19 June 2016

Mushroom Rice Balls with Tomato Relish


Life feels like it has been pretty hectic lately and over the next couple of weeks it's only going to get busier, with my birthday, working and then a holiday at the end of the week to look forward to! I definitely need a break now and I hope to come back from Budapest with lots of inspiration for new recipes to post!


When I started cooking this next recipe I wasn't sure what I was actually making; I grabbed a few things from the fridge, including some leftover brown rice and just began cooking, it was about half way through the process that I had the idea of making these little rice balls. They're packed full of mushrooms, brown rice and herbs, with a little oat flour as a binder and crust too, then shallow fried and served up with an easy homemade tomato relish. These are similar to risotto balls, but instead they are made up of leftover plain rice, rather than risotto, plus, they're quicker and healthier as they're made with wholegrain rice, but just as tasty!


This next recipe would be great as a tapas style meal or as a starter, they're best served hot but are still pretty delicious cold too, so you could take them to work for lunch (just make sure they're refrigerated). The ingredients list may look pretty long, but most of it is herbs, so if you haven't got one, sub it in for another one to your liking. You can also use chickpea and oat flour interchangeably in this recipe, but if using chickpea, just be sure to cook it through properly as it has a pretty prominent taste when under cooked.


The relish is made from sundried tomatoes, red onion and pickles, finely chopped and mixed together, it's wonderfully tangy and flavourful, complimenting the creamy, herby flavour of the rice balls. This recipe is pretty quick and easy, taking no more than 30 mins for the whole batch.

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Mushroom Rice Balls with Tomato Relish | Yield: 10 | Time: 30 mins

You'll need

  • large frying pan
  • non-stick frying pan
  • chopping board
  • knife
  • food processor
  • oil, for shallow frying
  • Paper towels

Ingredients

Rice Balls:
  • 1 cup cooked wholegrain rice
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 200g chestnut mushrooms
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp rosemary
  • 2 tbsp fresh, chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp chopped dill
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp oat flour
Coating:
  • 1 heaped tbsp oat flour
  • 1 heaped tbsp chickpea flour (or 1 extra tbsp oat flour)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • Salt
Relish:
  • 4 sundried tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp pickle brine
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1/2 large pickle, finely chopped
  • 1/8 red onion, finely chopped

Method

  1. Chop the onion and add to the frying pan on a medium heat with a splash of oil, then chop the garlic and mushrooms and add these too, fry for 5 minutes before adding the rice, herbs and seasonings. Remove half of the mixture from the pan and blend in the food processor, then add back to the pan with the oat flour, combine and cook for a further 5 minutes. Form into 10 small balls.
  2. In a small bowl mic together the ingredients for the coating and roll the balls in this, before placing to one side.
  3. Heat up a shallow pan of oil and fry the balls until golden and crispy, turning as needed. When crispy, place on a plate of paper towels to absorb excess oil.
  4. Meanwhile, to make the relish, blend up the tomatoes with the pickle brine and water to form a paste, then stir in the pickle and red onion, put in a small bowl ready to serve. 
  5. Serve up the risotto balls hot with the relish and enjoy! 
Cassidy xx

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7 June 2016

Herby Vegan Feta Wraps



My second year of university is completed, I signed for my very first flat the other day and I'm up to date on everything on my to-do list. I had a great day yesterday with the girls, we went to watch the movie "Me Before You" and then ate our feelings away with pizza and dough balls; anyway, I'm *almost* feeling refreshed after all the stress over the past few months and am ready for the next chapter of my life. Over the next month I have my university placement, work as usual, my birthday, a holiday and then I'm moving...so I've got a really busy time coming up but I am really looking forward to it all!


This next recipe is for vegan greek style wraps, filled with homemade vegan feta, vine ripened tomatoes, cucumber, black olives and a lemon- tahini dressing. They're the perfect summer lunch food, bursting with flavour and different textures and perfect for taking to the beach, as I did earlier!


I've had the idea of a vegan feta in my head for a while now and with all the craziness that was the end of my second year I just hadn't  had a chance to experiment with it. A few months back i mashed up some butter beans with a few herbs and seasonings and stuffed portobello mushrooms with it; my first thought was how close the texture and flavour was to marinated feta. It was a bit too bean-like and needed a little something else, so I tried out adding tofu and olive oil for a bit more body and moisture and it was really something. It doesn't have the exact texture of feta, but it's crumbly and creamy and has an almost identical taste to the marinated feta I used to buy.


The process can take a little while to make, but you'll have enough "feta" to make at least 4 large wraps and it will last a few days in the fridge too. And with this flavour, a little bit of time is more than worth it! The only "speciality" ingredient I used was yellow miso paste, it has a slightly sour tang to it that makes it great in 'cheese' dishes and I'd definitely recommend buying some, you only use a little at a time so it will last ages and makes a huge difference!

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Herby Vegan Feta Wraps | Serves: 4 | Time: 45 mins

You'll need


  • Food processor/blender
  • Spatula
  • Chopping board
  • knife
  • Baking tray
  • Grease-proof paper

Ingredients


Vegan feta:

  • 1/2 block firm tofu, drained
  • 1 can butterbeans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 large garlic clove, chopped
  • 1.5 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp white/yellow miso paste
  • drizzle olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
Wraps:

  • 4 wholemeal tortilla wraps
  • 2 large vine ripened tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup black olives
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1 bag rocket


Dressing:

  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 1.5 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp water

Method



  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200°C and line a baking tray with grease-proof paper.
  2. Add the tofu, beans, garlic, lemon juice, vinegar, miso, olive oil and salt to the food processor/blender, blend until smooth. You may need to stop and scrape down the sides a few times.
  3. Then stir in the oregano, parsley, basil and pepper and taste, add more salt or pepper if needed. Spoon the mixture onto the baking tray and arrange in a square shape, roughly 4x4". Smooth the square over and place in the oven for 25 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, add the tahini, lemon and water to the blender and blitz until smooth and chop the veg up for the wraps.
  5. To arrange the wraps, smooth a spoonful of the tahini dressing onto the middle of the wrap, followed by a handful of rocket, the tomatoes, olives and cucumber. Then crumble up the feta onto the fillings and fold the wraps. Repeat with the rest, serve and enjoy! 
Cassidy xx

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21 May 2016

Smashed Paprika Potatoes



I'm now on the homestretch to completing my second year at uni, with my final assignment in yesterday and my last exam in less than two weeks. The last assignment I did was definitely one of the greatest challenges I've ever completed regarding academics; there were so many components, not to mention it was group work too, so you can imagine my relief when I woke up this morning and it hit me that I have finally completed it!


One way to celebrate was by finally booking a holiday, to Budapest! I've heard such great reviews about Budapest from some friends who have been and by the online comments it looks like an amazing place for vegan food too! I've already been doing some reading and have discovered that the national spice of  Hungary is paprika, so of course I had to come up with something that featured paprika! Whilst there are many different types of the spice in Hungary, I've used a regular sweet paprika, combined with a touch of smoked paprika for this dish.


The recipe is for garlicky-paprika smashed potatoes with a smoked paprika, creamy dipping sauce, they're crispy, delicious and just so more-ish! They work well as a snack or side dish, they'll serve 2-4 people depending on what you serve them up with, if you think you're going to need more then simply make up a double batch. They re-heat well in the oven too!


From what I've read online Budapest has some great vegan restaurants, but I'd love to try out some of the best, as recommended by my readers! I'd also love to try some authentic Hungarian options, so if you've visited Budapest, or happen to live there, please leave a comment with places we just have to try when visiting! 



Smashed Paprika Potatoes | Serves: 2-4 | Time: 45 mins

You'll need


  • Large saucepan
  • Large baking tray
  • Grease-proof paper
  • Fork
  • Blender/food processor

Ingredients

Potatoes:

  • 750g small potatoes (Marylyn, New, Jersey Royal etc)
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • Oil
  • Salt and pepper
Dip:
  • 1/2 block silken tofu (~150g)
  • 1.5 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tbsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1.5 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • Salt and pepper
Method:
  1. Bring a large pan of slightly salted water to the boil, pre-heat the oven to 180°C and line a baking tray with grease-proof paper.
  2. Boil the potatoes for 15-20 minutes, then drain. Place the potatoes on a baking tray and press down gently with the back of a fork, season with paprika, oregano, garlic powder, salt and pepper, then lightly drizzle with oil. Bake for 10-15 minutes.
  3. To make the dip, add the tofu, lemon juice and seasonings to the blender, along with a pinch of salt and pepper and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
  4. Serve up the potatoes with the dip on the side and enjoy! 

Cassidy xx


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11 May 2016

Summer BBQ Burrito


With summer just around the corner and the weather warming up BBQ season has officially begun. When it comes to being invited to non-vegan BBQ's its usually easier to think about bringing something yourself, rather than surviving the afternoon on a crisp sandwich whilst everyone else is happily munching away on endless amounts of food. 


I wanted to create something that was a full meal, wrapped into one foil package that could be cooked on the BBQ in 15 minutes and without the worry that you'll still be hungry afterwards and will have to ask a million questions about the contents of the buffet table. Burritos seemed like the perfect option, you can stuff them and roll them at home in 10 minutes, they contain all the elements of the meal so you don't have to worry about condiments either and then they can be cooked on the BBQ alongside the rest of the food, without the worry of contamination.

2 May 2016

Peri Peri Mushroom Bowl


This next recipe is one for those who love spicy food; featuring Absolute Spice's Peri Peri blend. It's full of the delicious flavours of garlic, onion, basil, cayenne, salt and chili; roasted with a mix of exotic and baby portobello mushrooms, red onion and red pepper, on a bed of wholegrain rice and green lentils, finished off with a tangy lime-soy dressing. 


The best thing about the Peri Peri spice mix is that it isn't just spicy; it has so much flavour delivered by the onion, garlic and basil, making a wonderful marinade for the earthy mushrooms and sweet peppers. It smells absolutely devine and tastes amazing whether cooked into the food or not; I would love to try it sprinkled over some oven baked chips or to spice up some hummus! Peri Peri spice is a Portuguese spice mix, that can be made from a range of  different herbs and spices, usually including chili, garlic, onion and salt.