Friday, 23 May 2014

A Vegetarian Feast

To finish off Vegetarian week in style, we thought we would share our favourite Gluten free and vegetarian meal, which hopefully you can fit in to the long weekend! Even meat lovers will enjoy this feast! Let us know what you think...

Starter: Chilled watercress and pea soup

Sometimes there is nothing more comforting than soup. We love this chilled watercress and pea soup served with a warmed Barkat roll. It only takes 10 mins to prepare and tastes delicious.

  • 454g pack of frozen peas
  • 85g bag watercress, roughly torn
  • 850g vegetable stock
  • juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 4 tbsp natural yogurt
  • ice cubes to serve
  • Barkat rolls to serve
  1. Place all of the ingredients, except the yogurt and ice, in a liquidiser or blender. Don’t overfill the machine – you may need to do this in two batches. Whizz everything for a couple of minutes until smooth and speckled with the watercress.
  2. Season if you want to, then serve straight away or chill until needed. The soup will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a 2 days (give it a good stir before serving) or can be frozen for up to 1 month. Serve the soup drizzled with yogurt and an ice cube or two to make it even more refreshing.
  3. Refresh the rolls in the oven and serve warm with a knob of butter.

Main: Veggie packed Shepherds Pie

Serves 4


  • 1 small pumpkin/butternut squash, weighing about 1.2kg
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 25g butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • 300g mushrooms, chopped (chestnut, oyster, shiitake- these have loads of flavour)
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 200ml sherry (an amontillado or an oloroso)
  • 2 x 400g tins of haricot beans or cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 250g spinach leaves
  • 25g strong cheese (e.g. Cheddar, Gruy√®re), grated
  • 25g Barkat gluten free crackers (put them into a food processor so they become breadcrumbs)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. Heat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6.
2. Peel and deseed the pumpkin/squash, then cut it into chunks. Place in a pan with salted water to cover and cook over a low heat until the pumpkin is soft (about 15 minutes). Drain, then mash with a fork. Crush 1 clove of garlic and stir it in, then season with salt and pepper. Set aside to cool.
3. Meanwhile, heat the butter and oil in a frying pan, then add the onion and fry slowly until it’s coloured as brown as you like it. Chop the remaining cloves of garlic and add to the pan with the mushrooms, thyme, sherry and beans. Season well with salt and pepper and let the mixture simmer away until the sherry has reduced – about 10 minutes or so. At the last moment stir in the spinach leaves to wilt.
 4. Place the filling in a casserole dish and spoon the pumpkin mash on top. Mix the cheese with the breadcrumbs and sprinkle on top, then give it a light drizzle of olive oil. Bake in the oven for 35–45 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown.

Dessert Toffee Apple Pudding
To finish off this veggie feast, I thought a caramel sweet pudding would work wonderfully. Serve with a spoon of your favourite ice cream and your meal is complete!

Serves 6 (or a greedy 4)


  • 85g butter, melted
  • 140g Barkat gluten free flour
  • 100g golden caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp Barkat baking powder
  • 200ml milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Bramley apples (or other cooking) apples, peeled, cored and sliced
  • For the topping
  • 140g dark brown sugar
  • 50g pecans, roughly chopped
  1. Heat oven to 180C/gas 4. Grease a 2-litre ovenproof dish lightly with butter. Tip the gluten free flour, sugar and gluten free baking powder, along with a pinch of salt, into a large bowl. Mix together the milk, butter, egg and vanilla extract and stir into the dry ingredients until you get a smooth batter. Arrange the apples in the dish, spoon the batter on top and smooth with a knife until the apples are covered.
  2. For the topping, pour 250ml boiling water over the sugar and stir together until smooth. Pour the liquid over the pudding mixture, then scatter over the pecans. Bake for about 40 mins until the pudding has risen and is golden. Use a big spoon to serve the pudding, making sure you get some of the gooey caramel sauce covering the bottom of the dish. Serve with pouring cream, warm custard or vanilla ice cream.

This is one of my favourite indulgent desserts.

So there you have a delicious vegetarian feast! Enjoy celebrating Vegetarian Week!

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