Even if you’ve never tried a recipe box, I’m sure you’ve heard of them. Boxes of ingredients delivered to your door containing everything you need for two or more dishes, along with step-by-step instructions simple enough for even the most novice cook to follow. On the face of it, these boxes can seem like an extravagance or an unnecessary luxury but, when you think about it, if you had to buy all the ingredients you needed for a meal, you wouldn’t use in that one dish everything you bought – one tsp of a spice out of a whole jar/a handful of spinach out of a whole bag, for example – and, as everything’s pre-weighed for you (if a dish needs one tsp of a spice, one tsp of spice will be in the box) as well as there being no waste, there’s also no messing about with scales and measuring spoons or cups. I’ve tried a few recipe boxes in the past and have been impressed each time (especially as the portion sizes have been generous and usually stretched to double the quantities they say they serve).
I’ve called this Quorn Singapore noodles, but it was a mix of Quorn mince and Sainsbury’s meatfree mince I had in the freezer I needed to use up.
Not that it mattered. This was delicious, quick and easy.
Quorn Singapore noodles (serves 4)
Taken from The Quorn Kitchen
350g Quorn Mince
6 tbsp hoisin sauce
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tbsp rice wine
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp vegetable oil
100g mange tout, halved lengthways
6 spring onions, chopped
4 blocks egg noodles
200g pak choi, chopped
- Combine the Quorn Mince, hoisin sauce, garlic, rice wine, chilli and soy sauce, mixing well. Heat the oil in a wok or stir-fry pan then add the mince mixture and stir-fry over a high heat for 2-3 minutes. Add the mange tout and half the spring onions and stir-fry for a further 2 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook the noodles according to the pack instructions.
- Just before serving, stir the beansprouts and pak choi into the mince, allowing the pak choi to wilt slightly. Fork in the noodles and serve immediate3ly, garnished with remaining spring onions.
Mmm, my first post-detox dinner. I had some spinach, broccoli and chili to use up, so I went to the supermarket and bought some marinated tofu, mushrooms, spring onions, beansprouts and hoisin sauce (oops, processed food, naughty) and managed NOT to buy any wine and went home and heated a bit of sesame oil in a wok, stir-fried the tofu and veg, added the hoisin sauce, boiled some basmati rice and had my first hot, cooked, solid food of the week, eaten out of a bowl with a fork and not drank out of a smoothie jug.
And I didn’t even have a massive portion. Full of self-control, me.
More Quorn for dinner tonight. Blimey, anyone would think I got sent some free samples or something.
Still, I don’t really need an excuse to eat noodles. Especially chilli ones. And these Quorn Chilli Stir Fry Strips are already marinated so you don’t need to add any spices of your own. I usually end up pouring more chilli sauce onto my dinner but these were tasty enough but not too spicy for The Meat Eater who’s a bit of a wuss when it comes to chilli.
Here they are, along with the rest of the ingredients I added to the stir fry. (They’re the bright orange things in the black tray. The other things are vegetables, which can be found in all good supermarkets.)
Oh yeah, there’s a jar of Lazy Garlic there that I got sent to try. It’s chopped up garlic preserved in white wine vinegar and when you sniff the jar, all you can smell is vinegar and not garlic. Tasted fine in the stir fry but wouldn’t fancy trying to make garlic bread with it. Personally, I think white wine should be drunk out of a glass, not used to preserve garlic.
Anyway, back to the Quorn. The finished result, served with egg noodles.
250g (1 pack) Quorn Sweet Chilli Stir Fry Strips
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 red pepper de-seeded and sliced
1 red onion finely sliced
1 garlic clove crushed
stir-fry vegetables sufficient for two portions:
mange tout sliced
Rice or noodles to accompany the dish
- Pre-heat the oil in a wok and fry the onion, garlic and pepper for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the Quorn Sweet Chilli Stir Fry Strips, mange tout and baby sweetcorn. Stir fry for 5 minutes.
- Add the pak choi, stir through and allow to wilt slightly.
- Serve with rice or noodles.
Tonight’s dinner was made from the brilliant Veganomicon. I love this book.
This is the only vegan cookbook I’ve ever made anything nice out of, although a lot of the ingredients are items I’d find difficult to get hold of in London, let alone in a small village in Kent.
I kept quiet about it being vegan to The Meat Eater until he’d told me (without prompting or being kicked under the table) how nice it was and how he liked the fact that although I had spilt a lot of curry powder all over the hob, there wasn’t too much curry powder taste to it (probably because I’d spilt it all over the hob…).
The original recipe calls for Seitan Cutlets but I swapped that for tofu.
Ingredients (serves 4)
½ pound fresh udon noodles or dried udon noodles
Curry roux sauce
2 tablespoons peanut oil
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons curry powder
½ teaspoon garam masala
½ cup vegetable broth
2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 large yellow onion, sliced into thin strips
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced into thin strips
1 hot red chili pepper, sliced very thinly (optional)
1 block of tofu, cubed
½ pound broccoli florets, sliced into bite-size chunks
¼ cup vegetable broth
2-3 tablespoons soy sauce
Prepare the curry roux sauce
Combine the flour and 2 tablespoons peanut oil in a small saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture browns to the colour of rich caramel and smells toasty, about 10 minutes or less. Stir in curry powder and garam masala, and cook for another minute while stirring constantly. Switch to using a wire whisk, then pour in the vegetable broth in a steady stream. Whisk in the sugar and cook the roux, stirring constantly, until a thick sauce forms, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
To prepare the stir-fry
Heat the 2 tablespoons of peanut oil in a large (at least 11-inch) non-stick frying pan or a wok and cook the sliced onion for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened and translucent. Add the ginger, red bell pepper, hot chili, and tofu, and stir-fry for another 5 minutes, until the pepper starts to soften. Add the broccoli and stir-fry for 4 to 5 minutes, until it turns bright green.
Add the udon noodles to the stir-fried vegetables, sprinkle with soy sauce and stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes.
Whisk ¼ cup of the vegetable broth into the curry roux sauce in the saucepan. Pour the sauce over the udon stir-fry and stir to coat everything completely with the sauce. Stir and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the sauce is simmering and the noodles are warm. Remove from the heat and serve.
I seem to be having themed meals recently. The week before last was Italian (home made pizza, sweet potato & mushroom lasagne, mushroom & asparagus pasta); last week was Mexican (white bean chili, spicy bean enchiladas) and now this week seems to be taking on a Quorn theme as on Monday we had Quorn chicken style tikka masala and tonight’s offering was Quorn beef style teriyaki. And very nice it was too.
Ingredients (serves 2)
300g Beef Style Quorn Pieces
75ml groundnut oil
50ml soy sauce
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp ginger, finely chopped
½ an orange, juice and zest
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
125g dried egg noodles
½ red pepper, thinly sliced
50g mushrooms, thinly sliced
6 spring onions, sliced diagonally into 1cm pieces
½ lemon juice
2 tbsp coriander, finely chopped
- Place the Quorn pieces into a bowl and add 50ml of the groundnut oil, the soy sauce, garlic, ginger, orange juice and zest and rice wine vinegar. Leave to marinate while preparing the rest of the ingredients.
- Cook the noodles according to the instructions on the packet, drain and set aside.
- Place a wok over a medium heat and add the remaining 25ml of groundnut oil. Add the Quorn and marinade and cook for a few minutes. Add the red pepper and cook for 2-3 minutes, then add the mushroom and spring onion and cook for 2 minutes more.
- Add the lemon juice and coriander.
- Add the drained noodles and combine in the wok with the other ingredients.