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.