Supreme vegan roast vegetable pasta bake

A cheezy sauce topping gives the finished bake a wonderful contrast between crispy and creamy.

Tonight we wanted to make something lazy, but fancied something more than just a good tomato sauce on our pasta, so we added loads of roast vegetables, topped with a cheezy sauce, and baked in the oven.

I loved this recipe, it was so yummy! The cheezy sauce gave both brown crispiness and a moist creaminess. I would therefore recommend the sauce topping method (instead of grated cheese) to any non-vegan readers too!

This recipe has a lot in common with our ultimate vegan lasagne, but is quite a lot less effort as you just stir everything together then top with cheezy sauce.

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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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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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Ultimate Vegan Lasagne

Excellent tomato and cheese sauces layered with fresh pasta are the key to perfect lasagne.

This is our favourite indulgance meal! John tells me that before we met he would take a whole day to make one and then a whole evening to eat it!

It’s much quicker now with two of us. I do the pasta and the cheezy sauce, while John does the roast veg and the tomato sauce, then we put it all together! For a slightly quicker version use dried lasagne sheets, but it’s going to take a long time to make either way and once we tried it with fresh pasta we never went back to dried!

We have tried various combinations of vegetables and lentils, but recently made our favourite one ever so I think it’s time to share the recipe! I can’t get enough of the creamy cheezy sauce, so we put loads in, but you could adjust to suit your preference.

This makes 4 huge portions or 6 moderate portions. Continue reading

John’s Easy and Delicious Tomato Sauce

This recipe is a basic tomato sauce that can be modified to create a range of different sauces for different occasions. However, it’s ideal in its own right for recipes such as pizza and lasagna.

Although the sauce is simple to make, it’s really thick and tasty as it involves reducing the tomatoes slowly to really bring out the flavour.

A modified version that can hold its own as a pasta sauce is included here too.

Don’t rush it, the thicker the sauce gets, the tastier it will be. You should be able to pile it up so that you can see the bottom of the pan.

 

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Vegan Cheezy Sauce!

My vegan cheezy sauce is an ongoing work of refinement, and is constantly being tweaked. It has evolved from my mum’s cheese sauce, which she served with cauliflower and home made chips.

Previous iterations of this recipe have included at one time or another one or more of: ground cashew nuts, tahini (1-2 Tbsp), lemon juice (1/2 a lemon), garlic powder (1/4 tsp), and a pinch of coriander powder.

I am now fairly settled on a version that I’m really happy with as it’s creamy and well-rounded. The latest addition is the white wine, which adds an amazing tang and complexity that I haven’t found in a vegan cheese until now!

Use this sauce wherever you want a cheezey white sauce, e.g. for cauliflower cheeze. Dilute it with extra soya milk to make vegan lasagne, or make a thicker version (less soya milk and more cornflour) for my vegan quiche recipe.

Makes enough for 4 servings, or as a component in one of my many recipes that use it!

Adjust the thickness by changing the amount of flour/cornstarch.

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The Quest!

We (John and Lorraine) set up this blog to note some of our culinary adventures, and in particular our current quest is to replicate the yumminess of a particular jar of chilli garlic sauce that we discovered. The sauce comes from the Philippines and we only know one place to buy it close to where we live. Its taste is indescribably yummy, really smoky and mellow, and it goes well with everything. On pizza, on bread, with rice, on crisps…

A crisp with chill garlic sauce on it

We could eat this sauce straight from the jar, and often do on crisps!

Our mission to make this sauce is just one part of our quest to make vegan food and drink that tastes good, and we’re always tweaking and trying new things. So we thought it might be fun to share some of our recipes with you!

Please let us know if you try our recipes and especially if you experiment with changing them, so that we can learn from your efforts too!

Our attitude is that if you can make it, you can make a vegan version of it  that is tasty and satisfying. We LOVE yummy food, so why would we eat the same few things week after week? Traditional cooking techniques have evolved over time to make some really tasty dishes so we want to learn from non-vegan cooking too, to make our food as delicious as we can. Just because our food is vegan doesn’t mean it has to be second rate!

We’re often asked, as vegans, what we eat and the answer is anything and everything that’s not from an animal (unless it’s mushrooms for John or Cucumber for Lorraine)…