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.

Grammy Bread

When I have a cold I require eggy bread, with sweet chilli sauce or sirracha. I know, no class. I also can’t think up names, so grammy (gram flour) bread it is…
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Obviously, having a cold, I’m not going to be heading out to buy tofu, so this has to be store-cupboard only.

This serves one hungry cold feeding girl.

Ingredients
2 tablespoons gram flour
1 tablespoon cornflour
1/2 teaspoon black salt
1/ teaspoon turmeric
75ml (approx) soya milk
3 slices of bread- ideally some nice sourdough
2 tablespoons oil

Method
Sift 2 tablespoons of gram flour into a wide low bowl, add 1/2 teaspoon of black salt and 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric. Beat in the milk until smooth.

Cut three slices of bread and coat them on all sides with the mixture, leaving them to soak at least five minutes, or until you’re ready.

Now get your plates and cutlery ready, get the oil hot in a big pan.

Sprinkle the top of the bread with cornflour, then transfer into the hot pan with cornflour side down, then sprinkle the other side. I think it makes it crispy. A sieve would get a more even coating but we have a cold you know!

Fry the slices on both sides until crisp and golden brown, spotted with really dark brown in places.

Serve with enough chilli to get your nose running.

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.

Smokey Aubergine Black Bean Burgers

Based on this recipe, but with black beans and various other personalisations.

I smoked the beans and aubgerine first, over oak for 8 hours, but you don’t have to. You could try blackening the skins of the aubergine instead, removing them afterwards.
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Black Bean and Aubergine Burgers

Approximately 8 burgers, to feed 4 with a little salad, or 8 with loads of chips and salsa.

Ingredients
2 small aubergines, halved and smoked
400g soaked, boiled, drained and smoked black beans
1 small onion, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
100g walnuts, chopped
100g Vital Wheat Gluten
2 slices of toast
4 tablespoons olive oil

Method
Preheat the oven to 200c.
Slice the aubergine in 2cm (half) rounds. Toss in 2 tablespoon of olive oil and roast for 15 minutes, turn them over and add the onion, garlic and celery. Roast for another 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Whizz the beans, walnuts and toast in a food processor until the texture of rough hummus. Now add the vegetables and gluten, then pulse until they are well mixed through. There should still be identifiable bits of onion and walnut.

Shape into 6-8 burgers and refrigerate for at least half an hour – I freeze half usually.

Bake at 200c for 15 minutes, then fry on both sides in a little oil.

Serve with ciabata buns, chips, salsa, rocket and sirracha.

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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Penne and Meatballs

Popular with the smalls.

Tomato Sauce
Ingredients
1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tin chopped tomatoes
Splash of olive oil, and one of balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon dried basil
Handful of fresh basil, chopped

Method
Sauté onions and garlic in oil, add tomatoes, balsamic vinegar and dried herbs. Simmer for half an hour and let it sit till you’re ready to eat. Then heat.

Add the fresh basil just before you serve.

This benefits from resting time.

Baked Meatballs
Ingredients
200g frozen soya mince
100g vital wheat gluten flour
1 tablespoon home made onion marmelade, or 1 tablespoon of onion finely chopped and fried in a little oil
1 tablespoon oil
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried basil
2 teaspoons soy sauce

Method
Mix well, form balls, bake at 100c for 1 hour.
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Eat immediately or allow to cool and refrigerate to firm up. Then fry or heat in the sauce when you are ready to eat.

Serve sauce and meatballs with pasta.