Friday, 23 November 2007

Easy lazy vegan soup

After climbing Arthurs seat and walking home I was in no mood for slaving over the stove for dinner so I made this soup, where you just chuck in what you have and leave simmering while you get changed into your P.J's and make a cup of tea.

Serves 5 hungry hikers
Lazy Soup

Basic Recipe:
2 tins chopped tomatos
1 tin beans (your choice, I used canellini)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
couple mugs dried pasta
Squeeze tomato puree
1 stock cube
Pinch italian herbs
Pinch Chilli seeds
Couple of Bay leafs

Optional Additions(what I used, all chopped):
Mixed Bell Peppers
Sundried tomatos

1/ Gently fry the onion in olive oil until softened, add herbs and chilli and fry for another minute.

2/ Add all the other veggies you are using and gently fry until softened, but do not brown.

3/ Tip in tomatoes then use the tin to measure out 2 cans of water and add to soup. Chuck in everything else, stir, put lid on and leave to simmer until the veggies and pasta are cooked.

4/ Enjoy with a drizzle of olive oil, chopped fresh tomatos and basil.

Thursday, 22 November 2007

Oats-so-good vegan cookies.

Well, it turns out that we couldn't get enough cookies while Bum was staying, so I just HAD to make more! This recipe is also a Martha rip-off, except a zillion times better! These are more crumbly and chunky then the thin 'n' chewy from the last post, I prefer this type of cookie. We took them up Arthurs Seat with a flask of coffee and it was amazing. The evening was clear and the sunset and views were outstanding. If you are in Edinburgh and the weather is good, I strongly recommed that you climb Arthurs seat, and while your at it, take these cookies!

Makes about 20 cookies
O.M.G. Oatmeal Cookies

155g Flour
1 tspn baking soda
1/2 tspn salt
250g vegan marge
2 tblspn golden syrup
2 eggs worth egg substitute
1+1/2 tspn Vanilla essence
200g porage oats

Now, this is the basic mix. It is up to you what else you put in and in what quantities. This mixture can take alot of extra ingredients. I went all out and added...

1+1/2 tspns cinnamon
1 tspn nutmeg
sesame seeds
chopped choc
small handful chopped:
dried cherries
dried apple
But just go with whatever you have around, or have them plain (bo-ring!).

Heat oven to 180.

2/ Cream all the wet ingredients.

3/ Stir in dry ingredients.

4/ Add your choice of extras and combine.

5/ Spoon balls of the mixture onto baking parchment (on a tray), bearing in mind the cookie won't spread out much, so give them a wee flatten with a spoon so they look like cookies.

6/ Sprinkle with some granulated sugar if you wish, then bake for 10-15 minutes.

The cookie monster goes Vegan!!

Aaahhh...Cookies....Better than biscuits, cooler than cake. Our friend Bum was visiting for a couple of nights and I cooked up some Martha Stewart inspired Peanut Cookies for chewing on while we played turn-abouts on F-Zero-X on Andy's computer. They are cookies of the big-flat-chewy kind, but I left mine in for 5 minutes too long as it is really hard to tell when they are done and were a bit too crunchin'. My advice is to take them out the oven just before you think they are ready, so the edges go crispier when they come out the oven and the middle stays chewy and yummy.

Makes 12-15 mega cookies
Peanut Cookies

125g Vegan Marge
85g Peanut Butter (crunchy/smooth)
200g Sugar
1 eggs worth of egg substitute
1/2 tspn vanilla extract
125g plain flour
3/4 tspn baking soda
Roughly chopped chocolate and/or peanuts(both recommeded!)

1/ Heat oven to 180.

2/ Mix up all the wet ingredients until creamy and smooth.

3/ Add dry ingredients until combined, then add nuts and choc if using.

4/ Place spoonfuls onto baking parchment (on a tray), bearing in mind they will spread out quite alot. I got nine cookies on a regular sized square baking tray.

5/ Cook for 15-20 minutes, keeping in mind my advice above.

6/ Leave on a cooling rack to cool then munch away while beating boys at 1990's computer games!

Friday, 9 November 2007

Moroccan Soup, yeah!

Soup is brilliant. This one is extra yummy because of all the warming spices which compliment rather than over power the chickpeas and vegetables. It is adapted from a recipe in the Fat-free Vegan Kitchen, it looked so yummy I had to make it- but realising that I had none of the right veggies, free-styled it to make this super soup!

Serves 2 hungry chaps.
Moroccan Soup:

1 tin of chickpeas
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 parsnip, chopped
1 stick celery, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 handfuls fresh spinach, or 2 nuggets of the frozen stuff
1/3 head of brocolli, chopped into small florets
1 veggie stock cube
1/2 teaspoon each of the following spices:
Pinch of the following seasonings:
Italian seasoning
Chilli Flakes
Cayenne pepper

1/In a medium sized saucepan, gently fry the onion in a drizzle of either olive or veggie oil until semi-transparent. Add all the spices and seasonings and stir for a couple of minutes.

2/Add all the veggies except the spinach and brocolli, and gently fry for 5 minutes, careful not to brown any of the veggies.

3/Add 600ml water and stock cube then leave to simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the parsnip has softened.

4/Add greens and simmer until the brocolli is cooked to your liking, meanwhile heat up pitta breads.

5/Tuck in!

Thursday, 8 November 2007

Super Sundae!

Being a new Vegan, one thing I am grateful for is a convincing ice cream. I got a Swedish Glace one that tastes creamier than most dairy ice creams I have tried, so I am v. happy! It is expensive, but then again it is supposed to be a treat and not an everyday event (even if I want it everyday!). The hot chocolate sauce is a singe to make, and totally worth it!

Serves 2
Chocco-nut Sundae:

First, be a clever cloggs and take your ice cream out to soften.

In a small microwave proof dish (I use a small glass tumbler) place around 6 cubes of chopped dark chocolate, 1 teaspoon of brown sugar, one heaped teaspoon of marge and around a teaspoons worth of golden syrup. Blast in micro for 10 seconds and stir, if the mixture is still lumpy give it another 5 seconds. If the mixture still has lumps and is hot, keep stirring and let the residual heat melt the chocolate. You defo don't want to burn the chocolate by blasting it for too long.

Chop up a banana, then a small handful of salted roasted cashews/peanuts (salty crunchy works crazy good with the creamy sweet of the ice cream and banana). Scoop ice cream in bowls and chuck banana and nuts on top then drizzle with lots of the sauce.

Well? What you waiting for?!?

Bean Chilli with Tomato Spicin' Wedges

I'm super concious on this blog of posting brown bowls of sludge, as many other Vegan sites do...It just isn't appetising. This recipe is a bit sloppin', but very tasty, and the wedges make a perfect partner to dip in to this spicy delight!

Serves 4

6 Med Potatos (not new).
(or similar weight of larger/smaller tatties)
2 Dsrt spns Ketchup
2 DsrtTomato paste
2 Dsrt Veggie or Similar Oil
1 tspn Paprika
1 tspn Cayene Pepper (optional)
1/2 tspn Salt

1/Heat oven to around 220.

2/Cut the potato into wedges, depending on the size of the tattie you should get 4-8 wedges per tattie.

3/Mix in a bowl all the other ingredients, add wedges and toss in sauce.

4/Place on baking tray and bake until the wedges are nice and crispy, around 30 minutes.

Bean Chilli:
1 Tin of kidney beans in chilli sauce
(Tesco do a good one that is a handy cupboard stand-by)
1 Tin chopped tomatos
1/3 Chopped Red Onion
1/2 Chopped Green Pepper
1/2 Chopped Parsnip
1/2 Chopped Carrot
2 Chopped cloves of garlic
1 Chopped stick of Celery
1/2 Chopped Courgette
2 Chopped Dried Tomato
1/2Vegetable stock cube
Pinch Italian seasoning
Pinch Chilli Flakes/chopped chilli/ground chill etc, depending on how spicy you like it.

*Firstly, the vegetables you put in are totally dependent on what you have in your cupboard or freezer. If you don't have a bunch of veggies to put in, try putting in another can of beans (maybe butterbean or even chickpeas) to bulk it up a bit.*

1/In a saucepan, gently fry the onion in a drizzle of veggie oil until the onion goes a bit transparent. Add the garlic and fry for a further 30 seconds, then add all the other ingredients.

2/Bring to a simmer, and leave simmering with a lid half on for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionaly until the parsnip and carrot are cooked. This should hopefully be around the same time as your wedges! If the mixture is too 'wet', try mixing a heaped teaspoon on plain flour in a little water then stir into the chilli for a few minutes.

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Remember, remember the 5th of November!

Last night was Bonfire Night, and to celebrate I made treacle scones. What is more evocative of bonfire night than treacle , cinnamon and ginger? We took them out with a thermos of coffee and 2 mugs (with beer holders snuggly pulled over them for insulation!) and went down to the meadows to watch a thousand fireworks go off. It was freezing, but the scones made the chill worth it! If you are enjoying these scones indoors, try marmalade on them- it's divine.

Treacle Scones

8 oz Self Raising Flour
2 oz Vegan marge
1 oz Castor sugar
2 tbspn Treacle
Pinch Salt
.5 tspn cinnamon
.5 tspn dried ginger
Soya milk
Sprinkling of Granulated sugar

Oven pre heated at 220C/425F

1/Sift flour, add salt then rub in marge.

2/Mix in everything else and add small amounts of soya milk until a thick dough is formed.

3/Split dough in two and form into two circles about and inch and a half thick, and cut into
quarters. (This is the traditional way to cut the scones, but you could use boring old round cutter-outers if you desire.) Place on a baking tray.

4/If you like, brush with soya milk, and sprinkle granulated sugar on top.

5/Bung in oven for 15-20 minutes, or until golden.