Vegan MoFo: rosemary roast marrow with baby plum tomatoes

roast veg

Simple in the extreme. Muchly Yum. Good as a satisfying side or a light supper over rice.

Peel, de-seed and chop a large marrow into nice big chunks and place in roasting dish. Scissors cut a small bundle of fresh rosemary over it. Mix through a punnet of halved baby plum tomatoes (other toms will do). Rub a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and a little seasalt into the mixture and roast at 200C for at least half an hour.

Here it is cooking up with baked potatoes and a gluten free banana raisin loaf 🙂

8105372294_3dbb28086f_z

Vegan MoFo: creamy tomato soup with avocado nori rolls

tomato soup and sushi

Very yummy, very whole-proteiny 🙂

For the soup, heat two tins or cartons of chopped tomatoes. Add in a huge peeled and chopped sweet potato, 4 chopped sticks of celery, 2 chopped red peppers and a handful of quinoa grain. Cook up until veg is soft and quinoa sprouted then blend with a handful of cashew nuts. Add sea salt to taste and water if too thick.

The nori rolls are probably self explanatory but if you need instructions there is a simple sushi recipe here, scroll a little way down.

walnut and red pepper pate

Pate

Chuck all this in blender/food processor and blitz up: a red pepper, 3 or 4 handfuls of walnuts, juice and a little rind of one organic lemon and a small bunch of sage. Other herbs would be nice too, if I'd had some I would have added lots of fresh parsley 🙂 Don't worry if it's a bit thin at first, it thickens up after sitting. Keeps well in fridge for 2 or 3 days.

sage and onion potato pie

Sage and onion potato pie2
Yes, I can make pies too! Not quite such exciting ones as Cat, but delicious all the same, the flavour of sage and onion combined is wonderful. The pastry here is made with Kamut flour, an ancient grain related to wheat but much lower in gluten and higher in selenium and other nutrients. It's wholemeal but totally smooth like white flour and makes great pastry.

Basic pastry making method is written up here in this pasty recipe.

The filling is made of:

a little olive oil

2 chopped onions

about 8 medium potatoes, skins left on but sliced thinly

a teaspoon of dried sage (fresh would probably be even better but use 2 or 3 teaspoons)

seasalt to taste

a tablespoon of gluten free flour (other flour will do)

half a cup or so of soya milk for a thick creamy sauce

Roll out your pastry and line the bottom and sides of an oven proof dish with over half of it. Fry the onion in the oil for a few minutes then add the sage and salt. Add the sliced potatoes and cook up for a another few minutes, stirring frequently as it will stick. Add the flour and mix well, then stirring in the soya milk until you have a thick sauce coating the potatoes. Plop in all into the dish, top with the remaining pastry, squidge the edges together and stab it a few times for what I think of as 'air holes'. Bake in a hot oven for at least half an hour. Prod it with a knife to test the softness of potatoes.

Yum. Had it with chips and salad.

Sage and onion potato pie

Pressure cooking beans makes the house smell of flatulence, and almost becoming a lady

PICT0244
(7am is not the time to be making beans look attractive)

That's the only problem with beans. They permeate and linger and leave the whole house smelling of flatulence. I still do it though and in bulk too! We eat a lot of beans (maybe it's not the beans making the house smell) so the cheapness factor wins through over the smell. After all, I can always just open a window or blame the dog.

It does involve a bit of forward planning. Not much though! I mean, come on, I manage it! Soak the beans overnight (the only bit of planning required) , rinse, put in pressure cooker with fresh water and bring up to pressure (about 15 minutes), cook for 15 to 20 minutes (depending on bean type) and then turn off heat and leave.

It might sound a bit of a hassle but really it's not. Mostly the beans are doing their own thing and I put them on just before having breakfast so I'm in the kitchen anyway and don't have to hang about. Even including the cost of the fuel it's much cheaper than tinned. I then drain, cool and freeze them in handy portions.

I started cooking beans this way when I was 17. Back in the day the only beans I could get tinned were kidney beans so for variety I started buying dried beans and quickly realised the only way to do them was in bulk and in a pressure cooker. There is definitely a greater variety of tinned beans now but they're still costly.

I refused too eat beans and lentils as a child. It was probably a texture thing as I also used to refuse to eat anything which I decided had any texture at all. If memory serves me correctly I really only ate tomato soup and macaroni cheese. Oh, and cake, jelly, ice-cream, biscuits…funny that…somehow all sugar laden foods were deemed to have a good texture…Now I eat some form of beans or lentils every day. Sometimes twice a day. I should add that all rumours of beans causing gas are only vaguely true…I wont go into details. I guess many people think that all beans are the same which is a shame because they are missing out on the variety of flavours and textures as well as their versatility. I'll not bore you with their nutritional prowess but suffice to say they are good for you.

Some other things:
Still organising. It now requires me to get things out rather than just filling bags for charity and stacking up piles for selling. I've found that half the battle is getting started. Before I began the huge organisation I started small because if I achieve something I'm more likely to continue. I started with my bag which began like this:

PICT0252

(genuine contents of my bag. No purse, no phone. Mainly sweetie wrappers…but a nice pen!)

And is now like this:

PICT0255
(All brightly coloured so I can find it in my bag)

Look! I'm almost a lady! (In my head ladies are organised, wear co-ordinated outfits, look elegant, have refined manners, don't swear and carry handbags… I have a handbag so I'm almost there)

And finally a question for any sewers out there. I'm in the process of deciding on a sewing machine  and what I want to know is… What is the benefit of all the fancy extra stitches on the more expensive models (other than being fancy)? If it helps I'm planning on using the machine for a whole variety of craft, quilt and clothing projects. Thanks.

quinoa

Well, when you've been chowing down on white bread, crisps and chocolate at the beach, it's time for healthier, lighter things. The miracle food of quinoa, a complete protein source, high in iron, magnesium and many other goodly bits – wiki on it – was geekily interested to learn there that it is related to tumbleweeds…

Quinoa

So there it is, topped with a stir fry of leek, red, yellow and green peppers and broccoli. Gravy made with copious quantities of Vecon Stock, also stuffed full of vits and iron. Winter's coming – some extra nutrition is a good idea 😀 (there's even a wiki on it too).

Vegan MoFo – bramble smoothie

pictorial ingredients, quantities vague and up to you:

Bs5
well duh… lots of… blackberries to the non Scottish…

  Bs3

borage flowers… lots of… optional…

  Bs4

beet leaves… some of… other greens will do…

Bs6
little waxy apples…

  Bs1

a graze box pack that no one wanted though you could sub one you had to wrestle out of someone's hands too…

Bs2
end of a bag of walnuts

Bs7
ripe bananas, oh and juice… lots of… apple for much sweetness, orange for less…

Bs8
TA DA!!!