The Economical Vegan


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Potato Croquettes . . . and much more

I am trying to be as economical as possible and making the most of the food that I buy, minimising waste and maximising savings. So I buy things at the best possible prices where I can. This means that sometimes I have to cook a lot of things up and put them in the freezer, or else plan to eat them over a few days. Sometimes it takes a bit of planning and ingenuity however to have a varied diet.
Today I was faced with the task of cooking up a huge pile of potatoes that I got cheap a few days ago. They need to be cooked or they will turn green, and I have been thinking about the ways in which to use them up. So I decided to make some potato and lentil croquettes. The fridge is pretty empty as I have been running it down for the last week, but I had a few veggies left to use up so I decided to make some soup.
First I washed and chopped the potatoes, leaving the skins on. I put a few in a pan for the soup, and then filled a large pan with the rest and some water, adding a good amount of red lentils and a stock cube, along with some frozen leeks. I brought the potato pan to the boil and let it simmer for 20 minutes, then drained the liquid into a jug. I then mashed the potato with a little oil, some dried mixed herbs, some salt and some chick pea flour, and mixed well. I then mixed in a little self raising flour and some hot curry powder (only a little). I left this to cool and then shaped it into croquettes and fried them off. I had some for dinner and then put the rest to drain and cool, for freezing.
I put most of the leftover veg into a large pan, and added some leeks, water, stock cubes and the lentil and potato stock from the other pan. I boiled for 45 minutes, then blended and stirred in a little tomato puree after tasting it. Then I decanted it into a jug for rewarming for tomorrow’s lunch, and put the rest in tubs for freezing.
A couple of weeks ago I had a cooking day. I only planned to make apple and plum crumble, using up the last of the apples from my apple trees, so I sliced the apples and plums, layered them in a baking dish, added sugar, cinnamon and mixed spices and mixed them up. Then I put some wholemeal flour and self raising flour into a mixing bowl, added veg oil, sugar, cinnamon, mixed spice, and vegan muesli, and mixed well.
When I topped the pie, I had about half the crumble topping left over, so I added more flour and oats, some lemon juice and more cinnamon, and some grated apple. I mixed this up into a thick batter with some warm water, and spread it in cookie sized pieces on baking trays. I put all of these in the oven, and then started some bread. I used a simple wholemeal bread mix packet, and added pumpkin seeds and some olives that needed to be used up, and some extra strong stoneground flour, and then added warm water, and kneaded then put it to rise.
I made leek and potato soup as I had some leeks that were reduced. I cut up one large onion, 3 leeks, and about a pound of potatoes, added water, stock cube, pepper, and some leftover veg from the previous day’s dinner, and boiled it up then blended until smooth. I adjusted the seasoning before serving. It was lovely with the crusty, aromatic bread.
I also made mushroom and tofu pie. The mushrooms needed using up. I made a basic white sauce with onions, garlic, veg oil, flour and water, with a little salt and pepper and white wine. I sliced leeks, lots of mushrooms, and some firm tofu, and then mixed in the sauce and put into a deep pie dish, then topped it with some defrosted vegan puff pastry. I baked it for around 35 minutes at above 185 degrees. It was delicious. And there was enough left to put in the freezer for another time.

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