Mulligatawny Soup

I used to love the Heinz cans of this soup as a child, I’m not sure I could face eating them now, even if they did make a veggie version! This meal was made from leftovers from Friday night’s tea, but I’ve blogged a recipe from scratch as I’m assuming you won’t have a lonely single portion of quorn keema lurking in the fridge that needs eating up. For the authentic soup-from-a-can experience cook this in a pressure cooker, but if you don’t want that or don’t have a pressure cooker just use the stove instead!

For 4 portions you need:

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 150g quorn mince
  • 1/2 cup red lentils
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2″ piece of ginger, grated
  • 3 tsp medium curry power
  • 1/2 tsp each ground cumin, coriander, turmeric, garam masala
  • 500-750ml stock
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • Fresh coriander and sliced chillies to serve
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. If you are using a pressure cooker place everything in the pot, seal and set to manual for 5 mins. Use the lower amount of stock for this method as you don’t lose anything during cooking. Leave for 10 mins before releasing the pressure, and then check the seasoning before eating.
  2. On the stove begin by sauteing the onion in the oil for 5-10 mins then add the garlic, ginger and spices and cook for a further 2 mins.
  3. Add the lentils and ensure they are thoroughly coated in the spice mixture before adding the quorn, tomatoes and stock.
  4. Cook for 15 mins, check the seasoning and make sure the lentils are cooked then serve garnished with the coriander and chilli slices.

Sticky Tofu with Noodles & Zingy Lime Dressing (v)

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This is another brilliant dish for hot weather when you don’t want to be slaving over a hot stove but still want something tasty, nutritious and filling in your belly. Choose whatever veggies you have to hand and swap the noodles for rice if necessary.

For three portions you need

  • 1 pack tofu, pressed. (we prefer cauldron foods and use a tofu torture press – worth every penny). Cut into thin strips.
  • 1/2 bottle hoisin sauce
  • 1 pepper, cut into strips
  • 2 carrots, julienned
  • 1 cucumber, cut into ribbons with a speed peeler
  • 1/2 chinese cabbage, shredded
  • 1/2 head broccoli, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 3 nests thin rice noodles
  • 3 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • handful fresh coriander
  • 1-2 tbsp oil

Dressing

  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 4 tbsp soya sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely grated
  • 1″ piece of ginger, finely grated
  • 2 thai chillies, finely grated
  • 1 tsp agave nectar or maple syrup
  1. Begin by making the dressing. I keep my chillies and ginger in the freezer so I always have fresh available. This also means I can grate them straight into a dressing to ensure even distribution in the dressing. Combine all the ingredients together and leave to mingle.
  2. Soak the noodles in boiling water according to the instructions. Once ready, drain and refresh in cold water and squeeze out any excess to prevent the dish from being too soggy.
  3.  Heat a griddle pan and add the oil. Stir fry the broccoli for 2-3 mins until slightly charred. Remove from the pan and leave to one side.
  4. Re-heat the pan and place the tofu in a single layer. Cook for 3-4 mins on a high heat until crispy and golden brown. Turn and repeat. You may need to add a little more oil.
  5. Once the tofu is crispy, pour over the hoisin sauce and remove from the heat. Toss the tofu until coated. Do not keep it on the heat or the sugar in the sauce will burn and it will taste nasty.
  6. Dress the bowls with all the ingredients, finishing with the hot tofu. Drizzle over the sauce and top with slices of spring onion and coriander.

Simple Mango Sorbet (v)

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With the warmer weather last week, we ate a LOT of ice cream and sorbet so I had a go at making some mango sorbet myself. This is pretty easy if you have an ice cream maker. If you don’t, simply pour the mix into a tub and freeze it, remembering to take it out and beat it every hour or so to keep too many ice crystals from forming. I cheated and used a tin of ready made puree because frankly it’s cheap, easy to use and you know it’s going to be sweet and perfect. If you have a glut of fresh mangoes, puree the flesh and sweeten to taste, remembering that when you freeze something you need to add a little more sugar than normal.

For approx 900ml of sorbet you need:

  • 1 tin mango puree
  • 5ml liquid glycerine
  1. Chill the tin of puree overnight in the fridge and make sure the bowl of your ice cream maker is likewise frozen overnight (unless you have one of those fancy pants ones that doesn’t need to be frozen).
  2. Pour the puree into the machine along with the glycerine. Churn until thickened then transfer to a tub and finish freezing in the freezer until you are ready to eat it.

Simple Curry Sauce (v)

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This is a quick and simple curry sauce that tastes just like the sauce base you get from the takeaway. Play around with the heat to adjust to taste and add other embellishments depending on mood and what needs to be used up – some cream or yogurt perhaps or some butter or even some desiccated coconut instead of the ground almonds.

For 3-4 portions you need

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp curry leaves (fresh or dried)
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 2 fat cloves of garlic
  • 1″ piece of ginger, chopped into pieces
  • 2 finger chillies (adjust to taste, we like a spicy curry!)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp stock powder
  • 1 tsp each of turmeric, garam masala, ground coriander, ground cumin and curry powder
  • About 200ml water
  • 3-4 tbsp ground almonds
  1. Begin by placing the tomatoes, onion, garlic and ginger in a blender and smooshing to a smooth consistency.
  2. Heat the oil in a pan until hot and then add the curry leaves. Cook out for about 30 seconds.
  3. Add the pureed tomatoes and stir to fry off in the oil.
  4. Cover with a lid and reduce the heat. Cook for about 10 mins until the raw smell of the onions has eased off a little.
  5. Add everything else apart from the almonds. Cook out for another 5-10 mins, adjusting the seasoning, heat and consistency of the sauce to suit.
  6. If you’re making this into a curry e.g. chana masala or paneer etc add these now and heat into the sauce.
  7. Finish by adding the ground almonds to thicken and lighten the sauce, adjust the seasoning again if necessary and scoff. You can add a spoonful of cream, yogurt or butter at this stage too to enrich the sauce if you want.

We had it as paneer curry the first time and as a sauce for a vegetable and chickpea biryani last night, yummy!

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Chocolate Peanut Smoothie (v)

Chocolate banana smoothie

In these uncertain and unsettling times I’m struggling to eat. I’m also hyper aware that I don’t want to waste any food at all. This smoothie delivers a healthy boost of fruit; is easy to drink if you’ve no appetite and uses up some bananas that are too ripe for me to enjoy as they are. You can use whatever ingredients you have to hand. These were in my freezer/cupboard.

For one portion you need

  • 1 ripe banana
  • Handful of frozen black cherries
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp smooth peanut butter
  • ~200ml soya milk or whatever milk you have to hand.
  1. Put everything into a blender goblet. Blitz till smooth, adding more liquid if you need to. Enjoy.

If you have lots of ripe bananas, peel them and freeze them. If you use frozen banana you will need to add more liquid as it will thicken a lot.

Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding with Mixed Berries (v)

I’m late to the chia seed party. I tried it once in a supermarket ready made version and it was VILE. But this, made with chocolate oatly, is delicious. Once you get the balance of seeds to liquid right, the possibilities are endless.

For one pudding you need

  • 15g chia seeds
  • 100ml chocolate Oatly
  • Handful each of blueberries, raspberries and chopped strawberries
  • Ground cinnamon and cardamom
  1. Place the seeds and milk in a glass. Mix. Leave for 20 mins then mix again. Leave for a couple of hours, or overnight if you have time. The seeds will swell and the pudding will set.
  2. Top with fresh berries and a dusting of cinnamon and cardamom before you serve.

Double Lentil Bolognese (v)

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I’m running a vegan cookery workshop tomorrow and wanted to demo a quick and easy pasta sauce that could help people choose not to eat mince. I hope the participants like it!

For eight portions you need

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 fat cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tin tomatoes
  • 300ml water
  • 2 tsp stock powder
  • 250ml red wine
  • 2 tbsp soya sauce
  • 2 tbsp mushroom ketchup
  • 2 tbsp dried oregano
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1/2 cup red lentils
  • 1/2 cup puy/green lentils
  • 2 bay leaves
  1. Saute the onion, garlic and carrots in the oil for 10 mins, keep the pan covered and stir often to prevent them burning.
  2. Add everything else apart from the puy lentils and bay leaves. Bring to the boil and leave to simmer, uncovered, for 15 mins until the lentils are cooked.
  3. Meanwhile cook the puy lentils in water with the bay leaves for 15 mins until tender. Drain.
  4. Add the puy lentils to the sauce and mix. Season to taste. Serve as you wish. This freezes well so I usually make a double recipe and stash the portions in the freezer.

 

Classic Quick Curry (v)

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When you’re in a rush for tea, can’t decide what to cook and are running low on fresh vegetables, this curry is the one to make! Quick, nutritious and delicious. What more do you need, apart from someone else to make it for you!

For four portions you need

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 fat cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1″ piece of ginger, grated
  • 1 fresh chilli, chopped
  • 2 tsp each of ground cumin, coriander, garam masala & ground tumeric
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tsp vegan stock powder
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 250ml water
  • 1 can each of drained kidney beans & black eyed beans (or whatever pulses you fancy)
  • Boiled brown rice to serve.
  1. Saute the onion, garlic and ginger in the oil for 5 mins until softened.
  2. Add the chilli and dried spices. Cook out for 1-2 mins.
  3. Add everything else to the pan and bring the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 mins. Check the seasoning and serve.

Steamed Buns with Pickled Veg and Tofu (v)

We had steamed buns last week at the Man Behind the Curtain and I’ve been meaning to try a similar recipe for ages. Tonight was the night it appears! The bun recipe is from Jamie Oliver’s 15 minute meals. I was dubious they would work but they did. They turned out like giant steamed dumplings and soaked up the soya sauce deliciously 👌🏻

For three people you need

Buns

  • 250g self raising flour
  • 200ml coconut milk

Tofu and Vegetables

  • 1 pack tofu, pressed for at least 30 mins and then cut into strips
  • Vegetables of your choice to steam, we had sprouts and cauliflower

Pickled Vegetables

  • 2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3″ cucumber, de-seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp soya sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Black sesame seeds
  1. Mix the sauce ingredients for the pickled veg in a bowl.
  2. Toss the cucumber, carrots and onions in and leave to pickle for 15 mins or so. Sprinkle over 1 tbsp black sesame seeds.

  1. Air fry the tofu for 12 mins until golden and crispy.
  2. Make the buns by mixing the coconut milk and flour together, kneading into a dough. Cut into six equal sized pieces and place each into a muffin case.

  1. Steam the buns for 5 mins, then add the veg to the steamer (in a separate tray) and steam for a further 5 mins.
  2. Serve and enjoy!

Spicy Olive & Pepper Stew (v)

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Due to the faceache/Instasham outage yesterday, I think this picture was one of the only ones available for a while as it’s got waaaaaaaaaaaay more likes than usual for a pretty rubbish photo 🤣

It was supposed to be puttanesca sauce. But I cut the veggies up too big, couldn’t be bothered to slice the olives and added too much water so it turned into a stew. Oh well. It tasted pretty good nonetheless.

For two portions you need

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • Handful green olives in chilli
  • 1 red pepper, cut into chunks
  • 1 onion, cut into chunks
  • 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 red chilli, chopped
  • Handful flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 2 tbsp capers
  • 2 tsp stock powder
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp chilli flakes
  • salt and pepper
  • pasta to serve
  1. Begin by frying the onion, garlic and chilli in the oil for 2-3 mins.
  2. Add the pepper, olives and capers and cook for a further 2-3 mins.
  3. Add everything else apart from the parsley and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 mins until slightly thickened.
  4. Serve with pasta and a large glass of red (if it’s not a school night!).