So I've had a lovely summer in Scotland this year! I'm just back from a lovely trip to Tiree, beautiful beaches to rival the best! Turquoise sea and clear as glass, my kind of beach and hardly any seaweed! I love seaweed to eat but not to wade through or swim through!
I have pushed myself beyond my comfort zone this summer by trying sea kayaking and paddle boarding both of which I have really enjoyed! I have a fear of the sea and cold water. I am a total wimp but have discovered that a wet suit is a wonderful thing, once you actually manage to get it on! Getting it off is another challenge, that sounded a bit rude!! Wasn't meant to!
Anyway I guess the summer, is leaving us, and autumn is coming. I rather like the changing seasons, I love the seasonality of the foods available to us.
I have had a helluva problem with slugs this year, I absolutely detest them and in a way I'm almost glad that the gardening season is coming to an end! I've planted some spinach, more kale and some purple sprouting broccoli which I am keeping a close eye on.
I now have coke traps, coffee grounds, eggshells, half oranges and I go out every evening to catch and dispose of the slimy pests! I am now known as crazy slug lady! I used to be Crazy Coconut Lady, which I have to say I preferred! If anyone had spotted me in Lidl this week I had 2 big bottles of coke and 2 boxes of cheap table salt which I have to say was to drown or deter the slugs from eating my plants! I have discovered that slugs are very fond of coke which is much cheaper to buy than beer! So they can drown happily in a sugary grave!
Oh and just to make it worse wee Gracie my chicken won 't even eat slugs, she prefers my plants! And she has now retired from egg laying and is enjoying herself immensely. She is very fond of a corn on the cob and grapes and watermelon! She is one fussy chicken!!
Anyway enough of my ramblings, I thought I'd share a very simple but delicious dinner or lunch idea with you.
It's really so simple I don't think I can justify calling it a recipe! It's also very versatile and can be customised according to your preferences!
Since I am a huge fan of seasonal eating, this option is using peppers, courgette, red onions, aubergine and tomatoes, all simply oven roasted with some garden herbs then piled on some shop bought puff pastry, which is surprisingly vegan! I always thought that puff pastry was made with butter but apparently not so its perfect if you are vegan or you are feeding vegan guests!
The other option you have here is the pesto to spread on the base. Most shop bought pestos are made with cheese so not suitable for vegans. I tend to make my own walnut and red pepper pesto which is delicious and dairy free! Here is the link to the recipe.
I tend to cut my puff pastry into 6 squares before I add the toppings which makes it easier to customise them!
Jenna is vegan, Alastair is meat free but eats fish and occasional dairy, Laura is dairy and meat free but eats occasional fish, Kathryn is vegetarian and loves cheese and I eat mostly vegan but occasionally have goats cheese, feta or halloumi!
Most of our meals are vegan and Alastair tends to cook fish for himself and Laura when the mood takes him! My brother brought him a fish this week, his friend had caught so he cooked it in our wood fired oven and that fed him and Laura for 2 days!
Kathryn would happily live on quorn, pasta and cheese but she mostly eats the vegan options then adds cheese!!
So we are a complicated family to feed!!
So alternative toppings or additions are feta cheese, goats cheese, anchovies, flaked tuna, olives, flaked salmon, sweetcorn, mushrooms but feel free to make up your own combinations!
I guess most families struggle with likes and dislikes and trying to please everyone can be a real struggle but I always tend to go for the healthiest option which for us is vegan.
So back to the recipe, just cut your pastry into 6 squares or keep it whole if all the toppings are the same. Spread a spoonful of your choice of pesto in the middle of each square leaving a wee border. Then top with your oven roast veggies. To simplify this even further, Lidl do a fab range of antipasti in jars. You can choose from marinated courgettes, sun dried tomatoes, aubergine, peppers and mushrooms. They are all delicious but packed in oil so drain the oil off before you use them. Then simply pop your pastries in a hot oven for 20 to 30 minutes until they are nicely puffed up and browned!
I do find these are much nicer using pre roasted veggies. You could just pile a selection of raw veggies on top and drizzle with some oil but most veggies release quite a lot of water so your pastry can become soggy which is not what you want!
So after all my rambling here is my basic recipe....
OVEN ROAST VEGGIE PUFF PASTRIES
Ingredients Serves 6
I pack of puff pastry
2 or 3 tablespoons pesto
2 red onions, cut into 8 wedges each
2 red peppers, cut into long strips
1 courgette, sliced
1 small aubergine, cut into small dice
2 tomatoes, sliced for topping
2 tablespoons rapeseed oil
2 teaspoons dried oregano, basil or mixed herbs or a wee handful of fresh herbs, finely chopped oregano, basil, rosemary, parsley and thyme are all good.
.....your health in your hands....
🍃 Health educator🍃