February 19, 2011

Quick Vegetable Throw-Together

I can make a quick meal when I must.  And boy did I do this one quickly.  I received the call that my friend was being released from hospital and she would be at our place in twenty minutes to collect her vehicle.  Undergoing a huge amount of stress and not looking after herself properly; meaning not eating well; I couldn't resist.  I decided to have a handy vegetarian meal ready for her to take, so that at least she didn't have to worry about cooking tonight. 

This is what I made from ingredients that were in my crisper, pantry and garden.

Peel one sweet potato; oil and season with a little salt and pepper.  Cube evenly into small pieces and bake on a high heat. Mine took about fifteen minutes. 

Throw a pan onto the stovetop; chop two brown onions and sautee in some olive oil.  Sprinkle lightly with some salt as this helps to draw out the moisture from the onion and ensures faster cooking.  Add some crushed garlic;  I put in about 8 cloves.

Upon browning; I added the cut-up stalks from one whole bunch of broccolini.  Save the tops for the last five minutes.  I found 1/2 a zucchini.  Dice and add to the pan. Keep mixing to ensure the mixture does not burn as I used a medium to high heat. 

Reduce heat; add corn kernels from one cob of corn.  Mitch raced down and brought me one from his garden.  Just gorgeous.  Add one roughly chopped roma tomato for a little liquid; place lid on pan and cook for a couple of minutes.

Take off lid; add a can of whole tomatoes that has been blitzed; so juice and all the contents.  Increase heat; allow to bubble for a couple of minutes.  Add extra cracked black pepper, a heaped teaspoon of sugar; salt to taste and the tops of the broccolini.  Mix well.  Contine cooking on a medium to high heat.  I wanted to reduce the liquid as much as possible.

I had some home cooked chickpeas in the freezer.  Use a can if you choose.  I defrosted them by placing in water and rinsing till all the peas were separated from each other.  When the liquid in the frypan has reduced by half; throw in the chickpeas and cook for a further couple of minutes.

Remove from heat.  I placed the entire mixture into a glass bowl set over a rack to help cool as fast as possible.  Take the baked cubes of sweet potato and carefully stir into the mixture. 

I sprinkled the lot with some of Philomena's beautiful parsley.  Done.

After a cup of tea, some of Mitchell's birthday cake and a healthy chat; I packed her off with the vegetarian throw-together which I really enjoyed concocting.   She was of course delighted; but mostly relieved I think. I know I would love to have a night off cooking! 

Now. What's for our dinner tonight?  Looks like leftover cabbage rolls guys.  Again.


  1. I was just commenting to a friend yesterday that I think chick peas might be my favourite food in the whole world. Sweet potatoes would give them a good run for their money though, so this dish would have made my night as well. You're a good friend! :)

    Are you and your family all vegetarians?

    One thing, the lovely Barbara at my Lebanese wholesaler told me recently that I could soak a large quantity of chick peas and then freeze them after soaking and before cooking. I tried it the other day, and it works well!

  2. What a fantastic tip Celia! Soak, freeze and cook when convenient. I did't know that one. Thanks for that.

    My family isn't vegetarian although I have one daughter who may convert any day. I can't believe it because two of her favourite foods are chickpeas and especially sweet potato. Because of her I find I am using sweet potato several times a week. It's delish. My good friend that came out of hospital is vegetarian.

    Celia, I feel we all need to do what we can to help people in their time of need. The best thing I can offer is food. Sometimes counselling. But mostly food.


  3. What a great looking dish for a friend. I'll bet she loved it.

  4. What a kind and delicious looking gesture. You are a good friend.

  5. Wow cityhippyfarmgirl - I'll pop over and visit you as your name has really intrigued me. Yep. She loved it.

    Thanks Denise. Good food is such an important part of recovery. Veggies galore and you can't go wrong is what I figure.

  6. How thoughtful of you. Cooking is often the last thing you want to do straight out of hospital but it's also when you need to eat well.

    The meal looks delicious - it's just the kind of cooking I enjoy. Fabulous fresh ingredients plus storecupboard saviours like tomatoes and chickpeas

  7. So very true Sophie. Rest and sleep is most important and certainly not worrying about what to cook. Sadly for many people, there is no choice. It's nice to see you. Mariana.

  8. I think I need to learn how to whip this one up.
    In the flesh, it looked lush indeed.

    - Your daughter who may wake up a vegetarian tomorrow.

  9. Well, well, well. Wonders will never cease. I haven't seen you through my kitchen window for quite a while.

    Yes do. You can easily whip this one up. With or without your brother. You can do it. Go girl!

    Vegetarian or no vegetarian - I'd love to see you more often my little sweet potato!

    Love Mama xxx