Vegan Lasanga

DSC_8767I am back with a brand new recipe for you all and just in time for all the newbies trying Veganuary this month! This dish is sure to inspire you! A much loved classic completely Veganised and you would never even know the difference had you not made it yourself!

I know that the first few weeks can be the hardest when transitioning, deciding what to eat and finding something that you actually enjoy. There is a lot of experimenting in the early days and a lot of relying on blogs and recipe pages for inspiration on how to cook nice vegan food. This is how I learned to cook! I always thought I knew how to cook pre Veganism but ultimately I was just throwing pre made ingredients together and not really using that many fresh ingredients. If your finding it hard now don’t lose hope! The more you start to cook vegan meals the more you realise that you are anything but limited and the flavours that your used to can be recreated and so much more! Just be adventurous!

To recreate the classic lasagne I have used dried soya mince. This is the best meat replacement for these types of dishes I have found, especially if you have to cater for picky omnivores. I have used the frozen options before and I have never really been that impressed with them and a lot of them contain egg.  The dried soya mince is high in protein containing 14.9g per 100g cooked.  It is also a lot more cost effective at £2.00 for 375g you could just about make four of these lasagna’s with that and it contains no additives or extra crap you never wanted. What more could you ask for?

Unfortunately for me it was a good while before I discovered the dried soy mince. Mainly because I avoided soy for a few months due to all the concerns surrounding it, a somewhat controversial topic among vegan forums. Never the less there are a lot of misconceptions around soy and after further research I no longer avoid it. That being said if you have an allergy or personally avoid soya, you can replace the soya mince with approx 200g minced mushrooms or 100g of dried lentils.

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Vegan lasagna

Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 1 hr
Serves: 4

Ingredients

1 onion
1 carrot
1 stick of celery
3 cloves of garlic
Handful of mushrooms
1-2tbsp soy sauce or tamari (opt)
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp marjoram
1/2 tsp basil
1 can of Plum tomatoes
1tbs balsamic vinegar
100g Dried Soya mince or mushrooms/lentils
300 ml veg stock
6 lasagne sheets
1 tomato
3 tbs vegan butter or olive oil
4tbs flour (organic whole-wheat or spelt)
200 ml oat milk
2-4 tbs nutritional yeast
Handful of vegan cheese (optional)

Instructions

1. Chop onion, garlic, carrot, celery, mushroom finely.
2. Add to frying pan with splash of preferred oil or water and seasoning on a low to medium heat.
3. Rinse the soya mince under a cold tap. Add soya mince to a saucepan with 300 ml of boiling water and veg stock and simmer for 10 mins
4. Add soya sauce to frying pan, stirring continuously for 2-3 minutes.
5. Add the Plum tomatoes and cook for a further 5 mins.
6. Add the balsamic vinegar and tomato paste, stir thoroughly and continue to cook for 2 more minutes.
7. Add the soya mince and veg stock into the frying pan and stir all the mince into the sauce. Simmer on a low heat and reduce the sauce while cooking the white sauce.
8. Add 3 tbs butter to a saucepan on low and heat until melted approx 1-2 minutes. Stir in 4tbs flour and mix well until you have a thick paste like mixture.
9. Slowly add your plant milk and stir continuously making sure to get rid of lumps, I prefer to use a whisk for this. Roughly 3-4 mins for the sauce to thicken nicely. If it gets too thick you can always add more milk.
10. When white sauce has thickened add the Nutritional yeast and stir thoroughly. Optionally you can add some vegan cheese. (I like to season with a bit of pepper and pink salt but that is also optional)
11. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Spread a spoonful of the bolognese sauce on the base of a roughly 1.5 litre baking dish. Cover with a single layer of the pasta sheets, snapping them to fit if needed, then top with a quarter of the white sauce. Spoon over a third of the bolognese. Repeat for 2 more layers making sure to leave some white sauce for the top.
12. Use a spoon to drizzle the remaining white sauce on top of the lasagne.
13. Slice a tomato and place them on top, season with salt and mixed herbs for extra flavour. You can also add some more vegan cheese if thats your style.
14. Place in the centre of the oven and cook for roughly 30-40 mins until browed.

Can be stored in an airtight container for upto 3 days. Can be frozen for upto 6 months. As always lasagne is so much better the next day! If you can last that long!

 

Vegan Mushroom and Thyme Pie

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Since becoming vegan I haven’t had any pies and they are something that I really missed, although they are not easy to come across. Those that I have seen for sale have been extremely expensive and not worth the money in my opinion and I just never found the time to get around to making them. I much prefer to make everything from scratch and steer away from processed foods.

If you are like me and are not overly fond of a flakey pie crust and spending hours in the kitchen then you will love this shortcrust pastry. It is so versatile and can be used to not only make savoury pies but also fruit pies with the addition of a sweetener or sugar.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to making these pies. I like to mix things up and change the fillings but this mushroom pie is one of my favourites and has been a major hit among family members so have decided to share with you all.

As always I hope you enjoy and would appreciate any feedback from anyone who has tried and tested any of my recipes. Happy cooking 🙂

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Mushroom and Thyme Pie 

Serves 4

Prep time: 35 mins Cook time: 20 mins

Ingredients

Pastry

1 cup plain flour (plus extra for surface)

140g Vegan butter

Pinch of pink salt

2 tbs gram flour and 1tbs water

Filling

1 stick of celery

1 onion

3-4 cloves of garlic

125g white mushroons

2 or 3 chestnut mushrooms.

2 tbs soy sauce

100ml oat or plant based milk

50ml water

1 tsp bullion vegetable stock

2 tbs nutritional yeast (opt)

1/2 tsp dried thyme

Sprinkle of dried Rosemary

2 tbs flour

Instructions

Pastry

1. In a bowl sieve plain flour then add the butter and salt.

2.Mix ingredients together.

3. Knead dough and roll into a ball. Cover in cling film and put in the fridge for 30 mins.

4. Halve the dough and Roll each half of the dough on a floured surface to the size of your dish. Use remaining dough to get creative and decorate your pie.

5. Use butter to grease the pastry dish and cover the dish with the rolled pastry and trim the edges. (See photos)

6. In a jug combine the gram flour and water until smooth.

7. Prick the base of the pastry with a fork all over. Brush pastry using some of the gram flour/water mixture (save the rest for filling).

Filling

1. Chop onion, garlic, celery finely and fry on medium heat for 2-3 minutes with preferred oil or water.

2. Add the mushrooms, thyme, rosemary and black pepper and stir frequently for 1 minute.

3. Add soy sauce and continue to fry or a further 2 minutes.

4. Add plant milk, water, stock and flour.

3. Cook and reduce for 7-8 minutes turning heat down if necessary. Preheat oven to 190c.

4. Add filling to dish lined with pastry. Optionally you can decorate your pie with remaining pastry. Brush pastry with chickpea mixture and cook in the centre of the oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown (Check regularly as cooking times may vary).

Pie can be kept in the fridge covered for upto 3 days, if it lasts that long!

Vegan mushroom, broccoli and spinach quiche

IMG_2787I have been back in the kitchen again working on a new recipe and after getting approval from my non vegan family members I’m happy to share my Vegan quiche recipe. This one does require a bit more time than my usual recipes, although it is totally worth every minute!

I have kept the recipe quite simple and it doesn’t require many ingredients that you wouldn’t  find in your cupboard already (hopefully). There are certain foods essential for the vegan diet and if you don’t have these in then you need to consider them for future shopping trips.

Gram flour (chickpea flour) is an absolute blessing for Vegan cooking. It is a great egg replacer and I use it frequently to make things such as pancakes, onion bhaji’s and omelettes.
Not only is gram flour a great source of protein for Vegans providing 22g per 100g! This versatile flour also has many nutritional benefits. It is rich in fiber, iron, potassium, manganese, copper, zinc, phosphorus, magnesium, folate, vitamin b-6.

This is a hearty, fulfilling meal that is great for anytime of the day and for any occasion, not to mention it is absolutely Delicious! Enjoy!

Vegan Mushroom, Broccoli and Spinach Quiche.

Pastry

1/2 cup organic plain or spelt flour (plus extra for surface)
70g Vegan butter
Pinch of pink salt

Filling

1/2 Onion
2-3 cloves of Garlic
3-4 Mushrooms
2-3 pieces Broccoli
1/2 cup Spinach leaves
1/2 tsp thyme
Sprinkle of rosemary
5tbs Gram flour
7 tbs Water
100 ml Plant milk
1/2 cup Vegan mozzarella
1-2 tbs Nutritional yeast
Salt and pepper

Instructions

Pastry

1. In a bowl sieve plain flour then add the butter and salt.
2. Mix ingredients together and add water if necessary (dough is too dry).
3. Knead dough and roll into a ball. Cover in cling film and put in the fridge for 30 mins.
4. Preheat oven to 180c
5. Roll dough on a floured surface.
6. Use butter to grease the pastry dish and cover the dish with the rolled pastry and trim the edges.
7. In a jug combine the gram flour and water until smooth.
8. Prick the base of the pastry with a fork all over. Brush pastry using some of the gram flour/water mixture (save the rest for filling)
9. Put in oven for 15 minutes.
10. While base is cooking make filling.

Filling

1. Chop the onion, garlic, broccoli and mushrooms.
2. Fry in preferred oil, I use olive oil on a medium to low heat.
3. Add thyme and cook for roughly 10-15 mins stirring occasionally.
4. Add oat milk to jug with gram flour mixture then add salt, pepper and nutritional yeast.
5. When the onions etc are done cooking add them to the jug along with chopped spinach.
6. Remove base from oven and add vegan mozzarella, filling, sliced tomatoes, and more vegan mozzarella on top.
7. Bake on a lower heat of 160c for upto 30 mins or until golden brown.

Keep refrigerated upto 3 days.

Vegan Lentil Balls

So after about 10 or so months of cooking vegan food and following other people’s recipes online. I have recently started experimenting with my own.
Tonight I really fancied “meatballs” although, without the meat!!

Lentils are a great meat replacement and a great source of protein and iron, so I decided to incorporate them into this dish. I also made a bolognese sauce for the meatballs. Consuming vitamin c alongside plantbased iron optimises the amount of iron your body is able to absorb so I always make sure to pair theses foods in my cooking to ensure I’m getting sufficient iron.

I’m really happy with how they turned out so I have decided to share exactly how I made them, and hope you enjoy them as much as my toddler and I have.

Lentil balls

Ingredients

1 cup of brown lentils
1 red onion
3 garlic cloves
1 tbs olive oil
50g mushrooms
1tbs Tamari or soy sauce (opt)
2 tbs ground flax
4 tbs water
3 tbs panko bread crumbs or gf option
3tbs plain flour (or gf)
1tsp cumin
1tsp paprika
1 tsp marjoram
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
1tsp Himalayan pink salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Cook time: 25 mins                     Serves: 2

Instructions

1. Pre soak lentils in 2 cups of water for at least 2 hours. For best results and shorter cooking time soak overnight. Rinse once soaked. Cook for 10 mins, drain.
2. Chop onion and garlic. Fry in olive oil for 1 min.
3. Add herbs cook for further 2-3 mins until onions are see through
4. Add soaked lentils, mushrooms, cumin, paprika, cooked onion, garlic and herbs, salt and pepper to a food processor. Blend until everything is combined.
5. Add mixture from food processor to a bowl.
6. Make “flax” egg in a bowl. 2tbs of flax and 4tbs water, mix well and let set for 1 min.
7. Add flax egg to mixture, along with breadcrumbs and flour and mix well.
8. Use your hands to form balls with the mixture, and shallow fry on a medium heat turning frequently for up to 15-20mins.

Bolognese sauce

Prep time: 5 mins Cook time: 15 mins

1 onion
3 cloves garlic
1 tomato
1 Tbs Olive oil
1 vegan stock cube
100ml water
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp marjoram
1 tsp basil
1 carton of chopped tomatoes
70g mushrooms (chopped)
1-2tsp plain flour or gf (for thickening)

1. Chop onion, garlic and tomato and fry in Olive oil for 3 mins stirring frequently.
2. Add herbs, mushroom and cook for further 3 mins.
3. Add chopped tomatoes, stock cube and water.
4. Cook on a medium heat for 10-15 mins stirring in flour to thicken sauce.

Can be stored in an air tight container for up to 3 days. Suitable for freezing up to 6 months.

Cook the bolognese sauce alongside the Lentil balls then combine them when they are both cooked, can continue to cook together for 5 or so mins to let balls absorb sauce. I sprinkled nutritional yeast on top for extra tastiness (nooch feind) and for the added b12, every Vegan must have this in their cupboard!

Creamy mushroom pasta

IMG_2539may have to admit that I’m a mushroom addict, so you will no doubt find a few mushroom orientated recipes in my blog. This one is for the pasta lovers! This recipe can also be made gluten free by substituting for gluten free options.

Great tip; get the most out of your mushrooms by leaving them to absorb sunlight before using. This will boost the amount of vit d they contain making them a long with sunlight the best source of vitamin d for Vegans

Organic Creamy mushroom pasta

Ingredients

  • 150g Organic wholewheat pasta or gf
  • 200g Organic Mushrooms
  • 1 Organic carrot
  • 100ml Organic Plant milk (soy and oat are good  for this)
  • 100ml water
  • 1 organic stock cube
  • 1 Organic onion
  • 3 Organic garlic cloves
  • 1 tbs Organic Olive oil
  • 2 tsp Miso paste (opt)
  • 3-4 tbs Nutritional yeast
  • 2-4 tbs Organic whole-wheat flour or gf (for thickening)

Instructions

  1. Put the pasta in a pan with boiling water and bring to a boil.
  2. chop onion, garlic, mushrooms and carrot finely. I like to chop most of the mushrooms finely and use 2 or 3 of the mushrooms and slice them.
  3. In a frying pan add olive oil on a low heat
  4. add onion and garlic and cook for 2min
  5. add the mushroom and carrot and cook for 3 mins stirring frequently, then add plant milk, stock and miso paste
  6. Bring to the boil and start to add water as needed
  7. Once boiling reduce to a simmer and add flour to thicken
  8. Stir in nutritional yeast (add to your preference)
  9. Drain cooked pasta
  10. Combine pasta with mushroom sauce and serve sprinkled with nutritional yeast