Vegetable Gratin with Butterbeans 

  
I love a good cheese sauce gratin. I’ll smother anything tbh with a blanket of mustardy cheesy goodness. Perfect fuel for these dreary January days. Use any combo of beans and veggies you want. It’s a fab way to use up spare cooked vegetables so don’t feel you have to prep them from scratch. 
For 3-4 portions you need

  • 1 can drained Butterbeans
  • 600ml milk
  • 50g butter
  • 50g plain flour
  • 150g grated strong cheddar
  • 50g grated Parmesan style veggie friendly cheese
  • 1 tsp English mustard powder
  • 2 tsp French mustard (pref Maille)
  • Cooked vegetables eg 3 sliced carrots and 1 head broccoli 
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  1. Begin by steaming the veggies until tender. Leave to cool. 
  2. Make the cheese sauce by adding everything apart from the cheeses and beans to a pan and heating gently. Bring to the boil then simmer for 1-2 mins. Remove from the heat. 
  3. Add 2/3 of both cheese and mix until melted and the sauce is smooth. Season with freshly ground black pepper. 
  4. Tip the slightly cooled veggies into an ovenproof dish. Scatter over the beans and distribute vaguely evenly. Pour over the sauce then sprinkle with the remaining cheeses.
  5. Bake in a 200 degree oven for 20-25 mins until browned, bubbling and delicious. Serve with potatoes of your choice. 
Advertisements

Vegetable Paella with Spicy Tomato Sauce (v)

I’m not sure this is authentically paella because it uses easy cook short grain rice. But it’s easy and quick to make and is the first recipe/rice combo I have found that actually works without producing a claggy sticky mess or under cooked rice. It’s also vegan and a brilliant way to boost your veg intake. It’s based on a Rose Elliott recipe for Red Beans with Brown Rice and Vegetables in her fabulous New Complete Vegetarian Cookbook (p246).

For 4 portions you need
Paella
2 onions, chopped
4 tbsp olive oil
350g easy cook short grain rice
1 tsp tumeric
850ml veg stock
salt and pepper
A mix of vegetables e.g. we used 1 large carrot, diced, 2 sticks celery, sliced, and a pack of stir fry tenderstem broccoli, baby sweet corn, mange tout and pak choi.
1 can drained kidney beans

Spicy Tomato Sauce
1 can tomatoes
1 clove garlic
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
1 tsp dried chilli flakes

Start by sauteeing the onion, carrots and celery in the oil, covered. I like to use a large lidded non stick frying pan for this recipe.

After about 10 mins add the rice and garlic and stir well. Add the stock and beans and bring to the boil. Cover with a lid and leave to simmer for 10 mins. Stir then add the broccoli and corn and cover again for a further 5 mins. Check the rice is done and if it is, add the remaining veg and take off the heat and leave covered to steam for a final 5 mins.

For the sauce put everything in a pan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 mins. Puree in the pan with a stick blender and leave to one side.

Serve the finished rice with the tomato sauce. Leftovers are delicious cold or used as a stuffing for peppers etc.

Quorn ‘Chicken’ Pot Pie with Vegetables

Mmmmmm. Pie. Just as well I was already a dab hand at pie making before falling in love with a Wigan-er 😉 This pie works well with any sort of filling, and if you omit the quorn and use pulses or seitan or something instead for protein it is vegan. Result.

For 4 people you need
250g quorn chicken style chunks, or some other sort of protein for a vegan version
1 tbsp olive oil
2 carrots, diced
2 leeks, sliced
1/2 cup frozen sweetcorn
200ml veg stock
100ml soya milk
2 tsp cornflour slackened in a couple of tbsp of water
2 tsp wholegrain mustard
75ml white wine
1 pack ready rolled puff pastry
1 beaten egg or some soya milk to glaze

Gravy, mash and contrasting veggies to serve

Begin by frying the leek and carrot in the oil for 3-4 mins. Cover with the stock and cook out for a further 5 mins or so to ensure the carrot is tender in the finished pie.

Add the quorn/protein and sweetcorn, mustard and wine. Season to taste. Reduce the heat and add the soya milk. Stir through the cornflour mixture and stir over heat until the sauce is as thick as you want it to be (the longer you cook it for the thicker it will become).

Transfer into a pie dish and preferably leave to cool for an hour or so before topping with the pastry. It doesn’t matter if you can’t let it cool however.

Crimp the pastry and then brush with egg/milk and bake in a hot (200 degree) oven for 45 mins or so until piping hot and golden brown. Serve with veggies and mash and most importantly GRAVY! The fastest way to a pie eaters heart 🙂

Cheesy Carrot and Butterbean Burgers

I’m 21 days into my #vegpledge now and am really enjoying eating without meat. It’s made me go back and reassess the books on my shelf and rediscover forgotten recipes from my veggie past! This one was brilliant for hitting the “I NEED A BURGER NOWWWWWW!” spot when we only had 40 mins to cook tea and couldn’t go out to get any ingredients aside from burger buns cos it was 5pm on a Sunday… They took me 25 mins from start to finish and everyone loved them. Make double and freeze if you want to save even more time when the next burger craving hits!

For 4 burgers you need
For the burgers
1-2 carrots, coarsely grated
1 onion, grated
1 can drained butter beans
100g mature cheddar, grated
100g fresh breadcrumbs
1 egg
1 tsp dried mixed herbs

4 burger buns
Cucumber, red onion, tomato, mayo, mustard, ketchup etc to dress the burger
Chips and salad to serve
Oil for shallow frying

I use my food processor to make these and it makes them even speedier. Begin by using the blade to make the breadcrumbs, then place these in a large mixing bowl. Then puree the beans with the blade and add to the bowl. Switch to a grating disc and grate the carrot, onion and finally the cheese.

Mix everything you need for the burger together until combined and then shape into 4 patties. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and cook for 3-4 mins each side, flipping over once.

Load the burger into the dressed buns and scoff. Feel smug the craving has been sated sans dead animal.

Mixed Vegetable Makhanawala (v)

I am slowly working my way through Rick Stein’s India, a very fine book on curries and Indian food. This recipe caught my eye as I was meal planning over the weekend, and Abel and Cole obliged by providing most of the ingredients for it in their weekly box this week. The curry is delicious, rich and creamy but not heavy. Spiced and fragrant with a little kick of heat but not searingly hot. It might look complicated but it’s not, it was very easy to make and was definitely worth the effort.

For 4-6 portions you need
800g mixed vegetables – I used potatoes, carrots, cauliflower and french beans
50g butter or oil
1 medium onion, sliced
5 large garlic cloves, finely minced
5cm stick of ginger, finely grated
400g fresh tomatoes pulverised to make passata (don’t use tinned or a jar, you want the lightness of fresh tomatoes)
1 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp each of ground cumin, ground coriander, ground cinnamon, garam masala and tumeric
1 tsp desiccated coconut
1.5 tsp salt
25g cashew nuts
1/2 tsp sugar
75ml yogurt/soya yogurt
4 tbsp double cream/soya cream (or coconut cream)
Handful of fresh coriander leaves to finish

Begin by boiling the carrots and potatoes until just cooked. Drain and leave to one side.

Melt the butter in a large heavy based pan and add the onion. Cook over a medium heat for about 10 minutes until the onions are soft and golden. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for a further 5 mins. Add the tomatoes, bring to the boil and simmer for 5 mins. Add the spices, salt, coconut and 100ml of water and cook for a further 10 mins.

In a mini food processor blitz the cashew nuts with a little water until smooth. Add this to the pan along with all the vegetables apart from the potatoes. Add another 100ml of water and simmer for 10 minutes until the veggies are cooked. Add the yogurt, cream and potatoes and heat through for 2-3 mins. Serve garnished with the coriander. It’s truly delicious.

Mock Duck Noodle Soup (v)

There was a bit of a shopping fail this week, as I’d planned to make fake chicken noodle soup for lunch on Sunday but upon opening the freezer realised that we had no quorn chunks left, d’oh. I did however remember that there was a tin of mock duck languishing in the cupboard where it had lain for months. It made for an excellent and very tasty soup. So now I need to buy another tin to replace the one I used!

For three portions you need
1 tin mock duck (available from larger supermarkets or Asian/Chinese grocers), gluten sliced into bite sized pieces
3 nests noodles
1 litre vegetable stock plus the sauce/liquid from the mock duck tin
1 onion, halved and then sliced
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 red pepper, deseeded and cut into thin strips
125g closed cup mushrooms, cut into quarters
1 cup frozen sweetcorn
1 inch ginger, grated
3 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
1/2 tsp chinese five spice powder
1 tbsp soya sauce

To garnish
3 tbsp fresh coriander, roughly chopped
chilli flakes, tabasco sauce and soya sauce to serve

Place the stock into a large pan and add the noodles, onion, garlic and ginger. Season with soya sauce and the chinese five spice powder. Add all the other ingredients, apart from the pepper and mushrooms, and cook for 3-5 minutes until the noodles are done. Add the mushrooms and pepper and heat through for a further two minutes. Serve in large bowls garnished with the coriander and chillies to taste. Delicious.

Chickpea and Red Lentil Vindaloo with Vegetables (v)

This was a vindaloo simply because that was the only curry paste I had left in the cupboard. Despite the name, it wasn’t too hot! Use any combination of vegetables and pulses that you like, this is simply what we needed to use up 🙂

For 4-6 portions you need
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsp curry paste
1 tbsp oil
2 tins chopped tomatoes
1 tin chickpeas, drained
1/2 cup red lentils
200ml water
2 tsp vegetable stock powder
1/2 cup frozen sweetcorn
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 tsp sugar

Begin by sauteeing the onion and garlic in the oil. Once soft, add the curry paste and cook out for a few mins. Add everything else and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and cook for 20 mins or so until the red lentils are done. Check the taste and adjust salt, sugar or chilli according to taste. Serve with rice, pickles and indian salad!

Dark Sweet and Sour Vegetables with Sesame Cashews and Noodles (v)

This is very quick and easy to prepare and tastes lovely. A brilliant healthy mid week supper for all the family. The recipe is based on a Lorraine Pascale one in Fast, Fresh and Easy Food.

For 3-4 people you need
2 onions, chopped into big chunks
2 carrots, peeled and sliced thin
1 head broccoli cut into florets
425g tin pineapple in juice
5 tbsp tomato ketchup
5 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp soya sauce
1-2 tsp agarve nectar (according to your taste)
2 tbsp raw cashew nuts
2 tsp sesame oil
3 nests of noodles
fresh coriander for garnish

Beging by placing everything apart from the cashews, sesame oil, noodles and coriander into a pan. Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer and cover with a lid. Cook on a low heat for 5 mins until the veggies are al dente. Remove the lid and increase the heat to reduce the sauce slightly.

Toast the cashews in a pan until lightly toasted. Toss through the sesame oil.

Boil the noodles for 1-2 mins until cooked. Serve garnished with the coriander. Yummy.

Noodles with Vegetables and Peanut Chilli Sauce (v)

I thought I didn’t like kale, but last weeks veg box showed me that it can be really nice. So this week, when another culinary nemesis, chard, arrived, I thought I would do the same. However, I have decided I really, really, _really_ don’t like chard. The rest of this recipe is nice tho, and if you like chard I’m sure you’ll find it delicious.

For one person you need
1 bundle noodles
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1/2 head broccoli, sliced into small florets
2 leaves chard, sliced
1 small onion, sliced

Dressing
1 tbsp crunchy peanut butter
1 small clove garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp chilli flakes (or a whole chilli, sliced)
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp dark soya sauce
pinch sugar
juice and zest of 1/2 a lemon or lime

Place the noodles in a pan and cover with boiling water. Cook for 1-2 mins then add the veggies and cook for a further 1-2 mins until the noodles are tender and the veggies al dente.

Meanwhile mix all the dressing ingredients together. Drain the pan and dress the noodles in the hot pan. Eat.

Christmas Soup

So called as it’s a taste of Christmas in a bowl 🙂 A very quick and easy dish to throw together in seconds but tastes like you’ve spent ages making it!

For one hungry person you need
2 carrots, roughly chopped
2 sticks celery, roughly chopped plus the leaves of some, finely chopped for decoration
1 onion, roughly chopped
2 tbsp veggie stilton
1 tsp Gourmet Garden crushed garlic
400ml vegetable stock
salt and pepper
1 tsp vegetable oil

Begin by sauteeing the celery, carrots and onion in a pan with the oil for 8-10 mins until tender. Add everything else, apart from the celery leaves and stilton, and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5 mins until the veggies are all cooked then add the cheese and blitz until the soup is lovely and smooth. Reheat, season and serve decorated with the celery leaves. Perfect December fare.