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.

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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…

Breakfast of Champions

Aubergine bacon:
Sliced aubergine rubbed with 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon good smoked paprika. Leave in a colander (with a bowl under it) in the fridge overnight.
Griddle to get pretty stripes…
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With Sourdough Bagels of Awesomeness:
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or for extra savoury joy:
Fry an onion in a little olive oil with a teaspoon of garam masala and chilli until just softened. Then add some left over polenta, broken up a little. Cook until the onions have dark edges and the polenta has some crispy bits. You’ll do best with a cast iron pan- ruthlessly scrape off anything that sticks- those are the best bits!

You could also add some chopped tomato, fresh chilli and coriander at the last minute.

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.

Ravioli with Aubergine and Aduki Beans, with a Balsamic Chutney

This is a bit of extra work but it looks lovely on the plate.
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Homemade Pasta Dough
To serve four with a substantial filling
Ingredients
400g flour
100g water
2 tablespoons olive oil
Pinch of salt

Method
Mix and knead, rest for an hour and use as you wish.

Roasted Aubergine and Aduki Bean Filling

1 aubergine, cubed- if you’re a loony like me then a smoked aubergine is wonderful!
200g aduki beans, soaked overnight, simmered for 45 minutes and drained, or one tin
2 tablespoons of olive oil, plus a splash
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 clove of garlic, grated on a microplane
1/2 stick of celery, finely chopped
1/2 onion, finely chopped
Pinch of salt
6 cherry tomatoes

Method
Make the pasta dough first and let it rest.
Preheat the oven to 200c.
Toss the cubed aubergine, celery, garlic, herbs, tomatoes and the onion in 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Roast in the oven until fully cooked. The aubergine should have absorbed oil and be very soft and silky.
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Mash the mixture with the beans.
You should end up with a fairly thick paste.

Make the ravioli
Divide the dough and the filling into four each, roll out one dough ball at a time and cut out large circles using the top of a large glass (or big cookie cutter if you’re fancy!). Dividing it up in this way makes it easier to distribute the filling equally.

I get about 12 per quarter, or 48 in total.
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Put a small blob of filling on each and fold it over, sealing the edges with a little water.
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These can rest a while- boil them for three minutes when you are ready to eat. Dress with a little chutney, plenty of freshly ground black pepper and fresh basil.

Balsamic Onion Chutney

Ingredients
1/2 onion, sliced
100ml balsamic
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 tablespoon olive oil

Method
Cook the onion in the olive oil, over a low heat with the lid on for about fifteen minutes. They will caramelise and soften. Then pour in the balsamic vinegar, tomato paste and paprika. Reduce to a thick sauce, add a little water or white wine if you go too far.