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.

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!

Carroty Cheese & Potato Pie

You will need:

5 carrots, chopped

1.5kg potatoes, chopped

250g cheese (or vegan alternative), grated

3 tbsp natural soya yoghurt (I like to make my own but today I used a store-bought version)

2 medium, ripe tomatoes, sliced

 

1. In a large saucepan, place the carrots and potato. Cover with water.

2. Bring to the boil and cook until tender.

3. Remove from the heat and drain, retaining the liquid.

4. Add 2/3 of the cheese along with the yoghurt and enough of the drained water to mash.

5. Using a potato masher, mash until soft and creamy.

6. Place into a casserole dish and arrange the tomato slices on the top.

7. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on the top.

8. Place under a grill until the cheese has melted and the tomatoes have softened.

9. Serve immediately with a green salad.

Apple, Onion and Potato Parcel-Pies

2 packets ready-made puff pastry (dairy free)

1 tin potatoes, drained and crushed (not mashed)

3 red onions, finely chopped

2 dessert apples, chopped

100ml red wine

300g grated cheese (or vegan alternative)

1 egg, beaten (you can use soya or almond milk instead)

Handful fresh thyme, chopped

Handful fresh rosemary, chopped

1 tbsp oil

 

SERVES 6

 

1. Put oil in pan over medium heat.

2. Add red onion and apple.

3. When the onion is translucent add the red wine and potato.

4. Heat through for 5 minutes and then remove from the heat and set to one side.

5. In a roasting tin or baking tray, roll out one of the pastry pieces. Do the same with the second piece of pastry in a second tin.

6. Place half the onion mixture onto one half of one of the pieces of pastry. Do the same with the second half of the mixture onto the second piece of pastry.

7. Sprinkle half the cheese over one and half over the other.

8. Sprinkle half the thyme and rosemary over each.

9. Brush the edges of the pastry with the beaten egg and fold the pastry over to make large parcels. Press the edges together all the way round.

10. Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C (fan), 200°C (no fan), for 30 minutes or until risen and golden.

11 . Serve slices of ‘pie’ with baked beans and a green salad.

Slow-Cooker Potato and Lentil Soup

What do you do if you have a spouse with toothache, a bag of potatoes and fresh coriander that needs to be used up?

Answer: You make soup.

What do you do if you think you won’t have much time or energy in the evening with which to make dinner?

Answer: microwave a ready-meal No, no! You use your slow cooker.

A thick soup like this warms you up on the coldest of winter days, and is also good as a light-but-filling summer dinner. With the potatoes for carbohydrate, lentils for protein and virtually zero fat it is good for those of us who need to watch our weight too. Time to prepare: about 10 minutes max.

 

You will need:

1kg potatoes, washed and chopped into chunks £1.90/2.5kg

1 onion, chopped 17p/each

150g red lentils £2/2kg

1 tablespoon fresh coriander 80p/31g

2 vegetable stock cubes 15p/100g

Approx. 2l water

black pepper

Total 30p per serving

 

1. After chopping the onion and potato, place into the bottom of the slow cooker.

2. Add the lentils, coriander, stock cubes and enough water to cover – there should be a gap of about 5cm between the top of the potatoes and the water line.

3. Sprinkle on black pepper, to taste.

4. Put slow cooker on high and cook for 3-4 hours, or on low and cook for 7-8 hours. Stir occasionally.

5. Using a hand-held blender, whizz to a creamy, thick soup.

6. Serve steaming hot with crusty bread.

TOP TIPS

This can also be made on the hob if you soften the onions first; just remember to boil the lentils vigorously for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

Grated smoked soya cheese sprinkled over the top makes this even more delicious.

You can also sprinkle with some fresh coriander, if this is to your taste.

Jacket Potatoes

Preparation time 5 minutes, cooking time 1-2 hours.

Why am I including jacket potatoes on my Easy Cooking blog? Because they are often overlooked as an ideal cheap, nutritious way to feed a family. Yet they are so simple to prepare and very filling. Jacket potatoes can be filled with a variety of foods and an accompanying salad always goes down a treat.

You will need:

1 large potato per person, scrubbed but not peeled, 87.2p/kg

Dribble of vegetable oil (optional)

Approx. 21p per serving

1. Prick the potato a few times with the pointy end of a small, sharp knife. This is so that the insides cook evenly.

2. Dribble oil and smear it over the potato with your hands. A little goes a very long way.

3. Place into a pre-heated oven 150°C for 2 hours, or 200°C for 60 minutes.

4. Slice in half and serve with butter, margarine, grated cheese, baked beans, houmous, tuna and mayonnaise, leftover stew, leftover chilli, etc., etc.

TOP TIPS

An alternative to the humble potato is the sweet potato, which cooks in exactly the same way but is slightly more expensive, coming in currently at £1.28/kg

At around 25p a tin, ‘economy’ or ‘value’ baked beans make an ideal filling.

I love my sweet potato with a little vegetable margarine and a sprinkling of herbamare. Delicious!