Today, food is more than just something we throw onto a plate and hope for the best; it is communal and brings people together more than anything else and coupled with pyro, you are onto a winning team.
As a lover of everything, including meat and fish, many are stuck for what to make for those who are vegetarian or indeed vegan so here I have a DELICIOUS recipe for kebabs which everyone will enjoy. The recipe is there to be expanded on and indeed if you don’t like a particular element, replace it with something else like cherry tomatoes or even sweet potatoes which would just need a few minutes of par boiling beforehand for a lovely alternative.
This recipe will make 8-10 kebabs (depending on the size of the skewers and of course the veggies!)
You will need:
8-10 KEBABS SKEWERS (SOAK IN WATER FOR AN HOUR BEFOREHAND)
2 PACKS HALOUMI CHEESE CUT INTO 16 CUBES (IF VEGAN, CHANGE TO TOFU)
2 RED ONIONS
2 LARGE COURGETTES
2 LARGE PEPPERS
16 MUSHROOMS (AS CLOSE TO THE SAME SIZE AS POSSIBLE)
PREPARE THE VEG BY CUTTING THE ONIONS, PEPPERS AND COURGETTES INTO 16 EQUAL PIECES
For the marinade:
4 FINELY CHOPPED SPRING ONION
6 CLOVES OF GARLIC
4 TSP GROUND ALLSPICE
1 TSP SMOKY PAPRIKA
½ TSP CAYENNE PEPPER
1 TSP BLACK PEPPER
1 TSP GROUND CINAMMON
½ TSP NUTMEG
4 TSP DARK BROWN SUGAR
2 TSP SALT
4 TBS OLIVE OIL
To make the marinade, put all the ingredients into a food processor and blend together if possible but it can be done straight into the bowl if you don’t have one to hand.
Put all the veggies, cheese and marinade into a large bowl and pour the marinade over ensuring all the items have some of the marinade over them and cling film and put into the fridge for up to 3 hours (1 hr min).
Once marinated, take the bowl and gently thread one of each item onto the skewer until it is full and continue until you have used all the cheese and veggies (cheese, onion, pepper, courgette, mushroom … repeat!) you are ready to cook them.
Brush each kebab skewer with oil and place onto the grill, taking care to turn regularly to avoid burning. They should be ready in around 5-7 minutes (depending on how much you have packed onto your skewers of course).
Serve with warmed pitta bread and some spicy mayo (you can buy dairy and egg free mayo from most leading supermarkets for vegans). The mayo I use is a simple mixture of mayo and hot sauce and drizzled over the kebabs is simply yummy.
For dessert, I would highly recommend chocky pops which are made with popcorn, chocolate and of course marshmallow but no dairy required (Green and Blacks organic chocolate is dairy free) and are fun, tasty and great for the whole family.
SPICY LENTIL SOUP
You will need:
4 TBS VEGETABLE OIL (YELLOW BEAN IS THE BEST)
8 CLOVES OF GARLIC
2-3 CM PIECE OF FRESHLY PEELED GINGER
2-3 RED CHILLIES (DEPENDING ON HOW SPICY YOU LIKE THINGS)
4 LARGE TOMATOES CHOPPED FINELY
4 LARGE ONIONS FINELY CHOPPED
2 STICKS OF CELERY FINELY CHOPPED
400 GMS OR 1LB OF GREEN OR PUY LENTILS (THEY KEEP THEIR SHAPE WHEN COOKING)
1 TSP PAPRIKA
1 TSP GROUND TURMERIC
1 TSP GARAM MASALA
½ TSP FENUGREEK
½ PINT VEGETABLE STOCK
1 TSP SALT
½ TSP BLACK PEPPER
Using a food processor, blend the garlic, chilli and ginger into a paste.
Heat the oil in a large pan and add the chopped onions, salt and pepper and cook gently until the onions are see through and then add the garlic, chilli and ginger paste and the spices and cook for a few minutes until you are left with a spicy onion paste add the chopped tomatoes, celery and the lentils (which should be rinsed and drained thoroughly beforehand) and then add the stock. Cover and leave cooking until the lentils are tender. Serve piping hot with a little chopped coriander.
This is a delicious, vegan dish which will be a delightful warming soup for your guests and one of my family’s favourites.