Four Simple Ways to use Tinned Tomatoes

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Tinned chunks of tomato are a cupboard staple for me, the easy and inexpensive way of turning a pile of ingredients into a satisfying meal. Here are four simple ways of using them to create tasty vegetarian and wheat free meals.

Option 1- Quinoa, Courgette and Mushroom Lasagne:quinoa lasagne     

This recipe was inspired by the recipe Joanna Soh features in her video which can be seen here. As a side note, if you have not watched her videos I highly recommend them for fitness and diet advice.  I omitted the white sauce for my version of the recipe because I don’t think it’s necessary to maintain the taste.

For this dish which makes two portions I used one medium onion, a good handful of mushrooms and one courgette and sautéed these in olive oil before adding chilli powder. Meanwhile I boil a portion (I don’t tend to measure when I cook and just rely on guesswork) of quinoa in water. Once done, I put the vegetable mix in a deep dish and pour in half a tin of tomato chunks before layering on the quinoa and grating cheese on top, place in the oven at 180 degrees Celsius for about 20 minutes, and that’s it!

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Option 2- Aubergine, Courgette, Chickpea Moroccan Tagine:

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Who needs meat in their tagine? For mine I chopped up half an aubergine, half a courgette, one sweet pepper and one medium red onion, let these cook in olive oil in the pan and sprinkled in some chilli powder. I then threw in a third of a large tin of chickpeas (which had been rinsed, boiled and drained), half a tin of tomato chunks and a small handful of chopped dried apricots and then let it simmer in the pan on low heat. Add in a spoonful of honey and squeeze in a slice of lemon and give it a quick mix. I serve it on its own but if you can eat wheat then cous cous would be a great accompaniment to this dish.

 

 

 

 

Option 3- Curry:WP_20140423 13

The great thing about curry is you can make it with pretty much any ingredients and it will always be satisfying, so a wonderful way to use those leftover vegetables or the remainder of the tin of beans from a previous dish. I’m going to talk through just two possible currys that I have made for myself recently, each one made two portions (yay for leftovers).

The first, as pictured above was a simple chickpea, lentil and spinach curry, I was a little restricted in ingredients at my parents house so it really is simple and easy to make. I used one medium onion, half a bell pepper, one courgette, a large handful of shredded spinach, a portion of red split lentils (soaked in water, boiled and drained) and half a tin of chickpeas (rinsed, boiled and drained). While the veg was cooking in the pan I added a good amount of chilli powder before adding the tomato chunks and lentils and letting the curry simmer on a low heat.

WP_20140502 32For the second curry (pictured above) I was able to add a few more ingredients from the comfort of my student kitchen. I cut up one courgette, half an aubergine, a handful of small mushrooms, one red onion, a large handful of shredded spinach and two cloves of garlic. I cooked the veg in a pan with olive oil with turmeric and chilli powder as well as some Thai green curry paste to add some great flavour and spices. I then added half a tin of tomato chunks, some red split lentils (soaked in water, boiled and drained) and a large spoonful of Greek yoghurt and a little bit of water. I let the curry simmer on a low heat before serving up half of the curry with some rice. The other half was stored in the fridge for some tasty and easy leftovers.

Option 4: Veggie Chilli:DSCF1271

Like curry chilli is a great dish for throwing together any leftovers you have. Normally I use courgette and aubergine (clearly my two favourite vegetables) but I wanted to mix it up this time and I was having a ‘mexican’ themed food week so I used: Chestnut mushrooms, chopped babycorn, black beans, yellow bell pepper, red onion and of course kidney beans. This is such a simple dish, just sautee the chopped veg with a clove or two of garlic and chilli powder before adding the chopped tomatoes (and any beans) and allowing to simmer. This is a great dish for making at the beginning of the week for easy heat up meals later in the week or storing leftovers in the fridge. I served my first portion over a baked sweet potato which was just delicious:

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Hope this has given you some inspiration for kitchen experimentation!

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Experimenting with Homemade Veggie Burgers: Trial 2

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This post details my second encounter, read about the first here, with making my own veggie burgers- the cauliflower quinoa burger:

DSCF1270As can be seen above I served mine with a poached egg with a salad of spinach, red bell pepper, cherry tomatoes and sun-dried tomatoes. As always my recipe is rather vague but I believe that cooking is an art and not a science and I wish to inspire rather than instruct. And after that little piece of wisdom here goes:

Ingredients you need:

-One small red onion
-Two cloves of garlic (adjust to taste)
-Half of a red Bell Pepper
-Half a cup of Quinoa
-A handful of shredded spinach
-A few florets of Cauliflower

I actually originally intended to add butter beans but me being forgetful I didn’t remember this until the burgers were already done, but feel free to test out this addition to the recipe yourself. I think that cauliflower makes a superb ingredient in homemade veggie burgers as it really helps to hold the patties structure without the addition of binding ingredients like eggs, bread crumbs and flour.

So, first of all I cut up and sauteed the onion, garlic, pepper and spinach whilst the quinoa and cauliflower were being boiled. when the quinoa was done and the cauliflower was sufficiently soft (sliding off a sharp knife) I drained these and put all the ingredients in a pan before proceeding to mash these with a potato masher (again if you have a food processor feel free to use this instead though it’s rather a good arm workout to do it by hand). You should have something that looks a little like this:

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Now distribute the mixture into burger patties, ensuring to flatten and round them into shape. I made five burgers in total with this mixture but of course it depends on the size you wish. I cooked one in the oven immediately but saved the other four- sealed in cling film and a freezer bag, ensuring they were lying flat, in the freezer for future convenient veggie burger meals.

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The burgers take about 40-45 minutes to cook on 200 degrees Celsius in the oven. And so there you have it, a new way to use the ever adaptable cauliflower and to avoid the processed store bought veggie burgers. Have fun experimenting!