Monday, 25 January 2016

My Vegetarian Adventures

In my brief stint at university, I befriended a lovely girl. She helped me when I was stressed and she offered me numerous cups of tea when needed. Her only downfall*: She's a vegetarian...actually, as I write this, she has decided to become vegan but that is by the by.

As a result of this life decision, I have found myself recently put in the position of having to experiment in creating tasty vegetable dishes that I can provide when my friend comes to stay. Now, I am not a professional and these dishes were certainly not created with elegance in mind. They were made simply to taste good, to provide a warm meal after trecking from the underground in this frequently cold and rainy English weather and to fill any hole that may be present in the tummy.

When I cook, I tend to just experiment and 'go with the flow' so specific quantities and such are not something I focus on. I just go ahead and chop and throw and mix and serve, cross my fingers and hope for the best.

Feel free to give this one a go and tell me what you think:

Tomatoey, Soupy (not really but sort of) Goodness

Note: The tomatoes are a must to make the tomatoey goodness and onions are always good but when it comes to the greens or other veg, feel free to experiment. I've been known to chuck in some cubed courgette pieces (wild! I know!)

Tomatoes (classic medium round jobbies)
1 large onion (white or red, whatever floats your boat) finely chopped
Mushrooms cut as small as you like 
Spinach (steamed or however you normally cook it - I just like to steam personally)
Pak Choi leaves (torn in half if very big e.g. the outside leaves)
One vegetable stock cube
Garlic (1 clove) or Garlic Powder
Optional: chopped tomatoes or whole tinned plum tomatoes

1. Cut a small slit from top to bottom in each tomato and place in a bowl of boiling water. Leave to soak for a few minutes.
2. Throw the onions into a deep pan or casserole dish with a dash of olive oil on a medium/low heat to soften (don't let them burn)
3. Add the mushrooms, then pack choi and spinach and allow the vegetables to cook and soften to personal preference
4. Meanwhile, remove the tomatoes from the boiling water and you should see the skin has started to peel. Where easiest, use these areas to peel the tomatoes as much as possible (don't worry if it get's tricky, it's not the end of the world)
5. Chop the peeled (or not) tomatoes into quarters and then into thirds to produce smallish pieces and throw these into the pot with the vegetables allowing them time to soften and the juices to run (why not give it a stir too)
6. Grab your vegetable stock cube and drop into the pot pouring some boiling or warm water (not much but enough to cover the stock cube) and allow the stock to dissolve.
7. Stir and check the consistency of the mix. If you wish to add some tinned tomatoes or more stock, you can.
8. Finally, just add some crushed garlic or a dash or garlic powder, some salt and pepper and any other herbs you may like, give it a mix, a taste and ta daaa.

*Not to be taken literally/seriously, I have nothing against vegetarians, it's simply a joke from someone with a great appreciation for a good steak or a rasher or three of bacon.

With a grumbly tummy,

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