This salad is colourful and strongly flavoured. In fact, it is hard-core salad. Lots of chewing involved. No dressing. If the pomegranate is nice and ripe, preparing this salad will leave you looking like a guest at a wedding written by George R. R. Martin (but healthy).
6 oranges, peeled and chopped into bite size pieces
the juicy contents of 1 large pomegranate
plentiful kale leaves, chopped or torn
some red lettuce, shredded
The Booja Booja Champagne truffles we had tried before, hence our delight on seeing them in the box. They are smooth and rich and decadent, perfect for a special occasion or as a gift or treat.
The Eskal mints and fruit crèmes were new to us, but both very enjoyable, the mints reminiscent of Bendicks and the crèmes delicately and naturally flavoured. The company do quite a large range of vegan and gluten-free foods (we like the pasta and noodles too).
Lest this post be ever so sweetly misleading: Goodness Direct are actually an online health food shop, selling everything you would expect from such a store including fresh vegetables, bread and household items. Despite the fact we live in the North of Scotland, a package from them usually arrives the day after ordering. They offer free delivery on orders over £35. We’ve used them for years and know their customer service to be excellent.
Let’s finish up with an evening loch picture, just because:
River, trees and snowy mountains from a steam train window (it’ll make sense later).
Creamy Vegetable Pie is an old recipe that wasn’t included in the site update, but we’ve had requests for it so here it is 🙂
1 tablespoon vegan marg (we used Pure sunflower)
1 leek, chopped
5 sticks of celery, roughly chopped
6 carrots, chopped
about a cupful of frozen peas
1 vegan stock cube (we used Kallo Organic Vegetable Stock Cubes )
2 tablespoons white flour
3/4 of litre of soya milk (approx)
seasalt to taste
2 kg potatoes, peeled
a little soya milk, marg and salt and pepper to mash into the tatties
large bunch of chives to mash into the tatties – easiest chopped up with scissors, straight into pan.
Peel and roughly chop the potatoes, place in a pan and cover with water and bring to boil. Once boiling turn down to simmer until soft. While that’s happening, prepare the veg and sauce. Melt the marg in a pan and add the veg and stock cube, cooking until slightly softened (5-10 min), stirring regularly. Add the flour and mix well. Gradually add the soya milk, stirring all the time until a nice thick sauce is formed round the veggies (you can add more soya milk or water if too thick). Season with salt and pepper and place in a large oven proof dish (we used a lasagne one).
Once the tatties are cooked, mash with the marg, s. milk, salt, pepper, and chives and spread this evenly on top of your veg sauce. Place in oven at 200c/400F for about 20 minutes or until browned as much as you like 🙂 Delicious with fresh salad…
Back to the train.The Strathspey Steam Railway does lunches on board and with at least 24 hours notice they can cater for any dietary requirement. The three course Sunday lunch they gave us was lovely, and the first class compartment an added treat.
In beautiful, colourful Neal’s Yard, in the former home of Monty Python, resides the Wild Food Café. We enjoyed our raw pizza and salad (it is ‘raw-centric’).
Also in Covent Garden is LabOrganic, which we visited more than once for their fresh green juices and raw chocolate mousse.
We loved The Coach and Horses vegetarian pub with its timeless rickety stairs, twenties music and somehow Dickensian mantelpiece:
The ‘tofush’ and chips was excellent:
and the flowers in a teapot, pretty:
Though we didn’t eat in them, Food for Thought in Neal St. had a savoury and delicious smell wafting out its door and the dishes visible through the window of totally vegan Vantra Vitao looked very good.
Delicious and fresh after the rich food of Yule, the courgette bases are juicy and flavoursome. Nice as canapés or a starter.
Brush a baking tray with olive oil . We used three courgettes, sliced to just under a cm thick, to cover a full size oven tray. Top with pizza sauce of your choice: ours consisted of passata mixed with a little olive oil, finely chopped onion, dried oregano and seasalt. We topped off with some Redwood’s melting cheese, but half an olive would be nice too. Bake for about 20 minutes at 200C/400F.
A simple supper or a filling breakfast using up leftover mashed potato. We had one very heaped soup bowl of mash, but the recipe is versatile 🙂
Fry off 2 red onions and a couple of good sprigs of sage (chopped or scissored in). Mix into the potatoes with a block of grated cheezly and a tablespoon of flour. Squishing it all up with your hands is best. Press into fairly thin pancakes and dip each side in crumbs of some sort, we used Orgran Rice Crumbs. Shallow fry, turning once, until crispy.
Marble cake good. And easy, very easy. Simply mix up a vanilla cake batter (you’ll find a recipe here), then stir some cocoa into half of it. Combine the two mixes/colours by little more than a figure eight stir and plop into a baking tin and bake. We used the I Love Cake Mould which means the cake can be cut into big heart shaped slices, but marble cake is actually better sliced thin so you can see all the wonderful cake art you’ve made 😀
Autumn is deepening and darkening, it’s conker time, it’s almost November, and November is vegan month. Animal Aid are running The Great Vegan Challenge where anyone can pledge to be vegan for a month with lots of help and support detailed here on their website (some rather nice recipes there too).
The vegetarian restaurant Tibits in London, normally 80% vegan in its offerings, is going to be launching Vegan Days, specifically on the 1st, 7th, 18th and 29th of November. Further vegan days will be mentioned here on their website. Judging by the lovely book they sent us – Tibits at Home – the food is pretty delicious.
Divided into seasons, the plethora of colourful recipes are all accompanied by photos. We liked the fact there are juice recipes and lots of really tasty sounding quinoa dishes, but today we tried the tomato soup with lemongrass and coconut milk, recipe below.
Theirs is rather better presented than ours 🙂 The book is now splattered, always a good sign with a cookbook.
Preparation time 40 minutes.
1 small onion
2 garlic cloves
1 stalk lemongrass
200g green leeks
600g fully ripened tomatoes
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
350ml vegetable stock
half tsp ginger powder
half tsp lemon pepper
1 tsp chilli oil
1 tsp sea salt
150ml coconut milk
freshly ground seasalt and white pepper
Peel and finely chop the onions and garlic. Squash the lemongrass on a chopping board and chop finely.
Wash the leek, cut into half lengthwise and then chop into fine strips. Wash the tomatoes, remove the stem ends and chop into 3cm dice.
Sweat the onion, garlic and lemongrass in the hot olive oil until transparent. Add the diced tomatoes, veg stock, ginger, lemon pepper, chilli oil and sea salt and simmer at low temperature for 20 minutes. Puree the soup in a food processor and pass through a sieve.
Add the coconut milk and the leek and lightly cook for another five minutes. Add seasalt and pepper to taste.
It was a very nice and warming recipe despite being from the summer section of the book. There are many sweet photos throughout, this was our favourite:
Next up will be the parsnip soup though the linguini with pumpkin and swiss chard also looks enticing…
Autumn. Apples on the trees. Piles of logs for the fire. Hot chocolate. Heavy rain. Soup. Books.
Though it’s actually the books of summer I’m going to blog about, Autumn only just having got underway. The book pages survived the site move in abbreviated form – adult non-fiction and children’s titles – but fiction got left behind in a dusty file… so this post redresses the balance somewhat.
Two exciting debuts: The String Diaries is a perfectly paced thriller, set in modern day Britain and ancient Hungary, a myth made real. It makes you jump at noises in the garden. Kiss Me First is contrastingly contemporary and all too creepily believable as it examines the reality of online identity through the eyes of its timid, possibly autistic, protagonist.
All Passion Spent entranced me with its beautiful prose and well recognised description of what it is to be human. For once a literary title did not have me wishing for aliens to land and kill everybody…
Psychological thriller Gone Girl is intriguing from the off and the characters stay with you, an exciting read.
Roddy’s Doyle’s The Woman Who Walked Into Doors is heart-breaking and poignant and so well written that I am still sad about the death of an unpleasant character. I intend moving on to its follow up, Paula Spencer, soon. I requested The Guts for my birthday but got waylaid and gripped by the unusual Young Adult LGBT title, Pantomime (only 99p on Kindle at present).
Adding in Eleanor & Park because it’s so very, very good. Horribly real. Beautifully sweet. Intensely readable.
I’m off to make banana raisin teabread, not quite sure why that feels so nice and autumnal but it does. I leave you with the wild waves of the local beach and some surfing… (look hard, you’ll see them.)