HelenEdith's Blog

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Archive for January, 2019

Veganuary 2019: Pizza

Posted by HelenEdith on January 18, 2019

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I enjoy a twin pack of Sainsbury’s pizza bases, which I can then dress exactly as I wish. As it’s Veganuary, all of my topics were vegan and were much the same on both pizzas, although the order and proportions were a little different. I think the second pizza with the tomatoes near the top and more sliced olives was the more successful. Olives are an acquired taste and the first time I tried them, I wasn’t too keen, but I love them now.

I put sun-dried tomato paste on the bottom and then put a layer of baby spinach leaves on top of those. Next came vegan grated cheese – Scheese melts quite satisfactorily. On top of that went a shake of dried herbs, a sliced salad tomato, a sliced onion, the chopped black olives and a drizzle of olive oil. I always find it takes a little longer in the oven than the pack suggests, but maybe I load it up a bit more than some would. I do find that the edge of the crust gets a bit hard if I cook it for too long. One of these days I will experiment with making my own pizza dough.

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Veganuary 2019: Gousto 10-Min Nifty Veggie Noodles

Posted by HelenEdith on January 18, 2019

10-Min Nifty Veggie Noodles

Gousto 10-Min Nifty Veggie Noodles

Gousto 10-Min Nifty Veggie Noodles with carrots substituted for the mushrooms in the provided recipe as I don’t like mushrooms. The neighbour does, and was pleased to receive them. I thought that my diagonally sliced carrot was far nicer!

This recipe turned out to be eye-wateringly hot. It was still nice for all that, but if I do it again, I will put a bit less chilli in it. I will also add a bit more liquid: I think that cooking the carrot along with the other vegetables in the pot used up more liquid than the provided recipe intended and I ended up with very little broth.

This was also my first experience of Pak Choi. It is interesting to get the opportunity to try some vegetables which I don’t habitually purchase.

This was as good when I had the second portion the next day as when I served it straight from the pot.

Gousto 10-Min Nifty Veggie Noodles

Gousto 10-Min Nifty Veggie Noodles

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Veganuary 2019: Tofu Scramble

Posted by HelenEdith on January 12, 2019

Tofu Scramble

Tofu Scramble

A favourite of mine, made with smoked Tofoo and onions fried off with a Sainsbury’s curry paste. I think it was the tikka paste on this occasion. It’s one of two in my fridge which I’m currently making inroads into. I added some water and cooked it until the onion was done and the liquid had been reduced and just before serving on basmati rice, I added tomato pieces and some spinach, which I heated through for just long enough to wilt it.

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Veganuary 2019: Couscous and Salad

Posted by HelenEdith on January 11, 2019

Couscous and salad

Couscous and salad

When I was last at Aldi, I picked up one of their couscous sachets which already has seasonings added. It is really easy to prepare: just add hot water and allow it to stand.

This plate contains half of a packet of hydrated couscous teamed with a salad made up of avocado, cucumber, beetroot and vegan cheese. The only thing on this plate that I didn’t particularly enjoy was the cucumber, which I found tasteless.

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Veganuary 2019: Sainsbury’s Lentil Cottage Pie

Posted by HelenEdith on January 10, 2019

Sainsbury's Lentil Cottage Pie with Sweet Potato Mash

Sainsbury’s Lentil Cottage Pie with Sweet Potato Mash

Tuesday is band night, so I didn’t want to be spending too much time cooking and tucked one of these lentil cottage pies away in the fridge all ready for Tuesday. When I’d finished at band, I texted Stephen, who put the oven on for me and gave this a head start.

I do like to add some vegan grated Scheese to the top five minutes before it’s ready to eat. Scheese melts in the oven and is great on a cottage pie or a pizza.

Sainsbury's Lentil Cottage Pie with Sweet Potato Mash with added vegan cheese

Sainsbury’s Lentil Cottage Pie with Sweet Potato Mash with added vegan cheese

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Veganuary 2019: Gousto Chickpea, Butternut Squash & Apricot Tagine

Posted by HelenEdith on January 10, 2019

Gousto Chickpea, Butternut Squash & Apricot Tagine

Gousto Chickpea, Butternut Squash & Apricot Tagine

I got signed up for Gousto food boxes and I’m trying some of their plant-based recipes.

This Moroccan-inspired Tagine turned out to be a winner: it tasted as good as it looked.

I saved the second portion for the next day.

Gousto Chickpea, Butternut Squash & Apricot Tagine

Gousto Chickpea, Butternut Squash & Apricot Tagine

It was equally good, although the hot spices had matured a bit and the overtones of mint weren’t as strong.

The one ingredient with which I was completely unfamiliar was baharat, which turns out to be an Arab spice mix. I will have to look out for it, because this is a dish I could prepare without needing to order it from Gousto now that I know how to cook it.

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Veganuary 2019: Gobi Aloo Saag

Posted by HelenEdith on January 10, 2019

Gobi Aloo Saag

Gobi Aloo Saag

I had a half a cauliflower left over from my Cauliflower Bhaji, so Gobi Aloo Saag seemed like a good idea. I started with some sunflower oil and some tikka paste and fried off some onion, then added the caulflower florets and cubed potato and then put in enough water for the whole thing to simmer until the potato and cauliflowere were cooked. I started my basmati rice so that it would be ready when the rest was.

I served up the rice and kept it warm in the microwave while I added a salad tomato cut into eight and then some tenderleaf salad, which I just wanted to wilt. As soon as it did, my nice steaming rice came out the microwave and my plant-based dinner was served onto it.

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Veganuary 2019: Cauliflower Bhaji

Posted by HelenEdith on January 6, 2019

Cauliflower Bhaji

Cauliflower Bhaji

Cauliflower Bhaji is my favourite side-dish when I eat in an Indian restaurant and I have been making it at home as a main course for some time.

I started with some sunflower oil in my wok, to which I added a couple of heaped teaspoons of  Sainsbury’s Rogan Josh paste. Then I put in some chopped onion and sizzled it for a minute or two before adding my florets of cauliflower and enough water to just cover the cauliflower. I left it to simmer and reduce the liquid down. Meanwhile, I put my basmati rice on to cook and I cut a salad tomato into 8 chunks. When everything was ready, I served up my rice, tossed the tomato and some spinach (or in this case tenderleaf salad which included spinach and some other leaves) into the wok to heat the tomato through and wilt the spinach and then served it immediately onto my rice.

This is one of my favourite meals and I will probably have it again during Veganuary. On this occasion, I had a fresh cauliflower, but I have cauliflower florets in the freezer, so I can put this dish together without too much shopping.

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Veganuary 2019: Heinz Tomato and Cannellini Bean Soup

Posted by HelenEdith on January 6, 2019

Heinz Tomato and Cannellini Bean Soup

Heinz Tomato and Cannellini Bean Soup

I bought a couple of different Heinz soups the other day and I opened one when I wanted a quick lunch. It turned out to be calorie-counted, but tasty nevertheless.

It was something I’d never tried before, so an interesting addition to the Veganuary menu. There is an increasing amount of ready-prepared vegan food available, so I think I’m going to have an interesting month and won’t need to bore myself with the same recipe too often unless it’s something I really like.

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Veganuary 2019: Chickpea Dahl

Posted by HelenEdith on January 5, 2019

Asda Chickpea Dahl

Asda Chickpea Dahl

I wanted a quick meal. I took the time to cook some basmati rice rather than being really lazy and opening a pouch. (My own always tastes better.) Then I opened a can of Asda Chickpea Dahl and heated it on the hob and served it over my rice with a drizzle of lime juice on top just to add interest.

The Asda Chickpea Dahl consists of a mix of chickpeas and lentils and is therefore different from the Sainsbury’s one, which contains only chickpeas. There is a place for both in my larder. Sadly, I have to go out of my way to find either, as I don’t live near to an Asda and my local Sainsbury’s remodelled in 2018 and cut down on their canned curry lines and this was one of the ones that they ceased stocking. I wonder whether Sainsbury’s ever take note of my Nectar card and what I purchase at places other than my “home” store.

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