Sausage Pie (Vegan, Vegetarian)

I originally got this recipe from a cooking programme well over ten years ago and it has morphed over time into what you see here today. No photo because it was gone before I had a chance!

Serves 6-8

 

You will need:

10-12 sausages, cooked (to make this a vegan dish I used Linda McCartney sausages which I baked in the oven)

1kg potatoes, chopped into chunks

1 tin chopped tomatoes

1 tin baked beans

150g frozen peas

1 onion, chopped

1 tsp dried basil or a handful of fresh basil, torn

1/2 tsp Herbamare or salt (optional)

Black pepper (optional)

1 tsp oil

100g cheese, grated (violife works well for a vegan version)

15-25g margarine or butter

1 heaped tablespoon nutritional yeast (optional)

 

1. In a large saucepan, place the potatoes and enough water to cover.

2. Bring to the boil and boil for 20 minutes or until soft.

3. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a separate pan and add the onions.

4. When the onions are soft, add the tomatoes, beans, peas and seasoning. Bring to a gentle bubble and simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. While the potatoes and veggies are cooking, slice each cooked sausage in half lengthways and lay each slice in the bottom of a large, oven proof dish.

6. On top of the sausages pour the tomato mixture and spread evenly over the whole dish.

7. Drain and mash the potatoes. You will need a small amount of liquid to mash properly. Add margarine or butter and mix thoroughly. You may wish to add some salt or herbamare for extra flavour.

8. Layer the mashed potato over the sausage and tomato and spread to the edges.

9. Mix the grated cheese with the nutritional yeast (if using) and sprinkle over the potato.

10. Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for 20 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and the topping is golden.

11. Enjoy with a green salad or on its own. Our family likes to add ketchup, mayonnaise or BBQ sauce.

 

TOP TIPS

This can be prepared in advance up to step 9 and then stored in the fridge until needed. Very useful for those of us with limited energy and/or spoon-counters!

Try adding a stock cube to the tomato mixture. Omit the herbamare from the tomatoes but not the mash.

Try different herbs in place of the basil, e.g. oregano, parsley or rosemary.

Try using 2 or 3 teaspoons of your preferred herbs.

Coconut Lemon Triangles

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Thanks to my new Kindle I can now photograph my creations! Hurrah!

 

A 21st century version of a recipe from the classic ‘Vegan Cooking’ by Eva Batt.

 

You will need:

85g coconut oil, melted if necessary (my kitchen tends to be rather cold as it has no central heating – for some unknown reason – so I do find that I have to pop the required amount of coconut oil in the microwave* for 30 seconds to soften)

85g plain flour (I use unbleached flour)

85g millet flour

85g ground almonds

Juice of one lemon, plus grated peel

2 tablespoons rice malt syrup

 

1. Mix all ingredients together using a food processor or wooden spoon (and hands) until a dough is formed.

2. Press into two round 7″ cake tins.

3. Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for 25 minutes or until golden.

4. Remove from the oven and cut into triangles, then leave to cool, et voilà!

 

TOP TIPS

*From an environmental viewpoint microwaves are excellent because they use far less energy than a conventional cooker to perform the same task. This also lessens electricity bills, which is always good 🙂

Slow Cooker Bacon, Broccoli and Potato Soup

I have been experimenting with vegan cooking lately, but this is decidedly not veggie friendly. It is, however, very simple, inexpensive and spoonie-friendly.

Serves 6

You will need:

2 onions, chopped

2 tins potatoes

300g frozen broccoli

1kg cooking bacon

Handful of fresh rosemary

Handful of fresh thyme

Black pepper

1 vegetable stock cube

Water, boiled

Splash of vegetable oil

 

1. First, remove the fat from the cooking bacon with a very sharp knife, then place in a frying pan with a splash of oil. Heat over a medium heat, stirring occasionally, until cooked through. It will become a greyish pink when it is cooked thoroughly.

2. Meanwhile, place the broccoli, boiling water and potatoes in the slow cooker along with the herbs, stock cube and seasoning.

3. When the bacon is cooked, drain off the fat and and discard. Add the bacon to the slow cooker.

4. In the same frying pan heat the chopped onion until waxy, then add that too to the slow cooker. Top up the slow cooker with water to cover by a centimetre or two.

5. Cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 3-4 hours.

6. When cooked, blend until smooth.

7. Serve with warm, freshly baked bread and a sprig of parsley.

 

TOP TIPS

  • Make use of all the functions of your food processor, if you have one. I used mine to chop the onions and later to blend the soup. For spoon-counters like me a food processor is a real blessing!

Bread Pudding – The Stale Bread Saver

Easy as pie pudding

I hate wasting food. There are so many people who have next to nothing that to waste food is anathema. But what if <cue chilling music> despite your best endeavours your bread is stale? Fear not! Just have a go at this recipe. It’s a very simple way to use up stale bread. It’s also very versatile, making a good breakfast on a chilly morning served with milk or natural yoghurt; it can be sliced and eaten for a filling accompaniment to lunch; it can be dished up with piping hot custard for a wonderful winter warmer pud.

Bread Pudding, courtesy of wiki

You will need:

10 slices stale bread (medium sliced value/economy loaf)

milk/soya milk (or water)

130g sugar* (brown works well but caster sugar is fine)

70g suet/vegetable suet

200g dried fruit** (I used a mixture of sultanas, raisins, blueberries and apricots)

2 teaspoons mixed spice

Two  greased loaf tins

I’ve not priced this one up yet, but all the ingredients are relatively inexpensive, so the price per portion must be small.

1. Break bread into smallish pieces (1 inch/2.5cm) and place into a mixing bowl (you could use breadcrumbs).

2. Cover sparingly with the milk and press the bread down so that the bread begins to absorb the liquid.

3. Leave for 15 minutes.

4. Have a cuppa while you’re waiting.

5. Tip the mixture into a sieve or colander and squeeze excess moisture out. It needn’t be dry, just not dripping. If you were careful with the milk you shouldn’t be left with too much to squeeze (and hence, waste).

6. Place squishy bread in a big mixing bowl.

7. Add the sugar, fruit, suet and spice. Mix well.

8. Tip half into one loaf tin and half into the other.

9. Bake on a very low heat 100ºC for about 3*** hours.

10. Serve on its own, or with milk, yoghurt or custard.

TOP TIPS

Fair Trade – because they’re worth it

*Sugar – it is so easy to by fair trade sugar nowadays that this is an obvious choice for a recipe such as this. If it’s fairly traded, no one will have been ripped off. And ripping off poor people is nasty.

** Dried fruit – if you’re strapped for cash, go for sultanas. It won’t make any real difference in flavour.

*** You can cook this in the slow cooker overnight on ‘low’ or, if you have an oven which turns itself off, you can make it before bed, set the timer for 3 hours (knowing that the oven will turn itself off in the meantime) and look forward to a yummy breakfast, which makes a nice change from porridge or toast  🙂

Easy Spinach Daal

I’ve called this ‘daal’ because it is an adaption of a more complex recipe which involved lots of  faffing about time spent crushing cardamoms and roasting cumin seeds. I wanted to experiment with a simpler recipe using basic curry powder and the heavenly combination of spinach and lentils. I came across green chillies, fresh spinach and fresh coriander in the reduced section in Tesco, so this dish suggested itself from the beginning. The prices below are standard Tesco prices, not reduced prices. 

You will need:

2 tablespoons vegetable oil £1.25/1l

250g chana dal (or yellow split peas) £2/2kg

1 onion, finely chopped 17p/each

1 tin chopped tomatoes 31p/400g

450g fresh spinach £2/450g

3 fresh green chillies 60p/65g

2 teaspoons garlic salt £1.15/90g

1 vegetable stock cube 15p/100g

2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander 80p/31g

3 teaspoons mild curry powder £1/80g

TOTAL 82p per serving

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and gently heat the onion until softened.

2. Add the spinach leaves and heat gently until wilted.

3. Prick the chillies several times with the tip of a sharp knife.

4. Add the chillies, tomatoes, stock cube, coriander and curry powder to the pan.

5. Stir to combine.

6. Add the chana dal and enough water to cover.

7. Bring to the boil with the lid on.

8. Turn down the heat and simmer for around 40 minutes with the lid off, stirring occasionally and making sure the mixture evaporates but not so much that it boils dry. The chana dal should begin to break down but not go mushy.

9. Add more water if necessary.

10. Serve with chappatis, poppadums, or steaming hot basmati rice.

11. Enjoy!

TOP TIPS

Chana dal look exactly the same as yellow split peas, so they are probably interchangeable. I believe the chana dal are more oily, which suits this kind of dish. Either way, it is an inexpensive yet tasty dish.

Curried Marrow and Lentil Soup

Our household is trying to be more environmentally-friendly. We have made the choice to try to buy local, in-season foods, and to increase the amount of vegan food that we consume. Marrows are in season right now in the UK, so I decided to have a go at something other than my usual stuffed marrow (which I shall post online another time). The marrow and lentils in this soup give it a beautiful smooth texture, and the curry flavour works really well with the delicate tastes of marrow. The following are current Tesco prices.

 

You will need:

1 tablespoon vegetable oil £1.25/litre

1 medium onion, chopped 17p/each

1 marrow, seeds removed, chopped into chunks £1/each

100g frozen mixed vegetables 75p/kg

100g red lentils £2/2kg

2 vegetable stock cubes 15p/100g

1 tablespoon mango chutney £2.39/530g

3 tablespoons plain flour 65p/1.5kg

3 teaspoons mild or medium curry powder £1/80g

Water

Total 32p per serving

1. Heat the oil in a large stockpot and add the onions. Heat gently, stirring occasionally, until they change colour.

2. Add the marrow.

3. Add the flour and curry powder, stir until the onion and marrow are coated in the oil/flour/curry powder mixture.

4. Leave to heat through for a couple of minutes over the same gentle heat.

5. Add the frozen mixed vegetables, lentils, stock cubes, mango chutney and enough water to cover.

6. Bring to the boil and bubble vigorously for 10 minutes.

7. Make sure there is enough water, if not, add some more, then turn the heat down and simmer gently for 20 minutes.

8. Using a blender, whizz until smooth.

9. Serve with brown bread or chappatis.

10. Enjoy!

TOP TIPS

A hand-held blender is wonderful for making these kinds of soups and if rinsed immediately is ready to use next time without the fuss of cleaning a jug blender.

Soups like this can be frozen in individual containers and re-heated when needed. Easy and convenient, there is no need to rely on tinned or packet soups.

Nutty Kale Lasagne

I bought kale because it is in season in the UK right now, and I found a bag reduced to 79p. Spring onions are also in season so I bought some of those too. With these and some back-of-the-cupboard ingredients, I created this delicious vegan lasagne.

You will need:

300g kale or spring greens 79p/300g

150g spring onions, chopped 75p/150g

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil £2.50/750ml

50g plain flour 65p/1.5kg

100g Tesco free from soya smoked (cheese), grated £2.25/227g

1 teaspoon garlic salt £1.15/90g

1 vegetable stock cube 15p/100g

250g lasagne sheets 32p/250g

1l unsweetened soya milk 59p/1l

100g chopped mixed nuts 89p/200g

black pepper

82p per serving

1. Boil or steam the kale for around 8 minutes until dark green and slightly limp.

2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a saucepan and cook the chopped spring onions over a low heat until softened.

3. Add the  flour and stock cube and stir to combine.

4. Add the garlic salt, grated soya cheese and a dash of soya milk. Stir.

5. Add a dash of black pepper.

5. Gradually add the soya milk, a little at a time.

6. Continue stirring until thickened.

7. Take off the heat.

8. Drain the kale and layer half on the bottom of a large rectangular casserole dish.

9. Sprinkle half of the chopped mixed nuts over the top of the kale.

10. Put half of the lasagne sheets on the top, spread out evenly.

11. Put 1/3 of the sauce over the lasagne sheets.

12. Spread the rest of the kale over the sauce.

13. Sprinkle the remaining nuts over.

14. Put the other half of the lasagne sheets over the kale.

15. Spread the remaining sauce over the top.

16. Bake in a pre-heated oven 180ºC for 30 minutes.

17. Serve with crusty bread.

18. Enjoy!

TOP TIPS

A twist on the more usual spinach and ricotta lasange, I prefer the subtle sweetness of the kale in this recipe, which is so nicely balanced by the smoked soya cheese and mixed nuts.