Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Rocket and Roses Spicy Mixed Bean Chilli Pasties ~ Wholemeal and Gluten Free Versions

Kitchen Play List: Colbie Calliat ~ Magic
                                     Chris Cornell ~ You Know My Name
                                     Chris Cornell ~ No Such Thing
                                     Sara Sant'Ambrogio ~ Nocturne in E-Flat major
                                     Pearl Jam ~ Jeremy
                                     Nicola Benedetti ~ Apres Une Reve
                                     Rainbow ~ All Night Long

Rocket and Roses Spicy Mixed Bean Chilli Pasties
Yes! It's Wednesday again and time for Part 3 of the Pasty series. The third filling came about from the love of beans and lentils...and the love of a good chilli. I've had some bad chillies and I've had some bad chilli being the cook that I fueled me to come up with a good version. And I think I have achieved this as the people who tested them for me loved this filling far above the rest. I wanted the filling to be packed with pulses and rich and spicy. As always I made a batch of wholemeal and Buckwheat gluten free versions.  

So I started pulling ingredients from the fridge and stocks and this is what I came up with. I hope you try them and let me know what you think? They are quite spicy so if you struggle with hotness then reverse the mild/hot chilli powder ratio and that should give you a nice and spicy pasty as opposed to a Heck that really is a spicy pasty! ;o) 

For the pastry recipes please click the link below for the original Pasty blog entry

Spicy Mixed Bean Chilli filling ~ Hmmm well it tastes a lot better than it looks..I promise lol
Rocket and Roses Spicy Mixed Bean Chilli filling Makes filling for 16 pasties
(Original recipe from the Rocket and Roses Vegan Kitchen) 

1 tsp sunflower oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1/2 yellow bell pepper, finely diced
1 small carrot, peeled and finally diced 
1 6oz tin of tomato paste
1 14oz tin chopped tomatoes
1 14oz tin kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 14oz tin borlotti beans, rinsed and drained
1 14oz tin green lentils, rinsed and drained
2oz dried red lentils, rinsed and drained
1 tsp cumin powder
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1 1/2 tbsp hot chilli powder
1/2 tbsp mild chilli powder
Pinch of low sodium salt
1/2 pint of veggie stock

In a large skillet hea the oil and then cook the onions, pepper and carrots for 4-5 minutes until they have softened. 

Then add the remaining ingredients and stir well to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cover. Cook for 45 minutes stirring often to prevent the chilli catching on the bottom of the skillet. Then remove from the heat. Take a cup of the chilli and blitz it until smooth in a processor and add that back into the skillet. Cook for a further 10 minutes uncovered. 

NB: As with the other pasties I used half of the filling and froze half for future pasty making. 

Rocket and Roses Spicy Mixed Bean Chilli Wholemeal Pasties
Rocket and Roses Spicy Mixed Bean Chilli Wholemeal Pasties Makes 8
(Original recipe from the Rocket and Roses Vegan Kitchen)
1 WW pastry mix, for recipe click link above
Spicy Mixed Bean Chilli filling mix, recipe above
soya milk, for gluing

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and pre-heat your oven to 400'F/200'C/Gas Mark 6. 

Roll out the pastry until it's 1/4" thick and then cut out 8 x 5" circles and set them to one side. 

Take one circle and put between 1-2 tbsp of the Spicy Mixed Bean Chilli filling on the bottom half of the circle leaving a cm rim around the edge. Using a pastry brush, coat the edge of the circle with soya milk. And stretching the pastry slightly as you lift the top part up and over the filling..measure the two edges together and press down to enclose the filling in the parcel. With the prongs of a fork or pastry press, go around the edges to seal it together properly. Place the pasty onto the baking sheet and brush over with the soya milk and then repeat with the remaining 7 circles. 

Place in the pre-heated oven and bake for 20 minutes until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and leave on the baking sheet for a couple of minutes and then transfer to a cooking rack...if eating straight away..serve with a lush salad or steamed green veggies. 

      ~      ~      ~      ~      ~      ~      ~      ~      ~      ~

Rocket and Roses Spicy Mixed Bean Chilli Gluten Free Pasties
Rocket and Roses Spicy Mixed Bean Chilli Gluten Free Pasties 
(Original Pastie Recipe from the Rocket and Roses Vegan Kitchen. Pastry recipe
from  Makes 8 pasties

1 Buckwheat GF Pastry mix, for recipe click link above
Spicy Mixed Bean Chilli filling mix, for recipe above
soya milk for gluing

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and pre-heat your oven to 400'F/200'C/Gas Mark 6. 

Roll out the pastry until it's 1/4" in thickness and cut out 8 5"x 3" rectangle pieces and gently move them to the prepared trays. Then re-roll the pastry and cut out 8 slightly large rectangles to 'blanket' the filling. This will compensate for the lack of stretch in this pastry. 

Place 2-2.5 tbsp of filling along the centre of each rectangle on the tray..leaving a good cm egde all the way around. Brush the edges with soya milk and then gently maneuver a larger rectangle over the filling and align the edges together, pressing down lightly to seal the parcel. Then using the prongs of a fork, press around the edges of the pasty to encase the filling. Brush over with soya milk and repeat with the remaining 7 pasties. 

Place in the pre-heated oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and place on cooling racks. Once cold store in an airtight container until ready to eat. Then reheat in a microwave for 1 min 30. 

(Remember they will be quite hard on the day of a waiting period is highly recommended! ~R~) 

      ~     ~      ~      ~      ~      ~      ~      ~      ~      ~  
Hope you are enjoying the pasty recipes..there are more to come! 

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Rocket and Roses Jerusalem Artichoke & Roasted Vine Ripened Tomato filled Sandwich

Kitchen Play List: When Harry Met Sally ~ Soundtrack Album

When I received an email from a chap called Zane asking me for ideas for using up a bag of Jerusalem Artichokes I was delighted..and very happy to help. And so, the lovely ugly little vegetable is my Mystery Ingredient Challenge Item for this week. They are crisp and nutty and absolutely no relative to the potato and are definitely not artichokes nor have any link to Jerusalem. They are some distant relation to the sunflower 

Rocket and Roses Jerusalem Artichoke & Roasted Vine Ripened Tomato filled Sandwich..with Rocket Salad and Balsamic Dressing on the side.
In all honestly I have only ever cooked Jerusalem Artichokes in a very lovely soup. But I have also found out that grated/thinly sliced into a salad they are tasty too. I even found a recipe for Jerusalem Artichoke Chips/Crisps..of course..that was after I had used up my bag of them! Typical..Oh well probably not the healthiest way of enjoying them anyway. lol. 

When I was sat at my desk looking at them in the little brown bag that they came in,  I kept visualising a sandwich. Odd! As we really don't eat sandwiches that often. 

Not the most attractive little blighters...but very tasty! lol Jerusalem Artichokes.
But in my mind was a glorious wholewheat roll with a schmear of creamy Jerusalem Artichoke spread and..well..that was it..I couldn't quite visualise the rest. Darn it! lol. I really didn't want to complete the sandwich with the good old..but no less delicious...lettuce and salad ingredients. I wanted something a little different. We had enjoyed some rather lovely vine ripened cherry tomatoes a few weekends ago as part of a Kebab. I can usually take or leave roasted tomatoes as I have issues with the skins..I's been said before..I'm strange! lol. But on this occasion I had enjoyed them greatly and suddenly my sandwich was complete. Jerusalem Artichoke filling topped with roasted vine ripened tomatoes. Now all I had to do was create the 

I wanted to keep the filling as basic as possible and wanted it to stay as true to the natural flavour of the Jerusalem all over ingredients had to be a neutral flavour or an enhancement. And I think I achieved it..and it's a very easy spread to make.

The results were a beautiful sandwich that had a intense creamy filling with a refreshing and juicy element from the roasted tomatoes. I skinned mine before I added them to my sandwich and they held together perfectly. I know I'll be making this again...I served them with a simple Mixed Rocket and Baby Red Leaf Salad and a white Balsamic dressing on the side.

Up close and tasty..creamy Jerusalem Artichoke filling with succulent roasted vine tomatoes..Yum!
Rocket and Roses Jerusalem Artichoke & Roasted Vine 
Ripened filled Sandwich  
(Original recipe from the Rocket and Roses Vegan Kitchen)

For the Artichoke filling:
4oz Jerusalem Artichoke, peeled and diced
1 14oz tin of Haricot Beans, rinsed and drained
1 small garlic clove, grated
4 tbsp cooking water
Low sodium salt and freshly grated black pepper to season

4 med-lg vine ripened tomatoes, washed, halved horizontally across
pinch of low sodium salt
abundance of freshly grated black pepper
1 tsp rapeseed oil to drizzle across the tops

4 deli style bread rolls, wholewheat, Gluten Free or White..choice is yours! lol 

Place the artichoke and garlic into a small saucepan and 'just' cover with boiling water. Bring to a boil over a med heat and then cover with a lid and cook until the artichoke pieces are soft. 
Drain the vegetable through a fine mesh sieve and save the cooking water. 

Place the drained haricot beans, artichoke pieces and garlic into a food processor and pulse to break down the pieces. With the motor running add tbsp of the cooking water one at a time..4 made it into a creamy consistency for my batch. Season with salt and black pepper to your own taste. Spoon into a container that has an airtight lid..leave to cool then cover and refigerate until required. 

Rocket and Roses Jerusalem Artichoke Spread ~ Creamy and tasty!
Turn on oven and heat to approx 400'/200'/Gas Mark . Then place the tomato halves with the cut side facing up into a baking dish. Sprinkle them with the salt and grind plenty of black pepper over them. Then drizzle them with the tsp of oil. Place them into the hot oven and leave to cook until they a become wrinkled and slightly browned. Remove them from the oven and leave to cool on a rack so that all juices can soak release onto a plate. 

Roasted Vine Ripened Tomatoes..cooling and draining..a thing of beauty!
When ready to assemble. Heat a large skillet and slice the rolls in half horizontally and place the cut side down onto the skillet to brown and toast slightly. Remove from the pan and repeat until all rolls are toasted. Schmear a good helping of the Jerusalem Artichoke filling across the bottom part of the rolls. Then place two pieces of tomato onto top and then cover with the top of the rolls and serve...

And a huge thank you to Zane for emailing me and asking for help...Hope you enjoy this recipe and if you want the Jerusalem Artichoke Soup recipe...drop me another email, eh? lol


Monday, 28 November 2011

Savoury Suet Pudding

Kitchen Play List: When Harry Met Sally ~ Soundtrack Album

Warning ~ this is not a recipe for the health conscious. This is one of those recipes that should be filled under...once every five years treat. lol.

Savoury Suet Pudding ~ Comfort in a basin!
So you are maybe left wondering...why did I cook this? Because I the very simple reason. I grew up with a natural aversion to this savoury and sweet pudding. As a life long veggie I was repulsed by the savoury meat puddings that are popular here. I hated the smell of them cooking so used to escape the house and go play in the orchid, local park or go spend time with the giant black horse that grazed in the field at the bottom of our street..Ah Jet..he was snappy but lovely. (No idea if that was his real name...never, ever saw the owner so couldn't ask..but the horse was fine and handsome.)  Anyway...the only way I could ever stomach suet was in the tiny dumplings that my Nan and Mum used to add to the winter stews. Even then they cooked me a little vegetable stew as I couldn't bare the meat filled ones. And I never enjoyed the sweet pudding versions and rarely got the chance to try them so it really wasn't an issue. So the whole suet 'thing' was completely lost on me as a child.

About 20 years ago I was out to lunch with a friend who had found this restaurant that was offering a selection of Vegetarian meals. It was such shocking news, that we had taken ourselves off there the very next weekend, to sample their fares. We sat at our tables and felt grown up lol We were 18-19 so dining out really wasn't high on our list of priorities but a restaurant that was serving veggie dishes was a wonder to behold. lol. We ordered drinks and perused our menus and I remember feeling utter horror as the only vegetarian offerings was a Spanish Suet Pudding. I was so disappointed that I put my menu down and asked to leave. But my pal wouldn't be put off and called the waiter over and got stuck in with what, seemed like a million The poor guy was so stumped at being asked questions by this strange vegetarian woman that he hastily retreated to the kitchen..coming back out a few seconds later with a rather red faced chef who was trying to wipe his hands down on his apron. My friend asked him..
"Was it really a vegetarian dish?" 
"Yes young lady it is!" He said with a huff.
"What stock did you use?" 
"I used my homemade vegetable stock.." Again a huff.
"What fats did you use?" 
"I used vegetable meat fats!" Bigger huff.
"What gravy did you use?"
"I didn't..the vegetables are in a rich tomato sauce." Huffing
"Suet? Beef? Vegetable?"
"Vegetable of course!" Nose up in the air and a huff! 
"And the side vegetables..." 
"All boiled or sauteed in vegetable oil.." Red faced huffing.
"Boiled, eh? That's really not the best way to cook veggies..." My friend commented to the chef's back as he stomped off back to the safety of his kitchen..away from the annoying young women sat in his restaurant. lol. 

So after what my friend had put him through I really had to stay and eat there. I ordered the Spanish Pudding and my friend ordered her usual steak and chips!! Yep, that's 

My meal finally arrived with a small pudding sat to one side of my plate with a good portion of leeks, carrots and green beans to the other side. It came with a little jug of extra tomato sauce (Not to use if I wanted. My friend tucked into her steak and chips and I cautiously cut into the pudding and prised apart the pastry which was a lovely golden colour. The rich red contents tumbled out and I grinned at the chickpeas, mixed peppers and courgettes that pushed my boiled vegetables out of the way. I cut a piece of the pastry and forked on some of the contents and took in the smell of this dish. The aroma was a spicy tomatoey delight but nothing compared to the rich spicy pudding. It was the most delicious thing I had ever eaten in my life. I took my time with every mouthful and enjoyed every bite. I even left a note for the chef, thanking him for a wonderful meal.  

It wasn't a cheap place to eat so it was a couple of months before we could go back..and I was devastated to read the menu and see Cauliflower Cheese as the vegetarian option. We asked what happened to the menu, to be told that a chain had taken over and it was a standard menu from now on. But I never forgot that poor harassed chef and his blissful Spanish Suet Pudding. 

I spent many years thinking about trying to replicate that recipe but never finding the right moment or recipe. And then life happened and there was never the time....or eating a suet pudding was considered the food of the devil. And I guess the devil food is still a relevant point. But I took it as a sign the time was right, when I found this Savoury Pudding recipe in Eva Batt's Vegan Cooking: Recipes for Beginners

It's nothing like that one I had all those years ago but if it worked it would be a good starting place. So I committed to making it for our dinner yesterday and it was fairly simple to make. Although I did alter the recipe slightly so below is how I made it...and it wasn't without it's But the photos below will tell the tale far better than I can. lol. 

The results were a surprisingly light pudding. The filling was indeed savoury and comforting, and served with steamed green beans, Brussels sprouts and garden peas was a pleasing meal. I enjoyed it but probably will try my own fillings from now on. The TVP wasn't as overpowering as I thought it might be..not liking the texture of meat I was a little worried but it all went together to make a very tasty dish. And the only stressful part was the cooking for an hour but it passed so quickly it was just fine in the end. 

Savoury Suet Pudding Serves 6
(Recipe from Vegan Cooking..Batt)

For filling:
1 level tsp yeast extract
2oz/55g tvp granules
2 sm carrots, peeled and sliced
1 large leek, trimmed and sliced
4 tbsp veggie oil (I used 2 tbsp rapeseed oil ~R~)
2 tomatoes, skinned and chopped
3 mushrooms, peeled and sliced
2 tsps veggie gravy powder/granules mixed with 1/4 pint hot water

For the pastry:
1/2 tsp low sodium salt
1/2 lb/225g self raising wholemeal flour
3oz/85g vegetable suet
water to mix

Melt the yeast extract in 1/2 pint/285ml hot water to make a stock. Add the tvp and stir well. Leave to soak for 15 minutes and then strain the tvp using a sieve sat over a bowl. Reserve the drained stock. 

Saute the carrots and leeks in the oil for 6 minutes, stirring frequently until they soften. Remove from the pan and place in a bowl to one side. Then toss in the mushrooms and chopped tomatoes and saute for 5 minutes until the tomatoes have gone pulpy. Add the leek and carrots back into the pan and stir well to comhine and cook for another 3 minutes. Then add the TVP and stir well to combine. Add the reserved water from the TVP and stir in. Cover the vegetable mix and leave to simmer over a very low heat whilst you make the pastry. Remembering to stir frequently. Season to taste and then remove from the heat when the carrots are tender. 

Sift the salt with the flour, stir the suet into the flour mix. Stir in 4 tbsp water and knead until the mix comes together to form a ball of dough. (My Love used twice the amount of water suggested and it only just came use as much as required ~R~)

Roll out the dough between two pieces of cling film to a fairly thin thickness and then line a 5"/14cm deep pudding dish. Making sure the pastry is flush to the base and sides of the basin. Take a few moments making sure it's fitting correctly. Then fill with the vegetable mixture and push down to level out. Using the 'gravy' gently pour into the vegetable mix..(I only needed to do two drizzles and helped them down by mixing in with a small spoon..but be careful not to overfill. ~R~) Then fit a pastry lid and make sure to seal the edges of the lid to the body of the pudding. 

Pudding all ready for the cooking ~ So good!
Cover with a pleated tin foil lid and tie on with string or use a silicon band to secure in place. Place into a saucepan half filled with boiling water and cook for no less than an hour. 

Pudding all puffed up and out of the pan..still so good..
NB: We checked the pudding every 20 minutes to check the water levels and didn't need to top up but that doesn't mean you won't need to. At the final check we put our side veggies on to steam and we left the pudding cooking for that extra 15 minutes...just to be sure...and then the fun began! lol 

Cooked and golden...Yep..still good!..
Gently snip the string or take off the band and peel off the tin foil..and take a moment to stand and look at your creation...marvelous! Then gently loosen the sides of pudding away from the edge of the basin....or this will happen to you too! cannot be good...
Take a serving plate and place it serving side down on to the top of the pudding. Holding both securely flip them over and the pudding will now be on the plate....Or at least it should be! *sighs* 

Oh..Dear...Me!...That really shouldn't be like that..surely?
*taking a deep breath* Lesson to be learned...remember to loosen the after loosening the edges....this finally happened...

Finally..a perfectly formed pudding pie Shame the top and the filling are on another plate! Dammit! lol
But if you are super sneaky you could gently position the crust over the filling and cut a piece away to serve up and then take credit for a wonderfully turned out

Voila! A Savoury Suet
Sometimes I am too damn honest for my own good. And ok it took a little effort to make this pudding but it was worth it...and as a rare can't hurt, eh? 

Phew! Enjoy! 


Sunday, 27 November 2011

A Sunday Brunch ~ Potato Scones with Italian Feast Sausage with Plum Tomatoes

Kitchen Play List: BBC Radio 2 ~ Steve Wright's Sunday Love Songs

It's been a while since I posted a Sunday Brunch and that's mainly because we haven't had one and if we have, we have had a combination that I have already posted up. But last night I became inspired to cook us something special. I wanted to mainline savoury heaven, as they are always the brunches I prefer the most. I also wanted a recipe that didn't have any tofu in it. Nothing against the lovely scrambles, frittata, omelete's...I love them all. But today I just wanted something different. And maybe it has a little something to do with the dessert pies I have been creating this week and having to test...totally sweeted out man! lol. I craved some savoury goodness...needed it..wanted it...had to have it! lol You getting the picture? lol.

I always have a stash of homemade vegan sausages in the freezer and so My Love delved into the deep freeze and pulled out two Italian Feast Sausages from Isa's glorious Vegan Brunch

Usually we have them with a tofu scramble or omellete but today I decided to make a batch of Potato Scones. Now these are the simplest things to make. I usually bake two extra jacket potatoes and leave them in the fridge. Then all you have to do is get up and scoop the flesh out into a bowl..add salt and 1 cup of wholemeal flour...mix..knead..roll out..cut out..on to a baking sheet..into a hot oven...Voila! Hot Potato Scones..dense, savoury and delicious. And to go with the Scones and Sausages...well that was simple too..1 tin of plum tomatoes heated up and lashings of freshly ground black pepper. 

And would you believe it...the view from my work room window is bright blue skies and sunshine...the complete opposite from yesterdays efforts. Still blowing a gale though and next doors willow looks like it's about to land on My Loves garden shed. Yikes! lol

Sunday Brunch ~Potato Scones, Italian Feast Sausage & Plum Tomatoes ~ Savoury Brunch Heaven!
Potato Scones with Italian Feast Sausage and Plum Tomatoes
(Sausage recipe from Vegan Brunch/Moskowitz)

Potato scones:
1lb cooked potato flesh (2 large baking potatoes ~R~)
1 cup wholemeal flour
1/2 tsp low sodium salt

2 Italian Feast Sausages or other vegan sausages Click on link below for the recipe

1 14oz tin of Whole Plum Tomatoes
freshly ground black pepper

Pre-heat oven to 500'F/240'C/Gas Mark 10 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a bowl place the cooked potato flesh and then mash well. Add the salt and mash once more. Add the flour and fork through to combine and then with your hand knead the flour into the potato until it is firm ball. Between two sheets of cling film roll out until 1/4 inch in thickness and using a 3" round cutter..cut out 8 rounds. Place onto the baking sheet and brush with a tiny amount of oil on both sides...Totally optional!! Place into the hot oven and bake for 5 minutes...flip them over...bake for 5 more minutes..flip one final time and bake for 5 minutes. Then remove from the oven. 

Hot Potato Scones..straight out of the oven..dense and delicious!
Heat a large skillet and place the sliced sausage pieces and cook over a medium heat flipping to avoid burning but you do want a crispness to the pieces. 

In a small saucepan gently heat the plum tomatoes. 

Place two potato scones onto a plate with the slices sausages and then place a few whole tomatoes onto the plate. Drizzle the sausages and potato cakes with some of the tomato juices. Grate plenty of black pepper over and serve.


NB I make the full 8 potato scones and use half and then freeze half. When I use them I cook them from frozen and they are ready in a snap! ~R~

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Lentil & Parsnip Soup

Kitchen Play List: Gilbert O'Sullivan ~ What's In A Kiss?
                                     Dido ~ I'm No Angel
                                     Sara San'Ambrogio ~ Libertango 
                                     Guns & Roses ~ Sweet Child of Mine
                                     Chris Cornell ~ You Know My Name
                                     Enrique ~ Love to See You Cry
                                     Frank Sinatra ~ Night & Day

Go figure! Sometimes I look at a recipe and I can tell exactly what it's going to look like when it's finished. At first glance I pictured a thick smooth soup...then when I started to make this soup I realised it was actually very Asian inspired and it turned out to be a brothy base with lentils and veggies. Hence the asian bowls I photographed it in. lol. It was a very pleasant surprise as I had made two parsnip soups at the weekend that were smooth and creamy.

This recipe is from a cook book I bought years ago because...well...I'm a huge fan of Lindsay Wagner...yes the Bionic Woman! lol. Have been since I was a small child. So when I found out that she was also a vegan and had published a cookbook with her friend Ariana Spade..well I was on Amazon sharpish! lol. And they had a copy...the book being The High Road to Health

The broth is savoury due to the soy sauce, veggie stock and bayleaf. The veggies bring two extra layers of taste...firstly more savoury and then a hit of sweetness from the parsnip and carrot. It's almost a sweet and sour soup...almost. But it's a great soup with great flavours and a great change from the usual..but also excellent...smooth and creamy parsnip soups. 

Lentil Parsnip Soup ~ Parsnip Soup with a difference!
Lentil & Parnsip Soup
(Recipe from The High Road to Health/Wagner&Spade)

6 cups of water or veggie stock
1 cup of lentils (I used Continental ~R~)
3 tbsp natural low sodium soy sauce
1/8 tsp black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 tsp oil of choice
1/2 onion, chopped
1 leek, sliced
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 parsnip, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 tbsp chopped parsley
dash of ground cloves

In a very large soup pot place the water or stock, lentils, soy sauce, pepper and bay leaf. Bring to a boil and cook until the lentils are almost tender. (The timing on this will depend on your selection of lentils! ~R~)

In the meantime, heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the leek, garlic, celery, parsley, parsnip, carrots and cloves. Mix well, cover, and cook for 5 minutes. 

Add the skillet mixture to the lentils and cook for 30 minutes. (Or until the lentils are tender and the veggies cooked! ~R~)  Add 1/2 to 1 cup of boiling water to the soup if it becomes too thick. 

Remove the bay leaf before serving. Enjoy! 


Friday, 25 November 2011

Colleen's Purple Potato Soup

Kitchen Play List: Bob Hope & Shirley Ross ~ Two Sleepy People
                                     P.Diddy ~ Come to Me
                                     Dean Martin ~ Ain't That a Kick in the Head
                                     Harry Connick, Jr ~ First Time I Ever...
                                     Colbie Caillat ~ Begin Again
                                     Gordon Haskell ~ How Wonderful You Are

I had a very purple morning in my kitchen the day I made this soup. I had my soup pan bubbling away on one side of my stove top and a large vat of German Red/Purple Cabbage stewing on another. I truly felt like a witch stood there tending to my two 

I have spent the last two years trying to find purple potatoes in England. My Love has spent hours cruising all the seeded potato and seeds sites here trying to find a purple variety. A few month back we thought we had succeeded at finding some a farmers market. Bought the whole box and when we got home..we were gutted to find out they only had blue/purple skins and white insides. Very cunning sales technique of the woman on the farm stall..going back there? I think not..what a fibber! 

But during a slow cruise around one of the stores of the 'expensive' supermarket chain here in
the UK (Yes you know who you are and should be ashamed at most of your prices!) that we found a bag of Purple Potatoes. We very nearly did a victory lap around the store! And for a large bag of them they were reasonably priced at £1.45. Not too bad. So they were hastily put in our trolley. 

Back home I opened the packet and put them in my potato storer but couldn't help scratching the skin of one..just to be sure. lol. Yep..beautiful gemstone purple loviness waited for me. Success. I knew which recipe I wanted to try out first and it can be found in Colleen Patrick-Gourdreaus wonderful cook book Color Me Vegan.

It was very easy to make and the results were a bluish/purple soup that was rich in texture and very potatoey in flavour. I felt very peasanty as I enjoyed my steaming hot bowlful. We really enjoyed it after we stopped chuckling over the colour. I know...I know..small things..simple minds..Yeah, yeah, yeah. We were very excited by the purple potatoes. lol

I made one major adaption to C.P-D's recipe..which was the milk/stock ratio. I am not a huge lover of milky soups. I don't mind a hint of milk but I don't like a 'knock you over the head milky' soup. I had a very bad experience with a Courgette Soup which was predominantly soya milk..that completely curdled and did nothing for the texture. This was back in my very early days of being a vegan and it still makes me shudder to think of that soup. *shudder* I had very little experience with soya milk at that point and made us both eat the whole soup, thinking that was how it was supposed to be. lol. 

So I changed the stock amount to 3 cups and the milk down to 1/2 cup. It was still silky and rich in texture and much better suited to our palates. The recipe below is C.P-D's exact recipe. 

Colleen's Purple Potato Soup
Colleen's Purple Potato Soup Serves 4
(Recipe from Colour Me Vegan/Patrick-Goudreau)

1 tbsp oil or water, for sauteing
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2lb purple potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 small head of cauliflower, cut into florets
2 cups/470ml veggie stock
1 1/2 cup of vegan milk of choice
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Heat the oil in a soup pan and saute the onions until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for a few minutes until the garlic has gone golden brown. 

Add the potatoes, cauliflower and veggie stock. Cover, bring to the boil, and then reduce to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are cooked through..approx 20 minutes. 

Once the potatoes are fork tender, stir in the milk and cook until heated through, about 10 minutes longer. 

Puree the soup in a blender until it is completely smooth. Taste, and add salt and pepper as needed. Serve. 

Enjoy the purple fun! 


Thursday, 24 November 2011

Thifty Thursday ~ Rocket and Roses Mushroom Bolognese with Spaghetti & side veggies

Kitchen Play List: Moulin Rouge ~ Soundtrack Album

It will be no surprise to you loyal readers that I love some good old fashioned comfort food. And, for me, spaghetti has always been and will be forever more, the ultimate comfort dish. Keep your ice cream, chocolate and cookies...give me a steaming hot bowl of spaghetti any day which is why I have many spaghetti recipes at hand. lol. But this one is a new one..created for Thrifty Thursdays. I wanted to provide a healthy but economical dish...that was also filling and comforting. It also needed to have great taste and look good enough to eat! lol. Oh dear..I do get worse. lol. 

Rocket and Roses Mushroom Bolognese with Spaghetti and steamed broccoli & green beans
Now our personal preference is to use Wholewheat spaghetti as I find that white pasta is tasteless and pappy (Yep..technical term..I promise..Ahem!) And if white pasta is your bag..then that's just fine with me..some of my best friends are white pasta people! ;o) I do have tremendous memories of being a small child and sharing a bowl of steaming hot spaghetti with my know the kind..super long..and seemed to take forever to twirl around your fork! lol. 

My tastes have changed over the years so I stick with wholewheat when I can or Buckwheat which is also good. But I have provided costings for wholewheat and for regular white spaghetti. And it goes without saying that if you are GF then subbing for your own personal preference will, 1. Alter the costing drastically as GF pasta is shockingly priced over here in the UK 2. Work beautifully with the GF Bolognese sauce I've created. lol.

You can make this even cheaper if you use dried green lentils and cook them up yourself but I wanted ease and so therefore I used a tin of green lentils in water. But even using this'll be surprised at how cheap this meal for four came in at. Costing are listed after the recipe. 

Close up on the tasty.
Rocket and Roses Mushroom Bolognese with Spaghetti & Side Vegetables
(Original recipe from the Rocket and Roses Vegan Kitchen)

1 head of Broccoli, trimmed, cut into sm-med florets
1 bag of green beans, topped and tailed

12 oz spaghetti of choice
(3oz per person)

1 large onion, finely chopped
1 large garlic clove, grated
4oog mushrooms, prepped and slice
1 14oz tin green lentils, rinsed and drained
1 14oz tin of chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tsp dried oregano
freshly ground black pepper
pinch of low sodium salt - optional

Place the broccoli and green into the basket of a steamer and cook for 10 minutes until tender crisp. Remove the water from pan and leave the veggies to sit in warmth until ready to serve.

Cook your pasta as per the package instructions or your preferred way of cooking your pasta. I put mine into cook when I remove the skillet lid for the final cooking time as the sauce can take a sitting period until the pasta is perfectly al dente.

In a large skillet saute the onion and garlic with small amounts of water until they are softened and almost translucent. Then add the mushrooms, tomatoes, tomato puree, oregano and drained lentils. Season with the salt and black pepper. Stir very well to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Remove the lid and cook for a further 4 minutes until the sauce thickens slightly.   

Place the spaghetti into a warmed serving dish and then top with the sauce. Toss together so the sauce coats the pasta. Arrange the broccoli and green beans around the edge of the dish. (If you are lucky enough to get vegan Parmesan than a sprinkle over the top would finish this dish perfectly but it doesn't need it! ~R~) Serve immediately..


Thrifty Thursday Meal Costs Breakdown





Chopped Tomatoes

Tomato Puree



Black Pepper

Green Beans


Sub Total 

Wholemeal Spaghetti 
Total £4.20 

£1.05 per person
White Spaghetti
Total £3.66 

91p per person

As you can see there is quite a difference because of the pasta..and unfortunately using a store bought GF pasta would increase that price greatly. 

But £4.20 to feed four as a main meal is quite reasonable. I was very happy with the costings on this meal as I thought that it may come in at a higher price. Phew! Hope you give it a try..and as always I would be happy to hear from you. 

Save those pennies folks!