Bottom of the Fridge Soup (v)

This is made from the veggies left in the vegetable draw at the end of the week. The ones you can’t be bothered to use in anything else but don’t want to throw out either.

For 4-6 portions you need:
1 onion, roughly chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
1/2 head cauliflower and brocolli, cut into rough florets
750ml vegetable stock
1 tbsp oil
Nutritional yeast and dried, fried onions to serve

Begin by sweating the vegetables in the oil for about 10 mins. Add the stock and simmer for 10 mins until tender. Blitz and then serve with nutritional yeast and dried, fried onions on the top. Add some grated cheese if you’re not vegan if you want.

Tomato, Pesto and Goats Cheese Tart

This is a very quick and simple recipe which takes no time to prepare but tastes like you have spent hours on it. It’s nice hot or cold.

For 4-6 portions you need:
1 sheet ready rolled puff pastry
2/3 jar sun dried tomato pesto
4-5 vine tomatoes, cut into thin-ish slices
1 red onion, cut into thin slices
1 log goats cheese, cut into discs the thickness of a £1 coin
pinch dried oregano
glug olive oil
freshly ground black pepper.

Unroll the pastry and place on a baking sheet. Score a border about 1cm thick round the edges. Spread the pesto into the middle. Lay the onions on top and then the tomatoes. Top with the cheese and then finish with the oregano, pepper and oil. Bake in a hot oven for 25-35 mins till risen and cooked. Serve as you wish.

Vegan Pledge Day Seven

Well. The end is in sight. And I shall definitely be continuing as I blogged yesterday. Just need to rid my fridge of cheese and use up the eggs. I am sitting here snacking on grapes as I blog. This is a good thing! I feel better. I feel cleaner, both ethically and nutritionally. Thanks for sticking with me through this. Why not try it yourself??

Food for tomorrow…
Breakfast: toast with peanut butter and banana, coffee, OJ
Lunch: Tofu sandwich with salad and chilli sauce, pineapple, grapefruit
Dinner: vegetable and chickpea curry with rice, apple cake
Snacks: vegan rocky road, apple

Mixed Vegetable Curry with Chickpeas (v)

This is a proper, pseudo-takeaway curry with vegetables i.e. a rich sauce, lots of different vegetables and chickpeas. Yum.

For 4 portions you need:
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
250g button mushrooms
1/2 head cauliflower, cut into bite sized florets
1/2 head broccoli, ditto cauli
2 large handfuls salad potatoes, cut into thick slices and par boiled till tender (about 10 mins)
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
4 carrots, peeled and sliced into pieces about the thickness of a £1 coin
1/2 jar minara curry paste
1-2 chillies, sliced (depending on heat preference!)
1 tbsp vegetable oil
125ml boiling water
Roti to serve

Fry the onion in the oil for 5mins or so. Add the carrots, garlic and curry paste and cook out for another 5mins or so. Add everything else, aside from the roti, and cook till the vegetable are tender. Add the potatoes part way through once they have cooked enough.

Watercress, Tofu and Orange Salad (v)

This ended up tasting like the king prawn chilli noodle salad I used to love from M&S. But quite by accident, I hadn’t intended to make it that way. It’s light, refreshing and kicks a punch at the end from the chilli. Add some noodles to it if you want to include carbs.

For one person you need:
1 orange, skin cut off and cut into segments, retain the juice.
1 cup each of watercress, baby spinach leaves and rocket
2″ piece of cucumber cut into bite sized chunks
1/2 red onion, sliced into half moons
1/3 block taifun smoked tofu, cut into bite sized pieces
2 tbsp hot sweet chilli sauce

Place everything on a plate and layer up. Scoff. Don’t make this with the orange in it the night before like I did cos the acid in the juice will wilt the leaves… Still tasted nice tho.

Apple Cake (v)

This is a not too sweet mid morning cake, the sort that would be served with good coffee in a posh coffee shop. And it’s vegan. Bonus. I think it would benefit from the addition of something like walnuts in the topping so will try that next time.

For 8-10 slices you need:
225g plain flour
pinch salt
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarb
55g vanilla sugar
4 tbsp grapeseed oil
285ml soya milk
3 dessert apples, peeled, cored and cut into small dice
55g demarara sugar
30g vegan marge
45g plain flour
1 tsp cinnamon

Mix the flour, salt, baking powder, bicarb, vanilla sugar, oil and milk into a batter. Pour into a lined 23cm tin. Place the chopped apples on the top of the batter. Blitz the demarara sugar, flour and marge into breadcrumbs and scatter over the top of the apples. Finish with the cinnamon. Bake in a moderate (180 degrees) oven for 30-45 mins till risen, cooked and golden brown.

Vegan Pledge Day Six

Well. Nearly there now. Only two more days to go. Have really enjoyed this and it’s certainly made me think about going vegan for good. Have been lazy with food today in that I skipped breakfast but that meant I also avoided a potential quorn ham and dairylea conundrum.

Things of note today: cooking jelly diamonds make an excellent substitute for gelatine sweets and are also non-nestle unlike jelly tots (which are vegan but made by nestle so therefore on the banned list).

Food for today is:
Breakfast: slept through it…
Lunch: carrot and tomato salad, juiced pineapple, apple and oranges
Dinner: taking the boy out for pizza so a pizza sans cheese and a salad.
Snacks: plain chocolate, more fruit (trying to balance out recent binge drinking with detox fruit. Hmmm)

And because it’s Sunday it’s shopping day and time to think about the food for the week ahead. Whilst my pledge technically finishes tomorrow I am going to eat as much vegan as I can, whilst getting rid of all the dairy in the flat so I can be 90% vegan going forward.

Meal Plans for week ahead:
Pasta with homemade veggie sauce; leftover for lunch next day
Stuffed peppers with cous cous, olives and tomatoes
Mixed vegetable curry and rice
Watercress, rocket, orange and marinated tofu salad with noodles
Miso, vegetable and noodle soup
Tofu, sweet chilli and salad sandwiches
Baking: chocolate cake, apple crumble cake

Vegan Pledge Day Five

Yesterday was a wash out as I had not planned far enough ahead in terms of food, especially breakfast, and given that the night before was St Patrick’s…well. Nuff said. So original day five = failure. But day five mk 2 = better. I am really enjoying not eating dairy. I opened my fridge earlier and kind of glared at the pile of cheese in it. Yes I will eventually eat it but it doesn’t make me feel like I want to eat it. Where I will struggle most is in baking. I made rocky road for Lex last night which contains milk chocolate and butter. And then we come to eggs in baking… But there are ways around this.

Things of note today:
Off soya milk is difficult to detect when pouring but tastes V-I-L-E when eaten in porridge. Breakfast #fail again

Today’s food:
Breakfast: sultana porridge with agave nectar, coffee, OJ
Lunch: leftover cannelloni bean patties with carrot and tomato salad
Dinner: curry and rice
Snacks: banana, pineapple, grapefruit, cocoloco bar, crisps, peanuts, beer. Lots and lots of beer…

Carrot, Sultana and Sunflower Seed Salad with Hazlenut Oil and Coriander

This was a knock your socks off salad created out of dying veggies in the fridge and pepped up with some lemon juice and sunflower seeds. It was soooooooo good.

For 1-2 portions you need:
2 carrots, peeled and coarsely grated
1/4 cup sultanas
juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp hazlenut oil
1/2 pack fresh coriander, finely chopped
salt and pepper
2 tbsp sunflower seeds, toasted
1 tsp dried mint

Place the carrot, lemon juice, sultanas, dried mint and corriander in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle over the oil. Add the hot toasted seeds and allow them to sizzle into the other ingredients. Mix well and allow to stand for a bit before serving. It’s even better the next day!