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The #midweekmeal veggie burger recipe you’ve been after! Taken from The Part-Time Vegetarian by Nicola Graimes, this plant-based burger takes less than 45 minutes to prep and cook, it’s full of flavour and a firm family favourite. Read on for the full recipe!

Taken from The Part-Time Vegetarian by Nicola Graimes

Serves: 4
Preparation time:  15 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes

Ingredients
90g/31⁄4oz/generous 1⁄2 cup red quinoa
400g/14oz can borlotti beans, drained
2 spring onions/scallions, finely chopped
5 sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
1⁄2 red pepper, deseeded and diced
1 tsp hot smoked paprika
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp dried oregano flour, for dusting
sunflower oil, for frying
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
rocket/arugula, watercress and spinach
salad, to serve

To finish
3 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
3 tbsp mayonnaise
4 ciabatta rolls or sesame seed buns,
split in half and lightly toasted
3 tomatoes, sliced into rounds
2 handfuls of salad leaves
1 avocado, peeled, pitted and diced

Method
1
Put the quinoa in a saucepan, cover with water and bring to the boil over a high heat. Turn the heat down and simmer for 20 minutes, covered, until very tender (it should be softer in texture than normal), then drain.
2
Meanwhile, mix together the sweet chilli sauce and mayonnaise.
3
Tip the cooked quinoa into a food processor with the borlotti beans and process to a coarse paste, leaving some of the beans almost whole. Spoon the mixture into a bowl and stir in the spring onions/scallions, sun-dried tomatoes, red pepper, smoked paprika, soy sauce and oregano. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
4
Quarter the mixture and shape each portion into a large burger with floured hands, then lightly dust each burger in flour. Heat enough oil to coat the base of a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and fry the burgers for 6–8 minutes, turning once, until golden and crisp. (Alternatively, brush with oil and cook on a baking sheet in the oven preheated to 190°C/375°F/Gas 5 for 25 minutes, turning once, until golden and crisp.)
5
To serve, spread each half of the toasted ciabatta rolls with the sweet chilli mayonnaise. Top one half of each roll with the tomato, salad leaves, burger and avocado and then the ciabatta lid. Serve with salad.

Happy cooking! Don’t forget to tag @NourishBooks when you post your creations online.

Who knew #Veganuary and #TacoTuesdays were so meant to be! This recipe was taken from The Part-Time Vegetarian’s Year by Nicola Graimes.

Crisp, golden, batter-coated tofu, a summery pea crema and a zingy salsa with a corn tortilla – what’s not to like? If you’re using fresh peas, don’t forget to save the pea pods; they make a flavoursome light vegetable stock.

Taken from The Part-Time Vegetarian’s Year

 

Serves 4
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

165g/5¾oz/scant 1¼ cups plain/all-purpose flour
2 tsp cornflour/cornstarch
300ml/10½fl oz/1¼ cups light ale
4 tsp chipotle powder
4 tsp ground cumin
sunflower oil, for deep-frying
550g/1lb 4oz block of firm tofu, drained cut into 2cm/¾in wide x 1cm/½in thick fingers
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

PEA CREMA
1 large avocado, stone removed and flesh scooped out
55g/2oz/⅓ cup cooked peas
4 tbsp crème fraîche
1 large garlic clove, peeled
juice of 1 lime
1 green jalapeño chilli, deseeded and chopped

TOMATO AND CORIANDER SALSA
4 vine tomatoes, deseeded and diced
1 handful of fresh coriander/cilantro leaves, chopped
½ small red onion, diced
1 green jalapeño chilli, deseeded and chopped
juice of ½ lime

TO SERVE
8 corn tacos
2 Little Gem/Bibb lettuces, shredded
chilli sauce (optional)

Method

To make the batter, sift the flour and cornflour/cornstarch into a large mixing bowl. Season generously with salt and pepper. Make a well in the middle and gradually whisk in the ale to make a smooth, fairly thick batter. Set aside to rest. Mix together the chipotle powder and cumin on a plate.

Blend together all the ingredients for the pea crema in a blender or mini food processor (or mash with a fork if you like a chunky mix), then season. Taste and add more lime, if needed.

Mix together all the ingredients for the salsa in a bowl, then season.

Place the tacos on a baking sheet and warm in the oven preheated to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4.

To prepare the tofu, heat enough oil to half-fill a deep heavy saucepan to 176°C/350°F (or until a cube of bread turns golden and crisp in 40 seconds). Pat dry the tofu slices with paper towels, making sure you get rid of as  much moisture as possible, then dust in the chipotle mix until coated all over. Dunk the tofu, one slice at a time, into the batter until well coated, then lower it into the hot oil. Cook 3 slices of tofu at a time for 11/2–2 minutes until light golden and crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon, drain on paper towels and keep warm in a low oven. Repeat until you have cooked all the tofu.

To assemble, place some lettuce in a taco shell, top with 2–3 slices of tofu and a good spoonful of the salsa, followed by the pea crema. Finish with a dash of chilli sauce, if you like, and serve with extra wedges of lime on the side.

#Veganuary2021 is going strong with this glorious recipe! Nicola does offer a part-time variation to mix things up – swap out the tofu for white fish fillets! Cut them into bite-sized chunks, coat in the spiced flour and batter, then deep fry until crispy and golden brown. Delicious!

Light, bright and nourishing! This wholesome recipe was taken from The Part-Time Vegetarian’s Year by Nicola Graimes, we’re sharing it as part of #VegetarianAwarenessMonth this October!

The broth is loaded with healthy and hearty ingredients such as ginger, turmeric and chilli, and plenty of seasonal veg. To give the broth extra flavour-infusing time, you could make it up to 2 days in advance, then leave to cool and store, covered, in the fridge – although this isn’t essential!

Serves 4
Preparation time: 20 minutes,
plus standing time
Cooking time: 35 minutes

Ingredients

875ml/30fl oz/generous 3 and 3/4 cups good-quality hot vegetable stock

7cm/3in piece of fresh root ginger, sliced into thin rounds

6 kaffir lime leaves

2 large lemongrass stalks, crushed slightly with the blade of a knife

1 and a 1⁄2 tbsp light soy sauce

2 bird’s-eye chillies, deseeded and thinly sliced

250g/9oz flat udon or soba noodles

350g/12oz asparagus spears, woody ends trimmed

sesame oil, for brushing

400g/14oz can coconut milk

1 tsp ground turmeric

4 large handfuls of baby spinach

juice of 1 large lime

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

To serve

2 spring onions/scallions, thinly sliced diagonally

1 handful of coriander/cilantro leaves

1 tsp black sesame seeds

Method

  1. Put the stock, ginger, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, soy sauce and half of the chilli in a large saucepan and bring almost to the boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid and simmer for 20 minutes to infuse the stock with the flavourings. (This can be done in advance and the broth left to infuse until ready to serve. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.)
  2. Cook the noodles following the package directions, then refresh in cold water and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, brush the asparagus with sesame oil. Heat a griddle/grill pan over a high heat and chargrill the asparagus for 8–10 minutes, turning occasionally, until charred in places and tender. You may need to cook the asparagus in batches. Set aside.
  4. While the asparagus are chargrilling, strain the broth, then return it to the pan with the coconut milk and turmeric. Reheat the broth, then add the spinach and cook for 2 minutes or until tender. Add the lime juice and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  5. To serve, divide the noodles evenly between 4 large shallow bowls. Ladle over the coconut broth and top with the asparagus, the remaining sliced chilli, spring onions/scallions, coriander/cilantro and sesame seeds.

Part-Time Variation!

Rejuvenating chicken or beef broth: Replace the vegetable stock with chicken stock, made from the bones of a roasted chicken, or a beef bone broth.

In celebration of #VegetarianAwarenessMonth this October, we are sharing some of our most-hearted veggie friendly recipes with you! First up, from The Part-Time Vegetarian’s Year, this Autumn appropriate hug-in-a-bowl carrot, ginger and lentil soup.

Carrot, ginger and lentil soup with carrot crisps taken from The Part-Time Vegetarian’s Year.

Warming and comforting, a bowl of this hearty, nutritious soup is a go-to when the weather is chilly and I’m looking for sustenance. The carrot crisps are a great way to use up carrot peelings. When roasted, they add crunch and a contrast in texture to the smooth soup – they also make a healthy snack.

Serves 4
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

550g/1lb 4oz carrots, scrubbed

2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling

1 large onion, roughly chopped

1 celery stalk, thinly sliced

2 tsp ground coriander

Half-tsp ground turmeric

1 thumb-size piece of fresh root

ginger, peeled and finely grated

175g/6oz/1 cup split red lentils, rinsed well

2 bay leaves

1.2 litres/40fl oz/5 cups good-quality hot vegetable stock

juice of half a lemon

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 tbsp thick plain yogurt and

Half-tsp nigella seeds, to serve

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4.
  2. Start by making the carrot crisps. Using a vegetable peeler, peel away the skin of the carrots into long, thin strips. Toss the carrot strips in a drizzle of oil and place in an even layer on a large baking sheet. Roast for 15 minutes or until crisp and golden, turning once – keep an eye on them as they can easily burn. Remove from the heat, transfer to a plate lined with paper towels and leave to cool and crisp up further.
  3. Meanwhile, cut the peeled carrots into chunks. Heat the oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over a medium low heat, add the onion and cook for 5 minutes, until softened. Add the celery and carrots and cook for another 2 minutes. Stir in the spices followed by the lentils and bay leaves, then pour in the stock. Stir and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low, part-cover the pan with a lid and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the lentils and carrots are tender.
  4. Using a hand-held stick/immersion blender, blend the soup until smooth. Stir in the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  5. Ladle the soup into bowls, then top with a good spoonful of yogurt, a few nigella seeds and the carrot crisps.

Why not give vegetarianism a go this month? Check out this post for some inspiration!

Don’t forget to tag @nourishbooks on social media when you post your version of this delicious meal. Happy eating!

The Part-Time Vegetarian’s Year by Nicola Graimes is available to buy NOW!

How things have moved on since my original The Part-Time Vegetarian was published five or so years ago. The culinary climate has definitely changed for the better, with more of us choosing to eat plant-based meals on a regular basis. And to prove the point, research figures show that, impressively, one in three in the UK have cut down on the amount of meat they eat, with 60 per cent of vegans and 40 per cent of vegetarians having adopted their dietary preference over the last 5 years.

While the health benefits of a plant-based diet – the reduced risk of major chronic diseases, obesity and diabetes – are well documented, it has been the growing concerns over the environmental impact of intensive animal farming that has spurred much of the move towards flexitarianism, vegetarianism and veganism over the past few years. Recent research has revealed the hefty footprint of intensively reared meat, with the conclusion that the single most effective way to reduce our environmental impact is a global shift towards a flexitarian diet that contains only small amounts of ethically reared, good-quality meat and dairy, eaten once or twice a week with a plant-based diet being predominant.

For me, one of the most exciting aspects of the shift towards flexitarianism is how inspiring and creative plant-based cooking has become. Nowadays, no chef worth their salt would forget to include a vegetarian or vegan dish on their restaurant menu. What’s more, many openly relish the exciting culinary possibilities of plant-based cooking.

As a family, we have become more mindful of what and how we eat over the years. Like many families, our eating preferences vary and I’m constantly on the look-out for meals that both meet our differing tastes and that can be adapted if need be. Whether we eat meat just once a week; just at weekends; as part of an extended family get together; for a dinner party; or not at all, I’ve found that flexitarianism is a way of eating that can be moulded to suit our individual needs.

I’m hoping that this sense of versatility, adaptability and variety shines brightly in the recipes in this book. Importantly, vegetables always take centre stage with a focus on what’s in season. Where meat (or seafood) are included they are in cost-, eco- and health-conscious small amounts and treated as a garnish, side, topping or second to the plant-based components of the meals. At the heart of this book is the growing relevance of a mindful connection with what and how we eat.

vegetarian-food-for-healthy-kids-low-res-single-pdf-adobe-acrobat-pro

This recipe is extracted from Vegetarian Food for Healthy Kids by Nicola Graimes.

Savoury scones/biscuits make a good alternative to the usual sandwich and these have been pimped up with the addition of cheese, apple and linseeds/flaxseeds. Spread them with butter or, to make them more filling, split in half and fill with cream cheese and slices of cucumber. To make a sweet version, leave out the cheese and stir in 2 tablespoons sugar instead.

Makes: 8
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:
200g/7oz/1½ cups self-raising wholemeal flour, plus extra for dusting
½ tsp baking powder
1 tbsp ground linseeds/flaxseeds
50g/1¾oz/3½ tbsp chilled butter, cubed
1 apple, with skin, cored and grated
90g/3¼oz mature/sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
100ml/3½fl oz/scant ½ cup milk, plus extra for brushing

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/Gas 7. Line a baking sheet with baking parchment.
  2. Sift the flour and baking powder into a mixing bowl, adding any bran left in the sieve/fine-mesh strainer. Stir in the linseeds/flaxseeds.
  3. Using your fingertips, lightly rub the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Stir in the apple and Cheddar. Gradually, stir in the milk using a fork, then bring the dough together with your hands.
  4. Press out the dough on a lightly floured work surface, about 2.5cm/1in thick. Using a 4.5cm/1¾in cutter, stamp out 8 rounds.
  5. Place them on the prepared baking sheet and brush the tops with milk. Bake for 20–25 minutes until risen and
    golden. Transfer to a wire rack and serve warm or leave to cool completely.

vegetarian-food-for-healthy-kids

Nicola Graimes
Vegetarian Food for Healthy Kids
£12.99, available from Nourish Books

 

This recipe of pistou from the book Top 100 Low-Carb Recipes by Nicola Graimes is a new take on the traditional soupe au pistou which is a specialty from the south of France, Provence to be exact and eaten in the summer months.

Low Carb Recipe 1

Ingredients:

1 tbsp olive oil

1 leek, sliced

1 small carrot, finely chopped

1 stick celery, finely chopped

3 green beans, thinly sliced

700ml/11⁄4 pints/3 cups vegetable stock

150ml/5fl oz/2⁄3 cup pasta

1 bay leaf

30g/1oz/1⁄2 cup whole-wheat conchigliette (small shells) pasta

30g/1oz/1⁄2 cup canned cannellini beans, rinsed

sprig of fresh rosemary

salt and freshly ground black pepper

a few shavings of Parmesan, to serve

1 tbsp pesto, to serve

Method:

  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the leek. Cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender. Add the carrot, celery and green beans and cook for a further 5 minutes.
  • Pour in the stock and pasta and add the bay leaf, stir well. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, half-covered, for 15 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and using a hand-blender or food processor, semi-purée the vegetables.
  • Return the bay leaf to the soup, add the pasta, cannellini beans, and rosemary and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat slightly and cook for 10 minutes or until the pasta is tender. You may need to add some extra stock or water if the soup seems too thick. Remove the bay leaf and rosemary and season to taste.
  • Divide between 2 bowls. Serve with the Parmesan shavings and a spoonful of pesto.

Top 100 Low-Carb Recipes

Nicola Graimes

Top 100 Low-Carb Recipes

£5.99, available from Nourish Books

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This recipe of Thai green vegetable curry comes from the book Top 100 Low-Carb Recipes by Nicola Graimes. The Top 100 Low-Carb Recipes is the essential tool for anyone who is interested in controlling their weight by cutting down their intake of carbohydrates. The key to success is eating the right type of carb alongside good sources of protein and fat.

Low Carb Diet 2

 

Ingredients:

2 tsp sunflower oil

200ml/7fl oz/1 cup reduced-fat coconut milk

150ml/5fl oz/2⁄3 cup vegetable stock (see page 23)

115g/4oz/1 cup small broccoli florets

1 corn on the cob, husk removed, sliced into 2cm/3⁄4in pieces

1 small red pepper, seeded and sliced

55g/2oz/1 cup fresh spinach leaves, shredded

salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander/cilantro, to garnish

Spice Paste:

3 green chillies, seeded and chopped

1 stick lemongrass, peeled and finely chopped

1 shallot, sliced juice and zest of 1 lime

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground cumin

1cm/1⁄2in piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated

2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander/cilantro

Method:

  • Place all the ingredients for the spice paste in a food processor and blend to a coarse paste.
  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan and fry the spice paste for 1 minute, stirring. Add the coconut milk and stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes until reduced.
  • Add the broccoli, corn and red pepper and cook for 3 minutes, then add the spinach and cook for another 2 minutes until the vegetables are just tender.
  • Season to taste and sprinkle with coriander/cilantro before serving.

Top 100 Low-Carb Recipes

Nicola Graimes

Top 100 Low-Carb Recipes

£5.99, available from Nourish Books

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These potato cakes from Nicola Graimes’s The Part-Time Vegetarian are a great midweek supper that can easily be prepared in advance. You can also easily adapt the recipe to your own preferences. For example, for a non-vegetarian version, try using salmon instead of cheese.

Part time veg day 7 Smoked Cheese and Potato Cakes090

Serves: 4

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 50 minutes

Ingredients:
Potato cakes
750g/ 1 lb 10oz white potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 ½ tbsp butter
4 handfuls of cherry tomatoes
olive oil, for frying, plus extra for brushing and drizzling
4 large handfuls of curly kale, tough stalks discarded, torn into large bite-size pieces
3 smoked garlic cloves or regular garlic
100g/ 3 ½oz/ heaped 1 cup grated smoked Cheddar cheese
2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and grated
4 tspb capers, rinsed, patted dry and roughly chopped
1 large handful of chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
flour; for dusting
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Caper mayonnaise
6 tbsp mayonnaise
juice of ½ lemon
1 tbsp drained capers, rinsed, patted dry and finely chopped
1 tbsp nori flakes or 2 tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves

If possible, use a naturally smoked Cheddar in the potato cakes, rather than a smoke-flavoured one, which can lack the intensity of flavour and requisite dry texture. The smoked garlic embellishes the overall smokiness of the potato cakes, but you could use regular garlic instead.

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 190C, 375F/ Gas 5. Cook the potatoes in plenty of boiling salted water for 12-15 minutes, or until tender. Drain and return the potatoes to the hot pan to dry briefly. Leave until cool enough to handle (or use rubber gloves) and coarsely grate into a large mixing bowl. Mix in the butter.
  • While the potatoes are cooking, brush the tomatoes with oil, place in a roasting pan, season with salt and pepper, and roast for 20 minutes, or until softened and starting to blacken, then leave to one side. Reduce the oven to 150C/300F/ Gas 2. Toss the kale in a little oil, season with salt and pepper, and place in a roasting pan in an even layer. Roast the kale for 10-15 minutes, turning once, until crisp. Keep an eye on it as it can easily burn.
  • Meanwhile, blanch the smoked garlic in a small pan of simmering water for 2 minutes until softened. Drain and roughly chop, then gently fold into the potatoes with the Cheddar, eggs, capers and parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Cover a plate with flour and form the potato mixture into 8 thick cakes, about 8cm/ 3 ¼ in diameter. Lightly dust each potato cake in flour. Heat enough oil to generously cover the base of a large non-stick frying pan and fry the potato cakes in two batches for 3 minutes on each side until crisp and golden. Drain on paper towels and keep warm in the bottom of the oven with the tomatoes.
  • While the potato cakes are cooking, mix together all the ingredients for the caper mayonnaise. Serve the potato cakes with the roasted tomatoes and crispy kale and with the caper mayo by the side.

Part-time variation:
Salmon potato cakes

  • Cook the potatoes, tomatoes and kale as described above. Replaced the smoked cheese, smoked garlic and hard-boiled eggs with 635g/ 1lb 6oz canned salmon, drained, skin and bones removed and fish flaked. Stir the salmon into the grated potato with 4 tbsp capers and 1 large handful chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves, as instructed above. Form and cook the potato cakes as described above.

1106_original-300x390

Nicola Graimes
The Part-Time Vegetarian
£20.00, available from Nourish Books

 

 

 

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A cross between the English crumpet and American pancake, the pikelet is thought to have originated in Wales. You need to plan ahead when making pikelets as the yeast requires time to do its thing, so these are best served for brunch (or indeed for tea). Nicola Graimes’s recipe from The Part-Time Vegetarian includes a warming pear compote flavoured with ginger and cloves, but they could also be served topped with a few rashers of crisp bacon and a drizzle of maple syrup.

Part time veg day 7 Pikelets006

Serves: 4

Preparation time: 15 minutes, plus rising

Cooking time: 16 minutes

Ingredients:
Pikelets
225g/8oz/ 1 ¾ cups plain/all-purpose flour, preferably spelt
1 tsp instant dried yeast
2 tsp caster/ granulated sugar
1 large egg
270 ml/ 9 ½ fl oz/ scant 1 ¼ cups milk
½ tsp salt
sunflower oil, for frying
Greek yogurt, to serve

Pear and ginger compot:
3 just-ripe pears, peeled, cored and cut into bite-size cubes
finely grated zest and juice of 1 orange
1 cm/ ½in piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and finely chopped
6 cloves
40g/ 1 ½oz/ 1/3 cup sultanas/ golden raisins
1-2 tbsp clear honey

Method:

  • To make the pikelets, mix together the flour, yeast and sugar in a large mixing bowl until combined, then make a well in the middle.
  • Whisk the egg into the milk. Pour the mixture into the well and gradually draw in the flour, whisking to make a smooth batter. Cover the bowl with cling film/ plastic wrap and leave for 2 hours in a warm place until bubbly and risen. Stir in the salt just before cooking, otherwise it will inhibit the yeast.
  • Meanwhile, to make the compote, put the pears, orange juice, ginger and cloves in a saucepan over a high heat and bring to the boil, then turn the heat down and stir in the orange zest and sultanas/ golden raisins. Cover the pan and simmer for 5-8 minutes, or until the pears are just tender but not falling apart. Stir in enough honey to sweeten.
  • Heat a little oil in a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and wipe it over the base using a crumpled up sheet of paper towel. Place a small ladleful (about 3 tablespoons) of the batter into the pan, then repeat to cook 4 pikelets at a time. Cook for 2 minutes on each side, or until risen and golden. Keep warm wrapped in a cloth or low oven while you make the remaining pikelets.
  • Serve the pikelets with pear and ginger compote and with yogurt on the side.

1106_original-300x390

Nicola Graimes
The Part-Time Vegetarian
£20.00, available from Nourish Books

 

 

 

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HH Part time Veg Day 5 Osomiyaki5866

Extract from The Part-Time Vegetarian by Nicola Graimes

Sometimes referred to as ‘Japanese pizza’, the name okonomiyaki actually means ‘grilled/broiled as you like it’, which goes to explain the many regional styles as well as personal variations there are of this dish. Just to confuse matters, okonomiyaki  is probably more accurately described as a cross between a thick omelette and a pancake. This interpretation is based on the Osaka-style,  where all the ingredients are mixed together before cooking. Try the veggie version, or add meat or fish for non-veggie guests or family.

Serves:  2–4

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 12 minutes

Ingredients:
150g/5½oz white cabbage, finely shredded
6 spring onions/scallions, thinly sliced
50g/1¾oz kohlrabi or turnip, peeled and coarsely grated
110g/3¾oz/scant 1 cup plain/
all-purpose flour
½ tsp sea salt
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1½ tbsp sunflower oil

Topping:
mayonnaise in a squeezy bottle, for drizzling
1 handful of radishes, sliced
1 handful of wild garlic leaves (and flowers) or chives, chopped
1 tbsp pink pickled ginger
1 tsp nori flakes

Method:

  • Put the cabbage, spring onions/scallions and kohlrabi
    in a large mixing bowl. Add the flour and salt and stir well until thoroughly combined.
  • Mix the eggs with 100ml/3½fl oz/scant ½ cup water. Pour it into the bowl containing the dry ingredients and stir gently but thoroughly until combined. Try to keep the stirring brief as you don’t want to activate the gluten in the flour as this will produce a heavy pancake.
  • Heat half the oil in a medium non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and tilt the pan so it coats the base. Tip the contents of the bowl into the pan and flatten with a spatula into a thick, round pancake shape, as even as you can get it. Turn the heat down slightly as you don’t want the base to burn and cook for 5–6 minutes until light golden.
  • Turn the pancake over (the easiest way to do this is to place a large plate on top of the pan and carefully turn it over to release the pancake). At this point, add the remaining oil to the pan before sliding the okonomiyaki back into the pan. Press down with a spatula and cook for another 5–6 minutes until light golden.
  • Slide the okonomiyaki onto a chopping board. Drizzle the mayonnaise in lines over the top and pile the radishes, wild garlic, pickled ginger and nori in the middle. Serve cut into wedges.

Part-Time Variations:

There are so many variations on toppings and fillings, so feel free to pick your own or try these suggestions:

Bonito okonomiyaki
Bonito flakes (paper-thin slices of dried fish similar to tuna) are typical. Sprinkle 2 tbsp bonito flakes over the top instead of the radishes.

Bacon okonomiyaki
Put 200/7oz diced bacon in the dry frying pan and place over a medium-low heat. When the fat starts to run, turn the heat to medium and fry the lardons for 5 minutes until golden and crisp. Stir half into the batter mixture and scatter the remainder over the top. There is no need to clean the pan before adding the okonomiyaki mixture, although you may like to reduce the amount of oil to 1 tablespoon.

Smoked salmon okonomiyaki
Stir 100g/3½oz smoked salmon pieces into the batter mixture and top with Japanese pickles.

1106_original-300x390

Nicola Graimes
The Part-Time Vegetarian
Available from September 2015
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Nicola Graimes is an award-winning cookery writer and former editor of Vegetarian Living magazine. She has writtenNicola G. more than 20 books, including The Top 100 Recipes for a Healthy Lunchbox, The Big Book of Wok, The Big Book of Low-Carb Recipes, The New Vegetarian Kitchen (that was chosen as one of OFM‘s Top 50 Cookbooks of the Year) and Veggienomics for Nourish.

Can you describe your book? What should the reader expect from it?
The idea behind my latest book was born out of the growing number of people who like to eat a flexitarian diet, so one that is predominantly vegetarian but occasionally features meat and fish – so it’s the perfect book for those who are looking for simple and nourishing vegetarian meals and who also want recipes that can be adapted, on occasion, to include fish and meat.
In the book, there are lots of recipes for different eating occasions from breakfasts and brunches; light meals; quick and easy weekday meals; to weekend cooking and food for sharing, covering dishes for entertaining, celebrations and special occasions.
Yet, what sets this book apart is that many of the vegetarian recipes feature a variation that shows the reader how to adapt the original into one that contains meat or fish. So, in effect, you get two recipes for the price of one!

What inspired you to start writing The Part-Time Vegetarian?
I’ve noticed a real shift in interest in vegetarian food in recent years and not only from those who are committed to a fully meat-free diet. The standard of creativity in vegetarian cooking and the choice of ingredients now available is really inspiring.
The book is also a bit of a coming out for me… having been vegetarian for nearly thirty years and written many vegetarian cookbooks, more recently I’ve started to include some meat and fish in my diet. Although my diet is still mainly veggie, I’ve really got into developing dishes that can be adapted to suit different diets and preferences.
Coincidentally, I’ve discovered that I’m not alone and a flexi diet is, in fact, one of the fastest growing food trends. And, as the name suggests, the beauty of this way of eating is its flexibility – so it can easily be adapted to suit your lifestyle and what’s happening on a weekly basis

What was the first flexi dish that you mastered?
I suppose it’s a way of cooking I’ve been doing for years without fully recognizing or acknowledging it. For many years, there was a real divide in our house: my daughter and I were vegetarian and my son and husband meat-eaters. This could have made mealtimes tricky so I got used to adapting dishes to suit different tastes and keep everyone happy!
Everyday favourites such as pasta, pizza, soups, stews and pies are the most obvious dishes that can be readily adapted. In the book, the non-veggie twist may be as simple as adding a sprinkling of bacon or topping a lentil dish with a grilled fillet of fish, but I also wanted the non-veggie dishes to stand out on their own and not be second-rate to the meat-free ones, so there may be a slight change in spicing or other ingredients to ensure they work as best they can and taste great.

‪‪What are the biggest challenges in your job?
Well it’s such a great job, so I have no complaints… I’m not sure that this is the biggest challenge but keeping recipes simple and accessible is always a priority – as a food writer it’s easy to get carried away when developing new recipes by making dishes over-complicated or using too many different ingredients. I often have to remind myself to keep things real and don’t go overboard on the number of ingredients. I hope I’ve achieved this with The Part-time Vegetarian, especially with the special features that give pocket-sized ideas to spice things up in the kitchen – with the occasional more complex recipe, like the celebratory hand-raised mushroom pie for when time is not quite as pressing.

‪‪Can you tell us 3 kitchen hacks for a flexi diet?

  • For those occasions when you’re cooking for both veggies and non-veggies I like to make what I call ‘assembly’ meals. These are when you have a core part, say a noodle and vegetable Asian broth, but then on the table have different bowls of accompaniments that everyone can help themselves to depending on preference, so perhaps you could have some chilli-garlic prawns, cubes of marinated and fried tofu, stir-fried strips of beef or salted black beans.
  • Now we’re moving towards the cooler months, vegetable-based soups, stews and curries are perfect for making in bulk in advance and storing in portions in the freezer. Simply defrost and reheat for a quick warming weekday meal or in true flexi style, add your choice of meat or fish.
  • I always find it easier at the start of the week to mentally plan out what we’ll be eating as a family throughout the week to come, so there’s a balance and variety of ingredients and meals. If you want to include more vegetarian meals in your diet it makes it so much easier to be prepared and plan in advance. Incidentally, there is a section on ‘Planning Ahead’ with menu ideas in the book.

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Nicola Graimes
The Part-Time Vegetarian
Available from September 2015
Pre-order the book on Amazon

 

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