The skies are grey today. Steely grey. Mid-winter grey.
And it’s pouring with rain.
Time to curl up with a good book, and a slice of Tropical Banoffee Pie…..
Straight from the 1970’s, revamped + veganised: with a ginger crunch biscuit base, date puree, dark muscovado + coconut cream ‘dulce de leche’ caramelised sauce: infused with vanilla and lime, lemon and lime soaked bananas and coconut whipped cream….(with an optional dash of rum)……
A delicious dish, befitting of mid-winter, comforting and heart-warming, an old-fashioned stew using a classic combination: pearl barley, leeks, potatoes and rosemary. Veganised. Optional extra: fluffy, savoury, sage, vegan dumplings.
Barley was one of the first cultivated grains, and is now grown widely and found in many styles of cuisine. Recipes for barley broth of one kind or another can be found dating back many centuries…and in many parts of the globe…
This stew is simple to make and very moreish…..
No fancy ingredients, just good basic, economical home cooking, and a fab. use of seasonal herbs.
I love this stew.
PEARL BARLEY, ROSEMARY, LEEK AND POTATO STEW, WITH SAGE SAVOURY DUMPLINGS
Before I realised that vegan was the only way I could eat, and live on this planet peaceably at the same time, I was a serious tea drinker. And by that I mean black tea and cow’s milk. The only occasions I didn’t drink tea prior to being vegan, were the numerous periods I spent in France, where they have no idea about tea whatsoever. Lipton’s….. lol.
Back then, even my nearest and dearest were surprised by the number of mugs of tea I could drink in a day….. which is why I’m so very pleased to have found Pukka Herb Teas.
I’m not being paid for writing this, if you’re wondering….but I can see no reason not to mention, on a ‘how to be vegan and never give up’ sort of blog, what I consider to be a really pukka herb tea company. It’s based in the UK. Continue reading “. .Tea. . § .Vegan.”→
“The eating of meat extinguishes the seed of great compassion.”~ The Buddha Mahaparinirvana Sutra
Amidst the recent furore about the possible carcinogenic aspects of bacon, accompanied by all sorts of vitriol, I though I’d put in my own word for pigs….and for tempeh.
Pigs are intelligent, sociable, funny, friendly, and clever…and billions of them are suffering everyday because of the insatiable demand for bacon.
Intensive farming, which is how over half the pigs on the planet are now farmed, causes untold suffering.
In the name of compassion, why can’t we just leave pigs alone?
On a different note, I can honestly say that in the last few years before I made the break and became vegan, I stopped eating bacon anyway, simply because it wasn’t nice. Chewy, watery, and tasteless. So what’s all the fuss about?
Meanwhile, the future is vegan.
I personally think that marinaded, fried tempeh makes a splendid vegan alternative to bacon. It’s robust, textural and easy to use.
Tempeh is one of those ingredients that in the west, you are fairly unlikely to come across until you become a vegan. It originates from Indonesia. It’s made by turning whole soya beans into a solid, firm, cake-like slab, using a natural fermentation process involving oligosporus culture. It doesn’t look so appetising right now, but don’t be put off! The grey flecks occur naturally as a result of the fermentation process.
So there’s the science bit.
The first thing I need to say is that it can be hard to get hold of. Far harder than Tofu, which is a shame, because it’s a very useful and versatile ingredient to have in a vegan repertoire. I like it very much. It has an interesting texture, and is quite robust. It soaks up flavoursome marinades in the same way as tofu, and can therefore play a part in many different styles of food.
Recently we came across a small co-operative whole food shop in a tiny village in southern England, and they had some! So I bought 6 blocks to freeze.
Further to my previous post :Egyptian Mezze, I thought I’d try a simple Egyptian stew that traditionally, is served with poached eggs baked in the stew. (Shakshouka)
I decided to replace the eggs with a slice of marinaded fried tempeh, and I think it was quite delicious, and so I made a blog of it.
The key to cooking tempeh, before you do anything else, is to relax it, in a nice hot bath 🙂
Place the slab of tempeh in a saucepan of water that has been brought to the boil, and then reduce the heat to absolute minimum, so it’s not even simmering, and leave the tempeh in it for 15-2o mins. Remove the tempeh from the pan, and pat dry with kitchen towel.
It is now ready for a marinade.
For this recipe, I sliced the 227gms. slab of tempeh (defrosted if necessary), in half, reserved half in tupperware and refrigerated for future use. (Must be used within 3 days….mmm…I foresee a tempeh baken sandwich in the morning ….yes! )
227gms. slab of tempeh
tempeh – cut once
tempeh – cut twice
tempeh – four slices to marinade and fry
tempeh – the final slices
I then sliced the remaining half in half again, and then into four thin slices, by cutting through the middle of the two pieces sideways, as you would cut through a bread roll. So I ended up with four thin square pieces, and half in reserve.
Ingredients for the marinade:
Juice of a lemon
2 tbs.olive oil
1tsp. coarse ground black pepper
2tsps. smoked paprika
3 tsps. ground cumin
4-5 tbs. water
1 tsp salt
Mix everything together and immerse the tempeh slices,cut side down, in the marinade.
Leave for 2-3 hours, or even overnight.
Paprika, Pepper and Tomato stew, a wonderful addition to this Egyptian-Style Mezze.
Despite controversy, there seems to be reasonable certainty that falafel may well have originated in Egypt, and were made using Fava Beans. Fava Beans are a type of Broad Bean, and are grown in many countries.
In fact, I’ve just sown some at my allotment, as certain varieties over-winter happily, and beat the dreaded blackfly that make an appearance in June. ( But that’s another story).
Another random fact: according to Wikipedia: the word falafel originates from “The word Falāfil (Arabic: فلافل), which is the plural of Filfil (فلفل), meaning “pepper”.
Below is my recipe for Broad Bean Patties, with lots of delicious ingredients and plenty of coarse ground black pepper. They don’t need veganising, as they always have been, and always will be: vegan.
I love a mezze; so many different flavours and tastes to conjure with so I decided to accompany the patties with my very own homemade pitta bread (which puts all shop-bought pitta in the shade, believe me), a cucumber salad in a minted tahini yogurt dressing, finely chopped spinach, and sharp cucumber pickles.
A feast of greenness.
Unlike some versions of Fava Falafel, I have used frozen baby broad beans, primarily for convenience.
BROAD BEAN PATTIES AND A SIMPLE GREEN MEZZE
cucumber salad in a minted non-dairy yogurt+ tahini dressing