You might be:
- new to being vegetarian or vegan
- new to being gluten free
- having a vegan or gluten free guest coming over that you don't know how to cater for
- wanting to eat more healthily
- have recently seen reports about the fact that reducing your meat and dairy consumption is the best way to reduce your carbon footprint and save the planet from extinction
Whatever your reason I wanted to offer you some choices before the big day. This recipe generator is the best thing since sliced (gluten free) bread. It's called the Magical Loaf Studio and you can mix and match with things you have in your store cupboard to make an endless variety of meals.
Need it vegan? They are all vegan!
Need it gluten free? Choose the gluten free carbohydrate/ binding options.
Need it healthy? They are all based around whole foods like beans and nuts and whole grains.
But aren't nuts expensive? I need it to be cheap. Don't worry...there is only half a cup of nuts in it making it very affordable.
Here is a link to the MAGICAL LOAF STUDIO. It does use American measuring cups, so if you are in the UK pop over to Poundland and buy you a set. They really do make cooking so much easier. No more maths!
|Christmas dinner from years past|
Here is a sample recipe based on the one I made for us last Christmas.
1/2 cup walnuts
2 TB water or broth for steam-frying
One onion, diced
One large garlic clove, minced
One large carrot, peeled and grated
One cup mushrooms, cleaned and chopped
2 cups cooked black beans
1 cup uncooked quick oatmeal or oat bran
1/4 to 1/2 cup vegetable broth, as needed
3 TB tapioca flour
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. dried sage
1 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. dried rosemary
2 TB nutritional yeast flakes
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 TB tamari/soy sauce
Preheat the oven to 180C/ 350ºF Spray a loaf pan or 8x8 square baking pan with nonstick spray and set aside (an 8x8 pan makes a crisper loaf).
Grind the walnuts into a coarse meal using a food processor or spice/coffee grinder. Place in a large mixing bowl and set aside.
Sauté any vegetables you've chosen in the water or broth for steam-frying until soft. Add to the large mixing bowl along with all the remaining ingredients. Mix and mash together well, adding only as much liquid as needed to create a soft, moist loaf that holds together and is not runny (you may not need to add any liquid if the grains and protein are very moist). Add more binder/carbohydrate as needed if the loaf seems too wet.
Press mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until cooked through.
Let the loaf cool in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes, then turn out onto a plate or platter and slice. Serve with potatoes, vegetables, and vegetarian gravy, if desired.
Note from me: I tend to cook mine in my muffin tin at 200C/400F for 30 to 40 minutes to make cute little portions.
I hope you have a cruelty free Christmas because Compassion Tastes Good.