The Stew (serves 2):
Roughly chop a small - medium onion, a largish parsnip, a large carrot (or 2 medium ones) and 2-3 medium potatoes.
In a fairly large crock pot, gentle soft the onion in a little oil over a low-medium heat.
Add some Quorn Chicken Style pieces (or tofu if you want to make this vegan - I'll include adaption ideas at the bottom of the post) and your herbs/spices and continue to gentle fry.
The herbs and spices you use can vary depending on what you have in/what you like but I tend to add around 1/2 tsp paprika, a small sprinkle of cayenne (and I mean small!), a pinch of Za'tar, a few splashes of Soy Sauce, a few splashes of vegan Worcester Sauce, a couple of splashes of lemon juice (to give it a little lift), around 1/2 tsp of basil and 1/2 tsp of herbs d'prov. This is just what we happened to have in on the say - on other occasions I've also added rosemary, marjoram, oregano, chilli flakes.... get creative!
Now you need to add your stock (about 1/2 pint - maybe a little more if you're using gluten free flour for the dumplings) and 1 tsp of marmite. Also add a good amount of salt and pepper - nobody wants bland stew for tea!
Mmmm marmitey, peppery goodness! I use Marigold Swiss Vetable Bouillon power in the Reduced Salt Vegan variety - I've tried quite a few Marigold Bouillon's and this is by far my favourite. You'll normally find it in the free from aisle at most supermarkets.
Bet you've been wondering if I've forgotten about those other veggies haven't you? I haven't - add them now! Give it all a good stir :)
This is bit basically taken from Vegan Cooking for One, although I do make a couple of adaptions. For those of you who are Gluten Free, I recommend using Dove's Farm Organic Fluten Free Flour Blend - the rest of you can use normal flour. Weigh out 4oz (about 110g) flour and add to this 1oz (30g) butter/marg/dairyfree spread. Then add 2 tsp baking powder and a little salt and pepper (maybe add a few herbs and a little cheese too if you fancy getting posh).
Now for the fun bit - using a gentle touch, rub the butter and the flour together until it reaches a breadcrumby consistancy! Next, add a little (soya) milk - just a splash at a time, using a knife to combine at first and them using your fingers when it starts to stick together a little more. You should end up with a ball that looks a little like this:
Now you need to break your dumplings up into 8 golf ball sized balls. Before you pop them on top of your lovely stew, give the stew a good stir because it's the last one it's gonna get! Done that? Excellent, now you can put the dumpling balls on.
Awww look at them - all happy and ready to be steamed :D Now you need to pop the lid on your crock pot and pop it in a pre-heated over at 180C
Yum! This is probably going to need around 15 or 20 minutes in the oven so why don't you go have a nice cup of tea and a sit down? Done that? Okey doke, it's time to lift the lid....
Hurrah - all cooked and ready to go. You should have a nice thick gravy like liquid to spoon over... all that's left to do is plate up (you've got 4 dumplings each remember) and enjoy!
- This can easily be made entirely gluten free - just use Dove's Farm Flour for your dumplings and the following tofu idea instead of Quorn (although I am technically wheat free, I do cheat ever now and again)
- If you don't have an oven, you can just as easily make this on the hob! Just use a large saucepan and a lid (preferably one that doesn't have a hole to let out steam.
- If you're vegan, the dumplings can be made dairy free by using a dairy free spread and you can replace the Quorn with the following adaptation:
Chop half a block of tofu into cubes and freeze overnight. Before you chop your veggies, defrost your tofu with boiling water - squeeze out any excess. Marinate your tofu in a mixture of 2tbs soya sauce, 1/2tbs vegan worcester sauce, 2 tsp cider vinegar or lemon juice and a few herbs and spices for around 10-15 minutes and then follow the instructions as they've written for the Quorn :)
Hope you enjoyed my first recipe and do let me know if you make this! And remember - recipes are not law.... I encourage you to have as much fun playing around with this as you possibly can!!