Vegan Lentil Pizza

I’ve been fascinated by uttapam for a long time. Uttapam is a Southern Indian gluten free fermented pizza made from urad dal and rice. The last time I ate this it got me thinking… Could I make an Italian type pizza base using red lentils and oats – a Vegan Lentil Pizza? Was it possible?  

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The best way to make baked falafel?

Until this post I’ve never made proper falafel before!  There I’ve said it!  It seemed crazy trying to come up with my own falafel recipe if I hadn’t actually made anyone else’s ever. As we follow an oil-free vegan diet I searched for great oil free falafel recipes, which only used traditional ingredients and they seemed quite difficult to find.  

So I decided to try converting two popular falafel recipes to baked to find what I was looking for….

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Sage & Onion Chickpea Stuffing Balls

These gluten free, low fat alternatives to traditional stuffing maintain the juiciness and taste of normal bread based stuffings, thanks to the addition of apple sauce and chestnuts.  Delicious on their own or with a nut or seitan roast these are a great additions to any Christmas or celebratory table.

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Creamy Potato & Corn Chowder

This creamy chowder is super low fat, relying on beans to provide the creaminess.  This will warm your soul during the winter months!  Serve on a bed of spinach and with a chunk of bread and you’ve got a complete meal.

Prep time: 5-10 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
(Serves 4)

Ingredients

600g (1.5 lbs) potatoes peeled and cubed
800 ml (27 fl oz) stock
250g (9 oz) Corn, white, cooked from frozen, whole kernel
230g (8 oz) cannellini beans
200ml (6.7 fl oz) soya milk
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 red pepper, chopped into small chunks
1 stick of celery, chopped into small chunks
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp sweet paprika
½ tsp thyme
Nutritional yeast to taste (2-3 tbsp)
Salt and black pepper to taste
Sprinkle chilli flakes and sweet paprika to serve

Method

  1. In a large pot, water fry onions, garlic, celery and red pepper until onions are translucent
  2. Add stock, cannellini beans, corn, potatoes, soya milk, paprika and thyme
  3. Bring to the boil and turn down to a medium heat and cook for 20-30 minutes until potatoes are tender
  4. Add nutritional yeast, salt and pepper
  5. For a smooth soup blend the whole pot full, to serve sprinkle with paprika and chilli flakes
  6. For a chunky soup, reserve one third of the soup and blend the rest.  Combine the blended with the unblended soup, serve on a bed of spinach and top with chopped scallions.

Watch me make it:

Ethiopian Split Pea Stew (Vegan)

I was encouraged to try making this Ethiopian Split Pea Stew (or Kik Alicha) by the owner of Zeret Kitchen Ethiopian restaurant in Camberwell London.  This is the easiest of all Ethiopian bean stews, so is a great place to start if you’re interested in trying your hand at making Ethiopian food.  Best served with enjera (fermented pancake) but also delicious with rice!  This is made without oil, but the traditional stew has oil added.  If you live in London check out Zeret Kitchen – the food is absolutely delicious.

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Italian Bean & Pasta Soup (Vegan)

If you’re craving soup that will fill you up and keep you warm – this one’s for you.  It’s a hearty Italian Bean & Pasta soup.  Made from store cupboard ingredients and jam packed with vegetables, beans and pasta it’s thick and chunky texture will fit the bill during the colder nights!

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Smoky Bean Chilli (VEGAN)

Chilli’s are so versatile and great for cooking in bulk and freezing so you have a quick easy meal in minutes.  This chilli benefits from the addition of smoked paprika to give it a lovely smoky earthiness.

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: approximately 60 minutes
(Serves 4)

Ingredients

3 x 400g tins (14 oz)  kidney beans (drained)
1 onion
1 green pepper (optional, but recommended)
2 peeled cloves garlic
2 tsp cumin
½ tsp chilli flakes
¼ tsp cayenne
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp dried oregano
1 ¾ 400ml (14oz) tins of crushed tomato
800ml (30 fl oz) water

Method

  1. Finely chop celery, green pepper and onion, crush garlic cloves
  2. On a medium – high heat in a large pot water fry celery, green pepper, onion and garlic until onions are translucent
  3. Once onions are translucent add kidney beans, crushed tomatoes, water and cumin, smoked paprika, chilli flakes and cayenne pepper
  4. Stir, bring to the mixture to the boil and then turn to a medium heat to a vigorous simmer
  5. Once the mixture is thick, reduced and about 5-10 minutes from being fully reduced (at the 40-50 minute cooking mark) add the dried oregano and cook for a further 5 – 10 minutes until the desired consistency.
  6. Great served with rice, tortillas or baked potato wedges covered in a big dollop of guacamole.

Watch me make it:

Spiced Roast Pumpkin Dip

This dip is so creamy, rich and easy to make.  While none of the ingredients dominate, it’s the roasted cumin seeds that are the star of the show and give the dip a complexity of flavour for very little effort.   This is the type of thing that can be quickly whipped up for a party and people will love it!

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: approximately 40 minutes
(Serves 4)

Ingredients

1 de-seeded slice of pumpkin (approx. 250g / 9oz) with skin on
2 cloves of garlic (skins on)
100g (3.5oz) drained cooked cannellini beans (or other white bean)
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp tahini paste (or peanut butter)
1tsp whole cumin seeds
½ tsp chilli powder

Method

  1. Place pumpkin and unpeeled garlic cloves on a baking tray and bake in an oven preheated to 180°c fan, 400°f or 200°c conventional for 35-40 minutes.
  2. Dry roast cumin seeds on a medium heat frying pan until toasted and fragrant (about 5 minutes), they should darken in colour but not burn.  If you do burn the seeds, roast some new ones.  Burnt cumin seeds are bitter and will ruin the smoothness of the dip.
  3. Once pumpkin and garlic are baked, remove the skins from the garlic and scrape the pumpkin from it’s skin and place with the other ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth.
  4. Great served with potato wedges, corn chips or crudités.

Watch me make it:

SIMPLE LENTIL DAL (2 WAYS)

 

Simplicity wins the day.  This simple lentil dal recipe punches above it’s weight for flavour considering the effort involved.  This is my can’t be bothered go to.  High in protein and easy to assemble I’m sure you’ll like it!

It’s perfect to make in bulk, freezes well and through different toppings, the addition of spinach and/or coconut milk can be switched up if you’re eating this on consecutive days!

Prep time: 2 minutes
Cooking time: approximately 40 minutes
(Serves 4)

Ingredients

250g (9oz) lentils
900ml (2 pints) water
½ tsp turmeric
1 tsp coriander
1 ½ tsp cumin
¼ tsp chilli
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
100ml (3.5 fl oz) crushed tomatoes
1.5 tsp cumin seeds (for roasting)
Salt to taste

Coconut variation

100ml (3.5 fl oz) tin of coconut milk

Method

  1. Chop onion and garlic finely
  2. Rinse the lentils under a tap
  3. In a pot water fry onion and garlic until translucent (on a medium to high heat)
  4. Add spices – coriander, cumin, turmeric and chilli powders and fry for 2 minutes (add a dash of water if required)
  5. Add water, lentils, salt and crushed tomatoes and bring to the boil
  6. Scoop off any foam that has formed on the top and reduce to a medium heat
  7. Cook for approximately 30 minutes until the dal has thickened
  8. In a separate pan dry roast the cumin seeds on medium heat, stirring constantly, until aromatic (be careful not to burn them)
  9. Add the roasted seeds to the dal
  10. If making the coconut variation:
  11. Split the dal across 2 pots and add coconut milk to one
  12. Cook both pots until the thickness you like – about 10-15 minutes should give you a thick creamy dal
  13. To serve sprinkle with Garam Masala and fresh coriander leaf if you fancy
  14. Great served with rice or chapattis

Watch me make it: