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.

Sesame Balls and Dipping Sauce

These are for using up leftovers.

To feed a family – 2 adults, 2 kids- you’ll need.
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Roughly
1/2 cup of cooked pulses (probably white beans of some sort)
1/2 cup cooked rice
1/2 onion
1/2 cup vegetable (yup that vague- carrot or courgette are good)
1/4 cup uncooked polenta
1/2 cup sesame seeds
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons tomato sauce
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

You could also add:
Red chilli
Lemongrass
Corriander

Blend everything except the sesame seeds together into something the texture of Humous. Add extra polenta if it’s really sloppy.

Using one hand for wet (the mixture) and one for dry (the seeds) make little balls and roll them in sesame seeds. This is messy.

Bake at 150c for an hour and then allow to cool.

Then either fry in a generous amount of oil or spray with oil and bake for 20 minutes.

Make dipping sauces to your taste- the kids have plain soy sauce, we have sirracha, sweet chilli sauce and this:

2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon tahini
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 inch lemongrass
1 red chilli
Small handful corriander
1 clove garlic
All blended up.

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.

Satay Kebabs

Adapted to suit my children from here
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The recipe will make about 12 teaspoons of marinade. 1-2 is enough for 1/2 pack of Fry’s Chicken-Style Strips. Freeze the rest for other times in an ice cube tray.

Ingredients
1 medium onion
3 cloves of garlic
1 inch of ginger
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon salt

For grown ups you can add 1 teaspoon of chilli flakes.
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Method
Blend the marinade ingredients together… Toss with the chicken strips, according to the original recipe tofu is good too.

Since the chicken strips and the marinade both usually come out of the freezer I usually defrost them together in the morning and stir together as they melt.

Leave the strips for a couple of hours in the fridge, then thread into a kebab stick and grill. Soak the sticks first to stop them burning.

Serve with rice and stir fried vegetables.

Chickpea Galette

Notes – this was surprisingly good when cooked for a home-ed medieval day. I’ll take photos next time.

From a Medieval Recipe, veganised.

Ingredients
Serves 6, as part of tapas or similar, 4 with sides.
150 g dried chickpeas (370 g cooked)
1 onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
4 tablespoons Veganic Pizza Cheese (optional, or use the one you like)
3 tablespoons gram flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to season

Method

Soak chickpeas at least 5 hours, boil 40 minutes in water and drain.

Preheat the oven to 180c.

Reserve a little cooking water.

Blend the chickpeas with the gram flour and nutritional yeast.

Sweat the onions in olive oil and add to the blender, blend again to obtain a paste that is neither thin nor too thick (if necessary, thin with a little water used to cook the chickpeas).

Put the puree on a well-oiled oven dish, it should be about 2 cm thick.

Bake for 40-45 minutes, keeping a close eye on it. There should be no telltale smell of uncooked gram flour. Serve lukewarm with salad, griddles courgettes or tapas.

Baked Beet Bourgignon and Homemade Sourdough Baguette

A long slow recipe, not that much effort if you’re around the house all day. Inspired by this recipe.
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Start the bread the day before. My starting point was this recipe, adapted for my starter and the bread machine.

The recipe will serve 6-8 but I make it for two and have lots of leftovers.

Sourdough Baguette
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My timeline
Night before -at 9pm (ish) – mix levain rest 12 hours (ish)
9am – into machine – 3.5 hour cycle
12:30- rest 3 hours
3:30 – shape, rest 1 hour
4:30 – bake
5:00 – cool 1 hour
6:00 – eat

The night before- mix:

20g white flour
20g rye flour
40g water
20g starter (no need to refresh as long as you baked in the last week)

Leave it tightly covered, out of the fridge, overnight.

In the morning:

Put the above mix (levain) in the bread machine and add…

500g white flour
200g water
Pinch of salt

Set the machine to a French bread cycle if you have it- or a standard dough cycle of at least 2 hours.

(Now start your Bourgignon…)

Allow the resulting dough to rest 6 hours or as long as you can. 3 hours on a warm day worked fine.

Then divide the dough into four. Shape each piece into a baguette using plenty of flour. Rest for another hour, while the oven heats to 250c.
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Slash the tops and brush with a little water before putting them in the oven for 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes, turn the oven down to 200c for a further 10.
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Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 1 hour on a rack.

Beet Bourgignon

Ingredients
10 medium beets (I make this when I have a glut, you can reduce the beetroot and up the carrot if necessary), scrubbed and peeled
3 medium carrots, peeled
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves only
15g (half a pack) of dried mixed mushrooms, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes or more (keep the soaking water)
2 medium onions
4 cloves of garlic
4 fresh or smoked tomatoes, or 1/2 tin or chopped tomatoes
250ml red wine (vegan)
3 fresh bay leaves
150g puy or green lentils
10 pearl onions (if you can get them)
Sea salt
1 teaspoon arrowroot or cornflour
Salt and pepper

Method
Start this in the morning, the longer the flavours have together the better it will taste. You can pull it out of the oven at any time and do something else, or do everything first thing, and then leave it to rest. Use a timer to keep track of how long things have been in the oven and you won’t have to think at all.

Preheat the oven to 200c.

Cut the beetroot into large chunk,- probably quarters, and the carrot into chunky sticks.
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Toss in 3 tablespoons of olive oil and add the thyme leaves, in an oven-safe pan that has a lid.

Roast for 30 minutes, then turn the oven down to 180c.
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Finely chop the onion and garlic. Roughly chop the tomatoes and mix it all in, then return to the oven with 1 more tablespoon of oil, for 20 minutes. If you are using tinned tomatoes then add them at the next stage.

Then drain and chop the mushrooms and add to the pot with the bay leaves, wine, tinned tomatoes and pearl onions (if you are using them), the soaking liquid from the mushrooms and a little water if necessary to cover everything.
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Return to the oven and cook for 20 minutes. Put the lid on and give it a further 20…

Then switch it off with the pan inside.

Boil the puy lentils in vegetable stock until just tender.

When you want to eat in an hour…

Add the puy lentils and heat gently on the stove.

Serve with your baguettes, a salad and sunshine.

Masala Fried Potatoes

Adapted from Madhur Jaffrey’s wonderful recipe, I’ve cut a few corners.

I make the sauce in the morning to give the flavours time to marry.

Serves 4-6, depending on whether you have other dishes with it, I usually serve this with dal and rice.
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Ingredients

600g potatoes, cubed
Oil to deep fry
Big handful of corriander, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon oil

Sauce
10 almonds
Plus a few extra
1 teaspoon poppy seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon corriander seeds
6 cloves
10 peppercorns
5 whole cardamoms
1 teaspoon paprika
200ml vegan yoghurt
1 inch of ginger, skin removed
3 cloves garlic
1 onion, roughly chopped
Plenty of roughly chopped coriander to sprinkle on top.

Method
Blend all the sauce ingredients into a smoothish paste, put it in the fridge for several hours.
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Fry the potatoes to golden brown and drain.
Chop the extra almonds fairly coarsely, then heat the oil in a pan and fry them with sauce for a few moments before adding the potato. Toss to coat and serve, sprinkled with coriander.

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…

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.