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Posts Tagged ‘vegetarian’

I love quiches because they’re so versatile and relatively easy, if time-consuming. When I first left home I adapted a recipe of my mother’s and would live on this for three or four days — alas, my quiches are polished off much more quickly now!

Broccoli, Sweetcorn and Onion Quiche

Pastry ingredients (for a quicker baking experience you can buy your pastry or pie case):

150g flour
75g butter
1 – 2 tbsp cold water

Filling ingredients:

2 eggs
250ml milk
150g mature cheddar, grated
1 small head of broccoli, chopped up small
1 small tin of sweetcorn, drained
1 onion, chopped
a little oil
Salt & pepper

Pre-heat your oven to 200 deg C. To make the pastry, rub the butter into the flour then add a little water, kneading and adding more water as necessary until you have a soft dough. Sprinkle your work surface with flour and roll out the dough until it will cover the base and sides of a 9-inch pie tin. Transfer your pastry to your greased pie tin and bake blind for 10 minutes, then remove your dried beans/pasta/whatever and bake for a further 10 minutes.

Saute your onion until just starting to brown, then add the broccoli and continue to cook until the onions are fully browned. Set aside. Beat together the eggs, milk, salt and pepper.

Put your cheese and vegetables into the prepared pie case and mix gently together with a fork. Pour the egg mix over the top. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until the centre is just set.

Make sure it is cool enough for your toddler before you let him/her eat any!

Variations

As I said above, quiches are very versatile. You can put almost anything in a quiche. Don’t like broccoli or corn or onions? Try sauteeing some thinly sliced carrot, some mushrooms, some halved cherry tomatoes (drain these before adding to quiche). Add a small can of artichokes, or peas, or green beans. Anything! The main thing to do is make sure your ingredients are not too ‘wet’– you don’t want soggy pastry, so make sure you drain things well.

What my toddler did:

  • Kneading pastry dough.
  • Rolling out pastry.
  • Helping to wash the vegetables.
  • Peeling the onion.
  • Helping to grate the cheese.
  • Helping to mix eggs and milk.
  • Putting cheese and corn into pie case.

The final product

Yum!

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Lasagna is one of the best main course dishes to make with my toddler, especially if I have the sauce or sauces already prepared. It then becomes a simple but fun assembly job!

This lasagna is based on the Red Bean Lasagna from Rose Elliot’s ‘Vegetarian Pasta ‘. It is perfect for a bean-loving girl such as my daughter. Apart from the cheese on the top it is also vegan!

Red Bean Lasagne

50g margarine

40g flour

600ml soy milk

1 bay leaf

slice of onion

some extra milk

ground nutmeg

1 onion, peeled and chopped

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 430g tin kidney beans

2 400g tins tomatoes

2 heaped tablespoons tomato purée

1/2 teaspoon chilli powder

salt & pepper

enough lasagne sheets to cover your lasagne dish three times

70g Parmesan cheese, grated (omit or substitute for vegan dish)

 

To make the béchamel sauce, melt the margarine and stir in the flour. When it starts to bubble, add half the milk and whisk over the heat until it thickens. Add the rest of the milk and whisk until the sauce is thick and smooth.  Add the bay leaf and onion and leave over a low heat for ten minutes. Remove from the heat and pour the extra milk carefully over the top — this will help prevent a skin from forming.  Set aside.

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees C/gas 6.

For the bean/tomato sauce, fry the onions in a little oil until starting to brown, then add garlic and stir for about a minute. Add beans and tomatoes and leave on the heat, uncovered, for about 15 minutes, until sauce is just beginning to thicken. You don’t want it too thick or there won’t be enough liquid to cook the lasagne! Add the tomato purée, chilli powder and salt & pepper to taste.

To assemble the lasagne, remove the bay leaf and onion from the béchamel sauce and whisk until any lumps are gone. Rinse one third  of your lasagne sheets under cold water and use them to cover the bottom of a greased lasagne dish. Pour a third of your béchamel sauce  on top and cover with half your bean/tomato sauce. Cover with another layer of lasagne and the same quantities of the sauces. Top with the rest of the lasagne, the rest of the béchamel sauce the cheese, then bake for about 35 minutes until the pasta feels soft when you stick a fork or skewer through it.

Variations

Lasagne is almost infinitely variable! You can use different sauces, just one sauce instead of two, you can replace the béchamel sauce with a soft cheese (my favourite for this is marscapone), you can add a layer of sautéed vegetables between the sauces… whatever sounds good to you! My daughter and I particularly love to add layers of sweetcorn. Yum.

spreading out sauce

What my toddler did

Despite my recommendation above to have your sauces made already, I did not. So my daughter did a lot of ‘helping’ to stir things on the stove. I hold her on my hip for this so I can put her down and get her out of the way quickly if anything starts to spit or bubble too fiercely. Other things she did:

  • Choosing a bay leaf from the bag.
  • Peeling (most of) the onion.
  • Attempting to use the garlic press (not very successfully!)
  • Helping to grease the dish.
  • Putting lasagne sheets in the dish — I rearranged them slightly after.
  • Spreading the sauces out to cover the lasagne.
  • Sprinkling the cheese on top. Or throwing it on in big lumps, whichever she felt like!

If I had made the sauces earlier and they had been cooler I would have put the appropriate quantities in bowls for her to pour into the dish as well. When we do this she has practically assembled the whole lasagne herself!

The finished product
…I actually forgot to take a picture of the finished product because we were so eager to eat it! So here is a picture of the almost-ready-for-the-oven product instead.

sprinkly cheese

I am going to be away for two and a half weeks for Easter, but when we get back… apple upside-down cake! Yum.

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