Category Archives: Vegetarian friendly dishes

Pea and Haloumi Fritters

This is a great dish. I came across it when I was looking at a facebook page – The breakfast Club diaries. One of the contributors had an early lunch at the Footbridge, Brunswick Heads Northern NSW. Here is the photo she posted.
Pea and Haloumi FrittersTalk about whetting the appetite. I googled Pea and Haloumi Fritters and was amazed by the number of recipes. I clicked on quite a number and constructed my own recipe – ahem! with variations on the theme, of course. One of the things I really like about listing ingredients into the google search box is the multitude of recipes that such a simple search spawns. So here is mine:

Ingredients  Pea and Haloumi fritters 002

300g (2 cups) frozen peas
2 eggs
¾ cup SR Flour
50ml (¼cup) milk
110g haloumi coarsely grated
60ml (¼cup) olive oil or Lemon & Dill flavoured oil if you have it. I have learned to make my own. Yummy stuff!
1 tbsp chopped fresh dill; pinch cumin powder. In winter I didn’t have fresh dill so used dried instead
3 shallots trimmed, thinly sliced – you can leave these out of the batter if preferred
The shallots can be used as a sprinkle to serve or in a side salad with cherry tomatoes, mini cos and Lebanese cucumber with a light lemony dressing
Lemon wedges to serve
Fresh dill sprigs to serve – if you have them!

Method

Cook peas in a large saucepan of boiling water following packet directions. Drain. Process half the peas until coarsely pureed. Set aside to cool.
Lightly whisk the eggs in a bowl. Sift in the flour. Add milk, haloumi, shallot, dill and pea puree. Season with pepper. Add the whole cooked peas. Stir until combined.
Heat 3 teaspoons of oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add large spoonsful of the batter. Flatten slightly if necessary. Cook for 2-3 mins each side or until cooked through. Place on a plate. Repeat, with remaining oil and batter. Serve with lemon and dill. And, for me, the salad.
Pea and Haloumi fritters 003

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Meatballs, Mushrooms & Sun-dried Tomatoes

I have difficulty finding food dishes that will suit this household. However, beef always works so I decided that meatballs cooked with our own cherry tomatoes and a mixture of commercial lasagne sauce and sun-dried tomato, garlic and basil sauce plus some sliced sun-dried tomatoes and some basil-infused oil sounded really tasty.
Side dish of steamed cauliflower and another of steamed baby Brussels sprouts smothered in a cheese sauce and browned under the grill tickled my taste buds.

12 (350g) minced beef meatballs
2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
2 cups chopped red and yellow capsicum
125 chestnut mushrooms medium sliced
4-6 sliced sun-dried tomatoes
5 tbsp commercial tomato lasagne/pasta sauce
3 tbsp tomato, garlic and basil sauce
1 tsp caraway seeds
1 pot Knorr paprika flavour pot
Several large dollops soured cream

Ingredients with my cherry-wood pepper grinder

Ingredients with my cherry-wood pepper grinder

I discovered these Knorr Flavour Pots a while ago and find them easy and very useful. A lot of other people must do as well because Knorr has increased the flavour range over the past months. Now Oxo has started its own range of flavours. Great! The more the merrier. I think what I find so good about them is that it doesn’t matter what I have decided to cook and what sort of sauce I am using, there will be a flavour pot to add a soupçon of flavour to the cooking. Anyway, I had some pots of paprika and added one to this tomato type dish. The caraway seeds are usually associated with a goulash but they worked well with this.  Meatball & tomato, mushroom mix

I used a mixture of basil-infused oil and groundnut oil to gently fry the meatballs. Then added all other ingredients except the cream, plus a knob of butter, seasoned and put the lid on. I came in here to write this up and the dish is cooking very gently for about an hour. When finished, I will need to thicken the sauce with some cornflower and add the soured cream.

Cauliflower, Brussels sprouts & Cheese sauce

The other part of this is the vegetables. I steamed enough cauliflower and Brussels sprouts to fill two smallish dishes; sprouts for me and cauliflower for Himself. The small pot of leek and cibouli, I micro waved for me. I like all manner of onion. Otherwise cook the onions first before adding the meatballs. Use however much onion you like.

I mix leek & cibouli with chilli oil. Cauli & sprouts in their own serving dishes

I mix leek & cibouli with chilli oil. Cauli & sprouts in their own serving dishes

Cheese sauce – what can I say. Home-made with flour, butter seasoning and milk with cheese added. Or packet or supermarket wet sauce pots. Doesn’t matter. Do whatever you like. But do use freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and if you have a bit of blue cheese, add that in as well. Pour the sauce over the cooked vegetables and brown under the grill. Some toasted sesame seeds would be a welcome addition, especially to the sprouts – or breadcrumbs.

Ready to eat!

Ready to eat!

The reason there is no carbohydrate except the thickening is that we are dropping our carbohydrate intake to a maximum of 20g (more or less) a day and increasing our fat (butter and natural fats) intake. This reduces blood sugar levels and drops body weight. All good.

Potato & Pea Rosti with Cos Lettuce

Rosti are so versatile as a light lunch or supper dish. You can use basically anything you have in the fridge and larder to create a tasty snackish meal.

Using baby Charlottes, unpeeled but cleaned up of eyes and dark skin patches. I cut them in half and boiled them in salted water. I use a so-called ‘lite’ salt these days. We love salt too much and I try to mitigate against too much damage as we age by using a mixture of Sodium chloride and Potassium chloride.

Ainsley Harriott presented a fresh pea programme on Great British Food today and inspired me to make potato and pea rosti.Balsamic vinegar, red and white wine vinegar

He was promoting fresh garden peas (which are beautiful and I have probably missed planting seed for this year’s cropping).

So I used frozen peas because that’s what I had. I didn’t have courgettes which would work really well to fill the rosti, so I used a mini Cos called Baby Gem. I used to grow thousands of them in Mullumbimby for the salad leaf mix that I sold. As a stand alone lettuce it has a great shelf life and is crunchy. Yum.

So, here’s my ingredient list:

Peas and the baby Cos

Peas and the baby Cos

500gr baby potatoes cleaned but not peeled, halved and boiled in salted water
200gr frozen or fresh shelled peas boiled not mushy
1 mini Cos lettuce roughly cut, leaves separated
2 lightly beaten eggs
Some grated parmesan – the amount is to your taste. I used lots because we both love cheese. Should have used more!
Some breadcrumbs will help bind the mixture. You could use ground rice but not too much.
Toasted pine nuts if you have them available in the larder
Some torn basil leaves
2 tbsp Olive oil
Pepper and salt

What to do:

Mash the boiled potatoes very roughly in a bowl and add the olive oil. Add the cooked, drained peas, parmesan, pepper and some salt and the egg. Mix without mashing the potatoes too much and add the breadcrumbs, pine nuts, basil and the lettuce. Take a quick taste, add further seasoning if necessary.

All mixed up and ready to go

All mixed up and ready to go

Six rosti ready to fry

Six rosti ready to fry

Form into patties and firm the edges with a spatula to stop the peas falling out. Heat some oil in a large frying pan and add the formed rosti carefully. Don’t be tempted to turn them too quickly. Let them brown up first and as the egg cooks, the rosti become easier to handle.  The other temptation is to try and cook the rosti on too high a heat so that they brown but the inside doesn’t cook. Better to use a lower heat so that everything cooks and browns at the same time. Turn them over once when browned and serve with a dressing of your choice.

There are so many ready-made dressings around that it is often easier to use a bought one. There’s Heinz  Blue Cheese Dressing on the shelves; a Nando Sun-dried Tomato and Basil sauce and any number of other sauces and dressing to titillate your palette.

A tasty stack!

A tasty stack!

Or make your own. Ainsley made a tangy tomato dressing with plum tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, shallot and red wine vinegar. I didn’t but it sounds good.