Giving it a go

It would be a bit rubbish if I had married a veggie and instantly converted myself. That is just not the kind of person I am. However, living with a veggie has meant I have had to adapt and has opened my eyes to a whole world of wonderful food I had never experienced before. I love cooking and eating and sharing this with the person I share my life with is therefore obviously important to me, so this has meant when I cook for us both at home, I cook veggie. I am not dead set on becoming a vegetarian right now and am not sure if I will in the future but I have been so inspired by the many vegetarian/vegan blogs out there that I was itching to start my own. So here we go.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Yummy potato salad

-Boil 20 small new potatoes in salted water until tender
-Meanwhile prepare vegan mayo
-Mix in a food processor 60ml soya milk, 2 crushed garlic cloves and 1 tsp cider vinegar
-Slowly add 150ml sunflower oil while the food processor is on medium speed until the mayo has a creamy consistency
-Add a generous twist of salt and black pepper, mix and taste
-Drain the potatoes and add to a bowl with a big bunch of chopped mint and 4 finely sliced spring onions
-Add the vegan mayo and stir to combine

Serve preferably on a sunny day with bbq veggie sausages and burgers!

The best vegan cupcakes I have ever tasted!

I was getting frustrated with claims that this recipe or that recipe was truly the best vegan cupcake only to end up with stodgy/weird smelling/lumpy cupcakes. So i bought Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World and was delighted! These are the basic vanilla ones - the first recipe in the book - that I made on Easter Sunday :)

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Mushroom and seitan pasta

A nice hearty winter warmer dinner. It was however 25 degrees celsius when I fancied making this so with the heat in the kitchen and the heat in the pasta I nearly boiled to death!

- Cook 200g brown fusilli pasta in a big pot of boiling salted water with a little oil for 20mins
- Meanwhile chop and fry 1 red onion, 10 mushrooms and 5 garlic cloves until brown and sticky
- Add 1/2 tsp salt, lots of black pepper, 1 tsp dried rosemary and 2 tsp chili flakes
- Add about 20 thin strips of your favourite seitan, I defrost frozen black pepper mock chicken from Veggie World
- Fry for about 10 mins whilst stirring
- Add 1 cup red wine and allow to cook off for 5 mins
- Stir in 2/3 cup low fat crème fraiche and taste/adjust for seasoning
- Drain and add the pasta to the sauce and serve

Paneer skewers and stuffed mushrooms

This is a nice snacky dinner when you fancy something warm but not too filling/too much hassle

- Soak some wooden skewers in water and prehat the oven to 200 degrees celsius
- Cube 200g paneer
- Cube half a red pepper
- Thread onto the skewer alternating between paneer and pepper
- Brush with you favourite chilli sauce and a bit of tikka masala paste and bake for 20mins
- Meanwhile scoop out the middle of 7 chestnut mushrooms
- Put 1/2 tsp butter in each followed by a sprinkle of garlic powder and as much grated mozerella as you can squeeze in
- Place on a baking tray, brush each with a little oil and sprinkle with my new favourite veggie seasoning Bacon Salt!
- Place in the oven for 15mins and serve

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Veggie Tacos

This dish starts with a boring shop bought pack but turns into something much more fun and tasty!

- Prepare the salad with 2 chopped avocados, 4 chopped tomatoes, 3 chopped spring onion, a big bunch of chopped coriander, juice of half a lime, salt and olive oil
- Peel 3 sweet potatoes, chop in rough chunks, place in a roasting dish and then drizzle olive oil over and sprinkle salt and garlic pepper. Roast at 200 degress celsius for 30mins
- Open the Old El Paso Taco kit. Lay the taco shells on a baking tray ready for heating later and pour the salsa in a bowl
- Lay out a handful of grated cheese in another bowl
- Defrost 1 pack soya mince in the microwave for 5mins
- Meanwhile in the food processor blitz - 1 tomato, 1 red pepper, 1 onion, 4 garlic cloves and 2 green chillies- Fry the vegetables in oil until fragrant and add the defrosted soya mince
- Add the spice mix from the kit, some salt and paprika to taste and 3 tbsp water and cook for a further 5 mins
- Put the taco shells in the oven for 3 mins
- Assemble your taco with the soya mince on the bottom of the shell, then a sprinkle of cheese followed by salad and salsa
- Serve with the roasted sweet potatoes

Chocolate Raspberry Brownie Cake

Very dense but very tasty. I served it with fresh raspberries and a soya raspberry icecream! Unfortunately the husband had eaten a slice by the time I took the photo!

- Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius. In a medium bowl mix 1 cup plain flour, 5 tbsp cocoa powder, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tspbaking soda, 1 tsp egg replacer powder and 1/4 tsp salt
- In the blender, combine 3/4 cup water and 1/2 cup raspberries and blend until smooth
- Make a well in the dry ingredients. Add 1/2 cup agarve syrup and the berry mixture. Stir until completely mixed. Pour into an oiled 9-inch round cake pan
- Bake 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean
- Drizzle with golden syrup and serve with fresh raspberries

Monday, 18 April 2011

Easy Daal

This is a nice quick recipe, very fullfilling and it keeps well in the fridge for a good few days.
- Rinse 1 handful of channa daal and 1 handful of urid daal under the cold tap
- Tip into the pressure cook and fill 1/3 with water
- Cook on medium gas for about 20mins
- In the mean time fry in a large pan 1 chopped onion with 5 cloves chopped garlic, 1 knob sliced ginger, 2 sliced chillies and 2 tsp salt
- When golden add 1 tsp cumin seeds, 1 tsp ground coriander, 1 tsp turmeric and 1 tsp garam masala and cook for a further 2 mins. Stir in 2 tbsp tomato puree
- Put the pressure cooker in the sink and run the cold tap on it for a minute
- When cool open and test the daal - if soft enough add the daal and a little of the liquid to the onions and spices (if not return to the heat for another 5 mins)
- Stir the daal and add more liquid until desired consistency is reached.
- I add about 2/3 of the total liquid
-Test for seasoning and add a handful of chopped coriander

Pad Thai

A very tasty dish if I do say so myself!

- Soak one nest of flat rice noodles in a bowl of boiling water
- Defrost 6 veggie shrimp in the microwave
- Chop 5 garlic cloves, 2 chillies, a knob of ginger, half a green pepper, half a red onion and slice about 6 mushrooms- Fry all of the above for about 8 mins
- Slice and add the defrosted shrimp and cook for 2 mins
- Add a good splash of soya sauce, shaoshing rice wine, a squueze of lime juice and 1 tsp sugar
- Drain and add rice noodles and stire
-Taste for seasoning and sitr in a handful of chopped coriander

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Chickpea Cakes

I started with Vegan Dad's recipe and ended up modifying it quite a bit based on what I had at home. I absolutely adore his recipes! They are always tasty and pretty - not always the easiest with veggie food.

- Dice and fry half a white onion with half a green pepper for 5minutes
- Drain and rinse 1 can of chick peas and blitz until broken down but still lumpy in a food processor. Add the onion mix and blitz once more
- Transfer to a bowl and add: 1 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, 1/2 tsp rosemary, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tbsp cornflour, 2 tbsp regular flour, a squeeze of lime juice, 1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander and 1 tbsp garlic chilli sauce
- Mix really well and put in the fridge for 20min
- Make 10 patties from this mix and shallow fry in 2 batches turning half way until golden
- Serve with a salad made from 3 chopped tomatoes, handful of coriander, 1/4 chopped onion and 1 sliced avocado. Dress the salad with a splash of olive oil, lime juice and salt

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Winey and creamy halloumi penne

This is dish is one of my husband's favourites and we often have it on special occasions - I thoroughly recommend you try it. For some reason despite a relatively standard ingredient list the result is exceptional! Serves 4 people generously.

- Cube and shallow fry a 225g packet halloumi. Remove from the pan to a bowl
- Chop 1 large red onion and 1 red pepper and fry in olive oil until soft and slightly brown
- Chop and add 5 garlic cloves to the vegetable mixture
- Boil the kettle twice and add water to a large pan with some olive oil
- Add 500g dried penne to the boiling water and cook until done - al dente works best with this dish. The pasta will probably be done just as you finish the sauce but keep an eye on it
- Grind in a pestle and mortar 1.5 tsp mixed peppercorns and add 1.5 tsp dried chilli flakes. Add this to the pan and fry for a few mins
- Measure out and then add 150ml red wine and 200ml double cream to the vegetables, allow to come to the boil gently and then simmer for a couple of minutes
- Microwave a 250g bag of baby spinach according to instructions and add this to the pan
- Drain and cut into strips a small jar of mixed roasted peppers and add to the sauce
- Add the prepared halloumi, stir sauce and adjust for seasoning
- Drain the pasta well, mix pasta and sauce together and serve!

Monday, 11 April 2011

Thai mushroom soup

- Fry 1 finely chopped leek with 2 inches sliced ginger
- Add 1 pack of defrosted mock chicken strips and fry till brown
- Add 8 thinly sliced mushrroms and cook for a further 5 mins
- Add 1 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tsp kejap manis (sweet Indonesian soy sauce), 1/2 tsp sugar and a good sprinkle of chilli flakes- Add 1 tin coconut milk, refill half the can with water and add this.
- Bring to the boil then reduce heat and simmer
- Turn off heat, add juice of half a lime and a good bunch chopped coriander
- Taste and adjust for seasoning

Mock Chicken Curry

For me there is nothing like a good chicken curry on a Friday night! Try this…it's my new favourite. Also nice served with a tomato, red onion and coriander salad.

- In a food processor blitz 2 white onions, 5 cloves garlic, a big lump of ginger and 3 green chillies
- Fry this mixture in some oil for about 10mins whilst stirring
- Add 1 pack of defrosted mock chicken strips and fry till brown
- Add 1 tsp tikka masala paste, 1/2 tsp cumin seeds, 1/2 tsp garam masala, 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1/2 tsp ground coriander and 1 tsp salt
- Blitz 3 tomatoes in the food processor and add these along with a squirt of tomato puree. Stir well and cook for 5mins
- Add a can of coconut milk, refill half the can with water and add this.
- Bring to the boil then simmer for 10mins and serve with chappatis/rice as you please.

Chocolate Pie

I made this for my husband on Valentines and it went down very well!!

- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius
- Wipe a little oil around a 10 inch round pie dish with removal base
- In a food processor blitz 12 chocolate digestive biscuits, add 2 tbsp melted butter and 1 tbsp water while it mixes
- Press this into the pie dish and bake for 10mins
- In a small bowl add 1 tbsp agar flakes to 1/3 cup water and stir until dissolved
- In a saucepan mix 2/3 cup sugar, 1/3 cup cocoa powder, 1/4 cup cornstarch and 1/8 tsp salt. Add 1.5 cups milk and whisk on low heat. Add 1.5 cups more milk and turn the heat to medium, whisking constantly until the mixture thickens and just comes to a boil (10mins)
- Remove from heat, add 2 oz dark chopped chocolate and 2 tsp vanilla extract and stir until the chocolate melts in
- Pour into the crust, leave in the fridge for 3 hours and decorate with a handful of strawberries

Chickpea chilli with mashed potatoes and sweet peppers

This meal is not conventional but satisfies all my - it's Saturday night and I want something warm, filling, tasty, salty and spicy cravings!

- Empty 1 pack frozen soya mince in a bowl and microwave for 4mins
- Meanwhile dice 3 carrots, 5 garlic cloves and 1 big red onion
- Fry the vegetables in olive oil for 10 mins on low heat then add the garlic
- Add 1 tsp italian herb seasoning, 1 tsp dried chilli flakes, 1/2 tsp cumin seeds, 1/2 tsp mixed spice and 1 tsp salt
- Bltiz a can of chopped tomatoes and add this along with half the can water and 1 tbsp tomato puree
- Bring to the boil then simmer until the sauce is thick (about 15mins)
- Drain 1 tin chickpeas and stir in for the last 5 mins of cooking
- Peel, roughly chop and boil 6 medium sized King Edward potatoes
- Drain and mash with butter, a little milk, salt and pepper
- Serve with 2 or 3 pieces of roasted sweet peppers from one of those lovely Spanish jars


My absolute favourite stirfry

This stirfry is beyond simple but such a tasty quick dinner that I make at least once every couple weeks. Sometimes I had strips of fried mock chicken as well.

- Slice 2 carrots, 1/3 head of brocolli and 6 shitake mushrooms
- Chop 2 cloves garlic and 1 red chilli
- Fry the garlic and chilli in ground nut oil for 2 mins, add the vegetables and 1 tablespoon water
- Stir fry on medium-high heat until the veg is the consistency you enjoy (for me about 5mins cooking does the job)
- Add 3 tbsp veggie oyster sauce and 1 tsp soya sauce, stir for 1 min on high heat and serve