Posts Tagged With: vegan cooking

Lockdown Lasagna – Wild Mushroom, Spinach and Sun-dried Tomato Pesto with Chickpea Bechamel (Gluten-free, Vegan)

Lockdown Lasagna – Making the best of what we’ve got! A simple lasagna filled with BIG flavours and creamy bechamel

 

This one’s for rockin’ the lockin’!

Lasagna is a celebration of a dish, it takes time and love to make well

 

Most of these ingredients are from the store cupboard or freezer, but it’s still packed with flavour and nutrition.  The sun-dried tomato pesto is a real highlight and adds a zing to the bechamel, making the top especially crispy and delicious.  You’ll get all your lasagna boxes ticked, a deeply flavoured sauce with creamy bechamel.  Many layers of happiness right here! 

I can’t think of a healthier way of making a traditional(ish) lasagna vegan and gluten-free than this one. It’s really tasty and satisfying, full of hearty lentils and mushrooms.  I like cooking food for everyone, something great that we can all enjoy, no matter what our dietary requirements.  It’s just good food right!  

Wild Mushroom, Spinach and Sun-dried Tomato Pesto with Chickpea Bechamel (Gluten-free, Vegan)

 

Over one our Facebook Cooking Group we decided that chickpeas were the best ingredient ever. So versatile, tasty and nutritious.  Chickpea/Gram flour is an excellent flour to keep in your cupboards.  It makes delicious crepes and pancakes, can be used to make vegan omelettes or tortillas, add it to cakes.  It generally adds a lovely toasty, almost egg-like, flavour to whatever it touches.   I use it for breads also.  It’s my favourite flour right now.

Why is this a lockdown lasagna?  I’ve stripped some of my normal lasagna recipes right back but it’s still a real treat and we all need a bit of that.  The pesto is borderline, I took the pine nuts/ almonds I’d normally use out, but I’m still calling it a pesto!  I want to make this an inexpensive and accessible as possible, but still comforting and moreish.  The process of cooking a lasagna is a labour of love, lots of techniques and time needed to make a something that is such a classic feast.  

We love having a basil plant in the kitchen, the fragrance and colour, it’s a little nod towards the Med too.  Basil is the only fresh ingredient in this lasagna.  This goes against how I normally cook, but these are strange days for sure.  Now, more than ever, the kitchen seems like a refuge of sorts.  A place we can go to lose ourselves for a while and lasagna is the perfect dish for this, disappear into a world of bubbling pots and spinning spoons. 

It may not be fresh but frozen spinach, passata and mushrooms are still filled with great flavour and nutrition.  Fresh is best in the BHK, but cooking the cupboards can also give us diverse options for making delicious and tasty food.  One thing this situation has focused my mind on is how precious food is; tinned, dried, pickled, a bit shrivelled looking, we can do things with them.  Make the best of what we’ve got.     

Our Vegetable Peel and Crisps recipe from a while ago is getting loads of visits at the minute.  I think it’s down to cooks looking for new ways of using up supposed scraps.  Fermented foods are also ideal.  You can take a humble cabbage and make something sublime!  If you’re into sauerkraut that is.  Kimchi too.  Fermented foods store for an age, are inexpensive, require no special equipment and are packed with incredible nutritional properties. Fermenting enhances flavours (chocolate, coffee, cheese, vinegar, wine etcetc all fermented foods).  Our guts love sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha etc and they are great for supporting our immune-system and good health generally.  Here’s our Beetroot, Apple and Caraway Saeurkraut recipe from good ole’ 2014.  I hope to post some new fermented food recipes soon…..  

 

Vegan and Gluten-free Lasagna topped with that sun-dried tomato pesto (which makes all the difference!)

 

If you get the chance to try this recipe, please let us know below in the comments, it’s wonderful to hear from you.  Yesterday we had people stopping by on the blog from Surinam, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Poland, Cyprus, US Virgin Islands (where are they?), your emails of support and encouragement are amazing and keep this blog floating along.  Big thanks and shout out to Cyberella in Victoria, Australia!  Amazing to know that you’re loving Peace and Parsnips all the way down there.  

From our little cottage in Snowdonia, the BHK blog was started simply because we had a passion for healthy food, empowered cooking, good health and living.  How they’re intertwined.  How the way we cook can change our lives.  Cooking is a regular opportunity for me to be mindful and compassionate.  We wanted to share this with more than just our little village!  8 years later our main motivation for blogging is still, WE LOVE IT!!

The BHK is just taking it easy at the minute, we’re waiting to see how things pan out and when this blows over, we’ll be announcing new events, collaborations, holidays, demos and retreats. Thanks everyone for getting in touch and enquiring about what’s coming for later in ’20 and into ’21.  

Who knows where this is all going to go?  I just know that for me, cooking and eating good food makes life more bearable at times of crisis.  We’re appreciating, everyday, what we have and focusing on cooking up a life filled with love and peace, staying grounded, energised and vital for the challenges ahead.  

Sending you all best wishes, all over the world, from Surinam to Scarborough, hoping that you’ve got some dried mushrooms and gram flour in the cupboard ready for action!

 

Ciao Bella!!  Vegan lasagna fresh out of the oven, all crispy on top and bubbling with flavours

 

Recipe Notes

Lasagna takes a while to get together, you can start preparing well in advance, cook the lentils, make the bechamel and even finish the sauce.  This means that you’ll just need to assemble the lasagna and bake.  If you’re making it from scratch, put aside at least a couple of lasagna hours.  It’s always time well spent!

Not gluten-free?  That’s cool, just use your favourite lasagna pasta sheets.  I haven’t tried the bechamel with plain white flour instead of gram, but any bechamel recipe would be brightened up with this pesto.    

This recipe makes lots.  Plenty for the freezer.  Use fresh spinach or other greens if you would like to freeze the lasagna.  Otherwise, all neighbours love lasagna!  It’s one of those dishes that gets better with age.  Not too much age.  A few days in the fridge is enough ageing.  

If you haven’t made a bechamel before, it’s great.  You’re in for a treat.  Just keep on top of the lumps.  Sound advice there.  Stir, keep stirring and whisk if needed.  Turn the heat down if it’s all happening too fast.  Add you milk little by little, forming a thick paste, then keep adding milk until it thins out gradually.  Eventually you’ll have a lovely, silky sauce to enjoy.   

If you’re a full-blown pasta lover, you could add another layer of pasta to the lasagna.  Just use less tomato sauce and bechamel per layer.  

 

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and vegan recipes

 

We’re locking down with lasagna!

 

Wild Mushroom and Spinach Lasagna with Sun-dried Tomato Pesto and Chickpea Bechamel – Gluten-free, Vegan

 

The Bits – For one large lasagna, 10-12 portions

Sauce

350g dark green or puy lentils (rinsed)

750ml cold water

1 big bay leaf

 

6 garlic cloves (peeled and crushed)

2 tbs olive oil or whatever cooking oil you fancy

40g dried wild mushrooms (soaked in water)

3 tbs tomato puree

680ml tomato passata (one big jar)

2 teas dried oregano

275g frozen spinach (it normally comes in small or large blocks)

450ml hot vegetable stock

Sea salt and pepper


Chickpea Bechamel

100g chickpea/ gram flour

125ml olive oil

1 ltr plant milk (I used soya milk)

1 big bay leaf

1 – 1 1/2 teas sea salt

 

Sun-dried Tomato Pesto

190g sun-dried tomatoes (one small jar, drained) 

1 tbs oil, from the sun dried-tomatoes

2 cloves garlic

1/2 teas dried oregano

1 big handful fresh basil leaves

2 large pinches sea salt 

 

Gluten-free Lasagna Sheets (or your favourite pasta sheets) 

 

Do It 

First thing, get your frozen spinach out to defrost.  This can take a couple of hours.

Lentils – Start with the lentils.  In a medium sauce pan, add your bay leaf, lentils and water to the pan, bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 40 minutes, until just cooked.  Take the lentils off the heat and remove the bay leaf.  Drain them, using any of the lentil cooking broth instead of stock if you like.  It’s full of flavour.  

 

Tomato Sauce – In a large saucepan, add the oil, on medium high heat, fry the garlic for 2 minutes, then add the tomato paste, continue to stir and cook for 3 minutes.  Now pour in the passata, sprinkle oregano, seasoning well with sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper.  Stir, add the wild mushrooms, along with any soaking water (use a small, fine sieve, there may be some grit in the water).  Pop a lid on a simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.   

Towards the end of the sauce cooking, add your spinach and vegetable stock.  Warm through.

Taste your sauce.  It should be rich and flavoursome, if not, season more with salt and pepper.  Leave the lid on and take off the heat.  The sauce is best used hot.     

 

Pesto – Place all the pesto bits into a blender and pulse until a slightly chunky, pesto forms.  Set aside, the flavours will be mingling nicely.  

 

Chickpea Bechamel – In a medium saucepan on medium high heat, add the olive oil and chickpea flour.  Stir and cook through for 4 minutes to make a thick paste.  Add a splash of milk and quickly stir.  Continue adding splashes of milk and stirring well, add the bay leaf.  

It will eventually become smooth, a thick and creamy texture.  Keep stirring until you’ve used up the milk.  Continue to simmer the bechamel for 10-12 minutes.  Taste, season with salt.  Remove the bay leaf.  

If there are lumps in your bechamel (no probs, it happens!)  Blend.  Grab a stick blender and blend until it’s smooth.  Otherwise, to be honest, a few lumps are not the end of the world!!

 

Vegan Wild Mushroom and Spinach Lasagna, ready for the oven

 

Assemble and Bake – Preheat a fan oven to 190oC.

Stir half the pesto into the bechamel until well combined.

In a large, deep baking dish (ours is roughly 12″ long/8″wide/3″deep), ladle in half your warm tomato sauce. Spoon over roughly a third of your bechamel.   Top with lasagna sheets, until you have a snug covering, breaking up the sheets to fill the gaps.  

Ladle over the rest of your tomato sauce, top with lasagna sheets and spoon over the rest of your bechamel to form a neat layer which meets the edges of the baking dish.  

Now evenly spoon your pesto onto the bechamel, blobs are good (see picture).  Pressing the pesto down lightly with a spoon and muddling it a little.

Place your casserole dish on a large baking tray lined with baking parchment.  This stops drips and saves on washing up/ cleaning.  Jane’s idea!

Cook the lasagna for 35-40 minutes, until the top has a nice, dark golden, crust and all is bubbling begging to be eaten!

We like our lasagna served with a crisp, mixed green salad, using flavourful leaves like rocket or endive, raddichio would be delicious too.  A citrus, olive oil dressing pairs brilliantly with this dish.  

 

A lasagna anyone will enjoy!

 

Foodie Fact     

Most dried mushroom mixes have porcini in them.  Which is one of my favourite mushrooms. King boletus!  Also known as Cep, or in Germany, ‘Stone Mushroom’.   We’re moving into the age of the mushroom!!  The incredible health benefits of mushrooms are now being realised and promoted, plus, they’re just awesomely tasty.  Dried porcini are high in anti-oxidants, are good sources of protein and can help with weight loss, inflammation and digestive health.   

If you’re at all interested in the amazing fungi world, I’d recommend checking out Paul Stamets. 

 

 

 

 

Categories: gluten-free, healthy, Nutrition, photography, plant-based, Recipes, Vegan | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Apple, Orange and Bourbon Tart – Vegan

Apple, Orange and Bourbon Tart – Vegan

This is a really easy and great looking tart with flavours that just rock!! 

 

Bourbon, pecans, seasonal apples, warming spices.  It’s got lots of wintery flavours, but is quite light and crispy too.  The fruit in the tart can be changed, it’s a seasonal sweetie!

I’ve baked loads of variations of this tart, there’s on in my cookbook ‘Peace and Parnsips’.  It has been out for a few years now, I’m working on a follow up (promise!;)

I normally prefer experimenting in the kitchen, but some recipes I just go back to and this is one of them.  When I go travelling, here and there around the world, one of the things I miss is a proper British apple.  They really get us through the winters, especially when desserts are needed, so many amazing apple recipes.  Crumbles are, of course, very important.  But, this type of tart just changes things up a bit.

How has your 2019 started?  We’ve had a quiet one, some beautiful walks up in the snowy mountains around here.  They look stunning, much bigger, with a white dusting on top.  Down at Black Rock Sands beach today, it was fierce.  The waves were huge, roaring in, with bitter winds.  It is a beautiful sight!

A question for you?

 

What kind of recipes would you like us to post on the Beach House Kitchen this year?  We’d love to know.

 

Let us know if you get to get baking, we’ve also got over 200 recipes right here for you if you’re looking for vegan cooking inspiration. 

 

Recipe Notes

The tart in the picture is a smaller version, which I like, especially if you’re not cooking for lots of people.  Just cut the pastry in half, width ways.

This tart also works really well with pears instead of apples.

My friend loves Sailor Jerry’s rum, use rum here instead of bourbon, for that spiced rum thang!

Best to use quite a firm and acidic apple here if you can.  Something that won’t go mushy when you bake it.

The bourbon is not essential, if alcohol is not your thing.  The marmalade with the spices also makes for a top glaze.

Puff pastry can be bought frozen, and will just sit in the freezer until this tart comes calling.  It’s a great standby to have tucked away.

 

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Apple, Orange and Bourbon Tart – Vegan

 

The Bits – For One Big Tart

1 sheet pre-rolled puff pastry (roughly 320g)

4-5 apples (cored, cut in half then thinly sliced, skins on)

70g unrefined brown sugar

1 tbs flour (unbleached white or a gluten-free mix)

1/3 teas ground cinnamon

Small pinch of sea salt

 

Orange Glaze

4 tbs marmalade

1-2 tbs bourbon whiskey

2 star anise

4 cloves

 

1 big handful toasted pecans

 

Do It

Roll out the pastry onto a baking tray, lined with baking parchment.  Carefully score a 1 1/2 cm border around the edge, using a sharp knife.  Do not cut all the way down to the bottom of the pastry.  Prick the rest of the tart base with a fork, to make sure it doesn’t rise too much.  Pop in the fridge until you’re ready to bake it.

Preheat an oven to 220oC and bake the pastry base for 10-12 minutes, until the base is lightly golden on top, but not fully baked.  It will puff up, set it aside, the pastry will deflate and settle down.

Toss your apples in the flour, sugar, salt and cinnamon.  Arrange in overlapping rows on your tart base, inside the border/ crust.  Try to make them neat and tidy and ensure the whole base is covered with apples.

Pop back in the oven and bake for 15 minutes, until the apples are soft and the pastry is nicely cooked.

Put the orange glaze ingredients into a small saucepan, gently heat until the marmalade melts, forming a thick syrup.  Set aside, keep warm.

Once the apples are cooked, liberally brush the tart and edge with your warm orange glaze, pop back in the oven for 5-7 minutes-ish.  The glaze will mean a lovely caramelised finish on your tart crust.  Keep an eye on it, the glaze will caramelise quickly.

Decorate the tart with crushed pecans and I like to add some of the spices, star anise, cloves.  They look cool!

Serve warm with vegan ice cream or your favourite vegan cream.

 

Foodie Fact

I eat at least an apple a day, sometimes two if I’m feeling adventurous.  They contain good amounts of fibre, vitamin C and other anti-oxidants, and may well help lower blood sugar levels and keep our hearts healthy.

Of course, it’s always best to give you apples a good wash, but try to leave the peel on whenever possible.

 

 

 

Categories: Baking, Desserts, photography, plant-based, Recipes, Vegan | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Thai Red Pepper and Coconut Soup – Vegan

Thai Red Pepper and Coconut Soup – Vegan

Something quick and easy to kick start 2019!

A simple, healthy and delicious soup with some of the Thai flavours I totally love.

This is how I’d like to kick off 2019, a steaming, bright and nourishing bowl of goodness.  Red peppers are packed full of vitamin C and after the festive season, I’m sure a lot of you fancy a pick me up, tasty dishes that are lighter and give our body a big hug.  Comfort food can be healthy and satisfying.  No probs.

This soup contains coconut, chickpeas, turmeric, ginger, loads of my favourite foods.  Bar the Kaffir lime leaves (see below) and lemongrass these are easy to find ingredients, that many of you might have in the kitchen already.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year………………

Of course, January is now officially Veganuary, they’ll be changing the calendars next year for sure!  If you’re trying out Veganuary, you’re not alone, record numbers have signed up worldwide this year.  I even saw it all over the TV around New Year’s, right there, bang in the middle of prime time programmes.  Just awesome to see a vegan lifestyle skyrocketing, being embraced and enjoyed!

The people over at Veganuary have always been lovely to us and we even have some recipes over on their website, check them out here.  Good luck to anyone giving it a go and long may your vegan-ness continue!  Let us know if you need a hand or some advice, we’re fully available for pats on back, big thumbs up and bags of encouragement.  GO FOR IT!!

Nourishing vegan Thai soup

What are Kaffir Limes?  Why are they so awesome!!

Dried kaffir lime leaves can be found in most supermarkets.  I buy them frozen in a local Chinese supermarket, these have been frozen fresh.  They are much better than the dried varieties, but you can use either in this recipe.

I’ve been lucky to travel around South East Asia and work and stay in some beautiful places, some even had kaffir lime trees.  The limes themselves are like big, nobbly limes, with thick piths, very fragrant.  The leaves can be used in all kinds of cooking, it’s essential oils are use in perfumery, and it’s really like a bay leaf with an Asian turbo charged twist.  Their flavour is unmistakable!  When I worked on an organic farm in India, I’d wake up, pick a few leaves and make a refreshing tea with them, watch the lizards and mongoose chase each other.

Eating peppers at this time of year means we have a great source of vitamin C.  Peppers are said to be three times higher in vitamin C than oranges, red peppers are best, but green peppers also contain good levels of vit C.

Beach House Kitchen bowl! Nourishing, light and satisfying. Red Thai Coconut Soup – Vegan

Jane and I have been spending time with family and friends over Christmas, we’ve been to North Yorkshire and Durham mainly and really love the time away with the people who rock our world!!

We’ve actually not stuffed ourselves too much!  We both feel like we’ve lost weight over Christmas, which is pretty unusual.  I go back to the fact that freshly cooked vegan food can be so, so healthy and tasty.  We’ve had many positive comments over Christmas, so many non-vegans digging the food.

Keep up to date with all our news, recipes and other bits and pieces by signing up for our seasonal newsletter, right here.

Big thanks to all who cooked our recipes over Christmas and New Years and let us know, it was great to see pictures over on Facebook, it makes our day!!  We love to see your kitchen creations, you really bring our recipes to life!!

Recipe Notes

You may like to pick the lime leaves out before you blend the soup, but I generally leave them in.

Use the softer, centre piece of your lemongrass.  Discard the tough outer leaves.  You’ll find lemongrass in most supermarkets.

 

Thai Red Pepper and Coconut Soup – Vegan

 

The Bits – For 4-6 large bowls

5 red peppers (deseeded and chopped)
3 medium carrots (chopped)

1 large onion (sliced)

3 heaped tbs fresh ginger (roughly chopped)

2 heaped tbs fresh lemongrass (peeled and chopped)

1 fresh chilli (sliced)

1 can chickpeas (drained)
1 can chopped tomato or passatta
1 can coconut milk

8 kaffir lime leaves
1/2 tbs turmeric
Sea salt

To Serve

Tamari or g.f. soya sauce
Lime wedges
Sliced chillies
Chopped coriander

 

Do It
In a large saucepan, add 1 tbs cooking oil, fry the onions and ginger with 1 teas salt until soft, 3 minutes will do.

Then add the carrots, chilli, lemongrass and peppers, fry for 5 minutes, then add the tinned tomatoes, chickpeas, kaffir lime leaves and turmeric, bring to boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Then add the coconut milk and simmer for 5 minutes more, until the carrots are soft.

Blend with a stick blender then season with salt, if needed, and adjust the consistency using hot water if it’s too thick.

Serve with chillies, coriander and lime wedges.  We also love it with sticky coconut rice balls.

Foodie Fact

Kaffir lime has many uses in Asia, not just for the pot!  The lime juice makes a great shampoo, the plant is a natural insect repellent, when used in aromatherapy kaffir lime is relaxing, can reduce stress and help with a good nights sleep, also many people chew the leaves, it is said to help with oral health.

Categories: gluten-free, healthy, Healthy Eating, Nutrition, photography, plant-based, Recipes, Soups, Vegan, veganism | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Festive Chocolate and Orange Brownie Cake with Mulled Berries – Vegan

A very rich and chocolatey slice of happiness, perfect for Crimbo

I fancied something different this Christmas for dessert.  

 

I wanted the flavours, the spice, the mulled fruits, the richness, but all mingling together in a different way.  So I wrapped them up in a big brownie, with lots of chocolate.  It just seemed like the right thing to do!  

 

This is a decadent brownie cake, very rich, with lovely taste explosions coming from the mulled berries.  Best served warm with vanilla ice cream I’ve found, or whipped coconut cream is also very special.  Plus, it’s a big brownie, so it’s easy to make.  

You could use any dried fruit really in this recipe, but I prefer, and if you can get them, dried cherries, blueberries or the classic cranberry.  If you don’t drink alcohol, you can cook the berries in orange/ cranberry juice or non-alcoholic wine.

I have cooked the mulled berries with a few cloves, star anise and cinnamon.  But I found that it was a fiddle trying to pick out all the spices, they do add some flavour, but we’re just cooking the berries quickly and there is plenty of cinnamon in the cake.  But, by all means, add the spices.

I love the way cinnamon seems to blend and deepen the the flavour of the dark chocolate.  As a cook, I find myself naturally drawn to flavour combinations, sometimes I have to resist, in order to try something new.  Cinnamon, orange and dark chocolate is special trinity of good things in my eyes.

Festive Chocolate and Orange Brownie Cake with Mulled Berries – Vegan

I do like a Christmas pudding and I’ve always loved Christmas cake.  Mum used to bake it in early December and I remember the whole house filled with those beautiful, spicy cake aromas.  But they’ve very much like Christmas pop songs, I don’t mind them once or twice in a year, but anymore makes me feel a bit sickly (see my post on Alternative Christmas songs here ).  But this brownie cake, I’d happily tuck into in the roasting heart of August.  It also makes the house smell pretty damn good too.  

Jane was a big fan of Terry’s chocolate orange, so I have added a twist of orange here.  It’s a match made in lapland or maybe the Swiss Alps!?  Now Terry’s is off the menu, I go for a very dark chocolate flavoured with orange, there are some awesome bars out there.  If only they made them in little globes with segments.  That’s where all the fun is.  The idea as a kid that chocolate oranges could maybe grow on trees just made Christmas even better.

The thing about cooking at Christmas is preparation.  Cook things well in advance and have a plan.  I’ll be posting some Christmas cooking tips and a full cooking plan in the next couple of days.  However, I think this brownie is best served warm, recently taken from the oven.  Leave it to the day, along with your veggies.

I hope you love this recipe and it woo’s and yum’s the whole family, and all your friends and neighbours and people at work.  Who doesn’t love chocolate cake (actually, one of our bestest buds doesn’t like chocolate cake, but generally speaking, it’s a HIT!)  If Christmas is not your cup of tea, or it’s a hard time of year for you, cake is never a bad thing right!

We send you all our love and good vibes at this time of year, a time to eat, drink and snooze by a fire.

 

Have magical and delicious Festive Time 2018!  

Any questions or comments?  They are very welcome down the bottom there in the comments.  Drops us a chat or just say hello.

Sign up for our seasonal newsletter here (loads of cool stuff coming in 2019) or check us out over on Facebook.

 

If you’re looking for a delicious Christmas centre piece, here’s what we’re having this year (plus recipe):

 

Portobello Mushroom Wellington with Toasted Walnut and Rosemary Stuffing

 

Recipe Notes               

You might like to decorate it with dried orange slices, I’ve added the method below.   They also make for nice decorations. 

If you’d like to go very decadent (steady!!), I’ve also added a link to my quick chocolate sauce recipe below, which is ideal for a chocoholic, maybe a little brandy could sneak in there too.    

I do mention this below, but please don’t overbake this.

If you’re wondering where to get vegan cream or ice cream, you’ll find it in most supermarkets now, and supporting your local health food shop is a wonderful thing too.  They’ll have it.

I know what you may be thinking, that’s a lot of chocolate.  It’s Christmas!!!

Just add cream or ice cream….

Festive Chocolate & Orange Brownie Cake with Mulled Berries

The Bits – For 12-14 slices

175g plain flour

175g light brown sugar

1 ½ teas baking powder

20g or 3 heaped tbs cacao/ cocoa

1 ½ teas ground cinnamon

Large pinch sea salt

 

150g dark vegan chocolate 

100ml cold pressed rapeseed/ sunflower oil

1 ½ teas vanilla extract

1 medium orange (zest)

200ml plant milk, I used soya milk

 

Mulled Berries

150g dried fruits, I use cranberries, cherries or blueberries, or a mixture 

3 slices orange

60ml brandy/ whiskey

Optional Spices – 4 cloves, 1 star anise, 1/2 stick cinnamon

 

Decoration

Dried/ fresh orange slices

Icing sugar

Dried cranberries/ cherries or fresh berries like raspberries/ strawberries

Fresh rosemary sprigs

 

Do It

Boil a kettle.  Preheat a fan oven to 180oC.  Grease and line a large round cake tin (23cm) with oil and baking parchment.

 

Mulled Berries – Place your dried fruits into a small saucepan, pour over the brandy, squeeze the juice out of the orange slices and toss them in too.  Bring to a boil and leave to simmer for 3 minutes. The berries should absorb almost all of the brandy.  Set aside to cool.  Remove the orange slices and any orange pips. 

 

Break your chocolate into a bowl, pour the boiled kettle water into a small pan, place the bowl on top and gently warm the chocolate.  Stirring regularly until it’s melted. Don’t let the base of the bowl touch the boiling water when cooking. Set aside to cool a little.

 

Place the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, cocoa, sugar and salt into a large mixing bowl, mix well together.  

 

In a bowl/ measuring jug, stir together the oil, soya milk and vanilla extract and then pour this into the bowl of dry ingredients, along with the cooled melted chocolate.  Finally add the mulled fruits (with any leftover brandy) and orange zest, fold into the mix.  Don’t over mix, just until it’s all combined.  Pour the mixture into the tin, fashion a level top, and place in the oven.

 

Bake for 18 – 25 minutes, depending on your oven.  Don’t over bake, it should still be a little gooey in the middle when you test it with a skewer.  The brownie cake is ready when a light crust has formed over the whole cake.

 

Leave to cool in the tin, then decorate as you like. Nice and festive!

 

Best served warm, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.  

 

Orange slices – Place 6 orange slices onto a wire/ cooling rack and into a low oven (120oC).  Cook for 1 hour or more, until they have dried out nicely.

 

Can also be served with 2-minute Chocolate Sauce Recipe

 

Foodie Fact

It’s Christmas, I’m going to leave out the healthy Foodie Fact this time around.  But, I’ll just say this, cinnamon is very high in calcium!  Also a good source of iron.  And this, cinnamon has been used medicinally for thousand years, it is an AMAZING source of anti-oxidants.

Winter is the perfect time of year to get your cinnamon oooon!  We love cinnamon tea and it’s so versatile, add it to smoothies, soups and stews.  The next time you cook rice, pop a cinammon stick or some cinnamon bark into the pot.  Lovely sweet and warming flavours.

Festive Brownie Cake, a BIG part of our Christmas Lunch menu 2018 in the Beach House Kitchen

 

Categories: Cakes, Desserts, photography, plant-based, Recipes, Special Occasion, Vegan, veganism, Wales, Winter | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Portobello Mushroom Wellington with Toasted Walnut and Rosemary Stuffing

Vegan Mushroom Wellington with Toasted Walnut and Rosemary Stuffing

The perfect Christmas or roast dinner centre piece!

 

This dish looks lovely, with succulent mushrooms tucked away inside a flavourful nut roast, wrapped in crisp pastry.

 

This is the kind of dish that everyone will enjoy, vegan or not.  It’s rich with loads of big flavours and textures.  This has been well trialed on meat eating friends and family and it always gets the thumbs up.

 

This is my variation of what is fast becoming a modern vegan classic.

There have been loads of versions of Mushroom Wellington recently, the BOSH boys one especially influenced this one.

I’ve been testing the recipe for months now, it’s changed many times.  Sometimes a recipe arrives straight away, is bang on and I’m happy with it.  Yum!  Other times, it’s impossible to not tinker with, or make huge necessary changes that make it edible.  The joys of experimenting in the kitchen!

I love making this dish, so trying out new things has been a real pleasure.  I like the balance of flavours in the stuffing here and I much prefer the mushrooms pan fried, they’re more succulent and juicy.  Plus the garlic must be nice and golden, this adds wonderful flavour to the filling.

A B.H.K CHRISTMAS

We’ve been busy cooking and travelling all over the UK in recent times, spending some cool times in Whistable down in Kent.  Great vegan breakfasts if you’re in the area!  Plus one of our favourite vegan cafes in the UK, The Wallflower Cafe.

Yeah.  It’s that hectic but fun time of the year, where everything seems to go unhinged, we all get high on mulled wine and mince pies, waking up covered with tinsel.  It does offer so many opportunities to eat like a hungry reindeer!

We’re spending the festive period with family in Harrogate and North Wales.  It’s great because we’ll be with young folks, they’re already so excited about the BIG day!  Plus, I get to play with lego.

 

Why Wellington?

No one really knows why this dish is called a ‘Wellington’, it has nothing to do with the Duke of Wellington, although it may well have been created in Wellington, New Zealand. It is most probably a British name for a French classic ‘en croute’ dish.

I hope this makes your Christmas lunch table in a week, do let us know if you cook it in the comments below.  Also, let us know if there are any questions, leave a comment below.

This does look like lots of ingredients and instructions, but once you’ve tried this type of Wellington, it’s a really flexible dish that you can use all year with different seasonal vegetables.  It’s easier than it looks.

Here’s to a delicious 2018 Christmas lunch!  I’ll be posting a dessert and gravy recipe very soon.

 

Have an amazing Christmas!!

 

Big Festive Hugs and Merry Times from the BHK

 

An ideal Christmas centre piece, Vegan Mushroom Wellington. Notice the different style of folding the pastry.

 

Recipe Notes

I’ve added two sizes of Wellington below, one for a meal for 6+ people and one for 4.

This Wellington mix can be made the day before, and kept in the fridge. If you have the time, this is a great idea, making your Christmas day much simpler. This dish freezes well. Reheat in a low oven covered with foil.

Mushrooms – If you prefer, oyster or a selection of wild mushrooms, they also make a wonderful filling, just swap them for the Portobellos. If you like garlic, fry a clove or two more with the mushrooms. If you like things smoky, add ½ teas more smoked paprika.  

Pastry – I mention below, but I’ll say it again, the pastry is best used straight from the fridge, nicely chilled, in a cooler part of the kitchen, ideally on a cool surface.  This means the pastry is much easier to handle and fold.  If it seems too soft, pop it in the fridge again to chill for 20 minutes or so.

Cutting the pastry – I’ve tried folding the pastry many ways, the easiest is to cut it at a right angle away from the filling, see directly below.  You can cut it at an angle, like in the picture up top and below, it leaves a space between the pastry folds, which can make it easier to cut.  But I think I prefer the tucked in, right angle approach.  I hope that makes some sense!

You can use hazelnuts, pecans or almonds in the stuffing.  Just make sure they’re nicely toasted, in a low oven, to bring out all the rich and full flavours.

If you are really not a fan of yeast extract (there are many out there!) and cannot even have a jar in the house, go for a dark miso.  They both add a great umami depth to the stuffing/ roast.

Can’t get really big portobello mushrooms, that’s fine, go for field mushrooms, or just use more smaller mushrooms to add a nice centre for the Wellington.

Please don’t be tempted to use dried herbs here, fresh is best for a lighter flavour.

If you make the smaller Wellington, you’ll have a little pastry leftover.  I normally pop it in the freezer.

When blending the nuts and bread, chunks are fine, we don’t want the stuffing too smooth.  A rougher texture is best I’ve found.

Many puff pastries in the UK shops are vegan, but do have a little check.

I’ve found that Aldi is the best supermarket at the minute for vegan wines, many are labeled.

Festive Vegan Mushroom Wellington – ready to carve

Portobello Mushroom Wellington with Toasted Walnut and Rosemary Stuffing

The Bits – For a big one (x10-12 slices) or a medium one (x6 slices)

Mushrooms                                                                    Big           Medium
Large portobello or field mushrooms                               3 (250g)        2
Large cloves garlic (sliced)                                                3                   2
Tbs fresh rosemary (chopped)                                          1 ½               1
Tbs fresh thyme leaves (picked from the stem)                1                   1/2
Tbs cooking oil                                                                  2                    1
Sea salt and black pepper                                                        To taste

 

Nut Roast Filling
Onion (finely diced)                                                      1 large       1 medium
Large cloves garlic (crushed)                                            3                    2
Stick celery (sliced)                                                           1                1 small

The mushroom trimmings
Tbs fresh rosemary (finely chopped)                                1                    1/2
Tbs fresh thyme (finely chopped)                                     1 ½                   1
Teas smoked paprika                                                        ⅔                     ½
Teas sea salt                                                                      1                      ¾
Teas black pepper                                                             ½                     ⅓

Teas yeast extract                                                               1                      ¾
Vegan red wine (ml)                                                         150                  100
Teas maple syrup or sweetener                                          1                       ½

Grams chestnuts                                                  180                   140
Grams toasted walnuts                                                     200                   140
Slices stale bread                                                                2                      1
Tbs water                                                                            2                      1

 

For brushing
1 tbs soya milk
½ teas maple syrup
½ teas cooking oil

 

Pastry
1 sheet pre-rolled puff pastry (or one block), 375g

 

Do It
Preheat an oven to 200oC.

Walnuts – On a baking tray, toast your walnuts for 5-8 minutes. You’ll get a lovely aroma when they’re ready and they will darken in colour slightly.

Mushrooms – Using a sharp knife, cut away the edges of your mushrooms and the end of the stem, so you’re left with a flat base.  This helps them to fry evenly.  Then finely chop the off cuttings, to be added to your nut roast filling later.

Warm a large frying pan on medium high heat, add 1-2 tbs of cooking oil, fry the mushrooms, top first. Sprinkle each mushroom with the fresh herbs and little salt and pepper. At the same time and In the same pan, fry you garlic until golden. Once the mushrooms are cooked, around 5 minutes each side, leave to cool with the garlic scattered on top.

Stuffing – In a food processor or blender, add the bread. Blitz until a rough crumb forms, not too fine. Pour into a large bowl. Also blitz the chestnuts and then walnuts. Placing all together into a large bowl.

In your large frying pan on medium high heat, add 2 tbs cooking oil and fry the onion, celery and garlic, adding 2 large pinches of sea salt. Cook for 5 minutes, add the mushrooms cuttings, fresh herbs, paprika and season with black pepper.

Cook for another 5 minutes, until all is nice and caramelised.  Then add the red wine, maple syrup and yeast extract, stir, heat through, cooking until the wine is cooked off, roughly 5-7 minutes.

Add the onion mix to the large bowl of bread and ground nuts, mix all together until a dough forms, adding 1-2 tbs water, if needed. It should stick together well when pressed between finger and thumb, but should not be too wet.

Taste the mix, season with salt if needed. Separate into two even balls, weigh them if you like, to be exact (and like a proper chef person).

It is easier to cut and fold over the pastry at a right angle, NOT like I’ve done here.
Mushrooms here trimmed and topped with golden garlic.

On a cold baking tray, lined with parchment, lay or roll out, a sheet of puff pastry that’s roughly 23cm x 29cm (large), 23cm x 24cm (smaller). Pastry is best used straight out of the fridge and handled minimally.

Form half your nut roast filling in a large fat sausage, place into the centre of your pastry, lengthways. Press it down to make a flat oblong shape (see above). This is the base layer for the stuffing filling. Top this with your mushrooms and garlic, face down, trim them if they stick out past the edges.  On the picture above, the mushrooms were too big, so I flipped over the middle one to fit it in.  Whatever works best, we want as much mushroom in there as possible!

Cover the mushrooms with the rest of the mix, moulding the mix and making it smooth with your hands. The mushrooms should be tucked in nice and tightly.

Cover and smooth the filling, tidy up any rough edges. This will mean the Wellington has a nice shape and it’s easy to fold the pastry.

Trim the pastry so it sticks out by 1/2cm at each end of the nut roast filling, then cut the pastry in 1cm strips, at a right angle to the stuffing. Not at an angle like in the photo;)

Lightly brush the soya milk mix around the edges of the pastry, this will help the pastry top to stick together. Make a lattice effect, by simply laying one strip of pastry over the filling, followed by the opposite strip, being as neat and gentle as you can.

Continue doing this, when you get to the end, just trim off the last couple of pastry strips so they fit nicely. 

(At this stage, you can cling film and leave the wellington in the fridge overnight.)

Now brush the whole Wellington with milk and tuck it all in and make it look tidy.

For best results, place in a fridge for 30 minutes or longer before cooking. Then brush again with your milk.

Bake the Wellington for 30-40 mins bake, turn after 20 minutes if your oven is hotter one side than the other. You know your oven.  The pastry will be golden brown and cooked right through.

Leave the Wellington to sit for 10 minutes before using a sharp knife, or bread knife, to carve the wellington.  Serve with your favourite Christmas trimmings.  Merry Christmas!!

 

Foodie Fact 

Chestnuts are the only nut high in Vitamin C, which we of course need lots of at this time of year.  They’re also high in manganese, and a good source of copper and magnesium.

Remember to treat your chestnuts more like a vegetable than a nut, by that I mean they’re best stored in the fridge.  Chestnuts should be plump when you buy them, give them a squeeze.  Toasted chestnuts are one of my favourite things about Christmas!  

 

Find more BHK Christmas centre pieces/ Sunday roast ideas here:

 

Parsnip, Cranberry and Chestnut Roast 

 

Maple Roast Parsnip and Mushroom Roulade with Cashew Cream Sauce 

 

 

Categories: Healthy Eating, photography, plant-based, Recipes, Special Occasion, Vegan, Winter | Tags: , , , | 7 Comments

Top 10 Cooling Summer Recipes – Healthy, Plant-based, Delicious!

Here’s some of our favourite recipes to go with this heatwave.  We spend plenty of time in tropical and steamy places, so we know how to keep things cool when the thermometer starts to rocket.  There are even rumours right now of people in North Wales wearing shorts!

Chill Out!

Focusing on cooling ingredients, especially things like cucumber and watermelon for example, will help keep you chilled.  Also, hot drinks.  Sip some tea like the desert bedouins do, they know it works!  Although a nice long drink, with ice and all the trimmings is the perfect treat.

Try freezing fruits like watermelon, any melon actually, berries, mango, pineapple etc and simply blend them.  Very refreshing, the healthiest slush puppy you’ll ever try!

Also, you can freeze fruit like gooseberries and pop them in a drink, fruit ice cubes.  We also love juicing vegetables and fruits and pouring it into an ice cube tray, or even better, lollipop moulds.  Just add sticks (cocktail sticks are fine for the ice cube tray) and you’ve got gorgeous, healthy coolers waiting for you in the freezer.  Try freezing one layer of juice first, then adding another, and another, until you get a very cool rainbow effect.  Looks amazing!

Here’s our top 10 summer cooler recipes:

Cooling Watermelon, Tofu & Mint Salad

This is the perfect salad for a sweltering day.

Gado Gado – Indonesian Seasonal Salad with Kickin’ Zesty Peanut Sauce

Use whatever mix of veggies you like here, its the dressing that’s the superstar!

Moxarella – Homemade Vegan Mozzarella

The perfect centre piece for a summer ploughmans or salad platter, of course, goes amazingly well with basil and ripe tomatoes.

Watermelon Gazpacho – Cooling, Raw

Very chilled, very simple.  Plus, lots of vibrant colours and flavours.

Charred Fig & Rocket Salad with Lemon Tofu Feta

I love chargrilling or barbecuing figs at this time of year.  Perfect!

Coconut Pad Thai Salad with Almond Dressing

A taste of Thailand.  Light, but packed with nutrition, ideal at this time of year.

Summer Berry & Chocolate Cheesecake – Vegan, Gluten and Sugar-free

When eaten not long out of the freezer, these mini cheesecakes are cooling and so delicious.

Lebanese Halva Choc Ices – Tahini, Rose, Almonds & Figs (Sugar-free)

Our favourite choc ices, a must try and sugar free!

Chocolate & Peanut Butter Ice Cream (Sugar free)

This recipe comes all the way from India, Tamil Nadu, where it reaches nearly 50oC in the summer.

Mango & Coconut Lassi

Coconut + Mango can only = one thing.  YUM!

 

If you like these recipes, please feel free to comment below and share with friends and curious cooks!

Join our private plant-based cooking group here, for exclusive recipes, updates and meet like minded people, share pictures and generally celebrate and get inspired by awesome vegan food and a healthy lifestyle.

Stay cool!

Categories: Desserts, Detox, gluten-free, healthy, Healthy Eating, Lunch, photography, plant-based, Recipes, Salads, Summer, Superfoods, Vegan | Tags: | Leave a comment

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