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Cover: The Gourmet Garden

Recipes with red pepper

13Jun 12

Bean and Red peppers Burritos

Bean and red pepper burritosI love Mexican food, and it’s so easy to make it vegetarian!  These bean and red peppers burritos are my take on the classic Mexican burrito.  Even if you’re normally not a fan of beans and pulses, I think this dish will get your taste buds smiling. They’re fun to make and even more fun to eat! If you want to make it even more entertaining for your guests, place the bean mix in the centre of the table along with the garnishing and let them heap their own burritos!

What you’re going to need:

  • 2 x 400g tins red kidney beans, drained and mashed. (You can also use black beans.)
  • 1 large Spanish onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ½ red bell pepper
  • 2 tbsps olive oil
  • 100g tomato purée
  • 2 tsp whole cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 pack of 8 flour or corn tortillas
  • 200g mature cheddar cheese, thinly sliced
  • 150ml sour cream (optional)
  • Diced tomatoes, sliced Jalapeños or Mexican salsa (for garnish)

What you have to do:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat until it’s hot but not smoking.
  2. Add the onions and red pepper and sauté until the onions turn translucent (approx. 4 minutes).
  3. Remove the onions and peppers and set aside.
  4. Sauté the onions, cumin, black pepper and paprika for about 1 minute, stirring constantly to avoid burning.
  5. Add the onions and peppers back into the mix along with the tomato paste and salt and mix well with the spices.
  6. Add the mashed kidney beans and mix well.  The mixture should be thick, not runny.  If it’s runny, cook a little longer to evaporate any excess water and add a tablespoon of  cornflour  to help thicken.
  7. Remove from heat and set aside.
  8. Remove the tortillas from their packaging and heat in the microwave on medium power for 1 minute to soften.
  9. Place two tablespoons of the bean mix on each tortilla, in a line a little off-centre to the left and running from the top to about 4 cm from the bottom.
  10. Place a slice of cheddar cheese, a spoonful of sour cream and a few jalapeños (if desired) on top.
  11. Wrap the burritos by first folding up the bottom, then the left-hand side and then the right-hand side to make a kind of envelope.
  12. Serve warm.
  13. If you really want to add to the “bean theme,” try serving this borlotti bean, celery and tomato salad on the side.

Preparation Time:  10 minutes

Cooking Time:  20 minutes

Serves:  3-4

Difficulty:  Medium

 

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04Apr 12

Vietnamese Spring Rolls

Vietnamese Spring RollsDelicious and healthy vegetarian Vietnamese spring rolls!  Goes great with peanut hoi sin dipping sauce, which I also posted on my blog. If you like Asian cooking, you should also try these Indian vegetable samosas.

What you’re going to need:

  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 400g firm tofu, cut into 1cm thick slices, brushed with 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/2tsp salt
  • 1/2tsp pepper
  • 1 large shallot, peeled and sliced (about 70ml)
  • 1tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into matchsticks (about 350ml)
  • ½ small jicama, peeled and cut into matchsticks (about 350ml)
  • 1 medium red pepper, cut into matchsticks (about 350ml)
  • 2 or 3 jalapeño chillies, seeded and thinly sliced (about 85ml)
  • 2 scallions, both green and white parts, sliced diagonally and very thin
  • 1/2tbsp hoi sin sauce
  • 16 Vietnamese rice spring roll wrappers
  • 2 heads Chinese leaf lettuce, separated and washed
  • 1 bunch of fresh mint, leaves only
  • 1 bunch of coriander, small sprigs only

What you have to do:

  1. Heat vegetable oil about 1.5cm deep in a frying pan over medium heat until hot but not smoking.
  2. Fry the tofu until crisp on the outside, about 3 minutes per side.
  3. Drain the tofu on paper towels and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Let cool and then slice thinly.  Set aside.
  5. Put the frying pan over the heat again and fry the shallots until crisp and golden.
  6. Drain on a paper towel and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Slice thinly and set aside.
  7. Heat 1tsp vegetable oil in a sauté pan and add the carrots, jicama, peppers and 1/4tsp of salt and cook over high heat for 1 minute, stirring continuously.
  8. Add the chillies and a tablespoon of water to keep the veggies from sticking.
  9. Cook until the vegetables start to get tender, about 2 minutes.
  10. Spoon the mixture into a bowl and mix in the scallions, shallots and hoi sin sauce.
  11. Soak one rice wrapper in cold water until it starts to turn soft, no more than 8-10 seconds.
  12. Place the damp wrapper on a clean working surface and lay a lettuce leaf or two on top.
  13. Spread 3 or 4 tablespoons of the vegetable mixture across the centre, top with a few slices of tofu, a few mint leaves and a few coriander sprigs.
  14. Roll the wrapper gently but snugly over the filling, tucking in the ends as you go.
  15. Repeat for the rest of the wrappers.

Preparation Time:  30-40 minutes

Cooking Time: 20-30 minutes

Serves:  4-6

Difficulty: Hard

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28Mar 12

Cheesy Chilli Sin Carne

Cheesy Chilli Sin CarneI’ve loved Chilli Con Carne ever since I was a little girl; in fact, I think it’s probably the first “exotic” dish I acquired a taste for.  It was also the first dish I learned how to make when I became a vegetarian. Initially, I just used a packaged mix from the health food store, but I soon realised it was so much better to make it yourself and really not very difficult at all.  I try new variations of Cheesy Chilli Sin Carne every year or so, and this is my most recent version of the dish.

As for the name, everyone knows the standard Chilli Con Carne, which literally means “Chilli with Meat” in Spanish.  I like to call the vegetarian version “Chilli Sin Carne”, which of course means “Chilli without Meat”.  Enjoy!

What you’re going to need:

  • 2 x 400 g tins red kidney beans
  • 1 x 400 g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 x 200 g tin sweet corn
  • 200 g strong cheddar, cut in 1cm cubes
  • 1 large Spanish onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper (standard size), chopped
  • 250 g TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein)
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 4 tbsps olive oil
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tbsps fresh chopped coriander
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt

What you have to do:

  1. Prepare the TVP by rehydrating with 200 ml of boiling water.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  3. When the oil is hot but not smoking, add the onions and red peppers and sauté for 3-4 minutes or until the onions turn translucent.
  4. Set aside the onions and peppers and sauté the garlic, paprika, cumin and black pepper for about a minute, taking care not to burn the garlic.
  5. Add the onions and peppers back into the pot and mix well with the spices and garlic.
  6. Add the rehydrated TVP and sauté for another minute, stirring constantly to avoid sticking or burning.
  7. Add the canned tomatoes, kidney beans, sweet corn and salt and reduce heat to low.  Mix well.
  8. Add the cheddar cheese and keep cooking and stirring for 2-4 minutes or until the cheese is about 50% melted.
  9. Remove from heat and mix in the coriander.
  10. Adjust salt and pepper to taste and you’re done.

Preparation Time:  10 minutes

Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Serves:  6

Difficulty: Easy

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