A quick chunky minestrone soup for an on-the-go snack or as part of a lunch break. It can even double up as a toast topper when thickened – think childhood favourite; alphabet spaghetti. I used Rizopia brown rice pasta shapes in my chunky minestrone soup, but obviously any pasta will work.
- 2 Carrots
- 1 Medium Onion
- 1 Courgette
- 1 Clove Garlic
- 1 Carton Chopped Tomatoes
- 1 Cup Rizopia Brown Rice Pasta Shapes
- Basil Leaves
- 1 Vegetable Stock Cube
- 1 Pint Water
- Salt to season
Do you have a vegetarian or vegan visiting you over the Christmas period? Are you are at a loss as to what to serve them? I know it can be stressful to cook at Christmas time – there’s just so much to get done – then throw a vegetarian or vegan into the mix and you have yourself a very stressful little Christmas; as you not only have to be extra vigilant with the ingredients, but you also have to be aware of cross contamination too. Well, look no further my little beauties because I have you all covered with this delicious vegetarian herb pate, which can also be adapted to suit vegans too. It’s so good in fact, it will have your guests singing the famous words in chorus – “Please Sir, can I have some more?”.
As always I used Quorn in this pate recipe, as I have a lot of respect for the brand and everything they have tried to accomplish over the years for not only vegetarians, but also people who are trying to lead a healthier life and cut back on fat and meat. I’ve eaten Quorn since I was 11 years old and like a fine wine, it has only got better with time. It’s funny because most people assume humans can only get their essential amino acids from meat, but Quorn products actually contain all of the amino acids that an adult requires; it’s also high in protein and fibre too with some of their products being low carb, gluten free and now vegan as well. I know what you’re all thinking ‘She must be affiliated with Quorn in some way or another!’ and that’s simply not true. I just love their products, as they are all versatile and I think this vegetarian herb pate is a perfect example of just how versatile it actually is, not only that, but I love the flavour too.
If you plan to make this ahead of time then you will need to sterilise the jars which you intend storing the pate in, but don’t worry, it’s not hard. Take your jars, wash them in hot soapy water, then place them in the oven for 40 minutes to an hour at 200c. Remove them and leave them cool at room temperature. Do not run the jars under cold water, as they will crack.
- 120g Quorn Mince
- 100g Quorn Chicken Pieces (they do a vegan version too)
- 2 Medium Shallots
- 100g Chestnut Mushrooms
- 1/2 Scoop (15g) of Pea Protein
- 60g Low-fat Soft Cheese (Whipped Coconut Cream for vegan)
- 20g Grass-fed Butter (Margarine or Coconut oil for vegan)
- 1 Garlic Clove
- 2 tsp Mixed Herbs
- 1 tsp Chilli Powder
- 1/2 tsp Turmeric
- Salt to taste
NB: I urge you to flavour the pate based on your own taste. It took me quite a while to flavour the pate, so please use the above measurements as a guide and base the end result off, of your own taste buds for best results.
- Chop your mushrooms and fry them in a heated frying pan on a medium heat until they start to soften. Peel and chop the shallot and toss it in with the mushrooms. When the shallot starts to soften, add in the Quorn mince and Quorn chicken pieces, as well as the garlic, herbs, spices and ACV and leave to cook until everything has softened and warmed through – leave to cool. If the ingredients start to stick to the frying pan then drizzle a little oil or butter.
- When the mixture is cool, add the cooked ingredients to a food processor and blend until the mixture is almost a puree. At this point you can add in the soft cheese and pea protein.
NB: If you are making the vegan version of this herb pate, after you have blended the ingredients once; whip some coconut cream with an electric whisk and gently fold the cream into the ingredients. As I haven’t tried this version before I’m not sure if there will be a hint of coconut in the pate, but it may be able to be masqueraded by adding some more herbs: taste as you progress. A better alternative would be a vegan soft cheese ( if you can find it) or blend tofu instead. The purpose of the soft cheese is to give the pate a mousse-like texture that is reminiscent of the meat pate, but also because it makes the pate easier to spread. You could omit the whipped coconut cream altogether, but I can’t guarantee the end results will be as successful as the vegetarian version.
- When your pate is complete it should have a bouncy, airy texture to it. If the mushrooms have made the pate too liquid, then add a touch more pea protein and blend again; spoon the mixture into your sterilised jars and cover with equal amounts of melted butter.
© The Hungry Welsh Girl 2016
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This recipe was the first recipe I wrote back in October, just in time for Christmas and the one which I have been looking forward to making ever since. I even bought some cute holly and berries from Amazon, to top them with and I was pleased with myself because I had never seen this kind of take on a Christmas pudding before; that is until this week when one of the girls from Instagram (Sarah) stole the idea right out of my head – don’t you just hate it when that happens? 😉 You can view Sarah’s take on the mini Christmas pudding here and they do sound delicious. My mini figgy puddings are more of a traditional Christmas pudding though, sadly without the alcohol, but you can use brandy or Cointreau in yours if you prefer, all you will have to do is soak the fruit in the alcohol instead of the water and I would leave it for a few days to a week if you want a more potent pudding, but they’re small so maybe go easy 😉
I was very pleased with how these mini figgy puddings turned out, they were full of flavour from the fruit and spices and it all paired perfectly with the white chocolate topping. The best thing about these mini figgy puddings is that you don’t have to steam them or bake them for hours on end which means you can eat them as soon as you make them – winning! As this recipe is versatile, you could even fill ramekins and make proper mini figgy puddings, topped with brandy sauce too.
If you are wondering where you can buy your dried fruit and nuts without spending a fortune, I get all mine from Lidl; they sell 250g bag of dry fruit for just 99p and 500g bags of nuts for just over £1.
- 100g Dried Figs
- 100g Dates
- 100g Sultanas
- 50g St Clemente Marmalade
- 50g Vegan White Chocolate
- 50g Walnuts
- 20g Chia Seeds
- 1 tsp Cinnamon
- 1 tsp Mixed Spice/Pumpkin Spice
- 1 tbsp Lemon Zest
- 1 Scoop of Vanilla or Cinnamon Protein Powder (optional)
- 2 tbsp Fruit Water
- 1/3 Cup Sweetener
- 1 Cup Water or 45ml Brandy
- Holly & Berry Toppings (optional)
Place all the dried fruit into a jar or container and the chia seeds into a separate jar or container and pour in the water or brandy, then cover and place the jar in the fridge overnight. If you are using the alcohol, you would benefit more if you leave the fruit soak for a day or two.
When you are ready to make your mini Christmas puddings, drain the fruit into a bowl and save 2 tablespoons of the water, before adding it to a food processor along with the dried fruit and chia seeds; making sure you blend the fruit until they are a thick, sticky puree, now add in the sweetener lemon zest, cinnamon and protein powder. You can fold in some halved sultanas, if you want them to have a more traditional look, if not then just leave them out.
Now for the fun part or not so fun part if you don’t like getting your hands dirty. Take 1 tbsp of the mixture and roll into a ball, then place the ball on to some greaseproof paper and continue this method until all the mixture has been used and you have 18 mini figgy puddings. Pop the mini puddings into the freezer for 5-10 minutes, this is optional but it will help the puddings set quicker and also the chocolate when you add it.
Next, take the white chocolate and chunk it into smaller pieces, place half of the chocolate into a microwaveable bowl and into the microwave on high for 30 seconds. When finished, stir the chocolate and continue to cook for another 30 seconds before adding the second half of the chunked up chocolate, this time there is no need to heat the chocolate, just stir until the cold chocolate has melted into the hot white chocolate. This method is called tempering and it just saves the chocolate from blooming and turning a not so appetising dull colour the next day.
All that’s left now is to add the white chocolate icing, lastly, top with your holly and berry, take a pretty picture and tag me on Instagram: @Happy.Hungry.Healthy. I hope you enjoy them as much as my family did.
It’s only the second day of December and I’m already feeling the Christmas blues. I think the older I get, the more I turn into Scrooge and while there are many things about Christmas I have grown to hate, thankfully food isn’t one of them. I’ve been planning my Christmas recipes for weeks, mainly to keep myself sane throughout the festive month, but I also wanted to create some recipes that I hadn’t seen before, because while traditional is lovely, different is even better. Continue reading “St Clemente Tartlets”
Scotch eggs were always a favourite of mine when I was a kid, until I learned what they were actually made of and while Quorn do vegetarian scotch eggs, I have to eat the whole pack just to feel satisfied. So, last night I wrote this recipe with monster scotch eggs in mind and they certainly were huge – the size of my palm. Now I know what you’re all thinking, these are going to be complicated with weird ingredients that you don’t have in your cupboards and I would have to disagree with you all because you should have these ingredients in your cupboards and if you know how to use a food processor, you’re half way there.
The reason I called these Five – a- day scotch eggs is because they are made with beans and pea protein which are both considered one of your five a day, plus there are mushrooms and onions in there too. So not only will you be reliving your childhood when you bite into one of these delicious scotch eggs, you will also be getting vital vitamins and minerals too. I will add that these scotch eggs are much nicer warm, but I like my food to be hot, so it could be down to personal preference.
- 1 Can Beans (I used butter beans)
- 4 Free Range Eggs
- 1 Free Range Egg White
- 100g Mushrooms
- 60g Red Onion
- 35g Pulsin Pea Protein
- 1 Garlic Clove
- 2 tsp Mixed Herbs
- 1 tsp Chilli Powder
- Salt to taste.
Start buy boiling your eggs in a saucepan of cold water for 10 mins. When they are cooked run them under cold water for 5 minutes, peel and dry them and set aside.
Pre-Heat an oven to 175c (fan assisted)
Drain the can of beans and empty the contents into a food processor, blend until the beans are puréed and put the beans into a separate mixing bowl
Add the garlic, mushrooms and onion to the food processor and finely chop the vegetables, before adding them to the beans with the mixed herbs, chilli, salt and protein powder and combine the ingredients well.
I will agree that at this point the mixture doesn’t look very appetising, but take a heaped dessert spoon and place the mixture into the palm of your hand, add the egg to the centre and add another heaped desert spoon of the mixture over the top of the egg and secure it tightly around the whole egg. If the mixture doesn’t stick to the egg, roll it in some pea protein or flour. Continue this method until you have used up all the mixture.
Blend the bread in a food processor until it is breadcrumbs. The scotch eggs should be sticky enough for the breadcrumbs to stick to, if not you will need to dip the scotch egg in egg white before rolling in the breadcrumbs.
Pop the scotch eggs into the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes. I tried frying these and they stuck to my pan, so I would advise baking.
And that’s it. I told you it was simple.
For more recipes, reviews and ideas follow me on Instagram: Happy.Hungry.Healthy and please tag me in any of my recipes that you try, I would love to see what you create and whether they could do with any improvements.