Mushroom Stroganoff (Vegan, DF, GF)

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‘Winter is a season of recovery and preparation’.

Stroganoff is an old classic Russian recipe from the 18th century, that has become popular around the world. You can imagine people eating this dish on a cold snowy day, which is why it has become so popular as a warming winter dish in other places and the USA is no exception.

I took this particular recipe from Healthy Living James as featured in Vegan Food and Living. It is rich from the coconut milk, substituting for the cream and has deep flavors from the smoked paprika, dijon mustard and garlic. You can use it for canapés, eat it on toast for breakfast or with rice for dinner and it only takes 30 minutes to make.

Ingredients

  • 1kg mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 red onions, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tins of unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Large handful of parsley
  • 3 tbsp. coconut oil
  • Salt and pepper

Method

  • Heat a large pot with oil, adding the garlic, onions and mushrooms with a large pinch of salt and pepper
  • Cook for 5 minutes, stirring as you go along
  • Once the mushrooms are soft, add the coconut milk, paprika, mustard and lemon juice and stir well
  • Cook on a high heat to allow the sauce to thicken, cook for 20-25 minutes of until thick and reduced, keeping stirring to make sure it doesn’t stick
  • Finally add freshly chopped parsley
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Vegetarian Shami Kebabs  (V, DF, GF)

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‘Food has a story, a history, relationships’

I adapted this recipe from Season by Nik Sharma, using Quorn to make it vegetarian.

Kebabs have a long and interesting history, and mostly trace their origin to the influence of Mughlai cuisine. This cuisine is strongly influenced by the cuisine of Central Asia, the region where the early Turko-Mongol Mughal Emperors originally hailed from in the 16th century. The deep spices and meat where seen as luxurious foods and used for royal dinners and celebrations. In our family, meat was also seen like that as my grandma was vegetarian and so it wasn’t an every day occurrence.

This is an easy recipe, it’s just a mix and fry. You can bake them too, but they tend to dry out a little due to their being little fat in the mixture.

Ingredients

  • 1lb vegetarian mince
  • 1 cup finely diced onion
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • ½ cup chickpea flour
  • 2 chilis, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 inch ginger, grated
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lime
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. coriander powder
  • 1tsp dried mint
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. dried sage
  • ½ tsp. sea salt
  • Oil for frying

Method

  • In a large bowl, mix the mince, onion, egg, chickpea flour, chilies, garlic, ginger, lime juice, cayenne, coriander, mint, cinnamon, sage and salt
  • Mix thoroughly
  • Divide into 10 portions
  • Heat 2 tbsp. oil and fry the kebabs in batches, adding more oil as needed until golden brown, 3-5 minutes each side
  • Drain on paper towels
  • Serve with chutney, on their own or with naan

Pioppini Mushroom Pasta (Vegan, DF, GF)

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The pioppino mushroom is not only known for its delicious and earthy taste and great texture but also pack a series nutritional punch, providing a great source of vitamin D and boasting beneficial bacteria great for improving digestion and overall health. These mushrooms have a valuable amount of bioactive metabolites. These metabolites include agrocybenine with anti fungal properties, Cylindan which has anti-cancer properties and indole derivatives which are responsible for hunting down free radicals. The Pioppino mushroom is also known for slowing down the effects of osteoporosis. MIND BLOWN!

I found these at the farmers market and since I had never seen them before I thought I pick some up. I asked the lady what to do with them and she said just chop the whole thing up including the stalk and saute them with some shallots. So that is exactly what I did. I served these with some ancient grain gluten free pasta and topped with a little vegan parmesan.

‘Bellissimo’ said Mr. B and I agreed.

Ingredients

  • 150g of gluten free pasta
  • 400g Pioppini Mushrooms
  • ½ cup shallots, sliced
  • 10g vegan butter
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • Vegan parmesan (optional)

Method

  • Clean and cut the mushrooms. I cut 2cm off the bottom and chop the stalks into rounds and slice the heads
  • Warm the oil in a skillet and add the onions, cook until starting to brown
  • Add the mushrooms, cook for 5 minutes on high heat
  • Whilst cooking the mushrooms, cook the pasta
  • Drain the pasta and add to the mushrooms, add the butter, salt and pepper
  • Mix well and serve hot with optional vegan parmesan

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Jackfruit Peking Duck (Vegan)

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My mum used to serve Peking Duck as an intermediary course at her amazing dinner parties. I remember our not so large living room being filled with conversation and laughter as I would go around serve the canapes and my brother would help top up the drinks. My mum was really in her element in those situations, entertaining and listening out for the comments and compliments on the food. I don’t think I have ever seen her happier.

Of course, as many of you know, I try and replicate this nostalgia through my own dinner parties with just an eye to my own plant-based interpretations.

‘Food has no soul, you as a cook must bring soul to the recipe’

Peking Duck also featured heavily in our celebrations, as we would always congregate at our local Chinese restaurant to celebrate birthdays and special occasions. This is a theme for Indian families, and I have never worked out why, apart from perhaps the ability to accommodate large parties and the willingness to supply chopped up chilis to us in abundance.

My brother loves this dish so much that it is also his comfort food at home and so this recipe is dedicated to him. It is my way of showing him that I care, taking his favourite dish and making it heart healthy so he can eat it at will and see it as a healthy snack versus an unhealthy treat. Dev, this recipe is from my heart to yours, in recognition of our memories and the nostalgia we share.

Ingredients

  • 2 cans of jackfruit
  • 3 tsp. tamari
  • 3 tbsp. maple syrup
  • ½ tsp coriander powder
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 3 spring onions, finely sliced
  • ½ cucumber, cut into strips
  • 8-10 Chinese pancakes
  • 150ml hoisin sauce

Method

  • Heat the grill on high
  • Drain the jackfruit and pat dry
  • Combine the tamari, maple syrup, coriander, pepper and sesame oil
  • Coat the jackfruit in the mixture and place under the grill
  • Grill for 10 minutes, turning 2/3 times until crispy
  • Warm the pancakes, serve with the cucumber, spring onion and hoisin sauce

 

Honey Balsamic Brussel Sprout Tacos (Vegan, DF, GF)

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‘People need to understand the different between wants and needs, I want abs, but I need tacos’

…. with this recipe you can have both!

My American husband likes Brussel Sprouts and Tacos, two popular ingredients in the USA, but not two that you normally see together. Given our plant-based diet at home however, I am always trying to find new and innovative recipes and nearly always have these two ingredients in the fridge.

This is a great recipe for brussel sprouts if you want them on their own or as a side. I love them in a taco as they are a little crunchy from the char, a little sweet from the honey balsamic and a little spicy from the red pepper flakes.

Ingredients

  • 5 Ibs. brussel sprouts
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • ½ tsp. ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • Pinch red chilli flakes
  • Corn Tortillas

Method

  • Preheat oven to 425c
  • Line a baking tray
  • Trim the brussel sprouts and cut the bottom off. Cut in half.
  • In a large bowl, toss in the olive oil, salt and pepper
  • Roast until a little charred
  • Mix the balsamic, honey and a pinch of red pepper
  • Warm the tortillas, place some of the sprouts on and drizzle the honey balsamic on top
  • Serve warm

 

 

Mushroom Broth and friends (Vegan, DF, GF)

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‘Nature alone is an antique, and the oldest art a mushroom’  – Thomas Carlyle

I love this dish so much that whilst I am writing this, I am making another batch

It made my life so much easier this week as I started to commute and needed a nourishing, light meal that took 10 minutes to make when I got home

The first day I ate the broth on its own, the second I added some soba noodles as I heated it up, the third I added some tofu, the fourth some pea shoots and the fifth some pre-cooked barley and some coconut milk.  The base itself has about 10 calories, a portion of soba noodles has 70 calories, so this is a low-calorie meal, whatever you do to it

Dried mushrooms can be much cheaper than real mushrooms but they retain the taste and nutrients including protein, enzymes, B vitamins (niacin) and vitamin D2

Ingredients

  • ½ cup dried mushrooms
  • 6 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 8 cups water

Method

  • Place all ingredients in a deep pot, bring to the boil and then down to a simmer for 30 minutes
  • You are looking for a deeply concentrated flavour, so if at 30 minutes you don’t have that keep going or adjust the seasoning
  • If you have an instant pop, you can do the same thing and it will take 10 minutes
  • Eat as a nourishing broth
  • Add soba noodles and make a ramen
  • Add tofu and vegetables and make a protein dense soup
  • Use it as your broth and make a risotto

Squash and Eggplant Gratin  (Vegan, DF, GF)

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‘Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors and let every new year find you a better man’  – Benjamin Franklin

Every year people makes lists of resolutions, drink less, eat less, do more exercise. These are really just generalities that you think will make your life better and in some circumstances relieve the guilt of the past season. We all do it and it seems to make sense at the time, but how long do we stick to our resolutions?

I have found, for me at least that making small changes on a day to day basis works better, with a little room for error, so that I don’t get into a guilt cycle and give up. Every day I start a fresh and think about what I can do better today.

For me like a lot of people, I have a deep and complex relationship with food. It has been my friend and enemy, it comforts me when I am far from home, it teaches me about my ancestry and it gives me a canvas for creativity. I am not going to give up eating and sometimes I am going to want something that does not serve me well, like a slice of pizza with my Italian husband or a truffle parmesan potato chip or two. So how do I balance the two.

I make it easy for myself to eat healthily 90% of the time and I don’t punish myself for the rest. I batch cook at the weekend and then my fast food is healthy food. I buy lots of fresh fruits and vegetables and I prepare them in batches as grab and go, lining up the pairings, for example peeling carrots and setting them next to the hummus, or placing mixed cut fruits in little pots next to my almond yogurt as a quick grab and go in the morning.

This recipe is an easy batch recipe. You cut and bake the butternut squash and eggplant, which you can make it bulk and use for other things also. You then add it all together bake it, creating 6-8 portions to be eaten or frozen. It tastes wonderful as a side or main, lunch or dinner and each ingredient can be repurposed in many different ways.

Take a few hours at the weekend to make your week easier and your food healthier. Now thats a resolution that anyone can keep. Happy Healthy 2019.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 1 large jar passata/homemade or shop bought
  • 2 large eggplants/aubergines
  • 100g gluten free breadcrumbs
  • 50g vegan parmesan
  • salt, pepper, olive oil, chilli flakes

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 350f
  • Peel the squash, remove the seeds and cut into 1 cm long segments
  • Toss the squash in olive oil, salt and pepper and roast until soft
  • As the squash is roasting, half peel the eggplant (alternate stripes) and slice into 1cm discs
  • Cover in olive oil, salt and pepper and lightly fry to brown on each side. Set aside on kitchen towel to absorb any excess oil
  • Warm the passata and add any additional flavouring you might like. I used a garlic basil tomato sauce and added a few chilli flakes (this saves a lot of time). Reference the Rowley Leigh recipe for the original recipe.
  • Mix the breadcrumbs and parmesan and set aside till ready to assemble
  • In an ovenproof dish, spoon a little sauce on the bottom and place half the squash segments down. Add some more sauce over the top and add half the eggplant segments, add more sauce and add the rest of the squash segments, more sauce, the other half of the eggplant segments and the rest of the sauce. Cover with the mixed breadcrumbs and cheese and bake for 30 minutes. I baked it covered with foil to make sure the breadcrumbs didn’t burn
  • Best eaten fresh and hot, but works well as leftovers too

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