Mediterranean Dishes, Pasta, Quick Suppers For Two, Vegan, Vegan Main Dishes

Pasta in A Mushroom Sauce with Steamed Spiralised Courgette and Tender Stem Broccoli.

When my ‘to do’ list seems to grow every day (despite my best efforts to get it all done), instead of diminishing, I turn to pasta.

It’s so easy, so versatile … and well …so amenable.

And there’s such a fabulous variety of vegan, and sometimes gluten-free pasta easily available now….here’s the one I used today : gluten-free, green pea pasta, made in Italy.

What could be better?

There’s been a fuss in the UK media lately, because it’s been suggested that we increase our vegetable consumption from 5 portions a day, to 10.  For the sake of our health.  You’d think the sky had caved in the way some people have been talking.   Obviously, for vegans this doesn’t present a problem.  Because we couldn’t really manage without at least 10 portions of fruit and vegetables a day, could we?

So, back to the pasta.  I’ve really been loving how easy it is to make beautiful pasta sauces with vegetables.  I’ve done a few now.

Today, it’s the turn of mushrooms.

But before I go any further, I also want to mention that I’ve got myself a new gadget.  A spiraliser.   And despite my general suspicion of a lot of kitchen gadgets, I think I’m liking this one.

So here is a ‘5 portions of vegetables in one’ quick and easy recipe, that’s full of the joys of spring!

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Pea Pasta in a Mushroom Sauce on a bed of spiralised steamed Courgette served with steamed tender-stem Broccoli, fresh herbs and a handful of rocket.

For 2

Ingredients:   Continue reading “Pasta in A Mushroom Sauce with Steamed Spiralised Courgette and Tender Stem Broccoli.”

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”

Mediterranean Dishes, Preserving, Salads, Vegan, Vegan Treats

Preserving Lemons and Limes. Moroccan Style.

There’s just a hint of spring in the air here in the UK, and my thoughts are already turning to fresh salads and light ‘spring-like’ food!

There are wonderful citrus fruit in the shops at the moment, and this recipe brings all the intensity of citrus flavours to the fore, while in the meantime gentling the sharpness that can sometimes be too overpowering.

Preserving lemons takes about a month, and then, stored in the refrigerator, they will last for months… which is great, because you don’t need much to bring a zing to any dish.

Typically preserved lemons are used in Moroccan dishes such as Tagine, and Couscous, but with just a little imagination I think there are many possibilities to introduce this gorgeous flavour : salads, pasta,  curries, marinades for tofu and tempeh, side dishes such as french beans, asparagus or carrots, as well as sauces, dressings and even desserts. As well as Mediterranean  dishes such as hummus or olive tapenade.

lemony lemonyness

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PRESERVED LEMONS

I litre jar : 8-10 lemons (and limes)

Cook’ notes: 

  • 1)The favoured choice of lemon for preserving is Meyer lemon, but other types of lemon work fine.  It’s important they’re unwaxed, as you will be eating the rind …. 
  • 2) I used Himalayan salt … which is the only salt I use in the kitchen these days.
  • The best jar to use is almost certainly a glass kilner jar with a good tight seal.  Don’t use metallic lids as they will react with the lemon juice.  

Ingredients:   Continue reading “Preserving Lemons and Limes. Moroccan Style.”

All About Beans, Gluten-Free, Soups, Vegan, Vegan Main Dishes

Shchi

A Russian style soup with many variations, which, according to Wikipedia, dates back to the 9thC.

Wikipedia: Shchi is a traditional soup of Russia where it has been known as far back as the 9th century, soon after cabbage was introduced from Byzantium. Its popularity in Russia originates from several factors. Shchi is relatively easy to prepare; it can be cooked with or without various types of meat; and it can be frozen and carried as a solid on a trip to be cut up when needed. Finally, it was noticed that most people do not get sick of shchi and can eat it daily. As a result, by the 10th century shchi became a staple food of Russia, and another popular saying sprang from this fact: “Щи да каша — пища наша.” (Shchi da kasha — pishcha nasha “Shchi and kasha are our food”).

Based on the humble and beautiful cabbage, this is a recipe that inevitably has endless variations.

Here’s my vegan version.  Based on a traditional vegetable version, I’ve included Sauerkraut, which makes it Sour Shchi.

It’s one of those soups that matures with time, so, if you want to try it, don’t hesitate to make a big batch, as it tastes even better the next day.

Hope you enjoy!

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SHCHI

Serves 4 or more…

Ingredients:   Continue reading “Shchi”

Desserts, Vegan, Vegan Treats

Tarte au Chocolat

Here’s a lovely little treat……for Valentine.💕

Tbh, this kind of thing is way out of my comfort zone; (give me a bag of beans and a cabbage any day!), as you can see from my pastry skills (or lack of),  but I was inexplicably moved the other day to buy a little set of heart-shaped baking tins, and I definitely had chocolate on my mind…..   maybe it seemed to me that the world needs some love these days, as there appears to be a lot of hate around, and we all can all make space for the occasional chocolate heart…no?! 💚

This tart can be made as one big one, or 4 little ones.

I used ready-made vegan shortcrust pastry, but of course you can use your favourite home-made pastry, and, with a little care, a gluten-free version.

The filling is light and velvety rich and hopelessly delicious.

I hope you enjoy!

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TARTE AU CHOCOLAT

Serves 4

Ingredients:   Continue reading “Tarte au Chocolat”

Breakfast, Cooking for One, Vegan

Blueberry Porridge

On a gloomy, rainy day (like today) there’s nothing better than a bowl of perfectly cooked porridge.

Traditionally porridge is flavoured with a good pinch of salt, and drizzled with a little cream if it’s particularly cold outside!  Salted porridge is worth trying, and surprisingly good!

I’ve added some blueberries to the mix, simmered for a few minutes, so they get just hot enough to pop juicily in the mouth 🙂

Add extra fruit, a little vegan cream (optional), and a drizzle of your favourite sweetener.

Delicious!

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BLUEBERRY PORRIDGE

for 1

Ingredients:    Continue reading “Blueberry Porridge”

Gluten-Free, Mediterranean Dishes, Pasta, Quick Suppers For Two, Vegan, Vegan Main Dishes

Pasta in an Avocado Sauce.

Pasta lends itself to simple ideas, and here’s one that’s so simple I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before 🙂

This superfoody dish takes minutes to prepare and, like all these sauces, is adaptable according to taste.

Try leaving out the spring onions and adding a chopped sweet green pepper.  Add herbs such as basil and parsley to the mix. Add more chillies for a real chilli hit….

pasta with an avocado sauce

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Avo Sauce for Pasta

For 2

Ingredients:    Continue reading “Pasta in an Avocado Sauce.”

Vegan

Mystery Blogger Award + Blogger Recognition Award.

I’m honoured to say that in the last few days I’ve received two blogger award nominations.

Thanks to Dingto – for allowing the fantastic image of planet earth to be used via Creative Commons, and which I have shared as my featured image.

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So here’s the game.  At the end I’m going to nominate 10 blogs that I enjoy following for one reason or another, and if any of you want to play (there’s no obligation), please choose the award you would like and run with it from there.  The Mystery Blog has a particular remit which I’m not quite sure that my blog lives up to 🙂 but then I thought about the planet ….  because I’m sure that following a vegan lifestyle in a peaceful way transforms mysteriously into leading a more compassionate life, that will in turn directly contribute to the well being of the planet.  Big talk I know in these days of chaos…. but the alternative is too often to do nothing.

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MYSTERY BLOGGERS’ AWARD

(created by Okoto Enigma) Continue reading “Mystery Blogger Award + Blogger Recognition Award.”

Celebration Dishes, Desserts, Vegan, Vegan Cheese, Vegan Treats

Cranachan (made with Crowdie – the old-fashioned way)

 

A creamy Scottish dessert; the perfect end to a vegan Burns’ Night supper.

In my brief series of Scottish delights here on the blog, Cranachan is another a simple dish, using thoroughly Scottish ingredients: oatmeal, raspberries and whisky.

In order to veganise it, I’ve diverged from tradition by using coconut cream and maple syrup (instead of double cream and honey).

It comes out just as light and tastes just as good.

Originally, Crowdie (a simple curd cheese) was used in this dessert, and I’ve noticed that a lot of Cranachan recipes bypass this, but it’s so easy to do, I thought I’d go back to the very beginning and make some, because it’s actually very easy.

Crowdie is made by curdling milk and separating the curds from the whey.  Incidentally, you end up with a lovely soft cheese that resembles Ricotta and can be flavoured with salt, pepper and herbs such as chives or basil.

The whey can be used in soups and stews, so there’s no waste!

PS. Cranachan recipe with or without Crowdie follows below!

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CROWDIE

makes between 220 – 275 gms.

Cook’s Note: a jam thermometer is useful here – but not absolutely essential.

Ingredients: Continue reading “Cranachan (made with Crowdie – the old-fashioned way)”

Celebration Dishes, Vegan, Vegan Main Dishes

Neeps, Tatties and Whisky Sauce.

As promised, a quick post on the traditional accompaniments to Haggis on Burns’ Night. (Link to Vegan Haggis recipe below). 

Tatties –  aka. potatoes are boiled until tender, and mashed.

Neeps –  short for Turnips and aka. Swede in England and Rutabaga in the USA…. also boiled until tender and mashed.

Throw in some simple flavours (salt and pepper) and add a little luxury with a few chunks of vegan butter.

It’s that easy!

And whisky sauce gives the whole dish a touch of wonderful decadent warmth. 🙂

Hope you enjoy!

Click image for link to Vegan Haggis Recipe!

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NEEPS, TATTIES AND WHISKY SAUCE

SERVES 4

Ingredients: 
Continue reading “Neeps, Tatties and Whisky Sauce.”