Friday, 15 May 2015

Recipes: National Vegetarian Week

Whether you are a vegetarian or just looking to support National Vegetarian Week by reducing your meat consumption, mushrooms make a tasty, filling and healthy alternative to meat in a huge variety of meals.

Goat's Cheese and Roasted Veg Portobello Mushrooms (pictured above)

Fancy a fantastic vegetarian meal? Then try these mega-tasty mushrooms! They make a great starter or side dish to a main course too.

Serves 4
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes

Cost: £9.48 Cost per portion: £2.37

Per serving
14g protein
15g carbohydrate of which 10g sugars
19g fat of which 10g saturates
4g dietary fibre
313mg sodium equivalent to 0.7g salt

2 tbsp olive or vegetable oil
400g prepared butternut squash, cut into 2cm cubes
1 red onion, sliced
1 red pepper, deseeded and cut into chunks
1 tsp black onion seeds
8 large (or 4 very large) Portobello mushrooms
2 x 100g packs goat's cheese, each sliced into 4
Freshly ground black pepper
Thyme sprigs, to garnish

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C, fan oven 180°C, Gas mark 6.

2. Pour the oil into a roasting tin and add the butternut squash, tossing to coat. Roast for 10 minutes, then add the onion, pepper and black onion seeds. Roast for a further 15-20 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.

3. Arrange the mushrooms, gills facing up, in a roasting tin (you can use the same one – just tip the cooked vegetables into a bowl). Pile the vegetables into the mushrooms and season with black pepper. Bake for 8-10 minutes.

4. Place the goat's cheese slices on top of the mushrooms and return to the oven for 3-5 minutes, so that the cheese starts to melt. Serve, sprinkled with extra black pepper and garnished with thyme sprigs.

Cook's tips
If the mushroom stalks are quite large, trim them off and add them to the roasting tin with the onion and red pepper. For a spicier flavour, use cumin seeds instead of black onion seeds (if you don't have either, simply leave them out).

Cheddar Gorgeous Mushroom and Leek Risotto

You can't beat this delicious vegetarian risotto, made with risotto rice, dry white wine, leeks, mushrooms and peas – with grated mature Cheddar.


Serves 4
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes

Cost: £4.72 Cost per portion: £1.18

Per serving
16g protein
61g carbohydrate of which 3g sugars
16g fat of which 6.5g saturates
4g dietary fibre
176mg sodium equivalent to 0.4g salt

2 tbsp olive oil
300g risotto rice
1 pack baby leeks, or 2 medium leeks, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, crushed
200g chestnut or closed cup mushrooms, sliced
150ml dry white wine
900ml hot vegetable stock
100g frozen peas, thawed
100g mature Cheddar cheese, finely grated
Freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan or saucepan. Add the rice and cook gently over a low heat for 1-2 minutes, stirring all the time until it looks glossy but not browned.

2. Add the leeks, garlic and mushrooms and stir for another minute or two. Pour in the wine and allow it to bubble up, then pour in about half the hot stock. Stir well.

3. Cook over a medium-low heat for 20–25 minutes, stirring often and adding the remaining stock a little at a time, until the rice has absorbed all the liquid. Check that the rice is tender. It should have a nice creamy texture, though the rice should retain a little 'bite'. If it needs cooking for longer, add some extra stock or hot water.

4. Add the peas and most of the cheese, stirring gently to mix them in. Check the seasoning, adding some pepper if needed. Serve, sprinkled with the remaining Cheddar.

Cook's tips
Use Arborio or Carnaroli rice for a deliciously creamy risotto. And try using a mixture of mushrooms, such as sliced portobellos, chestnut mushrooms and button mushrooms.

15-minute Mushroom, Garlic and Parsley Soup

This super-creamy mushroom soup tastes ridiculously good – despite how little effort you need to make it!


Serves 4
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes

Cost: £3.40 Cost per portion: 85p

Per serving
11g protein
8g carbohydrate of which 6g sugars
5g fat of which 3g saturates
2g dietary fibre
674mg sodium equivalent to 1.6g salt

4 tsp vegetable stock powder (or 1½ vegetable stock cubes)
400g chestnut or closed-cup mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 large garlic clove, crushed
Small handful of parsley
200g low fat soft cheese
4 tbsp milk
freshly ground black pepper

1. Measure 900ml of just-boiled water into a large saucepan. Add the stock powder or stock cubes and stir until dissolved, then add the mushrooms, onion and garlic. Add most of the parsley, reserving a few sprigs for garnish - there's no need to chop it.

2. Bring up to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10-12 minutes.

3. Transfer the soup to a blender and add half the soft cheese. Blend for 15-20 seconds until smooth. Alternatively, use a hand-held stick blender to puree the soup. Reheat the soup for 1-2 minutes.

4. Blend the remaining soft cheese with the milk. Season the soup with pepper (it's unlikely that you'll need salt), then serve, garnished with swirls of the soft cheese mixture, parsley sprigs and a little extra black pepper.

Cook's tips
Buy a bumper pack of mushrooms and make twice the quantity, packing and freezing half the soup to use another day – it will freeze for up to 3 months.

Mushroom, spinach, kale and sweet potato pie


Serves 4

250g spinach, wilted
100g kale, cooked
2 tablespoons olive oil
500g closed cup mushrooms, thickly sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
250ml vegetable stock
300g cooked sweet potatoes, cut into chunks
2 tablespoons light creme fraiche
150g feta cheese, cubed
salt & freshly ground black pepper
3 sheets filo pastry

1. Heat oven to 200C /180C fan /gas 6

2. Heat half the oil in a large non-stick pan and fry mushrooms on a high heat for about 5 minutes until golden. Add the garlic and fry for a further minute, then tip in the stock and sweet potatoes. Bubble for a few minutes until reduced. Season, then remove from the heat and stir in creme fraiche, spinach and kale

3. Pour into a pie dish and top with the cubed feta. Allow to cool for a few minutes

4. Brush each sheet of filo with the remaining oil, quarter the sheets then loosely scrunch up and lay on top of pie filling. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 20-25 minutes until golden

5. Serve with extra green vegetables like steamed broccoli and green beans

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