Chutney Roasted Mock Beef Spinach & Beetroot Salad

Things don’t always have to be complicated to be amazing. Sometimes the most simple of ingredients thrown together can create an explosion of flavour in your mouth that you thought you might never be able to create.

A lot of people think that as a vegan you always have to make everything from scratch too. Well that is a big fat lie! The stars of this dish are the pre-made ingredients you can see below:

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The ingredients themselves are pretty simple too:

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  • A teaspoon of dried thyme.
  • A good few twists of black pepper.
  • 3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar.
  • A whole pack of pre-diced and smoked beetroot.
  • 3/4 pack of baby leaf spinach.
  • 1 teaspoon of olive or rapeseed oil.
  • 1 whole pack of VBites beef style roast chopped into slices.
  • 2 tablespoons of your favourite sweet chutney.

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This recipe will make enough for two hungry post-workout adults. 😉

  1. Get the oven on it’s top heat, whatever that is for you.
  2. Place the balsamic vinegar, oil and beef style pieces in a baking tray and mix together so that the flavours start to soak into the “meat.”
  3. Now mix in the chutney making sure every single slice is smothered in it. Use more that 2 tablespoons if need be.
  4. Place that deliciousness in the oven for 10 minutes. (Keep an eye on it because the chutney burns easily.)
  5. In the mean time mix the remaining ingredients in a large bowl and chop them down with a large pair of scissors to give it a shredded salad feel. (You won’t need any dressing. The “beef” will dress the entire thing.)
  6. When 10 minutes has passed, remove the roasting mix from the oven and combine with the salad you just made.
  7. Serve that baby hot and maybe with a pinch of dried chilli on top. 🙂

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Chilli with crunchy tortilla & avocado salad

It’s been a while, but I had the perfect excuse to cook this luxurious meal the other night because my friend Jim decided to come over for dinner and a gaming evening. (Dawn of War if you must know! 😉 )

  • For the chilli and rice

  • 1 fresh red chilli
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • 1 big bunch fresh coriander
  • olive oil
  • 2 mixed-colour peppers
  • 1 x 400 g tin of chickpeas
  • 1 x 400 g tin of black beans or pinto beans. (I used pinto because I couldn’t find black.)
  • 700 g passata
  • 1x 250 g pack of mixed long grain & wild rice
  • For the salad

  • 4 small corn tortilla wraps
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 3 heaped tablespoons soy yoghurt
  • 2 limes
  • 1 romaine lettuce
  • ½ cucumber
  • 1 fresh green chilli
  • 1 handful ripe cherry tomatoes

Ingredients out • Oven at 200°C/400°F/gas 6 • Food processor (bowl blade)

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Place the rice in a pan with cold water and crank up the heat. Keep and eye on this, it will take exactly 15 minutes.

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Put the chillies, peeled and halved red onion, paprika and cumin seeds into the processor, squash in the unpeeled garlic through a garlic crusher, then add the coriander stalks (reserving the leaves) and 2 tablespoons of oil, and whiz until fine.

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Tip into the pan, then add the deseeded and roughly chopped peppers, drained chickpeas and black beans, a pinch of salt and pepper and the passata, stir well.

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Fold the tortillas in half, slice into 0.5cm strips, sprinkle on to a baking tray and pop in the oven until golden and crisp.

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Put most of the coriander leaves, a pinch of salt and pepper, half a peeled avocado, the yoghurt and the juice from 2 limes into a jug and whiz with a stick blender until silky.

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Check and adjust the seasoning of the chilli.

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Remove the tortillas from the oven into a bowl, cut the lettuce into chunky wedges and add to the bowl • Scoop and dot over curls of avocado • Peel the cucumber into ribbons and finely slice half a chilli, then scatter both over the top.

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Pour chilli into serving dish. Make a well in the middle of the chilli and tip in the drained and cooked rice.

Pour the dressing over the salad, pick over the remaining coriander leaves, finely slice the remaining chilli and sprinkle over the top along with the halved cherry tomatoes, then toss everything together • Serve with dollops of yoghurt.

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Munch the hell out of it! 🙂

 

 

Golden Aubergine with Greens and Potato Gratin

This is a veganised version of Jamie Oliver’s 15 minute meal, “golden chicken, braised greens and potato gratin.” I could well have used some seriously decent mock chicken from Veggie World, but I firstly intended to do this with tofu. I looked in the fridge, the cupboard and the freezer and I had absolutely zero tofu, so I decided to go with an aubergine. If you are serving this for more than two people, use more than one aubergine.

Prep:

Boil the kettle

Pans out

Oven pre-heated to 200 degrees

Food processor setup

Ingredients:

800 g potatoes (I was lucky enough to have some that a work colleague had grown.)

Vegetable stock powder (or crumbled cube)

1 red onion

Rapeseed oil

Dried sage

A can of reduced fat coconut cream

Nutritional yeast

1 aubergine

Dried rosemary

Sea salt

Pepper

Frozen peas

Frozen runner beans

Method:

Finely slice the potatoes in the food processor.

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Then tip into a pan and cover with the hot water from the kettle. Leave on the heat, but do not allow to boil over.

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Peel the onions and also put through the food processor.

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Place in a high edged roasted dish and sprinkle with oil, stock, salt and pepper. Place this on the hob and turn up the heat, adding a dash of water to stop it from burning and then after you have stirred it thoroughly, turn the heat off.

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Slice the aubergine and place in a hot pan with a tablespoon of oil. Season with salt, pepper and rosemary.

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Leave for a few minutes and flip occasionally to allow both sides to brown. The aubergine will absorb the oil pretty quickly, so I added a dash of water here and there to keep it cooking without burning. You can turn the heat down and allow this cook whilst you get on with other things now.

Drain the potatoes well in a colander, then pour into the tray with the onions and turn the heat back on whilst you mix everything together.

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Pour over the coconut cream and a generous sprinkle of nutritional yeast. Turn the hob off and pick tray up with an oven glove and place on the top shelf of the oven for 10 minutes.

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In the meantime you can continue flipping your aubergine slices and adding water if needed.

Now you should use the rest of the water in the kettle to steam your peas and runner beans for about three minutes.

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Drain your peas and beans and season with herbs of choice. I used dried chives.

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Serve up and enjoy this creamy delight.

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Jamie Oliver reckons this meal is 600 calories. I’d say take away the single dairy cream and the fried chicken and it’s down to 450 – 500 calories. An ideal lunch or pre-17:00 meal. Enjoy!

Koh Samui Salad, Chilli Tofu & Thai Noodles

My sister is not vegan and she is not someone who is easy to please when it comes to food. She wanted to come over for lunch and I racked my brains trying to find something she would eat and that would not spoil my continual healthy eating. I came across this noodle salad in my 15 Minute Meals book. It’s really easy to make and you can serve it hot or cold. I actually served it cold because my sister was late. Haha!

Ingredients out * kettle boiled* medium frying pan, low heat* food processor (bowl blade and fine slicer)

Salad

300 g medium rice or wholewheat noodles

1 clove of garlic

1 thumb sized piece of ginger

6 ripe cherry tomatoes

1 fresh red chilli

1/2 a bunch of fresh basil

3 tsbp of vegan oyster sauce

2 tsbp sesame oil

3 limes

1 bunch of radishes

2 carrots

1/2 a cucumber

1 bulb of fennel

1/2 a white cabbage

1 full pack of vegan prawns (available at Veggie World.)

Garnish

100 g shelled peanuts

2 tbsp sesame oil

1 bunch of fresh mint

1 pack of tofu (any type you like really)

1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce

1 lime

Method

Put the noodles in a pan and cover with boiling water, mixing up regularly to separate.

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In the frying pan, toast the peanuts and sesame seeds with the sesame oil until golden.

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Put the peeled garlic, ginger, tomatoes, chilli and the top leafy half of the basil into the processor with the fish sauce, sesame oil and the juice of 3 limes.

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With the dressing still in the processor, swap to the fine slicer and slice the radishes, trimmed and peeled carrots, cucumber, quartered fennel and white cabbage. Tip it all into a big bowl, scrunch and dress the salad quite roughly with clean hands, then have a taste and tweak the flavours if needed.

Drain the noodles, add to the salad bowl and toss together.

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Rip off the leafy half of the mint and scatter over the top.

Cut and drain the tofu and fry with the prawns in a little bit of sesame oil and sweet chilli sauce.

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Place the toasted nuts in your serving bowl.

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Place warm tofu and prawns into serving bowl and serve….like a boss to a sister who absolutely loved it! 🙂

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Asian “Sea” Tofu With Sticky “Rice” and Steamed Greens

This was my first attempt at the 15 minute meals and it really set me on the right path. This will serve four people if you’re not someone who needed to eat two portions….well just because I did so 😛

Ingredients:

2 Limes

A bunch of fresh coriander

2 spring onions

1 red chilli

3 cloves of garlic

A finger sized root of ginger

Half a head of cauliflower

Half a can of coconut milk

A good quantity of pak choi

One sheet of nori

Sesame seed oil

2 large packs of tofu

Method:

* Drain both packets of tofu and press any excess water from the remaining curd.

* Slice into chocolate bar sized chunks and then slice 1/2 way through four times along. In these slits, place some torn nori. This will give the tofu it’s ocean type flavour.

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* Place into a baking tray, cover liberally with sesame seed oil and place in the oven for 15 minutes on the highest heat  possible.

* In the meantime, chop up 3/4 of the bunch of coriander, the 2 spring onions, the red chilli, the garlic, the ginger and the lemon grass. Place this in a pestle and mortar and crush until it looks like this:

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(You can use a food processor, but I used the pestle and mortar because that’s what Jamie Oliver used.)

* Leave this to one side so the flavours can infuse.

* Grate the cauliflower (food processor is best) and place in a pan with the coconut milk. Allow this to simmer until you are ready to plate up.

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* Elsewhere you will need a pan of boiling water. Drop the pak choi into this for approximately 3 minutes so they start to soften, then remove and drain.

* Dish up and sprinkle the remaining coriander over the top of the dish. Enjoy!

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Chorizo “carbonara” with catalan market salad

I’ve placed the word carbonara in speech marks because on the Jamie Oliver page there is a massive argument about it not really being a carbonara because it doesn’t conform with the traditional Italian perception of that dish. Personally I don’t care what conforms to what norms. I didn’t event this recipe, but what I can tell you is that it was bloody delicious and nutritious.

I fed this to my fussy eating vegan parents, brother, grandmother and little sister and they all very much enjoyed it. It however took me 20 minutes because I had to double the quantity of pasta due to the amount of people I was serving. The recipe below is the quantities for 4 people.

 Ingredients

  • For the salad

  • 25 g pine nuts
  • 2 green chicory
  • 2 clementines
  • 100 g baby spinach
  • 4 sprigs of fresh mint
  • 45 g vegan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar
  • For the pasta

  • 320 g wholemeal dried penne
  • 70 g vegan chorizo (My parents live in the middle of nowhere so I had to improvise and use Redwoods sausages with lots of chilli.)
  • ½–1 fresh red chilli
  • 2 teaspoons of dried rosemary
  • olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 heaped tablespoons vegan soya yoghurt
  • juice of ½ a lemon

Method

Ingredients out • Kettle boiled • Large frying pan, medium heat • Large lidded pan, high heat

START COOKING

Toast the pine nuts in the frying pan for a few minutes, tossing often

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Put the pasta into the lidded pan, cover with boiling salted water and cook according to packet instructions

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• Finely slice the stalk ends of the chicory and click apart the upper leaves into a serving bowl. Peel and finely slice the clementines, add to the bowl with the baby spinach, then pick over the mint leaves. Shave over a tiny bit of vegan cheese and scatter with the hot nuts.

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In a cup, make your dressing with the vinegar, extra virgin olive oil and agave nectar, then season to taste and put aside.

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Finely slice the sausages or chorizo, chilli and rosemary and put into the frying pan with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and a pinch of pepper, then squash in the unpeeled garlic through a garlic crusher and move everything around until lightly golden.

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Place the lemon juice, soya yoghurt and remaining finely grated vegan cheese together in a food processor and blend until it looks like the below image. I also added some nutritional yeast for extra cheeseyness.

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Drain the pasta, reserving a cupful of the starchy cooking water. Toss the pasta into the chorizo pan, remove from the heat and mix well with the creamy sauce, loosening with a splash of cooking water, if needed, then season to taste

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Dress and toss the salad, then serve with the pasta

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Then me and my Mummy went out for a walk to burn off the extra calories! (Approx 600 per serving which is fine if you are training or if you are not trying to lose weight. Otherwise do what I did and have loads of salad and only a little bit of the pasta.)

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Sausage gnocchi with warm spring greens & bean salad

I started this on Facebook, but I wanted all you guys here to see it too.

I was off sick from work for a little while so I sat and watched Jamie’s 15 minute meals because his recipes are often easy to veganise. I then set myself a challenge to veganise every recipe in the book that goes along with the series and do it all in under 15 minutes.

This particular recipe was what I made the very first time that Mykey came over for dinner. I had to modify the recipe slightly because he is allergic to hazelnuts and soya yoghurt and I didn’t have any kale. It was also the first time he tried gnocchi so I took a bit of a risk and it went down an absolute treat. I’d even be tempted to say it was exquisitely delicious….. oh whoops! I just did! 🙂

Ingredients:

* 4 vegan sausages. (I used Fry’s because I think they are the best and hold their shape very well.)

* 2 teaspoons of fennel seeds.

* 2 teaspoons of dried rosemary.

* 125 ml of red wine (I used a merlot from Co-Op.)

* 200 g tenderstem broccoli

* 700 g passata

* 400 g gnocchi

* pack of vegan bacon. ( I used Redwoods.)

* olive oil

* 40 g walnuts

* 1 teaspoon of maple syrup

* 200 g fine green beans

* 300 g spring greens

* 1 1/2 teaspoons of red wine vinegar

Ingredients out • Kettle boiled • Large casserole pan, high heat • Small frying pan, high heat • Large lidded pan, high heat

START COOKING
Cut the sausage into chunks and place in the casserole pan with the fennel seeds and rosemary.

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Finely slice the bacon, put into the small frying pan with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and the walnuts and cook until golden, then add the maple syrup and remove from the heat.

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Line the beans up and cut off the stalks, then put them into the large pan, cover with boiling salted water and the lid.

Cook for 4 minutes, then add the greens, tearing up any larger leaves.

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Pour the wine into the sausage pan and let it bubble away while you check on the beans and greens.

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If done, use a slotted spoon to transfer them to a colander to drain, leaving the pan of water on the heat.

Tear the broccoli tips into the sausage pan, then slice and add the stalks, along with the passata.

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Add the gnocchi to the pan of water the greens were cooked in and pop the lid on.

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Mix the olive oil, vinegar and a pinch of salt and pepper in a serving bowl, tip in the drained greens and toss to coat, then scatter over the crispy nuts and bacon.

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When the gnocchi have been floating for a couple of minutes, drain them and toss with the sauce.

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Season to taste and serve in the pan, or on a nice platter if you have such things. I had a plate. Haha!

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…..and that was what won his heart. 😉