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.

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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!

Sunny Salad

A mix of traditional carrot salad and Waldorf salad, this is quite hearty, if you can say that about a salad. Serve with jacket potatoes or rice.

 

You will need:

3/4 cup / 180ml mayonnaise (egg-free mayonnaise is to be found in many supermarkets and there are also many vegan mayonnaise recipes online)

2 tsp lemon juice

8 small carrots, grated

2 small, tangy apples, chopped

3 celery sticks, chopped

1 handful sultanas

2 handfuls cashews

 

1. Mix together the lemon juice and the mayonnaise with a fork.

2. Add the chopped apples and mix.

3. Add remaining ingredients and stir well until everything is blended.

 

TOP  TIPS

To save time and energy I use a food processor with a grater attachment to grate the carrots, then I switch to the slicer attachment to slice the celery. I choose to chop the apples so that they still have some bite to them, but if you need to conserve energy you can use a slicer attachment on a food processor. There is a little washing involved in cleaning the food processor, but it’s still less than grating and chopping by hand.

 

Creamy Asparagus Soup

I found some asparagus in the reduced section of the supermarket and came up with this very tasty soup. Tis the season for asparagus, so I like to make the most of it.

You will need:

1 tbsp vegetable oil

200g silken tofu

680g asparagus spears

2 onions, chopped

2 vegetable stock cubes

1 tsp garlic powder

250ml white wine

2l water

1 handful fresh rosemary, chopped

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

 

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat and add the onion. Cook until waxy.

2. Snap off the bottom of the asparagus spears, discard (or save to make homemade vegetable stock) and chop the remaining spears.

3. Add asparagus to the pan along with all the remaining ingredients, except the tofu.

4. Bring to the boil and simmer over a low heat for thirty minutes or so.

5. Spoon the soup into a blender with the tofu and whizz until it is smooth.

6. Serve with fresh, homemade bread.

 

TOP TIPS

Spoonie friendly tip: I use the food processor with the chopping blade attached to save energy and time when chopping veggies.

Heavenly Healthier Chocolate Cake

I have been experimenting with gluten free, grain free and dairy free cakes for a while now, and I think I’m finally getting the hang of it.

Lower in fat and sugar than typical chocolate cake this recipe even contains fruit, yet still tastes decadent with its blend of vanilla, cinnamon and coffee. It also contains cacao powder, which is a good source of nutrients and is naturally sweet. Go ahead: try it warm from the oven with homemade yoghurt and blueberries. Mmm…

You will need:

4 small apples

1 tbsp lemon juice, fresh or bottled

2 tbsp coconut oil, softened (vegetable oil will work here too)

2 tsp instant coffee (I use cafedirect fair trade organic decaffeinated  coffee – caffeine doesn’t like me)

3 medium eggs

2 tbsp powdered stevia

30ml almond milk

2 tbsp rice malt syrup

65g coconut flour

50g raw cacao powder

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla extract

7″ baking tin with a removable base, lightly greased

 

1. Chop the apples and remove the cores. Put the oven on to 180°C (160°C fan).

2. Place apple pieces in a small saucepan with the lemon juice and just enough water to cover.

3. Bring to the boil and then turn down the heat and simmer for 10  minutes.

4. Meanwhile, in a food processor place the coconut oil, coffee, stevia, rice malt syrup, milk and eggs. Whizz on a high speed until well combined using the blade attachment.

5. Add to the food processor the flour, cacao, baking powder, vanilla extract and cinnamon.

6. Strain the cooked apples and add to the mixture.

7. Whizz again for a full minute, scraping down the sides as needed.

8. You should have a soft dropping consistency. If not, add a tablespoon of almond milk or apple water.

9. Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake in a pre-heated oven for 35 minutes or until a metallic skewer comes out clean. The top of the cake should be crackled but not burnt.

10. Store in the fridge (if it lasts that long).

 

adapted from this recipe: 

http://www.theculinaryjumble.com/2016/02/24/deeply-rich-chocolate-cake/

Healthy No Grain Chocolatey Breakfast

I initially tried this with wheatgrass powder instead of the cacao powder. It was disgusting. It looked like dried pond scrapings. It tasted worse. So revolting was it, indeed, that I ate a bowl on two consecutive mornings and then decided to throw the rest away. I hate wasting food, but it really was vile! However, this altered recipe is very palatable.

Yes, it’s possible to combine healthy eating and chocolatey-ness and have it for breakfast! This takes just a few minutes to prepare but will last for many breakfasts. Although the initial ingredients are expensive, a little goes a very long way, so this does not become too uneconomical.

 

You will need:

150g chia seeds

150g raw buckwheat

50g banana chips, crushed

50g dried cranberries

50g pumpkin seeds

30g popped amaranth

20g gogi berries

15g dried apple pieces

1 tbsp raw cacao powder (or more, to taste)

 

1. Wash buckwheat and leave to dry on a clean tea towel or kitchen roll paper. If you do this last thing at night it will be dry by the morning.

2. In a bowl combine the chia seeds, banana chips, cranberries, pumpkin seeds, popped amaranth, gogi berries, apple, cacao and fully dry buckwheat.

3. Stir gently to combine.

4. When fully combined, place in an airtight container.

 

TO USE:

Place one tablespoonful in a bowl. Add around 150-200ml water or almond milk and leave to soak for at least 15 minutes (you can even leave it overnight) before eating.

 

TOP TIPS

Watch this YouTube video for how to pop amaranth (you can also buy it ready-popped):

https://m.youtube.com/?#/watch?v=sqbQDKxDyW4

 

 

 

 

Simple Salad

Takes 10 minutes to prepare.

You will need:

1 cucumber, cubed

250g cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered (or salad tomatoes, diced)

1 large carrot, peeled and grated

3 tbsp rapeseed oil

1 tbsp rice wine vinegar (or cider vinegar)

1/4 tsp Dijon, whole grain or French mustard

 

  1. Combine the cucumber, tomatoes and carrot in a large bowl.
  2. Whisk together the oil, vinegar and mustard.
  3. Pour the dressing over the salad.
  4. Mix well.

 

Serve with rice, jacket potatoes, quiche, etc.

 

Apple Turkey Lurkey (for those ubiquitous turkey leftovers lurking around after Christmas)

This is a risotto with an English twist, ideal for using up leftover turkey (or roast chicken or pork). Serves 6.

You will need:

300 – 500g cooked turkey meat (ours was a free range, local turkey – still festive, but more eco-friendly)

1 litre pure apple juice

1 tablespoon tomato puree

1 litre chicken stock

500g Arborio rice (if this is too expensive, use long grain rice)

1 small onion, chopped

1 leftover cooked sausage/chipolata/small chunk of haslet (optional), chopped into small chunks

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

200g frozen peas

Method:

1. Heat the oil in a large-bottomed pan and add the onion and rice. Heat through until the onion is soft and the rice is glistening, stirring gently.

2. Add a ladle-full of apple juice and heat through gently. Meanwhile, tear the turkey into bite size pieces.

3. Add the turkey, tomato puree, sausage/haslet (if using) and peas with another ladle-full of apple juice. Stir gently.

4. On a medium-high heat, continue adding a ladle of apple juice every couple of minutes, stirring gently with a wooden spoon so the mixture doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.

5. Once you have added all the apple juice in this manner, add the chicken stock using the same technique.

6. Continue stirring until heated through and all the liquid has been absorbed.

7. Bueno! Serve and enjoy.

TOP TIPS

Try serving with dollops of leftover cranberry sauce. 

Healthier Bread and Butter Pudding: Dairy Free, Low Sugar, Lower Fat

I do love a good old fashioned English pud! Bread and butter pudding is another great way to use up old bread, and with this recipe the usual cream and sugar are substituted with almond milk, agave syrup and grated apple.

 

You will need:

Margarine

10 slices wholemeal bread, medium thickness (I use the cheap kind and it works fine)

100g sultanas

1 teaspoon ground mixed spice

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

400ml almond milk

3 large free range eggs

1 level tablespoon granulated sugar (optional)

1 level dessertspoon agave syrup

1 dessert apple, finely grated

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

1. Spread the bread slices with margarine, ensuring you spread thinly and as far towards the edges as you can.

2. Cut the bread slices into triangles.

3. Arrange half of the bread slices on the base of a large ovenproof dish.

4. Sprinkle with half of the sultanas and the ground mixed spice.

5. Arrange the remaining half of the bread slices on the top and again sprinkle with the remaining sultanas and the cinnamon.

6. Break the eggs into a bowl and whisk together with the vanilla extract and agave syrup.

7. Put the grated apple and almond milk in a saucepan.

8. Heat the milk mixture, but don’t let it boil.

9. Pour the milk mixture over the eggs, stirring continuously.

10. Now pour the mixture over the bread slices.

11. Press the bread slices down gently with a fork, until saturated.

12. Sprinkle the top with sugar.

13. Place in the oven at 160ºC (140ºC fan oven) for 50 minutes, or until the top is golden and the pudding has set.

14. Serve with home made yoghurt for a tasty treat.