Our latest vegan newsletter. We don’t usually post them here, but thought it might be nice for people to see what they’re like!
We’ve been building things with discarded pallets again! Above is our new corner seating unit, just awaiting facings. You can read more about our recent garden and polytunnel exploits here on Frugal Living and don’t miss the most popular post over there: the 25p meal
There’s a new post about some of the vegan companies we’ve received goodies from recently up here. Above are medicinal Lion’s Mane Mushrooms served in a noodle bowl.
We love the humble potato, or tattie, here in Scotland. We eat mince with tatties. Haggis, neeps and tatties. Baked potatoes. Chips. We even put them in our sweet treats such as coconut macaroons. So when Scotty Brand, one of Scotland’s leading food producers, asked if we’d be interested in developing a potato milk recipe for them, we happily said yes.
Some Potato Facts
Potato milk is the most sustainable of the plant based milks.
Potatoes are a land efficient crop.
They use up to 56 times less water than other plant milk crops.
One medium potato gives you 30mg of Vitamin C, as much as a glass of tomato juice.
Scotland’s weather, climate and rich soil are perfect for growing potatoes.
Scotty Brand potatoes are all grown on a selection of farms across Scotland.
Potato Milk Recipe, makes 5 cups
You could, essentially, leave out the almonds/oats, dates/sweetener, vanilla and salt but they do improve the texture and taste considerably. However this option would be excellent for those on specific dietary regimes or with food intolerances.
Potato Milk Ingredients
4 cups of water
1 large potato, peeled and boiled. We used 3 Scotty Brand baby potatoes
1 heaped tablespoon of ground almonds (makes it creamy) or a tablespoon of ground up porridge oats (also creamy, slightly less so).
dates. For a sweet milk use 3 medjool dates or 6 small dates. For unsweetened milk use 1 medjool or 2 small. Alternatively you could use agave nectar or sugar (a tablespoon for sweet, a teaspoon for unsweetened).
half a teaspoon of vanilla essence
a pinch of salt
Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Strain through a nut milk bag, or a sieve lined with cheesecloth or even a new nylon stocking (rinsed out first). Chill in the fridge. Like most plant milks, it’s best to shake or stir before use.
We tried it by itself, in cereal and in tea. All worked well, but, as is typical in this family, it was the next option that was the favourite!
Potato Milk Chocolate Shake
For a chocolate shake use 1 cup of potato milk per person with 1 banana each and 1 teaspoon of cocoa. Blend. Delicious…
Scotty Brand offers the finest seasonal produce including potatoes, Ayrshire new potatoes, seasonal berries, fresh soups, frozen chips and prepared vegetables.
A simple but truly delicious vegetable curry with onion bhajis from Lidl and some winter lettuce from the polytunnel.
Vegetable Curry Ingredients (serves four)
A little oil
one onion, chopped
a pepper, chopped
an apple, peeled and finely chopped
2 teaspoons of curry powder or spices of your choosing (we like a combo of fenugreek, cumin, turmeric and chilli).
vegetables of your choice, chopped: we used an aubergine, some green beans, a few small potatoes and a diced carrot.
water to cover. We had some broccoli stock from earlier cooking and water saved from a tin of cannelloni beans.
a teaspoon or two of cornflour
salt to taste
Fry off the onion, pepper and apple in the oil for a few minutes then add the spices. Stir well for a few minutes taking care not to burn the mixture. Add the vegetables and water, bring to the boil, turn down to a simmer until all veg is tender. Combine the cornflour with a little water and mix until smooth then add it to the curry, stirring all the time until it thickens. Add salt. We served it with some golden vegetable rice (add turmeric and a few peas/pepper/celery to rice as it cooks).
This turmeric macaroni is flavourful and nutritious, high in protein and also, thanks to the turmeric, has anti-inflammatory properties. It’s important to use a high quality turmeric: we like this one.
We used Tesco’s free from macaroni as it’s one of the nicest we’ve found. It does have a tendency to stick together in the pan so stir frequently for the first few minutes of cooking if using this one.
Turmeric Macaroni Ingredients
Pasta of your choice, cooked to pack instructions. The sauce is enough for 500g.
half a cup of quinoa grain
half a cup of cashew nuts
a medium sweet potato, peeled and chopped
2 carrots, scraped and chopped
7 cloves of garlic
3 sticks of celery, chopped
3 cardamon pods
1 heaped teaspoon of turmeric
1 heaped teaspoon of cumin
and another heaped one of ground fenugreek
water to cover
salt if you like, but it really doesn’t need it
While your pasta is cooking, place all the other ingredients in a medium saucepan and cover well with water. Bring to the boil, then turn down to a simmer until the quinoa is cooked and sprouted and the vegetables are soft. Blend well until smooth then stir into the cooked, drained, pasta. Yum.
Kala Namak (black salt, tastes sulfurous like egg) to taste
a little olive oil
a box of fresh mushrooms, washed and sliced (or tinned ones)
a chopped red pepper
one small tin of sweetcorn
Preheat your oven to 200C/400F.
Grease a baking dish and place it in the oven to heat (frittata will cook more quickly).
Blend the tofu with the turmeric, gram flour and Kaka Namak.
Wash, slice and fry up the mushrooms and pepper in the olive oil.
Add the sweetcorn to the mix and stir until well heated through.
Combine the blended tofu mixture with the mushrooms and vegetables (in the cooking pan if big enough, or straight into the oven heated dish) and bake for at least half an hour or until the frittata/tortilla seems set through.
We served it with chips and salad above, but it is lovely on its own and also cold and sliced the next day.
Potatoes, peeled and cut to desired size (this coating is enough for about 4 or 5 lbs/2 or 3 kilos.)
salt to taste
Par boil the potatoes then just when they are beginning to soften remove from heat and drain. Place in baking tray and rub the coating all over them (careful!) – roast in a hot oven until nice and crispy (30 minutes plus). You might want to baste with a little more oil half way through for extra crispiness!
Variation: Sesame roast potatoes – coat the potatoes in sunflower oil and plenty sesame seeds before roasting – this has a lovely flavour too.
3 green onions (scallions), including green part, sliced thinly
8 ounces/230g (more or less) white button mushrooms, chopped in big chunks
PASTA: 1 package large manicotti tubes
SAUCE: About 28 ounces/750g of your favorite pasta sauce, homemade or prepackaged.
Plop tofu into a medium-sized mixing bowl and mash/crumble with your hands. Add spinach and fold into tofu with a fork, using fork to break up strands of spinach and mix evenly with the crumbled tofu. Stir in Italian seasoning, onions, and mushrooms.
Boil about 10 manicotti tubes just shy of al dente (they won’t fall apart this way when you’re stuffing them) and drain. Use your fingers to push clumps of filling into the manicotti tubes till each one is plump and full. Lay them in a covered casserole dish (more than one layer is O.K.) and pour your favorite tomato-based pasta sauce (homemade or bottled) over the whole thing. Cover and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about an hour, maybe a little less (say, 45 minutes) if you have the manicotti spread out in a single layer. Remove from oven and give it a few minutes to cool off before attempting to eat.
Note: I have to keep my sodium intake low, so I don’t add salt to anything I make from scratch (except some baked goods), so some of you might prefer to add a. 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the filling.
If you liked this spinach tofu manicotti try some of our other festive recipes
Mushrooms in a rich creamy sauce topped with flaky puff pastry. This Mushroom Puff is perfect for Christmas or just about anytime at all!
Mushroom Puff Ingredients
A third of a cup/60g/2oz of vegan margarine
4 tablespoons of plain white flour
4 cloves of garlic, crushed or very finely chopped (this can be reduced or left out if desired)
3 cups of mushrooms, sliced
half a litre/500ml of soya milk
1 glass of white wine (or stock)
handful of chopped parsley
salt and pepper to taste
approx. 500g/18oz of frozen puff pastry (this even comes ready-rolled now for extra laziness!!!)
Melt the margarine and cook the onion and garlic in it for a few minutes and then add the sliced mushrooms and cook for a couple of minutes more. Add the flour and stir well. Gradually add the soya milk stirring all the time and then the wine and keep stirring on a low heat until the sauce thickens. Once thick remove from the heat and add your seasoning and the parsley.
Allow to cool slightly while you prepare the pastry. Roll out into 2 wide rectangular shapes reserving some pastry for decoration. Place one sheet of pastry on a greased baking tray. Heap the slightly cooled sauce onto it leaving a space round the edges. Place the top sheet on and seal up the edges with some soya milk or water (fold over if needed). Make some small slits on the top of the puff and let your artistic side shine with the reserved pastry! I usually make holly leaves to place on the top but do whatever you like. Glaze with soya milk and then bake in a medium hot oven for about half an hour or until the pastry seems cooked (no soggy bits and nicely puffed up!)
Nice served with gravy, roast potatoes, stuffing, vegan sausages, cranberry sauce and vegetables of your choice – a feast!