Italian Meatballs With A Tomato And Basil Sauce

These bad boys really pack a flavour punch, perfect with pasta or on their own with some salad. They’re also super tasty served cold and would make a great lunch box snack for the little ones. They hold their shape well so there’s no messing around and they cook easily. This recipe makes about 24 completely vegan meatballs that even your omni friends would be delighted to try and will come back for more. Make a batch at the weekend and separate into portions for the freezer, you’ll be chuffed to come home to this easy to prepare meal after a busy day. Oh! They’re also super healthy too and if you’re gluten-free just swap out the regular oats for gluten free oats. Serve with a sauce of your choice but I love them with my tomato and basil sauce, they’re a perfect combo.

meatballs

What you’ll need for the meatballs: (makes 24)

  • 1 large white onion, finely diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, grated
  • 400g chestnut mushrooms, cleaned with a damp cloth and sliced
  • 400g tin of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of porridge oats
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato puree
  • 2 tablespoons of ground flax seeds
  • 1 tablespoon of vegan worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons of smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of hot paprika
  • 1/4 cup of basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of oil and a little extra for cooking

meatballs-2

What you’ll need for the tomato and basil sauce:

  • Tin of chopped tomatoes (400g)
  • One onion, finely diced
  • About a handful of basil (1/3 of a shop bought plant)
  • Some Olive Oil for frying
  • Some sugar (optional)

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Method for the meatballs:

  1. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to a large pan and place over a medium heat, add the onions and cook until translucent, remove and set aside. Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan and add the mushrooms. When they are almost done add the garlic and continue to cook for another 3 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile place the porridge oats into a food processor and whizz until you have a flour that’s as smooth as possible. Remove from the food processor and place in a bowl, add the beans and the other ingredients, including the onion and the mushrooms and mix well. If you have a very large food processor you can just add everything to it but mine is medium-sized and the mix is a little too big for it.
  3. In separate batches of about 2 to 3 add the mix back into the food processor and blend until smooth, combine the batches all together in the bowl.
  4. Using a tablespoon as a measure scoop up some of the mix and form into balls, you should get about 24. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  5. Add a little oil to a pan and place the pan over a medium heat, add the meatballs and cook gently until they are warm all the way through and are browned nicely on the outside.
  6. Add the sauce to the pan and serve with pasta or how you like.

meatballs-3b

Method for the tomato and basil sauce: 

  1. Add a little oil to a large pan and gently heat over a low flame. Add the onions and cook until they become translucent. Add the tinned tomatoes and give it a good stir. Chop your basil and add to the pot. Have a little taste and add some sugar if needed. Simmer on a low heat until the sauce becomes a beautiful, deep orange colour (approx 20mins). Using a hand blender give the sauce a good whizz until smooth (the large pan comes in handy here as it can get a tad messy). And that’s it! Yum! You can use straight away or freeze.

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.

Tanya x

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Roasted Squash with a Lemony Quinoa Salad

Always having some cooked quinoa in the fridge makes for tasty and quick midweek meals, especially during the summer time. We’ve been so blessed in Ireland this year with lots of sunshine, however as I write this the air is cool, they sky is grey and its spitting rain every few minutes. Things are returning to normal but I feel most people are welcoming a day or two of cooler weather, we’re just not cut out for months of sunshine in Ireland, it knocks us off-balance hehe.

This recipe is perfect for one of those hot days, the butternut squash makes it more wholesome and gives it bite and the toasted almonds add a crunchy texture. Leaving the skin on the squash saves time and if you haven’t already tried it then you must, the skin caramelises and becomes a little chewy, it’s a delight.

bns-and-quinoa-salad

What you’ll need: (serves 2):

  • 1 cup of quinoa
  • 2 cups of good quality vegetable stock
  • 2 cloves of garlic, grated
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 baby butternut squash or half a regular squash
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 4 spring onions, white and green parts sliced
  • 1/4 cup of pomegranate seeds
  • small bunch of chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup of flaked almonds

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C, place the squash in an oven dish and pour over a little oil making sure each piece is well coated. Place the tray into the oven and cook for about 30 minutes or until the squash is cooked through and it’s skin is golden brown.
  2. Always check the packet instructions for cooking the quinoa. Rinse and drain the quinoa, place in a pot with the grated garlic and cover with the stock. Cook on a gentle heat until ready.
  3. Place a non-stick pan over a medium heat and add the flaked almonds. Gently toast until lightly golden, remove from the pan and set aside and allow to cool fully.
  4. Place the quinoa in a large bowl and fluff up with a fork, add the spring onions, salt, pomegranate seeds, parsley and drizzle over the lemon juice.
  5. Separate into two plates and serve with the butternut squash. Scatter over the flaked almonds and servebns-and-quinoa-salad-2

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.

Tanya x

Roasted Cherry Tomato and Garlic Cashew Cream Sauce

You may like to use this sauce just for pasta but it makes a great dipping sauce and salad dressing too, just add a little more water to loosen up the consistency. This sauce keeps in the fridge for 3 to 4 days and freezes well too…it never makes it to the freezer though as its gobbled up far too quickly. The sweet flavour from the tomatoes and the cheesy back notes from some nutritional yeast make this my current go-to pasta sauce and it takes so little time to make. I think you’ll enjoy this one.

pasta-sauce

What you’ll need: (serves 4)

  • 150g Cherry Tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil (I used sunflower)
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 cup of cashews, soaked overnight
  • 1/4 cup of fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon of Nutritional Yeast
  • A pinch of salt to taste
  • 2 cups of water

pasta-sauce-4

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°. Cut the tops off the garlic cloves and place them in some foil, and drizzle with a little oil. Bring the foil up around them creating a little pouch where air can circulate inside. Cook in the oven for about 30mins or until soft. Remove and allow to cool.
  2. Place the tomatoes in a baking tray and cover in some of the oil, gently move them around to coat them evenly with the oil. Bake for about 30 minutes, they should be a little golden on the outside but not black.
  3. While the garlic and tomatoes are roasting heat the rest of the oil over a medium heat and add the onions, sauté until translucent.
  4. When the garlic is cooked and cool enough to touch, squeeze each clove into a food processor and add the tomatoes and onions, basil, cashews and nutritional yeast. Add one cup of water and pulse. Slowly add some of the second cup a little at a time until you reach your preferred consistency. Add salt to taste.
  5. Cook the pasta to the packet instructions and strain when the pasta is still al dente keeping one cup of the pasta water. Place a pan over a medium heat on the hob and add the desired amount of sauce followed by the pasta. Heat through and add a little of the saved pasta water at a time to the pan to loosen the sauce to your desired consistency. Once the pasta is cooked season to taste.

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.

Tanya x

Quinoa and Bean Stuffed Sweet Red Peppers with Cream Cheese

Quinoa has become my staple grain, that and millet. It’s very rare now that I have rice, only the odd time if I’m out. I always cook quinoa with a couple of cloves of garlic or some stock as the natural flavour is not one that I’m too fond of. Once cooked in some stock it’s a whole new ball game.

These ….. red peppers are deliciously sweet and are at their best when roasted. They work great in salads or as toppings for pizza, stuffed with some quinoa and veggies and then you’ve got a meal in itself. I always make extra to have for lunch the next day and it’s so delicious cold.

gosh

What you’ll need: (serves 4)

  • 200g quinoa
  • 4 … peppers
  • 1 small red onion, very finely diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, grated
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
  • 1 400g tin of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 large handfulls of baby leaf spinach, chopped
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 2 tablespoons of vegan basil pesto
  • Violife Hot Peppers Cream cheese (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to season

pepper2web

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Put the coconut oil in an oven tray and place inside the oven to heat through.
  2. Trim the top off the peppers and try to remove as much of the pith from the inside as possible without splitting the pepper (the pith is the white spine-like parts that run down the inside). Wash well.
  3. When heated through remove the tray with the oil from the oven. Place the peppers in the tray and spoon over with oil. Place the tray back in the oven and cook for 15mins, or until the peppers begin to soften.
  4. Meanwhile cook the quinoa in veg stock according to the packet instructions. Once cooked pour the quinoa into a bowl. Add the onion, kidney beans, spinach, pesto and lemon juice and mix well. Season to your taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Once the peppers have softened remove from the oven and place onto a cold plate to cool a little. Once they have cooled enough to handle begin stuffing them. The ends are quite narrow so you will need to push the quinoa stuffing down with the top of a spoon. Continue to fill the peppers until they are full. Return to the oven and continue to cook for another 20 minutes or until they start to blacken a little on the outside.
  6. Serve with some vegan cream cheese and some more spinach.

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

 

 

Curried Pumpkin and Red Lentil Soup

This soup is a hug in a bowl, it’s packed with goodness and tastes incredible. The curry powder adds warmth and by keeping it chunky this soup is a meal in itself, perfect for bringing to work for lunch as it doesn’t spill easily. You could choose to add more stock and blend it fully to create a lighter soup that’s more of a snack or a starter, it will also serve more this way, but I love it chunky.

pumpkin-soup1

What you’ll need: (serves 6)

  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 tablespoon of coconut oil for frying and another 1 tablespoon for roasting
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1 tablespoon of curry powder
  • 1 ltr of veg stock
  • 1/2 small pumpkin cut into 2cm x 2cm cubes (you can use the other half in a tagine, click here for the recipe)
  • 200g red lentil

pumpkin-soup3

 Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Put 1 tablespoon of coconut oil into an oven tray and place in the oven. Once the oil has melted and is hot remove the tray and add the squash. Gently move the squash around the tray to evenly coat in the oil. Roast for 20 minutes, turning once.
  2. Rinse the lentils with cold water and set to the side. Heat the remaining oil in a large pan and add the onions. Cook until translucent and stir occasionally. Add the garlic and cook for a further five minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the curry powder and the spices and stir for about 2 minutes until all of the aromas have been released. Add the lentils followed by 1litre of veg stock.
  4. Bring to the boil, cover and reduce to a simmer, cooking for about 30 minutes or until the lentils are cooked.
  5. Remove the pumpkin from the oven and add half of it to the lentil mix. Stir in and roughly blend, you don’t want a smooth texture. If you need to add a little more liquid at this point do so a little at a time.
  6. Serve in bowls and top with some more of the pumpkin cubes.

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

A Simple Vegetable Tagine

Ras el hanout is a spice blend from North Africa and is available in most ethnic food stores. There is nothing as simple as adding a tablespoon of this mix to some stock when preparing a vegetable stew or tagine, as they are known in Morocco. My ras el hanout came from a friend who visited Morocco and it’s the perfect mix with only a hint of cinnamon adding sweetness to the stew. It is burnt orange in colour but there are variations on this, so do try to find the dark blend and not the yellow blend as there are flavour differences.

There is little or no effort involved in making this tasty meal, chopping an onion and peeling a couple of carrots is as much as it gets but your efforts, minimum as they are, will be rewarded with this filling and warming meal. You can use whatever veggies you have left in your fridge, courgette and aubergine work really well. My top tip for this is to be sure there is enough for the next day as it is so much better the day after.

tagine1

What you’ll need: (serves 6)

  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely diced
  • 500g of baby potatoes, skin on and quartered
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 1 small butternut squash or pumpkin, peeled and cut into bite sized chunks
  • 1 can of chickpeas rinsed and drained
  • a little coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons of ras el hanout
  • 500ml of veg stock
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • salt to taste

tagine2

Method:

  1. Heat a little coconut oil in a large pot and add the onions. Cooke over a medium heat for a couple of minutes before adding the garlic. Continue to cook for a further five minutes before adding the spice mix. Stir well to make sure there are no lumps, the aroma will start to fill the room.
  2. Add all of the veg to the pot along with the tomatoes. Stir gently, making sure all of the veg is coated in the aromatic mix.
  3. Add 500ml of veg stock and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for about 40mins. If it’s getting a little dry you can add some more water a little at a time.
  4. Season with some salt.

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

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.

 

IMG_6939

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

curry-burgers-4

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.

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