Sausage Meatball Stroganoff

Standard

meatba 12/06/2017

After going meat free for so long, I was craving a meat fix. What better way to get it than with sausages?! This recipe uses good quality sausages to create a really simple meatball dish that packs a ton of flavour and satisfaction.

If you can find it, shiitake mushroom powder is so good to use in recipes like this. It delivers a real umami punch to dishes. The savoury flavour is perfect with the creamy mustard sauce but if you can’t find it, the dish will still be really lovely.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

For the meatballs:

  • 4 sausages, skins removed (I used Lincolnshire)
  • 2 spring onions, chopped finely
  • ½ tsp fennel seeds
  • ½ tsp dried rosemary
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp breadcrumbs

For the sauce:

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 100g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp flour
  • 1 beef stock cube
  • 2 Tbsp sour cream
  • 1 heaped tsp mustard
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp Shiitake powder
  • 300ml water
  • 2 spring onions, chopped
  • Linguine, or any pasta and fresh herbs to serve

meatb meat

Method:

  1. Grind the fennel seeds and rosemary in a pestle and mortar until well ground.
  2. Add the sausage meat to a bowl along with the spring onions, breadcrumbs, seasoning and ground herb mix. Stir really well with a fork to combine.
  3. Take teaspoons of the mixture and roll out into little meatballs.
  4. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Fry the meatballs off until browned all over.
  5. Add the garlic and mushrooms to the pan and continue to cook for 2 minutes.
  6. Next, add the flour and shitake powder and crumble in the stock cube. Stir to coat the meatballs and mushrooms before adding any liquid.
  7. Once this is done, add a splash of water along with the sour cream and mustard. Stir everything together then add the remaining water and let the meatballs bubble away on a medium low heat while you cook the pasta.
  8. Once the pasta is ready, stir the spring onions through the meatball sauce and serve.

Carrot Cake Cheesecake… Cake

Standard

cx 11/06/2017

My friends and I have wanted to make this cake for ages. It is really several cakes piled into one glorious creation. The cheesecake centre is smooth and creamy against the spiced, nut studded carrot cake that is topped with a luxurious icing and even more nuts for beautiful texture and flavour. A real celebration cake!

The frosting makes enough to cover the entire cake generously however, I only covered the top of the cake and this was more than enough as the frosting is very sweet. I used the remaining frosting for a coffee and banana pecan cake which was really nice or you could just half the recipe.

INGREDIENTS:

FOR THE CARROT CAKE LAYERS:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup muscovado sugar
  • 1 cup sunflower oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups grated carrots
  • ½-1 cup chopped pecans

FOR THE CHEESECAKE LAYER:

  • 16oz full fat cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup whipping cream

FOR THE FROSTING:

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 8 oz full fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup whipping cream
  • 4 cups icing sugar
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

DIRECTIONS:

FOR THE CHEESECAKE LAYER:

  1. Prepare the cheesecake layer first. This can be done early in the day, or the night before. If freezing the cheesecake, can be stored 1-2 weeks in the freezer.
  2. Preheat oven to 160C. Using a large roasting pan, add 1 inch of hot water to the pan. Place it on the lower shelf of the oven. Allow it to preheat in the oven.
  3. Prepare an 8-inch spring-form pan by wrapping the bottom of the pan (outside) with a double layer of foil. Line the bottom (inside) with a circle of parchment paper.
  4. Beat cream cheese with granulated sugar for 2-3 minutes until creamy. Add in salt and eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  5. Beat in sour cream and whipping cream, until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Pour into prepared 8-inch spring-form pan. Place pan in centre of preheated roasting pan in the oven, making sure to be careful not to spill water.
  6. Bake cheesecake for 45 minutes. There should still be a slight wobble in the centre. Turn oven off and let cheesecake sit in oven for an additional 30 minutes. Remove and cool completely on counter.
  7. When cooled, remove outside portion of the spring-form pan and place into the freezer for a couple of hours or overnight. If using within 24 hours, feel free to just refrigerate cheesecake (this is what I did).

c

FOR THE CARROT CAKE LAYERS:

  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Grease two 8-inch cake pans. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar, oil and eggs until blended. Add in flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Beat for about 2 minutes. Stir in the grated carrots and pecans. Pour into prepared cake pans.
  3. Bake for 30-40 minutes until a knife inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for ten minutes then remove from pans and cool completely.

cc ccc

FOR THE FROSTING:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine cream cheese and butter. Beat with whisk attachment for 3 minutes. Add in sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and heavy cream. Beat for 3-4 minutes until light and fluffy. Fold in chopped pecans.
  2. To assemble the cake, layer one layer of carrot cake. Add the cheesecake then top with second layer of carrot cake. Spread on the frosting on top and on the sides if you feel particularly decadent.
  3. Store in the fridge, covered, for up to 3 days. ENJOY!

cxx cccc

Spiced Orange, Oatmeal & Raisin Cookies

Standard

cookie 10/06/2017

I realise that the majority of my vegan series has been curries and soups which is partly down to my personal preferences so to cater for those who don’t have quite such an obsession with Indian food, may I present some of the loveliest vegan cookies I have ever tried. The smell that filled my kitchen when baking these was heavenly and the flavour even more so.

Filled with warming spices and zesty orange, these cookies make a lovely autumn treat!

Serves 9

INGREDIENTS:

  • 30ml / 2 tbsp oat milk
  • 40ml /3 tbsprapeseed oil
  • 40g / 1⁄4 cuplight brown sugar
  • 1 tsporange extract
  • 1⁄2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1⁄2 tbsp zest from 1 orange
  • 70g / 3⁄4 cup rolled oats
  • 50g / 1⁄3 cup wholemeal flour
  • 1⁄2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1⁄4 tsp ground ginger
  • pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1⁄4 tsp bicarbonate of soda and 1⁄4 tsp baking powder
  • 1⁄4 tsp salt
  • 45g / 1⁄4 cup raisins

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C (160C fan). Line a large baking sheet with non-stick baking paper.
  2. Add the milk, oil and sugar to a mixing bowl and whisk together with a fork until fully combined.
  3. Whisk in the orange extract, vanilla extract and orange zest.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (oats, our, spices, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and salt). Tip the dry ingredients into the wet ingredient bowl and stir to combine. Stir in the raisins.
  5. Scoop rounded tablespoons of dough onto the prepared baking sheet. Using damp hands, press the dough balls into cookie shapes (these cookies don’t spread much).
  6. Bake for 12 minutes, or until lightly browned and dry to the touch.
  7. Leave to cool for a few minutes (the cookies will firm up as they cool) then use a thin spatula to slide them off the baking paper and transfer to a wire rack.
  8. Once completely cooled, store in an airtight container where they will keep for a week. They also freeze really well.

cookiep

Curried Vegetable Brown Rice Bowls

Standard

curry bowl 09/06/2017

Quick and easy to make, super healthy and positively bursting with spicy Indian-style deliciousness, vegan dish number 5 is a winner!

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp cumin and coriander each
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 ½ tsp garam masala
  • 1 ½ tsp curry powder
  • water as needed
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 1 inch root ginger, grated
  • 2 ½ cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 lb. bag of frozen veggies, (I used broccoli and peppers)
  • 2 cups frozen peas
  • ½ tsp salt and pepper each
  • 2 Tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tsp peanut butter
  • ½ cup water

Instructions:

  1. Add the olive oil to a large pan or cooking pot.
  2. Add the paprika, cumin, coriander, chili powder, garam masala and curry powder. Turn the heat to low and let the spices bloom for a minute. Add a splash of water.
  3. Raise the heat to medium and add the onion, ginger and garlic and another splash of water. Sauté for about 2 minutes.
  4. Add all the remaining ingredients and stir well to combine. Put a lid on the pot and let heat through for 5-7 minutes, or until the veggies are hot, stirring frequently.
  5. Serve in a bowl for a comforting, healthy and simple meal.

Chipotle Black Bean Soup & Lime Pickled Onions

Standard

black bean 08/06/2017

A really simple recipe that uses store cupboard ingredients with a zingy tang from lightly pickled onions.

I have found that some vegan recipes are made up of a lot of specialist ingredients that I have never heard of, cost a fortune and would have to buy a huge quantity of to use one teaspoon of before placing at the back of the cupboard for the rest of eternity. However, I urge you to try these vegan offerings. They are made from simple ingredients, real food and taste delicious. This soup is a case in point.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • juice 2limes
  • 2 small red onions, thinly sliced
  • ½ tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • ½ tbsp ground cumin
  • ½ tbsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tbsp chipotle paste, or to taste
  • 400g can black bean, drained and rinsed
  • 400ml vegetable stock
  • soured cream, to serve (omit if vegan)
  • coriander leaves, to serve
  • tortilla crisps, to serve

Method:

  1. To make the lime-pickled onions, combine ½ the lime juice and ½ the onions in a small bowl, and season. Leave to pickle for 30 mins.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a saucepan over a medium-high heat. Add the garlic and remaining onions, and season. Cook for 8 mins or until the onions are translucent. Add the spices and chipotle purée, cook for 1 min, then add the beans, stock and remaining lime juice. Simmer for 15 mins, then purée in a blender.
  3. Pour the soup into a clean pan to reheat. Serve with a little of the drained pickled onions, topped with a small drizzle of soured cream and some coriander, and the tortillas on the side.

black beans black beanb

Quick Chickpea & Spinach Curry

Standard

chickpea 07/06/2017

Using canned and frozen veg, this easy vegetable curry recipe will be ready in as little as fifteen minutes. Aromatic, satisfying and healthy, this recipe still delivers when you’re short of time or just simply want a curry fix.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp of oil, vegetable or sunflower
  • 1 tsp small black mustard seeds, heaped
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 800g of tinned chickpeas, undrained weight
  • frozen chopped spinach, 8 blocks
  • 3/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • salt, to taste
  • 1 ½ tsp each garam masala, ground coriander
  • chilli powder, to taste
  • 1 handful of fresh coriander, chopped

Method:

  1. Drain the chickpeas from the tins and set aside. Put the oil in a saucepan that will be large enough for all the chickpeas
  2. Put it on a medium heat until the oil is hot. Test this by adding a few mustard seeds. If they fizzle and pop the oil is ready.
  3. Add the cumin and mustard seeds and then quickly add the chopped onion. Fry for a couple of minutes then add the drained chickpeas.
  4. Add the salt, chilli powder, coriander and cumin powder and turmeric powder and stir through with a fork. Add the blocks of chopped spinach and a few tablespoons of water and then cover the pan and leave on a medium heat for about 15 minutes. The spinach should then be soft.
  5. Turn the heat off, stir the spinach through and then serve hot with rice or bread. I like pitta breads with yoghurt too.

Mushroom, Lentil & Miso Soup

Standard

mushroom soup 06/06/2017

The second instalment in the vegan chronicles comes in the form of mushroom and lentil soup with miso. Miso paste is basically made of fermented soy beans. It’s similar to soy sauce in terms of flavour, but more mellow and earthy. It works fantastically well in many dishes, meat included, to add umami depth. When it’s paired with meaty mushrooms and hearty lentils, the result is a thick, rich and filling soup!

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 White Onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 500 g Mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 ½ tsp Fresh Thyme
  • 950ml Vegetable Stock
  • 100g Brown Lentils
  • 1 tbsp Miso Paste

Instructions:

  1. Heat a small amount of olive oil in the bottom of a large pot. Prepare all the ingredients by slicing the mushrooms, dicing the onion, mincing the garlic and finely chopping the thyme.
  2. Start by sautéing the onion in the pan for 2-3 minutes until translucent. Then add the garlic and mushrooms and cook for 10 minutes until the mushrooms have reduced and most of the water they release is evaporated.
  3. Next add the thyme and stir through the mixture, letting it cook for a minute or two. Add the vegetable stock and the lentils then simmer for 25 minutes.
  4. Blend the soup thoroughly then stir in the miso paste. If the soup is too thick for you, just add some more vegetable stock until you have the consistency you like!
  5. Serve topped with some extra mushrooms and some fresh parsley.