#Veganuary salad – Caramelised Tofu salad

Caramelised Tofu salad

Caramelised Tofu salad

Caramelised Tofu salad

Serves 2 as mains or 4 as a starter

  • 70g wild rocket – washed

    Salad components

    Salad components

  • 150g beansprouts – blanched & drained
  • 200g tofu – fried in caramelised sugar
  • 2 fresh tomatoes – Cut and de-seeded.
  • Teaspoon of Sesame seeds

For the vinaigrette

  • 3 tablespoons mustard oil
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 generous pinch of ground ginger

    Prepping the tofu

    Prepping the tofu

  • ½ teaspoon of caster sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • ½ small red chilli – very finely chopped
  • Garlic granules

 

Prep:

Tofu sticks

The tofu is sold as a block that will need to be cut and fried. Use the DragonFly pressed tofu as they are much tastier and absorb flavours.

Just cut as in the picture. Rub with salt and ground ginger. In a hot pan, add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil with 1 teaspoon of sugar. Leave the sugar to brown slightly. Then add the tofu sticks and swirl to allow the sugar to coat the sticks. Allow 1 minute for each side to crisp before turning them from side to side.

Once that is done, set aside and prepare the other components of the salad.

The vinaigrette. In a small jar with a lid, add: mustard oil, soy sauce, ground ginger, caster sugar, salt, garlic granules, and chilli. Shake well to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Mixing bowl

Mixing bowl

Caramelised Tofu salad

Caramelised Tofu salad

Now into a large bowl, add: rocket, sprouts, tomatoes and toss. Add the tofu sticks, sesames seeds drizzle the vinaigrette, serve & enjoy!

See the original post on my vegan blog here.

#Veganuary soup – Beetroots red pepper and mustard

Beetroots red pepper & mustard soup

Beetroots red pepper & mustard soup

Beetroots red pepper and mustard soup

Serves 3

  • 4 small precooked beetroots
  • 1 big red sweet pepper
  • A hand full of fresh coriander
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 tea spoon wholegrain mustard
  • Salt
  • Mustard oil

Method:

Peel the outer layer of the beetroots, rinse and roughly chop. Do the same for the onion, cut the sweet pepper and the coriander. Rinse all and place in a deep pan with 1L water or stock. I did mine just with water and salt to keep it simple.

Add 2 tablespoons of mustard oil and 1 teaspoon of wholegrain mustard. Cover and place on the hob to simmer for 20 minutes. This will allow the vegetables to soften.

 

To gauge that the soup is ready, taste the hardest to cook vegetable in the pot. Here it would have been the beet if they were not precooked. So, I tasted the onion quarters and sweet pepper.

Adjust the seasoning, take away from the hob and using a hand blender. Liquidise the soup to your liking.

I like my soup with bits in it and others prefer theirs smooth.

Beetroots red pepper & mustard soup

Beetroots red pepper & mustard soup

Serve with croutons or… potato wedges on a skewer.

Enjoy. x

See original recipe on my vegan blog here

#TurkishByHJ – Tomato and almonds dip

Meze - Tomato & almond dip

Meze – Tomato & almond dip

Meze for 5 people

Including: Babaganoush, Broad beans hummus, Fresh tomato & almond Dip, Dolma and flat crusty breads.

Ingredients:

Tomato dip ingredients

Tomato dip ingredients

  • 10 small tomato (50p)
  • 10 leaves basil (59p)
  • 10g red onion
  • Salt
  • 10g roasted almond flakes
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 50ml groundnut oil or any other vegetable oil

Cost: From time to times, Lidl sells groundnut oil from 99p for 250ml during their Asian week promotion. I already had this oil, so didn’t need to buy some. For this dip, I only had to buy tomato and basil. I have flaked almonds left over from a previous recipe. They are essential to this recipe and they give it the dippy taste. This dip cost £1.09.

Method:

Cut the quantity of onion needed, peel, dice and place it in the blender. Rinse the tomatoes, quarter them and place them in the blender. Rinse and chop the basil, peel the garlic and add all in the blender as well as the almonds and groundnut oil. Put the lid on the blender and mince the content in 2-3 bursts.

This dip is not meant to be smooth and should still have visible bits in it…

Once you are satisfied with the consistency, pour in a serving bowl, cover with the cling film and chill.

Done.

Turkish Meze - 3 dips

Turkish Meze – 3 dips

Next, the dolma and flat bread.

#TurkishByHJ – Broad beans hummus

Beans Hummus w/toasted sesame oil

Beans Hummus w/toasted sesame oil

Meze for 5 people

Including: Babaganoush, Broad beans hummus, Fresh tomato & almond Dip and flat crusty breads.

Ingredients:

Beans oil and lemon

Beans oil and lemon

  • 500g beans (64p)
  • Juice of a half lemon (25p)
  • Garlic granules
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • 90ml toasted sesame oil (or olive oil)

Cost: Olive oil can be found at the 99p store. From time to ties, Lidl sells toasted sesame oil from 99p for 250ml. I already had both, so didn’t need to buy some. For this dip, I only had to buy the beans and lemon. Some hummus require tahini paste, but it is not a must. This dip only cost 89p.

Method:

Made with a hand blender

Made with a hand blender

Drain and rinse the beans (I have mixed white beans and broad beans) then pour them in a bowl. Add garlic, black pepper, salt, the juice of a half lemon and 80ml toasted sesame seed oil. Blend everything until you obtain a very smooth paste.

Scoop the hummus in a serving bowl, cover with cling film and chill until serving time.

Done.

Next, the fresh tomato and almond dip.

#TurkishByHJ – Babaganoush

Babaganoush - Happy scooping

Babaganoush – Happy scooping

Meze for 5 people

Including: Babaganoush, Broad beans hummus, Fresh tomato & almond dip and flat crusty breads.

Ingredients:

  • 600g or 2 big aubergines (66p)

    Looks like a smile - Babaganoush

    Looks like a smile – Babaganoush

  • 100g or 1 small red onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 Turkish pepper (6p)
  • Cumin
  • Paprika
  • Vegetable oil
  • Sesame seeds to garnish

Cost: The vegetables were bought on Surrey Street market; 3 Aubergines cost £1.00 and the Turkey peppers cost £1 for a bowl of 15 long green ones. Total cost of this dip 0.72p

Method:

The babaganoush is normally made with peeled aubergines, but I chose to keep the skin because of its nutritious value. Do you know fibre, potassium and antioxidants can be found in the purple robe of this vegetable? Just google it and see what else you can find.

The only downer about using the skin on this dip is the colour at the end. Not the greatest looking.

So, to make the babaganoush, peel and roughly cut the onion and the garlic. Cut the bottom of the aubergines, rinse and cut them in small pieces (cut each in about 12 pieces). Also remove the tail of cut the Turkish green pepper, rinse and cut in 3 pieces. Keep the elements separated.

In a pan which has a lid, heat 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil and put in the aubergines in it fry for 5 minutes until the pieces start to brown.

Now add the onion pieces, Turkish pepper garlic, cumin, paprika and salt. Add 100ml water, cover the pan and simmer for 10. The onion, which is the hardest should be the softness by the time the pan dries out. Taste and adjust the seasoning before mashing the whole content of the pan with a hand blender.

Pour the dip in a bowl and drizzle over it 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil or any flavoured oil of your choice.

Enjoy.

Next, the broad beans hummus

Meze by HJ

Meze by HJ

#Whats4Lunch – The Salads 3

Carrot, Beet & chicken 1

Carrot, Beet & chicken 1

Beet carrot and chicken salad (total cost 31p)

Ingredients:

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 1 chicken leg (left over) – Can be bought ready made
  • 10 to 15 pitted black olives – 5p (a jar of 700g cost 99p in the 99p store)
  • 10 cherry tomatoes – 11p (got about 30 -35 cherry tomatoes for 40p in Lidl)
  • 1 medium precooked beetroot – 10p (4 beetroots cost 40p in Lidl)
  • 100g grated carrot – 5p
  • Sea salt & pepper

    ingredients

    ingredients

  • Mayonnaise
  • Vegetable oil
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Dry garlic

The unpriced ingredients are already available in the house.

 

Method:

For the vinaigrette:

Mix 1 teaspoon of real mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons vinegar, 2 tablespoon of oil, sea salt and a pinch of garlic granules. Whisk, taste and adjust seasoning. When it is ready, pour in a small jar.

Rinse the beetroot and thinly slice it.

Strip the meat off the chicken leg and flake it.

If you haven’t done so yet, peel and grate the carrot. Keep all elements separated for now. Do not rinse the pitted olive, but wash the tomatoes.

In the lunch box, be careful about the way you layer the elements of

Carrot, Beet & chicken 2

Carrot, Beet & chicken 2

the salad to avoid your carrot for example catching the colouring of the beetroot or the chicken turning red. When you are ready for your lunch, you want everything looking fresh and colourful.

Bearing that in mind, here is how I recommend that you layer your lunch box especially if beetroot is

Carrot, Beet & chicken 3

Carrot, Beet & chicken 3

involved: Put the beet in the bottom, add the olives and then the cherry tomato. Now, the chicken strips and finish off with the grated carrot on top.

At lunch time, just flip the content of the lunch bowl in your plate and add the vinaigrette. Enjoy!

Next up, the hot lunches and few sweets.

To see the previous salads, click here and here

#Whats4Lunch – The Salads 2

Pulse salad - Vegan

Pulse salad – Vegan

Mixed pulses salad (vegan) (total cost 74p)

Ingredients:

Pulses salad  1 ingredients

Pulses salad 1 ingredients

  • 100g precooked Kidney beans – 10p
  • 100g chick peas – 10p
  • 100 sweet corn – 10p
  • 25g left over white rice
  • 3 pieces antipasti artichoke heart (25p)
  • Ground Maggi cube (or any dry stock cube)
  • 5g fresh ginger (5p)
  • ½ lime (14p)
  • Salt, dry garlic & black pepper

Method:

Pulses salad  2

Pulses salad 2

All the pulsed are shop bought and usually cost 25 to 35 pence each that include the chick peas, beans and sweet corn. The rice is left over from a meal.

Open the pulses and rinse the starch off them. Mix the all in a one bowl with the rice and a pinch of grounded stock cube. Mix and set aside.

Cut the artichokes as you wish and leave to the side.

lime & ginger vinaigrette

lime & ginger vinaigrette

The lunch box

The lunch box

Making the vinaigrette. In a separate bowl, grate the zest of a half lime and squeeze the juice of the same half. Grate the ginger and add 2 tablespoons of flavoured oil from the artichokes jar. Add black pepper and a pinch of dry garlic. Whisk, taste and adjust flavouring. Pour in a small container.

Pour the pulses in the lunch box and place the artichokes pieces on top separate from the vinaigrette.

At lunch time, all you will have to do is pour the vinaigrette on the salad and enjoy.

Just add the sauce and enjoy!

Feel free to add chilli flakes if you can handle heat.

Next up, Chicken salad, the hot lunches and few sweets.

#Whats4Lunch – The Salads 1

Mackerel Salad 1

Mackerel Salad 1

Smoked mackerel salad (total cost 90p)

Ingredients:

Salad ingredients

Salad ingredients

  • ¼ flaked smoked mackerel – 50p
  • 1 fresh medium tomato – 10p
  • 1/2 a whole lettuce gem – 10p (pack of 2 whole gems cost 37p)
  • 10 pieces of Italian mushroom antipasti – 20p
  • 1 leftover roast potato
  • Salt, dry garlic & black pepper

Method:

Separate the leaves from the lettuce and rinse off the earth on them. Cut roughly the leaves in 3 and set aside.

Rise and cut the tomato. Sprinkle it with freshly grinded pepper, salt and garlic Toss to combine and set aside.

Mackerel Salad 2

Mackerel Salad 2

Remove the mushroom needed from the jar.

Flake the portion of mackerel needed for the salad and check that there is not bones left in it. Set aside.

Mackerel Salad 3

Mackerel Salad 3

Since the salad is not being consumed immediately, place all the elements in the lunch box in a way that all of them will still be fresh and crispy at lunch time (4 to 6 hours away). The most fragile of them must be at the top and anything else that can remain wet and unchanged should be at the bottom of the lunch box.

So, layer the mushrooms first at the bottom of the lunch box with one teaspoon of oil from the

Mackerel Salad  layered

Mackerel Salad layered

mushroom jar, followed by the generously seasoned tomato. The mushroom will marinate in the tomato juices and seasoning. Now on top of the tomato, layer the cut potatoes, then the fish and the lettuce.

At lunch time, take your bowl, open it and cover it with a serving plate then turn it over to empty the content of the bowl upside down as if flipping an omelette. What this action will do is allow the juices that were at the bottom of the bowl to filter throughout the salad while acting as a vinaigrette.

These salads are called “salades composees” in France and often serve as a full lunch… nothing else is needed apart

Mackerel Salad 5

Mackerel Salad 5

from a small piece of baguette. If you make enough for lunch it should keep you full until the goûter time around 3.30 – 4pm when you can have an afternoon snack.

Do try to make it and let me know how you got on.

Et voila!

Next up, pulses salad and Chicken salad.

See the sandwich series here, here and here.

The beetroot dip

Beetroot dip

Beetroot dip

Ingredients for 1kg dip:

  • 600g precooked beetroot in vinegar (£1)

    Ingredients

    Ingredients

  • 3 garlic cloves
  • Hand full of small green chillies (10p)
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 small fresh tomato
  • 2 stock cubes
  • 400 ml plain vegetable oil
  • 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • Salt and black pepper

Note: as this was part of the menu for 6 people, you will only need just about 300g of this dip to serve the vegetables cakes. The relative cost spent for this dip is £1.10 (for 1kg) or 5-6p per serving on this menu.

Method:

Ingredients ready for the blender

Ingredients ready for the blender

If the beetroot has skin, peel it, cut off the extremities and chop them. Blend in a food processor until smooth. Remove from the processor and set aside.

Now peel and roughly chop the onion, garlic and chopped tomato. To that, add black pepper and salt. Put all of that in the food processor, remove the tail of the green chillies, add in

blended beetroot

blended beetroot

the processor and blend until smooth also set aside. To not mix with the beetroot at this point.

In a deep pan with a lid, heat 200ml oil and fry in it until crisp the 3 sprigs of fresh thyme. Now pour in the oil the onion garlic and tomato mix. Stir and cover. For 10 minutes opening from time to time to stir.

By covering we are looking for the water in the mix to evaporate. Once

The half way stage

The half way stage

the water has evaporated, only clear oil will be bubbling up on the surface of the mix as shown on the photo right.

Now, add the blended beetroot, stir to combine well the content of the pan, add the rest of the oil taste, add freshly grinded pepper and salt, stir and cover for 20 minutes. Make sure to cover the pan because the content bubbles up and spits, the splashed of beetroot might redecorate the kitchen.

Ready to cool down

Ready to cool down

Open the pan from time to time to stir. After 20 minutes, there should be no liquid left in the pan. What should be visible is just the oil again, bubbling up above the dip. Remove from heat and serve hot. Leave the rest to completely cool down before spooning into jars.

I served mine as part of a starter.

Marrow cakes serving suggestion

Marrow cakes  with beet dip

This dip is great and can be used for chips and other vegetables. Also use it as a spread for sandwiches or mixed into a simple salad. Use is as you would mayonnaise or mustard or simply offer some to friends and family if you’ve got too much.

Spooned in jar for use later

Spooned in jar for use later

Enjoy!

See more about this vegan menu here.

Vegan marrow cakes

Marrow cakes serving suggestion

Marrow cakes serving suggestion

For 6 people (2 per person)

Ingredients:

  • 600g marrow (50p)

    raw vegetables

    raw vegetables

  • 200 carrots (5p)
  • 200g parsnips (10p)
  • 200g potato (10p)
  • 200g tomato (10p)
  • 1 Spring onion (5p)
  • 3 heaps tablespoons plain flour
  • Garlic granules
  • Black pepper
  • Salt

For serving:

  • Fresh rocket salad (£1)
  • Home pickled red cabbage
  • Beetroot dip

Cost:

The whole marrow cost £1 in the market. The carrots cost 69p in Tesco

for a packet of 15+ units. Same for the parsnips. As usual the unpriced ingredients are already in the house. Total spent: £1.90 or 32p per person.

Grated ingredients

Grated ingredients

Method:

Peel and grate marrow, carrots, parsnips and potato. Squeeze out the extra water coming out of the vegetables and place in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.

Finely cut the tomato and spring onion, add to the mix in the bowl. Now, add black pepper, salt, garlic combine well all the elements of the cake.

Now, using a table spoon, measure up a heap of the cake mix and form the cakes. Once they have all been shaped, heat 2 tablespoons of

Shaped cakes

Shaped cakes

vegetable oil in a frying pan and fry the cakes allowing 2 minutes per side.

Once all the cakes have been fried, place them on the oven grill pan wire, then place in the oven to bake and harden for 20 minutes at 160°C.

Since there are no eggs in the is mix, the plain flour and the potato starch will help to keep the cakes together and baking them will help to give it a bit more hold and hardness.

Marrow cakes

Marrow cakes

These cakes are not best reheated. But if they must be heated, they best wormed up in the oven.

Serve with your preferred dip.

I served mine with some home pickled red cabbage, beetroot dip and rocket salad.

Enjoy!