Monday, 30 November 2015

Turnip Swede and Kale Curry For St Andrews Day

I picked up a Swede -Turnip (Neep) last week thinking ahead of St Andrews Day.  I wanted to honour my friends and my time in Scotland. I also wanted to get my hands on some vegetarian haggis, as I didn't have the inclination this time round to make some vegan haggis from scratch, but as our visit to the city this weekend was cut short by the weather - we had neither home-made or shop bought haggis. 

So with St Andrews Day here, I have to admit I wasn't overly energetic or  experimental as I had done so in the past, so resorted to making a vegan Neep Curry. 
And although nothing like his recipe, I was actually inspired by Denis Cotter to make a Turnip Swede Curry from his book Wild Garlic, Gooseberries and Me. Denis Cotters recipe is made with leeks, double cream and yogurt. 

Happy St Andrews Day to Scottish friends in Scotland and those who have migrated to other parts of the world!

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Butternut Squash, Aduki Bean and Kale Savoury Crumble

What's the weather like where you are?  Or should I not ask?!

It's not so nice here at all, we went into Cardiff this morning and driving there and back - well it felt like we were in a submarine with the rain coming down in buckets.  I am not feeling 100%, plus its been a good, but busy week at work, so I was actually glad to get back home when we did, as I was not in the mood for Christmas shopping and the hustle and bustle. 
I was glad that I didn't need to do any cooking either when we got in either.

I made this Savoury Crumble a couple of days back, yes I know two Savoury Crumbles in one month.  This one is very autumnal in appearance, though its quite wintry outside.  Gold and yellow from the butternut squash and sweetcorn, moss green from the kale and studded with clay brown aduki beans.  It was quite pretty to gaze at, but then I went and covered it with a blanket of wholemeal flour and cheddar cheese crumble topping. 
Once baked, a little burnt and crisp around the edges, it was a welcome lunch and just what I wanted to tuck into and give me that warm glow. I am sharing this with Tinned Tomatoes for Meat Free Mondays; and The Slow Cooked challenge hosted by Janice from Farmergirl Kitchen and The Baking Queen, which has a vegetarian theme this month.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Kind Cakes, Mean Bakes in Bristol

Did I tell you we had 1 inch of snow in the Welsh valleys at the weekend.  It was a bit of a surprise, to look out of the bedroom window to find the greenhouse and dirt ground covered with the cold white stuff.  It took us a little while to scrape the ice of the car too.

Anyway, to escape the cold and being stuck indoors, we took a drive and made a day trip of going into Bristol.  I love Bristol for many reasons, when I graduated from University all those years ago  - I applied for jobs in Bristol, Brighton and Birmingham, but ended up finding a job in the city when I went to Uni - Glasgow.  I do love exploring Bristol as well as trying out the many vegetarian and vegan eateries.  I also enjoy taking a lazy wander around Stokes Croft for the graffiti art - but there was not much new there this time round, just a handful around the #RefugeesWelcome.  
This is the only one that I managed to capture on camera.  Its Paddington Bear - Migration is Not a Crime.  Instead of Cafe Kino, we decided to try a different place -  Wise Beans Cafe -  the coffee was real good.  

We were not ready to eat, but I was restraining myself as we had walked passed the Market at The Moon and I spyed some beautiful handmade crafted gifts, as well as Kind Cakes, Mean Bakes and I was suddenly tempted by all of their sweet and savoury bites.  
Sometimes, I miss my own vegetarian culinary adventures and admire and live precariously through others.  If I do return to grassroots cooking, I often imagine it will be something like Mazi Mas or The International Peace Cafe, both recently featured in The Guardian; or even just a 'Pop Up Supper Club'. 

I am very cautious when I tell vegetarian and vegan stall holders that I used to do some catering (and sometimes that I even have a food blog). The response closer to home has not always been welcoming.  I am often snubbed and perceived as a competitor.  Sadly even the non-vegetarian stalls that knock out one sad 'cheese and onion' vegetarian option, give me that sly look, but I have to be honest, its the first time that I got a bit of warmth and it came from two funky vegan women behind Kind Cakes Mean Bakes.  I applaud that kind and genuine warmth that they exuded, they were even generous in sharing a recipe with me.   Thank you so much Caroline and Jane. 
I really really wanted to try everything made by  Kind Cakes Mean Bakes, but at the same time I didn't want to be carrying fragile fresh bakes in my bag and wandering the eclectic streets of Bristol for another few hours, so I went for one - the most eye-catching bake on the table, saying that most were incredible - but it was the beetroot topping that made me opt for the vegan Savoury Cake with 'cream cheese'. 
Above - Caroline lifting up a generous slice for me to take home.  And boy, oh boy it was Awesome - even D gave it the thumbs up. 
My one regret on the day was not getting some Jaffa Fakes - some with orange and some with raspberries!  I consolidate myself in the knowledge that I will visit  Kind Cakes Mean Bakes again, but it may now be next Year, unless we go back in December for some Christmas shopping...   You never know....

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Ethiopian Berbere Injera Crisps - Chips

I had some Injera - Sourdough flatbread  left over from the weekend's Ethiopian Supper of Tibs 'Soya Beef' with Berbere and Cherry Tomatoes and Caramelised White Cabbage, Carrot and Potatoes.

I don't like waste, so I wondered what else I could do with them?  I saw a recipe for a savoury Injera porridge but I have to be honest that did not appeal, then I was inspired by Injera Chips from defunct blog The Berbere Diaries.   Only three ingredients, the Injera, Berbere and Vegetable oil - so there was no stopping me from making these.
I wasn't that generous with the Berbere and thank goodness as it was still quite spicy on the lips.   These Injera crisps are proper crunchy too like toasted corn snacks, so if you have tooth fillings, then I would advise eating them with caution or don't make them at all - you have been warned. How do I know this...take a guess?!  
I am sharing this with Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary No Waste Food Challenge hosted this month by  Its Not Easy Being GreedyAnd here is a link to More Injera Please who has further ideas of what to do with left-over Injera, but I have to say - the crisps are high on my list.  Oh and just in case your wondering how Injera is made from scratch, then follow this link from The Guardian

Ethiopian Berbere Injera Crisps - Chips
1 - 2 left-over Injera
60ml vegetable oil
Berbere powder to taste
Preheat oven to gas mark/275oc.
With a brush, coat the Injera in the oil, 
Liberally ssprinkle over the Berbere or to taste.
Either slice the Injera or rip it into pieces and arrange on a lightly oiled baking sheet.
Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, then turn off the heat and allow it to cool and crisp up.
You may need to bake longer depending on the thickness of your Injera and your oven. 

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Mazi Mas Ethiopian Tibs 'Soya Beef' with Berbere and Cherry Tomatoes made Vegetarian

As well as bookmarking recipes from cookbooks, I mentioned that I have bookmarked some recipes from websites also.   I've had my eye on a couple of Ethiopian recipes from Azeb Woldemichael of Mazi Mas as featured in The Guardian.  It is thanks to The Guardian that I have discovered Mazi Mas and have become a fan from afar.  Mazi Mas which translates in Greek 'with us' is a roaming eatery that serves global home cuisine to the public.  The chefs are migrant and refugee women who have struggled to find work in the U.K.  Mazi Mas reminds me a little of The League of Kitchens in  NYC, America.

For those of you who read my blog, will know that I've been cooking up some global cuisine since the start of this blog; and most recently Ethiopian and Eritrean cuisine has been on the menu, thanks to some new people frequenting my workplace and inspiring me.  
I was more tempted by the Berbere spices which I have come to love and have a stash of.  The original Mazi Maz 'Tibs' recipe is made with beef skirt, diced small.  After giving it a little thought, I adapted the recipe and made it suitable for vegetarians, its even possible to veganize!  In place of the beef, I substituted Soy Schnetzel often used for vegan Ghoulash, but if you can't find them soya chunks will work too.  The rosemary came from my garden and so did the cherry tomatoes, the last from my greenhouse - yes in November. 

Both dishes: the Ethiopian Tibs 'Soya Beef' with Berbere and Cherry Tomatoes and White Cabbage, Carrot and Potato are extremely rich and flavour packed.  I loved them both and so did D, he just wasn't keen on the Injera - Ethiopian Sourdough flatbread that has little bubbles on top like a crumpet.  He found the Injera texture a little to strange to eat, as it has a rubber aspect to it.  It didn't bother me at all; and I ate it traditionally with my fingers.