Categories
Love food Main event Other Vegan

Carrot pancakes

These are not really pancakes as you and I know them but more of a fritter. They are an amazing combination of flavours with an Indian vibe. The recipe is one by Maria Ella and genuinely very easy to make. I have served them exactly as Maria suggests for a classy looking starter but most commonly have them together with salads or other veg sides for a main course. I often make a double batch of these and freeze them. They reheat brilliantly in the oven, defrosted or straight from frozen.

One more feather in the cap of these wonderful carrot panackes/fritters is that they are totally vegan.

Recipe link

Categories
Love food Salads Vegan

Winter apple, squash & kale salad

I like this salad for its ability to be a meal in itself, great for a weekday lunch. Brownie points are earned too for being environmentally friendly, if making in the autumn all the main ingredients can be made with those grown in Britain.

The full recipe can be found on BBC Goodfood and below are a few tips from me.

  • You can cook the squash and apple in the evening before you need this, while you have your oven on anyway. The croutons can also be cooled in advance on a separate tray. If you do cook them in advance then I recommend warming them through again in the oven for 10 mins or so before eating, or at least take them out of the fridge an hour before eating.
  • The hazelnuts can be cooked in the oven as well but keep checking every few minutes so as not to burn them
  • Massage the dressing into the kale for a few minutes before adding all the other ingredients. This will soften the kale a little making it easier, and more pleasant to eat.
Categories
Love food Other Vegan

Romesco soup

In my last food post I mentioned one of the joys of winter being a lovely bowl of soup. Here is my first soup of the season. It is courtesy of the Minimalist Baker site, one which we have found to have very reliable recipes.

For this recipe, take note that you will need to roast your peppers, garlic and almonds a little while before you want to make the soup. The peppers will need to cool down sufficiently so you can peel the skin from them. When I’m organised I will do this the day before. Everything after that is very simple indeed. I put the peppers and the garlic in one dish to roast and the almonds in another. The almonds will come out of the oven first, then the garlic and then finally the peppers.

To smash the chickpeas, I put them all into the soup pan whole and then use a potato masher to crush them a bit.

For some ideas of breads/muffins to accompany the soup, take a look at some of my blog posts, including cornbread and feta and nigella seed muffins.

Categories
Love food Salads Vegan

Green veg salad with Asian dressing

A lovely fresh salad which we had with the salmon in my previous post. The eagle eyed among you may notice (if you take a look at the recipe) that I forgot to add the chili. So annoying as I really do like a good scattering of chili. As Liora will attest to, I regularly miss out a key ingredient of a dish. It’s probably down to trying to do everything too fast.

You will see that I have changed the title of this salad from the original. That is because it works just as well without lentils if they are not something you especially like. However, if you don’t have a strong view either way then you should definitely add the lentils. Lentils have great health benefits so are definitely worth eating. It also makes the salad a more substantial side.

The recipe

Some tips

  • While the recipe asks for puy lentils, unless you’re happy to buy the pre-cooked pouches, these are not always easy to find. Green lentils do the job just as well though.
  • Make sure you don’t over boil your lentils, you want to make sure the lentils retain their shape and not turn mushy. I boiled my green lentils for 20 minutes. I also didn’t use stock, just water.
  • Don’t dress your salad too early as the acid from the dressing starts to ‘cook’ the veg. 10 to 15 minutes ahead of serving is perfect.
Categories
Love food Main event Vegan

Aubergine cannelloni…

… with walnut pesto

This recipe was pubished in The Sunday Times back in 2016 and I have been making it ever since. This can easily be made vegan by omitting the cheese, it will still be yummy. I always serve this sprinkled with more parmesan on top as it comes out of the oven. Serve it with some roasted new potatoes and some green veg for a thoroughly delicious meal.

This meal can be made ahead of time and heated when needed.

Ingredients: this quantity is for 2, just multiply up as you need.

2 aubergines, ½cm-1cm thick
Olive oil

For the tomato sauce
1 red onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
300g tomato passata
1 tsp dried oregano

For the pesto
100g walnuts
50g fresh basil leaves
4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
6 tsp grated parmesan
3tbsp olive oil


Heat the oven to 200C . Brush the aubergine slices on both sides with oil, place on a nonstick tray and bake in the oven until golden on both sides and soft enough to roll, but not so soft they fall apart.

For the sauce, heat a little oil in a pan, add the onion and garlic with a pinch of salt, and sauté until the onion softens. Add the passata and oregano and simmer for 12-15 minutes.

Meanwhile, place all the pesto ingredients in a food processor, season to taste and pulse until coarse.

Place a dollop of pesto in the centre of each aubergine slice, then roll up.

Put the sauce in the bottom of a baking dish, add the rolled cannelloni on top and bake in the oven. If eating straight after preparation, you will need to heat for approx 15/20 mins. If you made ahead of time then it will take longer to bake. You may need to cover with foil during baking.

A sprinkle of parmesan as it comes out of the oven finished it off beautifully.

Categories
Love food Salads Vegan

Red cabbage salad…

… with nori and ginger

As with many salads, its the dressing that makes it. This one with ginger, sesame oil, mayo and light soy sauce is really quite special. You can have a play with the salad ingredients themselves but I recommend sticking to the dressing recipe exactly as given.

Recipe link

Categories
Love food Other Vegan

Falafel

Falafel is obviously not a new dish for anyone but I guess that these are mostly reserved for a takeaway or as a ready meal. In my humble opinion, these are definitely better than the shop bought falafel. Although, I readily admit that nothing beats those bought on a stand in Israel or from Pilpel in London – my favourite place for lunch. I am sincerely hoping that it can ride out the Coronovirus crisis.

Recipe – makes enough for 6/8; any spare freeze well

  • 450g dried chickpeas
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup parsley
  • 3-5 garlic cloves
  • 1.5 tbsp flour
  • 1 3/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • pinch of ground cardamon

Method

  • Soak the chickpeas overnight, you’ll need a big bowl for this, they always swell more than I expect.
  • Put all ingredients into a food processor
  • Refrigerate for 1-2 hours
  • With slightly oiled hands, shape the mix into balls ready for frying; or you can do this as you go along as I do
  • Find a pan that you can heat a good amount of oil in; they don’t have to be deep fried, they can be turned but the oil will still need to be a few cm high. I fry mine in a wok and turn over with a metal slotted spoon.
Categories
Love food Vegan

Miso aubergines

or Nasu Dengaku, the Japanese name for this amazing dish. This is one of my two favourite dishes whenever I go to a Japanese restaurant. My second favourite is Black Cod, another miso marinated dish.

Ingredients for the miso glaze (for 2 halves of an aubergine)

  • 1.5 tbsp white miso paste
  • 1.5 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp mirrin
  • 1/2 tbsp sake

Garnish

  • Spring onions
  • Sesame seeds

Method

  • Half the aubergine and score through (without going through the skin) diagonally in one direction and then in the other. Each scored line should be approx 1 cm apart.
  • Put some oil in a frying pan, one you have a lid for, and fry skin side up until the flesh has turned golden.
  • Turn over, turn the heat down to low and place a lid on top. The aubergines are now steam cooking through and are ready when the flesh is completely soft all the way through. This stage will take at least 15 mins but it can take longer so be patient.
  • While the aubergines are cooking, mix the miso glaze ingredients.
  • Once fully cooked, spread the miso glaze evenly over each aubergine half
  • Up to the previous stage can all be prepared in advance: when ready to eat pop in a hot oven for approx 10 mins
  • Serve sprinkled with spring onion and sesame seeds

Categories
Love food Salads Vegan

Winter slaw

I’ve renamed this recipe from Christmas slaw to winter slaw. It’s so good why would you only have it in December? This salad makes a regular appearance on our table at any time of the year

It’s made with white cabbage, carrot, red pepper, pecans, spring onions and mixed with a simple dressing. Other than that I don’t have a lot to say about it. You can find the recipe on BBC Good Food.

Categories
Breakfast/brunch Love food Vegan

Granola

This is easy but I won’t lie it can seem a bit laborious; there’s a lot of nut chopping and then regular turning of the Granola in the oven. It makes a lot though so you don’t have to make it too often.

You can eat this granola as is but you can also add dried fruit once cooked.

Ingredients

  • ½ tsp salt
  • 170g oats
  • 170g mixed grains or oats only (I get these from a health food store)
  • 200g mixed nuts, roughly chopped (you have to do this by hand with a sharp knife; don’t attempt to do it in a processor, you will end up with mostly ground nuts)
  • 50g mixed/sunflower/pumpkin seeds
  • 50g coconut shavings
  • 40g coconut oil
  • 120ml/172g runny honey
  • 1 large egg white

Method

  1. Put the dried ingredients into a large mixing bowl and give a good stir
  2. Put the coconut oil and honey in a microwaveable bowl. Heat until the coconut oil has melted into the honey
  3. Pour into the dried ingredients and stir until all are covered in the  oil-honey mix
  4. Fluff up your egg white and mix through the granola
  5. Spread the granola onto a wide baking tray (the biggest you have) and place in the oven on 150C. It will take approx. 40 mins to cook. You will need to stir it regularly to cook evenly. It is ready when it looks ready ie golden in colour.
  6. I leave for 10 mins before doing the first stir and then decrease the time between stirrings as I go.