Quorn and Judion de la Granja Bean Casserole, with Lemon Zest and Roasted Vegetables…

This is a vegetarian version of an old favourite made with chicken. It was originally a soup but I thought I’d make it as a casserole this time. I’m glad I did as it’s extremely good.

The name of the beans, the Spanish Judion de la Granja, took some tracking down (looking at Google for the meaning of the name brought up lots of entries from my own blog – gratifying but not helpful). Finally found out that “Judion de la Granja” simply means “From the farm in La Granja”.

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Ingredients (see this post for details of the following list):-

Quorn Family Roast This comes in just one flavour, pretend chicken which, in fact, is quite convincing.

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Veggie Kitchen Tips – Cutting costs and colouring soup…

One of the problems making soup (specifically this one) with canned beans is that there is no bean stock for flavour. While weight for weight, canned beans cost the same as soaking and cooking your own (more or less, depending on brand – I use Napolina exclusively – and special offers), there’s no getting away from the lack of stock. The solution is to soak and cook your own – and cut food costs while doing so by using a slow cooker.

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Making vegetarian sausages 2…

This is the final, revised, version of the recipe.

It’s been my ambition, for a long time, to make a veggie sausage that is actually worth eating. As regular readers will know, I was a veggie for  the better part of 20 years, lapsing gradually over a period between the turn of the century and 2005 (though my diet remained veggie to a substantial degree, and still does), and commercially-produced veggie sausages were then, and still are, dog food. I’m damn sure I can do better.

What follows, then, is a Continue reading

Quorn Sausages, Beans and Fried Potatoes.

Well, I promised some recipes, so I suppose I’d better make good. The first one is for a batch of 4 ready meals, Quorn Sausages with baked beans and deep-fried potatoes (no, not chips).

I don’t particularly like Quorn in any form so why, I hear you asking, am I cooking the bloody stuff? Simple – it’s high in protein, and I need that right now to counter the protein being lost from my still-leaking legs, so off we go.

You’ll need:- Continue reading

Time to avoid meat for a while…

It is, I think, time to give meat-based ready meals a wide berth for a while, until the problems with horse meat of extremely dubious provenance – or none at all – are finally sorted out. As I explained in this post, it’s not about horsemeat per se – I actually like the stuff – it’s all about unknown quality and potential risks to health – and mine is so fucked up right now I’m not risking anything making me worse (right now, aside from the ever-present nausea, it’s like I’m looking at the screen through broken glass).

I also seem to be back into the cycle of nocturnal diarrhoea and vomiting again. WTF that’s about I still have little to no idea. Why, for example, only at night? The trigger, though, was fish fingers (Birds Eye have a new, battered variety – good, but a bit stingy with the fish though), and it seems that fried food is off the menu now, along with Continue reading

Does a vegetarian diet disagree with me?

Something over a year ago, I reverted to vegetarianism. I very quickly became even more ill than normal, abandoned it, and pretty quickly got back to my normal state of sustained mediocrity.

That time, I believed I focused too much on soya products and meat analogues. This time I reverted to the eighties, and the same wholefood veggie diet I ate quite happily for about 20 years, and I was fine – I thought.

There has, though, been a Continue reading

My Veggie Store-cupboard…

About 20 years ago I took my veggie kitchen notebook and wrote it up as a veggie cookery book, mainly for my own entertainment and, as I said some little while ago, it’s my intention, when I’m able (it’s the equivalent of a medium-sized paperback, which has to be retyped), to transfer it to my blog, and the easiest way to do this, I think, is in self-contained stages, of which this is the first.

Part 1 – My Veggie Store-cupboard.

On my reversion to vegetarianism this Autumn, I had, perforce, to undertake a considerable restocking exercise, as many Continue reading

Making vegetarian sausages…

This is the final, revised version of the recipe.

It’s been my ambition, for a long time, to make a veggie sausage that is actually worth eating. As regular readers will know, I was a veggie for  the better part of 20 years, lapsing gradually over a period between the turn of the century and 2005 (though my diet remained veggie to a substantial degree), and veggie sausages were then, and still are, dog food. I’m damn sure I can do better.

Having said that, I’ve just bought some soya-based sausages from Sainsbury’s which look as if they should be pretty decent – I’ll have some tonight with the pease pudding I made yesterday.

What follows, then, is my starting point. It’s based on a very successful beanburger recipe that I made for many years and, indeed, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t treat it as such if you wish – I’ll probably make a few burgers too.

Dried basil is nothing like fresh, by the way, and I use it to impart a generic herbiness. However, I’ve obtained some from a new source** which is alleged to retain much of its flavour. If it tastes as good as it smell***s then that will certainly be the case. If you use supermarket-sourced basil, use a tablespoon.

**NB: These guys don’t process orders for 6 days. Why, I have no idea, they couldn’t be bothered telling me, so be warned.

***It does.

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Vegetarian Sausage.

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1 can of each of the following, drained and rinsed:-

Chick peas, Cannellini beans, Red kidney beans, Haricot beans (total yield, drained, is a little under 1kg). I use Napolina brand as the quality is excellent (Sainsbury’s o-b beans, while much cheaper, tend to be a tad crunchy).

2 teaspoons dried basil

1 tablespoon dried oregano

100g Breadcrumbs, from my own bread (which, this week, is organic wholemeal and a white flour produced from Swedish spring wheat)

3 oz Carmargue red rice, cooked in water flavoured with

1 Knorr vegetable stock cube

1 Kallo organic vegetable stock cube

1 tablespoon tomato purée

3 teaspoons Branston fruity sauce

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 small free-range/organic eggs

1 scant teaspoon Fine sea salt – take care not to over-salt as there’s salt in the stock cubes

¾ teaspoon black pepper (I use Schwartz; McCormick’s is better if you can find it

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NB: For a vegan recipe, omit the eggs and make burgers – less prone to fall apart than the sausage shape – and fry in very little oil. Both stock cubes are vegan, as is the Branston sauce.

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Spoons are, of course, measuring spoons, as cutlery spoons can be pretty random.

For this recipe I use a hand mincer, as a food processor would too easily reduce the beans to a puree – I want to retain some texture so I’ll use a very coarse plate with 10mm holes which will chop the beans coarsely, while leaving some whole or almost whole.

Method:-

Put the beans in a suitably sized pan, cover with water, bring to the boil, remove from heat and set aside for a few minutes – you just want them to heat through. Drain the beans well, then tip onto a clean tray to dry off for 10 minutes. While still warm, tip into a bowl, stir though the herbs, seasoning and olive oil, cover with clingfilm and leave until next day (refrigerate once cold).

While the beans are warming, or afterwards, it matters not which, cook the rice, in enough water to cover by an inch, along with the Knorr stock cube. Add a more boiling water is necessary.

When the rice is cooked, tip into a sieve over another pan, and allow to drain thoroughly. Then set aside. Return the rice water to the pan, and reduce until you have just about half an inch depth, dissolve the Kallo cube, sauce, and tomato purée. Return the rice, and add the crumbs, mixing well with the rice until all the liquid is absorbed. Set aside for 10 minutes to allow the absorption to be completed, then add to the beans and mix well.

Cover and return to the fridge until thoroughly cold – as with making normal sausages, there is scope for food poisoning, though admittedly the risk is much lower, but still, keep everything scrupulously clean and cold from here on in.

Once chilled (or the next day if you wish), remove from the fridge, beat the eggs and stir them in, and mince on the coarsest plate or pulse-process until you have a coarse texture, if a food processor is what you have. If neither, tip into a pan and mash with a potato masher.

Now then, this is where I part company with most of you, as I have a sausage-stuffing machine.

This will enable me to produce cylindrical sausages of an even size (I haven’t yet decided whether or not to use artificial sausage casings, which are made from collagen but are micro-thin and can be removed before cooking**. Alternatively, I could partially freeze them then coat them in egg and cornmeal. Decisions, decisions…

**I went with the collagen casings and left them on. A mere 7g of casings gave me almost 1.5kg of sausages, which probably makes them a lot more veggie than most chocolate (if you knew the animal and insect contaminants permitted in chocolate, you’d never touch the stuff).

So, while I press on with the machine, you can hand-form them, maybe rolling them in buckwheat flour to make them easier to handle or, using a burger press, make burgers – they’ll be just as good either way, and burgers will yield a more uniform result. Amazon or Lakeland sell more or less identical burger presses, based on the original Bel design but not nearly as good (I foolishly gave my Bel press away!).

Once finished – sausages or burgers, put on a tray that will fit your freezer, ensuring they’re not touching each other and with a layer of clingfilm between layers, and bag when solid. No more than 2 layers for sausages, or those on the bottom may get squashed. For burgers it doesn’t matter.

And here we have the finished product. Not elegant – I’m having a seriously bad day – but before freezing they’ll be smoothed and straightened. And yes, I know I’m crap at linking but, guess what? I don’t care!

Click to view full size, Back to return. The filling machine inevitably retains some of the mix, In this case there was enough to make 2  4oz-ish burgers. Really got to find a way to make sausages with this – maybe run it through my mincer.

And this is the finished product, in the pan.

More thoughts on veggie ingredients…

As I said in this post, I’d ordered a bunch of veggie staples online. They’ve all been delivered now, so let’s have a look at them. My comments in bold.

The first batch were ordered from Just Ingredients (formerly Spiceworld). I subsequently discovered that they don’t process orders until six days have elapsed – no explanation given. They also say you can’t cancel without their permission in writing, which is a clear breach of the Distance Selling Regulations, which state that you have 7 days to cancel, for any reason or for none. You certainly don’t need permission. I got Continue reading