Friday, 30 January 2015

Suma Bloggers Network - Sage Polenta & Basil Marinara

It's that time again where I'm going to share with you a wonderful blog post for Suma Wholefoods. I'm privileged to be working with this wonderful vegetarian company who supply so many lovely health food shops (even my treasured local Gaia in Leamington Spa).
This dish is so easy and quick to put together, but tastes just amazing. It's comfort food at it's best!

For The Marinara

Drizzle of oil
1 small white onion chopped
2 chopped garlic cloves
1 Tsp Italian Seasoning
1 Tin Tomatoes
1 TBSP red wine vinegar
1 TSP liquid smoke
1/4 TSP cinnamon
Handful of fresh basil

For The Polenta

Drizzle of oil
1 small white onion
1 cup vegetable stock
3 cups unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1 TBSP 'butter' (I use Pure sunflower brand)
1 1/2 cups of polenta (also sometimes labelled fine cornmeal)
dash salt
dash pepper
1 Tsp sage

You'll want to make the marinara first so that it can bubble away on the stove whilst you make the polenta. In a saucepan, heat up the oil and add the onions and garlic. Carefully brown.
Add the remaining ingredients and stir together. Simmer for at least 20 minutes.

To make the polenta - take a heavy bottomed saucepan and heat up the oil. Add the onions and brown.
Add the vegetable stock, 'milk', nutritional yeast and 'butter'. Heat up the liquid for around 5 minutes.
Slowly add the polenta to the pan in a fine stream whilst stiring. This step is important to prevent it going lumpy.
Add the salt, pepper and sage and continue to stir for about another 5 minutes until the mixture has thickened and cooked through.

Serve the marinara on top of the polenta with a little more fresh basil if desired. Enjoy!

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Roasted Garlic Flatbread - Plant Based, Oil Free & Vegan

My inspiration for this recipe came from reading several books by various members of the Esselstyn family. I was looking for something to make that my 'vegan but oil loving husband' might like for dinner and thought this would be a hit. The flat bread dough also makes a great pizza base!


2 1/2 cups wholewheat bread flour
one packet (or 7g) fast yeast
1 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp apple sauce
1 cup  warm water

Garlic Topping

2 whole bulbs of garlic
dash of vegetable broth

This first thing you'll want to do is roast your garlic - set the oven at 180C. Chop the tops of your garlic bulbs so the insides are exposed then wrap in foil. Pop in an oven dish and roast for about 40 minutes. You can do this in advance if you like and then keep them in the fridge.

I use a food processor to make my dough as it's the quickest way, if you don't have one then it can be done by hand. Add all your dry ingredients and combine well. Then slowly add the water and knead until you have a soft and elastic dough. Cover with clingfilm and pop in a warm place to rise for 40 minutes to an hour depending on how warm your house is (I use my dehydrator as a proving draw as it speeds up the process a little).

When the dough is ready knead a little and divide. There is enough here for a flat bread and two pizzas - or about 6 flat breads. Line a baking tray with baking paper and flatten out your dough. Poke with a fork to prevent it rising too much. For flat breads I do this by hand to give them a more natural shape. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes.

When the bread is almost ready squeeze out your garlic bulbs into a bowl. Add some parsley and a dash of broth and mash with a fork until you have a paste consistency. Make sure you use home made broth or a no salt variety as otherwise the finished product will be too salty.

Once the bread is ready spread your garlic mixture on top and brown under the grill. Eat warm.

Instant Pot

I cannot even begin to explain how excited I was to unwrap a shiny new Instant Pot on Christmas morning. Mr B knows how important healthy eating is to me and that I often struggle for time when I'm cooking from scratch several times a day. The one thing I always forget to do is soak beans overnight before using them, and I've never had much success using stove top quick soak methods. Well this amazing device can cook beans from dry in around 30 minutes.

I have seriously used this every day since I've had it, and some days it has faithfully made me breakfast, lunch and dinner! I'm looking forward to sharing with you some of the recipes I have come up with - and if you've not heard of this before, I really recommended you check one out.

Thank you Mr B!!