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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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couldn't find my camera so these are rubbish phone photos

Last weekend’s roast was lamb, and on Monday we had quite a bit of leftover cooked meat. Seeing as the weather has been on the colder side, no-one was keen on the salad and cold meat way of using it up. I wanted something a bit different to your average shepherds pie and decided pasties filled with a middle-eastern blend of ingredients would be just right. I think this filling would taste great in fatayer parcels too. If you wanted to use raw mince, then I would suggest pre-cooking it in a little olive oil with the garlic and onions before making the mixture.

The mushrooms in the recipe were to bulk out the meat, so if you have more meat, reduce the mushrooms and vice versa.

leftover lamb and mint pasties

makes roughly 12 medium size pasties

  • 300g cooked lamb, de-boned
  • 200g mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1/2 bunch mint, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp harissa
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 2tbsps pine nuts
  • 1 1/2tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 500g savoury shortcrust pastry (either the pre-made ready to roll stuff or using this recipe)
  • egg and some milk for brushing

Pre-heat the oven to 200C

Put the lamb into a food processor and gently pulse until it reaches a consistency like cooked mince (be careful not to whizz for too long…I’ve definitely made meat-dust before by accident. Not appetising…) Alternatively chop finely. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl (apart from the pastry!) and leave to stand while you make the pastry…or just get it out of the fridge.

Roll the pastry until it is about 1/2 a centimetre thick and cut into circles roughly 15cm in diameter (I used a medium sized plate to cut round). Fill the circles with a couple of spoons of the mixture. Brush the edges with a mixture of beaten egg and milk and press the edges together. Put slits on the top with a knife. Transfer onto a baking tray with a thin brushing of olive oil on. Brush the tops of the pasties with milk and egg and bake in the pre-heated oven for 20minutes until golden brown. Serve with steamed vegetables.

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