Burgers and Patties, Vegan, Vegan Ingredients, Vegan Main Dishes

Jerk Tempeh

 

Jerk refers to a style of cooking, usually of meat, that originates in Jamaica.

Marinaded in a hot spicy paste, that traditionally includes scotch bonnet chillies and allspice.

In the spirit of all things vegan, I thought I would try it with tempeh, which is good at soaking up flavours if you treat it right. It worked really well, so here’s what I did.

Just a quick note – particularly for anyone who hasn’t come across tempeh before, because it is a great addition to a varied vegan repertoire …this is what Wikipedia says about tempeh:

Tempeh (/ˈtɛmpeɪ/; Javanese: témpé, Javanese pronunciation: [tempe]) is a traditional soy product originating from Indonesia. It is made by a natural culturing and controlled fermentation process that binds soybeans into a cake form. Tempeh is unique among major traditional soy foods in that it is the only one that did not originate from Greater Chinese cuisine.

It originated in today’s Indonesia, and is especially popular on the island of Java, where it is a staple source of protein. Like tofu, tempeh is made from soybeans, but it is a whole soybean product with different nutritional characteristics and textural qualities. Tempeh’s fermentation process and its retention of the whole bean give it a higher content of protein, dietary fiber, and vitamins. It has a firm texture and an earthy flavor, which becomes more pronounced as it ages. Because of its nutritional value, tempeh is used worldwide in vegetarian cuisine, where it is used as a meat analogue.

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Tempeh is much sturdier than tofu, and it’s therefore a great ingredient to use in this recipe, as whether you griddle it (as I have) or barbecue it, it should withstand this style of cooking without falling apart, as long as you don’t slice it too thin.

In the UK, slabs of tempeh are usually bought frozen.  To prepare it for cooking: defrost, and then submerge it in a dish of warm water for about 15 mins.  This will ‘relax’ the tempeh, allowing it to absorb the flavours of the marinade.

It will sit in the marinade all day, but marinade it for at least 3 hours for good results.

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JERK TEMPEH

Serves 4

Ingredients:  Continue reading “Jerk Tempeh”

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Burgers and Patties, Vegan, Vegan Ingredients, Vegan Main Dishes

Savoury Seacakes with Carrot and Parsnip chips, Peas in a Pea Sauce and Caper Mayo.

 

What we are doing to the oceans and its inhabitants is nothing short of criminal.

We are plundering the seas and leaving them empty and dying.  We are chucking our insane piles of rubbish into the ocean as though it was simply our own personal garbage bin.  We are destroying the balance of the extraordinary and complex eco-systems of the oceans, and thereby desecrating the planet as a whole.  We, as a race, are apparently unstoppable….and yet millions of people are working at turning this behaviour around.

I am truly in awe of, and grateful to,  all those on the front line trying to defend our seas: conservationists, cove monitors, sea-farers and fund-raisers….and many many more…

I am also glad to hear that the Taiji drive hunt season is officially over, until next September at least.

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Here is my small oceanic offering, my ‘food for peace’. In the light of all the brutality and destruction.

Savoury Seaweed cakes, with a few classic flavours: lemon, mustard, capers, horseradish and mayonnaise.  And also accompanied by just the faintest scent of sea air…….

Seacakes with peas in a pea sauce and carrot and parsnip chips + caper mayo!

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But first, a brief introduction to seaweed.

Clock-wise starting top left: Arame. Nori sheet. Wakame. Dulse.

Continue reading “Savoury Seacakes with Carrot and Parsnip chips, Peas in a Pea Sauce and Caper Mayo.”

Vegan, Vegan Ingredients, Vegan Main Dishes

Tibetan Momo + Achar Dipping Sauce.

Here’s a really nice way to use Seitan.  I bought some the other day, I was intrigued…. and since then I’ve spent some time looking for ways to use it in an interesting way….and I think I’ve found one!  Momo!

steamed basmati + vegan seitan momo + achar sauce

These Vegan Momo are filled with ground Seitan, onions and shredded cabbage, and served with a seriously hot Achar dipping sauce.

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Regarding Seitan:  According to Wikipedia: 

Wheat gluten, also called seitan (Japanese: セイタン), wheat meat, gluten meat, or simply gluten, is a food made from gluten, the main protein of wheat. It is made by washing wheat flour dough with water until all the starch granules have been removed, leaving the sticky insoluble gluten as an elastic mass which is then cooked before being eaten.

Wheat gluten is an alternative to soybean-based foods such as tofu, which are sometimes used as meat substitutes. Some types of wheat gluten have a chewy or stringy texture that resembles meat more than other substitutes. Wheat gluten is often used instead of meat in Asian, vegetarian, Buddhist, and macrobiotic cuisines. Mock duck is a common use for wheat gluten.

Wheat gluten first appeared during the 6th century as an ingredient for Chinese noodles. It has historically been popular in the cuisines of China, Japan and other East and Southeast Asian nations. In Asia, it is commonly found on the menus of restaurants catering primarily to Buddhist customers who do not eat meat.

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I don’t miss meat, and therefore have little reason to seek out ingredients that have a resemblance to meat, but in the name of exploration, and wanting to have a varied and full vegan diet, I thought I’d try it.

The vegetarian Momo recipes I’ve come across all seem to feature tofu, but I thought that a Momo dumpling would be an ideal use for Seitan …… and I think, having concocted this recipe and tested it …… it is.

Momo traditionally tend to be a little bland, but the sauces they dip them in are full of flavour.

I made a traditional Achar Tomato and Chilli dipping sauce, using Green Chillies.

I love the pure, fresh heat of green chillies: it has an almost citrus tang, and goes very well with tomatoes.  Such a clean fiery chilli hit.   Fabulous.

Vegan Seitan Tibetan Momos+ Achar Sauce

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Here what to do:

TIBETAN MOMO + ACHAR DIPPING SAUCE

Makes 18-20: should be enough for 4

Ingredients:   Continue reading “Tibetan Momo + Achar Dipping Sauce.”

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.”

Burgers and Patties, Salads, Vegan, Vegan Ingredients, Vegan Main Dishes

Cauliflower and Millet Croquettes served two ways: with melon, pomegranate and radish salad / or in a tomato and pea sauce. Vegan.

millet and cauliflower croquettes in a spiced tomato sauce

Millet is a wonderful grain.

millet

It has a long and interesting history : according to Wikipedia:

“Some of the earliest evidence of millet cultivation in China was found at Cishan (north). Cishan dates for common millet husk phytoliths and biomolecular components have been identified around 8300–6700 BC in storage pits along with remains of pit-houses, pottery, and stone tools related to millet cultivation. Evidence at Cishan for foxtail millet dates back to around 6500 BC. A 4,000-year-old well-preserved bowl containing well-preserved noodles made from foxtail millet and broomcorn millet was found at the Lajia archaeological site in China.

Palaeoethnobotanists have found evidence of the cultivation of millet in the Korean Peninsula dating to the Middle Jeulmun pottery period (around 3500–2000 BC). Millet continued to be an important element in the intensive, multicropping agriculture of the Mumun pottery period (about 1500–300 BC) in Korea. Millets and their wild ancestors, such as barnyard grass and panic grass, were also cultivated in Japan during the Jōmon period some time after 4000 BC.

Millet made its way from China to the Black Sea region of Europe by 5000 BC.The cultivation of common millet as the earliest dry crop in East Asia has been attributed to its resistance to drought,[4] and this has been suggested to have aided its spread.

Pearl Millet was domesticated in the Sahel region of West Africa, where it’s wild ancestors are found. Evidence for the cultivation of Pearl Millet in Mali dates back to 2500 BC,and Pearl Millet is found in South Asia by 2300 BC.”

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It’s not difficult to cook, but it can turn sticky or soggy if it’s not cooked properly.  Millet is also rich in minerals, particularly magnesium, and can offer many health benefits.  It’s easy to digest, versatile to use, and is a great addition to a varied vegan diet.

Below is my recipe for baked millet and cauliflower croquettes, delicately spiced, and served two ways: with a fruity salad or in a spicy tomato and pea sauce.

MILLET AND CAULIFLOWER CROQUETTES

Makes 10-12 croquettes

Ingredients:   Continue reading “Cauliflower and Millet Croquettes served two ways: with melon, pomegranate and radish salad / or in a tomato and pea sauce. Vegan.”

All About Beans, Vegan Ingredients, Vegan Main Dishes, Vegan on a Shoestring

East African Bean Stew + Sautéed Savoy Cabbage. Vegan.

I have come across different versions of beans cooked in coconut milk from Tanzania, Kenya, and Ethiopia, all countries on the east coast of Africa.   Below is my recipe for a simple and delicious vegan variation….using home grown beans. And it’s delicious….

bean and coconut milk stew….+ sautéed savoy…

Beans are a large part of a sensible vegan diet, as they provide the essential amino acids that human beings need, and are otherwise found in meat and dairy produce.

I’m lucky, I have an allotment and grow my own beans, and there is nothing quite like a freshly dried bean.  They’re easy to grow, and are actually quite decorative when they’re flowering, with pretty blossoms in various colours such as orange, white and purple, depending on the type of bean.  They also don’t take up too much space as they grow up rather than out! They can be picked at various stages: young fresh green beans when you eat pods’n all.  Flageolet, when the beans are quite advanced in size, but still soft and green: and can be podded and used fresh or dried. And the final stage, when the pods have died on the vine, and the big fat beans are harvested and dried.

dried beans

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHere is my previous post in celebration of beans : )   (click image for link)

With dried beans, I soak them, cook them in batches and then freeze, that way I always have beans on hand when I need them….

However, buying the best quality dried beans you can find, or opening a tin or two, will work just fine for this recipe.

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EAST AFRICAN BEAN STEW

Serves 4

can be served with rice or flatbreads

INGREDIENTS:   Continue reading “East African Bean Stew + Sautéed Savoy Cabbage. Vegan.”

Vegan, Vegan Ingredients

. .Tea. . § .Vegan.

 

tea

 

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.

pukka 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.”

Breakfast, Vegan, Vegan Ingredients, Vegan Snacks

TBLT…tempeh ‘baken’, lettuce and tomato sandwich…the future is vegan….

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“The eating of meat extinguishes the seed of great compassion.”~
The Buddha
Mahaparinirvana Sutra

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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.

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TEMPEH ‘BAKEN’ SARNIES WITH TRIMMINGS

So here’s how to do it:   Continue reading “TBLT…tempeh ‘baken’, lettuce and tomato sandwich…the future is vegan….”