Monday, 31 January 2011

Bulgarian Musaka

Kitchen Playlist - Addicted to Love ~ Robert Palmer
                               Do You Know ~  Enrique
                               Addictive ~ Truth Hurts
                               Oba, La Vem Ela ~  Jorge Ben
                               Staple It Together ~ Jack Johnson
                               Don't Bother ~ Shakira 
                               Two Sleepy People ~ Bob Hope & Shirley Ross
                               Dirty Dream  ~ Thunder
You have to love IPod shuffle Lol

My Love has flown out to Ankara this morning and will be gone all week. When these work duties call I find myself a little lost. So now I plan ahead and invite friends and family to share the evening meal with me. And this week is no different. Tonight I am joined by my Mum and we rarely get to spend time together alone so I'm very happy. When I asked her if there was anything in particular she would like to eat, she answered, "Oh anything beany and hotpotish...", thanks Mum Lol. So I decided to take the opportunity to use one of my favourite cookbooks, A Vegan Taste of Eastern Europeby Linda Majzlik. When I first became vegan I searched for some inspiration and Linda's Vegan Taste Of series was one of the first I found and I now proudly own copies of 13 of her cookbooks! And I use them all the time. In fact they are looking a little worn around the edges now. lol. If you new to vegan life...check them out. They can be easily bought on and they average at £5 a book. 
The Bulgarian Musaka (not to be confused with Greek Moussaka) recipe that follows is my version of the original recipe by Linda Majzlik. The original can be found in her Eastern Europe cookbook.

Bulgarian  Musaka Serves 4 - 6
(original recipe by Linda Majzlik)

1 med yellow pepper, chopped
1 med red pepper, chopped
1 sm green pepper, chopped
4oz/100g shelled peas or frozen peas
4oz/100g thawed, frozen spinach, finely chopped
5 med closed cup mushrooms, thinly sliced
2oz/50g natural minced (small) textured vegetable protein
1 15oz tin of Haricot Beans, rinsed and drained
1 onion, chopped
1 red chilli, finely chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
10fl/oz vegetable stock
500g carton of tomato passata
1 tsp paprika, heaped
1 rounded tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
1 rounded tbsp finely chopped fresh basil
1 bay leaf
black pepper to season

1 1/2 lb/675g potatoes, peeled and finely diced
4 rounded tbsp of plain soya yoghurt
1 oz/25g wholemeal breadcrumbs, fresh

Soak the vegetable protein in the vegetable stock for approx 20 minutes. Fry the peppers, onion and chilli in the oil for 5 minutes, then add the vegetable protein, spinach, mushrooms, peas, haricot beans, tomato passata, paprika, parsley, basil, and bayleaf and season with pepper. Stir well, bring the mixture to a boil and reduce the heat slightly and let simmer for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Spoon the mixture into a baking dish and smooth across. (I use a large pyrex rectangle dish)

Steam the potatoes until just soft. Then arrange them evenly over the vegetable mixture. Spoon the yoghurt over the potatoes  and spread to cover. Sprinkle the bread crumbs over the top. Cover loosely with foil and bake in a preheated oven at 180'C/350'F/gas mark 4 for 30 minutes. Uncover and then bake for a further 5 - 10 minutes or until the breadcrumbs have turned a golden brown. Serve with steamed green vegetables or a salad. 

Happy cooking, R