Veggie sausages

April 11, 2012 Leave a comment

I forgot to buy something to go with the delicious cauliflower I picked up this evening and decided to make my own from whatever was in the cupboards, luckily the mixed nuts were lurking there.


  • 1 finely sliced medium white onion
  • 1 heel of wholewheat breadcrumbs
  • 60g mixed nut kernels
  • 70g brown rice (cooked)
  • 3 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tsp mushroom ketchup (optional)
  • 1/3 tsp mixed herbs
  • 1/2 tsp garlic granules
  • 1/3 tsp of pimento powder
  • a large pinch of salt
  • a large pinch of black pepper


Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and thoroughly mix together until everything binds in a very thick paste.

Allow to rest for 10 minutes and then divide into two or three portions, then roll by hand into sausage shapes.

Heat a small frying pan with 2-3 tablespoons of rapeseed oil over a medium heat and fry the sausages turning every 3 mins or so until golden brown.

Best eaten as a dinner accompaniment but also suitable for a breakfast (perhaps without the pimento).

Categories: Burgers Tags: , ,

Minestrone (The Big Soup)

January 27, 2011 Leave a comment

I’ve held off making this soup for an age. Mainly because the traditional Irish vegetable soup ticks all the boxes and that’s what I’d normally go with. Today I fancied something different, so here it is.


  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp of sea salt crystals
  • a large pinch of freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 red onions
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • ¼ red pepper
  • ¼ orange pepper
  • ¼ yellow pepper
  • 2 closed cup mushrooms
  • 50g soup broth
  • 25g red lentils
  • 100g pasta (any type)
  • ½ tsp pimento powder
  • ½ tsp dried basil
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp dried parsley
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp of mushroom ketchup (optional)
  • 1 tsp of vegetable stock powder
  • 1 can/carton of chopped tomatoes
  • 1.5 litres of boiling water


Place a large saucepan (at least 3l capacity) over a medium heat and add the olive oil, salt and pepper. Chop the onions roughly, crush the garlic and add to the pan. Dice the carrots, celery, peppers and mushrooms and add to the pan once the onion has softened. Next, add the soup broth, lentils and pasta followed by the spices, balsamic (mushroom ketchup, if using) and vegetable stock. Stir well and add the tomatoes.

Once the tomatoes start to bubble, add the water 500ml at a time allowing to come to a simmer between adding each batch. Cover and allow to boil for 15 minutes before reducing the heat to simmer for a further hour and a half or until the soup thickens and the soup broth pulses soften. Add small amounts of water during cooking, if needed.

Categories: Soup Tags: , , , , ,

Bean Burgers

October 26, 2010 Leave a comment

Another autumn and time for more serious winter food.


  • ½ can of kidney beans
  • ½ can of cannelini beans
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 1 small carrot
  • ½ red pepper
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 25g hazelnuts
  • a heel of brown bread
  • ½ tsp pimento powder
  • ½ tsp cummin powder
  • ½ tsp coriander powder
  • ½ tsp of vegetable stock powder
  • 1 tsp of mushroom ketchup
  • large pinch of salt
  • pinch of black pepper
  • 2 tbsp rapeseed oil


Mix all the ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Finely dice the onion and pepper and grate the carrot coarsely. Whizz the bread and hazelnuts in a food processor. Stir the mixture and set aside for an hour.

To cook, preheat the oven to 180° C and lightly oil a baking tray. Divide the mixture in two and roll into balls then flatten and place on the tray. Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes or until they start to brown at the edges.

Categories: Burgers Tags: , , ,

Nut Burgers

September 1, 2009 Leave a comment

This fine fare makes the ideal accompanyment to some roasted root veg, goat’s cheese and nutmeg mash generously lashed with onion and mushroom gravy with a hint of cider. One good reason to welcome autumn!


  • 100g mixed nuts (brazil, walnut, hazelnut, etc)
  • 75g red lentils
  • 1 stale heel of wholemeal bread
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 1 small/medium egg
  • 4 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp garlic granules
  • a large pinch of salt


Rinse the red lentils well under running water in a small pan, cover with cold water and bring to the boil and simmer vigourously for 5 mins. Meanwhile, chop the onion and fry gently in a frying pan large enough to hold the lentils as well as the onion. Once the onion starts to brown and the lentils have been simmered, spoon the lentils into the frying pan and reduce the heat. Add the spices, stir and let cook for 2-3 minutes.

In a food processor, whizz the mixed nuts just enough to break them down but leave some texture and then do the heel of bread into coarse crumbs. Combine the lentils, nuts and breadcrumbs with the parsley, salt and egg in a bowl and stir together.

To cook, split the mixture in two and fashion into patties. Coat with a tablespoon of oil (groundnut or rapeseed work well) each and place on a baking tray in the oven at 180° C for around 30 minutes.

Categories: Burgers Tags: , ,

[No] Meat Balls

August 15, 2009 Leave a comment

One of those harking back to childhood dishes. My mammy and her mammy used to cook meatballs with cabbage and creamy mashed potato. I’ve never been able to quite shake the longing for the same style of dish . . .


  • 100g mixed nuts (brazil, hazelnut, walnut, etc)
  • 75g dried soya mince
  • 25g mixed seeds (sunflower, sesame, pumpkin, etc)
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 white onion
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 8 sunblushed tomatoes
  • 1 stale wholewheat pitta
  • 1 tsp mixed herbs (oregano, parsley, marjoram, sage, thyme)
  • 1 tsp pimento powder
  • 1 tsp garlic granules
  • ½ tsp cayenne
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp toasted seasame oil
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • a handful of rice
  • a large pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1 can of tomato soup (ideally Heinz Cream of Tomato)


Chop the onion and crush the garlic. Blitz the pitta, nuts and seeds in a food processor. Chop the sunblushed tomatoes roughly.

Add boiling water to the soya mince as directed on the packet (ensure to drain well once it has stood for a few minutes – excess water will adversely affect the consistency of the balls).

Combine the above in a large mixing bowl with the remaining ingredients (apart from the soup) and mix well.

Add 3-4 tablespoons of the soup to the mixture and stir in. Allow to stand for 15 minutes or more.

Divide the mixture into six equal parts and fashion into balls using bare hands – take a few minutes with each rolling and pressing between the palms to ensure they hold.

Preheat the oven to 180° C and place the balls in a small casserole dish just large enough to hold all six. Pour the soup equally over the balls. Cook in the over for 40 minutes or until the soup begins to brown on top.

Serve with mashed potatoes and steamed cabbage.

Categories: Casserole Tags: , ,

Fresh Coleslaw

June 2, 2009 Leave a comment

Nothing better than crunching some raw vegetables in a creamy mayo . . .


  • 1 small white cabbage (300g)
  • 2 large carrots (150g)
  • 1 medium red onion (100g)
  • 150g french mayonnaise
  • 1 large pinch of salt
  • 1 large pinch of pepper


Half the cabbage from top to bottom and finely slice into half-discs across its width. Peel the carrots, if needed, and slice finely into strips along their length. Cut the sections again along their length into fine strips and halve. Finally, half the onion from top to bottom and finely slice into half-discs across its width.

Combine the sliced ingredients in a large bowl and mix through each other until evenly distributed. Add the salt, pepper and mayonnaise and stir in until everything is well coated. Place in the fridge for half an hour and remove from fridge 15 minutes befure serving.

Categories: Dips and sauces Tags: ,

Homemade Vegetable Soup

May 17, 2009 Leave a comment

The staple of good kitchens throughout the land is a bowl of freshly made vegetable soup. Cheap to make and plenty of hearty warmth.


  • 125g soup mix (mainly pearl barley, yellow and green split peas)
  • 125g red lentils
  • 4 small onions
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 4 stalks of celery
  • 6 carrots
  • 1 leek
  • 25g flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 litre vegetable stock


Rinse the soup mix and red lentils well under cold water. Add to a pan large enough to hold around 4 litres of liquid and pour over 2 litres of water. Bring to the boil and keep boiling partially covered for an hour until most of the liquid has evaporated and resembles an aromatic grey sludge. The mixture needs to boil vigourously to kill the toxins and soften the beans, etc instead of soaking overnight. While boiling skim off the foam from the surface.

Finely chop the onions and celery and crush the cloves of garlic. Reduce the heat to medium and stir all three in to the pan. Add the salt and litre of vegetable stock followed by another 500ml of water. Cover the pan and allow to simmer for an hour.

Chop the carrots and parsley and slice the leek. Add to the pan along with another 500ml of water and simmer for a further hour. The soup is ready to serve when the carrots are done.

Categories: Soup