Saturday, 19 November 2011

Vegan Vegetable or Ravioli Filling

This filling is packed with protein from the ground almonds and the hemp powder, and the nutritional yeast gives it a somewhat cheesy flavour. I started cooking the peppers while I mixed the filling together, so it really was a quick and easy supper together with brown rice, grilled slices of aubergine (eggplant)  and steamed broccoli- and less than an hour from start to finish! Afterwards, it struck me that the  filling is a good texture for ravioli and although it's a long time since I made my own pasta, I might just give it a go...
(These quantities are enough to stuffs 6 bell peppers)
200g ground almonds
4 heaped tabs hemp flour
4 level tabs yeast flakes
2 level tabs vegan "Parmesan"
1/2 tube double concentrated tomato puree
2 sticks celery, chopped thinly
 the equivalent in sweet potato of 1 med grated carrot ( or 1 med carrot, grated)
1 tab dried mixed herbs
1-2 tabs pumpkin seeds
a pinch of hing
a pinch of paprika
seasalt and coarse-ground black pepper to taste
oil for shallow-frying

  • Gently fry the celery in the oil until starting to soften and set aside
  • Mix the seeds, ground nuts, hemp flour, yeast flakes and vegan "Parmesan" and all the seasonings in a large bowl
  • Stir in the vegetables 
  • Add the tomato puree and mix well
  • Use to stuff vegetables or ravioli. If stuffing vegetables such as bell peppers, ensure they are partially cooked on an oiled baking tray at 200C, then stuff them and return to the oven until peppers are soft and filling is heated through.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Red bean hemp burgers- vegan

Every cook should have a great veggieburger recipe under their belt; they're a real crowd-pleaser, and relatively quick and easy. I don't know what the situation is elsewhere, but in the UK commercially- made veggieburgers are definitely in the junk food category, and all contain ingredients which are not offerable to Krishna, many of them even egg. I always like to include some ultra- nutritious ingredients in mine, and this time it's hemp flour. Hemp flour (as opposed to hemp protein powder) is the milled residue from pressing hemp seed for oil. It has a somewhat earthy flavour and dark olive green colour. It is 1/3 protein, 1/5 carbohydrate and contains a small quantity of fatty acids. 
Don't be put off by the long list of ingredients in this recipe; these burgers are simple to make. The quantities given here will make 6 good-sized ones. I like to serve them with oven- cooked potato wedges and a large salad, topped with a home-made relish (see quick tomato chutney 11.2.11, plum chutney 18.9.11). Bread is an optional extra.

About 500ml cooked red kidney beans (equivalent to 2 cans, drained)
4 rounded tabs hemp flour
3 level tabs yeast flakes
2 level tabs porridge oats
2 level tabs sesame seeds
2 tsps seasalt
1 level tab mixed dried herbs
1/2 -1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp hing
1 tsp paprika
2 tabs tomato puree
2 bell peppers
  • Mash the beans thoroughly, and add the rest of the dry ingredients.
  • Grate in the bell peppers
  • Mix well; if the mixture seems too moist add a bit more oats. It should hold together when gently squeezed in your hand.
  • Divide into 6 pieces, roll each into a ball and flatten into patties.
  • Place on an oiled baking sheet and cook at 200C until brown, turning carefully halfway through. (About 20 minutes.)
Note: This recipe is not designed with frying in mind- if you do want to shallow-fry the burgers, you may have to adjust the moisture content of the mix.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Almond/ Carob Celebration Cake

This is a cake I made for Govardhana Puja at the end of October, but you could use it anytime as a celebration cake. To get the shape, I cooked the cake in a greased and floured stainless steel bowl (to represent the hill). You could split, fill with frosting and reassemble the cake if you want, but I didn't bother and it was yummy anyway. The frosting was date syrup, carob powder and Sweet Freedom syrup (fruit concentrate and carob extract), with desiccated coconut shaken up with a few drops of green food colouring (for the "grass"). you could use buttercream if you like, but I wanted to make this cake vegan. To the basic cake recipe (see my post 16.12.10) add a couple of generous teaspoons of natural almond essence; this makes the flavour a bit more special. To finish, I just put a few nice flowers and some flat-leaved parsley from the garden on top and around the bottom- et voila! I also surrounded the cake with "rocks" of peanut butter/ carob sweets (peanut butter, icing sugar and carob powder) and made some chocolate cupcakes too.

Btw, you may have noticed 2 new widgets on this blog; one is on the sidebar at the top, and one is at the bottom, under "Popular Posts".  Now I'm not really into being very commercialised but I did want to increase my traffic and reach more people by referrals, so I joined "The Foodie Blogroll", a great site for linking up with other foodie bloggers. I've also subscribed to "Ptitchef", which is a fantastic French cooking website with hundreds of vegetarian recipes on it. (I've already found quite a few I want to try out!) You can click on the widget and go straight there if you're interested.