Posts Tagged ‘cooking’

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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Rice Pudding

This is not only a massively easy recipe but it’s also so versatile, as you can add whatever you like depending on your taste. This is the basic recipe, but maybe you fancy putting in some sultanas, raisins, dried blueberries or orange/lemon zest. You could add cinnamon, nutmeg, maybe some cloves or mixed spice, or ginger. I even once kept it all plain, except the addition of about 50g dark, vegan chocolate and a sprinkle of cocoa powder 😀 Anyway, this should serve about 6-8:

  • 200g short grain rice
  • About 1 litre-ish of sweetened soya milk
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla essence
  • 2 teaspoons dairy free butter/spread

Just put the whole lot together and give it a stir, adding any optional things (ie the fruits or spices) you might wish. Then you could either cook it in the oven for about 3 hours, or a slow cooker for maybe 4ish, but just check on it regularly and once it’s really hot and the rice is soft it’s ready – there isn’t really an exact amount of time, just don’t go burning it…

Vegan Portobello Stroganoff

I’ve always wanted to try out a vegan stroganoff and so the other day I decided I would finally get round to doing it. I looked around at a couple of recipes but in the end I opted to try out Isa’s recipe from Vegan with a Vengeance seeing as I’ve always had so much success with her recipes in the past. I stupidly forgot to pick up some rice for this dish when I was out shopping for the ingredients, but I did have some potatoes so I decided to stray away from the norm and served this up with a nice jacket potato that had been slowly cooking in the oven. And I must say I was not disappointed with the results.

Her actual recipe calls for ‘seitan’, however, I haven’t been able to make any of this myself yet as I have yet to get a hold of some vital wheat gluten so instead I just used mushrooms for the first batch (the ones I have photographed) but for the second batch I added some fry’s beef style pieces which took this dish to a whole new level of tastiness and according to my dad (who isn’t vegan or even vegetarian) it was just as good as the real deal. So if that isn’t reason enough to try this one out for yourself I don’t know what is!

.::What you need:

2 tablespoons of cornflour (or arrowroot powder)

475ml/ 16fl oz vegetable stock (or cold water)

2 teaspoons olive oil

6 shallots, thinly sliced

1 large onion, finely chopped

3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

150g/ 5oz thinly sliced mushrooms

2 portobello caps, thinly sliced (if like mine yours came in a pack of 4 here’s an idea what to do with the left overs!)

2 tablespoons of fresh thyme, chopped

2 teaspoons of salt

250ml/ 8fl oz red wine (make sure it’s vegan! If in doubt and you come from the UK Marks and Spencers have a very nice selection of vegan wines!)

1 tablespoon paprika

8 tablespoons of nutritional yeast

120ml/4fl oz plain soy milk

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

115g/ 4oz frozen peas

4 potatoes for jackets! (This recipe serves four, however, it keeps pretty well in the fridge so I popped the leftovers in a container and just heated it up a couple of days later, adding the fry’s beef style pieces. I actually think the sauce tasted a little better than it did the first time round for reason! Worth keeping in mind!) If you are going to try out potatoes, if possible try cooking them slowly in the oven. This usually takes around an hour depending on how big your potatoes are, if you have the time it’s definitely worth it because they end up nice and crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. However, to save some time, cook the potatoes in the microwave for around 5-7minutes and then pop in the oven for 5-10 minutes prior to serving. Feel free however, to just use rice or even noodles as Isa does in the book!

step one: prepare the potatoes, as above, or prepare rice/ noodles according to packets instructions.

step two: Dissolve the cornflour (or arrowroot) in the stock (or water); set aside.

step three: Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and the onions, sauté for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and both types of mushrooms, and the thyme. Sauté for 15 minutes.

(step three and half: if you’re using seitan or beef style pieces, heat up a pan around now and cook in some frying oil)

step four: Add the salt, wine, and paprika. Turn up the heat to high to reduce the liquid, about 10 minutes.

step five: Lower the heat to medium-high, add the cornflour (or arrowroot) mixture, stir well, and let the sauce thicken for about 5 minutes. Add the nutritional yeast and mix well until it is dissolved. Add the soy milk and the mustard and bring the heat down to low; be careful not to let the it boil now because it can make it taste bitter. Add the peas, (and the seitan or beef pieces if using!) and cook for a further 10 minutes.

step six: Serve and enjoy!

Easter cupcakes!

Who said a vegan Easter had to consist of lovely dairy free eggs alone? Well, I wouldn’t complain if it did… but these cakes really shouldn’t be missed out – they’re a slight twist on the typical traditional simnel cake. If there is one time of year you can guilt-lessly have chocolate and cakes all day and nothing else it’s Easter, so get baking! Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 100g butter replacement – I used Trex (and you need 20% less as it contains no water, therefore used 80g), but any vegetable shortening would be good
  • 100g golden caster sugar (white will do)
  • Egg replacement for 2 large eggs – I used vegan egg replacer, but check out the post ‘Egg replacement for use in baking’ for other ideas
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated orange rind
  • 25g ground almonds
  • 100g self-raising flour
  • 200g icing sugar
  • Food colouring
  • Other decorations of your choice (e.g. marzipan to make eggs)
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan assisted oven/gas mark 4. Line a muffin tin with 12 paper cases.
  2. In a bowl, beat together the butter replacement, sugar, egg replacement, baking powder, orange zest and ground almonds until smooth. Next, sift the flour then fold it in in a couple of batches, but don’t do this too much or the cakes won’t rise well, and try to be fairly quick.
  3. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases and bake them in the oven for 20-30 mins, or until they’re risen, goldenish, firm, and a skewer inserted comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
  4. Now the decorating! 🙂 Sift the icing sugar and add just enough water to form a paste (approx. 2 tablespoons). Divide it up and colour it with different food colourings, then spread over the cakes. Use whatever other decorations you like – I coloured marzipan with food colourings to try to make them look like eggs but I don’t know if they do… Ah well, they taste good anyway…

 

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!

Peanut butter banana cake

This cake is honestly as good as any non-vegan cake I’ve ever had, it keeps for absolutely ages as long as you cover it (not that you’d want to leave it for all that long, of course) and is actually pretty filling! I got it from a book by Kris Holechek called ‘The 100 Best Vegan Baking Recipes’, but thought I should share it with all you vegan cooks because it tastes so damn good! So, here’s what you’ll need, and it’ll serve about 12 (but like I said, keeps for days):

For the cake:

  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Two thirds cup melted soya margarine, cooled to room temperature
  • 1¼ cups brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 4 mashed bananas
  • ½ cup soya milk
  • 1 teaspoon mild vinegar
  • 2 bananas, sliced

For the frosting:

  • 1 8-ounce container soy cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons soya margarine, softened
  • About ¼ cup peanut butter (I used smooth, and actually ended up using a little more)
  • 2 to 2½ cups sifted icing/powdered sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to about 350°F/175°C/160°C fan assisted oven. Lightly grease 2 9-inch cake pans with melted soya margarine, lightly dust in flour, and line the bottom with parchment paper.
  2. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a small bowl. Mix melted margarine and brown sugar in a large bowl, then add vanilla and the 4 mashed bananas. In another small bowl, and vinegar to milk and leave to sit for a few minutes (this acts as an egg replacer for leavening the cake).
  3. Gradually add dry ingredients to the margarine and sugar mix, and then stir in the milk mixture. Mix the batter until it’s just combined, however make sure you don’t overly mix it or the cake won’t rise and will be rubbery.
  4. Divide the mix between the 2 cake pans and bake for about 25 or 30 minutes until the are lightly browned and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 20 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.
  5. Meanwhile, prepare the frosting. Simply beat together the cream cheese, margarine, and peanut butter in a large bowl, then add the powdered sugar. You can vary the amount of peanut butter or sugar to suit your taste.
  6. Once the cakes cooled, spread a generous layer of frosting on the 2 halves, and top each with the sliced banana. Finally, put the 2 together! The recipe also suggests serving it with melted vegan chocolate drizzled over the top, but we weren’t brave enough to try that. If you feel like going all out, though, I’m sure it tastes great!

   

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