Vegan Cheese & Chutney Parcels

I don’t very often cook with pastry. It’s far too much like baking for me. However with the availability of fresh vegan pastry now widespread, I thought I’d give it a go.Blog 1

Ingredients:

  • 1 packet of JusRol fresh filo pastry
  • Poppy seeds
  • 5 small new potatoes
  • 1 carrot, peeleds
  • A small handful of curly kale
  • Caramelised red onion chutney
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • Black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 block of Violife vegan cheese, grated

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Method:

  • Get the oven on a medium heat.
  • Dice the potatoes and carrots and place in a pan of water, allowing to boil before turning the heat off.
  • Heat a pan, drain the potatoes and carrots and place in the pan with the kale and chutney.
  • Stir in the herbs and spices. Stir occasionally until the potatoes and carrots are soft.
  • Roll out the pastry and cut into squares. Place a large spoonful of the pan mixture into the centre of the square and top with cheese.
  • Fold the edges up over the mixture and sprinkle with poppy seeds. (You should have enough for four large parcels.)
  • Place in the oven for 30 minutes.
  • Serve warm with ketchup.

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If you want to make your pastry, feel free. This isn’t Masterchef so I’ll take that short cut. πŸ™‚

Blogs on Mushroom Laksa and The Vegan Police coming soon.

 

 

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Cheesy Tofu Pie

Traditionally in the UK the summer seems to only last a couple of weeks and then we have lots of rain and a few mild days before it gets cold again. Well at least for the past ten years anyway and they tell us the climate isn’t changing yet! This means we still get to have pies in the summer to keep us warm and fill us up.

I wouldn’t say this is a particularly healthy recipe, but it’s a lot better than it’s non-vegan counterpart.

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The best thing about my recipes is that you don’t need anything fancy to make them work. All the ingredients should already be in your house or easily available.

Ingredients:Β 

  • 2 tins of braised tofu (I got mine from Holland & Barrett.)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 clove of garlic, diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable bouillon powder
  • Half a carton of passata
  • Water as needed
  • 2 large potatoes
  • Half a block of Violife original cheese, grated
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 tablespoon Vitalite dairy free spread
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped

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Method:

  1. Get the oven on full whack.
  2. Have a pan of salted water heating up to boil.
  3. Fry the onion, garlic and carrots in an oven proof pan, for about three minutes.
  4. Empty the contents of the tofu tin into the pan, including the juices. Break up the tofu into smaller pieces and allow everything to simmer for about two minutes.
  5. Add the bay leaves, red wine vinegar and passata and turn down the heat. Allow to bubble gently for about 10 minutes until the carrots have softened.
  6. Taste the mixture. Add salt and pepper if desired. Turn off the heat.
  7. Slice the potatoes thinly and boil in salted water for 2 minutes. Drain and place back in the sauce pan where you mix in the Vitalite and any extra salt and pepper you require.
  8. Place on top of the tofu mixture, layering if you need to. Cover in grated Violife and nutritional yeast.
  9. Put in the oven, in the oven proof pan for approximately 15 minutes or until the top has a nice crunch.

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Enjoy on it’s own or with some steamed vegetables. It’s very filling!

Stuffed Sweet Peppers

I already know what you’re thinking. BORING! Everyone always makes stuffed peppers for vegans and it’s getting really old. Well think again! This is a revamped recipe that you’re not only going to want to eat yourself, but rustle up as a great starter for a main meal. One thing this dish isn’t is pretty. I suppose if you fannied around for a little while with some rocket, you could make a meaningful display, but I don’t have time for that sort of nonsense. πŸ˜›

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Ingredients:

60 grams cous cous (2 servings)

Half a jar of sun dried tomatoes, chopped

Half a jar of artichoke hearts, chopped

1 vegetable stock cube

Wholemeal bread crumbs

Nutritional yeast

6 sweet long peppers of varying sizes

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Method:

  • Turn the oven on. Slice your peppers down the middle. Season with a little salt and pepper, then place in the oven for 10 minutes to begin cooking.
  • In the meantime, prepare your cous cous as per packet instructions, mixing in a vegetable stock cube to give flavour.
  • Now add the sun dried tomato and artichoke to the cous cous. Don’t worry about any extra oil. It all adds to the Mediterranean flavour.
  • Remove peppers from the oven and fill with the cous cous mixture.
  • Top with a generous helping of nutritional yeast and bread crumbs for that extra crunch.
  • Place back in the oven for a further 10-15 minutes so the peppers can soften and the top can go crispy.

Serve as a light lunch with a salad or on it’s own as a starter.

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Baked Lime Cheesecake

Anyone who reads this blog will know there aren’t many sweet recipes on here. Why? I am simply rubbish at baking. Occasionally I hit a good recipe though and this is one of them. This is my take on a baked lime cheesecake.

BeFunky_20150228_203213.jpgAs normal my adventures in baking are never pretty, but this one tastes amazing!

Ingredients:

1 pot of plain vegan cream cheese (I used Toffuti.)

The juice and zest of one lime.

Half a pack Hob Knob biscuits.

Half a mug of sugar (More if it’s to your taste.)

It’s that easy!

Method:

  • Get the oven on to heat up. About 200 degrees should do it.
  • Empty half a pack of hob knobs into a plastic food bag and tie up. Beat with a rolling pin until they form a fine crumb.
  • Spread your crumb in the dish you want to bake your cheesecake in. I used a small Victoria sponge tin.
  • Pour the remaining ingredients in your food processor and mix until a sweet paste has formed. Add more sugar and lime to taste. A drop of vanilla essence could also do wonders here.
  • Spread thickly over the biscuit base.
  • Bake for 45 minutes checking regularly to ensure it doesn’t burn.
  • Leave to cool then place in the fridge to set before serving.
  • Take to your newbie vegan friend’s house and show them that they can still have cheesecake. πŸ˜‰

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Β Serve with vegan ice cream to be extra naughty. πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

Sausage Ragu & Cheesy Polenta

A sausage ragu is one of those recipes you often see on pretentious Italian cooking shows. The chef spends all day cooking it and it looks like tomato slop on a plate. I decided I’d write my own recipe for it which can be completed without fancy ingredients and in about 30 minutes. This is now one of my favourite comfort food meals. It’s fresh and fragrant, yet filling and hearty. Everything you want in a dish right? Take a look at this!

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I enjoyed mine with a lovely Welsh cider really complemented the flavours in the sauce! πŸ™‚ (Pretentious or what? πŸ˜› )

Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil

2 onions, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, chopped or minced

8 vegan sausages (I used Linda McCartney as these days I’m skint.)

2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes

400 ml vegetable stock

2 tbsp tomato puree

400g instant polenta

1 whole block of vegan cheese (I used Cheezly because it’s hard to get hold of much in rural South Wales. Try Tesco’s smoked vegan cheese for the best flavours.)

4 fresh rosemary sprigs

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Method

Make the ragu! Heat the oil in a frying pan. Cook the onions and garlic for a few minutes on a medium heat.

Stir in the sausages, breaking them up into small pieces as they defrost. This should take roughly 8 minutes.

Stir in the chopped tomatoes, stock, tomato puree and most of the rosemary. Leave to simmer for about 10 minutes or until the mixture begins to thicken.

Season with salt and black pepper to taste.

Whilst the ragu is simmering away, it’s time to make the cheesy polenta. Make up the polenta as per the packet instructions. Remove from the heat and stir in your cheese. (You’ll need to have grated it for this to work.) Season as you wish.

To plate up, pour the ragu over the top of the polenta and add some fresh sprigs of rosemary.

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I really hope you enjoy this dish. It’s worth the time and effort to make it. πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

 

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. πŸ™‚

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 croΓ»ton 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! πŸ™‚

 

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International Vegan Pizza Day 2014

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. πŸ˜‰

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I made:

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 πŸ˜‰ , 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?