The Economical Vegan


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Halloween Recipes

Vegan Halloween Recipes

It’s that time of year again, and my pumpkins are sitting on the window sill waiting to be hollowed out and carved. And as always, I find myself mourning the waste and loss of good nutritious food that happens every year, when people carve their pumpkins without first removing the delicious flesh for cooking. It amazes me how many people will do this, and fail to use the pumpkin. Or how many people will simply restrict themselves to pumpkin pie. Here are some delicious, nutritious pumpkin recipes for your Halloween feast.

Pumpkin Bread

1 kg wholemeal bread flour

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 packet of instant bread yeast

1/3 teaspoon of salt

1/3 teaspoon of sugar

1 cup of fresh pumpkin, finely chopped or whizzed, or grated.

Warm water.

Put all the dry ingredients, including the pumpkin, into a mixing bowl. Add the oil, and then the warm water gradually to make a nice soft bread dough. Knead for 20 minutes, and leave covered with a damp towel in a warm place to rise. Knock back once risen, and knead for another 20 minutes, then shape and turn out into a loaf tin or shape into balls and put onto a greased baking tray. Bake in a medium hot oven until the bread or rolls are crispy and browning, and the bottom sounds hollow when you tap it. Turn onto a wire rack to cool. This bread will have a speckled orange colour when you cut into it. Serve whilst still a little warm – either with olives and olive oil and balsamic vinegar as an appetiser, or with a nice soup or stew, such as the pumpkin soup below.

Roasted Pumpkin Soup

Roughly chop about 2 kg pumpkin and put onto a baking tray, and drizzle with a little oil. Sprinkle with sea salt, and toss in six cloves of garlic (peeled). Roast for around 30 minutes in a hot oven. Ten minutes before the end of roasting, add a cup of fresh cashew nuts. Put everything into a large saucepan, and add a litre of water, stock cubes, salt, pepper, and a little turmeric and some mustard powder. Bring to the boil, and simmer for around 20 minutes, then blend with a hand blender or in jug blender. Taste, and season as necessary.

Heat a frying pan and add a drizzle of oil, then toss in a cup of pumpkin seeds and toss until well toasted. Serve the soup hot with a sprinkle of pumpkin seeds. You can also fry some chopped chilli as a topping if you like things spicy. Serve with freshly baked bread or some croutons. For extra effect, save a hollowed out pumpkin and bake this and its lid for around 30 minutes in a medium oven, then serve the soup IN the pumpkin!

Pumpkin Muffins

Mix equal amounts of wholemeal and self-raising flour, with a teaspoon of baking powder. Add a natural sweetener or fruit syrup, and two cups of grated pumpkin, along with a two teaspoons of cinnamon, and a generous handful of fresh pumpkin seeds. Mix well with some oat, soya or coconut milk, and turn into greased muffin tins. Bake in a medium hot oven for around 30 minutes. Turn out, cool, and serve either hot with some soya custard or cold.

Pumpkin Pie

Take some ready made pastry (vegan of course) and roll out into a shallow pie tin, saving half for the top. Slice fresh pumpkin and fill the pan, making sure you layer it up high because it will shrink a lot, and sprinkle with sugar, fruit syrup or a similar sweetner, or dot with jam or marmalade. Sprinkle on chopped dried fruits (apricots are best) and a generous amount of cinnamon. Add a little five spice. Put the pastry lid on and bake at around 180 degrees until the pastry turns a deep golden brown, and the pie smells like heaven!

Serve with vegan icecream or cream.

Witches Brew/Halloween Punch.

This is an alcoholic version but for an alcohol free one, use red grape juice. Take two bottles of red wine, and put in a pan with some cinnamon, mixed spice, dried fruit, diced fresh apples and diced pumpkin. Add a little fruit syrup, vegan sugar or sweetner. Bring to a low heat slowly, but do not boil, then just before serving, add some port or sherry, or a dash of brandy.

Italian Pumpkin Bread

Make a bread dough as described above, but after kneading, roll out onto a pastry board. Take sliced pumpkin, sliced onion, sliced tomatoes and fresh garlic, and cover the surface of the dough, sprinkling on basil and oregano, along with some sea salt. Fold the bread over on itself, first in half, then half again, to make a long roll. Bake until golden brown and serve hot in slices as a delicious snack or meal accompaniment.

And finally . . .

For those who do engage in trick or treating, here, again, is my no bake chocolate cake recipe. Make this up the day before, chill it, and cut it into 2 inch squares, then put these into baking paper twists instead of candy.

No Bake Chocolate Cake

2/3 pack of vegan Digestive biscuits

4-6 packs dark chocolate

4 cups dried mixed fruit

250 g crunchy peanut butter

Melt 3-4 packs of dark chocolate in a water bath. Meanwhile roughly crush the digestive biscuits, and put them with all the other ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Mix well, then spread in a broad, flat dish that has been greased. Melt the rest of the chocolate and mix in a tablespoon of vegan margarine if you wish. Spread this as a topping over the cake, then cover with cling film and chill for about 4 hours. This can then be sliced to your preferred size. This is a delicious snack or confectionary and everyone I have ever given it to loves it.

Note – the cheaper versions of digestive biscuits (such as supermarket own brands) are often vegan. If you want to make this recipe gluten free, simply use gluten free digestives.


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Simple Foods are the Best

Hi to all the fellow vegans and interested people who are reading this. I’ve spent a lot of time watching various television programmes and recipe shows, and I have spent many years perfecting recipes that are both non-vegan and vegan. The last three and a half years, as a vegan, have been a quest for a varied diet and good nutrition. But I’ve come to realise that the best foods are the simplest, and so I have come full circle in my vegan recipes. Don’t get me wrong – I love good food, and I especially love complex, high-class dishes that taste divine. But taste, substance and nutrition don’t have to be complicated. Today, I was feeling somewhat less than enthusiastic about dinner (especially given that I was making dinner for meat eaters as well as for my lonely vegan self). So I opted for a simple pasta dish, which turned out to be so delicious, and so filling, that I simply had to share it with everyone.

Vegetable Pesto Pasta

1 onion

1 small aubergine or half a large one

4 large mushrooms

3 cloves of garlic

2 handfuls of fresh spinach

1 cup of button tomatoes or fresh chopped tomatoes

2 tablespoons of sesame seeds (hulled)

1 tablespoon hemp protein

1/2 tablespoon of coconut oil or olive oil

1 tablespoon vegan pesto

Any cooked pasta.

(you can use any veg you like but this is what I used)

Roughly chop all the veg except the tomatoes and spinach, and crush and chop the garlic. Melt the coconut oil in a frying pan, and add the veg (but not the spinach). Stir fry the veg for around ten minutes, then add the spinach and tomatoes, and fry for a further five minutes, then add the rest of he ingredients, and cook for a further two minutes, stirring well. Mix in strained, cooked pasta and cook for a few more minutes. Serve with freshly ground black pepper.

I had this tonight and it was delicious, and very filling . The amount I made was enough for two average sized portions, so I’ll be having it for lunch tomorrow at work.

Other simple foods that I love are all about plenty of veg cooked well. Roasted vegetable bake is another favourite of mine, and has been for over twenty years. It simply means putting a large amount of vegetables cut up into roughly one inch squares into a roasting pan, along with a couple of diced onions and plenty of diced garlic, and some olive oil and sea salt. Roast for around 20 minutes, then add chopped tomatoes, oregano and a little bouillon, and a dash of red wine, and stir well. Make a crumble topping with oats, mixed seeds and seasoning, and sprinkle this on top, then bake for another 30 minutes. You can use a range of vegetables, including carrots, parsnip, cauliflower, broccoli, mushroom, peppers, aubergine, courgette, celeriac. This bake is a delicious winter meal and can be served with fresh bread or a nice raw salad.