Hello everyone! This blog has been a bit inactive lately as I spent a month travelling through Europe and during that time I was running a travel blog, then I had work and since Christmas I would love to say I’ve been busy running around spreading cheer but in reality I’ve been lying in bed watching far too much TV. I’m going to start updating this blog more regularly in the new year and although I’m sure you’re all sick of Christmas food I’m going to start with what I made for me and my (omnivore) parents on Christmas day.
Herby Roast Potatoes
Roast Potatoes are one of the most delicious and easy things to cook at any time of the year, but they’re also quite easy to get wrong. The moment when you bite into a beautiful potato just to realise that it hasn’t cooked properly is a sad, sad time. These potatoes turned out really well so if you’re having trouble mastering the art of the potato read on.
What you need: Medium/large potatoes, olive oil.
Spices: Fresh Rosemary, Fresh Thyme, Dried Oregano, Dried Thyme, Salt, Pepper.
1. Peel the potatoes and put them into a large pan. Cover with cold salted water and boil on a high heat for around 10 minutes.
2. Add some olive oil, fresh thyme and rosemary leaves, salt, pepper and dried spices to a bowl and mix.
3. Drain the potatoes and arrange them in a large baking tray. Pour the olive oil mixture over them and then add some more fresh and dry spices and sprinkle over a bit more olive oil. Stir through to make sure all the potatoes are covered.
4. Place on the lower oven shelf and roast on a medium heat for about an hour. Make sure to stir them a few times to make sure all sides are cooked. Poke a fork through them 40 minutes in to make sure they’re soft and then leave them for a bit longer so they become all crispy.
Sheperds Pie and Shepherds Pies
Vegetarian shepherds pie is a hearty, delicious and easy meal which I cook quite regularly and which made up the main part of my Christmas dinner. I have already published the recipe which can be found here, but this time I also made some puff pastry shepherds pie to the mix.
What you need: Frozen puff pastry (or if you’re less lazy than me you could make your own), olive oil, small individual pie trays, a rolling pin and the ingredients for vegetarian shepherds pie.
1. If you buy frozen puff pastry you either need to defrost if in the fridge over night or if you forget (like I did) take the pastry out and let it defrost at room temperature for an hour ish.
2. Prepare your shepherds pie filling. I also added some pumpkin seeds for good measure.
3. Put the defrosted pastry on a bread board and roll out until it’s flat without being too skinny. Put the pie tray on the pastry and cut around with a knife to ensure the pastry will fit neatly in its tray.
4. Coat both sides of the pastry with a little olive oil and, if you fancy it, some dried herbs. Pop them in the oven and cook for about 5/10 minutes until they have started to rise.
5. Before you cook your shepherds pie take out your semi cooked puff pastry and spoon some of the filling into each pie. Top with mashed potato and oven bake for about 10-20 minutes.
I also added some vegan stuffing to this tray. As I’m lazy and didnt have much time I used a packet mixture and I have to say it was delicious. Add some spices if your own for extra oomph.
What you need: A Pepper, One or Two Peeled Parsnips, Some Broccoli Forints, Some Cauliflower Heads, Half a Packet of Brussel Sprouts, Half an Aubergine, Olive Oil.
Spices: Fresh Rosemary, Fresh Thyme, Dried Oregano, Dried Thyme, Salt, Pepper, Chilli Flakes (optional), Garlic Puree or freshly ground Garlic.
Note: Feel free to add or remove vegetables according to personal taste.
1. Wash and prepare the vegetables. I cut the bottoms off the Brussel Sprouts and salted the insides of the Aubergine before adding to the tray. Cut the Parsnips into chunky strips.
2. Arrange on a baking tray and prepare a bowl mixture of olive oil and spices (see above) with the garlic.
3. Coat and stir the vegetables. Add some more oil and spices if necessary.
4. Bake on a medium heat for about half an hour/40 minutes or until the veg is nicely browned without being burned. Remember to check on them regularly and stir so they all cook equally.
I cooked them for a little too long as you can see, so remember to check them regularly!
A Christmas dinner isn’t complete without peas and green beans. I booked them from frozen but to add something extra I then stored them with some garlic purée, olive oil and dried thyme. It really adds something extra to them and will make you crave green beans for a long, ling time after.
I also added the leftover mash from the shepherds pie as a side dish and the warmed cream, butter and milk made it taste fantastic.You don’t need cream but it really adds something extra for a soecual occasion.
This wasn’t my most perfect meal, not was it 100% home made. But it was very, very tasty and it fed three people with loads of leftovers for boxing day!
Christmas Day Dinner
Not the best photo, but it sure was tasty and the Brussel Sprouts ended up all sweet and lush.
Boxing Day Leftovers
Stay tuned for lots of new vegetarian and vegan recipes coming in 2017. Happy New Year!