Chickpea Cassoulet with Tomatoes and Chard

I decided that I must use up some ingredients in the fridge today, so I made Chickpea Cassoulet with Tomatoes and Chard. This gave me chance to use up some chickpeas, some red pepper, 1/2 a tin of tomatoes and lots of the chard and some rosemary from the garden. I like it when I stumble across a recipe when I not only have the ingredients, but they need using up too. The recipe is featured on the site. I didn't follow the recipe exact, I did a few subsitutions based on some of the comments. You certainly don't need as must pasta as the recipe lists. Half the amount and you will still feed 4. Basically I find it better to half the pasta and increase the other ingredients, otherwise there is just too must pasta. I didn't use cheese either as I didn't have any and it saved putting the dish in the oven, therefore saving time and electricity! I just love the vegweb site. I have been looking through it today for blackberry recipes and have loads to try now. Must go and do some more foraging tomorrow!

Meat free recipes

Meat free Monday newsletter recipe was Savoury Strudel. I won't be cooking it this week however, as I don't have any filo pastry or mushrooms.

The recipe was Featured in Animal Aid's 2007 Guide to Going Veggie (on page 19). You can still order or download a free copy.

Those Thai bean burgers look delicious, must make them someday!

Nut Roast

Today was Meat Free Monday newsletter day and todays recipe was Cashew Nut Roast as featured in Golden Harvest by Jill Russell. If you want to buy the book it is also available from Animal Aid from this link here. If you want the recipe featured don't forget to sign up for the newsletter as featured on Friday. Anyway, this is what I made for tea and it was very tasty. I have made slight changes to the original recipe as I had no cashews and used pears instead of celery!

Nut Roast
550g/16oz ground almonds and chopped nuts
30g/1oz margarine
1 medium leek - finely chopped
1 tsp vegemite yeast extract
1 tsp dried herbs
160g/6oz bread crumbs
2 pears finely grated
12 fl oz hot water
2 tbsp plain flour
pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 180C/350F/Gas mark 4
Melt the margarine in a large pan and then cook the pear and leek in the melted margarine for a few minutes. Mix the yeast extract into the hot water and add to the leek and pear. Stir in the flour, nuts, herbs, breadcrumbs and pepper and mix well. Allow to cool slightly while you grease a loaf tin. Put the nut roast mixture into the tin and press down well. Bake in the oven for about 40 minutes then turn out of the tin and slice. Serve with roasted potatoes, vegetables and gravy.

Lentil Pate

This makes a great sandwich filler or serve it with potatoes, vegetables and gravy and then used what left for sandwich fillings. I think it would be good as a lasagne filling or for stuffing ravioli also.

Lentil Pate

2 tbsp soya sauce
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 onion, finely minced
290g red lentils
27 fl oz water
2 tsp dried mixed herbs
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp cumin powder
¼ tsp black pepper

Put the soya sauce, olive oil and lemon juice in a pan and fry the minced onion, then add the lentils to the onions. Add spices and stir in the water and bring to boil being careful not to burn the pan. Transfer to a loaf pan and bake for 45 mins at 180C

The top will be crispy lentils and you may not like this, the underneath is a creamy lentil mixture which is lovely. I have also made this where I grind the lentils first and then the top is lovely too. If you do grind them first, add the water slowly and whisk in, to prevent lumps.

Trying new meat free recipes

Farming and slaughtering animals is now recognised as a significant contributor to today’s greatest environmental problems. Designating one day a week as Meat-Free is a simple action that each of us can take to reduce our contribution to climate change, help save polar bears (and many other animals) and ensure that we, and the planet we live on, have a future.

Of course I eat Meat Free every day and have done for over 15 years. But if one day is all you can manage its better than nothing and may lead to more as you find recipes you enjoy.

In May, Ghent City Council in Belgium announced that it would promote one meat free day and week. Read more
Sign up to the weekly Animal Aid Meat-Free Monday e-newsletter, and receive all the latest news concerning the impact of animal farming on the environment, plus a new meat-free recipe each week that you can try at home - together with info about tasty new products to add to your shopping list.
I signed up a couple of weeks ago as even I need new inspiration! The first recipe last week was West African Groundnut Stew which was delicious. I didn’t stick to the recipe exact as I don’t like a lot of chilli or garlic and I didn’t have any spinach, so instead I used peas and leeks (picture above). The recipe is featured in Meat-Free! Feed four for under a fiver. Order your free copy here. This weeks recipe was Hungarian Goulash and I made it tonight and delicious it was too. I off course adapted it as I didn’t have any tvp, so I used realeat frozen chicken style pieces. Original recipe came from A Vegan Taste of Eastern Europe by Linda Majzlik. Looking at other cultures is a sure way to find interesting new meat free recipes. Basically they were both stews which I make all the time, but neither were like anything I’d make before!
Its definitely worth signing up for the Meat-Free Monday e-newsletter even if its just for inspiration.