Archive for the ‘Speedy Veganzales’ Category

Curried Mock Duck

It’s been a while since we posted a recipe post and so I thought I’d kick start the posts with a simple yet delish dish. This recipe is so quick and easy you could do it with your eyes closed. I first discovered it on a new app I got for my phone called ‘Veg Web’ and it’s becoming a firm favourite in my repertoire. Try it out for yourself – you won’t be disappointed.

What you need:

1 1/2 Cups of basmati rice

4 tablespoons vegetable oil

3 cups of vegetable broth (or veggie stock!)

1/2 head of shredded cabbage

2 Onions, sliced

1 tablespoon garlic, minced

3 (10 ounce) cans of mock duck, sliced

1/2 can coconut milk

2 tablespoons of curry powder

1/4 soy sauce

How you do it:

1. In a saucepan heat 2 tablespoons of oil and add the basmati rice. Cook until light brown (be careful not to burn it- no one likes crusty rice!) Add the vegetable broth/ stock and cook until done. Approx. 15-20 minutes.

2. In a large pan, heat the remainder of the oil. Add the shredded cabbage and the onions and saute for around 3-5 minutes until slightly brown. Add the garlic and saute for approx. 1 minute.

3. Add the mock duck, curry powder, and coconut milk and cook on high until thickened.

4. Stir in the soy sauce and serve over rice.

And that’s it! I was surprised myself as to how simple yet tasty this was. I cooked up a batch and kept it covered in the fridge and took it to work for a few days for lunch.

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Vegan Phad Thai

O.k. so this is not strictly speaking a ‘traditional phad thai’ recipe but nonetheless it’s still seriously tasty! It’s so good in fact my none vegan friends and relatives are forever asking me to cook it for them and I myself eat this pretty much all the time. Not only that but it’s so easy to make and doesn’t take long at all, nor does it require any particular skill in the kitchen. Another great thing about this recipe for me is that I can use whatever vegetables I happen to have in at that moment, and the ingredients for the sauce are stuff I always keep in my cupboard so this is literally my go too recipe when I just want something simple but tasty. I have adapted this recipe from a little vegan cook book called ‘Vegan with a Vengeance’ which, if you haven’t already, you MUST check out!

.::What you need:

450g/ 1lb rice noodles

4 tablespoons of groundnut oil (note: this recipe serves 4 so if your wok is quite small you may want to fry the ingredients in two smaller batches, in which case you will need 6 tablespoons. The frying part only takes 3-4 minutes so every one can still eat together!)

1 block of tofu, drained and pressed and cut into small triangles (or if you can get hold of them some pre-marinaded tofu pieces. I usually use Cauldron’s tofu pieces if I can’t be bothered to wait a half an hour whilst my tofu drains!)

1 medium sized red onion, chopped into strips

1 pepper, chopped into strips (the colour of it is up to you!)

1 courgette, cubed (or zucchini if you’re American!)

– Some asparagus tips, halved

– A handful of mushrooms, chopped

8 spring onions, sliced

1 pak choi

For the sauce:

6 tablespoons of tamari (or soy sauce if you don’t have tamari)

3 tablespoons of agave (or 6 tablespoons of sugar)

2 tablespoons of chilli sauce or hot sauce (I like my spice so I usually put in a little more, but go with your gut!)

2 tablespoons of sun dried tomato paste (or tomato purée)

3 tablespoons of lime juice (or lemon)

3 tablespoons of rice wine vinegar

Sprinkling of chilli flakes

step 1: Prepare the rice noodles according to the directions on the packet (unless you’re using the straight-to-wok option which is great for the washing the up!)

Step 2: Mix together the ingredients for the sauce

step 3: Preheat a large wok or frying pan over a medium to high heat. Pour two tablespoons of oil in the pan and heat. Add the tofu. Stir fry for about 4 to 5 minutes until crispy. Remove and place on a piece of kitchen towel.

step 4: (if you’re frying in batches remember to half these ingredients!)  Pour two tablespoons of oil into the pan. Add the onion and stir fry for around 30 seconds. Add the rest of the veggies and stir fry for another 30 seconds to a minute (depending on how crisp you like them!). Add the sauce. As soon as the sauce bubbles (which should be more or less straight away) add the noodles. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the tofu, spring onions and pak choi. Stir fry for another 30 seconds.

step 5: serve and enjoy!

The easy Vegan’s guide to the perfect Mac ‘n’ Cheese!

Being vegan is the best thing I ever decided to do. But sometimes I get this pesky little craving for good old fashioned mac and cheese and it just won’t go away. So I trawled the interweb and came across a couple of recipes, most using this thing called ‘nutritional yeast’. Now, I have heard of this curious little product before and have always wanted to try it but I couldn’t seem to find it anywhere. I had looked in my health food store but I had always come back empty handed, unable to successfully locate it. But I now find that this was down to my eyes, as they say, ‘being painted on’, as whilst browsing the array of vegan mayonnaise on offer I turned around and what did I stumble on? Yup, nutritional yeast. It had been there all along, hiding from me. I was literally so happy I pretty much ran home with my find and started on the task at hand: satisfying my ever growing cravings for mac and cheese! I must say I wasn’t disappointed with the results. This was literally the best mac and cheese I have had in my life. Ever. I couldn’t get enough of it and neither could dear old flouncel. We made tonnes of the stuff, hoping that it would last a couple of days, but it’s so tasty that you’ll be lucky if it lasts the evening let alone, being able to have any for lunch the next day! But it takes less than half an hour to make so it won’t take long to whip up some more!

Without further ado::.

Ingredients:

700g (1.5lbs) pasta, preferably macaroni but feel free to just get your favourite shape of pasta!

for the sauce:

350ml (1.5 cups) unsweetened nondairy milk

65g (1.5 cups) nutritional yeast

250ml (1 cup) vegetable oil (or canola/ rapeseed oil)

250ml (1 cup)water

80ml (1/3 cup) tamari or soy sauce

1 block of firm tofu (not silken!)

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon paprika

1 tablespoon salt

1 dollop mustard (optional, but I highly recommend using it!)

The method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C or 350°F or gas mark 4. Boil some water in a pan and add the pasta. Cook according to packet’s instructions.

2. Add all the sauce ingredients together in a blender and blend until smooth.

3. Drain the pasta and put in a large baking tray. Pour the sauce over the top and whack it in the oven for around 15 minutes or until the top is a lovely golden brown and your kitchen smells deliciously cheesy (for the first time in years!)

4. Serve and enjoy!

**EXTRAS**

The great thing about this recipe is the potential to go crazy with it! It’s just so versatile. Remember recipes are only the beginning of exciting culinary adventures don’t follow them mercilessly like sheep. Be adventurous and have some fun with it!

-Why not try adding a few sprinkles of fake parmesan on top

-Add in some peas or green beans or indeed any other green veggies of your choice!

-If you’re worried about the amount of oil, try using a bit less and substitute a little vegan margarine

-I don’t always like adding salt to my recipes so if you’re the same there’s no harm in adding less or even omitting it completely

-Add some bread crumbs on the top. Makes for a crisper topping! 🙂

-You could also use this sauce on top of cauliflower to make a delicious cauliflower cheese side dish! Perfect for those Roast dinners!

All in all, this makes for a fabulously cheesey dish to help keep those cheese cravings in check and I’m sure you’ll love it just as much as we do!

Vegan pancake recipe 1

It’s neaaarly Pancake Day! I have no idea what the day is supposed to symbolise, what religious context it has, or why we eat pancakes on it. All I know is that we DO eat pancakes on it, so I’m gonna celebrate by doing just that! Now, I can miss out on a milk chocolate egg at Easter, and I can miss out on turkey at Christmas, but I am not prepared to miss out on a good pancake tomorrow. So, I’d like to make a note of two of my fave pancake recipes which I highly recommend if you are avoiding dairy and eggs for any reason. I’ve heard a lot of vegan pancake horror stories from people about them simply not working and sticking to anything and everything, so these are tried and tested and I guarantee they work fabulously! Providing you can flip a pancake that is. Now, if you are prepared to wait a while for your pancakes then check these out, otherwise stay on this recipe. A quick note before I begin with recipe 1 – a lot of vegan pancake recipes I’ve found seem to be trying to make them healthy. Everyone knows a vegan loves being healthy, right? Well, abandon this idea with pancakes. I mean they are panCAKES. I’m sure even the biggest health freak wouldn’t mind a pancake or two on Pancake Day. This first recipe only takes about 20 mins to prep and cook, maybe less if you’re a super chef, so I’ve put it under Speedy Veganzales. I know Speedy Veganzales meals are supposed to be healthy, but like I said, you have to have the odd pancake or two. And these are relatively healthy compared to non-vegan pancakes. The other recipe needs 2 hours of chilling time, so this is the speedy option for those who just want their pancakes now.

Shall we begin?

Will Serve

End result is 4 pancakes, roughly. So how many can you eat? Just double up the mixture for more.

Recipe

  • 15 grams of milled flaxseed (3 teaspoons) + 60 ml (4 tablespoons) of water – although you may find your own equivalent egg replacement. For an excellent guide on egg replacement, click here.
  • 120 grams flour (1 cup)
  • 350 ml sweetened soy milk (1.5 cups)
  • 30 ml vegetable oil (2 tablespoons)
  • 30 ml maple syrup (2 tablespoons) (can be omitted for savoury pancakes – use non-sweetened soy milk for non-savoury too)

The Method

  • Firstly create your egg replacement mixture. For the recipe above, simply mix the flaxseed into the water until you get a runny porridge like mixture.
  • Then put the flour and egg replacer together in a large bowl, and begin mixing in the milk. Whisk (or if you want to, blend) the mixture together. Keep doing this until all the lumps are gone.

  • Once this is done, add the vegetable oil and the maple syrup. Other flavourings may also be added, perhaps replacing the maple syrup. Examples include agave syrup, or for something slightly different hazelnut extract.
  • Now, if you’ve cooked pancakes before this will work like a normal batter. If not, here’s what I do…

A pancake cooking guide

  • Get a frying pan (non-stick if possible) and pour a small amount of vegetable oil in. I’ve seen a lot of methods and recipes calling for non-stick spray – perhaps an attempt at a healthy option, but I would not recommend this. Pancakes will absorb any oil quickly so it’s best to just bite the bullet and use a decent helping of oil (about 10 ml or 2 teaspoons should do).
  • Now, swirl the oil around the pan, heating it on a high heat. The pan should look like this:

  • After heating for a little while on a high heat (about 1 min for your first pancake, maybe 30 seconds for your subsequent ones), ladle some of the mixture into the pan (remember that this recipe will serve roughly four pancakes) and swirl the batter around to coat the pan. It should look like this:

  • Heat the batter for roughly a minute on a high heat, ensuring that heat reaches every part of the pan. You’ll notice the batter starts to dry a little on top. The edges should also start turning golden. At this point shake the pan a little and the pancake will loosen up a bit. Now for the hard part…
  • Unless you’re a pancake pro, you WILL fail in flipping your first pancake…

  • The easy method is to do so with a spatula, sliding it under the pancake (which should have become loose now) and flipping it quickly upside down. Cook this side for a further 30 seconds to a minute, still on a high heat, and then slide it out of the pan onto a plate. Stick whatever you like on your pancake and enjoooy! Pancake cooking is a deceptively difficult art, hence I included this guide for those who are clueless. Don’t be ashamed if you can’t create any masterpieces – it should all taste good anyway.

Butter bean and Sun-dried tomato soup

Do you ever get that rumbling feeling in your belly around lunch time but never know what to eat? Well you need wonder no longer! This soup is such a quick and easy dish to make (should not take longer than 30 minutes!), you’ll be full in no time. It also serves to keep those pesky tummy rumbles at bay  as the butter beans help you feel fuller and satisfied for longer.

This recipe serves 4 (or 1 for a few days, as it will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days!)

What you’ll need

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion

2 cloves of garlic

2x 425g can of butter beans

4 tablespoons sun-dried tomato paste

900ml Vegetable stock

– approx. half a can of chopped tomatoes (depends how thick you like your soup)

– rosemary or thyme (dried or fresh, it’s up to you, either tastes good.)

– salt and pepper to taste

.::How it’s done:

  • Heat oil in saucepan. Add the onion and fry for 3 minutes until softened. Add the garlic and fry for two minutes.

  • Add the butter beans, sun-dried tomato paste, stock, chopped tomatoes, rosemary or thyme and a little pepper. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 10- 15 minutes.

**Top Tips**

This soup is so versatile there’s a whole host of different things you could try doing with it. Here’s just a few ideas that I have come up with over the years:

– When preparing stock try adding 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar. This brings the soup to a whole new level of deliciousness!

– If you’re a fan of chick peas, like I am, try substituting one can of butter beans for a can of chick peas. I’ve also added tofu to the dish too!

– For a thicker soup add why not add the whole can of tomatoes to the mix?

– There a whole host of different tomato pastes available at your supermarket, for example, tomato and chilli. Experiment!!

As you can see the world really is your oyster with this soup! Happy cooking!!

Chickpeas on toast

Right, the first Speedy Veganzales meal I’ll be posting is a variation on an old classic: beans on toast. I could be really cheeky and post a recipe to that. But I think I can do slightly better than a can of beans and some toast. So, I’ve decided to mix it up and make my own recipe for all you chickpea fans out there. I mean let’s be honest, do you even know what bean is in baked beans? I sure don’t. But chickpeas are the coolest of the beans anyway (assuming they are beans… again I don’t know).

As mentioned with the intro post to Speedy Veganzales, this meal is going to be quick and easy to make, as well as tasty and nutritious. Chickpeas provide a great dose of the fabled vegan protein, so eat ’em up if you want big vegan guns. The meal provides both carbs and protein, so should keep you energised and full for a while. It is perfect for any time of the day: breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Will Serve

2 (or just 1, if you’re me…)

The Recipe

You will need:

  • 1 tin of chickpeas
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons of olive oil (10ml)
  • 2 teaspoons of tomato puree (10ml)
  • Half a tablespoon of paprika (preferably smoked)
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of demerara sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric
  • Half a teaspoon of ground black pepper
  • A pinch of cayenne chili pepper
  • 4 slices of bread
  • Vegan margarine/spread

The method

  • Firstly empty your cans of chickpeas (including the water) and chopped tomatoes straight into a saucepan. Stir this together and then add the olive oil and tomato puree and begin to heat the mixture on the hob on a high heat.

  • Stir the mixture whilst heating it. Add the paprika, sugar, salt, turmeric, black pepper, and chili pepper whilst doing this, one at a time, stirring each one into the mixture as you do so. Continue stirring and as the mixture starts to bubble and boil turn it down to a medium heat.
  • Continue stirring, ensuring that there is constant evaporation as the mixture needs to thicken up. After about 15-20 minutes total time over the heat, it should be ready. At this point put the mixture on a low heat. Toast your bread and spread is generously with margarine before putting it on a plate.

    • Scoop the mixture and place it over the toast. Give it a minute before tucking in, as the juices will run into the bread a little. Enjoy!

      Note: This meal is a little spicey. It’s not too much but it has a bit of a kick. If you want a more authetic baked beans style flavour then put the sugar up to half a tablespoon, whilst removing the chili pepper and lowering the paprika to one teaspoon. Or just use baked beans…

      Speedy Veganzales

      Right, I’m gonna let you into a little secret now. I can’t cook. I’m terrible at it. People seem to automatically assume that as a vegan you’ll also be a culinary hero. I mean, you kind of need to be as you’ll seriously struggle in trying to find a vegan ready meal. But alas, I am a failure in the kitchen. This probably comes from 100 grams of inability, two teaspoons of laziness, and forgetting to stir in creativity. If I haven’t got the lovely Wrosie or Ellie to help me out (both of whom ARE culinary heroes, or heroines, or whatever) then I feel somewhat doomed, either feeling too apathetic to cook or feeling inspired only to be completely demoralised by the sheer range of stuff I could attempt. Nevertheless, I am still alive so I must have managed to cook something in my time as a vegan in order to still be talking to you right now. Hopefully I shall be able to share the secrets of my vitality here…

      These are the Speedy Veganzales meals. The idea is to create a range of recipes for dishes which are both so simple that they make microwave meals seem difficult in comparison, and so quick that you’ll be eating them before you even realise you’ve started cooking. All meals in this category have a time limit of half an hour. Any longer and they simply ain’t speedy enough. Also, these meals should be able to be cooked up on the most basic of cupboards. You won’t see any ingredients here which require you to order stuff over the internet, hunt out a specialised store, or climb a mountain to obtain. All the ingredients should be available in your local Tesco Express. The meal will also need to be both tasty and (reasonably) healthy! Don’t expect to see deep fat fried lettuce here, no siree! Or maybe do if my other creations fail… we’ll see. Anyway, these are the requirements to create a Speedy Veganzales meal. Basically they should be simple for you to recreate. Now hang around, as the first meal in this category will be on its way to you err… speedily enough.

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