Here’s a dead simple recipe for a store cupboard vegan alternative to regular stew. The secret ingredient to this (and many other) recipes is time – just allowing it to simmer away and work its magic at a low temperature in the oven.
1 red onion, chopped finely,
1-2 cloves of garlic,
1tbp of oil (vegetable)
1 tin of chickpeas,
1 tin of butter beans,
150g of red lentils,
200ml of water,
1 tin of tomatoes,
1tbp tomato puree,
1tbp sundried tomato paste,
1tsp dried cumin,
- 1tsp chipotle chilli powder
½ tsp cinnamon,
½ tsp chili flakes,
3-4 drops of liquid smoke,
Small handful of fresh coriander,
Small handful of fresh parsley,
Small handful of fresh coriander or parsley,
1 generous dollop of Oatly fraîche,
Lots of nice, crispy fresh bread.
Chop the onion and the garlic finely and soften in a little oil in a suitably sized Dutch oven. When they’re soft add the tomato puree and allow that to suck up all the extra oil. Add in the chickpeas and the tomatoes, sundried tomato paste, stir and season with salt and black pepper. Add in the lentils and some of the water for now. Season the stew with the rest of the dry spices and give it a good stir. Let the mixture come up to simmering point and then stir in the fresh herbs and the drops of liquid smoke. The lentils should have absorbed some of the water by this point so top it up and place in a preheated oven at 140°C. Allow it to cook for at least forty minutes before checking. Take it out and give it a good stir, give it a bit more water if it’s looking dry. At this stage you’ll need to give it another half an hour at least to let the lentils truly lose their bite and become soft. Keep stirring and checking until it’s the consistency you want. The longer you leave it the better it’ll be, I promise!
When it’s done serve with the chopped herbs, a dollop of Oatly fraiche and a mountain of good bread. It’s the perfect summer stew!
With St Patrick’s Day celebrations over the last weekend why not try something traditional but with a Vegan twist? This simple recipe is made with TVP chunks which, I’ve found, aren’t that easy to track down! My packet was bought whilst on holiday in Llandrindod Wells! In any case, it comes dried in a bag and looks like misshapen croutons, but these swell to make delicious but firm soya pieces that can be used in a number of creative ways.
- 100g TVP pieces,
- 2 medium carrots,
- 2-3 medium potatoes,
- 1 large onion,
- 2 Bay leaves,
- 1tsp of all purpose seasoning,
- 250ml boiling water,
- 250ml of Irish stout (I used Carlow brewing company for M&S Irish Stout as it’s SFV)
- 1tbsp of dried thyme,
- 50g barley or oats,
Prepare the TVP pieces first by covering them with boiling water in a bowl with the seasoning. They should begin to swell to nice, meaty pieces.
Peel and chop the onion and soften in a little oil over a medium heat in a decent sized Dutch oven, then peel and chop the carrots and potatoes into nice chunky pieces. Add these to the onions and pour over the boiling water and the stout until the veg is more than covered. Combine the barley or oats along with the TVP pieces and their broth into the pan and stir. Season with black pepper, dried Thyme and the Bay leaves. Check the saltiness of the water for preference. The seasoning can be quite salty so be careful when adding more.
Give the whole thing a good stir and then cook in the oven on a medium heat for forty minutes. When it’s ready the broth will be rich, the TVP will be soft but hold their shape and the vegetables will be cooked but not disintegrating. Enjoy with some crusty bread or potato farls and a liberal glass of stout, I paired ours with another couple bottles of Irish Stout brewed for Marks and Spencer’s by Carlow Brewing Company. Making the most of finding vegan friendly Irish stout
Lá fhéile Pádraig sona dhuit! Sláinte!
To celebrate St David’s day, I’ve done my take on the Traditional Welsh dish, cawl.
Cawl is an institution in Wales, the cornerstone of hearty home cooking that dates back to time immemorial. It’s traditionally a simple, peasant dish and is similar to vegetable soups from around Europe and the British Isles.
1 Tin of green jackfruit
1 tsp Light Soy Sauce
1 tbsp Gravy granules
1 Large parsnip
1 Large swede
3 Medium potatoes
1 Large leek
- 1 Bayleaf
1 Veg stock pot
The base of the cawl couldn’t be simpler. Peel and chop all of the vegetables – the parsnip, leek and carrots into coins and dice the rest into cubes. Soften the leek and onion in a little oil and then add the rest of the vegetables. Cover with hot water from the kettle and bring to a gently boil. Season with lots of black pepper and the stock cube. Stir, cover and reduce to a simmer for half an hour or so or until the veggies have cooked. The natural flavours of the vegetables, especially the parsnip and the swede really come through and don’t need any other herbs to be added for authenticity.
While the vegetables are simmering you can prepare the jackfruit. Drain and de-core the jack fruits then cut the pieces into chunks. Heat the gravy and the soy sauce on the hob in a splash of hot water to make a rich marinating sauce. Add the bayleaf in. Place the jack fruit in a baking tray and cover liberally with the sauce. Bake in the oven at 140°C (fan) or until the sauce has thickened. Remove from the oven and wipe away any excess sauce. The sauce will have permeated the fruit so don’t worry about wiping away your hard work.
When ready to serve, ladle the vegetables into a bowl with enough of the broth then place the pieces of jackfruit into the bowl, sharing evenly between guests. Serve with crusty bread and strong (vegan) cheese with a hearty pint of ale for the full experience.
Here’s a cheap, satisfying & hearty recipe that is perfect for those cold Winter nights coming in!
- ½ Head of cauliflower, cut into chunks,
- 1 tbs Tomato puree
- 1 Tin of chopped tomatoes
- 100ml Water
- 1 Onion, chopped finely
- 2 Cloves of garlic, chopped finely
- Splash of flavourless oil
- 2 Peppers, chopped •
- 1 Pack of vegan cream ( I used 1 pack of 250ml Oatly cream)
- Splash of white wine (Vermouth will also work!)
- 2-3tbs Of paprika
- 1tsp Mixed spice
- 1tsp Ground cinnamon
- Handful of fresh parsley, chopped •
- Salt & pepper
- 100g Tagliatelle or rice (per person)
This is a ‘one-pan dish’, I use my Dutch Oven to make this – shove it in the oven, and as it cooks slowly I can get on with my day, then eat it!
To make, start by frying off the onions & garlic until they become soft & translucent. Next, add in the tomato puree and mix it with the onion until it has cooked out. Then, the tin of tomatoes goes in. After you’ve tipped the tomatoes out, add the water to the tin and add it to the pan- this way it gets all the tomatoey goodness. Next, add in your paprika & spices. Cook it out for a couple of minutes. Once this is done, add in the cauliflower, stir and season. Add half of the chopped parsley and with the lid on, add to the oven (pre heated to 140°c). Leave it to do its own thing for at least 40 minutes, 1 hour maybe even an hour and a half. That is the magic of slow cooking!
Once you’re ready to eat, salt a boiling pan of water generously and add in your pasta/rice. Cook until done.
To serve layer the luscious & hearty paprikash on top of the pasta/rice and garnish with the rest of the parsley!
My recent affinity with Jackfruit continues with this recipe for a vegan alternative for Spanish Stew, full of the flavours and textures of the hearty Mediterranean classic!
- 2 tins of chopped tomatoes,
- 1 large onion, chopped,
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced,
- 2/3 roasted peppers,
- 1 tin of butter beans,
- 2 tbs pimentón,
- 1 tin of green Jackfruit,
- 1 tsp tomato paste,
- 1 tsp chilli powder,
- 1 tbs dried rosemary,
- A splash of sherry,
- 1 sprig of fresh rosemary,
- 125ml or a glass of red wine,
- 2/3 Bay Leaves,
To make the picada:
- 3tbs flaked almonds, toasted
- 2/3 slices of stale baguette
- 3tbs of the stew stock
Start off by frying the onion and garlic in a little oil until soft. Add the tomato paste and cut the peppers into small pieces and add to the paste. Let it cook out then pour in the tomatoes and let it simmer while you prepare the Jackfruit.
Drain the Jack Fruit and the butter beans. Prepare the Jackfruit by cutting the flesh away from the hard, pineapple-like core. Add them, along with the beans, to the sauce.
Then, simply add the spices, the red wine and season with salt and black pepper. Cover with up to 500ml of water and let it simmer while you prepare the picada. A picada is an essential accompaniment to Catalunian stews.
Start by toasting the almonds in a dry frying pan. Keep an eye on these as they burn easily. When they’re toasted take them off the heat. Add the almonds and the bread to a pestle & mortar and crush until they resemble rubble. Continuing to grind, add in the stock from the stew bit by bit until it resembles a thick paste.
Once this is done add it back into the stew and stir thoroughly. Next, place into an oven on 140°C and let it cook for 3 and half hours on a low heat. Once the time is up, take it out, leave to cool slightly and serve. Remember to take out the sprig of rosemary and bay leaves before serving!
Enjoy with some crusty sourdough and a glass of red wine (or a crisp cerveza as I did 😉 )
As the Brilliant Icelandic drama ‘Trapped’ came to a close on the weekend, I thought, there’s nothing better (and more apt!) than to make my take on the traditional Icelandic soup (and cold cure) kjötsúpa. All of these products can be purchased from Asda.
To make, you’ll need:
- 600g smoked lamb (I used 2 packets of Butcher’s Selection Honey & Mint Boneless Oak Smoked Lamb Shoulder- minus the sauce sachet)
- 3 large carrots, chopped
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 small turnips, chopped
- 1.5 litres water
- 2 leeks, chopped finely
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tbs rolled oats
- Handful of kale
- Handful of baby potatoes (skin on), chopped
- Sprig of lemon thyme
- Salt & pepper
Begin by bringing a large pan of water to simmer. Prepare the lamb by cutting it into small cubes and finely chop the onion. Add both to the water, season and allow to simmer gently for around an hour.
Chop the leeks, turnips, carrots and potatoes into ‘stew’ sized chunks and add to the pot. I left all my veg skin-on for the extra rustic touch. Add the lemon thyme and bay leaves and let it carry on simmering for another hour. During the last half an hour take the lid off and let it reduce a little. Sprinkle in the oats to thicken the broth. Stir in the kale just before you serve. You can even take it off the hob and let the residual heat work on the kale.
It’s now ready to serve.
I served mine with a rye loaf and an IPA.