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. 🙂
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.
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
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 croûton 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! 🙂
I got the idea for these bad bois from a random internet meme. I saw them and instantly thought, “this needs to be vegan!” Here’s the easy peasy veganised version for your taste buds pleasure! 🙂
Get the oven on at full whack!
Now cut circles from one of your wholemeal wraps to make a base. If you have pastry cutters that would be great, I don’t. I used the bottom of a tin which just happened to be the exact right size.
Now place the bases in a muffin tin and place about a teaspoon of tomato puree in each.
Fill each tin with the pre-grated Toffuti Mozzarella and VBites pepperoni style slices. (Chopped.)
Then place them in the oven for 15 minutes before checking them. The cheese should be nice and melted by this point and you just need to brown off the top for another 5 minutes. Once cooked serve with a nice fresh salad.
These are perfect for parties because you can literally eat them in a couple of bites, but the flavour is still really intense.
If you’re not vegan already, please consider going vegan. It’s the least you can do for the animals, for your health and for the environment.
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I’ll tell you what; I’ve never eaten so much pizza in my entire life. I did use some cheeky little cheats to make it not only quicker, but cheaper too. 😉
Pepperoni pizza muffins out of a wholewheat tortilla, pre-grated Toffuti cheese and VBites pepperoni style pieces. (Recipe coming for this soon.)
An Italian style spicy sausage (which was just a thinly sliced Linda McCartney sausage lightly fried in paprika and chilli flakes), artichoke and mushroom strong “cheddar” thin crust pizza, using JustRoll pre-rolled dough and pizza sauce.
A herby smoked cheese stuffed dough ball.
A standard thick crusted, thin based vegetable pizza with Tesco’s own brand smoked cheese.
Firstly I never want to see another pizza again 😉 , secondly I refuse to believe you can’t go vegan because “OMG what would I do without pizza” and thirdly and finally after not having cheese on a pizza for so long, I’ve found I actually prefer it that way. It’s fresher and you can taste all of the toppings instead of just cheese. It was however a nice treat and definitely wait until next year before I indulge that much again.
What did you do for Vegan Pizza day?
Having a lovely creamy pasta with a salty flavoursome pesto on it, is something I’ve not had since I’ve been vegan, which is almost 9 years now. I decided to mess around with some ingredients and I came up with this:
Because the sauce is made from butter beans instead of cheese, it’s really filling. That protein certainly packs a punch! *flexes muscles* Kale is also a superfood and you should eat it every day, raw if possible.
Pasta – I used Penne.
- Vegan butter such as Vitalite.
- 4 cloves of garlic.
- Sea salt.
- Black pepper.
- 2 cans of butter beans, drained.
- 1 vegetable stock cube, undissolved.
- Water as required from pasta.
- A large handful of curly kale.
- A large handful of raw walnuts.
- Sea salt.
- Rapeseed oil.
It’s best to start with the kale pesto so that it has time for all the flavours to infuse. Place the kale, walnuts and a sprinkle of sea salt into a food processor pulse blending whilst adding drops of rapeseed oil to gain the required consistency as pictured above.
Scrape out the pesto into a spare bowl and clean the food processor of all pesto flavours. You’ll need it for the next bit.
Get your pasta on to cook as per the packet instructions, drain and place to one side. (Try and keep at least a small glass of that beautiful starchy water. It will thicken your sauce.)
Chop and peel the garlic and fry gently in about two large tablespoons of Vitalite for 3 to 4 minutes. Once complete, pour the entire contents of the pan into the food processor. (Tip, keep tasting it to make sure it’s to your liking. My first batch was waaaaaay too salty.)
Now add the rest of the ingredients for the sauce and blend until you get a nice thick consistency. Place this sauce in the pan you fried the garlic in and spread out.
Now place the pasta in the pan and mix through. The pasta will start to absorb the sauce and reheat, however if it’s still too cold for your liking switch on the pan for a couple of minutes to heat through.
Season with some extra black pepper and the kale pesto.
This amount will feed four adults, easily. You’ll also have tons of pesto left over that will keep for up to week in the fridge.
Love and light! 🙂
Firstly let me just say, that I am really into Japanese style food at the moment. Secondly and I’m just going to put it out there, this is probably one of the best dishes I have ever made. The only thing that could have made this better was if I had used a pestle and mortar instead of a blender to make the broth paste. (Arthur our lovely ginger cat decided he didn’t like it anymore and smashed it on the floor.)
Also ASDA AKA Walmart is totally rubbish for all things Japanese, so I had to make substitutions left right and centre to make this work. It’s ok though because the bearded one absolutely loved it! \M/
We have six rescue cats by the way so whenever we are taking pictures that are not just purely of food, you’ll see a couple here and there. 😛
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 1 carrot, peeled and chopped.
- 4 large leaves of savoy cabbage, chopped.
- Lemon grass herbs or paste.
- 10 black pepper corns.
- 1 large red onion.
- 5 cloves of garlic.
- 1 red chilli pepper.
- A peeled slice of fresh ginger the length of your little finger.
- 250ml water.
- Sea salt to add for your taste.
- Half a head of fresh broccoli, chopped.
- A handful of fresh coriander, chopped.
- 1 tin of coconut milk.
- Sugar snap peas, de-podded.
- Get your wok out and place a small amount of oil in it. Turn up the heat and place the chopped red onion and peppercorns in the pan.
- Stir fry for about 3 minutes and then turn the heat off.
- In the meantime deseed your red chilli and place it in a food processor with the garlic and ginger. Now add about 100 ml of water and wizz it all up to form a paste. (You may need to pulse blend here depending on how good your blender is. I’m not like other food bloggers. Vitamix has yet to endorse me, but hey if you’re listening guys, I don’t mind. :P)
- Place your paste into your wok and crank up the heat again for another 3 or 4 minutes to reduce it down a bit.
- Now it’s time to start adding ingredients one by one, each time stirring and covering in the tasty mixture you just made. I started with the carrots and and worked my way through the rest ending in coconut milk.
- Make sure you have mixed everything in well.
- Turn down the heat and allow to simmer for another 5 minutes so that the vegetables aren’t entirely raw.
- Serve with some fresh coriander and chop sticks.
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:
The ingredients themselves are pretty simple too:
- 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.
This recipe will make enough for two hungry post-workout adults. 😉
- Get the oven on it’s top heat, whatever that is for you.
- 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.”
- Now mix in the chutney making sure every single slice is smothered in it. Use more that 2 tablespoons if need be.
- Place that deliciousness in the oven for 10 minutes. (Keep an eye on it because the chutney burns easily.)
- 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.)
- When 10 minutes has passed, remove the roasting mix from the oven and combine with the salad you just made.
- Serve that baby hot and maybe with a pinch of dried chilli on top. 🙂
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! 🙂
- 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.
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! 😛
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.
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.
- Two large handfuls of green beans. (Mine were frozen.)
- Half a cucumber, sliced thinly.
- 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.)
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.
Now add the dressing and mix through thoroughly.
Now add the cucumber and mix again. (You add the cucumber last so that it doesn’t go soggy.)
You can then season with whatever herbs you like. I used coriander.
There’s enough for 3 to 4 adults. 🙂
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Sunday lunch has never really been traditionally British in the Queer Vegan household. We very rarely sit down to a plate full of roasted stuff covered in gravy and anyway, if we do it’s normally at the Toby Carvery accompanied by a beer. (We’re on quite a strict diet at the moment due to Tough Mudder training so that’s really not going to be happening.)
Today’s Sunday lunch was much more typical of what we would eat and a hell of a lot healthier too. This dish is ram packed with calcium, vitamin K, vitamin C and protein.
- Half a cucumber.
- A large handful of baby leaf spinach.
- Three cloves of garlic, crushed.
- One tablespoon of pine nuts.
- One tablespoon of sesame seeds.
- One tablespoon of nutritional yeast.
- One block of tofu, drained. (Place the tofu between two plates for about 30 minutes so that as much water as possible is pressed from the block.)
- Two tablespoons jerk seasoning.
- Two tablespoons breadcrumbs.
- Two tablespoons vegetable oil.
- Slice your drained tofu into your preferred shapes. (I like a rectangle shape personally.)
- Mix the oil, breadcrumbs and jerk seasoning in a bowl. Then gently cover each piece of tofu with the mixture and place straight into a hot grill pan. (The ones with the ridges that give the tofu a char-grilled look.) Each side will take about five minutes.
- In the meantime place the crushed garlic into a large bowl. Grate the cucumber and the spinach either manually (good luck) or use a food processor with the grater attachment. Place these in the bowl also.
- Mix around with your hands so that the garlic infuses throughout the salad and then place onto a plate. (This amount should serve two.)
- Now sprinkle the pine nuts, sesame seeds and nutritional yeast over the salad and add some dried chili flakes too. (Optional.)
- By now the tofu should be cooked. Remove from the hot pan using a spatula and place on top of the salad.
- GET THAT YUMMYNESS IN YOUR FACE!
Today has been a really productive and non-stressful day and for the first time in what seems like forever, the sun was out. I woke up at around 07:15 but didn’t bother to get up until 08:30 due to having lots of snuggles of felines, a large white woof and a beardy man times. I left the bearded one in bed and made an epic smoothie, which subsequently I spoiled him with in bed.
This is a banana, mango, spinach, peanut butter and raw cacao powder smoothie. It tastes like a peanut butter and banana milkshake.
That did me for the whole morning because it was so filling, however on return from our 6k walk with Bailey Woof I was getting a tad hungry so I made a wholemeal spinach and pasta “cheesy” bake with a cucumber and tomato side salad.
A little while after this we hit the gym where we lifted some seriously heavy shit. I needed a protein hit after that so when we got home I rustled up some cashew nut cheese on some wholemeal sweet onion crackers. (I’ll be posting a recipe for this soon.)
For dinner Mykey made a kale, bean, mushroom, spinach and breaded tofu stir fry which totally hit the spot.
So there you have it. Simply, tasty and healthy vegan food. 🙂