Friday, 31 December 2010

Red Lentil & Carrot Dal and Garlic & Mustard Seed Saag

These two dishes combine beautifully to make an Indian-inspired meal. I served them with brown rice, spicy apple chutney and poppadoms.

Red Lentil and Carrot Dal (serves 3)
1 cup red lentils
3 cups water
1 large carrot, sliced
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1/2 a large tomato, chopped
4 tbsp vegetable oil
5 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 tsp ground coriander seeds
3/4 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp salt

Place lentils, tomato, carrot and water in a large saucepan and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until lentils are tender and have lost their shape, about 40 minutes. Stir occasionally. Begin checking that there is still water in the pot at 30 minutes and add small batches of water as needed
Make the tadka (Indian spice preparation) as follows:
Heat oil in a frying pan over high heat.
When oil begins to smoke, add cumin seeds.
After seeds have stopped sputtering, add the garlic and onion and saute over medium heat until most of the onion has turned dark brown, 5-10 minutes.
Add the coriander, turmeric, and cayenne, stir, and pour the onion/spice mixture over the dal.
Stir in the salt and serve.

Adapted from a recipe found here.

Garlic & Mustard Seed Saag (serves 2)
1 tbsp vegetable oil
160g fresh spinach
2 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
1 tsp black mustard seeds
Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)

Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the mustard seeds (they should pop after contact with the oil, if they don't turn the heat up and stir the seeds until they make a popping sound) and fry for a minute. Add the garlic and cayenne, if using, and fry for a further minute. Add the spinach and stir the mixture constantly, until all the spinach has wilted. Serve.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Seitan O' Greatness

This recipe is all over the interwebs, but in case you haven't stumbled across it before, here it is again. It's good, everyone loves it, except my boyfriend, but he has weird taste. It goes very nicely sliced in sandwices with spinach, tomato and vegan mayo. I think it would also go well in pasta dishes, but I haven't tried that yet.
1.5 cups vital wheat gluten
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tsp salt
2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cumin
1-2 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp allspice (I left this out, as I didn't have any))
3/4 cups cold water
4 tbsp tomato puree
1 tbsp ketchup
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp vegetarian Worcestershire sauce (I used soy sauce instead)
1-3 cloves garlic, crushed well

Pre-heat oven to 170C.
In a large mixing bowl mix dry ingredients. Mix the rest of the ingredients (liquid ingredients) in a smaller mixing bowl. Whisk well until mixed.
Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients. Mix well, then knead for several minutes.
Form into a log (6-8" long), wrap tightly in foil, twisting ends. Bake for 90 minutes. When done baking, unwrap and leave out to cool all the way. Then wrap it foil or plastic and refrigerate. Slice to use as desired.

Mince Pies

It's Christmas, so I thought I'd post a festive recipe. I prefer these to shop bought versions as they're not overly sweet. I think using a blend of wholemeal and white flour for the pastry creates a pleasant balance of lightness, texture and flavour.

Makes 12 mince pies.

200g white plain flour
200g wholemeal plain flour
200g vegan margarine
3tbsp cold water (add a little more if the pastry is too stiff)
411g jar mincemeat (you may not need all the mincemeat. Most shop bought mincemeat is vegan, but check the ingredients).

Pre-heat the oven to 200C.
Grease a 12 hole bun tray/muffin tin with oil or margarine.
Mix the white and wholemeal flours together in a mixing bowl. Rub in the margarine until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs in texture. Add the water and gently knead into a dough.
Roll the dough out until it is approximately 3mm thick. Use a 9cm circular pastry/cookie cutter to cut out 12 circles. Line the bun tray with the pastry circles. Put two teaspoons of mincemeat in each pastry circle. Use a 6.5cm pastry cutter to cut out another 12 circles, the top the pies with them. Use a sharp knife to cut an air vent in the top of each pie.
Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the pies from the bun tray whilst they are still warm.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Aubergine with Black Beans and Spinach with Fermented Tofu

An oriental supermarket opened in my town recently, so I've trying out some new ingredients from there. Tonight I used salted black beans and fermented tofu, with delicious results.

Aubergine with Black Beans
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 tbsp salted black beans
1/2 an aubergine, cubed

Heat the oil in a saucepan or wok over a high heat. Add the garlic, ginger and black beans. Stir for a minute before adding the aubergine. Cook for a further 10 minutes, or until the aubergine has softened, stirring frequently.

Spinach with Fermented Tofu
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 cube fermented tofu, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
180g fresh spinach

Heat the oil over a high heat and add the garlic and tofu. Stir for a minute before adding the spinach. Cook, whilst stirring frequently, until the spinach has wilted.

Friday, 10 December 2010

Lentil and Carrot Soup

Serves 3

1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 large carrot, sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp turmeric
120g red lentils
1 litre vegetable stock

Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the onion. Fry over a medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, turmeric and carrot. Fry for a further 2 minutes. Add the lentils and stock and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat, cover the pan and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Blend the soup until smooth. Heat through before serving.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Cashew Baklava with Orange Flower Syrup

I adapted this from a recipe found on the BBC website. The original recipe can be found here.

14 sheets filo pastry (I used chilled Jus-Rol).
Olive oil
225g cashew nuts, roughly chopped
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp ground cardamon

For the syrup:
175g granulated sugar
150ml water
1/2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp orange flower water

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Grease a 17cm x 28cm (11in x 7in) baking tray with olive oil. Lay eight sheets of filo pastry, one at a time, into the tray, brushing each sheet with oil before adding the next. In a clean bowl, mix together the nuts, sugar and cardamom and spread the mixture over the pastry in the tray. Layer up the remaining sheets on top of the nut mixture, brushing each sheet with oil, as before. Using a sharp knife, cut a criss-cross pattern into the top layers of the pastry. Place baklava in the preheated oven for approximately 20 minutes, then decrease the oven temperature to 150C/300F/Gas 2 and cook for an additional half hour to 40 minutes, or until the pastry is slightly puffed and golden on top. Do not allow the top to burn. Remove and allow to cool slightly.
For the syrup, heat the sugar, water, lemon juice and orange blossom water in a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan and cook over a medium heat until the sugar has melted and a syrup is formed. (This will take about 20 minutes or so. Pour the syrup into the slits in the baklava and leave to cool. Cut into small diamond-shaped or square pieces and serve.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Pickled Watermelon Rind

I found this recipe on Oprah's website, of all places. It's adapted from the book Vegan Soul Kitchen by Bryant Terry. It goes nicely in a salad with watercress, spinach and rocket leaves.
I made three-quarters of the amount below, as I didn't have enough rind to make the full amount.

Rind from a medium-size watermelon
3 1/4 cups (780ml) cane sugar divided
3/4 cup (180ml) sea salt
4 sticks cinnamon
2 Tbsp. whole cloves , divided
2 large oranges , thinly sliced
4 lemons , thinly sliced
1 cup (240ml) apple cider vinegar
1 cup (240ml) distilled white vinegar (I used extra acv instead)

Prepare the watermelon rinds by removing the green skin with a peeler or utility knife. Cut away most of the red flesh with a knife, but leave a thin coat. Cut as much of the rind as possible into 1/2-inch (1cm) cubes (many of the pieces will be odd shapes) until you generate 10 cups (2.4 litres) of rind. Set aside.

In a large stockpot over medium-low heat, make a brine by combining 12 cups (2.9 litres) water with 1/4 cup (4 tbsp) sugar, salt, 2 cinnamon sticks, and 1 tablespoon cloves. Stir well until the sugar and salt are completely dissolved. Remove from heat and cool. Transfer watermelon rind to the brine. Place a small plate on top of the rinds to ensure that they are completely covered in water and don't float to the top. Soak overnight.
Drain the rinds and rinse several times with cold water.

Combine the rinds with enough cold water to just cover them in a stockpot. Bring to a boil, lower heat to medium, then simmer until the pieces are tender but still crisp, about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Combine orange and lemon slices, vinegars, and remaining sugar, cinnamon sticks, and cloves with 3 cups (720ml) water in stockpot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add the rinds, bring back to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.
Drain the rinds, catching the liquid in a bowl, and set them aside. Add the liquid back to the stockpot, bring to a boil over high heat, and reduce until it thickens slightly, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer syrup to a metal bowl (or saucepan); let cool.

Place syrup and rinds in a plastic covered container; store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Original recipe taken from here.

Monday, 29 November 2010

Bean and Vegetable Chili

This is my basic chili recipe. I've made it many times. This time I served it over a purple baked potato with a side of kale sauteed with smoked garlic. It also goes well with rice or tortilla chips. You can add extra vegetables to the recipe if you wish - courgette and aubergine work well.

1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 red pepper, chopped
1/2-1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp cocoa powder
400g tin chopped tomatoes
400g tin kidney beans, drained and rinsed

Heat the oil in a saucepan and add the onion, garlic and red pepper. Fry for ten minutes. Add the cayenne, cumin, oregano and cocoa powder. Stir the spices into the vegetables. Add the tomatoes and beans. Heat through slowly.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Snobby Joes

Serves 4-6

This recipe is from Veganomicon. I made half the quantity listed below and served it over home made wholemeal buns with sweet potato oven fries.

    1 cup uncooked lentils (green or red, I've tried it with both)
    4 cups water
    1 tbsp olive oil
    1 medium yellow onion, small dice
    1 green bell pepper, small dice
    2 cloves garlic, minced 3 tblsp chili powder (or less, depending on how spicy you want it)
    2 tsp oregano
    1 tsp salt
    1 (8-oz/220) can tomato sauce (I pureed tinned tomatoes for this)
    1/4 cup tomato paste/puree
    2-3 tbsp maple syrup (I used golden syrup instead)
    1 tbsp prepared yellow mustard

1. Pour the lentils and water into a small saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil; once the mixture is boiling, lower the heat and simmer for ~ 20 minutes, until the lentils are soft. Drain and set aside.

2. About 10 mins before the lentils are done, preheat a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. Saute the onion and pepper in the oil for about 7 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic and saute for a minute more.

3. Stir in the cooked lentils, chili powder, oregan, and salt. Add the tomato sauce and tomato paste. Cook for about 10 minutes. Add the maple syrup and mustard and heat through.

4. Turn off the heat and let the pot sit on the warm burner for about 10 minutes so that the flavors can meld.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Onion Soup and Carrot, Wild Rocket & Jerusalem Artichoke Salad

No photos for these two, I'm afraid. We ate them before they could pose for photographs.

Onion Soup

1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 medium onions, chopped
2 tbsp white wine (I used a non-alcoholic kind)
500ml vegetable stock
White pepper, to taste

Heat the oil in a saucepan and add the onion. Saute over a low heat until the onions are well browned. Add the wine and vegetable stock and heat through. Add pepper to taste.

Carrot, Wild Rocket and Jerusalem Artichoke Salad
60g wild rocket
1 large carrot, grated
1 Jerusalem artichoke, thinly sliced
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
2 tbsp olive oil

Put all the ingredients in a serving bowl and toss together.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Lemony Apple and Berry Crumble

Serves 4 (or 2 if you're feeling especially greedy, like I was)

2 apples, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup frozen berries
juice of 1/2 a lemon
zest of 1 lemon
50g + 1 tbsp sugar
50g plain flour
50g oats
50g vegan margarine

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4.
Evenly cover the base of a pie dish with the apple slices, then pour the frozen berries on top. Squeeze the lemon juice over the fruit, then sprinkle on 1 tbsp of sugar.
Mix together the flour, oats and remaining sugar, then rub in the margarine. Top the fruit with the crumble mixture.
Place the crumble in the oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Swede & Horseradish Cakes and Minted Purple Potato Cakes

In my latest Sainsbury's order I received, amongst other goodies, some purple potatoes and some jarred horseradish (made by English Provender Company, I think Biona also make a vegan horseradish sauce). So I decided to put these to use. I served the swede and potato cakes with a mixture of garlic, mushrooms, butterbeans and spinach, thrown together in a pan and sauteed.

Serves 2

200g purple potatoes, cubed (you could use ordinary potato, but it won't look as pretty)
10g fresh mint leaves, chopped
200g swede, cubed
1 tbsp horseradish
1 tbsp vegetable oil

Boil the swede until tender. In a separate pan boil the purple potatoes with the mint. Drain and mash the potato, when it is cool enough to handle, form into two patties. Drain and mash the swede with the horseradish, wait for it to cool, before forming into two patties. Heat the oil in a frying pan fry the cakes on one side for 5 minutes, flip over and fry for a further five minutes.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes 10-12 cookies

80g sugar
80g vegan margarine
120g plain flour
1 tbsp rice flour
60g chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Pre-heat the oven to 200°C. Lightly grease a baking tray with margarine or vegetable oil.
Cream together the sugar and margarine. Add the plain flour, rice flour, chocolate chips, vanilla essence and cinnamon and mix until it forms a dough.
Form the dough into walnut-sized balls and flatten onto the baking tray. Bake for 8-10 minutes.

Farmers' Market

No recipe this time. Instead I'm going to show off the haul of vegetables I got at Winchester farmers' market today.
In the picture you can see red and yellow chard, jerusalem artichokes and romanesco broccoli. I've never had chard or romanesco broccoli before and I've only managed to find jerusalem artichokes on rare occasions, so I was very happy to find this lot. I haven't tried the chard or artichokes yet, but I steamed the broccoli  and had it with my dinner (the rest of my dinner consisted of leftovers, so no recipes for that either). It had a mild flavour, somewhere between broccoli and cauliflower. I plan to use the leaves to make a stock.

I think romanesco broccoli is one of the most beautiful vegetables, so here's a couple more photos of it.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Rosemary Crackers

These are tasty on their own or with a topping. They go well with houmous.

Makes 32

1.5 cups wholemeal flour
Pinch of salt
1 tbsp dried rosemary
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup water

Preheat oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4.
Mix the flour, salt and rosemary together in a mixing bowl. Add the olive oil and water and knead the dough together until just blended. If the dough is too dry, add a little extra water.
On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough to a thickness of 3mm or less.
Place dough on an ungreased baking sheet and mark squares out with a knife, but don't cut through. Prick each cracker with a fork a few times.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until crisp and light brown. Baking time may be different depending on how thin your crackers are. When cool, remove from baking sheet, and separate into individual crackers.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Spaghetti Tacos with "Meat"balls

Any iCarly fans out there will recognise this one. Here's my take on Spencer Shay's famous spaghetti tacos. Of course, if you object to the idea of noodles in a crunchy corn shell, you can make plain spaghetti and meatballs, but where's the fun in that?
The meatball recipe is essentially this one with the seasoning altered to make them Italian flavoured rather than Swedish.
Here are my rather messily presented tacos:
Serves 4.

8 taco shells
160g spaghetti

"Meat"ball ingredients:
1 cup red lentils
2 cups water
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
3/8 cup nutritional yeast
1 tbsp wholemeal flour
2 tbsp vital wheat gluten
1 tbsp oregano or dried mixed herbs
Pinch of salt
Sprinkle of black pepper
Olive oil

Sauce ingredients:
1 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 400g tin chopped tomatoes
1/4 cup tomato puree
Fresh basil leaves, as much as you like


To make the "meat"balls:
In a large pot simmer the cup of lentils in the 2 cups of water for about 20 minutes.
Halfway through the cooking process add the 1/2 onion and clove of garlic.
Once the lentils are completely soft and cooked through remove them from heat and allow them to come to room temperature
Once they have cooled add the flour, nutritional yeast, flaxseed, vital wheat gluten, herbs, salt and pepper. Combine thoroughly with a wooden spoon.
Roll them into small balls and store them in the fridge for at least an hour or two so they firm up and will hold together during cooking.
Once you are ready to cook them, drizzle a large pan with olive oil and fry the balls on all sides until they are golden brown and crispy.

To make the sauce:
Heat the oil in the sauce pan, add the garlic and fry for 30 seconds. Add the chopped tomatoes and tomato puree. Blend until smooth. Tear or chop the basil leaves and add to the sauce. Heat through before serving.

Heat the taco shells and cook the spaghetti according to the packet instructions. Stir the sauce and meatballs into the spaghetti. Stuff the taco shells and enjoy.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Leek and Potato Strudel

This is based on a Hairy Bikers recipe. I adapted it to be vegan and lower fat (it's still not very low fat, just lower than the original).

Serves 4

Olive oil
1 leek, finely sliced
1 small onion, chopped
750g potato, cubed
6 tbsp soya milk
2 tbsp chopped chives
White pepper, to taste
8 leaves filo pastry (I used Jus Roll chilled)

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Lightly oil a baking sheet.
Boil the potatoes until tender. Mash them with the soya milk, chives and pepper.
Meanwhile heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a frying pan and add the leek and onion. Saute for five to six minutes, until softened and translucent.
Lay a clean, damp tea towel on the work surface and place two sheets of filo pastry on top. Brush with olive oil. Repeat the process until all the filo pastry has been used.
Spread half the sliced potatoes over two thirds of the pastry, leaving a clear border of pastry along one long edge. Cover with the leek and shallot mixture followed by the remaining potatoes. You may not need all the filling.
Using the tea towel to support the strudel, roll up the strudel towards the clear border of pastry to form a long sausage shape. Transfer to the baking sheet, seam-side-down, and brush the top with olive oil. Bake in the oven for 40-50 minutes, or until crisp and golden-brown.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Broccoli Soup

Nutritional yeast adds a delicious flavour to this simple soup. The potato gives it a creamy texture.

Serves 2-3

1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
250g broccoli, chopped
120g potato, cubed
500ml vegetable stock
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup (4 tbsp) nutritional yeast

Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the garlic. Fry for 5 minutes. Add the broccoli, potato, vegetable stock and nutmeg. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 15 minutes. Blend until smooth. Stir in the nutritional yeast and heat through before serving.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Watermelon and Cucumber Salad

Something lighter for a change. This is a wonderfully refreshing combination.

350g watermelon, cut into large chunks
175g cucumber, cut into large chunks
10g mint leaves, torn

juice of 1/2 a lime
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 teaspoon agave nectar
pinch of salt

Combine the watermelon, cucumber and mint in a serving bowl. In a smaller bowl, mix the dressing ingredients together. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss together.

Sunday, 7 November 2010


This is a Swedish recipe. We bought some of these from Ikea a couple of months ago, which inspired me to try a home made version. I'm glad I did - these are much tastier than the shop bought version. This recipe makes 12-15 balls of chocolate-y, coconut-ty deliciousness.
1 3/4 cups finely rolled/flaked oats (I blended large oat flakes to make them finer)
3/4 cups sugar
3 tbsp cocoa powder
75g vegan margarine
3 tbsp strong cold coffee (I made some with 1/2 tbsp Camp Coffee and 2 1/2 tbsp water)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
desiccated coconut

Mix oats, sugar and cocoa in a bowl. Using your hands incorporate the margarine into the dry ingredients until the dough has an even consistency. Add the coffee and mix until incorporated.

Fill a small bowl with the dessicated coconut. Roll the dough into 3cm diameter balls. Roll each ball in the coconut and place on a tray or plate. Chill for at least an hour before serving.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Broccoli Quiche

This recipe is for a 20cm quiche.

175g wholemeal plain flour
75g vegan margarine
2 tbsp cold water

225g firm tofu, crumbled (I used Clearspot smoked tofu)
250ml plant milk
1 tbsp plain flour or corn flour
1 tbsp vegetable oil
4 tbsp nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp English mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp chopped chives
80g broccoli florets
50g grated vegan cheese (optional - I used Blue-style Sheese)

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4.
Rub the margarine into the flour until the mixture has the consistency of coarse breadcrumbs. Mix in the water. Roll the pastry out to a thickness of around 5mm. Cut around a 25cm plate to form a pastry circle. Place the pastry circle in the quiche tin, folding the edges of the pastry to fit. Prick the pastry base all over with a fork and bake for 15 minutes.

Whilst the crust is baking make the filling. Combine 1 tbsp of flour with 1 tbsp of oil in a saucepan over a low heat. Whisk in the plan milk to make a white sauce. Stir in the nutritional yeast and mustard. Add salt and pepper to taste. Take the pan off the heat and blend the sauce with the tofu. Stir in the broccoli, chives and vegan cheese (if using).

Pour the filling into the quiche crust, cover with kitchen foil and bake at 180°C/Gas Mark 4 for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake for a further 15 minutes.

Avocado and Basil Houmous

I made this by accident. I was trying to make plain houmous, but I added too much tahini. As I had no more chickpeas I decided to add some avocado to stop the tahini being overpowering. Then I thought, as avocado tends to brown when exposed to air, I should add something green to prevent the houmous turning a murky brown. I was out of fresh spinach, so I threw in some basil leaves. It turned out really tasty. It's good spread on wholemeal bread and topped with tomato slices.
1/2 tin of chickpeas
1/2 large avocado
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp water
2 tsp tahini
Large sprig of basil, chopped
1 garlic clove
Salt and lemon juice, to taste

Put the chickpeas, avocado, olive oil, water, tahini, basil and garlic in a food processor and blend until smooth. Add salt and lemon juice to taste and blend again. If the houmous is too thick blend in some more water until it reaches the desired consistency.

Friday, 5 November 2010

Pumpkin Fest

I opened up our second pumpkin and got busy in the kitchen. Here are three more pumpkin recipes for you lovely people. The pumpkin has all been used now, so there will be some non-pumpkin recipes coming up soon. All of the recipes below use pre-baked pumpkin. The reason for this is pumpkin contains a lot of water and baking it causes some of the water to evaporate, thus giving a stronger flavour. To bake pumpkin pre-heat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius/Gas Mark 3. Cut the top off the pumpkin and scrape out the guts and seeds with a spoon. Reserve the seeds to make roasted pumpkin seeds, if you wish. Cut the pumpkin into quarters, place in oven and bake for one hour.

Savoury Pumpkin Pasties
Makes four pasties.

I made double the quantity of filling shown below and used the leftovers to make a vegetable stew.

500g wholemeal flour
250g vegan margarine (I used Pure spread)
Cold water

1tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, finely chopped
200g baked pumpkin, cut into small cubes
100g potato, cut into small cubes
100g sweet potato, cut into small cubes
3/8 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp sage
1/2 tsp nutmeg
Salt and pepper, as much as you like


Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4

Rub the margarine into the flour until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add the water gradually, until the pastry works together into a ball without being sticky. Put aside in a cool place.

Fry the onions in the oil over a medium heat for five minutes. Take off the heat and add the rest of the ingredients

Roll the pastry out to a thickness of around 5mm. Using a plate as a template, cut out four 20cm circles. Place a quarter of the filling on one half of each pastry circle. Brush the pastry edges with water, fold the other half of the pastry over the filling to form a half-moon shape and crimp well to seal.

Bake for 1 hour.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Cinnamon Icing
Makes 12 cupcakes

This is a recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World. I halved the recipe listed below to make six cupcakes instead of 12.

Cupcake ingredients:
1 cup canned pumpkin (I substituted homemade pumpkin puree see this post for recipe)
1/3 cup oil
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup soy milk (I used rice milk instead)
1 1/4 cups all-purpose/plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips (the Silver Spoon ones are vegan)

Cinnamon icing ingredients:
1/2 cup confectioners'/icing sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp vegan margarine, melted
1 tablespoon soy milk (or other plant milk)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Pre-heat oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4. Line muffin pan with cupcake liners.

In a medium bowl stir together pumpkin, oil, sugar, plant milk and vanilla. Sift in the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Stir together with a fork - don't use a handheld mixer, as it will make the batter gummy. Once well combined, fold in the chocolate chips.

Fill liners two-thirds full. Bake for 22-24 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let fully cool before icing.

Icing directions:
Place sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Add the margarine, plant milk and vanilla and stir with a fork until smooth. Keep at room temperature until ready to use. Spread or pipe onto cool cupcakes.

Pumpkin Soup

Here's a bowl served with croutons and roasted pumpkin seeds.

1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
400g baked pumpkin, cubed or pureed
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 tsp grated nutmeg
Pinch of ground cinnamon
500ml vegetable stock
Salt and pepper to taste

Fry the onion in the oil over a medium heat for five minutes. Add the garlic and fry for a further two minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients and heat through. Puree the soup. Heat the soup through again before serving.

Friday, 29 October 2010

Spiced Red Bean Burgers

My partner bought me some Vital Wheat Gluten on Ebay, so I decided to get experimenting with it. Vital wheat gluten can also be purchased from, and .
These are influenced by the chickpea cutlets recipe from Veganomicon, the flavour is very different though. We ate them in homemade wholemeal buns with lots of Reggae Reggae sauce. Also on our plates were potato and sweet potato wedges and a spinach and grated carrot salad.

1 tin kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp white pepper
1tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 large sprig of basil, chopped
1/2 cup vital wheat gluten
1tbsp liquid smoke (optional)
1/4 cup tomato puree
1/4 cup water


Preheat oven to 200 degrees Centigrade or Gas Mark 6.
Lightly oil a baking sheet.
Mash the kidney beans until no whole beans remain. Add the remaining ingredients and knead together for about three minutes.
Form into four flat, round patties. Place the patties on the baking tray and bake for 20 minutes, then flip the patties over and bake for a further five minutes.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Gnocchi with Pumpkin Sauce

Another pumpkin recipe; this one proves I don't only eat desserts. We ate it served on a bed of raw spinach.

Serves 3


1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsps vegetable oil
500 grams pumpkin puree
1-2 tsps dried sage
1 tsp nutmeg
Pinch of salt
Generous shake of black pepper
1/3 cup vegetable stock
500g gnocchi


Heat the vegetable oil in a saucepan, add the onion and cook on a low heat for ten minutes, stirring frequently. Add the
garlic and cook for a further two minutes. Add the pumpkin, sage, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Cook for ten minutes at a low heat,
stirring frequenly. Add the vegetable stock and cook for a further five minutes.
Meanwhile cook the gnocchi according to the packet instructions.
Drain the gnocchi, then serve topped with the pumpkin sauce.

Nutty Maple Cookies

100g peanut butter
120g plain flour
4tbsps maple syrup
12 almonds

Mix together the peanut butter, flour and maple syrup. Add enough water to form a stiff dough. Form the dough into twelve
walnut-sized balls and place on a baking sheet, flatten each ball slightly. Decorate each one with an almond.
Bake at 200C for 20 minutes.

Pumpkin Tart With Pecan Crust

This is the first of what will probably be many pumpkin recipes. I have two pumpkins to use over the next couple of weeks. The recipe called for a 15oz can of pumpkin, but I substituted home made pumpkin puree for this.

Pumpkin Puree

Ingredients: 1 pumpkin


Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius/Gas Mark 3. Cut the top off the pumpkin and scrape out the guts and seeds with a spoon. Reserve the seeds to make roasted pumpkin seeds, if you wish. Cut the pumpkin into quarters, place in oven and bake for one hour.

When the pumpkin is cooked, remove from oven and leave to cool. When the pumpkin is cool enough to handle, scrape the pumpkin flesh from the skin and place in a food processor. Blend until smooth.

Pumpkin Tart With Pecan Crust


  • 3/4 cup pecan halves
  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons real maple syrup
  • 1 cup soy milk
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot powder
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree OR 420g/15oz home made pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup real maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves


  1. Set rack in the middle of the oven, and preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly oil a 9 inch pie plate. Set aside.
  2. Spread nuts over a baking pan. Toast for 7 to 10 minutes, or until the smell of nuts fills the kitchen. Set aside 16 pecan halves for garnish.
  3. Combine oats, flour, remaining pecans, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and a pinch of salt in a food processor bowl. Pulse until mixture becomes a coarse meal. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Whisk together oil and 3 tablespoons maple syrup, and mix into dry ingredients to form a soft dough. Press mixture into prepared pie plate. Crimp edges. Bake for 10 minutes, and set aside to cool.
  4. Blend soymilk and arrowroot in the food processor until the arrowroot is completely dissolved and the mixture is smooth, about 15 seconds. Add pumpkin, 1/2 cup maple syrup, ginger, 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon salt, nutmeg, and cloves; process until thoroughly blended. Pour filling into baked crust, and smooth the top with a spatula.
  5. Bake for about 35 minutes, or until the crust is lightly browned and the outside inch of the filling is set. Don't worry if the center is still soft; it firms up as the pie cools. Transfer pie to a wire the rack. Gently press toasted pecan halves into hot filling in 2 concentric circles. Cool to room temperature, and then chill until set, about 3 hours. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
The original pumpkin tart recipe can be found on

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Introduction and first recipe

Hi, this is my new blog documenting my experiments in the kitchen. I go by the name Enchantress in vegan circles, hence the name of this blog.

The first recipe I'm going to share is for coconut rice pudding. I adapted the recipe from the book Linda McCartney On Tour. I didn't have the canned coconut milk the recipe called for, so I made my own by mixing creamed coconut with boiling water.

The photo doesn't do it justice, I'm not the best photographer and that picture was taken on my mobile phone.

Coconut Rice Pudding with Mango Coulis

Ingredients:60g/2oz basmati rice
200ml/7fl oz coconut milk
425ml/three-quarters of a pint soya milk
60g/2oz Sugar
Pinch of Salt
Half a tsp vanilla essence
60g/2oz desiccated coconut
1 ripe mango, peeled
15g/half an oz icing sugar

Make the mango coulis by pureeing the mango with the icing sugar.

Mix the rice, coconut milk, soya milk, sugar and salt in a saucepan. Bring to the boil and stir continuously, then simmer
gently for about 25 minutes, stirring frequently.

Stir in the vanilla and desiccated coconut and simmer for a further five minutes.

Serve hot or cold topped with a swirl of mango coulis.

Serves 2-3.