Well here is a recipe that I have been tweaking from Delicious magazine that hits a lot of the targets on my January list: it is vegan and gets the week off to a super organised start with many meals from 1 big pot.

There is a lot of talk about veganism and a lot of people becoming vegans. I admire their self-discipline (a virtue that is definitely on my resolutions list) and I do believe it is a healthy diet, as well as being much better for our environment. However, I am not fully convinced about drinking  processed almond milk over raw milk from the farmers’ market or Tofu made in china over a local organic, free-range chicken. Of course that’s not saying a vegan diet cannot be a whole food diet and maybe that’s something I should look into. January is a great month to be thinking about veganism after the over indulgences of December, hence Veganuary. If you’re tempted there is great information on this site.

Whether vegan or not this Veggie Ragu is delicious and oh so versatile and flexible. Sometimes I use red lentils instead of puy lentils or button mushrooms instead of breakfast flats. Whatever is in the cupboard.

Ingredients

(serves 6)

Olive oil for frying

2 onions finely copped

2 celery sticks

2 carrots

2 peppers (I used sweet palermo peppers)

4 garlic cloves finely chopped

500g flat mushrooms

250ml red wine (or white, whatever is left after xmas)

500g fresh tomatoes chopped (or 2 x 400g tin tomatoes with a pinch of sugar)

250g puy lentils (cooked according to pack instructions)

                                                                                     400g tin butterbeans or chickpeas or whatever you have!

                                                                               300ml vegetable stock

*I make my own vegetable stock as I am preppng the vegetables by putting the ends and pealing with an extra onion and carrot  and a piece of kombu (if you have it) in a pot of boiling water and let is cook down. It’s ready by the time I need it for this recipe

Method

  • Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pot, then add the onions, carrots, celery, pepper and garlic. Season and let sweat over a low-medium heat for 10 – 15 minutes.
  • Add the chopped mushroom and turn up the heat to fry them off.
  • Pour in the wine and let bubble over a high heat until almost all of the liquid is evaporated.
  • Next add in the chopped tomatoes and let cook down f or a couple of minutes.
  • Add the vegetable stock, lentils and beans and allow to cook for 3o minutes over a low heat.

 

*I find this keeps well covered in the fridge for about 4 days or you could freeze it in a sealed container for up to a month.

5 ways to serve veggie ragu:

  1. Serve with pasta topped with a grating of parmesan or any hard cheese. – this is my kids favourite.
  2. Make it into a chilli by using kidney beans instead of butter beans, add in a tsp of ground cumin and dried chilli flakes. Serve over rice with a spoon of yoghurt, a sprinkling of fresh coriander and a squeeze of lime.
  3. Make enchiladas by using 4 flour wraps. Place about 1/2 cup of the chilli mixture in the centre and wrap tightly. Place seam side down in an oven proof dish. Pour over 200ml of pasata and sprinkle the top with 2 tbsp of grated cheddar cheese. Cook in 200C oven for 20 minutes.
  4. Top the ragu with a mixture of mashed potato and sweet potatoes in an oven proof dish and ccok in the oven at 200C for 25 minutes.
  5. or as a pie by topping the ragu in the oven proof dish with a sheet of ready rolled all-butter puff pastry. Brush the pastry with beaten egg and cook in the oven at 200C for 25 minutes or until the pastry is puffed and golden.

Enjoy!

Is mise le meas,

Richael

 

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