Monthly Archives: March 2013

Chargrilled Aubergine (Eggplant) Bake

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I was a little unsure about soy mince. I couldn’t imagine it leaving up to meat mince and was worried it would take a lot to mask the soy flavour. But this recipe worked really well. I kept it pretty simple and it paid off.

Again, aubergine (eggplant) can be a tricky ingredient. It can be too wet, too bland or can go a funny colour. I sliced mine fairly thin and grilled them until they had coloured and released their moisture so that they didn’t make the final dish watery.

This recipe serves two. I had half for dinner and froze the other half for another time. I recommend using a good quality sauce, or making your own to make it extra tasty.

Recipe

1 Aubergine (Eggplant)
1 tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp Dried Oregano or Basil

1/2 jar Tomato & Basil Pasta Sauce
50g Dried Soy Mince or TVP
1 Carrot
1 Red Pepper
Small pack Baby Plum Tomatoes

Soak your soy mince in boiled water as packet suggests (usually about 1 minute). Heat up the grill and slice aubergine length ways about 3mm thick and brush with mixed with oregano. Grill until coloured and softened. It’s ok if there are a few black bits!

Finely dice carrot and pepper and saute in a drizzle of oil until slightly softened. You can add a few more herbs here if you like. Drain mince and add. Saute for a minute or 2 until it has dried off a bit. Pour in sauce and heat through. Layer sauce mix with aubergine and top with tomato slices. This gives you nicely roasted tomatoes for an extra dimension and prevents the dish drying out or anu exposed aubergine burning.

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Bean & Veggie Chilli

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It has been a long winter. There are about 10 inches of snow outside and no sign of warmer weather on it’s way. There were clips on the news of cars almost buried in snow elsewhere in England so I guess we got off lightly. Still, tomorrows journey to work will be interesting.

What better way to beat off the winter blues than with a big, warming pot of chilli. This is only my second or third attempt at vegetarian chilli, and I have to say my most sucessful.

I also have to say that I am not a fan of raw celery but it takes on a new dimension when cooked. Give it a try!

Recipe
1 tbsp Oil
3 Shallots
3 Garlic Cloves
1 tbsp Cumin Seeds
1 tsp Chilli Flakes
2 Carrots
1 Celery Stick
1 Yellow Pepper
1 tin Chopped Tomatoes
1/2 that tin Water
1/2 tsp Cayenne
1 tsp Oregano
2 tbsp Tomato Puree
1 tin Beans of choice (I used Aduki)
1 tbsp Dark Brown Sugar

Dry toast the cumin seeds until fragrant. Add the oil and saute the shallots and garlic until softened. Add in chopped celery, carrots and pepper, along with all seasonings. Saute for around 5 minutes before adding the tomatoes, tomato puree and water. Allow this to cook and reduce until veggies are tender. Add rinsed beans and brown sugar and heat through. Serve over rice or with tortilla chips.

Coronation Tofu and Lemon Tofu Cream

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I am trying to further reduce my intake of animal products; for my health and for the animals and the planet. I struggle with the usual meat alternatives due to my digestive problems but I seem to be ok with tofu.

Tofu can be a pain to prepare. I don’t like its natural flavour so it’s not a quick meal for me. I have seen a lot of recipes for tofu scrambles and I was excited when I thought of recreating a favourite of mine, Coronation Chicken, which is basically shredded chicken, mayo and curry powder.

I always end up wasting tofu when I don’t eat the whole pack, hence recipe two. Lemon Tofu Cream. This would be delicious with chopped fruit as an alternative to yogurt, or sprinkled with granola. I used honey but agave is a great vegan alternative.

Recipe one – Coronation Tofu

1/2 pack Silken Tofu
3 tbsp Veganaise
2 tsp Curry Powder

Mix ingredients together into desired consistancy. Ideal sandwich or wrap filler. I used mine to top a baked potato.

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Recipe two – Lemon Tofu Cream

1/2 pack Silken Tofu
Juice and zest of Small Lemon
3 tbsp Honey or Agave

Mix all ingredients together or blend until smooth. I mixed mine to resemble ricotta. Yum!

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Buckwheat Noodle Soup

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I don’t usually choose soup. I tend to get bored after a few mouthfuls of sameness and bored of the basic flavours. Asian soups are more interesting. This one excites me because it has flavour, crunchy veggies and soft noodles. You can knock this up in a matter of minutes and it is delicious!

Recipe (per person)

1 Cup Water
1 Clove Garlic
2 Tsp Tamarind Paste
1 Tbsp Tamari or Soy Sauce
Buckwheat Noodles
1/2 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 Carrot
1/2 Head Pak or Bok Choy
1 Thumb Ginger Root
1/2 Small Lemon, Juiced

Heat the water with finely sliced ginger, minced or bruised garlic clove (I just bruise mine so I can pick it out at the end), tamarind paste and tamari, cayenne and lemon juice. While this heats, cook noodles in a seperate pan. Shred your veggies into a size and shape you like and throw in to the seasoned water. Mix in the cooked noodles and serve when the veggies have softened slightly.

For extra protein, add some toasted nuts or tofu cubes. You can swap and change the flavours to what suits you. Enjoy!

Beetroot, Celery and Orange Juice

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A healthy addition to a meal or just a yummy, nutrient packed snack, homemade juices without all those preservatives and weird ingredients are so good for you. There’s no fibre making your body work so all the goodness is immedietely absorbed. Natures very own energy drink!

This one contains

1 raw beetroot
1 stick celery
3 medium sized peeled oranges

All homemade juices are best consumed right away for optimum goodness.

Chocolate Brownie Muffins

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Treat time! My blog has been focused more on healthy eating lately but sometimes you just need a big fat chocolate binge. Ok, so it wasn’t quite a binge…and I made my muffins fairly small, but there was chocolate none the less…ok, so just cocoa powder; you get the idea. And I am sorry to say, dear vegan friends, this one contains eggs. It might work with an egg replacement but I haven’t tried it so I don’t know for sure.

These muffins are really moist and rich, hence Brownie Muffins. You have the option to undercook them slightly for the gooey brownie style centre, or you can cook them all the way through for a more cake like texture but with all the brownie taste.

Recipe

4oz Dairy Free Spread (I used Pure Soya Spread as it says none hydrogenated)
4oz Light Brown Sugar
5oz Plain Gluten Free Flour Blend
1tsp Gluten Free Baking Powder
3 Eggs
5tbsp Almond Milk
1tsp Vanilla Extract
2oz Cocoa Powder
Pinch of salt

Gently melt the spread/marg and whisk together with sugar until well combined. Whisk in eggs, milk and vanilla. Sift in dry ingredients and fold together.

Spoon into paper muffin cases and bake at 180c/160c fan for 10 to 15 minutes, depending on how cooked you would like the centre to be.

They last well for a couple of days in an airtight container and would be delicious with an addition of dairy free chocolate chips!

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