Peoplewhoeat’s Weblog

February 26, 2011

Lasagna tart

Filed under: Baked items, Healthy, Light lunch, Vegetarian — peoplewhoeat @ 11:10 pm

I had a vegetarian friend over and wanted to make something substantial, so I went for a lasagna tart from 101cookbooks. I couldn’t find ricotta at the store so I used cottage cheese, which I like in lasagna anyway. I used 250g, about 1 cup. I also layered parmesan cheese (by eye and taste) over the cottage cheese in each layer.

I did find that the wholemeal olive oil pastry was incredibly difficult to roll out unless quite a lot of water was used. It was very flakey and kept falling apart and was rolled thicker than I usually roll butter-based pastry. I may have to practice a few more times. I didn’t find that the taste of the lemon zest came through either so feel free to skip that. There was also a lot of leftover pastry even though it was quite thick, so I lined a few new mini tartlet tins I wanted to try out. Rolling it out thinly for the small tins was much easier; if you have small tins and don’t mind the tedium, use them instead. I baked them for 20 mins.


February 20, 2011

Lobiani (Georgian Bean Bread)

I made this recipe from Darra Goldstein’s excellent The Georgian Feast. I brought it to a Super Bowl party, and it was a big hit–a savory, finger-food that’s quite filling but also a little different. The texture wasn’t the same as the lobiani that I bought on the streets of Tbilisi, but it was still very good. My friends suggested, though, that they would prefer a different spice blend; I’m not sure what would be good though. Any suggestions?

Makes 2 incredibly large breads (fortunately you can freeze it after you cut it)

For dough:
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) softened butter
2 eggs
2 cups sour cream (light worked fine)
4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda, divided into quarters

For filling:
1 pound dried kidney beans, soaked overnight to soften
3 or 4 medium onions
2/3 cup vegetable oil (yes, you do need that much or else it gets dry)
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons salt
Black pepper to taste

one egg yolk to brush on top while baking

Cream the butter. Beat in the eggs and sour cream. Mix in flour to make a soft dough.

On a well-floured board, roll the dough to a 15 x 18 rectangle. The dough will be INCREDIBLY sticky at this stage, but it will calm down fast, so just do your best the first few times. Sprinkle the rectangle with 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda. Fold the dough into quarters and reroll, repeating the baking soda, fold, re-roll procedure until the baking soda is used up. Place the dough into a floured bowl, cover it and leave to rise for 6-8 hours indoors or 2-3 hours in the sun.
For filling: Boil the kidney beans for about one hour. Drain, and then mash. Dice the onions and sautee them in the oil until soft. Stir the onions (and oil) into the kidney beans, and add the spices. Divide in half, and set aside.
Before you start assembling the bread, preheat the oven to 350* F. When the dough has risen, divide it into two parts. Roll each out in a large circle, keeping the inside of the circle thicker than the outside. Place the filling in the center, and bring the dough up around it, forming a sort of ball. Flatten this out, to a large disc. Brush the top of the bread with beaten egg yolk, and bake for 40-45 minutes until browned.


November 26, 2010

My Family’s Signature Sandwich

Filed under: Light lunch, Quick cook — Tags: , , , , , , — peoplewhoeat @ 12:57 am

In my little town we have a fabulous bakery that makes an incredible cranberry-walnut bread. This sandwich was created around this fabulous bread, but I imagine any sort of sweeter bread with substance would work nicely. We usually use deli turkey for this, but given the time of year; I suggest leftovers.

Cranberry walnut bread (or other sweet, substantial bread)
light coat of mayo on one slice
turkey breast (we often use the “cajun turkey”, and the bit of heat is nice)
Cambazola or Blue Brie cheese
Bacon (if you’re feeling gluttonous)

You can serve this sandwich either cold, or warmed to melt the cheese. Very tasty!

November 7, 2010

Purple Soup

Alright, well this soup was only purple because I used a purple cauliflower (which I highly recommend, has a slightly more complex flavor). It managed to stay a pleasant purple, but was still a food sort of color. Easy and delicious! Thank you, Jamie Oliver!

(the red bowl and bacon make it look more fushia, but you get the idea)

Cauliflower Cheese Soup

(from Jamie’s Food Revolution, my go-to cookbook)

2 carrots
2 celery stalks
2 medium onions
2 cloves garlic
1 head of cauliflower (use the purple stuff! do it!) cut into florets
olive oil
1 3/4 quarts chicken/vegetable stock (I just used one of the boxes, don’t actually know how much is in there, but it seems to have been about right…)
salt and pepper to taste
8 ounces cheddar cheese (and you can throw in some parmesan, too, for kicks)
1 teaspoon English mustard
bacon (optional, but SO worth it)

Roughly chop the carrots, celery, onion, and garlic, add the cauliflower florets, and sautee in a large saucepan in olive oil. Let cook 10 minutes with the lid askew while you heat the broth in another pot. Add the warm broth to the veggies, bring to a boil, and allow to simmer for another 10 minutes with the lid on. Grate the cheese. After 10 minutes, remove from the heat, and stir in the cheese, mustard, salt and pepper and nutmeg. Smoosh it. Serve topped with another good grate of cheese and bacon (but not if you’re vegetarian, obviously).


November 14, 2008

A very French tuna salad

Filed under: Healthy, Light lunch — Tags: , , , — peoplewhoeat @ 9:20 pm

This is an untraditional salade nicoise, which is to say made the way I like it. Yes, it’s a summery side or main, but some of us are lucky enough to be enjoying perpetual summer for the moment…

Salade Nicoise

200g cherry tomatoes, cut in half
190g tin of tuna packed in water, drained
125 – 250g green beans, topped, tailed and cut in half cross-ways
4 – 6 medium-sized potatoes, scrubbed and cut into chunks
1- 3 T extra-virgin olive oil
A squeeze of fresh lime juice

1) Cook potatoes until tender. Drain
2) Bring water to boil and blanch green beans until just tender, about 3 minutes maximum
3) Mix together potatoes, green beans, cherry tomatoes and tuna into a large bowl. Toss to mix.
4) squeeze over the lime juice and add the extra-virgin olive oil. If the salad seems too dry, add a little more oil. Taste. Add salt if you like.

This served about two as a main. But we were really hungry.

Eat well…life’s too short not to!


September 29, 2008

Stuffed Peppers (another version!)

Filed under: Dinner, Healthy, Light lunch, Vegetarian — Tags: , , , , — peoplewhoeat @ 9:22 pm


1 large pepper per person
25 g. peas
handful of mushrooms
50 g. rice
1 Tbsp. Cream Cheese
3-4 meatballs (or veggie balls) optional
olive oil

Slice the top off the pepper, and cut in half lengthwise if it will not stand upright of its own accord.  Remove all pith and dice a good bit of top.  Put aside.

In a small-medium pan, boil the rice for 10 minutes.  Add the peas after 4 minutes.  When ready drain and return to pan.

Mix the cream cheese, mushrooms, and meatballs into the rice and peas.

Place pepper on a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil, and stuff with mixture.  Drizzle again.

Place baking tray on middle shelf of oven preheated to 190 C for 20-30 minutes.  The longer they are cooked, the crispier the rice becomes.


July 27, 2008

This city deserves a better class of turkey sandwich…

Filed under: Light lunch, Quick cook — Tags: , , , , — peoplewhoeat @ 3:49 pm

To be perfectly honest, I don’t usually like sandwiches (yes, I know that’s weird).  But I’m working full-time at an unpaid job, so packing a lunch became a necessity, and I am without the lovely thermos that I used in school to bring myself tasty leftovers. It seemed that some creative thinking was in order.  After a few sad days of PB&J and a chat with my housemate, I discovered an easy addition to a basic turkey and cheese sandwich to make it wonderful: Pesto!  I just take my slices of bread (I’m a big fan of Trader Joe’s Tuscan Pane, a nice all-purpose sourdough), and plop on a few slices of turkey and cheese (provolone, brie, and havarti have all worked nicely for this).  Then, on the top slice of bread, I spread on a teensy bit of mayo, and a spoonful of pesto.  Delicious!

June 24, 2008

Black beans and rice

Filed under: Dinner, Healthy, Light lunch, Vegetarian — Tags: , , — peoplewhoeat @ 8:47 pm

This rather marvellous dish was introduced to me by Emma. As delicious as it is lovely to look at, it, like many one-pot meals, improves with age.

Black beans and rice

Serves about 4 – 5

about 250g black beans, soaked for six hours
about 250g rice
about 1 red capsicum, chopped finely
2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
1 onion, chopped finely
2 tomatoes, diced

Boil beans for ten minutes and then simmer for about 50 minutes, until cooked. Black beans need to be boiled for ten minutes at least to destroy the toxins.

Suate onion, garlic and capsicum until slightly soft. Add tomato.

Add black beans, raw rice and water (a bit more than you would normally use to cook the same amount of rice). Simmer for 20 – 40 minutes – however long it takes for the rice to cook through. Not all of the water should be absorbed, though…

Serve with hot sauce.

Eat well…life is too short not to!


June 22, 2008

Pasta Salad Nicoise

Filed under: Dinner, Light lunch — Tags: , , , , , , , — peoplewhoeat @ 6:03 pm

This has been my favorite summer dinner since I was little.  It involves lots of chopping, but really isn’t hard other than that.

1/2 pound seashell pasta
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1/2 pound blanched green beans
14 oz. canned tuna fish
1 cup sliced red Bell peppers
1 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup scallions
1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and sliced

It looks very pretty if you layer these in a glass bowl, and toss it at the table. 

1 egg
1 cup corn oil
1/4 cup wine vinegar
1/4 tsp sugar
1 Tbsp. minced parsley
2 Tbsp. fresh dill
1 tsp. dried basil
1 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
2 oz. anchovies with oil, or a squeeze of anchovie paste

Beat the egg, than gradually add the oil before adding other ingredients.  Pour atop the salad, and toss.


June 16, 2008

Something on the side

Filed under: Healthy, Light lunch, Side dish, Vegetarian — Tags: , , , , — peoplewhoeat @ 1:38 am

Everyone needs their little bit on the side. Side dish, I mean. Stuffed capsicums are a sunny, summery side which are delicious and flavourful. What I really like about them, apart from their simplicity, is that they are robust and present beautifully. Their strong, though not overwhelming, flavour means they can stand up to whatever other mains you provide – I think they would be marvellous with plainly grilled meat or steak (mm…steak) – but they are also filling enough for any vegetarians you may be catering for (as a former vegetarian, I can attest that a little thoughtfulness in this area is much appreciated!).

The recipe below reflects what I did. The recipe easily stretches and measurements are versatile. My capiscums were somewhat small and I had a little zuchinni left over; you could use more capiscum or different stuffings. I considered adding a topping of dried breadcrumbs and cheese to add a little crunch!

Zuchinni-stuffed capiscums

4 capiscum, halved, with the stalk and white pith and seeds inside removed (I halved either lengthways or sideways depending on which side seemed most stable; generally I would say halve the capsicum along the width)
1 zuchinni, grated using the largest holes on a box grater
Pinch dried thyme and dried basil
4 tomatoes, diced
2 – 4 tablespoons parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius and oil a baking sheet.

Combine zuchinni and dried herbs. Stuff inside hollowed-out capsicum halves.

Place diced tomatoes on top of zuchinni inside the capsicum halves.

Sprinkle with parmesan.

Place on oiled baking sheet.

Bake until filling is cooked and capsicum are soft but not collapsed, about 20 – 30 minutes depending on the size of your beasts.

Eat well…life is too short not to!


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