Since coming to uni I have really gotten into cooking, so today I am sharing two of my favourite vegetarian recipes. The first is a really easy pasta recipe that takes literally 15 minutes and is crazy cheap to make. When I’ve had a really busy day or I just can’t be bothered, this is my go-to, and it’s so versatile that I always have ingredients on hand to make it and make it taaaasty. The other is a yummy quesadilla recipe which takes a bit longer but is completely worth the effort. Melted cheese and crunchy veggies? Yes, please.
Amounts and seasoning wise it’s all up to you; taste test along the way and add as much as you want to eat!
Red Pepper Hummus Pasta
You heard it here first lads. Hummus… in pasta. Just kidding, I adapted this recipe from the lovely Madeleine Olivia who is a vegan culinary genius and I adore her. Please check her out if you want to live a better, more fulfilling life.
I know hummus with pasta sounds weird at first but it’s the easiest recipe and it tastes so good! It’s also vegan so, clearly, it’s healthy. 😉
- Smoked paprika
- Chilli flakes
- Half a lemon
- Red-pepper hummus (I use the Aldi one)
- Penne pasta, or whatever you have
- Red or yellow peppers, sliced into bite-sized chunks
- Cherry tomatoes which have been halved
- Frozen peas
- Cook the pasta as per the package instructions, adding a little salt to the water.
- As the pasta boils, fry up the peppers in oil on medium to low heat.
- Add the smoked paprika, chilli flakes, and the halved cherry tomatoes.
- Stir it all together to coat your veggies with the spices, using the juice from the tomatoes to make this a bit easier.
- This is where I normally add some salt and pepper. You’ll be adding some of the salty pasta water later so no need to go too extra.
- Stir in the frozen peas.
- When the peas turn bright green, stir in the spinach.
- To aid the wilting of the spinach, spill a little of the pasta water into your frying pan over the spinach leaves. Just enough water to coat everything.
- Once the pasta is done and the veggies are cooked, drain the pasta and add it to the frying pan with the veggies.
- If you have added too much pasta water that is fiiiine, just turn up the heat and let it evaporate a bit.
- Lower the heat right down and dollop in a big spoonful of hummus, mixing it in with the pasta water to form a silky sauce.
- Squeeze in some lemon juice and check your seasoning. At this stage, I normally add a ton of black pepper and some more chilli flakes.
Now, go forth and enjoy that hummusy pasta, you lucky human.
Sweet Potato Quesadillas
Sweet potato is god’s gift to vegetarians, along with spinach and those pea protein sausages from Sainos – wow, they’re good. The mixture of the sweet potato , the smoky paprika and the salty cheese is just the best combo. I adore it.
This recipe takes me about forty minutes, but I am not the world’s most efficient chef.
- Vegetable or sunflower oil.
- Chilli powder
- Smoked paprika
- A few garlic wedges chopped up.
- Sweet potato – cubed (don’t bother peeling it, just make sure you give it a good wash)
- Red onion – chopped
- Pepper – sliced
- Can of kidney beans – drained
- Tomato Puree
- Grated cheddar cheese or a dairy free alternative.
- Hot sauce
- Sour cream (optional)
for the filling…
- In a big bowl combine the sweet potato chunks with oil, smoked paprika, salt and pepper and give them a good mix so they’re all equally covered.
- Lay the sweet potato out on a baking tray and put them in the oven at gas mark 6 (not sure of the conversions but probably 180 degrees) for 15-20 minutes.
- Whilst the sweet potato is cooking, add the onion to a frying pan on medium to low heat and cook until soft and translucent.
- Then add the peppers, garlic, smoked paprika, cumin, chilli powder, and some salt.
- Add a little water if it looks like the spices are sticking to the bottom. This helps move the spices around, so they can coat your veggies. It will then magically evaporate without leaving anything soggy. Science.
- Add the kidney beans.
- Once the peppers reach the level of crunchiness you desire, add a dollop of tomato puree to give your veggies a tomato-ey tinge. This is something I like to do, but if you’re not a huge tomato fan, miss this step out.
- Your sweet potato will probably be done by now, check it by putting a fork through the biggest piece to see if its soft all the way through.
- Stir your sweet potato into your veggies, give that bad boi a taste to check seasoning and then your filling is done!
putting it all together…
- Put a little oil on the bottom of your frying pan at a low heat.
- Add the tortilla flat and wait until its warm to the touch (please do not burn yourself on my account).
- Spoon some filling onto one side of the tortilla, not too much otherwise it will all fall out later on. Then sprinkle a hearty helping of cheese on top.
- Drizzle over your hot sauce.
- After the cheese starts to melt, dollop some sour cream on top.
- It is paramount that you do NOT curdle your cream. You deserve so much more than that. Immediately after cream application use a wooden spatula or whatever you have on you to push the empty side of the tortilla on top of the filling side and squash it down so the cheese and sour cream glues your quesadilla together.
- Your tortilla should be crispy and hot, just like you.
If you ever try these recipes, please let me know how it went and tag me in any photos!!!