Category Archives: Vegan on a Shoestring

Potato and Swiss Chard Curry

Here’s a delicious and easy dish that seems, incidentally,  to touch on all the reasons why I write this blog!

Firstly, I’m not writing a ‘cheffy’ blog…there are people who do that incredibly well already, and I’m not one of them.  I hope that I’m offering recipes that provide ordinary, everyday, tasty, nutritional, economical solutions to cooking vegan in a varied and interesting way.

As far as I’m concerned, I’m vegan for life, and this blog helps me so much, and I just hope that it helps anyone else from time to time too. 🙂

Secondly, if there’s one style of cuisine that shines the light for vegan cooking, it has to be Asian style, and particularly Indian cooking.  I love Indian spices, they turn the simplest and most modest ingredients into something absolutely fab!

Thirdly, I do grow a lot of my own veg. and my line of chard (which has been giving all winter) has finally bolted, so I picked the last of it the other day, and will be sowing more very soon.  I’ve used it here in an adaptation of the classic, Saag Aloo : Spinach and Potato Curry, so please feel free to use spinach instead of Chard.

Also, I want to say that I’m not a nutritionist, although I know a lot more about what I eat than I ever did before I was vegan, and Swiss Chard, this beautiful, dark green, leafy vegetable seems to be up there, packed with vitamins and minerals. I think it would be great raw in a mixed salad too.

So here’s my take on a healthy, nutritious, delicious, inexpensive meal …hope you enjoy!

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POTATO AND SWISS CHARD CURRY

for 4

Ingredients:   Continue reading Potato and Swiss Chard Curry

Rice and Beans Jamaican Style.

This is simple …. and simply delicious.  Comfort food at its very best.

Mellow, warming and nutritious. I love it 🙂

It’s all in the flavour: a great spice combination

and the mellow creaminess of coconut milk.

I used pea beans,  (I grew them myself 🙂 ) but you can use kidney beans too.

You can buy ready-made Creole Spice, but I made a batch from scratch…

There are endless variations of this supremely wonderful dish … and here’s mine…

So.  Without more ado, let’s get on with it…

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JAMAICAN-STYLE RICE AND BEANS

Serves 4 amply

Cook’s note: The traditional way to make this dish is to use dried beans, and pre-soak the beans for at least 24 hours before you want to cook. (Change the water once or twice during soaking).

Creole Spice Ingredients:    Continue reading Rice and Beans Jamaican Style.

Carroty Cottage Pie

Well.  It’s been ages.  My life seems to have taken a bit of a U-turn lately, away from blogging.  And I’ve really missed it, and all my blogging friends too.  I take my hat off (respect 🙂 ) to everyone who keeps their blog ticking over, because I can see how easy it is to let it slip.

Even so.  I’m still vegan….and I still think it’s the most important thing I do.   Christmas is coming, and I shudder to think of all the animals that will be killed to ‘celebrate’ the event…. so I’ve been thinking up a few  cruelty-free christmas dishes which will be coming soon…….

……and in the meantime, here’s my take on a winter-warming classic.  Cottage/shepherd’s pie.  Deliciously veganised.

My guess is everyone has some sort of recipe for this homely comforting dish: it’s versatile, adaptable to whatever you have in the veggie basket, and so easy to make vegan, gluten-free and very nutritious.  Here I use lots of carrots, spiced with all those flavourings that carrots love: ginger, garlic, coriander and cumin.  And, of course, a little bit of chilli.  The carrots are grated and combined with sliced sautéed mushrooms, amongst other things, which all in all, gives this pie some lovely textures.

Incidentally, for the mashed potato topping, I have included my latest favourite ingredient: oat crème frâiche.  I love it.

It’s now available in many UK supermarkets, and it gives the potato in this recipe a lovely, creamy, tang…. but you can always add non-dairy cream or milk instead.

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Hope you enjoy.

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VEGAN COTTAGE PIE

Serves 6

Ingredients: Continue reading Carroty Cottage Pie

Andalusian Bean Stew

OK … I know … another bean stew … but there are just so many possibilities 🙂

This one is distinctly rustic in character … lots of rough chopping … and strong flavours.

Traditionally  it includes chorizo …which I don’t do … so instead I’ve added tempeh, marinaded in tomato puree and tamari, and lightly sautéed in olive oil.  It’s a hearty warming stew, and you can practically throw it together.  So not much faff!

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ANDALUSIAN BEAN STEW

Serves 4

Ingredients: Continue reading Andalusian Bean Stew

Gratin Dauphinoise – Potato and Patty Pan

Like many french dishes, Gratin Dauphinoise is simple, just a few perfectly matched ingredients.

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I grew some beautiful patty pan (summer squash) this year, which, like courgettes, arrive thick and fast…. and they just keep on coming🙃 .  Mine are white, and creamy and mellow in flavour.  There are however, all sorts of varieties of summer squash available in  good vegetable stores.

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I thought they’d be a delicious addition to a Potato Dauphinoise, vegan style.

And they are.  I’ve made this dish 3 times already  💕💕💕

I use oat cream here (infused with onion, garlic and herbs), which is of course much lighter than its cholesterol-laden dairy counterpart, but as far as I’m concerned, this dish is all the better for that.  The summer squash add a different and lovely creaminess to the dish.

It’s easy to prepare, needs to be cooked long and slow, (while keeping just an occasional eye on it), and it doesn’t re-heat particularly well. So you just have to eat it all at once …damn it 😉

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Hope you enjoy 💚

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POTATO AND PATTY PAN GRATIN DAUPHINOISE

for 4

Ingredients: Continue reading Gratin Dauphinoise – Potato and Patty Pan

A trio of Green Goddess Soups 🌿 💚

Bowls of unmitigated goodness… three incredibly simple summery soups: broccoli, courgette and lettuce….

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We’ve all heard the stories about how the goodness of vegetables evaporates into the water they’re cooked in, so one sure way of making sure you still get the goodness is soup.

These three recipes are very quick to do, and don’t benefit from over-cooking….although making a batch and freezing…  or refrigerating and quickly re-heating…is just fine  … 💚

…. the broccoli soup is velvety smooth …..

… the courgette soup is surprising in it’s sweet freshness …

.. and the lettuce soup is complimented with the sweetness of peas and the coolness of mint ..

Hope you enjoy….

🍃

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GREEN GODDESS SOUPS

approx. servings : 3-4 Continue reading A trio of Green Goddess Soups 🌿 💚

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.

Sri Lankan Style Green Bean Curry. Bonchi Maluwa.

Young fresh fine green beans are a joy.  I’ve been looking for a recipe to show them off and I think I’ve found one.  Sri Lankan Green Bean Curry is a traditional recipe, which inevitably has many versions.

Here’s mine.

I’ve used what I believe to be a traditional spice combination, which is quite an unusual one, and I’ve thickened the sauce with ground sunflower seeds to make it a little richer.

The sauce is mellow, with a sharp background hit of cloves and fenugreek.

This recipe is gluten-free.

Hope you enjoy.

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SRI LANKAN GREEN BEAN CURRY

BONCHI MALUWA

Serves 2-3

Ingredients: Continue reading Sri Lankan Style Green Bean Curry. Bonchi Maluwa.

A Simple Vegetable Soup.

A simple soup, easy to prepare, and deliciously, heart-warmingly good.  Cooking at its best: no-nonsense…no fuss.

 

 

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This soup is back to basics: carrots, potatoes and onions…

… + a handful of lovely, delicate baby broad beans.

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btw. I’m starting a new category: cooking for 1.

It might seem odd introducing a pot of soup that serves 4 as cooking for one :/ , but I remember when I lived on my own I was always looking for ways of making batches of food so I didn’t have to cook everyday.  This soup stores chilled very well because it contains no dairy.

Also, you can add something new when reheating a portion, such as a handful of frozen peas, some pre-cooked haricot beans, chopped spring onions or a small tin of sweetcorn.

All the fresh ingredients are, on this occasion, homegrown by me ( 🙂 ) , but they are readily available in the shops all year round.  As you can see, there are very few ingredients! 🙂

A word for fresh herbs: they are just such a boon in the kitchen, and it’s really easy to grow them on a reasonable sunny window sill these days ( in fact a lot of them don’t like sun all day) … and they add flavour and fragrance to soups, stews, salads … etc.

Hope you like it 🙂

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VEGETABLE SOUP

FOR 4

Ingredients: Continue reading A Simple Vegetable Soup.

West African Black-Eyed Bean Stew.

I know the sun is shining somewhere … but it sure ain’t here in my bit of the UK!  It’s grey, it’s wet, it’s cold and disturbingly unseasonable. When it’s like this in June, I always get the feeling it could go on all summer long…chilly rainy days…

Mid-summer’s day is upon us..  Difficult to believe, but the days will be getting shorter again… ????

But that’s just about OK … for now … because I did beans.  I do beans a lot.

As far as I’m concerned, a bowl of beans is food for the soul.

This one is a modest, no-fuss, no-nonsense bowl of beans West African style.

Not many ingredients … and no faff at all … but an explosion of rich spicy flavours all the same.

Black-eyed beans are a great little bean.  They’re small, and have a nutty earthy flavour  and they don’t go too soft… and they don’t need too long a soak…

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Here’s a link to one of my beany blogs with tips on beans (click image)

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Tinned beans are fine for this recipe, but I prefer to soak and cook my own.

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WEST AFRICAN BLACK-EYED BEAN STEW

t.b.h. this may well serve 3-4 …particularly if served with rice

but 2 of us ate the lot (after a long wet day gardening)

Ingredients: Continue reading West African Black-Eyed Bean Stew.