Smoked Paprika and Tomato Soup
This the quickest, easiest, and most luxurious soup that I know how to make. It takes ten minutes at the most. When you are tired, or in a hurry, it is as easy to make this as it is to open a tin of beans.
Chop the Onion and fry til soft. Add 2 or 3 teaspoons of Smoked Paprika, take off the heat and stir in. Add a 500ml jar of Pasata and return to the heat. Heat up but do not let it boil. Add a spoon of Turmric and a spoon of sugar. Use a hand blender to smooth the soup. Adjust the acidity byadding a capful of Cider Vinegar.
Serve with bread or toast or salad
I learned this Stir Fry recipe when I worked in 'Juice' Veggie Restaurant in Dublin. I always looked down on the stir fry as the go to option you were offered when you asked 'do you have any vegetarian option?' You would receive a sorry dish of frozen veg and sticky rice, Thankfully times have changed. Now I see it as a great way of eating practically raw vegetables in a tasty exciting way. Typically I use Spring Onion, Carrots. Peppers, Bean Sprouts, and Pak Choi or Spinach. The key to doing a good stir fry is to prepare the sauce and vegetables, then have them ready to flash fry in a very hot Wok for a couple of minutes
Veg such as Onion, Carrot, Courgettes. Peppers, Bean Sprouts, and Pak Choi.
Tomato Puree 2 tblsp
Light Soya Sauce 100ml
Juice from three fresh Oranges
Fresh Ginger 1 Inch piece
Garlic 4 cloves (more or less)
(Optional) Chilli Powder 1 tsp depending how you like it
Chop the Veg into strips roughly the same size. Chop the herbs and put them aside. Keep the Onion and Pak Choi separate.
Mix the Miso, Tomato Puree, Soya Sauce and Orange Juice. Grate in the Ginger and Squeeze the Garlic through a press. Keep the liquid in a jug next to the Wok ready to add to the veg.
In a very hot Wok, fry the Onion for a minute to soften. Throw in the rest of the veg (except the Pak Choi) and fry for two minutes. Add the liquid to the Wok and mix for a minute. Add the Pak Choi and fold it in to the veg. It is vital to keep the Wok very hot throughout the whole cooking process. Add some chopped Coriander.
Serve it on a bed of Rice, or Noodles, or as a side dish.
This scone recipe happened by accident when I put left-over yogurt into the mix so as not to waste it. It turned out it gives the scones a lovely consistency and helps them stay fresh longer. I don't flavour these scones as I prefer to keep them neutral so I can eat them as savoury or sweet. Who would have thought that you would get nicer scones by leaving out the eggs, butter, and milk? Once you try this recipe, you will always make scones this way.
Self Raising Flour 750g
Vegan Yogurt 200g
Soya Milk 100ml
Put the Margarine in a bowl with the Flour and rub in to make a crumb. Add the yogurt and as much milk as necessary/ Flatten out the dough on a baking tray and brush with molk. Cut the dough into 12 pieces or more if you want smaller scones. Bake in a preheated oven at 200C until golden brown on top.
The last class of the winter season has arrived ad of course it has too be about Christmas. This year for Christmas dinner I will make Hazelnut and Mushroom Wellington with gravy, and of course on the day all the usual trimmings. Cashew Nut and Mushroom Wellington with Gr
Fresh Herbs: Parsley/ Oregano/ Thyme/Sage
Tapioca Flour or Corn Flour
Cranberry Jam or Other Jam
This dish is best made in advance leaving all the elements to cool down in the fridge overnight if possible. It is made from many layers so each is done individually. We want sweet sad Onions wrapped in a Hazelnut Butter Log. This in turn is wrapped in Chestnut Mushrooms, the Cabbage leave. Cranberry Jam, and Puff Pastry.
Saute 4 Onions on a low heat until completely broken down to a sweet paste. This should take 45 mins.
At the same time as the Onions, we start the Gravy as it is a reduction that will take a lot of time. Add a handful of mushrooms to some oil in a pan. Add salt and pepper and stir allowing the mushrooms to stick a bit to the bottom of the pan. Add an Onion, 100g of Celery and 100g of chopped Carrots. Cook for 4 to 5 mins then add a good glug of wine. This de-glazes the pan taking the caramelised veg bits from the bottom. Allow the the mix to sizzle for a minute as the alcohol will then burn off.
Add 1.5l of water to the pot and leave to simmer until it reduces by half.
Roast about 200g approx of Cashews on a pan to gain a little colour, then put them in a blender with a good handful of herbs (about half of what you have. Blend and use a little stock to loosen if needed. Take the nut butter, wrap it in parchment paper and put in the fridge.
Take six Savoy Cabbage leaves and cut out the large stems. Put in boiling water til soft. When cooked remove from the water and if you want to make the green colour more vibrant but straight into iced water.
Put 300g of Chestnut Mushrooms in a pan with a little oil. Chop roughly with a knife while in the pan and then saute. Season to taste. Drain the liquid and put the mushrooms in the fridge.
Take a sheet of Puff Pastry and lay it out on a sheet of Parchment Paper. Brush the pastry with a generous amount of Jam.
Lay Cabbage Leaves on the Jam. Allow about2 inches of space all around at the edges for folding later . Next put a layer of the Chestnut Mushrooms.
Place the Hazelnut mix on a sheet of Parchment Paper the same size as the Puff Pastry. Cover with another sheet and then roll flat. Put Sautéd Onions in the middle and roll into a log shape.
Place the Cashew Log in the middle of the Mushrooms and then carefully wrap the pastry around it using the Parchment paper.
Place on a paper on a baking tray and brush with some of the Gravy. Put in the oven at 200C for a bout 20 mins or until nice and brown. Remove a allow to stand for 10 mins before cutting into slices.
Meanwhile finish the Gravy. By now it should have a deep flavour. You can add a spoon of Miso to make it more salty, a cap full of Cider Vinegar can lift the acidity.
Put 2 teaspoons of Tapioca Starch in cup and mix with 100ml of water. Add the cold paste to the gravy and put on the heat. It will thicken very quickly.
Slice the Wellington and put on a plate showing the layers. Spoon some gravy over and serve with the usual Christmas fare such as sprouts and potatoes.
The recipes on this blog are designed to encourage those who want to try a plant based diet, so I thought it was a good idea to give alternatives to food that you may miss while staying away from meat. If you miss your traditional fry up, this is a good vegan alternative. The sausages can be made in large batches and frozen. You can flavour them any way you like. These are traditional smoked paprika flavour. Served with lots of toast and tea this is a very satisfying meal.
Chick Pea Flour 200g
Tomato Paste 1/2 tube
Veg Stock or Water
Mustard Powder 1 tbl sp
Garlic Powder 1 tblsp
Smoked Paprika 1 tblsp
Tin Mixed Beans
Jar sun dried Tomatoes
Put dry ingredients in a bowl and mix. Add 1 finely diced onion to the mix. Drain tin of beans of your choice and crush half of the contents and add this to the sausage mix.
The mix should be on the wet side.
Take a piece of tinfoil (200mm x 100mm approx) put about 30g of sausage mix on and roll into a cigar shape. Seal the ends like a bow.
The mix should yield about 20 sausages. Place them in a steamer for 40 to 45 mins.
They can be fried straight from the steamer.
Grate Potatoes and drain as much liquid as you can from them by squeezing with your hands. Add a diced onion and some herbs of your choice, salt and pepper.
Place small handfuls of mix on a preheated pan with sunflower oil. About 5 should fit in a standard pan.
Fry for 4 mins then press flat with a spatula. Fry for a further 4 mins then turn and give them 5 more mins.
Saute an Onion until sweet and caramelized.
Drain the oil from a jar of Sun dried Tomatoes. Put in a blender with 2 fresh Tomatoes and the sauted onion. Blitz until smooth.
Empty can of mixed beans into a saucepan. Add a few tablespoons of the Tomato. Enough to cover the beans. Heat and serve with rest of the breakfast.
Make this just before you are going to serve breakfast.
With your fingers, crush a block of Tofu into a bowl. In another bowl mix 100g of Chickpea flour with 2 teaspoons of Mustard Powder, Black Salt, and Pepper. Ad 400ml of Soya Milk to make a paste.
Put Tofu and Chick Pea Paste mix into a frying pan and stir to make a scramble. Don't cook for too long, just enough to get heat through the mix.
Chick Pea Fritata
In another bowl mix 100g of Chickpea flour with 2 teaspoons of Mustard Powder, Black Salt, and Pepper. Ad 400ml of Soya Milk to make a paste.
Fry some mushrooms and onions, Peppers or Courgette or any veg you like.
Add the chickpea paste and mix with veg. Push the mix to form a circular 'omelette' in the middle of the pan. Grate some vegan cheese and bread crumbs over the top and finish under a hot grill.
I have made a version of this treat in every restaurant I have worked in since the beginning of my food journey. I have seen many recipes including seeds and coconut etc, but I like to keep it simple. Like everything it is best to make with as few ingredients as possible.
Make the Date Jam first. Simply put 300g of pitted Dates in a pot and cover with Water (about half an inch over the top of the dates). Bring to the boil and simmer for about 20mins until soft. Mix together with a wooden spoon until you get a smooth jam. It may be necessary to add more water. Melt 250 g of Margarine and rub it in to 500g of Oats. Add a drop of milk and test how the mix holds together by squeezing some in you hand. You will have to adjust the amount of soya milk.
Spread half of the Oat mix onto a shallow baking tray. Put in a fairly hot oven until it gets some colour (about 10 mins)
Spread the Date Jam on the Oat base and the sprinkle the rest of he Oats on top. With wet hands, pat it down until smooth. Bake until a nice golden colour.a
My first taste of Falafel was in Camden Market in the 1980s. I didn't know anything a bout Middle Eastern food, nor had I ever tasted chick peas or tahini. Ever since the mighty chick pea has been a staple in my diet. Sometimes its falafel, other times Onion or Carrot Bhaji, Houmous or the countless other things you can make. Since the new rise in popularity of vegan food, falafel has become more prevalent than ever as the 'vegan option' on the average restaurant menu, since it is relatively easy and inexpensive to make. I have noticed that it is rarely made in the authentic fashion where the chick peas are soaked and ground raw, rather than from a can already cooked. Here is the difference between a good falafel and a mushy falafel. Traditionally there may be some cooked fava beans as well, but here I am using raw soaked chick peas. If you have any left over from the recipe, allow them to soak for a further day or two. All you need to do is put them in a jar, rinse with water and the drain them. Repeat this process by rinsing everyday, put the jar in a cool place, you will soon have bean sprouts.
Chick Peas (soaked for 6 to 8 hours) 300g
Garlic 1 clove
Ground Cumin 2 tsp
Ground Coriander 2 tsp
Fresh Coriander 2 tbls
Gram Flour 2 tbls
season with salt and white pepper
half the water from tin of Chick Peas
Tin of Chick Peas
Garlic 3 cloves
Lemon Juice (half a lemon)
salt and white pepper to season
Self Raising Flour 300g
Coconut Yoghurt 2 tbls
Coconut Yoghurt 250g
Fresh Coriander chopped fine 1 tbls
Fresh Mint chopped fine 1 tbls
Cucumber 2inch piece diced
Courgettes half and sliced 1 yellow, 1 green
Tin Chick Peas
Fresh Mint and Coriander leaves torn
Zest and Juice of 1 Lime
Roughly blend half of the soaked chick peas with the spices and put aside. Blend the rest of the chick peas and other ingredients to a paste. Mix all together with a spoon. Use a falafel shaper or a spoon to shape falafels. Shallow fry in sunflower oil until golden.
Blend all ingredients to a paste taste and season.
Chop herbs and dice cucumber into Yoghurt.
Mix ingredients into a dough. Let to rest on fridge for an hour or so. Pull off 100g piece and roll into a ball. Flatten out with hand and cook on a dry hot pan. No oil, just shake off the loose flour and put it straight on the pan.
Making an amazing Pizza at home is always going to be tricky for one reason, Pizza should ideally be cooked at 400 C. With most domestic ovens the temperature tops out at about 220 C, but when you open the door to put the Pizza in this drops dramatically. A pizza stone ,or a block of granite can be used in your oven and this works well but I prefer this easy method as it is fun to do. I like make my own Vegan Mozzarella, and Pesto. Its simple and quick as long as you soak the Cashews first. The Mozzarella can be frozen for further use.
500g Strong White Flour
350 ml Lukewarm Water
7g sachet Yeast
Mix yeast into water and add to the flour and salt. Make a dough and kneed for about 5 mins. Cover the dough with a damp tea cloth and leave for an hour until it doubles in size.
While the dough is proving you can make the vegan Mozzarella.
200g Cashews covered in water and soaked overnight.
100ml Soya or Coconut Yoghurt
2 tblsp Tapioca Flour
2 tblsp Agar Agar in 300ml of water
Large bowl of Water with Ice Cubes
Blend the soaked Cashews. Add Yoghurt and mix in Tapioca Flour.
Put Agar Agar and 300ml water in a saucepan. Cover and bring to the boil. Simmer for 3mins.
Add Cashew mixture to the Agar Agar and stir in on a medium heat. Use a spatula to stir and stop from sticking to the end of the saucepan. The mixture will thicken and become stringy. Eventually it will wrap around the spatula, this means it is ready. Use a spoon or ice cream scoop to make balls of Mozzarella and put them in the ice water. The cheese will be ready for use in 20 mins.
Now is a good time to make the Pesto.
Vegan Basil Pesto
2 Bunches of Fresh Basil
2 tblsp Pine Nuts
2 Cloves Garlic
Juice 1 Lemon
2 tblsp Nutritional Yeast
4/5 tblsp Olive Oil
Cut the dough into required amount of pizza bases (3 to 4). Shape into balls and leave to sit while you prepare sauce and topping.
1 jar of Sundried Tomatoes in oil.
Blend the entire contents of the jar. No need to season this as it is salty already. Drain the oil if you prefer and add a fresh tomato to the blender.
Put the Pizza together
Put a dry frying pan on the high heat. Use your fingers to shape the dough the shape of the pan. Put the dough on the hot pan. It should bubble up and cook in 3 minutes.Flip it over. While it is cooking spread a large spoon of Tomato Sauce on base. Take a ball of Mozzarella, tear it into pieces and put on the Pizza. You can grate some Smoked Vegan Cheese for extra Flavour.
Place under a hot grill. When the Cheese is melted, remove from the grill and finish with a drizzle of Pesto and some Basil leaves, and sprinkle of Pine Nuts.
This is a subtle tasting pate that I often make around Christmas time. It is essentially a raw food dish as there is no cooking except the roasting of the nuts.
Hazel Nut Pate
200g Hazel Nuts
Roast the Hazel Nuts on a dry pan. Put them in a blender a blend to a dusty powder.
Remove nuts from the blender, put them in a bowl. Add all other ingredients to the blender and blend briefly (not too fine). Add this mix to the Hazels and mix by hand. Season with salt and pepper. Shape into a log, roll in Black Poppy Seeds, or Sesame seeds, and put in the fridge for an hour. It will then be ready to slice and serve with Toast and the rest of the dips.
This pate has a subtle taste but is lovely on Toast
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Everybody needs to have a ready supply of dip recipes ready for dinner parties or lunchtime get togethers. Here are a few recipes that are easy to make. All you need is a blender and a good local supermarket.
The Dips are best served with Corn Chips, Fried Bread, or Crudites.
I find this combination of dips works well with a simple salad.
Garlic and Herb Mayo
Tin of Chick Peas
A neutral tasting oil such as sunflower or Olive Oil pomace.
Fresh Herbs (Dill or Coriander)
Open tin of Chick Peas and pour half of the water in to a jug.
Add 200l Oil
1 Clove Garlic
1 tsp Mustard
Tlbsp Cider Vinegar
Blend all ingredients together into an emulsion. If you prefer it thicker, add more oil. Chop 1 tblsp Herbs by hand and mix in to Mayo.
Beetroot and Cream Cheese
1 precooked Beet Root
80g Vegan Cream Cheese
Blend Ingredients to give a creamy pink coloured dip
Red Pepper Hummus
1 Tin Chick Peas
2 Cloves Garlic
1 tblsp Tahini
Juice of half a Lemon
Roasted Red Pepper
Roast a red pepper by burning it in a gas hob. If you do not have a gas hob you can roast it using a blow torch, or else brush with oil and oven roast. When the skin is black put the pepper in a plastic bag or in a bowl and cover. Leave to cool down, the moisture evaporating will lift the skin. Cut down the middle, drain liquid from cooking and remove seeds.
Drain Chick Peas and put in a blender with the rest of the ingredients. Season with salt and pepper to taste. This way of roasting the Pepper gives it a smokey taste.
2 Cloves Garlic
Roast the Aubergine over a gas flame turning frequently until it is soft to touch and the skin is charcoaled.
Cut down the middle and remove the flesh.
Put in a blender with a tblsp of Tahini and Garlic. Blend and season to taste.
You can up the Garlic content in this dip and add a pinch of Cumin if you like.
Cashew Nut Pate
200g Cashew Nuts
Roast the Cashew Nuts on a dry pan. Put them in a blender a blend to a dusty powder.
Remove nuts from the blender, put them in a bowl. Add all other ingredients to the blender and blend briefly (not too fine). Add this mix to the cashews and mix by hand. Season with salt and pepper. Shape into a log, roll in Black Poppy Seeds, or Sesame seeds, and put in the fridge for an hour. It will then be ready to slice and serve with Toast and the rest of the dips.
This pate has a subtle taste but is lovely on Toast or Fried Bread with the rest of these dips.
A ripe Avocado
Use a fork to crush the Avocados, or else use a blender for a smoother finish. Squeeze a whole lime of juice into the mix. Finely Chop Spring Onion a nd mix through. Season to taste. The Lime juice will also stop the Avocado from oxidising ad turning brown.
Chop the Tomatoes into the smallest pieces you can by hand. Dice the Cucmber. Chop the Coriander. Mix in a bowl and Add the Juice of half a Lime and half a Lemon. Season to taste.
If you make this salad an hour or two before serving you will notice juise at the end of the bpwl which has seeped from the Tomatoes and Cucumber, spoon this over the salad and check seasoning before serving.