Coconut!

smoothie

We were sent some coconut milk by Rhythm. It’s a chilled product, comes in sachets as opposed to tins, and contains no added ingredients, no sweeteners, no de-coagulants, no rubbish. Just coconut. It’s also cold pressed, so suitable for raw food recipes, and is the best coconut milk we have ever tasted.

coconut milkWe made the tropical fruit smoothie pictured above (4 pints, adjust quantities as desired).
Into it went:
1 bag of frozen organic tropical fruit
4 bananas
100g of Rhythm’s thick creamy coconut milk
a few brazil nuts
1 litre of orange juice
Whizz it all up in a blender. The Vitamix had no problem with the fruit straight from frozen, you might have to defrost with a lower powered machine. It was gorgeous: sweet but not too sweet, rich but not sickening, perfect.

chiilisThis next recipe we are calling ‘Thai-Style Bubble and Squeak’. If you actually have left over cooked potatoes and cabbage it would be super quick to prepare. This is the method from scratch:
In 1 tsp of coconut oil, fry up a red chilli, 5 cloves of garlic and a thumb of ginger, all finely chopped. Stir in 300g of Rhythm’s coconut milk with a little water to make a creamy bubbling sauce.

Wash and thinly slice a small bag of new potatoes and half a Savoy cabbage. Pop them into the pan, stirring frequently until soft and cooked, increasing the water if needed.  Add sea salt to taste. Nice served with rice and salad after a blustery Autumn walk.

autumn leaves

Viva! Cookbook

viva cover

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.

viva recipe

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…

To buy or read more visit Viva!

Also available from Amazon.co.uk


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a pasta dish and a dragonfly

pasta

So simple: cook pasta of your choice; fry up some chopped onions and whole chestnut mushrooms in a little olive oil. Once cooked, drain the pasta and stir everything together adding salt as desired. Add chopped parsley and cherry tomatoes, some seeds. Eat.

And a dragonfly, there are so many this year…

dragonfly

some London eating

london 007 (525x700)

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’).

raw food from the wild food cafe

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:

mantle piece

The ‘tofush’ and chips was excellent:

vegan fish and chips

and the flowers in a teapot, pretty:

flowers on the table

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.

Useful resource: Vegan London

Cheap tickets etc:

kale chips

kale beach 094 (500x375)

I finally get kale chips. They are delicious, crunchy and more-ish, just like deep fried potato chips… but they are just dried kale. If made in a dehydrator they are also raw and full of lovely enzymes 🙂

Wash a bag of kale (or large bunch picked from garden, roll on summer), tear up and remove any tough stems. Massage it with a teaspoon of olive oil and a little seasalt. I used olive oil with a spoon of soy sauce and some pepper instead. It was intensely peppery, the flavours condense, so be sparing 🙂 Dehydrate for an hour or two until crisp and gorgeous. Alternatively you can bake them in an oven for 10-15 minutes, obviously they will not be raw but still delicious and healthy compared to crisps.

Stockli dehydrator linked above as that is the one we own, but spotted this Andrew James one for a fraction of the price which looks similar. Also worth noting that the Vitamix now has competition from this high power blender, half the price with good reviews…

kale beach 097 (500x361)

 

gourmet raw brownies and crisps

rg1

But first to the crisps: completely guilt free, dried raw squares of tastiness. The three flavours are Beetroot, Spicy Thai and Red Pepper and they’re all very good…

rg3

…but the absolute winner for us was the red pepper. Reminiscent of pizza, these would be very nice little crackers too. Topped with a small slice of tomato, a basil leaf and maybe half an olive… but before these musings could be made real and captured on camera they were all scoffed by other people.

The brownies are satisfyingly sticky, soft and rich, remarkably like a cooked cake but you still feel great after eating them. No sugar rush/up/down thing going on at all.

And just look at this cacao mint brownie coming towards you:

rg6

Excuse the food porn 🙂 Other varieties are cacoa cashew which is pleasantly cinnamony, carob hazelnut and carob orange. The carob ones are nice, they got gobbled down fast, but chocolate is always preferred here.

All these delicious, healthy products are raw, organic, vegan and free from wheat and gluten 😀 You can read more about them and purchase on  Gourmet Raw’s website Use code GR003 for a 10% discount.

a green book giveaway

eatgreen

We have a beautiful paperback copy of Lynne Rickard’s new book , I Do Not Eat the Colour Green to give away. A lovely title which encourages healthy eating for kids. See our review of it up here

To enter just comment on this post and tell us what your favourite green thing is. Interpret the word green in any way you like 🙂 We only have one copy so Charlotte will pick the entry that appeals most to her this time – the names will be removed before she judges so feel free to enter if we know you personally or if you’ve never set eyes on this blog before – it won’t affect your chances 😀

Competition now closed: Congratulations to Wendy 😀

Vegetarian Christmas

Vegetarian Christmas

Rose Elliot’s Vegetarian Christmas is an older book, now out of print, but I don’t think anything has come along to best it as a veggie festive title (do comment if you know otherwise!). I got the hardback out of the library something like 18/19 years ago and it impacted me. The gorgeousness of Christmas food, the hints on preparing and freezing taking the hard work away from the day itself, the photos all through it. In fact looking through the pristine copy I now own (thank you Amazon marketplace, used condition, 1 pence!) I see obvious influences there for some of the recipes on our Yule page from puff pastry mushroom trees:

a peek into Vegetarian Christmas

to little Santa pizzas:

vc3

and parsley potato stars:

potato stars from Vegetarian Christmas

There are five complete Christmas dinner menus in Vegetarian Christmas, sections on preparation, party food, puddings and cakes, lighter festive lunches and so many cute sides. There’s also a craft bit about making your own gifts. As with all Rose Elliot books there are vegan adjustments added in where appropriate.

Amazon links: Buy UK or Buy US

Whooper swans flew over as I was taking the photographs:

swans

THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR (a historical novel by Lucy, written under her pen name), has six whole chapters of medieval Christmas, romance, witches, and a Scottish castle and stone circle… 

On Amazon and Waterstones or visit Author website

the mermaid and the bear