Infinitely Variable Lambish Cutlets

These don’t exactly replicate lamb, but with their salty sweet richness and charred caramel crust they hit the lamb-chop spot square-on.

This is a left-overs dish, I’ve used every sort of pulse-based stew from Moroccan spiced chickpea to creamy mushroom and cannelini bean. I’ve even mixed various leftovers together. Each will give a different outcome but the process is the same and each is delicious.

These are inspired and shaped by the excellent Veganomicon Chickpea Cutlets.

The recipe is adaptable, pay more attention to texture than measurements.

Ingredients
To serve 4-6 with a substantial side, 2-3 with a big salad.
Pulses – roughly 3 cups cooked pulses with a coating of their sauce, not too wet.
Today my pulses have- chickpeas, cannelini beans, tarragon, rosemary, mint, nutritional yeast, balsamic vinegar, a little syrup and stock
Vital Wheat Gluten – approximately 2/3rds as much as you have pulses, by volume
Added flavouring – you can tweak the flavour of your leftover stew with added herbs or spices. For example – for a Moroccan feel add 2 teaspoons cumin, 2 teaspoons turmeric, 1 teaspoon paprika.
Herb rub – depending on your chosen meal you may want additional herbs to coat the chops
Oil to fry

Method
Today I am making a minty-traditional meal with mashed potatoes, cabbage and green beans. The exact same method could make spiced chops to accompany a middle-eastern style salad or mini cutlets flavoured with lemongrass to top a Thai noodle dish.

Mash your pulses well, leaving no whole beans. Add any additional flavourings, in this case I felt my pulses had enough intensity of flavour, taste to be sure- the flavour should be strong or the Vital Wheat Gluten will deaden it.

Add the gluten flour and mix well. You should have a texture like firm mashed potato.
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Bake for 20 minutes at 150c, then remove and allow to cool.
Make your rub- for this I used 1 teaspoon of dried mint, 2 tablespoons of fresh (finely chopped), 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1 tablespoon of sugar, 1 teaspoon of salt and a little olive oil.
Once the cutlets are cool you can rub them all over with your mix and leave to marinate.
When you are nearly ready to eat you can fry them each side at a high heat until they are charred in places with a nice crust.
Serve on what you’re serving them with. They should be crunchy, meaty and delicious.

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Something Fishy

These were inspired by Fat Free Vegan’s Crab Cakes. Many thanks.
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These are also based on my crabby cakes with roasty sauce. Apologies for the photo, I didn’t know they’d be so yummy…

For the Fishy Cakes

Two serve two hungry vegans with salad as a main course, or four-six delicate appetites for a starter.

1 20oz, 500g tin of young green jackfruit in water, drained
100g dried haricot beans, soaked over night, boiled for 45 minutes and drained
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 pinch wakame flakes
1 stalk lemongrass, chopped
Handful of corriander
Juice of one lime
1 tablespoon Thai green curry paste
1 large chilli
Oil to fry

Method
Put the haricot beans, lime juice, paste, garlic, chilli lemongrass and wakame into your food processor and whizz till it has the consistency of rather dry hummus.

Add the jackfruit and whizz again until the jackfruit is shredded but not a paste. The mixture should look slightly disturbingly crab-like. Those little bits are jackfruit, not tiny bones.

Remove from the blender and shape into about 6/7 cakes.

Bake these on a non-stick mat for about an hour at 150c. You can skip this stage but it makes them hold together much better.

Refrigerate them until needed, then fry on both sides until nice and brown.

Thai-style Slaw
A simplified version of this recipe, using the ingredients I have.
1/2 cabbage, shredded
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 red pepper, finely chopped
Handful of chopped roasted peanuts

Dressing- blend
1 teaspoon peanut butter
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon rice or distilled white vinegar
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 small apple
Handful sugarsnap peas, finely chopped
1 tablespoon sirracha

Um… Mix it all up. Give it a couple if hours in the fridge, and then half an hour to warm up a bit.

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…

Crabby Cakes with Roasty Sauce

These were inspired by Fat Free Vegan’s Crab Cakes. Many thanks.
The Thai version is good too.
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These are so crabby/fishy that I honestly kept checking for bits of bone.

For the Crabby Cakes

Two serve two hungry vegans with salad as a main course, or four-six delicate appetites for a starter.

1 20oz, 500g tin of young green jackfruit in water, drained
100g dried haricot beans, soaked over night, boiled for 45 minutes and drained
1/4 red onion
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3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 pinch wakame flakes
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon mustard powder
And
2 tablespoons polenta
Oil to fry

Method
Put the haricot beans, onion, garlic and wakame into your food processor and whizz till it has the consistency of rather dry hummus.

Add the spices and jackfruit and whizz again until the jackfruit is shredded but not a paste. The mixture should look slightly disturbingly crab-like.

Remove from the blender and shape into about 6/7 cakes, coating the outsides with polenta.
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Refrigerate these until needed, then fry on both sides until nice and brown.

Roasty Sauce
Mix together:
1 small aubergine (cubed)
1 red pepper (cubed)
3 quartered tomatoes
3 tablespoons olive oil
In a baking tray and roast at 200c for 45 minutes.

Then fry:
1 small onion (finely chopped)
2 cloves of garlic (grated)
2 red chillies (finely chopped)
In a little olive oil.

Add the roasted vegetables and:
A splash of balsamic vinegar

Then blend it all up with an immersion blender if you have one.

Serve with salad, chips, griddled courgettes, or something else depending on how many people you are serving and how hungry you are.
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In this case it’s a rocket and sugarsnap pea salad, dressed with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and walnuts.

Pulled Pork-Style Jackfruit in Ciabatta Buns, with BBQ Beans

This is a fair amount of work for something which looks so casual, but it is very delicious.
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Start the Ciabata the night before… And don’t forget to put the beans on to soak!

Sourdough Ciabata
This was based on the recipe here, but I halved it and found that the dough came out very dry. So here is my version:

The night before:
Mix together
100g starter
55g water
130g flour
To make a thick starter, knead this and leave somewhere warm for around 15 hours. It should double in size.

In the morning
Mix together:
180g water
30g plant milk (I’ve used almond or soy)
310g flour
15g olive oil
Pinch of salt

And slowly add to all of your thick starter from last night, keep the dough hook going while you pour it slowly in.

The resulting dough will be sloppy and sticky. Almost impossible to knead by hand. I suspect that this depends a lot on the flour you use, so adjust quantities if necessary.
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There should be long strings of gluten visible.

Leave the dough to rise somewhere warm for about 2 hours.

Then transfer to a well floured baking sheet, and sprinkle lots of flour on top (I use my trusty liner to stop it sticking). The dough will be almost pourable.
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Cut the dough into eight rough squares with two scrapers, and separate a bit. Allow to rest for 40 minutes, while you preheat the oven to 200c.

(This is a good time to boil the beans you soaked last night).
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Bake in the preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes. Until risen and browned. Allow to cool on a rack.

Next make your Mango Barbeque Beans

This is loosely based on, and entirely inspired by Isa Chandra Moscowitz’s Mango BBQ Beans from Appetite for Reduction (p133)… But without many of the ingredients.

200g each of dried haricot and cannelini beans, soaked overnight, simmered for 45 minutes and drained.
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely grated
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 teaspoon good smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon allspice
2 teaspoons chilli flakes (or to your taste- I often leave them out if cooking for children)

Method
Sauté the onion and garlic until softened. Add the tomato, mango juice and spices. Reduce a little and add the beans.
Cook slowly for at least 45 minutes. Then let it rest if you can, before reheating to serve.

Prepare your Pulled Pork Style Jackfruit:

This is based on the recipe here. It’s a great recipe and as with all great recipes you end up making them your own- this is my version. This way suits my need to do little bits of cooking through the day, and not use too many pots!
2 tins green jackfruit in brine
1/2 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, grated
1 tablespoon rapeseed oil

Spices:
1 teaspoon chilli flakes
1 teaspoon good smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
Several grinds of fresh black pepper
1 teaspoon salt

For the sauce:
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tsp canola or other neutral oil
1/2 teaspoon tamarind paste
Splash of water
2 teaspoons golden syrup
2 teaspoons lime juice

Method
Fry the onion and garlic in the oil until starting to brown. Add the spices and then the sauce ingredients, before allowing it to reduce a little.

Shred the jackfruit with your hands (especially the tougher cores) and deep fry until starting to crisp. Mix the jackfruit in with the sauce and leave it to rest. The mix will be fairly dry, but the jackfruit should be fully coated.

When you are ready to eat, spread the jackfruit mixture on a lightly oiled tray and heat in the oven at 200c until starting to dry and crisp at the edges- about 15-20 minutes.

Serve the jackfruit in the buns, with Mayonaise abd some salad. Serve the beans, and maybe some corn on the cob on the side.
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Super Easy Roast Bean Tortillas with Hot Tomato Sauce

Another quick and easy staple.
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Shove it in the oven and stir occasionally… The children have assorted salads and spreads in theirs.

Ingredients to serve two
Beans:
2 tins of kidney beans, drained
– or mix it up by subbing aduki, black beans and/or haricot for around half or two-thirds of this quantity
2 peppers, in thin half-rounds
1 medium onion, diced
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
Enough olive oil to generously coat

Hot sauce:
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Fresh chilli, finely chopped or dried chilli flakes to taste
Note- the above sauce is lovely. But now I usually have these with the Red Velvet Mole from Appetite for Reduction

Also:
Salad leaves
Wholemeal Tortillas
Vegan cheese (optional, grated – I like Veganic Pizza Cheese)

Method
Beans:
Throw everything, well mixed, onto an oven tray. Bake at 200c for about an hour, stirring occasionally and scraping up anything stuck on. You can turn it off any time and let it sit in a warm oven until you want to heat it up to eat it.

Hot sauce:
Sauté onions and garlic in a little oil, before adding tomatoes, chilli and balsamic vinegar. Reduce to a thick sauce.

Serve:
Let everyone roll their own, adding cheese and salad as they wish. Children may prefer things like peanut butter, sliced apple, banana, cucumber, celery, vegan meats… Or whatever you can imagine that can be wrapped!