Jun 21st, 2014
My sister-in-law is kindly looking after the cats while we are away. She is a long-time veggie who is trying out veganism – so I have been having a go at cooking vegan for a couple of days.
Actually it is not that difficult because R doesn’t like eggs – so we don’t have many meals based around those – and I am constantly trying to keep the calories down so we don’t eat that much cheese. I can see that the difficulty would be twofold – firstly an awful lot of processed foods seem to contain milk extract, and secondly – eating out must be a right pain – not so much in big cities – but the chances of just popping into the likes of the Goil Inn and getting anything vegan (apart from perhaps a packet of crisps and a pickled onion) are not high.
So on Friday we had a Pepper Pot which is a dish by Levi Roots which my brother introduced me to – http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/pepperpotstewwithspi_91703 I made it vegan by the simple method of taking out the beef and adding an extra can of beans. Sorted – in my opinion just as super-good without the meat as with it. As desert we had an apple and cinnamon bake – a sort of variant on apple crumble, but with half the fat (vegan margarine rather than butter) and sugar as a conventional recipe – and with the addition of a big handful of oats in the topping.
Today we had Lentil soup (recipe on here back in Jan) with some homemade bread for lunch, and this evening we had a Root, Cauliflower and Chick Pea curry with rice and naan bread. So simple to make – basically lightly steam the veggies of your choice. While they are cooking – fry off some onions and peppers and add some Pratak’s curry paste and a good big dollop of tomato ketchup. Then add some chickpeas – either canned or (if you are better organised than I was today) soaked and then cooked yourself. Drain the veg – leaving a bit of the cooking water to loosen the sauce. Mix the sauce into the veg and leave to simmer while the rice cooks. Make some dough in the bread maker – divide into balls and roll out. Cook these on a hot griddle and then rub with oil infused with garlic. Cheap, tasty, filling, healthy – what more can you say….
I also made an apple pie (sort of naturally vegan although I am wondering if the pastry will be as good as my usual made with butter) and what I am calling a ‘Tropical Cake’. This one I sort of made up…. Take a bunch of overripe bananas and mash them. Add 75g of sunflower oil and 50g of brown sugar and mix. Take 225g of plain flour and sift together with three heaped teaspoons baking powder. Look in the freezer and see what you have in the way of fruit. If it is pineapple – defrost a handful of it, chop up and add (then call the cake ‘Tropical’). Add a handful of any nice dry fruits or nuts you have to hand – I used sour cherries today. Mix the flour in. Immediately bake at about 200 (or 180 if you have a hot oven) in a greased tin until puffy and firm (about 35 minutes and you may need to cover the top if it starts to get overly brown). This looks good and I am about to try it with a cup of coffee now.