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.

Cheesy Veggie Sausages

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These aren’t going to win any prizes for being healthy, but sometimes you just want some comfort based stodge. Well I do at any rate..! I based these on Simon Rimmer’s Lancashire Cheese Sausages, but seriously, who would really use 600g of cheese in one recipe?!? That’s a ridiculous amount. Not to mention expensive. So I stripped it back and made a few other substitutions according to what was in my pantry. The results were so yummy we didn’t end up with any leftovers. The texture of the sausage was great too, it didn’t fall apart when deep fried and had a nice consistency.

For 12 sausages you will need:

  • 200g fresh breadcrumbs
  • 300g grated cheese – I used a combo of Wensleydale, Cheddar and Emmental
  • 2 onions, blitzed to a pulp
  • 2 tbsp dried mixed herbs
  • 1 tsp veggie stock powder
  • salt and pepper (be generous with these)
  • 2 eggs
  • oil for deep frying
  1. Mix together everything apart from the oil until well combined.
  2. Squidge into 12 sausages or patties. Cover and leave to chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
  3. Heat the oil and fry the sausages for 5-6 mins until golden brown. You might need to do this in batches depending on the size of your pan.

 

Raspberry Steamed Pudding

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I made a golden syrup version of this last week, but I didn’t seal the pudding bowl well enough and it boiled giving the pudding a dense, heavy texture. This was slightly undercooked, due I think to not putting enough water in the pot, but it rose magnificently and I finished it off in the microwave instead of bringing the pot back up to pressure again. Adding fresh raspberries as well as jam gave a lovely tangy topping to the pudding. Delicious!

For 4-6 portions you need

  • 100g caster sugar
  • 100g self raising flour
  • 100g butter/margarine
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tbsp milk/non dairy milk
  • handful frozen raspberries
  • 3 tbsp raspberry jam
  • custard to serve
  1. Mix everything apart from the jam, raspberries and custard together with a hand whisk until light and fluffy.
  2. Place the raspberries and jam in the bottom of a pudding basin. Scrape over the batter.
  3. Cover *tightly* with foil and place on a trivet in the Instant Pot. Add enough water to come half way up the sides of the pudding basin.
  4. Steam for 25 mins, then manual pressure for 15 mins. Quick release the pressure and serve with custard. If yours is slightly undercooked then 1-2 mins in the microwave will soon sort it out 🙂

 

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Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers (v)

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The last pressure cooker I used blew up on me. I heard an earth shattering kaboom and came back into the kitchen to find lentils dripping from every available surface. It was armageddon. I have been too scared to use one since, even tho I know that they’re ace for quickly cooking pulses and making all sorts of yummy food. The Instant Pot has been growing in popularity recently and I took advantage of the Amazon Black Friday deal to get one and assorted accessories as my Christmas present from the teenager. How thoughtful of him 😉

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After doing the initial water test I asked said teen what he wanted for tea and stuffed peppers was the response. So here is my inaugural attempt, and a resounding success it was.

For four portions you need:

  • 4 peppers, tops sliced off and insides removed
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 can drained and rinsed kidney beans
  • 2 instant pot cups of paella rice (the instant pot cup is only 160ml so is smaller than a US cup…)
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 cup veggie stock
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
  • new potatoes
  • (the spiced tomato sauce I made on the stove)
  1. Put the instant pot onto saute mode and add the oil and onions. Saute for 3-4 mins and then add the garlic and rice. Cook for a further 1-2 mins.
  2. Turn off saute mode and add the wine and stock. Cover with the lid and using manual cook for 4 mins, leave to stand for 10 mins then Quick Release (QR).
  3. Add the parsley and drained beans to the rice mixture and season to taste. I also added a little more liquid at this stage to make them a little looser.
  4. Put the peppers into a pyrex bowl (that will fit inside your IP!) and fill with the rice mixture. Cover with foil. I also made a handle out of foil to make it easier to remove the dish once they’d cooked.
  5. Place on the trivet and add 1.5 cups of water to the pan. Put on manual for 20 mins. I did a QR as I needed to cook the potatoes as well.
  6. For the potatoes, place on a steamer trivet and add 1 cup of water (I have a second pot so that made it easier). Steam for 8-10 mins depending on size and then QR as a Natural Release (NR) might overcook them.
  7. Serve with the spicy tomato sauce and be amazed! The potatoes in particular were delicious due to being steamed. I’ve never done that before as they always take too long in a conventional steamer.
  8. Dream up what your next recipes will be…

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

Savoury Lentil Stew (v)

This was made for days like this. Cold days when you’re tired and in need of warming from the inside. After being away for a few days our house was a chilly 10 degrees when we got home so something filling and nutritious was in order.

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This makes a huge amount of stew. I’m batch cooking ahead for Christmas visitors. Obviously reduce quantities if you have less mouths to feed…

For 12-16 portions you need 

  • 2 leeks, thinly sliced
  • 4 carrots peeled and cut into substantial chunks
  • 3 sticks celery, sliced
  • 1 swede peeled and cut into finger lengths
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup each of brown, green and puy lentils
  • 1.75ml stock
  • 1 tbsp each soya sauce, mushroom ketchup and veggie Worcester sauce
  • 2 tsp mixed dried herbs
  1. Begin by sweating the vegetables in the oil.
  2. Add the lentils and stock. Bring to the boil and boil rapidly for 10 mins.
  3. Add the remaining seasonings and reduce the heat to minimal. Simmer without a lid for 45-60 mins until the lentils are tender. Add more water if necessary. You want the stock to be mostly absorbed so the final stew isn’t too wet.
  4. Season to taste and serve with mashed spuds and braised red cabbage. Utter comfort food heaven on a plate. It freezes well and also makes a good base for shepherd’s pie.

Hipster Halloumi Burgers

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My poor blog đŸ˜± it’s been so neglected recently. Due to the house build I’ve barely been able to cook. But now we’ve moved back in and my kitchen, oh my kitchen! This recipe was given to me by a friend at work who in turn got it from Olive magazine. It’s quick but delicious. Perfect for a lazy weekend supper or after work tea.

For three greedy portions you need

  • 1 pack halloumi sliced into six slices
  • 1 pepper sliced into three big ‘cheeks’
  • 1 red onion finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • Three brioche burger buns for the essential hipster component
  • 3 tbsp mayo
  • 1 tsp hot smoked paprika
  • Rocket
  • Chips of your choosing. We cheated and used frozen oven chips…
  1. Begin by tossing the red onion with the vinegar, sugar and salt and pepper. Leave to one side to macerate.
  2. Meanwhile heat a griddle pan until hot and char the pepper slices on it. Allow to blacken slightly and soften.
  3. Toast the burger buns. Mix the paprika with the mayo and spread generously on the base of a bun.
  4. Cook the halloumi until browned and crispy.
  5. Layer up rocket, onions, pepper and halloumi on the burger buns and serve with lashings of chips. Deeeelicious.