Vegetable and Tofu Pie

Vegetable & Tofu Pie

The complete veggie pie!

A version of this pie has been in existence since my share house days in my early 20’s when I first stopped eating meat – actually at the same time as the Save the Chicken  eggplant bake.  In its previous incarnation it was a vegetarian pie with eggs and milk and then piled high with grated cheese on top.  It was always a hit, even amongst friends and family who weren’t vego.

Recently a friend sent me a pic on facebook  – I’d typed out the recipe and given it to her – all the way back in 2003! I’ve been thinking about how I could veganise it… cakes, biscuits and muffins now seem so easy to ditch eggs and butter but this pie…. just wasn’t sure what I could do…

And then I came across a pie recipe in an old Vegetarian book ‘The Vegetarian Adventure’ by Karen Meyer which I found in a 2nd hand shop. The previous owner has written notes all through it, made suggestions, reviews and even pasted other recipes inside the front cover!  Although its a Vegetarain book there are quite a few Vegan recipes tucked inside it as well.

I was a little dubious… would it be a complete disaster…but it works!

The idea for the potato base for this pie (part of the original recipe) came from my sister who I believe got it from an Elizabeth David cookbook… so with potato as the pie crust – it really is a complete Veggie Pie!

Vegetable & Tofu Pie

What you will need:

Filling:

Veggies – lots of them and whatever you happen to have around or takes your fancy! Possibilities include:

  • Onion
  • Corn
  • Broccoli
  • Zucchini
  • Spinach
  • Capsicum
  • Cauliflower
  • Tomatoes
  • Olive oil
  • 1 x 440g block of tofu
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • Salt and cracked pepper

Base:

  • 3-4 potatoes (washed, peeled or unpeeled depending on preference). Use any potato you have handy really – new potato or desiree work well.
  • 1 heaped tablespoon plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons vegan margarine

 Tofu & Vegetable Pie

Step 1:

Preheat your oven to approximately 160°C

Step 2: The base

Think mashed potato and you’ll get the idea!

  • Slice potatoes in half and add to boiling water – boil until soft and ready to mash (approx10-15 minutes)
  • Get out your potato masher & mash away
  • Add the margarine and flour to the mashed potato (if you find the mixture a little dry you have two options – add a dash of soy milk or a little more vegan margarine)
  • Once fully combined use this potato mix to line the base of a pie dish. Using a fork dot the lining and then pop into the oven for approximately 15 mins. The idea is to partially cook the lining – this will both firm it to hold the filling and give a lovely golden, baked potato flavour.
  • Remove the pie case from the oven and set aside to cool while you continue with the filling

Step 3: The filling

While the pie crust is cooking away get your filling started

  • Finely chop the onion (brown, spanish or white)
  • Add a tablespoon of olive oil to a fry pan and add the onion.  Cook gently for 3 minutes until the onion becomes slightly translucent.
  • Lightly sauté the veggies – start with those that take the longest – cauliflower, broccoli and then work your way up to those veggies that require little cooking – spinach, corn etc.
  • They only require a little time cooking on the stove top – it’s just really to get them on their way!
  • Keep that potato masher handy…. !
  • In a separate mixing bowl add the drained tofu and give it a good mashing!
  • Add the tahini and soy sauce to the tofu
  • Add the veggies to the tofu mixture and gently combine.
  • Carefully pile this mixture into the potato pie case
  • Slice a tomato and arrange across the top of the pie and scatter sesame seeds and/or chia seeds over the pie top.

 

Note:

Before scattering the sesame and chia seeds it is optional to grate some vegan cheese over the top of the pie. Not necessary but can certainly be a nice finishing touch.

  • Now pop the pie into the oven. Baking time will vary – check at 35 minutes however it can take up to 45 mins depending on your oven.  You just want it lightly golden brown.

Remove from oven and serve with either a lovely green salad or if it’s more of a winter’s night then some lovely steamed veggies of your choice.

P.S. You could of course use pastry for the base whether you make it yourself or buy frozen pastry (vegan of course)!

I’m so happy that I’ve been able to recreate this pie – once you’ve cooked it a few times and have a feel for putting it together, you can have it ready in under an hour.

Enjoy! Xx

Vegetable Pie

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Banana and Walnut Bread

Banana Bread

I must say, because of this blog I am always thinking of, on the lookout for and conjuring up food inspiration! And it is certainly extending my repertoire! And this is a good thing!

I’m completely loving it and the best bit of course is that I get to eat the end result!

With an oversupply of ripe bananas I found myself contemplating recipes that I have never cooked before where bananas are the star ingredient and of course this contemplation led me to…banana bread!

Banana bread was another one of those recipes I’d never undertaken – if I wanted some I’d just buy it. I did have a few recipes that I’d saved over the years and tucked into my receipe collection, but had never quite got around to the actual baking part!

So this recipe is a coming together of a few recipes I’ve gathered over the years – sans eggs!

What you will need:  

  • 1 cup of unbleached plain flour
  • 3/4 cup wholemeal flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ cup sunflower oil
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup of maple syrup
  • 2/3 cup of soy milk (or almond)
  • ½  teaspoon of concentrated vanilla extract
  • 2 very ripe or defrosted frozen bananas
  • 1 cup of walnuts, roughly chopped & toasted
  • 2 tablespoons toasted coconut

Preheat the oven to 180°C or 160°C (fan forced). Lightly grease and line with baking paper a loaf pan.

Toast the walnuts on a low heat on the stove top in a frying pan. You could also scatter them on a baking tray and pop them in the oven to brown. Allow to cool.

In a medium sized bowl sift all the dry ingredients (minus the walnuts).

In another bowl whisk together all the wet ingredients.

Now for the bananas! Give them a good mashing  and then add to the wet ingredients.  Now pour the wet into the dry ingredients, mixing thoroughly to make sure the mixtures are well combined.

Finally, gently fold the walnuts through the batter.

Pour the batter into your loaf pan.  As I had some toasted coconut left over from my last blog post – Red Velvet Chocolate & Beetroot Cupcakes with Lemon Icing and Toasted Coconut

Banana and Walnut Bread

I decided to sprinkle on top of the cake batter but it’s definitely optional. You could sprinkle some walnuts on instead…?! So many possibilities 🙂

Bake for approximately 45 minutes. I’ll always say approximately as ovens vary sooooo much. Really the oven I have at the moment is a fan-forced electric (gas stove top) and its super dooper fast!

To check whether a cake is cooked lightly press in the middle, the cake is cooked if it springs back.  You can also insert a skewer into the middle and if it comes out clean – it’s ready.

Banana and Walnut Bread

Banana Bread is a perfect morning or  afternoon tea accompaniment – or any time really! Who needs a reason…. enjoy! xx

Banana and Walnut Bread

Red Velvet Beetroot & Chocolate Cupcakes with Lemon Icing & Toasted Coconut

Chocolate & Beetroot Cupcakes

 You can have your cupcake and eat it too!

These are simply delicious!

What you will need:

  • 2 medium beetroots
  • 1 cup soy milk
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup vanilla infused castor sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup sunflower oil
  • 1 tsp concentrated vanilla
  • 1 cup unbleached plain flour
  • ½ cup wholemeal flour
  • 1 tsp bicab (baking) soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ cup dutch cocoa powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • Gloves!

What to do:

Preheat oven 180°C. Pop your patty cases into a muffin tin.

Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl – the flours, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugars and put aside for the moment.

Beetroot

Now the Beetroot! Don your gloves…

Grate the beetroot and set one cup of the grated beetroot aside. Pop the remainder of the grated beetroot into a blender – add a little water and blitz! Drain the puree and keep the liquid (you’ll be needing it for the icing – well if you want a pink icing that is!)

Whisk together the soy milk and apple cider vinegar in a large mixing bowl and set aside to curdle. To the same bowl, add the oil, vanilla concentrate and the beetroot puree and continue to whisk away!

Ok now you’ll need a mix master (standing mixer) or failing that a hand held mixer… slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture. Beat until smooth.

Remove from the mix master and now you have permission to lick the beaters! You know you want to!

Using a wooden spoon, gently fold the cup of grated beetroot that you put aside through the mixture.

Gently spoon the mixture into the cupcake linters – fill about ¾ full.

Bake for approx 20 minutes. Check though – they may need less or more time. Check! Cakes are baked when they spring back when gently pressed in the middle.

Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Red Velvet Chocolate Beetroot Cupcakes

Meanwhile…

Lemon Icing with Toasted Coconut

Step 1:

The Coconut

Approximately ¾ cup of shredded coconut – toasted (to toast the coconut just place in a frying pan on a low heat and keep turning with a wooden spoon. Just watch it closely as once it starts to turn golden you want to stop and remove from the heat as it will keep getting darker in colour

The Icing:

If you want half of your cupcakes iced pinkish and half lemony in colour you will need to do two batches

Lemon – 1st batch  

  • 1 ½ cups of icing sugar
  • 2 scant (mini) teaspoons vegan margarine
  • Couple of good squeezes of lemon juice (make sure you remove the pips)!

Give it a good mix – the type of consistency you are after will determine how much lemon juice you use – you don’t want it too runny and if you’re going for the pink cupcakes you will be adding beetroot juice. As you will add more liquid I’d err on the side of a thicker consistency…

Spread the icing over half the cupcakes – scatter the toasted coconut over the tops of the cupcakes while the icing is still soft so it will stick.

Pink – 2nd batch

Now that beetroot liquid that you put aside earlier is called into action!

If you need more of the actual icing them add another ½ cup of so of icing sugar and a scraping of vegan margarine and now add the beetroot liquid. Stir through so the beautiful purple beetroot blends – add more liquid for a darker pink colour.

Repeat as for the lemon – spread over the tops of the cupcakes and scatter the toasted coconut…

Chocolate Beetroot Cupcakes

These have a WOW factor!

They are moist, earthy and have a depth – the beetroot really does do something pretty special – taking the chocolate cupcake to a whole new level.

 Enjoy! xx

Chocolate & Beetroot Cupcakes

To visit the blog that precedes mine  – Move Eat Create – in the Potluck click here!

To visit the blog that follows mine – Including Cake – in the Potluck click here!

Crispy Tofu and Spring Salad

Tofu Salad

And on with the Tofu theme!

Tofu really is such a versatile ingredient and whilst you don’t want to base your whole vegan protein intake on tofu, I find it fantastic to work with.  Some folk aren’t particularly enamoured with tofu but luckily I love it and tossed into a salad it ramps up the protein factor!

As tofu is quite bland it really lends itself to absorbing other flavours which is why marinating it works so well.

For this salad I didn’t marinate the tofu first, instead I used sesame oil to cook it, which gives a subtle sesame flavour , but you certainly could.  In the past I’ve used the same marinade as I used for the Ginger & Sweet Chilli Glazed Tofu Stirfry (previous post – see link below)

http://bridgetsvegankitchen.com/2013/11/10/ginger-sweet-chilli-glazed-tofu-stirfry/

and then you can use the remaining marinade as the dressing.

What you will need:

  • 125 g Salad mix –  you could use – mesclun, baby spinach & rocket
  • Firm Tofu – 350g block cut into cubes
  • 2 tablespoons Sesame oil
  • 25g Pine nuts – toasted (you could also use toasted sesame seeds)
  • Spring onions or a Spanish (red) onion sliced thinly
  • 2 vine ripened tomatoes
  • Asparagus
  • Snow peas
  • Carrots
  • Red Cabbage
  • Add as many or as few salad ingredients that takes your fancy! Others to include: Avocado, radishes, zucchini, sun dried tomatoes etc. etc. etc.!

The Dressing:

You could use your own favourite dressing – whatever magical concoction you prefer – but this is a really lovely dressing for any salad.

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon sugar
  • Cracked pepper
  • Pinch of salt

Tofu Salad Pine nuts

What to do:

  1. Toast the Pine nuts until golden brown – keep an eye on them as once they start browning up they can go very quickly from perfect to overdone!
  2. Tofu – In the same pan (no need to create more washing up) add a couple of tablespoons of oil (I used a tablespoon each of canola and sesame) and add the cubed tofu, turn occasionally to make sure that all sides are lovely and golden. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
  3. Now…. On with the salad.

Slice, dice, top and tail the salad ingredients of your choice. Now add the tofu and gently toss the salad to combine.

Now… to dress it up!

  1. Either in a small or bowl or if you have a vinaigrette jar – add the lemon juice, sugar, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper and gradually add the oil. Give it a good shake
  2. Pour the dressing over the salad – a last oh so gentle toss and your salad is ready!

This is perfect for a light supper or lunch especially in the warmer months – enjoy! Xx

Spring Tofu Salad

Ginger & Sweet Chilli Glazed Tofu Stirfry

Tofu & Ginger Stirfry

This is an old standby recipe that I could probably put together in my sleep – well almost! The longer you can marinate the tofu the better but if you are short for time get the marinade together, cut up the tofu and get it marinating straight away as you prepare your veggies and pop your rice on…

A great school night meal!

What you will need:

Sesame oil – 2-3 tablespoons

¼ cup soy sauce

1 inch piece root ginger – grated or sliced very finely

1 clove garlic – minced

¼ cup sweet chilli sauce

500 g firm tofu, drained and cut into squares

 Now for the veggies:

Really this is up to you and what you have in your fridge – some suggestions include:

Broccolini or broccoli

Asparagus

Snow peas

Bok Choy

Red capsicum

Carrots

Zucchini

Corn Spears

Mushrooms

Sliced and diced however you like your veggies!

Tofu, Ginger & Sweet Chili Stirfry

Good handful of toasted cashews and or sesame seeds

Either basmati, jasmine or brown rice – you could also use hokkien noodles – yum!

What to do:

Get the marinade together. Mix together the soy sauce, garlic, sweet chilli sauce and ginger in flat based container. If you feel that you need a little water – you could add that now.

Cube your tofu and place in the marinade – make sure the tofu is covered as much as possible with the marinade.

Ok now – on with the veggies!

Slice and dice the veggies and put aside.

In a wok place a tablespoon or two of sesame oil. Drain the tofu (keep the marinade)

Place the drained tofu in the heated sesame oil. Cook the tofu until golden brown on all sides. Remove the tofu from the wok and keep warm.

Add the remainder of the sesame oil and gradually add the veggies. Start with veggies that take longer like carrot and work your way up to adding the bok choy which won’t take very long to cook.

Add some of the marinade – just a little at a time – just what you need as your cooking the veggies – it will help to create a yummy caramel glaze.

Return the tofu to the wok and sprinkle the cashews over the stirfry.

Serve the stirfry over rice or some hokkien noodles.

This is such a quick easy meal to put together. And there really is something about ginger – it’s a bit spesh!

A healthy, happy meal!

Enjoy xx

Tofu, ginger & Sweet chilli Stirfry

Roast Veggies

 Roast Veggies

No way José do you have to miss out on a roast as a Vegan

What follows is not so much a recipe as inspiration!

Gather your veggies – the usual suspects this time around included (in no particular order): pumpkin, potatoes, carrots, zucchini, beetroot, sweet potato, spanish (red) onion and garlic.

Roast Veggies

Now – what to do with these lovelies!

Ok so this is one way… I like to par boil (so that’s just boil in a pot for approx 7 mins or so – you don’t want them cooked right through or anything)

So pop on a big pot of water & bring to the boil (salted if you like) and add your veggies. Once they’ve bubbled away for a little while – drain in a colander – toss them in vegetable oil (I use to use olive oil but I recently read that olive oil doesn’t cope with extreme temps and that vegetable oil is a better choice for baking veggies)…

Anyway – on with the show!

So toss in vegetable oil, couple of pinches of sea salt, cracked pepper, a good swig of red wine vinegar and some smashed garlic. If you have some fresh herbs such as rosemary, oregano or thyme by all means add those to the mix – however I didn’t have any fresh on hand so instead I used dried herbs – a good shake of oregano and Italian mixed herbs. Slice the onion into large chunks and add to the roasting pan.

Then roast away – at about 180°C/350°F until golden brown – usually about 35-40 minutes. Keep checking! You may want to give them a turn half way through.

Oh My…

Enjoy! Xx

Roast Veggies

Healthy Granola Biscuits – With Crunch!

Granola Biscuits

Like muffins, I regularly whip up a batch of biscuits – always rather make my own than buy store bought. There are a few biscuits by major biscuit companies that just happen to be Vegan but homemade are always going to be superior!

And these are full of lots of goodies!

Granola Biscuits

I got the idea for this biscuit from a Jill Dupleix recipe that I came across while looking for a healthy muesli type biscuit but has been tweaked and veganised!

 

What you will need:

125 g rolled oats

100g shredded coconut

2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds

2 tablespoons sunflower seeds

1 tablespoon Chia seeds

80g almonds, roughly chopped

20g walnuts, roughly chopped

50g plain flour, sifted

50g wholemeal flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

½ teaspoon cardamom

Pinch of salt

125 g brown sugar

100g sultanas

50g currents

50 g apple sauce

100 g vegan margarine

2 tablespoons golden syrup

3 tablespoons boiling water

1 ½ teaspoons bicarb of soda

 

What to do:

Pre heat oven to 170 °C (160 °) fan forced. Line two biscuit trays with baking paper.

In a large bowl, mix oats, shredded coconut, chia seeds, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, almonds, sifted flour, cinnamon, ginger, salt, brown sugar, sultanas and currents.

Granola Biscuits

Next:

Over a gentle heat combine the vegan margarine and golden syrup in a saucepan until just melted, remove from heat.

In a smaller heatproof bowl mix the boiling water and bicarb and add to the saucepan. Using a wooden spoon, stir the mixture as it forms a light foam. Pour this lovely caramel mixture into the dry ingredients and give it a good stir with the wooden spoon.

Next add the Apple sauce (I used 50 g of this to cut down on the vegan margarine)

This is the fun bit! Using your hands ‘mulch’ the mixture until it is thick and squelchy. You can always add a dash of water if the mixture is a little dry.

The size of the biscuits you are after will determine just how much mixture you scoop up to roll into a ball – this time I used about 2 tablespoons of mixture for each ball.

Then, using a spatula, lightly press down on each ball

Pop the tray in the oven and bake for 10 – 15 minutes until lightly golden and still slightly soft. You want them to still be soft as they come out of the oven as when they cool they will have crunchy edges but with still slightly fudgy centres. Yum!

Once removed from the oven cool for about 10 minutes on the trays and then transfer to wire racks to cool.

These are great! Really! And as I had way too many to munch my way through I froze some – I was kinda curious as to how they would taste after defrosting – well they well and truly survived being frozen  – no disenable difference detected – i.e. just as delicious!

Enjoy! xx