Tag Archives: vegetarian

The lentil and my lentil cottage pie

12 Mar


* Lentils are legumes and originated in central Asia

* They were found in the tombs of the Ancient Egyptians in 2400BC

* lentils come in all shapes and colors – brown, yellow, red and black

* French lentils are known for a delicate taste and they hold their shape better after cooking

* The optical lens is named after the Latin word for lentil

* Lentils are wonderful nutritionally low in fat, high in protein, folate, phosphorus, fiber and iron

* Lentils are used around the world and are particularly popular in Middle Eastern countries, Greece, France and India.

* In the Middle East they are made with onions and garlic, in France often served with roasted meat and in India made into dal.

* Lentils are easy to cook and don’t need soaking like dried beans

* There is even a National Lentil Festival in Pullman Washington

* The Soluble fiber in lentils helps keep your cholesterol down and blood sugars under control
My lentil cottage pie



 the lentil sauce

* 50g butter

* 2 onions chopped

* 4 carrots, diced

* 1 head of celery, chopped

* 4 garlic clove, finely chopped

* 200g pack chestnut mushroom, sliced

* 2 bay leaf

* 1 tbsp dried thyme

* 500g pack dried green lentils

* 100ml red wine (optional)

* 1.7l vegetable stock

* 3 tbsp tomato purée

For the topping

* 2kg floury potato such as King Edwards

* 85g butter

* 100ml milk

*50g cheddar, grated


* To make the sauce, heat the butter in a pan, then gently fry the onions, carrots, celery and garlic for 15 mins until soft and golden. Turn up the heat, add the mushrooms, then cook for 4 mins more. Stir in the herbs, then add the lentils. Pour over the wine and stock – it’s important that you do not season with salt at this stage. Simmer for 40-50 mins until the lentils are very soft. Now season to taste, take off heat, then stir in the tomato purée 

* While the lentils are cooking, tip the potatoes into a pan of water, then boil for about 15 mins until tender. Drain well, mash with the butter and milk, then season with salt and pepper.

* To assemble the pies, divide the lentil mixture between all the dishes that you are using, then top with mash. Scatter over the cheese and freeze for up to two months (see tips, below) or if eating that day, heat oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5, then bake for 30 mins until the topping 

  For more info mail or call ; simon.bingham@simons-sauces.com 0031(0)642297107

One-Pan Spinach and Cheese Gnocchi with Roasted Garlic Tomato Cream Sauce.

15 Oct

One-Pan Spinach and Cheese Gnocchi with Roasted Garlic Tomato Cream Sauce.image
Yes Autumn is here and I have another comforting dish! I’ve taken it from Halfbakedharvest.com I’ve added my own touch! truly simple and deliciously warming for the changing of seasons all cooked on one panimage
Serves 4-6

* 6 tablespoons fresh pesto
* 1 bulb roasted garlic *To roast the garlic, preheat the oven to 200 degrees C. Chop off the top portion of the garlic head to reveal cloves. Place the bulb onto a piece of tin foil and pour about a teaspoon of olive oil on top. Place in the oven and roast for 45 minutes, or until the garlic is golden brown and soft. Remove from the oven and allow to cool five minutes. Squeeze the garlic out of the paper skin into a bowl and mash well with a forked knife imageimageimage* 1 400g can tomatoes
* 6 tablespoons spicy shop bought taco sauce
* 3tbs balsamic vinegar
* 120ml cream
* 1 tablespoon butter
* 300g fresh spinach cooked and drained and
* Handful fresh basil, chopped
* 10 fresh sage leaves chopped
* salt + pepper, to taste
* 200g cherry tomatoes
* 1 tablespoons capers
* 3 tablespoons green and black olives roughy chopped
* 500g shop bought gnocchi ( homemade is too soft to use for this dish)
* 175g ricotta cheese
* 120g gorgonzola cheese (may use goat cheese or feta cheese), crumbled
* 50g grated parmesan + more for serving
* fresh basil + sage, for serving


Preheat the oven to 190degrees C.
In a mixing bowl add the pesto, garlic, tomato sauce, enchilada sauce, balsamic vinegar, heavy cream and butter. Whisk everything together to combine.
Stir in the spinach, capers, olives, basil, sage, salt + pepper. Add the tomatoes and gnocchi. Toss to combine.image
Pour the mixture into a baking dish, Dollop the ricotta over top the dish do the same with the gorgonzola, sprinkle parmesan on next. Cover the dish with foil and place in the oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes.image
remove the foil and continue baking another 10-15 minutes or until the sauce has thickened slightly, the cheese is golden and the gnocchi is soft.image
Remove from the oven and top with the fresh basil and sage Serve with more parmesan and hot crusty bread. image
For more info contact me ; simon.bingham@simons-sauces.com 0031(0)642297107

Beetroot and my Beetroot risotto, Barbabietole risotto

31 Oct


What is a beetroot?

Also known as the garden beet, the beetroot is a sweet, maroon coloured root vegetable. It is a healthy, low-calorie food filled with fiber. It is known to help improve health conditions such as high blood pressure. The leaves of the red beet can also be eaten.

Beetroot can be consumed in a variety of ways. If consumed raw, beets should first be peeled. The top and bottom of the root should also be removed prior to ingesting. Beets can also be boiled, sautéed, pickled, fried, juiced, steamed, pureed, grilled, or baked. When cooking beets, the skin may be left on until it is loose enough to fall off, retaining the vegetable’s vivid color.

Soups made from beets, such as cold borsch, are popular in Europe. Pickled beets are a typical way of serving the plant; these are often served on hamburgers in Australia and New Zealand. Juices from the pickled vegetables are often used to prepare other dishes, such as hardboiled eggs, as well. Another common way of serving the vegetable is as a side dish or salad component.

Canned beets are generally considered to have an inferior taste to fresh beets. Beetroot can be grown at home by planting seeds following the last frost of the spring. The plants require sparse, weekly watering during the majority of the season, with daily moisture provided on hot days.

Caution should be used when preparing beetroot. The colorful pigmentation of the vegetable can stain clothing. If consumed in large quantities, the vegetable can also cause discoloration, typically in a shade of pink, of the urine. This light sensitive vegetable will also turn colors when cut and exposed to light.

Ten beetroot facts

1. The beetroot we eat now is Beta vulgaris, which evolved as a cultivated version of the sea beet, Beta maritima.

2. The ancient Greeks offered beetroot to the god Apollo on silver platters at his temple at Delphi.

3. The 17th century herbalist Nicholas Culpeper said that beetroot juice is good for headaches and afflictions of the brain.

4. Martin Chuzzlewit is the only novel by Charles Dickens that mentions beetroot.

5. The sugar beet has been the official state historic vegetable of Utah since 2002.

6. The ancient Romans considered beetroot to be an aphrodisiac.

7. The Lupanare, the official brothel of Pompeii, had its walls decorated with pictures of beetroots.

8. One of Alan Sugar’s (the English entrepreneur )first jobs at the age of 11 involved boiling beetroot for a local greengrocer.

9. When American astronauts on Apollo 18 docked with Russians on Soyuz 19 in 1975, the Russians offered them traditional foods including beetroot and cabbage soup.

10. The world’s biggest beetroot was grown in 2005 by Dutchman Piet de Goede weighing 156lb 10oz.

Beetroot risotto, Barbabietole risotto

Serves 4


1.5 litres good quality vegetable or chicken stock, preferably homemade
1tbsp olive oil
4 shallots or 1 onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
350g (12oz) fresh beetroot, peeled and diced. ( while peeling and chopping wear latex gloves, otherwise you lend up with red fingers )




250g (8oz) risotto rice
100ml (3½fl oz) white wine
50g (2oz) butter
100g (3½oz) Parmesan cheese
2 bay leaves
2 tbs fresh thyme leaves chopped


1, Heat the stock in a saucepan until almost boiling, then reduce heat until barely simmering to keep it hot.

2, Heat the oil in a shallow heavy-based pan. Sauté the shallot, garlic, bay leaves, beetroot and half of the thyme until softened (about 6-8 minutes).

3, Add the rice and stir well until the grains are well coated and glistening.

4, Pour in the wine, stir and let the rice absorb everything




5, add one ladleful of hot stock let it simmer, stirring all the time until it has been absorbed.

6, Continue to add the stock at intervals and cook as before until the rice is tender but firm.

7, Add the butter and most of the cheese and stir gently.



8, Serve scattered with the remaining thyme, the remaining cheese, a good grinding of black pepper and a touch of salt but not too much as the Parmesan gives salt too

Boun appetito 😊🍴

For more info , questions or queries mail or call:
simon.bingham@simons-sauces.com. 0031 (0) 642297107

And of course I can come and cook it for you🔪🍴


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