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

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.

prepp

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.

garnish

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

Colchester town gets a vegan cafe

Moving home has kept me busy this last few weeks and we are still decorating and unpacking. I’m still trying to figure out how anyone gets anything done after having children.. I did find time to visit Colchester’s first vegan cafe (woohoo!) a couple of times.  I had high expectations that were more than met and would recommend anyone visits, vegan or not, The Den at 23. image image I’ll admit I was a little excited not to have to remember to request soya milk, and to have the choice of anything on the menu. And guess what? The food was awesome! image A tofu omelette is something I’ve been too lazy to make myself – it was delicious in a sausage bagel. And today I had what I’ve been dreaming about, a freshly made waffle with maple syrup. Lyra recommends the toast. She’s not the most adventurous toddler but the lovely soft bread kept her happy, as did the interesting surroundings, the decor is great. image I wish Jen and Rob of The Den at 23 all the success in the world in their vegan venture.

Colchester town gets a vegan cafe

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