Posts Tagged ‘dairy free’

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 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!

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!

Spaghetti tofu balls

This dish is great for everyone and the tofu balls are a fun addition to  plain old spaghetti. A great substitute if you’re bored of soy mince. Nicely served with a fruity red vegan wine!

.::What you will need:

-250g/90z firm tofu, drained (see:the taming of the tofu (not shrew))

-1 onion, coarsely chopped

-2 garlic cloves, crushed

-5ml/1 tsp wholegrain mustard

-15ml/1 tbsp ground cumin

-1 small bunch of parsley, finely chopped

-15ml/ 1tbsp tamari or soy sauce (which ever you prefer but if you go with the tamari use slightly less)

-50g/2oz/half cup ground almonds

-30ml/2 tbsp olive oil

350g/12oz spaghetti

sea salt and ground black pepper

basil for garnish

.::for the sauce

-15ml/1 tbsp olive oil

-1 large onion, finely chopped

-2 garlic cloves, chopped

-1 large aubergine (or eggplant if you’re in the USA!), diced

-2 courgettes (or zucchini), diced

-1 red (bell) pepper, seeded and finely chopped

-15ml/1 tbsp agave syrup

-400g/14oz can chopped tomatoes

-200ml/7fl oz/1 cup vegetable stock

-1 tbsp sun dried tomato paste (optional)

Step one, make the tofu balls: Tear up the drained tofu into little pieces then place this along with the grated onion, crushed garlic, mustard, ground cumin, chopped parsley, soy sauce, and ground almonds into a bowl. Season to taste and mix thoroughly. Roll up your sleeves and start rolling the mixture into walnut sized balls, squishing the mixture with your hands.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan, then add the tofu balls (I would recommend trying out a couple of the balls first, our first attempt was rather a failure to say the least (see picture!) But, as you can see, we soon got the hang of it!).

Cook gently, turning them occasionally until brown all over. Remove from pan and set aside on some kitchen roll.

Step two, prepare the sauce: Heat the remaining oil in the same pan. Add the onion, and garlic and cook for 5 minutes until softened.

Add the aubergine, courgette, pepper, and agave syrup, and stir fry for around 10 minutes until vegetables begin to brown and have softened (as my handy assistant is doing in the photo to your left!) Season to taste.

Stir in the tomatoes  and stock (and sun dried tomato paste if using). Cover the mixture and simmer for about 20minutes or until sauce has thickened. Just before the end of cooking time add the tofu balls to the mix to heat through for about 2-3 minutes.

Meanwhile cook the pasta in a large pan of slightly salted, boiling water according to packet’s instructions.

Serve, garnished with basil.

Vegetable shortening – Trex

This post is mainly for those who live in the UK, because from what I’ve read vegetable shortening is pretty well known in America and I probably sound like an idiot for getting so excited about it. Unfortunately I can’t say I’ve discovered any particular brand in any other country, but over here in England I have come across a wonderful thing called Trex…

I found it fairly recently and so have only used it with a few recipes so far, but honestly, it looks like it could be coming in pretty handy and I’ll probably end up using it loads. I don’t want to sound too much like an advertisement for it, but this stuff is definitely worth grabbing hold of, for the crumble in the previous post if nothing else. I make a vegan apple crumble, and I also used to make a non-vegan one for the non-vegans in the family, but I don’t need to do that anymore because apparently it really does taste exactly the same.

Trex – or vegetable shortening – is basically solid vegetable fat (instead of milk fat which butter mostly is) and is stocked in loads of big supermarkets including Tesco and Sainsbury’s, and is by far the best butter replacement I’ve found (it claims to be ‘the ideal partner in the kitchen’, and so let’s hope it’s true to word). Soya margarine is great for tonnes of stuff in cooking, but in some recipes it just isn’t thick enough and so sinks to the bottom, but this is a problem that’s solved by vegetable shortening.

Anyway, I’ve ended up babbling on for quite a bit but basically, if you have the same problem as I did, in that soya margarine is too light for some recipes, I went for about a year thinking I was limited to cooking margarine based recipes, but just get some vegetable shortening such as Trex 🙂

Vegan pancake recipe 2

Ok, so if you resisted the speedy option and think you can wait a couple of hours for your pancakes, you shall be rewarded. Good things come to those who wait, and all that, only in this case the best pancakes you will ever taste come to those who wait. Forget everything you’ve heard about dodgy vegan pancakes, these are amazing and definitely don’t taste like some poor vegan imitation. The chilling process is not actually necessary, but it will thicken the batter and make it taste even better. These are again very simple, and even better, they don’t need any egg replacement. They just take a while before you get to tuck in. The recipe has been nabbed from here http://allrecipes.com//Recipe/vegan-crepes/Detail.aspx but I wouldn’t use it unless it worked very well.

Without further ado, let’s get going.

Will Serve

I made enough for about 8 or 9 pancakes with the recipe, and the batter will keep in the fridge so you don’t need to use it all at once

The Recipe

235 ml soy milk (1 cup)

235 ml water (1 cup)

120 ml melted vegan margarine (half a cup)

25 g sugar (2 tablespoons)

60 ml maple syrup (quarter of a cup)

250 g flour (2 cups)

3 g salt (half a teaspoon)

The Method

  • Get a large bowl and put together the flour, sugar, and salt.
  • Heat the margarine in a pan, or briefly in a microwave until it’s melted. Pour this into the bowl.
  • Then pour in the milk and water and stir together. Then pour in the maple syrup.
  • Whisk the mixture thoroughly (or blend if you prefer) until the lumps are gone.
  • Chill this mixture for about 2 hours in the fridge.
  • This will then act like normal batter, so if you are a pancake pro then you can begin cooking. If you don’t know what to do now then please check out my guide to cooking the perfect pancake in the first recipe – click here.

I promise you that these taste insanely good, even without any toppings, so make sure you make loads of batter! Enjoy!

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.

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