Squash and chestnut bake

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1/2 butternut squash, cubed
1 onion, sliced
Coconut or other oil
1 garlic clove
Chestnuts, sliced
1 can chickpeas
Fresh herbs and seasoning – I used thyme and oregano
Soya cream, optional
Veggie sausages (i used Linda McCartney)

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Slice the onion and peel and cube the squash.  Roast them together in oil in a large dish at 200 degrees for at least half an hour or until the squash is tender, adding the garlic halfway and stirring or giving the dish a shake now and then.
Cook the sausages according to packet instructions. When cooked cut them into bite sized pieces.

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Add the chickpeas and sausages to the roasting dish and cook for a few minutes further.  Stir through the cream, if using, and scatter with herbs to serve.

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Squash and chestnut bake

Apple and Blueberry Cake

Apple and Blueberry Cake

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I have to credit my Sister, Lisa for this recipe.  I remember her bringing this delicious cake round when I was just leaving the fog of first trimester pregnancy sickness and it tasted wonderful!

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Ingredients

4 eating apples

300g blueberries (fresh or frozen)

175g caster sugar

175g unsalted vegan margarine (I used vitalite)

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 egg equivalent (I used Ogran No Egg)

175 self raising flour

1 tsp baking powder

cake 1

Preheat oven to 180

Peel and slice the apples and add to an ovenproof dish

Add the berries and 2tbsp of the sugar.

Beat the butter, sugar and vanilla together until pale and creamy.

Mix in the egg replacer gradually.  Add the flour and baking powder.

If the mixture is a little stiff add a splash of dairy free milk.

Spoon the batter over the fruit.

Bake for around 30 minutes or until a skewer or toothpick comes out clean.cake

Serve with squirty cream!  I bought this beautifully – named schlagfix on a recent visit to the den at 23 so it was the perfect day to bake this cake.

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Its worth noting that this needs to be served on some sort of plate and eaten with a fork or spoon, it’s too messy with all the fruit at the bottom to pick up. If the fruit is mixed into the batter or placed on top of the batter it might become a ‘cut up and pick up with fingers’ type cake.

Apple and Blueberry Cake

Vegan Lentil Chowder

This dish was invented on one of those evenings when you’ve run out of almost everything and you have to get creative with what’s at the back of the store cupboard.  Dan loved it and suggested I wrote it down quickly before I forgot what I put in it.  Now we have this regularly and call it ‘lentil chowder’ just because it’s creamy.

In these photos I’m making double the recipe then freezing half of it to eat on another night which works really well with this meal.

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Ingredients

  • 200g red lentils
  • 1 diced onion
  • 2 diced carrots
  • Tin mixed beans  (in this pic I’m using what I had open in my fridge, so sweetcorn, chickpeas and a tin of kidney beans)
  • Vegetable stock
  • 100ml Soya cream (or more if you like)
  • Coconut oil
  • 2 green chillies
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Lemon zest
  • Finely chopped fresh rosemary

chowder

Fry onion and carrot in oil to soften.  Add garlic and chilli and fry for a couple more minutes.

Add lentils and enough stock to comfortably cover them.

Bring to the boil then simmer for 15 mins.  Skim off any scum from the surface.

Add the beans and cream and simmer for another 15 mins.

Garnish with lots of lemon zest and herbs and a drizzle of cream.

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Serve with rice and bread.

Vegan Lentil Chowder

Vegetable Bake or How To Use Up Leftovers

imageWhen I have a bunch of vegetables that aren’t going to last for long this is one of my favourite ways to use them up in one pot.  Another is curry. It’s packed with nutrients and is also cheesy and creamy enough to qualify as comfort food. Also it’s a good make-ahead meal so I can make this when my Daughter naps and then it’s ready to go in the oven when my Husband gets home and takes the stress out of dinnertime with a toddler hanging onto my legs while trying to cook.

The ingredients can be as varied as the contents of your average fridge but this is what went into my most recent veggie bake.

Ingredients

  • 1 can mixed beans
  • Soya cream
  • Vegan Cheese, grated (I used a mixture of violife and Tesco own brand)
  • 1 Green and 1 yellow pepper, chopped
  • Handful of new potatoes, cut into thick slices 1 leek, sliced
  • Tinned sweetcorn
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Coconut oil (or any plant based cooking oil)
  • Vegan butter (I used vitalite)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Garlic

Boil some water in a saucepan and cook the potatoes until they just slide off a knife. Drain and set aside. Meanwhile heat the oil in a frying pan.  Add the leek and a knob of butter.  Soften the leek then add the garlic and peppers. Stir in the drained beans and sweetcorn and however much cream you like.  (I like a lot). Season.  Transfer the mixture to a baking dish and lay the potato slices on top.

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Top with the grated cheese, a drizzle of oil and fresh herbs.  Bake until the cheese is melted and golden. I served with a green salad of mixed leaves, cucumber and avocado dressed in olive oil and lemon.

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Vegetable Bake or How To Use Up Leftovers

Easy banana cake with vanilla icing

Easy Banana Cake with Vanilla Icing

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For the Cake
I egg equivalent (I used Ogran no egg)
75ml vegetable oil
125g caster sugar
2 bananas, finely sliced
30g rolled oats
150g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1tsp ground cinnamon

For the icing
Icing sugar
Water
Vanilla extract

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Preheat oven to 180 degrees / Gas 4.  Line a cake tin with baking parchment.
Whisk the oil, egg and sugar together.  Whisk the sliced bananas into the mixture. Fold in the rest of the cake ingredients.

Pour the thick batter into the tin. Bake for 30 – 40 minutes or until a metal skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool.

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I forgot to measure how much icing sugar I used!  I would guess at 2 or 3 tablespoons. Add a few drops of vanilla to the icing sugar and stir, add tiny amounts of water until you have the consistency you want, so that it will run a little but stay mostly on top of the cake.

I’m waiting for my cake to cool completely while I’m typing this.  When its cool add the glaze and serve with a big fat cup of tea.

Easy banana cake with vanilla icing

Indulgent overnight oats

Mornings are always a rush with a toddler so I end up making toast every day, not very inspiring.  Overnight oats seemed like the perfect way to prepare ahead and get some variety into breakfast.

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I wasn’t that impressed by my first attempt so this time I used indulgent ingredients to make sure it was really tasty – success!

Ingredients
4tbsp rolled oats
almond milk
1tsp cashew nut butter
agave nectar
fresh strawberries, sliced
pecans, broken
dark chocolate, chopped

Method

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Put oats in a jar with a lid. I used an  empty peanut butter jar as I don’t have a fancy Mason jar. Add almond milk to cover the oats and the nut butter and give it a shake.
Leave in fridge overnight.
Add more milk if needed to get your desired consistency. Pour into bowl and top with pecans, strawberries and chocolate. Finish with a drizzle of agave nectar.

Indulgent overnight oats

A Very Vegan Birthday

I haven’t made many three course meals since our Daughter arrived 18 months ago – there is never enough time! So for my Husband’s birthday I decided to make the effort.  All the recipes were chosen with limited time in mind, and the fact that I might be summoned upstairs by a sleepy toddler wanting a cuddle at any point. To start I made spring rolls for the first time ever.  They took way longer than I anticipated to put together, even though I had prepped the veg earlier.  However, they were totally worth it as we both loved them and will definitely make use of the stack of rice paper wrapper I have leftover. Spring rolls with peanut dipping sauce Spring rolls recipe from the lovely blog the curvy carrot:  http://www.thecurvycarrot.com/2014/03/13/thai-fresh-spring-rolls-with-peanut-dipping-sauce-and-a-giveaway/ Next up was citrus baked tofu from ‘The Vegan Zombie – Cook and Survive’ cookbook.  A great recipe that I wasn’t sure I would like but really did.  I thought the sauce sounded a little sweet for my taste but the flavours were really well balanced.  I served it with some blanched then fried broccoli, asparagus and spring onion.

citrus baked tofu       the vegan zombie - cook and survive

Dessert was made ahead – some lovely little shortbread biscuits served with Almond Dream ice cream from Waitrose.  I went for the Salted Caramel after agonising for some time over the options in the ice cream aisle.   My only worry about the shortbread was if they would ‘veganise’ well because their butter content is so high – they did!

shortbread  almond dream

Shortbread recipe adapted from a millionaire’s shortbread on the veggie blog: https://theveggieblog.co.uk/2012/06/03/the-vegan-millionaires-shortbread/

A Very Vegan Birthday