Category Archives: vegetarian mince

Meowrraomeowrewmeowmeowrraomeowrewmeowmeowrraomeowrewmeow (Charly said)

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Saturday night at the sister’s again, another episode of Peter Capaldi’s mad-eyed Dr Who to savour, plus the usual banquet.  Been cooking most of the afternoon; krispy kale with kashews, flatbreads, Quorn ham &  cheese frittata.  Also used up what was left of last night’s chilli con carne in a chilli frittata (tomorrow’s breakfast).  Plus there was an additional Unintentional Frittata, when my attempt at Nigel Slater’s bacon and pea fritters went horribly wrong and I decided to try and rescue the ingredients rather than just dumping them.

(I think I need to buy some more eggs).

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Chilli Con Carne Burgers

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Had an attack of Sod This For A Game of Larks! Tuesday night, so rather than wrestling with the contents of the fridge, went and bought Quorn mince, a tin of kidney beans and a jar of ready-prepared chilli con carne sauce. Bung it all in the wok, faff about a bit with extra chilli powder and tomato puree, and the result is a bowl of spicy chilli heaven, with minimum work. A bit of bread to dip in it? A glass of dry white wine?

Sod the hair products, this is Because I’m Worth It.

Was a little more frugal tonight, and stretched out the remaining chilli with some wholemeal breadcrumbs and an egg, creating enough burgers for a light supper and also a lunchbox for Friday.

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(You may note in the picture above the jar of Sussex Valley Garlic Mayonnaise – I am not sponsored by them, but would like to be. My sister bought me this jar to stop me raiding her stash).

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Lentil and Quorn Mince Moussaka

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Seasoned Anxious-Watchers may remember this post, where I tried, and utterly failed, to cook an edible moussaka:

https://theanxiouscook.wordpress.com/2013/04/17/i-say-aubergine-you-say-eggplant/

However, hope springs eternal in the Anxious breast, and when I spotted this I thought I’d have another go….

http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1658641/lowfat-moussaka

I’m now scarfing down a second bowlful of the stuff, so let’s assume that I’ve got it right this time…..

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Change of Winds

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I am so, so tired at the moment, nearly dropped off at work. Promised myself I’d come home, brush my teeth, switch on Radio 4 and just sort-of pass out on the nearest horizontal surface…..so of course here I am at 9ish at night, cooking two separate oven-baked dishes plus sorting out some defrosted-then-re-heated spicy lentil bake + salad for tomorrow’s lunch, having also done the washing-up, hung up some laundry and raided Sainsbury’s for Special Offer chickpeas (4 tins for a Paahhhnnnnddd….!).

According to the weather forecast, tonight is when we switch from the humid, temperate autumn we’ve enjoyed so far, with tasteful hints of gold and red on the leaves, and into a true Winter-Is-Bloody-Coming Hang-Onto-Your-Direwolves cold spell. I spent a few minutes leaning out of the window, enjoying the newly-sharp, clean air in contrast to the over-heated kitchen. I’m sure I’ll be cursing the cold weather soon enough, but right now it’s a surprisingly pleasant razorblade to the lungs.

Yoinks ago, I praised the dish Huevos a la Flamenca on this blog. Unfortunately the link I had no longer goes to that recipe, but I’d recommend a quick google for the many other versions out there, it really is a great recipe and pretty flexible if you’ve got any combination of eggs, vegetarian ham/bacon/mince, mushrooms, onion, tomatoes and spices, or spare chilli con carne or spicy tomato pasta sauce knocking around. Warming to this theme, I also made a version of this ratatouille with baked eggs, original recipe here: http://allrecipes.co.uk/recipe/4239/tunisian-ratatouille-with-eggs.aspx

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New Booties

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Digging through the freezer compartment for one of my frozen vegetable stew portions, I found another small foil-wrapped package, and remembered the attempt at a vegetarian African meatloaf I’d made a few weeks ago, which for some reason I’d not got round to blogging about. As both packages were small, and it’d been a long day, and frankly, because I’m an unashamed hog, I decided to defrost and cook both for dinner.

The http://www.allrecipes.co.uk website has quite a list of “African” recipes (authenticity unknown, apologies to any genuine African cooks). I’d had success before with several wonderfully spicy stews, and with a pack of quorn mince littering up the freezer I thought I’d have a go at “babotie”, which is a South African recipe…..

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I say “aubergine”, you say “eggplant”

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Right, let’s get the aubergine cliche dish out the way.

Moussaka (what a lovely name for a girl!), seems to exist in various forms across the Mediterranean, Turkey, the Balkans, and the Arabic countries. Presumably because a combination of aubergine, olive oil, tomatoes, spices/herbs and mince is a winner in the tasty-yet-economic stakes, particularly when you have the climate to easily grow the first four items and a handy goat or sheep for the fifth.*

The existence of vegetarian mince makes up for the lack of livestock, and if you’ve got the cooking skills for, say, a standard lasagne, what could possibly stand in the way of a successful moussaka recipe….?

*more difficult in the UK, which is probably why it’s an imported recipe. The original British version of turnips, lard, nettles, Worcestershire sauce and roadkill never really caught on, more’s the pity.

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Minor cooking disaster below the cut