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Archive for the ‘Vegan recipes’ Category

Vegan Lasagna

Vegan Lasagna

Recently I have been experimenting with a lot of lasagnas. Lasagna is such a hearty, wintery comfort food that I like to eat it a lot. I have also come across my new favourite spice, nutmeg, which makes a delicious addition to the creamy sauce. I use whole nutmeg (as opposed to ground nutmeg) because whole nutmeg has more flavour.

Ingredients

  • Lasagna base  (make a tomato sauce, add soaked red lentils/soy mince. I have also added kidney beans, leeks and mushrooms in the past.)
  • Lasagna sheets (I buy the whole wheat ones)
  • Creamy lasagna topping (1/3 cup margarine, 1/3 cup flour, any non-dairy milk, water, salt, pepper, 1/2 a whole nutmeg, optional: 1/2 tsp ground mustard)
  • Vegan cheese, grated
  • 2 slices of bread (for the crispy topping)

Instructions

1. First make the lasagna base

2. Then make the creamy lasagna topping by melting the margarine on high heat. Turn off the heat and add flour in gradually, stirring with a whisk/spoon to form the roux – it should look like this. Then turn the heat back on and add some non-dairy milk and or water (I used both), mixing throughout, until the mixture is creamy. I didn’t measure the amount of liquid. Finally turn the heat down and grate your nutmeg and add salt, pepper and ground mustard.

3. Turn on the oven and place the 2 slices of bread on a baking tray in the oven. This way they will get nice and crispy, ready to be grated/ mushed with your fingertips on the top of your lasagna. If you look at the photo, you will see big bits of such toasted bread, which were actually quite tasty (though not the really blackened bits, I picked those off).

4. Meanwhile, assemble the lasagna as such:

  • Layer of tomato base
  • Layer of lasagna sheets
  • Layer of creamy sauce
  • Layer of vegan cheese
  • And repeat!

5. The bread should be toasted in the oven at this point, so take the slices out and start to crumble over the top layer, the vegan cheese.

6. Bake for 45 mins, medium heat.

Enjoy!

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Vegan Quiche

Vegan Quiche

I made this tasty homemade vegan quiche (recipe here) with chickpea flour. I added broccoli, mushroom, tomatoes and carrots to the quiche, but next time I won’t be using broccoli, as I found it overcooked in the oven and not very tasty. I will also be using a veggie stock cube next time.

 

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Home-made Rice & Bean Patty

I had a fantastic time in Boston – it is a beautiful city with lots of culture. I stayed with my friend, D, who was happy to eat home-made vegan meals whilst I was there :). However, D is allergic to nuts so I had to avoid using them – not a problem for me. Here is a list of the meals we made and ate whilst I was there:

  • Brown rice with tomato sauce & fried onions, garlic, mushrooms
  • Tofu sausage with leftover rice and salad
  • Fried rice noodles with onions, garlic, ginger, tofu, orange pepper, shiitake mushrooms, beansprouts and asparagus
  • Bean and rice patties (recipe below) with salad
  • Rice with orange pepper, garlic, tofu, onion and beansprouts
  • Rice with soy cream sauce, mushrooms, onions, garlic and peas
  • Red lentil mash with potatoes
  • Homemade pizza with homemade tomato sauce, daiya ‘cheese’, mushrooms, onions, garlic
  • Rice salad (avocado, baby tomatoes, kidney beans, onions)
  • Pasta with soy mince in a tomato sauce
  • Roasted potatoes, garlic and asparagus with salad and beans

Rice & Bean Patty Recipe 

  • 1 can of cooked beans (I used kidney beans)
  • 1 cup of cooked rice
  • Spices – your choice. I used oregano, sage, chili powder, garlic granules
  • Salt and pepper
  • Dash of soy sauce
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon ketchup
  1. Mash the beans and the cooked rice in a large bowl with a fork
  2. Add spices/flavourings
  3. Place bowl in the fridge overnight (I think that you could skip this step if you were in a hurry)
  4. The next day, shape your mixture into balls and fry them lightly
This recipe is very tasty and versatile – you can season it to your personal preference, so don’t be afraid to experiment!


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St. Catherine’s Oratory on the Isle of Wight, built in the 1300s!

Going on holiday can be a little tricky for vegans. Whenever I go out to a new restaurant, I usually try to look over their menu online beforehand, to ensure that there is a vegan option for me, or if there is a dish that can easily be ‘veganized’ (e.g. by asking for the cheese to be omitted from the dish). However, having to meticulously plan your holiday so that you will always be near a vegan-friendly restaurant can be very tedious, particularly if you like to have a bit of spontaneity in your holiday, like me! The best thing to do is to bring your own snacks and meals, if you have  a cooler. However, I don’t have a cooler (yet), but I probably should get one, so I can make my holidays a bit more frugal too!

Some regions/countries are excellent for vegans e.g. Tuscany in Italy, where you can have Tuscan bean soup (probably one of my favourite foods ever), Tuscan beans on bread and pizzas (no cheese). Other places, such as Norway, are not very good at all, as well as being expensive (one restaurant I went into in Bergen was serving pizza at the  equivalent of £30 – it wasn’t even a posh restaurant! Needless to say I didn’t eat there). In the Scottish highlands I ate lots of bread from the supermarket :S

So, what did I eat on the Isle of Wight?

Day 1

  • Breakfast: leftover homemade rice with avocado, blackeyed beans in a soy sauce, olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
  • Lunch: pita bread with falafel, tomatoes and salad with sweet potato fries. Annoyingly, it wasn’t a homemade falafel (rather, it was likely that it was bought from a supermarket). Supermarket falafel almost always contain cumin. I don’t like cumin at all, so I was very disappointed with this meal. Also, it’s quite cheeky to serve supermarket food in a cafe, isn’t it? The sweet potato fries were very tasty
  • Dinner: (starter) leek & potato soup – delicious! Main- butternut squash and aubergine masala with pilau rice, pita bread with a vegetable side (roast potatoes, carrots, parsnips & pickled red cabbage). I’m not a fan of butternut squash or aubergine, and the masala had so much cumin in it that I couldn’t eat it. As a rule I don’t eat Indian food unless it is served in an Indian restaurant, otherwise I almost always end up with an unfortunate cumin incident (ditto Mexican food). However, I didn’t have a choice, because the hotel only offered vegans the masala. Sigh. At least I had the roast veggies, which you can’t go wrong with.

Day 2

  • Breakfast: 2 hash browns, baked beans, 2 fried tomatoes, slice of toast with strawberry jam. This is pretty much what I ate at the B&Bs in the Scottish highlands, thought I’d often have fried mushrooms too. However, the hotel that I was staying at said that they fried the mushrooms in butter, so I couldn’t have any. Usually, hotels/B&Bs offer to fry some mushrooms in margarine for me, but this wasn’t the case with this hotel! (to be fair they were quite busy).
  • Lunch: Baked potato with baked beans and salad.
  • Dinner: tofu, vegetables (beansprouts, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, carrots), mushrooms and noodles.

Day 3

  • Breakfast: 2 hash browns, baked beans, 2 fried tomatoes, slice of toast with strawberry jam
  • Lunch: garlic humus, rosemary chiabatta bread, purred beetroot, pickled garlic, green olives, sundried tomatoes and sweet potato chips. Probably the tastiest meal I had on the island (though the garlic hummus had cumin in it, so I didn’t eat it).
  • Dinner: pizza at home!

Do you find it difficult eating out when on holiday? Are there any particular spices or herbs that you hate? I hate cumin a lot, but I don’t feel comfortable asking  waiters if dishes have cumin in them- it probably seems petty and strange! Additionally, I almost always have to ask a waiter if he/she can ask the chef if a certain dish is vegan, or if the chef can omit cheese from a certain dish, so that I wouldn’t want to bombard the waiter and chef questions about cumin!

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Ingredients

1 bar of dark chocolate (make sure there’s no milk powder in it – check the ingredients!)
1 mori-nu tofu (alternatively, use the flesh of two soft avocados)
1/2 cup non-dairy milk or water
Pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
1 tablespoon peanut butter (optional)
Sugar, to taste

1) Break up the chocolate and place in a glass pyrex bowl. Put the bowl in a sauce pan with water. Turn the hob on in order to heat the water up, which will melt the chocolate. Or microwave the chocolate.
2) Blend tofu/avocado, non-dairy milk/water, pinch of salt and vanilla extract. Transfer to bowl.
3) Add the melted chocolate and peanut butter and mix. Taste it – is it sweet enough? If not, add some sugar.
4) Once it is thoroughly mixed, transfer your mixture into desert bowls or in a shallow dish.
5) Put the chocolate mixture in the fridge and let it set for a couple of hours. Garnish with salted pistachio nuts (optional)

I have also tried this recipe with grated fresh ginger (added in the blender) and it was delicious!

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Vegan Lasagna

I tend to make vegan lasagna with soya mince, but it would be just as nice with beans (e.g. kidney beans) or lentils.

Ingredients

1 onion, chopped
3 finely chopped garlic cloves
2 chopped carrots (optional)
Tinned tomatoes
Herbs to season (e.g. oregano, basil, bay leaf)
1/2 a stock cube (veggie)
Pinch of baking soda
1 packet soya mince (I buy it from Tesco)
Lasagne sheets (Make sure they’re egg free!)
For the creamy filling:
Tofu mori-nu, firm (You can find this in some supermarkets. I tend to buy it from Chinese/Asian food supermarkets)
1 teaspoon of mustard

1) Fry the onion in olive oil, add the garlic and carrots just when the onions have begun to brown. Add tinned tomatoes, season with herbs, 1/2 stock cube, a pinch of baking soda and let it simmer.
2) In the meantime put soya mince in a large bowl and pour boiling water over it (follow the instructions on the soya mince pack). Then cover the bowl with a plate for 5 mins.
3) Next, pour the soya mince/ cooked lentils/beans in the pot with the tomato sauce and simmer.
4) Now mash the tofu in a large bowl with a fork. Add mustard, pepper, a bit of salt and herbs to season.
5) Finally assemble the lasagna- first a thin layer of tomato soya mince, then a thin layer of tofu mix, then the lasagna sheet. The lasagna sheet should be covered by the tomato mix thoroughly, or it wont cook well.
6) Stick in the oven for 20 mins, and make sure to check on it to see if its ready to eat.

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Vegan Pizza


Vegan ‘cheese’ isn’t too easy to get a hold of, particularly at a reasonable price! However, I personally enjoy pizza without cheese, and I often order it without cheese from pizza restaurants. It’s nice to make your own pizza base as it is not only tastier, but often healthier too, since it doesn’t come with preservatives (or encased with plastic…as you may have gathered I’m not a plastic fan at all; I’m particularly against single-use plastics such as straws, carrier bags etc). The dough needs 1 hour and 30 minutes to rise, so don’t start this when you’re really hungry! Alternatively, the dough can be made 1 day before – store it in a bowl with a plate covering it as a lid in the fridge.

Ingredients for the pizza base

1 cup of white bread flour (don’t use normal flour)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1.5 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoon mixed herbs (basil, oregano or whatever else you have in your kitchen)
2 1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
3 tablespoons of oil
2/3 cup warm water (not lukewarm)
3/4 cups of white bread flour

Toppings
Onion, garlic, mushrooms, sundried tomatoes
Tomato sauce recipe 
Garlic infused olive oil (pour out a bit of oil in a frying pan, add chopped garlic heat over low temp until the garlic is golden – not brown/black!)

1) For the base, mix the first five ingredients well in a large bowl and stir well.
2) Quickly add the oil and warm water, stirring constantly. The dough will be very wet and sticky
3) Gradually add the  3/4 cups of white bread flour, stir.
4) Next, need the dough for 5 minutes; add a bit more flour if it still feels wet and sticky.
5) Form the dough into a ball and cover with oil. Leave it in the bowl, cover with a plate and let it rise for 1 hour and 30 minutes.

6) Prepare your tomato sauce.
7) Fry your toppings – I’m a fan of onions, garlic, mushrooms and peppers so I fry them in oil.
8) Once your dough is ready, tear it into 2 balls of dough. On a floured surface, use a floured rolling pin (or a floured wine bottle if you don’t have a rolling pin) to shape into circles. Put the dough in the oven for 5 mins.
9) Spread the tomato sauce evenly on your pizza, sprinkle your toppings on. I also add chopped sundried tomatoes, because I love them on pizza.
10) Sprinkle your garlic infused oil over your pizza.
11) Place in the oven for 15 mins at approx 250 degrees Celsius.

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