Monday, 30 November 2015

Turnip Swede and Kale Curry For St Andrews Day

I picked up a Swede -Turnip (Neep) last week thinking ahead of St Andrews Day.  I wanted to honour my friends and my time in Scotland. I also wanted to get my hands on some vegetarian haggis, as I didn't have the inclination this time round to make some vegan haggis from scratch, but as our visit to the city this weekend was cut short by the weather - we had neither home-made or shop bought haggis. 

So with St Andrews Day here, I have to admit I wasn't overly energetic or  experimental as I had done so in the past, so resorted to making a vegan Neep Curry. 
And although nothing like his recipe, I was actually inspired by Denis Cotter to make a Turnip Swede Curry from his book Wild Garlic, Gooseberries and Me. Denis Cotters recipe is made with leeks, double cream and yogurt. 

Happy St Andrews Day to Scottish friends in Scotland and those who have migrated to other parts of the world!

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Butternut Squash, Aduki Bean and Kale Savoury Crumble

What's the weather like where you are?  Or should I not ask?!

It's not so nice here at all, we went into Cardiff this morning and driving there and back - well it felt like we were in a submarine with the rain coming down in buckets.  I am not feeling 100%, plus its been a good, but busy week at work, so I was actually glad to get back home when we did, as I was not in the mood for Christmas shopping and the hustle and bustle. 
I was glad that I didn't need to do any cooking either when we got in either.

I made this Savoury Crumble a couple of days back, yes I know two Savoury Crumbles in one month.  This one is very autumnal in appearance, though its quite wintry outside.  Gold and yellow from the butternut squash and sweetcorn, moss green from the kale and studded with clay brown aduki beans.  It was quite pretty to gaze at, but then I went and covered it with a blanket of wholemeal flour and cheddar cheese crumble topping. 
Once baked, a little burnt and crisp around the edges, it was a welcome lunch and just what I wanted to tuck into and give me that warm glow. I am sharing this with Tinned Tomatoes for Meat Free Mondays; and The Slow Cooked challenge hosted by Janice from Farmergirl Kitchen and The Baking Queen, which has a vegetarian theme this month.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Kind Cakes, Mean Bakes in Bristol

Did I tell you we had 1 inch of snow in the Welsh valleys at the weekend.  It was a bit of a surprise, to look out of the bedroom window to find the greenhouse and dirt ground covered with the cold white stuff.  It took us a little while to scrape the ice of the car too.

Anyway, to escape the cold and being stuck indoors, we took a drive and made a day trip of going into Bristol.  I love Bristol for many reasons, when I graduated from University all those years ago  - I applied for jobs in Bristol, Brighton and Birmingham, but ended up finding a job in the city when I went to Uni - Glasgow.  I do love exploring Bristol as well as trying out the many vegetarian and vegan eateries.  I also enjoy taking a lazy wander around Stokes Croft for the graffiti art - but there was not much new there this time round, just a handful around the #RefugeesWelcome.  
This is the only one that I managed to capture on camera.  Its Paddington Bear - Migration is Not a Crime.  Instead of Cafe Kino, we decided to try a different place -  Wise Beans Cafe -  the coffee was real good.  

We were not ready to eat, but I was restraining myself as we had walked passed the Market at The Moon and I spyed some beautiful handmade crafted gifts, as well as Kind Cakes, Mean Bakes and I was suddenly tempted by all of their sweet and savoury bites.  
Sometimes, I miss my own vegetarian culinary adventures and admire and live precariously through others.  If I do return to grassroots cooking, I often imagine it will be something like Mazi Mas or The International Peace Cafe, both recently featured in The Guardian; or even just a 'Pop Up Supper Club'. 

I am very cautious when I tell vegetarian and vegan stall holders that I used to do some catering (and sometimes that I even have a food blog). The response closer to home has not always been welcoming.  I am often snubbed and perceived as a competitor.  Sadly even the non-vegetarian stalls that knock out one sad 'cheese and onion' vegetarian option, give me that sly look, but I have to be honest, its the first time that I got a bit of warmth and it came from two funky vegan women behind Kind Cakes Mean Bakes.  I applaud that kind and genuine warmth that they exuded, they were even generous in sharing a recipe with me.   Thank you so much Caroline and Jane. 
I really really wanted to try everything made by  Kind Cakes Mean Bakes, but at the same time I didn't want to be carrying fragile fresh bakes in my bag and wandering the eclectic streets of Bristol for another few hours, so I went for one - the most eye-catching bake on the table, saying that most were incredible - but it was the beetroot topping that made me opt for the vegan Savoury Cake with 'cream cheese'. 
Above - Caroline lifting up a generous slice for me to take home.  And boy, oh boy it was Awesome - even D gave it the thumbs up. 
My one regret on the day was not getting some Jaffa Fakes - some with orange and some with raspberries!  I consolidate myself in the knowledge that I will visit  Kind Cakes Mean Bakes again, but it may now be next Year, unless we go back in December for some Christmas shopping...   You never know....

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Ethiopian Berbere Injera Crisps - Chips

I had some Injera - Sourdough flatbread  left over from the weekend's Ethiopian Supper of Tibs 'Soya Beef' with Berbere and Cherry Tomatoes and Caramelised White Cabbage, Carrot and Potatoes.

I don't like waste, so I wondered what else I could do with them?  I saw a recipe for a savoury Injera porridge but I have to be honest that did not appeal, then I was inspired by Injera Chips from defunct blog The Berbere Diaries.   Only three ingredients, the Injera, Berbere and Vegetable oil - so there was no stopping me from making these.
I wasn't that generous with the Berbere and thank goodness as it was still quite spicy on the lips.   These Injera crisps are proper crunchy too like toasted corn snacks, so if you have tooth fillings, then I would advise eating them with caution or don't make them at all - you have been warned. How do I know this...take a guess?!  
I am sharing this with Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary No Waste Food Challenge hosted this month by  Its Not Easy Being GreedyAnd here is a link to More Injera Please who has further ideas of what to do with left-over Injera, but I have to say - the crisps are high on my list.  Oh and just in case your wondering how Injera is made from scratch, then follow this link from The Guardian

Ethiopian Berbere Injera Crisps - Chips
1 - 2 left-over Injera
60ml vegetable oil
Berbere powder to taste
Preheat oven to gas mark/275oc.
With a brush, coat the Injera in the oil, 
Liberally ssprinkle over the Berbere or to taste.
Either slice the Injera or rip it into pieces and arrange on a lightly oiled baking sheet.
Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, then turn off the heat and allow it to cool and crisp up.
You may need to bake longer depending on the thickness of your Injera and your oven. 

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Mazi Mas Ethiopian Tibs 'Soya Beef' with Berbere and Cherry Tomatoes made Vegetarian

As well as bookmarking recipes from cookbooks, I mentioned that I have bookmarked some recipes from websites also.   I've had my eye on a couple of Ethiopian recipes from Azeb Woldemichael of Mazi Mas as featured in The Guardian.  It is thanks to The Guardian that I have discovered Mazi Mas and have become a fan from afar.  Mazi Mas which translates in Greek 'with us' is a roaming eatery that serves global home cuisine to the public.  The chefs are migrant and refugee women who have struggled to find work in the U.K.  Mazi Mas reminds me a little of The League of Kitchens in  NYC, America.

For those of you who read my blog, will know that I've been cooking up some global cuisine since the start of this blog; and most recently Ethiopian and Eritrean cuisine has been on the menu, thanks to some new people frequenting my workplace and inspiring me.  
I was more tempted by the Berbere spices which I have come to love and have a stash of.  The original Mazi Maz 'Tibs' recipe is made with beef skirt, diced small.  After giving it a little thought, I adapted the recipe and made it suitable for vegetarians, its even possible to veganize!  In place of the beef, I substituted Soy Schnetzel often used for vegan Ghoulash, but if you can't find them soya chunks will work too.  The rosemary came from my garden and so did the cherry tomatoes, the last from my greenhouse - yes in November. 

Both dishes: the Ethiopian Tibs 'Soya Beef' with Berbere and Cherry Tomatoes and White Cabbage, Carrot and Potato are extremely rich and flavour packed.  I loved them both and so did D, he just wasn't keen on the Injera - Ethiopian Sourdough flatbread that has little bubbles on top like a crumpet.  He found the Injera texture a little to strange to eat, as it has a rubber aspect to it.  It didn't bother me at all; and I ate it traditionally with my fingers.  

Friday, 20 November 2015

Bookmarked Recipes and A Salted Peach Buttermilk Cake

I know there are a barrage of vegetarian and vegan cookbooks out there at the moment- spearing from every direction, some are on my wish list and some are not.  But I have been making a conscience effort to thumb through those neglected cookbooks already on my shelf and identify those recipes I want to try.  

Many of my cookbooks are vegetarian, some are vegan and many are not either.  I have been making a concerted effort over the weekend to cook and bake some of those bookmarked recipes and have already done so with many (see below).
Caribbean Modern (from the Library)
Dock Kitchen Cookbook 
Mildred's Cookbook
Meat-Free Any-Day
Moosewood Restaurant Celebrates
V is For Vegan
And I've even been inspired by some bloggers and food website.  
Well today's bookmarked recipe that comes from  Heidi Swanson's Super Natural Every-Day. Heidi's Buttermilk Cake is topped off with plums.  I made this at the weekend,  I had picked up some buttermilk intended originally for Irish Soda Bread, but as it was fast reaching it use by date.  In place of the thinly sliced plums, I had peaches.
As I followed the recipe, it advised, 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt.  I had large grain sea salt but not fine sea salt - so ended up choosing to use table salt.  So yes you can imagine it was a little salty, but okay none-the-less.  I went and checked the recipe on-line and found it under another guise called Salt-Kissed Buttermilk Cake.  It was the same recipe made with raspberries, but instructing to use an additional teaspoon of sea salt for the topping. The recipe indeed is mean't be be salty. 

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Beetroot Cauliflower Feta Salad and Pizza

I know everything is in the presentation and this plate of salad would have been elevated a little more with a little more tinkering in the name of food styling; and perhaps served on a bed of greens such as rocket or watercress would have done it, but had cauliflower - the veg du jour been presented by a celebrity chef, cookery writer or so called queen of the grain and greens I am sure it would have encouraged swoons and wow's,
But as it comes from a little known vegetarian food blogger it will be perceived more as the smashed brains of a zombie presented by someone watching way too many episodes of The Walking Dead; and perhaps best served around Halloween; and to an extent I would have to agree on first glance, but I assure you its all about the veg.  No humans, animals or zombies were hurt in the making of this Salad.  And it was bloody marvellous too. 
Image source AMC
The white cauliflower dyed beautifully and naturally by the beetroot and balsamic vinaigrette juices, with bite from thinly sliced red onions and punctured by chunks of feta cheese and a scattering of black sesame seeds.

Food styling is not really my thing, and I am always still learning. It really does tastes better than it looks too, sharpness, crunch.  And more than anything else, my husband liked it - Two of his favourite vegetables: beetroot and cauliflower.  They used to be two of my least favourite, I don't mind them so much now.  

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Sweet Black Sesame Seed Butter

Halloween theatrical feasts have come and gone and so has Friday the 13th, but I share with you something dark, dramatic and bold - Spreadable Black Butter.  Please don't be judgemental and deceived by its menacing appearance, it is nutty and subtly sweet.  Give it a chance and it may win you over.  

I've had a jar of these black tear-drop shaped seeds in my kitchen cupboards for a couple of years.  I've reached for the jar a few times, but its mostly been used as a garnish than an ingredient in its own right.  So recently when a Korean friend was telling me about the new rage in the West for (Kimchi and) Black Sesame Tahini being sweetened a little either with honey or maple syrup and then used as a spread, well I just had to give it a try.  
I made it.  I tried it.  I spread on a toasted bagel and liked it, but the man in the house wasn't that keen on it.  So,  the sweet black sesame butter is pretty much all for me. 

The only other time I've actually had black sesame seed paste was in a Japanese mochi rice cakes.  And I liked that too, but again the man didn't, I guess black sesame seed paste is an acquired taste.  I am sharing this with Kimmy at Healthy Vegan Fridays #74. 

Friday, 13 November 2015

Seitan 'Meat' Slices

So its Friday the 13th and I thought I would show food considered to be a little freaky by non-vegan and non-vegetarian - Seitan pronounced Satan.

I've been ravenous recently, wanting to get my gnashers into something of substance and rip and tear it.  Perhaps its the change of weather; or maybe i am just watching way too much of The Walking Dead series.  We started watching the series on DVD Halloween weekend and are now on series 4, so no spoilers please!  
Over the weekend, I made this mock 'meatloaf' with vital wheat gluten.  I was a little heavy handed with the fennel seeds.  We have had it various ways over the week including today, but the most enjoyable was when a slab of it was seared on both sides and served with horseradish mash, greens and home-made brown gravy.  The rest has been good for cold sandwich fillings, Yes we Brits do like our sandwiches.  The seitan slices were quite succulent and not at all dry like much of the packaged stuff.  
Now how to present something not overly attractive, but here it is - some carefully carved slices ready to be chomped, sorry already chomped. 

Glimpse Plant Pharmacy Patchwork

Thank you for those of you coming by Amy's Five on Friday.  

To start of with, I'd like to say that I am mentally gearing up for winter and the ailments that come with it: coughs, scratchy throat, runny nose, headaches...  I have good selection of herbal teas, Tea Tree Tincture, Echinacea drops and honey for toddy, yes I even a home made Daisy Honey which happens to be vegan.  
Two, a while back I went with my husband to the National Botanic Garden of Wales.  
I shared lots of pictures from the day, but not this Plant Pharmacy  Patchwork Exhibition which was inside the Apothecary's Hall.

Once you've walked through the Apothecary's Hall and viewed some of its curiosities and guests, you will come across the The Plant Pharmacy Patchworks Exhibition.
Three - The Plant Pharmacy Exhibition  is a collection of textile squares showing wildflowers and their medical and herbal properties and how plants have been used to treat illnesses across the world.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Cauliflower Crumble

I was inspired by Ruby Tandoh's recipe in The Guardian to make a savoury Crumble.  
Its been a while since I've made a savoury crumble.  The last I blogged about one was when I made this Black Eyed Bean and Vegetable Crumble.  Ruby's herby topped crumble had butternut squash and spinach, mine has cauliflower and kale.  
Once I've scattered the remaining crumble on top, its ready to go into the hot oven. I like how the spicy tomato juices have dyed the cauliflower florets almost a copper gold.

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Maftoul with Roasted Harissa Rainbow Carrots

I've had a proper lazy weekend and most of all I have had a long sleep in, no dreading the alarm going off and waking up to go into work in the dark and come back home in the dark.

The weekend has also allowed me to d some slow cooking and make the most of the little light there was outside for photographs, but the reality is its been a dark weekend with lingering dark clouds, drippy rain and blustery winds.  Today's hearty  lunch was Lemon-Coriander Maftoul with Roasted Harissa Rainbow Carrots.  
I  picked up two bunches of rainbow carrots from a local greengrocers. 
I wanted to make more of a feast of them, than just chop, grate or spiralize them for a coleslaw, so I roasted them whole in a harissa sauce and served it with Zaytoun Palestenian Maftoul.  Maftoul is made from sun-dried bulgar wheat and hand rolled into tiny chewy balls.  The magic of maftoul is that it absorbs flavours wonderfully so I coated it in lemony coriander goodness. 

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Black Radish Tart and Others Things In My Kitchen

Lat month I went on holiday to Marseille, South of France.  I would like to say I came back with loads of kitchen and edible goodies, but the fact is that I did not.  I picked up some sweets for the nephews and nieces and some little gifts for a handful of colleagues at work,; and for myself I brought home a Radis Noir d'Provence.
Yes, you read right a Black Radish from Provence!.  It was tremendous. 
  A garlic grater.  I picked up two, one for my colleague at work. 
Something completely new for me - Clearspring Noodle Broth. 
Apple and Thyme Jelly  - I've had this savoury jelly in the cupboard for a very very long time, and still don't know what to do with it, but its pretty to look at - the colour and the way the thyme is suspended in the jelly.

Monday, 2 November 2015

Octobers Eat Your Greens Round Up

Welcome to October's Round Up for 'Eat Your Greens'.    
This is a monthly vegetarian and vegan cooking challenge for food bloggers to make something with a green vegetable (or fruit) each month.  
The Veg Hog brings to the table some rather tasty and crunchy Broccoli Nuggets.  Its both naughty and nice.  
Dom from Belleau Kitchen shares a mild and nutty Slow Cooked Cauliflower, Carrot and Green Bean Korma.  If your feeling poorly, this is the curry to make as it will lift you up. 
Janet from the Taste Space shares a Green and White Chili Bowl made with green anaheim peppers and spinach.  Now, the white beans make a nice change from the darker beans, some times its good to ring the changes. 

Its another short savoury Round up, but please, please go by and check each contribution and leave a comment, I know my fellow bloggers would appreciate it.  Also I am welcoming #EatYourGreen recipes for November.  Follow this link on how to participate.  I hope you will also be able to join in the #Vegetable Palette challenge too, the theme is White.  Also welcoming #FruitPalette recipes.