I keep seeing the words “Choose vegan” and wincing. Surley you choose to go vegan? But then I thought how fitting it would be to tweak John Hodge’s poem written for the film Trainspotting:
Choose Life. Choose a compassionate job. Choose an ethical career. Choose a kind-hearted family. Choose a fucking big heart, choose cruelty-free washing powder, no leather seats in cars, compact disc players to listen to Morrissey and tin openers for your chick peas. Choose exceptional good health, low cholesterol and less cancer. Choose ethical investments. Choose a forever home suitable for rescued animals. Choose your friends – carefully. Choose leisurewear and matching luggage, no leather, wool or silk. Choose a three-piece suite in a range of fucking cruelty-free fabrics. Choose DIY and knowing who the fuck you are on a Sunday morning. Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-expanding, spirit-lifting documentaries, stuffing vegan junk food into your mouth. Choose dancing and laughing to the end of it all, embracing all life in a happy home, more than an inspiration to the angry activists you encouraged to replace yourself.
Choose your planet’s future.
Adapted from a recipe by Bosh. This is really cheap to make! I used half a block of Cauldron Food plain tofu (about 75p’s worth!). The tofu comes out crispy and sweet with a kick of chilli and salty tamari. It’s a bit fiddly but well worth it.
- 1/2 a block of plain tofu, chopped into little finger-sized sticks
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1 tbs of sweet chilli sauce or chilli jam
- A large squirt of Sriacha (hot chilli sauce)
- 3 tbsp tamari (or soya sauce)
- 1 squirt of tomato puree
- 1 small sachet of sugar (like you get in cafes)
- Vegetable oil
- Black onion (nigella) seeds and sesame seeds
- Coat the tofu stick in cornflour by sprinkling the flour through a sieve onto the tofu then turning the sticks over until evenly coated.
- Put the orange juice, sweet chilli sauce, Sriacha, tamari and sugar in a big flat frying pan (cast iron if you have one) and cook down to a thick sauce.
- Fry the flour-covered tofu sticks in hot vegetable oil until they begin to brown.
- Transfer the tofu into the pan containing the sauce and coat the sticks until they are all covered.
- Serve with rice and stir-fried vegetables.
- Sprinkle black onion and sesame seeds on the tofu.
This recipe is adapted from the Sea Shepherd book Cooking up a Storm. The authors says, when weather calms down, a nice big bowl of piping hot soup is the perfect way to warm up a fellow crew member who has spent a long day zigzagging around the ice, harassing whale poachers.
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ½ onion, finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 6 cups (about 30) button mushrooms, finely diced
- 2 ½ tsp fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried thyme
- 3 cups of water or stock made with vegan Boullion
- 1 cup dry white wine
- ½ cup vegan cream
- Freshly ground white pepper
Heat the oil in a pan and fry the onion, garlic until soft. Add the mushrooms and cook for 10-15mins then add the water/stock, wine and season to taste. Cook for a further 10 minutes then blend. Serve with a swirl of vegan cream and some flat leaf parsley.
So Quorn have increased their vegan range to include ‘Fishless Fingers’. My lovely vegan friends who live in the next street to me picked some up and gave me a packet! They are quite fishy (although for me it’s been a while) and a bit denser than Vbites fish fingers. Nice in a sandwich with ketchup or with mash and peas. Well done Quorn, I’m hoping you’ll drop the eggyness from all your foods now.
Day 30 in the 2016 VeganMoFo: Food Gifts – Do you like to give food as a gift? Or receive? Show/tell us!
Every year my fella makes sloe gin for friends for Christmas..
If there is any left by the summer,it makes a great cocktail mixed with elderflower champagne!
Day 29 in the VeganMoFo: Holiday Test Run – It’s always good to practice – show off your hits and misses.
I made Miyoko Schinner’s UnTurkey! It has to be the strangest thing I have ever cooked and I’m not sure I’ll do it again for a while but unless my good friends are liars… (I am sure they are not as they don’t usually hold back if they don’t like something) it was a real hit! One of them peered into the oven and shouted “Oh my God! It’s even got an arse!”.
- 2 cups Nutritional yeast
- 2 tbsp salt
- 1 tsp ginger
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 2 tsp black pepper
- 2 tsp marjoram
- 2 tsp tarragon
- 2 tsp rosemary
- 2 tsp paprika
- 4 tsp sage
- 4 tsp celery seeds
- 4 tsp thyme
- 4 tsp garlic powder
- 4 tsp onion powder
- Blend to a fine seasoning powder.
For the turkey mix:
- 3 cups of water
- 3 tbs soya sauce
- ¼ cup gram flour
- ¼ cup seasoning mix
- 4 cups vital wheat gluten flour
- Mix well BEFORE adding water
- Add water and mix with a spoon then by hand
- Put on a greased baking tray and pre-bake for 30 mins at 180°
- Simmer for one hour in large pan with water plus ½ cup seasoning and ⅓ cup soya sauce
- Taste broth to check it is seasoned enough
- This is the ‘boiled’ turkey
For the stuffing:
- ½ cup rapeseed/olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2-3 carrots, chopped
- 2 stalks celery, sliced
- Pinch of salt
- Medium bowl of chunky breadcrumbs (toasted ciabatta)
- 1 tbs sage
- 1 tbs thyme
- 1 tbs rosemary
- 1 tsp celery seed
- Sauté the veg for a few minutes
- Combine with breadcrumbs in a large bowl
- Add herbs and mix well
- Add 2-3 cups of the broth from the turkey
- Stir and keep adding stock until breadcrumbs are moist
- You can add cranberries/ chestnuts… whatever you want
- Take the turkey out and cool
- Cut a section off the fattest side and slice through it then fan it out to form the base of the turkey
- Slice through the middle of the remaining bit – not cutting all the way – then open like a roof on a house and place on the base – this will be the final shape of it
For the turkey skin:
- ¼ cup of seasoning mix
- ½ cup white wine
- ½ cup rapeseed oil
- Put sheets of yuba in a tray of water and soak for a few minutes to soften
- Combine the seasoning mix, wine and oil in a bowl to make a basting liquid
- Squeeze out the yuba and place in basting liquid
- Take ‘skin’ and lay out in baking dish
- Place turkey base on skin
- Cover in stuffing – build it up high!
- Take the turkey body and place on top of the stuffing
- Gather up yuba and cover, baste with the basting liquid
- Use second piece of yuba to enrobe the whole turkey ( I had to tie it all up with cotton string as the skin was quite thick and would ‘enrobe’ my turkey!
- You can freeze this for up to 6 months
- Bake for 30-45 minutes
For the gravy:
- 1 tbsp oil
- 2-3 tbsp flour
- Hot broth that the seitan was cooked in
- Splash white wine
- Dash of soya sauce
- Seasoning mix to taste
- Make a roux
- Add broth
- Add wine and soya sauce
- Taste and add seasoning mix to taste
There you go, a cruelty-free Christmas turkey for all! Cheerio VeganMoFo 2016! xx
Day 28 in the 2016 VeganMoFo: Holiday Bake Day! – What are you planning on baking over the winter holidays? Do you make cake, or cookies? Or something savoury? I’ll be making a vegan nut wellington for Christmas dinner this year. This one works really well and the leftovers are good with a pickled walnut.
- 10 dried apricots, coarsely chopped
- 1 large shot brandy and a drop of hot water
- 1 onion, grated
- 2 carrots, grated
- 2 sticks celery, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 3 handfuls of nuts; cashew, hazelnuts and Brazil nuts, roughly chopped
- 1 pack of pre-cooked chestnuts, chopped
- 5 Sundried tomatoes, soaked in hot water then chopped
- Splosh of olive oil
- Fresh thyme and sage, chopped
- Salt and pepper
- Shortcrust pastry
- Soak the apricots in the brandy and hot water and set aside.
- Mix the chopped vegetables with the nuts and tomatoes.
- Add olive oil and herbs and season.
- Blend ⅓ of the mixture until smooth texture.
- Mix back into the coarsely chopped mix.
- Then place ½ of this is a slightly flattened sausage shape on some greased baking parchment.
- Layer the brandy-soaked apricots along the middle then layer on the rest of the mix over it and smooth into a long sausage/loaf shape.
- Bake at 150°C for 45 mins until starting to dry slightly.
- Leave to cool.
- Invert onto pastry then fold the pastry over and place back on a baking tray.
- Decorate with pastry shapes – Christmas tree, holly leaves, stars or hearts.
- Brush with soya milk and turmeric mixed for a golden glaze then bake at 180° for 20 mins until the pastry is cooked.