Vegan Chinese noodles

A super-easy supper

1426_1_1436958953

“You don’t have to be vegan or vegetarian to appreciate these simple, quick and super-moreish noodles ”

Serves 4
Cooks In 25 minutes
Difficulty :Super easy

Nutrition per serving:

  • Calories     268  13%
  • Fat              4.5g    6%
  • Saturates 0.8g    4%
  • Protein     6.4g  14%
  • Carbs      49.2g  19%
  • Sugars      7.0g    8%
  • Salt            0.7g  12%
  • Fiber          2.1g-

Of an adult’s reference intake


Ingredients

  • 200 g thin rice noodles
  • 300 g mixed oriental mushrooms , such as oyster, shitake and enoki, cleaned
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 fresh red chilli
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger
  • 200 g courgettes
  • ½ bunch of fresh coriander
  • 6 spring onions
  • groundnut oil , or vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon cornflour
  • 2 tablespoons low-salt soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon agave syrup
  • 1 teaspoon seasame oil
  • ½ tablespoon rice wine , or dry sherry
  • 100 g baby spinach
  • 2 limes , to serve
  • sambal , or hot chilli sauce, to serve

Method

Cook the noodles according to packet instructions, drain well, rinse under cold running water, then set aside. Finely slice or tear the mushrooms, leaving any smaller ones whole. Peel the garlic and deseed the chilli, then finely slice. Peel the ginger and trim the courgettes, then slice both into matchsticks. Pick the coriander leaves and set aside, then finely slice the stalks. Trim and finely slice the spring onions, reserving the green part for later.

  1. Heat a good lug of oil in a large wok over a high heat, then add the mushrooms and fry for 3 to 4 minutes, or until slightly softened. Add the chopped garlic, chilli, ginger, courgette, coriander stalks and the white part of the spring onions. Fry for a further 3 minutes, or until softened and lightly golden.
  2. Meanwhile, combine the cornflour and 2 tablespoons of water, then mix in the soy, agave syrup, sesame oil and rice wine or sherry. Stir the mixture into the pan and cook for a further 3 minutes, or until thickened.
  3. Roughly chop and add the spinach along with the noodles. Toss well to warm through, then tear in most of the coriander leaves. Serve with lime wedges, sambal or chilli sauce and the reserved coriander and spring onions scattered on top.


Vegetarian – spinach and ricotta cannelloni

Awesome spinach and ricotta cannelloni

With an easy béchamel-style sauce

vegetarian cannelloni

Ingredients

  • 2 knobs butter
  • olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic , peeled and finely sliced
  • 1 large handful fresh marjoram or oregano , roughly chopped
  • ¼ nutmeg , grated
  • 8 large handfuls spinach , thoroughly washed
  • 1 handful fresh basil , stalks chopped, leaves ripped
  • 2 x 400 g good-quality tinned plum tomatoes , chopped
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pinch sugar
  • 400 g crumbly ricotta cheese
  • 2 handfuls Parmesan cheese , freshly grated
  • 16 cannelloni tubes
  • 200 g mozzarella , broken up
  • for the white sauce
  • 500 ml crème fraîche
  • 3 anchovies , finely chopped
  • 2 handfuls Parmesan cheese , freshly grated

Method

  1. This is a super-tasty cannelloni, and I’ve avoided making the frustrating, painstaking béchamel sauce and given you a much tastier and simpler version. All you need to make sure of is that you fill the cannelloni well with the ricotta and spinach mix, so it’s not all full of air. And the lovely thing about it is that it goes crispy and golden on top, but remains soft and moist at the bottom. This is a bit of naughty one but you’ll love it!
  2. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4. Then find a metal baking tray or ovenproof dish that will fit the cannelloni in one layer so it’s nice and snug. This way you’ll get the right cover of sauce and the right amount of crispiness on top. When I cook this at home I just use one pan to cut down on lots of washing up! Take your metal tray or a saucepan, put it on a high heat and add your butter, a drizzle of olive oil, one of the sliced garlic cloves, a handful of marjoram or oregano and the grated nutmeg. By the time the pan is hot the garlic should be soft. Put as much spinach as will fit into the pan. Keep turning it over; it will wilt quickly so you will be able to keep adding more spinach until it’s all in. Moisture will cook out of the spinach, which is fine. By cooking it this way you don’t lose any of the nutrients that you would if boiling it in water.
  3. After 5 minutes, put the spinach into a large bowl and leave to cool. Place the pan back on the heat, add a little olive oil, the other clove of sliced garlic, your basil stalks and the tomatoes, then fill one of the empty tomato tins with cold water and add this too. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down, add a pinch of salt and pepper and the sugar, and simmer for about 10 minutes, until you get a loose tomato sauce consistency. Then take the pan off the heat and add the basil leaves.
  4. By now the spinach will have cooled down, so squeeze any excess liquid out of it and pour this back into the bowl. Finely chop the spinach and put it back into the bowl. Mix it with the liquid, add the ricotta and a handful of the Parmesan, and then use a piping bag to squeeze the mixture into the cannelloni. You can make your own piping bag by getting a sandwich bag and putting the spinach mix into the corner of it. Then twist the bag up and cut the corner off. Carefully squeeze the filling into the cannelloni tubes so each one is filled right up – really easy.
  5. Lay the cannelloni over the tomato sauce in the pan. Or you can pour the tomato sauce into your ovenproof dish and lay the cannelloni on top. To make the white sauce, mix together the crème fraîche, anchovies and the 2 handfuls of Parmesan with a little salt and pepper, then loosen with a little water until you can spoon it over the cannelloni. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan and the mozzarella pieces, and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes until golden and bubbling.

Recipe of the day – Broccoli Salad

Broccoli salad

With smoky bacon, tomatoes and chives

 98_1_1433952510
“I tested this delicious broccoli salad on some big ranching blokes
and they loved it – enough said ”
Serves 6
Cooks In 25 minutes
Difficulty: Super easy

Nutrition per serving

  • Calories    308         15%
  • Fat                27.1g     39%
  • Saturates      5.4g     27%
  • Protein          8.6g      19%
  • Carbs             4.7g         2%
  • Sugar              4.1g         5%

Of an adult’s reference intake

Ingredients

  • 2 large heads of broccoli
  • 6 rashers higher-welfare smoked streaky bacon , finely sliced
  • olive oil
  • 3 firm red tomatoes , halved, deseeded and finely sliced
  • 1 small bunch of fresh chives (with flowers if you can get them) , finely chopped, flowers reserved
  • For the dressing
  • ½ clove of garlic , peeled and finely grated
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
Tap for method

Share this Recipe

Method
One of the cowgirls I met said she struggled for ideas at mealtimes because the men weren’t overly keen on eating veg. However, she did say one of the things they would eat was broccoli salad. Every diner and restaurant in Cody seemed to have one on the menu, so I created this version, which is absolutely delicious and hits all the right spots. When I cooked it for a group of ranchers there was none left by the end of the night. Success!

Use a small knife to remove the broccoli florets and cut them up into smaller ones. Basically, this is your opportunity to make the broccoli really delicate and more salady-looking, so spend a bit of time doing this. You’ll be left with the stalk, so discard the thick dry base, then cut the remaining stalk in half lengthways and finely slice.

Blanch your broccoli florets and sliced stalks really quickly in boiling salted water for 60 seconds, just long enough to soften the broccoli but still leave it with a bit of a bite. Drain it in a colander, then spread it around a clean tea towel to steam dry (this is important because it will help the dressing cling to the broccoli). Once completely dry, transfer to a serving dish.

Fry the bacon on a medium heat with a small splash of olive oil until crisp and golden, then spoon most of the bacon bits over your broccoli. Any leftover fat in the pan can be used in your salad dressing. Pour it into a mixing bowl with all the other dressing ingredients and whisk.

Add the sliced tomatoes and chopped chives to your broccoli and bacon bits. Dress it all really well, and check the seasoning. If it needs pimping up, add a splash more vinegar. If you’ve got any chive flowers, sprinkle those over the top and serve straight away. It’s beautiful on its own or served next to any grilled or roasted meat or fish.

PS: I also like to toss things like diced feta cheese or chopped fresh chilli through this salad. Different-coloured cherry tomatoes are really nice too.