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.

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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.

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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

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

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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.

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

 

 

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!

lentil pie-7

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.

lentil-pie-6

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.

lentil-pie-4

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.

lentil-pie-5

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.

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

 

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.

broccoli-soup-2

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

IMG_7368

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

IMG_7358-Edit

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.

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.

mushroom-bowl

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

 

mushroom-stir-fry

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

 

Cheesy Hassleback Potatoes

I love these little Swedish delights, especially at this time of the year when the potato is new. They make a super crunchy side dish but they also work great as a canapé and they look incredible. I like to use a waxy baby potato as they hold their shape more and they are easier to cut. The longer, or more oval the better. The trick is to use a very sharp knife and make very thin cuts to the potato. I’ve made wider incisions to my spuds here as I wanted to create some more space in between for a cheese filling. You can even enjoy these cold the next day or why not pop one into your lunch box for a midday snack.

hasslebacks-2

What you’ll need: (serves 4-6)

  • 16 oval baby potatoes, skin on and washed
  • 2 cloves of garlic (these will flavour the potatoes when boiling)
  • 1 cup of grated vegan cheese, I’ve used Violife cheddar
  • Bunch of chives, chopped
  • Sea salt
  • 4 tablespoons of oil for roasting

hasslebacks-4

Method:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Add some salt and the two cloves of garlic.
  2. Take a sharp knife and cut into the skin of each of the potatoes, just one line. This will prevent the skin from bursting in the hot water. Add the spuds to the water and cook for about ten minutes.
  3. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 200°C. Pour the oil into an oven tray and place in the oven. Strain the potatoes and set aside to cool a little.
  4. When cooled enough to handle, place one of the potatoes onto a desert spoon. Using a very sharp knife cut down as far as the spoon laving 4mm space between each cut. Repeat the process for all of the potatoes.
  5. Remove the oven tray from the oven and place over a medium heat on the hob. Carefully place each potato into the tray and spoon over some of the hot oil, making sure each of the potatoes has been covered well with oil. Sprinkle over some sea salt and return to the oven for about 40 minutes.
  6. Once cooked, remove the potatoes from the oven, sprinkle over some grated cheese and return to the oven for about 3 minutes or until the cheese has melted.
  7. Carefully remove the potatoes and sprinkle over some freshly chopped chives.

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