, ladle by ladle, and stir in a lovely figure of eight motion, adding more liquid as you get a bit low. It's about 2 pints worth, but keep checking the rice as you add more stock to see if it's cooked yet. Once it is, add another glass of white wine and reduce once more.

Your roasted pumpkin should be ready now. Yay! Whizz half of it to a puree in a processor (or you can mash it) and stir into your risotto. Add the unwhizzed chunks for some nice texture.

Now add a blob of mascarpone and a good handful of parmesan and stir gently into the mix. Mmm, creamy. Ladle onto plates/bowls and finish with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and truffle oil (optional, but it is lovely). Top with some parsley to make it look pretty. Serve with a nice green salad.

No lie, I promise - I made this and my then-boyfriend proposed immediately afterward. It's on the menu for our first wedding anniversary in March.

Ergo, I would like to be on your masterchef because my cooking incites marriage proposals, and we always need a bit more love in the world. Yes.

I'm Amy, 15 and a half, and I'm totally masterchef! :)
If you're looking for a veg dish, t'other day I made ginger wine beef and sweet potato hotpot thing, nice and healthy for my mum on weightwatchers. I've been cooking tea for as long as I remember: pork and mustardy leek sauce today (spring onions subbed in 'coz i had no leek) and lasagne before... I could go on for too long, but I fear I have already... ;)

P.S. I love cooking!
P.P.S. and vegetables, but i have to chop pretty small, my sister is fussy.

Vegetarian Wheatfree Lasagne.

1 leek, sliced; 3 medium carrots, sliced thinly; 2 oz frozen sweetcorn; 1 pack Quorn chicken style cubes or quorn mince; 6 oz flour/rice flour;3 oz butter/marg; 1 veg stock cube; pinch of mixed herbs; 3-5 lasagne verdi, or wheatfree lasagne, sheets; 1/4-1/2 lb vegetarian cheddar cheese;1 pt rice milk/soya milk or ordinary milk if you are not strictly vegetarian; olive oil salt and pepper to taste. Medium lasagne dish

Pre heat oven to gas 5. Gently fry the carrot slices in olive oil until softening and then add the leek slices.Cook until softened, add salt and pepper to taste. In a seperate pan, cook the quorn gently along with the mixwd herbs. Make the cheese sauce with the flour, milk and butter/marg, I use the all in one method, and stir constantly until thickened. Add 3/4 amount of cheese, crumbled in or grated, and stir until cheese has melted. Layer the qourn, the veg mix, sweetcorn and lasgne sheets until they have all been used ending with a layer of lasgne sheets. Pour the cheese sauce over the top. Grate remaining cheese and sprinkle on the top. Put in the oven and cook until the cheese on top has turned a golden brown colour and the sauce is bubbling.
Serve on its own or with salad for a healthy option or chips for a less healthy option.

Alter the quantities of ingredients according to how many people you are cooking for. My recipe serves 2-3 people.

I am sure that the veg in my lasgne could easily be replaced by one of the Innocent veg pots and still make it just a tasty. I always have to cook from scratch becaus of my diet restrictions.

Something that might make a lush veggie pot is tamarind chickpea & spinach curry....

toast ½tsp of nigella seeds, ½tsp of cumin seeds and 1½tsp of fennel seeds for a few (10ish) seconds then add a chopped red onion and cook gently for 5-10 minutes.
Add in a tin of chopped tomatoes & a tin of chickpeas (drained), 1tsp of each turmeric & paprika and 3 (or more) green chillies cut into strips lengthways with a pinch of brown sugar and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
Finally add spinach and a couple of tsp of tamarind paste. Serve straightaway (if you keep cooking the curry after adding the tamarind it can go a bit bitter) garnished with coriander if you are fancy.
I usually serve it with rice cooked in a veggie stock cube, plus when the water comes to the boil I add some grated carrot & finely shredded green pepper, cover & remove from the heat to steam for 10 minutes or so.
Its 3 of your 5 a day (4 if onion counts) & v low in fat.

also for a fruity curry extravaganza add a bit of pineapple to the thai curry veg pot - sounds wrong but tastes oh so right.

i once made a leek and fennel soup for my mum when she visited. it was deliciously fresh and light tasting. very simple with the right mix of spices, especially caraway. i love caraway. it's the magic spice! my mum loved it so much she wanted a picture taken with it so she could show my gran.

it was (sort of) an experiment. i do like experimenting with food. it makes cooking and eating exciting.

i think you should pick me because i've never had an innocent veg pot before and would love to try one so what's better than cook a tasty meal with it? i'll even bring my own jar of caraway seeds.


How about stuffed butternut squash.

This week stuffing was Herby balsamic puy lentils (cooked in veg stock. While hot mixed with, sauteed onion and garlic with thyme sage and chili added after about 5 mins, and a splash of balsamic vinegar), beetroot, scooped out squash, toasted squash seeds and goats cheese. Absolutely gorgeous.

Could use tuscan bean veg pot as a stuffing for squash/pumpkin too!

I've got a nice Asian-type pumpkin soup to throw in.

Slice and dice (and remove seeds of) mid-sized Hokkaido pumpkin, boil the pieces (including the outer peel) together with 2 garlic cloves and a half-thumb sized piece of peeled, sliced and diced fresh ginger for ca. 20 minutes in salted water.

Keep about 100ml of the boiling water, get rid of the rest.

Take a hand blender (or anything else that does the job), blend the pieces with the water, add 100 ml rich cream and 100 ml milk and blend some more.

Spice it up with some pepper, salt, nutmeg and fresh minced cilantro leaves.

Yummy stuff.

This is the process:
And the result looks similar to this:

Thai Spiced Monkfish Broth

1 x large Monkfish fillet
freshly sliced Ginger
handfull of fresh Basil - roughly chopped
handfull of fresh Parsley - roughly chopped
1 x Garlic clove - finely sliced
1 x fresh chilli - finely chopped
finely chopped lemongrass
finely sliced spring onions
handfull of finely chopped challots
300ml fish stock
salt & Pepper

cut monkfish into large chunks,
add all ingredients together into an ovenware dish, cover with tinfoil and cook at approximately 180deg celcius for +-25/30 mins.

enjoy :)

Red faced from the evil gym a hungry tum and not much time I searched the fridge for something quick, I used two delicious winter warmer veg pots underneath two fresh plump tuna steaks - griddled for 4 minor minutes, a wedge of lemon and sour cream = a healthy tea for me and he
yum yum - Blue peter would be proud

Moroccan Lamb Tagine

Take a red onion and a clove of garlic, chop finely, and fry until translucent. Add a half teaspoon of paprika, half a teaspoon of cinnamon and a pinch of ground coriander seeds, along with a half glass of white wine.

Take the lamb meat and cut into medium size cubes and place in a hot pan for 2 mins in order to braise it.

Take contents of both pans, place in an oven proof dish with lid, add two pots of Innocent's moroccan squash tagine and a cup of water, and stir. Leave to cook on a high heat for 15 mins, then add spinach and let it cook for a further 5 mins.

Serve up with some fresh coriander and extra chilli- if you like it HOT HOT HOT!

Yummy Scrummy
Vegetable Lasagne

2 x Large Sweet Peppers (Red/ Yellow/ Orange)
1 x Red Onion
1 Large Carrot
1 x Courgette
1 x Brocolli
1 x Pack Mushrooms (baby button/ small closed cup)

1 x Large Jar Lloyd Grossman ‘Tomato & Basil’ or 'Sweet Red Pepper' Sauce (or something similar)
1 x Large Tub Low Fat Crème Fraiche
1 brick x Mature Chedder for Grating
Lasagne Sheets

Magical Flavour Extras:
Garlic (cloves or paste)
Tomato Purée
Worcester Sauce
Sprinkle of Brown Sugar
Vegetable Stock Cube
…Generally anything you want to throw at it!? Innocent Veg Pot Anyone?

Add a little Olive Oil to a big wok and add the Onions. Chop up all the vegetables into reasonable chunks, but slice the carrots quite thinly as they take a while to cook.
Add the vegetables to the pan, in the order they take longest to cook… For instance, firstly add the carrots and broccoli, then the peppers, then the courgettes and mushrooms. This will ensure that the mushrooms and courgettes won’t have totally disintegrated by the time you finished!
While these are cooking, add as many exciting ingredients as you want to… And don’t forget to taste it lots as you go along! Mmmm!

When the veggies are pretty much just cooked, but still just a little bit crunchy (or however you like it!), throw in the whole jar of Lloyd Grossman’s sauce!... Leave to simmer for another 5 minutes or so…

Place a layer of lasagne sheets in a casserole dish… then spoon in some of the veggies… Lay another layer of lasagne, followed by a layer of Crème Fraiche, and a layer of cheese… Then another layer of Veggies, Lasagne sheets, Crème Fraiche and grated Cheese…

Cook on medium heat for approximately 30-40 minutes. Or just watch it until the cheese on top is golden brown and bubbling! Mmmmm!!!!

Spicy Chicken Kare Noodle Soup

The easiest and quickest way to put a fire in your belly. In fact it tastes so good you'd quite happily put your face in it!

To make the chilli Kare Soup:

Mix together 2 tablespoons of fish sauce, 2 tables spoons oil, 1/2 teaspoon sugar, 1 chilli (minced) and the zest and juice of one cleansing lime over a low heat (and if you really want a chilli to pick you up by the ears and plant an all mighty snog on your lips - add some dried chilli flakes).

Meanwhile, grill one chicken breast until cooked, slice and set to one side.

Go back to your Kare Soup and add 300ml chicken stock, 200ml coconut cream and an Innocent Thai Coconut Curry pot and heat gently.

Separately, boil some rice noodles until cooked, rinse under cold water to revive and place in a bowl. Top with a handful of spinach leaves along with bamboo shoots and the sliced, grilled chicken.

Pour over the Kare soup, top with fresh coriander and a sliced red chilli and voila! A dish you would want to pick up, put above your head and run around a room singing its praise! Fan-dabi-dosy!

I think you should choose me to be your Masterchef as I have a great food brain, I deliver on taste and make coherent plates of food!

Tomato pasta

serves 4

4-5 large ripe tomatoes (not beefsteak as they are completely flavourless)
1 red onion
2-3 garlic cloves
1 courgette
1 red pepper
1 aubergine
a handful of basil leaves
olive oil

Dice the onion and finely chop the garlic (or put it through a press if you have such a contraption) and place in a large frying pan/wok/saute pan on a medium heat. Place the tomatoes in a bowl and cover with boiling water and leave to stand for a few seconds before removing the skins (mind your fingers they will be hot). Roughly chop the tomatoes and add to the cooking garlic and onion, leave to simmer stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile dice the aubergine and stand it in a dish liberally sprinkled with salt. Leave the aubergine to stand for 10-15 minutes then rinse and pat dry using kitchen towel and put to one side. Slice the courgette and the red pepper and put to one side.

By this time the tomato should be fairly well cooked and the liquid should be beginning to reduce. Add the other vegetables and leave to simmer (how long you let it reduce depends upon personal preference and how hungry you are by this point)

Fill a pan with water and bring to the boil then add the pasta. Cook according to the instructions on the packet or common sense (whichever is more accessible)

Serve the pasta with the tomato sauce spooned over the top and garnished with torn basil leaves. Add grated Parmesan if required.

I'd be a great masterchef for you because I'm a student. I'm used to making recipes up based on whatever happens to be in my fridge.

I'm not much of a cook but my favourite vegetarian recipe is Lazy Sos Spag Bog!

Get a jar of tomato pasta-sauce, some Linda McCartney (meat-free) sausages, healthy stuff like potatoes, veg and chick peas. Chuck 'em all in a saucepan (you might need to defrost the sausages a bit first), gently heat while you boil up some pasta then serve and scoff!

If you can't be bothered to prepare any veg to go in the sauce then just use an Innocent Veg Pot - the bean stew goes well, or the Morrocan squash one if you're a vegan.

Risotto Primavera

JT: So what’s on your table mate?

Me: Err...some risotto rice, some home-made vegetable stock, some asparagus, green beans, broad beans and peas, shallots, white wine, a lemon, a chunk of parmesan, butter, olive oil and black pepper.

JT: Home-made stock? Good on you, mate

GW: Tell you what John, I LOVE the sound of this – creamy rice, tasty but still firm vegetables and rich, rich stock with that hint of parmesan and lemon

JT: Sure Greg, but this simple dish has to be PERFECT. Risotto is so, so simple that anything other than perfection is a disaster waiting to happen

Me: OK, I’m sweating the finely-chopped shallots in a mixture of butter and olive oil until they soften, but don’t colour.

Then the rice. Turn it in the oil until it’s coated and slightly translucent. Then a good glass of white wine and bubble it until it’s virtually all evaporated. Add the pared rind of the lemon and then add the hot stock a ladleful at a time, adding more as it’s absorbed.

Meanwhile, drop all the veg into a pan of boiling water for two minutes. Drain and refresh with cold (ideally iced) water and set aside.

JT: Time flies when you’re enjoying’ve got five minutes left ....THAT’S ALL

Me: With just one ladleful of stock to go, it’s time to add the veggies. In goes the last of the stock. A quick stir and adjust the seasoning – lots of black pepper, in goes the parmesan and a final taste. Pretty good – I hope.

GW: TIME’S UP! Step AWAY from your plates.

JT: I get lovely creamy rice which is beautifully seasoned. I get iron from the asparagus, crunch from the beans, fresh summeriness from the broad beans and sweetness from the peas. That hint of lemon is lovely and gives the whole dish an extra dimension.
I like it – a lot.
It’s a very, very good dish.

GW: Phworrr.
It’s summer on a plate. Lovely asparagus, vibrant green broad beans complemented by peas and green beans all held together in a perfectly cooked risotto with a lovely fresh finish. I’d finish the lot and order it again. YUMMY!

Japanese croquettes? (im rubbish at spelling)

get 1 pot of sweet potato chilli, mix it with mashed potatoes and mashed peas.

make mixture into burger shaped thinggys and cover in bread crumbs.

Fry or bake until golden and crispy.

Good with meat and fish or with other veggies like broccoli.

Bulldog fruit sauce or soysauce could be used for more flavour! :)

ps. I'm 13 (14 in march!) AND I LOVE COOKING!
and my dish serves 2-4 depending on how hungry you are

My Recipe is brining some life back to an old British Classic the Cauliflower, which in my view is very under rated.
The recipe is very simple as it uses a simple risotto to help to make the main ingredient the Cauliflower the star. Take it from me its lush!!

The ingredients are
• a handful of Anchovies
• 3 small dried red chillies
• extra virgin olive oil
• 1 cauliflower
• 1 Risotto base
• a handful of chopped fresh parsley
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• Parmesan cheese, for grating over the top

Its simple and satisfying food which is great for the cold times at the moment.

Healthy Option Chicken Curry (sort of korma-y)(serves 4)

You will need:

· Vegetable oil
· 3 onions (chopped) (or 1 onion and 2 red onions)
· 3 parsnips
· 1 carrot
· (maybe) ½ potato
· 2 or 3 chicken stock cubes
· lots of curry powder
· ground ginger and garlic
· 4 breasts of chicken chopped up
· sour crème or crème fraiche
· desiccated coconut
· 4 cardamoms ( not completely necessary but they do give it a nice taste)
· sprinkling of kashmiri chillies and fenaugreek leaves (also optional)

1. first of all chop and peel all the veg just so ur ready to add it when necessary.

2. pour a little oil into a pot and heat it. Then add 2 of ur onions or red onions and cook until they soften. Then add your parsnips and carrots and let it sizzle for a minute but keep stirring them about so they don’t burn.

3. add about a pintand ½ of water (old school) and your stock cubes (add potato here if u want its really just to thicken it up) and some curry power (a good few table spoons of it) and boil until all the veg has cooked.

4. cool and blend. Youll get something that looks like thick curry parsnip soup (because that’s what it is) if you think its too thick, water it down a little if u think its not thick enough I’ll get to that later. Put the soup on the backburner at low heat

5. in another pot heat a little veg oil and add your remaining onion. Fry the onion with some of the ground ginger, ground (or fresh if u like) garlic and put in your cardamoms if you’ve got them.

6. add the chicken and fry until browned. If you want at this point you can add any vegetables you like. I’m told peppers or chillies are nice in this but I don’t like them so personally I leave them out. In a separate bowl mix some or the sour crème of crème fraiche with a little desiccated coconut. If you feel that your soup is too thin then put lots of the crème fraiche or sour crème in if your soup is nice and thick already don’t go too heavy on it. Add this to the chicken and still for a minute. Then add your soup a little at a time and stir it in. leave this to reduce for about 20 minutes adding in spices to taste.

7. After 10 minutes boil some rice to serve it with

8. viola!! Chicken curry! healthy because the sauce is made from vegetables. Especially good for people like me who aren’t great fans of veg and need inventive ways to get it in their diet. Plus it tastes nice and leaves room for your personal kitchen creativity. You can add more vegetables, or just use vegetables instead of chicken and BAM its vegetarian. You can also add some more spices of your choice.

spicy sweet potato dahl made with coconut milk. with coriander sprinkled on the top. and a chapatti on the side. job done.

I'm too late for the competition (wail!) but here is my recipe anyway:

My very own invented recipe for delicious softly spicy, mild, yet zesty lentil soup

Dried red lentils
Finely sliced onion
Finely chopped celery and onions
Grated ginger
Grated carrots
Grated orange zest
Very small squeeze of orange juice
Far too many caraway seeds
A pinch of cumin seeds
Dried coriander
Ground cinnamon
Ground/grated nutmeg
Pinch of salt
Black pepper
Swirl of soya cream
White wine

I seem to make this a little bit differently every time and I’ve probably left something out or added something extraneous in, but my recipes don’t have amounts in and are more guidelines than rules. However, the important thing in this one is that there is no garlic and no tomato which would overpower the flavours of the spices and the orange and sweetness of the carrot, it’s like appreciating some lovely a capella singing rather than being blown away by a big sound system. So….

Gently sweat finely chopped celery and onions in some nice olive oil in your favourite saucepan. Add seeds, and dried spices and fry until it smells really nice. Add the red lentils and stir thoroughly until they begin to seem softer and stick a little bit. Add in grated carrots and ginger and fry a little bit more to soften and sweeten them. Chuck in a bit more olive oil at any stage if the fancy takes you. Drink some white wine.
Pour in cold water, grated orange zest, and a squeeze of orange juice, stir well, bring to the boil, then simmer gently. Taste frequently and throw in extra bits of ingredients you think you need more of. It’s ready when the lentils are falling apart. Put a ½ to 2/3 of soup in the blender and whizz until smooth. Mix back with the lumpier bits and add the salt for a final warm-through.

Meanwhile, finely slice onion in thin, long strips and fry slowly with a bit of brown sugar until they’re nice and caramelised.

Serve the soup with a swirl of cream, some black pepper, and the onions on top.

Do not stick your face in it – you will burn it and that would hurt.

If it’s gone horribly wrong, throw it away, drink the rest of the wine and eat an Innocent Veg Pot instead.

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