Sunday, 25 January 2015

Vegan Welsh Cakes for St Dwynwen's Day

I have a great fondness for Scotland.  It was home for over 10 years.  I went to University there, got married there, I began my gardening and cooking blogging journey there and so much more, so celebrating Burns Night in our home has become a bit of a tradition,just take a gander at some of these vegan and vegetarian meals that I created at home with vegan haggis: both home-made and shop bought.

I also have an affinity with Wales.  It was where I was born and raised and its my home once again. Today, the 25 January not only marks Burns Night, in Wales its St Dwynwen's Day -Welsh Day of Love .  Follow this link to read more about Wales Patron Saint of Love.   

So what Celtic tradition to celebrate? well both of course!
A simple Burns Supper for the evening that will look something like this Vegan Tower of Haggis, Neep and Tatties served with some greens, followed later with some home-made Welsh Cakes.  
With Veganuary in full swing, I thought why not make a vegan version for St Dwynwen's Day. I've made Vegan Welsh cakes many many times, but surprisingly it has never featured on my blog, the only version has been the one made with butter - the vegetarian version.   I know there is no shortage of vegan welsh cake recipes on blogosphere.  Search and ye will find, but this is my offering.  My husband has had the vegan version many times and has never complained.  There is a small variation in taste, the vegan version is not as 'melt in the mouth' as the traditional ones made with butter, but these are still very good.   And if your wondering what I love you is in Welsh it's Dwi'n dy garu di '.  

Dydd Santes Dwynwen Haput!

Monday, 19 January 2015

Chocolate Habenero Black Turtle Bean Chilli

Another one pot dish and one that relies on store-cupboard ingredients, except of course for the chocolate habenero chilli that I picked up when I was in the big city a few months back, around the same time when I picked up dried marigold petals for my vegan Sweet Potato Chocolate Cake.  
I had not intended to buy any dried chillies, let alone Chocolate Habenero but whilst staring at spice filled glass jars it just seemed to leap out at me and I was tempted.  

It does have subtle chocolate undertones, and an earthy and spicy chilli kick , but and here is the but, it did not blow me away as I had expected.  My chilli tolerance is quite high, my reasoning - I am of South Asian heritage and chilli runs through my veins - but I found this particular brand of chocolate habenero chilli was not overly spice hot.  The only thing that I can think was that the chillies were, well perhaps not the freshest, perhaps on the shelf too long and therefore may have lost its vava voom, still the home-made chilli was very, very nice and I would a happily make it again, I will just check the sell by date next time. 
This was just going to be a straight-forward Black Bean Chilli made simply with black turtle beans so called because of the black shiny dark shell like appearance, but I also decided to throw in some winter greens (such as sprout heads, but any type of kale will do), and a can of sweetcorn for colour. It worked out lovely giving more body and texture to the dish.  
So far, we have had this dish with plain boiled Basmati rice.  D suggested that this would be good as an Enchillada filling, I agree but I don't have any tortilla wraps, so it will be more rice or perhaps even potatoes.  

I am sharing this recipe with January's edition of My Legume Love Affair #79 which was created by Susan of The Well Seasoned Cook.  It is now run by Lisa of Lisa's kitchen who happens to be this months host too. And Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary for this months No Waste Food Challenge, as the last lot of winter greens got used up in this dish.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Butternut Squash and Peanut Butter Curry

Work has been keeping me distracted, so blogging about my vegan eats in the month of Veganuary has been low priority, but I have continued with the challenge and have to say I am doing very well indeed.  

I am very tired when I get home, I think the early morning starts are getting to me now, especially when it is unwelcoming outside.  The weather has been blustery, wet, icy, snowy and windy which is absolutely fine when your in a warm home or wrapped up well before stepping outdoors, but it has been playing havoc with our garden.  The garden pergola has moved a bit more, its looking more like the 'leaning tower of Pisa', but unlike the Tower of Pisa this pergola will be falling down the next time we get a strong gust of gale force winds, we are certain of it.  The greenhouse has lost a window pane.  You lose one and its impacts on the rest of the greenhouse.  We can only hope the weather calms down.

So back to food.  Of course I have been cooking and eating, just not blogging about it.  I have been making large one-pot meals.  The most recent was a Butternut Squash and Peanut Butter Curry.  I apologise in advance that there is no photograph as its just way to dark in the evening to take a photograph that would do the recipe justice.  The recipe for the Butternut Squash Curry is exactly the same as the African Sweet Potato and Groundnut Curry. I just substituted the Sweet Potatoes for Butternut Squash. It was delish!
Peanut butter is a fabulous natural thickener.  I do tend to buy the Meridian brand, but was recently tempted by this Mother Africa Peanut Butter jar as the colourful packaging and name grabbed my attention.  Sometimes I am a sucker for labels, not designer labels though - I have never ever been a follower of fashion or trends, I know its not the case, but I do sometimes think that I must be among a small minority of people living in the U.K, and more specifically Wales who has not done a selfie?!