Tag Archives: vegan

Amazing Potato Wedges

Potato wedges are a standard side dish in our house, although most of the time I wing it and decide what seasoning to use a few seconds before popping them in the oven. I decided to experiment over a couple of weeks and make a note of the different herb and spice combinations I used. This one was a clear winner judging from my husband, the potato hater’s reaction. (I’m pleased to say he has seen the error of his ways and has been reformed for at least 4 years!) The potato is a mighty ingredient, so expect more recipes with one of my favourite food stuffs as the star.

In my opinion, there are two golden rules you must always follow when making homemade wedges: rinse in cold water after cutting into wedge shapes and par boil for at least 5 minutes.

With or without the skins left on this flavour mix works for both. You can adjust the ratio according to your preference. For example, a 1/4 tsp more thyme for a herbier taste, more cayenne pepper for a spicier wedge etc.

One last thing. Don’t be tempted to use more oil or else you’ll end up with wedges soft on the outside or having to increase the cooking time.

Amazing Potato Wedges

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 6 medium potatoes
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme

Directions

  1. Cut the potatoes into wedges, with or without peeling according to preference and rinse.
  2. Place into a large pan of cold water and bring to the boil. Continue to boil for 6-8 minutes, then drain.
  3. Heat your oven to 230C/450F.
  4. Measure the herbs and spices into a small bowl and mix.
  5. Transfer your par-boiled potato wedges into an oven proof dish and sprinkle over the spice mix.
  6. Drizzle with the olive oil and toss to coat well.
  7. Bake in the oven, turning once, for 45-60 minutes until crispy.

Serve as a side with burgers, wraps, quesadillas or on their own with a dip.

Enjoy!

Fresh Tomato & Garlic Spaghetti

Super quick, really easy and extra tasty. Everything you want in a dish for busy days, late nights or lazy evenings. It’s so quick and easy, even those who ‘can’t cook’ can make this.

I’ll cook this for Ste and I whilst he’s reading the children a bedtime story, on days when I’m tired after a busy day and I’ve fed the children something easy from the freezer earlier in the evening and have ran out of energy.

Fresh Tomato & Garlic Spaghetti

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 200g dried spaghetti
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 plum or vine tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tsp complete seasoning
  • 2 sprigs thyme (plus extra for garnish)

Directions

  1. Put the spaghetti into a pan of boiling, salted water and cook for the time indicated on the packet.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a frying pan on a medium to high heat. Add the garlic and cook for a 2 or 3 minutes, then add in the chopped tomatoes and herbs. Cook for a couple of minutes more.
  3. Add two tablespoons of the pasta water, stir and remove from the heat.
  4. Drain your spaghetti, add to the frying pan and toss to coat with the oil, tomatoes and garlic.

Serve sprinkled with a little extra fresh thyme

Enjoy!

Vegetable Vindaloo

You can thank my husband for this one. I always pester him to give me new ideas of things he’d like for dinner and this is the latest.

Until I started researching, I had no idea vindaloo is originally a variation of a Portugese dish (carne de vinha d’alos meaning meat marinated in wine vinegar and garlic) which was modified in Goa to suit local tastes and then again in the UK for the same reason.

The meat is marinated in vinegar and spices, but as we’re using vegetables, how to get the authentic sweet and sour flavour without this marinating step was my first goal. I eventually decided on making a curry paste which I allowed to sit for a few hours before using so the flavours intensified. We actually went out for a few hours and the smell of the house when we came home was AMAZING. Watch me make it below.

We’re lucky enough to have a tamarind tree which we can pick fresh tamarind from, however tamarind paste from the supermarket will work just as well.

I used ghee instead of oil, but if you’re vegan just substitute for vegetable oil or even spray oil if following an eating plan.

The vegetables I’ve used are just what I had available, you can of course use any you like such as cauliflower, green beans, okra, mushrooms, aubergine etc

If your used to eating curry and spice you’ll find this recipe just on the hot side, so add some chilli powder at the same time as the sugar for a little more heat or increase the number of dried chillies in the paste. If you’re more of a mild korma kind of person this vindaloo will be a very hot dish, sort of a spicy challenge rather than a one mouthful and you’re drinking milk from the carton hot.

Vegetable Vindaloo

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

Paste

  • 1/2 large onion , roughly chopped
  • 6 large garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 tbsp ginger paste
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 1/2 tsp fresh tamarind
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 6 dried kashmiri chillies
  • 1 bayleaf
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 8 black peppercorns
  • 5 cloves
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds

Curry

  • 2 tbsp ghee or oil
  • 1/2 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 1 plum tomato, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 cups frozen broccoli
  • 300g potatoes, cubed
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 tsp light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1tsp chilli powder (optional)

Directions

  1. In a frying pan or heavy saucepan on a medium to high heat, add the dried ingredients for the paste (kashmiri chillies, bayleaf, cardamom, peppercorns, mustard seeds, cloves cinnamon, fenugreek, cumin seeds) , until the cumin seeds start to brown and the peppercorns and mustard seeds start to sizzle. Shake the pan often to prevent burning a sticking.
  2. Pop the roasted spices into a liquidiser along with the onion, garlic, ginger, tamarind, tomato puree, cider vinegar, water and ground coriander. Whizz into a smooth paste. Set aside for a few hours until ready to cook. (This can still be used immediately if not making ahead of time).
  3. Heat the ghee or oil in a large pan and fry the finely chopped onion until golden, stir in the turmeric, then add the carrot, peppers and tomato. Mix well, then stir in the vindaloo paste, coating all of the vegetables. Cook for a minute or so before adding the water.
  4. Stir in the sugar, salt and extra chilli powder if using. Add the frozen vegetables and potatoes. Simmer on a medium to low heat until the veg is tender and your kitchen smells wonderful (about 20 minutes).

Serve with naan bread and fluffy basmati rice.

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Enjoy!

Five Bean Chilli

A delicious full, rounded flavour full of protein, iron and fibre. A perfect comfort food with a bowl of fluffy rice for cozy evenings in, filling for tacos or a topping for jacket potatoes. Just what the vegetarian ordered.

Winging it is how I’d describe how I make chilli most of the time. I don’t follow recipes, never use the same ingredients and just throw in whatever’s in my spice collection at the time. I thought it was about time I made a consistent, repeatable recipe that I would be proud to share.

Something wasn’t quite right with the taste while I was experimenting and I just couldn’t work out how to bring out the flavours to enhance that umami flavour that I crave in these types of dishes. In the end I took inspiration from my favourite vegan gravy recipe by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (I’ll link it below) and used three tablespoons of strong columbian coffee. My mouth is watering just thinking about the final dish.

This will serve 6 to 8 people and freezes really well too. If you want a spicier dish just double the chilli powder to 2 teaspoons.
Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 stick celery, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 large carrot, finely diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 plum tomato, finely chopped
1 green chilli, finely chopped
small bunch of kale, chopped

2 cups dried great northern beans, soaked overnight
1 tin pinto beans
1 tin blackeye beans
1 tin baby butter beans
1 tin black beans
1 tin tomato sauce
2 tbsp tomato puree
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 tsp marmite (yeast extract)
2 tsp tamari
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 vegetable stock cube
3 tbsp strong filtered coffee or espresso

Heat the oil in a large pan on a medium heat and cook the onion and celery until softened. Add the garlic and carrots heat for a few minutes. Next add the peppers, tomato and chilli and cook until the tomatoes have softened.

Drain the beans, add to the pan and mix well with the other ingredients. Stir in the tomato sauce and tomato puree, the add the spices, salt, pepper, marmite, tamari and balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle in the stock cube, stir well and simmer for 25 minutes.

Meanwhile brew the coffee. Remove the chilli from the heat a stir the coffee through. Serve immediately or cover and reheat gently once you’re ready to eat. I prefer to make this earlier in the day or at least a couple of hours before we eat to allow the flavour of the spices to marinate and come through.

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Enjoy!

My favourite gravy – Hugh Fearnly-Whittingstall’s Vegan Gravy

n.b. we are northern and as far as I can tell this goes hand in hand with the amount of gravy you prefer on your dinner. If you can relate to this, I recommend you double this recipe if feeding more than 2 gravy loving friends.

SW Syns Update

If you follow the recipe as it is and serve 8 It should be 1 syn per serving.

However, substitute the olive oil for fry light and the tin of tomato sauce for a tin of tomatoes or plain passata and you’ve got yourself a delicious and filling syn free meal 😊

Garlic & Shallot Potato Salad

According to my husband my potato salad is “the best potato salad ever”. I haven’t been able to recreate it in Cayman because the US imported shop bought mayonnaise tastes completely different to the same brand mayonnaise in the UK. In my opinion it has a strong egg taste to it which doesn’t appeal to me.

I’m going to try and see if I can create something similar using miracle whip (like a cross between mayonnaise and salad cream) but in the meantime this mayonnaise free version is our new favourite.

Ingredients

500g new potatoes
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1 maggi onion & garlic stock cube
2 shallots, finely chopped
120 ml extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp course ground dijon mustard
juice of half a lemon
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tbsp fresh thyme

Boil the potatoes with the garlic and stock cube until soft, drain and put aside to cool slightly in a large bowl.

To make the vinaigrette, whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, dijon mustard, lemon juice and salt and pepper in a small bowl or jug.

Finely chop the softened garlic and add to the cooled potatoes. Stir in the shallots, thyme and vinaigrette.

Serve warm or cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

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Enjoy!

Fresh Tomato Salsa

I make this salsa for burritos, tacos, nachos, loaded fries, as a jacket potato topping, to go with salad and probably loads of other things I can’t remember off the top of my head. It’s super easy, all you need is a knife and a chopping board.

Ingredients

6 plum tomatoes, chopped and de-seeded
1 red onion, finely chopped
10 jalapeno slices, finely chopped
1 tsp light brown sugar
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
small bunch of coriander, roughly chopped
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 limes

Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl, with the juice of both limes.

To get the most juice that I can, I squeeze the using the legs of a nut cracker/garlic crusher.

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Pop into the fridge for at least 20 minutes to marinate, although I find an hour is perfect if you have the time.

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Enjoy!

Roasted Garlic & Pepper Couscous // Recipe

I love this recipe. It’s easy, tasty and healthy. Perfect as a snack on its own, with salad or a side dish for chicken or fish. It can be eaten hot or cold and keeps refrigerated in an air tight container for about 5 days; good for weekly meal prepping or a make ahead dish for a party buffet.

I’ve also made this previously with low cal spray oil and it works just as well for anyone following slimming world/weight watchers etc.

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups couscous (225g)
3 cups boiling water (750ml)
1 vegetable stock cube
3 bell peppers, halved
1 bulb garlic
1 courgette, cubed (optional)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt & pepper to season

Preheat the oven to 200/400 degrees and line a baking tray with foil. Place the peppers on the tray cut side down  with the garlic bulb and chopped courgette (if using), drizzle with the olive oil, season and cook for 35 minutes. Once done, remove from the oven to cool, while preparing the couscous.

Add the boiling water and stock cube to the couscous in a large bowl or jug and stir to combine. I find adding double the amount of water to couscous is fail safe method to ensure your couscous is always fluffy and never watery.

While the couscous is hydrating, remove the stalks and seeds from the peppers, roughly chop and squeeze the garlic from the bulb. The couscous should have absorbed all of the water by now. Fluff with a fork and add the roasted vegetables along with any oil left over on the baking tray (there won’t be much). This will have soaked up the flavour of the vegetables and is a delicious addition to the couscous.

Stir well, season to taste (we like lots of black pepper) and serve.

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Enjoy!