(M)any Vegetable Soup with Marmite Broth (v)

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Also known as ‘wtf-is-there-for-lunch’ soup and ‘try-and-make-the-teen-eat-something-healthy-today’ soup…

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Basically you can put any vegetables you want in this. Today’s soup is what was left in the fridge and a delicious looking savoy cabbage from the local farm shop. On that note, I got all these veggies for £9!! Love my farm shop!

 

For four portions you need

  • Mixed vegetables of your choice. I used 2 small leeks, 2 sticks celery, 3 small carrots, a small head of broccoli, 1/4 cauliflower, 2 savoy cabbage leaves.
  • 1.25 litres veg stock
  • 1/2 cup cooked chickpeas
  • 2 tsp marmite
  • freshly ground pepper
  1. Chop/dice the vegetables into roughly equal sized chunks.
  2. Add to a pan with the stock and chickpeas. Bring to the boil. Simmer for 3-4 mins until everything is tender but not over cooked.
  3. Season and add the marmite. Adjust to taste.
  4. Serve. I had mine with melted violife slices for vegan ‘cheese’ on toast and piri piri chutney. Yum.

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Avocado Toast (v)

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I’ve come late to avocado toast. And now I can’t stop eating it  especially when it’s topped with chipotle chilli flakes and grilled until the tomatoes melt  I prefer to use sourdough or seeded bread, but use whatever floats your boat. 

For two portions you need:

  • 4 slices of toast
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 large, ripe tomatoes
  • salt, pepper and chilli flakes
  1. Scoop the avocado out of the skin and either roughly mash in a bowl or if the avocado is very ripe, squodge directly onto the toast.
  2. Top with sliced tomato and season well.
  3. Grill for about 5 mins until the tomatoes are hot.
  4. Scoff with optional extra chilli sauce (everything tastes better with hot sauce!)
  5. Level up in hipster vegan points and grow your beard an extra 1 cm for each slice consumed…

Creamy Broccoli Pasta Bake (v)

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I had the most delicious creamy, garlicky pasta bake in an Italian in Doncaster of all places a few years ago. I’ve been trying to recreate the recipe ever since. This is the closest I have got. If you’re veggie add some melting cheese to it before baking. I can’t stand vegan cheese so didn’t bother to try and replicate that aspect!

For two portions you need

  • 150g pasta
  • 1 head broccoli cut into small pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 25g vegan spread
  • 25g plain flour
  • 200ml plant milk
  • 100ml white wine
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp vegan stock powder
  1. Begin by cooking the pasta as per the packet instructions. Add the broccoli to the pasta for the last 3-4 mins of cooking time. Drain, but reserve 3-4 tbsp of the cooking water.
  2. Meanwhile make the sauce by putting everything else into a pan and stirring until it comes to the boil and thickens. Season to taste.
  3. Mix the sauce into the pasta and broccoli pan and then transfer to an ovenproof dish. Bake in a hot oven for 20-30 mins until the top layer is browned. Serve with a tomato salad.

Smoked Tofu and Charred Broccoli Salad (v)

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We drove home from a lovely holiday in the Lakes on Friday and made the regular stop at the most middle class of services, Tebay. I was delighted to find a really good selection of vegan sandwiches and salads available. I was less delighted to find how much they cost… I can’t say their version of this was worth the £5 price tag, but it was tasty and inspired me to make this which we all scoffed, even the teen.

For five portions you need:

Salad

  • 200g pack thin rice noodles
  • 1 pack smoked tofu (taifun is my favourite)
  • 1 pack beansprouts
  • 2 carrots, peeled and grated
  • 100g snow peas, thinly sliced
  • 150g tenderstem broccoli, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 pack fresh coriander
  • 1/2 pack watercress, very roughly chopped
  • 1 red chilli, sliced
  • Toasted sesame seeds

Dressing

  • 1 red chilli, diced
  • 1″ piece of fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup tamari
  • 1/4 cup light soya sauce
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp agave nectar (or use mirin instead of the vinegar and sweetener)
  1. Soak the noodles in boiling water for about 10 mins. Drain, run through with cold water and then squeeze out any excess water. Toss through 1 tsp sesame oil to stop them sticking and place onto the serving plates.
  2. Layer up grated carrot, beansprouts, shredded watercress, the sliced chilli and some roughly chopped watercress onto the plates.
  3. Combine all the dressing ingredients and mix. Add the remaining coriander, chopped quite finely to the dressing.
  4. Char the broccoli in a griddle pan until tender and lightly charred. Add to the serving plates.
  5. Slice the tofu into thin slices and heat in a hot pan until lightly golden and starting to crisp. Add to the plates, pour over the dressing, sprinkle over some extra sesame seeds and enjoy.

Versatile Savoury Lentil Sauce (v)

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Yeah I know. It doesn’t look like much in the picture. A soggy jumble of bits in a wet sauce. If you could smell it though, it would smell GOOD! This sauce can form the basis of so many different things: bolognaise, lasagne, moussaka, savoury lentil bake, shepherd’s pie… I always make in a big batch as it freezes well and it’s a great work day staple to have stashed away for days when you have zero time or energy to cook from scratch.

Last time I made this, I made this quantity as I have a massive Le Creuset pan and it saves time in the long run. Obviously if you have smaller pans or no space in the freezer reduce quantities accordingly…

For 3 batches of sauce, each enough to feed 4-6 people you need:

  • 3 cups brown lentils (green also work, as do puy. Don’t use split red lentils!)
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 2 leeks, trimmed, washed and sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 4 sticks celery, washed and diced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cans chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp of marigold stock powder
  • 1 tbsp dried mixed herbs
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • salt and pepper
  1. Begin by cooking the lentils in plenty of water. How long will depend on the age and variety of lentils. My brown ones took 15 mins. Drain.
  2. Meanwhile saute the onion, leek, celery and garlic in the oil until softened.
  3. Add the tomatoes and seasonings to the sauce along with the lentils.
  4. Bring to the boil and reduce to a simmer for 5-10 mins.
  5. Taste and adjust seasoning. Tis done. Serve like this over pasta for bolognaise or use as a base in numerous other recipes.

Steamed Tofu with Ginger Chilli Sauce (v)

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One of my friends blogged about still eating Christmas food a few days ago. It prompted me to think of different ways to use up the nearly-but-not-quite-finished bottle of cream sherry and the chilli jam I make every year but never seem to eat…

For three portions you need

  • 1 pack firm tofu, drained and cut into 6 equal slices
  • veggies of your choice – we had broccoli and carrots
  • rice or whatever starch you want to use

For the dressing

  • 1/2 cup soya sauce
  • 1/2 cup sherry (or mirin)
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp chilli jam
  • large handful of fresh coriander roughly chopped
  • 1″ piece of ginger, grated
  • 2 fat garlic cloves, grated
  1. Mix the sauce ingredients together, check the seasoning and adjust to taste
  2. Cook the rice as per instructions on the packet
  3. Steam the veggies and tofu for 5-6 mins
  4. Serve

Super Purple Breakfast Smoothie (v)

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I’ve long enjoyed making smoothies, but I recently upgraded my blender to a nutribullet type one. Oh my, all that extra power makes for an extra smooth smoothie! This combo used up some bits of fruit in the bottom of the fridge, and turned it my favourite colour. PURPLE!!

For one smoothie you need

  • 1 ripe banana
  • Handful red grapes
  • Handful blueberries
  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup non dairy yogurt
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  1. Put everything in the blender goblet, invert and blend, blend, blend!
  2. Enjoy and feel super smug.

Butterbean Burgers with Sunflower Seeds and Carrots (v)

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I love good, old fashioned bearded home knitted yogurt veggie fayre. This falls firmly into that camp. Hearty, disgustingly good for you and versatile. We served these hot as full burgers with all the trimmings including sweet potato fries and home made skinny french fries. They were also yummy cold the next day with salad, drenched in hot Thai chilli sauce.

For 6-8 burgers you need

  • 1 tin butterbeans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 onion
  • 100g fresh breadcrumbs (about 3-4 slices bread)
  • 2 carrots, coarsely grated
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 tsp each of ground cumin, coriander and garam masala
  • Trimmings of your choice depending on how you want to serve them e.g. burger buns, relishes, salad, chilli sauce etc
  1. In a food processor make the breadcrumbs. Tip into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Blitz the onion and beans together until mushy (20-30 secs). Tip into the bowl with the breadcrumbs.
  3. Swap the blade for a grater attachment and grate the carrots. Yep, tip into the mixing bowl…
  4. Add everything else and squidge together with your hands.
  5. Form into 6-8 patties depending on appetite and greed. Place on to a lined baking sheet and bake in a 180 degree oven for 20 mins, turning halfway through the cooking time. Enjoy 🙂

Roasted Sausages and Apple

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Sometimes you get to that point in the month where (i) you’ve run out of enthusiasm for things to make for tea after a long day at work and (ii) it’s a loooooong time until payday. When those things hit in a double whammy in January you need to be creative! A recipe similar to this appeared in my twitter feed and I adapted it for a veggie feast last week. Quick to throw together, it filled our bellies and used up some sad neglected apples from the fruit bowl.

For three portions you need:

  • 1 pack veggie sausages – we used cauldron but any will do
  • 2 onions, cut into wedges
  • 2 apples, cored and cut into wedges
  • 3 carrots, cut into chunks
  • 1 tsp oil
  • salt and pepper
  • Mashed potato to serve
  • GRAVY!!!!!
  1. Toss everything apart from the sausages in the oil and season.
  2. Roast in a hot (180 degree) oven for 20 mins.
  3. Add the sausages and cook for a further 15-20 mins until everything is done.
  4. Serve with mash, lashings of gravy and whatever other veggies you can find, I think we had peas and sweetcorn from the freezer!

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.