Lentil and Porcini Pie

It’s no secret that I love mushrooms, they’re my desert island ingredient but I’d be hoping to grow my own garlic, onions and herbs on this island too. Oh, and lentils as well. Lentils and mushrooms work so well together and anytime I’m having a special dinner at my place I usually make a dish that contains both. There’s something about the earthy colours and the wholesomeness that comes from this combo that almost turn omni’s blind to the fact that the table is free from any animal products. If you add some tasty pastry to the equation to make a pie then BINGO!

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This recipe is inspired by a pie my Nan makes using meat. The whole family go crazy for one of “Nana’s Pies” and there was a time when I did too. I’m always trying to find ways to recreate the foods that I loved before I was enlightened and sure that’s why I started this blog. Here I’ve created something that, although different, is as enjoyable and packs so much flavour. If you’re hosting a Thanksgiving, Christmas or Easter Dinner at your home then I don’t think your omni guests will be disappointed with this dish. Why not try it with some Dijon mustard mash.

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What you’ll need for the pastry: Makes two pies

  • 300g plain four
  • 100g ground almonds (optional, you can use plain flour instead)
  • 200g vegan margarine
  • pinch of salt
  • a little water for mixing

What you’ll need for the filling: Makes two pies with a little left over

  • 300g green or brown lentils
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 4 large cloves of garlic, finely diced
  • 1 stick of celery, rough bits trimmed and sliced into 1cm pieces
  • 3 medium carrots, washed and diced into 0.5cm cubes
  • 1 cup porcini mushrooms, soaked in hot water
  • 200g chestnut mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • 1 tablespoon of marmite
  • 1.5ltr of veg stock
  • A splash of dark soy sauce (dark soy has less salt and adds a rich colour to the mix)
  • A bouquet garni of 1 sprig of rosemary, 3 sprigs of thyme and two bay leaves. If you have some muslin wrap them up in it as the herbs tend to separate in the heat and you don’t want to bite into a sprig of rosemary in your pie.

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Method for the pastry:

  1. Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl followed by the ground almonds and mix well. Take the vegan margarine from the fridge and cut it up into pieces. Add these to the flour.
  2. Using your fingers rub the margarine and the flour together until there are no more lumps of margarine left. You should be left with a crumbly texture.
  3. Add a pinch of salt and make a well in the centre of the bowl. Add some water to the middle, one tablespoon at a time, and mix with your hands to form a dough. You don’t need much water, just a few tablespoons.
  4. When the dough is cleaning up the excess flour from the edge of the bowl and the bowl is clean, lightly four a clean surface and turn out the pastry. Roll into a ball and wrap in cling film. Place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

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Method for the pie filling:

  1. Heat one tablespoon of oil in a large pot over a medium heat and add the onions. Cook until translucent before adding the garlic, continue to cook for another few minutes. Add the carrots and celery and continue to cook, stirring occasionally.
  2. In a separate pan or skillet add the remaining oil and heat over a medium heat before adding the mushrooms. Cook until all the moisture has evaporated.
  3. Pour the porcini water through a sieve and save the water. Remove the porcini and chop finely, add to the mushrooms. Heat through.
  4. Add the mushroom mix to the other pot followed by the lentils, stir well. Add the stock, herds and marmite and cook until lentils are tender but not soft, approx 30 minutes.
  5. To make the pie, preheat the oven to 180°C and lightly flour a clean surface. Remove the pastry from the fridge and divide into 4 pieces; 2 tops and 2 bottoms. Roll out each piece, rotating each time you roll to ensure a round shape. You want your pastry to be about 0.5cm thick.
  6. Grease the inside of a shallow pie tin with some vegan margarine. Roll one piece of pastry around your rolling pin and lift above the tray. Unroll the pastry onto the tray. Gently lift and drop the pastry into the corners and press it in, careful not to tear the pastry.
  7. When the lentil mix has cooled a little spoon it into the pie tray. Repeat the same process with the lid and seal the edges by pinching the top and bottom layers together. Trim the edges with a sharp knife.

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If you try this dish at home please take a photo of it and tag @thetinyvegankitchen on Instagram or@thetinyVK on Twitter I’d love to see them xTx

 

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Warming Broccoli and Bean Soup with a Lemon and Garlic Tahini Sauce

Wow the temperature has dropped here in Dublin but the problem is that one day it’ll be freezing cold and the next mild and pleasant. It’s this kind of fluctuation in temperatures that is spreading colds like wildfire so I’m dead set on not being afflicted by a dreaded winter cold. I’m a big fan of ginger and its flavours but ginger also offers medicinal properties to help fight off colds and flu. This soup is packed with healing and immune boosting ingredients, we’ve got garlic, onion, turmeric and of course the vitamin rich broccoli.

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Apart from this soup being super good for you it is also incredibly tasty. My favourite ways to eat broccoli are stir-fried in some sesame oil and garlic like my Chinese Garlic Broccoli  or in a soup. I remember the first time I tried it in a soup, all I added was onion and garlic, some salt and pepper and the flavours astounded me. This soup has a little more flavour from the spices and it tastes as good as it looks.

What you’ll need for the soup: Serves 4-6

  • 1 large head of broccoli including stems
  • 2 small onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
  • About 1cm x 3 cm piece of ginger, a little more if you’re a big ginger fan
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper
  • 1 litre of veg stock
  • 1 x 400g can of butter beans (any white bean will do)
  • Salt to taste

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What you’ll need for the lemon tahini sauce:

  • 1 clove of garlic minced
  • 2 heaped tablespoons of good quality tahini
  • The juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons of water (a little more if your tahini paste is thick)
  • Black pepper and salt to taste

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Method for the soup:

  1. Melt the coconut oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent. Add the ginger and garlic and continue to cook on a low heat for about 3 minutes.
  2. Add the spices and stir them in, cook through for a minute or two.
  3. Cut the broccoli into florets about 1 inch in size. Remove any rough parts from the stems and cut into 2cm cubes, add to the pan along with a cup full of stock. When the broccoli had turned bright green add the beans and the rest of the stock. Bring to the boil and reduce to a simmer for five minutes.
  4. Using a food processor or a hand-held blender blend into a soup.

Method for the Tahini sauce:

  1. Add all of the ingredients to a food processor and mix. Taste and add more salt, pepper or lemon as required. Add more water if needed, consistency should be like a thick cream.

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If you try this dish at home please take a photo of it and tag @thetinyvegankitchen on Instagram or@thetinyVK on Twitter I’d love to see them xTx

 

Sweet Potato Curry Burgers

I’ve just popped one of these burgers out from the freezer for my dinner tonight. I’m thinking I’ll have it with some beets and spinach and maybe some of the yummy humus I made yesterday too. Sometimes I find the best meals are made from the left over bits in the fridge and in the same way often the best meals are made by accident. These burgers were a kind of experiment and what a positive surprise they were, deliciously tasty, great texture and handy to store in the freezer. I think you’ll like them as much as I do. They’re super easy to make too and they’re gluten-free.

 

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What you’ll need: (makes 6 large burgers)

  • 500g sweet potato
  • 400g tin of chickpeas, drained
  • 2 clove of garlic
  • 2 small red onions, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup of fresh coriander, chopped
  • 2 heaped tablespoons of milled flax seeds
  • 2 teaspoons of curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons of ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup of gram (chickpea) flour
  • Salt to taste

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Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°. Take some foil and place one sweet potato on it, bring the foil up around it and close at the top, leaving plenty of space inside for air to circulate inside the pouch. Repeat with the other potatoes. Roast until soft inside, about 30mins.
  2. Chop the garlic and add to a food processor along with the onion, chopped coriander and chickpeas and blend. Remove and add to a large bowl.
  3. When the sweet potato has cooled scoop the potato from the skins and add it to the bowl with the chickpea mix. Add the flax seeds, curry powder, cumin and a good pinch of salt. Mix well with your hands making sure the potato is well mixed into the other ingredients.
  4. Sift in the gram flour and mix well. Refrigerate for at least one hour.
  5. Place a sheet of parchment paper on an over tray and make your patties. It’s best to make the patties wider than thicker t them to cook evenly. Bake for 40 mins.
  6. You can serve immediately or allow to cool before freezing.

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If you try this dish at home please take a photo of it and tag @thetinyvegankitchen on Instagram or@thetinyVK on Twitter I’d love to see them xTx

Weekend Breakfast Bap

I’m calling this a weekend breakfast bap because it’s a rare occasion when I’ll have time to prepare something like this for breakfast during the week, however I did keep an extra one in the fridge for my lunch today and its al I can think about right now. This makes a great lunch and you make make a day ahead and keep it in the fridge.

All of the elements of this giant sandwich come together perfectly for a real treat. The scrambled tofu with the crispy fried shrooms topped off with some vegan mayo, oh I wish every day was the weekend.

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What you’ll need: (makes 4)

  • 250g of firm tofu
  • 1 clove of garlic minced or grated
  • 3 to 4 pinches of ras al hanout (optional but gives great flavour)
  • a pinch of turmeric, just enough to colour the tofu
  • 250 oyster mushrooms
  • tamari (just a splash)
  • 4 multi seed baps
  • salt to taste
  • oil for cooking
  • 1 Avocado
  • Large beef tomato
  • Green leaves
  • Red onion
  • Follow Your Heart veganaise

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Method:

  1. To scramble the tofu place it in between two plates and place something heavy on the top plate. This will help drain out the excess liquid from the tofu. I never cook tofu without this process.
  2. Pace a wok or large pan over a high heat, add a little oil and crumble in the tofu. Add in the ras al hanout and toss to mix, sprinkle in a little turmeric just to give the tofu a yellowish colour. Reduce the heat and add the garlic and continue to toss to mix well and cook through. Add some salt to taste.
  3. Place another pan over high heat and add a little oil, mushrooms can soak up a lot of oil so it’s a good idea to try to lightly coat them so that you don’t have to keep adding oil. Cook on each side for about 3 minutes or until they are dark and crispy, add a splash of tamari for seasoning.
  4. Lightly toast the baps over an open flame if you have a gas hob, I swear by this method. If not you can use the grill.
  5. To build the bap I like to start with placing the bap on a piece of parchment paper or some foil, add a generous helping of veganaise on both the top and bottom bap half. I’ll then start layering up with some red onion, a thick slice of beef tomato, tofu scramble and then the oyster mushrooms. I’ll top it all off with some creamy avocado and leafy greens. It’s not easy to pile all off these ingredients onto the baps so having parchment paper of foil helps to wrap it up and makes eating it so much easier and well, less sloppy.

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If you try this dish at home please take a photo of it and tag @thetinyvegankitchen on Instagram or@thetinyVK on Twitter I’d love to see them xTx

 

Frozen Blueberry Cheesecake

Ok, so it’s fairly obvious from my blog recipes that I’m more of a fan of savoury foods than I am sweet, I put that down to me being sweet enough hehe! But that’s not to say that I don’t enjoy the odd sweet treat, it’s just that savoury foods often lend themselves to more possibilities of veganizing my favourite dishes. At least I had thought so until I tried a couple of sweet recipes.

This frozen blueberry cheesecake not only looks really pretty but the creamy soft texture of the cashew cheese and the crunchy, nutty base creates a real party of flavour and texture in the mouth. It’s also super easy to make, if you have a high-speed blender.

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What you’ll need for the base: (makes two mini cakes)

  • 11/4 cup of almonds or nuts of your choice
  • 10 medjool dates soaked and softened in warm water.
  • A pinch of salt to taste

What you’ll need for the cream topping: (makes two mini cakes)

  • 2 cups of cashews, soaked overnight
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 8 tablespoons of melted coconut oil
  • 5 tablespoons of maple syrup (or sweetener of your choice, you can add more to taste too)
  • 5 tablespoons of nut milk (you make need a little more or less)
  • 3/4 cup of blueberries
  • Frozen blueberries for decoration

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Method for the base:

  1. Place the almonds in a bag and give them a little bashing with a rolling-pin. I find it takes a lot of pressure off the blender if the nuts have been ground down a little before hand. Add the nuts, dates and a pinch of salt to the blender. Pulse until the mix holds together like a dough. I personally prefer a rough texture so I didn’t blend for too long.
  2. Place some parchment paper in the base of a spring form tin and press in half of the base mix (it makes two mini cakes). Place in the freezer for about 30 minutes.

Method for the cheese topping:

  1. Add all of the cheese ingredients to a blender and mix on high power until smooth. You may need to add a little extra milk to the mix if you find that it is too thick. It should be a similar consistency to a thick yogurt.
  2. Remove the tin from the freezer and add half of the mix on top. Slice some frozen blueberries and place them around the edges. Fill the spring form tin up to the top and place in the freezer for at least two hours. Remove half an hour before serving.

Share and enjoy!

If you try this dish at home please take a photo of it and tag @thetinyvegankitchen on Instagram or@thetinyVK on Twitter I’d love to see them xTx

 

Maple Glazed Peaches on Toast

Things on toast, there are endless possibilities and this sweet and savoury combo is one you’ll want more of. The peaches and maple glaze works great with vegan blue cheese to counteract that yummy sweetness and I’ve added some wild rocket leaves too for added texture and spice.

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What you’ll need: (serves 4)

  • 2 fully ripened peaches
  • 2 tablespoons of maple syrup
  • Violife blue cheese
  • 1 handful of rocket leaves
  • Sourdough bread
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

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Method:

  1. If your peaches are nicely ripened removing the skin should be easy enough, if they are not fully ripe then blanch them for a couple of minutes in hot water, this will help loosen the skin. If fully ripe cut the peaches first in half, then half each piece again, and again. You will have 8 wedges and then remove the skin.
  2. Add the peaches to a bowl with the maple syrup and using your hands gently mix them making sure each wedge is nicely coated with the maple syrup.
  3. If you have a gas hob use a chef’s tongs and toast the bread over an open flame, this will add so much smokey flavour to the toast. If you don’t heat a griddle pan over a high heat and toast the bread on each side, set aside.
  4. Reduce the heat of the griddle pan to medium and carefully add the peach wedges. Be mindful of the marks the pan will make on each wedge. Placing them at an angle results in nice diagonal lines on the peaches. Cook for a couple of minutes on each side, being very careful when turning them.
  5. Brush the toast with some olive oil and add the peaches, blue cheese and a couple of rocket leaves to each slice.

Share and enjoy!

If you try this dish at home please take a photo of it and tag @thetinyvegankitchen on Instagram or@thetinyVK on Twitter I’d love to see them xTx

King Oyster Mushrooms with Stir Fried Veg in a Black Bean Sauce

I’m continuing pushing the shroom train with this week’s Meatless Monday recipe. The King Oyster mushroom is a totally different character to its regular oyster mushroom cousin. This guy is bigger and stronger and has a different texture but it soaks up yummy flavours just as well.

I can only find these guys in my local Asian market, the regular stores don’t stock them at all. If you have an Asian market close by it’s worth going in, but be warned, you will come away with lots of goodies.

For this recipe I’ve marinated the shrooms to give more flavour and I’ve also used my home-made black bean sauce but you can get really good shop bought sauces so it’s up to you.

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What you’ll need: (serves 2)

  • 4 king oyster mushrooms
  • 100ml of veg stock
  • 1 teaspoon of Marmite
  • Vegetables of your choice
  • 3 tablespoons of the black bean sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of sesame oil

What you’ll need: For the sauce (serves 4-6)

  • 100g of fermented black beans (you can get these from the Asian market)
  • A whole bulb of garlic, cloves peeled and chopped
  • 100ml of vegetable oil
  • 50ml of Shaoxing rice wine
  • A knob of ginger approx 4cms, peeled and sliced
  • 2 x green chillies, deseeded
  • 1tablespoon of caster sugar
  • 1 bunch of spring onions

 

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Method: (for the sauce)

  1. Wash the beans thoroughly and remove any of the dried ginger. The beans are very salty so they’ll need a good rinse.
  2. Heat a wok over a high head and add about one-quarter of the oil to the pan. Add the beans, garlic and ginger and cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove 2 tablespoons of the mix and set aside.
  3. Add the Spring onions to the wok and continue to cook until the mixture has softened.
  4. Add the Shaoxing rice wine and the sugar and mix well. Reduce the heat and allow to cook on a low heat until the liquid has reduced by three-quarters.
  5. Remove the mixture from the heat and allow to cool.
  6. Transfer the cooled ingredients to a blender and mix on a high-speed whilst adding the remaining oil.
  7. Remove from the blender and stir in the 2 tablespoons of whole black beans. Use straight away or freeze.

Method: 

  1. Slice the mushrooms into 1cm x 3 cms pieces about 1cm deep
  2. Heat the stock and add the Marmite to the liquid. Stir well until the marmite has dissolved. Add the mushrooms to the stock and leave to marinate.
  3. Heat the oil in a large pan, I like to use a wok. Drain the mushrooms and add to the pan. Turn the heat up and cook the mushrooms until all the moisture has left them and they have started to crisp up.
  4. Add the rest of the veg to the pan and toss. Add the black bean sauce and toss continuously to make sure all of the veggies are well coated in the sauce.
  5. Once all of the veg has been heated through the dish is read. Serve with some brown rice on the side.

Share and enjoy!

If you try this dish at home please take a photo of it and tag @thetinyvegankitchen on Instagram or@thetinyVK on Twitter I’d love to see them xTx