We were sent some wonderful British bean products by Hodmedod’s. Before the title causes too much alarm: black badgers are a variety of pea that has been grown in Britain for at least 500 years, also known as carlin or maple peas. They are exceptionally flavoursome for a pulse and made a delicious hummus (substituting the chick peas in our usual recipe) and a wonderfully filling stew:
Black Badger Stew
250g of black badgers, soaked and cooked
2 onions, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
4 sticks of celery, chopped
2 dried bay leaves
1 box passata (500g)
1 tablespoon of tomato puree
water as needed
seasalt to taste
Soak your black badgers overnight, bring to the boil and turn down to simmer for about 30 minutes. Add in the vegetables, passata, water to cover and bay leaves and simmer again for at least fifteen minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Remove the bay leaves. Thicken the sauce with tomato puree and season with salt. Nice served with rice or mash.
We also made a fava bean (broad bean) salad:
1 can of cooked fava beans
3 tomatoes, cut into chunks
1 small onion, diced
a handful of fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
Mix it all together and dress with the juice of one lemon and a little olive oil.
The big vegan box pictured above would make an ideal Christmas gift for any foodie. Not only does it contain the useful store cupboard staple of dried beans (including split fava beans which do not require soaking) but it boasts a plethora of ready to eat tinned products and roasted snacks. The baked beans are broad beans in a homemade style sauce rather than the orange goo of most brands. The dahl makes ‘chips with curry sauce’ into something gourmet and delightful. And the roasted beans and peas – wow – horseradish peas! Spicy like wasabi… There’s also a UK-grown bag of quinoa, removing any ethical issues with the product.
And speaking of Christmas: don’t miss our Vegan Christmas or Yule page for lots of festive recipes and gift ideas and also Advent calendars (those will sell out soon).
The beautiful new cookbook from Viva! by Jane Easton (see her delicious beanburger recipe over on frugal).
The organisational structure of the book is exceptionally user-friendly. First there’s the main sections: Vegan Basics; Souperb; A bit on the side; Back to the sauce; The main event and Sweet thing. Then there’s a range of indexes based on the codes found on the recipe pages: budget dishes, fast feeds, Gluten & wheat free, cooking for one, kid-friendly, freezable, low fat/diabetic-friendly.
The recipes themselves are diverse and gorgeous and there’s a stunning colour photo beside each one. It’s hard to know where to start with describing them as there as so many, so we’ll give you a favourite: Speedy Chocolate Pudding. You can click the photo to see a bigger version.
The book is a wonderful mix of simple advice for beginner cooks and those new to veganism through to advanced ideas such as Christmas Stuffed Squash with Two-rice, Cranberry and Porcini Mushroom Filling. Rose Elliot’s Chestnut and Red Wine Pate en croute that we’ve loved for years is also included.
There’s Scrambled Tofu; Socca Pizza with Cream Cheese, Sundried Tomatoes and Artichoke Hearts; Perfect Pancakes; Vegetable Tempura; Smokey Black Bean Cakes & Sausages; cakes, muffins, slices… we could go on and on. Really we could, there’s 145 recipes!
The beautiful photos make it an excellent coffee table title, so much better for inspiration than tucking it away on a shelf…
This is often served at Burn’s Suppers in Scotland.
Ingredients: half a cup of porridge oats; 1 small box of soya cream; 1 tablespoon of Agave Nectar; 1 tablespoon of whisky (or whisky flavouring if you don’t take alcohol); 1 punnet of fresh raspberries
Lightly toast the oats in a frying pan on the stove. Remove from heat and pour in the cream – it will bubble and thicken a bit with the heat. Stir well and add the agave and whiskey, and mix in. Add most of the rasps, keeping a few back for garnish. Place in dishes and chill in the fridge until pudding time.
Other Scottish recipes that might be of use or preferable to haggis:
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.
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 😀
Mix together: 2 (heaped) tablespoons of Doves Farm Gluten Free Self Raising flour, 2 (heaped) tablespoons of ground almonds, 2 (heaped) tablespoons of cocoa, a pinch of xanthan gum and a pinch of bicarb. Add 2 tablespoons (not heaped) of golden syrup and the same of melted coconut oil. Use soya milk to mix (add until good thick batter is achieved, was about half a cup). Spoon into twelve cake cases. Bake at 200C/400F for about 10 minutes. Cool (instruction, not observation).
Fudgey topping: melt 70g of good quality dark chocolate with a teaspoon of golden syrup and a teaspoon of marg. Plop onto cooled cakes and decorate for the season.
This made a LOT of soup (serving at least 6), but quantity all depends on the size of the pumpkin.
flesh of one pumpkin
3 red peppers
water and soya milk to cook up in (does not have to cover veg, will be too runny)
handful of cashew nuts
seasalt and paprika to taste
Peel and de-seed the pumpkin and chop into chunks. Place in a pan with chopped peppers, carrots and liquids. Bring to boil and simmer until veg is tender. Add salt and paprika – I used about a teaspoon for a big pan but you could go hotter. Blend up with the cashews, check for seasoning and serve with paprika sprinkle.
Open the box and it hits you: that exciting, sugary Easter Egg scent from childhood. I don’t know why chocolate should smell different when formed into an egg shape, but it does. Dark chocolate eggs are of course gorgeous, but altogether more grown up. This is the one for children and those who don’t like high cocoa content chocolate. The moo free egg is sweet and mild and could easily be mistaken for a milk chocolate product.
It’s a good 100g size and the bunny, butterfly and flower packaging is a nice change from dark eggs which are usually aimed at very mature people…
Available from Amazon.co.uk and larger Waitrose stores. Moo Free Chocolates have full details of all stockists on their website
Everyone agreed that this side dish was the best 🙂
8 medium parsnips (you can of course use bigger/smaller and adjust quantities)
8 medium carrots
a little sunflower oil to rub
a couple of teaspoons of maple or golden syrup
a teaspoon of rough seasalt
a handful of natural pistachios (not salted or roasted)
Peel/scrape the vegetables and cut into quarters, once lengthways and once across the middle. Rub them with oil and place in roasting tin. Drizzle syrup. Sprinkle salt and pistachios. Roast in a hot oven for about half an hour.