Mushroom kebabs – homemade vegetarian shiitake mushroom kebabs

So it turns out I’ve become a bit of a cliché.

For the last few months I’ve been on a drive to save money and eat more healthily. The good news is these two aims have complimented each other nicely, as a lot of my healthier meals have been meatless. I’ve exchanged meat for a lot of beans, chickpeas and lentils, which are a lot cheaper! Apparently, this makes me a flexitarian, which is a very trendy thing to be right now. (Also known as “a vegetarian who cheats” according to The Guardian…)

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One of my favourite recent recipes on the blog was my delicious lamb kebabs. I wanted to make them again, but a “flexitarian” version. I choose shiitake mushrooms as my meat substitute because of their texture and taste. They are topped with an awesome garlic mayo and homemade pickles. Try them out – you definitely won’t miss the meat!

Ingredients (serves 2)
– 200g shiitake mushrooms
– one red onion, peeled and cut into half moons
– 3 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
– 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
– 1 teasoon dried oregano
– 1 teaspoon dried thyme
– half a teaspoon celery seeds
– 1 tablespoon Worchestershire sauce

To serve:
– flatbreads (I made mine using this BBC Good Food recipe)
– roasted garlic mayonnaise (a few teaspoons of mayo mixed with a few cloves of roasted garlic
– pickled cucumbers (check out Feasting At Home for great tips on how to do this)
– a handful of parsley

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Method
1. Mix the flatbread dough.
2. Heat a little oil in a frying pan. Cook the onion and garlic for 3-4 minutes until softened and turning translucent.
3. Clean and slice the shiitake mushrooms. Add them to the pan along with the spices and Worchestershire sauce.
4. Cook for at least 5 minutes until the mushrooms are cooked and have absorbed all of the amazing flavours.
5. In the meantime, mash the roasted garlic with the mayonnaise and cook the flatbreads.
6. Serve and enjoy!

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Chickpea goulash (paprika-spiced vegan chickpea stew)

Chickpea goulash (paprika-spiced vegan chickpea stew)

Chickpea goulash 2

I was recently lucky enough to visit Australia. I spent a week in Sydney and the second week in Melbourne, eating a lot of amazing food. One happy day in Melbourne, I discovered a gorgeous shop selling spices.  I spent quite a long time smelling the amazing aromas, and picked up a few treats, like an applewood smoked salt that makes everything taste unbelievable!

Their goulash seasoning smelt so amazing that I was inspired to create this recipe. It is SO tasty. It’s a vegetarian spin on a traditional goulash. Hungarian goulash is usually made with pork, so this version with chickpeas is a lot lighter, healthier and cheaper to make. I batch cook this as it freezes really well. You don’t really need anything else with it, as the chickpeas are so filling. You can serve it with soured cream or even grated cheese… but obviously if you’re vegan then use vegan substitutes.

You can sprinkle parsley on the top of this when you serve, but I love using the chopped leaves from the top of the celery instead. (No waste!)

Chickpea goulash Facebook

Ingredients (makes 4 portions)
– two onions, peeled and finely chopped
–  4 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
– 2 celery sticks, sliced
– 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
– 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
– 2 bay leaves
– 2x cans of chickpeas, drained
– tin of chopped tomatoes

Optional – soured cream / vegan soured cream to serve

Method
1. Heat a little oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. Sauté the onion, garlic, celery and carrots for a few minutes until softened and the onion is starting to turn translucent.
2. Add the bay leaves and paprika, plus salt and pepper. Stir together – this should begin to release a gorgeous smoky smell.
3. Tip in the chopped tomatoes and drained chickpeas. Stir everything together and leave to simmer on a low heat for 15-20 minutes until thickened.
4. Taste and season.
5. Serve with your favourite toppings

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Simple carrot and cabbage soup with omelette rolls

Simple carrot and cabbage soup with omelette rolls
Carrot and cabbage soup with omelette rolls (Twitter)

I really like the addition of the thin omelette rings added at the end of this recipe. It adds some protein and makes the soup more filling. It is one egg per person –  if you are scaling up the recipe for more than one person, do each omelette separately, one egg at a time. More than one egg will make a thicker omelette, and for this you need it to be very thin.

Whilst we are on the subject of thin, a mandolin or vegetable slicer will make your life much easier if you are making this recipe, because it will help you to make very thin slices of carrot. If you don’t have a mandolin, make sure you slice the carrot really thinly so it cooks quickly!

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Ingredients (per person)

– 1 egg, beaten
– 1 carrot, peeled and finely sliced
– quarter head of white cabbage, shredded finely
– 1 bowl of vegetable/chicken stock

Method
1. Place the sliced carrot and shredded cabbage in a pan with the stock.
2. Bring to the boil, then simmer for ten minutes.
Carrot cabbage omelette soup (2)3. Heat a little oil or butter in a medium-large frying pan. Pour the beaten egg in and swirl it over the pan to create a thin layer. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the egg is cooked and starting to colour. Take the omelette out of the pan and roll up.
4. Slice the omelette thinly. Test the soup and season to taste – the vegetables should be cooked but still with a little bite. Pour the soup into a bowl then place the omelette slices on top.

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