The Diminishing Vegan

Veganism and Weight Loss

Category: Dinner (Page 2 of 2)

Dhal – Vegan Dinner Party

For my vegan dinner party, another of the main dishes that I made was a very simple Dhal. I wasn’t even going to make one, but when I was looking in the cupboard I spotted a fairly large bag of lentils, and thought since I was going down the indian route, how much more work could a dhal be?

Well, I was right, this barely took any time to make at all.

Dhal

Ingredients

400g Red Lentils

2 tsp Turmeric

2 Large Blobs of Vitalite

2 tsp of Cumin Seeds

1 onion

3 Cloves of Garlic

1 Large Green Chilli

1 tsp of Garam Masala

Fresh Coriander

Thumb sized piece of Ginger

Method

Put lentils in a pan with enough water to cover around 2 inches above their surface. Bring to the boil and skim off the scum on top. Lower to a simmer, stir in turmeric for a lovely yellow colour and a blob of vitalite. Let it cook gently.

Dry fry cumin seeds until toasted. Remove from pan.

Melt other blob of vitalite, fry garlic, onion, chilli and ginger. Once golden add seeds, garam masala and coriander. Remove from heat until lentils are cooked.

Dhal

Mine at this point went like porridge, I needed to add more water a few times as they really thicken up. At the end I added in my extra mixture.

Vegan Dinner Party

Here it is with the final meal again. Here is the original recipe, I pretty much followed it to the letter. I also used some the next day but will do a new post about that another day.

Saag Aloo – Vegan Dinner Party

This has been one of my favourites from takeaways for a number of years, even in pre-vegan days. Potatoes and spinach, it’s just a tasty combination. I had bought already made saag aloo but had never tried to make it myself and I was surprised at how fast and easy it was.

Saag Aloo Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp Sunflower Oil
  • 1 White Onion
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh Ginger
  • 500g Potato cut into 2cm chunks
  • 1 Big Red Chilli
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 250g Spinach

Method

Heat oil, sautee onion, garlic and ginger. Stir in the potatoes, chilli, spices, 1/2 tsp of salt and continue cooking and stirring for 5 minutes. Add a little water and cook for 10 minutes.

Saag Aloo

Check potatoes are ready with a knife, add spinach at the last minute and mix.

Vegan Dinner Party

Original Recipe found here.

Kadala Curry – Vegan Dinner Party

Kadala curry. I had never heard of it before the dinner party. Stuck for ideas of what to make, after looking through my cookbooks and not finding anything that really jumped out, I went to the BBC goodfood site and searched for vegan food. This is where I found the recipe for Kadala curry. This was easy to make, delicious, incredibly cheap, popular with meat eaters and will definitely be making it to my regular meal planning menu. This recipe makes four good sized servings.

Kadala Curry Recipe

Ingredients

Paste ingredients:

  • A little oil
  • 1 white onion
  • 1 red chilli
  • 1 bulb of garlic (9 cloves)
  • Thumb sized piece of fresh ginger
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree

Curry Ingredients

  • 2 x 400g Cans of Chickpeas, drained
  • 400g Can of Chopped Tomatoes
  • 100g Creamed Coconut
  • Large handful of fresh coriander
  • 100g Spinach

Method

First of all make the paste. Sautee the onion and chilli until golden in a little oil. In a food processor mix garlic, ginger, and a little more oil, then add garam masala, coriander and cumin, 1/2 tsp of salt and the onion/chilli mix. Add water if needed and mix to a paste. This can be kept for a little while, I prepared this around an hour or so before. Kadala Curry

Next up is the curry, heat the paste for a couple of minutes, add in chickpeas and tomatoes and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the coconut and a little water, cook for another 5 minutes. Lastly, add the coriander and spinach. We had it with rice and the other dishes I made. Vegan Dinner Party

The original recipe can be found here.

 

Vegan Dinner Party

Upcoming will be a series of posts about the food I made at a vegan dinner party I hosted last night (8th October). Everyone at the dinner party other than myself and my daughter were hardened omnivores. I think I could possibly say that our friends who came do not often eat entire meals that are vegan.

As it was at our house, I was obviously going to do it fully vegan. Other than for one friend and my immediate family I haven’t made vegan food for others, therefore a fully vegan dinner party was a little scary! Plus, I tend to have anxiety over what others will think, so generally cooking for others gets my blood pressure up a little.

I researched food during the week, deciding I wanted to do something different from what I usually cook. Our guests were a great couple who we have known for many years and their lovely little girl, we had went to theirs previously, around a year ago. Yes, my anxiety over cooking lead to me waiting a year before arranging a return visit.

I love spicy, flavourful food, but I never make it from scratch. I feel that I have always been bad at making curries, but have always wanted to be better, so, while throwing myself in the deep end with the meal anyway I decided to make all new food I have never made before, of a type I am usually average at. On top of that I decided to make three mains,  a new side, and two desserts. Talk about jumping in head first!

So the menu went like this, although it was fairly informal.

Starter

Indian nibbles (pakora, mini samosas, these were purchased)

Poppadoms

Dips (Mixed pickle, mango chutney & spiced onion)

Mains

Kadala Curry

Saag Aloo

Dhal

Indian Chips

Steamed Basmati Rice

Pudding

Vegan Chocolate Cheesecake

Salted Caramel Drizzle Cake

It was a fairly involved cooking experience but overall I think it went down really well! I can’t say for all but I really enjoyed it, and I think I nailed all three mains, which for someone who usually ruins curry was a minor miracle! All of the recipes were based from recipes I found online and I will do some individual posts about these over the next couple of weeks.

CFC Drumsticks – Dinner

CFC Drumsticks (Cruelty Free Chicken)

I’ve been putting off this post because it’s going to be a big one, these CFC Drumsticks took me about two hours to make a fortnight ago. Adapted from the amazingly inventive recipe here, dreamed up by Zacchary Bird, these are probably one of the most challenging vegan recipes I have made but I was glad I did!

I can’t remember where I saw these first, Instagram or Facebook, but they blew up both of my feeds and I was intrigued. I had tried jackfruit previously in a pie at VegFest but I had never tried cooking with the stuff myself.

First step – find some jackfruit. I swear, if there is any in the shops in Inverclyde I have no idea where! I went to my local-ish Asian supermarket and managed to get some but sadly it was sweet not young in brine, this is important, for the “meaty” texture it must be the young/green jackfruit in brine. For those in the UK here on is where I ended up ordering from, £1.39 a tin, worth every penny!

The following is a repost of the original recipe, however I did make some changes due to being unable to get some of the ingredients and hearing about some further suggestions on instagram.

Recipe

Batter Mix

  • 3/4 cup plain white flour
  • 3/4 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon all spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • Pinch of dried oregano
  • Pinch of turmeric
  • 1 can of aquafaba
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Meat

  • 2 cans young green jackfruit
  • 1 medium cauliflower
  • 1 + 1/2 cups of chicken style stock ( I couldn’t find any vegan chicken style stock so followed this recipe from Sharon123 and made my own)
  • 2 teaspoons nutritional yeast
  • 4 pieces of rice paper
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 10 drops of liquid smoke
  • 500 – 750ml vegetable oil

Method

There is no getting away from the fact that this is a mammoth recipe. I’ll try to cover it fairly quickly, Zacchary Bird covers it in depth, it is his recipe and anyone interested should go and check out the original.

Drain, rinse the jackfruit and squeeze out the seeds. As it was my first time using jackfruit I actually found this stage quite complicated, trying to discern what was a seed and what wasn’t was confusing! Got there eventually though.

Put in a pot with the stock, nooch, onion powder and liquid smoke. Boil for 10 minutes, simmer for 10 minutes or until liquid is soaked up.

CFC Drumsticks 1

Prepared Jackfruit

Next, chop up the cauliflower, strip off all the florets and split the central part into four. This gives you the “bone” shape.

Lay out cling film. I then soaked a rice paper wrap and laid this on top of the cling film. Then I took the jackfruit mixture and squeezed it around the “bone”. It falls off, it is quite hard to do, this is why others have suggested the rice paper, you put your drumstick on it and wrap it all together using the rice paper and then the cling film. After this you put them in the freezer for an hour or so.

CFC Drumstick 2

Wrapped CFC Drumsticks

You then mix up your dry ingredients into one bowl, and aquafaba into another. Once they have frozen for an hour, put your oil on to heat and carefully unwrap from the clingfilm one at a time. Dip in aquafaba, then dry mix, then aquafaba then dry mix again then drop into the oil. They need cooked for around 3 -5 minutes, then take them out with tongs and drain on kitchen roll.

CFC Drumsticks 3

Cooked CFC Drumsticks

My CFC drumsticks were fairly pale, I think in part due to my paranoia of using oil and fires so I may have needed to heat it up a little more. However, I don’t think there was any impact on the taste, which was lovely! Weirdly meaty, but not meaty enough to put you off. I had them with fried new potatoes and barbeque beans. I would definitely make these again, however, the time constraints mean this is an occasional make as opposed to every day. I do recommend everyone to try them at least once though, even for the novelty.

CFC Drumsticks 4

Finished meal

Shout out to Zacchary for sharing my instagram post, keep an eye on his site for other fun recipes, I know I will be!

Carrot Hot Dogs – Dinner

Carrot Hot Dogs – Healthy Junk Food

Carrot Hot Dogs, when I first saw the recipe for these online I found it hilarious but appealing. I’ve got to be honest, in my pre-vegan days I can’t imagine I would have ever bothered attempting to make these. Too much effort, for carrots in rolls? Madness! However, when you consider what goes into an actual hot dog, it’s actually quite gross. I know some people love them but if you see how they are actually made, that weird, definitely not food like pink sludge. It makes me feel sick just thinking about it. I always felt a little weird eating hot dogs when I was an omni, but I did still eat them. They are one food I do not miss. Moving on to the vegan options, I have tried fry’s vegan hot dogs but I found they had an unusual taste, they were edible, just not enjoyable.

In come the carrot hot dogs! I can’t remember where I first saw them, I imagine it was possibly Instagram (I see everything on there!)  but I genuinely can’t remember. This recipe by cleaneatingveggiegirl.com was the one that I followed, the following is the recipe from that website,

  • 2 large carrots, peeled
  • 1/8 Cup of Soy Sauce
  • 1/4 Cup of Water
  • 1 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Sesame Oil
  • 1/2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/2 Tsp Liquid Smoke
  • 1/2 Tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 Tsp Dried Ginger
  • 1/4 Tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/8 Tsp Onion Powder
  • Olive oil for cooking

That is pretty much the recipe from cleaneatingveggiegirl.com but it’s definitely worth checking out her site for more recipes! I’m grateful for this one, because I am pleased to say that the carrot hot dogs were actually delicious!

Carrot Hot Dogs

Carrot hot dogs after cooking.

The above pic is three of them after cooking. The method essentially is mix together all ingredients except the carrots. Then put the carrots in the mix and marinade for as long as you can, the recommended was 24 hours, unfortunately I forgot about that stage but did mine for a couple of hours but they still had a nice flavour.

Once they are marinaded you fry them, it takes quite a while for them to take on the darkness. You put in some oil and some of the marinade, I basically kept adding marinade all the way through the cooking process. I would say they took around 15 minutes to get to the above stage.

Carrot hot dogs

The finished meal!

There is the finished meal, I am definitely making them again. Okay, they weren’t exactly like hot dogs, nowhere near in fact, but to be honest I think I would have been a little freaked out had they been. I preferred the flavour and texture of these when compared to Fry’s, and with the mustard, tomato sauce and onions in a roll they were really tasty, and healthy! Win Win!

For links to all of my food pages go here.

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