Saturday, 21 May 2011

Wholewheat Spaghetti with Quick Vegan Pesto

You don't even need a blender or tons of fresh basil to make this very passable quick vegan pesto. I used ground almonds instead of pinenuts as that's what I had in the cupboard; it's probably a bit cheaper too. A key ingredient is the vegan "Parmesan", which you can even get in supermarkets these days. Here it is so you can recognise it on the shelves (see pic below). My local branch of Waitrose sells it for 96p a tub. In a supermarket, you'll probably find it in the "Free From" section which caters mainly for gluten and dairy intolerances but you can also buy it in wholefood/ health food shops. It is made from soya flour and Vitamin B. My recipe serves at least 6 people, depending on how hungry they are:
100g ground almonds
1/2 a 60g-tub of vegan "Parmesan"
about 200ml extra-virgin olive oil
3 level tabs dried basil
1 tsp hing
seasalt and black pepper to taste
  • Mix all the ingredients together
  • Add to a cooked and drained 500g-packet of wholewheat spaghetti, mixing well
  • I served it with steamed mixed veg in a tomato and basil sauce.
  • If you don't want to use pasta I'm sure it would be great with spaghetti squash as a low-carb alternative.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Caribbean Rice and Peas with Spanish Sauce- vegan

Even the kids, who claim not to like coconut-flavoured rice, ate this up! The sauce came out hotter than I wanted, because the smoked paprika was "hot" rather than plain smoked paprika, so watch out for that one... other than that, though, it was very tasty and more-ish. I'm not claiming either the rice or the sauce to be authentic Caribbean/ Spanish; but rather my interpretation; many years ago, however, I learnt to make rice and peas from "The Rasta Cookbook" , a real classic.
This recipe will serve 5-6 people:
Sauce: 1 can chopped tomatoes
100ml water
1-2 tsps smoked paprika
1 level tsp hing
seasalt to taste
Rice and Peas: 275 cooked black-eyed beans/ red kidney beans
1 1/2 cups uncooked brown basmati rice
3 cups water mixed with 1 heaped tsp yeast etract
1x 160ml can coconut cream
2 tabs desiccated coconut
seasalt, black pepper and dried thyme to taste
  • First, cook the brown rice in the water and yeast extract.
  • Start the sauce by putting all the ingredients in a small saucepan and simmering gently.
  • When the rice is half cooked (about 15 minutes) add the seasonings and coconut cream. Top up with more water as and when necessary.
  • When the rice is nearly completely cooked, add the beans and the desiccated coconut.
  • Serve with the sauce on the top, accompanied by plenty of plain steamed vegetables for a nutritious dinner.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Organic allotment

First, apologies again for not having been able to post much lately... hopefully my laptop will be back in action by the end of the week.
Meanwhile, here are some more pics I took in our allotment:
Young gooseberries

Currants ripening

Red oakleaf lettuce

Callaloo in the polytunnel

Broad bean flowers

Mizumo (?) and lettuce

Found these creepy scarecrows on someone else's plot or rather did they find me?!

Our neighbour grows such lovely irises I just had to photograph them...