Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Baked Bean Fritters

Baked beans are a great easy protein and iron packed meal, but I've never found the stuff very tasty without some additions.
As my littlest is mad keen on fritters, I've been playing around with the idea of baked beans in a fritter, and I think it works quite well. If you don't like the lumpiness of the baked beans you can always give them a bit of a mashing before you put the fritters together.
The end result will depend on the brand of baked beans you use, do check they don't have cheese added to the ingredients.

Baked Bean Fritters

1/2 onion, diced
1 can baked beans
3/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp oregano
salt and pepper to taste (this will depend on the baked beans your using)
Oil for frying

Fry the diced onion until soft and then place in a bowl with the baked beans and mix through, add the other ingredients and mix well. Fry in the same frypan yo cooked the onion in - turn when you can see the bottoms of the fritters browning and bubbles appear around the edges, cook until the fritters are cooked right through.
These are really nice served with chilli style sauce or chowchow.

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Potato Lentil Soup

Potato Lentil Soup

Oil for frying
1 medium onion, diced
3-4 medium potatoes, cubed
1/2 cup red lentils
2 tsp Massel chicken style stock powder
4 cups boiling water
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Fry the onion in oil until softening add potato and fry for a few minutes, stirring constantly. Add stock and stir right through the potato and onion so it frys slightly (helps bring out the flavour) then pour in the boiling water carefully and the lentils, stir and bring to a boil. Turn down and simmer until the lentils are cooked and the potatoes are soft and mushy.
Season and purée with a stick blender.

Monday, 15 October 2007

Hummus

Hummus

1 cup cooked chickpeas (reserve liquid)
1 tsp tahini (optional)
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1-3 garlic cloves, crushed
Oil

Purée the chickpeas with the tahini, lemon juice and garlic, and a 1/4 cup of the reserved cooking liquid, season and adjust the consistency with oil or more cooking liquid.

Garlic Yoghurt

Garlic Yoghurt

1 cup soy yoghurt
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 Tbsp garlic oil
1 tsp lemon juice
salt to taste

Mix well and leave to sit in the fridge if possible before serving to develop the flavour.

Sunday, 14 October 2007

Lentils au Vin

Lentils au Vin

1 medium onion, chopped
4-6 button sized mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup red lentils
splash of red wine
1 Tbsp garlic and rosemary oil
2 tsp Massel chicken style stock
2 cups boiling water
Couscous as required

Fry onions and mushroom in flavoured oil, add red wine, lentils, hot water, and stock. Cook till lentils are soft and mushy, season to taste, add couscous to mop up excess liquid.

Thursday, 4 October 2007

Christmas Cake

Yep, it's time to start thinking about making the Christmas cake again. This recipe isn't as dark and flavourful as a really good Christmas cake, but it's not bad considering it has no eggs or butter (and with only two tablespoons of oil, it means you can eat twice as much with half the guilt)! It freezes just fine (and this is my recommended method of storage if making well in advance for Christmas), but does have a tendency to get a little dry and stale if it's not kept in a good airtight container once you start eating it- the one downside of no dairy products. If you don't like a dry cake, then use the oil content in brackets - I worked out this recipe while pregnant and suffering a huge oil aversion and have found the cake just a wee bit too dry unless eaten with custard or soy milk or similar.
I suggest you buy twice the listed ingredients, so you can make two cakes, one for the freezer and one to 'taste test' ;)

Christmas Cake


2 cups mixed dried fruit
2 Tbsp oil (or 1/2 cup for a moister cake)
1 cup sugar
1 Tbsp golden syrup
1 Tbsp treacle
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp bk soda
2 cup boiling water

2 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp almond essence
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 tsp brandy essence
1/2 tsp each of any other essences you have
1/4 cup ground almonds
4 cups flour (50/50 white and wholemeal)
3 tsp bk powder
3 Tbsps brandy or sherry plus 1/4 cup for cooked cake (optional)

Preheat oven to 180c
Line a 20cm cake tin with baking paper
Put fruit mix, oil, sugar, golden syrup, treacle and salt and baking soda in a large mixing bowl, add boiling water and stir well, leave to sit while sifting flour and baking powder.
Mix in all the other ingredients and bake, check cake after an hour with a skewer, if not cooked in the middle cover the top with baking paper and cook in 15 min increments until done.
Remove from oven pierce well with skewer and pour 1/4 cup of brandy over cake

If you want to ice your cake, Odense brand marzipan is vegan friendly for the almond flavoured layer, I'm still pondering the harder outer layer as I'm not a fan of it anyway.

Self Saucing Sticky Date Pudding

Self Saucing Sticky Date Pudding

1 cup of chopped dates
2 Tbsp oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp golden syrup
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup boiling water

2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder

1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1/4 cup brandy OR 1 tsp brandy essence

Mix first 7 ingredients in a pudding basin and leave to soak until dates are starting to soften.
Stir in flour and baking powder.
Sprinkle over brown sugar and brandy then pour over boiling water and cover the basin.
Steam for 1 hour minimum, or cook 180c fan bake for 50 mins.

Alternative: Add the rind and juice of a lemon into the date mixture before leaving it to soak.

Beef and Ginger Stir fry

Beef and Ginger Stir fry

2 Tbsps oil
2 Tbsp Root ginger, grated
2 tsp Massel vegan beef style stock
Soy Sauce to taste
1/4 cup boiling water
3 or more cups sliced veges which can include carrot, broccoli, capsicum, mushroom, cabbage, swede, celery, onion, leeks, bean sprouts, cooked chickpeas, baby corn, courgette, snow peas, green beans
1 Tbsp cornflour

Heat oil in wok and fry root ginger and beef stock with onions, add in any root veges like carrot, swede and other slow cooking veges and 1/4 cup boiling water and stirfry for 5 mins then add in the other veges and keep stirring until cooked. Add soy sauce to taste.
Mix cornflour with water and stir through to coat the veges.

HINT: An easy way to always have root ginger on hand is to freeze it in an airtight container and grate what you need while it's still frozen.

Chilli Bean and Avocado Baked Potato

Chilli Bean and Avocado Baked Potato

4 medium potatoes
oil

1 can of chilli beans
1 avocado
1 cup alpha-alpha sprouts
6 to 8 sliced button mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped cucumber

Hummus or Garlic Yoghurt to taste

Scrub potatoes, pierce well and brush with oil. Bake 180c 1-1 1/4 hours or until soft. Allow to cool until handle-able. Slice tops off and scoop out the potato without breaking the skin, chop potato roughly and combine with the other ingredients except the hummus. Spoon the mix back into the potato shells and serve with a dollop of hummus or yoghurt.

Creamy Curried Kumera

Creamy Curried Kumera

1 small onion, grated
1 clove garlic
1 cup cooked chickpeas
2 medium kumera, scrubbed and chopped
1 tsp fenugreek
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp cumin
chilli powder to taste (optional)
oil

Heat oil in a pot and gently fry onion, garlic and spices, add kumera, chickpeas and water to cover.
Simmer gently until kumera falls apart and liquid is reduced then season and cream with a stick blender.

Peanut Brownies

This is a veganisation of a good old Edmonds cookbook standard, I haven't tried it out as yet, as nobody in this house but me eats peanut brownies, and I'm avoiding peanuts until the most junior food critic of the house is old enough to be less at risk from developing an allergy to them.
I'm really hanging out to try them, so I'm hoping someone will let me know if I'm close to the ballpark with my recipe.

Peanut Brownies


1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp oil
1 cup sugar
1 Tbsp whole or 2 Tbsp pre ground flax seed
3 Tbsp soy or rice milk
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
2 Tbsp cocoa
1 cup skinless roasted peanuts

Grind flaxseeds into a fine powder and then add the milk and wizz well, let it sit for 5 mins then add this to the oil and sugar and beat well.
Sift dry ingredients except peanuts into the wet and mix well, stir in peanuts and mix through.
Roll walnut sized balls, place on a baking paper lined tray and flatten with a fork.
Bake 180c for 8 to 15 mins or until cooked.

Muesli

Muesli is pretty easy to make, except when you try and compare it with Hubbards. As I detest peanuts in my muesli, this is a peanut free zone, but feel free to add your own touches. While I can't say this is quite Hubbards style, it's not too bad, next I want to experiment with a berry flavoured one.

Apricot and almond toasted muesli


4 cups rolled oats (or a Coliacs safe alternative)
70gms (3/4 cup or 1 packet of Taste) ground almonds
1 cup coconut
2 tsp almond essence
3/4 tsp salt
3 Tbsp maple syrup
1/4 cup oil
2/3 cup chopped dried apricots (try and get organic to avoid the sulphur)

In a bowl combine oats, almonds, coconut and salt, mix oil, essence, and syrup in a cup and mix into the dry ingredients.
Spread into a roasting dish and bake slowly for 2 hours at 100c- 120c (no fan) stirring every 20 mins. Turn the heat up to 180 and cook a further 10 minutes, stirring after 5 mins.
Add apricots and mix through, once completely cold store in an air tight container.

Lemon Honey

I REALLY miss lemon honey so when I found lemons cheap at the supermarket I had to try out making it vegan style. Since making it I've eaten far too much, it goes great on toast and in yoghurt and I think it'd make an excellent cheesecake topping too.

Lemon Honey


Zest and juice of 4 lemons
500gms sugar (2 cups)
75gms oil (1/3 cup?)
2 Tbsp cornflour

Mix together, bring to a boil in a large saucepan and boil for 1-2 mins, pour into hot jars, lid, and store in the fridge once cold.

Scones

I love scones, and they were one of the first things I learnt to veganise. Plain ones are great with soup, and often scones are a quick easy lunch when the kids are begging for something other than sandwiches.
The trick to making nice scones is having the scone dough soft but not sticky.
If you want to make pinwheel scones use plain scone dough and roll out flat, sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar, roll up and slice before baking.

Date Scones


4 cups flour (or GF baking mix)
3-4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp salt
1 cup chopped dates
1/4 cup sugar
80-100gms oil (use a flavourless type like Ricebran for baking)
1 1/2 cups rice or soy milk

Sift flour salt and baking powder together, mix through the dates until they are coated with flour (this helps stop them falling out of the dough) add the sugar and oil and stir till well combined then mix in the milk. You should have a soft but kneadable dough. Knead lightly and roll out on a sheet of baking paper, use a non serrated knife and cut into 4cm squares.
Bake on a cold baking paper lined tray for 10mins at 210c (fanbake) to 230c (no fan) or until a scone at the centre of the tray is cooked in the middle when split in half.
Scones should be a golden colour.

For plain scones simply omit the dates and sugar.

Pizza Scones

4 cups flour (or GF baking mix)
3-4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp salt
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup finely chopped tomato
2 Tbsp fresh basil finely chopped (1 tsp dried)
80-100gms Italian flavoured oil (or add1 clove crushed garlic, 1/2 tsp dried oregeno and 1/2 tsp dried marjoram)
1 1/2 cups rice or soy milk

Sift flour salt and baking powder together, mix through the onion, tomato and herbs until they are coated with flour (this helps stop them falling out of the dough) add the oil and stir till well combined then mix in the milk. You should have a soft but kneadable dough. Knead lightly and roll out on a sheet of baking paper, use a non serrated knife and cut into 4cm squares.
Bake on a cold baking paper lined tray for 10mins at 210c (fanbake) to 230c (no fan) or until a scone at the centre of the tray is cooked in the middle when split in half.
Scones should be a golden colour.

Poppyseed Crackers

This is a Veganisation of a recipe out of a very old Alison Holst book, I've had mixed results getting the dough in a state to be rolled out, depending on the type of flour and the type of oil I used, it seems to work best with white flour and ricebran oil. If the dough seems really crumbly, try adding in more oil instead of water.
The recipe makes a lot of crackers, but I've never had them last long enough to go stale, they get scoffed down very quickly!

Poppyseed Crackers


2 cups flour Or GF baking mix
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3 Tbsp poppyseeds
1/4 cup oil
1/2 cup plus 1-3 Tbsp cold water

Sift flour, baking powder and salt together, and then stir in poppyseeds. Add the oil and stir through with a fork until it looks like fine breadcrumbs. Slowly mix in the first 1/2 cup of water, adding more by the tablespoon until a firm dough is achieved. The dough should be stiff but not crumbling.
Roll out very thinly and cut into shapes either with a knife or biscuit cutters (they expand upwards but not outwards when cooking). To rework the scraps, pile them up and re-roll, don't try to squash them back together.
Bake on a baking paper lined tray for 11 mins at 180c fanbake or 190c for up to 15 mins without fanbake - crackers are cooked when they have coloured to a light honey.
Store in an airtight container as soon as they go cold or they will go soft.

Flavoured oil

It's really easy to make your own flavoured oils, and they are a great time saver if you want the flavour without the hassle of chopping the herbs.
I tend to use them in situations where I want the flavour but don't want bits of chopped herbs or garlic in the finished product.

Flavoured Oils

1 glass jar with a seal-able lid
A good cooking oil - Olive or Ricebran are my favourite
1 bulb of garlic separated into cloves and peeled, or a similar quantity of clean dry fresh herbs

Put nicks in the garlic, or bruise the herbs and place in the jar, fill with oil until the herbs/ garlic are well covered, and sit in a dark warmish place for about a week before you start using the oil, keep the jar topped up so the herbs don't sit above the level of the oil and it will last almost indefinitely.
Favourite mixtures of mine are classic garlic and rosemary, and an Italian blend of oregano, garlic and marjoram.
Softer herbs like parsley and basil won't keep so well unless refrigerated.

Carrot spice muffins

This uses a bog standard vegan muffin recipe, so if you don't like carrots, raisins and spice, you can omit them and add in your own combinations, my girls favourites are Banana and Choc chip, and Apple and Cinnamon. If you use a sweet fruit like banana you can reduce the amount of sugar in the recipe.
This muffin is very reminiscent of carrot cake, and I'm still working on making a cream-cheese style icing for it, just for those days I feel truly decadent.

Carrot Spice Muffins

2 large carrots, grated
50-100gms oil
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups flour (or sub a suitable GF baking mix)
1/2 cup raisins
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 tsp mixed spice
1/2 tsp allspice
1 cup rice or soy milk

Put all the ingredients into a bowl and mix until just combined (over mixing muffins makes them tough) pop into a muffin tin and bake 180c for 20 mins on fanbake (so possibly a bit longer for a non fanbake oven)
Makes 12 muffins

Alternatives:

2 mashed bananas and 1/2 cup choc chips
2 large or 3 small grated apples (skin on) and 2 tsps cinnamon
3 or 4 grated or diced pears (depending on how ripe they are) and 2 tsp ginger
2 grated courgettes, 1/2 cup raisins, 1/4 cup sunflower seeds, 2 tsp allspice
2 grated courgettes, 1/4 cup baking cocoa

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Seitan Bolliganoff

Until I got my mits on Vegan with a Vengeance I'd never tasted Seitan that was even remotely eatable, but I still think it's a bit of a phaff around having to cook it and cool it etc etc. So here is my take on it.
And yep, red wine isn't really vegan friendly, but you can get vegan wines (www.wrightswines.co.nz) if you want to. I tend to grit my teeth and pretend like it never happened just on the wine front, but if you can't get vegan wine and don't want to use non vegan you can omit it and just use an equal amount of water instead.
If you'd like to try a bolliganoff without gluten, then use Tofu instead, - press the tofu inside a tea-towel for an hour (drain it as much as possible then wrap in a tea-towel and put a heavy weight on top to remove as much moisture as possible) then marinate for at least an hour in the ingredients for the Seitan, minus the gluten and flour. Using Tofu will mean you can reduce the cooking time.

Seitan Bolliganoff

this is a cross between a Stroganoff and a bollignaise

1 cup healthries gluten flour
1 Tbsp brewers yeast
1 Tbsp flour
1/2 cup water
1 tsp marmite
1 Tbsp Massel beef style stock
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp tomato paste
1 1/2 tsp garlic flavoured oil (see recipe)

1 large onion, sliced
2 cloves crushed garlic
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp massel beef style stock
1/2 cup red wine
2-3 Tbsp tomato sauce
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 cup water

200gms sliced mushrooms

1 cup soy yogurt
1 tsp lemon juice

Mix the gluten flour, flour, yeast, 1st lot of stock powder in one bowl, in another mix the water, marmite, soy sauce, 1st lot of tomato paste and garlic oil in another and then combine with the dry. mix well and knead for five minutes until elastic, set aside while preparing the rest of the dish.
Gently fry the onions and garlic until soft, add the 2nd lot of tomato paste and sugar and cook until it bubbles and caramelises, deglass the pan with the redwine and remove from the heat then stir through the 2nd lot of stock, tomato sauce, water and the can of tomatoes. Pour into a lidded casserole dish. Set aside and leave to cool.
Preheat the oven to 200c.
Roll and chop the gluten mix into bite sized cubes and drop into the cooled tomato mix, ensuring the gluten is well covered in liquid, add more wine or water if necessary.
Cook covered for 1 1/2 hours, stirring once after 30 mins and adding the mushrooms and stirring through 30 mins before serving. Once cooked combine the yoghurt and lemon juice and stir through just before serving.

For a stovetop version, once the gluten is added, bring to the boil, then turn down and simmer gently for an hour, add mushrooms and cook a further 10-20mins, serve with the soured yoghurt.

This could also be made in a crockpot, transferring the mix to a crockpot instead of a lidded casserole dish and cooking on Auto for 4-6 hours or high for 2 hours and low for 4 hours and adding the mushrooms 20-30 mins before the end of cooking.

Chocolate shortbread?

OK, so it doesn't really taste like shortbread, the whole buttery thing still eludes me, but these are full of chocolate goodness and passed the taste test with a big thumbs up from the kids.

Chocolate Shortbread

450gms Pam's compound choc chips OR Whitaker's dark chocolate
1 cup cornflour (GF would be rice flour)
2 cups flour (or a suitable GF baking mix)
10 Tbsps (scant 1/2 cup) rice or soy milk

Preheat oven to 150c
Either grease tray or line with baking paper.
Melt chocolate in a double boiler with milk, add sifted flour and cornflour and knead till combined and smooth (you may need an extra tablespoon of milk). Roll out to 1/2 inch thick, cut into shape and prick with a fork, or roll into balls and flatten with a fork. You need to work quickly with this dough as it solidifies as it cools down.
Bake 20 mins.

I originally had the time set to 30mins, but they turned out quite dry and hard the day after they were baked, and I think a shorter cooking time may improve the texture, we'll have to eat up the first batch so I can try them again (what a hardship for my two chocolate obsessed girls).
If the bikkies don't turn out soft enough then my next step will be to try a 1/2 tsp of cream of tarter.

Gingernuts!

So here goes the first post, hopefully this blog will work ok, let me know if you have any problems with it!

I was gutted when I found out that the Griffins Gingernuts aren't Vegan friendly, and somehow the fingers just don't taste quite right, so here's my vegan alternative.
They crisp up reasonably well as long as they are left to cool and then stored in an airtight container, not quite as jaw breaking as a griffins biscuit, but still a dunkable delight. Make sure when you bake these that if you have a fan oven you don't use the fan function, I find oil based biscuits brown too much if cooked in a fan forced oven, and of course you may need to adjust the time to suit your oven, mine seems to cook quite quickly.
We managed to make a tray of bikkies and 4 reasonable sized gingerbread men with this recipe, and the girls had lots of fun making the men while the batch of bikkies cooked (and then eating the men once they were cooked!)

Oh, and a note on my use of sugar, we don't have white sugar in the house, I can't stand the stuff, it's insipid, so if I say 'sugar' what I mean is brown and raw sugar mixed (my eldest son refused to eat raw sugar but would eat brown, so I've always thrown a packet of brown sugar into the sugar container with the raw stuff, it worked he ate it happily - should I be admitting I pandered to his sugar consumption?)

Gingernut bikkies

1/2 cup plus 1Tbsp oil
1/4 cup brown/raw sugar
3 generous Tbsp golden syrup
1 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp boiling water
2 cups flour (for gluten free substitute a suitable GF baking mix)
pinch salt
3 tsp ground ginger

Dissolve baking soda in boiling water and add to the sugar, oil and golden syrup. Beat well. Stir in sifted dry ingredients and mix well.
Roll walnut sized balls and place on a tray lined with baking paper, flatten with a fork and bake 180c for 12 mins or until golden.
This mixture can be used to make crispy style gingerbread men.