Sunday, 31 May 2009

Chinese Fried Rice

Whipped this up before the Britains Got Talent results last night. Quick, easy, cheap and delicious!

  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced (optional)
  • 1 pepper, chopped
  • 1 tin of chickpeas
  • 1 cup of peas
  • 4 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • sprinkle of chinese five spice
  • squirt of agave nectar
  1. Cook the rice according to instructions on the packet
  2. While the rice is cooking, chop the onion and pepper
  3. Drain the rice and rinse under a cold tap until cold.
  4. Heat the oil in a wok and fry the onion, pepper and garlic for a few minutes, until soft.
  5. Add the rice, chickpeas, peas, hoisin sauce and soy sauce. Stir and fry for 7-10 minutes.
  6. Sprinkle chinese five spice over and some agave nectar. Fry for a few more minutes and then serve.

This was a really great meal. I'm tempted to have it for both lunch and dinner today :D

German Apple Cake

This cake is delicious and got a thumbs up from my it must be good! I got the recipe from The Joy of Vegan Baking but made a few wee changes.

  • 4 apples, peeled and cut into slices
  • 1/2 cup soya butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup apple sauce
  • 2 tbsp soy milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C and lightly grease a cake tin with soya butter
  2. Put the apples in a microwaveable dish and cover with water. Place in the microwave and cook for 1-1 1/2 minutes (no longer) until they are soft. Drain and set aside.
  3. Cream together the butter and sugar. Add the apple sauce, vanilla, almond (if using) and soy milk and stir until combined
  4. Sift in the flour and baking powder and mix together
  5. Add the batter to the greased cake tin and arrange the apple slices on top of the cake.
  6. Mix together the brown sugar cinnamon and ginger and sprinkle on top of the cake.
  7. Bake for 30-45 minutes until a knife goes into the center of the cake and comes out clean. Leave to cool before removing the cake from the pan.
  8. Best served with a scoop of vanilla Swedish Glace!

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Curried Sweet Potato Gnocchi

I had a sweet potato gnocchi at a restaurant I went to this week and there was something different in it that I just couldn't work out. I decided it must have been curry powder and decided to recreate it and make it a little bit better :P It turned out delicious...and I gave myself a far larger portion than the restaurant did!

Curried Sweet Potato Gnocchi

  • 2 medium sized sweet potatoes
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • plain flour (shouldn't be more than 2 cups)
  • 1 tbsp soya butter
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 2 handfuls of spinach
  • 1 handful of green beans, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  1. Heat the oven to 180C and roast the sweet potatoes until soft. For me this took around an hour.
  2. Take the potatoes from the oven and carefully, as they will be super hot, peel the skin off. Place the potatoes in a mixing bowl and mash.
  3. Add the soya butter, curry powder, turmeric, salt and pepper and mix until it is a smooth paste.
  4. Add a little bit of flour between mixes until you have a nice dough.
  5. Flour your hands and the table before grabbing pieces of the dough and rolling it into small balls. The smaller the better.
  6. When you have rolled the dough, bring a large pan of water to the boil. When boiling, add the gnocchi and boil for a few minutes, until the balls float.
  7. Drain the gnocchi and set to one side.
  8. While the gnocchi is cooling, slice the onion, chop the beans and mince some garlic. Then, slice the gnocchi balls in half.
  9. Heat the oil and cumin seeds in a frying pan. Add the garlic and onion and fry until soft before adding the green beans and gnocchi (also add more curry powder if you think the dish needs it). Fry for 5 minutes. Add the spinach and fry until wilted.
  10. Serve!

This came out really good, especially as it was the first time I had ever made my own gnocchi. It took much longer than I thought it would, but was worth the effort as it was so delicious. Would probably be nice with a coconutty sauce but I decided to keep it simple and just have it with veggies.

Friday, 15 May 2009

A Lovely Lentil Salad

I'm not a fan of leafy salads. Infact, I like salads to have anything but leaves in them. This is a delicious and filling lentil salad that I whipped up.

A Lovely Lentil Salad

  • 1 cup dry green lentils
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 whole cloves of garlic, bruised
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 3 tbsp fresh mint, chopped
  • 1 red onion, finely, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  1. Put the lentils, bay leaves, cloves of garlic and oregano into a pan, cover with water and cook for 30 minutes until soft.
  2. Meanwhile put the oil, vinegar, garlic, cumin and mint into a jug and whisk until mixed.
  3. When the lentils are drained and cooled, stir through the dressing, the onion and bell pepper. Serve!
I put some chopped up avocado on mine. Just because I love avocado.

Time Consuming, But Delicious Mushroom Wellington

Firstly, I'm very sorry that there hasn't been an update in a long while. I spent a week in Liverpool with a friend and five extremely cute kittens.

Things have been hectic since I got back, but I've managed to rustle up a few things to blog about. I'll start with the Mushroom Wellington, which involves a lot of effort and takes a long time, and then I'll do another blog post with a quicker and easier recipe for you lot to try.

Mushroom Wellington

I used to love Beef Wellington in my meat eating days, so when I found vegetarian recipe I decided to veganise it and make a few changes of my own. I know it's not a very summery dish but it would go nicely with a salad at this time of year. I also think this would make a nice change over nut roast at Christmas. This recipe makes 2 very large Mushroom Wellingtons, so halve it if you'd only like to make one. I made two and froze one of them for another time.

  • 500g puff pastry (one packet)
  • 60ml vegetable oil
  • 450g mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp fresh tarragon
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 320g nuts (I used cashews and walnuts)
  • 4 medium sized onions roughly chopped (I used 2 red and 2 white, gave it a nice colour)
  • 175g breadcrumbs
  • soy milk and a bit of soy sauce to glaze
  1. Heat the oven to 200C
  2. Roll the puff pastry into two rectangles and set to one side.
  3. Heat the oil into the pan. When heated add the mushrooms and half of the garlic. Fry for 10-15 minutes until golden brown.
  4. Add the rest of the garlic, the tarragon and the soy sauce and cook until a very dark brown. Remove the mushrooms from the pan and set aside, leaving any juices left in the pan.
  5. Chop the nuts with the leftover mushroom juices (or if you don't have much left just add a little water) until it is a nice paste. Put into a mixing bowl and set aside.
  6. Next put the mushrooms into the food processor and whizz until it's a paste before adding to the nuts.
  7. Do the same with the onions and add to the nuts and mushrooms.
  8. Add the breadcrumbs to the mixing bowl and using your hands, mix until well combined. Make the mixture into two large balls.

  1. Get the pastry and put one ball in each rectangle. Use a knife to cut a triangle from each corner of the pastry before folding it tightly over the mixture. Use any extra bits of pastry to fill any massive gaps. It should look like this.

  2. Mix some soy sauce in some soy milk and brush over the Wellington before putting it in the oven for 35-40 minutes.

This Wellington was so good. I just had mine sliced up with gravy as I was too impatient to wait for any vegetables to be cooked. I would probably make this a day in advance and cook it the day I want it as it is a lot of effort. I'm hoping next time will be quicker as I'll know exactly what to do!

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Peanut Mock Duck and Thai Pineapple Rice

I was at a Chinese supermarket the other weekend and finally came across tinned mock duck. I've only ever found it once before and was too scared to try it because fake meat in a tin just feels a little strange to me. I got the courage to try it this time, and made a lovely peanut sauce for it.

Peanut Mock Duck

  • 1/2 to 1 tin of mock duck, thinly sliced
  • 3-4 large spring onions, sliced thinly or 1 shallot chopped finely
  • oil
  • 1/2 cup of vegetable stock
  • 4 tbsp peanut butter
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1-2 tbsp agave nectar
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 tbsp minced or grated root ginger
  • Splash of lemon juice
  • 1 handful of coriander, chopped (optional. I've used it for this sauce before but not with the mock duck)
  1. Fry the mock duck and spring onions togther in a little bit of oil until the onions are soft and the duck has been browned a little bit.
  2. While that is cooking, in a jug, stir together the stock, peanut butter, soy sauce, agave, garlic, cayenne, ginger and lemon juice.
  3. When the duck and onions are ready, add the sauce and heat through until thick. If the sauce gets too thick just add a little bit more water, if it's too runny stir in some peanut butter.
  4. Serve with noodles or rice
Simple as that! This sauce is also great just stirred into noodles too.

The mock duck was quite good, not sure it was good enough for me to get again. £1 for tinned meat seems a bit expensive to me, especially as I can just sub it for mushrooms or another vegetable instead. I definitely would say to slice it finely, I got a few big chunks and didn't enjoy that so much. I'd also consider using less than the whole tin for this recipe, it seemed a bit much, which is why I've put 1/2 to 1 tin in the ingredients list.

Thai Pineapple Rice

  • 2 cups rice
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped (or red onions, they give it a nice colour)
  • 2 red chili's, roughly chopped
  • 1 handful of coriander
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1-2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tin of crushed pineapple (or you could use fresh, I get tinned for convenience)
  • Oil
  1. Cook rice according to the instructions
  2. While the rice is cooking, chuck the onion, chili and coriander into a food processor and blitz until finely chopped. Or finely chop these ingredients yourself, either way works.
  3. In a wok or large pan, heat the oil and saute the garlic for 1 minute before adding the onion mixture and crushed pineapple.
  4. Drain the rice and stir into the pineapple mixture before serving
This is a super easy dish and one of my favourites. I usually just have a bowl of it on its own!