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Potato & Courgette Flan

The Great Vegetarian Diet

The best vegetarian diets are diets where you don’t even realise meat is lacking from your diet.  I can go for months, even years without eating meat and not missing it because my vegetarian food is just so good and full of the nutrients I need to get by.  I find that meat eaters are worryingly obsessed with meat to the point that if there is no meat on the dinner table they literally freak out.  It is hilarious to watch, it’s like they are about to break out in hives or suffer serious palpitations if they are not allowed to exercise their canivorism.  It is okay to not eat meat.  Just try some of my delicious vegetarian recipes and see for yourself that you can have a lovely meal without meat.  So step out of your comfort zone and explore new ways of incorporating vegetables into your diet.  I used wholemeal flour to make the pastry from scratch, I really though it added a greater level of depth for my flan.  I used minimal seasoning and served this dish with a light salad.  It is excellent for a starter, lunch or a simple light meal.

This recipe was adapted from The Dairy Book of Family Cookery (Ebury Press, 1983).

flan

Ingredients:

225g wholemeal flour, pinch of salt, 100g butter (chilled and cubed), 450g potatoes (peeled and diced), 225g courgettes (finely chopped), 1 small onion (skinned and sliced), freshly ground black pepper, 2 eggs, 300ml milk, 150g cheddar cheese (grated), a small handful of cherry tomatoes (quartered).

Method:

  1. Mix the flour and salt together in a bowl.
  2. Rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  3. Add 3 tbsps chilled water, mix until the the flour begins to stick together.
  4. Collect the dough mixture together to form a ball.
  5. Knead lightly for a few seconds to give a firm smooth dough.
  6. Wrap in cling film and leave in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  7. Roll out on a lightly floured surface.
  8. Line a 10 inch flan dish.
  9. Bake blind in the oven for 20 minutes.
  10. Cook the potato until tender in a saucepan of boiling water.
  11. Drain.
  12. In a frying pan gently fry the onion with the courgettes until soft.
  13. Place the vegetables in the flan case.
  14. Beat together the eggs, milk and cheese.
  15. Pour over the filling and then scatter the tomatoes on the top.
  16. Bake in the oven at 180 degrees C for 30 minutes.

Vegetable Cake/ Pudding Dulux

Possibilities

Cooking is a lot like dancing,  so many steps have already been done but the combination of steps you can do are infinite.  I was going to make a carrot cake but then I saw some courgettes and thought how cool would it be to make a low fat sugar cake mainly using vegetables.  I told a few people of my plans but the only person who approved was mummy.   What can I say… My mummy just has a better imagination than most.  The cake/ pudding ended up tasting wonderful,  I made so many alterations I wasn’t sure how it was going to come out. I don’t think I have ever made a cake with so many vegetables.  If you are going to make a vegetable cake then carrots and courgettes are usually the best way to go because carrots are sweet and courgettes contain a lot of moisture and do not taste of anything.  Therefore it allows you time to think of other ingredients that could be used to flavour the pudding. Take a walk on the wild side and try this exciting new cake.

This recipe was seriously adapted from The Hummingbird Bakery: Cake Days (Harper Collins Publishers, 2011).

vegetable pudding

Ingredients:

250g carrots (peeled and grated), 250g courgettes (grated), 140g sultanas, 2 tbsps mixed spice, 80ml buttermilk, 4 large eggs, 1 tsp vanilla essence, 250g butter (melted), 100g dark brown sugar, 450g plain flour, 2 tsps baking powder, 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda.

Method:

  1. Pre heat the oven to 170 degrees C.
  2. In a large bowl mix the vegetables, sultanas, buttermillk, eggs, vanilla and butter.
  3. In another bowl sift in the plain flour and mix with the sugar, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and combine well.
  5. Divide into 2 x 10 inch cake tins.
  6. Bake for 1 hour until the pudding is firm to the touch.

Saffy’s Serving Tips:

As this is an odd recipe I have providing some serving tips if you are slightly apprehensive eating this delicious dessert/ pudding alone.

  1. Custard! Try my home made vanilla custard!
  2. Ice Cream! Try my home made rum and raisin ice cream it goes perfect with this!
  3. Blitzed bananas and mango slices!  Trust me it’s awesome and complimentary to anyone on a diet.  That’s if your diet is cool and not super strict which doesn’t allow a few cakes every now and again.
  4. A smile! This is necessary!  Fall in love with your food,  nourishment is to be enjoyed!

Cheat’s Christmas Cake

Early Bird

I like to start making my Christmas cakes early, traditional West Indian great cakes and fruit cakes can be made years in advance.  This Christmas cake is for people who want to make a Christmas cake a few months before and have enough booze to booze it up so Christmas guests will be too merry to realise it may not be the real deal!  Anyway it was provided by Levi Roots so I can guarantee it’s legit.  Everything from Kamaria’s Kitchen is tried, tested and most importantly eaten… Lol!

This recipe was taken from Levi Roots’ Reggae Reggae Cookbook ( Harper Collins Publishers, 2009).

Ingredients:

250g mixed dried fruit, finely grated zest of a lemon, 300ml dark rum, 250g butter (cut into small cubes and a bit left over for greasing, 225g molasses sugar, 1/2 tsp vanilla essence, 3 medium eggs, 250g self – raising flour, 1 tbsp ground mixed all spice, 1/2 tsp ground all spice, 4 tbsps brandy.

Method:

  1. Put the dried fruit and lemon zest in a large jar.  Pour in some rum and leave the fruit to macerate for as long as you have.
  2. Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees C.
  3. Grease and line the base and sides of an 8 inch cake tin.
  4. Put the butter, sugar and vanilla essence into a large bowl.
  5. Beat well until light and fluffy.
  6. Gradually add the eggs and tbsps of flour to stop the mixture from curdling.
  7. Sift in the remaining flour and spice.
  8. Gently fold the mixture.
  9. Spoon the mixture into the tin.
  10. Bake for 1 1/2 hours or until a cocktail stick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  11. Pour over the brandy and leave it to cool in the tin.
  12. Turn the cake out of the tin and keep wrapped in foil.

Bavarian Potato Salad

“Guilt Free Carbs!”

Dear Kamaria’s Kitchen,

I am trying to stop purging and I have been seeking out foods which I will be happy to keep down.  Carbs scare me as you can imagine, I love them but at the same time I feel like if I don’t release them from my body I will get fat.  The carbs I mostly eat are fast food, high in fat and have little flavour just feel good foods.  I have been set goals to start eating meals rather than splurging and with friends to just hold it down. May I please have a carb recipe that might help me,  maybe something that goes well with fish? I want to be able to eat with new friends.

Dear Ghostbuster,

It is time for you to conquer those carbs and I want to personally give you a tremendous virtual round of applause for taking the first steps towards fighting the urge to purge.  So many people have problems with carbohydrates whether they have eating disorders or not because it is a food group that is seriously misunderstood.  Carbohydrates are friendly as are sugars as are any other food group if eaten in moderation and within reason as part of a healthy diet.  High fat fast foods are designed to be a quick fix and not something you can really savour.  I have therefore come up with a side taken from an old cookbook that gives fresh potatoes a new sex appeal.  Learn to indulge in a good way, learn to love food again.  What can help with this experience is experimenting with foods where you can really use the senses of sight and smell as well as taste.  Fast food is not very appealing let’s face it so how about you start making beautiful carb rich foods that you will enjoy keeping in your body to let it work it’s magic.  Light heartedness aside carbohydrates keep you alive so please continue to battle these demons and work on your psychological relationship with food.  You are making excellent progress and I really hope others follow in the footsteps of those who reach out to me.  These potatoes go great with a white fish as well.   This recipe makes a few portions so you can cook when having friends over. Enjoy!

Recipe & Method:

  1. Wash 2 pounds of tiny new potatoes and boil until just tender (leave the skin on).
  2. Heat 4 tbsps of olive oil in a frying pan.
  3. Add 4 finely chopped spring onions and 1 crushed garlic clove cooking until soft.
  4. Then add 2 tbsps of freshly chopped dill and cook gently for a minute.
  5. Pour in 2 tbsps of wine vinegar and 1/2 tsp of sugar.
  6. When the sugar melts move from the heat and add a little seasoning.
  7. Drain the potatoes, pour over the dressing.
  8. Season to taste and add a some fine chopped parsley on the top for garnish.

Date, Apple And Celery Starter

“Crunch at Brunch”

Dear Kamaria’s Kitchen,

I am currently recovering from an eating disorder.  I dislike cooking though so my diet is far more basic than the doctor would like.  I dislike the idea of having a savoury and then sweet meal.  I wish I could combine the two meaning that I can eat less but get the same quality from both.  I am at a stage where I can try new things but I tend to stick to liquidising everything.  I usually skip breakfast but I am challenging myself to chew something around lunchtime.  I am not sure what I am looking for but I would like your help. 

Dear Captain,

I am calling you “Captain” because you are taking control of your life which is very noble and I am still hyped from the latest Star Trek film.  I think it is fantastic that you are ready to include more solid foods in your diet, however I do encourage you to try and have something small within an hour after waking up or just after.  Maybe you can try one of my healthy juices for breakfast and try this recipe along with others for the rest of the day.  This “crunch for brunch” recipe took me a while to warm up to because I am not necessarily a fan of some of the ingredients, but when mixed with other ingredients including coconut it became more tolerable.  I have a feeling you will like this one.  It is actually a salad that mixes sweet with savoury flavours.  It requires barely any cooking and definitely includes the crunch that you have been looking for.  Please do try taking my advice in eating something for breakfast.  I think that it is fantastic you are seeking new ways to make you diet healthier and I encourage you to carry on.  Salads usually involve a crunch and allow you to make many variations which can include exciting new foods like pomegranate seeds and chickpeas.  I hope you can also find some salads I have made that you might like to try which includes nourishing foods that will help you on your road to recovery.  I wish you all the best of luck captain, live long and prosper.  Please update me with how you are coping and let me know what you thought of this salad/ starter.

Recipe & Method:

  1. Toast 2 tsps of desiccated coconut in a dry frying pan over a very low heat until the golden brown.  Set aside.
  2. Core and dice 2 crisp apples and chop 3 sticks of celery finely.
  3. Put 75g dates into boiling water, drain then chop finely.
  4. Combine the fruit in a mixing bowl with 2 tbsps of yoghurt and salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with toasted coconut.

All of the ingredients can be found at most supermarkets.  Ready to eat dates are also available so there will be no need to boil them.

Frangipane/ Bakewell Tart

Mummy wants / Mummy gets

Mummy is the queen of the castle and when she makes a food request it is best I honour it, otherwise I will never hear the end of it and will not be satisfied until she gets it.  So I surprised mummy dearest by making her my first ever bakewell tart.  After giving me the thumbs up I can now start back to experimenting.  It’s nice to do the classics.  Due to the addition of jam the tart is very sweet so if you are worried about the amount of sugar use less jam.

This recipe was taken from Mary Berry’s Baking Bible (BBC Books, 2009).

IMG_6277

Ingredients:

100g plain flour, 100g softened butter, 100g caster sugar, 3 large eggs, strawberry jam, 65g ground almonds, almond extract, 50g chopped almonds.

Method:

  1. In a bowl rub in 100g of plain flour and 50g of butter with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  2. Stir in the sugar and then add two large egg yolks.
  3. Mix until the ingredients come together to form a dough.
  4. Knead the mixture until gently smooth.
  5. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and leave to rest in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
  6. While the dough is chilling make the frangipane.
  7. Melt the remaining butter and beat in a medium bowl with the sugar.
  8. Beat in the remaining egg and then stir in the ground almonds and almond extract.
  9. Line a large pastry case with the sweet dough pastry after rolling it out.
  10. Place a layer of strawberry jam at the bottom of it.
  11. Fill the rest of the pastry case with the frangipane.
  12. Scatter the chopped almonds over the top.
  13. Bake at 180 degrees C.
  14. When golden and firm remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool.

Quick Cookies

Practice Cookies 

Mummy wanted cookies,  I wanted to practice making cookies.  Cookies.  My reasons for baking were as simple as that.  La la la la cookies fairy princess day!

This recipe was taken from Mary Berry’s Baking Bible (BBC Books, 2009).

IMG_6161

Ingredients:

100g softened butter, 50g caster sugar, 150g self – raising flour.

Method:

  1. Beat the butter and sugar together into a bowl until creamy.
  2. Add the flour and bring the mixture together to forma dough.
  3. Lightly grease baking trays.
  4. Pre heat the oven to 160 degrees C.
  5. Form the dough into small balls and press into circles.
  6. Place on the baking trays with over an inch in between of them.
  7. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes in the oven.
  8. Leave on a wire rack to cool.