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Archive for the ‘Vegan’ Category

So I have to admit, I made a variation on this several times during lent as it is super easy and quick if, say, your family is having fish and chips and you have to concoct something for yourself at speed. It may not be the most inspired vegan meal, but man is it good, especially if you use a good quality paprika that makes it extra smoky and fiery (definitely something I was craving on the occasion I was cooking chorizo quiche for the fam).

veggie/vegan chilli

Serves 4 – for a tart filling which serves 2, see below

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped/minced
  • 500g tin beans in water (any variety or mixed)
  • 500g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 2 handfuls chopped fresh mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 250 ml  apple juice
  • 160 ml (about a third of the tomato tin) red wine
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp hot smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp vegetable bouillon/1 vegetable stock cube
  • 1 tbsp cous cous (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1tsp white wine vinegar
  • pepper and salt to taste
Heat the oil in a saucepan and fry off the onions and garlic until translucent. Add the beans WITH THEIR WATER, tinned tomatoes, wine mushrooms and apple juice. Bring to the boil and add the spices, stock cube and purée. Allow to simmer with the lid off for 15 minutes. Depending on how thick the sauce is looking, or what you are serving it with (I was serving it with soft tortillas so I didn’t want it to be too runny, but if you were serving it with rice or a baked potato, you’d want a bit more sauce) add the cous cous to thicken. Simmer for a further 15 minutes, lid on. Right at the end, stir in the sugar and vinegar. Taste and then season. Serve with nachos, tortillas, baked potato or rice and a crispy green salad.

 variation for tart filling

serves 2

I halved the ingredients  and omitted the tinned tomatoes, couscous, sugar and mushrooms adding an extra squirt of tomato purée and a squirt of tomato ketchup cooking quickly (probably only 10-15mins simmering) until it makes a drier sauce. I then put the mixture into pre-blind baked pastry cases (Jus-roll short crust pastry cooked at 200C for 15 minutes) and baked for 10-15 mins with a dollop of vegan “cheese” (more of a cheesey dip, the consistency of hummus)  on top from this recipe. I particularly like this fake cheese recipe because it doesn’t use soya milk and I find I don’t like the strong soy-taste in fake cheeses using soya milk.

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Happy Easter one and all!

 

Apologies for the 40days and nights (plus a few Sundays) absence. I also would have posted this yesterday, but I spent most of it either at church or in a roast beef induced stupor.

I tried a bit of an experiment over lent, which unfortunately coincided with being quite busy. From Ash Wednesday until yesterday, I have been eschewing animal products in an attempt to live more simply, healthily and with less of an environmental impact (although research has led me to believe an entirely vegan diet may not be the best way to do this…any links or input on this would be much appreciated).  Part of my Christian belief is that we have a responsibility to not over tax the planet’s resources, mainly because the poorest and most vulnerable people often suffer the most from environmental changes. I went vegan to challenge myself  and to work out how to eat fewer animal products in the future. Being vegan for lent is not such an uncommon thing in the wider Christian world, outside of our western bubble (where most people give up chocolate) many eastern orthodox traditions practice a Lenten fast without any animal products and it is sometimes called the “Daniel Fast“.

I will share some of my vegan culinary creations in the next few posts, but for starters I’d like to share these links to websites and blogs I have discovered over lent which boast excellent food (oh, and they happen to be vegan or vegetarian too).

Post Punk Kitchen

Choose Veg

One Green Planet

The Vegan Society

Green Kitchen Stories

Pea Soup Eats

Other exciting finds are that  jus-roll pastry, cheap bourbons  (thanks Ash), fig rolls and Mr. Kipling jam tarts are all vegan!

So what did I make of being vegan for lent? I think the main hurdle to overcome, as with any fasting, is psychological. Contrary to popular belief, there is a heck of a lot that one can eat as a vegan. Take the recipes on here for example: spicy aubergines, lentil tagine, mango salsa and the chick pea and spinach curry are all vegan without any alterations, and it doesn’t take much to make the fatayer, bubble and squeak or chinese broth to be vegan, with a few substitutions and omissions.

I really enjoyed trying new recipes, new food combinations and thinking more carefully about my nutrition, which I should probably be doing whatever I’m eating (on that note, I’d like to dispel a few myths of veganism which still prevail in these enlightened times, you CAN get enough protein on a vegan diet and I even gave blood halfway through lent, where they tested my iron levels and found them to be perfectly normal) . Yes, it was hard at times, and as much as I loved all the fresh and exciting food, sometimes the Brit in me just wanted something brown, smothered in gravy (and mature farmhouse cheddar cheese). For sake of the planet and my health, I’m definitely going to try and continue some of the habits I acquired during lent (like snacking on nuts and seeds, not resorting to putting cheese on everything vegetarian, and eating more pulses) into my omnivorous diet.

P.S. Ready made vegan cheese is not worth it. It is absolutely rank.

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