Saturday, 29 April 2017

Vegetarian Sumac Meatballs in Broccoli Turmeric Sauce

I have already mentioned in a previous post that I am having a thing about veggie meatballs at the moment.  This is my third dish featuring vegan meatballs in one month. 
Before I went vegetarian, there were only a few meat dishes I would eat: chicken wings to hush my mother from nagging me for not eating meat when I was growing up under her eyes, minced meat samosas and meatballs.  When I left home for University, I did not miss meat dishes and accidentally found myself becoming a vegetarian, these days my diet is probably 95% vegan, so I guess I am veganish - but not vegan at all as I still eat cheese and consume a little milk and eggs on occasion, mostly in recipes. 

For some reason these crisp sienna coloured 'meatballs' have been calling my name and I am so pleased in the knowledge that I can make my own, but there are also some good brands out their, that all you have to do is defrost them and pan fry in a little oil.  The veggie meatballs that I have used here purely out of convenience come from a packet mix and these are enhanced with parsley and the tang of sumac, cooked and then tossed in a Broccoli Turmeric Sauce. 
I have to admit, this recipe was also inspired from  Nigel Slater's recipe for Lamb Meatballs with Sumac and Broccolii as featured in The Guardian early on in the month.  I  adapted it to make it suitable for vegetarians.   I actually preferred this meatball dish compared to the Mushroom one, whereas D preferred the Mushroom Sauce one.  The flavours in this Broccoli Turmeric one are a lot more lighter and look at the awesome colours. 
On first appearance, D said he thought it was Thai flavoured and assumed it was made with coconut milk, but its actually made with creme fraiche.  I guess if you want it to be vegan you could use coconut cream.
Other sumac recipes on the blog
Sumac Popcorn
Sumac Spring Rolls
Sumac Cabbage

Friday, 28 April 2017

Vegan Meatballs in Paprika Mushroom Sauce

I am having a thing about veggie meatballs at the moment, its features in my diet three times this month. Not that I am grumbling, the weather in this part of the world has turned a little cold, that we have had to scrape ice of the car most mornings.  And coming home to comfort food that sticks to your ribs has been welcoming.
The vegan meatballs in this dish are steeped in a thick mushroom sauce served with mashed golden swede enhanced further with fresh thyme from the garden plot.
This recipe was actually inspired from Nigel Slater's recipe for Braised Pork Meatballs with Rib Ragu Saucei that was featured in The Guardian early on in the month.  I  adapted it to make it suitable for vegetarians and vegans alike.   Look I even copied his style of presentation, yes I am a fan of Nigel Slater - who isn't?!

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Homemade Vegan Corn Dogs - Yes Corndogs

Drum roll please....

Here are some awesome homemade vegan Corn Dogs.
I had seen vegan corn dogs a couple of years back on a fellow bloggers blog and was mighty curious about them. I had thought it was literally sweetcorn deep fried in batter, then told it was a hot dog sausage covered in golden corn batter and then deep fried.  Very popular in parts of America. 

I have been waiting for an excuse to make them and a little while back when I had a full house of guests the opportunity to make these vegan Corn Dogs were presented to me. had not int
I do have have a deep fat fryer, I do but i don't cook in it often to merit it taking up valuable space in the kitchen.  So made these vegan corn dogs in a deep wide pan, three at a time .  My guests all stood around me and watched me in amazement as I made these vegan corn dogs and took pictures.   
These pictures belong to them, as my hands were busy. 
Vegan Corn Dog drowning in  yellow cornmeal batter
I was pleasantly pleased with the result as well as the fact, that they tasted delicious.  D wants me to make them again, and I have vowed to but I need 4 more people in the house to justify it.  Do you want to be my guest?!  
vegan Corn Dogs sizzling in the hot oil
I am sharing these with Inheritance Recipes co hosted by Solange at Pebble Soup and Coffee and Vanilla as the vegan Corn Dogs will be made every time I have a particular crowd of friends over.

Other Vegan Corn Dog recipesVegan Crunchy Corn Dogs from VegSpinz
Baked Corn Dogs from Go Vegan Meow

Monday, 24 April 2017

Garden Plot in the Spotlight

After three years of moving  into our new home, I have neglected the garden plot.  Every time I went out, my heart sunk for different reasons and I seemed to have fallen out of love with gardening and growing my own vegetables. 

However, this year will be different.  I said that last year and the year before, but this time really it will be different as progress has been made.  
But before I share progress in my garden plot, I am partly writing this post to coincide with Harvest Monday with my offering of overwintering Rainbow Swiss Chard from the garden. I used some of it early in the month for a Black Bean Chile, this however will be used for a quick Indian style vegetable curry.  Also by joining in with Harvest Monday, I am hoping my love for growing vegetables will be reignited.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Pineapple Jalapeno Salsa

My first ever experience of a fruit in a salsa was at a deli, the name of the place escapes me - it may not even be there anymore as this was 10 years ago.  

Anyway, it was a salsa made with mangoes.  I have bee n making fruit salsas on and off since.  Last year it was Strawberry Salsa and a few year before that it was Papaya Salsa and way before that Kiwi Salsa.    Today on this bright sunny day, I share you with Pineapple Jalapeno Salsa.  
Handsome Whippet and Pineapple Jalapeno Salsa
Most salsas are made with fresh tomatoes, but this Pineapple Jalapeno one is not but enhanced further with red onions and my absolute favourite herb, fresh coriander.  This salsa was really lovely and complimented the Green Chile, but of course you can dip your tortilla chips in this chunky refreshing salsa. 
On another note, a little while back a fellow blogger asked me about the images in the background of some of my food photographs.  I have been doing this for as long as  I have been blogging.  It was a suggestion introduced to me by my husband as we do not have the luxury of a dedicated space with good (natural) lighting; and also a lack of crockery that comes with food styling for food bloggers, so playing around with images from various sources has been most welcome.  Although not an original ideas, it was nice to see that in doing it on my blog that I had inspired other fellow bloggers in doing this too.
Pineapple Jalapeno Salsa 
Makes enough for six servings
Half fresh pineapple, peeled and diced as small as you can
60g fresh coriander, minced
1 small red onion, peeled and minced
1 - 1 1/2 tablespoon jalapenos from a jar, minced including 2 - 4 tablespoons of its liquid (or use 1/2 lemon or lime juice)
Pinch of salt
In a wide bowl, mix all the ingredients together.
Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to eat.
Good for a few days if kept refrigerated.

Friday, 21 April 2017

Green Chili with Welsh Leeks and Edamame Beans

The Welsh leeks season is coming to an end and I thought I'd make the most of it in this big bowl of Green Chile.  
This was not your typical chili as the spice flavours were toned down by the sweetness from all the greens including the leeks. Also the green from the leeks were a bit muted, but were uplifted by the addition of soya and edamame beans and peas (from the freezer) and a final garnish of fresh chives from the garden plot. 
I thought the bowl of Green Chile was going to be mellow from the sweet leeks, so I decided to make a Pineapple and Jalapeno Salsa to go with it.  This uplifted the dish with another dimension of spice and warmth. I will share the recipe for the Pineapple Jalapeno Salsa in the next couple of days. 

I am sharing this Bowl of Green Chili with Eat Your Greens challenge hosted this month by The VegHog - You still have a day to share your #EatYourGreens recipe with the VegHog.  I am also sharing this recipe with My Legume Love Affair hosted by Fix Me A Little Lunch;and sadly for the final time with Healthy Vegan Fridays hosted by Rock My Vegan Socks and V Nutrition.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Parsnip to Beetroot Fudge

A long while back a girl called Harry introduced me to Parsnip Fudge.

The girl in question is Harry Eastwood.  Harry Eastwood is a British celebrity chef and cookbook author of Red Velvet and Chocolate Heartache (2009). Harry Eastwood is perhaps the first veggie desserts food writer and vegetable cookbook author in the UK; and I'd even go as far as to say perhaps the first to go beyond carrot and parsnip cake here, pushing the boundaries of hidden vegetables in cakes, desserts and puddings.  Her cakes are super loaded with vegetables with inviting fantastic names like Heartache Chocolate Cake made with whole aubergines.   She  opened up the imagination of chefs, home cooks and food bloggers that now adding vegetables to cakes, desserts and puddings has become a trend.  Some people still see vegetables in cakes and sweet things as unusual when these days its really not.   
Anyway, after all this high praise, I go and adapt her gorgeous Parsnip Fudge recipe and replace it with bleeding crimson Beetroot, I have been thinking about doing it for a long while and found the motivation to do it finally. So what was the motivation, I am married to a man who likes beetroot.  He also has a sweet tooth, very sweet.  He likes his sweet things more than I do - Yes, even chocolate.  I want to make him happy like he makes me happy, so these were made especially for him (but I have also shared some of them too, just don't tell him). 

By the way, You have to like beetroot to enjoy and appreciate these morsels, if not - I wouldn't even make this as it would be wasted on you, really - just go an eat a toffee fudge instead. 
I was so pleased myself especially as making fudge from scratch is still relatively new to me.  I have made vegan ones many times, but not traditional ones with fattening sickly sweet condensed milk, one of the first being Marmite fudge which was adapted from Green Gourmet Giraffe Vegemite fudge and now this.  The stirring for this beetroot fudge took a little longer, but the result was Amazing, aesthetically and also in flavour.

I have a renewed sense of respect for people who make fudge from scratch now and will not bemoan at how expensive it is when I see it being sold, I will of course support artisan and independent traders.  
Of course you can adapt this Beetroot Fudge recipe like I have further with carrots, sweet potatoes, butternut squash and even greens...I have also been thinking foraged wild weeds and seaweed, yes Seaweed Fudge and its not that unusual as its already been done by Fiona Bird in her cookbook Seaweed in the Kitchen.
You can find the link to the original Parsnip Vanilla fudge recipe below,  I replaced the parsnip with raw chopped beetroot that I blended with some of the condensed milk. My slightly adapted recipe instructions below  are a little simpler, but you will need a high speed powerful food blender.  If you don't have a high speed powerful blender, then fear not - you can still make this with cooked beetroot. I would recommend cooking the beetroot yourself from scratch in a pot, although you could try it with cooked beets (not pickled), my only concern is it may contain more liquid, so its up to you.   I am sharing these homemade crimson Beetroot fudge pieces with CookBlogShare hosted by Recipes Made Easy and Treat Petite hosted by The Baking Explorer and CakeyBoi.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Rutabaga aka Swede Date Cake with Miso Caramel Sauce

This handsome dark Rutabaga Cinnamon Nutmeg Cake has been a long time coming.  I bookmarked it way back in 2010.  For those of us living in the UK, Rutabaga is known as Swede and it is quite an underrated vegetable and also one that causes much debate Is it a Swede or a Turnip... 
I baked this Swede aka Rutabaga Cake on Good Friday.  The original recipe for Rutabaga Spice Cake hails from American Chef Patrick Fahy in an article titled Our chefs can make anything magic, even Rutabagas. I adapted the recipe a little in relation to the spices and the addition of dates.  I also decided to serve it with a lush homemade Miso Caramel Sauce which transformed it from a cake to a pudding mimicking the British Sticky Toffee Pudding found on the menu of most traditional pubs. The idea to serve it with miso caramel sauce came from one of my favourite experimental chefs in the UK Stevie Parle who made a Miso Sticky Tofee Pudding a couple of years back for Christmas eve and I have been wanting to try it for long while. 
Although I have cooked with Swede a lot.  My approach to it was often one of I could take it or leave it, I  found this muted orange waxy root vegetable too sweet in savoury dishes.  I found that like  parsnips and sweet potatoes, that the swede would be better appreciated in a Sweet cake like carrot cake.  So when I started blogging in 2009, it was nice to find some cookbooks and chefs using vegetables in cakes, veggie desserts and puddings.  

Julia Belluz in Globe Life writes an interesting article  Have you Rutabaga Cake and eat it Too.  This is praise to Harry Eastwood, British celebrity chef and cookbook author of Red Velvet and Chocolate Heartache (2009).  Harry Eastwoods 80 cakes are super loaded with vegetables, but the vegetables are hidden under beautiful cake names like Orange and Drizzle Cake which is made with rutabaga, Heartache Chocolate Cake made with whole aubergines and a Victoria Sponge made with Potatoes that you would never know that this is a veggie dessert, veggie pudding and veggie cake cookbook.   Harry Eastwood is perhaps the first Veggie Desserts food writer and vegetable cookbook author in the UK.  She  opened up the imagination of chefs, home cooks and food bloggers alike. 
Other cookbooks I highly recommend with vegetables in cakes are 
 called Vegetable Desserts: Beyond Carrot Cake and Pumpkin Pie by Elizabeth Schafer and Jeanette L Miller (1998).   Much more than carrot cake for sure - a cake called Web of Intrigue described as a beetroot cheesecake.   There is also cabbage, jicama and turnip in cookies and pies.   Greens such as cucumber and peas, as well spinach, nettle and turnip greens in sweet cakes, and much much more.  Its not often obvious by the names of the recipes to what vegetable they have in them, such as Orange Drop cookies and a Mystery Pie which both have beetroot as an ingredient; or Davids Pleasure, a lemony cake which has spinach and turnip greens as the unique ingredient.  Other unusual ingredients in sweet cakes and bakes are tomatoes, onion, peppers and  honey and garlic ice-cream.  And that is not all, the cookbook also contains recipes made with lentils and beans!  I made celery cookies from it a while back. 

There is also an e book called 50 Decadent Vegetable Cake Recipes by Brenda Van Niekerk; and Baking With Vegetables (2015) 
Other Rutabaga Sweet Cake Recipes from around the world
Norwegian Rutabaga Cake with Cream Cheese Topping 
Swedish Rutabaga Cake by Viva City

City Market Rutabaga and Honey Cake
Foodland Ontario Rutabaga and Molasses Cake
Vegan Lovelie Vegan Crust less No Bake Rutabaga Pie Infused with Maple Syrup Cake

Affairs of Living with Gluten Free Honey Cake (2010) also has a fantastic recipe for Rutabaga Vanilla Mash and Rutabaga Apple Salad.

I am sharing this Rutabaga aka Swede Cinnamon Nutmeg and Date Cake with Miso Caramel Sauce with CookBlogShare hosted by Easy Peasy Foodie; and Honest Mum for Brilliant Blog Posts.

Friday, 14 April 2017

Jackfruit Seitan 'Steaks'

Wonderful regular and loyal readers please do not be concerned I have not become 'a meat and two veg' person overnight. This 'Steak' may not look it, but it is 100% vegan it is made with vital wheat gluten (seitan) and jackfruit.
I have been wanting to make Seitan Steaks again for a while and as much as I enjoyed them in the past I found the texture too firm, as well as a little dry.  Then I remembered a while back seeing a few recipes that incorporated jackfruit and seitan together.  I thought this made sense in relation to adding stringy texture to the seitan, but wondered if it also added moisture and decided to have a go at making them.
The finished result was amazing to look at.  I have never in my life eaten a meat steak, but this visually mimicked the real stuff, it was kind of freaky.   Then I tasted it.  It tasted amazing, not at all dry.  In fact it was very moist and the addition of the BBQ sauce on top was not necessary, but it added another level of flavour.  I have to confess, it was way too big for my belly and I could only eat a half, so I have suggested dividing the sietan jackfruit mixture into 6 pieces, than just 4 - but this is up to you. 

I served the Jackfruit Seitan Steaks with Roasted Sweetheart Cabbage and Sweet Potato Wedges. But on another day we had it with oven chips and mushy minted peas. Both times we really enjoyed both the flavour and moist texture of the Jackfruit Seitan 'steaks'.  
I am sharing this big plate of food with Jackfruit Seitan 'Steaks' with Healthy Vegan Fridays by Rock My Vegan Socks and V Nutrition.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

From Weed to Dinner Plate: Eating Dandelion Leaves

The weather was fantastic over the weekend and like many people with gardens or allotment plots, I was out working in mine.  Between the two of us, we got loads done including a lot of weeding including dandelions.

The potatoes have gone in.  I have sowed many seeds.  The seeds I sowed two weeks ago have germinated, tomatoes, courgettes, chard, broad beans and some have not.  I will up-date my Sowing The Seeds page to let you know what I am attempting to grow this year, but today, I am sharing my dinner plate of vegan meatballs on a bed of wilted dandelion leaves.
 I was inspired by a recipe for Fried Dandelion Greens with Lemon and Garlic Potatoes I saw in Street Vegan by Adam Sobel.  My food presentation is not good, a little corny I think but the finished dish was delicious.  The meatballs were zinging and the spicy herby coating infuse the crispy brown exterior of the veggie meatballs.  The sauteed dandelion greens were not at all bitter, but the flavour was completely transformed.
Other Wild Week Recipes on Allotment2Kitchen
Wild Weed 'Eccles' Cake
Wild Weed Tortilla
Stinging Nettle Hummus
Stinging Nettle Gnocchi
Stinging Nettle Risotto

Foraging Eyes

Monday, 10 April 2017

Marrow Curd Pistachio Cake

Over the weekend, I was going  through my larder, well its not really a larder I pretend it is.  Its just space under the stairs where I store excess things mostly from the kitchen as space in the kitchen comes at a premium, so things like my Kitchenaid Food Processor and Kitchen Aid Artisan Mixer (both Birthday presents from D many years back) live under the stairs.  As I was fumbling about I came across the box that contained loads of homemade jars of preserves, jams and chutneys that I made last year including a Marrow Curd.  

I decided to approach the jar of Marrow Curd in the way I would approach Lemon Curd, so this cake is really a Lemon Pistachio cake with the lemon curd substituted with homemade marrow curd.
I guess you can make this Marrow Curd Pistachio Cake with other fancy pants curds like blackberry curd, strawberry curd, clementine curd, banana curd and many others  - experiment, but then make sure you match the fruit or vegetable curd with a nut that compliments it.
This Marrow Curd Pistachio Cake was delicious, I mean really delicious.  If you look close at the above photograph, you will see a thin line of the marrow curd.    I just wish the green from the pistachio nuts came through too, but it certainly did in flavour.  

Friday, 7 April 2017

Black Rainbow Chard Chili Beans

I harvested some rainbow chard from the garden plot at the weekend.  

I decided to make something I consider to be easy fare, a vegetarian and vegan black bean chili with the addition of rainbow chard.  
This Black Bean Chili was surprisingly quite nice with the addition of effectively what are just greens, albeit colourful rainbow chard greens.  
The black comes from the beans known as turtle beans.  Normally, I prefer chili a day or two later when the flavours have matured.  But this time, we ate it the same day as it was made and a day later and it was good to eat.  
I am sharing a bowl of this Black Bean Rainbow Chard Chili with Healthy Vegan Fridays by Rock My Vegan Socks and V Nutrition;  Cook Once Eat Twice hosted by Searching For Spice. and finally CookBlogShare hosted by Hijacked by Twins.

Other Black Bean Chili recipes you will find on my blog

Beetroot Black Bean Chili
Chocolate and Black Beans Chili
Pineapple and Black Beans Stew
Pumpkin, Black Beans and Leek Chili
Smoky Black Beans
Red Pepper and Black Beans Chili

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Black Butter and Charcoal Biscuits In My Kitchen

Mostly black things in my kitchen this month.  

This was not intentional, but more of a shopping happy accident - for some reason there seemed to be an overwhelming selection of dark edible things in my kitchen and I have no idea why, especially as Halloween is way off and I don't even have a black supper menu planned either, well not until now. 
Let me begin with this jar of Black Butter that I picked up the last time I was in Bristol from the a pop up market.  It is made from apples, cider, clack treacle, licorice and spices. This Black Butter is suitable for both vegetarians and vegans.   Its a jammy product that could compliment both sweet and savoury dishes.  If you like the sound of this, then you may also like to my homemade Sweet Black Sesame Seed Butter too. 

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Beetroot Chocolate Brownies for Family and Friends

Chocolate Beetroot Brownies were all the rage and quite popular four - five years ago.  In fact hidden vegetables in cakes, vegetables in desserts, vegetables in pudding  and vegetables in sweets because quite trendy.  Chefs, experimental home cooks and food bloggers started throwing in different vegetables and then it was made out to be 'oh my goodness this is so original and a new concept and discovery', when in fact the idea of putting vegetables in cakes, desserts and puddings had been around many, many years. 

People have been eating carrot cake, parsnip cake and sweet potato pies for years , but hey we food bloggers  and I do not exclude myself from this like to some times think we created something unique when we throw in a cauliflower, a bit of spinach or even beetroot, when its actually quite an old idea.  One thing you can guarantee someone, somewhere has already done it, not everything appears on websites.  Many of these delicious hidden sweet vegetable recipes can be found in old cookbooks, published in other parts of the world and in different languages too, not everything is in English. 
I made these Chocolate Beetroot Brownies a couple of months back when  a good work colleague reminded me that I had promised her Beetroot cake'.  Shortly after, I made some Chocolate Beetroot Brownies for her.  she was delighted.    She was given a very generous slice.  
In fact this recipe makes a lot, that I also ended up sharing some with family and other friends.  I am sharing some of these Chocolate Beetroot Brownies with We Should Cocoa Challenge; and and Treat Petite hosted by The Baking Explorer and CakeyBoi.

Saturday, 1 April 2017

March #EatYoursGreens Round Up

April has crept up on me so quickly.  March was really busy for me for some reason its come and gone.  Gosh time does fly when your busy
We have  6 gorgeous green recipes  to share for #EatYourGreens. 
The first Eat Your Greens recipe comes from Gluten Free Alchemist.  Kate brought to the table an Iron Rich Spinach and Parsley Green Houmous.  This gorgeous  green houmous is super simple if you have all the ingredients to hand and is very very versatile - try it spread on crispy bread or simply dip in.
The second recipe comes from VNutrition, Mary Ellen shares with us her vegan version of a classic Irish dish - Colcannon.  This velvety soup is made with potatoes and kale, perfect for St Patrick's Day or any other time of the year.  And guess what the natural creaminess comes from cashew nuts!
Laura from Touch Wood joins us with her hearty and nutritious bowl of Leek Potato and Spinach Soup.  Wow, don't you want to tuck in.  I also love how Laura has garnished her soup with avocado slices, yogurt, oil and flax seeds.

From Lisa's Kitchen we have a Spicy Brown Lentil Soup with Broccoli. This is a nourishing and warming bowl.  I do love how the broccoli is strewn over the pebbly lentils in little pieces giving this Lentil soup additional vegetable goodness.
The Veg Hog my lovely co-host was inspired by a recipe in Mat Follas cookbook Vegetable Perfection.  She shared with us a vegetarian Green Gnocchi made with Kale.  Kale is my favourite green and these gnocchi bite delight with colour and flavour covered in a crispy sage butter sauce, as well as an additional tomato garlic sauce and a baked cheese twirl.
And finally, my own contribution which was a  Black Kale and Chickpea Pot Pies.  I had a busy March like I said earlier and was really worried whether I would participate in my own challenge, but did manage it Thank goodness.  

Thank you so much to everyone who contributed to #EatYourGreens, please do take time to visit and comment on every contributors recipe if you can, I know it will be appreciated.   The #EatYourGreens challenge in April will be hosted by my blogging co-host The Veg Hog,  Follow this link on how to participate.