Leek & Potato Soup

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Leeks! Why did I not try these before now? It is the question I asked  myself when I bought them and made this soup the first time last month. They are visually amazing with wonderful layers and colours, so fresh and vibrant, just like the colours of new life coming up in Spring. Then there is the taste, subtle yet very distinct. Coming from the onion family it has a very delicate onion taste. I decided to use leeks to make a soup just to try the basic taste, not to mention many recipes I have read include putting leeks in soups and stews.

leek-and-potato-soup

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Vegetable Buns

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My father is a free mason, and when he used to go to the lodge, this is one of the more popular dishes that he would take as the vegetarian option. I remember my older sister helping our mother to make them for him to take. It is a good dish to serve as a snack, with afternoon tea or at parties. Because these can be prepared in advance and then baked before serving makes it good to serve at dinner parties. We tend to use the same filling and pastry as the vegetable pie, however I have also made these buns with the same filling as the toasted sandwich. Experiment with the ingredients you have or enjoy to make the buns.

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Mixed Vegetable Pie

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I find this dish to be one of those that has the comfort factor, fond childhood memories and something warm and spicy to eat in the cold weather. We tend to use the basic mix of vegetables similar to what is put in samosa filling – potato, carrot, peas, sweet corn, and onion, however you can use any mix of vegetables you like. As the filling is not very saucy, the addition of the white sauce and tomato ketchup, gives it a wonderful creamy moist texture, and a surprisingly good combination to add as my husband put it. I enjoy eating the pie on its own however, you can serve it with some salad.

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Vegetable & Multi grain Soup

multigrain-soup

I had a version of this soup at a friends house, when I was pregnant, it was so tasty and different to what I normally make, i.e. plain tomato or with pasta & vegetables (carrot, sweet potato, butternut squash etc.) In the past I have tried cauliflower soup and found it to be very bland, however the way that this has other vegetables and multi grains gives it a good depth of textures and added flavours. So you guessed it, as always I recreated it at home. My friend used the shop bought multi grain mix, however I made my own mix at home from the individual grains. You can put what ever vegetables you have – it does not have to be what I have used.
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Vegetarian Bean Burgers

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As we were growing up in Malawi, we rarely used to have the western fast foods, i.e. burgers, chips, onion rings etc. Then when we moved over here to England, we tried a few of these fast food places, but were always sceptical because we never really knew what the ingredients were and how it was made. Being a vegetarian, who does not even eat eggs, sometimes the fast food places that serve vegetarian burgers leave us wondering is it really vegetarian?? I have enjoyed the Burger King spicy bean burgers in the past, and have also tried various brands of frozen vegetarian burgers at home. Each one has their own unique way of presenting the vegetables and other ingredients, and hence each one gives a different taste. So I tried to recreate them at home, and came up with my own version instead which is filled with lots of vegetables and  herbs, packed full of flavour. After many attempts at trying out different quantities of ingredients and many a broken patties, due to not binding very well, I finally perfected the recipe to what I thought was good. At least I know what I am putting in and can adjust the taste to what we would enjoy, this way the doubt at the back of my mind is not there. For this recipe I am posting I actually had to measure all the ingredients as I normally just put everything together 🙂 I guess the ultimate compliment was when one of our niece’s friend tried them recently and was really amazed to know that I had made them at home as opposed to the ready made ones that you just pre-heat. It is at times like this that you know you have done well…

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Mixed Vegetables Curry

The most basic and quickest curry to put together, especially if you keep frozen mixed vegetables. After moving to England from Malawi, we used to have a lot of mixed vegetable curry, as we were told it was more cheaper then eating the more exotic vegetables we were used to. This curry is also good to put together when in a rush, as all the ingredients cook very quickly and do not require much preparation.

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Dabeli (Potato Burger )

I love spicy food that has a mouth watering tangy, savour flavour and there are many Indian fast foods which comes under such category. The best way to describe dabeli is it’s a kind of Indian style vegetarian burger made with potatoes. It is an Indian street food mostly eaten in the state of Gujarat and Maharashtra.

I have good memories of when I was living in India – sneaking out to eat them with my cousin and then being told off by the elders because they said we should never eat from street vendors – you’ll get ill. The way I see it street food is much more fresher than what you may get in a top hotel or restaurants as the vendors do not have anywhere to store extras so what ever they make has to be eaten on the same day, hence no need to worry – just enjoy 🙂

Even though a lot of street food is normally fried – my version of dabeli is different because it is healthier, no frying just dry roasting. The long list of items will make it look like a recipe which requires a lot of effort, but it is worth it for the taste explosion, and the various textures.

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