Showing posts with label sauce. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sauce. Show all posts

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Sauce Bolognese

Did you think: "Huh? Has she abandoned being vegetarian?" upon reading the title?
Well, in case you did, no I haven't ;)

In fact, in our family there was a long pause from Sauce Bolognese that lasted for about ten years ever since my Mum started cooking vegetarian food.
This was one of the few things that I was sad about back then, since Sauce Bolognese, Lasagna Bolognese, Goulash and Schinkennudeln (= ham noodles) were, I think, the only meat-containing things that I ever truly liked. Well...liked. In that case...I loved them!

My Mum used to make large - and when I say large I mean large, such as two giant pressure cookers full - batches of sauce Bolognese for freezing, which was an afternoon filling task. I remember I used to leave the door of my room open when she did that, just because I loved the smell. And this has to say something since, as a kid, there were things upon smelling which I would hide in my room for a day. Probably that was a bit crazy, but well...

The original recipe is from a small cookbook on Italian cooking, which gives the most amazing Bolognese. It needs to cook for several hours, but the time is so worth it!

Then, two years ago, my Mum and I decided that we absolutely needed to try to make a vegetarian version of this sauce. So we tried and tested lots of recipes, but never got anywhere near the one we used to have. Usually it tasted more like a hash sauce than Bolognese.
And then, at some point, we thought we'd just forget about all the recipes and try and make the old recipe, changing minced meat for cooked green spelt.
It needed two tries and a bit of tweaking at the following tries, but by now the new vegetarian version is 95% close to the old version and tastes absolutely lovely, even if it is not 100% the same! But it can't be, since it is something different.

We've used the sauce in lasagna as well and it makes deliciously amazing lasagna!
I can only recommend this to you and I can promise that it does not taste like hash sauce, but like Bolognese! (Very important!) And it does live up to the original version!

Sauce Bolognese

Time: about an hour

for 4-6 servings
75 g green spelt, cracked
150 ml + red wine
50 g butter
180 g onions, chopped
200 g carrots, chopped
90 g celery, chopped
30 g dried tomatoes, in stripes
(only dried, no oil)
800 g
= 2 tins
chopped tinned tomatoes
200 ml vegetable stock
120 ml cashew milk (using about 15- 20 g cashew nuts)

  • In a small pot combine cracked green spelt and red wine. Bring to a boil and simmer, covered, on low for about ten minutes until the grains are soft. Add a bit of water if the wine evaporates too quickly. Switch off.
  • Melt butter in a medium to large pot, add the chopped vegetables and sauté for 5 to 10 minutes until softened.
    • When I make a large batch I chop vegetables using a food processor. For small batches I chop them by hand.
  • Add the green spelt and red wine mixture. Then add dried tomatoes, tinned tomatoes and vegetable stock.
  • Bring to a low boil and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.
  • Add the cashew milk and season with salt and pepper. Add more red wine if you think it tastes too much like tomato sauce. Leave to cook for another ten minutes.

Serve over spaghetti or other pasta or use for making lasagna.

The longer you cook the sauce, the better it tends to get.
The sauce freezes well and reheating (and thus cooking again) only enhances the flavour.

Monday, 16 February 2015

Anti-Gloom Orange Jam

I hope you've all had a lovely weekend! For my part I am happy that for the past few days it has been relatively warm (even if it has been raining and is now).
I almost look like a normal person today and not like someone who just put on the warmest things she could find. But I don't want to jinx the weather so I'd better shut up ...

Last week my best friend told me she was going to try every single recipe I posted here at some point sooner or later so that really is a motivation to put on as many amazing things as possible =) Thank you so much for that!!! =)

For this Monday I've got something fast for you, which is not a main course, but a nice thing to make, which looks like sun and spring and that I hope will blow away any gloomy mood you might be in, because it's Monday and probably raining again or cold or whatever thing you don't like!

This is a kind of jam and even though it's orange jam I wouldn't consider it being traditional English marmalade, but it still has a slightly bitter taste. So maybe that's due to it being orange or maybe to the fact that I didn't segment the oranges and left the skins on the pieces.

If you know me then probably you know that I can never be bothered to peel anything that can also be eaten with the peel on - which, at least if it is organic, I think is healthier anyway.

The jam being slightly bitter, as I mentioned, is not a bad thing, though! Maybe I should have kept that quiet to not put you off from trying this, but I wouldn't want to give you a black box and then have someone complaining about it ;-)

It doesn't require a largely complex process, you I suggest you just give it a try!

You only need two ingredients:


I think 4 tsp of raisins would work instead of the dates, in case you don't have those. I haven't tried that yet, though.

Peel the oranges. Wash them beforehand with hot water and also wash your hands if the oranges were not organic to get rid of the chemicals the peel is usually treated with.
Half them and take the white bits out of the middle (anything you wouldn't eat). Cut the oranges up and blend them until smooth. Pour the mixture in a small saucepan.
Cut up dates in small pieces and add them to the saucepan.
Then, heat gently until the mixture is simmering. Simmer with the lid off or half-on for 10-20 minutes, until the orange has thickened up slightly.

The consistency you'll want to go for depends on what you want to use the jam for. If you are planning to use it as a filling for something baked, like I am, then 10 minutes will be fine and if you want to eat it straight away on bread then I'd recommend up to 20 minutes. In any case, don't walk away and make sure to check the mixture isn't burning every few minutes.

When thickened up pour back into the blender and blend again. Even though dates on their own are usually quite hard to blend up this shouldn't be a problem now anymore for any blender, since the dates will have become soft by cooking.

If not sweet enough you can add some more honey.

Pour the jam into a jar and keep in the fridge, as, since there is no sugar in it, it doesn't have anything to preserve it in it. Therefore it will keep for only a week or so, which is why I always only make as much as I think I'll eat in a week.

And for all of those who are probably just reading this, I hope that the cheerful colour of the photograph gave you something positive!

Did you notice the fancy border around the recipe? ;-) I'm learning!

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Very Green and Creamy Broccoli Sauce With Pasta

During this past week I've thought of so many things that I could put on my blog for you, but each time something was not quite right.

There was the Grape-and-Onion-Focaccia Bread I made for a vegan potluck-dinner this week, but actually I had not changed much in the recipe and you can find the (really good!!!) recipe on boxofspice. I can only recommend that, so have a look over there :-)
Second, I made a curry, but the cabbage in it did definitely not any bonus points to its taste...
Last night I roasted rutabaga/swede for the first time ever in my life and had that with some chickpeas, but that really was the very first stage of testing something and it needs some more goes. But I've got some ideas there! Some greens, orange zest and a dressing... hmmm!
This morning I made my favourite banana rolls, but they didn't seem 100% right to me even though they usually are great. So far, though, I've only eaten some crumbs (don't ever use greaseproof paper when you run out of baking paper - better go to the shop and get some...) and have frozen the rolls for lunches. So I haven't really tested the batch yet.

But that's the way it is - no trials, no fun ;-)

Today, though, I had broccoli sauce with pasta for dinner and it actually turned out the way I liked it to so that I can safely tell you how I made it.

This sauce makes broccoli taste so much better than any steamed broccoli you often get as a side dish. The mint gives it a fresh tang which fits in so well and the colour is simply amazing!

As I like pasta with a lot of sauce it was more sauce with pasta than the other way around, but feel free to adjust the ratio if you feel differently!

I blended the sauce in a high-speed blender - otherwise I recommend blending the cashew nuts before adding any other ingredients. Alternatively you could use cashew nut butter instead.
Nutritional yeast you can get in a health shop. I use it, because it has a slightly cheesy flavour, which I think is very nice! If you cannot find it and don't mind cheese you might like to use a small bit of parmesan (I haven't tried that, though!).

pasta with broccoli sauce

for 1for 2for 4servings of pasta (about 130 g each)
mint, to taste
3/4 cup (ca. 130 g)1 ½ cups (ca. 260 g)3 cups (ca. 520 g)broccoli, florets or pieces, stems can also be used
1/8 tsp¼ tsp½ tspsalt
3*6*12*pepper (turns of the grinder)
5-610-1220-24cashew nuts
1- 1 ½ tsp2-3 tsp4-6 tspnutritional yeast
¾ - 1 tsp1 ½ - 2 tsp3 – 4 tsplemon juice, to taste, start with less
olive oil (a small bit)
¼ tbsp½ tbsp1 tbspbutter
124garlic cloves

  • Steam the broccoli until soft (about 14 minutes). If you don't have a steaming basket you can use a metal colander/sieve and a matching pot with lid.
  • Heat butter on low heat in a small pot and sauté garlic until fragrant. Do not leave it unattended! It takes only about 2 minutes and it burns very easily!
  • While the broccoli cooks, put all other ingredients, including the garlic and butter, into a blender (see note above about cashew nuts).
  • When the broccoli is soft, retain the steaming liquid. Add broccoli and a bit of liquid to the blender.
  • Blend until very smooth. Adjust amount of liquid and seasonings to taste.
  • Cook pasta, drain and mix with the sauce.

This sauce also freezes well.

I would love to hear how you like it!