'get away from it
Vejer de la Frontera
Costa de la Luz
'Enjoy our fresh food and fine wine'
Since we moved to La Muela and southern Spain, from England, in 2002, we have made the most of the change in climate by enjoying a Mediterranean diet and sampling inexpensive Spanish wines.
We now have a large vegetable garden, in which we grow a large variety of vegetables all year round and as well as using them for a healthy diet, we also provide our guests with free fresh vegetables during their stay.
As well as enjoying the vegetables while on holiday, with fresh vegetables being cooked on the barbecue or a salad, our guests can bring back memories of their stay by enjoying some of our favourite recipes.The recipes, mostly vegetarian, are all selected to provide healthy eating and easy dishes that can impress your friends and family.
Just double click the reipe to see how to have a great new dish.
Chicken and squash tagine, on a spinach base
Prep time 15 min
Cook time 40 min
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 squash, peeled and cubed
8 chicken thighs, skinned and cut into bite size pieces
2 ripe tomatoes roughly chopped
1 cinnamon stick
1 start anise
2 dried red chillies
400g can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
100g dried apricots, quartered
600ml of hot chicken stock Florets of broccoli
100g fresh spinach
Steamed couscous, with lemon zest and fresh coriander, to serve
Heat the oil in a large saucepan and cook the onion, garlic, squash and chicken for 5 minutes until the onion has softened and the squash and chicken are beginning to brown. Add the tomatoes and cook for a further 3-4 minutes until the tomatoes are pulpy.
Stir in the spices, chickpeas, apricots and stock. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer gently for 20-30 minutes, or until the chicken and squash are tender and the sauce fragrant.
Meanwhile steam the florets of broccoli until tender and the spinach until reduced. Serve with lemon and coriander flavoured couscous.
Spanish Macaroni Cheese on a bed of garlic cabbage
Prep time 15 min
Cook time 30 min
190g Canned sweet pimientos, chopped
225g chorizo, finely sliced
salt & black pepper
1 tsp English mustard
100g strong cheese, grated
200g sliced cabbage
2 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
Butter the inside of a baking dish. Boil the macaroni in slightly salted water for 4-5 minutes, drain and dry. Mix together the macaroni, pimientos and chorizo and place in the baking dish.
Heat the butter in a saucepan and
stir in the flour. Carefully stir in the milk and season with salt, black
pepper and mustard. Bring to the boil, stirring continuously and the grated
cheese. Pour the sauce over the macaroni and cook oven at 180 degrees for
Spanish Potato Bake
Prep time 40 min
Cook time 45 min
675g of waxy potatoes, diced
3 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, halved and sliced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
400g plum tomatoes, chopped
75g chorizo, sliced
1 green bell pepper cut into strips
½ tsp chilli powder
½ tsp paprika
25g pitted black olives
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
salt & pepper
1 Cooked the diced potatoes in a saucepan of boiling water for 10 minutes or until softened. Drain and set aside
2 Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan, add the sliced onion and garlic and fry gently for 2-3 minutes, until the onion softens.
3 Add the chopped tomatoes and cook over a low heat for about 10 minutes, until the mixture has reduced slightly.
4 Stir the potatoes into the pan with the chorizo, green pepper, chilli powder, paprika and olives. Cook for 5 minute, stirring. Transfer to a shallow oven proof dish.
5 Make 4 small hollows in the top of the mixture and break an egg into each hollow.
Cook in a pre-heated oven 225 centigrade, (Gas mark 7) for 5-6 minutes or until the eggs are just cooked. Sprinkle with parsley and serve with crusty bread.
Chickpea Roast with Sherry Sauce
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook time 40 mins
450g chickpeas, drained
150g chopped walnuts
150g fresh white breadcrumbs
1 onion finely chopped
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp mixed herbs
100g sliced mushrooms
50g canned sweetcorn, drained
2 garlic cloves, crushed 2 tbsp dry sherry
2 tbsp vegetable stock
1 bunch of coriander, chopped
225g prepared puff pastry
1 egg, beaten
2 tbsp milk
Salt and pepper.
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 leek, thinly sliced
4 tbsp dry sherry
150ml vegetable stock
1 Blend the chickpeas, nuts, and
breadcrumbs in a food processor for 30 second. In a skillet sauté the onion
and mushrooms in their own juices for 3-4 minutes. Stir in the chick pea mixture,
garlic, cumin, mixed herbs and sweetcorn. Add the sherry, stock, coriander
and seasoning and blend the mixture together. Remove from the heat and allow
Spicey mussel sauce with pasta
Prep time 15 mins
Cook time 10 mins
½ large onion, chopped
1 garlic cloves, crushed
1 red chilli, seeded and chopped
1 tbsp thyme leaves
6 halves of sun dried tomatoes chopped.
400g tin of chopped tomatoes
500g (or more) fresh mussels, in their shells, scrubbed and cleaned 200ml of dry white wine
250g pasta. e.g. penne or conchiglie
Chopped parsley to garnish
Lightly fry the onion, garlic, chilli, thyme and sun-dried tomatoes in the oil for 10 minutes.
Add the chopped tomatoes and continue to cook for 15 minutes, until reduced and thickened Puree in a blender and return to the saucepan.
Cook the mussels in dry wine in a large saucepan and discard any that fail to open.
Stir the cooked mussels into the sauce.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta in plenty of lightly, salted, boiling water for about 12 minutes, until tender, but still firm. Drain and toss with the sauce.
Serve sprinkled with parsley.
Aubergine and chickpea dahl
Prep time 5 mins
Cook time 20 mins
2 teaspoons of oil
2 onions, chopped
1 ½ teaspoons of turmeric
1 ½ teaspoons of cumin seeds
1 ½ teaspoons of chilli powder
425g of chick-peas, drained and rinsed
400g of fresh ripe chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoon of fresh chopped coriander
4 medium pitta breads, warmed
|It is easy to prepare this tasteful dish
1. Heat the oil in a pan, add the onions and aubergines and fry for 8-10 minutes, or until softened and golden.
2. Add the spices and continue to cook for 1 minute
3. Add the remaining ingredients to the pan, bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 5 minutes and then stir through the coriander.
Serve immediately with pitta bread
Prep time 5 mins
Cook time 5 mins
½ kg bread, crusts removed
200 ml olive oil
3 large ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped
3 green peppers, seeded
6 cloves garlic
50 ml vinegar
1 tsp salt
300 g Serrano ham (optional)
4 hard-cooked eggs (optional)
Cut the bread into chucks and sprinkle it with water and set aside. In a blender, puree the tomatoes, peppers and garlic. Add the pieces the pieces of bread and process until you have a smooth paste. Add the oil to the, mixture, pouring it in slowly with the processor running. Then add the vinegar and salt to taste.
Try the Serrano ham and eggs chopped as a garnish, or serve them separately as an accompaniment.
Spiced Aubergine salad
2 small aubergines, sliced
75ml olive oil
50ml red wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp lemon juice
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground coriander
½ cucumber finely sliced
2 ripe tasty tomatoes, thinly sliced
2 tbsp natural yogurt
Salt and ground pepper
Chopped flat leaf parsley to garnish
Preheat the grill. Brush the aubergine slices lightly with some of the oil and cook under a high heat turning once, until golden and tender. Cut into quarters.
Mix together the remaining oil, vinegar, garlic, lemon juice, cumin and coriander. Season with salt and pepper and mix thoroughly. Add the warm aubergines, stir well and chill for at least two hours. Add the cucumber and tomatoes.
Transfer to a serving dish and spoon the yogurt on top and sprinkle with parsley.
Serve with warm pitta bread or crusty bread
Italian Country Salad
Serves 4 as a main course
45ml of garlic wine vinegar
125g Italian bread, such as ciabatta or pugliese
6 ripe, well flavoured tomatoes cut into bite-size pieces
½ cucumber, cut into small cubes
75g black olives
1 red onion finely chopped
Large bunch of basil, torn rather than chopped
Small bunch of parsley leaves, chopped
90ml of extra virgin olive oil · salt & black pepper
50g of toasted pine nuts
Tear the bread into small pieces
and put into a large serving dish.
By including harissa and sherry, with this traditional recipe, the flavours are more exciting and memorable.
Moroccan Spaghetti with sherry and harissa.
Prep time 10 mins
Cook time 30 mins
. 100 ml olive oil
· 1 onion finely chopped
· 2 cloves garlic, crushed
· 2 tbsp dry sherry
· 8 very ripe tomatoes finely chopped
· 1 tsp ground cinnamon
· 1 tsp ground cumin
· 2 pinches turmeric
· 2 tbsp harissa
· 100 g toasted flaked almonds
· 200 g of tinned chickpeas drained and rinsed
· 1 pinches sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
· 300 g (spelt) spaghetti
· 1 bunch of parsley leaves finely chopped
· 1 bunch of coriander leaves finely chopped
· 1 handful of mint leaves, freshly chopped
1. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan. Add the onion and garlic and gently fry until soft.
2. Add the tomatoes, sherry, cinnamon, cumin and turmeric and cook over a medium heat for about 20 minutes. The tomatoes should break down and become mushy. Season the sauce with salt and pepper and add the flaked almonds, harissa and chickpeas. You also may want to add some honey, depending upon the tomatoes.
3. Meanwhile, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Add the spaghetti and cook - according to packet instructions - until al dente.
4. Drain the spaghetti and divide between four plates. Fold the parsley, coriander and mint into the tomato sauce and mix with the spaghetti. Serve at once.
Low fat vegetable moussaka
Prep time 30 mins
Cook time 60 mins
600 g aubergines, sliced into 2.5 cm thick rounds
A small bunch of fresh basil, leaves only, to garnish (optional)
½ teaspoon of paprika
Low-fat cooking spray
2 large onions, chopped roughly
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 large carrots, chopped finely
4 medium courgettes, sliced into 1 cm thick rounds
200 g of mushrooms, sliced
2 X 400 g tins of chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon of Tabasco sauce
1 tablespoon of honey
salt and freshly ground black pepper
THE YOGURT TOPPING
2 teaspoons cornflour, mixed to a paste with 1 tablespoon water 450 ml low-fat plain yogurt
100 g low-fat soft cheese
|To Prepare Val's Vegetarian Moussaka
First, make the sauce. Heat a large frying-pan and spray with the low-fat cooking spray. Stir-fry the onions, garlic and carrots for 5 minutes until softened and slightly browned, then add all the other ingredients. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the grill to high and place some of the aubergine slices in one layer on the grill rack. Grill for 2 minutes on each side until lightly browned, set aside and continue to grill the rest.
Meanwhile, make the topping by beating all the ingredients in a bowl.
Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4 / 180 °C / 350 °F. Place the aubergine slices in the bottom of an oven proof dish, cover with the tomato sauce, then spoon over the topping.
Bake for 20 minutes until the top is set and browned then sprinkle with fresh basil leaves, if using, and a little paprika and serve.
Vegetarian Moroccan spiced pie
Prep time 40 mins
Cook time 90 mins
2tsp each coriander and cumin seeds
1 tsp paprika
½ tsp ground cinnamon
150 ml olive oil
900g squash, peeled and cut into small chunks
12 shallots, quartered
4cm piece root ginger finely chopped
140 g whole blanched almonds
140 g shelled pistachios
75 g dried cranberries
6 tbsp clear honey
225 g pack fresh spinach
400 g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 garlic cloves
1 tsp ground cumin
3 tbsp lemon juice
4 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
100 g butter
8 large sheets of filo pastry
Lemon wedges to serve
FOR THE HARISSA YOGHURT SAUCE
200 g carton Greek yoghurt
6 tbsp milk
3 large sprigs of mint chopped
2-3 tbsp harissa paste
|To Prepare Val's Moroccan Spiced Pie
the oven to 200 c. Dry fry the seeds briefly in a small pan over medium heat
until toasty. Grind coarsely, and then mix in the paprika, cinnamon,1/2 tsp
salt and 4 tbsp oil. Tip squash into a roasting tin; pour over the spiced
oil and toss. Roast for 20 minutes.
Prep time 20 mins
Cook time 45 mins
1 tbls oil
2 onions chopped
2 red peppers seeded & sliced
2 green peppers seeded & sliced
1 x 425g can peeled tomatoes
1 clove garlic crushed
175 g tom puree
1 tsp fresh mixed herbs
Salt & black pepper
175 g plain or whole wheat lasagne
1 recipe cheese sauce (recipe below)
25g cheddar cheese, grated
25g butter or margarine
300 ml warm milk
50g cheddar cheese
¼ tsp of nutmeg
Salt & pepper
|To Prepare Val's vegetarian Lasagne
Heat oil in a pan.
Add onions & peppers and cook over gentle heat until softened, about 5 mins.
Stir in tomatoes, garlic, tomato puree, herbs and salt and pepper to taste blend well. Simmer over a gentle heat until thickened and reduced, about 30 mins.
Meanwhile cook the lasagne until tender or 'el dente' according to the instructions on the packet. (I use pre-cooked sheets of lasagne (far easier))
Line a greased shallow ovenproof dish with lasagne. Cover with a little of the tomato mixture. Top with another layer of lasagne. Continue layering in this way until all the lasagne and tomato sauce have been used, finishing with a layer of lasagne.
Cover with the cheese sauce and sprinkle with the grated cheese. Bake in a pre heated oven 180c for about 45 mins.
Melt butter or margarine in a pan. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat and gradually add the warmed milk, blending well. Bring to the boil and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly, until smooth and thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
VAL'S vegetable pie
Prep time 30 mins
Cook time 60 mins
Serves 4 to 6
100g plain flour
50g margarine or butter, diced
50g cheddar cheese, grated
about 4 teaspoons chilled water
beaten egg or milk, for glazing
diced 3 carrots
sliced 3 leeks, cut into 1cm slices
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
freshly ground black pepper
25g margarine or butter
25g plain flour
300ml vegetable or chicken stock
|To Prepare Val's vegetable pie
Moroccan rice pudding with pistachios and rose petals
In this recipe, the only ingredients from the garden are the rose petals.
But, it is a great twist to normal rice pudding, it is easy to make and ideal for a dinner party.
· 1.2 litres organic full-fat milk
· 2 cinnamon sticks
· 1 vanilla pod
· 150 g sugar
· 225 g arborio or carnaroli risotto rice
· 1 tbsp rose water
· 1 tsp ground nutmeg
· 1 tsp ground cinnamon
· a few crushed pistachio nuts
· a few fresh rose petals
|To prepare Val's Morrocan rice pudding
1. Put the milk and cinnamon sticks in a medium-sized, heavy-based saucepan. Split the vanilla pod, scrape out the little black seeds and add them to the milk, together with the pod.
2. Slowly bring the milk to simmering point, stirring occasionally, then blend in the sugar until it dissolves.
3. Add the rice and lower the heat. Lay a wooden spoon across the top of the pan to stop the milk boiling over. Give it a good stir every few minutes and cook until the rice is al-dente.
4. Add the rose-water and stir the mixture until it becomes creamy but not dry. If the mixture is becomes too dry, add more milk.
5. Take the pudding from the heat and remove the cinnamon sticks and vanilla pod.
6. Just before serving, sprinkle over a little nutmeg and cinnamon, then scatter pistachios and rose petals on top.
Try this sweet, spiced Christmas bread filled with marzipan as an alternative to Christmas cake at any time of the day.
Prep time 30 mins
Cook time 50 mins
350g/12oz strong white flour
1 tsp salt
50g/2oz butter, plus extra for greasing
35g/1½oz fresh yeast
100ml/3½fl oz tepid milk
2 free-range eggs, lightly beaten
25g/1oz caster sugar
1 tsp mixed spice
2 cardamom pods, crushed seeds only
1 lemon, finely grated zest only
40g/1½oz flaked almonds
150g/5oz mixed dried fruit (raisins, sultanas, citrus peel)
icing sugar, to dust
1. Mix the flour and salt together in a large mixing bowl then rub in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Make a well in the centre, crumble in the yeast and pour in the tepid milk, eggs, sugar, spices and lemon zest.
2. Fold a little of the flour from the edges of the bowl into the wet ingredients, but don't mix completely. Set aside for 20-30 minutes to allow the yeast to activate and form a 'sponge'.
3. Draw the ingredients into the 'sponge' and mix together to form a soft dough. Tip out onto a work surface and knead for five minutes then briefly knead in the almonds and dried fruit. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave to rise for 1-2 hours, or overnight in a cool place.
4. Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/gas 5. Lightly grease a baking tray.
5. Once the dough has risen, tip it out onto a work surface and press it out into a rectangle about 20cmx25cm/8inx10in. Roll the marzipan into a strip about 10cmx25cm/4inx10in long. Lightly brush the dough with water and place the marzipan down the middle. Fold the edges of the dough over the marzipan then transfer it to the baking tray, seam-side down.
6. Leave the dough to rise for 40-45 minutes, then transfer to the oven to bake for 40-45 minutes, or until risen and golden-brown and the bread sounds hollow when the base is tapped.
Pumpkin and curry soup
1 kilo diced pumpkin
1 large onion, chopped large
2 unsweetened Greek yogurts
1 litre ham broth Olive oil
Salt and curry powder
Peel and chop the squash and onion.
Sauté for 10 minutes in a pan
with a splash of oil.