Hi guys i'm Ellen; a wheat and lactose intolerant vego from Adelaide, Australia, who is aiming to go fully vegan! Loving this community for all the great inspiration it gives me!! Such a fab resource :)
I figured it was time to share a bit of my own budding cookery :)
I am having family/friends over for tea and have decided to serve soft shell tacos. I will be looking after my infant nephew all day tomorrow so decided to make the taco mix ahead of time, along with my dinner for tonight which was a gluten free (& vegan) curried veg & lentil pie!
I pretty well invented both dishes based on what I had in my fridge/pantry. Usually I will buy food I like the look of or that's in season and then plan meals around them, rather than buying specific ingredients for particular recipes.
These two dishes had similar bases which made them easy to prepare together:
2 red capsicums
2 decent sized zucchinis
400g canned lentils
400g canned three bean mix
400g canned tomatoes x 2
jar of minced garlic
170g can tomato paste
taco seasoning sachet (cheating a bit!)
smoked paprika (omg sooo good! I add this to everything!)
veg stock (mine was a powder form that you mix with water)
rice bran oil
I started by roughly dicing all the veggies in to cubes, except for two of the carrots which I grated (grated carrots were for the taco mix)
For the tacos:
I fried half the onion in a saucepan with some rice bran oil, after they had softened I added
2-3 generous tbsp of garlic, a decent sprinkle of dried basil and an even more generous sprinkle of smoked paprika! These measurements can all be done to taste. After cooking for a bit (5 mins?) I added a few tablespoons of tomato paste, about half of the 170g can, and fried that off for a while. Then I added half the zucchini, half the capsicum, the drained can of three bean mix and the grated carrot. Stirred for a bit then added one can of diced tomatoes and mixed in the pre-made taco seasoning with 1 cup of water (as per packet instructions) and left to simmer until veggies were tender and sauce was thickened. It seemed bit dry so I think I also added about half a cup of extra water.
(taco mix in pan on left hand side):
Once the taco mix was cooked I set it aside to cool. Tomorrow I will make fresh hand-made tortillas with my stone ground cornmeal, much like these:
They are dead easy to make! Just cornmeal and hot water with a bit of bicarb made in to a dough, pressed flat and then fried. I plan to serve the tortillas & taco mix with diced cucumber and tomatoes, fresh salad greens, avacado, and some gluten free vegan cheez sauce I made earlier:
Which is made from a premade gf flour mix,nutalex (margarine), soy milk and nutritional yeast flakes. The recipe was very similar to a conventional white sauce but sub butter for marg, normal flour for gf, cows milk for soy milk, and Parmesan for nutritional yeast flakes!
For the curried veg lentil pie filling:
Much the same beginning as the taco mix; fried rest of the onion in oil until soft, added a few tbsp of garlic, some dried basil & smoked paprika, fried off for a bit, then added the remaining half can of tomato paste. Fried off for five minutes, added remainder of veggies, the can of drained lentils, and the canned tomato. Added one cup of veg stock and 3 tbsp gravy powder which I dissolved in a small amount of water before adding to the pot. Left to simmer until veggies were tender, then added 1tbsp of curry powder (feel free to add more to taste). To thicken the mix i then mixed through some sifted tapioca flour (didn't measure but it wasn't a lot, just did it slowly and stirred until I was happy with viscosity).
Finished pie filling:
To complete my pies, I made some vegan gluten free pastry from a packet mix (subbing butter for nutalex). It was Organ brand pastry mix and it was meant to make gluten free puff pastry or short crust pastry (can apparently make shortbread with it too).
I had no rolling pin so had to use my knife block!! It was my first time trying to make puff pastry and I did a terrible job at it! Lol!
Here are my cases with the pie mix in:
And the finished product:
I was happy overall with the pie, particularly the filling, but I would love to achieve a flakier softer pastry. This pastry was a bit harder & stodgier than I would have liked. Any tips would be greatly appreciated!
Gluten free and vegan can make things a lil tricksy at times!!
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