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Summer sorrel rolls

There’s a lovely plant nursery near veganbungalow, it’s really very hard not to buy too many flowering plants when you see them all lined up so beautiful and colourful!

But on a recent visit they had sorrel plants which just had to be bought. It’s actually years since I’ve had sorrel, but I love the lemony sharp flavour of the leaves so much that I’ve always meant to get a plant or two.

I wanted to make something that really celebrated the flavour of the leaves, but was struggling to come up with anything other than a potato based salad! Sorrel goes so beautifully with English summer flavours – peas, mint and nasturtium, and I really did want to make a dish that included them.

And then Alex hit on the idea of using the leaves as a wrap to make something somewhere between a Vietnamese crystal roll and dolmades. Inspired, I thought!

So I made them, and they’re really very good. I’m going to cosset my plants now and get some more nice big leaves so I can make them again! They’re a great way to use up leftover potato, and you could easily vary the herb and vegetable components, they’d be great with basil and roasted courgette mixed into the potato filling.

 

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Sorrel summer rolls

 

serves 2 with salads and a nice dip 


8 sorrel leaves preferably around 15 cm long but must be over 10 cm

100 g cooked new potatoes

20 g frozen peas, defrosted

1 tbsp shredded fresh mint leaves

a few chopped nasturtium leaves, optional but do add a nice peppery flavour

1 tsp good oil, I used cold pressed rapeseed

salt and pepper


Put the potatoes and peas in a bowl and roughly mash them. Not until smooth, but don’t leave any big lumps or they will tear the sorrel leaves.

Season liberally with salt and pepper, drizzle in the oil and add the herbs. Mix well.

Pour boiling water into a shallow bowl and holding it by the stem, dip a sorrel leaf in for a few seconds until it starts to soften.

Lay the leaf flat on a board and add a tbsp or so of potato mixture along the middle. Tuck in the end and then roll the leaf around the filling.

The leaves seem to naturally curl when they’re in the hot water, so I used that to decide which side to use for the filling. They didn’t all curl the same way!

Serve with salads and something nice to dip them in.



By E.

3

Christmas almond macaroons

We wanted to make a Christmas treat with similar flavours to stollen, lots of dried fruit, spices and yumminess. These really exceeded our expectations, they are moist, slightly chewy and full of Christmassy goodness!

The aquafaba and ground almond mix is a bit of a star, and can be made without any of the dried fruit and nuts to make a lovely soft cookie.

These almost didn’t last long enough to photograph…

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Christmas almond macaroons

makes 12 to 14


100 ml aquafaba (this should be half the amount you get from 1 400 g tin of chickpeas)
50 g caster sugar
1/4 tsp xanthan gum
a pinch of salt
1/4 tsp mixed spice
150 g ground almonds
50 g pistachios, roughly chopped
60 g glace cherries, quartered
30 g mixed peel
50 g raisins
2 tbsp icing sugar


Preheat the oven to 200 degrees c and line a tray with baking paper.
Using a hand or stand mixer beat the aqua faba until it forms soft peaks. As aquafaba varies in strength, this can take anywhere 4 to 8 minutes.
Beat in the sugar until mixture is glossy and forms stiff peaks. Next beat in the xanthan gum, salt and mixed spice.
Fold in the ground almonds, pistachios, cherries, mixed peel and raisins until well combined. The aquafaba meringue mixture will lose volume, this is correct.
Using two dessert spoons make quenelles of the mixture and drop them carefully onto the lined tray.
Bake for 20 minutes until attractively browned.
When cool, dust with the icing sugar.

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Christmas almond macaroons, just dusted with icing sugar


By A. and E.

0

Glazed sesame chestnuts

Chestnuts make perfect pocket warmers for walks out in the frozen winter. No really, they do!
Cook them just before you set out, and then wrap a few in kitchen paper or a handkerchief and pop them into your pocket. They’ll stay warm for a while keeping your hands toasty, and when they’ve cooled you have a lovely snack to give you energy for the rest of the walk!
This recipe is a smoky, spicy, tasty thing to do with the leftovers.

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Glazed sesame chestnuts

serves 4


around 25 chestnuts in shells, or 150 g shelled
2 tsp tomato powder, or 1 tsp tomato puree
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg, or 1/8 tsp ready ground
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp oil
2 tbsp tamari
1 tsp liquid smoke or smoked paprika
2 tbsp sesame seeds


Preheat the oven to 200 degrees c.
Cut a slit in each of the chestnut shells (you must do this or they’ll burst in the oven!) And roast for around 20 minutes until the shells have started to open a little. Cool just until you can handle them, and remove the shells and the papery covering inside the shells (if you’re lucky, it all comes off in one go!)
Putting them cut side down and pressing gently on the shell with your palm helps to loosen it.
If you’re using chestnuts that have been previously roasted and then cooled completely they can be rather hard to shell, so pop them back in a hot oven for 2 minutes before shelling. Don’t reheat them for too long or they’ll go hard when they’re baked in the glaze!
Mix together the tomato powder, nutmeg, salt, oil, tamari and liquid smoke and then toss the chestnuts in the resulting paste.
Spread them out on a baking sheet and sprinkle over the sesame seeds.
Bake for 10 minutes, and serve warm or cold.


By E.

0

Broccoli, butterbean and basil salad

I seem to have slipped into making pretty uninspired salads for work lunches recently, so this time I wanted something a little more coherent, with complementary flavours and textures.
Enter broccoli and basil!
I go through phases with broccoli, sometimes I can take it or leave it and other times I really crave it. It’s so nice in salads and paired with basil makes a lovely dish for the end of summer.
I’ve also added butterbeans for a creamy texture, olives and sun dried tomatoes to complement the basil, and cucumber for crunch. Lovely!

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Broccoli, butterbean and basil salad

serves 2


1 medium head of broccoli, cut into florets
1 400 g tin of butterbeans, drained
30 g fresh basil
3 tbsp water (save it from steaming the broccoli if possible)
1 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
4 sun dried tomatoes from a jar, and 1 tbsp of the oil
20 small olives
about 6 cm cucumber, diced
salt and pepper


Steam the broccoli until just cooked. I did mine for 3 minutes in the microwave, with a little water.
Pick and separate about 1/3 of the basil leaves and set aside.
Blitz the rest with the oil from the tomato jar, vinegar, water, and salt and pepper.
Mix together the drained broccoli, butterbeans, olives and dressing. Leave to cool completely and then fold through the cucumber and basil leaves.


By E.

0

Spinach, kale and apple soup

Doesn’t green soup always feel ever so nutritious?
And this one is, being full of spinach and kale 🙂
There are also apples for sweetness and acidity, sun dried tomatoes to add a little richness, and potato for a lovely texture.
All the flavours come together to make a very satisfying soup!
It’s so easy to make, everything just goes in the pot together. It could be cooked in the oven as most of our soups are but this time we used the hob. Add around 10 -15 minutes to the cooking time if you’re using the oven.
It’s pictured below with a sandwich made from our beetroot bread, which makes for a very pleasing colour palette!

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Spinach, kale and apple soup

serves 2 to 4


100 g kale, shredded
100 g baby spinach
2 small apples, chopped. We used braeburn
2 large sun dried tomatoes
1 medium potato, chopped
1 heaped tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp dried thyme
600 ml hot water
salt and pepper


Put the spinach and kale into a large pot on a medium heat and pour over the hot water. This will start the spinach wilting and enable you to fit the rest of the ingredients in!
Add the apples, sun dried tomato, potato, oregano and thyme. Bring to a simmer, partially cover and cook with the heat on low for around 25 minutes until the potato is soft.
Blend the soup until smooth (we used an immersion blender), and season to taste with salt and pepper.


By A. and E.

1

Beetroot bread, gluten free and vegan

We actually didn’t expect this beetroot bread to turn out such an amazing colour!
The crust stays a beautiful bright pink and the inside, due to the yellow corn meal, turns a lovely soft orange colour.
And as well as looking spectacular, it tastes good too! The beetroot powder adds a slight sweetness and earthy flavour which is really delicious.
This is a loaf that gets better as it keeps, the texture is nicest after a couple of days. But it’s hard to keep it that long, and thankfully it’s yummy freshly baked too!

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Vegan gluten free beetroot bread

makes 1 small loaf


375 ml tepid water
7 g instant yeast
1 tsp sugar
65 ml oil, plus a tiny bit extra for the cling film which covers the dough while it’s proving
70 g tapioca flour
65 g millet flour
65 g rice flour
170 g fine corn meal
10 g beetroot powder
6 g xanthan gum
1 tsp salt


Whisk together the tepid water, yeast and sugar and leave for around 10 minutes until frothy.
Mix together the tapioca flour, millet flour, rice flour, corn meal, beetroot powder, xanthan gum and salt. Use a balloon whisk, it’s easier to get it all properly combined that way.
Tip the yeast mixture and oil into the flour and beat together until well combined. It should be a thick batter.
Tip into a non stick 750 ml loaf tin and smooth the top. Cover with oiled cling film and prove for around half an hour until the batter has risen just over the top of the tin. It’s important to oil the cling film or the batter will stick to it!

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Beetroot bread batter ready to be baked

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees c.
When the batter has proved bake for 40 – 45 minutes until the loaf has risen, formed a nice crust, and feels hollow when the bottom is tapped.

Let the loaf cool completely before slicing.

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Beetroot bread, the crust is such an amazing colour!

By A. and E.

6

Spice roasted whole cauliflower with beetroot and butternut squash

Doesn’t a whole roasted cauliflower look pretty! Even a little one, like in my photo.
I made this colourful roast to have as a work lunch with a little rice, but it would be great served warm too.
The slightly orangey notes of the coriander seed along with the caraway and thyme match very well with the flavours of each individual vegetable.
You could use a larger cauliflower, as it’s essentially cooked before roasting. You would need to make more of the spice mix though, perhaps double the spices, vinegar and oil.
And of course you can also use raw beetroot, just be sure to cook it a bit (steam or roast) before it goes in with the butternut squash as it takes substantially longer to cook through. I like the ready cooked kind for convenience though!

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Spice roasted whole cauliflower with beetroot and butternut squash

serves 2


1 small cauliflower, about 300 g after trimming
a few of the outer leaves of the cauliflower if they’re good
300 g butternut squash, diced
250 g cooked beetroot, diced (the sort you can buy in a vacuum pack in the supermarket, not pickled)
1 tbsp coriander seed
1 tsp caraway seed
1 tsp dried thyme
a large pinch of salt
1 tsp vinegar (I used sherry vinegar)
2 tbsp oil


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees c.
First steam the cauliflower until just tender, I did mine in the microwave for 5 minutes. I find that the texture of roasted cauliflower is more pleasing if it’s steamed first.
Toss in any larger cauliflower leaves for a couple of minutes too, the smaller ones shouldn’t need it.
Crush together the coriander seed, caraway seed, thyme and salt. They don’t need to be powder by any means, a bit of texture is good.
In the corner of a large roasting tin, mix together the spices, vinegar and oil.
Roll the cauliflower in the spice mix until nicely coated and then toss the rest of the vegetables in the remainder.
Arrange the cauliflower prettily in the centre of the tray with the butternut, leaves and beetroot around it.
Bake for 45 – 55 minutes until everything is cooked through and the cauliflower is lightly browned.
Cut the cauliflower into wedges or slices to serve.


By E.

2

Rosti, apple dill coleslaw and walnut pate

I’m not sure why potato rosti is so satisfying, but it really really is!
I guess, like with roast potatoes or chips, it’s the combination of potato with a crisp outer layer and a soft inside, which is always going to be such a comforting combination.
This recipe makes a great lunch, combining the rosti with a lovely fresh apple and dill coleslaw, and a savoury, creamy walnut pate.
It’s really quick to prepare if you have a food processor with a grating attachment, but if not you can always slice the cabbage, celery and apple for the coleslaw. The potatoes and carrot do need grating though! The ground ginger in the coleslaw may seem an unusual ingredient, but do try it, it’s just a tiny bit so you don’t taste it as such but it complements the flavours of the vegetables beautifully.
We ate the rosti between the two of us, and had coleslaw and pate left for another meal, but you could serve it as a starter for 4 with the rosti cut into quarters.

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Rosti, apple dill coleslaw and walnut pate

serves 2 to 4


for the potato rosti
5 medium potatoes, grated
salt and pepper
1 tbsp oil
for the apple dill coleslaw
200 g white cabbage, grated
1 large carrot, grated
2 sticks celery, grated
2 small apples, cored and grated
2 tbsp sherry vinegar
2 tbsp rapeseed oil
a pinch of ground ginger
a pinch of salt
15 g fresh dill
for the walnut pate
100 g firm tofu
50 g walnuts
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
50 ml soya milk
1 tbsp dried ramsons or a small clove of crushed garlic
a big pinch of salt
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce


Grate the potatoes first, and then tip them into a clean tea towel and wring out over the sink.
Heat the oil in a (preferably low-sided) frying pan on a medium heat. Add the potatoes, with salt and pepper, to the pan and squash out into a large round, about 5 mm thick. Cook for around 5 minutes until golden brown. Flip, and cook the other side for a further 5 minutes. While the rosti is cooking make the coleslaw. Simply combine the vegetables and apple with the oil, vinegar, dill and seasoning and mix well.
For the walnut pate, whizz all the ingredients together in a food processor or with an immersion blender until combined but still with a little texture.
Serve the rosti cut into halves or quarters, with the coleslaw and pate on the side.


By A. and E.

9

Creamy tarragon, cashew, courgette and butternut spaghetti

This weekend Alex and I have been stripping wallpaper and sanding walls, it’s hard work, and so dusty!
So for lunch today we needed something easy and nutritious, with minimal time spent in the kitchen.
We’d picked up some spiralised vegetables cheap at the supermarket the other day, so we combined them with gluten free spaghetti, toasted cashew nuts, tarragon, and a cheaty sauce made from vegan cream cheese (we used violife brand).
It was gorgeous, comforting while still giving us a good amount of vegetables, and some protein from the cashew nuts. The tarragon really makes it though!
It’s a combination of flavours we’ll be making again, possibly with the vegetables diced rather than spiralised, the textures will work just as well.

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Creamy tarragon, cashew, courgette and butternut spaghetti

serves 2


180 g courgette, spiralised or diced
50 g butternut squash, spiralised or diced
80 g gluten free spaghetti
50 g cashew nuts
2 tbsp fresh tarragon, chopped
100 g vegan cream cheese
2 tbsp soy milk
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
salt and pepper


In a dry saucepan on a medium heat cook the cashews, stirring often until starting to brown, around 3 minutes. Tip into a dish to cool.
Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil (use the cashew pan for ease), and cook the spaghetti according to the packet instructions. Steam the courgette and butternut squash (I use the microwave), 2 – 3 minutes each if spiralised, a little more if diced.
Drain the pasta and return it to the pan on a low heat. Add the vegan cream cheese, tarragon and soy milk. Stir until the cream cheese has melted into a sauce.
Mix in the nutritional yeast and salt and pepper to taste.
Toss through the courgette, butternut and cashews.


By A. and E.

0

Gluten free beetroot papardelle with pea and basil pesto

We’re finding ourselves having less and less time for cooking new things recently, we’re eating the usual delicious salads for work lunches and that sort of thing, but nothing really new enough to blog about on the whole!
But this, although we can hardly believe it, is our 300th post for veganbungalow!
So it feels like the right time to make something special.
In our experiments with the flour mix we use for our pittas, we’ve discovered (oh joy of joys!), that it makes a great gluten free pasta!
It has a wonderful texture, and can be used for tagliatelle, tortellini, ravioli and all those sorts of things.
For this recipe we’ve kept it simple, just a basic dough with a little beetroot powder added for a fun colour, and a super quick and delicious pea and basil pesto.
It’s definitely a dish worthy of our veganbungalow milestone!

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Gluten free beetroot papardelle with pea and basil pesto

serves 2


for the pasta
30 g cassava flour
35 g millet flour
15 g rice flour, plus a little extra for dusting the board
40 g potato starch
3 g xanthan gum
a pinch of salt
10 g beetroot powder
80 ml cold water (you may need a bit less)
for the pesto
75 g frozen peas
30 g cashew nuts
15 g basil leaves
4 tbsp oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp dried ramsons, or 1/2 clove of garlic
60 ml water salt and pepper


To make the pasta, mix together the dry ingredients with a balloon whisk and slowly add the water, mixing with your hand until it forms a dough. It should be fairly soft and pliable.
Pop the dough in a plastic bag, and rest it in the fridge for at least 20 minutes. It will be hard to roll if you don’t.
While the dough is resting, make the pesto.
Simply whizz all of the ingredients together in a mini processor, or use a pestle and mortar. It should not be completely smooth you want a bit of texture.
Dust your board with a little rice flour and roll the dough out to around 1 mm thick. Cut into 10 mm strips.
Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and carefully drop the pasta in. Bring back to the boil and cook the pasta for 2 minutes and then drain. The pasta will swell up a little as it cooks
Serve the papardelle with the pesto plopped prettily on top.


By A. and E.