Lentil Tortilla Filling

This is a winner. One of my housemates, Ciara, is not a fan of too much spice so I was pretty conservative with the chilli powder and tobasco. Feel free to go crazy.

Chilli Lentils

1/2 cup lentils

1/2 aubergine, chopped

1 red bell pepper, de-seeded and chopped

1/2 onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, crushed

1/2 can chopped tomatoes

1/2 tbsp tomato purée

1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp chilli powder

tobasco sauce

salt and pepper.

Cook lentils in 2.5 cups boiling water for 10 minutes.

Fry the onion on low-medium heat for 2 minutes.

Add garlic, aubergine, pepper and chopped tomatoes to the frying pan and simmer for 5 minutes.

Add the tomato purée, cumin, chilli powder and tobasco (to taste) to the pan.

Turn up the heat to medium and cook until the aubergine turns golden and mushy.

Add in the lentils and stir until heated through.

Season to taste and serve with wholegrain tortilla wraps.

Chickpea and Sweet Potato Patties

This is probably one of my favourite recipes that I have come up with since starting to eat a plant-based diet.

400g can chickpeas

320g sweet potato

1 leek, sliced

2 cloves garlic

1 tsp mixed herbs

1 tbsp soy sauce

few drops tobasco

150ml veg. stock

4tbsp wholegrain flour

50g wholegrain breadcrumbs

olive oil

Roughly chop the sweet potatoes and put into boiling water to cook for 20 minutes.

In a large frying pan heat 2 tbsp olive oil on low-medium heat. Add in the leek and the garlic. Let it cook for ten minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the mixed herbs, drained chickpeas and stock to the leek and garlic. Stir until thickened then add the soy sauce, flour, breadcrumbs and tobasco. You can also season at this point.

Drain the sweet potatoes and mash in a large bowl. Add the mixture from the frying pan and mash it all together

Allow to cool and then mould into 12 patties about 1cm thick.

Cook in a frying pan on medium heat, with just enough oil to grease the pan, for 4 minutes a side.

Serve! (I love them with ketchup)

Vegan Chilli Con Carne

Okay so here’s me getting back on the horse! I made this a while back and all my housemates (none of them being vegan or vegetarian) loved it. Super easy and cheap for students.

Vegan Chilli Con Carne

1 tbsp vegetable oil

1 onion, peeled and chopped

1 red pepper, de-seeded and chopped

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes

2 x 400g can red kidney beans

100g red lentils, cooked as per the packet

2 tsp paprika

1 tsp chilli powder (or one fresh chilli, de-seeded and chopped finely)

salt and pepper

1 tsp sugar

Heat the oil in a large pan (it has to be big enough to hold everything) and fry the onion and pepper for ten minutes then add the garlic and tomatoes.

Drain the red kidney beans and lentils and add to the tomato mixture, together with the paprika and chilli powder.

Simmer for about 15 minutes, then season with salt and pepper and sugar and serve. (serves 4)

 

I served this with wholegrain rice and. . .

Breadcrumbed Mushrooms (for two)

Some mushrooms, however much you want!

one slice of wholegrain bread, crumbed

1tbsp olive oil

1 dessert sp honey

1 clove garlic, crushed

1/2 tsp cumin

Mix together the oil, honey, garlic and cumin in a small bowl. Dip the mushrooms into this mixture and then into the breadcrumbs until fully coated.

Cook in a frying pan at medium heat for approx. ten minutes or bake in an oven at 180 degrees celsius for 20 minutes.

I even went posh and added parsley garnish.

 

 

Sweet Potato Fries

 

I whisked these up one evening for myself  and roommates. Super quick and tasty!

Sweet Potato Fries

Sweet Potatoes chopped into wedges

Olive oil

Paprika

Salt

Pepper

Fresh chill (optional)

Heat up the oil in a pan on medium high heat. Add in the sweet potato with the seasoning to taste. Make sure it’s all tossed up so the fries are evenly coated with the flavoring.

Cook for about 2 minutes and then make sure they are all turned so nothing burns.

I really like them with ketchup. . . Up to yourselves!

Sunday Roast

We had a Sunday Roast last week to christen the oven in our kitchen. You may wonder why anyone would want to christen an oven but last year when we were living in the campus accommodation our kitchens came sans oven. Ridiculous, I know.

I stuffed and roasted a chicken for the rest of my adopted student family and I ate the roast potatoes and roast veg with taco bean mix from a can. It was actually really good! The chicken took so much time I kind of forgot to make anything proper for myself but the beans did the trick.

Perfect Roast Potatoes (adapted from Jamie Oliver. Legend)

1.5kg potatoes (roosters are my preference), peeled

salt & pepper

olive oil

2 cloves of garlic (you can add more if you like but I prefer it not to be too noticeable)

fresh rosemary

Preheat oven to 190’C. Wash potatoes in cold water and tip into a large pot , cover with cold water and season well. Bring to the boil and cook for 6-7 mins, then drain in a colander and leave to steam dry for 3 mins. Tip the potatoes into a roasting tray, add oil then season. I like to brush on the oil with a bunch of rosemary like a brush. If you are preparing these for tomorrow like I was, you can put the tray in the fridge now.

Put tray in a hot oven for 30 mins until lightly golden & 3/4 cooked. Take tray out and gently squash each potato. Add some olive oil to a small bowl and add in herbs. You can chop up the rosemary that you used to brush the oil on earlier or you can get some more I suppose. Waste not want not! Add in the garlic and mix it up.

Add the flavor to the potatoes and shake the pan before putting it back in the oven for 40-45 mins until perfect.

I also made apple crumble for the occasion. This did have butter in the actual crumble but I ate it anyway.

Apple Crumble

3-4 Cooking apples, depends on the size of your dish

70g rolled oats

70g wholemeal flour

40g caster sugar (+ extra to shake on top of the apples. I always just eyeball that one)

70g butter

1tsp cinnamon (optional)

Preheat the oven to 180’C. Peel and chop the apples and put them in a pot. Add a small amount of water and the extra sugar. Allow the apples to soften on a medium heat. Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl and then rub in the butter until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. . . obvious enough.

Pour the stewed apples into your greased dish and then pour the crumble on top. Pop the dish in the oven for about a half an hour. Check it every so often to make sure the crumble doesn’t burn. It should be a nice golden color when it’s finished. Unfortunately, my oven heats up unevenly so I had to turn the dish around after 15 minutes. Joys! At least I have an oven though.

Summery Beverage

 

So my Mom invited the extended family over for Sunday lunch as a kind of welcome home party for me and a chance for everyone to just get together and chat. I ate the leftovers from my dinner last night while the rest tucked into lasagna and stuffed pork. I have to say I was a little tempted by the lasagna.

This pretty looking drink was first discovered by parents when they went for lunch in a café in Galway so we decided to replicate it and it is made every so often for special occasions.

Elderflower Cordial

60ml Elderflower Cordial concentrate

690ml sparkling water

1/2 tbsp blueberries

1/2 tbsp raspberries

sprig of fresh mint leaves

Pour the elderflower concentrate into a 750ml glass bottle. Add in the blueberries, raspberries and mint. Using a skewer mix all of this together at the bottom of the bottle so the cordial turns pink.

Carefully pour in the sparkling water. Seal the bottle and turn upside down so the cordial combines with the sparkling water. Be careful when re-opening in case it bubbles.

Family dinner!

I decided it would be a bit mean to force another family member to make food that only I would eat so I made dinner for myself.

Mixed Bean and Cashew Nut Salad (adapted from Ainsley Harriot’s BBQ book)

400g can butter beans

400g can red kidney beans

400g canned sweetcorn

3 celery sticks, sliced

1 red pepper, seeded & chopped

6 spring onions, trimmed & sliced

100g cashew nuts, roasted

4 tbsp plain soya yoghurt

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 tbsp lemon juice

salt & pepper

Rinse the beans in a sieve with cold water. Drain and tip them into a large bowl which will contain the salad in the end. Drain the sweetcorn and add to the bowl with the pepper, spring onion, celery, cashews. In a small bowl combine the yoghurt, garlic and lemon juice. Add this to the big bowl. Season to taste

This salad is so quick to make! The only annoying bit is roasting the cashews so I guess you don’t have to do that but it really makes such a difference to the taste.

Spiced Coconut Spinach

1 shallot

1 large clove garlic

1/4 tsp salt

1 tbsp olive oil

1/4 tsp mustard seeds

1/4 tsp cumin seeds

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

200g spinach

1 1/2 tbsp desiccated coconut

Heat the oil in a pan on medium heat. Add in the mustard and cumin seeds and cover. Let them toast for a bit. Mash the shallot and garlic into a paste.

Add the shallot/garlic paste to the pan and all of the spinach. Keep stirring until the spinach collapses and turns bright green. Add the cayenne pepper, coconut and salt and serve.

And so it begins. . .

ImageThis evening I made my very first strictly vegan dinner. I have to say, it doesn’t look very exciting. Having only just moved into my new home the ingredients available to me were somewhat limited so this bowl (provided by our neighbors because myself and my roommate Ciara ate there) ending up containing:

Steamed Cherry Tomatoes and Spinach with Peanut Butter Wholegrain Rice

Wholegrain rice (for the measurement check the packet or your appetite)

Cherry tomatoes

Spinach

Peanut butter

Soy milk

Olive oil or some other oil

Turn on steamer. Cook the rice as directed on the packet. While the rice is cooking, heat the oil in a pan on low heat. Add two teaspoons of peanut butter and allow to melt.

Make a cross in the top of each tomato with a knife and add to the steamer with the spinach. Allow to cook until the spinach is limp and bright green. Add the soy milk to the peanut butter and combine the two.

When the rice is almost completely cooked drain and add to the peanut butter sauce. Allow it to finish cooking.

Remove the tomatoes and spinach from the steamer and put everything in the receptacle of your choice.

Enjoy!