richardglover.co.uk

Geek, part-time cyclist, ecoist, bad photographer, vegetarian. I fiddle with WordPress and Edu Tech.

Tag: vegan

Roasted chickpea and broccoli burritos

Makes 6-8

Shamelessly taken from Thug Kitchen because it’s so nice! If you think the spice blend might be a bit hot, feel free to leave out the cayenne or reduce the chili powder.

You will need:

  • 2 400g tins of cooked chickpeas
  • 1 large white onion
  • 1 red pepper
  • A large head of broccoli
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • A large baking tray
  • 6 – 8 tortilla wraps
  • 1 avocado
  • Some mixed leaves
  • Anything else you like to put in burritos

For the spice blend:

  • 2 teaspoons of chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of ground coriander
  • Half a teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • 1-2 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil

Stick your oven on at 220C, whilst that’s heating up peel the onion, deseed the pepper and chop them up along with the broccoli. Aim for chickpea sized pieces, fairly small, not too chunky.

Place all the chopped veg in a large bowl and add the drained, cooked chickpeas. Pour in the olive oil, soy sauce, give it all a good stir and throw in the spices, mix until it’s all covered.

Pour the mixture out onto your baking tray and bake for 20 minutes.

Either chop or mince your garlic then add it to the baking tray mix, give it all a good stir and return it to the oven for 10-15 minutes.

The broccoli probably looks burnt, but that’s the plan, it’s not really burnt, it’s just full of deliciously crispy flavour.

Now to make your burritos! Halve, peel, deseed and slice up that avocado, add some leaves or whatever else you want in your burrito, maybe some hot salsa!

Roll, serve and wait for the party to happen in your mouth.

Pasta with a creamy avocado sauce

Serves 4

How hungry are you? Can you wait 12 minutes, because that’s exactly how long it takes to make this simple and delicious meal.

You will need:

  • 400g of your favourite pasta, I used linguine
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • A few basil leaves
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tbsp of lemon juice
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • A 200g tin of sweetcorn
  • A few cherry tomatoes
  • Some kind of food processor

Right, fill a large pan with boiling water, stick your pasta in it and cook it however it says on the packet.

Whilst that’s doing its thing we can make the sauce, halve your avocados, peel them and get rid of the seed, stick them in the food processor along with the basil leaves, peeled garlic and a twist of salt & pepper to taste.

Process it all together until smooth.

With the processor running drizzle in 2 or 3 tablespoons of olive oil until the sauce emulsifies, you’ll see the sauce change in consistency and thicken. You might not have to put all of the oil in so see how you get on.

Drain your sweetcorn and quarter your cherry tomatoes.

Your pasta should be done by now (see it’s that quick), drain it and return it to the pan, stir in your avocado sauce, sweetcorn, tomatoes and serve!

Adapted from: http://www.thecomfortofcooking.com/2012/08/creamy-avocado-pasta.html

Roasted aubergine and red pepper couscous with halloumi cheese recipe

This is fairly quick to knock up and makes enough for 4 portions, it’s also easy to make vegan by replacing the halloumi cheese with sliced tofu.

Ingredients – Makes 4 portions

220g uncooked couscous

Olive oil

Freshly ground black pepper

1 vegetable stock cube (I use a Knorr stock pot)

330ml boiling water

1 large or 2 medium red onions

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 large aubergine

2 sweet red peppers

1 250g block of halloumi or 1 block of tofu

1 can of cooked green lentils (Lentilles Vertes)

A drop of truffle oil – Optional

Method

Right, heat your oven to 200C, I’ve got a fan oven.

De-seed your peppers, chop them into pieces, make them however big you want.

Chop the aubergine into slices and then into pieces, again, any size you want but bear in mind you want all this to roast fairly quickly.

Throw the pepper and aubergine on baking tray, drizzle with olive oil, add a twist of black pepper and mix it all together.

Put that in the oven to roast and grab the onion(s).

Peel and chop the onions, put them in a large pan with a drizzle of olive oil and a twist of black pepper, cook over a medium heat until they’re turning soft and almost translucent. Add the minced garlic and cook for a few more minutes but don’t over cook the garlic.

Once the veg has been roasting in the oven for 10 minutes take it out, give it a shake and a turn and put it back in the oven for 10 minutes.

Slice the halloumi cheese into 8 slices, add a little olive oil to a frying pan and get it on a medium heat. Add the slices of halloumi and cook until golden brown, keep an eye on them, they can brown quickly. When both sides are done remove from the pan and set aside.

Your roast veg should have had about 20 minutes now, check to see if it’s done, I like it slightly crispy and almost burnt, each to their own. If it’s done, turn the oven off and get started on the cous cous.

Dissolve the stock pot in 330ml of boiling water, add the couscous to the pan with the onions and garlic and place on a very low heat. Add the stock to the pan, stir to cover the couscous and put a lid on the pan.

After 2-3 minutes give the couscous a stir, it should have swollen up and taken on all the water, if it hasn’t, put the lid back on and give it another minute but keep checking.

Once it’s done, drain the lentils and add them to the pan along with the roasted veg and halloumi cheese.

Add the totally optional drop of truffle oil and give it all a good stir, I know it sounds really pretentious but I think it really makes a difference. If you’ve not got truffle oil and you’re tempted to get some make sure it’s a good quality oil with some real truffle, I’ve got some of the Truffle Hunter oils.

Hob Nobs recipe

Quick and easy, much more satisfying than buying a pack! These can easily be made vegan by substituting butter for vegan spread.

Hob Nobs

Hob Nobs

Ingredients – Makes 30 – 40 depending on size

225g of self raising flour
225g of sugar
225g of good whole porridge oats
1/2 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
225g unsalted butter
1 tablespoon of golden syrup
1 tablespoon of hot water

Method

Place all the dry ingredients into a large bowl.

In a pan melt the butter, syrup and add the hot water.

When melted add to the dry ingredients.

Mix well, make into small balls and place on a greased baking tray, flatten slightly.

Bake at 180C for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Cool on a rack and nom!

Celeriac and carrot soup recipe

Picked a bag of veg up from the farmers’ market for £1.50 and it made enough soup for a week. It’s easy to make and will keep in the freezer.

Ingredients

40g of unsalted butter (Recipe could easily be made vegan by substituting the butter for olive oil or vegan spread)

2 celeriac, peeled and chopped

4 large carrots, peeled and chopped

4 medium sized potatoes, peeled and chopped

2 medium onions, peeled and chopped

1 litre of hot vegetable stock (I used 2 Knorr stock pots)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

In a large pan, melt the butter then add the onion, carrots and celeriac.

Stir to cover the veg in some butter, put a lid on the pan and cook over a gentle heat for 10 minutes stirring occasionally.

Add the potatoes and stock, make sure the stock covers all the veg.

Season with freshly ground pepper and a little salt, remember there’s probably already salt in the stock so don’t overdo it!

Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until the veg is cooked.

With a stick blender, purée the soup leaving some lumpy veg.

Serve in hot bowls with a chunky wedge of bread!

Roasted butternut squash with spicy lentils

This recipe makes a lot of the lentils, you could add more squash or keep the leftovers and do something else with them, I had mine for lunch the next day! It could also be very easily made vegan by not using the butter!

Roasted butternut squash with spicy lentils

Ingredients

Olive oil

A little butter

Salt

Freshly ground black pepper

2 cloves of garlic, crushed through a press

1 large onion, diced

1 ½ tablespoons of curry powder (mild, hot, whatever you like) or garam masala

1 litre of vegetable stock

1 ½ cups of dried red split lentils, rinsed and drained

1 can of chopped tomatoes

1 large butternut squash

Method

Heat the oven to 180C (I’ve got a fan oven).

Peel and quarter the butternut squash.

Place in a baking dish and drizzle over a little olive oil.

Dot a little butter on the squash pieces and season with salt and pepper.

Roast in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour or until the squash is tender and has turned brown in places.

Whilst the squash is in the oven add a little olive oil to a pan and add the onion.

Sauté the onion for a few minutes over a medium heat and add the garlic.

Cook for a few minutes more and add the curry powder, stir to combine and add half of the vegetable stock.

Add the lentils, stir and cover.

Keep checking to make sure the lentils haven’t taken on all of the stock, top up with some of the left over stock if needed.

When the lentils are almost cooked add the chopped tomatoes and stir to combine it all.

Your squash should be done by now! You did keep checking on it didn’t you?

Transfer the squash to some bowls and spoon over the lovely hot spicy lentil mix.

Enjoy!

Please Mars, just tell me!

“You can’t eat them.”

“What?”

“You can’t eat them.”

“Why the fuck not, they’re only M&M’s.”

“They’re not suitable for vegetarians.”

“Oh yeah, peanut M&M’s, chocolate, peanuts, horse lips, says it right there on the ingredients list.”

The conversation didn’t quite go like that but as it turns out peanut M&M’s aren’t suitable for vegetarians, possibly to do with animal rennet used in the production of the whey…

So I thought, what else can’t I eat, sometimes it’s confusing and annoying having to read through all of the ingredients and make a choice. What if there’s nothing obvious in the ingredients that would point to it not being suitable for vegetarians? So I’ve found myself more and more just avoiding anything that doesn’t say it’s suitable.

I had a look on the Mars Nutrition website, it helpfully lists nutritional information and the ingredients of products, but nothing about suitability for vegetarians.

Contact Us“, yes please! So I did.

Hi, do you have an up to date list of your confectionery products that are NOT suitable for vegetarians?

It would be very helpful if you also labelled your products that weren’t suitable for vegetarians.

Cheers

Rich

A week or so went by and then today I got a reply from the very helpful Paula Ricketts who works on the Consumer Care Team at Mars…

Dear Richard

Thank you for contacting us about a list of products that are not suitable for vegetarians.

Unfortunately, we’re not currently able to confirm the suitability of individual products or provide you with a list.

Once again, thank you for contacting Mars.

Yours sincerely

Paula Ricketts
Consumer Care Team
0845 045 0042

So, I’m sat open mouthed, do they not know, is it a closely guarded secret? Tap, tap, tap I composed my reply…

Thank you Paula, for your in depth and expedient reply.

I am however a little confused with your reply, do you not know which products are suitable for vegetarians or do you just not want to tell me?

I look forward to your reply!

Kind regards,
Rich

So, only time will tell if Mars will admit to not knowing, not wanting to tell me or just not being bothered!

Incidentally, Cadbury have a very helpful website which lists everything you need to know about their products, if they’re vegetarian, vegan, kosher, etc. Have a look!

http://nutrition.cadbury.co.uk

UPDATE – 2/11/11

I got another reply from Mars…

At Mars, we’re always trying to provide our consumers with the biggest choice possible of chocolate products. We’re making great progress in making sure our products are suitable for vegetarians where possible.

Unfortunately, we’re not currently able to confirm the suitability of individual products or provide you with a list, but most of products are suitable and have ‘Suitable for vegetarians’ on the back of the pack. This labelling ensures that these products are in line with the FSA’s guidance on vegetarian labelling.

As always, our advice would be to make sure you check the packaging so you can guarantee the suitability for your diet. If the product does NOT say ‘Suitable for vegetarians’, we would suggest that you avoid it.

I can only guess that sometimes they have to make changes to the way they manufacture their products. Sometimes they can do it without using ingredients dirrived from animals, sometimes they can’t and they have to change the label based on this.

It’s a shame that the FSA doesn’t issue very useful guidelines on this, wouldn’t it be easier for everything to just state the suitability either way instead of the consumer having to guess or go without because there just isn’t a simple label. I noticed that on the label for some Divine chocolate I was looking at it didn’t say it was suitable for vegeterians but later when I checked on their website it said it was, but they missed the sale.

No meat, no meal?

I suppose I’m a bit of a pretentious fucker when it comes to food, I’ve always found comfort in food, from reading about it, to preparing it, to eating it. I’ve been lucky enough to try all sorts of different things, I’ve been lucky enough to travel the world and eat in some amazing places, even if sometimes things got lost in translation and “Pork” turned out to be “Dog”, but that’s another story for another blog post…

In the last few years I’ve taken more of an interest in food provenance, trying to buy meat that is locally reared and well looked after or using seasonal ingredients instead of whatever we can import for convenience. I’ve Tweeted about my problem with Marks & Spencer (and I’m sure others) selling potatoes imported from Israel, the last time I checked we could grow potatoes just fine in the UK.

I digress, so, anyway we have a few friends who are vegetarian, we’ve shared food and we’ve been introduced to new things by them. After embarking on my mammoth 1000 mile cycling journey this year and changing what I eat completely we began talking about trying out a vegetarian diet for a month and the idea of “Veggie August” was born.

I’d already cut out a lot of meat from my diet and my wife and I mainly eat chicken when we do have meat, but I adore game and seafood and I head straight to that part of the menu whenever I can. I’ve always felt like I’m full of energy even after riding my 60 miles a week but our vegetarian friends rave about how good they feel just from having moved to a more natural and let’s be honest, ethical way of eating.

So, yesterday was the start of Veggie August, we’re foregoing meat for a month and seeing how we feel. I generally do the cooking at home and for a while have done a mix of meat and veggie food anyway so moving over to vegetarian shouldn’t be too much trouble. I’ve stolen recipes from The Waiting Room, an amazing local vegetarian restaurant and I’ve been pointed in the direction of Becka Eats, a great blog about veggie and vegan food.

So for day 1, we went with Lentil Shepherd’s Pie with Sweet Potato Mash, a recipe from Becka’s blog but changed slightly from vegan to veggie purely for convenience! I’m going to add the recipes for what I cook in August to the blog and share how the month is going…

 

Lentil Shepherd’s Pie with Sweet Potato Mash recipe

Blatantly stolen from Becka Eats this is the first meal we had in Veggie August. The lentils give it a great texture and the sweet potato mash with nutmeg tastes amazing!

Ingredients – Makes enough 4 with leftovers for lunch.

Olive oil

Freshly ground black pepper

Half a cup of Puy lentils (I could only find Lentille Verte)

Half a cup of green lentils

2 bay leaves

2 onions, peeled and chopped

3 cloves of garlic, crushed (Just like your hopes and dreams)

1 tin of chopped tomatoes

3 tablespoons of tomato purée

1 tablespoon of dried oregano

3 large carrots, peeled and diced

1 vegetarian stock cube (I used a Knorr Stock Pot)

250ml of red wine (Why not drink the rest of the bottle?)

3-4 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into equal sized chunks

A splash of milk

A wedge of butter

Freshly grated nutmeg

Method

Wash the lentils, add them to a pan with the bay leaves. Cover with water and and bring to the boil. All in all they probably want around half an hour, you don’t want them to turn to mush so keep an eye on them.

Meanwhile put your sweet potatoes in a pan, cover with water and get them onto boil, they probably want 20-30 minutes.

After you’ve got that sorted, add a little olive oil to a big pan and add the onion, carrots and garlic. Over a medium heat sauté them for about 10 minutes but don’t let them brown. Add the tomatoes, tomato purée, wine, pepper, oregano and stock pot. Give it all a good stir and cook for another 10-15 minutes until it’s thickened.

Now would be a good point to pre-heat your oven on to finish off the dish, 200C should be enough.

Around now the lentils should be done, drain them and add them to your tomato sauce. Give it all another good stir and keep warm on a low heat.

Once the sweet potato is cooked drain the water from it, add a good wedge of butter, a splash of milk and half a grated nutmeg. Give it a good mash and check the seasoning.

Spoon the tomato lentil sauce into a baking dish and top with the sweet potato mash, rough it up with the tines of a fork and put it in the oven for 10 or 15 minutes until the mash starts to brown.

Shovel a generous helping into a bowl and enjoy!

Vegetable and lentil stew recipe

Probably better on a cold, winter night, but it was delicious in July anyway!

Ingredients – Makes enough for 4-5

Olive oil

750ml of vegetable stock

2 onions, peeled and chopped

2 carrots, peeled and diced

2 parsnips, peeled and diced

2 beetroot, peeled and diced

1 sweet potato, as big as your fist, peeled and diced

1 leek, sliced

2 sticks of celery, sliced

180g of red split lentils

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

227g tin of chopped tomatoes

Freshly ground black pepper

1 heaped teaspoon of ground coriander

1 heaped teaspoon of ground cumin

Juice of half a lemon

Method

Add a little oil to a big pan over a medium heat

Add half of the onion, all of the carrot, parsnip, beetroot, sweet potato, leek and celery.

Keep stirring and fry for about 5 minutes.

Add the garlic and the lentils, stir and cook for another 5 minutes.

Add the chopped tomatoes and stock, give it a stir and put a lid on the pan.

Let it simmer for about half an hour, until the veg is just about cooked.

In another pan, over a medium heat add a little more oil and add the remaining onion.

Add the ground coriander and cumin and fry for 10 minutes, don’t let the onion brown you just want to flavour it with the spices.

When soft, add the fried onion to the stew with the lemon juice, season with ground black pepper and give it a final stir.

Serve and nom!

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