Autumn Cooking

The obligatory autumn roast: butternut squash,parsnips, carrots and peppers. Also added some sliced spring onions, ginger, chillies and garlic. Put the latter in later, so they don’t blacken too much during the baking. Another way to prevent this is to use foil on top of the roasting tin, but I prefer open roasting with this. I’m trying to recall the other ingredients involved… There was definitely olive oil, black mustard seeds, a little bit of Cajun spice mix, paprika… not much really, as the main flavour was supposed to come from the vegetables themselves – and it did! : )

With this I made a roast potato salad which can be eaten both warm and cold:

I consider it my crowning potato salad achievement!

Ingredients:
at least 6 large potatoes for roasting
1 packet of dried mung beans (500g)
optional: fennel
dill
lemon
(olive) oil
salt, pepper
optional: sugar, mustard

Soak mung beans overnight.
Next day, peel potatoes and slice into small cubes. Put then into a roasting tin with oil, some salt, a bit of cajun spice mix and cayenne pepper (I think that was all I put). Roast until tender (uncovered). Leave to cool.
Boil the mung beans for about 15 mins until soft. Drain and keep the water for the dressing and, if you want, for soup stock or making vegetable gravy.
If using fennel, separate the green bits from the fennel and keep them for the dressing. Cut fennel into small-ish bits and steam them tender.
Carefully mix cooled down potatoes, fennel and mung beans in a large bowl.
For the dressing, blend together lemon juice, a bit of mung bean cooking water, salt, olive oil, chopped fennel green (if using), (dried or fresh) dill, pepper, (if using) mustard (I used wholegrain mustard) and a bit of sugar. Pour dressing over salad and leave to soak for a bit. Tastes great cold or warmed up with some rye bread…

Of course, I also had to make something for Halloween. I was in the mood for pasta bake. Since all the black linguine was sold out at the shop I last spotted them at, I went for the more familiar green curly shapes:

As you can see, an appropriately colourful Halloween pasta bake… and also suitably gross… but tasty! Especially when you just look at the tomato base with the beans, fake steak strips and oyster mushrooms…

Ingredients:
Green pasta shapes (whichever are available in your supermarket)
Black beans (dried)
Tomato puree
Quorn steak strips and/or chicken pieces, soya meat or real steak strips
Oyster mushrooms
Feta cheese
Red leicester
Pumpkin seeds
Chives
Cinnamon, paprika, nutmeg, salt, pepper, cayenne, spices you like…
optional: garlic

Soak black beans overnight. Next day, boil them soft for about 45 mins. Drain and keep the water.
Boil pasta. Drain and place in a roasting tin.
Fry steak strips and oyster mushrooms (you could add a bit of cajun spice mix) separately, add them to the pasta along with the drained black beans and crumbled feta cheese.
Make the sauce from about a glass of tomato purree, using the liquid from the black beans. This will make your tomato sauce go purple and give it hint of a beany taste. I added some autumn spice to the sauce such as cinnamon, paprika, nutmeg, pepper, cayenne pepper etc. and, of course, salt, but you can make up your own spice combination from whatever you find in your spice rack. You can also add some garlic – or chopped onions.
Pour sauce over the other ingredients, mix and grate Red Leicester on top (or any other cheese you have available). If you have, sprinkle the bake with pumpkin seeds and/or chives.

With this I made beetroot, carrot, avocado and green salad for additional colour!

Also made a Roast Parsnip Chilli the other day. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture.

Ingredients:
500 g dried chick peas
at least 2 pounds of parsnips
about 1 large tin of tomato puree (about 500g I think)
fresh coriander
cayenne pepper
shallots or onions
garlic (to taste)
salt, pepper, spices

Soak chick peas overnight. Next day, boil them tender. Can take 1-2 hours.
Peel (or don’t peel) the parsnips, chop them into small-ish cubes. Roast with a bit of oil, water and your favourite spices (I once again used cajun spice mix – I love it! Especially in guacamole…). You can also add garlic and chopped shallots at this point – or add them later.
When the chick peas are tender, leave them in the cooking water. make sure there is enough, but not too much cooking water. Stir in the contents of the tin of tomato puree. Season to taste and add roast parsnips. Before serving, stir in lots of chopped fresh coriander. I served this with coarse carrot & dill bulgur.

Another dish I haven’t got a picture for (yet!) is the salad I made from stuff I found in my friends’ fridge:

Carrot, broccoli and wasabi salad

Grate carrots.
Chop raw broccoli very finely, add to grated carrots.
Make a dressing from oil, a bit of wasabi paste, sugar, salt, pepper and lemon juice. You can also add mustard.
Must make it again! : )

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