Welsh Pea, Mint and New Potato Fritters

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Having a veg box delivered featuring both Welsh and English produce helps keep eating seasonally in check. As the summer continues, I also have an abundance of mint plants expanding across my balcony garden. So with bags of peas in pods and new potatoes from Gower and a few sprigs of homegrown mint, I thought some little potato fritters would do nicely for a small person’s dinner last night, or a lunchtime snack.

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Welsh Pea, Mint and New Potato Fritters
Makes 4 fritters
Preparation/cooking time 30 mins

4 medium New Potatoes, cubed
24 peas in pods
1 tbsp vegan margarine
4 small heads of mint, finely chopped
Salt and pepper (no salt if cooking for children)
1 tbsp Nutritional Yeast Flakes
Olive oil for frying

1) Pop the peas and place them all into a medium saucepan with the potato.
2) Cover with water, bring to the boil, then turn down to simmer for 15 mins until pots are soft.
3) Drain peas and pots and add in all the other ingredients into the saucepan.
4) Roughly mash everything together with a potato masher. Taste, then add more seasoning or yeast flakes if required.
5) Shape into four fritters and fry in olive oil in a wide frying pan, on a medium heat. Turn over once the fritters are golden on one side.
6) Serve with tomato salad.

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Suma Blogger’s Network: Millet, Pea and Lentil Burgers

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While I’ve been concentrating hard on building my new yoga business, Womankind Yoga, I’ve had little time for food writing sadly… so it was a real pleasure to be invited to become part of the new Suma Wholefoods Blogger’s Network, giving me the opportunity to get back in the kitchen with the camera for a couple of hours!

Specialist Wholesalers of Vegetarian, Organic & Fairtrade produce, Suma Wholefoods have literally hundreds of lovely vegan products to choose from, ranging from cupboard staples, to the latest animal-free foods on the market.

Most of the ingredients used in the recipe below can be purchased from Suma.

Millet, Pea and Lentil Burgers (vegan, GF)
Makes 12 (small)
Preparation/cooking time 30 mins

1/2 packet Clearspring Quick Cook Millet, Peas and Lentils
1 tin Suma Red Kidney Beans, drained
3 tbsp frozen edamame beans (soya)
1 tsp Suma dried mixed herbs
1 tsp Dove’s Farm Quinoa Flour
3 tbsp Marigold Nutritional Yeast Flakes
1 tsp fresh chives, chopped (optional)
Salt & pepper to taste
Serve with: Taifun Tofu Fillets (cut into chips)

1. Cook the grains according to the packet instructions for 10 mins. Add in the edamame after 5 mins.
2. Meanwhile, part blend/mash the kidney beans with a hand-blender, keeping some whole. This is what binds the burgers, alongside the quinoa flour.
3. Drain the grains and edamame and tip them into a mixing bowl.
4. Add in the kidney beans and all the rest of the ingredients.
5. Mix everything together with a wooden spoon, then with your hands. The mixture should bind well and hold together when you take a small handful and shape it in to a burger.
6. Either make 6 large or 12 small burgers from the mix.
7. Heat some olive oil in a non-stick frying pan. Cook the burgers on a medium heat, turning over when they turn a golden colour. They should only take a few minutes to cook on each side.
8. I served the burgers with salad, hummus and Taifun Tofu Fillets, fried and then cut into chips.

cooking burgers Grains Ingredients Kidney beans tofu

Lunch at The Green Rocket Cafe in Bath

One of my favourite pastimes is eating out at vegetarian & vegan establishments whenever I come across them on my travels. Yesterday, I was lucky enough to spend the day in beautiful Bath, with some of my best friends.

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Carla and I decided to have lunch at The Green Rocket Cafe, on Pierrepoint Street. I’d passed it before and stopped for a sandwich, but on this occasion we decided to have a proper lunch – and weren’t disappointed. My mezze platter featured wonderful baba ganoush and beetroot dips, quinoa tabouleh, falafel, soft flat bread and a wonderfully dressed spiral carrot salad. Carla enjoyed a super roasted cauliflower dahl, with the most incredible homemade pesto on the side!

I only wished we’d had time to sample some of the homemade vegan cakes they had on offer.

Really friendly staff, great setting and mouth-watering food. Definitely worth a visit if you are in the historic city (a trip to Bath Spa is also highly recommended).

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Raw Vegetable Power Salad

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While I’m awaiting delivery of a new juicer, I was craving a raw energy boost from some green vegetables. It’s a good job raw broccoli is packed with vitamins the amount I’ve been eating lately!

This salad was no exception. Plus, with the news today that we should all be eating seven portions of fruit and veg a day – this salad totally hits the spot, with five! Tahini is also a good source of calcium, magnesium, iron, vitamin B1 and zinc.

Raw Power Salad

Serves 1

1 handful chopped kale,
1 handful rocket
1 carrot, grated
1 handful broccoli florets
1 handful sugarsnap peas
1 handful cashew pieces

Dressing
2 tbsp tahini
2 tbsp soya sauce
1 tbsp olive oil or flaxseed oil

1. Mix all salad ingredients together in a serving bowl. For the dressing, whisk the ingredients together with a fork.
2. To serve, drizzle the dressing over the salad and top with a little sweet chilli sauce and hummus.

Wheat and Gluten Free Mini Pikelets with added Omega

Recently I fancied making some little bite sized snacks suitable for a lazy sunny Sunday morning. I’ve been experimenting with rice flour and recalled having little rice flour pancakes years ago. I thought I’d try making some little pikelets and add some ground flaxseed for an added nutritional boost. I served them with agave nectar and they were crispy and tasty. The great thing about these pikelets is that they are wheat and gluten-free, vegan and contain good omega fats from the flaxseeds.

Rice Pikelets
Wheat and Gluten-free Mini Pikelets with added Omega
Makes around 12
Preparation/cooking time 15 mins

1 cup rice flour
1 cup almond or other plant milk
1 tsp ground flaxseed
Pinch of salt

1. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and beat with a small hand whisk. The batter won’t be smooth but don’t worry.
2. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a frying pan and spoon in tablespoons of batter. Smooth them out into little rounds and cook them on one side until they are golden and crispy, before turning and cooking the other side.
3. Serve drizzled with agave nectar.

Soda Bread, the Perfect Quick Breakfast

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Soda Farls
Vegan Soda Farls

Serves 4
Preparation/cooking time 20 mins

Ingredients
250g plain flour, plus more for kneading
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
250ml almond, soya or coconut milk

  1. Preheat heavy based frying pan on medium to low heat.Place flour and salt in a bowl and sift in bicarbonate of soda. Make a well in the centre and pour in the plant milk.
  2. Work quickly to mix into a dough and knead very lightly on a well floured surface. Form into a flattened circle, about 1cm thick and cut into quarters with a floured knife.
  3. Sprinkle a little flour over the base of the hot pan and place each quarter into the hot pan, one at a time, until the 4 quarters create a complete circle. Cook the farls for 6 to 8 minutes on each side or until golden brown and cooked through. You may have to cut through the centre cross to turn them over.
  4. Take the pan off the heat and allow the farls to cool in the pan for 10 or 15 minutes.

Recipe adapted from All Recipes UK.

World Food Cafe Vegetarian Bible Book Review

World Food Cafe Dahl
Whenever I was in London, I’d always make eating out at at one of the amazing selection of veggie and vegan restaurants a priority. This often involved a visit to the famous World Food Cafe, based in Covent Garden for twenty years.

So I was delighted to recipe a copy of the World Food Cafe Vegetarian Bible through the post for review. Published this month (RRP £20) it collects together over 200 dishes, including 130 suitable for vegans. Recipes gleaned over two decades of globetrotting are tried and tested to be easy to make at home, by Chris and Carolyn Caldicott.

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Every recipe tells a story, through beautiful landscape photography and anecdotes of how the dish was discovered and how they have served it in the restaurant. From India, to North Africa & Arabia, South East Asia and Central America, there are many dishes you won’t have heard of or may have only been lucky enough to encounter once  in specialized restaurants themselves in large cities.

This is a book for people who love vegetarian cookery and exploring new colour and flavour combinations. If you have a healthy spice cupboard you will have a good basis for many recipes. It’s what I call a ‘daydreaming cookbook’, amongst those kept by the coffee table to look through of an evening, then pick a recipe to try on a Saturday night or if you have guests for dinner.

Many of the recipes involve a generous list of ingredients, some requiring access to a good Asian supermarket.

What better way to try out the Vegetarian Bible, than to make a dhal from it. Every region in India and individual it seems has their own way of making dhal (and spelling it). This one was different from my method, yet totally delicious; packed full of warmth, flavour and comfort. I’ve adapted the recipe slightly.

Channa Dhal
Inspired by the World Food Cafe Vegetarian Bible

8oz/225g channa dhal
3 pints water
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp ground coriander
2 tsps ground cumin
1 tsp garam masala
6 green chillies, slit down the side (use small ones, I used half this quantity)
2 tsp brown sugar
Salt to taste
2 tbsp vegan margarine
4 tbsp desiccated coconut
2 tbsp raisins, soaked in water for 90 mins then drained
4 bay leaves
1 tsp garam masala

Place channa dhal in a saucepan with water and bring to the boil. Remove any foam that rises to the surface. Add the turmeric and chilli powder, cover the pan and gently simmer until the dhal is soft. Mash dhal with a potato masher to break it up a little. Combine the coriander, cumin and garam masala with a little water until a paste forms, and add to the dhal along with the green chillies, sugar and salt to taste. Continue cooking for a further 5 mins. Heat the margarine in a small frying pan. When hot, add the coconut and raisins and fry until golden. Add the bay leaves and garam masala, fry for 1 min and pour on to the dhal. Serve with rice.