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81. Dining in Düsseldorf

How awesome is Düsseldorf for vegans?! Seriously!

A couple of weeks ago I flew to Düsseldorf for a boring work meeting. Since it was a Friday I decided to stay on and fly the husband over for the weekend. Originally I had wanted to move onto Berlin, as it has recently been named the “vegetarian capital of the world”, but the flights were expensive so we decided to stay put.
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At first I was a little dubious. I mean Düsseldorf is beautiful and there is loads of amazing buildings and plenty to do… but it was hard to ignore all of the places selling fur, bratwursts and veal. Not to mention the millions of buttery looking bakeries.

But, a quick search on Google maps reassured me that I was not going to starve during my visit (seriously, search it!). There were so many fun and tasty places to try out that I think I must have put on a stone in weight! Worth it though ☺

Husband didn’t arrive in Düsseldorf until late on the Friday night, so we stayed at the Maritim hotel which is right next door to the airport. And what an amazing hotel it was! The room was lovely but even better was the choice of 5 restaurants and various bars downstairs.

The Maritim hotel website boasts about its vegan and vegetarian options (even the magazine in the room mentioned vegans) but unfortunately the Düsseldorf Airport branch doesn’t have many choices available. However the staff were very accommodating and went to a lot of trouble to make sure I was well fed.

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Vegans get a mention on the front cover of the Maritim hotel magazine!

We picked the Bistro “Bottaccio” restaurant as it seemed to have the most adaptable menu. After negotiating with the waitress I had a blood red tomato soup (served with bread and plenty of olive oil) followed by a very nice tofu Thai green curry with wild rice.  We were too full for dessert so we headed for the bar and had a few cheeky gin martinis instead, lovely! Overall it was a bit on the pricey side, but we accepted that we were a captive audience and just enjoyed the experience.

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Tomato soup

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Thai green curry

On the Saturday we skipped breakfast, jumped on the train and headed straight into Düsseldorf itself. After dumping our stuff at the hotel, we wandered around the shops and ended up at an amazing buffet style restaurant called Sattgrün. Husband was very reserved and just had a bowl of sweet potato and coconut soup (which was absolutely divine) whereas I went for the buffet and LOADED my plate full of seitan, tofu and vegetable dishes ♥ Every single thing I ate was so delicious that it brought a wee tear of happiness to my eyes. I REALLY wish we had a place like this at home.PS17

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Sattgrün

There are quite a few health shops in Düsseldorf. I visited two – Bio Park and Vita Nova. In Bio Park I just bought some crisps and an iChoc, Choco Cookie bar (which to be honest I can get at home). In Vita Nova I could have spent a million pounds but unfortunately I’d only brought a small suitcase… I got a white chocolate bar which to be honest was disgusting, but I also tried some cheeses I’ve never had before and some veggie bratwurst which were AMAZING. Also I had the best vegan sour cream I have ever tried – it was super realistic.

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Chilled vegan selection in Vita Nova

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Vita Nova – not everything was vegan but there was still a lot of choice

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You can get this in the UK, but sometimes you just fancy something familiar 😉

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Bratwurst, cheeze with tomato and basil, cheeze with mushroom (best thing ever), amazing sour cream and not so amazing white chocolate

All that shopping tired us out so we visited a gorgeous little coffee shop called Carrot Cake. I had a whacking great slice of stodgy pumpkin cake and Husband had a Halloween chocolate cake (with a red raspberry filling). We both had a latte which came with a cute little biscuit. Everything was to die for and in my opinion, ridiculously cheap! No wonder the place was full.

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Pumpkin cake

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Chocolate Halloween cake

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Oat milk latte

In the evening, despite the fact we weren’t particularly hungry, we paid a visit to a place called “What’s Beef”.  I know this doesn’t sound particularly vegan friendly, and perhaps it isn’t the best choice for the more sensitive vegan… BUT they do a veggie beet burger on a vegan bread bun with tomato, lettuce, cucumber, onion and homemade tomato sauce and it was gorgeous!!!  Especially since I asked for extra avocado on top. Win.

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On the Sunday we again skipped breakfast and enjoyed a lovely autumnal walk around the “posh” part of Düsseldorf. We were surprised to find that most of the shops were shut but luckily the weather was good so we enjoyed the fresh air and picturesque views. We cut through a shopping centre where the corridors were being used as a catwalk for some fur-clad models *vomit*. I managed to get myself punched in the face by one of said models – which Husband found hil-ar-ious!

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I was so traumatized that we were forced to head to Space Burger so I could recuperate! Like What’s Beef, this burger place also sells meat so won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. BUT, they have a separate menu for vegans with lots of choices! I went for a Mexican themed burger called “El Vegano” which comes with avocado, guacamole, salsa, faux cheese and nachos. I also had some fries and curry sauce on the side, it was bliss ♥

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Space Burger sign

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El Vegano!

Again, in the evening we were far from hungry but we couldn’t resist trying out What’s Beef’s sister company, “What’s Pizza”. This place does a “meatless Monday” but what really caught my attention was the option to have “vegan mozzarella” on my pizza! Unfortunately the mozzarella just turned out to be silken tofu, but it still worked really well with my mushroom, spinach, olive and chilli combo. The pizza bases were lovely as well – it was a joy to eat my crusts.

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It was very fortunate that we ate so much during our stay because on the Monday we headed straight to the airport where our flight ended up being delayed. Luckily our newly acquired fat reserves kept us going for the journey back, ha!

So, if Düsseldorf is this amazingly fantastic for vegans, I really really really can’t wait to pay Berlin a visit!

Bis zum nächsten Mal….

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80. Homemade spaghetti hoops

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I’ve not blogged in ages! Been so super busy… 2 weeks in Zanzibar (saw the birth place of Freddie Mercury, yay!!! ♥) a week in Rotterdam, then rat-sitting my friends’ 16 rescue rats.

So busy in a good way ☺ and I’ve had some really good vegan friendly food whilst I’ve been at it! #noexcuses.

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Ratties!

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Food and drink consumed in Rotterdam

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What Zanzibarbarians eat!

Anyway, sometimes when you’re super busy, you just want to grab something quick and easy for tea. Maybe something from out of the freezer or from a tin.  I often fall back on the English classic of “Something, chips and beans” as I call it. Or sometimes, to introduce a bit of variety, we’ll have “something, chips and spaghetti hoops”. The “something” could be veggie sausages, a tasty pre-made pie or maybe some breaded “chickn nuggets”.

I’ll admit that I’m rather fond of tinned spaghetti hoops. I prefer generic own-brand to the market leader stuff (rhymes with “shmienz”), I think because they tend to be a little less sweet. But you have to be careful because some brands – like ASDA – are not vegan friendly and others are full of scary sounding ingredients.

However, as with most things, if you make them yourself at home you can monitor exactly what goes into them. So although I won’t pretend that this is the healthiest recipe in the world ever, I think it’s fair to say that my homemade spaghetti hoops are much better for you that the shop-bought stuff!

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Obviously this recipe takes much longer than the time it takes to open a tin, but you can make up a batch in advance and keep it in the fridge. It might even freeze well too… but I have never had enough leftovers for long enough to try.

Please note that I have intentionally made this recipe so that it tastes authentic and like the stuff from a tin. If that’s not your thing then you could use more tomatoes, and fresh garlic and onion… but to be honest if you’re going to do that then you might be better off just making pasta and marinara sauce!

Homemade spaghetti hoops recipe (makes about 2 tins worth):

Ingredients:

200g / 1.5 cups dried pasta hoops  (I found mine at the International Supermarket in Liverpool)
570g / 3 cups fresh tomatoes*  (diced)
1 x veg stock cube (make sure its sfv!)
3 x cups water
1 x tsp salt
2 x tsp sugar
½ x tsp garlic powder
½ x tsp onion granules
½ x tsp paprika (I used smoked as it was all I had – it worked!)
1 x tsp nutritional yeast (optional but inspired by the cheese powder included in some brands)
3 x tsp cornflour dissolved in 2 tbsp cold water

*make sure you use nice, fresh, tasty tomatoes! If you end up using watery-rubbish ones, you may find you need to add a tablespoon of tomato puree to the sauce to make up for it.

Method:
Cook the pasta hoops according to the instructions on the packet. For authenticity you may want to slightly overcook the pasta to make it go extra soft (don’t do this if you plan on re-heating).

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In a medium-sized pan, add the diced tomatoes, stock cube and water. Put over the hob and bring to the boil before reducing to a simmer for 15 – 20 minutes (or until the volume has reduced by about half).

Add the salt, sugar, garlic powder, onion granules and paprika. Stir well and leave simmering for a further 5 minutes.

Take off the heat and stir in the nutritional yeast before blending until smooth with a hand blender (you can use a food blender if you prefer). Take care not to spray hot sauce over yourself!

Whisk in the cornflour-water mixture and put back on the heat whilst continually whisking. Heat until the sauce is thick and opaque.

Stir in the cooked pasta and heat until piping hot.

I served mine with some purple veg casserole and a freshly baked bread roll (which just so happened to have a melting Violife “cheese” centre).

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Hellz yes!

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79. The Vegan Venue – Warrington

I live in Warrington, a town in the North West of England, almost halfway between Liverpool and Manchester. Warrington is famous for its Rugby team (the Warrington Wolves), steel wire and the famous song “Zombie” which was written (and performed) by the Cranberries, about the IRA bombing of Warrington in 1993.

Warrington however is not exactly on the map for being a vegan hotspot! But perhaps times are beginning to change… hooray!

I was so sad that I nearly cried when our first and only vegan restaurant, “Shambala” closed down. But today I nearly cried because I was so happy after visiting Warrington’s newest vegan joint, “The Vegan Venue”!

Rumours of this new takeaway / shop crept onto my Facebook page late last week and it didn’t take me long to discover that its ONLY 2 FREAKING MILES AWAY FROM MY HOUSE!!!! I cycle further than that to work! So today being Saturday, there was no way that I wasn’t going to pay a visit.

Placed in Padgate, The Vegan Venue is fairly easy to get to and has a sizable carpark across the road. First impressions when you enter the building is that it’s CLEAN! Now I’m not saying that all vegan eateries are dirty (V-Revolution in Manchester for example is spotless). BUT, I’m sorry to say that are lot are grim. Not that mucky cutlery and sticky menus puts me off tasty cruelty free food….

Anyway, I wasn’t expecting much from such a new business (they’ve not even been open a week yet) but I was pleasantly surprised to see that they had a pretty impressive menu! (I’ve posted a photo of it below). They sell everything from fresh juice to “bacon” bagels to calzone to burgers, pies and wraps. They also have a daily specials board and a cabinet with the most gorgeous looking vegan cakes you have ever seen!

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So what did I go for? I chose the daily special – a huge, great, massive, big-as-my-head burrito (and my head is pretty big!) It was filled to the brim with rice, marinated “beef” strips, lettuce, tomato, courgette, black beans and freshly homemade guacamole.  It was deeeeeelicous!

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It’s huuuuuge!

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Serious, even my massive mouth couldn’t get around it!

I also bought a piece of orange and pistachio cake. OMG! Yet again it was huuuuuuuuge! And so amazingly, mouth-wateringly yummy.

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Drooling just looking at this photo! (Orange and pistachio cake)

AND I picked up a pack of ten acres crisps and a very nice vanilla Nespresso latte (would deffo recommend!)

One of the very best parts about the shop however was how lovely and kind the owners are :o)
(Not to mention how reasonable the prices are!)

I really hope all the vegans and veggies of Warrington and its surrounding areas make a special effort to make sure that this place does well. Would be great to see them be able to extend their opening hours and get permission to transform from a takeaway to a sit-down café!

So, massive thanks to The Vegan Venue! You made my Saturday :o)

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78. Ikea-style meatless meatballs with creamless cream sauce

I’m really glad that Ikea have started to do vegan friendly meatballs. However I am also disappointed for two reasons: one, the fact that they didn’t manage to produce a vegan friendly sauce to go with them; and two, I was kind of expecting something more…meaty! I guess I should have guessed that a “veggieball” would contain veg, but the optimistic part of me was hoping for something a little more exciting.

I know that many vegans won’t agree with me, since people seem to be divided into those who are repulsed by mock meats and those who love them. But for those of you who fall into the latter category, here is my* recipe for Ikea-style meatless meatballs and creamless cream sauce!
(*I used the non-vegan, original Ikea recipe for guidance).

Ikea style meatless meatballs (Makes 14 – 16)
Ingredients:

1 x jar tempeh (230g)
2 x flax eggs (1 flax egg = 1 tbsp. ground flaxseeds mixed with 3 tbsp. water, leave for 10 mins before use).
60 x ml non-dairy milk
1 x tbsp. finely chopped onion
1 x cup breadcrumbs (shop-bought work best)
½ x tsp white pepper
½ x tsp allspice
1 x tsp liquid aminos (or soy sauce)
1 x tsp vegan friendly Worcestershire sauce
1 x tbsp. nutritional yeast (optional)
1 x tsp browning (optional)
½  x cup gram flour
Enough oil to grease a baking tray.

Method:
Pre-heat the oven to 180oC.
In a large bowl, crumble up the tempeh with your hands before rubbing in the allspice and pepper.
Using a wooden spoon, stir in the dairy-free milk, flax eggs, onion, liquid aminos, Worcestershire sauce, and if using, the nutritional yeast and browning.
Stir in the breadcrumbs – a mouldable dough should form. Finish combining with your hands.
Pull off bits of the dough and roll into ½ inch sized balls using the palms of your hands.
Put the gram flour on a plate and roll each meatball around in it until coated.
Lay the meatballs on a well-greased tray before shuggling to lightly coat each in the oil.
Bake in the oven for around 15 minutes (or until browned and tasty looking).

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Creamless- cream sauce
Ingredients:

150 x ml soya cream
250 x ml vegetable stock (or vegan beef-style stock if you have it)
1 x tsp soy sauce
1 x tsp vegan friendly Worcestershire sauce
1 x tbsp. plain white flour
¼ x tsp white pepper
¼ x tsp salt
2 x tsp vegan friendly beef gravy (I used original Bisto – the one in the red tub).

Method:
Add the stock to a pan and whisk in the flour. Heat up the stock and whisk in the soya sauce, Worcestershire sauce, pepper and salt.
Once bubbling, stir in the gravy granules until dissolved.
Once the sauce has thickened to the desired consistency, reduce the heat and stir in the soya cream.
Continue to heat (without boiling) until the beany taste of the soya cream is gone.
Serve over the meatballs.

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I can’t resist eating mine with oven-baked chips and a good dollop of lingonberry sauce. Although I did promise a Facebook acquaintance that I’d mention that the proper way to eat Ikea style meatless meat balls is with boiled potatoes!

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77. Fish friendly “tuna mayo”

I love jackfruit, it’s so versatile! I love using it to make pulled pork and crabless cakes. But it wasn’t until recently that I noticed how much it looks like tuna! So I started inventing and came up with the following “tuna mayo” recipe.

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Jackfruit!

My family come from Grimsby, so fish was very important to my Grandparents (probably why my living Grandad finds it so hard to believe that I’m vegan.). My dear departed Nan used to crack me up – she would refer to tuna as “poor man’s salmon”. Even after she had a stroke and suffered from bad memory loss, she still remembered how much she hated tuna!!! Still, I think she might have approved of this recipe as the jackfruit has a much less dry texture, not to mention no mercury or parasites! (Check out this funky little dude!)

Perfect for sandwiches, salads and jacket potatoes (I really must write up my jacket potato recipe at some point – I really do make a great jacket spud!)

Furthermore, it’s a really easy recipe once you have all the ingredients:

“Tuna mayo” recipe
Ingredients:

1 x tin of green jackfruit in brine*  (280g)
1 x nori sheet (finely shredded)
2 x tsp apple cider vinegar
1/8 x cup chopped capers
¼ x cup vegan friendly mayo
½ x tsp salt (sea salt is best)
1 x tsp tamari (soy) sauce

*Make sure you use the green jackfruit in brine and not the ripe stuff in syrup. Otherwise, don’t come crying to me when your tuna mayo tastes like a fruit salad!

Method:

Drain the jackfruit and mash-shred-massage into tuna-esque flakes using two forks or your fingers.

Some jackfruit recipes I have seen discard the core but it will break up so no point in wasting it! (although I tend to pick out the seeds and eat them as I go…)

Put the jackfruit in a bowl and add the nori, vinegar, capers, mayo, salt and tamari.  Mix well.

Cover with clingfilm and leave in the fridge for at least an hour before serving – I find that the vinegar/briny taste develops over time.

It's looking like tuna already!

It’s looking like tuna already!

*Variation* – I quite like using a mixture of 2 parts mayo to 1 part salad cream for a lovely tangy taste, but as vegan salad cream can be a bit trickier to come by, I usually just use the mayo.

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Easy peasey squeezy lemons!

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76. Beanz meanz cheeze!

We’ve  all seen the cashew nut cheeze sauce craze. We’ve all endured the potato-carrot cheeze sauce trend.
…And now I think it’s time to pay some attention to cheeze sauce made from beans!

I won’t pretend that vegan cheeze sauce made from white beans is an original idea (a quick Google search will tell you that) but this recipe is entirely my own making and I enjoyed it so much that I had to share.

I have used this sauce to make mac’n’cheeze, nachos and burritos – and it worked perfectly in each case. The beans give a lovely creamy texture and the best part is that its quicker to make than the cashew and potato-carrot versions as it requires no soaking or pre-boiling of veggies. So great to make after a long day!

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Mac’n’cheeze with Beanz meanz cheeze sauce, button mushrooms and loads of black pepper ♥

Beanz meanz cheeze sauce
(Makes around 2 portions for mac’n’cheeze or 4 portions for nachos / burritios).

Ingredients:

½ x cup drained, tinned white beans (I used cannellini)
½ x cup firm silken tofu
1 x tsp tomato paste
1 x tsp apple cider vinegar
2 x tsp white miso paste
½ x cup nutritional yeast flakes
¼ x tsp turmeric
1 x tsp onion granules
½ x tsp garlic powder
1 x cup dairy-free milk (I used soya since the recipe uses tofu anyway)

Edited to add: Optional – 2 x tsp tapioca starch to thicken and give a little bit of a stretch to the sauce.

 Method

  1. Blend all ingredients in a blender / liquidizer until completely smooth. (If too thick add a little more liquid).
  2. Transfer into a small saucepan and heat over a medium flame whilst stirring continuously.
  3. Once piping hot, use as required!

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This sauce will keep well in the fridge for several days and can be heated up in the microwave or on the stove.

Creamy, cheesy and satisfying!

And just what I needed to warm up after playing with the chickens in the rain (^_^)

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Liz and Anne play with their Chube 

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75. Tomato and mascarpone, gnocchi bake

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Its Fathers’ day inthe UK tomorrow :o) I’m really looking forward to seeing my parents and treating them to a nice meal out. And I’ve got all my ingredients ready to make a yummy vegan chocolate cake to have with a cuppa beforehand.

The only downside is that I’ve spent all of today cleaning the house and trying to make it presentable! Nevertheless, I had promised myself that I would write up a post tonight. So despite my tired eyes and achy-sore fingers, here is my recipe for a tomato and mascarpone, gnocchi bake.

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Tomato and mascarpone, gnocchi bake (4 servings).
Ingredients:

1 x cup fresh cherry-plum tomatoes (halved)
1 x medium onion (chunkily diced)
2 x garlic cloves (minced)
2 x handfuls fresh spinach (torn)
349g of silken tofu (i.e. one pack)
500g gnocchi (double check its egg and dairy free!)
1 x cup dairy free cheese (grated)
2 x tbsp. nutritional yeast (optional but highly recommended!)
1 x tin chopped tomatoes
1 x cup veg stock
3 tsp olive oil
Salt and black pepper to taste.

Method:

Pre-heat the oven to 160oC

Arrange the tomatoes and onion on a baking tray and drizzle with a teaspoon of olive oil. Add a few grinds of black pepper before roasting for 20mins.

In the meantime, fry the garlic in 1 teaspoon of olive oil until it starts to brown (5 mins). Add the tinned tomatoes, stock, salt and pepper and simmer until the liquid has reduced by 2/3rds (around 30 minutes). Take off the heat and use an emersion blender to whizz in the nutritional yeast and tofu. Blend until smooth then heat until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Fry the gnocchi in 1 tsp of olive oil until browned (5-10 mins). This really adds depth to the flavour of the dish.

Put the gnocchi, cherry tomatoes and onion into an oven-proof dish along with the spinach.

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Stir in the sauce, then top with the breadcrumbs.

Increase the oven temperature to 180 oC and bake for 20 – 30 minutes (until piping hot throughout – the breadcrumbs should go golden brown).

Top with the dairy free cheese (sorry to obsess but I really recommend this smoked coconut gouda!) and pop under the grill until the cheese is melty.

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Dish up and enjoy a nice warming, tasty and satisfying dinner!

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74. Mexican Marrows

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I have never liked marrow. But then again, before I went vegan I also didn’t like courgette, aubergine, cauliflower or mushy peas! So when we saw one in the shops the other day, my husband suggested that I give it another try.

The last time I had eaten marrow, my mum had stuffed it with sausage meat – bleurgh! However for mine, I had recently come across this recipe for lentil and brown rice chili and I really wanted to give it a go, so I decided to make them “Mexican” style.

I’ve also discovered a fantastic recipe for a smoked coconut gouda. This “cheese” is made from a can of coconut milk – not that you can tell! It’s refreshingly easy to make, meltable, grateable and super tasty. So of course I had to top my Mexican marrows with a handful.

I can safely say that I like marrow now! Unfortunately hubby only liked the chilli and cheese… argh! It’s so hard getting vegetables into him, even when it was his idea…

Mexican Marrows (makes 2 portions)
Ingredients:

1 x medium sized marrow.

Filling:
This lentil and brown rice chili recipe (I used half the quantity that the recipe makes. NOTE: the recipe lists 2 x tablespoons of chili powder… I thought this sounded a lot so only used 2 x teaspoons, and it was still on the spicy side!)

Topping:
1.5 x cups of grated smoked coconut gouda.

Optional: 1 x cup guacamole.

Method:
Pre-heat the oven to 160oC.

Cut the marrow in half length-ways and using a spoon, scoop out the middles (you can save this for another recipe. I fed mine to the chickens!)

Fill a large pan with water and bring to the boil. Turn off the heat and add the marrow halves. Cover and leave for at least 10mins or until ready to use.

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Remove the marrow from the pan and dab dry with some kitchen roll. Add the chili to the hollowed out area and use the back of a spoon to level off.

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Caaaaareeeefully, put the two halves of the marrow together again and wrap tightly in foil.

Put onto a baking tray and bake in the oven for 40minutes.

Take the marrow out of the oven and leave to cool for 15 minutes or until cool enough to handle. Unwrap and slice off the ends. Cut the rest into into 6 equal rings.

Turn on the grill.

Transfer the rings onto a baking tray and top with the grated cheese.  Pop under the grill for 5 – 10 minutes or until the cheese is melty and browning.

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Remove from the grill and if using, top with guacamole.

I served mine on a bed of grated veggies in an apple cider vinaigrette.

Yum!

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73. Carrot-hot dog casserole

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Facebook tends to go through phases of vegan crazes. Chickpea meringue, Betty Crocker & pop cake, potato-carrot cheese sauce and of course the good old “carrot hot dog”.

My feed is currently filled with pictures of buns containing what looks like an orange bratwurst. I’ve been dying to have a go myself, but since I wasn’t in a bread kind of mood, I decided to make a hot dog casserole  – something I loved before I went veggie.

I followed this recipe by Clean Eating Veggie Girl to make my hot dogs. It was very easy to follow, you just need to remember to make well in advance. I was a bit dubious about the end result but I was amazed at just how hot-doggy this humble root vegetable could be!

This dish is an easy way to eat the rainbow and is packed full of vitamins, fibre and protein ♥

Eat the rainbow!

Eat the rainbow!

 

Carrot-hotdog casserole
Ingredients.

4 x carrot hot dogs (chopped – see above link for recipe)
200g back beans (cooked)
1 x onion (diced)
½ x orange pepper (diced)
2 x medium potatoes (skins on, chopped into chunks)
1 x clove garlic (minced)
1 x courgette (chopped into chunks)
1 x cup aubergine (diced)
1 x cup cherry tomatoes (halved)
1 ½ x cups spring greens (sliced up)
500g x passata (i.e. 1 carton)
1 x cup water
2 x tsp dried thyme
2 x tsp sfv veg bouillon
2 x tsp smoked paprika
Salt and black pepper to taste.
Optional – coriander leaf to garnish.

Method:

Grease a baking tray (I used Frylight spray) and add the tomatoes and aubergine. Sprinkle with salt and pepper before roasting in the oven at 180oC for 10 – 15 mins.

In a pan, add the passata, water, bouillon, thyme, paprika and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer over a gentle heat.

In the meantime, fry the onions until translucent (about 3 mins).
Add the potato and fry for a further 5 –  10 mins (until the edges of the potatoes start to brown).
Add the pepper and garlic and fry for a further 5 mins.

Add the fried and roasted ingredients to the passata along with the spring greens and pearl barley.
Stir well and cook over a medium heat until the potato and pearl barley are tender.

Stir in the beans, courgette and chopped carrot-hot dogs and continue to heat until the carrots are piping hot all the way through (although don’t allow to go mushy).

I served on a small bed of rice with a not-so-small glass of prosecco on the side.

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Good old M&S Prosecco

And as with most tomato based dishes, this one gets even better when left for a day and re-heated!

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72. Paprika rubbed ribz

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Here’s a yummy recipe for all you seitan worshipers out there!
Sweet and tangy, juicy and tender. Paprika rubbed ribz… the McRib can McF*ck off! 😉

Paprika rubbed ribz
Ingredients (makes around 8 ribz)

Seitan:
3 x cups of veg stock
3 x tsp liquid aminos / soy sauce
4 x garlic cloves (minced)
3 x tbsp. veg oil
3 ½  x cups vital wheat gluten
½ x cups nutritional yeast
3 x tsp smoked paprika
2 x tsp black pepper
2 x tsp ground cumin
½ x onion (sliced)Paprika rub:
4 x tbsp. brown sugar
2 x tbsp. paprika
1 x tsp salt
2 x tsp black pepper
½ x tsp chilli powder
1 x tsp garlic powder
1 x tsp onion granules

Method:

Seitan:
Whisk together the veg stock, liquid aminos, veg oil, onion and garlic.
Fold in the flour, yeast, paprika, pepper and cumin until a dough is formed.
Knead for 10 minutes or longer – the dough should become tough and springy.
Cut into 8 equal parts.
Roll out each bit and use the handle of a spoon/fork/knife to press out the shape of individual ribs. Be creative!
Wrap each rack loosely in foil and put into a steamer. Steam for 45 mins – 1 hr.

In the meantime prepare the rub:
In a bowl, thoroughly mix the sugar, paprika, salt, pepper, chilli powder, garlic powder and onion granules. Simple!

Take the ribs out of the steamer and allow to cool until warm but handle-able. Rub in the rub onto both sides. The heat from the ribs should cause the sugar to dissolve slightly, making the rub stick to the surface.
BBQ for 5 minutes on each side, or grill for 3 minutes on each side. Enjoy on their own or on a roll with some salad and BBQ sauce.

ribz ps1

And of course, it wouldn’t be honest of me to have an “experimental” cookery blog if I didn’t share my disasters with you. I originally intended these ribs to look like ribs, using lolly sticks as bones (reminiscent of my spare rib recipe). However it had been a while since I last cooked seitan and I forgot how much it puffs up…. Dinosaur ribs anyone?!

:-p

Before...

Before…

...and after!

…and after!

Flash-Gordonette…X

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