Vegan gravy and roasted veggies

Gravy is one thing I do miss. So having it as part of this year’s cruelty free Christmas is pretty exciting. I’m really looking forward to your photographs and feedback. Enjoy!

What you’ll need:
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 medium onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, finely diced
1/2 cup arrowroot (I used Bob’s Red Mill, which I found at a specialty green grocer)
4 teaspoons of savoury yeast flakes
1/4 cup salt reduced soy sauce
2 cups organic vegetable broth
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

Image

Helpful hints:
There is no need to add salt because the savoury yeast flakes have quite a salty flavour already
I also found I needed to use salt-reduced soy sauce because of this
If you can’t find arrowroot you could use corn flour. Arrowroot is preferable because it has no residual flavour and is a better thickener
If you’d like to make a mushroom gravy, simply take 150grams of button. Wash, slice and sauté them. Then add to the gravy before bringing to the boil
Taste, taste and taste to adjust seasoning

How to prepare:
Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium heat
Add onion and garlic
Cook, stirring frequently for 3 to 5 minutes
Add arrowroot, yeast flakes and soy sauce; mix well to form a smooth paste
Slowly add broth, whisking constantly to blend. Season with pepper
Add sautéed mushrooms now, if making a mushroom gravy
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, gently simmer, stirring frequently for 8 to 10 minutes or until thickened

Holiday Hors d’oeuvres – part II

Taking no time to prepare, these mini vol-au-vents are a good recipe to have up your sleeve for the festive season. All the ingredients can be stored in your pantry and pulled out at the very last minute. They also make a great snack for the kids and are a bit of fun if you’re off to the moonlight cinema and are looking for some inspiration for your picnic hamper.

vol-au-vent

What you’ll need: (makes 24)
1-2 packets of ready made mini vol-au-vents. Vegan vol-au-vents aren’t always easy to find so you can use melba toasts instead
A can of creamed corn
Kale chips – I’m loving these handmade, raw, organic, Australian grown chips from Komarov foods who launched at World Vegan Day 2013
Savoury yeast flakes

How to prepare:
Heat the creamed corn in a pot on the stove, or if you are super busy, in the microwave
Set out your vol-au-vents
Spoon creamed corn into each vol-au-vent using a teaspoon
Top with crumbled kale chips and savoury yeast flakes
Serve immediately
These can also be eaten cold
If there is any creamed corn left over, it is yummy on toast with finely diced red onion, cracked pepper and some herbs

A litte about savoury yeast flakes
These flakes are loaded with B Vitamins including B1, B6, B3, B2 and B12
They are a great cheese substitute, in particular a parmesan cheese substitute
Try them on: salads, baked potatoes, in béchamel sauce and a top my famous vegetarian spaghetti bolognese
You’ll find them in any good health food store

Savoury yeast flakes

Spaghetti bolognese with a new age twist

This recipe is guaranteed to become an all-year-round family favourite. Packed full of fibre, high in protein and low in fat, it has converted and inspired many to explore the world of new age vegetarian food.

What you’ll need: (serves 4-6)

I packet of your favourite spaghetti pasta

1 onion finely diced

1-2 cloves fresh garlic

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

*1 x packet Quorn meat-free mince (you can buy this at Coles, Safeway and Thomas Dux), or for our international pals Linda McCartney’s vegemince

Quorn_

3 x cans of organic diced tomatoes

1 tsp vegetable stock concentrate (homemade is best), otherwise use Massel available at all supermarkets

1 tsp tomato paste (optional)

1/2 cup cold pressed olive oil

2 bay leaves

2 teaspoons dried oregano

Non-animal rennet Parmesan cheese (grated) or better still, savoury yeast flakes rich in B vitamins (available at good health food stores)

Fresh Basil leaves

Extra olive oil and quality salt to taste

How to prepare:

Sauté onion and garlic in a little olive oil for a minute, then add red wine vinegar and allow onion to soften for a few minutes

Add 1/2 of cup of olive oil, a good pinch of salt and packet of frozen Quorn meat-free mince and cook until warmed through (just as if you were browning)

Add 3 cans of diced tomatoes, vegetable stock, tomato paste (optional), oregano and bay leaves

Reduce heat and allow to gently simmer for 45+mins.

Meanwhile boil water for pasta, add some olive oil and salt.  When water comes to the boil add pasta.  Cook for 8 minutes or until al dente

Drain and serve immediately topped with pasta sauce and torn pieces of fresh basil leaves.  Finish dish off with a drizzle of olive oil

Note: As with most pasta sauces, it is better made the night or morning before.

Quorn_spaghetti_dinner_shot

*What is Quorn?
It’s a Mycoprotein made from a member of the fungi family (the same family that morels and truffles belong to).  It is a high-quality meat-free protein that’s low in fat and high in dietary fibre.  Check out the Quorn website: http://www.quorn.com.au/About-Quorn/