Vegan Mayo

More adventures with aquafaba today! I remember back in April, Goose Wohlt (aquafaba meister) experimenting with mayonnaise with success here. Well the other day I ran out of Plamil mayo and decided to have a go. I followed the excellent recipe from Peanut Butter & Vegan and it worked! Yes, I did a happy dance!!

I made it again today and tweaked the recipe a bit. Here’s what I did…

Get all the ingredients together:IMG_6377

  • 1 tbsp. cider vinegar (I might use less next time – maybe just 2 tsp)
  • 1 small packet English mustard (I always pocket one of these in cafés or restaurants for just such reasons!)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp. aquafaba
  • 1 tsp Vegg (if you don’t have this you can use ½ tsp black salt (Kala namak) instead of regular salt)
  • ¾ cup of rapeseed (canola) oil

Mix all the ingredients except the oil in a large glass bowl with a hand-held blender. This won’t take long…

Then slowly dribble the oil in, bit by bit, mixing all the time…

It will suddenly thicken!

Keep going until all the oil has been blended into the mayonnaise then transfer into a glass jar.

Make an ‘egg’ sandwich! Spend the rest of the day doing ‘eggy’ burps…

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Vegan Chocolate Mousse

I’ve been making vegan chocolate mousse for years but it usually tends to be quite heavy and dense with a big, rich chocolate kick in the arse. You have to dig the spoon in, my fella says it’s like a pot of truffles – not always what you want for dessert. I remember as a kid, chocolate mousse was light and fluffy with tiny bubbles of air running throughout it. Well bring on the aquafaba – this is exactly what I made!

No baby chicks were harmed in the production of this mousse!

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Light, fluffy and creamy with a strong but not overwhelming chocolate kick. This aquafaba stuff is revolutionising vegan cooking – there are no limits! I reckon I might try choux pastry next…

Ingredients

Makes 6 small glasses with  some leftover for Ron! Or six big glasses…

  • 200g dark chocolate (I used two bars of Seed & Bean Extra Dark Chocolate currently on sale here)
  • ½ cup of coconut cream (nearly a whole small tin from here)
  •  1 cup aquafaba (the liquid strained from a can of chick peas)
  • ½ cup caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • A pinch of salt

Directions

  1. Melt the chocolate and coconut cream together in a glass bowl over a pan of boiling water
  2. Remove from heat and stand the bowl on the side to cool. If the chocolate splits and you get dark clumpy chocolate and clear fat, add a small amount of water (a few teaspoonfuls) and stir – it will go creamy again.
  3. Whisk the aquafaba in a clean glass bowl with a balloon whisk until stiff peaks form.
  4. Then slowly add the caster sugar whisking all the time.
  5. When the chocolate has cooled a bit gently fold it into the aquafaba with the vanilla extract and salt, stir gently – you don’t want it to collapse.
  6. Transfer into glasses or small coffee cups and chill in the fridge for at least 4-6 hours.
  7. Serve with boozy fruit!
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It’s just not pukka Jamie!

Jamie ‘the future is plant-based’ Oliver needs to put his money where his mouth is otherwise his concern for health, animals and the environment is all coming across as a load of old bull! It’s just not pukka mate!

In a recent interview with vegan free-runner Timothy ‘Livewire’ Shieff, Jamie said “the future is about a plant-based diet” (11 mins 45 seconds). Much of the interview was about how Jamie is moving towards veggie and vegan cooking and how he hopes to encourage people to eat less meat. This is to be applauded, but only if it is implemented across his food empire!

In March 2015 I wrote about my visit to Jamie’s Italian in Bristol. It was disappointing to see how little provision was made for vegans – nothing really on the menu! They didn’t even have soya milk, unlike every other establishment that sells coffee on this busy road in Bristol (Café Nero, Costa, Starbucks, The Boston Tea Party, Woods… etc etc). The chef did come up with some great food us, but many people are too shy to ask off-menu.

I’ve been in correspondence with Jamie’s since, asking them to be more inclusive and introduce soya milk. I’ve pointed how environmentally damaging cow’s milk is in comparison to soya milk. Jamie says he supports a more plant-based approach to eating and providing soya milk is a really basic change that can help considerably towards lowering the impact food production has on the environment. Cornell University scientist, David Pimentel found it takes about 14kcal of fossil-fuel energy to produce 1kcal of dairy milk but it only take 0.3kcal to make 1kcal of soya beans. So cow’s milk production uses nearly 50 times more energy than soya. A 2010 “current and possible futures” study into greenhouse gas emissions across the top 45 foods in the UK recommended cow’s milk and dairy products be replaced by soya-based products.

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There was a glimmer of hope; Jamie’s Italian Bristol said the new menu, with more vegan options, was on the way… Well I’ve just been sent the new menu and told they will not be serving soya milk in the restaurant. Bad news indeed. The only vegan options on the new menu are bread, olives, chips and salad leaves… that’s one expensive chip butty then!

It gets worse… Two weeks ago I went to Italy for a family holiday. I took an early bus from Bristol to Gatwick and had some time to wait at the airport before my sister and niece arrived so I went for coffee to the only café (landside) which was Jamie’s Coffee Lounge. Sadly no soya milk there either! Unbelievable in a coffee shop in an international airport in 2015…

I emailed them and the reception manager said “We offer soya and almond milk in all of our businesses” so I emailed back explaining how soya milk was not available in all of their businesses. My query was passed on to the area manager (30th July) who I am still waiting to hear from…

It gets worse… on my way back from Italy the British Airways stewardess offered me an egg sandwich and when I explained how vegans don’t eat eggs she bared her teeth at me (I think she thought she was smiling). Anyway, I was pretty damn peckish by the time we landed and had an hour and a half to wait for my bus so went in search of food back to Jamie’s Coffee Lounge – as it’s the only café landside at Gatwick North.

The fridge contained a range of sandwiches and salads: Cheddar, spiced chutney & celery, Sensational superfood salad (contains milk), Superfood salad wrap (milk), Oak-smoked salmon, Big fat Greek salad (feta cheese), Wiltshire ham blah blah blah…nothing suitable for a vegan. I queued up and asked if there was anything I could eat; there was a sign up on the wall saying I should tell the staff if I had any special dietary requirements. Does starving vegan count? The person who served me was very apologetic and said there wasn’t anything for a vegan. I spotted some plain bread rolls and asked if I could have one. She apologised again and said they weren’t allowed to sell them. I then spotted a banana which I bought for 70p.IMG_6039

It gets better… On the off-chance I then went wandering about (as I said I had some time) and stumbled on a WH Smith Food to Go where I hit lucky finding a falafel sandwich. Who would have thought it? It seemed popular as the person behind me said “Oh falafel” and grabbed one too!

Jamie clearly talks the talk but has some work to do if he is going to walk the walk! Basically Jamie – it’s just not pukka!

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Mighty Food Fight… again

Delicious tuck on my lunch hour down at The Mighty Food Fight today!

★ Southern Fried Tofu (crispy, ‘buttermilk’ coated pieces)
★ Mexican Style Quinoa Salad with Black Beans
★ Apple Slaw dressed in Mayo
★ Collard Greens with Coconut Bacon
★ Homemade Aioli
★ Classic BBQ Sauce
★Spicy Wedges and Chipotle Salsa!

It was all so lovely I forgot to buy one of their amazing donuts to take back to the office. D’oh!

The Mighty Food Fight is Hannah, Isabel and René, a 1978 Citroen HY van. The food they make is all vegan, colourful and bursting with flavour. You can find them in Old Market Bristol on the corner of Narrow Plain and Temple Quay by the Pip n Jay Church (BS2 0ET).

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Great Vegan Breakfast in Hackney

I was in London with my fella for Field day festival in Hackney, Patti Smith and the Gallery cafeSavages played and were great! I would say ‘awesome’ but then I’d have to throw up. We stayed in Shoreditch and I woke up hungry wanting a decent vegan fry-up. The Gallery Café on Old Ford Road in Bethnal Green was one of the nearest places listed by Happy Cow as doing a good breakfast. It was a 30-minutre walk from our hotel so and I found a wallet on the pavement on our way which caused a delay, standing around wondering what to do with it (luckily the bloke who’d dropped it appeared on skateboard and we were able to return it to him). Warning! Breakfast is served until 12pm on weekdays and 3pm on weekends. It was a Monday we visited on and we got there just 10 minutes before they stopped serving breakfast, so I felt pretty lucky and a big huffy mood was avoided. Vegan breakfast (£7.50) consist of two veggie sausages (V-bites sausages cooked in some kind of clamshell George Foreman-type grill), hash browns, beans, mushrooms, tomatoes, scrambled tofu and sourdough toast. They had run out of tomatoes so I had spinach which suits me just fine. It was very nice and the scrambled tofu was great. I had a big cup of tea with it too. My fella had the Breakfast Quesadilla: refried beans and cheese (vegan or dairy) in a toasted tortilla topped with scrambled tofu, fresh tomato, sour cream and coriander (£6.95). It was good he said but not a patch on the Breakfast Burrito he had in San Francisco – that would take some beating. He had a cappuccino and the whole bill was £18.50. I would certainly go back here, there’s a nice outdoor seating area at the front, a laid back feel and the staff were friendly and helpful. Maybe the rude staff member (mentioned in other TripAdvisor reviews) has either left or cheered up!

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The Tree House, Stokes Croft, Bristol

I’ve walked passed this place a few times, I work just around the corner from it, but it wasn’t until a friend suggested we went for lunch there that I realised they cater for vegans (way beyond a lonely dry baked potato and beans!). It’s got a good friendly feel and the staff, well there was only one person there the day I went, was very friendly and helpful.

IMG_5517The café was set up by Derw Robertson-Jacobs (previously the chef de partie at Jamie’s Italian and who now helps run The Love of Dub) with help from a few friends including Come Dine With Me winner Lilly Stephenson. They have used global influences combined with local produce including award-winning bread from East Bristol Bakery, salad leaves grown in Bristol by the Severn Project and organic vegetables from Somerset. Even the sign and refurbished interior was built using wood from the Bristol Wood Recycling Project; the reclaimed wood make the Tree House look a bit like a café for Hobbits. It’s nice and makes the place feel a bit different.

Breakfast is served all day which I reckon is the mark of a good café. Breakfast includes a Southern Indian-style dosa (pancake) stuffed with mildly spiced potatoes served with ‘magic’ homemade baked beans and scrambled eggs (we substituted the eggs for fried mushrooms). They also as serve a more traditional breakfast as well as porridge. For £5.50 it was a good plateful. The dosa was cooked really well – the potato was tasty and not too spicy. The beans were indeed ‘magic’ and much nicer than Heinz! The mushroom had that wonderful earthy taste you only get occasionally with good dark mushrooms.

It’s not a vegan or even vegetarian café but there is plenty of choice for a vegan and they clearly understand the deal. There is an extensive lunch menu too with soup and salad but I was far too occupied with my late breakfast, I will have to go back next week!

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Cookie Cream Berlin

As one of Berlin’s secret ‘underground’ restaurants, just finding Cookies Cream is a serious challenge! Hidden away in a service alley behind the Westin Grand Hotel, the hunt is over when you spot the huge chandelier hanging by a door, up a few steps, framed by light bulbs. Ring the buzzer, state your reservation and in you go up the stairs to the restaurant. The loft-style building has low ceilings, exposed brickwork and an open kitchen.

Chef Stephan Hentschel, trained by Michelin-starred Michael Kempf, is imaginative with flavours and ingredients producing inventive, vegetarian and vegan haute cuisine. The menu is kept small (no rice or pasta here) the vegan option was Baked Eggplant with Fava beans, Peanuts and Poppadum (€22). Cooking aubergine can be tricky, this was perfect. Dessert was Tangerine and Black Quinoa with Buckthorn Blossom Sorbet (€11), curious but in a good way with unusual flavours. As you are taking your coat off, they will offer you water (it happened to us and I saw others being offered it before they had a chance to look at the menu) but be warned, fizzy water is €6 a bottle! The house wine (€5/glass) is very nice, Berliner beer (€3.50/bottle) was just €1 more than in the squat bar we visited the next night! For two mains, two desserts with wine and coffee the bill was €91 (£67), good value given the high quality of the food.

Cookies Cream has a kind of ‘squat chic’ with its scruffy décor and dim lighting – you may need a torch in the loo! Brainchild of nightlife guru Heinz ‘Cookie’ Gindullis, his other restaurant downstairs is called Crackers and until recently was a nightclub – although the chairs are still strong enough to dance on! I guess it’s a sign of the times that we are more interested in food than raving these days.

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