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Fully Loaded Fries (or a Homage to ‘Kimchi Karbdashian’)

This is my version of the loaded fries I ate at Vegan Heroes, a vegan fast food restaurant that I sincerely hope will survive the Corona crisis. Treat this recipe as a blueprint and add or leave out whatever you like.

Serves 2 (double, triple, etc, as needed)

Ingredients

For the sauce:
115 g plant yoghurt
2 tbsp/30 g heaped tbsp vegan mayonaise
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 onion powder
sriracha, to taste
pinch of salt

Fries
1 x 750 g bag of (oven) chips

Toppings, in the order I put them on the chips:

– 260 g (1 1/2 pack) of vegan gyros/shawarma
– sauce (hold some back to dollop over the top)
– 100 g sliced iceberg lettuce
– 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
– 1/4 a red cabbage, thinly sliced
– 4/5 tbsp of (homemade) vegan kimchi, chopped
– 3 spring onions, sliced
– 2 tbsp of shop-bought fried onions
– sliced jalapeños, to taste
– 1 tbsp sesame seeds

Preparation

– Put the cooked fries on a large plate (or divide between two plates for indivual portions).
– Layer on the toppings.
– Eat.



Chicken-Style Seitan

Why eat an actual chicken? This easy-to-make seitan has bite and flavour. Slice thickly and braise in some stock or gravy and eat as ‘medallions’, slice thinly and stuff in a sandwich, or cube and use in a stir-fry.

Ingredients

Wet mixture

250 ml (1 cup) vegetable or vegan ‘chicken’ stock

70 g (1/2 cup) cooked cannellini beans (I use tinned beans and freeze the rest in 70 g portions)

3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

1 heaped tsp miso

1/2 tsp fine salt

Dry mixture

140 g gluten flour/vital wheat gluten

1 heaped tbsp of my Chickun Seasoning (no salt added to the seasoning) or ready-made chicken seasoning

12 g (1/4 cup) nutritional yeast

Preparation

– Blend wet ingredients using a small processor or (stick) blender.

– Put dry ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer or (if kneading by hand) a wide bowl.

– Pour dry ingredients into the bowl with wet ingredients and mix.

– Knead for 10 minutes in stand mixer (using the flat paddle attachment) or by hand.

– Divide into 2 portions (about 200 g each) and shape them into logs.

– Wrap in aluminium foil, turning the ends like a toffee wrapper.

– Steam the seitan. I do this in the Instant Pot. Pour 250 mls/1 cup of water in the Instant Pot and put the wrapped seitan on the trivet. Steam for 40 minutes on high pressure and release pressure manually.
You can also just steam it for 40 minutes in a large pot, using a steamer basket.

– Eat straight away or cool and store until you are ready to eat. Slice thickly and braise in some stock or gravy and eat as ‘medallions’, slice thinly and stuff in a sandwich, or cube and use in a stir-fry.

Chickun Seasoning

Nothing to do with actual chickens, of course. A spice mix you can use in my chicken-style seitan, or to marinate shop-bought vegan ‘chicken’ bits or mushrooms with.

Ingredients

1 heaped tbsp mild curry powder

2 tsp sweet paprika

2 tsp thyme

1 tsp ground mace

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp garlic powder

pepper, to taste

salt, to taste (optional)

Preparation

– Mix all the spices.

Jean’s Pasta Salad

Bring this pasta salad to the family barbecue, and if it’s all you can eat there, you’re still not missing out.
With lots of thanks to my friend Jean for giving me the recipe, which I’ve only slightly adapted.

Ingredients

For the salad
500 g whole-wheat pasta, cooked till al dente, rinsed with cold water until stone cold
3 peppers, finely diced
2 bunches of spring onions, sliced finely
15 g fresh basil, chopped or torn
130 g semi-dried tomatoes, chopped
2 sticks of celery, sliced finely
100 g sliced green olives
250 g cherry tomatoes, halved
1 small tin of sweetcorn, drained
1 small bag of pine nuts, toasted

For the dressing
1/3 cup/80 ml extra virgin olive oil
2 largish cloves of garlic, minced
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp dried oregano.

Preparation

– Mix all the salad ingredients (except the pine nuts, if you’re making it for later) in a large bowl.
– Mix all the ingredients for the dressing, pour over the salad and mix well. Chill in the fridge.
– Add pine nuts when you are ready to eat.

Pizza, Vegan of Few Words-Style

It’s great that pizza places have vegan options these days, but you can’t beat homemade pizza, imo. Also, making pizza yourself is dirt cheap.

Ingredients

– 1 quantity of my pizza dough (for two large pizzas)

– 1 quantity of my super easy tomato sauce

– Any vegan toppings you like. I, perhaps controversially, like a ‘naked’ pizza but there are some good mozzarella-style vegan cheeses. If you leave the cheese off, drizzle some olive oil over your pizza before you put it in the oven.

Preparation

– Preheat the oven to 200 Celsius fan (preferred if you’re baking two large pizzas at the same time) or 220 Celsius regular oven.

– Line two large baking sheets with baking parchment.

– Roll out the dough, spread the tomato sauce on it and scatter over your toppings.

– Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes.

My Super Easy Tomato Sauce

It can barely be called a recipe, but it does make a quick and delicious tomato sauce. Use it on pizza, with pasta, or wherever you need a marinara-type sauce.

Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil

3 cloves of garlic, finely grated (preferred) or finely chopped

400 g tin of (organic) chopped tomatoes

1 tbsp dried Italian herbs

Generous pinch of (coarse sea) salt

Preparation

– Pour the oil into a small lidded saucepan and add the grated garlic. NOW heat the oil on a low heat, stirring every now and again until the garlic starts to sizzle but not brown.

– Add the tomatoes, herbs and salt and mix well.

– Increase the heat to medium high and bring to a boil, then turn heat down slightly.

– With the lid half on (to prevent splattering) simmer and thicken the sauce for about 10 minutes, stirring a few times.

– Using a (stick) blender, blitz the sauce until smooth.

My Pizza Dough

You need a pizza dough recipe in your repertoire. This dough is healthy(ish), versatile and easy to make.

Ingredients

175 g plain flour, plus extra for dusting

175 g wholemeal flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp fast-action yeast

250 ml tepid water

1 tbsp olive oil + 1 tbsp for greasing bowl

Preparation

I use a standing mixer to knead this dough, so I will first give instructions for that. Instructions for mixing and kneading by hand follow below.

– Put the two types of flour in the bowl of your standing mixer and, using the flat paddle attachment, mix them well.

– Add yeast and salt and mix again.

– Keep the machine running and, still using the flat paddle attachment, add the oil and then the water, pouring it in slowly. I find a wettish dough that you can *just* handle gives the best result, but you may not want to add all of the water. Go by eye and remember that you can always add more water later.

– Stop the mixer when your dough is a shaggy mess and attach the dough hook to the machine. Let the machine knead the dough for about 8 minutes, or until elastic and smooth.

– Instructions for kneading by hand: mix flours, yeast and salt in a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Pour oil and water in the well and, using your hand or a wooden/silicone spoon, gradually work in the flour, taking it from the sides of the well until you have a shaggy dough. Transfer dough to work surface (I use a silicone baking mat) dusted with flour and knead the dough until elastic and smooth (about 10 minutes).

– Lightly dust your work surface (I use a silicone baking mat) with flour. On this surface, divide the dough into 2 balls, or more smaller ones, depending on how many (mini) pizzas you want to make.

– Pour the remaining tbsp of oil into a bowl and roll the dough balls in the oil so they are covered with a thin layer of oil on all sides.

– Cover the bowl with cling film or a wet towel (I use a plastic, reusable shower cap) and let stand for 45 minute to 1 hour.

– Voilà, your dough is ready to roll out and use.

Seitan Meatballs

Seitan is great, but the stuff you can buy ready-made looks like chunks of E.T. floating in formaldehyde. So make these balls instead.

Wet ingredients

75 g cannelini beans from a tin

250 ml vegan vegetable stock

2 tbsp soy sauce

Dry ingredients

155 g gluten flour/vital wheat gluten

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

1 heaped tbsp spice mix of your choice (I’ve used picadillo spices, merguez spices, and curry powder but the sky is the limit, really).

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

Preparation

– Blend all the wet ingredients using a (stick) blender or small processor.

– Mix all the dry ingredients in a largish bowl.

– Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients and mix, but only until all the white flecks of gluten flour have disappeared. DO NOT OVERMIX OR KNEAD. Sorry about the caps but this is crucial.

– Divide the seitan mixture into 6 balls (about 83 grams each) and wrap each ball in aluminum foil.

– Steam the balls for 40 minutes. I do this in the Instant Pot. Pour 250 mls/1 cup of water in the Instant Pot and put the wrapped seitan balls on the trivet. Steam for 40 minutes on high pressure and release pressure manually.

– Eat straight away or cool and store until you are ready to eat. I usually braise/heat these up in gravy.

Basic Baked Tofu

This method will take the blandness off your tofu, yet make it just neutral enough to use in pretty much every dish you want to add tofu to.

It also gives tofu a great, chewy texture.

Ingredients

450 g of firm/extra firm tofu (I use Singh Tahoe brand), sliced into three slabs lengthwise

1/1.5 tbsp soy sauce

2 tbsp Chinese rice wine

1 tbsp sriracha sauce

Method

– Press the slabs of tofu by placing them between sheets of kitchen towel and putting weight on them. I use two chopping boards and a heavy, cast-iron pan to weigh it all down. Let stand for an hour.

– Dice the tofu. I cut every slab into three slices, then chop those into six pieces. Anyway, just think bite size.

– Mix the wet ingredients in a shallow container with a lid. Add the tofu and mix again. The sauce needs to *just* cover the tofu. Put on the lid.

– Let stand for at least an hour, carefully shaking the container or turning it over to coat the tofu once or twice. Marinating the tofu longer won’t hurt (at all). The tofu will absorb all the moisture.

– Preheat the oven to 200 C, line a baking tray with baking parchment.

– Bake the tofu for 30/40 minutes, turning it every 10 minutes or so (no need to be overly precise, just give the cubes a quick flip with a flat spatula).

– Bake until it looks firm and slightly charred.

– Take the tray out of the oven and let the tofu cool. It will firm up even more as it cools.

– Either use it in a dish straight away or store it in the fridge or freezer to use later.

Chocolate and Walnut Banana Bread

When life hands you close-to-black bananas (or when you clearly haven’t been eating your fruit), make banana bread.

Wet ingredients

3 overripe bananas

1 tsp vanilla essence

75 ml flavourless oil (I use rice bran oil)

60 g almond butter

60 g coconut sugar

3 tbsp plant milk

Dry ingredients

110 g plain flour

90 g wholemeal flour

25 g unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted

2 tsp baking powder

generous pinch of salt

70 g walnuts, roughly chopped

100 g dark chocolate (check if vegan), chopped

Preparation

– Preheat oven to 180 C.

– Cover a regular-sized loaf cake tin with baking parchment (if you’re lazy like me, just ball up the parchment and unscrunch it, then use it to cover the tin).

– Put peeled bananas in a wide bowl and mash them up.

– Add all ingredients under ‘wet ingredients’ and mix well.

– Put everything listed under ‘dry ingredients’ in another mixing bowl. Mix very well.

– Add wet to dry ingredients and mix until combined.

– Put the batter in the prepared baking tin, smoothing the top.

– Bake for 40/45 minutes until a wooden skewer comes out clean.

– Let cool in the tin for 10 minutes, before turning out on a cooling rack.