Sunday, 6 October 2013

A taste of HFW's Veg Everyday

Continuing my journey to find more meat-free meals, I borrowed Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's Veg Everyday! (exclamation mark is his) from the library. It's a hefty tome, and despite good recommendations from a couple of friends I thought I'd take a look before I thought about buying. He also has a Baby & Toddler cookbook which isn't in the library, so out of the two I'd be more likely to buy that one, I think - pending a sneaky flick through in a bookshop first of course.

Anyway. Digression alert.

The first recipe I tried was Spiced Carrot and Chickpea Pitta Pockets. The full recipe is here on the Guardian site, along with some others from the book but it really is pretty simple. Soften some thinly sliced carrots in butter along with cumin seeds and smoked paprika, add chickpeas, garlic and lemon juice, and serve in a pitta. Job done - healthy (depending on the amount of butter, perhaps), tasty and meatless.

Of course I can't leave well enough alone. I know from experience that the smoked paprika I have is hot, despite not being labelled as such, so I used sweet paprika with a dash of smoked, and added some ground cumin for luck. Next time I would allow a bit more heat, then cook for longer and add a bit more liquid (maybe water and a blob of tomato puree, or low-salt stock), as I found it all still a bit al dente when it would have been fabulous if it had been softer - and our 8 month old daughter would have been able to eat it more easily too.

So far, HFW's book looks good, and it's as well the library reservation slip was very long as I've torn it into several temporary bookmarks. Sweet potato and peanut gratin (another one on the Guardian preview), carrot houmous, most of the soups (reimagined as stews), and most of the curries. There might be a few renewals before we get through all of them!

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