Risotto with artichoke hearts, peas and celery

At the moment I am really into rice. Looking at the ingredients on hand for the main meal on Sunday, I decided to buy some risotto rice, which is not what I usually cook with, normally being a fan of long grain brown rice.
However I have not had much luck in the past attempting to make risotto with that, so I decided to splash out at Waitrose, and buy an inexpensive pack of own brand risotto rice.
I based my recipe around the one on the back of the pack but with some slight variations.

Ingredients:
4 sticks celery, washed and chopped
2 onions, peeled and chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
Half a jar of Artichoke Hearts Antipasti
1 tablespoon frozen Petit Pois
1 litre vegetable stock (I use Marigold Bouillon)
1 tablespoon Engevita Nutritional Yeast Flakes

Drain the olive oil from the artichoke hearts using a fine mesh sieve and add it to a large pan.
Set aside the artichoke hearts
Heat the oil, then add the onions, celery, and garlic.

Once the onions have started to soften, add the rice and cook with the stock according to the pack instructions.
When the rice is nearly done, add the peas and the reserved artichoke hearts.
Just before serving the rice, add the Engevita Nutritional Yeast Flakes and stir well.

A nice vegan friendly cider for the vegan teetotaller

I found this cider recently in Tesco at Kingston Park, and gave it a go yesterday. Its very delicious, not completely alcohol free at 0.5 %, but it is vegan friendly and I will definitely have it again. Tesco at Kingston Park has one of the best ranges of alcohol free beers ciders and wines.

Breaded Tofu Cutlets

I have been getting my Tofu at Hi You Emporium on Newgate Street recently but I did notice its manufactured in the USA.

As I am concerned about food miles and Genetically Modified Soya, I have gone back to buying Yang Yang tofu from Tsang Foods on Percy Street,  as its manufactured locally in Swallwell (Gateshead) just a few miles south of here. Of course We don’t have many soya bean farms locally but at least we do have current European Union restrictions on GM food.

 

Instructions for breaded tofu fillets

1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/3 cup engevita
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp marigold boullion powder
1 tsp onion powder
800 grammes firm tofu, drained and pressed (pressing under a heavy object removes excess water and does help the cooking)

cut the tofu into fillet sized pieces
in a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients
coat the tofu pieces in the mixture and place on a greaseproof paper lined baking tray. Bake in pre heated oven at 200 celcius for 15 minutes, then turn the fillets, then bake for another 15 minutes

 

Serve with mushy peas and chips, salt and vinegar and tomato ketchup

Omega 3

Recently I have been reading about the importance of Omega 3 oils in the vegan diet.
Flax seeds aka Linseeds are a very good source.
I copied a flax seed mix I found at Lidl by grinding a mix of linseeds, chia seeds (another good source of omega 3), goji berries, and pumpkin seeds (available at health food stores or larger supermarkets), keeping it in an airtight container to put on top of porridge. The mix shouldn’t be heated so cook your porridge separately first before adding it.
The flax seeds, like sesame seeds, are best ground as they will pass through your digestive tract whole, otherwise, and just end up in the sewer.
I am not sure about the chia seeds but I suspect grinding them would also help them be assimilated.

Normal vegetable oil is cheap in most supermarkets and is usually composed of 100% rapeseed oil, also known as canola oil.
This oil is also high in Omega 3 oils and if eaten without heating will be beneficial like the flax seeds. Some people recommend eating it direct off the spoon but if this is a bit gross it can be mixed with peanut butter.

Another way to get the milled Flax seed is from Linwoods, which is available in health food stores and at larger supermarkets. There are lots of types of Linwoods.

I like to eat porridge for breakfast most days, I find the cheap plain scottish porridge oats are good, just put them in a bowl with some raisins and a bit sugar and soya milk then 2 minutes on high in the microwave.
Then put the extra toppings and a bit more soya milk on after its cooked.

Vegan Rashers

Here is an image of the Redwood Cheatin streaky style Veggie Rashers.
Available direct from the Redwood Wholefood Company or many shops in the UK.

Previously we have used these to make vegan all day breakfast, with a fry up including things like mushrooms, scrambled tofu, tomatoes, veggie sausages and baked beans, but they also work well in sandwiches.

I will definitely use them in soup again as they gave it a pleasant smoky flavour.

Today I noticed our second “Christmas Waste skip” being delivered. Residents on the estate generate so much additional waste over the festive period that the housing association now provides skips to take the extra rubbish generated. This was one of the motivating factors behind my “Frugal Christmas”.