Monthly Archives: June 2012

Falafel Wrap with Homous, Spinach, Sweet Chilli Sauce and Raitta.

We had this for lunch recently when we were inspired by this meal as we saw it on a TV program we watch that showed a cafe and some of the food they serve. I saw it and said hey we can make that and make it vegan!

Its great to find another option for lunch and its really good, we enjoyed it thoroughly and I am sure we’ll have it again soon.

Falafel Wrap with Homous, Spinach and Sweet Chilli Sauce served with Raitta

Serves 2  | Prep 20 minutes  | Cook 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • Falafel Mix, the amount will depend on the instructions they give you. If they tell you to make the whole amount then we suggest making 1/2 of the box or even 1/4. All you do is adapt the instructions they give you to the amount of mixture you want to use. OR Fresh Falafel
  • 2 Tortia Wraps
  • Homemade Homous
  • Spinach, roughly a handful.
  • Sweet Chilli Sauce
  • Raitta

See here for our homemade homous recipe that we used with this meal.

See here for how to make Raitta, go to the third part of the ingredients list and part 5 in method section.

Method

1.) Follow the instructions on the Falafel mix, ours told us to make it up and let it rest for 15 minutes. We made ours into small balls. Or use fresh pre-made falafel which we have been able to buy recently.

2.) Prepare the Tortia wraps, homous, spinach and sweet chilli sauce. You are doing this so its ready for when you cook the falafel.

3.) Cook the falafel as per instructions on the falafel mix box or if bought pre- made then cook to those instructions. Ours took around 10 minutes to cook.

4.) Now its time to layer your wraps. Lay the wrap down on the plates, spread some homous and add some spinach leaves and then add the cooked falafel balls. Squeeze some sweet chilli sauce over the wrap, depending on how much you want and the roll up the wrap.

5.) Put the Tortia on the plate and a spoonful or two of Raitta. Its now ready to eat and enjoy!

Mung Bean and Vegetable Cottage Pie

We have had this a few times for dinner, we found the recipe a few months ago and its something we really enjoy. It reminds us of a meat cottage pie but obviously with no meat. I think this is the type of dinner that would suit both non meat eaters and meat eaters. A great family meal all round and very easy to make.

Mung Bean and Vegetable Cottage Pie

Serves: 4  | Prep: 20 minutes  | Cook: 45 minutes  | Suitable for Freezing

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp frying oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed and chopped
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • 3 sticks of celery, diced
  • 225 g mung beans, cooked
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper (adjust this to suit your tastes, we use a pinch)
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh marjoram (or 1 tsp dried marjoram, oregano could be used if you don’t have this)
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh sage (or 1/2 tsp dried sage)
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tsp yeast extract (marmite)
  • 275 ml Vegetable Stock
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 450 g of potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 60 ml Soya Milk

Method

1.) Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the onion, garlic,  carrots and celery for 5 minutes.

2.) Add the cooked mung beans, cayenne pepper, marjoram, sage, tomato purée, yeast extract and stock. Cover and simmer gently for 10-15 minutes. Adjust the seasoning.

3.) Meanwhile, boil the potatoes until cooked. Drain and mash with the milk.

4.) Put the bean mixture into the base of a large casserole dish and top with the mashed potato. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4 for 30-40 minutes, until top is golden browned.

5.) Serve with vegetables. We have enjoyed steamed broccoli and cauliflower with this dish and also cooked frozen sweetcorn.

Copyright © The Vegetarian Society 1992.

Almond Milk

When I first heard of Almond Milk I wasn’t keen to try it. I hate Almonds so my logical thinking was I wouldn’t like Almond Milk. However when my husband went shopping he decided to buy some so that we could try it. I remember when it came to trying it how nervous I was, in fact I really didn’t want to try it as I really hate the taste of Almonds. I did try it though and I was presently surprised. It tasted really good and nothing like almonds (well to me anyway). So this was the start of us buying Almond Milk, we both liked it and now its a regular in our cupboard and fridge.

I will happily drink a glass of Alpro Almond Milk however ask me to drink a glass of Alpro Soya Milk and I’d say no. I don’t like the taste of Soya milk on its own but I do like the taste of Almond milk on its own. I am surprised by this but its true. I also have Almond milk on my cereal and this is now my preferred choice to go with cereals.

We haven’t had the chance to use Almond milk for anything else but I just wanted to share my experiences with you. So if your put off from trying Almond Milk for the same reason as me then I really recommend you try it. You might be surprised and really enjoy it just like me.

Rosie.

Milk (or in reality Milk Substitues)

When people go Vegan, milk is quite a major thing. One thing that needs to be remembered is that the milk alternatives are not trying to taste like cows milk but replace them. I was originally a Vegan (not a very good one) in the 1990s, I think part of the reason I failed was partly because I didn’t totally understand Veganism and the fact it’s not just a diet but a lifestyle. Anyway when I was a Vegan then I remember Soya milk not actually being very nice. The surprise now is it is so much better than it used to be (we use Alpro) also if you really dislike it there are other ones you can use such as Almond, Rice, Coconut and Oat milk (and cream).

What we have found is that we have a stock of different milks for different purposes. Soya milk is used for coffee and tea and makes fantastic hot chocolate. I prefer it on cereal but Rosie prefes Almond on cereal. Soya milk is better for making sauces (such as white sauce) as I find it thickens better. Rice milk is good in Pancakes, I  now want to try it in ice cream. Cream wise we have found Oatly cream the nearest to double cream and tastes the best out of the carton. Rice cream we have used in muffins which has made them ultra moist. My overall advice is experiment with these different milks and creams and find what works for you.

Even though Silk Milk isn’t available in the UK. I love this advert (I doubt they would show it on TV here)

 

Cauliflower and Sweetcorn Pakora

We love Indian Food and we were delighted when we came across lots of vegan recipes we could follow so we could still enjoy Indian food. One night we did an Indian night so we choose a starter, main and sides and had a great evening meal. The recipe we are about to share with you was what we did for our starter and it was great. Just as good as anything you’d get in an Indian Restaurant or Takeaway, only better because its suitable for vegans :).

Cauliflower and Sweetcorn Pakora

Serves: 6 (all depending on how much you want each)  | Prep: 15-20 minutes  | Cook: 10-15 minutes | Recipe can be halved for smaller amount, be careful on the spicing though.

Ingredients

  • 3 small tins of sweetcorn (we used green giant)
  • 3 spring onions, finely sliced
  • 1/2 green chilli, finely chopped
  • Oil, for frying
  • 1 cauliflower, cut into very small florets
  • 1 tbsp finely shredded coriander

For the Batter

  • 250 g gram (chickpea) flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 heaped tsp ground cumin
  • 2 heaped tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/3 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 250 ml cold water

For the Raita

  • 300 ml Plain Soya Yogurt (We use Alpro)
  • 3 tbsp finely ribboned mint

Method

1.) Mix the sweetcorn with the spring onions and chilli and set aside. Heat ½ -1cm  oil in a frying pan.

2.) For the batter, put the flour in a large bowl and give it a whisk to get rid of any lumps, add all the dry ingredients and whisk again to combine. Continue whisking as you add the water.

3.) Divide the batter between two bowls, add the sweetcorn to one bowl and the cauliflower to the other and fold the vegetables into the batter.

4.) When the oil is hot add spoonfuls of the pakora mix, and fry gently for 2-3 minutes on each side. Remove from the oil and drain on kitchen paper.

5.) Make the raita by combining the yoghurt and mint and seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve the pakora sprinkled with coriander and a spoon of raita.

Copyright © Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. Recipe from River Cottage Veg Everyday. Slightly adapted to make it suitable for vegans.

Roti Bread

We made this Roti Bread as a nice side to go with our Indian Meal night. We have done this recipe several times since then as its a great accompaniment with a curry. Its nice and easy to make and just as good as any you’d get from an Indian Restaurant or Takeaway.

Roti Bread

Makes: 8-10 depending on size | Prep: 15mins plus 1 hour rest | Cook: 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2  cups of Flour (wholemeal if desired)
  • 2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 cup of Lukewarm Water

Method

1.) Put 2 cups of flour into a large mixing bowl.

2.) Mix salt and 2 tbsp of oil into water. Add enough water, a little at a time, to flour mixture to make a firm (but not stiff) dough.

3.) Knead dough in bowl for about 5 or 10 minutes. Cover bowl with a damp cloth and let stand at room temperature for at least 1 hour.

4.) Divide dough into pieces about the size of walnuts. Roll each piece into a smooth ball with your hands.

5.) Sprinkle some flour onto a flat surface. With a floured rolling pin, roll out each ball until it resembles a thin pancake, about 1/8 -inch thick.

6.) Cook each circle of dough in a skillet or frying pan without oil. When small brown spots appear on the bottom of the dough and the edges begin to curl up (about 1 minute), turn the roti over with a spatula. Cook another 1 to 2 minutes. Serve hot.

Additional Tips

Roti is excellent with any curry, especially if your like us and are not keen on very hot curries. We find it always helps us to eat a curry that is slightly too hot for us but we also enjoy them with mild curries. Its great with the mint yogurt too!

The hearty flavor of the flat bread complements the strong and spicy flavors often associated with curries. Contrary to popular belief vegan roti can will keep in the fridge, covered, for a few days. We have never done this as we have always had them fresh but I am sure the tip is correct. It means you can make them in advance which is good.

Copyright © The Cheap Vegetarian.

One of the places we love to shop!

We’d like to share one of the places we shop online with you, they have a great selection of food suitable for vegans along with other diets and requirements. They also have non food products like household products for example. This company is called Goodness Direct.

We shop with them on a monthly basis and couldn’t be happier with the service we get. They have such a big range of products, there website is easy to use and they dispatch your order quickly. We always have our order within a week and its well packaged for the journey. Its everything you’d want from an online shop and we’ve never had any problems so far.

We’d happily recommend Goodness Direct as its a great place to shop. It can be hard finding food suitable for Vegan’s and we do struggle to find a lot of these options locally which is why we are so pleased we found this place.

This is the main place we shop online, we do have a few other shops that we purchase from occasionally which we’ll share another time.

Hope this helps our readers and now we are off to do our monthly shop at Goodness Direct all from our laptop.

Homemade Homous

Homemade Homous is easy to make, tastes delicious and much better than any shop bought ones.

We made our own Homous to use in our Vegan Club Sandwich but you can use it for so much more like my husbands favourite: Homous on toast.

Homemade Homous

Ingredients

  • 200g Chickpeas
  • 2 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 Garlic Clove
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 4 tbsp Water

Method

1.) Put all the ingredients in a blender and whizz until smooth. If it’s too thick or if your blender is struggling add a bit more water or olive oil.

2.) Taste and if required add a pitch of salt.