Soya Mince Extravaganza, or The Meal I Sacrificed My Fingertips For

A while ago, I bought a bag of dehydrated soya mince. It’s been sitting in the cupboard staring accusingly at me ever since. I have a habit of buying things because they look interesting and then forgetting to use them, but the upside of this habit is that when I find a new recipe I want to try, I often discover I already have all the ingredients.

This was one of those recipes! My favourite vegan cookbook, Another Dinner is Possible, has a recipe for lasagne that required dry soya mince, courgettes and a white sauce made from vegan margarine and soya milk. Once I’d restocked with margarine (having used the last of the previous tub on some delicious flapjack) I got to work.

Pumpkin seed vegan flapjack

The flapjack in question, perfect for a snack during a long shift!

Chopping onions is a lot easier since I bought some decent knives, but the sharpness of the blades also means that my fingertips are sometimes at risk. This was one of those times – I managed to slice a small chunk out of the end of my left middle finger, which nicely matches the chunk that my left thumb is missing after a similar mishap with garlic on Tuesday. Fortunately the finger chunk didn’t disappear into the sliced onion (is it still vegan if the “meat” is mine?) and the resulting lasagne was delicious, if a little overbrowned thanks to my distractability.

Vegetable lasagne

Overbrowned maybe, but delicious nonetheless!

I had a fair amount of vegetable mince left over, since I hadn’t got enough pasta sheets to make as large a lasagne as the recipe suggested, so I mashed up some of the myriad potatoes which have been colonising my cupboard for the last month and made a variation on shepherd’s pie. There’s still a bit of the mince left after that (it was a large bag of soya flakes) so I’ve dug some pastry out of the freezer and tomorrow I’ll be crafting some kind of vegetable pasty. Also on the menu for tomorrow is a delicious-sounding chocolate, chilli and black bean soup in celebration of the imminent release of a certain new recipe book – the beans are soaking as I type.

Vegan shepherd's pie

Shepherd’s pie with bonus kitchen details

At the moment I’m on placement, which means working very long shifts three times a week and packing in all the rest of my commitments on the other days (as well as catching up on sleep and trying to keep on top of the housework). The two years I spent perfecting the art of bulk cooking in advance to accommodate my choir schedule have served me well; my freezer stash is a perfect source of the two packed meals I need to take for each shift. And my days off are giving me plenty of time to cook my way through the list of recipes I’ve been meaning to try.

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3 thoughts on “Soya Mince Extravaganza, or The Meal I Sacrificed My Fingertips For

  1. Learning to curl those fingertips under is an absolutely essential skill. Once you’ve got it down, you can actually keep the flat if the blade against your knuckles with no worry of cutting yourself.

    And that soup sounds fantastic! One of the standby recipes at an event I used to volunteer for was a chili based primarily on black beans, tomatoes, and canned corn.

    • It’s not when I’m actually chopping that I cut myself, just when I’m wandering round with sharp knives and not concentrating! I’m very clumsy and extremely distractible, it’s not a good combination… I am making the soup as I type, updates later 🙂

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