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

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(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.

Black Sesame Tofu (v)

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Oh tofu, how much do I love you? I created this savoury tofu to top some vegetable noodles we had on Sunday. The texture was nicely chewy without being rubbery and the taste was deep, savoury and satisfying.

For 4 portions you need

  • 1 396g pack cauldron tofu, drained and pressed for 4-5 hours (I have an awesome tofu press which cost a fortune but honestly it’s BRILLIANT!)
  • 1″ chunk of ginger, finely grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • 3 tbsp soya sauce
  • 2 tbsp mirin
  • 2 tbsp white rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp black sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp oil
  1. Begin by dicing the tofu into 5mm cubes.
  2. Heat a wok until smoking hot and add the oil. Toss the tofu in the hot oil for about 10 mins until it is lightly browned all over.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients, aside from the sesame seeds, and cook until the sauce has reduced into a thick sticky glaze that coats the tofu.
  4. Toss through the sesame seeds and serve. It’s equally delicious hot or cold.

 

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.

Treacle Tart (v)

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I posted a pic of this on instagram (as usual…) and said it needed just four ingredients. According to my brother those are sugar, sugar, flour and nommmy nom. The actual four ingredients are listed below, but suffice to say there’s a lot of sugar and the resulting combination does indeed lead to nommy nom. Make it!

For 8-10 portions you need

  • 1 pack pre-made ready rolled sweet pastry (checking it’s SFV natch)
  • 100g fresh soft breadcrumbs
  • 350g golden syrup
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice (juice of half a lemon)
  1. Allow the pastry to come up to room temperature before unrolling or it will crack. Remove from the backing paper and place in a loose bottomed flan tin.
  2. Sprinkle over the breadcrumbs. Drip over the lemon juice. Pour the golden syrup on top of everything – I put the tin on the scales and weigh from the jar of syrup to make this stage as mess free as possible! DO NOT MIX!!! You do not need to mix, just leave everything as is and it will sort itself out in the oven when baking.
  3. Place in a pre-heated oven at 170 degree and bake for 25-30 mins until the pastry is light golden brown and you have no soggy bottoms.
  4. Serve with vegan ice cream/creme fraiche or whatever you fancy. It’s also nice with some tart fresh raspberries or blueberries to offset the teeth melting sweetness. 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.

Smoked Butterbean and Sesame Hummus (v)

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I used to think I didn’t like hummus, but the reality was I don’t like mass produced supermarket hummus. I also don’t like the over reliance on serving hummus as the bog standard vegan/vegetarian dip of choice. Variety is the spice of life people…

Anyway, I do like hummus. Especially when it’s made with butterbeans which give it an even softer more voluptuous texture. The sesame seeds enhance the tahini and the smoked paprika adds a piquant smoky back note. Delicious served in many different ways, don’t just limit yourself to pitta bread or crudites. It’s really nice when used as a sauce over pasta or hot new potatoes for instance. The possibilities are endless.

This recipe is adjusted to our tastes which means it’s quite zingy and citrusy. Amend the ingredients below to suit your palate.

For one can of butterbeans you also need:

  • 1 can butterbeans, drained
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Juice of 2-3 lemons
  • 80ml or thereabouts of olive oil
  • 80ml or thereabouts of tahini
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp hot smoked paprika
  1. Place everything apart from the sesame seeds and paprika into a small blender and mix until creamy and smooth.
  2. Season to taste and pour into a serving dish.
  3. Sprinkle over the sesame seeds and paprika then drizzle over a little more olive oil.

Instant Pot Carrot and Potato Tagine (v)

I’ve made this recipe countless times on the stove, but today was the first outing for my beloved Instant Pot. Super quick and easy, and it tasted lovely. It’s an Instant Pot adaptation of an original recipe by Ghillie Basan with a few tweaks of my own thrown in for good measure.

For 4-6 portions you need 

  • 250g new potatoes
  • 4-6 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1″ piece ginger, grated
  • 500ml stock
  • 150g frozen peas
  • 400g cooked chickpeas (I used previously cooked frozen chickpeas)
  • 2 tsp each ground cumin; coriander; turmeric and chilli flakes
  • Cous cous to serve
  • Freshly chopped coriander to garnish
  1. Begin by putting everything apart from the cous cous and fresh coriander into the pot.
  2. Set on manual for 5 mins. I have mine 20mins NPR as I was busy but it’s fine with only 5-10 mins NPR.
  3. Add the peas and pop the lid back on to the pot for another 3-4 mins until the peas are hot.
  4. Serve with cous cous and fresh coriander.