A pesto bean bake that the Larger Loin Fruit unexpectedly didn’t like all that much

The larger loin fruit is very partial to pesto. And so it was reasonable to assume that a bean loaf flavoured predominantly with said pesto would be a hit. With SheWhoMustBeFed and the VegHead – a big hit. With the larger loin fruit – not so much. NB: this wasn’t even a starter with the smaller loin fruit – fussy bugger.

Anyway – the two most important people in the house liked this so we’re keeping the recipe for posterity:

For the putting in:

  • One (450g) tin of mixed beans (aka “Four Bean Mix”)
  • Half a packet of firm tofu (about 175g)
  • 1 cup of oats – not quick cook (see note below regarding making this gluten free)
  • 1/3 cup of pesto
  • 1/2 cup of pine nuts
  • Teaspoon of cumin powder
  • Teaspoon of ground pepper
  • Splash of tamari
  • 3 medium size mushrooms
  • 1 medium courgette
  • Olive oil

For the making:

Mash the tofu in a large mixing bowl until well smushed.

Process the oats in a bamix dry food processor attachment thingy (or food processor) until they have reduced to a fine flour.

Combine tofu, oats, beans, spices, pesto, pine nuts, tamari and mix thoroughly. Use your hands or a spoon rather than a masher so that you keep some lumpy consistency.

Slice the mushrooms. Slice the courgette in coin shapes.

Using a medium size, lidded baking dish of your choice: add half of the tofu/bean mix. Cover this with the mushroom slices, artfully arranged. Drizzle the mushroom slices with olive oil. Add the remaining tofu/bean mix. Cover the top with the sliced courgette, again making sure you arrange the slices in a manner most pleasing to the eye. Drizzle this layer with olive oil.

Bake in a preheated medium-high oven with the lid on for about half an hour, then remove the lid and bake for another ten minutes until the courgettes brown.

Adapting to gluten free:

Replace the oats with lightly toasted cashews, same weight and same processing

Add a binding agent. Recommended method is: two teaspoons of linseeds ground in the way as the cashews, then soaked in 2 tablespoons of water until gooey. Add this mix to bowl when combining everything.

Greek Moussaka

I found this recipe a while ago, and bookmarked it.  I knew that one day soon I would think to myself, hmmm, I feel like cooking something different today.  And today was the day.  I am often happy to cook meals that I have cooked many times before, as they involve little thought, unlike Veghead, who much prefers something new and exciting to come from the kitchen.  The original recipe I found on the blog of Carol J. Adams, who was given the recipe by Shirley Wilkes-Johnson, apparently a vegan who had been around for a very long time.  I changed the recipe around a little bit, due to our preferences, and reduced the amounts significantly as there were only two of us eating it, not ten.

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium to large eggplant, stem end cut off and sliced into 1/2-inch slices
  • 3 medium potatoes, sliced into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1 tab extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small or 1/2 medium chopped onion
  • 1 inch slice of red capsicum, chopped
  • 120g mushrooms, chopped or quartered
  • 1/2 can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup passata (recipe called for 1 tab tomato paste but we didn’t have any)
  • here the recipe calls for 1 package ground beef style veggie meat (I have no idea how much that is as the recipe is American). I used chickpeas, 1 or 1 1/2 cups, which are yum, unlike the sound of that fake meat.
  • 2 tabs fresh parsley
  • 1/2 tspn cumin powder
  • 1/4 tspn salt
  • 1/4 tspn black pepper
  • 1/8 tspn each cinnamon and nutmeg

Bechamel sauce ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup raw cashews
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1 tabs cornstarch
  • a couple of thin slices of onion, finely chopped (the recipe called for powdered onion, but why would you bother)
  • 1/2 tspn salt
  • 1/8 tspn pepper

What to do:

Preheat oven to 204.4 repeater degrees celsius (this is the metric conversion of 400 fahrenheit).  205 degrees is probably OK.  Place the eggplant and potato slices on well oiled baking trays and brush them with more oil.  Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.

While the eggplant and potatoes are roasting, sauté onions, capsicum and mushrooms in olive oil over medium high heat for about 5 minutes or so.

Stir in tomatoes and passata until mixed.  Add chickpeas and the herbs and spices.

In an oiled baking dish, add a layer of eggplant slices, then a layer of potato slices.  Add a layer of the chickpea mixture then cover with potato slices, then the rest of the eggplant slices.

To make the Béchamel sauce, blend all the ingredients together and bring to a low boil, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens.  Pour sauce over eggplant.

Bake at 176.667 degrees celsius for about 30 to 35 minutes.  Allow to stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Leftovers are good the next day.  This statement is actually written in the recipe but I think that is so obvious that it doesn’t need to be said at all.

Shittake Mushroom dip

You have to take a break from hommous every now and then don’t you? Though the Bamix eventually gets a little itchy for some blending.

What’s in the fridge?

What’s in the fridge?

Hmm….some nice shittake mushrooms, and a bag of fruity brown gilled mushrooms too…

Mushroom dip….yumm….

The following is how The VegHead would make it next time, as the first time it ended up a little sloppier than the ideal consistency.

Need to find in your fridge:

  • 4 to 6 large shittake mushrooms, chopped
  • an equal amount of open gilled “standard” mushrooms, chopped
  • an equal amount of pine nuts (by volume), fairly finely crushed
  • 2 thin slices of red onion
  • 1 small clove of garlic
  • olive oil
  • teaspoon of dark sesame oil
  • teaspoon of mirin
  • 1/2 teaspoon of tamari
  • tablespoon of tahini
  • ground pepper

きのこののり作成方式 (*)

  • Lightly sauté the shittake mushrooms together with the garlic, onion and pepper in a little olive oil
  • Blend the cooked shittake mushrooms etc together with the raw mushrooms.
  • Add the nuts, and the sesame oil, mirin, tamari and tahini. Continue blending to a smooth paste

Store in a covered container in the fridge, lightly drizzled with a little more olive oil. Try to finish it within 3 days of making.

* Roughly translates as “The method of making mushroom paste”

I’m a funghi, but I’m feeling a little green

You see what I’ve done there don’t you? “Funghi”….”fun guy”…oh the wit. When you’ve stopped guffawing just pick yourself up off the floor and hold together your split seams.

This pasta dish uses the Balsamic Butter Bean Salad and tosses it over some pesto tagliatelle pasta. Simple…hearty…colourful…what more could you want?

You will need:

  • A batch of pesto
  • A batch of Balsamic Butter Bean Salad
  • 1/2 glass of white wine (I’ll leave it to you to figure out what to do with the other half a glass)
  • Spelt tagliatelle pasta (or penne, or whatever)

Now ze doing:

  • Cook the pasta as per instructions on packet
  • Meanwhile; dump about 3/4 cup of the pesto into a small saucepan, together with the wine. Simmer (covered) over a low heat until the wine is reduced, stirring regularly to ensure it doesn’t stick.
  • Stir the pesto/wine sauce through the cooked pasta, together with an additional teaspoon of fresh pesto (the pesto has raw garlic in it – so you’re cooking most of it and then just adding a little “raw” pesto in to sharpen up the taste a little)
  • Serve the pasta, then top with the (warm) bean salad

Cavolo Nero and mushrooms in sesame

Cavolo Nero is a cabbage, but oh what a cabbage it is. Nero refers not only to the black verdancy of the leaves, but also points to the place it holds in the Royal Court of Cabbage. No mere, sulphurous, dense ball of pale cabbage commonry, Cavolo Nero’s leaves are long; and the thin, crispy flesh is densly crinkled. If you cannot get any local, organic Cavolo Nero in season, then you can use Kale instead. However your life will be a little sadder for the substitution.

This…is a stir fry. Considering the fact that stir fries are meant to form a solid foundation to the average VegHead’s menu we don’t actually cook that many of them. But hey…you go with the flow of what’s in season and what’s in the larder, and Cavolo Nero is a stir fry kinda guy…

What was in the fridge..

  • One firmly packed cup of chopped Cavolo Nero. Strip the stalk off each leaf as far as the point where it disappears anyway, slice into smallish pieces, wash and thoroughly drain before using.
  • One glove of garlic, crushed
  • A few slices of onion
  • One cup of chopped mushrooms. shitake would have been my first choice, alas the larder was shitakeless. Firm, small fresh champignons therefore gave it their all.
  • Half a packet of firm beancurd; cut into small cubes
  • Chopped fresh coriander
  • Tamari to taste
  • Ground pepper to taste
  • Peanut oil for stir frying
  • Dark sesame oil
  • Crushed roasted almonds
  • Brown rice noodles

What to do..

Stir fry in this order:

  • onion, garlic and pepper
  • tamari, beancurd and mushrooms
  • cavolo nero

Meanwhile….prepare the brown rice noodles as per packet intructions. In my case; soak in boiled water for 5 minutes then rinse in cold water and drain.

  • add the cooked noodles to the stir fry. Toss with gaiety to ensure the noodles don’t form one fat lump all by themselves. Its a bit like a party where there are two social groups – your work friends and your “other” friends – unless you make them mingle they’ll all have a good time but they won’t socialise with each other.
  • Drizzle with a little dark sesame oil
  • Garnish with a generous toss of the coriander, and also the almonds
  • Best served on a prewarmed plate. For some reason noodles go cold on a plate almost quicker than anything else.

Served two..