Archive | November, 2013

Ultimate festive nut loaf recipe with Dee’s vegan Sausage “Meat” Stuffing.

30 Nov

Inspiration: I wanted something delicious for Christmas dinner, a dinner with herbs, Christmas flavours and textures. Sausage meat stuffing is a popular Christmas Side dish. So I thought why not use Dee’s Sausages in this tasty, festive meal. I created “Roasted Butternut Squash , Lentil and Nut Loaf stuffed with Dee’s Traditional Vegan Sausage ‘meat’ stuffing served with a Cranberry glaze.”

butternut squash done

butternut squash done

Roasted Butternut Squash, Lentil and Nut Loaf

stuffed with Dee’s Traditional Vegan Sausage ‘meat’ stuffing

served with a Cranberry glaze.

You will need

9 Dee’s sausages

1 butternut squash (peeled and cubed)

20mls oil

2 bulbs of garlic

2 sprigs of thyme

1 leek (chopped small

2 sticks of celery (diced)

1 carrot (peeled and diced)

15g (each) Fresh herbs Rosemary, thyme and sage (finely chopped)

200g soft white bread crumbs (use gf if gluten free)

50-75g vegan butter or oil

200g cooked lentils any type (see pack instruction)

200-300mls Double strength veg Stock

250g of mixed nuts (roasted and chopped)

Salt/pepper

Cranberry glaze

100g cranberries

Little water

50-75g sugar

Method

Pre-heat oven to 180-200c (See pic for butter nut squash)
When the butternut squash is chopped. place in a roasting tray with the 20ml oil and the sprigs of thyme.
add garlic cloves (leave skin on) just cut a small amount off the top of the garlic. put this in the roasting tray and season (salt/pepper) and mix and coat it in the oil. Place in the oven until the butternut is soft and golden (the garlic will become soft and sweet.) When done leave to cool.

In a pot, wok or frying pan melt the butter/oil add leeks, celery and carrot cook until soft, add herbs and cook 4 mins more

In a big bowl add the bread crumbs, lentils (I used puy lentils) and leek/herb mix, then add your cooled butternut and garlic (squeeze the soft garlic from the bulbs first). Then add roasted chopped nuts, start adding stock little by little to make the mix wet but not sloppy (you may not need all of the liquid) so do it bit by bit.
Turn down your oven to 175-180

Get a 2lb bread tin and line it with tin foil or parchment paper. Grease with oil ½ fill the tin with the lentil mixture. Add a layer of the Dee’s sausage ‘meat’ (see picture)and cover with the rest of the mixture. Bake in the oven for 50-60 mins until brown on top, allow to cool in tin.

Cranberry glaze:-
Place the cranberries in a pot with a small amount of water bring to the boil and simmer, they will pop and when they start popping add sugar (add more or less depending on how tart you like it) let it cook for 5 more minutes, you can blend the glaze or leave it chunky.

When the loaf is cooled slice and place in a roasting tray and brush with the glaze and cook for 5-8 mins or until warm in the middle.

Tips

If you have mini bread tin could make mini individual ones with a sausage in each, easy and already portioned for dinner

You could always fry a slice in a pan and when almost done add a bit of the glaze and reduce to make it sticky.

You can always use rice instead of lentils, any veg instead of butternut squash i.e. turnip, celeriac would be nice replacements. Spring onion or regular onion instead of leeks. Reinvent it however you like!

For the nut mix I just used a pack of unsalted mixed nuts which contained: brazil nuts, almonds, cashew hazels and pecans. You can used any of the above or one the above, just roast them in the oven and chop. I did mine in blender a food processor would be better

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Christmas festive salad

23 Nov

 Christmas festive salad with Dee’s traditional vegan sausages

brandy sautéed apples, pomegranate seeds, sliced cranberries and radishes

in a mint and lemon dressing topped off with oranges slices.

Dees vegan sausage , Christmas salad

Dees vegan sausage , Christmas salad

 As some of you might know I love Christmas! The colours, the scent, the cakes, the food, the music etc. so the next few recipes are going to be based around Christmas meals or snacks.

You will need

Baby mixed leaves
3 radishes
10 cranberries sliced
pomegranate seeds

Fried apples 
2teaspoons coconut oil
1-2 apples cut into wedges
1-2tablespoons brandy
2 table soft brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cracked pepper

Dressing 
15g mint
1 lemon juice and zest
2 tablespoon agave nectar
50ml oil

1 pack of Dee’s traditional sausages

Pre-heat an oven or pan and cook sausage with a little salt and pepper (follow instruction in packed)

Heat a frying pan on high add coconut oil. When the oil is melted add apples and brown on high, add brandy and reduce by half. Add pepper and brown sugar and caramelise. Turn off and leave to the side.

Put all the dressing items in a blender and bend until smooth

Put salad, cranberries, pomegranates and radishes in a big bowl and add some dressing.

On a plate put the cooked apples in a circle, place salad in the middle and sausage pieces on the salad and oranges on top. Some extra dressing and pomegranates seeds freshens it up.

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Enjoy Eoin

Quick pasta bake with Dee’s Moroccan veg pot

22 Nov

I don’t normally eat a lot of pasta so I decided to make this twist on Dee’s Moroccan veg pot and make a pasta bake : )

Quick pasta bake with Dee’s Moroccan veg pot

You need

1 Dee’s Moroccan veg pot
100g Vegan cheese grated
300-400g Pasta
100g Bread crumbs
Moroccan spices (optional)

Method

Cook Pasta in salted boiling water follow instruction in packet.
When cooked drain and add veg pot and boil to a slow simmer. Add half of the vegan cheese and lightly mix
Place in an over proof dish
Top off with the remaining cheese. Mix some Moroccan style spices with the bread crumbs and place on top of the cheese .

Bake @180c until

brown on top and hot in the middle 15-20 minutes

Great with a side of green garlic vegetables.

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Pumpkin pie with double vanilla and cinmmon sweet pastry topped with pecans

18 Nov

We don’t celebrate thanksgiving here in Ireland which is only a few more weeks away but I spent the last four years over in the USA.  One thing I will miss this year  is the pumpkin pie, pumpkin roll , pumpkin cheese cake, pumpkin coffee, pumpkin bread  and so on 🙂 and all the other pumpkin spiced that flavour everything in America around this time of year.

warm pumpkin pie with some vegan ice cream (cream on the side) :) sprinkled with some cinnamon

Vegan Pumpkin pie with a cinnamon and double vanilla sweet pastry

Pastry
200g flour
100g vegan butter
100g water
50g sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoon vanilla essence

Pumpkin filling
1 340g pack of silken tofu
1lb of pumpkin purée
3teaspoons cinnamon
2teaspoons nutmeg
1 teaspoons ginger
1/2 tsp mixed spiced or cloves
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Vanilla
60ml oil or melted vegan butter
100ml Dairy free milk
200g Light brown sugar
1teaspoon molasses(optional)

Pecans (optional)

Method
Step1

making the sweet pastry
Rub flour and butter to getting until you have a bread crumb texture . Add cinnamon
Add water little by little until it forms a solid ball you may need more water you may use less depend in the flour. Knead the dough for a one minute and wrap and place in fridge for 30 minutes before using

Step 2
Filling
Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Taste and add more of the spices you like or leave as is.

Step 3
Preheat oven
Roll out your pastry and put in a pie dish or disposable foil deep dish (see pic)Pour in filling and add some pecan to top If you wish bake for 45-60 min or almost set till a little wiggly in the centre cool and refrigerate   For 24 hours cut and gently heat and serve with some soya wipe and or vegan ice-cream sprinkle with cinnamon yum

Tips
Were to fine pumpkin purée ?
The quay co-op hast it. If you live In Cork. You can also try other health food shops or food emporium’s
If you have an American or Canadian friend visiting you soon ask them to bring some.
Buy online
Or make you’re own
U can used any pumpkin : butternut squash and even sweet potato.

Just half and remover seeds for the pumpkin r squash
Oil and turn skin side up  bake till soft remover skin. and blend till a smooth paste as uses a normal in recipe

The same with the sweet potatoes half oil and back skin side up

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Dees leek and onion creamy quiche with asparagus and pea

15 Nov

 

Inspiration : I have been meaning to try this recipe for a while now. Quiche is one of those thing that I miss, now that I don’t eat eggs. So I’m making a rich creamy leek , asparagus and garden peas quiche with Dee’s leek and onion sausages enjoy

Finished and out of the oven

You will need
1lb of firm silken tofu
Soya milk or dairy free milk
1-2 turmeric
3 tablespoon if yeast flakes
Salt/pepper
Oil

1 leek chopped
1/2 an onion diced

3 cloves of garlic diced
2-3 teaspoons Fresh thyme (or 1teaspoon of dried)
75ml white wine
50g vegan cheese
75 ml Soya cream
Cooked Baby potatoes cubed(optional)
75g peas
4-5 Baby asparagus spears chopped
1-2 packs of Dee’s leek and onion sausages .

Short crust pastry .

Buy a savoury frozen pie crust/pastry base

Or make your own

200g flour plain
100g vegan butter
50g water (may need more)
Salt
1teaspoon of dry herbs

Method

Step one
making the short pastry
Rub flour and butter together until it has a bread crumb texture . Add herbs and mix .
Add water little by little until it forms a solid ball you may need more water you may use less depending on the flour. Knead the dough for one minute and wrap and place in fridge for 30 mins before using

Step two
Head pan with oil.
Add chopped leeks and onion, thyme and cook till soft add garlic
Add white wine reduce by half
Add vegan cheese and soya cream and cook until cheese is melted. Season with a little salt and pepper

Step 3
Put tofu ,yeast flakes and turmeric in a blender with a little day free milk blend till smooth. Add this to the leek and wine sauce and bring to the boil and turn off. Taste and season
Add peas and asparagus.
Cook the sausages according to instruction on packet

Step four
Pre heat oven 180c

Roll out your pastry and put in a pie dish or disposable foil deep dish (see pic)

Put cubed potatoes and sausages on the bottom and pour mix on top
Place in the over and cook till brown   on top and set in the middle about 35 mins

Tips

In the pictures i used “stone ground flour whole wheat” when when it came to using it and after cooking it wasn’t so good, so i just put the plain flour recipe. will try to do recipe in the the whole wheat one one i have prefect the recipe.

It best cooked and let sit in the fridge over night or for the day. It holds together better . Otherwise it tends to fall apart . Taste grate but don’t present well.

You could also make mini ones for a Christmas party new year or just have a few friends over for brunch or lunch

 

You can also do
-sundries tomatoes and Basil

-Spicy chickpea and spinach

-broccoli , cheese and mint

Thanks Eoin

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Vegan Lime Chilli & Ginger Glazed tofu with coconut brown rice with green veggies.

8 Nov

I pack of tofu
2-3 tablespoons of coconut oil
2 tablespoon of vegan butter
2 inch of ginger minced
2 cloves of garlic minced
15g of coriander chopped
3 tablespoons Sweet chilli sauce
1-2 lime juice
75-100 ml of coconut milk
Green veg(peas ,courgette, sugar snaps,snow peas)
100g Cooked brown rice

Method
Remove the tofu from the packet and wrap in a towel to remove excess water.
Slice in equal size around half an inch
Make butter:mix butter,ginger, garlic and coriander
Heat a pan with a small amount of coconut oil . Brown the on both side.
Add some butter and let it cook for 1-2 min. Add sweet chilli sauce and let it reduce and glaze the tofu. Add some lime juice.

Heat a wok add oil and veggies and cook for 2-3 mins, add rice and cook until the rice is dried out. Add coconut milk some of the ginger butter and the remaining chilli sauce and cook till reduced and sticky 3-5 mins.

Serve with more coriander and some extra lime if you wish .

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Irish farming – where are we going?

7 Nov

This post/rant is in response to this brilliant article:-

http://permaculturenews.org/2013/11/06/china-soybean-challenge/

‘In 1995, China was producing 14 million tons of soybeans and it was consuming 14 million tons. In 2011, it was still producing 14 million tons of soybeans—but it was consuming 70 million tons, meaning that 56 million tons had to be imported’

This year that figure rises to 68 million tonnes, mostly from South America

http://mobile.bloomberg.com/news/2013-05-21/china-soybean-imports-seen-by-oil-world-jumping-17-next-season.html

Imports rising, pressure from China.

http://www.irishexaminer.com/archives/2013/0808/features/china-imports-60000-tonnes-of-genetically-modified-argentine-corn-239237.html

http://www.barchart.com/commodityfutures/Soybean_Meal_Futures/profile/ZM*1

Ireland imports not even 1million tonnes.
http://www.iasoybeans.com/whatnew/release/268

We’re a tiny customer to these companies, if China’s demand for soybean keeps increasing, the feed companies could cut off supply to smaller customers in order to keep their biggest customer. Why wouldn’t they, they’ve their own countries to look after!

I think we are in dangerous position maybe not immediately but sometime in the next 50 years as our economy is so dependent on foreign animal feed. The fodder crisis served to highlight this and coupled with government targets to increase agricultural output here while ignoring this elephant in the room is dangerous and shortsighted. Sure Harvest 2020 mentions ‘alternative crops’ but I’ve seen no evidence of anything big happening, yet. The reality is it costs too much for farmers here to grow peas/beans/grains to feed their animals relative to the price they get per kg at the mart. Thus forcing them to rely on foreign imports.

How can we encourage more farmers to grow these crops?

No. 1 is to invest in processing facilities and also sell FOOD GRADE crops, which will command a higher price and make growing these crops more profitable for farmers. Food Grade Organic Shelled Hempseed costs €8000 a tonne what’s not to like about growing this crop for food/fibre. Why don’t we grow this crop?

From the Irish Times

‘Average farm income last year: €25,483

Dairy farm income: €51,648
Cattle-rearing farm income: €11,743
Direct payments made up 81 per cent of income
Only one third of farms are economically viable
27 per cent of farmers have an off-farm job’

We can use these crops more efficiently by producing them for food and pay farmers properly for what they do best producing food that nourishes us.

Look at Italy for example lots of lovely dried bags of spelt, wheat berries, polenta, cornmeal, barley why can’t we produce this here? Locally produced beans and grains available to buy direct from the farmers or co-ops? What can be done? We already grow oats for food why not expand the range?!

Then maybe farmers will realise that they’re making more money selling protein crops directly for food than trying to feed animals and then sell them.

We can use crops like hemp more efficiently by producing them for food and pay farmers properly for what they do best producing food that nourishes us. So why aren’t we?

I’m waiting on a reply from Teagasc for most of these questions so when I have some answers the reasons why/why not might become clearer. Though €8000 a tonne for a pesticide free native crop is a no-brainer (if we had processing plant)
And that’s just for the shelled seed you can also use all the fibre and meal too.

*End of rant

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