Creamy Cottage Pie

Cottage pie has always been one of my all time favourite comfort foods, perfect as these colder nights keep creeping up on us.

Ingredients (for 6-8 servings)

Filling:

454g vegan mince

2 large onions (diced)

1 tbsp olive oil

450g mushrooms (sliced)

400g chopped tomatoes

250g frozen peas

*Cheat alert * – 1  packet colmans shepherds pie mix

salt and pepper to taste

Topping:

600g potatoes (peeled and quartered)

75g vegan butter

Salt and pepper to taste

Boil potatoes for 25-30 minutes to soften. Meanwhile…

Saute the onions and mushrooms in oil until soft.  Throw in the mince and stir regularly for 15 minutes (or as directed on the packet.)

Pour the mix into heat-proof bowl. Add chopped tomatoes, peas and dissolved colmans shepherds pie mix (as per instructions on sachet.)

Mash potatoes with the butter and seasoning.

Spread on top of the filling and pop it all in the oven for 30 minutes at 180˚C or until golden.

Place a large dollap of red cabbage along the side and enjoy!

I know it says ‘creamy’ in the title but honestly this mash was some of the best I’ve tasted (and I’m rather the connoisseur don’t you know! haha.) We used vitalite which made it taste incredible, even though it was so simple, and it crisped on top beautifully.

This was concocted by the omnivore and he loved it – even if he does say so himself! 🙂

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Lemon Chocolate Cheesecake

Here she goes again…. another cheesecake recipe in the space of one month (and the month isn’t even through yet!)

As part of our sunday family dinner I decided to put to use the baked cheesecake technique I learned on my cooking course on the first of this month.  The recipe we were taught was a coffee and chocolate cake which was lovely, but I adapted the ingredients with a vegan kook twist to make it my own. It involves no tofu! Be prepared for the miraculous self-forming yogurt cake!

Ingredients

Base:

300g Ginger nut biscuits

75g Vegan butter

Filling:

500g Vanilla soya yogurt

200g Dark chocolate

2tsp Ginger

5tsp Lemon extract – seems a lot but it’s needed to taste it through the rich chocolate

3tbps Cornflour

50g Brown sugar

Crush the biscuits and melt the butter. Combine the two then flatten into a cake tin.  Pop it into the oven for 5-10 minutes at 150 ˚C.

Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of boiling water whilst whisking the yogurt, ginger, cornflour and sugar together in a separate bowl.

Once melted add the chocolate and the lemon extract, stir and spread the filling over the base evenly.

Place it back in the oven for 40 minutes or until you notice the filling has some-what set.  At this point you can take it out and leave it to cool. (We only left ours for around 10 minutes tonight as the boys bedtime was edging ever closer; it was set enough to take slices from but lovely and gooey in the middle. Would be great with a scoop of vanilla ‘ice-cream’ if still warm and you’re feeling extra decadent!)

Decorate with lemon slices and icing sugar.

Rich chocolate, zesty lemon and spicy ginger – Wonderful!

 

Posts coming in the next few days:

  • Creamy Cottage Pie
  • After his first week of vegan fodder I’ll be asking my other half a few questions to see how he’s been getting on.
  • I’ll be taking my love of cake to a more experimental level again over the next few days when I try to recreate the wonderful pumpkin pie we had last year vegan style! Wish me luck!

Cheats Chow Mein – Vegan Mofo

As always in my house time flew by this morning and by lunch a sandwich just wasn’t going to hit the spot. With my two young boys eager to have their tummies filled I gathered  together some already prepared ingredients, along with a few fresh pieces, to speed the process up.

The chow mein sauce, pre-marinated tofu, a couple of tablespoons of pre-chopped onions in olive oil and freshly chopped mushrooms were tossed together in a pan and heated for a few minutes before adding a large handful of frozen peas. I left it to simmer for 10 minutes and cooked a couple of packets of dried noodles in a separate pan.

After a dash of salt and pepper we were ready to go.

Lovely warm meal for a crisp autumn day!

A Vegan challenge and an English breakfast

Another day has bypassed so quickly without the chance to fit in everything I wanted to do. Baking was once again pushed to the back-burner, postponed until tomorrow when my husband and two year old are going to roll up their sleeves and get stuck in to the ‘Meyer Lemon and Black Cherry Cupcakes’ from the Babycakes recipe book. Can’t wait to try them although I have to admit I’m a little sad I won’t be able to join in the fun.

Full review will be up tomorrow, it will, it WILL! 🙂

In other news we’re preparing the meal plans for the next week as Mr Omnivore himself (my hubbie) has signed up to do a 30 day vegan challenge! I was more than a little shocked when he told me.  He has admitted to being rather trepidatious about the change but he’s fabulous in the kitchen so I’m eager to see what he comes up with over the next month.

He’s already thinking about making a good old english breakfast when we have friends over to stay soon.

English breakfast

Simple tofu scramble – Fry together in small amount of oil: scrambled firm tofu, small chopped onion, 1 tsp each of cumin, dried parsley, turmeric, paprika. Add salt and pepper to taste.

2 pieces fake bacon

Beans

Tomato

Toast with vegan butter

Another healthy recipe from me hey!?  I think next week I’ll have to concentrate on my normal day to day savoury meals to balance out all the sugary ingredients I’ve been sharing this week!

Strawberry and Peach Crumble

The peaches were near the end of their reign on top of the fruit bowl and half a punnet of strawberries remained in the fridge. There was only one thing to do…concoct a crumble!

It’s a great simple, but messy, recipe to get the kids involved with. My four year helped to chop up the fruit, create the crumble and construct it all beautifully in its little dish.

Ingredients

Filling:

3 fresh peaches

100g strawberries

2tbsp fruit syrup (or other sweetener)

1 vanilla pod

1tsp cinnamon

3tbsp water

Crumble mix:

100g/4oz Flour

50g/2oz Vitalite margarine

50g/2oz Sugar

What to do:

Chop fruit and place in ceramic dish.

Rub sifted flour and butter together until it becomes like breadcrumbs then stir in the sugar.

Mix the syrup and vanilla together then add to the fruit and stir together.

Add the water to the bowl used for the syrup to help bring any excess into the dish and pour over the fruit.

Top with the crumble.

Cook for 25-30 mins at 180˚C. Serve with vegan cream.

Soooo good!!!!

It’s best eaten on the day it’s made but that didn’t stop us eating the slightly soggier leftover version the next day 🙂

The best vegan cheesecake ever!

Success!!!

Oh my gosh this has turned out to truly be the best vegan cheesecake ever (well maybe not ever but its pretty darn good :))

My two boys devoured their pieces in an instant and quickly asked for more. My youngest is two and has a habit of being quite the fussy eater, so this is a triumph!

Even my reluctant husband tentatively took his first bite before declaring it tasted exactly like the lime and mascarpone torte I used to make in my pre-vegan days.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need:

Base:

200g Ginger nut biscuits

50g Vitalite (or other vegan butter) – melted

Filling:

225g Tofutti Creamy Smooth Original

175g Silken Tofu

1 large lemon (zest and juice)

1 lime (zest and juice)

3 tbsp agave nectar

1/2 tsp almond essence

1/2 tsp vanilla essence

1 flat tsp xanthum gum

Crush the biscuits and stir in the melted butter before arranging it in a cake tin and patting into a firm base. Place it in the fridge for around 10 minutes.

Combine all the filling ingredients in a food processor until smooth.  Spoon the mixture over the base and level it out.

Decorate with grated dark vegan chocolate (I used divine 70% chocolate orange and ginger) and a dusting of icing sugar.

Leave to chill for as long as desired – ours was left for nearly a day and was blissful – but I’m sure it would have that same effect after an hour or so.

If you give it a go be sure to leave a comment and let me know how it goes!

Happy eating 😀

Raspberry yogurt and fruit sprinkles

So I have an effortless little dainty dish for you today:

Grab yourself some…

Vegan yogurt (approx 150g – I used alpro soya)

Tinned raspberries in juice

3 Dried apricots – diced into small pieces

25g Raisins

Vegan sweetener (sweet freedom, agave nectar etc)

Optional – cocoa powder

And..

  1. Mix the yogurt with 1-2tbsp of the raspberry juice (depending on the consistency of your dessert)
  2. Add a squirt of sweetener to taste and stir.
  3. Serve into dishes (this should make enough for 2-3 people)
  4. Add a tbsp of raspberries to each dish, sprinkle on some apricots and raisins.
  5. Swirl the syrup on top and add a dusting of cocoa.

Yummy!!

Sundried tomato and soya bean sandwich

This sandwich was created in a ‘supermarket sweep’ style frantic moment. After realising there was nothing in the prepacked section for little old me when stocking up for a spur of the moment family picnic I came up with this:

Grab yourself a baguette, add a light layer of vitalite (or other vegan margarine), a dollop or two of tomato pickle/relish, a handful of mixed salad, 5-6 sun-dried tomatoes and sprinkle a healthy amount of dried soya beans over the top. Chop in half and devour!

It was so good I remade again the very next day 🙂