Burgers and Patties, Gluten-Free, Mediterranean Dishes, Salads, Vegan, Vegan on a Shoestring, Vegan Snacks

Greek Courgette (aka Zucchini) Fritters and Olive Tapenade

The simplest fritters in the world to make and frankly, they are so moreish they need to come with a health warning!

So here it is: eating fried food everyday is a very bad idea, but once in a blue moon ….  and when it tastes as good as these fritters do …that’s got to be OK with me.  🙂

I have an abundance of home-grown courgettes at the moment, but they’re readily available in the shops too!  Every year I promise myself that I will plant less courgette plants, and every year I fail to do so.  This year, I have six, and they seem to manifest courgettes overnight.  So I can categorically state that this is not my last courgette recipe post.  It can get bit frantic in the kitchen, but I know I will mourn them once they’re gone.  Particularly as they don’t freeze well.

So.  Back to the fritters.  I’m not a nutritionist, but I suggest taking a leaf out of the Japanese book, which is to eat fried foods (tempura for example) with fresh crisp radish, daikon or mooli. These vegetables will help cut through the fat and leave your digestive system feeling less overloaded.

I’ve made these fritters, (which are adapted from a traditional Greek recipe), gluten-free, simply by replacing wheat flour with chickpea flour.

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GREEK COURGETTE FRITTERS

Serves 2-4 

Ingredients:   Continue reading “Greek Courgette (aka Zucchini) Fritters and Olive Tapenade”

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Burgers and Patties, Vegan, Vegan Ingredients, Vegan Main Dishes

Jerk Tempeh

 

Jerk refers to a style of cooking, usually of meat, that originates in Jamaica.

Marinaded in a hot spicy paste, that traditionally includes scotch bonnet chillies and allspice.

In the spirit of all things vegan, I thought I would try it with tempeh, which is good at soaking up flavours if you treat it right. It worked really well, so here’s what I did.

Just a quick note – particularly for anyone who hasn’t come across tempeh before, because it is a great addition to a varied vegan repertoire …this is what Wikipedia says about tempeh:

Tempeh (/ˈtɛmpeɪ/; Javanese: témpé, Javanese pronunciation: [tempe]) is a traditional soy product originating from Indonesia. It is made by a natural culturing and controlled fermentation process that binds soybeans into a cake form. Tempeh is unique among major traditional soy foods in that it is the only one that did not originate from Greater Chinese cuisine.

It originated in today’s Indonesia, and is especially popular on the island of Java, where it is a staple source of protein. Like tofu, tempeh is made from soybeans, but it is a whole soybean product with different nutritional characteristics and textural qualities. Tempeh’s fermentation process and its retention of the whole bean give it a higher content of protein, dietary fiber, and vitamins. It has a firm texture and an earthy flavor, which becomes more pronounced as it ages. Because of its nutritional value, tempeh is used worldwide in vegetarian cuisine, where it is used as a meat analogue.

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Tempeh is much sturdier than tofu, and it’s therefore a great ingredient to use in this recipe, as whether you griddle it (as I have) or barbecue it, it should withstand this style of cooking without falling apart, as long as you don’t slice it too thin.

In the UK, slabs of tempeh are usually bought frozen.  To prepare it for cooking: defrost, and then submerge it in a dish of warm water for about 15 mins.  This will ‘relax’ the tempeh, allowing it to absorb the flavours of the marinade.

It will sit in the marinade all day, but marinade it for at least 3 hours for good results.

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JERK TEMPEH

Serves 4

Ingredients:  Continue reading “Jerk Tempeh”

Burgers and Patties, Curries, Vegan, Vegan Main Dishes, Vegan Snacks

Cauliflower Bhajis

Cauliflower just seems to revel in Indian spices.  It comes alive every time.

These ‘healthier’ Bhajis are a take on the classic onion Bhaji…but with cauliflower 🍃 …and they’re baked … so less oil …

Moreover…they’re gluten-free… what joy 💚

Bhajis are traditionally deep-fried in ghee,  (and these Bhajis can be fried too) … and baking means you’re bound to lose a little crispiness around the edges …but they’re still delicious.

Hope you enjoy ! 💕

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CAULIFLOWER BHAJI

makes 12-16 small to medium Bhaji

Ingredients: Continue reading “Cauliflower Bhajis”

Burgers and Patties, Vegan, Vegan Main Dishes, Vegan on a Shoestring

Proper Veggie Burgers.

Veggie burger has become one of those generic terms for something that is usually round, can be baked or fried, contains no meat and has some sort of indeterminate veggies in it!  And quite often a lot of other stuff besides.

Here’s a recipe for a proper veggie burger, that’s 99% veggies…with a a little besan/chickpea flour to hold it together and a very nice coating of ground sunflower seeds and fine oatmeal.

In a way this recipe is a bit of blank canvas: you can add flavourings and seasonings of your choice…and use different vegetables according to what you fancy and what’s in the veggie basket.  Try crumbled cauliflower, grated beetroot, sweet potatoes or baby broad beans?

The burgers can be fried, baked, grilled and are great reheated…  and taste pretty good cold for a lunch to go..they will store cooked, in the fridge for 2-3 days….

Great with a salad, in a bun, accompanied by chutneys, chilli jam,  mayo etc….

What’s not to like ? 🙂

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VEGGIE BURGERS

Makes 12 x 120gm. burgers

Ingredients: Continue reading “Proper Veggie Burgers.”

Burgers and Patties, Vegan, Vegan Main Dishes, Vegan on a Shoestring

Little Russian Potato and Lentil Pancakes + a Salad of Sprouted Pulses and Seeds.

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The star of this show for me, is the glorious salad of mixed sprouted pulses and seeds …so moreish ..I just eat them like candy.

sprouted pulse and seed salad

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I decided on these little Russian Pancakes as a perfect foil for this crisp nutty, earthy salad.

I also made a simple lemony creamy dressing …laced with mustard..

A meal that’s quick, unfussy and economical..and full of lovely complementary flavours.

potato and lentil pancakes + sprouted seed and pulse salad

To sprout pulses, buy organic.  If you mix different ones, you will increase the variety of essential amino acids you get in one serving…

various lentils, mung beans, chickpeas, adzuki beans and sunflower seeds

Wash the seeds and pulses thoroughly.  You can buy special kit to sprout seeds.  I do it the old fashioned way.

I use a glass kilner jar without the lid.  Place the seeds and pulses in the jar and cover with filtered water for about 24 hours.

Strain, rinse, and then add more water.  Cover the top of the jar with a piece of unbleached muslin, secured tightly with an elastic band,  and then tip away just about all the water.

Then place the jar on a dish, so that it’s tilted down toward the muslin end, allowing excess water to drain slowly away.

sprouting seeds and pulses
sprouting seeds and pulses

Leave in a cool place, out of direct sunlight. Rinse the sprouting legumes twice daily.

The sprouts should be ready within 5 days…..

…they will keep fresh in the fridge for a few days….if they last that long 🙂

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LITTLE RUSSIAN LENTIL AND POTATO PANCAKES

Makes 8

Ingredients: Continue reading “Little Russian Potato and Lentil Pancakes + a Salad of Sprouted Pulses and Seeds.”

All About Beans, Burgers and Patties, Condiments, Mediterranean Dishes, Vegan, Vegan Main Dishes, Vegan on a Shoestring

Patatas Bravas + Herbed Mushroom Bean Burgers + Vegan Aioli

Spanish flavours…  roasted potatoes in a rich garlicky tomato sauce served with vegan aioli.

Mushroom bean burgers infused with intensely fragrant dried herbs…oregano…rosemary…sage and thyme…and with a chilli hit….

A great combination packed with powerful flavours.

Perfectamente Deliciosa!

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patatas bravas + herbed mushroom bean burgers

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PATATAS BRAVAS + HERBED MUSHROOM BURGERS + VEGAN AIOLI

makes 6  – 70gm. burgers

more than ample for 2

Ingredients: Continue reading “Patatas Bravas + Herbed Mushroom Bean Burgers + Vegan Aioli”

Burgers and Patties, Mediterranean Dishes, Vegan, Vegan Main Dishes

Moroccan Chickpea Burgers

Here’s a burger packed with the flavours of Morocco: coriander, cumin, cinnamon, ginger, paprika, oregano, tahini, lemon juice and raisins, served on this occasion with date and parsley cous-cous, blood orange salad, harissa yogurt dip and toasted pumpkin seeds.

The never-ending search for the ultimate burger!  Everyone loves a burger….they’re so versatile, so adaptable…they will go with just about anything, they store well, freeze easily, can be re-heated/refried, and they will taste good hot, warm or cold…and whether it’s a sit down meal, lunch to go or a picnic…they just go on working …any way you like….

These would be delicious in a bun with slices of cucumber and hot chilli pickle.

Oh yes.

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moroccan chickpea burgers

MOROCCAN CHICKPEA BURGERS

makes 8

can be prepared several hours in advance and kept chilled in the fridge until ready to fry…or bake

Ingredients:   
Continue reading “Moroccan Chickpea Burgers”

Burgers and Patties, Condiments, Vegan, Vegan Ingredients, Vegan Main Dishes

Savoury Seacakes with Carrot and Parsnip chips, Peas in a Pea Sauce and Caper Mayo.

 

What we are doing to the oceans and its inhabitants is nothing short of criminal.

We are plundering the seas and leaving them empty and dying.  We are chucking our insane piles of rubbish into the ocean as though it was simply our own personal garbage bin.  We are destroying the balance of the extraordinary and complex eco-systems of the oceans, and thereby desecrating the planet as a whole.  We, as a race, are apparently unstoppable….and yet millions of people are working at turning this behaviour around.

I am truly in awe of, and grateful to,  all those on the front line trying to defend our seas: conservationists, cove monitors, sea-farers and fund-raisers….and many many more…

I am also glad to hear that the Taiji drive hunt season is officially over, until next September at least.

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Here is my small oceanic offering, my ‘food for peace’. In the light of all the brutality and destruction.

Savoury Seaweed cakes, with a few classic flavours: lemon, mustard, capers, horseradish and mayonnaise.  And also accompanied by just the faintest scent of sea air…….

Seacakes with peas in a pea sauce and carrot and parsnip chips + caper mayo!

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But first, a brief introduction to seaweed.

Clock-wise starting top left: Arame. Nori sheet. Wakame. Dulse.

Continue reading “Savoury Seacakes with Carrot and Parsnip chips, Peas in a Pea Sauce and Caper Mayo.”

All About Beans, Burgers and Patties, Salads, Vegan, Vegan Main Dishes, Vegan Snacks

North African White Bean Burgers with Papaya and Avocado Salad.

First… a word about beans.  The fact is, beans are designed not to be digested.  They contain ‘inhibitors’ to prevent digestion.  The way to unlock the goodness of bean is to soak for a good long time.  I soaked these small white beans for 60 hours.  Two and a half days.  You can soak them longer than that too. Rinse the beans and change the water twice daily. Keep them covered and in a cool place.  If possible, use filtered water.

In a deep saucepan with a tight fitting lid, place the rinsed beans, and add enough cold water to amply cover the beans.  Bring them to the boil and boil hard for 6 minutes.

Then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer gently for 2 – 3 – 4 hours….until the beans are really tender.  Add more water if necessary.

I cook them in batches, and then freeze them, so next time I need beans, I can just grab them from the freezer bag whenever I need them.  It’s worth the effort…. I promise! 🙂

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Back to burgers, which is what this post is about lol……as most of us know, making a burger isn’t as easy as we imagine…. particularly without eggs… they fall apart, or they’re too dry, or they’re too wet and won’t fry/bake properly.  They won’t crisp up or they simply disintegrate…..hmmm..

So, here’s a nice little bean burger, that shouldn’t do any of those things, tastes great and fries, bakes, stores, freezes and reheats…and tastes good hot or cold.

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Finally, Harissa.

According to Wikipedia:

“Harissa (Arabic: هريسة‎ | harîsa – Word Origin : from Maghrebi Arabic) is a Maghrebian hot chili pepper paste, the main ingredients of which are roasted red peppers, Baklouti pepper, serrano peppers and other hot chili peppers and spices and herbs such as garlic paste, coriander seed, or caraway as well as some vegetable or olive oil for preservation. It is most closely associated with Tunisia, Libya and Algeria.”

Harissa has a nice, clean, fresh heat.  It’s like a backdrop to all the other flavours.  It’s perfect with these relatively delicate white beans, along with the clean zing of lemon juice.

North African Bean Burgers + Papaya and Avocado Salad

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NORTH AFRICAN WHITE BEAN BURGERS + PAPAYA AND AVOCADO SALAD

Makes 8 burgers

Ingredients:    Continue reading “North African White Bean Burgers with Papaya and Avocado Salad.”

Burgers and Patties, Salads, Vegan, Vegan Ingredients, Vegan Main Dishes

Cauliflower and Millet Croquettes served two ways: with melon, pomegranate and radish salad / or in a tomato and pea sauce. Vegan.

millet and cauliflower croquettes in a spiced tomato sauce

Millet is a wonderful grain.

millet

It has a long and interesting history : according to Wikipedia:

“Some of the earliest evidence of millet cultivation in China was found at Cishan (north). Cishan dates for common millet husk phytoliths and biomolecular components have been identified around 8300–6700 BC in storage pits along with remains of pit-houses, pottery, and stone tools related to millet cultivation. Evidence at Cishan for foxtail millet dates back to around 6500 BC. A 4,000-year-old well-preserved bowl containing well-preserved noodles made from foxtail millet and broomcorn millet was found at the Lajia archaeological site in China.

Palaeoethnobotanists have found evidence of the cultivation of millet in the Korean Peninsula dating to the Middle Jeulmun pottery period (around 3500–2000 BC). Millet continued to be an important element in the intensive, multicropping agriculture of the Mumun pottery period (about 1500–300 BC) in Korea. Millets and their wild ancestors, such as barnyard grass and panic grass, were also cultivated in Japan during the Jōmon period some time after 4000 BC.

Millet made its way from China to the Black Sea region of Europe by 5000 BC.The cultivation of common millet as the earliest dry crop in East Asia has been attributed to its resistance to drought,[4] and this has been suggested to have aided its spread.

Pearl Millet was domesticated in the Sahel region of West Africa, where it’s wild ancestors are found. Evidence for the cultivation of Pearl Millet in Mali dates back to 2500 BC,and Pearl Millet is found in South Asia by 2300 BC.”

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It’s not difficult to cook, but it can turn sticky or soggy if it’s not cooked properly.  Millet is also rich in minerals, particularly magnesium, and can offer many health benefits.  It’s easy to digest, versatile to use, and is a great addition to a varied vegan diet.

Below is my recipe for baked millet and cauliflower croquettes, delicately spiced, and served two ways: with a fruity salad or in a spicy tomato and pea sauce.

MILLET AND CAULIFLOWER CROQUETTES

Makes 10-12 croquettes

Ingredients:   Continue reading “Cauliflower and Millet Croquettes served two ways: with melon, pomegranate and radish salad / or in a tomato and pea sauce. Vegan.”