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”

Cooking for One, Mediterranean Dishes, Vegan, Vegan Main Dishes, Vegan Snacks

Spinach Roll – Italian Style!

This is  my variation on Calzone, a style of Italian Pie or Pasty, and it works because you get lots more filling and less pastry and it still holds together to make a great cold lunch to go.

I’ve concocted a spicy and rich, spinach and mushroom filling, with the addition of some tangy chopped green olives, but you can vary the ingredients…try kale instead of spinach or broad beans instead of sweetcorn.  Just make sure the mix isn’t too wet….it needs to hold together when in the oven.

Hope you like 🙂

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SPINACH ROLL

Makes 8-12 rolls.

Great for lunch to go, picnics or else straight from the oven….  

Cook’s note:   if you’re short of time, or just feeling lazy! …you can try using short-crust pastry instead of pizza dough for this recipe.  You’ll need 500gms. of ready-made pastry.

I’ve included these rolls in my ‘cooking for 1’ category, because I’m a great believer in cooking batches of things that will keep chilled for several days, and can be easily reheated!  Way to go 🙂

Pizza Dough

Ingredients:    Continue reading “Spinach Roll – Italian Style!”

Cooking for One, Mediterranean Dishes, Vegan, Vegan Menus, Vegan Snacks

Middle-Eastern Mezze Buddha Bowl

I think I’m late to the Buddha Bowl Party!  In the unlikely event you didn’t know, a Buddha Bowl is simply a bowl full of really good, nutritious and delicious food, often with a sauce or dressing, all plant-based.  I think the nearest traditional idea is Mezze,  a style of serving food that is found wide-spread across the Mediterranean and the Middle East.

What’s great about all this…. Mezze … Buddha Bowl …  is that you can create a meal of components … some cooked, some raw, some hot, some cold … which complement each other …   and can be made in varying quantities …  and then stored … and eaten at your leisure … in different combinations  … and exactly to your liking.

How lovely is that?

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So, here we have marinaded and roasted root vegetables, steamed broccoli and broad beans, chickpea and cucumber salad, roasted vegetable and tahini sauce and toasted sunflower seeds.  Garnished with Sumac and Za’atar.

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The Mezze I’ve created below serves 4 … but it’s a really great way of cooking for 1 … just make a batch and store, chilled!

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MIDDLE-EASTERN BUDDHA BOWL

4 servings…one way or another !

INGREDIENTS AND PREPARATION:    Continue reading “Middle-Eastern Mezze Buddha Bowl”

Vegan, Vegan Cheese, Vegan Snacks

Cashew and Tofu Cream Cheese

The vegan cheese thing is a thing.  It’s a big thing.  And there are many amazing artisan vegan cooks out there striving to make vegan cheese like cheese.    And I have huge respect for all of them!

I even came across a recipe for blue vegan cheese the other day …. it looked fabulous!

I missed cheese for a long, long time when I became vegan. I didn’t feel so bad when I read some of those articles about how cheese is highly addictive.  I just thought, OK, I have an addiction I need to kick.   It’s taking a while I have to say 🙂  And it’s still not done ! 😉

In the meantime, I’ve attempted various recipes I’ve come across, but sadly without much success, although I was inspired by many of the ideas.

I did once make a delicious Vegan Brie ….but can I find the recipe again?  Absolutely not 💚

If I could afford it, I’m sure I would be regularly buying artisan vegan cheeses from some of those amazing on-line suppliers.  Because so far, most store-bought vegan cheeses are mainly, truly, deeply mediocre.

Slowly, over time, I’ve forgotten about cheese. However, if there’s one thing that revives my desire to try again, it’s home-grown tomatoes.  There’s nothing quite so delicious as homegrown tomatoes.  And because I’ve got some, with more ripening as I write .. I suddenly want cheese….I want pizza…. I want feta salad… and all that kind of stuff… 💕💕

So in honour of my home-grown tomatoes, I’ve started by concocting this fairly simple recipe for a tofu and cashew cream cheese, which is light, creamy…and seems to hit the spot.  One of them anyway 🙂   It’s definitely inspired by Miyoko Schinner, but I’ve left out the thickeners, changed some of the ingredients, and gently baked it instead.

It works for me! 💚  That’s all I can say!

I’ve made three individual cheeses, and coated them with three different coatings: black pepper, paprika and herb.  The coatings make a wonderful difference, and if you can bear to leave the cheeses in the fridge for a day or two before sampling, the flavours really start to seep into the cheese.  And they’re good !

Hope you enjoy!

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TOFU AND CASHEW CREAM CHEESE

makes 3 individual ramekins approx. 8 cm. diameter

Ingredients: Continue reading “Cashew and Tofu Cream Cheese”

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”

Mediterranean Dishes, Vegan, Vegan Snacks

Dolmades

Dolmades are the Greek version of stuffed vine leaves, a dish which is found widespread across the Mediterranean and the Middle East.  Inevitably there are many variations  and a variety of ingredients and flavourings.  This vegan recipe is fairly classic, using a stuffing of rice and black olives with Mediterranean herbs.

I have a grape vine growing over an arch at the bottom of my small garden.  The last couple of years it has grown madly, and regardless of how hard I cut it back, it always regrows with amazing vigour.  Even here in the UK, it produces bunches of very small but sweet and juicy grapes, which is a bonus, as I grow the vine mainly to create a canopy of dappled shade in the summer.

So, I’ve been thinking about doing this for a while; making Dolmades from scratch, using freshly picked vine leaves.  However, you can find packs of vine leaves that have been preserved in brine, in certain stores, such as delicatessens.

There’s a bit of faff involved, but I think it’s worth it, particularly with the right flavourings.

The thing that surprised me….probably because I’d never really thought about it, is that Dolmades are made with uncooked rice, and the rice cooks once the Dolmades have been made, rather than stuffing the Dolmades with rice that has been pre-cooked…. so the rice really absorbs the flavours as it cooks….

and in this recipe, mint and lemon juice play leading roles.

btw.

Dolmades are just incredibly moreish…they really are  🙂

…and they transport me straight to a little taverna on a quiet beach in Greece…heavenly…

Hope you enjoy!

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DOLMADES

makes 22-24 individual Dolma

Ingredients: Continue reading “Dolmades”

All About Beans, Cooking for One, Gluten-Free, Mediterranean Dishes, Vegan, Vegan Snacks

Mushrooms and Baby Broad Beans in a Garlic, White Wine and Cream Sauce.

This is an easy and delicious little recipe born of the need to do something with my harvest of broad beans. They’re late this year because of the weather but they’re now coming fast.  I love them.  And they’re so easy to blanch and freeze.  My garlic crop was good this year too 🙂

The sauce is french-inspired, has few ingredients and is creamy without the cholesterol 🙂 .  This dish would be great with mashed potatoes or as a posh snack on toast, or fab. with garlic bread!   Trés Français!

Quick and simple to make.  If you prefer not to use wine, then try lemon juice or cider vinegar with some vegetable stock to give the sauce a tang.

Certified GF cornflour/cornstarch will make this dish absolutely gluten-free.

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Hope you like 🙂

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MUSHROOMS AND BABY BROAD BEANS IN A GARLIC, WHITE WINE AND CREAM SAUCE.

 for 1-2

Ingredients: Continue reading “Mushrooms and Baby Broad Beans in a Garlic, White Wine and Cream Sauce.”

All About Beans, Salads, Vegan, Vegan Snacks

Lazy Nancy Salad Dip….

A Lazy Susan is one of those things that sits in the middle of the table, on which you put all the dishes of food, and spin it round so you don’t have to lean over to get one.  This salad/dip/sandwich filling/ baked potato accompaniment  etc. ….lets the blender take the strain.  It goes round and round and then its done! 🙂

 

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LAZY NANCY SALAD DIP

for 4

Ingredients: Continue reading “Lazy Nancy Salad Dip….”

Vegan, Vegan Snacks

Roasted Red Pepper and Lime Hummus.

You can’t beat home-made hummus.  I know hummus is readily available in the shops, but to me it always seems to have a rough sharp taste about it that annihilates the taste buds.  And I love hummus, it’s a great go-to snack/lunch/starter etc. and it helps to assuage my cheese cravings.

Cheese cravings…?  Yes…I own …while being a positive and happy vegan, I still miss cheese.  I’ve been reading lately that cheese has addictive qualities, and for me, I think that might be true.

But hummus hits the spot, pretty much, and what’s great is, that if you make it, you can add so many lovely things into it…

Here’s another idea :

Spinach Hummus  (click image for link)

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Roasted Red Bell Pepper Hummus

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ROASTED RED PEPPER AND LIME HUMMUS

FOR 4

Ingredients: Continue reading “Roasted Red Pepper and Lime Hummus.”

Celebration Dishes, Vegan, Vegan Main Dishes, Vegan Snacks

Mushroom and Chive Pithivier.

Here is a simple recipe for a holiday pie, that’s great hot, warm or cold.

Pithivier is a pie that originates in France.  It can be sweet or savoury,  but often has a sweet almond filling, and with cherries or plums.

The pie can be made as lots of individual pies, or one big one.

It’s hard to open a French cookery book without coming upon oodles of cream, lashings of butter, endless cheese, an infinite number of eggs and slabs of meat…..

So to redress the balance just a little, here’s a veganised recipe for a savoury pie, that has to be a crowd-pleaser.

French in style, peaceful in ingredients.

Mushrooms and chives in a savoury bechamel sauce, encased in flaky puff pastry.

Perfect for a picnic too……

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mushroom and chive pithivier, decorated with the sun the moon and the stars….

MUSHROOM AND CHIVE PITHIVIER

For 4-6

This pie can be made hours in advance, and left to chill in the fridge until ready to bake.

Ingredients:   
Continue reading “Mushroom and Chive Pithivier.”