Saturday, 11 May 2013

Amaze-balls Spinach Salsa

This is perfect to eat with makeshift Mexican dishes but the leftover sauce will also be a good condiment for other meals.

1/4 raw brown onion
1 handful of washed spinach leaves (baby or not)
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/4-1/2 can of tomatoes (you can use fresh ones but you will have to add some water too)

Literally put all the ingredients into a container and use a whizz (those hand-blender things) to mix them all up. Serve it straight away but it will keep for a few days in the fridge.

The only way to eat lasagne. Unless you're a vegan, maybe.

In my former meat-eating days I couldn't go past a good lasagne and I have finally found an equally amazing meat-free alternative.

Beware this will take you about an hour and a half to get into the oven.

1/2 can of Sanitarium nutmeat (grated)
2 carrots (chopped into small bits)
2 tomatoes (chopped about double the size of the carrots)
1 can of tomatoes in juice (preferably with nothing else added)
2 generous table spoons of tomato puree (ditto)
1 cube of Massel (faux) chicken stock (SO GOOD)
1-2 brown onions depending on size (chop similar size-ish to the carrots)
1 hearty glass of wine (if you've got red then that's the best) but you could also just use some vinegar here if you prefer
1 teaspoon of ground cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon paprika
[Wheat] lasagne sheets (I usually soak these briefly in hot water before I use them - it helps them cook properly)
And of course some salt and pepper, and oil for frying

White sauce:
1 1/2 cups grated cheese
1 cup plain flour
2 generous table spoons of oil/olivani/butter
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon of mustard
A sprinkle of salt and pepper

NB: If you want to use garlic I would suggest taking out one of the onions. Also nutmeat could be substituted for another meat alternative. For the white sauce you could substitute for non-dairy products.

1. Fill and boil the jug.
2. Heat some oil in a large frying pan. Add onion and cook for about two minutes.
3. Add the grated nutmeat to the pan and cook for a further few minutes.
4. Add carrot and tomatoes and cook them all for another two or three minutes.
5. Add the can of tomatoes into the pan. Pour a little bit of the boiled water into the empty can and swish it around then add it to the pan also.
6. Add a bit of hot water if necessary to cover all the ingredients sufficiently. Remember it'll be on the stove for a while so don't be worried about putting too much in. Add the cube of stock. Stir the mixture to help it dissolve.
7. Add the herbs, wine, and S&P. Stir. Turn the heat down a bit and let it simmer away. Leave it for about 20-30 minutes.
8. THEN: SAUCE TIME. Perhaps also now turn the oven on to about 170 degrees (fan bake). Heat oil/olivani/butter in a pan. Add the flour gradually and use a whisk to help the oil absorb it properly. It might start forming clumps - don't worry.
9. Take the pan off the heat and add some milk slowly, again using the whisk constantly to help the ingredients combine.
10. Put the pan back on the heat, be careful of it getting too hot because it will thicken very quickly. The main concern here is making sure there are no clumps in the sauce. If it starts getting too thick you can add more milk.
11. Once you're happy with the consistency (should be still quite runny at this point) add most of the grated cheese, mustard and S&P to the sauce. On low heat stir it continuously until all the ingredients have combined.
12. DON'T leave it on the stove for too long. It will reduce. Once they've all combined take it off the stove and put the sauce into a pouring-friendly container. Set aside.
13. How is the sauce? It should be done by now so turn the heat off.
14. Put a layer of lasagne sheets on the bottom of your oiled/lined lasagne dish. Pour 1/3  of the tomato/nutmeat sauce. Make sure it's entirely covering the lasagne sheets otherwise they won't cook. Pour just less than a 1/3 of the white sauce on top.
15. Repeat step #14 for three layers.
16. On the top layer pour the remaining white sauce, making sure you cover all of the lasagne sheets. Sprinkle the remaining grated cheese on top.
17. Put it in the oven for about 30-40 minutes and bam! Vegetarian lasagne heaven!

Monday, 10 September 2012

Cauliflower pizza bases

SO cool. You just need 1 cup of grated (raw) cauliflower, 1 cup of cheese and 1 egg. You can increase the amount of cauliflower if you want to as well but maybe think about using an extra egg or a little more cheese.

Just mix it all together and then put it in the oven for 15-20 minutes to bake and then add all your toppings and pop in back in there until it's ready to eat!

Important things to do are use a tray with edges and make sure that the base isn't too thin, if it's too thin then it'll just fall apart. Good luck!

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Makeshift Quesadillas

Western-ish vegetarian adaptation.

You will need
1 cup of cooked/ready red kidney beans (or your preferred type)
1/2 brown onion - chopped
1 clove of garlic - chopped
A sachet of taco seasoning
Grated cheese
Grated carrot/other vegetables you like
Two burritos/wraps

1/4 - 1/2 brown onion - chopped
A few tomatoes chopped up
Some sort of chilli sauce
Lemon juice

Prepare it
1. Fry the 1/2 onion and garlic in a pan for about three minutes then add the beans to the pan.
2. Fry the bean mix off for about another three minutes. Then add the desired amount of taco seasoning and a little bit of hot water to the pan - this will make sure the powder doesn't burn and will spread evenly.
3. Once the water has evaporated take the bean mixture off the heat. Put one of the burritos on a baking tray and pour the mixture onto it. Make sure the beans aren't too close to the edge of the burrito.
4. Sprinkle the desired amount of grated cheese onto the bean mixture and then pop the other burrito on top of the mixture. You could probably spread it across two quesadillas if you wanted to.
5. Put them in the oven on 170 - 200 degrees. They should only need about ten minutes.
6. Mix the salsa ingredients together in a bowl with some salt & pepper as you like.
7. Serve the quesadilla with the salsa, lettuce and grated carrot on top. Yum.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Vegetable Curry

This one is vegan. And delicious.

You'll need
3 potatoes - chopped up (not too small)
Some pumpkin - also chopped
Eggplant/any other vegetables you like
2 cloves of garlic - chopped
Brown onion - chopped (not to small)
1/2 - 1 can of coconut milk
Curry paste
About 1 cup of cooked/canned lentils (I prefer eating my curry with lentils as I don't like rice but you might prefer rice/chickpeas/beans)
Lemon juice
Ketjap Manis or Soy Sauce (Ketjap Manis is the shizz!)

Prepare it
1. Fry the garlic and onion in a large pan with a little bit of oil.
2. Add the vegetables to the pan and fry them all for about ten minutes
3. Once the veges have browned a little bit pour in your desired amount of coconut cream. Top up with boiling water to ensure all the veges are covered with liquid so they can cook. All the boiling water will evaporate so don't be afraid to put too much in.
4. Add the curry paste, lemon juice and some ketjap manis.
5. Mix it all together so that the curry paste etc are mixed in with the coconut milk and water.
6. Turn the heat down and let the curry simmer for about 40minutes. The longer the better since the vegetables will get nice and soft and soak up all the flavours. Make sure you stir it regularly.
7. About ten minutes before you serve add the lentils to the mixture so that they can mix through and heat up. Then you're good to go.

Roast Beetroot and Pumpkin Pasta

You will need
1/2 a beetroot - chopped into small pieces
Pumpkin - about  2 x the amount of beetroot. Also chopped
5 cloves of garlic (skin on)
Lemon juice
1/2 a red onion - diced
Pasta spirals (or whatever type you prefer)

White Sauce
2 tablespoons oil/butter
2 tablespoons flour
About 1 cup milk

Prepare it
1. Put beetroot, pumpkin and garlic in a bowl and pour a little bit of oil and salt & pepper over them. Mix them so the oil etc is evenly distributed. Put them in a tray and into the oven. Roast for about 40minutes on 160 degrees.
2. Put the roast veges back into the bowl and mash them together. Make sure you take the skin off the roast garlic. If the garlic has gone hard don't put it in the mixture. Add a little bit of lemon juice and the red onions into the mixture.
3. Put the pasta into boiling water and cook it.
4. While the pasta is cooking prepare the white sauce. Everyone does this differently but once the pan is hot I put the oil into the pan and then add the flour slowly making sure it doesn't go clumpy. Once the flour is added I take the pan off the heat to add the milk to the mixture, mixing it constantly to avoid clumps forming.
5. Once the milk is added put the pan back on the heat. If it thickens to much you can either add more milk or just a little bit of boiling water.
6. Add the mashed vege mix to the white sauce and mix it through until you have the desired consistency and it's mixed properly.
7. By this time the pasta should be ready and you can pour the pasta into the sauce pan to mix them all together. Then it's ready to eat.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Pumpkin & Chickpea Ravioli

This is a delicious and (not too un-) healthy pasta meal.

You'll need
3/4 cup chickpeas (already soaked/boiled)
1/4 large pumpkin - chopped into small pieces
5 small cloves of garlic
1/2 a lemon
Feta cheese (amount depends on your taste..)
1 tablespoon of Olivani (or whatever butter/substitute you use)
Some type of oil (I use soya bean oil)
A packet of Ravioli pasta

What to do
1. Roast pumpkin and garlic cloves. Sprinkle a little bit of oil over them and leave them to roast for about 45 minutes.
2. Put chickpeas, roast pumpkin and garlic (make sure you de-skin the garlic cloves first, don't use any that have cracked in the oven and gone hard) into a large bowl.
3. Add 1 tablespoon of Olivani, a little bit of salt and pepper, 1 table spoon of oil to the ingredients in the bowl and squeeze the lemon over the mixture.
4. Mash all of the ingredients together with some type of mashing device. Make sure it's all mixed in together well. Add your desired amount of feta to the mixture. Make sure it's chopped into small bits so it mixes through.
5. Boil some water in a pot for the pasta.
6. Once the water is boiling add the ravioli. It should only take about five minutes to cook through.
7. Mix the pasta through the pumpkin & chickpea mash in the bowl and voila! You have pasta ready to serve.