Sweetcorn pancakes

Still was not feeling too hot tonight and I had part of a can of sweetcorn to use up so it was comfort food dinner again. After a bowl of mushroom soup from yesterday I made some sweetcorn pancakes. They really are so easy to make and because I love all kinds of pancakes they were just what I needed! Add that to the fact the Murray game finished at 10pm it was quick dinner time also!

I made enough for 3 pancakes but this recipe is really easy to multiply for extra people. This is definitely enough for one person though.

Ingredients:
80 grams sweetcorn ( I used fresh but its fine to use frozen just ensure you allow them to defrost and dont use the water)
40 grams plain flour
40 grams room temperature water
1 teaspoon baking powder
salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon oil (just enough to ensure they wont stick)

Method:
1. In a bowl whisk all ingredients together. Ensure no flour lumps.
2. Leave the mixture to rest for a few moments while you bring a frying pan up to a medium heat.
3. Use a ladle to put a third of the mixture into the pan.
4. When the uncooked side starts to bubble slightly turn over and ensure both sides are cooked.
5. Serve with sweet chilli sauce (or a sauce of your choice).
6. Enjoy.

Vegan cream of mushroom soup

I was supposed to be going to the Botanic Gardens in Glasgow tonight however as I was not feeling too well I stayed in and made comfort food instead. When I was vegetarian I used to live off cream of mushroom soup and fresh bread. Yummy, comforting, delicious and really good for you. When I became vegan obviously that could not happen anymore. Well that was before this soup! This is vegan, really easy to make and tastes just wonderful! It tastes like there is lots of cream but absolutely no dairy is here.

Ingredients:
350 grams mushrooms roughly chopped (I like to taste my mushrooms so I like big chunks but you can do these as thinly as you like)
1 onion finely chopped
2 cloves minced garlic
1 tbsp vegan margarine or oil
2 tbsp plain flour
475 ml vegan milk
700 ml vegan stock
2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to season

Method:
1. In a large pot gently saute the mushrooms, onion and garlic until the onions are soft and the mushrooms are turning a golden colour.

2. Add the vegan stock to the pot, reduce the heat to a low setting, cover with a lid and simmer for about 50 minutes.

3. The onions should be soft and mushrooms very gold now. Add in the flour and milk and stir to combine. You should be really careful to avoid lumps so make sure that you stir adequately.

4. When there are no flour lumps add the salt and pepper and place the lid back on the pot. Simmer for about another 40 minutes. Ensure you check regularly to make sure the liquid does not stick to the bottom of the pot.

5. Ensure the soup is seasoned to your taste and serve with fresh bread.

This soup does really well kept in the fridge but does not freeze well. It is easy to make though so that should not really be a problem plus it tastes so yummy you wont need to worry about it not being eaten!

Vote for vegan awards

If you a vegan with opinions on what makes good vegan products then ensure you vote in the vegan awards. I wont be saying who i’ll be voting for but I think these awards which are run by the Vegan Society are fantastic as they highlight the huge variety of vegan products, services, foods and venues we are lucky to have available to us. I remember the days when being vegetarian meant you had to cook everything yourself so it is wonderful to see how far things have come.

To vote just visit the Vegan Society page and leave your comments. Link is here

Scrambled tofu with vegetables

Scrambled tofu is something that is so quick and easy to do. I think most vegans have a recipe for this but as it was requested that I post mine I am doing so. This is one of those recipes I love where so long as you keep the basics the same you can pretty much alter it to suit your own likes. You can add different herbs, less liquid for firmer tofu, different vegetables. Really anything you like.

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon oil
1 onion chopped finely
200g chopped mushrooms
200g chopped tomatoes (either fresh or tinned works)
1 pack firm silken tofu
3 tablespoons sweetcorn
Ground tumeric to taste and colour
1 cup nutritional yeast flakes
1 tablespoon rosemary
1 tablespoon oregano

Method:
1. Warm the oil in a deep frying pan over a medium heat and add the onions until they soften and become golden brown
2. Add the mushrooms (or other vegetables if you are using) and cook until they are caramalised
3. Add all other ingredients. Depending on how soft you like your scramble you may want to use all the tomato juice or just a little. Also depending on how golden you like your tofu you may wish to add more or less tumeric.
4. Reduce the heat and simmer until all the veg and the tofu is cooked.
5. Serve with toast and enjoy!

Vegan mushroom pate

I absolutely love mushroom pate! Only problem with this is all premade mushroom pate in this country come with some sort of dairy ingredient. This pate however tastes like it has cream in it but it is completely vegan, quick and easy to make. It is also very easy to adapt as you can chance the seeds or nuts you use, add herbs, add extra ingredients like sundried tomatoes. Pretty perfect!

Ingredients:

1 chopped onion (as fine or rough as you like)
450 grams sliced mushrooms (any type of mushroom works here so personal preference)
1 clove garlic or 1 teaspoon garlic puree
1 cup seeds (you can use anything here from sunflower seeds to pine nuts again it is personal preference. I use sunflower seeds as they are one of my favourites)
1 cup nutritional yeast flakes (you can add more if you love these as much as I do)
Salt and Pepper to season

Method:

1. Cook the chopped onions gently with a tiny bit of oil or non-dairy butter until they start to soften and turn slightly brown.

2. Add the mushrooms to the onions and cook over a medium heat until the mushrooms start to turn a golden brown. This takes about 5 minutes depending on how hot your pan is.

3. When the mushrooms are a nice brown colour remove from heat and leave to cool completely down.

4. While the mushrooms are cool measure all the other ingredients into a food processor and when they are cool add the mushrooms.

5. Blend all ingredients in the food processor until everything is mixed together. When the pate is at a thickness you enjoy serve.

6. Enjoy!!

As with many recipes this tastes yummy when first made however if you leave it in the fridge for a couple of hours the flavours have more time to mix so it is even better! I serve mine with homemade bread but baked potatoes, toast, crackers all work equally well.

Vegan and easy mac and cheese

I was watching the tennis tonight (come on Murray!) and time slipped away from me before I realised I had not eaten dinner. As I needed something quick and I had promised this recipe to the vegan facebook group I post to I decided to go and make it.

I love this recipe so much because 1) its quick 2) no fancy ingredients are required and 3) you can change it depending on your mood – I kept it very simple tonight but you can add vegetables, herbs, spices, vegan protein and so on. It is also really yummy! When I was vegetarian I was not a fan of macaroni cheese as I am not a fan of cheese sauce but this sauce is thick and really, really tasty!

Apologies for the rubbish picture – Andy Murray is kinda addictive. Almost as addictive as nutritional yeast flakes!

Ingredients:

Macaroni (or another vegan pasta) enough for 4 people

For the sauce:
1 cup water
1 cup unsweetened non cow milk ( I use alpro but any type is suitable so long as it is unsweetened)
3 tablespoons oil (you can use any type but I use canola for the health benefits and the orange colour)
1/2 cup plain flour
3/4 cup nutritional yeast (I’m slightly addicted to nutritional yeast so use as much or as little as this as you desire)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Method:

1. Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the packet and while that is cooking concentrate on making the sauce

2. In a large measuring jar combine all the wet ingredients and whisk so the oil is well stirred in. You can use a bowl for this but you’ll be pouring the ingredients shortly so a jar is much easier

3. Heat a small saucepan and add all the dry ingredients. Add the wet ingredients very slowly stirring quickly and continuously as you do. If you do not keep stirring you may get lumps and although they will reduce it is easier to do it at this stage

4. When the ingredients are all combined turn up the heat until they begin to bubble and thicken. Keep whisking for about 2 minutes until it becomes really thick and then turn the heat back down.

5. When the sauce is as thick as you desire turn off the heat and then pour it over your pasta when it is cooked.

6. Enjoy!!

If you are adding vegetables I usually find it easier to cook them in the pasta water depending on how much time they need because we all know 2 pots are easier to wash than 3!

Review of Chow, Byres Road, Glasgow

I really love trying new restaurants so when a vegan meetup group I am in posted about going to Chow I naturally jumped at the chance. In Glasgow we are incredibly fortunate as we have several vegan restaurants and bars however Chow is a mainstream Chinese restaurant.

The decor of Chow is lovely with large wooden tables, lots of glass, and if you are sitting upstairs you can actually partly see the food being prepared in the kitchen. I really enjoy watching chefs work but the conversation last night was far too engrossing so I didn’t spend too long doing that.

After much confusion with the waiting staff about what vegan is there were many choices to pick from including my choices which were Yuk Sung (a spiced vegetable dish with lettuce leafs) and steamed bean curd with sweet and sour sauce. I think everyone at the table had a different dish which given we were all vegan and it was not a vegan restaurant has to be a huge plus to the venue.

Unfortunately I did not take my camera so do not have photographs of the food but apart from a minor issue where they overcharged us (which was rectified after much scribbling and calculations) and the fact it took lots of hand gestures to explain what vegan meant I would actually recommend Chow. If for nothing else than the vast variety of vegan meals on a mainstream restaurant is so rare it is really worth supporting a venue which offers this.

Chow is located at 98 Byres Road, Glasgow

http://www.chowrestaurant.co.uk/