Recipes for your COCA veg


A couple of recipes from COCA Member, Robbie Coles

Pumpkin Risotto

  • About 1lb pumpkin or squash, peeled, seeded and cut into chunks
  • 200 gm arborio rice (for four servings)
  • 1 large carrot, finely diced
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 1 celery stalk, finely diced
  • About 50 ml olive oil
  • 50 gm butter
  • Teaspoon salt
  • Black pepper
  • 50 gm freshly grated Parmesan
  • Tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 5 or 6 sage leaves
  • Boiling water or stock

Put the vegetables in a saucepan with the sage and the olive oil. Cook gently until the onion is soft and translucent but not browned. Add the rice and salt and stir for a couple of minutes. Add a mugful of boiling water, stir, and simmer until the liquid is absorbed. Continue adding boiling water a mugful at a time until the rice is done. It should be soft on the outside but slightly firm at the centre of each grain. Add another tablespoon or two of water- a risotto should be moist not dry. Add the butter, the cheese, the pepper. Stir and serve garnished with the parsley and sprinkled with more Parmesan.

Pumpkin Gnocchi

About 1lb pumpkin or squash, peeled, seeded and cut into chunks

  • 4 oz plain flour
  • 2 oz butter
  • A few sage leaves cut into strips
  • Parmesan to serve (optional)

Put the pumpkin chunks into a pan with a couple of tablespoons of water, bring to the boil, reduce heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft. Mash and mix with the flour to make a fairly soft dough, adding more flour if necessary (too much will make the gnocchi tough, too little and they will disintegrate).

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. While it is heating roll the dough on a floured surface (using your hands) into a long cylinder about 1 cm diameter. You may find it easier to do it in two batches. With a sharp knife cut on the diagonal into 2 cm lengths.

Melt the butter with the sage in a large frying pan.

Form the gnocchi by picking them up and flattening lightly with the back of a fork to make ridged lozenges. Dip the fork in flour if it starts to stick.

Drop the gnocchi into the boiling water. As soon as they float to surface remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to the pan of melted butter. Turn so they are all coated with butter and serve either plain or with Parmesan.

Although it’s inauthentic I like to fry the cooked gnocchi lightly in the butter so they are slightly browned.

The following 4 recipes have travelled all the way from sunny Australia and come courtesy of Pammy Bird

Easy Zucchini Bake

Mix together

  • 500gm grated zucchini
  • 1 cup grated cheese
  • 1 large onion grated or chopped finely
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1 tspn curry powder
  • 3 rashes chopped bacon (optional)
  • 1 cup sifted SR flour
  • ½ cup veg oil
  • 5 beaten eggs

Pour into  buttered dish and cook in a moderate oven (180 degrees) for 30mins or until set

Zucchini  Mushroom and Pasta sauce

Saute 2 tblspn butter and 2 onions.  Then add

  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • 2tblspn tomato paste
  • 4 ozs mushrooms
  • 4 zucchinis
  • 1 tblspn chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 bay leaves

Serve with pasta and 2 tblspns of parmesan cheese

Curried Vegetable Pie

Combine and cook for 3 mins:

  • ¾ cup cooked long grain rice
  • 60gm butter
  • 1 beaten egg
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan
  • 1 carrot grated
  • 1 zucchini grated
  • 1 sm red pepper 1 tspn curry

Add ¼ tspn turmeric and 50 gm broccoli.  Mix ½ cup sour cream, ½ cup milk ¼ cup parmesan, 2 eggs and pour over vegetables.  Cook in a moderate oven for 40mins

Vegetarian Lasagne

  • fresh lasagne sheets
  • 1 jar tomato sauce (Napoletana)
  • freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
  • fresh vegies: Zucchini, eggplant, cauliflower, red onions, pumpkin, sweet potato, potato, red  and green pepper – cut into uniform pieces

Toss vegies with dried basil SP and couple of lugs of olive oil (enough to coat veg). Bake until veg begin to tender (less than 40mins).  Line baking dish with baking paper.  Peel 4 carrots –boil and mash.  Make very thick white roux (salt+pepper+nutmeg).  Place sauce in blender with 3 tblspns grated parmesan and drained boiled carrots.  Whizz until blended

In lasagne dish spread layer of sauce, then vegs, then pasta sheet.  Press down firmly and repeat layers.  Finish with pasta sauce  tomato sauce to cover.  Sprinkle with parmesan and bake for 50 minutes in a moderate oven


Antioxidant-rich Carrot Coffee

Courtesy of Indre Vrubliauskaite


  • 1kg Caerhys organic carrots
  • Optional: Milk or cream, clove, cinnamon, grated chocolate

Grate the carrots with a large grater and place on the baking tray lined with baking paper. Dry it in a preheated oven for about four hours; set the temperature low 60-80 degrees. Then turn up the heat to 150 degrees and bake until brown for about five minutes. Keep watching and steer at this stage as it is easy to burn them. From 1kg of carrots you will have about 100gr of dried carrots, which you can store in a jar.

Boil on a hob as much water for as many cups of coffee you are planning to have. You will need 2-3tea-spoons of carrots for one cup of coffee. Add them to the boiling water and simmer for about 4- 5minutes. You can also add a cinnamon stick or a clove to the water. Put a lid on and leave for a couple of minutes. Your coffee is ready! Now just add milk or cream or condensed milk to taste or have it black. If you are really adventurous add whipped cream or ice cream, sprinkle cinnamon and grate some chocolate or add vanilla sugar. Enjoy!


A brilliant Italian recipe for Swiss Chard


  • 5 tbsp Italian extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 500gr/ 1 lb Swiss Chard, (or more|)well washed and cut into 5cm/2in pieces, stems and all
  • 1 x 400g/14oz can chopped Italian tomatoes
  • 100g/4oz grated pecorino Romano or Parmesan or other tasty hard cheese
  • pinch crushed chilli flakes
  • sea salt

Method: heat one tablespoon of the olive oil in a large pan over a medium heat and fry the garlic for one minute until lightly golden. Stir in the chard, tomatoes, cheese and chilli with a pinch of sea salt and a generous drizzle of the remaining olive oil. Simmer with lid on pan, over a medium heat for about 20 minutes, until the chard is tender and the mixture reduced to a thick, rich stew/sauce
Tip this into a colander set over a bowl to drain off any excess liquid. (The tasty liquid can be used as a sauce over pasta in another dish)

… … the cooked Chard can be served as a side dish, or on toasted paninni with more cheese on top for lunch ….. or used as a filling for an Italian bread (make a bread mix with 1lb 4oz bread flour and yeast, then after the kneading and rising, roll it out to 1cm thick rectangle, spread the chard mix over it as a filling, roll up like a swiss roll and seal the edges, brush with olive oil, bake at 180C for 15 to 20 minutes then allow to cool. Slice diagonally and serve with olives, salads and more parmesan …. it looks and tastes amazing!


Blitz and Bake Beetroot and Chocolate Cake


  • 1 large cooked beetroot , about 175g in weight, roughly chopped
  • 200g plain flour
  • 100g cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 250g golden caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 200ml sunflower oil
  • 100g dark chocolate , (not too bitter), chopped into pieces
  • crème fraîche or clotted cream, to serve


  1. heat oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5. Tip the beetroot into a food processor and blitz until chopped. Add a pinch of salt and the rest of the ingredients, except the oil and chocolate. When completely mixed (you may need to scrape the sides down once or twice), add the oil in a steady stream, as if you were making mayonnaise.
  2. When all the oil has been added, stir in the chocolate, then tip the mix into a lined 900g loaf tin. Cook for 1 hr until an inserted skewer comes out practically clean. leave the loaf to cool on a rack. Serve in slices with the crème fraîche or clotted cream.