Tag Archives: tomatoes


Leek, tomato and sausage bake

Leek & sausage bake(2)

Here’s a quick and simple bake to enjoy this winter. You need very few ingredients and substitute or add to the vegetables, as you please or depending on what is available. Add chunks of swede or sweet potato or even a handful of green beans….the choice is yours.  

Leek Swede & sausage bake

With swedes above


2 tablespoons olive oil
3-4 leeks, cut into approximately 2½ inch pieces
4-5 large tomatoes, sliced thickly
1 pack of Tofurky sausages, cut in two (you can buy Tofurky sausages at Holland & Barrett, Wholefoods and Planet Organic)
1 Kallo French onion or Vegetable stock cube dissolved in 70ml hot water
½ teaspoon turmeric, mix with the stock
Little ground black pepper
1 heaped teaspoon of dry sweet basil or any other herb of your choice


  • Arrange a layer of tomatoes in an oven proof dish with a lid
  • Place the leeks on top and add a second layer of tomatoes to top the leeks
  • Lastly add the sausages, pour the stock and turmeric mixture and drizzle with oil
  • Sprinkle with herbs and some black pepper
  • Cover and bake at 200C, 400F or gas mark 6 for 30 minutes
  • Remove lid and bake for further 20 minutes

Leek & sausage bake(3)

Served here with brown rice with chickpeas (click here for recipe) and cabbage and red onion stir fry


Spinach and tomato rice

Spinach one pot rice(2)

I think most people know by now that I have some strong leanings towards one-pot rice dishes!  Very true.  I love rice and the fact that endless variations can be concocted by adding vegetables, beans and lentils to the rice to make it a all in one complete dish means it tends to turn up on our plates at least once a week and we love it.

I promised a Facebook friend, who loves rice, I would post a recipe for spinach and tomato rice – that was a few days ago but just didn’t get around to it!  However, here it is now and hope you will like it too. 

I am always trying to get people to have a go at rice as there are many who have a “fear” of cooking rice and tell me they never get it right.  Rice is simple but you must remember that the kind of rice you use will make a huge difference to the cooking time and the amount of water you add to it.  That is why we need to “eyeball” rice; keep an eye on it and don’t just leave it to fend for itself – after all it doesn’t take long to cook so not asking a lot. 

If you are unsure and not used to cooking rice, keep a kettle on the boil and start with less water rather than more.  Less water can easily be rectified during the cooking process by adding a little more boiling water. However, if you do find you have used too much water, uncover the rice and let it dry on very low heat.   Perfect rice comes with practice and it doesn’t really matter too much if you get it a bit soggy the first time round; you will know to use less water next time and get more confident once you’ve done it a few times.  It is so well worth it and is very quick (you don’t absolutely have to soak the rice if you don’t have the time although good Basmati rice always benefits from a soak – the rice grains fluff up better).  Rice which has not been soaked will take a little longer to cook.

Best served with avocado salad and yoghurt and cucumber – follow links for recipes!

4-5 servings


300 grams Basmati rice, soak for 1 hour
1 cup dried soya chunks (I use Neal’s Yard Wholefoods Natural Soya Protein Chunks sold in 375g bags available at Holland & Barrett for £1.99. These are excellent value and delicious in rice, curry or stews)
250 grams fresh spinach, no need to chop if small leaved (you can use frozen spinach too, whole leaves not chopped – the chopped version is very fine and mushy)
1 large onion, sliced
2 inch piece of cinnamon
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 large or 3 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
400ml water (we need less water for this recipe because of the tomatoes and spinach)


  1. Soak soya chunks in boiling water for approximately 40 minutes – strain liquid before use
  2. In a large, preferably wide saucepan, fry onion and cinnamon stick in olive oil until golden brown
  3. Add turmeric, tomatoes, salt and a little water (about 100ml). Cover and cook tomatoes for 20 minutes
  4. Add spinach, cover and cook on low for 5-7 minutes until the spinach has wilted – stir intermittently to keep it from sticking to the pan
  5. Rinse rice 3-4 times and add to spinach & tomatoes together with the soya chunks and 300ml of water (see picture below – about one inch above level of rice)
  6. Bring to boil on high, lower heat and simmer uncovered until very little liquid left (see picture below)
  7. Cover the lid with a tea cloth and place tightly on the pan. Steam for about 15 minutes on very low heat. If there is some liquid left in the rice, take the lid off and let it dry for about 5 minutes. This rice will be moist because of the spinach and tomatoes but that is how it is meant to be!
  8. Serve with yogurt & cucumber and a salad of red onion, tomatoes and avocados

Spinach one pot rice
Just added rice, soya chunks and 2 cups of water to rice (step 5)

Spinach one pot rice(1)
Rice having been simmered uncovered (step 6)  just before covering and steaming at step 7


Rice, tomatoes & broad beans

Rice with broad beans(2)

I love this rice in a rich tomato sauce.  It is a wonderful comfort food when you just need an all-in-one dish and don’t need to buy special ingredients.  Rice, tomatoes and beans is pretty much what you need with just turmeric and cinnamon to perk it up. At a pinch you could use a tin of broad beans! or peas if you are really stuck!

One of the golden rules of cooking rice is to not add too much water as it is always possible to add a splash more if you need it. Always add boiling water once the rice has come to the boil so have the kettle on just in case.  Don’t stick to the exact times in any recipe!  There are many qualities and grades of Basmati rice and cooking time depends on the quality of rice and the soaking time, so keep checking the rice.  Another point to bear in mind is that if there are tomatoes in the recipe, you will need slightly less water. Do let me know how you get on with it and if you get stuck, shout!

4 servings


300 grams Basmati rice, soaked for 1 hour
1 medium onion, sliced
1 stick cinnamon (2 inches long)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tin tomatoes, chopped
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 bay leaves
1½ cups broad beans, fresh or frozen
500ml water
1 teaspoon salt


  1. In a large wide saucepan, fry the onions and cinnamon stick in oil until golden
  2. Add turmeric, bay leaves, tinned tomatoes and salt. Cover and cook gently for about 15 minutes, stirring intermittently to stop it from sticking to the pan
  3. Add beans and 500ml water and continue to cook gently for another 15 minutes until beans are cooked
  4. Rinse rice and add to tomato and bean mixture – there should be enough liquid in the pan to cover the rice, if not add a little more (see picture below).
  5. Bring to boil; cover the lid with a tea towel, lower the heat and cook on lowest heat for 15 minutes. Check rice, if still al dente, add a little boiling water and continue to steam for a further 5 minutes

Rice with broad beans Tip – you can use peas instead of broad beans or even add a sliced carrot