Mushroom Bolognese

Mushrooms have become one of my most used ingredients since becoming vegan and considering I once couldn't ever touch any meal that had them in, I now find so many ways to throw them into different dishes. Recreating a basic bolognese using minced mushrooms is probably one of my best light-bulb moments to date - full of flavour and all the right textures, this spaghetti recipe is just as simple as it is scrumptious... 

Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 40 minutes | Serves: 2

1 white onion
3 cloves garlic
2 tsp dried mixed herbs
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tbsp tomato paste 
450g closed cup mushrooms
Salt & pepper
Fresh parsley to garnish

Heat the oil on a medium heat in a large pan and meanwhile finely dice the onion. Add the onion to the pan and fry it off for a couple of minutes until soft. Next, mince the garlic and add it to the pan and cook that off for a further 2 minutes before then adding in the dried herbs, paprika, and nutmeg, stir to coat the onions well then add in the tomato paste and mix it through. Leave that to cook on a gentle heat whilst finely chopping the mushrooms, add the mushrooms to the pan, stir well again and allow those to cook down for 5 minutes. Add in the tin of chopped tomatoes, 1/2 cup boiling water, vegan Worcester sauce, nutritional yeast and season well with salt and black pepper. Stir, bring it up to a boil then leave to simmer uncovered for around 30 minutes. Just before it's ready, cook the spaghetti and once done, drain it off then serve a bed of spaghetti on a plate or in a pasta bowl with the Mushroom Bolognese on top. Finally, garnish with some fresh chopped parsley.

Any leftovers can be frozen in an airtight container for up to two weeks and used within that time for maximum freshness.


*This is a collaborative post

Easing into the cooler months is a breeze, albeit a bitterly crisp one, with textures and transitional tones galore but the seasonal trends always bring in a whole new wave of inspiration. As a professional wholesale beauty supplier, Ellisons are on top of this year's autumn and winter beauty trends and I'm chatting through a few of my favourites as well as letting you in on what else is up and coming across makeup, hair and nails for this season and the next...

The time of year is (almost) here with advent calendar season rolling around once again in the lead up to the main day in question and whilst the choice of product-stuffed packages is vast, giving that more beauty brands are jumping on the bandwagon by the year, the options for something cruelty free and vegan are a little more limited. Hear me out, limited in this case isn't such a bad thing because I'm about to spill the contents of what I think is top of 2017's advent calendar class; Tropic's 12-Day Gift Collection, which makes for the perfect present to any product lover, be it someone else or as a ''To me, from me'' gift-to-self...

Satay Mixed Vegetable Curry

Peanut butter lover I'm really not, though I'll get the occasional craving for the crunchy stuff slathered on some toast, the only other dish I can really get stuck into is anything satay. Lifted with lots of spices in creamy coconut milk, I don't find the peanut-ness too overwhelming and padded out with a mixture of vegetables and a side of fluffy brown rice, it makes for an awesome curry - here's my very own version and of course, it's only complete with a generous few spoonfuls of the Mr Organic Coconut & Turmeric Salsa...

Prep Time: 25 minutes | Cook Time: 20 minutes | Serves: 2 people

1 tsp coconut oil 
1 white onion
3 cloves garlic
1 thumb sized piece ginger
1 red chilli
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 tbsp turmeric
2 tbsp curry powder
150g baby button mushrooms
1 large handful mange tout
3 cups frozen mixed vegetables: broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, peas
1/2 cup roasted peanuts
1 tsp tamari
Salt & pepper
1 tbsp lime juice
Chopped coriander, chopped red chilli and crushed peanuts to garnish
Brown rice to serve

Start by melting the coconut oil in a large pan on a medium heat. Finely chop the onion, then add it to the pan and allow to soften. Mince the garlic and add it to the pan, then grate in the ginger, finely chop the red chilli, reserving some for garnishing, and add that to the pan too. Cook that off for around 3 minutes, before then adding in all of the spices. Give everything a good stir together ensuring the onions are coated well and fry it off for a further few minutes. Next, half the button mushrooms and add those to the pan along with the mange tout, allowing them to cook for around 5 minutes, stirring regularly. Then add in the frozen mixed vegetables and whilst those are cooking through, over in a blender add the can of coconut milk along with the roasted peanuts. Blend those together on a high speed for around 30 seconds so that it's not completely smooth with small chunks of peanut. Pour that into the pan, then add in the peanut butter, the Mr Organic Coconut & Turmeric Salsa, the tamari and season it well with salt and black pepper. Give it a good stir together, then turn up the heat so it begins to boil. Allow it to boil for around a minute before then turning the heat back down, allowing it to simmer for around 20 minutes. In the meantime, cook the brown rice and just before serving, add the lime juice to the curry and stir it through. Serve up a bed of rice with a good few ladlefuls of the Satay Mixed Vegetable Curry on top and garnish with some fresh chopped coriander, the reserved chopped red chilli and small handful of crushed peanuts.


Pesto Cashew Cheese Stuffed Pasta Shells in Baked Marinara

Prep Time: 40 minutes | Cook Time: 20 minutes | Serves: 2 people

For the Marinara Sauce:
1 tsp rapeseed oil
1 white onion
3 cloves garlic
2 tbsp tomato puree
1 tsp mixed dried herbs
1 cup hot water
Salt and pepper

For the Pesto Cashew Cheese:
Juice 1 lemon
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp pine nuts
1 cup cashew nuts
2 large handfuls fresh basil
Salt & pepper

250g Conchiglie pasta shells
Fresh, chopped parsley to garnish

Make the Marinara Sauce by heating the oil in a large saucepan, then finely dice the white onion and add it to the pan, allowing it to soften for 5 minutes. Mince the garlic, add it to the pan and fry it off for a few minutes before then adding in the tomato paste and dried herbs. Mix it well and fry that off for a further few minutes, then add in the chopped tomatoes, hot water and season it well with salt and pepper. Leave it to simmer for 15-20 minutes.

In the mean time cook the pasta in boiling, salted water for 5-7 minutes and then pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. Whilst the pasta is cooking, make the pesto by adding all of the ingredients to a blender, starting with the lemon juice and olive oil to ensure it blends smoothly. Blend for 3 minutes until a pesto cashew cheese forms.

In a large baking dish, spread out 2/3's of the sauce in the base, drain off the pasta then layer the shells on top of the sauce. Fill each shell with around 1 1/2 tbsp of the Pesto Cashew Cheese, add the remaining Marinara Sauce on top and sprinkle with the fresh chopped parsley. Place it in the oven to bake for 20 minutes, then serve hot.

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