Spicy Chilli & Lemon Penne
Vegan

Some of my best recipes turn out to be those which are casually thrown together without any rhyme or reason behind the ingredients used, and this Spicy Chilli & Lemon Penne happens to be yet another one of them. It's a dish I recently cobbled together using a string of dried hot chillies my fiancĂ© brought back from his home country of Turkey, along with a few other herbs and spices and I knew at first bite it was one to share. A (big) kick of toasted chilli paired with the zinginess of zesty lemon and fragrant fresh basil; it's super simple but it came out as one of the best plates of penne I've whipped up in a while...

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Prep Time: 5 minutes | Cook Time: 12 minutes | Serves: 2

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INGREDIENTS

TO GARNISH optional
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Lemon zest

METHOD 
  1. Place the penne pasta in a pan of boiling, salted water until al dente (8-10 minutes).
  2. Meanwhile, fry the chillies whole in separate pan on a medium-high heat in a teaspoon of olive oil for around 5 minutes, turning constantly, until slightly blackened but do not allow to burn.
  3. Crush the fried chilli, any remaining oil from the pan and the minced garlic with a pestle and mortar until it forms a slight paste though still with chunky pieces of the skin of the chilli. Add in the paprika, dried herbs, salt and black pepper and mix those through well.
  4. In the same pan used for frying the chilli, add the tablespoon of olive oil and tomato puree. Fry that off for 2 minutes and then add in the chilli-garlic paste and nutritional yeast, stir through and fry that off for another minute. 
  5. Once the pasta is al dente, drain it off then add it into the pan and turn it through the paste.
  6. Finally, squeeze in the lemon juice and grate in the zest, stir and season again to taste if needed.
  7. Serve warm or as a cold pasta dish with fresh basil leaves and extra zest to garnish.
  8. Enjoy!


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Vegetable Stew in Gravy
Vegan

Still looking for ways to use up your Christmas dinner leftovers? I've got you covered on this one. My Vegetable Stew is basically all the festive trimmings in a bowl, minus the sprouts, with a wonderfully thick gravy. Delicious as is for a warming, winter lunchtime option or as a filling family dinner served with a hunk of bread on the side for soaking up any remaining sauce once the rest has all gone...

Prep Time: 25 minutes | Cook Time: 30 minutes | Serves: 2-4 people

Ingredients:
1 tsp rapeseed oil
1 white onion, sliced 
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp ground fennel seeds
2 celery sticks, chopped
60g green beans, trimmed and halved
250g baby carrots, trimmed and peeled
300g mushrooms
2 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 tbsp fresh chopped rosemary and thyme
1 cup frozen peas
2 tsp Vegemite
2 tbsp vegan Worcester sauce
Salt & black pepper
3 tbsp brown rice flour
1 pint vegetable stock
Fresh thyme for garnishing

Method: 
First add the onion to a large pan on a medium heat with the rapeseed oil. Fry those off until soft, then mince the garlic and add that in next, allowing it to cook off for a minute. Add in the fennel seeds, then the potatoes, celery, carrots, beans and mushrooms and cook that off for a further 5 minutes. Next add in the fresh rosemary and thyme, and the frozen peas, stir well and then add in the Vegemite, Worcester sauce and season well with salt and black pepper. Next add in the brown rice flour, stir it through before then pouring in the vegetable stock, mix it well again, then bring it up to a boil and leave it to simmer on a low heat un-covered for 30 minutes. Serve with fresh thyme on the top. 

Storage: 
Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 2 days or freeze in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks and use within that time for maximum freshness. 



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Creamy Leek, Potato & Chive Soup
Vegan

Of all the winter soups, this bowl of comfort has to be the most classic. As with any, my secret ingredient is coconut milk - it adds a whole lot of creaminess but with an even balance of other flavours, it's sweetness can be disguised when needed and in this case, the taste of seasonal veg instead comes through with hints of onion, leek and potato, finished with fragrant chives...

Prep Time: 25 minutes | Cook Time: 30 minutes | Serves: 2 people 

Ingredients: 
1 tsp rapeseed oil
1 white onion
2 cloves garlic
1 leek
3 large potatoes
1 can coconut milk
1/2 pint vegetable stock
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tbsp chives, chopped
Salt & black pepper
Extra chives for garnishing 

Method:
Heat the oil in a large pan and meanwhile, dice the onions then add them in to cook down until soft. Mince the garlic and add that in to the onions, fry it off for a couple of minutes then finely chop the leeks and add those in next. Mix well then allow everything to sweat for around 10 minutes. In that time, cube the potatoes leaving the skin on for added flavour, then add those to the pan, stir them through the onions and leeks and leave to cook down for a further 5 minutes. Next, pour in the coconut milk and vegetable stock, add in the nutritional yeast, chives and season well with salt and black pepper. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat back down and leave it to simmer gently for 30 minutes uncovered. After 30 minutes, transfer it to a blender or food processor and pulse until smooth, then pour it back into the pan to heat through. Serve hot with a drizzle of coconut cream and extra chives. 



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Mushroom Bolognese
Vegan

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

Ingredients:
1 white onion
3 cloves garlic
2 tsp dried mixed herbs
1/2 tsp paprika
Pinch of nutmeg
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp tomato paste 
300g closed cup mushrooms
Salt & pepper
Fresh parsley to garnish

Method:
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.

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


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Chickpea, Kale & Potato Stew
Vegan

Come lunch time in the winter months, I'm craving a big bowl of comfort and nothing says that like a few of my favourite ingredients put together; chickpeas, potatoes and kale, all of which leave me feeling warm and cozy, and my belly full. Packed with flavour in a creamy, spiced coconut milk and tomato broth, I enjoy a generous serving simply as is but it also works great with a side of fluffy quinoa or on a bed of brown rice. 

Prep Time: 5 minutes | Cook Time: 30 minutes | Serves: 2-4 people

Ingredients:
1 tsp coconut oil
1 white onion
2 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp turmeric
Pinch cayenne pepper
1 tbsp tomato puree
2 medium sized potatoes
2 carrots
1 can chickpeas
1 tin chopped tomatoes
Salt & black pepper
1 large handful kale
Chopped coriander to garnish 

Method:
First slice up the onion, then add the coconut oil to a pan and add the onion in with it. Fry that off for around 5 minutes, then mince the garlic and add that in too. Fry that off for a few more minutes before then adding in the chilli flakes, cumin, coriander, paprika and turmeric and cayenne pepper. Mix it well and fry it off for a minute before then adding in the tomato puree and give it another good stir. Peel the carrots and slice them up, then peel and chop the potatoes into cubes. Add those into the pan next, coat them well in the spices then add in the chickpeas, chopped tomatoes and coconut milk. Season it well with salt and black pepper, give it a good stir together, then turn up the heat and continue to sir it until it comes to a boil. Turn the heat back down, place the lid on and leave it to simmer for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, chop the kale and add that in, stir it well and allow it to wilt, then serve immediately with chopped coriander on top. 

Storage:
Refrigerate any leftovers and use within 2 days or freeze in an airtight container and use within 2 weeks for maximum freshness.


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