Tag Archive | vegan cooking

American Style Hotdog Pasta Casserole

Ok, so I’m not American. And I’ve adjusted this recipe a lot. Not just in veganising it but also in adapting it for my Kiwi tastes. This is adapted from a non-vegan recipe which used packet sauce. I make my own cheesy blachemel but you could use a packet vegan cheese sauce to good effect (such as the Cherish one if you’re in Au/NZ – I don’t know about the US brands – sorry).



  • 1 500g package of dry pasta (spirals or macaroni work best)Foods_755
  • 2 small onions, diced
  • 1 Tbls sugar
  • 1 package of vegan hotdogs, sliced diagonally into 3 cm (ish) slices
  • 1 cup sun-dried or semi-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • Retain oil from sun-dried tomatoes for frying
  • 1 litre (1.5 batches) of cheesey sauce (prepared without the onion)
  • Sesame seeds for topping (about 1/4 cup?)


Cook the paste for half the recommended duration. So in this case the packet called for 10-12 minute pasta and I cooked it for 5 minutes before straining it. Let it sit in the strainer while you finish the rest.

Prepare sauce.

Preheat oven to 175ºc (About 350ºF).

Caramelise the onion in a large fry pan according to the ‘cheating’ method which adds sugar. Then add the hotdogs and sun-dried Foods_757tomatoes. Cook on med-high heat until hotdog slices start to brown up.

Mix the pasta and hotdog/onion/tomato mixture together thoroughly. To do this I add them back into the big stock pot I cooked the pasta in, put the lid on and toss it vigorously. But I’m lazy and don’t do my own dishes (yay spouse!) – so do whatever works for you.

Add the pasta and sausage mix into a greased casserole or lasagne dish. Pour in all the sauce – yum. Top with sesame seeds.

Cover with foil (or lid if you have one) and cook for 20 minutes. Remove foil and cook for a further 5-10 minutes to brown.




  • Add 1 cup of frozen peas before cooking
  • Mix fresh baby spinach through cooked pasta (when you add the sausage mix)


Creamy Curried Cauliflower and Kumera Soup


  •  1 onion, diced
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced (OR 5 tsp of pre-crushed garlic)
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 tsp of olive oil for frying (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp golden mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder (English style OR sub a 40ish/60ish mix of cumin and turmeric with a pinch of garam masala)
  • 3 cups diced orange sweet potato (golden kumera) – about one very large or two medium kumera
  • 2 cups chopped cauliflower, small florets – about half a medium cauliflower
  • 1/2 cup diced parsnip
  • 6 cups of veggie stock
  • 1 tin (400ml) coconut milk


  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add garlic and onion and fry until golden.
  2. Add ginger and mustard seeds and heat for a further minute until fragrant (you should be able to smell the sweet spiciness of the mustard seeds and the onion).
  3. Optional: microwave the sweet potato, cauliflower, and parsnip in a microwave safe bowl with 1/4 cup of water for 8 minutes. This will soften them and reduce cooking time. If you skip this step simmer for at least an hour in step 5.
  4. Add sweet potato, cauliflower, and parsnip to the saucepan. Mix the curry powder into a thin paste with a few teaspoons of stock then add this to the veggies. Stir to mix through and coat the veggies with the curry powder mix.
  5. Add the stock and bring to the boil. Lower heat and simmer for 35 minutes.
  6. After 35 minutes check to see if the sweet potato is soft and mushy if you press it against the side of the pot with a fork. If not simmer for a further 10 minutes and repeat until the kumera is crumbly and soft.
  7. Add coconut milk.
  8. Turn the heat off and let cool for 5 minutes. Blend the soup with an immersion blender or add to a standard blender in small batches.
  9. Turn the heat back on or reheat (if required) then serve.


Vegan Chilli Cheese Fries – without the chilli, cheese or fries!

In our house chilli cheese fries don’t actually involve any chilli, cheese, or fries!


Being vegan we don’t eat cheese. I’m intolerant to capsaicin (not quite allergic but close) so I make everything – even chilli beans – with little to no chilli. And finally potato wedges are marginally more healthy than the traditional fry style chips (in general the larger the thing being fried or coated in oil the less fat it absorbs).

So these are made with mild ‘chilli’ beans, a vegan cheesy sauce and oven baked wedges. They’re still delicious and certainly not a health food!


Cook wedges. If using frozen pre-prepared ones follow packet directions (normally around 20 minutes at 200ºc).

To make from scratch:

Put potatoes in a plastic or paper bag along with 1/4 cup of flour, 1 tsp garlic salt, 1 tsp paprika, and 1 tsp of arrowroot powder (tapioca flour). Shake to coat.

Cook in a baking tray or lasagne dish for 35 minutes at 195ºc.

Not-chilli Beans

  • 1 tin refried black beans (or 1.5 cups homemade)
  • 140g tomato paste
  • 1 Tblsp seasoned salt
  • 1 tsp taco seasoning

Mix in a microwave safe bowl (or just use a saucepan for stove top) then microwave (or heat on stove top) for 4 minutes. Mix again and set aside.


Cheesy Sauce

I used the Angel Foods Cherub Cheesey Sauce mix made to directions with 2.5 cups of soy milk and 1/4 cup of hulled tahini.

Angel Foods Cheesey Sauce

Although if I was feeling less lazy I could have made some of my own cheesy bechamel.


Put wedges in a bowl or plate, add 2/3 cup of non-chilli beans, top with 3/4 cup of cheesey sauce. Devour.


Mustard and Bean Pies



(makes 6 half pies or 3 full sized pies)

  • 6 sheets of vegan pastry (or 1.5 batches of home made wholemeal pastry)
  • 2 tins of beans (or 4 cups of cooked beans) – e.g. kidney beans and/or mixed beans
  • 2 cups frozen mixed vegetables – use the diced varieties, I use Coles ‘Australian Mix’ which is diced potato, peas, carrot, and broccoli.
  • 1 medium onion, sliced or diced
  • 2 stems of celery, diced
  • 2 Tbls of olive oil
  • 2 Tbl of flour
  • 2 to 3 cups soy or nut milk
  • 3 Tbl of mustard
  • 1/2 tsp cracked pepper
  • 2 Tbls savoury yeast flakes (nutritional yeast)


Defrost pastry. Pre-heat oven to 180ºc (355ºf) and line and grease two cookie sheets (or three pie dishes)

Add veggie mix and drained beans to a large bowl and leave to defrost while cooking the sauce.

Heat oil in a medium saucepan. Add onion and fry until browning. Add celery and cook until bright.

Add flour and mix thoroughly. Then slowly add milk (in 1/2 cup amounts) and blend slowly allowing to thicken before adding a further amount of milk. Once the sauce has a thick consistency add the mustard, yeast flakes, and pepper. Turn off the heat and continue to stir until fully mixed.

Once cooked and while still warm, add the sauce to the bowl with the beans and vegetables and stir through.

Assemble pies according to your preferred method. To assemble half pies take a single sheet of pastry and place on greased cooking sheet. Add enough filling mixture to cover half of the sheet with a 2.5 cm (1 inch) border.

Mustard and bean pie filling

Fold over the other half to cover the filling. Seal the edges firmly ensuring that top and bottom are melded into each other. Then fold the edges to create a crust and press down again. Cut three or four small vents into the top of the pie with a sharp knife.


Cook pies for 20 minutes at 180ºc until golden.



Meatless Bean and Gluten Balls (+ Creamy Med Pasta Sauce)

Meatless Bean and Gluten Balls


(makes 32 large bean balls – halve for smaller balls)


  • 2 tins (or 4 cups) cooked beans (I use kidney and borlotti or three bean mix)
  • 2 cups greens (spinach or silverbeet etc) – optional
  • 1 brown onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup diced celery (around 4 or 5 stems)
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped (grated if your food processor isn’t very powerful)
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • Egg replacer for 2 eggs
  • Mixed herbs, salt and pepper – to taste
  • 2 cups gluten flour (vital wheat gluten)
  • Breadcrumbs to coat (about 1/2 cup at most)


Blend beans, greens, onion, celery, carrot and egg replacer (and any spices or flavourings) in a food processor until smooth and paste like.

Add the paste to a large mixing bowl. Then slowly mix in the gluten flour (vital wheat gluten). This will become a very stiff dough-like mixture and will become hard to mix near the end so use a sturdy spoon or spatula.

Bean Ball Dough

Green Bean Ball Dough


Hand kneed dough lightly. Cut the dough into 32 even chunks with a knife – I usually slice it into about 4 to 6 strips/logs and then cut those into smaller chunks.

Roll into balls and coat in breadcrumbs.


Rolled Green Bean Balls

Line and grease a cookie tray or large baking dish. Cover in foil and cook for 15 to 20 minutes at 180ºc then cook uncovered for a further 15 minutes to brown.


Cooked Bean Balls

Can be served with pasta and sauce (e.g. Creamy Mediterranean Pasta Sauce below) OR with mashed veggies and gravy.


Creamy Mediterranean Pasta Sauce


  • 1 Tbl olive oil
  • 1 Tbl crushed garlic
  • 1 medium brown onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup whole kalamata olives
  • 1/4 cup sundried tomatoes in oil, sliced
  • About 1/2 cup of red wine vinegar, OR red wine, OR half-and-half balsamic vinegar and water or apple juice – to deglaze
  • 1 tin crushed tomatoes (or 2 cups fresh diced tomatoes slightly puréed in a food processor or blender)
  • 140g, one tin or pottle, of tomato paste (or 2 Tbls of tomato powder)
  • 160g, one small tin, low fat coconut milk
  • Herbs and spices (I use mountain pepper, lemon myrtle, smoked salt, mixed herbs, and a pinch of cajun spice)


Heat the oil in a heavy based sauce pan. Fry the onion and garlic until brown.

Deglaze the pan with some of the red wine vinegar. Cook until partially absorbed.

Add olives and sundried tomatoes. Mix through then add more vinegar or wine. Heat for a few minutes.


Add diced tomatoes, tomato paste and spices. Mix thoroughly and heat for 2 to 5 minutes.


1 minute before serving mix through the coconut milk.


Serve with cooked spaghetti with or without added bean balls.


Vegan Dauphinoise Potatoes aux Purée Épinards et d’Olive

Vegan Potato DauphinoisePommes de Terre à la Dauphinoise aux Épinards Purée just translates to Potato Dauphinoise (baked in cream) with Spinach Purée. Potatoes Dauphinoise is a dish with a French origin – it is basically a potato bake made with cream and garlic. Veganising it was surprisingly easy. But this variation also uses a batch of spinach and olive purée to become something special in and of itself in addition to being a very good replica of the more traditional Gratin Dauphinoise.


Both the Spinach and Olive Purée and the Cheesy Cashew Cream can be made in advance. In this case I had almost a whole batch of the Spinach and Olive Purée left over from Calzone so the recipe is included but pictures will have to be coming soon (aka next time I make it).

Gratin Pommes de Terre à la Dauphinoise aux Purée Épinards et d’Olive (Vegan Potato Dauphinoise with Spinach and Olive Purée)


For the Cheesy Cashew Cream

  • 2.5 cups soaked and drained cashew nuts (soak in water for at least 12 hours 24 is better)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup almond, macadamia or cashew milk (for blending)
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 2 Tbl nutritional yeast flakes (also called savoury yeast or gravy yeast)
  • 1 Tbl onion salt (OR onion stock OR 1/2 and 1/2 salt and onion powder)
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 cloves or 1 Tbl crushed garlic (optional)

For the Spinach and Olive Purée

  • 300g+ baby or fresh spinach (pretty much a blender full)
  • 1/2 cup black olives
  • 1/4 cup olive brine (the salt water liquid olives are stored in – if your olives don’t have this then blend the oil or juice from the container with some water)
  • 120g tomato paste (one pottle)
  • 2 Tbl plain flour (OR use rice flour for gluten free)
  • 2 Tbls crushed garlic (optional)

For the GratinFoods_313

  • Thin sliced white potatoes (look for thin skinned ‘boil and bake’ varieties) – enough for at least two layers in your backing dish. I normally cut as I layer them. Around 15 to 20 small potatoes maybe only 6 medium to large ones.
  • 1 medium brown onion, sliced into half rings.
  • 1 batch Cheesy Cashew Cream
  • 1 batch Spinach and Olive Purée


Pre-prepare Spinach and Olive Purée by blending all ingredients in a high speed blender and set aside the Spinach and Olive Purée then clean the blender.

Pre-heat oven to 190°c and oil a large lasagne dish.

Create a layer of sliced potatoes covering the whole dish – don’t be afraid to overlap. Spread half of the sliced onion on top of the potato layer.

Pour over the Spinach and Olive Purée and spread across the whole dish.


Add another layer of potato and onions.


Prepare Cheesy Cashew Cream by blending all ingredients in a high speed blender.


Pour the Cheesy Cashew Cream over the final layer and spread across the dish. I also reserve about 2 Tbl of the Spinach and Olive Purée to decorate but that is optional.


Cover the dish in tinfoil and cook at 190°c for 35 minutes. After 35 minutes uncover and cook for a further 10 to 15 minutes until golden brown.

Vegan Potato Dauphinoise

Serve and enjoy! Technically makes 6 to 8 servings but it is pretty moreish and tends to result in seconds.