Vegan Mofo 2019: Friday 23rd August:
Inspired by your favourite season/seasonal celebration – the perfect excuse to celebrate Christmas in August!
Yesterday, I cooked with jackfruit for the first time. I was very impressed – my jackfruit burgers (recipe to follow soon) came out great. Today, inspired by those BOSH! boys, I am continuing the theme and I have made Christmas leftover ‘turkey’ sandwiches using jackfruit. They came out really well too – this stuff is truly amazing. On a par with the aquafaba revelation I would say. Vegans really can have it all!
I dug out last year’s Vegan Food & Living magazine as a prop for the photo (it has some great recipes in it) and now I am feeling quite Christmassy – 124 days to go!
Ingredients for two (generous) sandwiches
- Olive oil
- 1 tin of jackfruit
- Wholemeal sliced bread or buns of your choice
- Vegan margarine (for spreading)
- Chestnut purée (optional)
- Vegan mayonnaise
- Cranberry sauce
- Any of the flowing: lettuce, red cabbage, salad leaves – chopped or shredded
Seasonal ‘turkey’-flavoured seasoning:
- 2 tsp Nutritional yeast
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp ginger
- ½ tsp turmeric
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ½ tsp tarragon
- ½ tsp rosemary
- ½ tsp paprika
- 1 tsp sage
- ½ tsp celery salt
- ½ tsp thyme
- Heat the oven at 180°.
- Drain the jackfruit and if the chunks are big, chop them in half.
- Mix all the seasoning ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl.
- Throw the jackfruit in and toss about making sure each piece is coated.
- Add a small splosh of olive oil and toss them about with your hands.
- Transfer the jackfruit to a baking tray and bake for 25-30 minutes until browning.
- Take two forks and shred the jackfruit so it looks meaty!
- Toast your bread.
- Assemble you sandwich using vegan marg, mayo, mustard, ‘turkey’, lettuce etc – you can put in whatever you want!
Vegan MoFo 2019:
Thursday 22nd: Seasonal dish – what’s in season where you are right now?
Bramley apples, broad beans, runner beans, blueberries, spring green cabbage, savoy cabbage, red cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cherries, courgette, cucumber, cos lettuce, curly lettuce, iceberg lettuce, marrow, plums, raspberries, spinach, strawberries and sweetcorn.
Well it’s got to be sweetcorn! This is one of the easiest prompts of the whole Vegan MoFo 2019 for me! Without a doubt, my favourite late summer food is corn on the cob. Every year, as summer slips away, I get excited about the new sweetcorn. When it’s in season, I try to buy it whenever I can and my fella is growing in the garden too – but it’s not ready yet!
Tonight I’m going to cook these ones with homemade jackfruit burgers (my first attempt at cooking with jackfruit) red cabbage and carrot slaw and homemade chips using Golden Wonder potatoes from the garden – they make the best chips!
Recipe to follow!
Vegan MoFo 2019: Wednesday 21st August – Indoor/outdoor picnic – depending on the weather, show us your indoor or outdoor picnic treats!
I sometimes take a picnic when I go walking and when the summer starts to slip away I like taking soup and a sandwich.
One bright but chilly autumnal Saturday I went for a walk in the woods at Woodchester Park. There’s an unfinished Gothic mansion there with a very sad story attached to it…
Wealthy ship-owner William Leigh, bought Woodchester Park in 1845. He demolished the Georgian house there and started building a new mansion. His vision was of a huge gothic mansion but he was forced to abandon construction leaving behind a building that appears pretty much complete from the outside, but with windows, floors, plaster and whole rooms missing inside. It’s remained in this state since the mid-1870s. Leigh wasn’t a drinker or a gambler – he was something of a philanthropist. He gave much of his money and land away. It just didn’t work out for him. The park and mansion are now home to two very important colonies of rare bates – Lesser and Greater horseshoe bats both roost at the house and both are listed as endangered species.
I took homemade tomato soup and vegan cheese and pickle sandwiches on my walk, just as well because I got lost and ended up walking six miles!
Vegan Mofo 2019: Tuesday 20th August
Spring salad – keep it green with a light, tasty salad!
Freekeh (frikeh or farik) is a cereal made from young grains of wheat harvested and toasted. It has a nutty taste and chewy texture and can be used place of rice, couscous or bulgur wheat. Artisan Grains reckon that: “These highly nutritious small, light coloured toasted grains have a delicate smoky flavour and masses of health benefits including four times the fibre of brown rice and low GI“.
100g of cooked Freekeh contains nearly nine grams of protein, around a fifth of your daily requirement. Freekeh works really well in a light salad with apple, beetroot and kale, which is green!
Serves two as a meal or four as a side.
- 100g wholegrain Freekeh
- Pinch of salt
- ½ tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 handfuls of kale, tough stems removed and shredded
- 1 apple, chopped
- Small handful of pumpkin seeds, toasted
- Small handful of walnuts, toasted
- 2-3 roast beetroot, chopped into small chunks
- Cook the freekeh according to the directions on the packet.
- When cooked, drain and set aside while you prepare the vinaigrette and salad.
- Put the salt, mustard and maple syrup into a small bowl and whisk together.
- Add the vinegar and whisk vigorously until you have an emulsion.
- In a large bowl, mix together the shredded kale, apple, pumpkin seeds and walnuts and mix together – don’t add the beetroot until last as it will make everything pink!
- When ready to serve, add the vinaigrette and toss to coat all the salad then scatter the beetroot on and serve.
Vegan MoFo 2019:
Monday 19th: Fall colours – showcase some beautiful reds and oranges for Fall.
I wanted to make a dish using butternut squash, sweet potato and carrot because I love the rich, red-orange colours that mark the end of summer and the beginning of autumn (fall). I based this tagine on one that was cooked especially vegan for me and my fella in Marrakech a few years ago. It was there I was introduced to ras el hanout and I’ve used it in tagines ever since! The key to a good authentic flavour is this north African blend of spices. The name ras el hanout (Arabic: راس الحانوت) means ‘top of the shop’ and refers to a mixture of the best spices the seller has to offer. There is no set combination of spices that makes up ras el hanout; each shop, restaurant or cook has their own favourite mix. Commonly used ingredients include cardamom, cumin, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, mace, allspice, ginger, chilli, coriander, paprika, fenugreek and turmeric.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion, peeled and finely sliced
- 500g butternut squash, carrot and/or sweet potato, peeled and diced (slice the carrots)
- 6-7 baby courgettes or one large, cut into chunks
- 2-3 tsp ras el hanout
- 200ml water
- 120g dried apricots, soaked in hot water for an hour or so
- 1 preserved lemon, finely chopped
- 1 can chickpeas, drained and fried until just beginning to brown
- 2 tbsp almonds, toasted in a small pan
- 1 small handful of fresh coriander, chopped (reserve some for garnish)
- Melt the oil in a heavy-based pan (or a tagine) over a medium-low heat, then add the onion and cook until soft and golden.
- Add the squash, carrot and/or sweet potato and toss around the pan until beginning to soften a bit.
- Add the courgette and cook for a few mins.
- Stir the spices and stir do everything is coated then cook for a couple of mins.
- Add water and stir, scraping the bottom of the pan to dislodge any spice that has stuck.
- Add the apricots, chick peas, preserved lemon and transfer to the oven and cook at 180°C for about 40 mins.
- Toss the toasted almonds on top with a few coriander leaves and serve with flatbreads or couscous.
Vegan Mofo 2019: Sunday 18th August: Summer cooler – what do you eat or drink to keep cool in summer?
Sloe gin cooler with elderflower fizz!
I made my first sloe gin last year! It’s pretty easy to make, the tricky bit is finding a good blackthorn bush to pick the sloes. Last year at the end of October, I was up North on holiday staying in a lovely cottage in Conistone near Skipton. My fella and I stumbled on a blackthorn bush literally dripping with sloe berries! We filled a few tubs in no time and bought them home to make sloe gin. They were fat and juicy and the colour of the gin changed very quickly and they released there sloey flavour! They made a great sloe gin and we enjoyed some of it at Christmas. I try to hang on to a bit if I can because in the summer, it make a great refreshing cool drink when mixed with elderflower cordial and fizzy water. Just add a shot of sloe gin to the diluted cordial with lots of ice and some fresh mint and hey presto! Tread carefully though, this one sneaks up on you!
Vegan MoFo 2019: Saturday 17th August:
Winter warmer – from a hot chocolate to a hearty stew, what’s your go-to winter dish?
The weather is totally all over the place in the UK this month. Yesterday the Met Office warned we might have a month’s worth of rain in one day! This morning the rain was coming down in sheets. Now it is blazing sunshine and I’m wishing I was swimming at the lake… but anything could happen.
So, I’ve cooked a big casserole for after the pub tonight. It’s proper hearty winter food as requested, so I’m happy for it to piss down again!
This is a made-up recipe combining the best bits from several others. I used leftover veg from the fridge: onions, carrots, celery, courgette and cauliflower. You could add peppers, green beans, squash, sweet potato, mushrooms… anything you like really. Just try to cut your veg to a size that will all cook at the same time (so carrots smaller than courgette etc).
I didn’t cook it straight away as I went out to the cinema and then to a friend’s for some drinks. The dumplings expanded a bit while I was out and in hindsight, I think it might have cooked better straight away. I have to say though, it tasted bloody great!
Add the sauce to your partially cooked veg
Plonk the dumplings on top
Cook on a low heat while you are at the pub!
- Olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 medium carrots, sliced,
- 2 large sticks of celery, sliced
- 1 large courgette, sliced
- ½ a medium cauliflower, cut into chunks
- A few sprigs of thyme and/or marjoram, tied with string
- 1 can of beans (cannellini, borlotti or butter beans)
For the sauce:
- 2 tbsp. vegan margarine
- 3 tbsp. plain flour
- 1½ to 2 cups of soya milk
- A splosh of white wine
- 1 tsp brown mustard
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp tarragon
- Salt and pepper
For the dumplings:
- 125g plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 50g vegetable suet
- 2 tsp tarragon
- 3 tablespoons white wine
- Heat some olive oil in a large casserole dish
- Fry the onions for a couple of mins.
- Add the carrots and celery and put the lid and cook for a few mins.
- Add the courgette, cauliflower and herbs and continue to cook with the lid on until all the veg are beginning to soften.
- Meanwhile make your sauce in a smaller pan.
- Heat the margarine until just melted then add the flour and stir it in. Cook for a few mins but don’t let it stick or burn.
- Add the milk bit by bit, stirring vigorously with a whisk to avoid lumps.
- Add the wine, bay leaves, tarragon and mustard and stir then season to taste.
- Add the beans to the veg and gently mix them in.
- Pour the sauce over the veg and beans and gently mix so everything is covered in sauce.
- Set the pan aside and make the dumplings.
- Put the flour, baking powder, suet and tarragon in a large bowl and mix well.
- Add the wine and mix, avoid getting it too soggy if you can (add more flour or wine if you need to).
- Mould the dough into 8-10 little balls and plonk them on the top of your veg casserole.
- Cook for 30-40 mins at 180°C or on a low heat (100°C) with the lid on while you nip down the pub for a swift pint. When you get home the house will small amazing!
- Take of the lid and turn the heat up to 180°C for a few minutes to brown your dumplings and serve piping hot!