Thursday, 23 March 2017

Creamy Carrot and Sweet Potato Rice Pudding with Blood Oranges

Some of you may remember last month I made a Beetroot Rose Rice Pudding, my husband loudly asserted You can make that again!  Well I have been looking for a reason to make  a variation of it again and it came with the Food 'N' Flix  hosted by Wendy at A Day In The Life on a Farm. The movie chosen this month is The Martian. 
I had not watched it, so we picked it up when we were in Bath, Somerset for the day.  I watched it that evening.  The Martian is about an astronaut  Mark Watney (played by Matt Damon) a Botanist who is accidentally presumed to be dead and is left by his crew on Mar.  When he wakes up, he realises he is alone and has to survive.  He embarks on a journey to grow potato crops on a land where nothing grows, biding time for his colleagues to come and rescue him.   Here is a trailer to the movie if you have not watched it.  
The most obvious food reference was of course to potatoes and yes, I cook with potatoes a lot, sweet potatoes that is.  I took my inspiration from the myriad and bursting shades of orange, rust, bronze, marigold, clay, sandstone found  in the landscape of the planet, from the rockery to the grainy dry sand.  

decided to make a Creamy Carrot and Sweet Potato Rice Pudding with Blood Oranges.  I have to thank Coffee and Casseroles for spotting the oranges in the movie about 29 minutes into the movie, there is a bowl of oranges on the table behind two actors in an Earth scene, as I blinked and missed them, but I  felt I just had to incorporate them into my dish too, Thank you once again.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Smoky Black Kale, Chickpeas and Mushroom Stew

Its been a busy month for me with work mostly.  I have to admit I haven't had much energy or enthusiasm for cooking when I got home.  In fact, twice last  week we have had Chilli and Potato Pierogi, not homemade but from a  packet.  I have made pierogi in the past and would love to have a go at making them again.

Today though, I got home and had a little energy to cook.  I made a relatively quick Smoky Black Kale and Mushroom Stew.  Many of the ingredients in this were left over from the Black Kale and Chickpeas Pot Pie I made over the weekend. 
I think this Smoky Black Kale and Mushroom Stew is one of those dishes best enjoyed a day or two later, as it was just okay. 

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Black Kale and Chickpea Pot Pies

I do miss growing my own Black Kale.  It was only when I started growing my own that I learned Black Kale had so many interesting names.  Dinosaur Kale, Palm Tree Kale, Palm Tree Cabbage, Black Cabbage, Cavolo Nero, Tuscan Kale translated Toscana di Nero.

I was hoping to sow some more seeds this weekend, but the weather forecast halted our gardening plans once again. I have the sniffles and did not particularly want to be out in the garden being hit left right and centre by the gusty winds that was furiously rattling the greenhouse threatening to damage it further and the drip dripping of rain falling in every direction.
So instead, I stayed indoors and pottered about in the kitchen,something I have to admit I have not done much of this week.  

I made some Pot Pies with Black Kale that I picked up from the supermarket.  Its actually quite nice to find Black Kale in supermarkets now, a few years back, kale crisps and kale smoothies made it a food trend.  Its refreshing to now see the normalisation of Black Kale and Curly Kale in the vegetable section.
I adapted a recipe for Pot Pies I made a long while back, this time with a different filling: carrots, black kale, mushrooms and chickpeas
I am sharing these Black Kale and Chickpea Pot Pies with Eat Your Greens challenge that I co-host with The VegHog; This month it is my turn to host.  If you want to join in - please see this link, there is still plenty of time and participation is really easy.  I am also sharing this recipe with My Legume Love Affair hosted by Lisa's Kitchen; and with Healthy Vegan Fridays by Rock My Vegan Socks and V Nutrition.


Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Turmeric Risotto with Preserved Lemons and Green Olives

I know what your thinking Olives for dinner , but this Turmeric Risotto has more than just olives, it also has preserved lemons.
The late Karen Hubert Allison, cookbook Author of The Vegetarian Compass was so right when she wrote All roads to Preserved Lemons lead to Paula Wolfert classic cookbook Couscous and Other Good Foods From Morocco (1973) and who am I to disagree.

I sometimes make my own Preserved Lemons, but there is nothing wrong with picking up a jar of ready made, there are quite a few good brands about.  
I was inspired to make this Turmeric Risotto with Preserved Lemons and Green Olives a little while back when I had limited fresh vegetables in my home, much of what went into this was store cupboard ingredients or those often found in my fridge.  I had picked up a packet or organic tempeh the last time I went into the city.   The tempeh served almost like crispy croutons and made for an interesting contrast against the soft rice grains. 
Adapted from The Vegetarian Compass by the late Karen Hubert Allison.

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Day in Bath

Weekends are so short, yesterday we went to Bath, Somerset in England and today has been a day of house chores, from dusting to laundry to ironing.  The garden plot once again is neglected, though I am pleased to say that I have stuck some seeds in germination pots.  

Now I want to rest - but have to prepare lunch for tomorrow and then make a Vegetarian roast dinner, then maybe, maybe I can finally rest my little feet.  I do sometimes wish we had a three day weekend. 
Anyway, even though we have been there before, here are some photographs of our day trip to Bath in England.  

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Daffodils In My Kitchen

St David's Day brought with it daffodils, a handful which made their way into my kitchen.
I didn't have a small vase to showcase the daffodils, so had to improvise. 
I had to go into the recycle bin and pull out an empty bottle of Butty Bach Ale (vegetarian and vegan reader please  see upcoming note below)* that D drank over the weekend whilst watching football.  Butty Bach translates as 'Little Friend'.   Some of you will have read my blog post on the word 'Butty' - see this link if you missed it
I had picked up some fresh Welsh Laverbread from the market at the weekend to make lots of Welsh recipes.  For those of you unfamiliar with Welsh Laverbread or 'bara lawr' as it is known in Wales is a seaweed, that is cooked down to a jet green paste famously described by the acclaimed Welsh actor Richard Burton as 'Welshman's caviar'.   I made a number of recipes with it, including Laverbread Risotto, Laverbread Hummus, seitan Laverbread sausages, and a vegan version of Welsh faggots

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Upside Down Sicilian Blood Orange Chocolate Cake

This Upside Down Sicilian Blood Orange Chocolate Cake is my second Sicilian Blood Orange recipe.  This cake, like the gluten free Blood Orange Almond Cake was also very delicious and I say that with a bit of surprise.  

Why? 

Well for those of you who know me now, will know that I don't really do sweet cakes, and I don't go gaga or doolally tap for chocolate either.  I am drawn more towards savoury eats and treats, but my man, my husband has a very sweet tooth - be it for cakes or chocolate.  He likes them both but not always together.
This cake was wonderfully moist on the first day.  A couple of days later the chocolate sponge had got a bit cold and stiff, but it was still very good.  I think it is best served at room temperature too.  

I especially loved the Blood Orange topping and the orange caramelised and became both sticky and chewy.  We enjoyed the cake without cream, but it could benefit with you are that way inclined.
I am sharing this Upside Down Blood Orange Chocolate Cake with We Should Cocoa Challenge; and Simple and In Season hosted by Feeding Boys ; and Hijacked by Twins for CookBlog Share; and Simply Seasonal and Good Egg Foodie.

Monday, 6 March 2017

Vegan Smoked Carrot 'Salmon'

I have been following Olives for Dinner for a while, and Erin's originality is astounding and her generosity for sharing her recipes definitely praise worthy.   I have a number of her recipes bookmarked including her Carrot Lox recipe.  I have been waiting for an excuse to make it.  

The reason for finally making the vegan Smoked Carrot 'Salmon' came to me last week, when it was one of my good work colleagues birthday.  This colleague happens to be vegan. 
One colleague who is an excellent baker had decided to make her some vegan chocolate cupcakes with Lotus Biscoffi 'butter cream'.  I had decided to have a go at making the classic Cream Cheese and Smoked 'Salmon' Bagels for her, only vegan style!  
The first time I ever had smoked Salmon was by pure accident.  It was on a flight from Paris to San Francisco many, many years ago. I was assured by the flight attendant that the ready made vegetarian meal  I was having was indeed vegetarian, even when I questioned it.  I didn't even know what smoked lox was then.  I  remember the taste in my mouth and it stuck with me and tasting this vegan Smoked Carrot 'Salmon' transported me back to that memory.  D my husband who is not vegetarian and does still on rare occasions (only if and when we go out for meals) eat seafood and fish was totally amazed at how the Smoked Carrot 'Salmon' mimicked the silky fleshy texture of the real thing.
Full credit for the recipe and inspiration for the Carrot Lox goes to Olives for Dinner.  I made the Smoked Carrot 'Salmon' in a loaf tin lined with baking parchment paper.  I also only used 1 and a 1/2 cup of sea salt as that is all I had. I subbed white wine vinegar as I have not been able to source coconut vinegar near where I live. I also read the comments in the original post and substituted the olive oil for flaxseed oil that you can get from most health shops.  In future, advice to myself is to use much thicker and fatter carrots next time as the smoked carrots felt a little tender going through the mandolin.  

I made the classic Cream Cheese and  Smoked Carrot 'Salmon' Bagel fresh at work for my colleague.  I sliced open the chewy bagel, slathered over Bute Islands soft vegan Creamy Sheese and layered the vegan Smoked Carrot 'Salmon' in generous folds .  She absolutely loved it.  Only thing, she confessed she had never had real smoked salmon so was unable to compare it previous experiences, she was still very very happy with her edible gift.
The vegan Smoked Carrot 'Salmon' is a very convincing substitute and its quite fatty and oily in texture that I have been inspired to have a go at making vegan Scandinavian style Gravadlax soon too.  

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Sicilian Blood Orange Almond Cake (Gluten Free)

It is the Blood Orange Season.

I had picked up some Sicilian Blood Oranges from a supermarket and wasn't completely sure what to do with them other than just peel and eat them, of course.

It was only when I started reading an on line article by Media Diversified on the much celebrated cook Claudia Roden and author of A Book of Middle Eastern Food (1968) and The Book of Jewish Food (1996) that I decided to make Orange and Almond Cake.
In the article the writer mentions Claudia Roden's famous Almond and Orange Cake which she made with blood oranges.  This Orange and Almond cake has featured on many gluten free cookbooks and food blogs as its made without flour. Even Nigella Lawson spun the recipe replacing the oranges with clementines.  
Even though I have New Book of Middle Eastern Food by Claudia Roden
- the cookbook from which the recipe is from, I took my lead from the article and made the Orange Almond Cake with Sicilian Blood Oranges.  

The Blood Orange did not impart any colour to the moist sponge, but plenty of flavour.  The cake itself was truly amazing to eat.
I wasn't going to  post the Sicilian Blood Orange Almond Cake recipe, its plastered all over blogosphere with minor variations: lemons or grapefruit in place of the oranges and a hint of spice: cardamon, caraway or fennel seeds, then I decided to do so.  Another gluten free Orange Almond Cake recipe on blogosphere wasn't going to make a difference, but complete credit goes to the amazing Claudia Roden for sharing the recipe with the Western world.

Friday, 3 March 2017

Welsh Laverbread Seitan Faggots (vegan) with Onion Gravy

I've featured vegan Welsh Faggots on my blog in the past, but have always wanted to enhance them textually and visually.  I was able to do this a few days ago for our homely St Davids Day Welsh Vegan Menu with the addition of another Welsh delicacy Laverbread.  
For those of you not  from Wales and not familiar with Welsh faggots, well in a nutshell Faggots were traditionally made with the innards of pigs. The pate like mixture was then wrapped in the lacy casing of the animals caul and oven roasted slowly.  

I remember reading a while back, that the Welsh faggots is what haggis is to the Scots and is often referred to as Welsh Haggis in some parts of Wales.  There may be some truth in this as The Scotsman also make reference to haggis being popular in the Welsh Valleys of Wales, but they still credit the Scots for the haggis jokingly writing that a Scottish haggis escaping to Wales in 1690, hence its popularity in Wales. 
Faggots are still made in Wales and are still quite popular.  Faggots are traditionally served with mushy peas and onion gravy or brown meaty gravy.  My Welsh Laverbread Seitan Faggots are of course is suitable for vegetarians and for vegans and so is the onion gravy. 

D absolutely loved the onion gravy.  He didn't mind the Welsh Laverbread Seitan Faggots either.
I  am sharing these Welsh Laverbread Seitan Faggots  with Healthy Vegan Fridays by Rock My Vegan Socks and V Nutrition;  Elizabeth's Kitchen for No Waste Food Challenge as the onions were feeling a little on the soft side and finally and Cook Once Eat Twice hosted by Searching For Spice. 

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Welsh Bara Lawr Laverbread Seitan Sausage (vegan)

Wales is still not popular for its vegetarian cuisine, its often seen as the land of Welsh lamb, cockles and mussels, faggots - a Welsh meatball made from offal and meat off-cuts.  But what many people do not know is St David, the Patron Saint of Wales was a vegetarian.  I speculate, but its possible that St David may actually have even been a vegan as he only ate bread, vegetables, herbs and only drank water.  

The green green lush land of Wales has also given us leeks and laverbread. Laverbread or 'bara lawr' as it is known in these part of the Welsh valleys.  Laverbread is not actually a bread, its a seaweed, that is cooked down to a jet green paste famously described by the acclaimed Welsh actor Richard Burton as 'Welshman's caviar'.  Laverbread is often enjoyed with shellfish, buttered toast or as Laverbread Cakes.   The best laverbread comes from Selwyn's who are based on the beautiful shores of the Gower Peninsula. 

So today for St David's Day celebrations, I present to you an alternative Welsh vegetarian recipe that makes an interesting  change from the traditional Selsig Morgannwg - Glamorgan sausages and Welsh Rarebit - homely cheese on toast.  This recipe is made with both Welsh leeks and laverbread and also happens to be vegan.  Behold the Welsh Bara Lawr Seitan Sausage that I have created especially for the 1st March, celebrating the Patron Saint of Wales and all things Welsh. 
For those of you who are neither vegetarian or vegan, may find these vegan Welsh Bara Lawr Seitan Sausage a little difficult to process visually, but they make for a good mock meat substitute for those who do not wish to consume meat.  These Welsh Bara Lawr Seitan Sausage do not replicate the taste of meat in any way, just mimic it.  

I was inspired to create these vegan Welsh sausage with laverbread for two reasons.  One I had read somewhere in the past that someone somewhere in Wales had created a meat version of laverbread sausage; and two, I had recently had a vegan sausages made with Irish Dulse Seaweed  and that's was me on the path to making a vegan alternative of Welsh Bara Lawr with Seitan.   
We have sliced and pan fried them and enjoyed them with mashed potatoes, two veg and gravy, but you can also cook them whole.  The flavourings in these  Welsh Bara Lawr Seitan Sausage is based on my vegan Welsh Faggots (Ffagod) recipe.  I think the recipe still needs a little tweaking, but I am happy to share it with you today.

Dydd Gwลทl Dewi Hapus

Welcoming March Eat Your Greens

Wow, I really cannot believe its March and still the possibility of snow in this part of the world.  

Well I am not looking forward to more cold weather, but I am looking forward to your submissions as its my turn to host the Eat Your Greens challenge this month.  To participate this month, just post a vegan or vegetarian recipe that is made with green vegetables on your blog.  Then copy the link to the comment section below.  The deadline is the 28th March 2017.
For more details Follow this link on how to participate just please remember to link back to the host page (this page) and co-host The VegHog.   The use of the logo is optional, but appreciated.


If you are tweeting your recipe, please use #EatYoursGreens #eatyourgreens and include @SeasonalShaheen @TheVegHog and we will retweet all those that we see.   

If you want some Eat Your Greens inspiration, see what food bloggers from around the world shared in February , then check out my co-host The Veg Hog for inspiration.