Zizzi Vegan Pizza Review

Zizzi vegan menu
The vegan menu at Zizzi

Forget Kim Kardashian and her oversized bum, Zizzi almost broke the internet a few weeks ago when they revealed their new vegan menu. Vegans are used to visiting chain restaurants and adapting items already on the menu and asking the staff to omit cheese from their orders but Zizzi is the first (as far as I’m aware) to offer a vegan cheese on their pizzas. The vegan cheese is MozzaRisella, which is made from germinated whole rice made without milk and lactose, making it suitable for vegans and those who are allergic to dairy, gluten and soya.

I’m neither vegan nor suffer from any allergies and although I make a conscious effort to eat fewer animal products, when it comes to eating out in restaurants, ‘without cheese please’ just doesn’t manage to leave my mouth when the waiter comes to take my order. So, when I heard about Zizzi’s new vegan pizza, I had to give it a go.

Zizzi, Charlotte Street, London

A friend and I visited Zizzi in Charlotte Street, London and I’m hoping the smiley-but-slow service isn’t indicative of all their branches. The friendly waitress seated us immediately, handed us a couple of Zizzi’s usual menus but rushed off before I had a chance to ask for the vegan one. A long time passed until she came back for our drinks order, which gave me the chance to ask for the vegan menu which she immediately brought to me, but then we had a long wait for our wine to arrive (by the way, most of the wines are vegan and the ones that aren’t are listed on the menu).

To be fair to the waitress(es) though, there did only seem to be two of them but, even so, the restaurant was empty and even the chefs were standing around in the kitchen not doing anything, so I’m not sure why the service was so slow. Slow service is one of my bugbears and the reason I no longer go into my local Pizza Express (I gave them four chances but the service never got any better).

Starter – Vegan Garlic Bread

Zizzi's vegan garlic bread
Vegan garlic bread

Still, we eventually managed to order and our shared starter of garlic bread arrived. Despite – as you can see – the bread being covered in lumps of garlic, it wasn’t particularly garlicky and it was also a bit dry. I did like the green ‘vegan’ sticker stuck to the plate though (that’s as in ‘liked Zizzi thought of doing it’, not ‘mmm, yummy sticker’).

Main Course – Zizzi Vegan Pizza with MozzaRisella Cheese

Zizzi vegan pizza with MozzaRisella cheese
Zizzi vegan pizza with MozzaRisella cheese

But I didn’t go to Zizzi for their garlic bread, I went for the vegan cheese I’d heard so much about. Zizzi offer a vegan Margherita (including a gluten-free option), onto which you can add your own toppings. Unfortunately, my pizza was a bit burnt and I considered sending it back as I hate burnt food even more than I hate slow service but given how long my pizza had taken to arrive, I kept it. Luckily, only a part of it was burnt and the rest of it was fine and I soon cheered up and enjoyed the rest of my pizza. The vegan ‘cheese’ was more of a sauce and not the stretchy mozzarella pizza lovers have come to expect on their pizza but there are no complaints from me as it was tasty, cheesy and not artificial tasting at all (unlike a lot of vegan cheese). As someone who loves sauces and hates dry food, a sauce-like cheese on top of my pizza is fine with me.

Price/Value

My vegan Margherita cost £7.95 and I chose toppings of olives, green chillies and mushrooms so, with toppings being 80p each, this meant my pizza came to £10.35 which is excellent value in my opinion, especially when a lot of pizza restaurants charge around £12 for a pizza and extra toppings at £1.50 a pop. Unfortunately, I can’t gush about the garlic bread and, at £4.50, I won’t be getting it again.

I’d definitely go back for the vegan pizza though and hopefully more Italian/pizza restaurants and chains will follow Zizzi’s example and start offering vegan cheese on the menu.

For more information about Zizzi, view their whole menu, find your nearest branch and book a table, visit the Zizzi website.

If you’ve been to Zizzi to try their vegan pizza, I’d love to know what you thought about it.




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Gousto Recipe Box Review

Gousto recipe box

Gousto recipe boxes are different to the Riverford recipe boxes you might have seen me review here and here. They’re different because not only do you get to choose which recipes out of a changing choice of ten (not all vegetarian) you want to cook that week instead of having them chosen for you, but you can also choose whether to have two, three or four recipes a week, and whether you’d like them to serve two or four people.

Gousto asked me if I’d like to review a box and, well, you know me – I never say no to free food, so here’s my thoughts on what I received.

It took me a while to choose two out of the four vegetarian options; I almost went for a creamy mushroom pasta dish, but then I remembered that although the Meat Eater loves cream, mushrooms and pasta, he hates creamy mushroom pasta dishes, so that was off the menu. I can’t remember what the other dish I discounted was but I was happy with my choices of melty mushroom burger and the spinach and veggie mince lasagne.

My box of food turned up on schedule, with the products that needed to be in a fridge, wrapped up in a wool bag. I don’t know why, but these wool cool bags make me as squeamish as I would be if my food arrived inside an actual sheep and not just its coat.

Gousto recipe box

As is usual with recipe boxes, the food is accompanied by a recipe card, with a list of ingredients, step-by-step instructions and a photo of how it should turn out, if you don’t mess it up too much. All the ingredients are measured out for you and clearly labelled so you don’t get your basil mixed up with your spinach. One of the good things about having everything separate is then you can leave out what you or someone you’re cooking for dislikes – in my case, I left out the olives as the Meat Eater doesn’t like them.

Gousto recipe box melty mushroom burger

Ingredients for the melty mushroom burgers in the Gousto recipe box
Ingredients for the melty mushroom burgers

Gousto recipe box melty mushroom

We both enjoyed these melty mushroom burgers (portobello mushrooms, topped with mozzarella and served in a warmed ciabatta roll), accompanied with roasted potatoes and salsa for which the ingredients were also provided. The quantities provided were perfect for two people and this is a dish I’ll definitely be making again.

Gousto recipe box spinach and veggie mince lasagne

Ingredients for the spinach and veggie mince lasagne in the Gousto recipe box
Ingredients for the spinach and veggie mince lasagne

Gousto spinach and veggie mince lasagne

Gousto spinach and veggie mince lasagne

I thought the next dish – spinach and veggie mince lasagne – was a bit of an odd choice for a company that prides itself on fresh, organic produce. Veggie mince is usually regarded as a processed food so it’s not something I’d expect to be included but there’s nothing to complain about this tasty dish, and it’s definitely the first time I’ve had Henderson’s relish and baharat in a lasagne. In fact, it’s the first time ever I’ve had Henderson’s relish and baharat (a spice mixture used in Middle Eastern cuisine). Gousto didn’t provide the flour, butter or milk for this and I wasn’t sure why this was. Considering other chilled ingredients came in a cool bag, couldn’t the butter and milk be provided too? That’s just a slight quibble and, again, this made a perfect amount for two people and would even serve three or four if you served it with vegetables and garlic bread.

Gousto recipe box subscription service

Gousto recipe boxes work on a weekly subscription basis – you place your order three days before your preferred delivery date each week but you’re not committed to receiving a box each week, so if you want to skip a week for whatever reason or you want to cancel your subscription altogether, you can do this at any time. Gousto boxes cost:

  • 2 recipes for 2 people – £27.49 per week
  • 2 recipes for 4 people – £41.99 per week
  • 3 recipes for 2 people – £34.99 per week
  • 3 recipes for 4 people – £51.99 per week
  • 4 recipes for 2 people – £41.99 per week
  • 4 recipes for 4 people – £59.99 per week

but when you take into account their convenience and how much you’d spend on ingredients just to use a bit and have the rest languish in a cupboard (although I said I’ve never had Henderson’s relish before, I’m assuming you can’t just buy 1 tbsp of it) they’re not bad value, in my opinion.

For more information on Gousto’s recipe boxes, visit the Gousto website.

Gousto provided me with a recipe box to review. All opinions are my own.

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Vegan Omelette with Silken Tofu Recipe

Vegan omelette with silken tofu

Home alone means YAY I GET TO BE REALLY VEGAN and by ‘really vegan’ I mean I get to try things I haven’t made before like a vegan omelette made with silken tofu, such as this one I based on the one at the brilliant Post Punk Kitchen.

Vegan omelette batter made with silken tofu

Vegan omelette made with silken tofu

This vegan omelette was so good. It was quick and easy and although you’re not going to fool egg-eaters with it, this soft, tasty omelette was lovely stuffed with mushrooms, spring onions and spinach, and as the batter made enough for four omelettes and will keep well in the fridge or freezer, I had one cold the next day for lunch, used as a wrap with pesto, spinach, tomato and cucumber.

Vegan omelette wrap

Like a lot of vegan ‘eggy’ dishes, this silken tofu omelette contained black salt (or kala namak as it’s also known) to give it an eggy taste. Black salt is cheap on Amazon but you can leave it out if you’re not that bothered about an eggy flavour.

vegan-silken-tofu-omelette

Vegan Omelette with Silken Tofu Recipe
Cuisine: Vegan
Author: Cathy @ Planet Veggie
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 349g pack silken tofu
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp fine black salt
  • 1/2 cup chickpea flour
  • 1 tbsp potato starch
Instructions
  1. Prepare your chosen fillings before you start making the omelette and leave to one side
  2. Blend the garlic, tofu, nutritional yeast, olive oil, turmeric and black salt until smooth
  3. Add the chickpea flour and potato starch and blend until it’s all combined
  4. Heat a lightly oiled large frying pan and pour in 1/2 cup of the batter
  5. Use the back of a spoon to spread the batter out to make a thin circle
  6. Let it cook for about 3-5 minutes, until lightly browned on the bottom
  7. Flip the omelette over and cook for another minute or so
  8. Spread your prepared fillings evenly over half the omelette and fold over the other side
  9. Repeat with the rest of the batter

 




 

 

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Vegan Haggis Stuffed Pepper Recipe

vegan haggis stuffed pepper
Veganuary Day 19

I’ve been slacking off my breakfast Nutriblasts recently and the 19th of Veganuary was no exception. A side effect of slacking off breakfast means hunger kicks in mid-morning and today when the munchies kicked in, my healthy choices got pushed aside in favour of the vegan cake that’s on the kitchen worktop.

Even I don’t have cake for lunch though, which was a Warburtons Thin filled with spinach, cucumber, olives, tomatoes and sundried tomato paste.

Warburtons Thin vegan sandwich

Vegan Haggis Stuffed Pepper Recipe

For dinner, I made a vegan haggis stuffed red pepper. I’ve made these a couple of times before, although I can’t find any blog posts about them so the photos must have been bad – even for me.

vegan haggis stuffed pepper

I mixed the vegan haggis up with mushrooms and spinach but you can use whatever you fancy, e.g. leeks, tomatoes, onions, etc. I don’t add any spices or seasonings to Macsween’s haggis, as it’s tasty enough on its own.

I’ve seen on various vegan and vegetarian Facebook groups people saying they’ve bought Macsween vegetarian haggis in Sainsbury’s and Tesco. I haven’t seen it in either of those two supermarkets but I did find some before Christmas in Waitrose (it was by the cheese for some reason). My Facebook friend Cath tried making her own from this recipe in the Guardian but she said it was ‘horrible’, ‘impossible to eat’ and ‘cost me more in ingredients than if I’d just bought a Macsween veg haggis’.

Vegan Haggis Stuffed Pepper
Cuisine: Vegan
Author: Cathy @ Planet Veggie
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • Olive oil spray
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 250g [url href=”http://www.macsween.co.uk/products/delicious-every-day-vegetarian/” target=”_blank”]Macsween vegetarian haggis[/url], chopped
  • 50g mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 red peppers, destalked and deseeded
  • 2 large handfuls of spinach
Instructions
  1. Lightly spray the peppers with the olive oil spray and put in an ovenproof dish and bake for about 20 minutes at 180C
  2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a frying pan and fry the mushrooms for about 2 minutes
  3. Add the vegetarian haggis and fry for another 3 minutes
  4. Add the spinach and stir until wilted
  5. Stuff the peppers with the haggis/mushroom/spinach mixture and return to the oven, covered, for 20 minutes, uncovering for the last 10

 

Veganuary Day 20

As I was off on a walk this morning and there are rarely toilets at the start of the walks I go on, I didn’t want to fill myself full of liquid, so I didn’t have any breakfast (yes, I know there are other things than smoothies/Nutriblasts to have for breakfast but I can’t face solid food first thing). As it turned out, there were toilets at the start of the walk so I could have had a Nutriblast before leaving the house but I’d brought two Tribe Bars with me and had one of those on my arrival (I’d cycled 4.5 miles and been in a car for 35 minutes by then, so I was up to eating something).

After the 6.5 mile walk round Shorne Wood Country Park, a friend and I went into the cafe for a drink and something to eat.  I studied the menu and wondered if the veggie sausages were vegan, before deciding I wasn’t hungry enough for a sausage sandwich anyway and diverting my attention to the flapjacky type things on the counter. As I picked up each one and studied the labels for dairy and eggs, I had an insight to how vegans must feel each time they go out to eat. I settled for an apple crumble slice type thing which stated clearly it was dairy-free and I couldn’t see eggs on the label (unlike on the other products they sold) and couldn’t think of anything else I should be looking out for and asked the girl at the counter if she had any soya milk. She didn’t, so I had to go without hot chocolate and have a fruit tea instead. What do hot chocolate drinking vegans do? Take a flask of vegan hot chocolate with them everywhere they go? I don’t drink tea or coffee. I drink hot chocolate. The cranberry and raspberry tea I had was very nice but I WANT HOT CHOCOLATE, DAMMIT.

Still, I never run out of hot chocolate at home (although since doing Veganuary, I’m buying about ten times the amount of soya milk I used to as the instant hot chocolate powder I usually use contains milk) and that’s what I had when I got in, along with the last of my vegan cake (Jacqui, if you’re reading this – thank you again for sending me the gorgeous vegan cake).

Fry’s Meat Free Crispy Prawns

I had planned to make a vegan aubergine and chickpea pasta dish for dinner but I was feeling lazy after the walk so I heated up the Fry’s Vegan Prawns I’d bought from Holland & Barrett a couple of weeks ago.

Frys crispy vegan prawns
Frys crispy vegan prawns

Part of me had wanted to try these meat free crispy prawns for ages, especially since Linda McCartney stopped making their fish-free prawns and scampi (sob) but, because 99% of the times I’d seen them mentioned on Facebook groups, people had said they’re more like chicken and nothing like prawns, the other part of me didn’t want to try them a) because they’re not cheap (they’re £3.99 in Holland & Barrett) and b) that’s a lot of money to pay just to be disappointed.

Now I’ve tried them I can tell you that no, they’re nothing like prawns and are definitely more chicken-like in texture but there is a slight prawn-like taste so, to put it succinctly – they’re like a prawny-tasting chicken. I’m not disappointed with them and if they were cheaper, I’d buy them. I certainly wouldn’t pay £3.99 for them but if you’ve got a money-off voucher for them like I did, they’re worth trying.

If you haven’t got a Holland & Barrett loyalty card, they’re worth getting. I thought I didn’t go into H&B very often but I keep getting discount vouchers sent to me, so I must spend more in there than I thought I did.

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Veganuary: Vegan Leek, Mushroom and Spinach Tart

Vegan leek, mushroom and spinach tart

Hallelujah – I cooked something that wasn’t stodge! This vegan leek, mushroom and spinach tart is something I’ve cooked before, at least a variation of, anyway. Usually when I make it, I cover it in cheese, like I’ve done previously on my leek, mushroom and goat’s cheese tart, mushroom, leek and mozzarella tart, and my courgette and tomato tart.

I’ve got to admit, I had a bit of a pang when I took both mine and The Meat Eater’s tarts out of the oven, and The Meat Eater’s was covered in bubbling, oozing Cheddar but the pang faded as soon as I started eating.

This vegan tart is a great way to use up any vegetables you have in the fridge – you can substitute the leeks, mushrooms and spinach for whatever you have to hand.

Vegan Leek, Mushroom and Spinach Tart
Recipe Type: Pastry
Cuisine: Vegan
Author: Cathy @ Planet Veggie
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • Two-thirds of a 375g pack of vegan ready-rolled puff pastry
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 2 leeks, sliced
  • 125g mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 large handfuls of spinach
  • salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Heat the olive oil in a pan and fry the leeks for about 3 minutes
  2. Add the mushrooms, garlic and rosemary and fry for another 3 minutes
  3. Add the spinach and stir until wilted
  4. Season with salt and pepper
  5. Cut the pastry in half so you have two rectangles
  6. Score a 1cm border round each rectangle of pastry and top with the leek mixture, keeping within the border
  7. Bake in the oven at 180C for about 15 minutes

 

Veganuary Day 12 – Lunch

Warburtons Thin salad sandwich

Yesterday’s lunch was a Warburton’s Thin with spinach, cucumber, olives, tomatoes, hummus and vegan mayo. Do you like my new plate? I got it in Tesco for £3. It’s almost as nice as the penguin slippers I also bought (£6).

penguin slippers
Gratuitous pic of penguin slippers




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Recipe: Vegan Chickpea (Gram) Flour Pancake

Chickpea flour (gram flour) pancake

Chickpea flour (also known as gram flour) is so versatile. It can be used instead of eggs in omelettes, pancakes, quiches and loads of other things. My latest favourite way to use it is to make pancakes – they’re just as quick and easy to make as their eggy equivalents, but with the added bonus of it being vegan and therefore cruelty-free (and wheat- and gluten-free if you need to avoid those). What I mostly love about pancakes though is that they’re just a pancake-based pizza – choose your toppings just as you would a pizza and throw them on the top of the pancake at the end of cooking.

In the photo is a chickpea flour pancake I made the other day with spinach, mushrooms, olives, sundried tomatoes, garlic and pine nuts.

You should be able to find chickpea flour in your local supermarket (just bear in mind it might say gram flour on the packet) but if not, then any Indian/international store should have it.

Chickpea (Gram) Flour Pancake
Recipe Type: Pancake
Cuisine: Vegan
Author: Cathy @ Planet Veggie
Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ cup chickpea (gram) flour
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • ½ cup + 2 tbsp water
  • salt and pepper
  • Your choice of toppings
Instructions
  1. Prepare your toppings (e.g. fry your mushrooms, spinach and garlic) and set aside.
  2. Whisk together the chickpea flour, baking powder and water, then season with salt and pepper. Whisk until no lumps remain.
  3. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and pour in the pancake batter.
  4. Cook for a couple of minutes until the pancake feels firm enough to flip over.
  5. Carefully flip the pancake over, scatter your toppings on top of the pancake and cook for another couple of minutes.

 

If you’re interested in cooking with chickpea flour, here are a couple of recipes from other food bloggers you might like:

Coconut Chickpea Chocolate Cake from Tin and Thyme
Quick Indian Pancakes with Spiced Potato Filling from The Veg Space

And for those of you who don’t need a vegan/gluten-free pancake, here’s a recipe for a more traditional pancake (i.e. one that’s made with eggs and dairy milk).




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Recipe: Slow Cooker Vegetarian Mushroom Risotto

Slow cooked vegetarian mushroom risotto

Slow cooked vegetarian mushroom risotto

I can’t make risotto. I know how to make it, I’m just missing some kind of key risotto-making gene which means whenever I try to make risotto, no matter how much time I take slowly pouring in the stock and patiently stirring for three weeks (or however long it is; it feels like three weeks, anyway), the rice ends up as nasty crunchy bullets. Maybe the rice knows I’m not patient by nature and can feel the hate and resentment when I’m standing there relentlessly stirring instead of doing something far more pleasurable such as, say, emptying the cat litter tray or hanging up my washing.

So, why I decided to give risotto another go, I don’t know but, instead of the stirring-for-three-weeks-on-the-hob method, I had a look for a slow cooker recipe (although, for someone who can’t be arsed to stand around stirring things, I certainly lift the slow cooker lid plenty of times to give the contents a good stir) and found this one.

Usually when I use my slow cooker, I don’t bother with any pre-cooking malarky and just chuck everything in but, given my history with risotto-making, I thought I’d better give it a decent shot at turning out okay and followed the instructions, only deviating by adding garlic as there was no garlic in the original recipe, which led to a ‘what do you mean there’s no garlic in this recipe?’ moment. I mean, how can you have onions and mushrooms in something but no garlic? Crazy.

I’d like to say this risotto turned out perfectly, but I’d be lying. It was certainly tasty and definitely un-bullet-like but it was a tad stodgy and ‘wallpaper paste’ and ‘sticks to your ribs’ wouldn’t be unfair descriptions. Don’t get me wrong – it wasn’t a disaster and I’d make it again and, if you give it a go, it’ll probably turn out perfectly. I just think risotto and I aren’t meant to be.

Slow cooked vegetarian mushroom risotto

Recipe: Slow Cooker Vegetarian Mushroom Risotto
Recipe Type: Slow cooker
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Author: Cathy @ Planet Veggie
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1.5 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 200g Arborio risotto rice
  • 300ml vegetable stock
  • 30g butter
  • 225g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
  • 30g vegetarian Parmesan-style cheese, grated
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil and add the onion and cook for 4 – 5 mins until soft.
  2. Add the rice and stir through so all grains are coated and cook for 2 mins.
  3. Transfer the rice and onion to the slow cooker and cover with the stock.
  4. Melt the butter in a pan and cook the sliced mushrooms for about 10 mins or until they have browned.
  5. Add the garlic to the mushrooms and cook for another minute or so.
  6. Stir the mushrooms into the rice and cook for 2 – 3 hours on low.
  7. Stir in the vegetarian Parmesan-style cheese in the last 5 minutes.

 

 

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Recipe: Aubergine Pizza – Low Carb Gluten Free

Aubergine pizza

I got a bit carried away while I was making tonight’s dinner. Originally, I’d planned to cook a simple aubergine melt (mozzarella melted on top of half a roasted aubergine) to use up the mozzarella that was in the fridge but, while I was taking out the mozzarella, I saw the spring onion that also needed to be used up, then I saw the mushrooms, then I thought it looked like I was heading towards making a pizza out of an aubergine, so I thought I might as well go all the way and give it a tomatoey base, too. The only pizza-y thing I held off from adding was chilli, but that was only because I thought a chilli, cabbage and potato combo would confuse The Meat Eater who doesn’t like his food to be too much of a ‘challenge’ (his word for anything that doesn’t involve potatoes).

I wouldn’t usually serve pizza with cabbage and new potatoes – I mean, why do you think garlic bread and onion rings were invented? – but it worked well. Obviously, you can choose your own toppings based on your own preference or whatever you have in your fridge that needs using up.

Recipe: Aubergine Pizza
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Author: Cathy @ Planet Veggie
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 1 aubergine, sliced lengthways
  • 1 spring onion, sliced
  • 1 mushroom, sliced
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • 1 average-sized pack of mozzarella, sliced
  • 1 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Score a criss-cross pattern into the aubergine and brush with olive oil
  2. Bake in the oven at 180C for about 30 minutes, or until tender
  3. Brush the tomato ketchup onto the aubergine and layer with the spring onion, mushroom, mozzarella and top with the tomato slices
  4. Season with salt and pepper and put back in the oven for 15 minutes, or until the cheese has melted

 

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Recipe: Butter Bean Pie

Butter Bean Pie

It occurred to me recently that I’ve been making a lot of one-pot meals, for example curries and pasta. Don’t get me wrong, I love curries and pasta but a) they don’t photograph well (at least not when I take a photo of them, anyway) so I end up not putting them on the blog and; b) sometimes I just want something a bit more traditional. And what could be more traditional than a pie?

I haven’t been completely honest here because, although it’s true I fancied something that wasn’t curry or pasta, my main motivation for making something different to curry or pasta was wanting to use up the tin of butter beans I’d found in the cupboard.

Rose Elliot has written a whole cookery book based on beans – The Bean Book – so I had a look in there and saw her bean and leek pie. Knowing The Meat Eater likes a) butter beans and; b) leeks, I knew he’d give it the thumbs up (or at the very least, an appreciative grunt).

I used Flora in this pie but it could be easily veganised by using a dairy-free spread such as Pure or Vitalite.

Vegetarian Butter Bean Pie

Recipe: Butter Bean Pie
Cuisine: Vegetarian but easily veganised
Author: Cathy @ Planet Veggie
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Adapted from the recipe in Rose Elliot’s ‘The Bean Book’
Ingredients
  • 400g can butter beans, drained and rinsed
  • 50g butter
  • 225g carrots, diced
  • 450g leeks, sliced
  • 125g mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 225g tinned tomatoes
  • 150ml vegetable stock
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 225g ready rolled puff pastry
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas mark 7
  2. Melt the butter in a saucepan, then add the carrots, cover and cook gently for 10 minutes
  3. Add the leeks and mushrooms and cook for a further 10 minutes
  4. Sprinkle in the flour and mix in well
  5. Add the tinned tomatoes, stock and dried thyme and cook gently, stirring, for 2-3 minutes until thickened
  6. Add the beans and season with the salt and pepper
  7. Pour the mixture into an ovenproof dish and leave to cool slightly
  8. Cover the top of the pie with the puff pastry and bake in the oven for about 35 minutes until golden brown

 




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Recipe: Asparagus and Potato Tart

Vegetarian asparagus and potato tart

I usually haven’t recovered from the weekend enough to be bothered to cook from scratch on a Monday, but because I had a rare booze-free, exercise-packed, fresh-air filled weekend, my energy levels were up and so I decided I wanted to cook something healthy.

After deciding I wanted tonight’s dinner to involve asparagus, I perused the BBC Good Food website, filtering the results down to healthy options. None of the healthy options particularly appealed, so I took the healthy filter off and saw their free-form asparagus and potato tart, which is what I loosely based mine on. It’s not healthy in the slightest but it’s a big step up from the processed junk I usually heat up in the oven on a Monday.

Recipe: Asparagus and Potato Tart
Recipe Type: Tart
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Author: Cathy @ Planet Veggie
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 375g pack ready-made shortcrust pastry
  • 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • 2 eggs
  • 200ml soured cream
  • 75g asparagus, woody stems snapped off
  • 200g potatoes, sliced
  • 3 chestnut mushrooms, sliced
  • 100g Cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary
  • salt and black pepper
Instructions
  1. Boil the sliced potatoes for about 5 minutes until tender.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk together the eggs and soured cream, then add the rosemary and season with salt and black pepper.
  3. Line an 8″ round pie dish with the pastry, leaving the edges overhanging.
  4. Brush the bottom of the pastry with the mustard.
  5. Layer the pastry with the potatoes, mushrooms and asparagus and top with half the cheese.
  6. Pour the soured cream/egg mixture over the vegetables and top with the remaining cheese.
  7. Fold over the edges of the pastry, trimming if necessary.
  8. Cook in the oven at 200C/180C fan for about 30 minutes.




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