Savoury pastry hearts

Best eaten fresh from the oven!

We made these yummy crumbly flaky pastry hearts to celebrate John’s birthday and valentines day falling in the same week. They are quick, easy and yummy, and make a great snack, starter or accompaniment in place of bread.

This was so simple. I just took 1 batch of my home made vegan pastry and rolled it out. I then folded it over a couple of times (this gave them a lovely flaky layered texture, which led them to rise slightly), and rolled out to a thickness of about 1 cm. It was then ready to cut into heart shapes using a plastic cutter, and brush with olive oil. I included some garlic powder with the olive oil for extra tastiness. They took about 15 minutes in the oven at 180°C, but check them after 10 and take them out when they look golden and lovely.

Happy valentines day!  ♥

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Tahini sauce

Enjoy drizzled on roast vegetables, salads, grains, or with bread.

I am obsessed with tahini. I buy it in massive tubs from middle eastern shops, not those piddly jars they have in the supermarkets. When John first met me, he thought all of my recipes were basically tahini soup.

Luckily that’s not the case. However, there is always a place in my heart for a quick and simple tahini sauce, and tonight we made some to go with our roast aubergine, and included chilli sesame oil. It’s really versatile, here’s the basic method for mine…

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Injera Sourdough Ethiopian Pancakes

Here’s another, very key component for an Ethiopian feast – the sour injera pancake!

These pancakes are uniquely sour and bubbly, and go perfectly with lentil dishes, spiced vegetables, and ayib (lemony tofu ‘cheese’).

Usually made with Teff flour and fermented for several days, this recipe uses wheat sourdough starter instead. It is possible to make them with vinegar, soda water and baking powder, but I read that the baking powder reduces the sourness of the vinegar, so I have stuck with my sourdough starter because I find it so easy to use.

Makes 6-8 pancakes.

Spongy bubbly pancakes, ready to add your main dishes.

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Tofu Ayib (Ethiopian lemony cheese)

When creating our very own Ethiopian feast, we adapted this Ayib recipe that is usually made with cottage cheese, to make a tasty vegan version.

Lemon rind is what makes this dish distinctive, while soy sauce adds depth of flavour. We didn’t add soya yoghurt because John hates it, but you could try adding some when you make it – let us know how you get on!

This alternative to cottage cheese is crumbly and fresh

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Mouth-Watering Guacamole

Mouth-watering guacamole

If we want to make a pot of tasty hot chilli into a banquet, we serve it with guacamole, home made tortilla chips, fresh tomato salsa, and vegan cheesy sauce.

Traditional guacamole should always be dairy free and suitable for vegans, don’t truck with adding cream to your guacamole, this is just something supermarkets do to rip you off so that they don’t need to use so much avocado!

This recipe is my own spin on a technique I was originally shown by Ms Marmite Lover, which I have never forgotten. She taught me that with a couple of avocados and a pinch of pinache it was possible to cater for my hungry party guests at zero notice (“always provide food at a party!”). Thanks to her I always feed my guests, and I always add grated onion to my guac…

Makes 1 side portion suitable for sharing between 2-4 people. Continue reading

Ten secrets for golden crunchy roast potatoes

Today John’s brother Rob and his girlfriend Steph came to visit. We made roast vegetable quiche with onion gravy and roast potatoes. The roast potatoes were a particular hit with our non-vegan guests, so I thought you might be interested to know our technique for mouth-watering golden crunchy roasties that hit the spot every time!

Golden Crunchy Roast Potatoes – perfect every time!

So, our ten secrets for a yummy golden crunch on your roast taters are: Continue reading

Onion and Red Wine Gravy

Being from Manchester, I (Lorraine) am obsessed, as all northerners are, with gravy! I like a little island of food in an ocean of gravy. I like it on chips, I like it on mash, and I like it with roast potatoes, the more the better – I just can’t have too much gravy.

Tomorrow is Sunday and we’ll be making quiche with roast potatoes and gravy, yum!

Cornflour is used in this recipe as it’s easy and gives a glossy and translucent gravy. As I like my gravy really thick we err on the generous side with the cornflour. For a thinner gravy just use less cornflour as this is what thickens it. Wheat flour will work too but gives a more opaque gravy with a richer flavour (which I love), and you will need to use about 50% more of it to get a the same thickness. Obviously avoid this if you want to make your meal wheat free or gluten free.

Steamy rich onion gravy

So here goes, this is our method for sure-fire rich and tasty gravy. Mmmmm.

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