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!


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.


Lemon polenta cupcakes with glazed fruit topping

Both Alex and I really enjoy making cupcakes, but are not at all fond of the type topped with mountains of super sweet buttercream!
So here we’ve gone for a light soy yoghurt custard, somewhat like a creme pattisiere, and a pretty arrangement of glazed fruit.
They’re delicious, the lemon polenta cake goes beautifully with the custard and fruit, and they’re not too sweet.
And they make such a cute display all lined up together!


The lemon polenta cupcakes looking ever so pretty (we made a double batch which is why there’s more than 12!)

makes 12

for the lemon polenta cakes
130 g rice flour
50 g polenta
18 g tapioca flour
150 g caster sugar
150 g vegan margarine
135 g plain soy yogurt
1 tsp gluten free baking powder
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (scant)
1/2 tsp lemon essence
a pinch of salt
for the yoghurt custard
280 ml soy milk
1 tbsp custard powder
1 tbsp sugar
60 ml plain unsweetened soy yoghurt
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 to 3/4 tsp xanthan gum
for the fruit
12 nice slices of strawberry (about 4 berries)
3 slices of kiwi, each cut into 4 quarters (about half a kiwi fruit)
12 slices of peach, peel the fruit first (about one peach)
1 sachet of fruit jelly glaze, made up to the packet instructions (we used Greens orange flavour which is vegan)

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees c and prepare a 12 hole muffin tray with paper cases.
For the cakes, mix all of the ingredients together in a food processor until well combined. Divide the mixture between the 12 cases, and then bake for 25 – 35 minutes, until the top of the cakes springs back from a gentle push. Cool the cakes thoroughly.
To make the custard, mix the custard powder and sugar with a little of the soy milk to form a paste. Heat the remaining soy milk in a saucepan until almost boiling, and then pour slowly into the custard paste, stirring all the time. Pour the lot back into the pan and heat slowly, still stirring, until it thickens.
Beat in the soy yoghurt and vanilla. Cool.
When the custard is completely cool whisk in the xanthan gun 1/4 tsp at a time until it holds a peak when the whisk is removed.
Make up the jelly glaze while the custard is cooling.
For each cupcake, pipe (or spoon) about 1 1/2 tbsp of the yoghurt custard onto the top if the cake, arrange the fruit slices on top (1 piece of each fruit per cake), and then brush a thin layer of glaze over the top. Allow to set for 30 minutes.


Lemon polenta cupcake with glazed fruit topping

By A. and E.


Griddled asparagus with apple, potato and spinach cakes and lemon sauce

It’s asparagus season, hooray!
It does seem to have taken a while for British asparagus to appear in the shops this year, but now it’s here!
So, we were thinking along the lines of the classic asparagus and hollandaise, something rich and indulgent but letting the flavour of the asparagus shine.
We happily bounced ideas around a bit and came up with this gorgeous recipe! Bramley apple and caraway work beautifully with asparagus, and the foamy lemon sauce adds a great richness and acidity.
The dish would work really well as a starter, but we ate it as an immensely fancy breakfast before we set out on a long, wet, bank holiday walk. It was sustaining as well as delicious, and the walk was pretty great too!


Griddled asparagus with apple, potato and spinach cake and lemon sauce

serves 2 – 4

200 g asparagus
for the apple, potato and spinach cakes
1 large bramley apple, grated
2 large potatoes, cut into cubes (1 – 2 cm)
40 g fresh spinach, roughly chopped
3/4 tsp caraway seeds
1 tsp vinegar
oil, 1/2 tbsp for roasting the potatoes and 2 tbsp for frying the cakes
for the lemon sauce
50 ml soya milk
1.5 – 2 tbsp lemon juice
25 ml cold pressed rapeseed oil
a large pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees c.
Toss the potato cubes in 1/2 tbsp oil on an oven tray and roast for around 20 minutes until golden and cooked through.
While the potatoes are roasting, prep the apple and spinach and then make the lemon sauce.
Using an immersion blender whizz together the soy milk and lemon juice and leave for around 5 minutes. It will start to thicken. Next add the rapeseed oil and salt and whizz again. It should be foamy.
When the potatoes are done mix them with the apple, spinach caraway and vinegar.
Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large frying pan on a medium heat. Using 4 x 10 cm chefs rings if you have them, press 1/4 of the apple mixture into each one, in the pan. Otherwise shape the mixture into rounds in the pan.
Cook for around 5 minutes, then flip them carefully and cook the other side for the same amount if time. They should be golden and crisp and the apple will have broken down and helped to set the cakes in shape. Griddle the asparagus for 4 – 6 minutes until just tender (our spears were quite thin).
Give the the sauce another quick whizz to foam it up again and then assemble the dish.
Plate the cakes first, then arrange the asparagus around and spoon the foam over the top.

By A. and E.


Christmas day starter – Golden beetroot parcels filled with mushroom tarragon mousse, rocket sauce and salted walnut praline

Christmas food, hooray!

We’ve been thinking recently about an interesting, exciting menu for the main meal of the festivities, and today we finally got a chance to cook some of it! As well as this elegant, immensely tasty starter we’ve got main and dessert recipes to come over the next few days…

And so to the golden beetroot parcels! The sweet, earthy beetroot is filled with a mushroom and tarragon mousse, which contrasts beautifully with the peppery bright rocket sauce. The salted walnut praline topping adds crunch and a gorgeous toasty flavour.

There are a lot of steps to this recipe, but many of them can be done in advance, and the parcels themselves keep happily for 24 hours in the fridge once assembled.

If you wanted to cut down the prep time, you could use pre cooked purple beetroot, and a vegan sour cream for the filling.


Christmas day starter

to serve 4


for the beetroot

400 g golden beetroot, around 5 beetroots

for the praline

30 g walnuts, chopped

40 g sugar

1/4 tsp salt

for the mousse

150 g mushrooms, finely chopped

1 tbsp oil

2 tsp tamari

200 ml plain unsweetened soy yoghurt, strained for at least 24 hours

60 g firm silken tofu

30 g coconut oil, melted but not too hot

1/2 tsp dried tarragon

salt and pepper

for the rocket sauce

60 g rocket

3 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp lemon juice

50 ml cold water


First cook the golden beetroots. Bring around 1 litre of water to the boil in a medium sized saucepan. Wash the beetroots but don’t trim the roots off and be careful not to break the skin. This ensures that the colour stays in the beetroot and doesn’t end up in the water! Simmer the beetroots for around 1 hour, until they feel tender to the touch and the skin looks slightly bubbled. Cool the beetroots, and then peel them and slice thinly, no more than 2 mm per slice, preferably 1 mm. You should have 9 slices for each terrine. Leave the slices to drain on kitchen paper.

While the beetroots are cooking make the praline.

Line a baking sheet with baking paper.

Heat a heavy bottomed pan on a medium heat. Toast the walnuts, stirring often for 3 – 4 minutes until they smell toasty and fragrant. Tip out onto the prepared baking sheet, and spread out evenly.

Put the pan back on the heat and add the sugar and salt. Cook the sugar until it’s melted and turned a lovely rich golden brown, around 5 minutes. Don’t mix the sugar or it will crystallise, swirl it around the pan if it’s melting unevenly. When the sugar has reached the right colour, tip it quickly over the walnuts, covering as many of the nuts as possible. Leave to cool and harden.

Next make the filling. Heat the oil in a saute pan and cook the mushrooms and tamari until juicy. The liquid should have evaporated, you don’t want to add extra to the filling.

Put the strained soy yoghurt, tofu, coconut oil and tarragon in a food processor, and blitz until well combined.

Remove the blade from the processor and mix the mushrooms and salt and pepper to taste through the creamy mixture.

Cover the praline with more baking paper, tucking some under the edges, and break it up into little pieces using a rolling pin.

Now assemble the parcels!

Line the ramekins with cling film, leaving a good amount hanging over the edge. Pick a suitably sized slice of beetroot to form the top of the parcel and lay it in the bottom of the ramekin. Next line the inside edge of the ramekin with more beetroot slices, overlapping them slightly. You should use 5.

Add the filling, almost to the top of the ramekin, and top with a final 3 slices of beetroot. Repeat with the other 3 ramekins. Gather the clingfilm over the top and place in the fridge to chill and set, for at least 2 hours.

Just before serving, make the sauce. Put the rocket in a bowl and pour boiling water over it. Drain immediately, run under cold water and squeeze dry. Blitz the rocket, olive oil, lemon juice, water and salt and pepper together to make a loose puree.

To serve, turn each parcel out into the middle of a plate, and top with a spoonful of praline.

Dot the sauce prettily around the parcels.


By A. and E.


Baked yuba rolls with fermented tofu and red sauce

Phew this was a labour of love! The results were pretty amazing if we do say so ourselves, but it was tricky, and time consuming… if you want to impress, or try something unusual, and have a spare 24 hours, give it a go!

While we were researching making soy milk a few weeks ago, we spied instructions for making yuba, or tofu skin and really fancied having a go. But then what to do with it once we’d made it…

It’s a while since we’ve played around with strained soy yoghurt, but the creamy flavour and texture is perfect to use as a cream cheese substitute. So we thought why not use it in place of ricotta and make a fusion type of cannelloni!

Along with the soy cream cheese, we’ve used spinach and mushrooms flavoured with fermented tofu to stuff the yuba. Fermented tofu is very strongly flavoured, and reminiscent of blue cheese. It’s delicious, but you only need a tiny amount!

Along with a roast pepper sauce flavoured with ginger and coriander this makes an unusual, and really rather fancy meal!

Feel free to make it with gluten free lasagne sheets or crepes, or paper tofu which was our original intention if it hadn’t gone off before the use by date….

The finished dish!

The finished dish!

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Artichoke and spinach lasagne with creamy tarragon and lemon sauce

I’m a little short of fresh vegetables at the moment, but had a tin of artichokes in the cupboard which I thought would make a lovely basis for work lunch tomorrow. I fancied making something a little more complex than a salad this time though, and lasagne fitted the bill perfectly.

It’s always fun to experiment with sauces, and this one with tarragon and lemon zest came out beautifully! I’m surprised it made it to lasagne to be honest, I could have eaten it all with a spoon…

The combination of vegetables and beans with oregano and fennel seed works so well with the sauce, it’s turned out to be a sophisticated version of the veggie lasagne with unusual but subtle flavours.

Artichoke and spinach lasagne with creamy tarragon and lemon sauce

Artichoke and spinach lasagne with creamy tarragon and lemon sauce

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