Tag Archives: pie

Tuesday Burritos, Gardener’s Pie and an eReader!

17 Aug

Well – I realised I haven’t done any recipes for a while, so tonight you get two (though, they’re both pretty simple) and some added extras.

Tuesday Burritos

I’m not going to give you a recipe for burritos, because you don’t really need one.  I’m just going to say that this is a Tuesday-night tradition that you should be getting on the bandwagon of.  You can do so, so much with burritos but really, less is more!  We use, as weekly staples, refried beans, tomato, lettuce, hot taco sauce.  S has cheese, and sometimes has Fry’s chicken strips.  I sometimes make a more extravagant spicy-bean-mix.  Sometimes we have avocado.  They are delicious and you should be eating them right away.

Gardener’s Pie

This is a slightly-more complex recipe than the one I gave in the very first entry of The Thoughtful Kitchen.  You’ll need:

  • 500grams cooked brown lentils (or about 2 tins)
  • I can of crushed tomatoes
  • 2 carrots
  • 3/4 cup of peas
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 4-6 potatoes (depending on how much you like)
  • any and all left over cooked veges you have laying in the fridge (optional)
  • nutritional yeast (optional)

Steam or boil your potatoes and mash how you like.  Drain your lentils.  Put your oven on to about 180 degrees.  Dice up the carrots and celery so they’re about the same size as the peas.  Combine, in a mixing bowl, the lentils, tomato, peas, carrots and celery.  Mix well, and then scoop into a baking dish (or, into 6 individual ramekins).  Slice up the left over cooked veges and place them, either neatly or haphazardly, over the top of the lentil mix.  Sprinkle with nutritional yeast (this can be done between the lentil and vege layer if you like, or omitted all together).  Spoon mash potato (or pumpkin or sweet potato) over the top of the dish and bake until hot though and the top if crusty.

left over roast veges, over the lentil base

For something different – add some finely chopped spinach to your potato mash!

Added Extras: Recipes I have been throwing around the ‘net.

Home Made Pesto (Super Easy)

You’ll need:

  • About 1 1/2 cups fresh basil
  • About 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts (you can easily toast your own in the oven – spread them over a baking tray and pop them in a 180 degree oven for about five minutes.  Let them cool before you use them)
  • Olive oil (depending how you like it – about 1/3 cup should be fine.  You could also replace all or some with another type of oil, or with an infused oil to give an extra flavour)
  • 2 small cloves of garlic

Throw it all into a food processor and blend until it looks right.

Apple Crumble (can be made, really, with any fruit: blueberry and rhubarb for example)

Get a tin of pie-apples (or stew your own on a weekend and pop them in the freezer for apple-crumble emergencies!) and heat them up.  Crumble is super easy – mix some wholemeal flour, some cinnamon, some psyllium husks (optional) and some brown sugar and then dump a lump of non-diary marg into the dry mix and smush it around with your fingers until the whole thing is lumpy – spread it over a baking dish and pop it in a hot oven for 10-15 minutes until it’s crunchy and lovely.  Put hot crumble over hot apples and devour!

Awesome New Toy!

After spending the last two and a half years telling S how much I really, really want an eReader I finally got one!  Initially, I wanted the Kindle, but I ended up getting a Kobo.  First of all – it’s just an eBook reader.  You download books onto your computer, plug it in and hey presto, you have a (possible) thousand books in your hand.  I didn’t want any extra faff (and I don’t really need to spend any more time on the Internet), just something I could read books on.  The Kobo is really light, I could play around with one in the store and I like the eInk display.  It looks like paper.

There is debate about pretty much everything new than lands in our laps – and for eReader devices one of those contentious issues is about pollution.  Is it more environmentally friendly to read a (real) book or to read eBooks on an eReader?  There are a number of issues here including the energy/pollution/raw materials it takes to actually make the device and it’s battery.  Undoubtedly, when you look at any eReader v. a single book, the eReader would hands down be detrimental to the planet.  Then there is the obvious on-going carbon issue, as somehow you have to charge up your handy little reader and that consumes energy (and we all know that story).  On the other side is, of course, the trees that are not produced into books, and the energy and raw material saved from not publishing, and – this is the kicker for me – the miles that books are not flown all around the globe, driven from ports to bookshops to be picked up by people in their cars.

I read a number of things – like this article at Environmental Graffiti and this one at Care2.  I made the decision decision to buy one based on the number of books that I buy (obviously not including books that I borrow) and the fact that I often like to keep and re-read books; and due to my impending-lack-of-space for booky-deliciousness; and due to the number of articles I read (and often have to print – as I can’t stand the flipping back and forward from Preview to Word); and due to the fact that the eReader I chose satisfied me that it was, in fact, not all-consumpingly damaging to the environment (in fact, the eInk display on the Kobo, the Nook and other eReaders uses significantly less energy than other display types – I have lost the link for that fact, but I will try and find it again).  All of these factors lead to the decision to purchase the eReader – but the final deciding factor was the environmental impact that I think owning an eReader over buying (and having shipped from all over the world) books.  From now on I will only buy eBooks for fiction, cooking, general, miscellaneous, non-fiction and (where possible) academic books (which seem to be lagging behind somewhat – but I will also actively put off purchasing books which are unavailable in eBook format unless absolutely necessary for my research and unavailable in every other way – including suggesting purchases to the library, because I think it’s better for a book to be available to lots of people than just me.)

Of course – the best way to consume books is to walk or cycle down to your local library but for a person (like me) with a veracious appetite for books of all kinds it’s just not that much of an option.  But – the more people shift to using devices like these, the better the impact on the environment will be.  Here’s a thought-provoking graph:


I hope that by the time I have children, who will inevitably attend school and – should they choose –  university, things like this are pretty standard, and being used across ever faucet of life.  I hated carrying mountains of very heavy textbooks back and forward from classes that I hated in a badly designed brown schoolbag – and I would never wish that dismal fate upon anyone else.

Rustic French Lentil Pie

1 Jul

A very short (I promise) rant to begin today:  why do non-vegans always exclaim that obviously non-animal derived products ‘are vegan!’  Someone once even asked me if I can eat potatoes.  Seriously people, use your brains for 30 seconds.  (This annoys me almost as much as people asking me if my chest-plate tattoo hurt.  Come on.)

But, onto the pie!

For the pastry you’ll need:

  • 1 1/2 cups plain flour (plus a bit more for kneading)
  • 3/4 cup super-cold Nuttelex
  • water

For the pie you’ll need:

  • 1 1/2 cups brown French lentils, cooked in slightly salted water
  • 1 leek (or 1/2 a leek, for those who are not as huge about the magical powers of leek as I am)
  • 1 medium brown onion
  • 2 small-medium carrots
  • 2 medium potatoes
  • 1 small broccoli
  • 3/4 cup of peas (either minted or not minted)
  • vegetable stock powder (or a crushed cube)
  • gravy mix (if desired, not essential!)

Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees C, and ‘butter’ (or oil) a pie dish.

For the pastry:

Combine the flour and Nuttelex in the food processor, using a plastic S blade.  You can do this in a bowl with your hands, if you like, by working the flour and Nuttelex through your fingers until it forms ‘crumbs’ of pastry dough.  Add the water a small splash at a time, either with short bursts in the food processor or kneading it in with your hands.  It’s ready to roll out when it has combined together and comes cleanly away from the side of the bowl.  Place it onto a floured bench and work it with your hand – but not too much – before you start to roll it out.  Remember to twist and flip your pastry when rolling:  when you flip it over to work the bench-down side, rotate the pastry 90 degrees (but, always in the same direction!)

When it’s rolled out, carefully place it into a well-‘buttered’ pie dish.  Make sure that you really push the corners in well, and make the sides even, gently push a few fork-holes into the bottom of the pie.  Push or cut off the excess and leave to the side (this will become the lid of the pie).  Line the inside of the pie with baking paper and beans or rice (you can keep this rice for future blind-baking, but it’s probably best not to eat it…) and bake for 15-20 minutes, until the pie base is looking almost cooked.

For the filling:

Finely chop up the leek and onion, and dice the carrots and potatoes, and chop up the broccoli florets (and stems, if you like them) into bite sized chunks.  Saute the leek and onion, and boil the carrot, potato and broccoli in a separate pot, until they are almost cooked then set aside.  If you have not just cooked your lentils, or if you’re using canned lentils, place them in a big pot to warm up, with a pinch of salt.  Once they are warm, add a pinch of vegetable stock powder, gravy mix (if desired) and stir around until the lentil mix is totally warmed though.  If it starts to look too dry, add a small amount of water – but be careful not to make it too soupy (otherwise the filling will just pour out when you cut into the pie).  Add all the vegetables and combine together.  Add salt, pepper, or more vegetable stock to taste.

Fill the pie case with the mix, and let it rest down while you roll out the lid of the pie.  Work the remaining pastry only until it is one uniform lump again, and roll out as above.  Cover the pie with the lid, and press the sides around the rim of the pie case.  Punch a few fork holes in the top, wipe over with some rice milk and bake until golden brown on top.

I like to pull the pie out of the tin for the last two or three minutes of baking – but it is certainly not a requirement.

And, hey presto – a wonderful, warm, winter pie!

(And, with the small off cuts of pastry from the lid: cut them into small bits, brush with a bit of Nuttelex, and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon and bake until golden…  delicious with vanilla bean ice-cream!)