This recipe was inspired by my imagination – and my fridge contents had something to do with it too. I have been meaning to make some form of dumplings for months now. The idea of making dumplings takes me back some years ago to when I was a young girl, and when I used to share dinner with my dear American friends whose mothers always made dumplings that were so good. Till this day I cannot forget them. Sadly they were chicken dumplings – but I was only ten, so I didn’t quite know the difference between chicken and vegetarian, etc.
Anyway, enough of that for now. Here is the result of a hunger for my past childhood days, brought forward by a strong urge to bring the past into the present with a vegan-vengeance. And you know what ? Where there is a will, there is a way ! Enjoy these, as they are wonderous ! My 4 year old fussy-eating daughter adored them. ‘More, more, mummy’ were her exact words – music to my ears of course. Now, if you are wondering what to eat with them, then it has to be hot sweetcorn. And if you feel that naughty, ‘crunchy potatoes’ or crunchy garlic bread. Man, oh man – this is fun !!!
INGREDIENTS FOR THE DUMPLINGS
- 4 tbsp plain flour
- 1 tbsp brown rice flour
- 1 tbsp ground almonds
- a handful of roughly chopped flat leaf parsley
- 1 heaped tbsp vegan pesto
- salt to taste
- 3 tbsp olive oil (a little more if required)
- 1 cup veggie mince – either soya, or a vegan burger that has been broken down (I use Linda McCartney Veggiemince myself)
- 1 cup grated vegan cheese
- 1 tsp fast acting yeast
Place the parsley and nuts in a food processor, and process until broken down into very small crumb-sized bits. Next, add the other dry ingredients, and process for a few seconds. Now add the vegan cheese, the vegan mince and the pesto, and process for a few more seconds on a slow speed. Add the olive oil, and keep on doing so until the mixture forms into a ball in your machine. At this point you are ready to start shaping your dough into dumplings.
Take the dough out, let it rest for 15 minutes, then roll it into around 8 balls on a floured surface. Dust with more flour, then fry them for a few minutes until a little golden. Then remove from frying pan, and set aside in readiness for the sauce.
INGREDIENTS FOR THE MUSHROOM & VEGGIE SAUCE
- olive oil
- 2 chopped carrots
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 2 cups of mixed porcini mushrooms (I use the frozen ones)
- 1 small red pepper, roughly chopped
- 8 cherry tomatoes (optional)
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 cup vegan cream of your choice (I used Provamel)
- 1 cup mushroom or veggie stock of your choice
- sea salt to taste (you will need this)
- 1 tbsp fresh oregano or marjoram (use 1 tsp of dried if you don’t have fresh)
Heat the olive oil in a non-stick saucepan, and add the onion and carrots. Fry until they get a little colour, then add the garlic and stir everything around on a low heat at this point. Next, add the mushrooms and allow them to cook for 10 minutes or so. Then add the red peppers and cherry tomatoes, and leave to simmer gently for a further 10 minutes, adding a little stock just so as to prevent sticking. Then add a little more stock after a few minutes, making sure that your carrots have begun to soften. If they haven’t, give it some more time, and add a little more water to soften them, leaving the mixture to simmer gently.
Once your carrot is soft, add the dumplings and stir gently. Now cover, and allow to cook for a couple more minutes, and then stir in the vegan cream. Add the salt and a little pepper if you wish, cover and allow to cook for a further 10 minutes. If the mixture is too thick, use a little more water, but bear in mind that it should have thickened slightly.
Serve with any green of your choice – together with hot sweetcorn if you wish, and crunchy garlic bread or very ‘naughty but nice’ roasted, crunchy potatoes.
Enjoy, enjoy – NNNN-JOY !!!
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