Burn Black

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Archive of ‘Food’ category

Meat Free Mondays #3.

In an attempt in frugality I’ve been trying to use up items in my cupboards/freezer that I’ve had for ages in the hope that it will a) save me money and b) force me to try different things. I seem to be one of these people who always seem to have a lot of food in their cupboards yet continue to buy more “just in case”. In case of what who knows? For the sake of argument my excuse is that I’m stock piling in case of a zombie apocalypse.

This week I noticed I had a tub of breadcrumbs and a pack of firm tofu that were nearing their best before date so these have obviously been the foundation of this week’s MFM. After a quick internet search I decided on this only I used a lot more olive oil, 3/4 of a tin of chopped tomatoes (instead of the tomato sauce) and grated mild cheddar (I had no mozzarella). Those of you who are on a diet I apologise as this is definitley not for you.  Same goes to the vegans (due to the cheese). In my opinion this has been the best meal I’ve ever had with tofu in it as the base ingredient, it was utterly delicious and I will definitley be making this again in the future.

Seriously it was that good I had seconds.

Meat Free Mondays #2.

It’s been a while since I last posted for which I apologise but in between work, decorating and getting ready for Christmas I’ve had little time to indulge in blogging. I have however been wanting to make Borscht for a while and today after going to my local Tescos for some Parsnips and feeling like I’m coming down with cold thought it best to make it, especially with it being a MFM. I know a lot of wine isn’t considered vegan and it’s traditionally served with sour cream so this is one purely for the veggies I’m afraid.

Red Borscht

Overall I’m of the conclusion that this wasn’t worth the hassle. I spilt red wine all over my kitchen, scalded my hand whilst sieving the veg and to me it tasted as if it were missing something. I normally prefer my soups to be thicker. I also found the waste of veg a bit too much so recycled it all in a broth (I just added it all into a big pot with more water, a tin of chopped tomato, a bucket load of herbs and dried chilli and two handfuls of bulgar wheat) and to be honest I prefer that to the Borscht. Maybe I’ve done something wrong but I doubt I’ll be cooking this again. I hope you have better luck with it if you do decide on trying it however.
    • 1 celeriac
    • 2 carrots
    • A handful of fresh parsley
    • 1 leek
    • 1 onion
    • 1 large parsnip
    • 4 red beetroots
    • 10 black peppercorns
    • 2 grains of pimento (or allspice)
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 1 glass and a half of red wine
    • 1 tsp sugar
    • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
    • juice of 2 lemons
    • salt and pepper

Put a pan with 3 pints of water on the boil. Peel and chop the celeriac, carrots, leek, onion and parsnip, wash them and add to the pan. Simmer for 20 minutes.  Peel and thinly slice the beetroot and place in a separate pan with the peppercorns, pimento (I had none but found this as a good substitute) and bay leaves. Simmer, uncovered, in 1 pint of water for 30 minutes.  Sieve the vegetable and beetroot stocks and combine the clear liquids, discarding the vegetables. Return the borscht to the heat. Add the red wine, lemon juice, salt and pepper, sugar and garlic. Simmer for 20 minutes. Serve with Sour Cream.

Preparation time: Around 60 minutes.
Serves: 6

Meat Free Mondays…

I decided last week that, since a) I love to cook, b) am Vegetarian and c) following the Weight Watchers program that from now on I’m going to post either a recipe or a veggie discovery each Monday and thus call it Meat Free Mondays (very original no???).  This week I thought I would kick off MFM’s with my favourite ever pasta dish which is cheap, easy and best of all vegan.  If you’re following the Weight Watchers program this works out at 5.5 points with the oil or 3 if you use the no points low calorie spray oil.  Parmesan (dairy or vegan) is optional and obviously you will need to point it.

Carrot Pasta

If you like you can use flavoured oil (I sometimes use garlic infused or chilli infused olive oil) or you can use the low fat spray oil instead.  Also ASDA do tins of chopped tomatoes with chilli which work well with this if you fancy your meal with a bit of a kick.


  • 120 g pasta (dried)
  • 4 medium carrots
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons of Olive oil
  • 300 g Passata / 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh or dried herbs

Boil a pan of water (for the pasta) and whilst waiting for it to boil wash and peel the carrots with a vegetable peeler. Set the pasta off to boil and slice the carrots into thin slices (literally as thin as you can make them). Finely dice the garlic and the onion.

With another pan, coat the bottom with oil and heat on medium-high heat. When hot, add the carrots, stirring frequently. When the carrots start to soften, add the garlic and onion. Keep stirring for a couple of minutes until some of the carrots get brown around the edges and the garlic is golden. Next add the passata/tin of chopped tomatoes, salt, pepper and herbs until it’s all warmed through and serve with the cooked and drained pasta.

Preparation time: Roughly 30 minutes if that.

Serves: 2

If you like the idea of MFM or you actually cooked this dish then I would love to hear from you.  I do love this pasta dish and must eat it at least once a week.