Tag Archives: carrot

Rainbow Vegetable Puff Pastry Tart

Vegetarian tarts are some of my favourite savoury bakes to make. It’s very easy to create a delicious vegetarian meal without feeling as if you’re missing the meat using puff pastry. And this Rainbow Vegetable Tart is an easy and delicious vegetarian puff pastry tart that can be ready in just 45 minutes!

There’s no shame in using ready made puff pastry, especially when it’s so readily available, cheap and good quality from many supermarkets. The tart has flaky and delicate buttery puff pastry with a layer of smooth cream cheese and lots of good vegetables which are tasty and texturally all different; the cucumber provides a soft mellow base, the carrots add slight sweetness as well as a tiny amount of crunch, the tomato adds moisture and sweetness as it roasts on the surface and the red onions cook down and become crisp. The tart is finished off with melted brie and gorgonzola.

1 x 375g block of shop bought puff pastry

75g full fat cream cheese

Ground black pepper

20ml lemon juice

Pinch of salt

½ a cucumber, cut into long ribbons using a vegetable peeler, seeds removed

½ a carrot, cut into long ribbons using a vegetable peeler

3 tomatoes, sliced

½ a red onion, sliced thinly

50g brie, cubed

25g gorgonzola, cubed

Beaten egg, to glaze

Preheat the oven to 200˚C. Cut a piece of parchment to fit a square baking tray.

Roll out the puff pastry into a square on a lightly floured surface measuring 23cm by 23cm. Use a knife to lightly score a mark 2cm in from each side.

In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese with the black pepper, salt and lemon juice until it has a spreadable consistency. Spread the cream cheese on top of the puff pastry up to the marked edge.

Arrange the cucumber and carrot ribbons over the pastry so that the cream cheese is concealed, again reaching up to the border. Place 16 tomato slices on the tart in a 4×4 grid as in the picture and scatter over the thinly sliced red onions and the brie and gorgonzola. Finish with a crack of black pepper and brush the top of the puff pastry with egg wash.

Bake the tart for around 25 minutes or until the pastry is well-risen, golden and crisp and cooked all the way through to the base. Leave to cool on the tray for 5 minutes before slicing into 4 pieces and serving hot with a lightly dressed side salad.


Recreating Wagamama’s Chicken Teriyaki Donburi

I’m going to say that around 50% of people reading this typed in “Wagamama’s Chicken Teriyaki Donburi’ into a search engine and got to this blogpost. I’d also bet that you went onto Wagamama’s website and was disappointed at their recipe/guide on how to make it yourself at home – I know I certainly was! I decided to create my own recipe for a much tastier version of Wagamama’s Chicken Teriyaki Donburi (and much cheaper too!)

The word teriyaki itself is a combination of ‘teri’ which refers to the shine that comes from the reduced soy sauce and sugar and ‘yaki’ which refers to the method of grilling. I adapt this slightly and cook the chicken in my wok until cooked and then adding the ingredients for the sauce to the wok, almost backwards marinating if you will.

For ease, I cooked my rice in a rice cooker. They are a fantastic piece of kitchen equipment because they save the hassle of cooking rice over the hob, gas or electric, and using microwave rice. Cheap long grain rice works just fine here and you can bulk out your expensive jasmine or basmati rice with the cheap long grain rice to make it go further. A 1.5L rice cooker, which is more than enough to cook 4 servings, ranges in price from £15 to £30.

The time it takes to cook the rice is also how long it takes to cook the chicken teriyaki itself, making for a perfect dinner. I slice the chicken breasts into strips so that they can cook quicker but also makes the chicken breast go a bit further. You can also use chicken thighs for this recipe, they have a bit more flavour but make sure that they are skinless and boneless. I serve the chicken teriyaki with raw carrots for crunch, rocket for pepperiness, sesame and chill broad beans to up the vegetable content and kimchi for a punchy kick. You can find kimchi in refrigerated packets in most Asian supermarkets.

This would also go really well with my Romaine Lettuce Kimchi, which has been one of my most popular posts in 2017!

300g long grain rice

2 tbsp oil

3 chicken breasts, sliced into strips

3 cloves of garlic, crushed

3 tbsp light soy sauce

6 tbsp dark soy sauce

150ml white wine

3 tbsp sugar – you could also use honey

2 spring onions, finely sliced

1 carrot, cut into thin strips

60g rocket leaves

150g frozen broad beans

1 tsp sesame oil

½ tsp dried chilli flakes

100g kimchi, optional

Wash the rice under cold water until the water runs clear, then place into the bowl of your rice cooker. Add enough water to the rice cooker to reach just under the first crease of your middle finger when you touch the surface of the rice with your middle finger. Switch on the rice cooker and leave the rice to cook.

Heat the oil in a wok over a medium high heat. Cook the chicken breast strips in the wok until they are cooked through, stirring to stop it from sticking. Once cooked, add in the crushed garlic, the two soy sauces, the white wine and the sugar, stirring to dissolve. Leave the teriyaki sauce to boil down and reduce by half. When reduced by half, add in a handful of the spring onions and carrots and reduce by a third.

Place the broad beans into a pan of salted boiling water and cook for around 7 – 8 minutes until they are soft and tender. Drain away the water and return to the pan, adding in the teaspoon of sesame oil and chilli flakes. Toss to coat.

Remove the chicken from the wok and place into a small bowl and set aside. Continue to reduce the sauce, letting it thicken naturally until it coats the back of a spoon. Return the chicken to the sauce and warm through.

When the rice is cooked, fluff it up using a fork and then divide equally between 4 bowls. Lay the carrots around the left side of the bowl, the rocket leaves around the right side of the bowl and then fill the centre with the chicken, drizzling the teriyaki sauce over the chicken. Serve the broad beans and kimchi in a bowl on the side.

Chickpea Chilli Con Carne

There’s something comforting about coming home and knowing that you’ve got a tub of something in the freezer that you can just stick in the microwave and you can eat straight away. And my Chickpea Chilli con Carne is just that!


Cooking large batches and storing it away is a great way to save money and prevent food waste. As a student, you have to find innovative ways to use up things in your vegetable box in the fridge and cans from the cupboard; chickpeas and carrots in a chilli might be somewhat unconventional but it works!

I counted the cost for the 1 meal and the 2 tubs that I made and it originally came to £1.06 per tub. But the tubs each gave me 2 meals and so realistically, the price of this chilli per portion is £0.64. I served this chilli in 2 ways, firstly with rice and a good dollop of sour cream, bringing the price up to £0.79 per person, and secondly with homemade tortilla chips and lettuce leaves (the recipe for the tortilla chips you can find by clicking here!) which brought the price up to £0.76 per person.


With nutritional fibre and protein in the chickpeas and plenty of vegetables, this is a great way to boost your vegetable intake. I use both dried chilli flakes and chilli powder to provide heat in the chilli. And using what I had in the cupboard, I used a 500g jar of Bolognese to create the sauce to which I added plenty of spices to take away that pasta sauce flavour. And I didn’t have any onions at home so I just used the vegetables I had in the fridge but feel free to saute or sweat the onions to begin with.

1 tbsp sunflower oil

1 carrot, finely diced

1 green pepper, diced

500g beef mince

2 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp garlic powder

2 tsp dried chilli flakes

1 tsp chilli powder (you can add more to suit your liking!)

100g tinned sweetcorn

1 x 400g tin of chickpeas, drained

1 x 500g jar of Bolognese sauce

Cornflour, to thicken

1 large tomato

Salt and pepper

In a large saucepan or wok, pour in the oil over a medium heat and cook the carrots and pepper until softened. Add in the beef mince all at once and start to break it up into pieces, whilst allowing it to brown slightly too. Stir occasionally and season.


Add in all of the spices at this stage along with all of the sweetcorn and chickpeas and continue to mix and cook until everything is coated in the spices and leave for 5 minutes on a lower heat.

Add in the jar of Bolognese sauce and fill the jar up to halfway with water, swill and pour in the contents into the pan. Remove 4 tablespoons of the liquid and add 2 tablespoons of cornflour and create a slurry (mix the liquid with the cornflour) and add back into the pan and mix it through. This will thicken your sauce.


Allow the chilli to boil on a high heat with no lid on for around 5 minutes until some of the water evaporates away, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile chop up a tomato into around 1 inch pieces and scatter on the surface of the chilli and allow those to cook and soften.

Give everything a good mix and leave for a further 5 minutes to thicken up. Taste and adjust the heat to your liking, adding in some sour cream if it’s too spicy.

To serve, spoon over the chilli over some rice and serve with sour cream or serve with homemade Paprika Cumin Tortilla Chips to help scoop up the delicious chilli!

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Carrot Cupcakes with Lemon Icing

Carrot cake is one of my favourite cakes, with the natural sweetness of the carrot working with the spice and the tanginess of the cream cheese frosting. This vegetable cake is incredibly light and moist because of the use of oil instead of just margarine, allowing more air to be incorporated. Although the classic carrot cake uses brown sugar for the dark caramel flavour, I prefer lighter carrot cakes so I stick to granulated sugar with the main colour coming from the mixed spice.

Carrot Cakes with Lemon Icing

I don’t just stick to grated carrot and sultanas, which can be quite boring. I mix things up by adding chopped apricots, mixed peel and some crystallised ginger. However the carrot should be grated by hand; if you use a machine, it tends to be quite wet and the cake will not bake evenly with the extra moisture. I also toss all of the dried fruit in some of the flour to prevent it sinking. Do not worry if you cannot add ground almonds, the cake is still just as good without them.

You can make a cream cheese frosting but I didn’t have any (!) so I made a lemon glace icing instead by simply mixing lemon juice and icing sugar until it had a thick consistency before drizzling them randomly over the cakes once cooled.

175g carrot, grated by hand

50g sultanas

30g mixed peel

30g crystallised ginger, finely chopped

50g dried apricots, finely chopped

100g margarine

50ml sunflower oil

150g granulated sugar

3 eggs

150g self-raising flour, separating one tablespoon to coat the fruit in

½ tsp baking powder

1 tsp mixed spice

40g ground almonds

60g icing sugar

Around 1 – 2 tbsp lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with cupcake cases.

In a separate bowl, place the grated carrot, sultanas, crystallised ginger, mixed peel and apricots. Add the reserved 1 tablespoon and toss to coat in the flour, which will prevent them sinking to the bottom.

Carrots and Fruit Added

Put the margarine, oil, sugar, eggs, flour, baking powder, mixed spice and ground almonds into a bowl and beat together by hand until it is smooth and creamy. Make sure there are no visible lumps of flour or margarine. Stir in the dried fruit and carrots until just incorporated. Do not overwork.

Divide the mixture between the 12 cupcakes cases evenly and bake for 18 minutes until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack and cooling completely.

Carrot Cakes

Make the lemon icing by gradually adding lemon juice to the icing sugar until it has a thick consistency, capable of drizzling. When the cakes are cool, drizzle over the cakes randomly and serve alongside a cup of tea.