Category Archives: Nigella Lawson

Nigella’s Sexy Sesame Peanut Noodles

I am not sure how sexy these noodles are, but they are quick and they are easy. Two important things when you would rather be outside enjoying the sunny day than spending a lot of time in the kitchen.

After getting the week’s grocery shopping finished this morning, EPC and I ventured down to Whyte Ave to take in the Annual Art Walk and enjoy a perfect summer afternoon. In my books that means less than 25°C, with a cool breeze, and few clouds to give you a shady break now and again.

We will be heading out to the Toronto area next week and since they have been stuck in a heat wave for the last three weeks (with no end in sight) I figure we should enjoy the comfortable Edmonton weather while we can.

I adapted tonight’s recipe from Nigella Lawson’s Good Food Fast.  Although this cookbook does not feature a lot of vegetarian entrees, it does feature quite a few fast desserts and, as cookbooks go, is an enjoyable read.  As a result, I don’t think that I would recommend it as a must have cookbook for vegetarians, but my omnivore friend who  has a copy of this book uses it quite frequently for quick week night meals.  Nigella also includes a great recipe for making quick individual pizzas on store-bought naan bread, which EPC and I whip up quick frequently for a quick lunch during the winter months.

This meal is even quicker and easier if you use ready-cooked egg noodles, but I prefer to cook up some brown rice noodles instead.  With regard to the vegetables, use your imagination and add what ever tickles your fancy and suits your mood. Tonight we decided on snow peas, red pepper, and spring onions.

Sesame Peanut Noodles

1 tablespoon of sesame oil
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 tablespoon of soy sauce (for gluten-free, substitute wheat-free tamari)
1 teaspoon of sambal oelek
1/4 cup of smooth peanut butter (I use all natural)
2 tablespoons of fresh lime juice

2 tablespoon of vegetable oil
1 block of firm tofu, cut into 1 inch cubes

1 cup of snow peas, ends trimmed and halved
1 red pepper, finely sliced
3 spring onions, finely sliced

1 375 gram of brown rice noodles, cooked, drained and tossed with a few drops of sesame oil to prevent sticking (or 500 grams pre-cooked egg noodles)

2 teaspoons sesame seeds
2 tablespoons of cilantro, finely diced

  • Saute tofu cubes in oil until brown on at least 2 sides
  • While tofu is browning, whisk together sesame oil, olive oil, soy sauce, sambal oelek, peanut butter and lime juice.  You may need to add a bit of water if the sauce if too thick.  Taste and adjust seasonings.
  • Add the cooked noodles (or pre-cooked noodles) and toss with the sauce.
  • Add the vegetables and toss.
  • Add the tofu cubes and toss.
  • Top with cilantro and sesame seeds

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Nigella Lawson’s Zucchini and Chickpea Filo Pie my oh my!

I picked up How to be a Domestic Goddess from the library on a friend’s suggestion. I knew that it would be chock full of delicious and decadent desserts, so I was surprised to find some recipes for savory pies.  This one immediately caught my eye.  A different sort of recipe with EPC’s two favorite foods, chickpeas and zucchini, and our favorite blend of spices.  I had taken a look at the recipe before Christmas and then forgotten about it, remembering it this morning as I puzzled over what to make for dinner tonight.

This recipe needs an 8 inch springform pan, which I received as a thank-you gift this past fall. So, thank you both back, as I am now equiped to make this delightful recipe.

I encountered one minor hurdle putting this exquisite pie together: we only had brown basmati rice.  I was sure we had a small amount of white lying around – certainly enough for 1/2 cup, but I was wrong.  Since brown rice takes almost twice as long as white, the recipe took considerably longer than expected.  Although an advocate of whole grains, I think in this case white rice is the way to go.

Hurdle overcome, it was out of the oven in time for EPC to scarf down a slice before heading off to his yoga class, but not in enough time for him to digest said piece before his class begins.  He just headed out the door and  I hope he does not get any unpleasant cramps during warrior pose or come home moaning of a stomach ache.

C’est la vie.

Epilogue:

EPC came home that night without experiencing a stomach ache or cramps during yoga.  As soon as he got in the door he requested another piece of filo pie and proclaimed, “This is the best thing you have ever made.  You can make it again whenever you want and pie or no pie, I would eat the filling on its own!”

There you have it.  Nigella Lawson’s Zucchini and Chickpea Filo Pie is a winner!

Zucchini and Chickpea Filo Pie

1/2 teaspoon of cumin seeds
1 small onion or 1/2 a large onion, finely diced
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1/2 teaspoons of tumeric
1 teaspoon of ground corriander
3 zucchini, diced with the peel
generous 1/2 cup of basmati rice
2 1/4 cups of vegetable stock
2 15-ounce cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed well
scant 1/2 cup of melted butter
7 ounces of filo dough (I am not sure how much 7 ounces is, but I layered 8 sheets for the bottom of the pie and scrunched up two, but you could easily up that number to 12 or so, for a thicker crust.)

  • Preheat the oven to 400C
  • Fry cumin seeds and onions on medium low heat until the onion is soft. Add the corriander and tumeric
  • Add the diced zucchini and increase the heat, so the zucchini cooks without becoming watery. Cook until they are tender, but not too soft.
  • Add the rice and stir well to coat with oil. Add the stock 1/2 cup at a time, stirring while you do. When all the liquid is absorbed the rice should be cooked.
  • Remove from heat and stir in the chickpeas and check the seasonings
  • Brush the springform pan with the melted butter.
  • Line the bottom of the pan with 3/4 of the filo dough. Buttering each piece as you layer. Let the sheets hang over the sides of the pan.
  • Spoon in the slightly cooled filling, fold in the overlapping edges, butter and scrunch up the remaining sheets and place on the top of the pie.
  • Brush with a final coat of butter
  • Cook for 20 minutes until the pastry is brown.

Let sit for 5-10 minutes before cutting.