Tesco Value Vegetable Sausages. (Product Review)

This is hardly going to be an exceptional blog post with lots of pretty pictures. The Tesco Value range does what it says on the tin. It’s cheap and it’s cheerful. These six sausages come in at ยฃ1. I know what all you UK vegans are thinking. You can get the meaty Linda McCartney sausages for a quid in most cheap supermarkets like Lidl, but here me out. These are really quite savoury considering they are basically vegetables in a tube and they might come in handy if you are struggling to get kids to eat vegetables. They are also lower in calories than the meaty versions. Have a look below:

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I served them up with herby mashed potato and broccoli. They were incredibly filling. I guess all I can say is, I’d probably buy them again just for something different. They are cheap and they are cheerful.

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Cheats Cheesy Pizza

Who doesn’t like cheating at cooking once in a while? Sometimes you’re just too busy to make things from scratch or you just fancy something different right? Well the other day when I was shopping in Morrisons I felt exactly like that and then I found this:

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It was in the fresh pasta section, but I decided to look anyway and low and behold, the damn thing is vegan! Instantly pizza came to mind because it would involve minimal work and I could just throw it in the oven for 15 minutes with a few toppings on top.

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I added aubergine, mushrooms, tomatoes, chilli peppers and fresh cherry tomatoes as well as a whole block of grated Cheezley vegan cheese. After 15 minutes and a few Italian herbs this is what it came out like:

 

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It went down beautifully with some homemade potato wedges and a green salad.

Being vegan can be really easy. If you want to learn more about veganism, check out http://www.vegankit.com

Caramelised onion & barley soup with cheeze croutons.

First let me apologise for there being a two month gap in blog posts. Life at Castle Mouche has been pretty hectic! We gave up our jobs and moved to the other side of the UK and then we adopted a new dog called Darcy who is taking up a lot of our time. I have however been cooking and taking pictures. Unlike a lot of bloggers my pictures aren’t staged. They just are what I happen to be eating and I decide to take pictures. ๐Ÿ™‚

Let’s start off on a dish that is easy to make, loaded with calcium and can even be frozen for use later in the week.

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Ingredients:

1 tbsp olive oil

2 medium onions, thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon of dried thyme

1 tablespoon sugar

1 pint of vegetable stock

60 g pearl barley

Half a bag of curly kale

Ciabatta bread

Grated vegan cheese. I used Cheezley.

Some sprouted beans for garnish. (Optional.)

 

 

  • Heat the oil in a pan and add the onions, garlic, thyme and sugar.
  • Cook on a medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring regularly and then add the vegetable stock.
  • Add the pearl barley to this mixture and cook for a further 20 minutes.
  • In the mean time slice your ciabatta into croรปton sized pieces, sprinkle with your grated vegan cheese and place under a warm grill for about 5 minutes. (Watch them carefully or else they are likely to burn.)
  • Add the kale to the soup and heat for another 3 minutes before serving warm with your croutons.

It’s really that simple! Enjoy as the nights start to get colder! ๐Ÿ™‚

 

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Guest Blog Post: Vegan Witchin’ In The Kitchen

Vegan Witchin’ In The Kitchen is a bespoke food order service based in the UK. They also like to create cheap and simple recipes that anyone can follow. This is a guest blog by my friend Stephanie from VWITK called: The Savoury Plait!

 

Ingredients

 

  • 1 pack of Granose “Sunflower Seed, Lentil & Vegetable Roast” mix (in fact any of their mixes, or another suitable savoury vegan mix like “Sosmix” will do…)
  • 1 pack JusRol chilled pre-rolled puff pastry.
  • Some vegan marg to grease the baking sheet.

 

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Method

Make up the savoury mix as per instructions on the pack (in this case, mix with 200ml cold water & leave to stand for 10mins)

Whilst mix is setting into a paste, open up puff pastry sheet & cut as per the picture below.

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Start folding in the pastry in a plait fashion on top of the savoury mix and trim any excess pastry at the end to make it look neater.

Place on a greased baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes atย 200ยฐC or until golden brown.

 

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Et voila!

QV: Everyone I know is struggling for money at the moment. How much did this cost?

VWITK: The whole lot cost around ยฃ3.20. So I guess that’s about ยฃ1.70 a portion because I didn’t use everything in one plait.

You can find more information on VWITK here:ย https://www.facebook.com/veganwitchkitchen

Thanks for reading guys! ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cauliflower Rice Wraps

Quite often I sit at work bored out of my mind day dreaming about what I can have for dinner and that is often where my ideas for blog posts come from too. I wanted to make something Mexican inspired that wasn’t too heavy on the calories but still absolutely delicious. This is what I came up with! ๐Ÿ™‚

 

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Ingredients:

  • A small head of cauliflower. (I got mine in the reduced section at Tesco for 79p)
  • A large handful of brown lentils.
  • 5 cherry tomatoes.
  • 2 red onions.
  • Fajita spice packet. (Again Tesco have a cheaper own brand range that I used here.)
  • 4 cloves garlic.
  • Some alfalfa sprouts. (Optional but a nice nutritional hit.)
  • Fresh baby leaf spinach, about two handfuls.
  • A mild shop brought salsa or if you have time you can make your own.
  • Wholemeal tortilla wraps.

Method:

Rinse your lentils in cold water and then place in a pan and simmer for about 25 minutes or until reasonably soft.

Heat a small amount of oil in a pan. Peel and finely chop your onion and garlic and place in the pan.

Peel the leaves from your head of cauliflower. Now you can either grate it or you can place the cauliflower in a blender with the grater attachment. Once complete place in the pan with the onion and garlic and mix thoroughly.

Now add the fajita spice, mix through and turn the heat down whilst you wait for then lentils to cook.

Once the lentils are down, drain and then mix in with the cauliflower rice. You may wish to add more spice here. I added some black pepper, mainly because I really like it! ๐Ÿ˜›

Chop up your spinach, sprouts and cherry tomatoes and place in a salad bowl. I also like to place the fajita mix in a bowl and the tortillas on a plate so everyone can just help themselves.

This recipe makes enough for four large wraps and it’s super healthy.

 

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Spicy Green Bean Noodle Salad

This is kinda like a comfort food and salad all in one and it certainly hits the spot.

I think we should always aim to get the most out of each meal nutrition wise, but I was a bit short on the green stuff. So if you have a fridge or freezer full of greens, get them in there too. I’d recommend mange tout, broccoli or kale.

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Ingredients:ย 

  • Two large handfuls of green beans. (Mine were frozen.)
  • Half a cucumber, sliced thinly.

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  • 1 white onion, diced.
  • Half a packet of wholewheat spaghetti or rice noodles.
  • 1 teaspoon of dried chili flakes.
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce.
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar.
  • 1 teaspoons agave nectar.
  • The juice of half a lemon.
  • 3 tablespoons of toasted sesame oil.
  • 2 tablespoons of flaked almonds or crushed peanuts. (I used almonds.)

 

Method:

Get yourself a large mixing bowl. Place the diced onion, chili flakes, soy sauce, rice vinegar, agave nectar, lemon juice, toasted sesame oil and almonds in the bowl and mix together with a fork. Place to one side to allow the flavours to infuse.

Get a large pan of water on the boil and place the spaghetti in to cook for about 10 minutes or whatever the packet instructions recommend.

In the meantime, steam the green beans for about 8 minutes.

Drain both the green beans and spaghetti and place in a large serving dish, mixing together.

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Now add the dressing and mix through thoroughly.

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Now add the cucumber and mix again. (You add the cucumber last so that it doesn’t go soggy.)

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You can then season with whatever herbs you like. I used coriander.

There’s enough for 3 to 4 adults. ๐Ÿ™‚

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You can connect with Queer Vegan on social media too.

 

@QVegan

Facebook.com/queervegan

 

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Aubergine Parmigiana (Soy & Gluten Free)

This is total comfort food for when those spring evenings aren’t quite warm enough yet. It’s also a budget meal with just a few ingredients and herbs that you can make with what you have in a standard vegan cupboard. If you’re not vegan yet, perhaps you should visit http://www.whyveganism.com and get on that shit, right now! ๐Ÿ˜€

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Ingredients:

3 large aubergines

1 glug of olive oil

2 red onions

3 garlic cloves

2 tins of chopped tomatoes

Salt and pepper to season

1/4 tub of nutritional yeast

Method:

1) Slice the aubergine into quite thick slices and rub with salt and pepper. (Aubergine tends to be quite watery and you want it to absorb all the tomatoey goodness.)

2) Place in layers in a a lasagne dish.

3) Now mix the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl. (Except the nutritional yeast.) Leave to marinate for 10 minutes whilst you heat the oven.

4) Now pour over the aubergine dish and sprinkle all of the nutritional yeast on the top.

5) Bake for 40 minutes.

6) Serve with new potatoes or a crisp salad.

 

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Leek & Potato Soup (Cheap As Chips!)

It feels like we have had two days of sunshine since the beginning of 2014. In fact the weather is so bad that there is a severe weather warning across most of the country with mass flooding and possible tornado warnings. I’ve never known anything like it in my life! Whether you believe it’s the human race’s fault or it’s happening on it’s own, you can’t deny that the weather and climate are certainly changing.

With that in mind, is it any surprise that I am once again providing you with a delicious and healthy dose of comfort food to keep you warm? Not really! ๐Ÿ˜‰

I rustled this up from scratch after a walk on the beach with the dogs and my family. I believe this might have been the first time my sister Donna has tried my food and she seemed to like it, so get in! ๐Ÿ™‚

Ingredients for 5 adults:

3 leeks, chopped

6 small potatoes, peeled

4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped

1 onion, peeled and chopped

1 vegetable stock cube

1 pint of unsweetened soya milk

1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard

Seeded rolls to serve

Method:

  • Fill your largest pot to the half way point and place on the stove on a high heat.
  • Place the potatoes, leeks, onion, garlic and stock cube in the water and turn down to a simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Drain the water and place back on the hob, this time adding the mustard and soya milk. (If you want it to be extra creamy, here is the place to add a dollop of vegan butter if that sort of thing takes your fancy.)
  • Turn off the heat.
  • Use a hand blender to turn the soup into a thick and filling mixture.

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  • Serve with “buttered” half stale rolls that your Dad picked up for 8p. ๐Ÿ˜‰ (Or some nice fresh ones are just fine too.)

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It has also been mentioned in a lot of my outreach work lately that people believe vegan food is expensive. Here is proof that it isn’t. The total cost of this dish per head was less than ยฃ1. Please enjoy and share far and wide.

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Get Your Healthy On: Vegetable Stir-fry

Sometimes to be healthy it’s all about taking it back to basics. Here’s one of my favourite and very basic recipes that is guaranteed to fill you up and not break the bank.

Ingredients:

A whole pack of mushrooms

2 carrots

2 sticks of celery

1 onion

2 cloves of garlic

A mug of brown rice

A mug of red lentils

Method:

  • Place the lentils and brown rice in a pan of boiling water and cook for 30 minutes on a medium heat.
  • In the meantime, cut, chop and peel all of your vegetables.
  • Place in a hot pan without oil and stir constantly for 10 minutes so that they do not stick.
  • Turn the heat off and allow to cool, whilst you wait for the rice and lentils.
  • When the rice and lentils are nearly done, crank up the vegetable pan again.
  • Drain and rinse the rice and lentils and place at the bottom of a bowl. Top with your steaming hot vegetables.
  • Sprinkle with chilli flakes, fresh coriander and soy sauce for some epic flavour.

500 calories, low fat and high fibre – not that us vegans really worry about fibre! ๐Ÿ˜‰

That recipe will serve two adults.

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Vegan Juicy Lucy Burger

Do you know what? Sometimes I’m flicking channels on my TV and I come across something ridiculous like, “Man Vs Food.” I often sit there and think, “well that would easily be veganised.” So that is exactly what I have done.ย 

I searched around for the perfect vegan burger patty when I suddenly realised that the most perfect were the cheapest ones available because they most resemble the cheap meat put into non-vegan burgers. The 99p pack of four Holland & Barrett burgers. ๐Ÿ™‚

Ingredients:

4 vegan burger patties, defrosted

2 large burger buns

4 potatoes

1 block of Cheezley mozzarella style, sliced very thinly

Ketchup

Salt

Pepper

Vegetable oil

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Method:

CHIPS

  • Get your oven on and up to full whack.
  • Slice your potatoes into wedges and place in a baking tray. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and a dash of oil.
  • Place chips into the oven and cook for 35 minutes.

Chips

BURGERS

  • Get your four defrosted patties and lay them out on a chopping board.
  • Push down on them with the palm of your hand so that they stretch outwards, but not too thinly.
  • Place some thinly sliced cheez on one patty and then place the other patty on top.
  • Crimp the edges with your fingers so there are no gaps.
  • Do this so the four patties turn into two cheese stuffed burgers.
  • Heat some oil in a pan (there isn’t enough fat in the burgers and they will stick to the pan otherwise.)
  • Place burgers in pan for about ten minutes, flipping every couple of minutes so each side gets nice and brown and that the cheez melts all the way through.
  • Serve in a nice big burger bun with tons of ketchup and your home cooked chips!ย 

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Not healthy in the slightest, but it bloody well had to be done! ๐Ÿ˜€