Baked Buffalo Bites

This recipe is from a book I bought recently called ‘Vegan Finger Foods’ by Celine Steen and Tamasin Noyes. Useful book for finger foods etc. This is the first recipe I’ve made from it, and I really liked them 0 tasty, and relatively healthy given they are oven baked. Great to eat with a substantial salad as a simple meal.

2 tablespoons hot or chilli sauce
2 tablespoons tamari
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons onion powder, divided
1 teaspoon garlic powder, divided
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
425g extra-firm tofu, drained and presses, cut into 2cm cubes
Nonstick cooking spray (I use a can of rice bran oil)
3 tablespoons unsweetened plain vegan milk (e.g. Bonsoy)
1/2 cup arrowroot powder, more if needed
1 cup breadcrumbs, or rice crumbs
salt

Combine hot sauce, tamari, mustard, and half the onion & garlic powder, and pepper in a medium bowl. Stir together. Mix in the tofu and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (but up to 12).

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Remove cubes from the marinade, and add the milk to the remaining marinade – mix. Put the arrowroot powder on a plate. Combine the crumbs, remaining onion and garlic powder, and salt and pepper – tip onto a plate.

Dip cubes into marinade, then arrowroot, then marinade again, then the crumb mixture. They should be generously coated. Place onto the baking sheet, and bake for about 25 minutes. Turn over, then bake for another 10-15 minutes until golden. Serve hot or cold.

Buffalo Tofu Bites

Buffalo Tofu Bites

Homemade Baked Beans

I love beans, particularly when they are rich with tomato, onion and seasoning. You can use a range of beans for these – Navy Beans are traditional, but can be hard to find. I’ve used Butter Beans for the recipe below.

You can serve these on toast, with sides such as sliced avocado or hash browns, or vegan sausages (Linda McCartney sausages, which you can buy frozen in some small food stores and supermarkets, are the best I’ve been able to find).

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
2 tablespoons tomato puree
2 teaspoons palm or brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable stock
400g can of tomatoes
400g can of beans – butter or navy
salt and pepper

Fry onions over high heat until soft and browned on the edges. Add mustard powder, soy sauce, tomato paste and sugar – stir well to combine. Add all the other ingredients, and simmer uncovered for about 20-30 minutes – sauce should be thick, and beans collapsing when you bite into one. Serve.

Baked Beans

Baked Beans

Tofu Omelette

This recipe is from a book called ‘Refresh’ by Ruth Tal and Jennifer Houston, which I really like – it has simple, healthy meals and I find it particularly good for more casual meals. They have another book called ‘Fresh’ which is equally good. Both have an excellent juice recipe section as well. Ruth and Jennifer have four ‘Fresh’ restaurants in Toronto – more information http://freshrestaurants.ca/home

2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 onion, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup grated carrot
1/2 cup chopped spring onions
3 cloves garlic
3 1/2 cups firm tofu, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons Savoury Yeast (cheesy-tasting yeast flakes – really good!)
1/2 cup gluten flour (also called Vital Wheat flour sometimes)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
flour for dusting and rolling out

Fry onions over medium heat and cook until browned. Let them cool down, and then process in blender with the carrot, spring onion and garlic until smooth. Add tofu and process, then add the remaining ingredients and pulse to mix.

Divide into 4 equal portions. Pat each portion out to a pancake about 1 cm thick on a floured board or bench. Fry each in a little oil until brown on both sides. Serve.

I serve these with homemade baked beans – a very filling breakfast or brunch dish. You could also put them in a sandwich with pickles and salad etc. If you need to reheat these, I would do it in a sandwich press because they are quite soft.

Tofu Omelette

Tofu Omelette

Chickpea, Tomato and Bread Soup

This recipe is from Yotam Ottolenghi’s book ‘Plenty’. If you haven’t seen his documentary series or visited his restaurants in London already, I highly recommend you do – his food is amazing http://www.ottolenghi.co.uk

Don’t be put off by the long list of ingredients: this soup is incredible, and is a complete meal. If I am having guests, I’ll complete everything up to the part where you add the croutons well ahead of time, and then finish it off once we’re ready to eat. It tastes great heated the next day, if there is any left.

One of my favourite kitchen tools is a Japanese Mandolin – it lets you slice things super thin, and is really fast. I use it for recipes like this where there is a lot of slicing involved

1 large onion, sliced
1 medium fennel bulb, sliced
about 120ml olive oil
1 large carrot, peeled, cut lengthwise, and sliced
1 tablespoon tomato puree
250ml white wine
400g plum tomatoes
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons caster sugar
1 litre vegetable stock (I use Moredough or Stock Merchant)

160g stale sourdough bread, crusts removed
400g can chickpeas
4 tablespoons basil pesto (for vegan, I buy Botanical Cuisine’s ‘Basil and Kale’ pesto or make my own – will post the recipe some time)
handful of shredded basil leaves to serve
salt and black pepper

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Fry the onion and fennel in 3 tablespoons of oil over a medium heat for about 4 minutes. Add carrot and celery, cook for further 4 minutes to soften. Stir in the tomato puree and stir as you cook for 1 minute. Add the wine and let it bubble away for a few minutes.

Next, add the canned tomatoes with their juices (chop them roughly if whole tomatoes), the herbs, sugar, stock, and salt and pepper. Simmer for about 30 minutes.

While this is cooking, tear the sourdough into bite sized pieces, and then mix through with your hands 2 tablespoons of olive oil and freshly gourd salt. Place on a roasting tin and bake for 10 minutes until dry and crisp. Set aside.

Drain chickpeas, and squash about 2/3s of them with a masher. Stir into the soup, and simmer for 10 minutes. Next add the toasted bread, stir well and cook for another 5 minutes. Taste the soup and add salt and pepper liberally.

Ladle the soup into bowls. Spoon some pesto into the centre, drizzle with a little good olive oil, and top with freshly shredded basil. Enjoy!

Vegetable and Barley Broth

This is a very simple soup, so you must use a very good quality vegetable stock and vegetables.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped finely
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 bay leaf
1 cup mushrooms, thickly sliced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
2 tablespoons tamari or light soy sauce
1 small potato, finely diced
1 medium carrot, thickly sliced
50g pearl barley, soaked for about an hour in water
1 litre vegetable stock (I use Moredough or Stock Merchant)
salt and pepper to taste

Soak pearl barley in water for an hour, then drain.

Gently fry onion, garlic and bay leaf in the olive oil for about 5 minutes.

Add mushrooms, herbs and tamari/soy – fry a further 5 minutes.

Add all the other ingredients, then simmer for about 45 minutes. Serve.

Simple Barley Broth

Simple Barley Broth

Tomato and Lentil Soup

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large finely chopped onion
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 litre vegetable stock (I use Moredough or Stock Merchant vegetable stock)
2/3 cup dried brown lentils – wash thoroughly before using
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
1 large carrot, finely chopped
1 bay leaf
170g tomato paste
800g canned italian tomatoes, chopped (also use the liquid)
1/2 cup chopped italian parsley
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon (or 1 teaspoon dried)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill (or 1 teaspoon dried)
salt and pepper to taste

Gently fry onion and garlic in the oil for about 5 minutes. Add the stock, lentils, celery, carrot and bay leaf. Bring to boil, then simmer covered for about an hour.

Mix the tomato paste and chopped herbs together.

Remove bay leaf from soup, then add the canned tomatoes and the tomato paste/herb mixture. Simmer another 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve topped with some chopped herbs.

Tomato and Lentil Soup

Tomato and Lentil Soup

Roast Parsnip Soup

1kg parsnips – peeled and chopped
1 large onion, chopped
3-6 garlic cloves (leave whole – when you roast garlic the flavour becomes much more subtle)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
dash chilli flakes
salt and pepper

1 – 1.5 litre vegetable stock, depending on how thick you like your soup (I use Moredough or The Stock Merchant vegetable stock)
fresh coriander – chopped

Mix all the ingredients except stock and coriander together, and bake in the oven 200 degrees Celsius for 30-40 minutes until the vegetables are tender – I like to leave them in until the edges are well browned to get a richer flavour.

Heat the stock and add the roast vegetables – you will need to peel the garlic. Blend until smooth using a stick blender.

Sprinkly chopped coriander on top, and serve with bread.

Roast Parsnip Soup

Roast Parsnip Soup