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This is a recipe for a quick and easy vegan 'burger' which I made by just throwing together a lot of spare ingredients but which really works!
3 tablespoons of cous-cous made up with boiled water and a pinch of salt
Half a courgette, grated
1 tablespoon of sunflower seeds
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
1 tablespoon crunchy peanut or cashew butter
Half a tin or small tin of chick peas, mashed.
1 tablespoon oil
(optional) Half a tomato, chopped into fine pieces
(optional) When making cous-cous vegetable stock can be added for more flavour
(optional) You can also pretty much add any kind of leftover vegetables to this mix so I have added a few peas and carrots on occasion!
1) Blend all of the ingredients together and shape into a burger shaped patty or patties.
2)Heat a frying pan with oil and place patties into the pan. Cook until golden brown. If the patties disintegrate which they can sometimes do if not properly gelled together then the 'burger' simply becomes a 'crumble', hey presto!
Great served with tomato ketchup and a brown bun!
Cous-cous can burn easily in frying pan and often becomes a little dry if overcooked.
Sesame seeds can spit out of the frying pan so be careful to blend these well.
Chick peas can be replaced by cannellini beans.
Peanut/cashew butter and moist grated courgette don't easily blend together, so add peanut butter to cous-cous first.
I've long since given into the temptation of bacon butties but, thanks to the state of my finances, and given that carrots are a darn sight cheaper than steak, I've started using more and more of the recipes I used during my time as a vegan. The following soup (adapted from Sarah Brown's "Beans, Nuts and Lentils") is as big on taste as it is on cheap nutrition, making it worth a try even if you're preferences run more to the carnivorous than the herbivorous.
NB: I usually use tinned beans, but if you prefer to use the dried sort (cheaper, but less convenient) you'll need to soak the beans for a minimum of 10hrs before using. The tinned variety have already been soaked and cooked so can be used immediately.
~~~~~~~~~~ Butter Bean and Haricot Chowder ~~~~~~~
Preparation Time: 15 mins if using canned beans. If using dried beans, allow an extra 10-12 hrs for soaking.
Cooking Time: 40 -45 mins (add 45-55 mins if using dried beans)
3 oz (75g) mixed butter and haricot beans
1 Tsp (5 ml) olive oil
1 onion, peeled and finely diced
8oz (250g) carrots, peeled and finely diced
1 green pepper, seeds removed and diced
¼ tsp nutmeg
1 tsp (5ml) fennel seeds, crushed
½ tsp celery seeds
2 fl oz (50ml) soya milk (I imagine you could also use almond, rice or oat milk, although I haven't tried it with anything other than soya, and can't vouch for their success)
Salt and pepper, to taste
300ml vegetable stock or water
1) (If using tinned beans, skip to step 2). If using dried beans - Soak the beans overnight, or for a minimum of 10 hours. Drain, and bring to the boil in plenty of water. Boil vigorously for 10 minutes, then leave to simmer for 45 minute, or until soft. Drain, but reserve the stock.
2) Heat the oil in a large pan. Fry the onions over a gentle heat until soft and translucent. Add the diced carrots and peppers, cover, and leave for 10 minutes.
3) Puree 2oz (50g) of the beans with ½ (300ml) of the bean stock (or water/ vegetable stock if using tinned beans) and the nutmeg. Add to the pan of softened vegetables, along with the fennel and celery seeds.
4) Add the remaining beans. Bring the soup to a gentle boil, stirring occasionally. Cook for 40-45 minutes. Season to taste. Just before serving, add the milk, stir and heat through. Test the seasoning again, and add more if necessary.
Carbohydrate : 15.7g
The soup is also an excellent source of calcium, zinc, and vitamins A and C. Served with some wholegrain bread, it includes all the essential amino acids, making it a good source of protein.
Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy it if you decide to give it a try!
1 block of silken tofu (about 400g)
2 heaped tablespoons of icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 bar (about 100g or so) of vegan chocolate
1. Melt the chocolate, either in the microwave (30 seconds, stir and repeat until melted, be careful it doesn't burn) or using a bain-marie (plastic or Pyrex dish inside a saucepan of boiling water, be sure no water gets into the chocolate).
2. Put the tofu, icing sugar and vanilla extract in a blender and whizz it up!
3. Pour into a bowl, add the melted chocolate and mix together.
4. Transfer to smaller dishes and chill. I like to save a bit of chocolate to grate over the top.
You can also use cocoa powder instead of melted chocolate but I've found this doesn't taste as good.
For a strawberry mousse: add some chopped strawberries to the blender, blend then pour into dishes and chill. You can garnish it with strawberry pieces if you like.
Tastes lovely and very soothing for sore throats!
Although not a vegan myself, I was introduced to this recipe by a vegan friend of mine and was very impressed with the result.
This is a pasta and veg dish which is easy to make and is not as dull as it may sound!
I dare you to try it whether you're a vegan or not.
For this recipe you will need:
- swirl shaped pasta
- olive oil
- Provamel cream
- red onion
- yellow/red pepper
Cook the pasta in a pan while warming some olive oil in a wok.
Wash all the vegetables and dice them, pour them into the wok. Cover the wok and keep on medium heat. Stiring now and again.
When the vegetables are well cooked add the Provamel cream and stir.
Drain the pasta and add them to the veg.
Stir well until the pasta/veg mixture is creamy.
This recipe was my version of a mix of various recipe elements that I think work the best. It has come out every time with a beautiful texture and has fooled many non-vegans! It tastes great and is wonderful treat for a celebration or just for an everyday pleasure. There is no cholesterol in this recipe as it uses vegan cheese (available in health food shops/some supermarkets) based on a blend of water and soy/vegetable oils. A healthier way to enjoy a lovely dessert!
Have to hand:
An 8inch cake tin, preferably with removable base
1 box of soft silken tofu
1 tub of 'scheese'/any vegan cream cheese
1/2 large pot plain vegan yoghurt (e.g. alpro soya 'yofu')
Juice of half a lemon
1 tbsp icing sugar
1 tbsp cornflour
2 tbsp soya milk
1 tbsp margarine
(I made the biscuits from margarine, wheat bran, oats and flour but you could just buy them or follow any plain sweet biscuit recipe)
Approx 200g crushed biscuits, e.g. digestives, hobnobs
2 tbsp margarine
A little tin of mandarin segments in juice
1 tsp cornflour
~1 tbsp icing sugar
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C
Crush the biscuits and melt the margarine. Combine! Press into a greased tin. Place in the fridge to set.
Whisk together by hand or in a blender the vegan cheese, yoghurt and tofu until smooth in a large mixing bowl. Add the lemon juice.
In a saucepan, melt the margarine, add the cornflour and the soy milk until you get a custard style consistency. Add a bit more milk if its too thick.
Add this to the cheese mixture and once blended, add the icing sugar. If you like your cheesecake sweeter or less sweet, adjust these measurements to taste.
Pour this mixture onto the base and then bake in the oven for around half an hour until the top is just beginning to brown. Allow to cool and ideally fridge overnight (the consistency will be much nicer).
To make the topping, put the segments with the juice into a pan. Heat gently and add the icing sugar and cornflour and heat gently for about 10 minutes until a syrup is formed. Add more icing sugar if needed.
Pour over the cooled cheesecake, let the syrup settle a little and then enjoy!
Here is a tasty recipe which is suitable for Vegans. It makes generous portions for two. I 'invented' it years ago when I discovered how easy couscous was to cook with.
You will need.
200g approx of couscous.
1 sweet potato.
1 Good sized carrot.
2 sticks of celery.
1 mug of tomato juice or can of chopped tomatoes.
1/2 a can of kidney beans. Drained and rinsed.
2 Tbs of vegetable oil.
Peel and grate the sweet potato and carrots.
Peel and finely slice the onion.
Finely slice the celery.
Put the oil into a large frying pan on a medium heat.
Add the onion, carrot, sweet potato and celery, fry until softened.
Add the couscous, stir in well and cook for a further two minutes.
Add the tomato juice or chopped tomatoes and the kidney beans.
The mixture will absorb the juice, you can either add more juice or boiling water to get the consistency you prefer.
Continue stirring for another few minutes until the beans are warmed through.
It is important that you use pre-cooked beans for this recipe. Uncooked kidney beans are toxic.
Serve with crusty bread for a filling and tasty hot meal.
Alternatively you can put it into a bowl and chill it. Then turn it out onto a plate and serve it with plain yoghourt for a delicious looking and tasting cold salad.
This meal tastes good and is high in vitamins and fairly low in calories.
The sweet potato gives a little extra texture and prevents the mixture being bland.
The preparation of the veg takes about ten minutes maximum, with a further ten to fifteen minutes cooking time.
It is easy to make and you can use veg other than the ones I have suggested. I often put left over veg in and small cauliflower florets go well in it too.
I am a cosmetologist currently making my own skin care range that has no animal sources and has not been tested on animals!!There is so much that everyone needs to be made aware of that goes in skin products!! one main one is PIG FAT being used as an emulsifiers!!where coconut and palm oil can be used instead as i do!! BORAX is stil used in uks care products whereas its been banned in western europe because of the dangers,and posioning causing children anemia!! I obviously dont go near the stuff!!
This is a lovely meal which I often make, usually once every couple of weeks, sometimes more often during the winter months. This set of ingredients will serve 2, just adjust as necessary if you have more people to cook for.
Heres the ingredients you will need
3oz green lentils
1 bay leaf
1 clove of garlic
4oz freshly chopped tomatoes
½ tablespoon basil
3 spring onions
1 tablespoon grated vegan cheese (such as Cheesely)
1oz black olives, stoned and chopped
½ tablespoon capers
Heres how to put it all together:
Leave the lentils soaking overnight. Slice up the spring onions. Crush the garlic. Drain the lentils, then cover them up with cold water. Add the bay leaves and basil, then put them on to simmer. After about 20 minutes add the spring onions and continue to cook for 5-10 more minutes.
Next drain the water, then add the capers, garlic, olives and tomatoes, and heat through, making sure they are all mixed up well.
Finally, leave to stand for about 10 minutes and then add the vegan cheese. Then serve with rice and enjoy your delicious meal.
Vegan food is often so outrageously under-rated. How many times have you heard people make sneering comments about either rabbit food or dishes that supposedly contain only lentils. Well firstly, in defense of lentils, I would like to say that they are a delicious, healthy, and filling addition to many meals. But really, the aim of this review is to perhaps dispel some of the myths that vegan food can only be bland and/or unsatisfying.
--- What is veganism and what do vegans eat? ---
Vegans generally seek to exclude from their lives the use of animals for food or clothing, whereas vegetarians usually just avoid meat but continue to eat other animal products. Vegans do not consume animal products of any kind i.e. no dairy products or eggs; some vegans also exclude honey and other such products. There are also a number of processed products which vegans do not eat including anything that contains gelatine (which is derived from animal hooves).
--- Health benefits of being vegan ---
According to many studies vegans and vegetarians have better health than people who eat meat. They have lower rates of coronary artery disease, gallstones, cancer, kidney stones, diabetes and high blood pressure. Vegetarians and vegans are also less likely to be overweight than their meat-eating counterparts. In fact, as early as the 1960s doctors (from the American Medical Association) were advocating that over 90% of heart disease could be prevented by a vegetarian diet.
Why is this you might ask? Well, vegetarians/vegans eat more antioxidants such as vitamin C and E, plus beta-carotenes and phytochemicals. The latter helps to prevent disease and antioxidants are a well-known defence against heart disease, cancer, and other diseases. Of course this is not to say that eating small amounts of lean meats is going to harm your health! Nor do vegans have nothing to worry about when it comes to healthy eating there are numerous experts who believe that a vegan diet cannot provide all the necessary nutrients, particularly for children, without extremely careful planning and supplementation.
--- Recipes ---
However, most people, even those who do eat meat on a regular basis, could benefit from adding a few vegan or vegetarian meals to their weekly menu plan. Here are some ideas:
Make your own muesli! So many store-bought mueslis contain sugars and other additives that you dont need and wouldnt add to your own food if you had control over how it was made, so why not buy the ingredients and make up a batch yourself plus that way you always get exactly what you want in your muesli (no more picking out the banana chips that have gotten soggy)
What youll need:
Plain, wholegrain, rolled oats
Coconut - optional
Dried fruit (such as sultanas, apricots, apple)
Seeds (sunflower, sesame, and pumpkin are the best)
The best thing about this recipe is that theres no way to really get it wrong just mix together your favourite blend. However, if you need a bit of a guide to get started a good rule of thumb is about 2 cups of rolled oats to 1 1.5 cups of other ingredients (your dried fruit, coconut, and seeds).
The muesli can be eaten directly after mixing of course but I prefer it toasted. Spread the ingredients in a deep-sided baking tray (or whatever you can find that will hold it all basically) and place in a moderate oven. You will need to give the muesli a bit of a stir every couple of minutes to prevent burning and it should only take 5-10 or at most 15 minutes in total. If you are not averse to using honey you can drizzle a little over the top of the muesli for sweetness.
Serve with soy milk, or if that doesnt appeal try adding orange juice or fruit puree (apple sauce is particularly good) for moisture. Enjoy!
I dont know about you, but I often struggle to come up with lunch ideas that are interesting, dont take too long to prepare, and are healthy. A great alternative to the usual sandwich fillings or plain salads though are beans. With a little bit of creativity beans can be an extremely easy way to eat healthy, tasty meals without too much fuss. Try this idea:
What youll need:
A can of large white beans such as cannellini, butterbeans, or garbanzo (chick peas).
1 small onion (chopped more finely if you use white onion rather than red onion)
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
Lemon to taste
Drain the beans and mash them with a fork (you could also do this in the food processor if you prefer a smoother texture). Add the finely chopped onion and celery and mix in the mayonnaise. Flavour to taste with salt and pepper and add a generous squeeze of lemon juice. And voila! You have a delicious and healthy savoury spread for your sandwich. I prefer this spread on hot toast but it is also great in a sandwich either on its own or with salad. The great thing about this recipe too is that you can make it when you have time and store it in the fridge for use of the next couple of days. Be creative with your ingredients once youve tried the basic good additions would be tahini, chilli or chilli flakes, corn, fresh herbs or just about anything!
Ive made this meal a number of times, with slight variations, and find it to always be tasty, filling, easy, and looks great on the plate. I really should come up with a fancy name for this but until I do Ill describe it as roasted vegetables on cous cous with salsa.
What youll need:
Vegetables for roasting (potatoes, carrots, onions, garlic, pumpkin etc)
The first step is to make the tomato salsa: it is preferable to do this either the day before or several hours before serving, so that the flavours have time to combine. So, chop the tomatoes to your preferred size (I think about 1cm cubes works well), and place in a sealable container. Add a good bunch of roughly chopped basil and finely chopped red onion. Drizzle with a small amount of olive oil and add salt and pepper if desired, then seal and refrigerate.
Next, prepare the vegetables for roasting. You can use pretty much any kind of vegetable for this but as a rule you want all the veges to be cut to approximately similar sizes so that they cook at similar speeds. I usually use potatoes and pumpkin with some onions and garlic for flavour (dont be put off if eating whole garlic and onion pieces seems extreme the flavours mellow a lot during the roasting and come out tasting rather sweet, not overpowering). Put a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in the bottom of a roasting pan and spread the vegetable pieces in a single layer. Whole, peeled cloves of garlic added to the mix will give the vegetables extra flavour and are also delicious to eat themselves. Drizzle a little more oil over the top, or just spin the veges around a little so they are not dry on top, and add salt and a little fresh rosemary if desired. Put the whole tray into the oven, at about 180 degrees C, and roast for 30 45 mins. Cooking time depends on the size and amount of veges used and the strength of the oven. Its a good idea to move the veges around in the tray once during cooking to prevent them sticking. You want the potatoes to be slightly crispy at the edges but not shrivelled.
Cous cous is such an easy and delicious addition to most meals. Simply follow the instructions on the box (usually boil water and a teaspoon of oil, add cous cous - amounts are given on the box, cover and remove from heat). The trick that I use to give the cous cous extra oomph is to fry some finely chopped garlic in a pan, then stir through the prepared cous cous. You can also add peas, corn, or other veges to the cous cous if desired.
To serve, prepare a bed of cous cous on the plate and the pile roasted veges on top. Then top your creation with a generous serving of the chilled tomato salsa and voila! (If you are not vegan you can also add a dash of sour cream, which is delicious).
Hope this has been useful!
I prefer baking my own biscuits and cakes as then I know exactly what goes into it and it means no E numbers! I had a challenge though before christmas as a friend was coming to dinner with her new partner who was vegan. The main course was the easy bit, the dessert a little harder! So after enlisting help from another friend we came up with the following recipe.
125g soya margarine
300ml unsweetened soya milk (split into 250ml and 50ml quantities)
2 tbsp golden syrup
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
250g plain flour
Choose from Dairy-free chocolate, Vegan friendly cake covering (icing or frosting), chopped hazelnuts or walnuts or dried fruit......or any combination of them all!
Pre-heat your oven to Gas Mark 4 (180 C). In a saucepan melt the soya margarine, syrup and 250ml soya milk. In the 50ml of soya milk measured out dissolve the bicarbonate. In a large bowl combine the flour, cocoa and sugar (sieve the flour to ensure no lumps). Fold in the melted mixture from the saucepan and finally add the bicarbonate/milk mixture. Fold in until all the ingredients are well mixed through.
Line a 20cm baking tin with baking paper or grease it with a little soya margarine. Pour the cake mixture into the tin and immediately place in the oven at Gas Mark 4 for 30 minutes. Once the cake has cooked for 30 minutes reduce the heat to 160 C for a further 1 hour and 15 minutes. If you have a fan-assisted oven reduce the oven temperatures by 20 C. Once cooked remove the cake from the tin and place on a wire rack to cool. Once cooled, the cake can be topped with dairy-free chocolate (this is lovely melted and drizzled over the cake) or any of the items I've mentioned.
If stored in an air tight container, this cake will keep for between 2-3 days.
If you are having trouble finding some of the ingredients try your local health food shop, I purchased all of mine from Holland and Barrett who have a very extensive range of vegan friendly products. I spent just under 6 pounds (GBP) on ingredients, so it didn't work out too much more than I would spend on ingredients for a non-vegan friendly cake.
My vegan guest was very impressed with this cake. I hope you enjoy it too!
We always make too much mash, but then we love potato cakes.
I have a toddler who is allergic to milk, so although we do eat some meat our diet is mainly vegan. So left over mash...
Left over mash - any amount, obviously enough to feed whoever you are making it for.
Left over veg - again the amount depends on what you have left and who you are making it for.
Onions - 1 small one
Pinenuts - a handful
Chilli flakes (optional) depends on how you like it
Salt & Pepper (to taste)
Oil (for frying)
Grate the onion and mash with the potato & veg, I grate it to give the flavour of onion without pieces of onion in the potato cakes and so it cooks quicker, these take little time to cook.
Crush the pinenuts in a pestle & mortar, once crushed add salt & pepper and chilli flakes, chilli powder can be used but I use what we have in the cupboard for this one. Add the cornflour, this is for coating the potato cakes before frying so it's difficult to say how much to use. I make it so it looks like fine breadcrumbs.
Roll balls of the potato mix in the coating and flatten to a burger type shape, fry gently until golden brown, then serve. I usually serve with a very quick to cook veg - frozen sweetcorn or beans. Without salt it's a good meal for children, and mine seem to love it.
I use cornflour as I don't eat gluten, ordinary flour can be used or bread crumbs. An alternative I make is crushed oatcakes for the coating. It all depends what I have left in the veg, a coating of pinenuts add protein and some fats to this meal. If you have peas as a leftover veg they contain a lot of protein so an alternative coating could be used.
Veganism, on the surface, sounds like one unholy waste of taste buds to most people who regularly enjoy meat. I, however, have rarely had anything to do with meat, being a full vegetarian since I was a fetus (thank you mum!), so since I have never tried the (supposedly) luxurious taste of a T-Bone steak, I can only assume what a loss it must be for those who have enjoyed meat. My boyfriend certainly tells me regularly that I am mad having recently taken the steps out of vegetarianism and into veganism. But I can assure him, and you, that I?m not. For as long as I have been alive, my aunt and her long-term partner have both been vegan and as far as I can tell, they are both fit and healthy, certainly more than most people and they enjoy a wide and varied diet quite easily without the use of meat, fish, eggs, dairy products and the like. So I decided that it would be good for my health (and my rapidly gaining weight after Christmas!) to try out veganism for myself. I have discovered a few minor problems that I hadn?t even realised before; for example, just because it?s margarine doesn?t mean it?s vegan (most contain whey), gummy sweets are off the menu (they have gelatin) and even, to my horror, that when I was happily munching cheese as a vegetarian some were solidified with the help of inner cow?s gut! Yummy! But getting past all that, it?s still perfectly easy to enjoy delicious and nutritious meals. I even managed to hotly debate my boyfriend?s claims that veganism would leave me with a vitamin deficiency, because it?s actually one of the healthiest ways to live and in fact lowers your risk of getting cancer by 60% compared to your average meat-eater. So, saying all that, I get onto the recipe. This is one of my favourite dishes, and has been since I was very little. Thankfully I discovered it was vegan so I could continue eating it. This is chilli, how my mother makes it: Chilli (minus Carne) Feeds 4 1 Large
onion, 1 Clove garlic, 2 Tsp olive oil, 100g Mushrooms, 1 Tin chopped tomatoes, 1 Tin kidney beans, 4 Tsp cumin, 2 Tsp coriander 1 Birdseye chilli (optional) 1.Add cumin, coriander and chilli to olive oil in a large pot. (if you don?t like coriander you can reduce it, but the cumin is a must for the taste). Fry on a low setting for a minute or so. 2. Dice onion and chop garlic thinly (or crush depending on tastes) and add to the spices and oil. Fry for 5-10 minutes, or until slightly softened, on a medium heat. 3. Chop mushrooms and add to the pot. If you like mushrooms more can be added, or it can be made without mushrooms if preferred. (I like them though). Fry for a further 2-5 minutes on a medium to low heat. 4. Add whole tin of chopped tomatoes. If your kidney beans are in a water/salt/sugar mix then rinse them first before adding them, if in a chilli solution, as some are, then just add the whole lot. Let simmer for 20 minutes or so on a low heat. It?s as easy as that! Serve with rice for a filling dish or even with tortillas as a snack. Leftovers can be kept in the fridge for 3-4 days afterwards and reheated with no problems. Its very tasty, with a nice bite to it, but not too hot and is flexible enough to be changed to taste; peppers can be added and/instead of the mushrooms, courgettes also make a nice change. Both peppers and courgettes would be added at the same time as the onion and garlic. Enjoy chilli as Mamma makes it (the vegan way!)
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t; br> Briam is a traditional Turkish dish but the Greeks love it as well. Cooking it is great fun and its very nutricient meal for the family,IF the family likes cooked vegetables. If they don't like them, because is a different way of cooking them, you are not going to loose anything by trying it. They might like them this way! You need : 1kgr of potatoes cutted in big/fat chunks, 1kgr of aubergines in big/fat chunks 100gr of cougettes cutted as well in big/fat chunks 100gr okra, 2-5 leeks cutted in rings 100gr peas 1 green,1 red and 1 yellow pepper cutted in rings, 3-4 carrots cutted in rings 3-4 onions cutted in rings 4-5 leeksas well. 1kgr of tomatoes without the skin and raffly chopped A hand full of corriander and pepermint finely chopped Also you need half of a water glass of olive oil ( greek olive oil tastes better ofcourse!) Salt and Origano How You Are Doing It First turn the oven to 200 or to 6-7 if you have gas( that gas oven is making my life difficult). In a big bowl put all the ingrediens in, except origano and you are mixing them well.Make sure that the olive oil has gone everywhere. In an average size oven dish, you put all the ingrediens, you add at least 2 glasses of water and as much origano you want. (I prefer the whole dish to be covered by it! ) You cover the dish with foil and you are cooking it for an hour. After, you uncover it and put it back in for 15-20 minutes. When you see that the vegetables have taken a nice browny colour you are taking it out. It's been served better hot as well ascold and first thing in the morning(as my brother do) if you prefer it!!! Serving Suggestion (NOT for Vegans though!For Vegeterians maybe!) Go in your local market and find some good Greek bread( if its to white on the top and very soft needs 10-15 minutes in th
e oven.(Obviously the baker is no t Greek). Buy some strong feta cheese(Dodoni £9.99/Kgr at Sainsburys(£1.20 in Greece!!) or feta Total £1.99/pack) cut it in big slices and put it on a plate with lots of olive oil and origano. Also make some tzatziki ( cucumber,garlic and greek yogourt dip). Its a dish with lots of juices(thats why you need good real bread and not the plastic one that the supermarkets sell),very very tasty and I think you will agree, very very easy to make. Try it! Thanks for reading...
OK, so I've been meaning to post a selection of vegan recipes here for ages now, so I guess its about time I got round to it! There's some brief background info about a vegan diet (I'm not getting into the ethics here) and some vegan storecupboard essentials. That's all followed by a selection of some of my favourite vegan dishes. *** Vegan Diet *** Vegans abstain from all foods of animal origin - i.e. only plant foods. Thus, as well as not eating meat, vegans steer clear of dairy products, eggs, and even honey. Contrary to what you might think, this does not mean depriving yourself of some of life's nicer things! To give you an idea, I've listed some of the things I thought I would miss before I went vegan: * Chocolate Thank heaven! Being vegan does not mean living without chocolate! You just have to be careful what sort of chocolate you eat. You're generally limited to dark chocolate, but beware, not all dark chocolate is vegan - quite a lot of it (usually the cheap, not so nice stuff) contains butterfat, and is therefore out. The following chocolates are vegan: - Fry's Chocolate, Orange and Peppermint Creams - Green and Black's Dark Chocolate, Dark Chocolate with Nut and Raisins and Maya Gold - Marzipan Ritter Sport (yum) - Booja Booja Organic Chocolate Truffles (these are to die for!) * Alcohol A lot of alcohol is not vegetarian, as it may have been fined using isinglass (from fish bladders - yum). Sometimes alcoholic beverages may be veggie but not vegan - they may contain egg albumen. Obviously your Baileys and you're Advocaat is out (but then, who wanted to drink Advocaat anyway?). With beer, stick with German beers as they are subject to the Purity Law and are therefore not allowed to contain any such additives. Becks is a firm favourite. On the non-German front, Heineken and Budweiser are also vegan. Clouded wheat b
eers such as Hoegaarden haven't been fined and are therefore generally OK. Yumscous. Spirits are often OK, but be careful with Vodka as it may have been fined using bone charchol (nice). Smirnoff is OK though. Jack Daniels and Southern Comfort good too. Wine is the hardest - best to either deal from a specialist supplier, or deal with a helpful off license who can tell you what's vegan. Our local offy keep an up to date vegan list. * Ice Cream Believe me, you have not lived until you have tasted Tofutti's "Better Pecan". And what's more IT'S CHOLESTOROL FREE, so lots of ice cream and no guilt. Our local Tesco stocks Swedish Glace chocolate and vanilla (both yummy) but the raspberry flavour is the most delicious. I fed it to my grandparents once and they couldn't tell the difference between that and ordinary ice cream. * Cheese OK, the one thing yet to really have a perfected vegan equivalent. There are some brands (like Cheesley) which are pretty good in cooking, and hubby does like a Cheesley sarnie. It doesn't always melt properly. There is a vegan parmesan equivalent in Parmazano, which you can purchase in Tesco. * Yoghurt Provamel's soya yoghurt's "Yofu" are delicious - their Organic Cherry flavour is to die for. (I'm always in trouble for eating all the cherry ones before hubby can get to them). *** Vegan Storecupboard *** Some essentials we always keep in stock: * Tinned tomatoes * Selection of tinned beans (so much more convenient than dried) * Vegetable stock cubes * Peanut butter * Marmite (an excellent source of B vitamins) * Tomato puree * Selection of Patak's curry pastes * Rice * Pasta (non-egg of course) * Bulgar wheat * Cous cous * Creamed coconut * Soya milk * Good selection of herbs and spices *** Some Recipes *** At long last! I
hear you cry. OK, you asked for it! * SCRAMBLED TOFU - a yummy breakfast * Sounds disgusting I know. A friend of mine first served me this, and I couldn't think of anything that sounded more horrid. Not really the worlds biggest tofu fan, but trust me, this really is fab! Serves 2 1 finely chopped onion 1/2 a block of tofu (I recommend Cauldron Foods chilled fresh tofu), cubed 1/2 teaspoon turmeric Generous sprinkling of black pepper (or to taste) Salt to taste Dollop of olive oil. In a frying pan, fry the onion in the oil til soft. Add the turmeric and stir constantly for approx 30 seconds. Add the tofu and stir steadily, being sure to break up the tofu as much as you can to give that "scrambled" effect. Sprinkle on the salt and black pepper. Cook for approximately ten minutes stirring often - beware it will stick if you're not careful. Serve when onions nicely browned. Excellent on (vegan margerined) toast and with tomato ketchup. * SIMPLE VEGETABLE CURRY - a yummy cheat meal! * To qualify the above statement - this is a cheat meal, but not cheat in the bunging it in the microwave kind of way. It's a cheat coz it employs the rather fantastic Patak's curry pastes! Serves 4 1 medium onion finely chopped 1 or 2 cloves of garlic, crushed 4 or 5 medium potatoes, cubed and peeled if desired 3 or 4 medium carrots, peeled and cubed Generous handful of cauliflower florets Generous handful of brocolli florets 1 can of chick peas, drained and rinsed Small handful frozen peas 1 tin of tomatoes 3 generous tablespoons of Patak's Curry Paste (I recommend Madras - but it is quite hot so be warned!) Dollop of tomato puree Dollop of vegetable or olive oil. To speed up the cooking process, I boil the potatoes and the carrots separately, and then use the cooking water in the
curry to retain some of the goodness. So first job is to put your spuds and carrots on to boil. Fry the onion and garlic in the oil until soft. Add the curry paste, and stir constantly for 30 seconds to a minute. Chuck in the tomatoes, stir well and then simmer the mixture gently until the carrots and the potatoes begin to go soft (but not too soft - they will cook further in the curry. Add the pototoes and the carrots to the pan along with some of the cooking water. Don't put too much water in - you're aiming to just cover your ingredients, not drown them, so you get a nice thick sauce. Add the chick peas, cauliflower and brocolli. Stir well. Add the tomato puree - put in enough to help thicken the sauce. Check in your frozen peas, and stir well once more. Cover and simmer for 25 minutes to 45 minutes - as long as it takes to cook your rice, really! Variations: Of course, you can use any veggies you fancy - a great way to get rid of those leftovers in the fridge! You can also try it with the Patak's Korma paste, and instead of the tomatoes and tomato puree, use creamed coconut. Heavenly, and not so hot, so good for people (unlike me) who haven't got asbestos mouths! Beware, though, that coconut is extremely high in saturated fat, so you shouldn't eat this too often. * BEAN AND CABBAGE HOTPOT - a yummy, but potentially windy meal! * Serves 4 1 sliced onion 6 oz white cabbage, sliced Small teaspoon paprika 6 fl oz stock Small teaspoon parsley 1/2 teaspoon marmite (has to get it in there somewhere!) 4 oz sliced carrots 1 tin of beans - borlotti are best - drained and rinsed 5 or 6 par-boiled whole potatoes Dollop of olive oil Dollop of margerine Generous sprinkling of black pepper Salt to taste Boil the potatoes whole until they are beginning to go soft, then leave to cool. Fry the onion in the oil until soft
ish. Add the sliced cabbage and carrots and cook for another 5 mins or so, stirring often. Add the paprika and fry for 30 seconds or so, stirring constantly. Add the stock, beans, marmite, parsley, salt and pepper. Bubble until the carrots are fairly soft. Grease a casserole dish and pour in the mixture. Slice the potatoes to about 5mm thick and place on top. Spread a little margerine on the top of the spuds. Stick in an oven heated to 200 degrees C (Gas Mark 6 - sorry Farenheit users, you'll have to look it up) for about half an hour. Cover towards the end of cooking. Serve with chunky bread and margerine (walnut bread especially recommended!) * SIMPLE TOMATO PASTA SAUCE - quick & easy! * Serves 2 1 small onion finely chopped 1 or 2 cloves of garlic, crushed 1 tin tomatoes 1 dollop of tomato puree 1/2 teaspoon marmite 1 tin beans - borlotti and canellini best - drained and rinsed 1 teaspoon oregano Oodles of black pepper Salt to taste Dollop of olive oil Easy peasy this! Fry the onion and garlic in the oil until soft. Chuck in the tomatoes, tomato puree, marmite, beans, oregano, salt and pepper. Bring to the boil then simmer gently for 20-30 minutes - about long enough to cook the pasta and ciabatta bread you will want to have with it! Sprinke with Parmazano if desired. * WINE BAKED PEARS - a delicious desert * Serves 4 4 ripe pears Generous splosh of dry red wine (save some to drink too!) Approx 5 tablespoons light brown sugar 1 stck cinnamon This is really simple to make, but tastes fabulous! Leave the pears whole with the stalks on. Stick them in a baking dish, and por over the wine, the sugar and sprinkle on a moderately broken up cinnamon stick. Shove in a preaheated oven at 200 degrees centigrade (gas mark 6) for approx 1 hour, until the pears are tender. The wine and sugar goes
almost like a syrup - delicious. Serve with soya cream or vanilla ice cream. So there you have it - some easy and tasty vegan recipes - enjoy!
George, my father-in-law, is a man of appetites y'know. In particular his appetites lead him to a diet high in red meats. He's not big on vegetarianism, "It's not natural! We're MEANT to be the top of a food chain. Haven't any of these people heard of Darwin?" is his frequent cry. George is also a man who loves to cook, and he's very good at it too. He's not that big on modern food fashions, especially all things processed and all things vegetarian, "Children should eat red meat. They NEED the iron!" is another of his favourite complaints. Well, I'm happily omnivorous myself, and I'll eat pretty much anything if someone else is going to cook it for me. So I simply smile and nod and say, "Yes George. You're right George." a lot when we're visiting. I'd not like to risk having to cook dinner myself after all. You can imagine, then, George's reaction when my mother-in-law invited her two friends from the Crafts Guild around for dinner. Initially he was thrilled. George loves to cook for as many people as possible as often possible. He's never happier than he is when he's in the kitchen. His face more than fell though, when she said, "Oh, by the way, they're vegans." George was not best pleased and before the situation turned from rather cross to outright hostilities I thought I'd better step in and mediate. George wasn't even entirely sure what a vegan diet was, but once we'd sorted that out ("What? No eggs? Whuh? No honey? What do you mean, gelatin?") and I'd promised it would possible to make three courses without a single visit to a single shop for a single "weird" ingredient, he sighed and said that if I helped he'd give it a go. Unbelievable, eh? Someone wanting me to help them in the kitchen! So below, with credit split for once, equally between George and myself, you will find food for three course
s all suitable for vegan visitors, all easy to make and all comprising of ingredients you're likely to have at home. They should feed four: THICK TOMATO SOUP 1 medium sized onion olive oil for frying 2 medium sized potatoes 4 tomatoes 1 tin chopped plum tomatoes 1 teaspoon sugar 1 tablespoon tomato puree 1 pint vegetable stock black pepper 1 handful either fresh coriander or basil if you have them First of all you peel and chop the onion and the potatoes. Chop the onion very finely and the potatoes into cubes about ½" thick. Put the oil into a nice large saucepan and fry the onion very gently on a low heat until they are almost see-through and are starting to smell delicious. Add the potatoes in and keep frying on that low heat for a little while, about two or three minutes. While they're cooking you can peel the fresh tomatoes (sit them in some just-boiled water for a minute or two and you'll find the skin comes away easily. Scrape out the seeds and discard, then chop up the remainder. Add those into the pan along with the tin of tomatoes, tomato puree, teaspoon of sugar and the vegetable stock. (As you're unlikely to have your own vegetable stock sitting in the fridge ready for those unannounced vegan visitors you may use Marigold. If however, you know they're coming and this soup sounds like something that won't go wrong (which it won't) then you could make the stock yourself. It's easy: boil a carrot, a stick of celery and an onion in a pint and a half of water for half an hour or so, strain it, and there's your stock. It'll have reduced to about a pint by then. You can add in any other vegetables and some herbs if you like, it's all up to you, just chuck it in a pan, cook it for half an hour, strain and use). Anyway, back to the soup in hand. Once you've added all the remaining ingredients (don't forget a twist or two of black pepper)
then you need to turn up the heat a bit and stir until it's all very hot but not boiling, then turn the heat back down and cook gently for about half an hour. It's done then and all that's left to do is to whack the lot into a liquidizer or food processor, whizz it all thoroughly until it's nice and smooth. Then return it to the pan, warm it through and you're all ready to serve. This tomato soup tasted really nice and was made thick and hearty by the potatoes. Accompanied by some fresh crusty bread it'd do for lunch by itself and, as you can see, you can make it in about forty minutes. We ate it with chopped fresh basil leaves sprinkled on the top which added more flavour and a super smell, but I think it would be equally nice with coriander. And it was our first-course so we didn't need the bread. (For the non-vegans at the table George also provided a nice jug of double cream and I admit I stirred some into mine and enjoyed it all the more, oops!) ROASTED VEGETABLES WITH GARLIC AND ROSEMARY 4 medium sized onions 4 parsnips 1 red pepper 1 green pepper 1 aubergine 2 courgettes 4 medium-sized potatoes 8 tomatoes 4 fluid ounces olive oil 1 whole bulb garlic black pepper lots of sprigs of fresh rosemary Well, if you haven't been growing fresh herbs like I keep telling you, then you'll be a bit stuck as the rosemary makes all the difference here. So if you don't have it then you might have to make a quick trip to the supermarket, sorry. Anyhow. This is so easy it's scary. All you do is prepare the vegetables in the usual sort of way. You can, if you like, boil the potatoes for two or three minutes, but I never bother: I just cut them up into fairly small pieces. I also leave on the skins and just give them a jolly good scrub first, but you can peel if you like. Um? what else? Cut the onions in half, likewise the parsnips (lengthwise). Cut the peppers into
large chunks (maybe each one into six or so pieces) and the aubergine and courgettes into rounds about ½" thick. If it's a large aubergine you can cut the rounds into semi-circles. Cut the tomatoes in half and scrape out the seeds, you leave the skins on. Just remember, the vegetables are pretty much all you're going to be serving, so large yummy pieces are best. Next up is a large bowl into which you put all the prepared vegetables along with the olive oil. Stir them about until the oil has coated everything nicely, and then spread it all out into a great big, shallow roasting tray. Get the oven pre-heating to about Gas Mark 5 or 6. Then take your whole bulb of garlic and peel every single clove. Leave them whole and dot them around the vegetables. Grind some black pepper over the top of it all and then take as many springs of rosemary as you like, you should use at least ten or twelve, and scatter them over the very top. Then shove the baking tray in the oven and leave it all to cook for about forty five minutes. You don't even need to stir or baste. After the forty-five minutes then hey presto! It's ready. You only need to put it on the plates. We ate our roasted vegetables with just the nice, fresh, crusty bread that we didn't eat with the soup, mopping up the garlicky, oily juices and we didn't think we needed anything more. Onions caramelize beautifully when roasted and taste wonderfully sweet; almost as sweet as garlic does when IT'S roasted. The peppers, tomatoes, aubergines and courgettes blacken a little and taste almost barbequed. The potatoes just crisp up as they do and seem to take on the flavour of the rosemary more than all the other vegetables do. And I defy anyone to dislike roasted parsnips. But don't take that mixture of vegetables as necessary; you can just use whatever you have with the garlic and rosemary. It's easy, it's made with a minimum of effort and a maximum of talking-whil
e-it's-cooking time. It smells wonderful and it looks pretty on the plate. It tastes gorgeous too. BAKED APPLES 4 cooking apples 3 tablespoons raisins 3 tablespoons sultanas 3 tablespoons crushed almonds 3 tablespoons soft brown sugar ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon 2 good slurps dark rum You couldn't get a pudding any easier to make than this one. All you need to do is core the apples so that there's a nice hole going through the middle of about an inch in diameter. It doesn't really matter if you only have eating apples; they will do perfectly well, it's just that lovely Bramleys are, well, they're bigger, so you get more. Then mix all the other ingredients together in a bowl until the sugar has absorbed all the rum. Again, it doesn't have to be rum, it could equally well be sherry or red wine, George is a fan of rum in cooking though, so we went with that. It doesn't have to be almonds either, any nuts will do. Then put a small amount of olive oil into a smallish baking dish and brush it around. Put the cored apples into the dish pushed fairly close together so that they'll help each other keep standing through the cooking time, and spoon the raisin and sultana mixture into the centres. Stick them into the oven on Gas Mark 4 or 5 for half an hour or so and they're ready. I think baked apples, sans rum, were the first things I made in cookery classes at school and George makes them as an accompaniment to roast dinners all the time. However, he generally makes liberal use of butter, and worried that they simply wouldn't, couldn't taste as nice as his baked apples generally do. He needn't have worried. They were gorgeous as ever. The sugary raisin, nut and rum mixture bonded together giving a sweet sort of vegan mincemeat filling made aromatic and spicy by the cinnamon. The apples cooked to gooey perfection inside their skins. The only problem was in getting th
e oozing sweetness from dish to plate without collapse. Easy. Yumptious. Pudding. (Sshh again, but George and I poured cream on ours). So there you go: three courses for dinner, or two for lunch, or one for a quick feeding at any time, all suitable for vegans, and hopefully all made from ingredients you have at home anyway. You should remember not to take them as advice on a vegan diet in general, these three courses we have here don't provide anything like a balanced menu for everyday eating ? the only protein in the whole meal was a measly three tablespoons of almonds - but they are meant to prevent you from panicking or tearing out your hair at the thought of cooking for someone with a specific diet requirement. Best of all though, it's all easy peasy to make and it all tastes super. George gets the credit for the soup and the dessert, but the roasted vegetables were mine, all mine (and the easiest too, of course). Even George had to admit that he liked every bit, but he did mention, on several occasions, how much nicer it would all have been for the inclusion of a lovely, grilled piece of sirloin and that no meal is complete without a cheeseboard. We sighed. Like I said, he's a man of appetites. He's promised to make it all again though, so that's good. You don't have to wait until the day vegans come to dinner either! Excellent advice on a balanced vegan diet can be found at: http://www.vegsoc.org/info/vegan-nutrition.html