Vegan in the house

Richard is rehearsing for Kin right now and we have the stage manager, Liam staying with us. He arrived straight from Heathrow airport on Tuesday night after spending the last 18 months travelling. It must have been a bit of a shock to his system to be thrown straight into a busy London theatre schedule only hours after stepping of a plane from a very extended holiday in India. Richard had made some pork and lentil stew with some boiled grain mix so there was plenty left over to heat up when he arrived, but on the realisation that Liam was Vegan I quickly began frying plantain, toasting sunflower seeds and slicing avocado in blind panic. I have never cooked Vegan food before because I know so few. Luckily he seemed happy enough with the strange plate of grains, seeds, vegetables and salad I handed to him but I felt that I really should come up with some proper food to give him next time.

I asked a few leading questions to find out what sort of food he likes and last night, after consulting a handful of vegetarian cook books and a whole host of vegan blogs I decided to try and make him a decent meal.

I found it extremely hard at first because it seemed to me that almost every thing I like to make included egg, yoghurt or cheese somewhere so I really had to concentrate and not finish sauces with butter or add a splash of milk to anything. I chose to make these Vegan Bangers and Mash and a Carrot cake recipe I found online and I think, for my first attempt at Vegan cookery it wasn’t too bad.

Vegan Sausages

Ingredients

1 punnet of mushrooms, weighing around 400g, finely diced

2 small onions finely diced

1 clove of garlic, crushed

100g of oats

1 tbsp of wholemeal flour (plus extra for coating)

1 tbsp of peanut butter

dried thyme

tsp of fresh herbs like savoury, chives or flat leaf parsley

salt and black pepper

Olive oil

Method

Fry the mushrooms in a little olive oil until cooked through. Place in a large mixing bowl and then fry the onions. When they start to soften add to the mushrooms. Into the mushrooms and onion mix add the flour, oats, peanut butter, herbs garlic and seasoning. Stir really well squashing and mashing everything together. (I blitzed mine in the hand blender very very slightly so that it stuck together a little better but still kept lots of chunks of mushroom and onion, I won’t lie, it’s not a pretty mixture but it will turn out ok).

Leave the mixture to cool until it is cold enough to handle. Put about 2 or 3 tablespoons of flour onto a plate and dust your hands with flour too – the mixture is sticky – and shape the mixture into 9 sausages. Roll them in the flour and then shallow fry in a little more olive oil until golden brown.

I served mine with mashed potato (made with soya milk and olive oil) with spinach and nutmeg folded though it and a splash of onion and rosemary gravy.

For dessert we had this Carrot Cake from the Permaculture Magazine website. Although, I didn’t have any maple syrup so I used honey which was still really nice…big slices got eaten so I suspect that is a good sign.

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