Friday, 12 January 2018

Aubergine, shitake, daikon and beancurd Chinese stew

We had a belated Christmas family get together and I wanted to bring a dish due to Veganuary, we eat a lot of meat and meet product. I was pleased when I found a vegetarian sauce in the Chinese supermarket. I checked the ingredients and didn't see any egg, milk or fish. What I failed to understand was that the E numbers aren't vegan. Hey-ho I know for next time and won't best myself up about it, this is still a tasty vegetarian dish. 

I usually make a version of this using regular oyster sauce and if I have some chicken I throw that in as well.

This freezes remarkably well and is versatile - have it with noodles, rice or even on its own.

What you need
- an onion sliced
- ginger (around 1inch) peeled and chopped
- 4 garlic cloves crushed
- a couple of aubergines topped and tailled and cut lengthways into 4 or 6 (not that important, they break down and doesn't he sauce)
- hydrated shitake mushrooms - I used an entire bag I bought from the Chinese supermarket for £3. Keep the water to use as stock. Remove the woody ends and make bite size
- daikon radish - chopped into reasonable bite sized pieces
- beancurd skin - from Chinese supermarket. Around 4 sheers chopped into bite sized pieces
- fried beancurd pieces - bite size
- soya sauce (light and dark)
-  Shaoxing wine
- Corn flour
- vegetarian oyster sauce
- vegetable oil
- red chilli (chopped)

What to do
1. In a wok or large heavy based saucepan add oil. When it's hot add the onion, garlic and ginger. Cook for around 4 mins until soft
2. Add the aubergine and dry for a few mins
3. Add soya sauce, vegetarian oyster sauce and give a good mix. Cook for a few minutes then add the reserved shitake stock
4. Add the mushrooms, fried beancurd  and daikon and make sure it's well mixed. Everything should be lightly covered.
5. Cover and simmer for at least 20mins with lid on. Check it's not sticking or burning
6. The aubergine should be all melted into the sauce. Shitake and daikon nice and soft.
6. Add the beancurd skins and cook for a other 10 mins
7. Mix a bit of cornflour with water and a dash of  the wine. Add to the stew and mix well to ensure there's no lumps but the sauce is nice and thick.
8. Add the chopped chilli and cook for around 5 mins (to ensure the cornflour has cooled through).

If you want to freeze, portion up and when it's cold pop in the freezer.

You can omit ingredients from this, apart from the aubergine and shitake as that's core to the flavour. Also can add whatever. Peeled potatoes would be good.

Saturday, 6 January 2018

Veganuary - day 4 noodles

We do love a noodle soup in this house.

Last night was a mix of mung bean and corse rice noodles. Half had hers in a bouillon with turkey and vegetables. Mine was in a tom yum style soup with griddled marinated (in soya sauce) tofu and courgette. It was delicious and super tasty.

Thursday, 4 January 2018

Bean and vegetable chilli

I woke really early this morning and instead of lounging in bed I decided to go downstairs and start my day. Did a bit of reason, bit of blogging and then prepped vegetables for tonight's dinner.

Usually I grate all the veg when making a meat chilli, but I wanted a bit more texture and variety.

Look at all this loveliness. So pretty.

Half a Veganuary 2018

It's the time of year where I resolve to post more again on this blog, and I should do really because as I think back over 2017 I cannot remember any of my 2017 food highlights.

It's now 7.30am on January 4th and I am on day 3 of Veganuary - I am doing 2 weeks and didn't start until the 2nd. I am also doing RED January, so I am generally trying to be more mindful about myself and life.

I haven't asked Half* to eat a Vegan diet with me, but as a default some days/meals she will eat. So what have I consumed so far?

Day 1


  • 3 cups of tea with almond milk (I have been using almond milk in tea for a while now, I enjoy the taste)
  • Avocado and chilli flakes on toast
  • A couple of spoons of baked beans
  • Rice noodle soup (vegan bouillon) with peppers, carrot, green beans, sprouts 
  • Baked potato with vegan cheese and vegan spread
  • Baked sweet potato with vegan cheese and vegan spread
  • Green salad 
  • Bananas
  • Strawberries
  • A few teaspoons of peanut butter!
  • Black coffee

Day 2

  • Avocado and chilli flakes on toast
  • Tea 
  • Pasta with tomato sauce 

  • Chick pea curry, oven chips and steamed sugar snap peas

  • Bananas
  • A few teaspoons of peanut butter!
  • Apple
  • Strawberries
  • Vegetable crisps 

After day 1, I was really hungry and have been mindful to eat more snacks. I really hope to make it to 2 weeks. I think I will, it's not been as difficult as I thought but is certainly making me more mindful of what I am eating. Looking at what I have eaten so far, it's not too different from what I night usually have - the vegan cheese and spread isn't something that I would usually have, and I wouldn't eat avo on toast without an egg, but aside from that all is pretty much the same. The chick peas might have chicken as well, the rices noodles would certainly contain chicken/turkey (Half's did contain some left over turkey). 

As I start day 3, I am up early (no work and pretty chilled at the moment so needing a lot less sleep). I've prepared a bean chilli. Snacked on Koko yogurt (delicious). And excited about the day ahead.

Namaste, witches x

*should really now be known as Three-Quarters as she's shoulder height and at that age now where she has realised that I am actually rather short.

Friday, 6 January 2017

Crispy Kale

Most commentators refer to this as kale crisps. I have decided to rename to Crispy Kale (not it would be Krispy, but for me that's in the same category as crisps crisps, cauliflower rice and courgetti).

Anyhow, my Crispy Kale is amazing. Extemly moorish. My TV viewing snack rarely makes it out of the kitchen and in front of the TV.

First night I made it with a bit of olive oil. Then I made it with coconut oil, which gave it a mild coconut flavour which was lovely. Then sprinkled with a little pink Himalayan salt. Makes me drool thinking of it.