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.

img_3553

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.

img_3554

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.

img_3556

Place in the oven for 45 minutes/1hr.

img_3582

Serve

img_3585

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!

img_1706

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

img_1691

Method

Crust

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

img_1742

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.

img_1741

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.

img_1693

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!

img_1701

img_1707

 

Crab Apple & Cinnamon Infused Vodka

I’ve been at it again, foraging that is.

Back in early August, my best friend stumbled across a row of trees in our local park growing what looked like ‘little green apples’ on them whilst walking his dog. He sent me a picture asking me what they were and to my delight, I identified them as crab apples.

44653832_762163984135042_9183570772491239424_n

At the beginning of October we were out together on another dog walk and he took me back to the spot where the crab apple trees were and by then the fruit had turned from green to ripe Autumnal yellows and reds, luckily I had a spare poo bag on me (you have to be resourceful sometimes) and we picked a bag full. 

44512378_181389189451750_8259821932455657472_n

Small and much more tart than normal eating apples, lots of people use them to make crab apple jelly but no, not me, I decided to infuse some vodka which will be ready just in time for Bonfire Night!

44525103_710071376020232_4658995224926748672_n.jpg

Ingredients

20 crab apples

70cl vodka

100g of caster sugar

1/2 tsp of ground nutmeg

1 tsp of ground cinnamon

44510333_2188664424789784_650517421689405440_n

Method

Wash the crab apples and put them in a 2 litre picking jar.

Pour the vodka over the apples.

Add the caster sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon.

Put the lid on the jar.

Leave to infuse for 1 month minimum, the longer you leave the apples infusing, the stronger the flavour will be.

44657183_195259694687973_3233048851245957120_n (1)

44510874_856356188087533_5787071881324527616_n

Strain in to a jug and pour in to a bottle. ( I bought an amazing glass skull bottle from Tiger for mine)

Serve with tonic water.