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.

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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

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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.

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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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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.

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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

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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.

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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

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

 

Cauli and Corn Curry

The combination of cauliflower and corn in this recipe is delicious. The cauliflower offers substance and bite while the texture and burst of flavour offered from the corn is so moreish. Serve this dish up with a little rice or flat breads as a midweek treat that’s both healthy and tasty.

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What you’ll need (serves 2):

  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely diced
  • Thumb sized piece of ginger, grated
  • 2 tablespoons of sunflower oil
  • 400g tin coconut milk
  • 2 cups of cauliflower florets
  • 1/2 cup of sweet corn
  • 1 cup of baby leaf spinach
  • Salt for seasoning

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Method:

  1. Heat the oil in a large pan and add the onion. Cook for about 10 minutes until it becomes translucent. Add the garlic and ginger and continue to cook for a couple more minutes.
  2. Add the spice mix and stir well, cook for 2 minutes to release the flavours.
  3. Add the coconut milk and stir well until completely melted. Then add the corn and cauliflower and cook simmer 5 minutes. If you like your veg cooked a little more, then leave to simmer until the texture of the veg is to your liking.
  4. When ready season to taste and add the spinach, serve when the spinach has just wilted.

 

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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

Aubergine Ragu Pots

These pots are are so handy and I love to eat them cold the next day topped with some salad leaves and a side of hummus. They’re gluten free and packed with flavour, serving them in individual pots makes them fun for children too.

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What you’ll need: (serves 4)

  • 200g green lentils
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 punnet of sunblush cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tablespoon of very finely chopped rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon of tamari or soy sauce
  • 600ml of veg stock
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • salt and pepper for seasoning
  • 1aubergine sliced into discs
  • 1/2 cup of grated vegan parmesan from Violife
  • 1/2 cup of vegan cheddar or piza cheese
  • Some oil for frying

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Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°
  2. Heat some oil in a large pan and gently cook the onion until it has softened and is translucent. Add the lentils and give a good stir to coat them in the mix. Add the  tinned and fresh tomatoes, herbs and the stock and bring to the boil. When the liquid has reduced by 1/3 lower the heat and leave to simmer for about 30 minutes, until the lentils have cooked. Add a splash of soy sauce or tamari, salt and pepper to taste and remove the bay leaves before using the ragu.
  3. Meanwhile coat the aubergine discs with some of the oil and bake for 4 minutes on each side, until softened.
  4. Layer up the pots like you would a lasagne: start with some of the ragu, top with a sprinkle of both cheeses and top with a disc of roasted aubergine. Repeat until the pots are full and cover with cheese.
  5. Roast the pots at 180° until heated through and the cheese has melted.
  6. Serve up in the pots or you can have cold the next day as a salad.

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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 Tanya x

Creamy Coconut and Veg Curry

This curry is inspired by a Rick Stein recipe from his book Rick Stein’s India. It’s buttery, creamy and wholesome. I’ve used some of the same vegetables here and have cooked them al dente just like Rick’s recipe. My vegan version uses coconut milk which adds to the creamy texture and I’ve made mine slightly less thick so as to serve perfectly with some rice. You’ll be going back for seconds.

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What you’ll need: (serves 4-6)

  • 500g of baby potatoes, washed with skin left on
  • 500g of vegetables of your choice, I’ve used cauliflower, carrots, green beans and frozen peas
  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • 1 medium onion
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • thumb size piece of ginger
  • 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon of chilly flakes or powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Garam Masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon of desiccated coconut
  • 1/2 cup of cashew nuts
  • 400g tin of coconut milk
  • Chopped coriander to garnish
  • salt for seasoning

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Method:

  1. Cook the potatoes separately. If you like your vegetables softer you can cook these with the potatoes. Otherwise follow the recipe.
  2. Heat the oil in a pan and gently cook the onions for about 10 minutes over a medium heat, until translucent.
  3. Grate in the ginger and garlic, stir well and cook for a further 2 minutes. Then add in all of the spices and stir continuously to cook through.
  4. Add the tinned tomatoes. Pour a little water into the tin, rinse and add to the pan. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Add the cashews to a food processor with about 4 tablespoons of water. Pulse to a paste and add to the pot.
  6. Add the coconut milk and stir until completely combined. Add in all of the vegetables, except the potatoes and cook until they are heated/cooked through.
  7. Add the potatoes and gently mix to make sure they are coated in the sauce. Garnish with coriander.

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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

Shepards Pie

This has got to be my all time favourite vegan dish. I love it. I love it so much that I always make a massive batch, enough for dinner on that day and plenty left over for the freezer. The secret ingredient to the delicious gravy is Marmite! Now, marmite is not something that I would normally eat but it not only packs a flavour punch to this dish, it also adds colour too. I think that’s important with a dish like this.

I’ve topped my pie with a creamy mustard mash. You can leave out the mustard is you wish, but it’s important that the mash is really creamy so that it crisps up on the top, yum!

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What you’ll need for the filling: (serves 8-10)

  • 500g of green lentils
  • 1 large onion finely diced
  • 200g of carrots, finely diced
  • 3 to 4 cloves of garlic, finely diced
  • 1.2 ltr of vegetable stock
  • 400ml of boiling water
  • 400g chestnut mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons of plain flour
  • 2 tablespoons of thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon of finely chopped rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons of Marmite
  • 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons of tamari
  • 3 tablespoons of oil
  • Salt and pepper to season

What you’ll need for the topping:

  • 1.5 kg potatoes, washed and peeled (maris pipers work really well)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely diced
  • 1 cup of unsweetened vegan milk
  • 3 tablespoons of vegan butter
  • 2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to season

Method for the filling:

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large pot and add the onion. Stir and cover and cook until the onions are translucent and soft but not brown.
  2. Add the garlic and herbs and continue to cook for another two minutes before adding the carrots. Cook for a further two minutes.
  3. Rinse the lentils under cold running water and add to the pan. Stir well to make sure they are all coated in the onion mix.
  4. Add one litre of vegetable stock and two tablespoons of Marmite.
  5. Cover with a lid and leave to simmer.
  6. Add one tablespoon of oil to a large pan and add the mushrooms. You can add the rest of the oil as needed and you may need to cook the mushrooms in batches if you don’t have a large enough pan. Add a little salt to release the umami flavours from the mushrooms.
  7. Check the lentil mix. At this stage the water should have been mostly absorbed. If needed add the rest of the stock and reduce heat to a minimum.
  8. When the mushrooms are cooked sprinkle over the flour, stirring constantly.
  9. Little by little, add 400ml of boiling water and stir well, making sure that the flour is not getting lumpy. When the last of the water has been added stir in the tamari and vinegar before adding to the lentils. Simmer until the lentils have cooked.

Method for the topping:

  1. Add the potatoes to a large pot of water with the garlic and bring to the boil. Adding the garlic at this point infuses the potatoes with it’s flavour. I always add garlic to boiled potatoes for extra flavour. Once boiling, reduce the heat and simmer until cooked. You should be able to put a knife through the spuds with ease.
  2. Once the potatoes are cooked strain any liquid that may be in the pot and reduce the heat to the lowest temperature. Using a masher proceed to mash the potatoes. The garlic should disappear into the mash at this point. Keeping the pot over a low heat ensures that any remaining moisture will evaporate. Once the potatoes are mashed to your liking add in the butter. Using a wooden spoon stir the mixture well making sure the butter is mixed in and the texture is creamy with no lumps.
  3. Gently stir in the milk until the mash is nice and creamy.
  4. Now add in the Dijon mustard, add it in spoon by spoon, stir and taste each time.
  5. Season with salt and pepper.

Preparing the dish for the oven:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°
  2. Half fill a large oven proof dish with the lentil mix, allow to cool a little before topping with some of the mash. Allowing the mix to cool a little helps prevent the mash from sinking.
  3. The ratio of filling to mash should be 2:1 so that the dish is not too heavy.

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