Saturday, 22 November 2014

Caramelised Roast Parsnips

Caramelised Roast Parsnips
This is my vegan version of honey roasted parsnip's, made without the honey! I absolutely love roasted parsnips but, unfortunately, none of the family do, so I make the full quantity below and freeze any left overs for another meal...or eat them cold the next day!

Serves 2-4 as a side dish.
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons soft brown sugar
  • 1lb/450g parsnips, peeled weight
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp fresh chopped Rosemary
Heat oven to 190C/180C fan.
Peel the parsnips, cut into halves or quarters, and remove the woody cores if the parsnips are large. Cut into thick batons.
Place oil and sugar in a roasting pan and mix together. Add the parsnips and coat with the mixture. Season with black pepper and sprinkle the chopped rosemary over.
Cover tightly with foil and roast for 30 minutes.
Remove the foil carefully (to allow the steam to escape) and turn the parsnips gently, so that they don't break up too much.
Roast the parsnips, uncovered, for a further 10-15 minutes until lightly browned.
Serve with Christmas Dinner.

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Thursday, 13 November 2014

Turkish Beans with Lemon & Herbs

Turkish Beans with Lemon & Herbs
After cooking my meat-free Coq au Vin, I had plenty of carrots, celery and parsley left, so I came up with this Turkish-inspired recipe. I used 2 lemons the first time I made it, which Mr O and I loved, but the girls said it was too lemony; so I cooked it with just one lemon second time around, which they preferred.

Serves 2-3 as a main course, 4-6 as a side dish.
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced finely
  • 100g/4oz green beans, sliced in 2-3cm pieces
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 2 sticks of celery, de-stringed and sliced 
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped or crushed
  • 1 tin of chickpeas/garbanzo beans or other pulses, drained and rinsed
  • 1 green chilli, finely sliced or chopped
  • Juice and zest of 1 or 2 lemons (depending on how lemony you like your food!)
  • 100ml/4floz vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp chopped, fresh parsley
  • 2 tsp chopped, fresh dill
Heat the oil in a large pan, on a medium heat.
Add the onion and garlic and cook gently for a few minutes, then add the carrots, celery and green beans. Cook for a further 2-3 minutes.
Add the stock, chilli and herbs and stir.
Cover and simmer on a low-medium heat for 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are almost cooked. Add the lemon juice and zest along with the tinned pulses.
Cover and cook for a further 5-10 minutes until the vegetables are soft.
Serve hot, warm or cold (as a salad).

I'm linking this post up to the this month's Extra Veg Challenge, created by Fuss Free Flavours and Utterly Scrummy. 
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Thursday, 6 November 2014

Champignons et Légumes au Vin (Mushrooms & Vegetables in a Red Wine Sauce)

I was left in charge of cooking a vegetarian/vegan version of Coq au Vin for a dinner party with friends. Only 3 of us were veggie, but I made enough to serve 4-6 as I knew the meaties would want to try some too! I've stuck pretty well to the original classic French version, but bulked the casserole out with extra mushrooms and vegetables.

I think this meal is tasty enough to work as a vegan Christmas dinner alternative, especially as it can be prepared in advance and will go with all the traditional Christmas dinner vegetables.You could serve it as it is, as a pie filling, or even in a giant Yorkshire pudding! 

Serves 4-6
  • 2 cups/500ml full-bodied vegan red wine (for a lighter version, use white wine, cider or half wine/half vegetable stock)
  • 4 medium carrots, thickly sliced
  • 4 celery sticks, de-stringed and thickly sliced
  • 20 baby onions or small shallots, peeled but left whole 
  • 1lb/450g button mushrooms (or mixed, chopped mushrooms), wiped
  • 1 small clove of garlic, crushed
  • 2 or 3 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp chopped, fresh parsley
  • a sprig or two of fresh thyme and/or rosemary
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
Heat the olive oil in a large pan, on a medium heat. Add the onions and saute for around 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown.
Add the rest of the vegetables, garlic, herbs and seasonings and cook for a further 2-3 minutes.
Stir in the flour and coat the vegetables. 
Pour in the wine slowly, stirring all the time and bring to the boil to thicken the sauce.
Turn the heat down and simmer, with the lid on, for around 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. 

Add a little extra wine or stock if the sauce becomes too thick.

Serve with roasted potatoes and parsnips and/or seasonal vegetables.

Money-saving tip: I used baby onions and button mushrooms as they look appealing, but it's much cheaper to use 'big veg.' instead. You could add pretty much any combination of root or firm vegetables in this recipe, such as green beans, potatoes or squash.

Protein alternatives: As I've removed the chicken from this recipe, it doesn't contain very much protein. To replace the protein, reduce the amount of vegetables slightly and add 4-6 chicken-style meat-free fillets (after you have added the wine), or a drained tin of pulses or pack of cooked, whole chestnuts (10 minutes before serving).
Cooking with Herbs Lavender and Lovage
Alcohol-free option: If you avoid alcohol for religious reasons, simply swap it for a good, rich vegetable stock and add some extra herbs and garlic.

I'm adding this recipe to Carole's Chatter: Low Carb Dinners and Lavender & Lovage's Cooking with Herbs.
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Saturday, 1 November 2014

Chocolate Hazelnut Truffles (Vegan) - Suma Blogger's Network

Chocolate Hazelnut Truffles (Vegan)
I know it's a bit early, and you probably don't want reminding that Christmas is only 53 days away, but as it's the 1st of November, I thought I would start blogging some festive recipes! These vegan chocolate truffles are really easy to make, will keep in the fridge for a week or so, and make great home-made Christmas presents. 

This recipe makes Nutella or Ferrero Rocher flavoured truffles, which are totally dairy-free!

Makes around 10-12 truffles.
  • 200g/8oz dairy-free dark chocolate (I used Plamil chocolate drops)
  • 90ml/6 tbsp Ecomil almond cream (use 75ml/5 tbsp of cream if using liqueur as the flavouring)
  • 90ml/6tbsp Meridan crunchy hazelnut butter 
  • 1 tsp vanilla or other flavouring extract
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder, desiccated coconut, coconut sugar, roasted chopped hazel nuts, grated chocolate etc. to coat.
  • 2-4 tsp date/agave syrup to sweeten (optional)*
Heat the chocolate in a heat-proof bowl, in the microwave, until melted - Stir every 10-15 seconds, to make sure it doesn't burn.
Add the almond cream, vanilla and nut butter and mix well - Taste and sweeten* at this point if you prefer a sweeter truffle.

Chill the mixture for an hour or two, until firm.

Remove from the fridge and working quickly, shape heaped teaspoonfuls of the mixture into balls, using your hands.
Roll the truffles in your preferred coatings and pop into sweet cases. Refrigerate until needed.
Wrap in cellophane bags to give as presents.

*These truffles have quite an adult dark-chocolate taste, so may not appeal to younger children. For a more child-friendly option, use a dairy-free 'milk chocolate' and sweeten the mixture with 2-4 tsp date/agave syrup.

Flavour options: Vary the recipe by using different nut butters and flavourings; use 1 tbsp liqueur, 1 tsp flavouring extract or a little grated lemon/orange zest instead of vanilla extract. Try using almond or cashew nut butter instead of hazelnut.

As a member of the Suma Blogger's Network, I will receive a selection of complimentary products from Suma every two months, to use in recipe development, and will blog an original recipe for the Network. 

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