Vegan MoFo2014 – Recipe: Chilli

So I’m going to this picnic and I tried to make baked doughnuts and they failed. So I had to come up with another dish. A little while ago I made a Salami Style Crumb. The taste wasn’t particularly salami like and I thought at the time that it would make a good base for chilli.

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The original mix

Ingredients:

1 batch of Salami Style Crumb.
1 Can of Diced Tomato.
1 Can of 3 Bean mix.
2 Large Tomatoes, diced.
2 Cups of Water.
1/2 A teaspoon of Cumin Powder.
1 Tablespoon of Sugar.
Chilli Flakes  and Salt to taste.

Method:

Put all the ingredients in a pan except the Chilli Flakes and Salt. Cook until excess water is gone and fresh tomatoes are softened.

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In the pan

Add the Chilli Flakes and Salt to taste.

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Chilli

Verdict: I should have added the chilli flakes! There was too much pepper on the mix already and the chilli is very spicy. Mind you I am a chilli wimp, other than that it taste pretty good.

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Vegan MOFO2014 – Recipe: Tomato, Lentil and Herb Lasagne

This recipe s for the 52 Weeks of Vegan Cooking week 36 Italian Challenge on Reddit. For all my talk of “Italian food is not just tomato and cheese” in the challenge introduction for this week… I’ve made a pretty traditional (westernised) lasagne. In my defence I’ve had most of the ingredient in the cupboard for a while but have been too lazy to actually make anything.

Tomato and Lentil Sauce

Ingredients:

1/2 a Yellow Onion, diced.
1 Clove of Garlic, minced.
1/2 a Medium Capsicum (Red Pepper), diced.
1/4 head of Cabbage, chopped small.
125 Grams(4.5 Ounces) of Spinach, I used frozen.
2 Cans of Diced Tomatoes.
1 Can of Lentils, drained and washed.
Salt and Pepper to taste.

Method:

Heat some oil in a large pot and add the onion and garlic. Cook until onion is translucent.

Add the Capsicum, Cabbage and Spinach and cook until soft.

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Veggies!

Add the Lentils, then add the Tomatoes plus one can full of water.

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Before reducing

Cook until the excess water is gone, you want it wet but not watery.

Herbed White Sauce

Ingredients:

1/4 Cup of Vegan Margarine or Oil.
1/4 Cup of Plain Flour.
1 Clove of Garlic, minced.
2 Cups of Water.
2 Cups of Non-Dairy Milk, I used Rice Milk.
1 Teaspoon of Vegetable Stock Powder, I used Massel.
1 Tablespoon of Dried Thyme.
1 Tablespoon of Dried Basil.
1 Tablespoon of Dried Oregano.
Mustard (Optional).
Salt and Pepper to taste.

Method:

In a large pan heat the Margarine and the Garlic. Add the Flour and whisk.

Add the Milk and the Water one cup at a time, whisking as you go.

Add the Stock Powder and the Herbs. Add the Mustard if you’re using it.

Add Salt and Pepper to taste.

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The herbed white sauce (it’s under the steam)

Assembly

Ingredients:

1 Packet of Lasagne Sheets, I used Wholemeal.
Vegan Cheese (optional), I used Cheezly Parmasan style.

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180C (350F).

In a large deep baking pan ladle 1/4 of the White Sauce and spread evenly over the bottom. Place 1 layer of Lasagne Sheet.

Add 1/2 of the Tomato Sauce, then 1 layer of the Lasagne Sheet.

Add 1/3 of the White Sauce, then 1 layer of the Lasagne Sheet.

Add 1/2 of the Tomato Sauce, then 1 layer of the Lasagne Sheet.

Add the remaining White Sauce and then top with Vegan Cheese if using.

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Ready to bake

Bake for 40 minutes.

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Done!

Cool for 10 – 20 minutes then serve.

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Delicious

Verdict: Yum yum yum! A little too salty, but that’s my own fault. Sweet too, presumably from the cabbage. The vegan cheese left a lot of oil on the top, otherwise fantastic!

Recipe: Creamy Tomato Pasta

This recipe is based on the recipe of a friend of mine; the original can be found here. I was a little unsure about this as I’ve never had a creamy tomato dish before, but I had some discounted Tofutti to use so I tried it.

Ingredients:

500 Grams of Pasta (I used penne).
Salt for the Pasta water.

1 Small Onion, diced.
2 Teaspoons of Garlic, crushed.
100 Grams of Mushrooms, sliced.
1 Teaspoon each of Dried Thyme, Dried Basil and Dried Oregano (or whatever Italian herbs you want).
1/2 a 700 Gram Jar of Passata (pureed Tomatoes).
125 Grams of Cherry Tomatoes, halved.
Olive Oil.
100 Grams of Spinach.
1 Tub of Vegan Cream Cheese (I used Tofutti).
Salt and Pepper to taste.

Method:

Boil water in a medium pan, then add salt and the Pasta. Cook until tender, drain and set aside.

In a large saucepan heat the Olive Oil then add the Onion and Garlic. Cook until Onion is see through, stirring occasionally.

Add the Herbs, the Mushrooms and the Cherry Tomatoes, cook until softened.

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Onions, Herbs and Mushrooms

Add the Passata and stir through.

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Tomato!

Add the Cream Cheese and combine thoroughly.

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After the cheese is stirred in

Stir through the Spinach and add the Salt and Pepper.

Add the pasta and stir through.

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Ready to eat

Verdict: So creamy! I can’t believe my friend actually suggests using 2 tubs of Cream Cheese! Despite the creaminess the dish still has a strong tomato flavour. It’s nice but I wouldn’t make it again. Nothing wrong with it, it’s just not my thing.

Restaurant: The Green Room

The Green Room is an organic cafe in Willunga; a town south of Adelaide, within the Southern Vales wine growing region. It took me 2 and a half hours, 2 buses and a train to get there.

The cafe is quite large with indoor seating and 2 outside areas. We were sat inside which was nice and homely, slightly ruined by our proximity to the dish washing area. Who knew plates and soap could be so loud!

The menu is all vegetarian with many vegan and gluten free options. I ordered peppermint tea and the lentil and mushroom pie.

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Peppermint tea

The tea was… well tea. Good quality but nothing special though I was annoyed that we were the only table without a sugar bowl. Also that teapot is really ugly. 🙂

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Lentil and mushroom pie with salad and tomato relish

The main dish was interesting. The salad was fresh and I liked the addition of lightly pickled onion, however I found the dressing to be a tad oily. The pastry of the pie was wonderful, thin and flavorsome. The filling was nice but odd. Expecting a gravy I was confused to find that the pie was tomato flavored. It still tasted good but the mushrooms were completely lost. The tomato relish was very vinegary but when mixed with the rich pie filling it worked.

Food: Tasty and filling. 3.5/5

Setting: The interior was nice but a bit noisy. Outside however was lovely and green! 3.5/5

Service: Polite, efficent, no issues. 4.5/5

Overall: A nice cafe with good food in a fabulous location. Whats not to love? 4/5

The Green Room on High Street on Urbanspoon