Easy Bread with Oats and Seeds (v)

This is my mum’s recipe and is so simple but makes a really tasty loaf that keeps well and also toasts well.

For one large loaf you need:
500g wholemeal bread flour
200g porridge oats
1 heaped tsp salt
1 scant tsp sugar
7.5g fast action dried yeast
1 tbsp sunflower oil
1 tbs each sunflower, poppy and pumpkin seeds
350-450ml warm water

Place the yeast and sugar in a jug with 350ml warm water. Leave for a few moments till it goes frothy. Meanwhile place everything else in a bowl and mix. Add the yeasted water and mix to a dough, adding more water if necessary. Turn out and knead for about 10 mins till elastic. Leave to rise for 60-90 mins then knock back. Shape into a circle and place on a baking sheet. Cook in a hot oven for about 40 mins.

Rich Chocolate Brownie (v)

I think my tastebuds are evolving. I never thought it would be possible to enjoy a dense, gooey, sticky, rich, unctuous chocolate brownie sans butter and eggs, but it is. And this recipe proves it. I tweaked the original recipe in line with feedback from others, reducing the sugar by 100g, using muscavado to make it more gooey and sticky and reducing the oil slightly too. I cooked for 20 mins as I wanted the outside squares more cakey and the inside squares ooooooozing.

For about 24 brownies you need:
250g plain flour
250g light brown muscavado sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
200ml sunflower oil
250ml water
65g cocoa powder

Mix everything together until smooth. Scrape into a lined tin and bake at 160 degrees for 20 mins. Leave to cool slightly before scoffing.

Quinoa with Steamed Vegetables and Peanut Sauce (v)

I was craving satay sauce today and also had a selection of pathetic looking vegetables to use up in the fridge. The quinoa is quick to cook and makes a nice change from rice or noodles.

For 2 people you need:
1/2 cup quinoa
1 cup boiling water
1/4 tsp vegan stock powder

Peanut Sauce
1/4 jar smooth peanut butter
1 small can coconut cream
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 chilli, finely chopped
1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes
2 tbsp soya sauce
1 tbsp mirin
2 tbsp medium sherry
2 tsp chinese vinegar

Vegetables of your choice to steam (I had asparagus, sugar snap peas and chinese leaf which I left raw)

Place the quinoa, stock powder and water in a lidded pan. Bring to the boil, simmer for 5-10 mins and then turn off the heat and leave to steam for a further 5-10 mins.

Place all the sauce ingredients in a pan and heat, mixing well. Do not allow it to boil or the fat will separate, bleck.

Steam the vegetables. Serve and enjoy.

Lentil Shepherd’s Pie with Sweet Potato Mash (v)

I fancied this, so I made it…

For 3-4 portions you need:
1/2 cup puy lentils
1/2 cup green lentils
1 bay leaf
2 onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp vecon stock paste
salt and pepper
3 large carrots, peeled and chopped
250ml red wine
2 tbsp tomato puree
3-4 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
2-3 tbsp soya milk
1 small knob vegan marge
Generous grating of whole nutmeg
Salt and pepper.

Wash the lentils, then place in a pan with the bay leaf. Cover with water and bring to the boil. Boil rapidly for 10 mins then reduce the heat and simmer for 15-30 mins till the lentils are soft but not mushy.

Meanwhile sautee the onion, garlic and carrot in the oil for 10 mins. Add the tomatoes, puree, wine, salt, pepper, oregano and stock. Cook for 10-15 mins till thickened. Once the lentils are done, drain and add to the tomato sauce. Mix well.

Cook the potatoes in a pan with a little water. Drain, mash with the milk and marge. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Place the filling in a dish and top with the mash. Bake in a hot oven for 15 mins or so till the mash has browned slightly. Serve with veg or as is…

Creamy Curry Sauce (v)

When we were in Toronto we went to an amazing veggie eatery called Fresh. We had a sauce similar to this there with sweet potato fries. It’s sort of like chip shop curry sauce but soooooooooo much nicer. It makes a large batch but keeps for a week or so in the fridge (or you can freeze it) so halve it if you don’t want to be drowning in curry sauce…

For 8-10 portions you need:
1 can coconut milk
3 cups vegetable stock
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 chilli, chopped
1/2 cup tomatoes, chopped
3 tsp each turmeric, garam masala, coriander, cumin
2 tbsp plain flour
1/2 – 1tsp chilli flakes depending on how hot you like it
1 tbsp vegetable oil

Fry the onion, chilli and garlic in the oil for about 10 mins till softened. Add the flour and dry spices and cook out for a further 3-4 mins. Slowly add the stock, stirring to avoid lumps. Add the coconut milk and tomatoes. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 30 mins. Serve with rice and lentils or whatever you fancy really. Including chip shop chips…

Rice and Lentils (v)

I admit this doesn’t sound or indeed look very appetising, but it is yummy. Honest. It’s also quick and easy to do and is nice hot or cold. You can serve it with a cold Indian style salad or lime pickle and mago chutney or maybe a creamy curry sauce. We had it with roasted sweet potatoes and carrots and curry sauce. The choice is yours…

For 4-6 portions you need:
1 cup basmati rice
1.5 cups red lentils
2 onions, finely diced
6 tbsp oil (don’t stint on this, you need it all!)
3 cups water
crispy fried onions, to serve

Fry the onions in the oil over a gentle heat for about 20 mins until golden and crisp. Wash the rice and lentils thoroughly. Add to the pan along with the water. Bring to the boil and then cover and simmer very gently until the rice and lentils are cooked, about 20 mins. Fluff up with a fork and serve topped with more crispy onions.

Blueberry Muffins (v)

I had some manky blueberries to use up. Manky as in they were old and the skins therefore a little tough so I didn’t just want to eat them. Muffins to the rescue, as the heat of the oven would make them burst and their juicy loveliness would then be spread throughout the muffin. Some lemon in these too helps to lift the flavour.

For about 6 large sized muffins you need:
1 cup plain flour
1/2 cup caster sugar
zest of one lemon
1 punnet blueberries, washed and picked over for stalks etc
3/4 tsp bicarb
1/2 tbsp white wine vinegar
40ml grapeseed oil
1/2 cup soya milk
1/4 tsp salt

Place everything in a bowl and mix well. Spoon into cases and bake in a moderate (170 degree) oven for 15-20 mins till risen and golden brown. Lovely warm and they also freeze well.

Double Ginger Cookies with Stem Ginger (v)

The only problem with opening a jar of stem ginger in syrup is that you need to eat it within a week… So these were created to use up the jar I opened to make the sticky date and ginger loaf yesterday. This was a risk recipe as the original uses egg but I just omitted that and used some of the stem ginger syrup to replace it. It worked a treat and these cookies are crisp but chewy and nicely packed with bits of ginger. The original recipe is another Rose Elliot (Vegetarian Cookery, original edition, p325).
For about 18 cookies you need:
50g vegan margarine
100g caster sugar
40g golden syrup
175g self raising flour
1 tsp bicarb
1 tsp ground ginger
4 balls stem ginger, chopped
2 balls stem ginger, sliced (to decorate)
Mix the marge, sugar and syrup together till fluffy. Add the four, bicarb, ground ginger and stem ginger. Mix well. Add a little of the stem ginger syrup if you need to bring the mixture together in to a dough. Pull of bits about the size of a walnut and roll into balls. Place on a lined baking tray and flatten with a fork. Top each one with a piece of stem ginger. Bake in a moderate (160 degree) oven for 10-15 mins till golden brown and risen. Leave to cool for a few mins on the baking sheets then transfer to a cooling rack. 

Tofu Scramble with Mushrooms and Spring Onions (v)

I have long been scared to make this, and I have no idea why. It’s a piece of p*ss. Quick. Tasty. Easy. Good for you. And to my delight sooooooooo much nicer than scrambled eggs too. Tofu scramble, where have you been all my life??!

For two people you need:
1 small pack firm silken tofu, drained
3-4 spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced
1/2 punnet mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 tsp oil
salt and pepper
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
a few drops tabasco to serve (optional)

Begin by sauteeing the onion and mushrooms in the oil for about 5 mins till softened and the juices have run from the mushrooms. Season. Crumble over the tofu and add the turmeric. Cook through, stirring gently so that the tofu doesn’t break up too much. Serve with toast (and marmite ;-)) and a few drops of tabasco.