Probably The Most Awesome Vegan Pie Ever (v)

OK, OK, I am feeling rather smug after tonight’s dinner marvel, but it was delicious. Really, really delicious. And it was also very easy to make, and used up some of the veg that has been looking sadly up at me from the bottom of the fridge for the last week. Because it’s vegan, there’s no cream in the recipe, just some soya milk which makes a lovely creamy sauce. And this makes it a healthy choice too if you’re watching the calories, what more do you need to convince you to try it 😉

For 4-6 portions you need
1 sheet puff pastry, rolled out to .5cm thickness
1 leek, finely sliced
2-3 carrots, peeled and cut into bite sized pieces
2-3 parsnips, ditto the carrots
4-5 mushrooms cut into chunky slices
2 tbsp plain flour
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
1/2 pint soya milk plus a little extra for glazing the top of the pie
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp stock powder
2 tbsp finely chopped flat leaf parsely
salt and pepper

Begin by sauteeing the vegetables in the oil in a large pan. Cover with a lid and allow the veggies to steam fry for 5 mins or so. Remove the lid and increase the heat a little to evaporate off the mushroom juices.

Sprinkle over the flour and stock powder and allow to cook out. Add the mustard and slowly add the soya milk until it’s all absorbed and the sauce is nicely thickened. Season and add the parsley.

Place the vegetables and sauce in a pie dish. Put the puff pastry on the top and seal the edges. You don’t have to use a pie funnel but it will help to cook the inside out if you have one and prevent a soggy pastry lid. Crimp the edges of the pie and brush the top with a little extra soya milk.

Bake the pie in a hot (180 degree) oven for 30-40 mins until the pastry is golden, crispy and cooked through. Serve with baby jacket potatoes, steamed cauliflower and lashings of yummy gravy. Nomtastic.

Coconut Dhal Soup with Carrot and Parsnip (v)

This is a perfect autumnal warming dish, and it only takes a few minutes to make. I guess if you were Jamie you could do it in 15 mins, but I am not so did it in a more sedate 22 and made less mess than he would have… It used up some sad carrots and parsnips that were languishing at the bottom of my fridge nicely. It freezes well and you can adjust the quantities easily to feed more or less people.

For 2-3 portions you need
1 can coconut milk
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 parsnip, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup red lentils
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, bashed
1 inch piece ginger, grated
A little water, depending on how thin you want your finished soup
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp each mustard seeds and ground garam masala, tumeric, coriander, cumin
Handful fresh coriander, roughly chopped
Splash chilli oil

Being by frying the spices in the oil until the mustard seeds pop. Add all the veggies and cover with a lid and sautee for a few mins. Add the lentils and fry for another 1-2 mins. Pour in the coconut milk and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 10-15 mins until the lentils and veggies are cooked. Blitz to a puree and add some water if it’s too thick. Re-heat and serve garnished with the fresh coriander and a drizzle of chilli oil. Delish!

Dhal Soup with Root Vegetables (v)

It’s cold outside. But this will keep you warm. Made from store cupboard ingredients, it can be ready in 30 mins and warmed me and the boy perfectly this evening.

For 4 portions you need:
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and cut into 0.5cm dice
1/2 swede, peeled and cut into 0.5cm dice
1 parsnip, peeled and cut into 0.5cm dice
1/2 cup red lentils
1 can coconut milk
2 tbsp curry paste
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 inch piece of ginger, finely grated
1 litre boiling water
2 tsp vegan stock powder
freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp vegetable oil
fresh mint and coriander

Begin by sautéing the onion, carrots, parsnip and swede in the oil till the onions are translucent. Add the lentils, garlic, ginger and curry paste and cook out for 2-3 mins. Pour over the water and coconut milk and bring to the boil, adding the stock powder and seasoning with black pepper. Simmer for 15 mins or so, until the lentils are cooked through and the vegetables are tender. Serve topped with roughly chopped coriander and mint and some naan bread.

Parnsip and Celeriac Soup with Cream and White Wine

Yes. We’re *still* using up the Christmas leftovers…

For 4-6 portions you need:
1 onion, chopped
1 leek, sliced
3 parsnips, peeled and diced
1 celeriac, peeled and diced
50g butter
2 tbsp ground nut oil
1-1.5 litres light vegetable stock
125ml double cream
250ml white wine
salt and pepper

Sautee the vegetables in the butter and oil, covered, for about 15 mins till tender. Add the wine and allow to boil for a minute or so. Add the stock and season. Bring to the boil and simmer covered for about 15 mins. Blend to a smooth puree, adjusting the seasoning if necessary. Serve with a dash of cream and some fresh chives snipped over the top if you have any.

Root Vegetables in Beer (v)

This is ultimate winter comfort food. Ad it’s also being blogged cos I was moaned at for being too political in my tweets recently what with all the to do over tuition fees etc 😉 so here is a nice comforting recipe to sustain you after being kettled for hours by evil Police officers 🙂

For 4-6 portions you need:
4 carrots, peeled and cut into diagonal wodges
2 parsnips, peeled and roughly chopped
1/2 large turnip peeled and roughly chopped
1/2 swede oiled and roughly chopped
8 baby onions/shallots, peeled
1 can guiness
2 tbsp each of soya sauce, mushroom ketchup and hendersons relish
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp dried herbs e.g. oregano
2 tbsp soya marge/butter
2 tbsp plain flour
1 tbsp olive oil
1 pack vegan beef style chunks
1 tsp marmite

Hea the oil and sauté the vegetables in a pan, covered with a lid, for about 10 mins. Add everything else, aside from the butter and flour, and cook for 15 mins or so till the vegetables are tender. Mix the flour with the butter to make a buerre marnie and mix in to the stew. Allow to thicken and then serve with mashed potatoes. Lovely.

Lentil and Vegetable Stew (v)

My FIL made this for us tonight and it was delicious, if a tad out of kilter with the seasons! Even Lex had two bowlfulls!

For 6 portions you need:
1 swede, cut into bite sized chunks
2 parsnips, ditto
3 carrots, ditto
2 leeks, ditto
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup red lentils
1/3 cup green lentils
250g mushrooms
1.5 litres veggie stock

Begin by sauteeing the onion, garlic and leek in a little olive oil. Then add everything else aside from the mushrooms. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 mins or so until the green lentil are cooked. Meanwhile sautee the mushrooms and then add to the stew once everything is cooked. Serve with plenty of fresh crusty bread. Yum.

Root Vegetable Butter Masala

I am getting a bit fed up the last remnants of the winter root veggies, so fell back on my old friend curry to cheer them up a bit. This was OK. I wouldn’t rush to make it again but I think that was more to do with too much passata and a not that amazing curry paste. N seemed to like it enough…

For 6 portions you need:
3 carrots, diced
2 parsnips, diced
1/2 celeriac, diced
1 onion, chopped
4 large new potatoes, diced
1 carton, passata
250ml water
1/4 jar curry paste
2 inch piece ginger, grated
50g butter
75g ground almonds

Saute the veggies for about 10 mins then add the curry paste. Heat for 5 mins or so. Add the passata and water and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer (uncovered) and cook for about an hour until the carrots and potatoes are done. Add the almonds and butter and heat gently for a further 5 mins. Serve with rice etc.