The Paws do National Vegetarian Week, Day 7

Hi Everybody,

Welcome to the final day of Vegetarian Week

As always, although this is a series for National Vegetarian Week, all of the meals below are in fact vegan, with any animal products replaced with cruelty-free alternatives that are not derived from animals.

Breakfast

French toast, served with sliced banana. A lazy breakfast for a lazy Sunday morning, it’s delicious and just the right amount of naughty.

Morning Snack

Light and summery, fruit salads are easy to prepare and store in the fridge. Any excess can be added to jelly for delicious desserts.

Lunch

Lentil roast, with all the usual (meatfree) Sunday lunch trimmings.We use this recipe from Simple Veganista, and would prefer to signpost you there than parrot the recipe on our page. It’s delicious, and we thoroughly recommend it.

Afternoon Snack

Popcorn! Ours was homemade, but of course it’s available in most shops too. We prefer to make our own because it gives us much more flexibility and choice with the flavours. It can be a nice party piece as well, for making a good impression or adding a little extra to friendly gatherings. For example, today we flavoured our popcorn with caramel, and then half dipped in salted dark chocolate.

Dinner

Cupboard tortillas. A recipe we often make towards the end of the week, when know the shopping needs doing anyway. The whole point of this meal is using the foods we always have stocked in our cupboard, to make a meal out of the leftover fresh food from the fridge. As such, this ‘recipe’ is more of an example, than a strict method.

Ingredients

Cupboard goods, like chickpeas and red kidney beans, tinned.
Taco shells, or tortillas
Spices and seasoning
Sweetcorn, tinned
Tomato, tinned
Leftover fresh fruit/veg, such as celery, onion, lettuce, sweet potato.

Recipe

Step One: Securing the base. Empty the tins of beans and chickpeas into a pan, including the liquid, and simmer for 6-8 minutes. Don’t allow to boil.

Step Two: Fresh cuts. Wash and slice the fresh ingredients. Heat oil in a wok or saute pan and cook the vegetables. If you’re low on seasoning, consider leaving the onion raw for extra kick.

Step Three: Pull it all together. Once the veg begin to brown and/or soften, pour over the tinned tomato, whisking smooth or leaving chunky as desired. Drain away any excess liquid from the beans, then pour over the veg and tomato.

Optional: Sweet potato can be included in the mix, cubed, or cooked separately as fries or wedges.

Step Four: Service. Spoon the mixture into warm tortillas or taco shells (they taste best heated in the oven for a couple of minutes. Enjoy!

tortilla

As you can see, we served ours with the last of our coleslaw and some leftover kale, massaged with oil and slow-baked in the over at 140C for 20-25 minutes.

And that concludes this mini-series, the Paws do Veg Week. We hope you enjoyed reading, and found some inspiration from at least one of our meal or snack ideas. Please feel free to share your own stories or experiences below:)

Happy meat-free eating,

The Paws

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The Paws do National Vegetarian Week, Day 6

Hi Everybody,

Welcome to Day 6 of Vegetarian Week

A quick note before we start: The Paws are vegan, so although this is a series for National Vegetarian Week, we replace all animal products in our dishes with vegan alternatives! So while the recipe below might refer to butter, we used nut butter not dairy.

Breakfast

Porridge, stirred through with sliced almond and sprinkled with blackberries, perfect fuel for the day to come. We take ours with a pitcher of apple juice.

Morning Snack

Monkey Mix. A trail mix based around peanuts and dried banana chips.

Lunch

Falafel salad. Falafels are chickpea based patties, usually spherical-ish. They work well with spinach and carrot, and go great in tortilla wraps or alone.

Afternoon Snack

Cinder toffee. A naughty treat, but delicious and satisfying. We love that burned toffee taste when there’s a storm.

Dinner

Today’s recipe is caramelised mushroom tartlets, served with the sweet potato fries from Tuesday’s recipe. It’s a quick one, and only needs puff pastry, mushrooms, vinegar, sugar and butter. However, if you want something a bit more substantial, you can also add caramelised onion to the tarts, and top them with sunflower seeds and cheese.

Step One: Mushrooms. Chop the mushrooms fine or chunky, according to your taste. Preheat a pan and melt butter and oil (1-2 tablespoons of each). Warm until the pan is very hot, then add mushrooms. Brown for 3-5 minutes then sprinkle with sugar – we use muscovado for the darker, smokier taste – and cook for the same time again. The mushrooms should be taking on a lovely caramelised hue by now, so splash on some vinegar and cook just long enough for it to evaporate away.

Step Two: Tarts. Cut the puff pastry into quarters and arrange each in the cups of a yorkshire tray, or otherwise just place on a baking tray. Spoon mushroom into the centre of each portion. If desired, sprinkle linseeds around the edges. Cook around 180C for 15-20 mins, or until the pastry rises to cushion the mushroom, and goes golden.

tato n tartlet

And that concludes Day 6 of the Paws do Veg Week. We hope you enjoyed reading, and maybe even found some inspiration. Please feel free to share your own stories or experiences below:)

Happy meat-free eating,

The Paws

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The Paws do National Vegetarian Week, Day 5

Hi Everybody,

Welcome to Day 5 of Vegetarian Week

A quick note before we start: The Paws are vegan, so although this is a series for National Vegetarian Week, none of our dishes contain any animal products at all!

Breakfast

Hot, malted cocoa, with dipping sticks. We cooked up some cocoa drink on the stove and used oat milk to give that extra malted taste. It’s fun and warming to drink and dip.

Morning Snack

Homemade graze box of peanuts and cashews. We sprinkled with lime juice and black pepper before storing in a bento box.

Lunch

Today’s recipe is super simple – we made bubble and squeak. We only use 2 ingredients, and a ratio of 1 sweet potato and half a leek per serving.

Step One: Potatoes. Wash and cube the potato, skin on or off, and boil in a pan for 10 minutes or so. Drain once the potato softens.

Step Two: Prepare the leeks. Wash and cut up. We prefer ours finely sliced. We cut diagonally and then quarter each disc.

Step Three: Mashing. Pile the leek into the saucepan of sweet potato and give it a good going over with a masher.

Step Four: Bubble and squeak. Heat a tablespoon or so of oil in a frying pan and spoon in the vegetable mixture. Season to taste. Fry until crispy and brown, or as you like it.

Step Five: Flip and feast. Flip the cooked bubble and squeak onto a plate, drizzle with sauce if desired, and enjoy!

bubblesqueak

Afternoon Snack

Yoghurt, served in a bowl and topped with roughly crushed cereal. We got our soy yoghurt from the local supermarket.

Dinner

Friday night is family film night here, so instead of a proper meal we have a buffet of our favourite snacks and treat foods. Today our spread included home-popped corn, fresh pizzas (margherita, mixed vegetable), houmous, crackers and warm bread, tortilla chips, and trailmix.

And that concludes Day 5 of the Paws do Veg Week. We hope you enjoyed reading, and maybe even found some inspiration. Please feel free to share your own stories or experiences below:)

Happy meat-free eating,

The Paws

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The Paws do National Vegetarian Week, Day 4

Hi Everybody,

Welcome to Day 4 of Vegetarian Week

A quick note before we start: The Paws are vegan, so although this is a series for National Vegetarian Week, none of our dishes contain any animal products at all!

Breakfast

Grilled banana-bread toast, with raspberry jam. Try with green or fruit tea for a morning pick-me-up, or flavoured water for something more refreshing.

Morning Snack

Breadsticks (homemade or otherwise) with tasty, thick cut ‘slaw.

Lunch

Pasta salad. Again, quick to make and even quicker to buy. It’s fast, versatile, and tasty hot or cold, so perfect for lunch at the office or on the go. We had ours cold, with sweetcorn.

Afternoon Snack

Roasted peas. Coat with oil and seasoning of choice, then oven bake on a lined tray until brown and crispy. Unless cooked extremely crispy, they will start to soften the longer they are left. But they’re thoroughly delicious, and end on a lovely juicy note if cooked just right. This technique also works well with sweetcorn, chickpeas, and beans, so enjoy some experimentation and tasty flavour combinations.

Dinner

Today’s recipe is Warm Butter Bean Stew. It’s best eaten hot, but the warmth comes from a healthy dose of paprika, rather than the temperature. This recipe also works well with added chili pepper if you prefer your stew to kick a bit more strongly. It serves 4, and takes around 45 mins to prepare and cook.

Ingrediets

1 sweet potato
1 leek
1 tin butter beans
1 cup lentils
1 tin tomatoes
1 red onion
50 grams flax seed
2-4 cups vegetable stock, dependent on preferred consistency
2-3 teaspoons paprika
Seasoning, to taste
4 dumplings, optional

Recipe

Step One: Prepare your veg. Heat a large, oiled saucepan. In the meantime, wash and slice your vegetables. We are great believers in the power of hearty, chunky stew, therefore we prefer our vegetables to be roughly hewed. Chunk up the onion, chop the sweet potato into bite size blocks, and slice the leek with diagonal cuts.

Step Two: Cook the veg. Slide the chopped vegetables into the pan and add paprika. Fry for 10 minutes, or less if the vegetables begin to colour. Caramelised edges are good, charred, not so wonderful.

Step Three: Making the sauce. Add the tomatoes and stock to the pan. If – like us – you are a fan of one-pot cooking, pour in the tomatoes first, with their sauce from the tin, and sprinkle over with a vegetable stock cube. Bring to the boil, and then add the water, stirring the mixture together well. Allow a couple of minutes to combine the water, stock, and tomatoes, then pour in lentils and dumplings. Simmer for 15-20 minutes.

Step Four:Beans baby! Drain the tin of beans and add to the stew, along with the flax seed. Continue to stir occasionally and cook for a further 5-10 minutes.

Step Five: Service with a smile. Pour the stew into a large bowl and position the dumpling on top. Serve with fresh bread – we chose crusty tiger cobs.

stew

And that concludes Day 4 of the Paws do Veg Week. We hope you enjoyed reading, and maybe even found some inspiration. Please feel free to share your own stories or experiences below:)

Happy meat-free eating,

The Paws

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The Paws do National Vegetarian Week, Day 3

Hi Everybody,

Welcome to Day 3 of Vegetarian Week

A quick note before we start: The Paws are vegan, so although this is a series for National Vegetarian Week, all our dishes are actually vegan, too!

Breakfast

Neither of us were very hungry this morning, but since breakfast is really important, we shared a pitcher of pressed apple juice and picked at a platter of fruit and veg we usually have with dips or desert – chunked banana, red and green grapes, and celery sticks.

Morning Snack

Ricecakes, spread with houmous and smushed together to make impromptu sandwiches. This format makes it feel more substantial to us, and more fun to eat, but your results may vary; go with whatever suits you!

Lunch

We ate today’s recipe for lunch, but it also makes for a perfect evening meal, as the preparation and cooking is nice and low maintenance. We call it Broccoli and Mushroom Bake. This recipe serves 4 as a side, or 2 as a main. Thirty minutes is roughly how long it should take to cook and prepare.

Ingredients

1 broccoli
4 large mushrooms (we tend to use big closed cup mushrooms. If using a small variety use more mushrooms; if using portobellos, then 2-3 are probably ample).
1 tin of tomatoes
1 Onion. We prefer red.
Garlic Cloves, to taste. 1 is sufficient for us.
Vinegar, to taste. We use 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, because it adds to the fruitiness of the tomatoes, and makes a lovely contrast with the smokey taste of the baked veg.
Sugar, to taste. 1-2 teaspoons is ample for our palates.
Seasoning. Pepper, herbs, salt.
Oil.

Instructions

Step One: Prepare the broccoli. Wash the whole broccoli and peel the stalk. Divide the head into florets and cube or slice the stalk and place in a large bowl.
Step Two: Slice the mushrooms in half and add to the bowl. Add oil and massage into the veg until it is all slick and evenly coated.

Step Three: Prepare the onion. Peel the onion and slice or dice into small pieces. The onion will be used in the sauce, which we want to have a chunky texture, so use that as a size guideline. Heat oil in a sauce or saute pan, and add the onion. Cook on a medium/low heat until soft.

Step Four: Cook the veg. Place the mushrooms and broccoli onto baking tray[s], making sure you give each chunk plenty of room – roasted veg has a lovely crisp texture and needs space to breathe while cooking, otherwise it will steam and end up soggy and lacking smokiness. Pop into a preheated oven (around 180C) for 15 minutes.

Step Five: The sauce. While the veg is oven baking, add seasoning, vinegar, and sugar to the onions. Continue to cook until half of the liquid has gone. Pour in the tin of tomatoes. Stir as often as needed to break the tomatoes down to the texture you prefer. This sauce is meant to be thick and chunky, so don’t feel too concerned if the liquid reduces. If it becomes too thick for your taste or starts sticking to the pan, try covering the pan with a lid so some of the steam can condense.

Step Six: Finishing the vegetables. Remove the mushrooms and broccoli from the oven and flip the chunks on the tray. We also rotate the trays before putting them back in the oven for a further 10 minutes.

Step Seven: Service. Once the veg is well baked and has enough crispy browning for your taste, remove from the oven. Arrange carefully into a serving dish and pour the sauce over the veg. We use a wooden spatula to help distribute the chunky tomato sauce over all the broccoli and mushroom. Voila! Tastes great with chunky-cut multi-seed bread, perfect for mopping up sauce and stray bits.

broccoshroombake

Afternoon Snack

Crisps! Homemade or shop-bought, many crisps are vegetarian and delicious. Pringles are a big brand with clear labelling and many vegetarian and vegan options, but we also love to bake our own kale crisps in the oven – low heat, for about 30 mins, rotating half way through the bake.

Dinner

Leftovers! One of the great things about home cooking is that you are always in control of your quantities, and the state of your leftovers. We had some spare mixture from our burgers yesterday (parcooked lentils and quinoa, raw onions and celery) so it was really easy to just spoon the mix into an ovenproof dish and cook for 15 mins, or until the top begins to go brown and crispy. Yummy and oh so simple.

leftover burger bake.jpg

And that concludes Day 3 of the Paws do Veg Week. We hope you enjoyed reading, and maybe even found some inspiration. Please feel free to share your own stories or experiences below:)

Happy meat-free eating,

The Paws

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The Paws do National Vegetarian Week, Day 2

Hi Everybody,

Welcome to Day 2 of Vegetarian Week

A quick note before we start: The Paws are vegan, so anywhere below that dairy products are listed, we actually used vegan alternatives. We are choosing to simply name them as regular products for maximum readability and accessibility in that hope that it will make it easier for more people to embrace the spirit of this week and go meat free. (For example, we usually enjoy our burgers with soy cheese, but during this blog series, we’re just going to write it as ‘cheese’).

Breakfast

Toast (we prefer homemade, seeded loaves baked in our bread machine) topped with spread and linseed cereal topper, 1 teaspoon per slice of toast. Served with fruit cordial and a banana.

Morning Snack

Vegetables – washed and sliced into fingers – with houmous (hummus). Today we had smoky piri piri houmous from the supermarket, and it was delicious!

Lunch

Burgers with wedges, which are today’s recipe. These burgers are fun, filling, and full of flavour. The recipe is a little more complicated than yesterday, so here is an ingredients list, with our approximate quantities in (). We usually have enough for 4-6 servings. Total cooking and prep time is around 45 mins.

For the Burger:

Quinoa, (1 cup)
Lentils, (0.5cup)
Red onion, (2, small)
Celery, (1 stalk)
Mushroom, (1 cup)
Red Bell Pepper, (optional)
Oats, (as needed/optional)
Sunflower Seeds, (2 tablespoons, optional)
Cheese, (to taste)
Spices and seasoning (to taste). We tend to use largely paprika and coarse ground pepper.

For the Side:

Sweet Potatoes, (1 ‘baker’ per person)
Oil of choice, (1 tablespoon)
Seasoning of choice. We have two favourites. Either we use chilli flakes with paprika and black pepper, OR, lemon/lime juice with thyme.

Instructions

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 200C. Wash the potatoes and cut them into wedges. We tend to favour long, thinner wedges, and get them by cutting the potatoes in half, then each half in half, and so on, until it looks like the wedges are an appealing and practical size. Typically we get 6-8 from each potato.

Step 2: Season the wedges and prepare them for cooking. We have no professional expertise, but our method is to place the wedges in a bowl. We first drizzle over the oil, and then massage it into the wedges by hand to ensure an even coating. Once all the wedges are shiny, we add our chilli flakes and paprika, until well covered. We then place on a cooling rack on top of a baking tray (to catch drips and other mess) and finally grind our pepper over the wedges. Make sure they have plenty of room on the cooling rack. Oven bake for around 40 minutes, checking every 5 minutes after 30 minutes to ensure the perfect finish for your taste.

Step 3: Wash and dry your quinoa, or don’t, as you prefer. Add the lentils and an optional stock cube. Cover with boiling water and boil for 10 minutes, stirring gently and occasionally to prevent sticking. After this 10 minutes, turn the heat down to a gentle simmer and cook for a further 10 minutes or so. We aim for most of the liquid to be absorbed and the quinoa to look puffy, but the lentils to be soft but still whole. Continue to stir occasionally; it makes washing up much easier later on.

Step 4: Prepare the vegetables. We do this while the quinoa is cooking. Wash all of the vegetables, slice the celery and onion finely. We choose to grate the mushrooms, but finely chopped would do just as well.

Step 5: Combining the patties. Using a large mixing bowl, empty half of the lentils and quinoa into the bowl, then add all of the vegetables. We usually add our seasoning at this point as well, then spoon in the remaining lentil mixture. On top of this we add our seeds and oats. Next, combine the ingredients. We use our hands so we can constantly test the consistency of the mixture. Add cheese, and extra oats as required. The ideal mixture holds its shape well and clumps together, without crumbling or any pooling liquids. If you wish, an egg or vegan binder might help.

Step 6: Cook the patties. Preheat an oiled skillet, or grill. Use your hands or tools to create patties from your combined mixture. We cook ours 2 at a time. Cooking time varies from burger to burger based on the veg-to-quinoa proportions, and the thickness of the patties. We try and turn ours every 5 minutes at least, to prevent burning and to try and get an even cook.

Step 7: Assembly. Slice your chosen bread, apply the patties, and finish with any condiments or salad. Sprinkle with extra cheese as desired. Allow the wedges to sit out of the oven for a couple of minutes while you build the burgers, as this makes them easy to remove from the cooling rack and encourages optimum crispiness on the outside.

Step 8: Arrange delicately or not, and enjoy!

burger

Afternoon Snack

Nuts! We make our own nutty treats, admittedly inspired from those companies that deliver snack boxes to your door. Simply throw in even mixes of any nuts you like, such as cashews, shelled pistachios, hazelnuts or peanuts. Add some finely cubed fudge, cinder toffee or dark chocolate, and fruit like cranberries or gojii berries, and you’re all set. Yummy!

Dinner

Potato waffles, home made or store bought, served with cauliflower and broccoli cheese bake. Delicious.

And that concludes Day 2 of the Paws do Veg Week. We hope you enjoyed reading, and maybe even found some inspiration. Please feel free to share your own stories or experiences below:)

Happy meat-free eating,

The Paws

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The Paws do National Vegetarian Week, Day 1

Hi Everybody,

Welcome to Day 1 of Vegetarian Week

A quick note before we start: The Paws are vegan, so anywhere below that dairy products are listed, we actually used vegan alternatives. We are choosing to simply name them as regular products for maximum readability and accessibility in that hope that it will make it easier for more people to embrace the spirit of this week and go meat free. (For example, we usually enjoy our cereal with Oat milk or Rice milk, but during this blog series, we’re just going to write it as ‘milk’).

Breakfast

Granola, with a sliced green apple on the side. We love the tart zing and crisp juiciness that comes with a good Granny Smith apple.

Morning Snack

Flapjack. Easy to do at home, but also readily available in shops and bakeries. We made ours with dark chocolate  and a little orange oil.

Lunch

Couscous is amazing, tasty, healthy and versatile. Today we mixed ours well with sweetcorn and diced red bell pepper. We were out, so we served it in a large bento box with carrot sticks and a handful of cashews.

Afternoon Snack

Puff pastry spirals, which are today’s recipe. This treat is easy to make and pretty much foolproof, as well as being very versatile in terms of flavour choices. However, from our experience, strong flavours work best because of the limited space and quantity. Similarly, we recommend keeping to [near]liquids, and finely grated solids if you need to add any. If you put too much bulk into the spirals, the pastry will sag and collapse. Solids that are too big can take up all the space and lead to uneven fillings dominated with one flavour.

We got our inspiration today from two of our favourite snacks, toast, and pizza.

Step 1: Roll out your puff pastry. We use ready-rolled, store bought pastry because its fast and easy, and our cooking forte is definitely NOT homemade puff pastry. If you are doing multiple flavours in the same batch, chop up your rolled out pastry into the relevant number of sheets. We did two.

Step 2: Apply your filling!
For our toast-inspired sheet we first dolloped a generous layer of Marmite in the centre of the sheet and then spread it thoroughly over the sheet, making sure to get right to the edges – the sticky Marmite does a great job of keeping the spiral tightly glued together later on – and then grated cheese over the top of the Marmite. For our tastebuds, we love cheese, but we make sure that plenty of the dark Marmite colour can still be seen when we are done grating cheese.
For our pizza-inspired sheet we spread tomato puree all over the pastry sheet. We then sprinkled over black pepper and oregano, then drizzle over a BBQ sauce (we use homemade sauce based around this recipe)

Step 3: Construct the spirals.
Once your filling is evenly distributed, carefully roll the pasty back up into a tight cylinder. Using a sharp knife, cut the cylinder into bite-size portions, no more than 5cm or so wide.

Step 4: Cooking
Place the spirals on a tray lined with oven-safe paper (we use a pizza tray or a pre-heated pizza stone) and pop into the oven. Results may vary, but we use the middle shelf at 180C for approximately 20mins.

Step 5: Enjoy!
Leaving the spirals to rest for a couple of minutes makes them easier to take off the paper. Serve on their own, or with dips, and share with anybody you love enough!

spirals.jpg

Dinner

Pasta shells served with chunky tomato and Mediterranean vegetable sauce. We love some grilled garlic bread on the side, too!

And that concludes Day 1 of the Paws do Veg Week. We hope you enjoyed reading, and maybe even found some inspiration. Please feel free to share your own stories or experiences below 🙂

Happy meat-free eating,

The Paws

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