Vegan, Vegan Ingredients, Vegan Main Dishes

Tibetan Momo + Achar Dipping Sauce.

Here’s a really nice way to use Seitan.  I bought some the other day, I was intrigued…. and since then I’ve spent some time looking for ways to use it in an interesting way….and I think I’ve found one!  Momo!

steamed basmati + vegan seitan momo + achar sauce

These Vegan Momo are filled with ground Seitan, onions and shredded cabbage, and served with a seriously hot Achar dipping sauce.

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Regarding Seitan:  According to Wikipedia: 

Wheat gluten, also called seitan (Japanese: セイタン), wheat meat, gluten meat, or simply gluten, is a food made from gluten, the main protein of wheat. It is made by washing wheat flour dough with water until all the starch granules have been removed, leaving the sticky insoluble gluten as an elastic mass which is then cooked before being eaten.

Wheat gluten is an alternative to soybean-based foods such as tofu, which are sometimes used as meat substitutes. Some types of wheat gluten have a chewy or stringy texture that resembles meat more than other substitutes. Wheat gluten is often used instead of meat in Asian, vegetarian, Buddhist, and macrobiotic cuisines. Mock duck is a common use for wheat gluten.

Wheat gluten first appeared during the 6th century as an ingredient for Chinese noodles. It has historically been popular in the cuisines of China, Japan and other East and Southeast Asian nations. In Asia, it is commonly found on the menus of restaurants catering primarily to Buddhist customers who do not eat meat.

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I don’t miss meat, and therefore have little reason to seek out ingredients that have a resemblance to meat, but in the name of exploration, and wanting to have a varied and full vegan diet, I thought I’d try it.

The vegetarian Momo recipes I’ve come across all seem to feature tofu, but I thought that a Momo dumpling would be an ideal use for Seitan …… and I think, having concocted this recipe and tested it …… it is.

Momo traditionally tend to be a little bland, but the sauces they dip them in are full of flavour.

I made a traditional Achar Tomato and Chilli dipping sauce, using Green Chillies.

I love the pure, fresh heat of green chillies: it has an almost citrus tang, and goes very well with tomatoes.  Such a clean fiery chilli hit.   Fabulous.

Vegan Seitan Tibetan Momos+ Achar Sauce

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Here what to do:

TIBETAN MOMO + ACHAR DIPPING SAUCE

Makes 18-20: should be enough for 4

Ingredients:   Continue reading “Tibetan Momo + Achar Dipping Sauce.”

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Vegan, Vegan Main Dishes, Vegan on a Shoestring, Vegan Quick Suppers

Thai Coconut and Vegetable Stew. Vegan.

A deliciously simple throw it together sort of meal…zinging with Thai flavours …and infinitely adaptable.

I actually bought a fresh coconut for this, but a tin of coconut milk will do just fine.

However, there’s no doubt that fresh coconut adds extra texture and freshness of flavour to this dish.

Whatever vegetables you have around should work…mushrooms, cauliflower, greens, potatoes, sweetcorn, pumpkin….etc….etc…….

I used french beans, carrots and sweet potato.

thai vegetable and coconut stew + flatbreads

It’s the spices and flavourings that make this dish work …over and over and over….again…

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THAI COCONUT AND VEGETABLE STEW

Serves 2-3

Ingredients:   Continue reading “Thai Coconut and Vegetable Stew. Vegan.”

Vegan, Vegan Ingredients, Vegan Treats

The Wonder of Turmeric. Spiced Cocoa. Vegan.

organic turmeric

Wherever you look, the benefits and wonders of turmeric are described.  From Ayurvedic Medicine to 21st century science, turmeric gets nothing but gold stars.

Google ‘turmeric’ and lists and lists of benefits can be found.

Recipes for ‘Golden Milk’ abound, and here is my adaptation on a little cup of heaven that I take just about every day.   Continue reading “The Wonder of Turmeric. Spiced Cocoa. Vegan.”

Mediterranean Dishes, Vegan, Vegan Main Dishes

Crispy Slices of Polenta, + Broccoli and Watercress Sauce with Roasted Garlicky Mushrooms. Vegan.

I still seem to be finding my inspiration from the Mediterranean right now.  Must be an antidote to grey January days and the prospect of snow….brrr…

Here is a delicious combination, with Italian flavours running all the way through it.

fried polenta+ broccoli and watercress sauce + garlicky mushrooms

This is a great dish to prepare in advance, as the polenta needs to be cooked, cooled and sliced before its fried.  The broccoli sauce can be made in advance and just warmed through with an optional swirl of soya cream.

Which, when the time comes,  just leaves the mushrooms to roast in a serious amount of garlic and the polenta to fry in a little oil.  That’s what I call organise..ised….!

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          CRISPY HERBED POLENTA WITH A BROCCOLI AND WATER CRESS SAUCE + GARLICKY MUSHROOMmmmmms…..

For 4

Ingredients:   Continue reading “Crispy Slices of Polenta, + Broccoli and Watercress Sauce with Roasted Garlicky Mushrooms. Vegan.”

Mediterranean Dishes, Pizza, Vegan, Vegan Main Dishes

Olive and Asparagus Pizza with Spelt Flour Pizza Base. Vegan.

The other day I bought a big jar of pitted black olives in brine very cheaply.  Greek olives.

I fancied pizza, and I thought it would be nice to chop the olives finely and spread on the dough base before adding other toppings.  It worked really well.  I will do it again. Personally, I don’t like an overloaded pizza.  This makes a pizza roughly 45cms. x25cms.

I used spelt flour as it is lower in gluten (but not gluten-free) and has a good flavour.  Spelt is my go-to flour of choice for bread as well.  Use whatever flour you prefer…

…or ready-made  pizza bases for convenience…

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vegan pizza tray bake

Here’s what I did.

OLIVE AND ASPARAGUS PIZZA

for 4

Ingredients:   Continue reading “Olive and Asparagus Pizza with Spelt Flour Pizza Base. Vegan.”

Cook's Tales, Soups, Vegan, Vegan Main Dishes, Vegan Quick Suppers

A day in the life of a vegan cooking blog…. Chilli veg+beans for pasties and stew + pumpkin soup…. getting ahead….

Sometimes, I’m in the kitchen to experiment.  A lot of vegan cooking comes down to experiments. And quite a lot of them are nothing short of failed experiments. lol.

Other times, I’m in there, determined to at least try and create a masterpiece…or should I say mistresspiece, whatever the faff….and there can be considerable faff…

In between, there’s usually quite a bit of thinking and investigating, followed by a fair amount of umm-ing and ah-ing…ehmmm… I wonder if this or that will work….hmmm..?

Very occasionally there’s a touch of potential sheer genius.  Usually followed by a nagging question to self: How exactly did I do that btw?

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In the meantime, there’s everyday cooking….which is …what it is …on the whole…

And then there’s the days that go more like: I really don’t want to cook today.  And that’s that.

So here’s an everyday sort of cooking post, about how to get ahead, so that when those ‘that’s that’ days come up, I’m ready for them. Ha.

A big batch of bean and root vegetable chilli, for pasties, wraps, or stew, and a vat of vegetable soup.   Continue reading “A day in the life of a vegan cooking blog…. Chilli veg+beans for pasties and stew + pumpkin soup…. getting ahead….”

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.”

Vegan, Vegan Main Dishes

Oriental-Style Tempeh Stir-Fry Wrap. Vegan.

Oriental-style tempeh stir-fry. Vegan. Serve in a wrap, with salad leaves, or with noodles or rice…

I do like tempeh.  In many ways I prefer it to tofu, because it has such a great texture. It’s hard to find, in the UK anyway, so much so that my non-multi-tasking-partner is considering making it.  He’s already in charge of kefir (but that’s another story)………. so what could possibly go wrong?

So, if you can find some, stock up, like I did, as it freezes very well.

Here is one of my previous posts  about tempeh, explaining how to use it successfully:                                             (click on image for link)

Tempeh needs to be relaxed, in order to soak up a marinade successfully.  This entails placing the piece of tempeh in hot water for 15 mins.  Then slicing it into pieces and marinading it as long as possible.

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vegan oriental-style tempeh stir-fry

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ORIENTAL STYLE TEMPEH STIR-FRY WRAP

Makes 6 wraps   Continue reading “Oriental-Style Tempeh Stir-Fry Wrap. Vegan.”

Curries, Vegan, Vegan Main Dishes, Vegan on a Shoestring

Winter Squash and Spiced Lentil Dal served with rice, chapati and yogurt. Vegan.

It’s January.  Time to break open a winter squash.  Home-grown squash will store in a cool dry environment for up to 6 months.  So they’re there just when you need them.  There’s also a fantastic variety of winter squash in the shops  these days…..

Homegrown winter squash: crown prince and hubbard…

A spicy winter squash and dal recipe that melts in the mouth, and revives the spirits.

Winter Squash and Lentil Dal.

A South Asian Dish.

winter squash and red lentil dal + steamed basmati

And here’s how to cook really nice rice: every time…

(click image for link)

 

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WINTER SQUASH AND RED LENTIL DAL

Serves 4   Continue reading “Winter Squash and Spiced Lentil Dal served with rice, chapati and yogurt. Vegan.”