Vegan, Vegan Main Dishes, Vegan on a Shoestring, Vegan Quick Suppers

Thai Coconut and Vegetable Stew. Vegan.

A deliciously simple throw it together sort of meal…zinging with Thai flavours …and infinitely adaptable.

I actually bought a fresh coconut for this, but a tin of coconut milk will do just fine.

However, there’s no doubt that fresh coconut adds extra texture and freshness of flavour to this dish.

Whatever vegetables you have around should work…mushrooms, cauliflower, greens, potatoes, sweetcorn, pumpkin….etc….etc…….

I used french beans, carrots and sweet potato.

thai vegetable and coconut stew + flatbreads

It’s the spices and flavourings that make this dish work …over and over and over….again…

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THAI COCONUT AND VEGETABLE STEW

Serves 2-3

Ingredients:   Continue reading “Thai Coconut and Vegetable Stew. Vegan.”

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Cakes, Vegan, Vegan Treats

Sfouf. A Traditional Lebanese Semolina and Almond Cake. (+ a cup of green tea)

When I’m not keeping up with the humdrum  stuff of daily life, or cooking up some new recipe for this blog, I try and write….stories…..  If I get the time, it’s usually mid-afternoon, and with a slice of Sfouf and a cup of  Green Tea, my creative brain has a chance to flourish…ha …sometimes …

Sfouf is a lovely, yellow, spiced semolina and almond cake. The primary spice is Aniseed. Anise is an ancient spice, long cultivated in the Mediterranean Region.  It has a sweet  aromatic character, a little like liquorice.  Medicinally, Anise is thought to have a carminative effect, and is often taken as tea, as well as being used to flavour confectionery and cakes.

Sfouf also includes turmeric, ground almonds and sesame.

It’s traditionally made without eggs, the only vegan adaptation here is the use of non-dairy milk.

A word of warning, I’m not fond of overly sweet flavours, so in my Sfouf recipe version, I have reduced the ‘standard’ amount of sugar by a third, and added extra aniseed…..

You may well want to add a little more sugar …     it’s up to you, maybe up to about 50gms. more?

Sfouf means ‘rows’, so in the spirit of its name, I have made Sfouf in a square tin.

Finally, use a tin about 28-30cm square, as if the tin is too small, the cake will struggle rise properly, and will not easily set in the middle…

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Sfouf.

Lebanese Almond, Semolina and Anise Cake.

Vegan.

12-16 pieces thereabouts…

Ingredients:   Continue reading “Sfouf. A Traditional Lebanese Semolina and Almond Cake. (+ a cup of green tea)”

Vegan, Vegan Main Dishes

Kulebjaka. Russian Cabbage Pie + Sautéed Garlic Potatoes + Vegan Sour Cream.

I know that in colder climes, the only vegetable that stands proud and unruffled in the midst of snow and frost, is the winter cabbage. Oh…and leeks …but that’s for another time… I know this because I have an allotment.

In the frosts and snow, there are the winter cabbages, looking a lot like triffids, impervious to the cold temperatures.

I can only imagine that in the snowier regions of Russia, cabbage fields abound.  Which is probably why Russian cookbooks provide so many fabulous and interesting cabbage dishes.

Despite the globalisation of food, and our desire to have varied diet, I have a soft spot for eating vegetables that are seasonal.  Flavoured with seasonal herbs. It feels right somehow.

This dish is there to warm you on the coldest and the snowiest of days.  Warming and comforting and inherently good.   I am in love with cabbage pie.

kulebjaka and garlic potatoes with sour cream

Cabbage, salt and lots of pepper, are, in my humble opinion, a match made in heaven.

Sautéed with onion, wrapped in a soft light bread dough, and, on this occasion, served with Russian-style, boiled, sautéed potatoes tossed in plenty of garlic and vegan-butteriness. And a dollop of vegan sour cream.

 A winter’s feast.

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KULEBJAKA

Russian Cabbage Pie, with Sautéed Garlic Potatoes and Vegan Sour Cream

Serves 6

Ingredients:   Continue reading “Kulebjaka. Russian Cabbage Pie + Sautéed Garlic Potatoes + Vegan Sour Cream.”

Japanese Inspired Dishes, Macrobiotic Recipes, Quick Suppers For Two, Vegan, Vegan Main Dishes

Sautéed Marinaded Tofu with Arame + Nori Seaweed in Miso Sauce on Steamed Rice. Japanese flavours. Vegan.

A simple and thoroughly revitalising dish.  Japanese flavours.

Think trace elements, enzymes and minerals….think goodness…

You can feel it doing you good the minute you eat it…

sautéed tofu in miso sauce with toasted nori

Quick and easy to put together… (marinade tofu in advance – all day is fine)

Here’s how….

TOFU IN MISO SAUCE WITH TOASTED NORI

Quick supper for 2

Continue reading “Sautéed Marinaded Tofu with Arame + Nori Seaweed in Miso Sauce on Steamed Rice. Japanese flavours. Vegan.”

Preserving, Vegan

Zen and the Lost Art of making Marmalade.

It’s January, and Seville oranges are making their brief appearance in the shops and on the market stalls.

Marmalade time!

marmalade on toast..

Oranges are not the only fruit when it comes to making marmalade , but they are the best,  and Spanish Seville Oranges are the Rolls Royce of marmalade oranges….

a bowl of seville oranges

Marmalade has a long and interesting history, the first recipe that has a similarity to marmalade as we know it today goes back to the sixteenth century.  Before that, the word marmalade, was more often associated with quince, as marmelo is the portuguese word for quince, and marmelada was  a form of quince paste or quince cheese.

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Making marmalade does need a meditative state of mind. It takes time.  It takes endless repetition.  It won’t be rushed. But it is definitely and undeniably, worth it.

The first thing to do is buy the seville oranges.  Now.  Don’t delay.  The season is short.  Look for organic ones, because non-organic orange peel can be dowsed liberally in pesticides which you don’t really want in your marmalade….

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Making Seville Orange Marmalade

You need:    Continue reading “Zen and the Lost Art of making Marmalade.”

All About Beans, Vegan, Vegan Ingredients, Vegan Main Dishes

Columbian Bean and Plantain Stew + Fried Plantain. Vegan.

There are probably very few countries on the planet that don’t have a traditional bean stew recipe.  And then, within countries, there are many regional variations.  Many of them already vegan, or extremely simple to ‘veganise’.

Beans are easy to grow, and easy to store.  Whether you use dried or tinned, they will always soak up whatever spices, herbs and other flavourings you offer them.

Here is my adaptation of a Columbian Bean and Plantain Stew + Fried Plantains and steamed rice.  To my mind, cooking is always about flavour combinations, and this stew uses a combination of herbs and spices known as ‘Sazon’.

As to the method, the beans and vegetables are cooked gently and slowly in the seasonings, and then a sizzling Hogado is added toward the end of cooking.  The Hogado is similar to a Tarka in Asian cooking.

Columbian Bean Stew + Fried Plantain. Vegan

 

The seasoning is easy enough to make, there is only one ingredient I didn’t have, which is Annatto.

The scent of Annatto is described as “slightly peppery with a hint of nutmeg” and the flavor as “slightly nutty, sweet and peppery”.  I must track some down.

Recipe ‘Sazon’ Seasoning (with or without Annatto):*   Continue reading “Columbian Bean and Plantain Stew + Fried Plantain. Vegan.”

Vegan, Vegan Ingredients, Vegan Treats

The Wonder of Turmeric. Spiced Cocoa. Vegan.

organic turmeric

Wherever you look, the benefits and wonders of turmeric are described.  From Ayurvedic Medicine to 21st century science, turmeric gets nothing but gold stars.

Google ‘turmeric’ and lists and lists of benefits can be found.

Recipes for ‘Golden Milk’ abound, and here is my adaptation on a little cup of heaven that I take just about every day.   Continue reading “The Wonder of Turmeric. Spiced Cocoa. Vegan.”

Vegan

Can Diet Alone Cure Diseases?

Worth watching: Forks over Knives….official trailer.

My Non-Toxic Life

apple“When food is wrong, medicine is of no use. When food is right, medicine is of no need.” Anonymous

There is a lot of evidence that suggests a plant-based diet can significantly reduce the risk of developing heart disease, cancer and diabetes. I urge you to look at Forks Over Knives, The China Study, and Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease. I’m not asking you to make a full and sudden change in your diet, but maybe see what resonates with you and your specific situation.

I lowered my cholesterol by 100 points over seven months without any medication by switching to a whole foods, plant-based diet. My journey has been a process. If you go back to the beginning of my blogs you will see that I ate dairy and a little bit of humanely raised meat. Everyone comes to what they need in their own time. Maybe your journey…

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Mediterranean Dishes, Vegan, Vegan Main Dishes

Crispy Slices of Polenta, + Broccoli and Watercress Sauce with Roasted Garlicky Mushrooms. Vegan.

I still seem to be finding my inspiration from the Mediterranean right now.  Must be an antidote to grey January days and the prospect of snow….brrr…

Here is a delicious combination, with Italian flavours running all the way through it.

fried polenta+ broccoli and watercress sauce + garlicky mushrooms

This is a great dish to prepare in advance, as the polenta needs to be cooked, cooled and sliced before its fried.  The broccoli sauce can be made in advance and just warmed through with an optional swirl of soya cream.

Which, when the time comes,  just leaves the mushrooms to roast in a serious amount of garlic and the polenta to fry in a little oil.  That’s what I call organise..ised….!

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          CRISPY HERBED POLENTA WITH A BROCCOLI AND WATER CRESS SAUCE + GARLICKY MUSHROOMmmmmms…..

For 4

Ingredients:   Continue reading “Crispy Slices of Polenta, + Broccoli and Watercress Sauce with Roasted Garlicky Mushrooms. Vegan.”

Mediterranean Dishes, Pizza, Vegan, Vegan Main Dishes

Olive and Asparagus Pizza with Spelt Flour Pizza Base. Vegan.

The other day I bought a big jar of pitted black olives in brine very cheaply.  Greek olives.

I fancied pizza, and I thought it would be nice to chop the olives finely and spread on the dough base before adding other toppings.  It worked really well.  I will do it again. Personally, I don’t like an overloaded pizza.  This makes a pizza roughly 45cms. x25cms.

I used spelt flour as it is lower in gluten (but not gluten-free) and has a good flavour.  Spelt is my go-to flour of choice for bread as well.  Use whatever flour you prefer…

…or ready-made  pizza bases for convenience…

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vegan pizza tray bake

Here’s what I did.

OLIVE AND ASPARAGUS PIZZA

for 4

Ingredients:   Continue reading “Olive and Asparagus Pizza with Spelt Flour Pizza Base. Vegan.”