Curried Black Chickpea Stuffed Winter Squash

So Halloween is all done for another year and like it or not, the next event on the calendar is Bonfire Night.

It’s a tough one, there are lots of wild animals and pets out there that are scared of the noises, Dolly luckily isn’t fazed by them at all, maybe living in London which isn’t the quietest place the noises just don’t surprise her as much.

There are lot’s of people out there that want  fireworks banned, but for me it’s been a yearly traditional ever since I can remember, wrapping up warm, putting on wellies and heading to a local display and I do love Bonfire Night. I do think though that however much I love the whizzing, the popping and the bangs that it’s selfish and that it would be great for the animals if all fireworks were made silent and I absolutely think that fireworks should not be made so easily available for the general public to buy and that they should only be legal at professionally organised events. 

If you are in the love camp then then this is the perfect snack to warm you up once you’ve gotten in from the cold!

Serves 2

Ingredients

1 small Winter squash (I used a festival squash)

1 tin black chickpeas, drained

1 onion, chopped

1 clove of garlic, chopped

1/2 tsp paprika powder

1/2 tsp cumin powder

1/2 tsp chilli powder

3/4 tsp coriander powder

1/2 tsp tamarind paste

1 cup water

2 tbsps oil

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Method

Preheat oven to 200°

Cut squash in half and remove guts.

brush the insides of the squash with 1 tbsp of oil and place insides down on a baking tray and cover in foil.

Bake in oven for 45 minutes. 

Fry the onion in 1 tbsp oil for around 5 minutes until it starts to brown.

Add the spices, garlic, paprika, cumin, chilli and coriander and a little water and mix into a paste.

Gently fry the spices whilst stirring until the water reduces.

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Add a little more water and repeat this a couple more times until you have used 1/2 or the water.

Add the rest of the water and chickpeas and stir in the tamarind paste and bring to boil.

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Reduce heat and simmer with lid on pan for 15 minutes.

Remove squash from oven.

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Serve

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Cajun Pumpkin & Black Bean Lasagne

In a world where so much food goes to waste it seems crazy to me that most people just throw away their Jack o Lanterns after Halloween when there’s so much you can do with them.

For this recipe I’ve gone for a Cajun/Italian fusion and it’s perfect for this time of year now that the evenings are crisp.

Serves 4 

Ingredients

1 onion, peeled and chopped

1 clove of garlic, peeled and chopped

1 tin of chopped tomatoes

1 tin of black beans. drained

1/4 pumpkin, peeled and cubed

1 tsp cumin powder

1 tsp paprika powder

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp cayenne pepper

Drizzle of olive oil

100g of vegan cheese, grated

6 lasagne sheets

Salt

1 tbsp of vegan butter

1 tbsp of plain flour

1/2 a litre of dairy free milk (I used soya)

Method

Preheat oven to 200°C

In a pan, fry the onion and garlic in olive oil for around 5 minutes until they start to cook.

Add the tomato, pumpkin and black beans.

Stir in ginger, cumin, paprika and cayenne pepper and salt to taste and bring to boil.

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Turn down the heat, put the lid on the pan and simmer for around 20 minutes.

In another pan, melt the butter and then stir in the flour to make a roux paste.

Remove from the heat and stir in some of the milk until the roux melts and there are no lumps.

Return to heat and add the rest of the milk gradually, stirring until the bechamel sauce thickens in to a nice consistency.

Stir in about 1/4 of the grated cheese.

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To layer the lasagne, spread half of the vegetable mixture in a lasagne dish.

Place 3 of the lasagne sheets on top, covering the vegetable mixture.

Spread half of the bechamal sauce evenly on top of the lasagne sheets.

Repeat, vegetable mixture, lasagne sheets and bechamal sauce for another layer.

Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.

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Place in the oven for 45 minutes/1hr.

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Serve

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Spiced Pumpkin & Apple Crumble

Serves 4

Pumpkin Spice

1.5 tsps ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1/8 tsp ground cloves

Ingredients

3 apples, peeled and cubed

1/4 pumpkin, roasted, peeled and cubed

6 heaped tbsps of plain flour

3 heaped tbsps of dairy free butter

2 tbsps raisins

2 tsps of pumpkin spice

2 tbsps of brown sugar 

Method

Preheat oven to 200°C

Mix the apple, pumpkin, raisins and 1 tbsp of sugar and arrange in an over proof dish.

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Sprinkle pumpkin spice over evenly.

In a bowl, rub the flour, butter and remaining sugar together with your fingers until you get a crumb like consistency.

Sprinkle over the fruit evenly.

Cook in the over for 30 minutes until the crumble starts to brown on top.

Serve with vegan squirty cream or ice cream

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Eggless Royale

I’m a big fan of the Sophie’s Kitchen konjac based vegan smoked salmon and in my opinion, there’s no better way to eat smoked salmon than for breakfast as eggs royale – with a glass of champagne, obviously.Sohpies-Kitchen-Vegan-Smoked-Salmon

So basically there’s nothing about the rest of this breakfast that sounds very vegan friendly but swap the eggs for tofu scramble and make the Hollandaise sauce  vegan and volia!

Not only is the sauce as delicious if not even more delicious as regular Hollandaise, it’s also easier to make!

Serves 2

Ingredients

200g Firm tofu

2 tbsps vegan butter

1 tbsp plain flour

200ml dairy free cream (be careful to get one that isn’t sweetened)

1 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp nutritional yeast flakes

1 tbsps lemon juice

Salt

Pepper

6 slices of Sophie’s kitchen vegan smoked salmon (Sainsbury’s)

2 bagels

Tofu Scramble

Method

Melt 1 tbsp vegan butter in a pan.

Break up tofu and stir in.

Heat for 2/3 minutes until cooked.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Hollandaise Sauce

Method

Melt 1 tbsp of vegan butter in a pan.

Stir in flour to  make a roux.

Remove from heat and add a little of the cream, stir until there are no lumps.

Return to heat and gradually stir in the rest of the cream bit by bit until it thickens.

Stir in lemon juice, turmeric and nutritional yeast flakes.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

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Serve on toasted bagels or muffins

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Gnocci In Pumpkin & Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Cream Sauce

What says Halloween more than a Jack o lantern?

Halloween just wouldn’t be the same without carving out a pumpkin but once turned in to Jack o lanterns a pumpkins life is often cut short.

Pumpkins are not just for Halloween, they’re pretty good the day after too so rather that throwing old Jack Pumpkin Head out, one thing you could do with him is turn him in to a delicious pesto.

Pumpkins don’t tend to last too long once they’re carved and out of the fridge though, as I found out one year after a particular Halloween. I’d thrown a dinner with a pumpkin carving competition in the interval between mains and dessert. The carved pumpkins were then added to my Halloween decor and lived on my stairs for a few days, I thought they looked cute – that is until I was sitting at my table downstairs and found out pumpkin mush was dripping through the holes (I have weird metal stairs). Cleaning that up wasn’t my most enjoyable moment let me tell you so make sure you don’t leave it too long between carving and cooking!

I’ve made this recipe with a new pumpkin rather than one that’s already carved so if you are using your old jack o lantern, you can skip the gutting step . . . 

Serves 4

Ingredients

1/4 medium pumpkin (keep an eye out for more pumpkin recipes for ideas of what to do with the rest )

1 clove garlic or 1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds (you could wash and roast the ones from your pumpkin but I used from a pack) 

1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes

1/2 cup grated vegan cheese

1 can coconut milk

1 tsp dried sage

1/2 tsp chilli powder or 1 red chilli (optional)

Salt

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp salt

Method

Preheat oven to 200°C

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Cut your pumpkin in half and remove the pumpkin guts.

 

Cut one quarter of the pumpkin in to pieces. (wrap the rest in cling film and put in the fridge to use for something else)

Brush pumpkin flesh with olive oil and place on a flesh side down on a baking tray.

Cover with foil and place in the oven for 1 hr.

Remove and let cool.

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Once cool, scoop pumpkin flesh from skin.

Blend pumpkin flesh, garlic, sun dried tomato, pumpkin seeds, vegan cheese, coconut milk, sage, salt and optional chilli together to form the pesto cream.

.Serve with gnocci (alternatively you could use pasta) I garnished with some extra chilli and pumpkin seeds.

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Remember to double ingredients if cooking for 4 as the gnocci recipe is for 2

Click for gnocci recipe

 

Gnocci

An alternative to pasta, gnocci is actually really simple to make with only 3 ingredients or 4 if you include the water for boiling.

Serves 2

Ingredients

400g potatoes

200g plain flour (basically if you want to make more, weigh the potatoes and use half that weight in flour)

1 tsp salt (optional)

Water

Method

Peel, quarter and boil potatoes in a pan for around 10 minutes until soft.

Mash potato until smooth with no lumps.

Mix in salt( if you have decided to use it, personally I like a little flavour in my gnocci).

Gradually stir in flour and mix bit by bit until a dough is formed.

Knead the dough until it is pliable but not sticky, if it’s too sticky, add a little more flour, if too dry, add a drop of water.

Once you have a dough, separate in to 8 balls.

Roll each ball in to sausage shapes, about 2cm thick.

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Cut each sausage in to 1.5cm pieces, you will probably get around 8 pieces per sausage

Turn each piece on to its side, hold top and bottom and gently press with fork to make slight indents, this will also help shape the pieces.

In another pan of boiling water, cook pieces in small batches, they will sink and first and float to the top as once they are cooked, then you can remove them from the pan.

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Serve with source of your choice.

Pumpkin Pie

Halloween is my favourite event on the calendar and Autumn for me in general is all about pumpkin spice and all things nice!

So of course it will come as no surprise when I tell you that pumpkin pie is one of my favourite things ever and it’s surprisingly easy to make!

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Serves 8

Ingredients

Pumpkin Spice

2tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/8 tsp ground cloves

Crust

200g of plain flour

100g of dairy free butter

2 tbsps of cold water

Pie Filling

1 can of pumpkin puree (or 425g fresh pumpkin pureed)

1/2 can of coconut milk (use the full fat canned cooking variety rather than the cartoned)

50g corn flour

100g brown sugar

50ml maple syrup

1tsp vanilla extract

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Method

Crust

Put the flour, dairy free butter and water in to a food processor and mix until the dough gathers together.

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Sprinkle a little flour on your worktop and using a rolling pin, roll out the dough in to a circle a couple of inches bigger than your pie dish.

Place the rolled out crust in to your pie dish, pressing the edges with your fingers.

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Cut off any excess pastry and smooth the edges.

Pie Filling

Mix all the filling ingredients and pumpkin spice in a blender until smooth.

Assembly

Pour pie filling evenly in to the pastry lined pie dish.

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Place in oven for 1 hr.

Remove from oven and let cool. The filling might still seem a little runny but will start to set more as it cools.

Once cool, place in fridge for a minimum of 4 hours.

Serve with a squirt of vegan cream!

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