Big Salad with Griddled Vegetables

Good for a glut of salad…

For two people.

Thinly slice:
1 aubergine
1 courgette
2 red or yellow peppers
1/2 head of broccoli the kids don’t fancy (optional)

And rub the aubergine with:
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon good smoked paprika
1 teaspoon sugar

Leave for a while while you make the Caesar Chavez Dressing from Appetite for Reduction. I like to throw in half a fresh chilli for a pretty pink and mildly spicy dressing.
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Mix up plenty of salad leaves (I used two bags of ‘crunchy’ salad mix with lots of cabbage and carrot) and get the griddle hot. Cook the vegetables until you have pretty stripes and serve the salad in huge bowls, dressed with the vegetables on top. I threw in some boiled broccoli the kids weren’t very interested in, which was tasty.
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If you don’t have enough salad then add some cooked cous cous, quinoa or beans to fill you up.

Caramelised Onion Quasidillas

No cheese, doesn’t need it. This will feed four twice (or eight right now), maybe three if you’re ravenous! Keep the rest for lunch tomorrow – keep the filling and tortillas separate and take five minutes to make a great meal.
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Ingredients
8 wholemeal or multigrain tortillas
4 medium onions
2 large peppers (red or yellow)
4 tablespoons olive oil
200g aduki beans, soaked and boiled
100g cannelini beans, soaked and boiled
100g split peas
(Or replace the cannelini beans and split peas with chickpeas)
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon miso
1/2 mild chilli, sliced thinly
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
Optional- vegan cheese (not necessary)

Salsa-
200g cherry tomatoes
Bunch of coriander
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 small chilli (to your taste)

Two really perfect avocados if you can get them

Method
Whizz up the cannelini beans and split peas with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1/2 a cup of water, the nutritional yeast, paprika and miso to make a houmous-textured paste.
Preheat the oven to 200c.
Slice the onions and the peppers thinly. Put the onions in a heavy pot with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Cook very slowly over the lowest flame for 30-45 minutes until dark and sweet.
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Leave them alone as much as you can. If you’re pushed for time then you can throw the onion in with the aduki beans and peppers below.
Roast the aduki beans, chilli and the peppers for 30 minutes in the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
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Chop the tomatoes, the chilli and the coriander, mix with the rest of the salsa ingredients.
When you are ready to eat…
Heat a cast iron pan and lay out four tortillas, spread your ‘houmous’ over them and divide the peppers and beans, and the caramelised onions, into four little heaps.
Put one of the tortillas in the pan and add the onions, peppers and beans. Vegan cheese too if you want it, make sure it melts.
Put a plain tortilla on top and allow to cook for 2-3 minutes until the centre is quite hot, flip carefully and toast the other side for another 2 minutes.
Repeat with the other three quesadillas.
Cut into ‘pizza’ slices and serve with a dollop of salsa on top.
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I couldn’t get good avocados but I I had them I would put them in too…

Chocolate Applesauce Cookies

So loosely based on the Applesauce Softies from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar as to be insulting to the original recipe… They are delicious though. Very tempting when warm.
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Ingredients
300g whole wheat flour
100g cocoa powder
75g sugar
200g or 2/3 cup applesauce
25g or 1/4 cup rapeseed oil
25g vegan chocolate chips (optional)
3 teaspoons baking powder

Method
Preheat the oven to 180c.

Mix the sugar, cocoa powder and oil thoroughly. Add the applesauce and then the flour to make a soft dough.

Use an icecream scoop to portion out balls and then flatten them with the palm of your hand onto a non-stick pan or mat.

Bake for about 15 minutes.

Aubergine, Butternut Squash, Walnut and Spinach Pesto

Based on and inspired by this recipe. The perpetual spinach in the recipe is from the garden, I highly recommend planting some because it needs no care and attention and provides fresh greens whenever you want them.
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The sauce ingredients will make enough for at least eight portions, make enough pasta for this meal and freeze the rest of the sauce

Ingredients
2 small aubergines, stalks removed and cubed
1 small butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1/2 onion in wedges
Handful of walnuts
1 clove garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 big handful young spinach leaves, well washed – I used perpetual spinach from our garden
200ml water (approximately)
Dried Spaghetti

Method
Roast the butternut squash, onion and aubergine, with the oil for 45 minutes or until the squash is soft.
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Blend until smooth with the garlic, spinach and walnuts. Add water as necessary to help the blender, you want a smooth sauce that isn’t too wet. Don’t expect beauty!

Cook your pasta and toss it in a little of the pesto.

My husband found the spinach a little too strong, so reduce it if you feel the same. Personally I liked it…

Nut/Bean Roast

A Sunday Roast, very flexible so substitute in the nuts or beans you like.
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Ingredients
Loaf:
100g dried aduki beans
100g dried cannelini beans
50g cashew nuts
50g almonds
1/2 medium onion
2 slices of toasted bread
1/2 courgette
1/2 carrot
2 tablespoons vital wheat gluten (not essential but it helps it all hold together)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme

Glaze:
1 tablespoon tomato ketchup
1 tablespoon golden syrup
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon soy sauce

Method

The night before…
Soak the beans in one bowl and the nuts in another.

The morning…
Boil the beans for 45 minutes
Drain the nuts
Put the toast, gluten, carrot, courgette, onion, half the nuts and half the beans into the blender and blend until smooth. Add the remaining herbs, beans and nuts, and pulse until mixed but with remaining texture.
Oil a loaf tin and bake for 30 minutes at 180c.
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You can eat it at this point, but it improves if you let it cool and turn it out onto a baking sheet… And then…
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Mix the glaze ingredients together and pour over the top of the loaf, bake at 200c for 20 minutes. Make sure it doesn’t burn.
Serve with roast potatoes, onion gravy and vegetables.

Onion Gravy
Ingredients
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
200ml vegetable stock
1 tsp arrowroot
Method
Fry the onion slowly in the oil, stir a little and then put the lid on. Don’t touch it for 10 minutes to let the onion caramelise. Add the stock and a roux made from the arrowroot and a little water. Cook for 5 minutes until glossy and thick.