Posts

Traditional Irish Potato Cakes

These traditional Irish potato cakes are extremely easy to make: two ingredients, very little fuss, and extremely inexpensive. This quantity makes 6 potato cakes, and these are delicious served as a side with a bowl meal, dipped in a sauce, or spread with your favourite suitable-for-vegans topping.

Ingredients

300g leftover mashed potato, cooled
20-30g flour of your choice (for a gluten-free option, try buckwheat)

Directions

1. Preheat a frying pan over a medium heat.
2. Mix the flour into the mashed potato, adding enough to make the potato mix come together into a ball.
3. Dust the countertop with flour.
4. Roll out the potato mixture until it’s about 1cm thick. Cut with a cookie cutter or with an inverted mug or glass. Alternatively, take sections, roll into balls, and flatten out.
5. Heat about 1 tsp oil in the frying pan, or use spray oil. Fry the cakes 2-3 minutes each side, until golden.

Speedy Turmeric Crumbled Tofu

Crumbling tofu and cooking it with vegetables makes for a very quick meal and an economical way of using up leftover vegetable. This recipe takes under 10 minutes, and it serves 4. Any leftovers can be stored in a lidded container in the refrigerator for a couple of days. Feel free to substitute any of the vegetables according to your own leftovers and personal preference.

Ingredients

1 onion, smallish dice
1 each red and yellow pepper, medium dice
350g firm tofu, drained and crumbled
200g asparagus, chopped into 1-inch pieces
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp smoked paprika
2 tbsp soy sauce
Pinch chilli powder
100g baby spinach leaves

Method

1. Spray a frying pan with a little spray oil, or wipe around with a piece of kitchen towel dipped in oil. Sauté the onion and peppers over a medium low heat for about 2 minutes, until fragrant.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients, apart from the spinach, and cook until any water expelled by the tofu is evaporated (4-5 minutes).
3. Add the spinach and stir through until wilted.
4. Serve on toast, in a pitta bread, or with a large salad.

Loaded Minestrone

A real treat for those who love their vegetables, this soup is packed with all kinds of delicious textures and flavours. If you can’t find the packaged quick-cook minestrone mix, feel free to add your own mix of whole grains, pasta, and split peas or lentils, or just small pasta shapes, adjusting the cooking time accordingly. Serves 8.

Ingredients

1 large onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, sliced
2 carrots, medium dice
250g green beans, chopped
250g mushrooms, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
500g passata
400g can chopped tomatoes
400g can cannellini beans, or any beans of choice
250g quick-cook minestrone mix
1.5 l vegetable stock
1tsp each dried oregano, dried basil, dried thyme, dried parsley
Fresh parsley to serve (optional)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Large handful of spinach per serving

Method

1. In a large, preheated soup pot over a medium-low heat, add the onion, celery and carrots, and sauté 3 minutes, adding a little water if the vegetables start to stick. Add the mushrooms and green beans, and sauté for 3 minutes more. Add the garlic for another 30 seconds.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients apart from the salt and pepper, fresh parsley, and spinach. Bring to the boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
3. To serve, place a large handful of spinach into the bottom of each bowl and top with the soup. Garnish with fresh parsley, lots of freshly ground black pepper, and a bit of salt if required.

Pea and Mint Soup

Fragrant and delicate, this pea and mint soup makes for a beautiful summer lunch. This recipe serves 6, and is inexpensive.

Ingredients

1 large onion
1 stalk celery
3 cloves garlic
1.2 l vegetable stock
1 large potato, washed and roughly diced
1 large parsnip, peeled and roughly chopped
500g frozen peas
15g fresh mint, divided into 10g for blending and 5g for garnish
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Method

1. Heat a pan over a medium-low heat, and sauté the onion for 3 minutes. Add the celery and sauté for 1 minute more. Add the garlic for 30 seconds.
2. Deglaze the pan with about 1/4 cup of the broth, and then add the rest.
3. Add the parsnip and potatoes, bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the potato and parsnip are very soft.
4. Add the peas and simmer for a further 3 minutes.
5. Add the mint, and blend the soup, thinning with additional broth if required. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Japanese Marinated Tofu

This budget meal is perfect with noodles or rice and stir-fried vegetables as an accompaniment. There is an air fryer option available. Serves 4.

Ingredients

1 block extra-firm tofu (approximately 350g), drained and pressed
2 tbsp dark soy sauce
4 tsp maple syrup
1/4 tsp shichimi togarashi, or Japanese seven-spice spice mix
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp rice vinegar

Method, Oven Option

1. Preheat the oven to 170C. Line a baking tray with parchment or a silicone sheet. Cube the tofu, and arrange it on a single layer on the tray.
2. Bake for 20 minutes, turning once.
3. While tofu is baking, mix the rest of the ingredients for marinade.
4. Remove the tofu from the oven and combine with marinade in a shallow dish. Toss to coat well. Leave for 10 minutes at least, and increase the oven temperature to 190C.
5. Remove the tofu from the marinade, return to baking tray, and bake for 5-10 minutes more until sauce has caramelized.

Method, Air Fryer Option

1. Preheat the air fryer to 160C. Cube the tofu, and arrange it in the pan. Bake for 8 minutes, turning once.
3. While tofu is frying, mix the rest of the ingredients for marinade.
4. Remove the tofu from the oven and combine with marinade in a shallow dish. Toss to coat well. Leave for 10 minutes at least, and increase the air fryer temperature to 180C.
5. Remove the tofu from the marinade, return to pan, and bake for 4 minutes more.