With the UK seeing the hottest early May bank holiday on record, here’s a super-quick recipe for a cooling drink: blend together four mint Oreos, a banana, and 200ml oat milk. Pour into a glass and drink.
Okay so this recipe leans so heavily on the chickpea salad recipe from Vegan For Everybody that it’s practically the same thing. But it’s not. Their curried variation just has some extra curry powder and some raisins. Not enough for me. My variation is a bit more like the cheap coronation chicken sandwich filling of my youth. If you’re feeling fancy pants you can always use dried cranberries rather than raisins. They brighten things up a bit.
2 cups cooked chickpeas
1/2 cup vegan mayo
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon curry powder
2 teaspoon mango chutney
2 tablespoon raisins or cranberries
In a blender combine 3/4 cup of chickpeas with the mayo, water, curry powder and mango chutney. Blend until mostly smooth.
Add in the rest of the chickpeas and pulse two or three times, leaving the chickpeas in fairly large chunks.
Poor mix into a bowl and stir in the dried fruit and a pinch or two of pepper. You are ready to make a sandwich. Or wrap. Enjoy.
Vegan food is constantly changing and evolving. New products are launched all the time, creative cooks are coming up with new methods, and an entire community is buzzing with fresh new ideas. One product that’s been a huge game changer for us is oat milk. I’m not just saying that because I work in a coffee shop: oat milk is also a fantastic addition to the vegan baker’s arsenal. I first read about the effect of oat milk in baked goods in the America’s Test Kitchen book Vegan For Everybody. They take advantage of the sugars in oat milk to give baked goods a lovely brown colour. These scones use oat milk both in the dough and brushed on top to make them look golden brown and delicious. This is another recipe updated and brought across from our old blog.
(for about 12 medium sized scones)
450g plain flour
4 teaspoons of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of salt
100g margarine (we use Vitalite)
200ml oat milk + a few tablespoons more for brushing the tops
Pre-heat the oven to 200°C and line a tray with baking parchment.
Mix the plain flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
Break up the margarine into teaspoon sized amounts and place in the bowl. Rub into the flour until you get a loose, crumb-like consistency.
Mix in the sugar and 200ml of milk, stirring together until it forms a dough.
Tip the dough onto your work surface and pat down until a couple of inches thick. Use a circular cutter (or the top of a glass) to cut out the scones. Keep going until you have used up all of your remaining dough.
Pop the scones on the baking tray and brush over the remaining oat milk.
Cook for 20 minutes, until golden on top.
I was thinking up ways to turn a bag of Linda McCartney Pulled Chicken into lunch other than making tacos. I decided that this time I’d go a little Mediterranean and use seasoning inspired by Greek food. Although we used wraps this time this would also make a great stuffing for pita breads or even those folded flatbread thingies. Add in the salad of your choice — here we’ve gone for rocket — and you’ve got yourself lunch. This recipe makes enough filling for two.
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 clove of garlic crushed
2 teaspoon dried oregano
Half a bag of Linda McCartney Pulled Chicken
A pinch of salt
Juice of half a lemon
A wrap and some salad, to serve
Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the garlic when hot. When the aroma of the garlic is released, after about 30 seconds or so, add the chicken and a pinch of salt.
Cook for four minutes, stirring every now and then to prevent sticking.
Add the lemon juice and a tablespoon of water to help plump up the chicken. Cook for a further three minutes.
Wrap it all up.
The first cookbook I ever owned was called, simply, Potato. I’m content for a meal to consist solely of potatoes, and will react with confusion when Clare asks “But what are we having with the potatoes?”. As a potato fundamentalist I’m keen to see people get the fundamentals right, so here are my six steps to roast potato perfection.
1. Choose the right potatoes
Potatoes range from waxy (good for boiling, as they don’t fall apart) to floury (good for baking, as they produce a fluffy texture). Roasting requires potatoes that are sufficiently waxy to survive parboiling, but not to the detriment of the final texture. Any potato sold as an ‘all rounder’ will do; Maris Piper is a widely available variety.
2. Choose the right oil
Potatoes can be roasted in any oil with a sufficiently high smoke point. I use a blend of about ten parts vegetable (rapeseed) oil to one part olive oil. Strongly-flavoured oils will affect the taste of the potatoes, so you might like to try a few different blends and see which you prefer.
Pour a thin layer of oil (no more than five millimetres deep) into a pan large enough to fit the potatoes in a single layer, and heat in an oven at 180°C while you prepare the potatoes.
3. Parboil the potatoes
Parboiling the potatoes softens the outer layer, letting you roughen it to produce crispier roast potatoes.
Peel the potatoes and cut them into evenly-sized pieces. I prefer relatively small pieces around four centimetres across; if you prefer larger pieces you will need to increase the roasting times in steps 5 and 6 to ensure the potatoes are cooked through. Put the potatoes in a pan, add enough water to cover them, and add a couple of teaspoons of salt. (The salt prevents water moving into the potatoes through osmosis, which would cause the outer layer to break apart.) Bring the water to the boil and then boil for five minutes.
4. Roughen the surfaces
Tip the potatoes into a colander and leave them for five minutes to dry. Shake them in the colander to roughen their surfaces. This increases the surface area of the potatoes, giving a crispier result.
5. Start off roasting in the oil
Take the pan of oil out of the oven and put it on a hob to keep it hot. Using a spoon, transfer the potatoes to the oil; they shouldn’t splutter if they were left to dry in the colander for long enough. Spoon some of the oil over the exposed tops of the potatoes, and then return the pan to the oven for thirty minutes.
6. Finish on a tray
After thirty minutes, the potatoes should be starting to brown, particularly on the bottoms that have been submerged in the oil. Depending on the variety of the potatoes and the size of the pieces, they may need more or less time; judge them by their colour. Take the pan out of the oven, transfer the potatoes to a baking tray using a slotted spoon, and return them to the oven for fifteen minutes. This allows the excess oil to drain off and cooks the surfaces evenly.
Once the potatoes have browned to your taste, remove them from the oven and serve.
I don’t own a single pair of fancy pants. My pants are plain. I don’t really pay much attention to garnishes, I don’t know how to foam or make tiny balls out of food and I don’t really deconstruct things. So I had no idea what to do about this post until this morning when I fancied a s’more. I took the component parts; biscuit, marshmallow, chocolate, and put it back together into a chocolate bark. Well almost. I couldn’t find any vegan digestives within walking distance so I substituted with rich tea. Not quite the same but works in a pinch.
200g Vegan Milk Chocolate
Three digestives/rich tea biscuits slightly crushed
2. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler.
3. Spread the melted chocolate onto the baking parchment.
4. Sprinkle on the marshmallows and biscuits.
5. Pat the toppings down a little and leave the chocolate to solidify.
I sometimes see these recipes shared on Facebook that have Just Three Ingredients and I think would a couple more ingredients really make it that much more complicated? I think of Indian curries with lists of spices but it’s not that much harder to make a plain tomato sauce. I don’t believe in forcing simplicity but some things are naturally simple and this pasta dish is one.
Just to prove that I could I bought all the ingredients at Tesco metro. So on a busy night I could pop out, buy the ingredients and cook the dish in about an hour. Obviously your mileage from a Tesco metro may vary.
Pasta with Broccoli and Garlic Breadcrumbs
200g (ish) Pasta
One pack of tenderstem broccoli (stems can be eaten, but obviously Dirk ate mine)
3 tablespoon olive oil
One clove of garlic, crushed
One slice of bread
2. Cook the pasta according to the package directions, when it has three minutes to go toss in the broccoli to cook.
3. Meanwhile heat the oil in a large frying pan and when it’s hot fry the garlic for 30 seconds.
4. Add the breadcrumbs to the pan, tossing them to toast eavenly.
5. When the pasta and broccoli is finished drain it off and toss with the garlic breadcrumbs.