Vegan Oven-Roasted Roots Frittata

This recipe is based on a recipe in the River Cottage Veg Everyday cookbook by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.  I have a few vegetarian cookbooks and love trying to veganise any of the recipes that aren’t vegan.  Some are really easy to veganise, just by leaving out an ingredient or using vegan cheese or something, and some are more challenging.  I’ve always wanted to try veganising some of the egg recipes and I’ve been making a lot of vegan frittatas lately so decided to try making a vegan version of this oven-roasted roots frittata.

I love this cookbook and even though not all of the recipes are vegan, and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is not even close to being a vegan, it has lovely simple but delicious recipes (most of which are vegan or easily made vegan) and it’s one of my most used cookbooks.  I do prefer buying vegan cookbooks, but I have quite a few vegetarian cookbooks so might try to veganise a few more recipes soon!

IMG_7178

If you follow my Instagram or Facebook page then you might have seen that we’ve been eating a lot of things made with gram flour lately.  It’s a really useful and versatile ingredient, and makes a great replacement for eggs in omelettes and frittatas.  It’s pretty magical.  And it’s healthy too, and high in protein, so nutritionally replaces the eggs in a meal, and is actually much healthier I think (no cholesterol) and of course cruelty free.  And a bag of gram flour can make several meals, so it works out as really good value.

The kids love these omelettes and frittatas that I’ve been making, and I love seeing them eating something so nutritious.  You can add lots of veg to them so it’s a great way to get kids to eat them if they’re fussy eaters.

This recipe is really simple to make, cooked in the oven instead of fried, so you can get other stuff done while it’s in the oven, which is my favourite kind of meal.  It also tastes good cold, so is great for picnics or packed lunches or eating cold the next day for breakfast or lunch.

I used beetroot, butternut squash, onion and baby potatoes in this one.  But you could also use other root veg like carrots, parsnips, celeriac, swede, shallots, etc.  Or I think it’d be really nice with mediterranean veg like aubergine, courgette, red peppers and red onion, which I might try next time!

The cheese I used was a mixture of Violife Prosociano with Parmesan flavour and Violife Mature Cheddar, which are both really delicious.   But feel free to use any vegan cheese that you like.

Anyway, I hope you like it.  If you try it, let me know in the comments or on Instagram or Facebook!

IMG_7184

Ingredients:

About 600g root vegetables or squash, I used beetroot, butternut squash, onion and baby potatoes

1 large clove of garlic

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 cups of gram flour

Fresh or dried herbs, I used thyme

1 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)

About 20g vegan hard cheese, such as Violife Prosociano or Cheddar

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

A pinch of kala namak/black salt (optional)

How it’s made:

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Celsius.

Peel the onion and any vegetables that need peeling, and chop them all into 2-3 cm pieces.  Peel the garlic and finely chop or crush.

Put all the vegetables in an ovenproof dish, about 23cm square.  Drizzle with the olive oil, garlic and some salt and pepper and toss the vegetables to coat them in oil.  Roast in the oven for about 40 minutes, stirring them about halfway through cooking.

Meanwhile, put the gram flour in a large bowl with the herbs, some salt and pepper and the nutritional yeast and kala namak if using.  Whisk together with 2 cups of water until it makes a smooth batter.

When the vegetables are done, take the dish out of the oven but don’t turn off the oven.  Pour the gram flour mixture over the vegetables evenly.  Grate the vegan cheese and sprinkle on top.  Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes until it’s cooked through, checking occasionally so that it isn’t burning.

Slice the frittata and serve warm or cold.

*Based on a recipe from River Cottage Veg Everyday by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

BBQ Cauliflower Wings with Follow Your Heart Ranch Dip

This is a really fun way to get kids to eat cauliflower and makes a good snack for kids’ parties that I think even non-vegans would love!  I’m not the biggest fan of cauliflower on its own, but it’s so versatile and is a good replacement for chicken in recipes, like in this Sweet and Sour Cauliflower or Roasted Cauliflower Fajitas.  In this recipe cauliflower is used instead of chicken wings, making it healthy (cauliflower is a good source of vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, pantothenic acid, and vitamin B6) and of course cruelty-free.  This is not a new idea but it’s my version making it as healthy as I can for my kids while still being as convenient as I can make it.

IMG_6772

I make them with a gram flour batter (also known as chick pea flour) to add more protein and it also makes it gluten free (if you’re coeliac make sure to use a certified gluten free gram flour).  I think it makes them extra delicious.

IMG_6776IMG_6781

I also bake them in the oven without any oil which makes them much healthier than if they were deep fried.  I use a store-bought BBQ sauce to make this a quicker and easier recipe, especially for busy parents.  It’s also usually not too spicy, which makes it good for kids.  It does contain some sugar, but if you want you could make a healthier homemade BBQ sauce.  I might try coming up with a recipe for a future blog post.

IMG_6783

These are delicious served with Follow Your Heart ranch dressing either drizzled over them or as a dip.  I love Follow Your Heart Vegenaise and salad dressings and can’t stop eating them lately.  They contain lots of omega 3 fatty acids, which are important for kids and breastfeeding people so I’m using that as a reason to eat lots of them!  Actually at first I assumed they’d be full of unhealthy and unrecognisable ingredients but when I actually looked at the labels I was pleasantly surprised!  Sure they are high in fat (and I don’t mind that as a treat), but it’s expeller-pressed rapeseed oil, and there are no trans fats or artificial ingredients.  Just pretty healthy ingredients, which is nice to see in a vegan product like this.  (This is not a paid ad, none of my posts are, I just like this product!)  If you can’t get this ranch dressing, you could make a homemade vegan ranch dip (there are lots of recipes online).

IMG_6790

IMG_6807

So I hope you like this recipe.  Even if you don’t like cauliflower, give it a try and I bet you’ll love them.  I could eat a whole cauliflower this way!

IMG_6792

Ingredients:

1 large cauliflower

1.5 cups of gram flour

1 tsp salt (optional)

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tbsp nutritional yeast

1 bottle of BBQ sauce (or use homemade sauce)

IMG_6797

How it’s made:

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper, 2 trays might be needed.

Cut the cauliflower into florets.

Put the cauliflower in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 3-5 minutes until it has softened a bit (or steam or boil it if you like).  I do this first because I like my cauliflower well cooked, but if you like it more crunchy then you can skip this step.

Mix the gram flour, salt, spices and nutritional yeast in a large bowl.  Then add 1 cup of water and whisk until pretty smooth.

Add the cauliflower florets to the batter and mix well to coat the cauliflower.

Spread the cauliflower florets out on the baking trays so that they are not touching each other.  If there is a lot of batter on each one, let a little drain off before placing it on the baking tray.

Bake the cauliflower florets in the oven for about 20 minutes, turning them over half way through cooking.

Take the trays out of the oven and drizzle the cauliflower florets with the BBQ sauce.  Toss them to coat them in the sauce.

Cook in the oven for another 15 minutes or so, turning half way through cooking.

Serve with the vegan ranch dip.

IMG_6800

Potato & Chickpea Salad with Creamy Avocado & Dill Dressing

This is a really delicious salad that’s filling enough to be a main meal.  It’s also very healthy.  People sometimes think potatoes aren’t that good for us, but they actually contain lots of goodness.  I like making it with baby potatoes, which go really well with the dressing.

 

The dressing is creamy, lemony, fresh and full of healthy fats and vitamins.  Avocadoes are a great food for kids, especially babies.  Plain soya yoghurt makes it extra creamy and is really nice but if you don’t have it, then it works fine without it.  If your kids don’t like potato skins, feel free to peel them first, since the recipe will still have plenty of fibre (and if you’re vegan, you probably get lots anyway) but I like it with the potato skins on.

 

The chickpeas make this extra filling, add protein and other nutrients, and make it more interesting I think.  Potatoes and chickpeas go great together.  If you don’t have dill, or don’t like it, you can use coriander, mint, parsley, it’s really up to you.  It’s really good with dill though!

IMG_6857

Ingredients:

Serves 4-6

1 KG of baby potatoes

1 tin of chickpeas

4 avocadoes

Juice of half a lemon

2 peeled cloves of garlic

1 1/2 handfuls of fresh dill

A few spoonfuls of plain soya yoghurt (optional)

Sea salt (optional)

IMG_6861

How it’s made:

Halve or quarter any of the larger potatoes and place them in a large saucepan.  Cover with cold water, place on a high heat, bring to the boil, lower the heat and simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until a fork can pierce them easily.

Once the potatoes are cooked, leave to cool completely.

Meanwhile, using a blender or food processor, blend together the avocado flesh, lemon juice, peeled garlic clothes, 1 handful of dill, soya yoghurt (if using) and some sea salt (if using).

Drain and rinse the tin of chickpeas.  Finely chop the remaining dill.  Mix the chickpeas, cooked potatoes, chopped dill and dressing together well.

Serve immediately as the avocado may become discoloured.  If you don’t want to eat it straight away, drizzle with a little lemon juice, and olive oil, cover and store in the fridge.

IMG_6887

 

 

 

Curried Butternut Squash Soup

It’s been pretty cold here in Ireland and we have no heating for a few days so have been cuddled up in front of the fire most of the time.  I thought I’d roast loads of veggies to have for a few days because the oven would help heat up the house!  And I wanted to make soup to warm us up even more, so this soup was invented.  It’s so creamy, comforting and spicy, so was perfect.  It made loads too to get us through a few days and the kids loved it.  It’s really healthy and delicious.

I used Kallo very low salt vegetable stock cubes and don’t add salt until after taking out the kids’ portions.  You could also make it using pumpkin instead of butternut squash and garnish it with a few roasted pumpkin seeds.

IMG_3108

Ingredients:

2 butternut squashes (or small pumpkins)

Sea salt and black pepper

Extra virgin olive oil

1 large onion

1 clove of garlic

5cm fresh ginger

1 tin of coconut milk

1 heaped tbsp. medium curry powder

500ml vegetable stock

Chilli flakes to garnish (optional)

IMG_3128

How it’s made:

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Half the squashes lengthways and remove the seeds.  Place cut-side up on a baking tray.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with 2 tbsp. olive oil.  Roast on the bottom shelf in the oven for about 1 hour or until soft.

When the squash is ready, heat 1 tbsp. olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat.  Dice the onion and fry for about 5 minutes until softened, stirring occasionally.

Mince or crush the garlic, peel and grate the ginger, add to the saucepan and fry for a few more minutes.

Add the coconut milk, curry powder and vegetable stock.  Simmer for a few minutes.

Scoop the flesh of the butternut squashes out and add it to the pan.  Blend until smooth and return to the heat.

Simmer the soup for about five minutes or until it has the desired consistency.

Garnish with chilli flakes and season with salt and pepper (optional).

Vegan Frittata Muffins

I’ve seen a lot of people making frittata muffins so decided to come up with a vegan version.  They taste so good and really quite egg-like.  We love these for breakfasts, snacks, picnics and lunchboxes.  They’re great for kids and my two love them.  I love to make a big batch of them to have for quick breakfasts.  You can also make them in mini-muffin tins for appetisers or party snacks (just bake for a shorter time) or in a cake tin for a large frittata that you can slice up (just bake a little longer).  They have loads of protein from the chickpea flour and tofu, and loads of goodness from the veg.

IMG_2052

I use Cauldron brand of tofu which is firm but mashable, but if you have silken tofu that would work well mashed up too, or if you only have firmer tofu then dice it up finely.  If you have kala namak (black salt) then you can add a bit of that to give it an eggy taste, but it’s not necessary since it tastes lovely anyway.

IMG_2074

You can add whatever veg you feel like or have in the house, but some of my favourite combinations are:

Grated courgette, peas and fresh mint,

Sun-dried tomatoes, red pepper and pine nuts,

Roasted butternut squash and chestnut mushrooms.

IMG_2112IMG_2109

Ingredients:

Makes 12 frittata muffins

1.5 cups of chickpea flour/gram flour

Sea salt and black pepper

1 heaped tsp dried mixed herbs

A dash of turmeric (for colour)

A dash of paprika

1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (optional)

1 clove of garlic

400g of tofu

Vegetables of your choice such as finely chopped raw red pepper, tomato, courgette, spring onion, shallot, leek, broccoli, kale, green beans, frozen peas, frozen sweetcorn, grated raw carrot or courgette, roasted aubergine, roasted butternut squash, cooked potato or sweet potato, sun-dried tomatoes, fresh herbs.

(For one batch on mine I added finely chopped raw shallots, diced red pepper and quartered cherry tomatoes.

For the other batch I added finely chopped shallot, chopped green beans, and chopped tender stem broccoli.)

IMG_2085

How it’s made:

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Whisk the chickpea flour with 1.5 cups of water until smooth.

Add the mixed herbs, sea salt, black pepper, turmeric, paprika and nutritional yeast and mix.  You can leave out the salt if you want to serve these to young children, and after putting their portions into the muffin tin, add salt to the rest of the mixture if desired.

Peel and crush or finely chop the garlic and add to the mixture.

Mash the tofu roughly, or if using firmer tofu then chop finely.  Mix into the chickpea flour mixture gently.

Finely chop or grate the vegetables that you are adding, if needed, and stir into the mixture.  You want about 50% vegetables to 50% batter.

Oil a muffin tin with a little olive oil, or if using a silicone muffin tin or non-stick muffin tin, you might not need to oil it.

Spoon the batter in to the muffin tin to fill up each space and press down lightly on it with the back of the spoon.

Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes, checking every so often, until firm and golden brown on top.

Carefully take the muffins out of the tin and eat warm or cold.

IMG_2070

Sweet Potato, Red Lentil and Coconut Milk Soup

There’s nothing nicer than a big bowl of soup when you’re sick.  My kids are hardly ever sick, but they picked up a cold a few days ago when we took them to the GP for a routine appointment.  It doesn’t seem to bother them too much, but Oran is feeding less since his nose is a bit blocked.  I wanted to make sure that they still get loads of nourishment to help fight it off, so this soup is great.  Sweet potatoes are really nutritious, and it has red lentils for protein and coconut milk for healthy fats.  It also has ginger and chilli, which are meant to be good for colds.

It’s sweet and creamy with a subtle spiciness and lovely flavours of ginger and fresh coriander.  It’s also quite filling with the lentils.  I leave the sweet potato skin on since you don’t even notice it when it’s all blended up and it adds extra fibre.  I use Kallo very low salt vegetable stock cubes, and after taking the kids’ portions out, add salt to the grown ups’ portions.

IMG_0202

Ingredients:

3 shallots

2 cloves of garlic

A dash of chilli flakes

A thumb sized piece of ginger

2 large sweet potatoes (about 1kg)

1 cup of red lentils

1 litre vegetable stock

1 tin of coconut milk

A handful of fresh coriander leaf (cilantro) plus more for garnishing

IMG_0203

How it’s made:

Peel and finely chop the shallots.  Fry in a large saucepan in a little extra virgin olive oil over a medium heat for a few minutes.

Peel and crush or finely chop the garlic and add to the sauce pan.  Peel and grate the ginger and add the ginger and chilli to the sauce pan.  Fry for a few more minutes, stirring occasionally.

Clean and chop the sweet potato into large cubes.  No need to peel it unless you want to.

Add the red lentils and vegetable stock.  Bring to the boil, lower the heat and simmer for about 15-20 minutes until the sweet potato and lentils are cooked.

Finely chop the coriander, and add to the saucepan with the coconut milk.

Remove from the heat and blend until smooth.  A stick blender/hand blender is the easiest way to do this.

Serve garnished with a bit of fresh coriander.

IMG_0207

Simple Homemade Houmous

Houmous is possibly my favourite food ever, and is really healthy too.  It has loads of protein, fibre, healthy fat, iron and calcium.  This is a really simple, basic recipe but delicious.  Homemade houmous is really quick and easy to make and tastes better and is healthier than store-bought houmous.  It’s great spread on toast, served with salad, crudités or in a sandwich.  Kids love it too!

IMG_9852

Ingredients:

1 tin of chickpeas

1 clove of garlic

1 tablespoon tahini

Juice of half a lemon

A few glugs of extra virgin olive oil

A dash of ground cumin

A dash of paprika

Sea salt and black pepper

IMG_9861

How it’s made:

Drain and rinse the chickpeas, peel the garlic, and blend all the ingredients until smooth, with a splash of water to help it blend.  Serve sprinkled with some paprika or drizzled with olive oil.