Hello everyone - @KatyRosePEM here with another fast and yummy dinner. I’m on a journey to give you sustainable, plant based, low fuss and high taste dishes. I hope I can give a nod to seasonality and trying to think about staying plastic-free (caveat: I work part time and have no children - plastic free is hard - but do check out if there is a plastic free refill shop locally).
As usual my veg box giveth me potatoes. And I give you this recipe. I’m sure it would make someone from Malaysia cry out for inauthenticity but I hope you can find forgiveness in your hearts - who knows, perhaps this will change habits of a lifetime. I first came across Gado Gado in Jamie Oliver’s Comfort some years ago but actually versions feature in Meehra Sodha’s East and Rukmini Iyer’s The Green Roasting Tin. This is my version after inspiration from them all. Feel free to mix up your roots - I like to keep some potatoes in here but sweet potatoes/swede/parsnip/beetroot/carrot all work well.
Prep time: 10-15mins
Cooking time: 45mins
Needs one large oven tray - the biggest you have - the one for the roast potatoes! Ideally a blender - but a jar will do.
- 500g new potatoes - chopped in half/quarters depending on the size (although to be honest I’ve done it with pretty much all types of potato)
- 500g celeriac (peeled) - chopped to a similar size as your potatoes
- 2 tbsp olive olil
- 250g green beans/asparagus (right now asparagus is in full British season - treat yourself)
- Spring greens/kale - approx 200g
- A bag of bean sprouts
Dressing - if you're using a blender just throw everything in whole - if not…
- 100g peanut butter (crunchy or smooth both work - I like crunchy but…)
- 1 small clove of garlic - crushed
- 50g (a small thumb) of ginger - grated
- 1 fresh red chilli - finely chopped
- Juice of 1-2 limes (aiming for approx 2 tbsp)
- 1 ½ tbsp soy sauce
- Water to slacken
- Heat the oven to 2o0C/390F/gas mark 6.
- Chop your potatoes (I only wash mine but leave the skin on) and celeriac into roughly the same sized pieces (smaller pieces takes longer to prep but shorter to cook - uses less fuel - just a thought).
- Toss round an oven tray with the olive oil. Pop into the oven.
- While these cook prepare your beans/asparagus (top and tail the beans if needed, cut of the woody asparagus ends). Remove the hard inner stalks and roughly shred up your kale/spring greens.
- Make your dressing - if you have a blender literally just pop all the ingredients in it (rough chopping the ginger may be required but that’s all) and whizz until you have a smooth paste. If you need to make it a bit looser add water, one tbsp at a time. You are aiming for custard thickness - spoonable.
- If a blender alludes you, get crushing and grating the garlic and ginger, super fine chop the chilli. Add to a jar with the rest of the ingredients - put the lid on and get shaking until well mixed.
- Once the potatoes and celeriac start to look a bit crispy (30mins or so depending on their size) then toss through the green beans/asparagus. Return to the oven for 5 minutes and then scatter over the kale for a further 5mins in the oven. The kale edges should be just getting some crispy bits and your done.
- Pull out of the oven toss everything together - including your beansprouts and at least half the dressing.
- Portion up and serve with some dressing dolloped on top.
Last time we had it I used swede as well as celeriac. I had a kale glut and there seemed enough greens so I ditched the beans and beansprouts. The time before I ditched the kale! Mix it up to match the seasons or whatever is going mouldy in your fridge!
Hi, I'm Justin Cheng, an ST5, currently working in Cambridgeshire Community Paediatrics. During a weekend, I’m very fond of making slow-cooked food like this Kakuni, a Japanese braised pork belly dish cooked in a very savoury and umami-packed sauce. Memories of childhood come back when eating this and it is one of my favourite comfort foods. I usually batch cook to make lunch for the next few working days but it can be made into an extra special evening meal with other toppings, like marinated boiled eggs, spring onions and shredded nori seaweed. Best served with simple white rice.
Prep time: 10-15 minutes
Cooking time: 3 hours
- 3 green onions, cut into 1 inch slices
- 5 cm piece of ginger, sliced
- 5-6 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 1 kg of pork belly, best whole
- 400mls dashi stock (this can be made with dashi powder bought from Asian supermarkets)
- 40mls light soy sauce
- 10mls dark soy sauce
- 50mls cooking sake
- 100mls mirin
- 4 tablespoons of sugar
- 2 spring onions, sliced for garnish
- 3 hard boiled eggs, peeled and left whole (optional)
- Nori seaweed (optional)
- Cut the pork belly into 5cmx5cm chunks. This is what gives the dish its name (Kakuni, literally meaning “squared simmered”) and the size allows the meat retain texture when cooked for a long time.
- In a large pot, brown the meat for 2-3 minutes just to add colour. If your saucepan doesn’t fit all the pork belly, do this in batches.
- Once done, set the pork belly aside and in the same pan, fry off the sliced green onions, crushed garlic and ginger slices for 30 seconds to release their fragrance. Put the pork belly chunks back into the pan and fill with water until it’s just covering the pork. Bring this to a simmer and cook for 2 hours at least. This method ensures any excess fat is removed and to remove excessive unwanted smell from the pork. Stir occasionally and top up with a bit more water if the braising liquid is reduced to 2/3 (Alternatively, if you have a pressure cooker or instant pot, do all the above in the cooking vessel, put onto high pressure and cook for 35 minutes.)
- Once the pork belly is cooked, remove from the pan or cooker and leave aside to cool. Reserve 400mls of the braising liquid.
- For the sauce and seasonings, prepare the dashi stock. If using dashi powder, use as instructed on the packaging and make 400mls. For more flavour, the reserved braising liquid can be used and half of the dashi powder can be added to it.
- In a Dutch oven or large heavy based saucepan, add both soy sauces, sugar, dashi stock, mirin and cooking sake. Bring to the boil and then add the pork belly pieces. Reduce the heat down to low and bring it to a gentle simmer. Cook for an hour and occasionally rotate the meat. If adding the hard boiled eggs, put them in the last half hour of cooking and rotate them. The sauce should reduce and glaze both meat and eggs but do taste and make sure it’s not too reduced; a little water can be added to the sauce if that is so.
- Once the hour of cooking has finished, it is ready to serve. This can be served over a bowl of white rice and if you are having the optional toppings, have the marinated hard boiled eggs sliced in half and top with finely sliced spring onions and shredded nori seaweed.
Swede and broccoli laksa
Hello everyone - @KatyRosePEM again. I hope you enjoyed the pasta receipe from last month. The next in our sustainable recipes section takes inspiration from Meera Sodha. I know this sounds strange, but trust me! It’s an absolute staple.
Meera starts her recipe with a quote from food critic Jay Rayner; to paraphrase, ‘Laksa has so many medicinal properties it should be available on the NHS by prescription’. I’d say it’s a sunny day hug in food form. I’ve suggested some ingredient cheats to speed everything up – feel free to use fresh lemongrass and prepare your own noodles from dry (use vermicelli if you do). And switch up swede with parsnip/celeriac/beetroot depending on preference. Sorry, this is strictly a two pot affair as you need a blender to make the paste.
The laksa paste (feel free to double or even triple – it freezes a dream):
- 6 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
- 3 cm ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 tsp chilli powder (feel free to add more if you are a chilli fiend)
- 2½ tsp ground cumin
- 2 tbsp lemongrass paste
- A pack (30g) fresh coriander, leaves and stalks
- 1 litre hot vegetable stock (from cubes is fine)
- Rapeseed/veg/sunflower oil
- 1 x 400 ml tin coconut milk
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 large or 2 small swede (approx. 800g), peeled
- Tenderstem/purple sprouting/regular broccoli into florets, about 200g
- 3 packs of quick cook noodles – fine
- ½ cucumber
- Garnish (I used pea shoots but more coriander, watercress or just nothing is great to)
- 2 limes, cut into 4 wedges each
- Heat the oven to 200C/390F/gas mark 6.
- To make the laksa paste, put the garlic, ginger, chilli powder, ground cumin, lemongrass, coriander stalks and two shallots into a blender with 150 ml stock, and whizz to a paste. Add a little more stock if too thick.
- Cut the peeled swede into quarters and then slice into roughly 1 cm half-moons.
- Place on a deep baking tray (like you use for a roast) and toss with some oil. Roast in the oven for about 25 minutes until some of the edges are a little blackened. Next toss through the paste – return to the oven for about 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile chop the cucumber and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and the juice of half a lime – leave on your chopping board with the leafy garnish of your choice.
- Then pour in the stock, coconut milk and sprinkle over the sugar. Mix up. Lay the broccoli on top and return to the oven for another 5 to10 minutes until the broccoli is just cooked. Check seasoning at this point and add a sprinkle of salt if needed.
- Stir through the ready cooked noodles and return to the oven for about 2 minute.
- Serve into big bowls and top with the cucumber and garnish. Lime on the side for people to add to taste.
One pot tomato pasta
My name is Katy Rose and I’m currently an ST6 in London. As part of the RCPCH climate commitments, I’ll be sharing a monthly plant based/planet friendly recipe to share with you all. My aim is to show everyone that veggie and vegan food can be tasty, easy and without a million pots and pans. I’d never considered this either but one pot/pan/tray cooking is not only time efficient but often energy efficient too – fewer things to wash up, fewer appliances whirring away!
Lots of these recipes will be inspired by lots of amazing cook books and chefs in particular Meera Sodha @meerasodha, Anna Jones @we_are_food, Yotam Ottolenghi @ottolenghi and Rukmini Iyer @missminifer!
To start with a dish which has become almost a weekly staple – the method here seems like madness. But as the saying goes – trust me, I’m a doctor. Thanks to Anna Jones for the inspiration here.
Serves 2 generously
- Spaghetti or linguine 250g
- Cherry (or regular) tomatoes 200g
- Zest of 1 large lemon
- Olive oil 50ml
- Vegetable stock 500ml (I use stock cubes - tomato ones are even better here but a little hard to locate)
- Kale/chard/tender-stem broccoli or spinach 200g
- Half a jar of chargrilled marinated artichoke hearts (optional)
- Parmesan/vegan alternative cheese (optional)
A range of green veggies works here but the cooking times vary a little. If using broccoli I add a couple of minutes earlier. And when I’m feeling really virtuous I chop the kale stalks and add them to the pot with the pasta right at the start. When I’m feeling bougie I add the artichoke hearts but it is delicious without!
Prepare your veggies:
- Kale - rip up the leaves a little and finely slice the stalks if using.
- Chard - finely slice all the way up.
- Broccoli and spinach don't need prep.
Put the pasta into the pan.
- Roughly chop the tomatoes in half/smaller if using regular tomatoes and pop into the pan with the pasta (I know this seems odd but trust me).
- Grate in the zest of the lemons and add the oil (don’t scrimp on the oil).
- Add the kale stalks if using.
- Add 500ml of boiling stock, put a lid on the pan and bring to the boil.
- As soon as it boils, remove the lid and simmer on a high heat for 6 minutes, using a pair of tongs to turn the pasta as it cooks.
- Add broccoli at this point if using.
Once the pasta has had six minutes, add the kale leaves/chard/spinach and artichoke hearts (if using) and continue to cook for a further 2 minutes.
Once almost all the water has evaporated, take the pan off the heat and pop into bowls. Season to preference and top with a little parmesan for extra yum. If the tomatoes are really sweet a squeeze of lemon juice for balance can also work wonders!
Prior to becoming a doctor, Chris Dadnam worked as a chef. Now he uses his knowledge and love for cooking to create healthy and manageable meals that can batch cook and freeze to also have during clinical shifts. This helps reduce the costs of buying food at work and you know you're eating something nutritious! Chris hopes that by sharing his recipes with fellow healthcare workers that it will get everyone joining in as well! Enjoy!
For the recipe you will need a blender. The quantities below will serve two people (or two portions that you can freeze).
For the pancake mix
- Two eggs
- One heaped handful of oats (or if you're hungry, two handfuls)
- One tablespoon of peanut butter
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder (if you use self raising flour instead of oats ignore this step)
- One or two dates +\- prunes for sweetness and fiber
- One banana
- 100 mls of any type of milk - I like coconut milk - it's low-calories and sweet
- Tablespoon of honey/ sweetener
For the toppings
- Mixed fruits/berries of your choice - fresh or frozen
- Sprinkle of nuts/seeds (optional)
- Fruit yoghurt (optional)
- Separate two yolks from the eggs and whisk the whites in a bowl, adding sweetener or honey too, until you have stiff peaks. Then put aside.
- Blend the rest of your ingredients it into a paste. Add more milk if needed to get smooth.
- Slowly add to whisked egg whites. Fold to mix - don’t whisk or you'll lose the air.
- Line a deep oven pan with parchment paper.
- Pour half the mixture in then add a layer of fresh or frozen fruits - use berries of your choice.
- Then pour rest on top to cover.
- Can add nuts/seeds on top.
- Bake 140 degrees C in a fan oven for 30 to 40 minutes. Check middle to make sure it's dry - and it’s done!
Note: The more baking powder you add the more cake like texture you’ll get. If you prefer the traditional pancake method on a pan, there’s no need to add any other raising agent as the egg whites will make them fluffy!
Thin crust pizza
For the base
- 100 mls of warm water
- One tablespoon of dried yeast
- One tablespoon of sugar
- 250g of flour (plus extra to dust)
- One teaspoon of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon of dried garlic or 1/2 clove of fresh garlic, grated
For the sauce
- Two tablespoons of tomato purée
- Water from the mozarella packet
- One teaspoon of salt and half teaspoon of pepper
- Pinch of dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
For the toppings
- One mozarella ball
- Additional toppings based on personal preference
- Fresh spinach leaves
- First put 100 mls of warm water into a jar, Add one tablespoon of dried yeast and sugar - mix and leave to rise the in microwave (not on!) for 10 minutes.
- Sieve into a bowl 250mg of flour (self raising or plain), one teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of pepper and dried garlic (or grate 1/2 clove of fresh).
- Add the yeast mix and kneed for two to three minutes, or until dough bounces back.
- Leave in bowl and add a few sprays of oil on top. Place back into the microwave for one hour to rise.
- If you don’t have yeast, then self raising flour and warm water will do. Or use plain flour and one teaspoon of baking powder and leave for 30 minutes.
- You can also substitute water mix for natural yoghurt: use 250 mg of flour to 200 ml of yoghurt, knead into a mix and leave for 30 minutes.
- Put into a small bowl two tablespoons of tomato purée and some of water from mozzarella packet, one teaspoon of salt, dried oregano and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper.
- Mix and leave to thicken.
- Whatever takes your fancy really!
- Slice all veggies into thin slices. Quickly fry with salt, pepper and dried oregano and leave to cool.
- If you're using mushrooms and peppers, add these first into an empty frying pan - no oil - and wait for the lovely smell to fill the room.
- Cut dough into two and roll out into thin base, roughly to shape of the tray.
- Bake the dough in preheated oven at 200 degrees C for five minutes.
- Take out and spread on the tomato base.
- Place back in the oven for a further five minutes
- Remove and turn up the oven to 250 degrees C or maximum temperature.
- Add fresh spinach leaves on the base first, followed by the cooked and seasoned toppings, finished with mozzarella cheese (I use one ball of reduced fat for both pizzas).
- Put back in the oven until the top is nice and golden, then remove from the oven.
- If you have fresh basil leaves, rip up and sprinkle on top of the hot pizzas.