Saturday, 20 February 2010

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Quick fancy pasta sauce

This was my treat at (almost) the end of the week, using up some courgettes and peppers I've had for ages and the rest of the tin of tomatoes I opened yesterday. It could have stretched to two helpings with a bit more pasta and some bread on the side. You could use a saucepan (tho not an easily heat-damaged one) or frying pan instead of the wok.

-Olive oil, heated in a wok
-Two large mushrooms, chopped
-One large courgette, chopped
-Half a pepper, chopped
-Three cloves of garlic, sliced
-Half a dozen or so olives, halved (very much optional, but I happened to have some in the fridge)
-Half a tin of tomatoes, with juice

Add the ingredients down to garlic to the wok in the order listed, unless you are the opposite of me and prefer nearly-raw mushrooms and overcooked pepper in which case do what you like. Cook the veg in the oil, stirring around a bit, until cooked. Make sure the olive oil doesn't start to smoke - turn down the ring if it sizzles too much. Add the tomatoes and a bit of water - simmer for 10 minutes or so. Eat with pasta, in case you need telling. (And no, Ben, I personally do NOT intend to use spaghetti, but make no judgement on what anyone else does. Except you because you expect me to eat what you make... I love you even if you do eat pasta that looks like WORMS.)

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Veganicity on a shoestring #3 - bean and veg casserole

Any raw foodists reading this will probably be throwing their hands up in despair at the turn my blog has been taking lately, but I am trying to eat healthily in the winter - with a very active life and no central heating at home - on a very tight budget, so the meals I've been posting fit that need pretty well. A lot of it is pretty consistent with 70s wholefood diets, except for the fact that I sometimes use tins! (oh and also white rice/pasta...)

This made one-and-a-half me-size helpings! (clue: I'm not small or currently off my food)

1 standard tin chickpeas
2 large carrots
Half a large onion
Half a standard tin of tomatoes (tomatoes are one vegetable that actually benefits healthwise from the cooking/tinning process, apparently it promotes some kind of useful nutrient)
3 teaspoons Bisto
1 tablespoon tomato puree
About two coffee mugs of water

Put the bisto and tomato puree in a saucepan and slowly stir the water in. Turn the heat on/up under it and keep stirring until the gravy thickens.

Slice the carrots, chop the onion, and put them in an ovenproof pottery dish (my blue glazed one is older than me, my mum had it first...) with the chickpeas and tomatoes. Stir so the ingredients are evenly mixed. Add the gravy so it covers everything.

Turn the oven up to 180/200 C (flexible depending on what else you want to put in there - I had it on higher at the start because I was making bread, since the oven happened to be on). Leave the casserole in for about an hour, until the carrots are cooked through. If you don't have either a dish with a lid or a handy piece of tinfoil, keep it on the bottom shelf and give it a stir at some point so the stuff at the top doesn't get burned!

Monday, 8 February 2010

Veganicity on a shoestring #2 - vegetable stew

Sadly I don't have my mother's dumpling-making talents! Anyway, this is what I was eating on Saturday - I had a 'crash' day where my body tried to recover all the energy used and not topped up over the past week, so although this made three or four helpings I ended up eating the whole lot...

A pot of stock - see the previous recipe for how I make this
One large potato
One sweet potato (or another normal one - I had these because they were on special offer)
Three large carrots (good way to use up frost-damaged ones)
Half a tin of tomatoes (leftover from the other day)
Beans, probably the equivalent to a normal tin - I used chick peas and butter beans from the freezer though.
Three cloves of garlic.

Basically you 'make' this by putting the lid on the pot and leaving it to simmer for an hour! You can also add pearl barley, pretty much any root vegetable, or indeed onions except I didn't have one to hand...

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Vegan on a shoestring #1 - 'Boring bolognese'

I hasten to add that this isn't actually boring, it acquired the tag in question when I was a student with limited cooking facilities and ended up eating the stuff several times a week. This made enough for two helpings, most of my day's food intake given that I was working from home. Just enough for it to be nice and not boring. Maybe the fact that I poured some leftover wine into it helped...

A pan of stock, either from a cube or from swilling out yeast extract jars. You know, the ones that don't have enough stuff in to scoop out and spread on toast but it seems wasteful to bin!
A tablespoon Bisto (powder not granules)
A tablespoon tomato puree
Three largeish carrots
Three sticks of celery
Half an onion
Half a normal tin of chopped tomatoes

Swill the yeast extract jars out with warm water. Stir slowly into the bisto. Add the tomato puree. Top up with more water and bring to the boil.
Chop the carrots, celery and onion and place in the boiling stock. Add the tomatoes. Turn the heat down and leave to simmer until the liquid has thickened and some has evaporated.
Eat with pasta. You don't need me to tell you how to cook that.

Saturday, 6 February 2010

A health post

Before I embark on a series of cheap recipes, here's a list of vegan superfoods from the Green Diva.