Hotdogs (v)

I love hotdogs but the veggie hot dog style sausages are now ‘new and improved’ which means they’re rank. So I have swapped to using Linda McCartney sausages instead, and the bonus is that they are also vegan. Win.

For two people you need:
2 hot dog rolls
2 Linda McCartney sausages
1-2 onions, finely sliced
1 tsp vegetable oil
4 tbsp water
Ketchup and american style mustard to serve
Chips if you wish.

Begin with the onions. Heat a pan, add the oil and onions and leave them to gently cook for 15-20 mins. if the pan gets too hot add some water. Add some water anyway towards the end as this gives them a lovely texture akin to that found in burger van onions (no really, this is a *good* thing). Cook the sausages and chips. Split the buns and squirt in ketchup and mustard. Add the sausage and top with the onions, adding more ketchup or mustard if you wish. Perfect weekend food.

The Perfect Veggie Fry Up?

People will always disagree over what constitutes the best veggie fry up, but for me if it contains mushrooms, eggs, beans and some sort of veggie sausage and/or bacon I am a happy lass. Especially if someone else cooks it for me…

For 2 people you need:
1 can beans
2 eggs
4 rashers quorn bacon
2/3 punnet mushrooms, sliced
2 veggie sausages
2 soda farls, sliced
oil for frying

Heat the beans. Fry the mushrooms. Cook the sausages. Fry the bacon. Cut the soda farls and heat. Fry the eggs (over easy this time). Scoff with copious coffee or tea if you really must.

Vegan Chorizo and Butterbean Stew with Red Wine (v)

This was lovely. Rich. Nicely spicy and with depth from the red wine and smoked paprika.

For 2-3 portions you need:
1 tin chopped tomatoes
2 onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 pack vegan chorizo pieces
1 tsp smoked ancho chillies
1 tsp smoked paprika
200ml red wine
salt and pepper
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tin butterbeans, washed and drained
2 tbsp olive oil

Fry off the onions in the oil for about 10 mins. Add the garlic and chorizo and cook for 5 mins till the paprika in the chorizo has coloured the onions. Add the chillies, smoked paprika, tomatoes, butterbeans and wine and bring to the boil. Season and add the oregano and sugar. Reduce to a simmer and cook gently for about 20 mins till the sauce has reduced and thickened. Check the seasoning and adjust as necessary. It’s nice served with the feta, olive and tomato muffins but rice or cous cous or plenty of crusty bread would do just as well!

Veggie Dawgs

I love veggie hot dogs. I used to love normal meaty hot dogs but I think veggie ones are even nicer as there’s no lips and arseholes to worry about in the sausage. And L declared today that “nothing beats a hotdog on a Saturday” so what more excuse do you need…?

This might not seem like a particularly challenging recipe but I plead with you to do the onions as directed below. This way you’ll end up with perfect burger van onions (minus the e-coli). And you have to use French’s mustard. Or else.

For 2 people you need:

4 finger rolls, split
4 veggie hot dog suasages
tomato ketchup
proper american french’s mustard
1 onion
A little vegetable oil
A small knob of butter
Freshly boiled water

Begin by preparing the onion. Peel and then cut in half through the poles. Slice finely and place in a frying pan (preferably not a non stick one) with about 1-2 tsp vegetable oil. Cook gently for 10 mins or so. Once the onion starts to soften add the butter and 1=2 tbsp boiled water and bring to the boil. Immediately reduce the heat and leave them to cook out. Add a little more water if the onions aren’t that soft. After about another 10mins add the butter and turn up the heat slightly to brown them.

Meanwhile heat the sausages in a pan of boiling water for 3-4 mins. Drain and place in a hot dog bun. My preferred serving suggestion is a layer of ketchup, a layer of mustard, the sausage, some more ketchup and mustard and finally the onions. Enjoy.

Savoury Mince

I know it’s passe to admit this, but I actually really miss not eating meat. I don’t eat it cos I don’t agree we need to kill animals in order to survive. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t have pangs for some of my childhood favourites sometimes. This recipe is an attempt to recreate the delicious savoury mince my mum would make when I was little. She would serve it with home made chips, triple cooked to crispy and golden perfection, and peas. And I would sigh in contentment as I tucked in. Of course this can’t taste the same, but it comes pretty close. I guess it could also be called unami mince as it contains so many different things with unami…!

For 4-6 people you need:
1 packet quorn mince
1 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsp plain flour
350ml boiling water
1 tsp dark veg stock paste (e.g. vecon)
1 tsp veg stock powder
2 tbsp soya sauce
1 tbsp each hendersons relish and mushroom ketchup
1/2 tsp marmite
2 tbsp tomato puree
1 tbsp brandy
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp dried oregano
pepper (NO salt!)

Begin by sauteeing the onion in the oil for about 10 mins until golden. Add the flour and garlic and cook out the flour for a few mins. Add the quorn mince and the water and stir thoroughly. Add the remaining ingredients, checking carefully for taste and adjusting as necessary. Cook for about 20 mins till thickened and tasty. Serve with sautee potatoes and some vegetables. Feel nostalgic…

Lemon Paneer Kebabs (v)

You can use quorn or paneer or tofu for this depending on what you fancy. If you use tofu, use soya yogurt tho to make it vegan (or else frankly what’s the point as the paneer/quorn have a nicer texture imho!).

For 2 portions you need:
100g thin natural yogurt
1 lemon – cut in half and squeeze half, cut the other half into wedges
1/2 tsp each of ground coriander, cumin and chilli
1 block paneer cubed, 1 pack tofu cubed or 1 pack quorn fillets, defrosted and cut into chunks
lettuce, shredded
handful mint and coriander, roughly chopped
flatbreads/roti to serve

In a bowl mix together the yogurt, lemon and spices. Season. Leave half in a bowl and use the other half to coat the protein of choice. Leave to marinade for about 30 mins.
Place the marinaded protein onto a shallow baking tray and grill for about 4 mins, turning to stop it from burning. You can also bake this in the oven at 180 degrees for about 20 mins.

Serve piled onto the breads, topped with lettuce, herbs and some more of the reserved marinade.

Quorn and Vegetable Stew

A last minute throw-it-all-in-the-pan-and-see-what-happens dish this one. And the end result wasn’t bad. Lex ate it!

For 3 generous portions you need:
3 carrots, sliced
3 leeks, thinly sliced
2 onions, chopped
1 packet quorn chunks
1 can larger
1 tsp sugar
2 stock cubes
1 tsp dried herbs (I used oregano)
salt and pepper to taste

Begin by frying the veggies in a little olive oil. Then add everything else, bring to the boil and simmer for about 20 mins till the carrots are cooked. We served it with giant cous cous which was frankly *bizarre*. I’d recommend mash or pasta or rice next time!

Quick Quorn Chilli

A perfect after work meal. And it can be ready in 30 mins from start to finish. Perfeck.

For 4-6 servings you need:
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp oregano, cumin, chilli powder, cocoa powder
2 tins chopped toms
2 tbsp tom puree
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 stock cube
1 tbsp each hendersons relish, soya sauce
1/3 cup red wine or water
2 tbsp oil
1 packet frozen quorn mince
1 bayleaf

Begin by frying the onion and garlic in the oil. Then add the quorn mince and all the other ingredients. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 20 mins. Once cooked serve with grated cheese, sour cream, tortilla chips blah blah blah all the usual accompaniments!

Quorn Bolognase

Another less than authentic recipe, but seriously I defy any meat eater to know the difference! Even BIL was impressed and liked it when I served it up over the festive season.

For about8 portions you need:
1 packet frozen quorn mince
1 large finely chopped onion
4-6 cloves garlic, crushed
1 pack mushrooms, finely diced
3 large carrots cut into a small dice
2 tins chopped toms
1 small tin tom puree
250ml red wine
1 stock cube
2 tsp dried oregano
2 bay leaves
2 tbsp each of soya sauce, mushroom ketchup and henderson’s relish
1 tsp sugar

Begin by sauteeing the onion in olive oil. After about 10 mins add the carrots and mushrooms. Sautee for another 20 mins or so till the mushrooms have cooked down. Then add everything else. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 mins. Check the seasoning and serve over spaghetti with loads of fresh parmesan and cheddar to top it!

Autumnal Beef Stew

Mmmm beef stew. Beef stew? Yes beef! I love all the veggie substitute meats you can get, and fancied something like Bœuf borgognone for dinner tonight. Unfortunately DH had drunk all the mini bottles of red wine I had stashed away for cooking purposes so I had to raid the beer larder instead! This is what I created, and by gum it was good! I challenge a meat eater to know the difference!

You need:
2 medium onions, roughly chopped
3 sticks celery, cut into inch long chunks
4 carrots, cut into inch long barrels, and then sliced diagonally
1 packet beef style pieces (quorn or asda or tescos sell them)
large handful frozen bacon style pieces (NOT dried bacon bits!!)
couple of good glugs of quality olive oil
1 bottle dark beer (I used Manchester Brown Ale)
1 bay leaf
1 tsp dried oregano
ground pepper
good glug light soya sauce
good glug mushroom ketchup
good glug henderson’s relish
good glug mirin
2 tsp vecon vegetable stock (or marmite!)

Start by sauteeing the onions in the olive oil. Add the bacon bits once the onions are lightly browned. Then add the celery, carrots and beef bits. Saute for a few mins before adding everything else. Bring to the boil and then simmmer for 30-45 mins until the veggies are tender and the sauce had developed.

If you want to thicken the sauce I’d recommend using a beurre manié to avoid lumps. But I like a thin sauce to soak into flattened roasted potatoes. I served the stew with roasties and steamed romanesco cauliflower. Yum yum yum!