So the MoFo has reached the final day for this year. Life got in the way of blogging this week unfortunately. However, I am really pleased that I still managed over twenty posts this month. Today’s post is just a quick one to say thank you for all your support and lovely comments. It makes it all worthwhile to know people like what you’re doing. Last year I had to stop blogging after the MoFo finished as it was too hard juggling everything but I hope this year to continue so fingers crossed.
So, once again thank you and I look forward to posting more over the coming months.
Lots of love
Vegan Ha Ha
So I intended to do much more for this post today but a number of factors means it isn’t quite as good I wanted. When I planned this post, I forgot my other half would be away and then yesterday I came down with a cold. This meant that I couldn’t really spend the time in the kitchen I would have liked. However, I was determined to do at least one of the elements I had planned. The most important one was the yorkshire puddings. I have never made a vegan yorkshire pudding. Heck, I never made them before I went vegan, I always bought the frozen ones as the fear of flat, soggy yorkshires was too great. But today, despite the cold I went for it. The result wasn’t bad.
Due to the constraints I was under, I had to find a recipe that had as few ingredients as possible and was straightforward. The one I went for was on the website of the supermarket Tesco oddly enough. The recipe went as follows:
Preheat oven to Gas Mark 7/220C/425F. Put 225g self raising flour, 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder, pinch salt in a bowl and then whisk in 300ml unsweetened soya milk, 100ml warm water. Whisk until very smooth with no lumps. Leave to rest at room temperature for 10mins. I didn’t have quite enough self raising flour so had to add a bit of plain and this might account for why some of the puddings didn’t rise as well.
In a 12 hole muffin tray, put 1 teaspoon oil in each hole and heat oven for 5mins. Pour batter evenly into each hole and return to oven for 25-30mins til risen and golden brown.
They weren’t too bad. A little on the stodgy rather than the fluffy side but a decent attempt nevertheless. I would definitely try to make them again and would be tempted to try a different recipe. I have frozen the leftovers so it will be interesting to see if they reheat well.
Bargain Basement Cooking!
Today’s challenge has been to make a meal with food found in the clearance sections at the supermarket. I didn’t have the time to go out and do the foraging myself so I sent my other half on a bargain hunting mission at one of our local supermarkets. And this is what he returned with…
There was a pack of stir fry veg, some extra mange tout, some fresh chillies and a tub of pineapple chunks. Well stir fry was obviously the way to go. I had a pack of ready cooked rice in the cupboard and few mushrooms that were on their way to the compost if I didn’t use them up so I threw them into the mix too. I normally would have some sort of tofu dish with stir fry but as there wasn’t any in the fridge, I used a can of chickpeas instead.
To get some flavour into the chickpeas, I tossed them in a couple of tablespoons of soy sauce and then put them on a lined baking tray and baked them in the oven for about 15mins. Whilst they cooked, I fried a thinly sliced onion and one of the chillies finely chopped in a teaspoon of sesame oil. Once they began to cook, I added some pieces of the pineapple cut into small cubes and stirred for a few minutes, then added the cooked rice and finally the chickpeas.
In another pan, I stir fried the veggies with some Chinese five spice powder.
And ta-da! Bargain basement dinner done. In less than 30 minutes too!
Four For £4
I got lucky when I was deciding to what to make for today’s challenge. My parents gave us some marrow that a neighbour had grown which was substantial enough to feed at least four people. Marrow might not seem like the most exciting vegetable but I think it does have potential. I particularly like stuffed marrow and worked out I could do this dish quite cheaply. As marrow can be quite bland, I decided to go for a stuffing with plenty of spice. I have made marrow stuffed with couscous before and thought this would be ideal. I had some ingredients already in the cupboard, such as veggie stock and spices so didn’t need to buy in those. I did buy a pack of couscous for £0.65, tin of chickpeas for £0.55, a red bell pepper for £0.55 and a pack of onions for £0.60. Whilst looking for the spices I found a pack of raisins and thought they might go well in the stuffing.
Begin by preparing the marrow: Cut the marrow into large chunks, halve the pieces and then scrape out the seeds.
Put the pieces in a large pot and cover with plenty of salted water. Bring the water to the boil and then turn the heat down and simmer for about 10mins or until the marrow is soft but still retains shape. Put the pieces cut side up in a baking dish.
To make the stuffing, prepare 125g couscous according to the packet instructions. I always soak the couscous in vegetable stock rather than just water as I find it adds more flavour. Finely slice the onion and dice the pepper. Fry in a little oil or cooking spray (you can use water if you prefer to cook oil free) with a couple of finely minced garlic cloves, a teaspoon each of ground coriander and cumin, half a teaspoon tumeric and teaspoon chilli flakes. Add a couple of tablespoons of raisins and the tin of chickpeas and cook until the veggies are softened. Season with salt and pepper and also season the pieces of marrow. Spoon the mixture into the hollowed out marrow pieces and then cover the dish with foil. Bake for 20mins at Gas Mark 5/190C/375F.
If you were not limited to £4 you could always add some sort of sauce, in the past I have made a spicy tomato sauce to pour over the top. You could also serve with a salad of some sort. Enjoy xxxx
Leftovers Part Two
This is a very short post today! Just a quick one to show how we used the leftovers from yesterday’s bolognese sauce. The sauce lends itself very well to re-purposing. It could be basis for a chilli or filling for a moussaka with a bit of tweaking or even the filling for a shepherd’s pie if topped with mash. But I just kept it simple and made sloppy joes.
If you are unfamiliar with a sloppy joe, it is basically minced meat in a sauce served on a bun. The sloppy joe lends itself very well to being veganized. You could use some sort of pre-made veggie mince, shredded seitan or tempeh. Or like I did, use some sort of pulses in place of the meat. I added a dollop of tomato ketchup to leftover sauce to sweeten it slightly and served on toasted burger buns with plenty of mild, hotdog mustard.
Leftovers Part One
Today is the first of a two parter. The first challenge is to make a dish and the second challenge for tomorrow is to use the leftovers to make another dish. So for part one, I made a bolognese style sauce that I served over pasta. In the spirit of this being budget week, this sauce is pretty economical to make. It can be scaled up or down as necessary and as I will show in tomorrow’s post, the leftovers can be used up the following day.
I used 250g dried brown lentils in my sauce and they needed to be soaked overnight. I used the brown lentils as they keep their shape when cooked and I wanted a sauce with more texture but red lentils could be used. Boil the lentils in fresh water for about 10mins and then turn down the heat to simmer for about another 15-20mins.
While the lentils cook, chop 1 medium onion and 250g mushrooms chopped into a small dice. Begin by frying the onion in a little oil (you could also use a little water or veg stock if you prefer to make this recipe oil free). Once it begins to soften, add a finely chopped garlic clove and two teaspoons dried oregano. Stir and add the mushrooms and fry til the mushrooms begin to cook down. You might want to keep stirring to prevent sticking. Add 500g of passata. You could also use tinned tomatoes, I just prefer the smoother, thicker texture of the passata for this sauce. Stir in the passata to cover all the veg and then add the cooked lentils, season with salt and pepper. Stir well again and then cover the pot and turn down the heat to simmer the sauce for another 20mins or so until the onion and mushrooms are cooked through. Make sure to keep checking and stirring in case it sticks.
Cheap and Cheerful Sweet Treats
The theme of this whole week of the MoFo is making veganism affordable. This is such an important message. There is a perception that veganism has to be about expensive and hard to find ingredients. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Today is all about making something cheap and sweet. I had some basic ingredients in the cupboard – flour, oats and spices. Plus I also had a load of blackberries left over from my other half’s foraging spree. So I decided to go with a fruit crumble and bought a couple of cooking apples to add into the mix.
For this size crumble, I used about 900g fruit in total. You can use apples, soft fruit such as berries, peaches, pears, rhubarb – whatever you fancy. The apples were peeled and cored and then sliced fairly thinly. This way they would just cook in the oven, rather than having to cook them first. Put the apples and blackberries in a baking dish and then sprinkle over 25g caster sugar, a teaspoon of cinnamon and a tablespoon of cornflour – this helps to thicken the juice from the fruit into a lovely rich sauce. Mix these into the fruit so evenly distributed.
To make the crumble, sift 175g plain flour into a mixing bowl. Add 75g dairy free spread divided into small pieces and gently rub the spread into the flour with your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs. Mix in 50g porridge oats, 50g caster sugar and two teaspoons of ground cinnamon. Spoon the crumble mixture over the fruit, making sure it covers the fruit evenly. Sprinkle over 25g demerara sugar and bake at Gas Mark 6/200C/400F for about 45mins until the crumble is golden brown and fruit is cooked through.