10 Tasty Tomato Recipes

Five red tomatoesTomatoes are bursting with goodness and look great on the plate, but sometimes you want to do something different than just put them in a boring cold salad. From chutney and jelly to pasta and quiche, and hot and cold soups, here are a range of tasty tomato recipes to try.

1• Chilli Tomato Jelly

Use to accompany cheese or white fish, add to pasta or bread. Packed with antioxidants from tomato, lemons and chillies. (www.waitrose.com)

2• Rosemary Tomato Tart With Creamed Goats Cheese

Tomato on a bed of puff pastry, flavoured with rosemary and scrumptious goats cheese. A great starter dish. (Marie Claire Australia)

3• Sausages and Green Lentils With Tomato

The Italian take on sausage and mash. Good, hearty, casual food. Serve in a bowl and tuck right in. (www.jamieoliver.com)

4• Roasted Tomato Soup With Crispy Bacon

Onions, garlic and bacon add a tasty touch to this sweet, roasted tomato soup. (www.waitrose.com)

5• Pasta Bake

Here’s a good basic tomato and cheese pasta bake. Add to the ingredients to suit your mood, anything goes: chicken, tuna, bacon, prawns . . . (www.utterlyrecipes.com)

6• Feta, Prosciutto and Tomato Quiche

Look at the picture for this recipe and you’ll want to make it. Make it vegetarian by using veggie sausage instead. The recipes says use ‘grape’ tomatoes, but any smaller tomato, like cherry tomatoes, will do. (www.taste.com.au)

7• Fiery Tomato and Mustard Seed Chutney

A beautifully contrasting chutney for cheese, with spice courtesy of chillies, ginger and mustard seeds. (www.waitrose.com)

8• Chilled Roasted Tomato and Red Pepper Soup

A silky smooth soup that dazzles the tastebuds with robust flavours of roasted peppers and tomatoes, and a warming touch of ginger. Serve chilled. (www.bbc.co.uk)

9• Awesome Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni

Crispy, golden, cheesy cannelloni stuffed with spinach in a tomato base. Pure gorgeousness. (www.jamieoliver.com)

10• Greek Salad

A traditional Greek salad. Perfect for summer. (www.itv.com)

Tomatoes are bursting with goodness. Find out all about the nutrients in tomatoes.



10 Tasty Broccoli Recipes

Broccoli is one of the best vegetables for you, but you don’t have to just eat it boiled or steamed and shoved over to the side of your plate! Here are 10 more exciting ways to cook broccoli from pancakes and pasta, to rice, noodles, quiche and soup.

1• Quick Broccoli and Stilton Soup

Just 5 ingredients and ready in around 20 minutes. (From waitrose.com)

2• Broccoli Crunch

A tasty mix of cooked broccoli, candied nuts, crunchy apples, shallots and red onions in a creamy almond dressing. (From 101cookbooks.com)

3• Emeril’s Broccoli and Cauliflower Au Gratin

Cheesy florets with a spicy kick of cayenne baked until golden brown. (From abcnews.go.com)

4• Sesame, Chilli and Honey-Drizzled Broccoli

Broccoli is great for soaking up flavour. This flavoursome recipe combines sweet and spicy ingredients. (From waitrose.com)

5• Broccoli Pancakes

An easy, nutritious and delicious recipe from Dr Weil. (From drweil.com)

6• Cheddar Bacon Broccoli Quiche

You can change this basic recipe to include your favourite cheese or swap the bacon for another veg and make it vegetarian. (From cookingnook.com)

7• Italian Broccoli & Salmon Bake

A heavenly pasta recipe with sundried tomatoes, capers and basil. (From bbcgoodfood.com)

8• Broccoli Walnut Noodles

An interesting looking dish with extra-wide noodles and a wonderful contrast of flavours, including walnuts, orange and lemon. (From walnuts.org)

9• Broccoli Rice Pilaf

A good every-day or dinner-party dish that would go well with chicken or tuna. (From dairygoodness.ca)

10• Cheesy Pancakes with Cauliflower and Broccoli

Gorgeous creamy cheesiness, wrapped in a pancake. Cwor . . . let me at it! (From waitrose.com)

And one more for luck (couldn’t resist it)!

11• Broccoli and Potato Gratin

A lovely, simple, creamy gratin with added oats and celeriac, if you fancy it. (From eatthinkandbemerry.wordpress.com)

Find out what nutrients are in broccoli.


What to Do with Pak Choi

dec13 Veg boxThis week’s box has: • Potatoes • Turnips • Raw beetroot
• Carrots • Cabbage • Parsnips • Pak choi

The beetroot will definitely get juiced, the parsnips will be made into one of the recipes in my 10 Tasty Parsnip Recipes post and I quite fancy the Honey Creamed Turnips here.

pak choi

What is Pak Choi?

This week’s ‘first’ is the pak choi – also known as bok choy and Chinese cabbage. According to Wikipedia, pak choi is related to the cabbage and belongs to the same vegetable species as the turnip – which I would never have guessed.

All of pak choi is edible, I just cut off and discard the very bottom of the stems. The leaves can be eaten raw in salad or are quick to wilt by steaming, sauteing or stir frying.

The stalks hold their water well, which makes them refreshing to eat. They take a little longer than the leaves to cook, so put them in the pan first.

Pak Choi Recipe Ideas

Today I had half of my pak choi in a stir fry with tofu and any other random thing I could find, including a courgette, half a chilli and some brazil nuts.

If you are looking for a more adventurous recipe, here are some ideas:

What Nutrients Are in Pak Choi?

Pak choi is a very good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, riboflavin (B2), vitamin B6, folic acid, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and manganese, and a good source of fibre, protein, thiamin (B1), niacin (B3) and phosphorus.


10 Tasty Parsnip Recipes

ParsnipsChristmas isn’t Christmas without parsnips! The smell and taste are unlike any other. But once the Christmas dinner is eaten, what else can you do with these traditional veg?

Here are ten parsnip recipe to give you some new ideas aside from classic roasties, including soups and side dishes, tasty main meals and even wine!


1 • Parsnip and Carrots with Soy, Honey and Orange

Roasted parsnips with a tasty twist. (From waitrose.com)

2 • Parsnip and Caramelised Onion Tart

Parsnips cased in pastry and wrapped in cheesy yumminess. (From waitrose.com)

3 • Irish Parsnip Cakes

Quick parsnip patties made from cupboard staples. (From cdkitchen.com)

4 • Parsnip Soup

A pleasing, stomach-warming mix of parsnips, leeks and apples, with spicy curry powder and nutmeg. (From simple-healthy-recipes.com)

5 • Creamed Spinach and Parsnips

Just one word needed – yum! (From foodandwine.com)

6 • Kale with Garlic and Oven-Roasted Parsnips

Full of immune-boosting nutrients. (From delish.com)

7 • Roasted Vegetables with Cardamon

Other recipes at this link include: • Parsnip and Potato Casserole • Parsnip Puree With Apple Layers • Parsnip, Potato and Cheese Cakes • Parsnip, Leek and Carrot Gratin. (From abelandcole.co.uk)

8 • Sauteed Parsnips

Cooked slowly to be tender on the inside and crunchy on the outside (arrrrmadilloooo). Finished with soy sauce. (From noblefoodsfarm.com)

9 • Parsnip Slaw

A new twist on coleslaw for a tangier salad. (From emerils.com)

10 • Parsnip Wine

Cheers! Santé! Prost! Zum Wohl! (From scorpius.spaceports.com)

Also check out Vegging Out’s guide to making your own vegetable crisps. Fresh, homemade parsnip crisps are a real treat.

Parsnip photograph by ghbrett from Flickr.


10 Great Spinach Recipes

1• Parmesan Spinach Cakes

Full of cheesy and spinachy yumminess. Use as part of breakfast with sausages, as a side dish or as part of a main meal. (From http://www.eatingwell.com)

2• Spicy Baked Eggs with Spinach and Yoghurt

A quick, Turkish-style egg dish with a spicy kick. (From http://www.waitrose.com)

3• Shrimp and Orange Spinach Salad

Perfect for anyone who loves the Chinese taste of ginger, soy sauce and sesame. (From http://www.chinesefooddiy.com)

4• Greek Spinach Pie

Spinach, garlic, pastry, onions and feta – straight from the Mediterranean. (From http://www.bfeedme.com)

5• Greek Spinach Cheese Rolls

The ideal companion for soup and great for picnics and sandwich boxes. (From http://www.howstuffworks.com)

6• Spinach Gnocci

Make a few as a starter or lots for a filling main meal. Be prepared to get your hands spinachy! (From http://www.waitrose.com)

7• Spinach Frittata

Spinach omelette-style with a kick of sun-dried tomatoes. Mmm mmm! (From http://www.elise.com)

8• Spinach Cannelloni with Bacon and Walnuts

An Italian favourite finished with spicy nutmeg. Make it with or without bacon. (From http://www.foodandwine.com)

9• Creamed Spinach Gratin

Cheesy, garlicky, spinachy yum. Add mashed potato for a vegetarian shepherd’s pie. (From http://www.whatwereeating.com – scroll down for the recipe)

10• Cream of Spinach Soup

A warming soup with chicken broth and sour cream. Substitute with vegetable stock to make it vegetarian. (From http://www.elise.com)


10 Tasty Brussels Sprouts Recipes

1• Pan-Fried Brussels Sprouts with Red Onion, Chilli and Cumin Seeds

Eat on its own, add cheese or use as an accompaniment to meat. (From eatthinkandbemerry.wordpress.com)

2• Stir-Fried Sprouts with Chestnuts

Brussels sprouts and chestnuts . . . that’s Christmas on a plate. (From http://www.waitrose.com)

3• Brussels Sprouts in Onion Butter

The chicken stock and onions add more flavour to our little green friends. (From http://www.recipezaar.com)

4• Golden-Crusted Brussels Sprouts

Simple, quick and cheesy – mmmmmm. (From http://www.101cookbooks.com)

5• Spicy Brussels Sprouts and Carrots

Brussels casserole style with a ‘unique flavour’ courtesy of onion, horseradish and parsley. (From http://www.tasteofhome.com)

6• Brussels Sprouts with Apples

Brussels with apple, lemon, raisins and nutmeg, perfect for sweet-tooths. (From find.myrecipes.com)

7• Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Roasted with cayenne pepper for a spicy tang. (From http://www.cookography.com)

8• Hashed Brussels Sprouts with Lemon

With garlic, mustard and vermouth. Mmmm. (From http://www.elise.com)

9• Warm Brussels Sprouts Salad

Warm and satisfying with garlic, bacon and country-style bread. (From http://www.msnbc.msn.com)

10• Creamed Brussels Sprouts

Rich and creamy with aromatic nutmeg. Pure indulgence. (From http://www.sprig.com)


What to Do with Brussel Tops

My veg box comes with a small newsletter/order form each week and on this it tells you what you might expect in next week’s box. This week it listed brussel tops, which is something I haven’t seen in the box for months.

When I first got brussel tops I didn’t know what to do with them. I had a good search on the internet for ideas, but there didn’t seem to be any ideas out there.

Now I am expecting a visit from the brussel tops fairy, I want to be prepared. I also figure that there may be other people out there who are having the same ‘what do I do with brussel tops’ conundrum.

Basic Ways to Cook Brussel Tops

The first time I tried brussel tops I ended up throwing them into a stir fry and found that they had a subtle brussel-sprout taste with a slightly bitter edge. But as far as greens go, they didn’t leave a lasting impression.

The last time I wrote about brussel tops, reader Angie Elder left a comment saying:

Years ago we used to eat Brussel tops the same was you would spring greens, broccoli, curly kale, and cabbage, as an accompaniment to a meal. My mum used to boil them in salted water until tender as you would any other greens. These weren’t just the tops from sprouts that we grew, but you could easily buy Brussel tops in the supermarkets in bags as you do spring greens, and they were readily available on market stalls . . .

So, basically, we need to treat brussel tops just like any other greens.

New Ideas for Brussel Tops

To find some new ideas, instead of searching for brussel tops recipes I searched for sites that had good recipes and articles on cooking greens.

The best information I found was on the Fine Cooking website. The article covers everything you want to know about cleaning, storing, preparing and cooking greens. The recipes there include a Creamy Parmesan Swiss Chard Gratin, which I reckon would fare just as well as a Creamy Parmesan Brussel Tops Gratin!

Other Great-sounding Recipes

Alternatively, just cook your brussel tops simply as Angie suggested and add a splash of olive oil, and your choice of chopped garlic, chopped chilli, toasted sesame seeds, bacon, parmesan cheese, sunflower seeds, chopped olives . . .

I think that, when brussel tops do appear in my veg box again, a Creamy Parmesan Brussel Tops Gratin may be in order. That sounds good to me.


Kohl Rabi – What It Is and What to Do with It

Kohl rabi

So, What’s This Kohl Rabi Then?

Introducing the Sputnik Cabbage Turnip . . .

Kohl Rabi seems to be most commonly described as a spherical, Sputnik-like relative of the cabbage. Translate its name and the German ‘kohl’ becomes cabbage, while the ‘rabi’ is linked to the word Rübe, which is Swiss-German for turnip (a reference to its shape, not its taste).

Often misclassified as a root vegetable, it grows just above the soil line, and comes in white (light green) and purple varieties. It is a member of the brassica family of vegetables, which includes: broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, mustard and sweeeeeeeeede.

Kohl Rabi Nutrition

Nutritionally, kohl rabi is a very good source of fibre, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Potassium, Copper and Manganese, and a good source of Vitamin B1 (thiamin), Vitamin B9 (folate), Magnesium and Phosphorus.

What Does Kohl Rabi Taste Like?

Well, I read that you can eat it raw and that the small green varieties have a sweetness similar to an apple, but my kohl rabi is BIG and purple.

With a potato peeler I took off the skin, which was thinner than I had imagined. I was met with a smell similar to that of cabbage stalk. Eaten raw it was certainly crunchy like an apple, but it tasted like, well . . . cabbage stalk.

Kohl Rabi Recipes

I searched for recipes on the Green Earth Institute and Simply Recipes websites, and chose to try Kohl Rabi Hash Browns, which were alright (but nothing to blog home about).

Here are some more kohl rabi recipe ideas:

My final verdict on kohl rabi? It’s alright! Next time I’ll try it a different way. The recipe for Kohl Rabi Indian Style sounded pretty good.


Places to Find Good Recipes Online


• Waitrose
This is a very well designed recipe finder. Just put your main ingredient in the search field and it will come up with a list of recipes and pictures so you know what to expect of the final result. In the advanced recipe finder you can choose by keyword, main ingredient, course, cooking time and preparation time. There are also 11 tick boxes, which cover different diets and allergies from vegan to diabetic to nut free. When you find recipes you like you can save them in your own online cookbook and print them out in a choice of formats. Obviously this site is connected to the store but unlike some brands, they don’t do that annoying thing of preceding the ingredients with their name.

• RecipeZaar
RecipeZaar is an American site so you’ll find a lot of references to ‘cups’ in their recipes. On this site you can also keep an online cookbook and there are a range of handy search options. Just type your ingredient in the search field or browse by course, ingredient, cuisine, diet, occasion or preparation. The recipes are posted by members of the site and include tips and comments among the members highlighting any problems or further ideas for the recipes. You can also email questions to the authors of the posts.

• Abel & Cole
Abel & Cole, the organic delivery people, have a clear and simple recipe selector. Choose from the alphabetical list of foods and scroll the recipes that come up.

My Favourite Books

• Matthew Drennan’s Simply Sensational Soup
The recipes in this book are easy to understand and have superb accompanying photographs. There are 75 soups from all around the world from Ireland and France to Greece, Mexico and Japan, and soups that are cold, hot, meat, fish and vegetarian. My favourites include Roasted Aubergine and Courgette Soup, Cauliflower and Broccoli Soup with Cheddar Cheese Croûtes, and Asparagus and Pea Soup with Parmesan Cheese. There are also great side dishes and snacks, including pumpkin crisps, rosemary scones, goat’s cheese crostini and moules marinière. My favourite recipe book by far.

• Michael Van Stratten’s Superjuice
I’ve had this book for years and I love it. If you need a vitamin boost, have surplus ingredients to use up or just fancy a juice, this book is very handy. There’s over 100 recipes sorted into eight chapters, including Cleansing Juices, Aphrodisiac Juices, Protective Juices, Booze Juices, and Shakes and Smoothies. Each juice is introduced with information on its healing properties and comes with a ‘vital statistics’ panel breaking down all the nutrients. At the back you can choose juices by your symptoms, and a detox juice diet is also included.

Cabbage Soup Recipes

Soup Fresh From the Cabbage Patch

One of the things about getting a veg box is that you get the veg just as nature intended. It hasn’t been chopped into a precise shape or squeezed into plastic with all the air sucked out.

We’re so used to seeing our veg packaged and looking ‘perfect’ on a supermarket shelf that when we see it in its natural state it almost looks weird. All furled out and supremely healthy, my cabbage stretched across the entire box.

I want to make the most of this lovely fresh cabbage so half of it will be used as the green part of a few meals and the other half will go in a soup.

My Cabbage Soup Recipe

Most of the soups I’ve made pretty much follow the same recipe: fry a chopped onion in butter until soft/golden, add the rest of the chopped vegetables (in this case half a cabbage) and steam/fry for about 5 minutes. Then add the stock (I use about a pint of stock made with a couple of teaspoons of swiss vegetable bouillon, which gives you two generous bowl fulls), season and simmer for about 20 minutes.

I add garlic to my soup before I whizz it up with a hand blender. When the soup is ready to be served I add a little sea salt, which really brings out the flavour, and scatter the top with grated cheese.

Now, I know that the words ‘cabbage’ and ‘soup’ probably don’t have you salivating, but this is one tasty soup! With the added cheese it is really filling so you don’t always need to eat it with bread.

More Cabbage Soup Recipes

If you fancy being a little more adventurous, here are some more cabbage soup recipe ideas:

What Nutrients are in Cabbage?

Cabbages are extremely nutritious. Their nutrients include: vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, C and K, calcium, magnesium, manganese and potassium. Cabbages are also an important source of fibre and phytochemicals reported to inhibit the growth of cancer.

With all this goodness, cabbage soup can give you a great vitamin boost.

Find out about the cabbage soup diet.