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Cover: Gluten free cooking

Recipes with onion

26Jul 12

Lima Bean Soup

Lima Bean SoupThis simple Lima bean soup is sweet and savoury and very satisfying.  The starchy Lima beans help to give the broth the perfect thickness and also provide a sweet counterpoint to the kale and spices.  The soup also freezes well, so don’t worry if you can’t finish it all in a few days. (Why not also have a go at this red lentil and sweet potato soup?)

 

Lima Bean Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • 2 litres vegetable stock
  • 250g giant lima beans, soaked overnight
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 sprigs fresh oregano
  • 3 fresh sage leaves
  • 6 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 medium red pepper, diced
  • 80ml white wine
  • 10 kale leaves, ribs removed and cut into thick strips
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Drain the lima beans and rinse well with cold water.
  2. Place the beans, oregano, sage, thyme and bay leaf along with 1.5 litres of the vegetable stock in a large soup pot.
  3. Bring to the boil.
  4. Lower the heat and let simmer for about an hour and a half, or until the beans are cooked through and beginning to break up.
  5. While the beans are simmering, heat the oil in a large frying pan and add the chopped onions, a few pinches of salt and a pinch of black pepper.
  6. Cook over medium heat for about 3 minutes, or until the onions start to soften.
  7. Add the minced garlic and cook for another minute.
  8. Add the carrots, red pepper, another 2 pinches of salt and a pinch of pepper.
  9. Cook for about 10 minutes, adding more stock when necessary to keep the veggies from sticking to the pan.
  10. Add the white wine and continue cooking until nearly all the liquid has evaporated, about 3 minutes.
  11. Add the fried vegetables to the beans in the soup pot, together with any remaining vegetable stock, ¼ teaspoon of salt and another pinch of pepper.
  12. Continue cooking until the flavours blend together, about 20 minutes or so.
  13. Add the kale leaves and cook until tender, approximately 10 minutes.
  14. Remove the bay leaf and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  15. Serve in bowls with a little olive oil drizzled over each serving.

 

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23Jul 12

Winter Vegetable Pie

Winter Vegetable PieSomething like a fancier, vegetarian version of traditional shepherds pie, this winter vegetable pie recipe makes for a great Sunday lunch and is a good way to trick younger kids into eating their turnips and parsnips without them even realising it!  I usually prepare this in one large oven-safe dish, but an interesting presentation alternative is to bake individual portions in small, round dishes and give everyone their own.  If you find your kids still make faces and don’t want to eat it, try doubling the amount of cheese; in my experience, this seems to work just as well as the proverbial spoonful of sugar!

Although it’s only vegetables, this dish can be quite heavy. For a lighter cheesy recipe to “fool” kids into eating their veggies, try this baked fennel with tomato gratin. For dessert, I recommend this carrot halwa.

Serve this dish with cheesy bread for dipping. I also like to set aside a little ramekin with the tomato sauce to pour over the mashed potatoes right before serving. But that’s because I really love tomatoes. Most people tell me that the tomatoes inside the pie are plenty, but I just never can get enough!

 

Winter Vegetable Pie
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 450g potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 400g turnips, peeled and chopped
  • 50g butter
  • 50g Puy lentils
  • 1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped
  • 200g leeks, washed and sliced in rings
  • 200g parsnips, peeled and chopped
  • 75g chopped walnuts
  • ½tsp dried thyme
  • ½tsp dried oregano
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 100g grated cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
  2. Boil the potatoes and turnips in a large pot of salted water for 20-30 minutes, or until very tender.
  3. Drain off the excess water and mash the turnips and potatoes together with half of the butter.
  4. Cook the lentils in a pot with abundant water for 30 minutes, or until nice and tender.
  5. Drain and set aside.
  6. Heat the rest of the butter in a frying pan and sauté the onions, leeks and parsnips over low heat for about 10 minutes. Add the walnuts, thyme, oregano, the cooked lentils and the tomato.
  7. Mix well and season to taste with the salt and pepper.
  8. Place the vegetable mixture in a deep oven-proof dish and cover with a layer of mashed potato and turnip.
  9. Sprinkle the grated cheddar cheese over the top and cook in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, or until the mash turns golden brown and a bit crispy.
  10. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

 

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13Jul 12

Red Cabbage and Apple

Red Cabbage and AppleAnother typical Mediterranean delight, this red cabbage and apple recipe is sure to knock your socks off if you’ve never had it or anything similar before!  You can find a lot of different variations of the dish if you travel around the Mediterranean countries, but the basic idea is always the same: very tender red cabbage mixed with a sweet fruit (I’ve used apples, but some people make it with raisins, oranges or apricots) and seasoned with some kind of aromatic spice, usually cloves, cinnamon or nutmeg.

The dish works well either as a salad to go along with your main meal, or as an appetiser.  I also find it makes a great topping for sausages or hot-dogs, something like a less vinegary coleslaw. Just be careful not to drop any of it on your clothes, especially white, as it does stain quite easily.  Speaking of the colour, if you find that the red cabbage starts to turn blue when you’re cooking it, it means you haven’t used enough vinegar, as this is necessary to keep the colour from leaking out.  If you think it’s already got enough vinegar, a little bit of lemon juice will also do the trick quite nicely. (Also try this cabbage and barley soup.)

 

Red Cabbage and Apple
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
Ingredients
  • 450g red cabbage, shredded or very finely sliced into strips
  • 1tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 medium-sized apples, peeled and grated.
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • Salt
Instructions
  1. Heat the sunflower oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  2. Sauté the onion until soft, about 4 minutes.
  3. Add the red cabbage and apple and mix well.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
  5. Cover the pot and let it cook for 35-40 minutes, or until the red cabbage is very tender.
  6. Alternatively, you can place the mixture in an oven-proof dish and bake for 50-60 minutes at 190ºc, or until the cabbage is very tender.
  7. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  8. Can be served either hot or cold.

 

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10Jul 12

Spicy Corn Pasta

Spicy Corn PastaOne of the worst things about my gluten-free diet has got to be not being able to eat semolina pasta!  I used to eat it by the bucketful (maybe that was part of the problem!), and to be honest, I don’t really find any of the gluten-free alternatives to be nearly as satisfying.

However, I have found that if you take the time to make sure you’ve got a superbly delicious sauce to serve it with, it does help to make up for it.  This spicy corn pasta recipe is similar to a tagliatelle dish I used to enjoy eating when visiting southern Italy and is definitely one of my favourite, non-gluten pasta dishes. (Also try this prawn and courgette tagliatelli recipe.)

 

Spicy Corn Pasta
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 1tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small yellow pepper, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½tsp chilli pepper flakes
  • 25g pine nuts
  • 4tbsp red wine
  • 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 500g gluten-free corn pasta
  • 250g broccoli, chopped in 1 centimetre pieces
  • salt and pepper
  • 4tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Heat the olive oil in a heavy frying pan and sauté the onions, yellow pepper and pine nuts until the onions turn translucent.
  2. Add the garlic and chilli pepper flakes and sauté for 2 more minutes, or until the garlic is light brown in colour.
  3. Add the red wine and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has evaporated.
  4. Add the tomatoes, bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, for 25 minutes.
  5. While the sauce is cooking, cook the pasta in lightly salted water according to the instructions on the package.
  6. In another pot, steam the broccoli for 5 or 6 minutes, until the broccoli is tender.
  7. Add the steamed broccoli to the tomato sauce and cook for a minute or so.
  8. Strain the pasta and serve on deep plates with the sauce and a bit of Parmesan cheese sprinkled over the top.

 

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06Jul 12

Vegetable and Legume Soup

Vegetable and Legume Soup

This delicious and nutritious vegetable and legume soup is traditionally served to break the Muslim fast of Ramadam.  It’s called harira and is usually accompanied by dates, but as I don’t really like them, I’ve left them out of my recipe.  However, feel free to include them if you want the truly authentic experience. I also recommend this Moroccan hummus!

 

Vegetable and Legume Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
Ingredients
  • 125g chickpeas, soaked overnight in water
  • 50g green lentils, soaked overnight in water
  • 4tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 4 celery ribs, washed and chopped
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1tsp turmeric
  • 1tbsp frshly ground black pepper
  • 400g canned diced tomatoes
  • 1tbsp tomato paste
  • 1tbsp cornflour
  • 40g gluten-free soup noodles
  • 4tbsp fresh, finely chopped coriander
  • 3tbsp fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 lemon, cut into 8 wedges
Instructions
  1. Rinse and drain well the previously soaked chickpeas and lentils.
  2. Place in a large pot of cold water and bring to the boil.
  3. Boil for 10 minutes and then reduce the heat to a simmer and let cook for 45 minutes, or until the chickpeas are quite tender.
  4. Drain off the liquid, but save it for later.
  5. Heat the olive oil in a large pot until it's hot but not smoking.
  6. Sauté the onions, celery and garlic with the pepper, turmeric and cinnamon for 3 or 4 minutes, or until the onions are translucent.
  7. Add the cooked chickpeas and lentils, the canned tomatoes, tomato paste and 1 litre of the broth from cooking the legumes.
  8. Cook for 20 minutes. Add more broth if necessary.
  9. In a small bowl or glass, make a paste by mixing the cornflour with a tablespoon or two of the broth.
  10. Stir the cornflour paste into the soup a little at a time to thicken the broth.
  11. Add the soup noodles and cook for 5 more minutes or until the noodles are tender.
  12. Remove the soup from the heat and stir in the coriander and flat-leaf parsley.
  13. Serve in bowls with a lemon wedge or 2. The idea is for each person to squeeze some lemon juice over the soup according to their own taste.

 

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03Jun 12

Guacamole

GuacamoleThe first time I tried guacamole, I remember being intrigued by its green colour and greasy appearance.  After eyeing the bowl surreptitiously for at least half an hour, I finally got up the courage to give it a try.  I remember a smile instantly forming on my face as the first mouthful exploded in a rainbow of flavours and sensations on my unsuspecting tongue.  Spicy and smooth, tart and sweet, I had no idea such an incredible mixture of supposedly contrary tastes was even possible!

Ever since that mystical first time, I’ve been on an unending quest for the perfect guacamole recipe. This  version is definitely an excellent guacamole recipe, and I’ve even had more than a few compliments from my Mexican friends, so I must be on the right track.

One trick I’ve discovered along the way is how to keep the guacamole from turning brown as it tends to do not very long after making it.  The secret is to put the avocado pits into the finished mixture.  There seems to be some debate as to the effectiveness of this method. Some say it’s just an old wives’ tale, but I can attest to the fact that I’ve tried it repeatedly and it always seems to work just fine.  Clingfilm placed firmly against the guacamole works quite well too.

You need:

  • 2 large, ripe avocados
  • Juice from 1 lime (lemon may be substituted)
  • 2 spring onions, very finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, very finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed and chopped very fine
  • 1 plum tomato, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, very finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Steps:

  1. Mix together all the ingredients, except the avocado, pressing down on them as you mix to release the juices.
  2. Let the mixture marinade in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes.
  3. Add the avocados to the mix, mashing them well with a fork.
  4. Make sure all the ingredients are well mixed.
  5. Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes so that the flavours blend together.
  6. Garnish with a bit of chopped coriander and tomato.
  7. Serve with corn chips for dipping.

Ready In: 1 hour

Serves: 4

Difficulty: 2 out of 5

Note: Ever tried baked avocados? Just looking at the picture gets my mouth watering!

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31May 12

Menemen – Turkish Scrambled Eggs

Menemen - Turkish Scrambled Eggs

One of my fondest memories from a trip I made to Turkey a few years back has got to be the incredible breakfasts!  Nuts and cheeses, yoghurt, honey, fresh fruit and marmalades, and of course, menemen, a kind of Turkish scrambled eggs.  I can still remember falling asleep every night with my mouth watering in anticipation of the next morning’s breakfast!

This recipe, as with most scrambled egg recipes, is very quick and ridiculously simple to prepare.  The only thing you really need to keep in mind to make this taste as good as possible is to use the best quality vegetables you can find, preferably organic.  And if you haven’t switched over to organic free-range eggs, I strongly recommend you do so as soon as possible, as the difference in taste and colour is absolutely astounding!  Also, if you can find the Italian style green peppers (they’re longer and thinner), then you should use them for a more authentic experience.

If you like a big breakfast, why not also try these mini pancakes with mozzarella, spinach and pine nuts? You can technically eat them for lunch or dinner, but to me, pancakes are for breakfast. And I usually prefer salty over sweet in the morning.

 

Menemen - Turkish Scrambled Eggs
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-4
 
Ingredients
  • 3tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium-sized onion, minced
  • 1 medium sized green pepper, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 3 large tomatoes, washed and finely chopped
  • 4 eggs
  • 4tbsp fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped fine
  • ¼tsp ground nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. In a medium size frying pan over medium heat, heat the olive oil until hot but not smoking.
  2. Sauté the onion for 5 or 6 minutes, or until it's very soft.
  3. Add the green pepper and sauté for 5 more minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. Add the chopped tomatoes and mix well.
  5. Cover the pan and let it cook for 5 more minutes.
  6. Remove the cover from the pan and keep cooking, stirring occasionally, until all the excess liquid has evaporated.
  7. Beat the eggs in a small bowl and season to taste with the salt and pepper and nutmeg.
  8. Add the egg mixture to the pan and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds or so.
  9. Remove the pan from the heat and season the mixture to taste with salt and pepper.
  10. Add the freshly chopped parsley and mix well.
  11. Serve immediately.

 

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24Apr 12

Turkey and Sun-Dried Tomato Loaf

Turkey and Sun-dred Tomato LoafThis turkey and sun-dried tomato loaf with onion gravy makes for a great Sunday afternoon roast replacement, like this lamb roast with garlic and rosemary.  I like to use turkey mince, but it should work fine with whatever mince you prefer, or even textured vegetable protein if you want to make it vegetarian-friendly.

You Need:

For the loaf:

  • 250g sun-dried tomatoes
  • 500ml boiling water
  • 65g cornflakes, crushed
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • ½  medium-size green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2tbsps mushroom or vegetable broth
  • 2 large eggs
  • 125g creamy Havarti cheese, shredded
  • 2tsps dried basil
  • 1tsp dried parsley
  • 1tsp dried oregano
  • ½tsp dried thyme
  • ½tsp freshly ground pepper
  • ½tsp salt
  • 700g  turkey mince
  • Vegetable oil spray

For the gravy:

  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 stock cube (vegetable or chicken)
  • 2tsps thyme
  • 500ml water
  • 4tbsp cornflour + 2tbsp water, mixed together to form a thick paste 

Steps:

  1. Preheat the oven to 175ºC.
  2. Submerge the sun-dried tomatoes in the boiling water for a few minutes to soften and then drain. Chop into small pieces and place in a large bowl.
  3. Add the crushed cereal and mix to coat. Set aside.
  4. Over medium heat, sauté the onion and green pepper in the olive oil until soft, about 5 to 6 minutes.
  5. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute.
  6. Add to the sun-dried tomato and cereal mixture.
  7. Next pour in the broth and mix well.
  8. Beat the eggs and then add them to the mixture,  jumbling it all together.
  9. Add the cheese, herbs, seasonings and meat and stir until well-blended.
  10. Lightly coat a 23cm x 13cm loaf pan with the vegetable oil spray and then press the mixture firmly down into the pan.
  11. Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour, or until the temperature of the loaf, when measured with a roasting thermometer, reaches 80ºC.
  12. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 to10 minutes before removing from the loaf pan.
  13. While the loaf is baking, prepare the gravy:
  • Sauté the onions in the vegetable oil until translucent, about 3 minutes.
  • Add the stock cube, thyme and 500ml of water and bring to the boil.
  • Add the cornflour paste a little at a time until desired thickness is reached.

14. Cut into slices, cover with gravy and serve.

Ready In:  90 minutes

Serves:  8

Difficulty:   3 out of 5

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27Mar 12

Asparagus Risotto

Asparagus RisottoSmooth and creamy, sticky and cheesy, what’s not to like about risotto?  This Asparagus Risotto is my take on the classic Italian dish which is traditionally made using Arborio or Carnaroli rice due to their high-starch content (that’s what makes it sticky and creamy).  However, if you can’t find these kinds of rice at your local supermarket, then any short-grained rice will work well.  I’ve personally had a lot of success with whole, short-grain organic rice, although this does add almost double the time to the cooking process.  Either way, don’t skimp on the cheese, or try to rush the cooking process, as these two points are key to prepare a delicious authentic-tasting risotto. If you decide that you like your rice with more vegetables, try a squash and garlic risotto. Simply delicious.

You need:

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 cups fresh asparagus cut into inch-long sticks
  • 1 large garlic, minced
  • 2 cups Arborio or Carnaroli rice
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 5 – 7 cups vegetable broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Steps:

  1. Heat up the broth in a saucepan and leave it on a back burner at the lowest setting in order to keep it warm.
  2. Heat the oil over a medium heat in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet.
  3. When the oil is hot, but before it starts to smoke, stir in the onion and sauté until translucent, but not browned.
  4. Stir in the garlic and asparagus and keep cooking until the onion is nice and tender, making sure it doesn’t brown.
  5. Stir in the rice and sauté for a minute or two, making sure that each grain of rice gets coated with oil and toasted.
  6. Add around ¾ of a cup of the broth to the rice and stir continuously until most of the liquid is absorbed.
  7. Continue adding the broth ¾ of a cup at a time, letting the liquid get absorbed each time.
  8. Continue cooking and adding broth until the rice is creamy and just slightly al dente, around 30 minutes.  There may be some broth left over.
  9. Remove from the heat and season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  10. Stir in the parsley and parmesan cheese.
  11. Serve while it’s still hot, with a fresh bowl of Parmesan cheese on the side so your guests can add more as they desire.

Ready In:  45 minutes

Serves:  4-6

Difficulty:  Out of 5, it’s a 3!

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