Wednesday 30 April 2014

Baby Spinach Salad with Sage Roasted Sweet Potato, Walnuts and Almond Feta

Baby Spinach Salad with Sage Roasted Sweet Potato, Walnuts and Almond Feta - Vegan, Gluten Free and Soy Free

So, I had some ingredients leftover from Easter dinner, for those who don't know I always make the Eggplant Rollatini with Marinara Sauce over Spaghetti from Veganomicon. Such an amazing meal - there are some photos from last year on the now defunct daily blog. I do make a few changes to the recipe in the cookbook though - mainly I fill the rollatini with basil almond feta and use my own vegan parmesan recipe in the breading mixture. In the end I had a big bag of spinach and half a recipe of the almond feta in the fridge so came up with this salad for dinner the next day.

This is really another variation of a couple salads I already have on the blog: the Roasted Sweet Potato and Pecan Salad with Mixed Leaf and Beetroot and a Maple Balsamic Dressing AND the Warm Roasted Butternut Squash and Pecan Salad but still unique in it's own right and absolutely delicious! 

This was also inspired by someone on twitter who contacted me saying they made a dish using roasted sweet potato, sage and the almond feta (possibly walnuts too but I don't think it was a salad). Unfortunately I can't find the tweet as it was so long ago so I can't give credit or thanks - if it was you let me know! 

The flavours of sweet potato, sage and walnuts go so well with the almond feta and while I was debating what kind of dressing to put with this it dawned on me that with all those strong flavours all this salad really needed to finish it off was a simple drizzle of good quality extra virgin olive oil. Perfect.

Baby Spinach Salad with Sage Roasted Sweet Potato, Walnuts and Almond Feta - Vegan, Gluten Free and Soy Free
Baby Spinach Salad with Roasted Sweet Potato, Sage, Walnuts and Almond Feta
(serves 1 as a main dish)

• Good handful of baby spinach leaves
• 1 small sweet potato, peeled, about 130g prepared weight
• ½ Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 1/8 tsp salt
• 1/8 tsp dried sage
• 5 grinds of black pepper
• 20g unsalted walnuts, roughly chopped
• about 30g Almond Feta, crumbled
• extra olive oil to drizzle
• fresh chives, snipped

Preheat the oven to 200C. Chop the peeled sweet potato into medium size dice and place in a small roasting tin. Whisk together the olive oil, sage, salt and pepper. Drizzle this over the sweet potato then toss with your hands until the potato is all coated in oil. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes, tossing the potato a couple of times. Add the chopped walnuts, give it a stir and pop it back in the oven for another 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Toss the spinach with a small drizzle of olive oil and place on a plate. Top with the warm sage roasted sweet potato and walnuts, crumble over the almond feta then give it a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Snip over some fresh chives and enjoy :-)

Baby Spinach Salad with Sage Roasted Sweet Potato, Walnuts and Almond Feta - Vegan, Gluten Free and Soy Free

Nutritional Information: 
Calories: 509
Protein: 9.4g
Fat: 40.4g
Sat Fat: 4.6g
Fibre: 7.4g
Carbs: 32.4g
Sugar: 6.4g
Fibre: 7.4g
Sodium: 723mg

You Might Also Like:

Roasted Sweet Potato
& Pecan Salad w/
Maple Balsamic
Warm Roasted
Butternut Squash
and Pecan Salad

Thursday 24 April 2014

Asian Style Soy Mince and Avocado Wrap with Spicy Peanut Sauce

Asian Style Vegan Soy Mince and Avocado Wrap with Spicy Peanut Sauce

So, this has become an absolute favourite wrap for my husband and me. I first made it with store bought frozen soy mince then when I couldn't buy it anymore, with my own homemade soy mince (in photo). Both versions are equally as good.

Garlic, ginger and soy mince are fried with a splash of soy sauce, tossed with spring onions and placed in a large wrap with shredded iceberg lettuce, avocado slices sprinkled with lime juice and topped with a good drizzle of delicious sriracha peanut sauce. 

Seriously one of my new favourite wraps!
Asian Style Vegan Soy Mince and Avocado Wrap with Spicy Peanut Sauce

Asian Style Soy Mince and Avocado Wrap with Spicy Peanut Sauce:

Makes 2 wraps.

1 tsp peanut oil
1 fat clove of garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp finely chopped fresh ginger
Freshly ground black pepper – 4 grinds
100g frozen soy mince
50ml water – omit if using my homemade mince
1 tsp soy sauce
2 spring onions, chopped

1 Tbsp creamy peanut butter
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sriracha 
1 tsp water

1 avocado, sliced
Fresh lime juice
Shredded iceberg lettuce
2 x large wraps

Make the sauce by whisking everything together until smooth. Set aside. 

Heat the peanut oil in a large skillet then add the garlic, ginger and black pepper. Fry for a couple of minutes on a gentle heat until fragrant. Add the frozen soy mince and the water (if using store bought mince) and fry until the mince is cooked and all the water is gone. Stir in the soy sauce and fry a minute more then stir in the spring onion, give it a good stir then turn off the heat.

Slice the avocado, place in a bowl and sprinkle generously with fresh lime juice, toss well. 

Heat a large wrap in a dry frying pan until just warmed and pliable, transfer to a plate then top with a good handful of shredded lettuce. Top with half the soy mince mixture, half the avocado slices and drizzle over some of the sauce. 
Asian Style Vegan Soy Mince and Avocado Wrap with Spicy Peanut Sauce
Wrap up burrito style, cut in half on the diagonal and eat!
Asian Style Vegan Soy Mince and Avocado Wrap with Spicy Peanut Sauce

Nutritional Information: based on 1 wrap

Calories: 398
Protein: 17.4g
Fat: 16g
Sat Fat: 3.3g
Fibre: 9.2g
Carbs: 42.9g
Sugar: 5.4g
Sodium: 726mg

You Might Also Like:

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Monday 21 April 2014

Homemade Frozen Soya Mince

Homemade Frozen Vegan Soy Mince

So I was puzzled as to what to call this recipe. I've always found it confusing that the dry soy mince you see in the picture there is called the same as the bags of cooked and seasoned frozen soy mince you can just to be clear, this is a recipe for those frozen, cooked and seasoned bags of soy mince, not on how to make dried soy mince granules :-) Also, is it soy or soya?? I've never known and use both interchangeably here, gah - confusion!
*Update - The dry soy mince that I've used to make this (the bag you see in the photo there) is also known as TVP or textured vegetable protein in the US.

Anyway, I came up with this recipe out of necessity as I cannot seem to buy the frozen soy mince here in Ireland anymore :-(  My favourite was always Tesco's own label soy mince as I felt it had the best texture but I can't even find Linda McCartney's anymore. 

Since I have quite a few recipes that call for frozen soy mince: goulash, stuffed jumbo pasta shell lasagnachimichangas, burritos and enchiladas, chilli and ricewontons, gyoza, oven baked mini wonton rollsgrilled cheeseburger wrap and most importantly our traditional Christmas dinner main dish of Tourtiere, I committed myself to creating a recipe to replace it.

I had a look at the ingredients for Linda McCartney's Mince and basically just based this on that. The onion and garlic are basic flavourings here, the malt extract, a sweet syrup, was also in hers and adds a sweetness which is important as dried soy mince can have a slight bitterness, then I've tried to create "meaty" flavours with the soy sauce, Worcester sauce and mushroom stock.

Altogether, I am SO happy with this recipe that even if I could buy the store bought stuff again, I wouldn't. I have so far used my homemade version in my recipes for the goulash, burritos, enchiladas, the grilled cheeseburger wrap and a new favourite wrap which will be blogged next, and I haven't been able to tell the difference. Further bonus - my son, who was never too keen on the store bought soy mince, LOVES my version! 

You can use mine as you would the store bought stuff, the only difference I have found is that my version doesn't need as much water added (if any) while cooking. For example, in my goulash I would add half a can of water when I added the frozen soy mince and with this mince, I don't need it.

Homemade Frozen Vegan Soy Mince

Homemade Frozen Soy Mince:

1¼ cups dried soy mince/ TVP (100g)
1 x Kallo mushroom stock cube
450ml water
1 tsp each: soy sauce, vegan Worcester sauce and malt extract
½ tsp each: garlic and onion granules (powder is fine too)

Measure the soy mince into a bowl.
 In a small saucepan add everything else. Whisk while bringing to a boil. 
Pour over the soy mince, cover and let sit for 5 – 10 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Fluff it with a fork.
Spread out onto a large plate or paper lined baking sheet (whatever will fit in your freezer) cool to room temperature then place in the freezer. 
Homemade Frozen Vegan Soy Mince
Every half hour or so, remove from the freezer and crumble and separate the granules with your hands so you don't end up with a large frozen sheet of mince. I first use a spatula to life the mince off the tray then crumble it with my hands. Return to the freezer. When the mince is completely frozen and separated, transfer to a freezer bag and keep in the freezer.

Recipe makes 470 grams of soy mince.
Homemade Frozen Vegan Soy Mince
Use from frozen, as you would store bought frozen soy mince. Mine has always been eaten up within a month of making it but I imagine it should keep in the freezer fine for 6 months or so :-)

Nutritional Information: based on 100g

Calories: 100
Protein: 13g
Fat: 0g
Sat Fat: 0g
Fibre: 4.3g
Carbs: 9g
Sugar: 4.1g
Sodium: 507mg