Gnocchi (v)

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I have never made gnocchi from scratch before, only ever purchased those pre-made packages from the supermarket. I’d wrongly assumed that they would take forever and be messy and not worth the effort. How wrong I was. These took a few minutes to make, and cooked just like shop bought ones in a few mins in a pan of boiling water. The texture was lovely – really light and fluffy, not dense, heavy and disappointing like every other gnocchi I’ve eaten has been. Recipes online say use an egg, but I subbed that for 4 tbsp soya milk.

For 4-5 portions you need

  • 400g mashed potato (mine was a mix of potato and swede)
  • 200g plain flour
  • 2-3 tbsp soya milk or 1 egg if you eat them
  • salt and pepper
  • extra flour for dusting or some semolina/polenta
  1. Mix all the ingredients together to form a dough. Don’t over knead.
  2. Break into 4 tennis ball sized portions and roll each out into long sausages on a floured work surface.
  3. Cut into equal sized pieces and push the back of a fork lightly in to each piece (to help the sauce cling apparently). Dust with polenta to prevent them from sticking.
  4. I left mine to chill for 45 mins in the fridge because they took less time that I thought they would! They should be fine to cook straight away however.
  5. Bring a pan of water to the boil and then add the gnocchi one piece at a time to prevent them from sticking together. Allow to simmer and once they start to float to the surface, remove and scoff. We had ours with a quick and easy to make rich tomato and vegetable olive sauce. Really delicious!

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Cashew and Vegetable Stir Fry with Miso Sauce (v)

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We’ve been on holiday for a week and eaten out every night. Whilst that was lovely, my body was craving something not deep fried and actual vegetables now we are home. I have an open jar of miso paste in the fridge that needed using up so this stir fry was created. Savoury, filling and nutritious it certainly hit the spot.

For three portions you need

Vegetables

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • Small handful cashews
  • 1 carrot, peeled and sliced
  • Handful broccoli cut into small florets
  • Handful cauliflower cut into small florets
  • 1 leek, trimmed and sliced into 0.5cm slices
  • A little water
  • Rice/quinoa to serve with the stir fry

Sauce

  • 3 tsp miso paste
  • 3 tbsp soya sauce
  • 2 tbsp mirin
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • A little water
  1. Heat the oil in a wok and toast the cashews, ensuring they don’t burn.
  2. Add the carrots, broccoli, cauli and a splash of water. Cover with a lid to help them steam. Cook for 2-3 mins.
  3. Meanwhile cook the rice/quinoa and make the sauce by combining all the sauce ingredients in a jar, stirring well to mix in the miso paste.
  4. Add the leeks and miso sauce. Keep covered and cook for a further 5 mins or so until the vegetables are done to your liking (I like mine quite al dente).
  5. Serve and feel super smug.

Thai Sweet Potato Soup (v)

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I like soup. We eat a lot of soup. The teen will still eat things as soup he wouldn’t eat as separate components, and this soup is a good example of that. He won’t eat Thai red curry or coconut milk. But he will eat this, go figure…

For 6 portions you need

  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 2 onions, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1″ piece of ginger, roughly chopped
  • 3 tsp red curry paste (make sure it has no fish sauce in it if you’re veggie/vegan)
  • 750g peeled and diced sweet potatoes
  • If you want to increase the heat, then add a couple of extra thai chillies, roughly chopped
  • 750ml veg stock
  • 400ml can coconut milk
  • Juice of two limes
  • Small bunch of fresh coriander
  1. Begin by frying the onion in the oil for about 5 mins till softened.
  2. Add the garlic, ginger and curry paste. Stir for 2-3 mins.
  3. Add the potatoes and cover in the spice paste for 1-2 mins.
  4. Add the coconut milk, stock, chillies and bring to the boil. Reduce to a gentle simmer and cook for about 10 mins until the potatoes are soft.
  5. Add the coriander and the blitz the soup using a stick blender until smooth.
  6. Stir through the lime juice and adjust the seasoning to taste. Serve.

Tofu Noodle Tom Kha Soup (v)

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I’m sure this isn’t an authentic recipe but it was damn tasty and very quick to knock together. I had leftovers for my lunch today and it was just as delicious.

For six generous portions you need:

  • 3 wholewheat noodle nests
  • 1 courgette, cut into bite sized chunks
  • 2 carrots, cut into bite sized chunks
  • 1 leek, finely sliced
  • Handful baby corn, cut into bite sized chunks
  • Handful of mange tout, cut into bite sized chunks
  • 1 pack of tofu, drained and cut into bite sized chunks
  • Handful of tender stem broccoli, cut into bite sized chunks
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1.5 litres of vegan stock
  • 3/4 packet of frozen thai herbs (I like the Waitrose one)
  • 1 pack fresh coriander, roughly chopped
  • 3 thai chillies. finely sliced
  • Juice of 1-2 lemons
  1. Place everything in a large pan apart from the coriander and lemon juice. Bring to the boil.
  2. Simmer for 2-3 mins until the noodles are cooked and so are the veggies.
  3. Season with lemon juice, adding more to taste.
  4. Serve in bowls garnished with the coriander. Nomtastic.

Thai-style Tofu Noodle Salad (v)

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It’s my son’s birthday today and for his birthday meal he asked me to make this. How could I refuse?! He specifically asked for red cabbage and lots of tofu but you can use any vegetables you want really. The dressing needs to be zingy and fresh and bounce off your tastebuds.

For 5-6 portions you need

Salad

  • 1 pack tofu (I used Cauldron), pressed
  • 1 small red cabbage, finely shredded
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 1 bunch spring onions, sliced
  • 1 pack beansprouts
  • 1 pack fine rice noodles
  • 1 pack coriander
  • 1/2 pack mint
  • 1/2 pack thai basil

Dressing

  • Juice of three limes
  • 1″ piece of grated ginger
  • 3 cloves of garlic, grated
  • 3-4 tbsp each of mirin, rice vinegar and soya sauce
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • As much chilli as you fancy – I used 2 birds eye chillies and 2 fatter chillies
  1. Begin by rehydrating the rice noodles in boiling water for 3-4 mins. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop them sticking. Leave them to drain before squeezing out any excess water. Place in the bottom of your serving bowls.
  2. Make the dressing by placing all the ingredients into a bowl and mixing. Taste and adjust according to taste e.g. make it more spicy or sour or sweeter or more salty.
  3. Shred, grate and otherwise prepare all the veggies. Layer on top of the noodles.
  4. Drizzle over the dressing and scatter over the herbs. I like a lot of greenery. The teen prefers less…
  5. Thinly slice the tofu and fry in oil in a hot pan over a moderate heat. This will take about 5 mins per side. Turn once during cooking and once crispy and browned, remove and drain on kitchen paper.
  6. Serve and enjoy. I love this salad at any time of year but eating it now is giving me hope Spring is finally on it’s way. It is, isn’t it?!

Maker:S,Date:2017-9-18,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y

(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.

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