Tag Archive | Cooking

Veggie Spaghetti Bolognese

People always ask me “so if you can bake completely from scratch you must be able to cook?” I never know how to answer as I can cook, but I have never really attempted much cooking completely from scratch so thought I would give it a go. Normally I use sauces out of a jar to make most things as it is quick and easy but it often works out a lot more unhealthy this way. First attempt of cooking 100% from scratch was a success and I finally got to try out the long awaited spiralizer. After many accidental sliced fingers with a manual spiralizer I have invested in the Morphy Richard’s Spiralizer Express. I discovered vegetable spaghetti (or veggetti) about a year ago as a great low fat and healthy version of spaghetti. It is also a great way to cram in some of those 5 portions of fruit and veg we are apparently supposed to eat each day.

I have never made a spaghetti bolognese completely from scratch before but it seemed like quite an easy place to start. I took inspiration from my Mum’s cooking and tried to cram it with as much vegetables as possible.

  • Onion (1)
  • Garlic (2 crushed cloves)
  • Celery (2 Sticks)
  • Mushrooms (a few)
  • Carrots (4/5)
  • Courgette (When describing this to one of my colleagues at work I could not remember the name and ended up referring to it as a “vegetable cucumber” even though I am pretty sure a cucumber is also a vegetable. (2)
  •  Tomato Puree (1 table spoon)
  • Chopped Tomatoes (small tin)
  • Vegetable Stock with 200ml of boiling water
  • Red Wine (Or double up on the stock if you do not want to use wine)
  • Quorn mince
  • A sprinkle of mixed herbs.

Chop the onion, garlic, celery and carrot and gently fry in a pan with olive oil for 5 minutes. Then add the mushrooms and fry for 2 more minutes. Add the stock, red wine, tomato puree, chopped tomatoes, mixed herbs. Stir, put a lid on and let it simmer away for 5 minutes then add the Quorn Mince. Let it all simmer for another 5 minutes. It really was as simple as chucking everything into the pan and letting it do the rest itself. I think I could get used to this cooking stuff.

While the bolognese was cooking I finally got to try the spirilizer! It simply clips together and the blade spins round slicing the vegetables into lovely little spirally shapes which collects in the bottom. In my opinion it’s worth every penny and has just become my favourite kitchen gadget.

I cooked the spaghetti in a pan with a tiny little bit of oil as I find when it is boiled you have to take it out at precisely the right moment or it overcooks and you are left with nothing. It only needs 2 minutes in the pan and you are done!

Ta-Da! So much healthier than out of a jar and I actually enjoyed cooking it too. 100% vegetarian, crammed full of vegetables and without the cheese it’s vegan too. Vegetable spaghetti is such a good alternative to actual spaghetti and a great gluten free option too. I may not be Gordon Ramsey just yet but you never know, give me a few more months and I might be!

Day 18 – Quest for Onion Bhaji

The past three days have been spent unpacking my life from the previous two homes (the parentals and mine) to the lovely new little flat. I had no idea I owned so much stuff! I am on day three of unpacking at the moment and it actually looks like I have a home now which is very exciting! I cannot wait until this is all done and I can go back to my very much needed 8 hours of sleep a night and catch up on about a months worth of Eastenders!.

The worst thing about unpacking is the fact that you have no idea where to even begin or where anything is. I also found myself thinking I owned things when I actually did not. Food choices have been very limited to whatever I can find in the shop over the road as I have not had anything here to cook with. However I had moved the kitchen stuff in so decided to treat myself to an Indian snack selection (think samosa, onion bhaji, little potato thing with peas in). This meant I could snack and still unpack (ooh little bit of rhyming there!) without having to stop unpacking or snacking. (Sorry, again!). I come back from the shop armed with snack selection, pop the oven on and go to put the snacks on a baking tray. Baking tray… Where are you baking tray?

Turns out I do not own a baking tray. Why do I not own a baking tray? All the baking trays at my old flat belonged to the landlord at my old flat and I never bothered to get any more as they were perfectly functional for baking stuff like the name suggests. So I am now stood in my kitchen with no way to cook what I had just bought. The samosas and other bits I could have happily lived without but not the onion bhaji so I decided to adapt and use the microwave even though there was no microwave options on the packaging. I was not to be defeated by the lack of a baking tray!

I pop the snack selection on to one of my new square plates. I remember writing about these plates saying how much I had always wanted square plates. Turns out this was also a no go. Due to the squareness of the square plate it could only rotate 45 degrees in the microwave before getting stuck and rotating back 45 degrees in the other direction. My quest for onion bhaji was not going to plan.

Upon the removal from the microwave I was very disheartened to discover that due to the microwave’s inability to rotate I had a lovely little selection of really badly cooked snacks. Some were hot, some were cold, most were soggy and I think one may have been a bit burnt. Not even my craving for an onion bhaji was enough to make that taste nice.

So what was the first thing I did today? Bought a bloody baking tray! Well actually I bought three!