Something to share

Remember the red pepper and tomato soup? That I forgot to take a photo of?

Well here you go. I finally took a photo the next time I made some, and, I even included celery and orange juice in the recipe.

It looks exactly as you would expect really doesn’t it? Like tomato soup. Looks like Heinz in fact, although fortunately not quite as gloopy and sweet.

Recipe and ingredients back on this post here for anyone who didn’t see it before.

And I thought I would share an excellent recipe I found on WordPress, maybe it was a featured one or something. Here it is – food to glow. I won’t precis her recipe, she also gives some good and interesting nutritional points, eg I didn’t know that shiitake mushrooms were so good for your health.

The author is not vegetarian, although this recipe is, but she does say that non-veggies can substitute chicken for tofu. I would have thought tofu or tempeh would work far better, but each to their own etc.

I was amazed when I first learned that the ‘seaweed’ you get in Chinese restaurants was not seaweed at all, but shredded brassicas, cooked dryly and quickly.

This recipe suggests using cavolo negro (always wondered what to do with it when I saw it on the shelf and never bought it), but as there wasn’t any in Morries I just bought a bog-standard bag of kale.

Important note. It looks as though there is loads in the bag of kale. When you put it in the oven to cook, it shrinks massively. I started off using half a bag the first time I made this, and then added more. The second time I just tipped the whole bag in.

Important note number two. If you buy tamarind pods (I always wondered what to do with that as well, once I had bought it and looked at it sitting forlornly in the fridge) it is messy to make the paste yourself. If you don’t do your own washing up – this may result in a grumpy partner.

Having said that, the tamarind-based sauce was really zingy and lemony, so well worth making the mess, IMO. And basically it is a pretty quick meal to prepare too, so that’s always a plus point. I served it with Thai noodles but my pic of the final dish is crap :D – suggest you look at the ones on the recipe blog.

tofu soaking marinating in tamari
Some of the ingredients, I had some left-over brocs, so added that as well
Tamarind pods - NOTE! - I added too much water to this, less is more
Carrots, to provide the crisper contrast of texture (uh! that was a bit foody!)

Cost for two greedies:
Shiitake mushrooms – £1.59, the most expensive part of the meal
Kale – £1
Tofu – approx £1.50 as I used about 3/4 of a pack
Carrots – not a lot
Noodles – can’t remember
Sesame seeds – 30-50p say?
Tamarind – probably another 50p ish.

On a separate but related note, ie not about this recipe, but about cost, I was wandering past the meat counter at the supermarket and noticed the price of steak. I was totally gob-smacked. Around £15 or £16 a kilo for rump/sirloin, and £32 for fillet. If you wanted to pay more you could go up to £42 for fillet steak.

It is so long since I have eaten meat that I had no idea what it cost. I’d totally lost track. It also brought it home to me how much of a rip off it is when you eat a vegetarian meal out and it costs the same as meat or fish. Yes, I accept that the labour costs and all the on-costs have to be considered. But still, the meal I have just priced up cost around £5/6 for two people, cooked at home, with very little prep or cooking time. I wouldn’t be very pleased at having to fork out £12-£20 for it out. Which is one of the many reasons I don’t eat out.

13 comments on “Something to share

  1. Mmmmm, home made tomato soup, that look soooo gooooood :-) (as looking at my tin of Heinz in the cupboard :-() I’ve just popped over to the tofu meal link, it looks good too.


    • That soup is so easy and fast. And because it is tomato-based, you can always use any leftovers (not that there are many here) as a sauce base too. I’m not into tinned soups. Which reminds me I must post up a cock-a-leekie soup post :D I thought her blog was pretty good, with a real variation of stuff. I happened to like the tofu recipe in particular because it combined a load of things that suit our taste. If not our washing up traits.


        • May well have done. I’ve been there too, but professionally, luckily. It was pretty good in terms of a resource centre (boring management jargon) for cancer patients. Both Ed and Glas have good cancer treatment, so for the ones who live in the middle they can really go to either. Not being facebooky any more, I’ve pretty much forgotten the detail of the scot group and who went where. I thought a lot of them were west coast people, so you would expect Glasgow, but the Maggie Centre is pretty well reknowned.


    • Hmm, don’t know what dt would make of it – might even manage that rare mustard colour …. ;) Might try it out for interest though. And then I can say I told you so if it comes up mustard.

      The mushrooms would def come up mustard – on their own they would. But I am not going to do it yet. I have Things To Do.


  2. Hi there,

    I agree with you entirely about restaurant charges, even though my perspective on it is the complete opposite to yours!!

    I used to take my (vegetarian) brother out to dinner on the rare occasions I visited him in North Wales. It used to really irritate me that they would serve him what looked like Tesco frozen mixed veg in a sauce made of cream and curry powder, on rice and that would only be £1 less than my Roast Duck or whatever. Thats why I *used* to take him out.

    Thanks for the information on the price of meat. Quite similar to what it costs in the UK.

    Blu Lagoon


    • Love your reference to Tesco frozen mixed veg in sauce :D No better than the ubiquitous ‘home-made’ veg lasagna that is always, heavy, stodgy, and sickly. Perhaps I should write a post about the five standard (presumably frozen) veg meals you can get everywhere that offers ‘vegetarian’ meals. Today’s version of the cheese omelette I suppose.

      The Waterfront (Queensway Quay Marina) used to do a very good Veg Wellington, and a couple of other reasonable veg meals. There is prob a review back in June 2008 (or 9) when we ate out occasionally. Anyway the chef obviously moved and the veg options deteriorated to the usual standard offerings. A year or two back we took someone out for Sunday lunch (tried the Waterfront first but the only option for us was on the lines of – er – veg lasagna) and ended up at 14 on The Quay. We had asparagus and hollandaise sauce, I have to say the asparagus was perfectly cooked, and the sauce was good too – could have come out of a jar I suppose. But £16 for two bunches of asparagus?? Our guest’s Sunday roast looked excellent, and seemed far better value.

      The Marina is a good place to eat though – reasonable choice and beautiful venue. Not half as tat as Ocean Village. Just my unhumble opinion.


      • Thats useful to know, thank you. I don’t tend to eat out much either, as I find most ordinary restaurants (main courses less than £50 each) are disappointing and I could have produced a better meal at home at a fraction of the cost.

        My other issue with restaurants is the price of wine. I don’t like paying £60 quid or so for a bottle of wine when I can get the same thing in Marks and Spencers for less than £15. I’m rather hoping in Gib one will be able to get a decent Rioja for a lot less than that.



        • Restaurant reviews of the Marina spots are – naturally :D – on Pippa’s blog under June and July 2008. The Boatyard has become something else with a similar name. It was quite decent when we went in its BY days.

          I *think* main courses at the places we frequented were between 10 and 20 quid. No more. In Gib, I guess you pick the best (depending on your personal prefs) out of a limited market. Sometimes, it is nice to go out, and we did have a few decent meals. As well as the marina places, Pippa also reviewed Quattro Stagioni at Jumpers.

          We tended not to buy decent wine anywhere, I usually had one or two glasses of house red. I’m sure they all sell Faustino ;) I think some do have reasonable wine lists though, I still enjoy reading wine lists, even though I never buy the decent stuff, and it probably comes in at less than £60.

          The last time we ate out was 18 months ago (to the day!!) on our Silver Wed. We had lunch at the town branch of the Maharajah, which was low-key, simple, inexpensive, and exactly what we wanted. I don’t know why the previous reviews ended up on Pippa’s and not here!! There probably are a few eating out tales on here, but I need to recategorise all the posts after the import from blogger :( Anyway we are unlikely to be eating out in the near future, so I can’t offer any up to date info, sadly, and I’m not happy to use other people’s recommends because, well truth is, we all have different preferences eg someone might say they had a brill meal and it turns out to be a well-done steak with a pile of chips. Come to think of it, someone did say that about a meal at the Casino :D See what I mean?


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