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Chocolate Hazelnut Brownies

We love these nutty chocolate brownies - they are so versatile. You could add try adding raspberries or blueberries or add whole nuts to the uncooked brownie mix such as toasted hazelnuts or macadamia nuts. They are delicious served warm with vegan ice cream!

Chocolate and Hazelnut Brownies

Dietary: Vegan, Gluten-free

Makes 12

Ingredients

  • 150g dark chocolate
  • 50g margarine
  • 50g coconut oil
  • 3 tbsp chia seeds
  • 9 tbsp water
  • 100g soft dates (or soaked to soften)
  • 150g soft brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 75g plain gluten free flour blend
  • 50g ground hazelnuts
  • 1 ¼ tsp baking powder

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 195C/175Fan/Gas5.
  2. Line a 20cm x 20cm square cake or brownie tin with baking parchment.
  3. Melt the chocolate and margarine and coconut oil in a heatproof bowl above a pan filled one third full of simmering water.
  4. Heat the chia seeds in the water and bring to a gentle simmer for a few minutes, leave to thicken and cool down.
  5. Blend the dates with the sugar until smooth, then stir into the melted chocolate mixture.
  6. Add the chia seed mixture and vanilla and stir well to combine.
  7. Stir in the flour and ground hazelnuts and mix thoroughly to ensure no lumps of flour are visible.
  8. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the pre-heated oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until the brownies are set on the sides, cracking slightly but still soft to the touch in the middle.
  9. Leave to cool, then chill in the fridge before cutting into squares.
  10. To serve, drizzle with melted dark chocolate, a dusting of cocoa powder and maybe even some caramel hazelnuts.

Delicious food photography by Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures.

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Mushroom Strudel

Traditionally strudel is sweet and cooked with apple, but it is also popular with savoury fillings such as cabbage, pumpkin, and sauerkraut. This recipe uses mixed mushrooms and chard - very autumnal, very delicious. We have used pre-made puff pastry to save time.  

Mushroom Strudel

Serves 4

Prep time: 40 minutes | Cook time: 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 250g puff pastry, ready rolled
  • 250g potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 onion, diced
  • Pinch salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp ground Caraway seeds
  • ¼ tsp grated nutmeg
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 150g Chestnut mushrooms, sliced
  • 150g wild mushrooms, sliced
  • 300g chard or cabbage, sliced
  • 1 egg
  • 150g sour cream
  • 25g parmesan
  • 2 tbsp fresh dill, chopped

Method

  1. Boil the potatoes in plenty of water for 10 to 15 minutes until tender, drain and put to one side.
  2. In a large frying pan, heat the butter and fry the onion with a pinch of salt and pepper for 5 minutes until soft, add the caraway, nutmeg and garlic and fry for another minute.
  3. Add the mushrooms and fry until they are soft and releasing their juices.
  4. Add the chard or cabbage and cook down for minute or two.
  5. Remove from the heat and stir in the cooked potatoes. Set aside to cool slightly. 
  6. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg (reserving 1tbsp to glaze), sour cream, finely grated parmesan and chopped dill. Add a pinch of salt and pepper.
  7. Stir the sour cream mixture through the mushroom mixture. Leave to cool completely.
  8. Preheat the oven to 180C Fan. 
  9. Lay out the puff pastry sheet onto a sheet of baking parchment and place it onto a baking tray.
  10. Spread the mushroom mixture down the middle of the pastry sheet. Fold up the sides, making sure they overlap by about 10cm on top. Pinch the ends of the pastry together.
  11. Roll the pastry over so the overlap is now on the bottom.
  12. With a small sharp knife make some small incisions across the streusel, marking it all the way down the length.
  13. Place the strudel in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, then turn the temperature down to 170C Fan and cook for a further 10 minutes to make sure the pastry is cooked through, puffed up and a deep golden colour. 

Delicious food photography by Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures.

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Completing a Vegan Diploma, Tallie Samuels

Tallie Samuels is one of our former Vegan Diploma students. She has written a wonderful piece on her blog about her time in the kitchen with us... 

'I loved my time at Demuths... I learnt an incredible amount, and grew dramatically in confidence. Completing a vegan diploma gave me the skills, knowledge and confidence I needed to become a chef with not an animal product in sight!'

Read the full blog post here ~ Completing a Vegan Diploma

Mushroom Pierogi with a Yoghurt Dill Dip

Pierogi, the Polish national dish popular throughout Eastern Europe, are small filled dumplings made with a very thin bread dough. Pierogi can be made with sweet and savoury fillings. Here we have filled them with the best of autumns mushrooms and served them with a yoghurt and dill dip.

Pierogi

Dietary: Vegan 

Serves 4 | Makes 24

Prep time: 1 hour | Cook time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

Pastry

  • 1 tsp dried active yeast
  • 4tbspwarm water
  • ¼ tsp sugar
  • 200g white bread flour
  • 2tbspolive oil
  • 4tbsp hot water

Filling

  • 10g dried shitake mushrooms
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • ½ tsp coriander seeds
  • ½ tspcaraway seeds
  • ½ tsp juniper berries
  • ½ tsp ground allspice
  • 50g mixed wild mushrooms, chopped
  • 100g fresh shitake mushrooms, chopped
  • 50ml red wine
  • 100gsauerkraut
  • 30g prunes, chopped
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil for brushing the pierogi

Method

For the dough

  1. Mix the yeast with the warm water and sugar and wait 5 minutes to activate the yeast.
  2. Pour the yeasty water into the flour and mix,thenadd the olive oil and hot water.
  3. Knead for a minute until smooth, then cover and leave to rest for 30 minutes while you make the filling.

For the filling

  1. Cover the dried mushrooms with hot water and leave to soak for 30 minutes.
  2. Grind the whole spices and add to the ground allspice
  3. Fry the onion with the bay leaves and thyme in the olive oil until soft, then add the ground spices and fry for a minute.
  4. Add the wild and shitake mushrooms and fry on a high heat until they release their juices. Add the red wine, reduce for a minute, then add the sauerkraut and chopped prunes.
  5. Take the rehydrated dried mushrooms out of the water and chop them up. Add them along with the water to the mixture and cook until the mixture is dry.
  6. Season with salt and pepper and add the lemon juice.
  7. Preheat oven to 180CFan.
  8. Divide the dough into 24 small balls. Roll each one out to 3mm thick circle.
  9. Place a teaspoon of the filling onto each circle and fold over to create a half circle. Press the edges well to seal, using a little water to dampen the edge to help them stick if needed.
  10. Bring the two corners together to make a tortellini shape.
  11. Brush with olive oil, place onto a baking sheet and bake for 15-18 minutes until golden.
  12. Serve with a yoghurt and dill dip.

Yoghurt and Dill Dip

Ingredients

  • 1-2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • Pinch of salt
  • 150ml thick yogurt
  • Handful of dill, chopped

Method

  1. Crush the garlic with a pinch of salt to a smooth paste, add the yoghurt and dill and mix well.
  2. Refrigerate and serve chilled. 

Delicious food photography by Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures.

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Hungarian Mushroom Goulash with Paprika Scones

Goulash is a traditional Hungarian stew and the star of the dish is paprika. Paprika is made from a sweet large red pepper that is dried and ground into a rich red powder. Hungarian paprika is on the sweet side and mildly hot. We have also added this star ingredient to some savoury scones which make a great accompaniment to the stew.

Hungarian Mushroom Goulash with Paprika Scones

Hungarian Mushroom Goulash

Dietary: Vegan, Gluten free | Serves 4

Prep time: 15 minutes | Cook time: 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 10g dried porcini mushrooms
  • 250ml hot water
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 8 small shallots, peeled and cut in half
  • 1 red pepper, sliced
  • 1 green pepper, sliced
  • 250g large field mushrooms, thickly sliced
  • 200g chestnut mushrooms, halved
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • 2 tbsp sweet paprika
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp tomato puree
  • 250g potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 250g tomatoes, diced
  • 250ml lightly flavoured beer
  • 3 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • Pinch of salt

Method

  1. Cover the dried mushrooms with hot water and leave to soak for 30 minutes while you prepare the vegetables and get the stew going.
  2. In a large heavy based saucepan, heat the olive oil and fry the shallots for 10 minutes until soft.
  3. Add the peppers, mushrooms, garlic and thyme all together and fry for another for 10 minutes until soft.
  4. Add the paprika, black pepper and tomato puree. Fry for a minute until fragrant.
  5. Add the potatoes, tomatoes, beer, rehydrated dried mushrooms with their soaking water.
  6. Bring to the boil, simmer for 20 minutes until the potatoes are cooked.
  7. Add the chopped parsley and salt to taste.
  8. Serve with mini paprika scones.

Paprika Scones

Makes 15 scones

Prep time: 15 minutes | Cook time: 15 minutes 

Ingredients

  • 250g self-raising flour
  • 60g butter
  • 150ml thin yoghurt
  • 1 egg (leave 1tbsp to glaze)
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • Pinch of salt and pepper

Method

  1. Heat over to 220C.
  2. Lightly grease a baking sheet
  3. Mix flour, salt, pepper and rub in butter
  4. Stir in paprika and then the yoghurt and egg to get a soft, slightly sticky dough
  5. Turn on to a floured worksurface and knead lightly. Pat out to a round 2cm thick and use a 5cm cutter to cut scones.
  6. Place on baking sheet and repeat until all dough has been used
  7. Brush tops with the remaining 1 tbsp of egg.
  8. Bake for 12-15 minutes until well risen and golden 

Delicious food photography by Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures.

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Foraged Feasts, Vegetarian Living, October 2018

This month our regular feature in the October issue of Vegetarian Living  is all about mushrooms and to showcase them, we have three Eastern European inspired recipes - Hungarian Goulash, Pierogi & Mushroom Strudel. 

Click on the link below see the article:

Foraged Feasts, Vegetarian Living, October 2018

Making the Most of Magical Mushrooms!

Autumn is the season for mushrooms. With more and more varieties appearing in the shops, here are our top tips and some of our favourite recipes. 

What to Look for When Buying Mushrooms

When you’re shopping for mushrooms, look out for ‘wild’ selections, which often contain shiitake, chanterelles, oyster and shimeji, and then make up the remaining quantity you need for your recipe with chestnut mushrooms. Choose a pack that looks fresh and dry – if the mushrooms are dark and damp, they will be going bad. In supermarkets they are usually sold sealed in plastic, so you can’t do the sniff test – with loose mushrooms, if they smell off they will taste off too! Always try to eat mushrooms while they are as fresh as possible.

How to Prepare Mushrooms for Cooking

Never wash mushrooms, as they contain 90 per cent water and will act like sponges, soaking up the moisture and becoming soggy. To clean them, just wipe with a pastry brush or paper towel, or you can buy a special mushroom brush. The exception to this rule is when you are using wild mushrooms, which may be very gritty or even downright dirty! These may need a gentle plunge into a bowl of water; a running tap is too violent and may damage them. Always dry the mushrooms with paper towel before cooking.

How to Store Mushrooms

Store mushrooms in a paper bag in the fridge, never in plastic or in a bowl covered with cling film, as this will make them sweat. Mushrooms can be frozen but only when cooked: simply sauté them in oil or butter and freeze in small quantities. They can then be cooked from frozen or defrosted an hour before you intend to use them. When defrosted, cooked mushrooms become watery and loose in texture, so are best used for liquid dishes such as soups.

How to Cook Mushrooms

Cook mushrooms in rapeseed oil or olive oil - I find the taste complements the mushrooms. Mushrooms also love heat, and should sizzle when they cook to seal in the flavour and evaporate their moisture. They generally release a lot of their moisture during cooking and then draw it back in, so wait for the point when they become dry and begin to crisp on the edges. Add your seasoning at the end of cooking.

Mushroom Varieties

Fresh Mushrooms

Chestnut mushrooms are brown-cap mushrooms, have more flavour than white-cap mushrooms and are often organic. 

Chanterelles have a beautiful orange colour and very distinctive taste. They can be cooked whole and are best sautéed. They are also called girolles in France. 

Oyster mushrooms have short stalks on one side of the smooth bare oyster-like cap, which can be up to 15cm in diameter. They grow on the trunks of deciduous trees. They have a delicate flavour so are best in light dishes, shredded by hand and quickly stir-fried. 

King Oyster mushrooms are from the same family as oyster mushrooms and are sometimes called trumpet mushrooms. They have a dense texture and a sweet mild taste. Slice them lengthwise and panfry, grill or bake. 

Porcini or Ceps are found wild in the woods in autumn. To cook fresh, slice thickly and fry or char-grill, then drizzle with the best olive oil. You can also buy them dried, with a more concentrated flavour. 

Shiitake are tough, dark brown mushrooms with a ‘meaty’ flavour. They grow on tree logs and are available to buy fresh and dried. Shiitake are well suited to Asian dishes, but will also add taste to stews, risottos and soups. 

Shimeji are popular Japanese mushrooms and are known as white or brown beech mushrooms, as in the wild they grow on fallen beech trees. They have a nutty flavour and chewy texture. 

Dried Mushrooms

Dried mushrooms are an essential storecupboard ingredient. Use them to add flavour to stocks and soups by just adding a few, whole, or rehydrate them in hot water and then chop them into risottos, pasta dishes or stews. I like dried porcini and shiitake as they are so full of flavour that you don’t need to use many to add a wonderful mushroom aroma to your dishes. After rehydrating, you can use the soaking liquid as a stock, just strain off any grit and dirt at the bottom of the soaking bowl first.

Photos by Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures

Here are a few of our favourite mushroom recipes ~  

Mushroom & Seitan Stew with Crispy Potatoes

Tom Yam Soup with Shiitake Mushrooms 

Mushroom, Celeriac & Ale Pie 

Green Jade Soup with Shiitake Wontons 

Japanese Soba Noodles with Mushrooms

Chestnut Mushroom, Hazelnut and Smoked Tofu Pátê

We have some fabulous courses lined up for Autumn and into Winter and our Christmas Classes are filling up very quickly. Why not click over right now and book yourself or a friend (or both!) onto a course at our beautiful school in the heart of Bath? 

What will you be making with mushrooms as autumn unfolds? Leave a comment below or Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram where we are chatting about all things foodie and, if you like this post, please share it!

To keep up to date with events and goings on at the cookery school sign up for our newsletter. 

Spiced Baked Fruit with Hazelnut Praline Ice Cream and Amaretti Biscuits

Spiced Baked Fruit with Hazelnut Praline Ice Cream and Amaretti Biscuits

Spiced Baked Fruit

This is a lovely way of cooking fruit, especially those punnets of under-ripe plums that look tempting, but are so often disappointing in taste. Mixing a couple of fruits that complement each other is a good idea- plums with apple and cinnamon work well. Try varying the fruit, spices as well as the sweetener - you could use maple syrup or soft brown sugar. The fruit is also delicious for breakfast with yoghurt.

Dietary: Vegan, Gluten free | Serves 4

Prep time: 15 minutes | Cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 600g plums
  • 150g blackberries
  • 4 tbsp agave syrup
  • 1 big cinnamon stick
  • 1 vanilla pod, split open
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 orange, juiced
  • 6 cloves
  • 3 star anise

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180CFan.
  2. Cut the plums in half and remove the stones. Arrange them in a roasting tin, cut side up.
  3. Scatter the blackberries over and drizzle with the agave syrup and orange juice.
  4. Add the cinnamon stick, vanilla pod, rosemary, cloves and star anise.
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Ideally the fruit should be tender and slightly soft but not mushy.Store for up to 5 days in the fridge, but serve at room temperature or slightly warm.

Hazelnut Praline Ice Cream

If you don’t have an ice cream machine you can pour the ice cream into a plastic container and place in the freezer, beating at 30 minute intervals to break up the ice crystals till frozen fully to desired consistency, this can take up to 4 hours to set firm. You could replace the hazelnuts with almonds or pistachios. You could also add chopped chocolate to the mix before churning for a chocolate chip version.

Dietary: Vegan, Gluten free | Serves 4

Prep time: 20 minutes | Churn time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 100g caster sugar
  • 100g skinned hazelnuts
  • 1 x 400g tin coconut milk
  • 4 tbsp agave syrup
  • 3 tbsp almond or hazelnut liqueur

Method

  1. Melt the sugar in a saucepan until no crystals are visible, and the caramel is a deep reddish colour.
  2. Remove from the heat, and add the nuts, stirring quickly to coat.
  3. Tip out onto a greased piece of parchment on a heatproof surface (such as a wooden board) and allow to cool completely.
  4. Break up the praline, place in a plastic bag and bash with a rolling pin a few times. Pour the broken praline into a blender and process until fine and crumbly.
  5. Add the coconut milk, agave syrup and liqueur, blend the mixture till nearly smooth.
  6. Churn for 30 minutes or until frozen in an icecream machine.

Amaretti Biscuits

Amaretti biscuits are traditionally made with whipped egg white, but they work just as well with whipped aquafaba.

Dietary: Vegan | Makes 20 small amaretti

Prep time: 30 minutes | Cook time: 18 minutes

Ingredients

  • 50g aquafaba (chickpea water)
  • ½ tsp lemon juice
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 tsp ground spice (ginger, cinnamon or cardamom)
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 100g ground hazelnuts
  • 50g ground pistachios
  • 25g ground almonds
  • 55g self-raising flour
  • 30g icing sugar

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 190C/170CFan.
  2. Line a large baking tray with baking parchment.
  3. Whisk the aquafaba with the lemon juice and a pinch of salt until firm, gradually whisk a spoon at a time of caster sugar into the aquafaba, whisk for a few minutes until the mixture is shiny and stiff.
  4. Whisk in the ground spice, then fold in the ground nuts and flour.
  5. Drop a teaspoon of mix into a bowl of icing sugar and roll gently into a small smooth ball, well coated in icing sugar.
  6. Make 20 small balls and arrange on the baking parchment lined tray.
  7. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes depending on if you like them soft or crisp.
  8. Cool to set.

Delicious food photography by Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures.

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Harvesting The Fruits of Autumn

There is a hint of autumn in the air. The mornings a little fresher, the nights are drawing in and the fruits of September’s harvest are ready. This time of year it is all about apples, pears, plums, damsons and blackberries.

Apples

Autumn and smell of apples cooking go together perfectly. Whilst the ubiquitous Bramley is usually the only cooking apple to be found on supermarket shelves, you can discover traditional apple varieties at farmers’ markets, or perhaps ask if your neighbours have any unusual varieties growing in their back gardens.

Make sure the apples chosen for cooking reflect the specific requirement of each recipe - 

  • A good baked apple needs to hold its shape and not collapse into a soft mush. The once mandatory garden variety, Golden Noble, becomes a white foam like a soufflé as it rises in the oven to give the finest baked apple.
  • Very tart and strong-flavoured apples like Dumelow’s Seedling (Queen Victoria’s favourite apple) or the Yorkshire Goosesauce make perfect apple sauce.
  • Soft apples that collapse into a froth, such as Keswick Codlin, make apple snow.
  • The best pie apples such as Bramley retain structure to hold up the pie crust and give some contrasting texture in the fruit.
  • The same consideration of flavour and texture applies when choosing apples to make a tarte tatin. You can use a Cox or a Braeburn, but they don’t have the depth of flavour of an Ashmead Kernal, which is an old-fashioned variety.

Pears

Pears are picked unripe and are sold unripe too, as when ripen they are very delicate and easily bruised, so it’s best to do this at home. But it’s always a challenge to judge when they are perfectly ripe – then you must eat them quickly or store them in the fridge as they go over-ripe and mushy very quickly.

There are over 400 varieties of pears, plus perry pears – which are inedible and astringent but perfect for making perry, a pear cider. Unless you grow your own pears or have access to an old orchard, you will only be able to buy half a dozen varieties. Conference is the most common, plus Anjou, red or green, Williams and Comice, the most sweetly scented.

Pears are very versatile and can be used in the same recipes as apples. For desserts, they are traditionally poached in wine, or poached and served with chocolate sauce. However, I like to use pears in savoury dishes. They work beautifully in a crisp salad with bitter chicory leaves and a maple syrup dressing or in a coleslaw with beetroot and celeriac.

Plums and Damsons

There are three types of plums. The wild (or at least feral) plums like sloes, damsons and gages are favoured by foragers and now is the time to hunt for these treasures. Damsons, which are small, dark and dusky, are far sharper and less juicy than plums, but they make the queen of jams, full flavoured and deep red in colour. Blaisdons, which are semi-wild, are perfect for eating straight from the tree, or they make a rewarding crumble. The table or dessert varieties, such as Victorias, are larger and have a combination of richer flavour and sweeter flesh.

The versatility of plums in cooking is one good reason for their popularity across continents and centuries. I prefer roasting plums to stewing them as they keep their shape. Damsons make the best plum jam, and always use a dark red plum for a tangy plum sauce.

Blackberries

Ripening from August through to September, blackberries are the most commonly foraged fruit and picking these berries is one of my favourite ways of making a walk more entertaining. For the keen gardener, it is worth planting a thornless blackberry or one of the crosses: a loganberry is a cross between a blackberry and a raspberry, and a tayberry a cross between a loganberry and a raspberry. You don’t need to rely on foraged blackberries, of course, as there are cultivated varieties in the shops and they have a bigger berry than the wild ones.

Blackberries go well with apples, pears and plums, but they do colour the paler fruits purple. They make a great addition to an apple crumble. 

Here are some of our favourite Autumn Fruit recipes

Apple Tarte Tatin

Beetroot, Potato and Apple Latkes

Autumn Fritters with Beetroot Slaw and a Pear and Apple Chutney

Apple and Cinnamon Stollen 

Autumn Fruit Crumble

Plum Jam

Apple Pecan Slaw


Mouthwatering photos by Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures.

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Autumn Fritters with Beetroot Slaw and Apple and Pear Chutney

Autumn Fritters with Beetroot Slaw and Pear and Apple Chutney

In this recipe we’ve made the most of the autumn harvest, using apple and pears in all three elements this fruity dish. The chutney is super-quick to make and is designed to eat fresh rather than store away.

Autumn Fritters

Dietary: Vegan | Serves 4

Prep time: 30 minutes | Cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • ½ small celeriac
  • 1 large dessert apple
  • 1 large pear
  • 125g dried breadcrumbs or Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp chopped rosemary
  • 1 tsp chopped thyme
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • 100ml soya milk
  • 1 tsp smooth Dijon mustard
  • 50g plain flour
  • Olive oil for baking

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/180CFAN.
  2. Peel the half of celeriac and cut it in half. Slice each piece into 1cm slices. Plunge the celeriac into boiling water and cook for 5 minutes to soften them slightly, run under cold water to cool the celeriac down and drain well.
  3. Slice the apple and pear into 4 x 1cm thick slices (depending on the size of the fruit).
  4. Make the breadcrumbs and mix with the rosemary, thyme, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper.
  5. Mix the mustard into the soya milk to thicken it slightly.
  6. Dip each piece of celeriac, apple and pear into the flour, then into the soya milk, then the breadcrumbs. Spread out the coated pieces onto an oiled baking tray and drizzle olive oil lightly over the top and bake for 30 minutes, 15 minutes on each side until both sides are golden and crispy.

Beetroot Slaw

Dietary: Vegan, Gluten free | Serves 4

Prep time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 small red beetroot
  • ¼ small celeriac
  • 1 apple
  • 1 pear
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • Pinch of salt
  • ¼ tsp caraway seeds (lightly crushed)
  • Pinch black pepper
  • 2 tbsp chopped mint

Method

  1. Peel the beetroot and celeriac.
  2. Grate the beetroot and celeriac and the apple and pear using the large holed side of a grater.
  3. Mix in the lime juice, salt, caraway seeds and black pepper in and massage the vegetables, scrunching with your hands until the vegetables have softened and released some juices.
  4. Stir in the chopped mint.

Pear and Apple Chutney

Dietary: Vegan, Gluten free | Serves: 4

Prep time: 20 minutes | Cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 medium white onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 tsp sunflower oil
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 star anise
  • 5 cloves
  • ¼ tsp black onion seeds
  • ¼ tsp mustard seeds
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 10 tbsp soft light brown sugar
  • 5 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 250g pear, peeled and diced
  • 250g cooking apple, peeled and diced

Method

  1. In a medium saucepan, fry the onion in sunflower oil with a pinch of salt until golden brown.
  2. Add the star anise, cloves, black onion seeds and mustard seeds and fry for a few minutes then add the ground black pepper and ground cinnamon, stir for a minute.
  3. Add the lemon juice, soft light brown sugar and cider vinegar and stir in.
  4. Add the diced pear and apple.
  5. Simmer gently with a lid on, for 20 minutes until thickened and the fruit is soft.
  6. Leave to cool and keep in the fridge as this is a quick chutney to eat straight away.


Delicious food photography by Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures.

Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram where we are chatting about all things foodie and, if you like this post, please share it!

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Autumn’s Mellow Fruitfulness, Vegetarian Living, September 2018

Autumn is on it's way and with it comes a bounty of orchard fruits. In the September issue of Vegetarian Living we use apples, pears, plums and blackberries in three delicious recipes -  

Autumn Fritters with Beetroot Slaw and Apple & Pear Chutney, Apple Tarte Tatin and Spiced Baked Fruit with vegan Hazelnut Praline Ice Cream and Amaretti Biscuits. 

Click on the link below to read the article in full:

Autumn's Mellow Fruitfulness, Vegetarian Living, September 2018 

Apple Tarte Tatin

Apple Tarte Tatin

Tarte Tatin is a classic French dessert traditionally made with a copious quantity of butter. This is our vegan version - it is delicious and not as calorific. It’s made upside down with the pastry on the top and the apples on the bottom and then served the 'right' way up with caramelised apples oozing into the pastry.

This recipe serves 4 to 6 people

Prep time: 30 minutes | Cook time: 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 250g vegan puff pastry (1 pack ready rolled)
  • 4 firm cox apples, peeled, cored, halved, place in water with a squeeze of lemon
  • 50g coconut oil
  • 50g sunflower margarine
  • 150g golden caster sugar
  • 5 x star anise

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 220C/200C Fan.
  2. You will need a heavy based oven-proof frying pan (approx 20cms) with straight sides which can go in the oven, so it mustn’t have a plastic handle!
  3. Rub the coconut oil and margarine over the base of the pan then sprinkle over the sugar. Scatter the star anise over the top.
  4. Arrange the apples cut side up to cover the pan.
  5. Roll out the pastry into a 5mm thick circle slightly larger than the pan, prick the surface a few times with a fork.
  6. Place over the apples and tuck the pastry in around the sides of the apples.
  7. Place on a medium heat and cook for 15 minutes until the sugar has caramelized. As soon as the caramel goes a dark brown, take off the heat and bake for 20 minutes until the pastry is puffed up and golden.
  8. Remove from the oven and before it cools too much turn out onto a plate.
  9. Allow a few minutes to cool before serving and remove the star anise.
  10. Serve with vegan ice-cream or vegan custard.


Delicious food photography by Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures.

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What’s the Vegan Alternative? Vegan Food and Living, September 2018

Rachel's regular feature in the September Issue of Vegan Food & Living is all about stocking your cupboards with great vegan alternatives. Check out the article in full here

If you want to learn how to make you-won't-believe-it's-vegan mayonnaise or master aquafaba meringues, come along to one of our Vegan Pantry courses. 

Top 10 Easy to Grow Vegetables For Your Garden Or Allotment

There's nothing more satisfying than eating vegetables you've grown yourself, and I'm especially happy with how my own garden has taken shape this year. That's not to say it hasn't seen its own success and failures. This year has been a war against the slugs and snails, which seem especially prolific. The slugs have won with my carrots, borlotti beans, parsley and salad leaves, but fortunately they are not partial to any of the allium family or the chicories. 

Still, there have been numerous successes that I'd like to pass on as examples of easy to grow vegetables that anyone can grow in their garden or allotment. It gives one a glow of satisfaction to pick, cook and eat produce from ones own patch! So what are you waiting for?

For those planning a new vegetable garden I highly recommend 'how to create a new Vegetable Garden' by Charles Dowding, for quick gardening tips I go to The Royal Horticultural Society excellent website.

1. Courgettes

Top 10 Easy to Grow Vegetables For Your Garden Or Allotment

Courgettes are one of the easiest and most prolific vegetables to grow. They like to spread out but you can always plant them in big patio containers if you're short of space. Keep them well watered and pick the courgettes when they are small, this encourages more to grow. Well worth growing yellow courgettes which are just as easy to grow, but far more difficult to buy. The flowers are edible too and are delicious stuffed with herby ricotta and fried in a light tempura batter.

2. Broad beans

Growing your own broad beans gives you the pleasure of picking the young beans which are sweet, tender, and succulent. When the beans are very small you can eat the whole pod too. Sow them in the Autumn and if the mice don't eat them you will have an early crop in late April, alternatively sow in March for a May harvest. The advantage of an Autumn sowing is you are likely to harvest before the black fly emerge. 

3. Mange tout

Mange tout are one of the easiest pea varieties to grow. All peas need to be supported with canes otherwise they just trail along the ground. Mange tout should be picked when the pods are about 7.5cm long, just as the peas are starting to develop. Use them as quickly as possible as they lose their sweetness once picked. Lovely to eat raw in a salad or steam them lightly.

4. Peas

There is nothing like the sweetness of home grown peas, they like a rich soil and regular watering and must be supported with canes. Pick when the pods have filled out, but tastiest when the peas are small and sweet, as they mature the peas turn starchy. Use the pea shoots for salads and dont discard the pea pods as they make excellent vegetable stock.

5. French beans

Top 10 Easy to Grow Vegetables For Your Garden Or Allotment

French beans are easy to grow in small gardens, so long as you choose a dwarf variety. Just a few plants will reward you with a copious and reliable crop. French beans also come in a variety of colours – the usual green but also cream, yellow, flecked, and purple French beans. Do note that purple French beans turn green when you cook them. 

6. Rocket

Rocket is an easy-to-grow and as its name implies when it gets established it grows fast. Rocket flourishes in a warm, sunny position. I grow both the rounder leaved and wild more toothed varieties. The younger leaves are milder and less peppery.The yellow or white flowers are a pretty addition to salads.  A glut of rocket can be turned into a pesto or salsa verde. Leaves can also be lightly cooked like spinach, added to sauces or sautéed in olive oil.

7. Chicories

The Chicory family (Cichorium intybus) is an exciting and greatly varied family of leafy plants with so much variety compared to the forced "Witloof" white 'chicons' that we buy in the Supermarkets. In Italy, there are more than 600 different varieties. They grow right across the year and are available as green shoots in the spring and as puntarelle and big-hearted vegetables in the summer. Wild chicory grows widely in Britain. Bright blue flowers signal its presence in meadows and is a foragers delight. All the chicories can be grown in your garden and grow through the winter, with varieties such as Treviso and Radicchio turning a beautiful deep crimson colour as the weather gets colder. Castelfranco is another stunningly beautiful chicory with leaves that look as though they have had crimson paint flicked over them. I use chicory as a slightly bitter salad and as a cooked vegetable.

8. Leeks

Leeks are easy to grow and its one crop that the slugs and snails are not partial too. Sow leeks in the Spring in seeds trays and then plant out when they are about 20 cms high into a deep round holes made with a 'dibber' (or wooden broom handle). As leeks grow straight up you can dot them around your summer cropping vegetables. Harvest through the winter.

9. Cavolo Nero

Cavolo Nero tolerates cold weather and is relatively free of pests and diseases. You will need to net your cavolo nero against the cabbage white butterfly, which flys in July, lays eggs on the underside of the leaves and within a few days the ravenous caterpillars can decimate your crop. All through the winter pick the leaves, leaving the plant to keep on growing.

10. Chard

Chard, or Swiss Chard, is one of the most visually appealing of the leafy vegetables and looks good in a herbaceous border. I find it easier to grow than spinach. It is grown both for its leaves and the stalk. try growing the spectacular Rainbow chard. Chard is the oldest form of beet and unlike beetroot it does not form a bulbous root but a mass of stalks and leaves which carry on growing as individual leaves are cut. When cooking chard It's worth separating the leaves of chard from the stalks and cooking the sliced stalks for a few minutes before adding the leaves and, like spinach, they reduce down dramatically so always pick more than you think you need!

Strawberry Tarts with Vegan Crème Pâtissière

Strawberry Tarts with Vegan Crème Pâtissière

The recipe here uses delicious summer strawberries but vary the fruit according to the season - you could use blueberries, blackberries, figs or rhubarb. You can also adapt the flavour of the Crème Pâtissière - why not try adding saffron, cinnamon or a few drops of rose water? 

This recipe makes 4x 6cm individual tartlets. 

Sweet Shortcrust Pastry

Ingredients 

  • 150g plain flour
  • 25g ground almonds
  • 40g icing sugar or sugar alternative
  • Pinch of salt
  • 80g vegan margarine
  • 1 tbsp water
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

Method

  1. Weigh the flour, ground almonds, sugar and salt into a mixing bowl. Mix to combine.
  2. Add the margarine and vanilla.
  3. Use your fingers to quickly rub the fat into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs.
  4. Add the water and rub it in to create slightly sticky breadcrumb bobbles.
  5. Turn the dough out onto the table and bring it together with the heal of your hand.
  6. Then form into a ball with your hands.Wrap the dough in cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes to rest the dough before using.
  7. Wrap the dough in cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes to rest the dough before using.

Créme Patissiére

Makes 500ml

Ingredients 

  • 60g Doves gram flour
  • 2 tbsp corn flour
  • 500ml almond milk
  • 100g caster sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • A little lemon zest, grated
  • Pinch of nutmeg or cardamom
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste

Method

  1. Place the sieved gram flour and corn flour in a small saucepan and slowly whisk in the almond milk, making sure it is all combined and there are no lumps. Sit for 20 minutes allow the gram flour to soak.
  2. Whisk in the sugar, salt, lemon zest, nutmeg, cardamom and vanilla, and whisk to combine.
  3. Cook the mixture over a medium heat, simmering while whisking or stirring constantly, for 5 minutes or until thickened. Once thick simmer and whisk for a few more minutes to cook out the flours.
  4. Pass the mixture through a double meshed sieve to remove any lumps into a bowl. 
  5. You can pour the mixture directly into a pre-cooked tart case or store in the refrigerator for several hours to cool completely.

And to make the tarts

Ingredients

  • 1x quantity sweet shortcrust pastry
  • 1 x quantity Crème Pâtissière
  • 250g fresh strawberries
  • 50ml agave syrup, bring to the boil to thicken, then cool

Method

  1. Roll out and line the tartlet tins with the chilled pastry.
  2. Trim off the excess to neaten the edges, then place in the fridge for 15 minutes to firm up again.
  3. Line each tartlet case with parchment then fill with baking beans. Place all the tartlets onto a tray and bake for 10 minutes.
  4. Remove the paper and baking beans, then bake for a further 4-6 minutes till golden brown and completely cooked. Ensure the pastry is completely cooked and biscuit coloured and the base is not raw.
  5. Allow to cool in the tins.
  6. Once the pastry tarts are cool, you can fill with piped Crème Patisserie and top with fresh berries, glaze with a little thickened agave syrup.


Delicious food photography by Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures.

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​Griddled Tandoori Kebabs with Chapattis and a Mint, Coriander and Tamarind Chutney

Griddled Tandoori Vegetable and Tofu Kebabs with Chapattis and a Mint, Coriander and Tamarind Chutney

Traditionally tandoori dishes are cooked in a tandoor oven, but our simple kebabs just need a bit of time to marinate before popping on the griddle. Tofu puffs are deep-fried tofu that you can buy ready-fried and frozen from Asian stores but alternatively cubes of firm tofu also work well.

Serve the kebabs with chapattis and a fresh green chutney made with mint, coriander and tamarind. A great dish for your summer barbecues!

Tandoori Vegetable Kebabs

Dietary: Vegan | Makes 4 long kebabs

Ingredients

  • 12 tofu puffs
  • 1/2 green pepper, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1/2 red pepper, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 leek, cut into small discs
  • ½ head broccoli, cut into florets

Spiced Yoghurt

  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • thumb of ginger root, peeled and chopped
  • 2 red chillies, deseeded and chopped
  • 2 tbsp tandoori spice mix
  • 1 tbsp gram flour
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 250g dairy or non-dairy yoghurt
  • Pinch of salt

Tandoori Spice Mix

  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom seeds
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala

Method

  1. To make the tandoori spice mix, in a small frying pan dry-fry the coriander, cumin and cardamom seeds until they smell fragrant. Decant the roasted spices from the frying pan and grind them finely in a spice grinder or pestle and mortar. Mix in the ground turmeric, paprika, chilli powder and garam masala.
  2. To make the spiced yogurt fry the garlic, ginger and chillies in the sunflower oil for a minute until fragrant. Add the tandoori spice mix and fry for another minute. Remove from the heat, stir in the gram flour, lemon and yoghurt. Add salt to taste.
  3. Mix the tofu puffs into the spiced yoghurt.
  4. Mix well so that they are evenly coated. Leave to marinate for an hour.
  5. Lightly brush some of the spiced yoghurt over the vegetables.
  6. Thread the tofu puffs and vegetables onto metal kebab sticks and place onto a hot griddle pan and grill until black lines have appeared and the vegetables are tender.

Chapattis

Dietary: Vegan | Makes 12

Ingredients

300g chapatti flour or 50% wholewheat and 50% plain white flour

½ tsp salt

200ml water

Method

  1. Mix the flour and salt together in a big mixing bowl and add the water. With your hands mix into a soft dough and knead for about 10 minutes. Cover and leave to settle for 30 minutes.
  2. Divide the dough into 12 balls and roll each one into an even round ball. Dust the dough balls with flour.
  3. Heat a griddle pan or heavy frying pan on a medium high heat.
  4. Flour the work surface and roll out a dough ball into a circle, about 15cm in diameter. Place it onto the hot pan and dry-fry for 45 seconds, flick over and cook on other side, pushing it down with a spatula which helps it to puff up.
  5. Put the cooked chapattis onto a plate and cover whilst you make the others.
  6. Rub the chapatti pan with some kitchen towel and then dry fry the next one.
  7. Serve the chapattis at once, they are much better fresh.

Mint, Coriander and Tamarind Chutney

Dietary: Vegan, Gluten free | Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 75g fresh mint leaves
  • 50g fresh coriander leaves
  • 2 small green chillies, deseeded and chopped
  • 1 tbsp tamarind paste
  • 1 tsp jaggery or soft brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp water
  • Pinch of salt

Method

  1. Place all the ingredients together in a blender or food processor and blend to a smooth thick dip. Add more water if necessary. Taste for seasoning, you may need a little more tamarind paste, lime juice, salt or jaggery to taste.

Delicious food photography by Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures. Recipe also featured in the August issue of Vegetarian Living.

Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram where we are chatting about all things foodie and, if you like this post, please share it!

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Spice, spice, baby! Vegan Food & Living, August 2018

Want to create authentic Indian street food? Learn how to fully stock your spice rack with our feature in Vegan Food & Living

Check out the article from the August issue in full here

Crisp Cowley - ‘At Home’ Magazine Summer 2018

A lovely write-up of our courses featured in the Crisp Cowley 'At Home' Summer Magazine - read the article here

Middle Eastern Flavours - Griddled Beetroot, Onion and Flatbreads with Spiced Chickpeas & Ezme Salad

Middle Eastern Flavours - Griddled Beetroot, Onion and Flatbreads with Spiced Chickpeas & Ezme Salad

The perfect meal for sharing - you can serve all the elements in separate dishes so everyone at the table can assemble their own toppings on their yoghurt flatbread. 

Griddled Beetroots and Onions

Vegan, Gluten-free | Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 medium beetroot
  • 4 small onions
  • 2 tsp sunflower oil
  • Pinch of salt

Method

  1. Peel the beetroot, wrap each whole beetroot in foil and roast for 1 hour on 180CFan until soft.
  2. Heat a griddle pan. 
  3. Cut each beetroot into 6 wedges.
  4. Peel the onions and cut in half through the middle. 
  5. Brush the beetroot and onions with a drop of sunflower oil and sprinkle of salt. 
  6. Place them on the griddle pan and cook to create some black lines and make sure the onion is soft and cooked through.

Yoghurt Flatbreads

Vegan | Makes 4 breads

Ingredients

  • 250g self-raising flour, plus a little extra for dusting
  • ½ tsp fine salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 200g plain soya yoghurt

Method

  1. Put the flour, salt, baking powder and olive oil into a bowl.
  2. Pour in the yoghurt, mix well with a spoon until you have a smooth sticky dough.
  3. Sprinkle flour onto the table and tip the dough out onto it and dust with a little flour.
  4. Divide the dough into half, then each one into half again.
  5. Dust a rolling pin with flour then roll the pieces of dough out into 1/2cm thick round shapes.
  6. Lay them on a slightly floured tray.
  7. Put a griddle pan on a high heat until hot.
  8. Once it’s really hot, cook each flatbread for a couple of minutes per side, until slightly puffy and lightly charred – you’ll need to do this in batches.

You can freeze any leftover flatbreads, simply defrost thoroughly and warm through in the oven wrapped in foil or lightly re-toast them under a grill.

Spiced Chickpeas

Vegan, Gluten-free | Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 x 400g tin chickpeas
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp sumac
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Pinch of salt

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C Fan.
  2. Drain the chickpeas and rinse. Place the chickpeas in a roasting tin and mix with the spices, oil and salt.
  3. Roast for 20 minutes until golden brown and crunchy.

Ezme Green Salad

Vegan, Gluten-free | Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 150 spinach, chopped
  • A handful offlatparsley, chopped
  • ½ red pepper, diced
  • ½ green pepper, diced
  • 3 spring onions, sliced
  • 100g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tsp sherry vinegar
  • 1 tbsp pomegranate syrup
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Pinch of salt

Method

  1. Mix all the vegetables together in a large bowl and mix in the sherry vinegar, pomegranate syrup, olive oil and salt.

Roast Garlic Yoghurt Sauce

Vegan, Gluten-free | Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 whole garlic bulb
  • 40g ground almonds
  • 50ml hot water
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 50ml plain non-dairy yoghurt
  • Pinch of salt

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C Fan.
  2. Roast the garlic bulb for 30 minutes until soft. Allow to cool.
  3. Pour the hot water over the ground almonds and leave to soak for 10 minutes. Squeeze the garlic cloves out of their skins and mash with the olive oil in a pestle and mortar. Add the soaked ground almonds and keep mashing as you add the vinegar, lemon juice and then the yoghurt. Add salt to taste.

Delicious food photography by Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures. Recipe also featured in the August issue of Vegetarian Living.

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Griddled Indonesian Vegetables with Tomato Sambal

Griddled Indonesian Vegetables with Tomato Sambal

My essential piece of summer kitchen equipment is my griddle. Its versatility means it can be used in the kitchen and on the barbecue. 

Serve these delicious griddled vegetables and tomato sambal in a warm bun with griddled lettuce and a squeeze of fresh lime and enjoy al fresco in the summer sunshine. 

Griddled Indonesian Vegetables

Dietary: Vegan, Gluten free | Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 medium aubergines
  • 2 corn on the cob
  • 100g shitake mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil

Coconut lemongrass glaze

  • 200ml apple juice
  • 1 stick lemongrass, bruised
  • 5cm fresh turmeric, sliced
  • Juice and zest of 1 lime
  • 1 tsp mild chilli flakes
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 200ml coconut milk

Method

  1. To make the coconut lemongrass glaze simmer the lemongrass and turmeric in the apple juice for 10 minutes until reduced by half. Add the rest of the glaze ingredients and simmer gently for a further 10 minutes to reduce again by half. Strain out the lemongrass and turmeric before basting the vegetables.
  2. Cut theauberginesin halflengthways and score a crisscross pattern into the flesh, avoiding cutting through the skin.
  3. Pre-heat the griddle pan.
  4. Rub the aubergines with a drizzle of oil and place the aubergines on the hot griddle pan cut side down to create charred lines, turn over to cook the underside
  5. Place the corn on the cob on the griddle pan, turning until you have charred sections all over.
  6. When the corn is done and the aubergines have been turned to the cut side up, place the shitake mushroom on the griddle pan and cook for a minute.
  7. Baste all the vegetables with the coconut glaze and continue cooking for a minute. The corn with need turning but keep the aubergine cut side up and allow the glaze to sink into the aubergine flesh. When they are all well charred remove them from the griddle pan.

Tomato Sambal

Ingredients

  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 2 tbsp chopped mint
  • 2 tbsp chopped basil
  • 2 tbsp peanuts, roasted and chopped
  • 2 red chilli, deseeded and chopped
  • 2 shallots, finely diced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • Pinch of salt

Method

  1. Mix all the ingredients together and add salt to taste.

Griddled Lettuce

Ingredients

  • 2 gem lettuce, quartered

Method

  1. Brush the quartered lettuce with the coconut lemon glaze, place on the griddle pan and with tongs turn over quickly as they don’t take long to cook.


Delicious food photography by Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures. Recipe also featured in the August issue of Vegetarian Living

Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram where we are chatting about all things foodie and, if you like this post, please share it!

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Earn Your Stripes, Vegetarian Living, August 2018

Our feature in the August 2018 issue of Vegetarian Living shows you some new ways to use your chargrill. Whether al fresco on the barbecue or using a griddle pan on the hob, these mezze-style recipes can be an everyday meal or adapted into a summertime feast. 

Get griddling with our recipes - Middle Eastern Flatbread with Griddled Beetroot and Onions with Spiced Chickpeas, Tandoori Vegetable Kebabs and Griddled Indonesian Vegetables with Tomato Sambal.

Click on the link below to read the article in full:

Make Your Own Seitan - Vegan Food & Living, July 2018

Our regular feature in the July Issue of Vegan Food & Living is all about seitan. Want to make your own? Check out the article in full here

8 of the Best Vegan and Vegetarian Barbecue Recipes

Summertime is the best time for barbecue so we wanted to share our favourite vegetarian and vegan barbecue recipes guaranteed to get you cooking with fire. These recipes prove that there's way more to barbecues beyond burgers (though we do sneak an outstanding veggie burger into the mix). These recipes are for everyone, not just vegetarians and vegans, full of flavour, spice, and beautiful summer colour that will excite all lovers of great food. Let us know which recipe is your favourite! And for more inspiration, read our post on Vegetarian Barbecue Tips and Tricks.


Maple, Lime and Chipotle Tempeh Tacos

If you're not sure how to cook with tempeh this is a great place to start. These vegan tempeh tacos are full of flavour and spice. We definitely recommend serving with guacamole! 


Beetroot Aduki Bean Burgers

Proof that a veggie burger needn't be boring or bland. These vegan burgers are made with beets, beans, oats, and loads of spices including smoky chipotle. Great with herby cucumber yoghurt and polenta chips!


Charred Pepper and Artichoke Spedini 

A kebab but not as you know it - we use rosemary stalks as the skewers! And the result is a delicious flavour bomb!


Tandoori Paneer Kebabs

Turn your barbecue into a makeshift tandoori with these Indian-spiced paneer kebabs. 


BBQ Sweetcorn with Chilli and Lime

The ultimate summer barbecue side dish, made all the more special with a chilli and lime kick. 


Garden Salad with Griddled Asparagus and Almonds

Grilled vegetables make a great addition to a salad. Asparagus are particularly well suited to the barbecue and can be turned into this fresh and filling salad that's perfect for summer. 


Chermoula Roasted Vegetables and Halloumi with Chickpea Fregola Salad

We use aubergine and sweet potato in this recipe but feel free to substitute whatever you have to hand. Chermoula is wonderful versatile!


Jerk Haloumi Kebabs

Jerk seasoning is classic and goes especially well with haloumi (top tip: make it vegan by using tofu instead of haloumi).  


What are your favourite vegan and vegetarian barbecue recipes? Let us know in the comments! 

For more inspiration, read our post on Vegetarian Barbecue Tips and Tricks.

Delicious food photography by Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures.

Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram where we are chatting about all things foodie and, if you like this post, please share it!

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Beetroot Kibbeh with Charred Onions, Beetroot Liquorice Yoghurt and Feta

This is our take on a traditional Lebanese kibbeh with beautiful vibrant coloured beetroot and liquorice to lift the dish. 

Dried liquorice root sticks can be bought from health food shops or online. They can be chewed dried and have a sweet liquorice flavour. Alternatively pour on boiling water to make a tea or a flavouring stock. You can also buy powdered liquorice root. Pontefract in Yorkshire with its sandy soil was perfect for liquorice growing and was the origin of liquorice sweets known as Pontefract cakes.

Along with the charred onion cups and crunchy spiced dukkha it makes for an interesting play on textures. The feta adds a salty element. 

Beetroot Kibbeh with Charred Onions, Beetroot Liquorice Yoghurt and Feta

Beetroot Kibbeh

Makes 10 Kibbeh | Serves: 2/3 

Prep Time: 30 minutes | Cook time: 2 hours

Ingredients

  • 1 medium raw beetroot
  • 120g cooked aduki beans
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • ½ tsp caraway seeds
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp ground chipotle powder or smoked hot paprika
  • 2 tsp cocoa powder
  • 2 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 50g red quinoa
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 110ml stock
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp gram flour
  • Sunflower or rapeseed oil for frying
  • 2 tbsp corn flour
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds

Method

  1. Wrap the beetroot in foil and bake for 1 ½ hours until tender.
  2. Allow to cool, peel and grate on the fine side of a grater, placing the grated beetroot in a sieve and gently press out the excess juices.
  3. In a small saucepan fry the quinoa in 1 tsp of oil for a minute to lightly toast. Add the stock, place a lid on and cook for 15 minutes on a low heat until all the water is absorbed. Leave to stand with the lid on for 10 minutes, then tip out to cool.
  4. In a wide frying pan, gently fry the chopped onion and caraway seeds over a low heat for 10-15 minutes until the onions are soft and beginning to caramelise.
  5. Add the garlic and cook for a minute. Add the paprika, chipotle, cocoa, sun-dried tomatoes, and cook for a further minute until fragrant.
  6. Add the aduki beans and mash with a fork.
  7. Add the grated beetroot, sugar, lemon juice, salt and pepper and cook the mixture gently for a few minutes to help it dry out a bit.
  8. Sieve the gram flour and sprinkle over and cook out for a minute. Stir in the quinoa. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
  9. Cool the mixture in the fridge for 30 minutes. Press into 10 small torpedo shapes in the palm of your hands.
  10. Roll the kibbeh in sesame and cornflour to coat, then shallow fry, until well coloured on all sides. Drain on kitchen paper and keep warm in a low oven until ready to serve.

Charred Onions

Serves 2

The flavouring stock for these charred onions needs to be started the night before.

Ingredients

  • 4 small or baby onions
  • 1 tsp sunflower oil

Stock

  • 100ml water
  • Small piece kombu
  • 2 shitake mushrooms
  • 2cm dried liquorice root sticks
  • 2 tsp white miso
  • 2 tsp mirin
  • 3 tsp genmai su

Method

  1. To make the stock, soak the kombu, shitake mushrooms and liquorice in cold water overnight.
  2. Next day strain out the pieces and retain the stock.
  3. Mix in the white miso, mirin and genmai su to the stock, place the stock in a saucepan and simmer gently to reduce the stock a little.
  4. Preheat oven to 200C Fan.
  5. Cut the onions in half. Trim the base of the onion to remove the hairy roots and cut off the pointy tip.
  6. Brush the cut side with sunflower oil and place cut side down on a hot frying pan. Griddle until the cut side is blackened all over.
  7. Place the onions in a parchment package. Spoon the stock over the onions and close up the package, place in the oven for 20 minutes to finish cooking.
  8. Peel the skin off the onions and pull apart each cup of onion.

Beetroot Liquorice Yoghurt

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1 medium beetroot (approx. 150g)
  • 2cm dried liquorice root sticks
  • 50ml plain yoghurt
  • 2 tsp espresso coffee
  • 1 tsp pomegranate molasses
  • ¼ tsp ground liquorice root
  • Pinch of salt

Method

  1. Boil the beetroot for 1 hour with the skin on in water with a stick of dried liquorice root.
  2. When tender, drain and peel the beetroot. Blend until smooth with the yoghurt, coffee, pomegranate molasses and ground liquorice. Add salt to taste.

Plating Suggestions

Choose a large light-coloured plate and brush some beetroot liquorice yoghurt in a semi-circle where you plan to arrange the kibbeh. Serve odd numbers so either three or 5 kibbeh, interspersed with onion cups. Place cubes of feta around the kibbeh, sprinkle with dukkha and add a few drops of olive oil and micro-herbs or edible flowers for decoration to finish the dish.


Also featured in the July 2018 issue of Vegetarian Living Magazine.

Delicious food photography by Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures.

Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram where we are chatting about all things foodie and, if you like this post, please share it!

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Tempura Asparagus with Smokey Vegan Mayonnaise

Tempura batter is a delicious coating for seasonal vegetables and works beautifully with red peppers, courgettes and their flowers. Tempura was originally named after a Portuguese dish from the 17th century and in this recipe we are making the most of the end of the asparagus season by serving the asparagus simply with a vegan smoked mayonnaise.

Tempura Asparagus with Smokey Vegan Mayonnaise

Asparagus Tempura

Serves: 4 | Dietary: Vegan, Gluten free

Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 bunches asparagus
  • 1 tbsp cornflour for dusting

Tempura Batter

  • 80g plain flour
  • 20g corn flour
  • ¼ tsp fine sea salt
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 150ml chilled sparkling water
  • 1L vegetable oil for deep frying

Method

  1. Trim the bottom white parts off the asparagus.
  2. Steam the asparagus for 1 minute, then plunge into cold water. Drain and dry off the asparagus with kitchen towel, dust the bottom ¾ of the asparagus with cornflour.
  3. Heat the oil in a deep saucepan or wok to 165C.
  4. To make the tempura batter, pour the chilled water into a large bowl. Sift in the flours, salt and bicarbonate of soda. Mix roughly with a whisk.
  5. Dip the bottom ¾ of the asparagus into the batter, then into the oil, keeping hold of the tip of the asparagus with a pair of tongs. Fry for 30 seconds until the batter is golden. Drain on kitchen paper.
  6. Serve hot at once with the smoked mayonnaise.

Smokey Mayonnaise

Dietary: Vegan, Gluten-free | Serves: 4

Prep time: 15 minutes | Cook time: 5 minutes | Cooling time: 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 225ml water
  • 50g gram flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 150ml sunflower oil

Method

  1. Measure the water, gram flour, salt and smoked paprika into a small saucepan over a medium heat, and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and whisk for a few more minutes until the mix has thickened to a paste.
  2. Scrape the paste into a small dish and chill in the fridge till cold.
  3. To make the mayonnaise, place the cold paste into a blender or hand held blender jug, and add the lemon juice, mustard and garlic.
  4. Blend the mixture until smooth, then gradually add in the oil 1 tablespoon at a time until thick and creamy. Taste and season with more salt or lemon juice if needed.
  5. If the mix is too thick, add 1 tablespoon of boiling water and blend until smooth.

Plating suggestions

Choose a pale speckled coloured large plate, add a generous blob of mayonnaise to one side and sprinkle with smoked paprika and place three stems of tempura asparagus, criss-crossing each other.


Also featured in the July 2018 issue of Vegetarian Living Magazine.

Delicious food photography by Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures.

Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram where we are chatting about all things foodie and, if you like this post, please share it!

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Pickled Vegetables and Broad Bean Dip on Carta di Musica

This is a lovely colourful summer dish and looks beautiful plated up, but all the elements can also be served separately.

Pickled Vegetables, Broad Bean Dip and Carta di Musica

Pickled Vegetables

This is a quick pickle and you can vary the vegetables, but do choose colourful ones, different coloured carrots look beautiful and if you are using beetroot always keep it separate as it will stain all the other vegetables purple.

Dietary: Vegan, Gluten-free | Serves: 4

Prep time: 15 minutes | Cook time: 1 hour | Marinating time: 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 1/4 small cauliflower, trimmed to small florets
  • 2 small carrots
  • 2 small beetroot
  • ½ fennel bulb
  • Handful of pea shoots and edible flowers
  • Pickling liqueur
  • 4tbsp white vinegar
  • 4tbsp white sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest

Method

  1. To make the pickling liqueur, heat the vinegar, sugar and saltto a simmer, make sure to dissolve the sugar. Add the spices, herbs and lemon zest. Allow to cool and sit for 30 minutesforthe flavours to develop. Sieve out the spices. Add the lemon juice.
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 180C.
  3. Peel the carrots and beetroots.
  4. Wrap one of the carrots and one of the beetroot in individual silver foil pouches. Place in the oven and bake for 1 hour. Allow to cool down, then cut into wedged slices.
  5. Cut the other raw beetroot and carrot into thin slices and keep separate so that the beetroot doesn’t colour the carrot.
  6. Cut the cauliflower into small florets.
  7. Finely slice the fennel bulb.
  8. Place the cooked and raw carrot, cauliflower and fennel into a bowl. Place the cooked and raw beetroot into another bowl. Divide the marinade into the two bowls and mix well to coat the vegetables. Leave to marinate for 30 minutes before serving.
  9. To serve, place the pickled vegetables artistically on top of the Carta di Musica, or serve in a separate bowl with the broad bean dip in another and the Carta di Musica to scoop it up with.
  10. Decorate with pea shoots.

Broad Bean Dip

Fresh baby broad beans are so sweet and vibrantly green, but the season is very short, so it’s not long before the broad beans become tough and starchy and you have to peel them. 1 kilo of fresh broad beans in the pod when podded will end up at about 400g, and when double-podded you are down to 250g.

Serves 4 | Dietary: Vegan, Gluten free

Prep time: 30 minutes | Cook time: 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 400g broad beans, podded weight
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 sprigs mint leaves, chopped
  • 30g pumpkin seeds, roasted

Method

  1. Cook the broad beans until just tender, drain and run under cold water and then double-pod the broad beans, you will find that the bright green beans will easily slip out of the outer skins.
  2. In a pestle and mortar, crush the garlic with the salt, until smooth. Mash in the broad beans with the garlic, add olive oil, lemon juice, chopped mint leaves and add most of the pumpkin seeds, leaving some to decorate the top of the dip.

Carta di Musica

The literal translation for Carta di Musica is ‘Music Paper’ and it is called this because the bread is so thin. Fora traditional bread, use white spelt flour in your dough.

Dietary: Vegan

Makes: approx. 12 flat breads

Prep time: 30 minutes | Cook time: 2 minutes

Ingredients

  • 175g white spelt flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 90ml warm water
  • 2 tbsp olive oil for drizzling
  • 1 tsp flaky sea salt
  • 1 tbsp chopped rosemary

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 240C or the hottest your oven will go up to.
  2. Place a pizza stone in the bottom shelf of the oven and heat up for at least 30 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the flour and salt together, then add 1 tbsp olive oil and warm water. Mix by hand to a soft-ball consistency. The dough should be soft but not too sticky, so add more flour if it is too wet. If it’s too dry add a little more water.
  4. Turn onto a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic.
  5. To knead the dough, use the heel of your hand to push the dough away from you, stretching it, folding it back up, and stretching it again. Continue kneading for 5 minutes.
  6. Roll 25g walnut sized balls of dough as thinly as possible, to look like parchment. Place directly on the baking stone.
  7. Bake for 2 minutes until bubbles have formed all over the surface and the bread is turning pale golden brown in places.
  8. As soon as they come out of the oven drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with flaky salt and chopped fresh rosemary.

Plating suggestions

Choose a colourful plate, we chose an earthenware plate with an abstract design in muted colours so that the colourful food stands out.

Place your pickled vegetables out on a plate, so that it’s easy to choose individual vegetables, rather like a paint palate.

The Carta di Musicaneeds to be topped and eaten straight away, otherwise it will go soggy.

Spread the Carta di Musica with broad bean dip, top with vegetables, curl the raw carrot into little rose shapes and decorate with pea shoots.

Serve the remaining Carta di Musica, pickled vegetables and broad bean dip on the side so that your guests can help themselves to seconds.


Also featured in the July 2018 issue of Vegetarian Living Magazine.

Delicious food photography by Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures.

Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram where we are chatting about all things foodie and, if you like this post, please share it!

To keep up to date with events and goings on at the cookery school sign up for our newsletter.

Summer Entertaining, Vegetarian Living, July 2018

The July 2018 issue of Vegetarian Living is now available and my feature this month is all about creating beautiful plates of seasonal food, perfect for summer entertaining. Everything from the choice of plate to using edible flowers can be really make your dish stand out and impress your guests. If you are hosting a dinner party this summer why not try our Pickled Vegetables and Broad Bean Dip on Carta di Musica, Tempura Asparagus with Smoked Vegan Mayonnaise or Beetroot Kibbeh with Charred Onions, Beetroot Liquorice Yoghurt and Feta? 

Click on the link below to read the article in full:

Vietnamese Noodle Salad with Crispy Jackfruit

This fresh zingy noodle salad topped with jackfruit, crispy shallots and peanuts is perfect for the summer. Young green jackfruit has become a very popular meat substitute, as when it is cooked it has a consistency similar to that of pulled pork. Tins of unripe jackfruit are available in Asian stores where you can also find the crispy fried shallots. We made this recipe using mung bean noodles but you could use rice noodles instead. 

Vietnamese Noodle Salad with Crispy Jackfruit

Dietary: Vegan, Gluten-free | Serves 4

Prep time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 150g mung bean noodles
  • 10cm piece of mouli, peeled
  • 2 carrots, peeled
  • ½ courgette
  • Handful of beansprouts
  • Large handful per person of Vietnamese mint/basil

Dressing

  • 2 tbsp shoyu dipping sauce (see recipe below)
  • 1 tbsp palm sugar
  • 1 small red chilli, sliced
  • 1 lime, juiced

Toppings

  • 2 tbsp crispy fried shallots
  • 50g peanuts, roasted and chopped

Method

  1. Soak the mung bean noodles in hot water for 10 minutes until tender, then drain.
  2. Julienne the mouli, carrots and courgette into long thin strips. Place the vegetables in a large bowl with the noodles and beansprouts.
  3. Mix the dressing together and pour over the vegetables, beansprouts and noodles, mix well and place in a serving bowl.
  4. Finely shred the herbs and scatter all over the noodles, be really generous with the herbs.
  5. Top with the crispy jackfruit, fried shallots and peanuts

Crispy Fried Jackfruit

Ingredients

  • 1 can green jackfruit
  • 1 tbsp untoasted sesame oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 150ml shoyu dipping sauce (see recipe)
  • 1 tbsp palm sugar
  • 2 onions, peeled and sliced finely

Method

  1. Drain and rinse the jackfruit. Cut the jackfruit pieces into smaller slices. Heat a wide frying pan with the oil, add the jackfruit and garlic. Fry for a minute, then add the shoyu dipping sauce and palm sugar.
  2. Bring to a gentle simmer on medium heat and cook until all the liquid is absorbed and evaporated.
  3. Scatter in the onions slices and keep cooking and frying until the jackfruit is crispy and caramelized.

Shoyu Dipping Sauce

Dietary: Vegan, Gluten-free option | Serves: 4

Prep time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp water or fresh coconut juice
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp palm sugar
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp shoyu or 1 tbsp tamari

Method

  1. Mix the water or fresh coconut juice with the vinegar and sugar to dissolve the sugar.
  2. Add the lime juice, garlic and chilli and stir in the shoyu or tamari.
  3. Leave to sit for the flavours to infuse together.


Delicious food photography by Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures.

Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram where we are chatting about all things foodie and, if you like this post, please share it!

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Elderflower Fritters

The sweet perfume of elderflowers coated in a thin tempura batter makes for an ethereal delight. This treat can be enjoyed for only three or four weeks in any year, so don't let it pass you by! Some tips:

  • Harvest the elderflowers no less than an hour or so before you cook them.
  • The flower head should ideally be picked in with most florets opened and the remainder still in bud.
  • Don’t harvest on a rainy day as much of the nectar can be washed from the flowers. 

Make the most of the Elderflower season and make our Elderflower Cordial recipe and Elderflower Champagne.

If you're interested in foraged foods, do take a look at our Get started with foraging post. 

Elderflower Fritters

Serves: 4 

Ingredients

  • 12 Elderflower heads 

For the batter 

  • 80g plain flour
  • 20g corn flour
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 150ml chilled sparkling water
  • 1tsp maple syrup
  •  sunflower oil for deep frying

Method 

To make the batter: 

  1. Pour the chilled water into a large bowl. 
  2. Sift in the flours and bicarbonate of soda. Add maple syrup. Mix roughly with a whisk. Don't worry if there are lumps. Use at once.

To prepare the elderflowers:

  1. Shake any insects and lose florets from the heads.  
  2. Cut heads into portions about 5cm across, leaving 2-3 cms of thin stalk to pick-up the fritters. 
  3. Don’t wash the flowers as the water will make the hot oil spit. 

To make the fritters:

  1. Heat the sunflower oil either in a wok or a deep frying pan with 5 cm of oil. The oil is ready when a drop of batter bubbles and turns golden in 5-10 seconds. Don’t heat the oil further until it smokes. 
  2. Holding the portions of flower heads by the stalk, gently wipe them through the batter so they are coated all over. Touch on the side of the bowl to remove excess. 
  3. Drop gently into the oil. Moving quickly, but calmly, place a few portions in the oil. Take care they don’t touch or they may stick in a mass. 
  4. Remove when golden and crisp. 
  5. Remove from the oil and drain on paper towel. 
  6. Serve when still hot sprinkled with icing sugar.

Vietnamese Coconut Turmeric Curry with Lemongrass Fried Tofu

This delicious and easy Vietnamese curry gets its beautiful rich yellow colour from the fresh turmeric. 

Coconut Turmeric Curry with Lemongrass Fried Tofu

Dietary: Vegan, Gluten-free | Serves: 4

Prep time: 15 minutes | Cooking time: 30 minutes

Coconut Tumeric Curry 

Ingredients

  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 4 fresh lemongrass
  • 5 small red chillies
  • 2 banana shallots
  • 5cm fresh turmeric root
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 x 400ml cans coconut milk
  • 400ml water
  • 2 tsp tamari
  • 4 carrots
  • 2 large sweet potato
  • 150g oyster mushrooms
  • 200g baby corn
  • 6 spring onions
  • 100g baby spinach
  • A large handful of herbs: Vietnamese mint/Thai basil/perilla/coriander

Method

  1. Peel and slice the garlic, use the flat of the knife to crush slightly and release the juices.
  2. Cut the top half off the lemongrass and peel off any dry outer leaves. Gently bruise the bulbous end of the lemongrass with the handle of a knife or a rolling pin. You just need to open it up a little bit to help release the flavour, but don’t bash too hard as it should stay in one piece.
  3. Pierce a small hole in the chillies with the tip of the knife.
  4. Peel the shallots, cut in half and finely slice.
  5. Peel and finely chop the turmeric.
  6. Peel the carrots and sweet potato and cut into 2cm thick slices.
  7. Tear the oyster mushrooms into large pieces.
  8. Leave the baby sweetcorn whole.
  9. Slice the spring onions in half.
  10. Leave the spinach whole.
  11. In a large pan, heat the oil and fry the shallots, lemongrass and chillies for 5 minutes until the shallots are soft and translucent.
  12. Add the sliced garlic and crushed turmeric and fry for 2 minutes, then add the ground cumin and coriander and fry for another minute until fragrant.
  13. Add the coconut milk, water and tamari and bring to the boil.
  14. Add the carrot and sweet potato and simmer gently for 15 minutes or until they are tender.
  15. Add the oyster mushrooms and baby corn and simmer gently for a couple of minutes, then add the spinach, spring onions and herbs, stir them in and turn off the heat.
  16. Serve with lemongrass fried tofu and jasmine rice.
  17. Serve this lemongrass fried tofu with the coconut curry or serve as a snack with the shoyu dipping sauce.

Lemongrass Fried Tofu

Dietary: Vegan, Gluten-free | Serves: 4

Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 350g plain firm tofu
  • 400ml sunflower oil for deep-frying
  • 2 fresh lemongrass
  • 2 small red chillies
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2cm fresh turmeric root
  • 2 tsp tamari
  • 2 tsp water
  • 2 tsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp palm sugar
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil for frying

Method

  1. Cut the tofu into 12 cubes, gently dry them off on kitchen towel. Heat the oil in a wok or deep saucepan to 170C and carefully drop the tofu cubes in. Fry for about 5 minutes until they are crisp and golden.
  2. Remove the tofu from the oil and drain well on kitchen roll to remove the excess oil.
  3. Cut the top half off the lemongrass and peel off any dry outer leaves. Gently bruise the bulbous end of the lemongrass with the handle of a knife or a rolling pin. Then finely slice the lemongrass.
  4. Deseed the chillies.
  5. Peel the garlic and turmeric.
  6. Either with a knife or in a small food processor finely chop the lemongrass, chillies, garlic and turmeric together.
  7. Heat a wok or frying pan with 1 tablespoon oil and fry the lemongrass, garlic, chilli and turmeric mix for about 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the tofu and mix well for 20 seconds to evenly coat.
  8. Mix the tamari, water, vinegar and palm sugar together, and drizzle over the tofu, quickly mix through the tofu and stir-fry for another 20 seconds.
  9. Serve with Coconut Turmeric Curry and jasmine rice.


Also featured in the June 2018 issue of Vegetarian Living Magazine.

Delicious food photography by Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures.

Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram where we are chatting about all things foodie and, if you like this post, please share it!

To keep up to date with events and goings on at the cookery school sign up for our newsletter.

Delicious Magazine, June 2018

Jess from Delicious Magazine came along to one of our Vegan Fast & Delicious courses - read about what she got up to here.  

Summer in Mexico - Vegan Food & Living, June 2018

In the June issue of Vegan Food & Living, Rachel shows you how to make fresh corn tortillas - vegan, gluten-free and so easy to make. There's also some tips for making delicious fillings. 

Check out the article in full here

Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls

These striking rice paper rolls make a great dinner party starter - as impressive as they look, they are really simple to make so you could even get your guests to make their own! They are best eaten straight away. 

Rice Paper Rolls with tempeh, fruits and salad herbs

Dietary: Vegan, Gluten-free | Serves 4

Prep time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 50g mungbeannoodles
  • 60g bean sprouts, washed
  • 1 carrot, cut into matchsticks
  • 10cm piece of daikon (mooli), cut into matchsticks
  • ½ red pepper, cut into matchsticks
  • ¼ cucumber, cut into matchsticks
  • ¼ mango, cut into slices
  • Handful of lettuce leaves
  • Handful of herbs: Vietnamese mint, Thai basil, Coriander, mint/basil leaves
  • 12 slices of crispy tempeh
  • 12 large round dried rice paperwrappers

Method

  1. Soak the mung beannoodles in hot water for 10 minutes until they are soft. Drain and chop them into 5cm lengths.
  2. Prepare the vegetables placing each variety in a separate bowl. Leave the lettuce leaves whole and don’t chop the herbs.
  3. To rehydrate the dried rice paperwrappers, fill a large bowl with cold water, approx 10cms deep.
  4. Dunk one rice paper at a time into the waterfora few seconds then carefully take it out and place on a plate or chopping board.
  5. Create a square of the leaves, herbs, matchstick vegetables, fruits and noodles in the middle of the rice paper, and top with a piece of crispy tempeh.
  6. Fold the sides in to meet in the middle and roll up tightly over the filling.
  7. Cut in two and serve with the cut side uppermost.
  8. Serve at once with shoyu dipping sauce.

Crispy Tempeh

Ingredients

  • 350g pack of tempeh
  • 3 tbsp plain flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp chilli flakes
  • 4 tbsp sunflower oil

Method

  1. Slice the tempeh into 12 thin slices.
  2. Mix the salt, black pepper and chilli flakes through the flour.
  3. Dip the tempeh in the flour to evenly coat.
  4. Heat the oil in a wide frying pan and fry both sides of the tempeh until crisp and golden.
  5. Drain well onto kitchen roll to remove any excess oil.

Shoyu Dipping Sauce

Fish sauce ‘nuoc mam’ is in all Vietnamese food so for vegetarians this has to be replaced. This is our vegetarian version to use instead of fish sauce.

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp water or fresh coconut juice
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp palm sugar
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp shoyu or 1 tbsp tamari

Method

  1. Mix the water or fresh coconut juice with the vinegar and sugar to dissolve the sugar.
  2. Add the lime juice, garlic and chilli and stir in the shoyu or tamari.
  3. Leave to sit for the flavours to infuse together.
  4. Green jackfruit has become a very trendy ‘meat substitute’ as when its cooked it has the consistency of pulled pork. Buy tins of green jackfruit which is unripe and not sweet from Asian stores.


Also featured in the June 2018 issue of Vegetarian Living Magazine.

Delicious food photography by Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures.

Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram where we are chatting about all things foodie and, if you like this post, please share it!

To keep up to date with events and goings on at the cookery school sign up for our newsletter.

My Favourite Asparagus Recipes

Asparagus is, for me, the queen of vegetables, and it’s best eaten with the fingers as fresh as possible. The first UK asparagus crops are harvested in late March, but the best of the season is from April to mid-June. Traditionally, it would not be cut after the longest day of the year, so that the plants can replenish their crown reserves for the next year.

Asparagus grows as shoots (‘spears’) from a crown or rhizomes (underground stems) just beneath the soil. These crowns take three years to start growing harvestable shoots, which are cut early in the morning, as they develop each day. The thicker ‘spears’ usually grow on the older crowns of asparagus, and the thinner ones are from the younger crowns.

Tips for cooking asparagus

Shopping: To judge whether asparagus is fresh and good quality just look at the small bracts, or leaves, which grow just behind the tips. These should be well formed, lie flat along the stem, and not be shooting. The cut at the base of the spear should appear fresh and feel hard rather than spongy. This cut end is often tough and should be broken off before cooking. Just bend the spear near the cut end and it will snap off crisply leaving the tender spears for cooking. Don’t throw away the tougher ends. Add them to stocks and soups as they are full of flavour.

Preparing: Asparagus can be eaten as thin stalks, which are great for stir-fries and with pasta, or as chunky spears, which can be simply grilled or baked and served with a drizzle of olive oil. Either way, here are a few basic techniques for preparing asparagus:

  • Cook in the traditional way in an asparagus steamer.
  • Griddle them. Prepare and wash the asparagus and put straight on a very, very hot griddle. It’s essential that the griddle is smoking before putting on the asparagus. Griddle for 2 minutes on one side and then turn over to griddle for two more minutes. Serve at once. The asparagus should be a brilliant green with a touch of burnt.
  • Bake in a hot oven with the asparagus rolled in extra virgin olive oil and sprinkled with a little Malden sea salt.

My Favourite Asparagus Recipes

Asparagus Leek Puff Calzone


Vegetarian Paella with Samphire and Asparagus


Potato, Asparagus, and Broad Bean Salad with Salsa Verde


Chargrilled Asparagus with Herb Papardelle and Cashew 'Cheese'


Italian Garden Salad with Griddled Asparagus and Almonds (VIDEO)


Spring Asparagus Ceviche


Laksa Lemak with Baby Asparagus


You can find more asparagus recipes and tips in Rachel's column in Vegetarian Living Magazine.

Delicious food photography by Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures.

Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram where we are chatting about all things foodie and, if you like this post, please share it!

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Salsa Verde

The salsa verde recipe makes a good amount and it keeps very well covered in the fridge. Feel free to change  the herbs - wild garlic, nettle, sorrel, rocket, baby spinach, and flat leaf parsley all work beautifully.

Salsa Verde with Capers

Dietary: Vegan, Gluten free | Serves 4-6

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 tbsp capers
  • 25g fresh mint leaves
  • 25g fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tsp apple juice concentrate
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 100ml extra virgin olive oil

Method

  1. Put everything in the food processor in the above order buzzing each time before adding next ingredient.
  2. The mix should be a dip consistency, add more olive oil if too thick.
  3. Serve cold as a dip, as a salad dressing, with asparagus, mix in with pasta, enliven rice dishes or drizzle over roasted vegetables.
Flavours of Vietnam, Vegetarian Living, June 2018

The June 2018 issue of Vegetarian Living is now available and features my latest column of seasonal cooking ideas, tips, recipes and more. This month is all about the flavours of Vietnam. Packed with zingy flavours, fresh herbs and crispy veg, Vietnamese cuisine is perfect for the summer months. Get inspired with our recipes including a Coconut Lemongrass Curry with Fried Tofu, Rice Paper Rolls filled with Crunchy Veg and Tempeh, and a Noodle Salad with Crispy Jackfruit.

Click on the link below to read the article in full:

Making Vegan Pasta - Vegan Food & Living, May 2018

In the May Issue of Vegan Food & Living we show you how easy it is to make your own vegan pasta at home, including how to shape the perfect tortellini. Check out the article in full here

Chef Magazine, April 2018

Recognising the ever-increasing popularity of plant-based diets, Chef Magazine spoke to our chef tutor Helen Lawrence about the demand for vegan options in restaurants and about the Demuths Advanced Vegan Diploma course. 

"Long gone, or at least it should be, is the one lonely uninspiring vegetarian option on a menu. Creative chefs can use vegetables in new and exciting ways, preparing and cooking them in modern styles, rebranding it in a way that appeals not only to vegetarians or vegans, but to anyone who is looking for a new and enjoyable eating experience."

Click here to read the article in full.

Beautiful Bowl Food Recipes

The whole idea of a one bowl meal is nothing new, but recent trends have seen "bowl food" elevated beyond mere convenience and nutrition. Bowl food can be endlessly varied and the presentation awe inspiring. It's also easy to make bowl foods highly nutritious by using a balance of grains, pulses and vegetables. A rainbow of colours makes bowl food feast a feast for eyes and, as is often the case, the fun is in the toppings.

We've taken ideas from around the world to create these three bowl food recipes that are all at once healthy, delicious, and undeniably beautiful. All are vegan and work well cold so a great option for packed lunches. They take a bit of time to prepare so it's worth making the components in bulk for yummy leftovers for days to come. 

Hawaiian Poke

Hawaiian Poke is the newest addition to the London ‘street food’ food culture. It ticks all the boxes for healthy, nutritious, quick and instantly instagrammable. Poke is a Hawaiian traditional native dish served in a bowl, made with hot white rice topped with raw fish, but is easily adapted to plant-based.

I had my first poke bowl off Carnaby Street and loved the zingy flavours and the contrast of hot rice and cold ceviche style vegetables with lots of toppings to choose from. We've gone for roasted vegetables with a pineapple yuzu salsa.

Recipe: Hawaiian Poke Bowl

Buddha Bowls

Why are they called Buddha Bowls? Traditionally in Japanese culture there is a meditative form of eating called Oryoki. One eats from special bowls, an Oryoki set, consisting of three nested bowls called Jihatsu. The largest is referred to as the Buddha Bowl, or Zuhatsu, and symbolizes the Buddhas head and his wisdom.

Buddhist monks go out everyday at dawn with a Buddha bowl to collect food from the locals. Whatever they can spare would be put in the bowl as a donation, often rice and vegetables.

Our Japanese bowl is inspired from the Okinawa diet, which is a very healthy diet from the Japanese Okinawa islands where there is one of the highest density of people over 100 in the world. Their diet is based on sushi rice, purple vegetables, tofu, miso, seaweed and pickles.

Recipe: Japanese Buddha Bowl

Mexican Bowl

Mexican food is perfect for one bowl meals! Our Mexican bowl includes a mix of quinoa and black beans for that ultra nutritious complete protein hit. Quinoa (pronounced ‘keenwa’) is a tiny golden seed from South America grown in the Andes. It has a higher protein content than rice. It’s gluten-free and is also rich in minerals, including calcium. Quinoa has a high amino-acid profile giving it a protein quality very like that of milk, hence it’s a valuable cereal for vegans. It's also got a fantastic texture that works beautiful alongside beans and salsa. 

Recipe: Mexican Bowl


Find more vegan bowl food inspiration from Rachel in the May 2018 issue of Vegetarian Living.

Delicious food photography by Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures.

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Hawaiian Poke Bowl

Hawaiian Poke is the newest addition to the London ‘street food’ food culture. It ticks all the boxes for healthy, nutritious, quick and instantly instagrammable. Poke is a Hawaiian traditional native dish served in a bowl, made with hot white rice topped with raw fish, but is easily adapted to plant-based. We've made ours with raw baby spinach topped with cooked rice, roasted squash, beetroot and green beans. It's finished with char-grilled pineapple and spring onions, sticky pecans and pineapple yuzu salsa.

Hawaiian Poke Bowl

Serves: 2 | Dietary: Vegan and Gluten free

Prep Time: 30 minutes | Cook Time: 30 minutes

Vegetables

Ingredients

  • 150g baby spinach
  • 150g butternut squash
  • 2 small beetroot
  • 100g green beans
  • sunflower oil for brushing

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200C/180CFan.
  2. Wash the baby spinach and set aside in the fridge.
  3. Roast the squash and beetroot separately otherwise the beetroot will leach red into the squash.
  4. Peel and cut the squash into half moon slices, brush with sunflower oil and place on a baking tray. Cover with silver foil and roast for 30 minutes until tender.
  5. Peel and cut each beetroot in half, then each half into half moon slices.
  6. Brush with sunflower oil and place on a baking tray. Cover with silver foil and roast for 30 minutes until tender.
  7. Trim the tops off the green beans and lightly steam for a few minutes until tender. Refresh in cold water and set aside.

Rice

Ingredients

  • 150g black rice
  • 150g jasmine rice

Method

  1. Cook the black and white rice separately in plenty of boiling water until tender, then drain.
  2. The black rice will take about 25 minutes, the jasmine rice about 10 minutes.

Tips: If you don’t have black rice, use all white rice.

Pineapple and Spring Onions

Ingredients

  • ½ a pineapple
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar
  • 6 spring onions
  • ¼- ½ habanero chilli
  • 2 tbsp yuzu juice

Method

  1. Cut the skin off the pineapple, take the core out of the middle and cut into 4 round slices.
  2. Take 2 slices of pineapple and dust lightly with icing sugar and char-grill these pineapple slices on a hot griddle pan for a couple of minutes on each side.
  3. Cut the tops off the spring onions, brush with oil and lightly char-grill the spring onions for a minute on a hot griddle pan until scorched.
  4. Cut the remaining 2 slices of pineapple into small cubes, de-seed and finely chop the chilli and stir in with the pineapple along with the yuzu juice to make a salsa dressing.

Sticky Pecans

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp pecans
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tbsp agave syrup
  • pinch of salt

Method

  1. Place all the ingredients in a frying pan, and heat up, stirring until the syrup has caramelized and the pumpkin seeds start popping. Turn out onto a sheet of baking parchment and leave to cool. 


Delicious food photography by Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures.

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Mexican Bowl

This Mexican bowl has a very nutritious and traditional mix of herby quinoa with refried black beans, tomato jalapeño salsa and avocado mash, topped with mango salsa, coriander leaves, slices of jalapeño chilli and tortilla chips. Quinoa has a higher protein content than rice. It’s gluten-free and also rich in minerals, including calcium, making it a valuable cereal for vegans to eat.

Mexican Bowl

Serves: 2 | Dietary: Vegan and Gluten free

Prep Time: 45 minutes | Cook Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • Herby quinoa (see recipe below)
  • Refried black beans (see recipe below)
  • Avocado mash (see recipe below)
  • Tomato salsa (see recipe below)
  • Mango salsa (see recipe below)
  • Handful of coriander leaves
  • 1 Jalapeño chilli, sliced
  • Tortilla chips

Method

  1. Assemble your bowl, referring to the picture, starting with the quinoa and refried beans, adding the avocado mash, salsas and toppings. Serve with a handful of tortilla chips.

Herby Quinoa

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 100g quinoa
  • 225ml water
  • ½ a lemon, zest and juice
  • Pinch of salt
  • 20g cashews, roasted
  • 20g pumpkin seeds, roasted
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • 2 tbsp fresh flat parsley, roughly chopped

Method

  1. Rinse the quinoa.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of sunflower oil in a saucepan and add the quinoa, stir, coating the grains in oil and stir-fry for a minute.
  3. Add to the quinoa the water, lemon juice and zest plus a pinch of salt. Simmer covered for about 15 minutes, until all the liquid is absorbed and the quinoa grain has burst.
  4. Turn the heat off keeping the lid on for a few minutes. Then fluff up the quinoa with a fork.
  5. Stir in the roasted cashews and pumpkin seeds, cayenne, paprika and parsley. Check for seasoning.

Tips: Red or black quinoa has a stronger flavour. It is delicious, but takes longer to cook and requires more water.

Frijoles Negros Refritos

Re-fried Black Beans

Ingredients

  • 1 tin black beans, drained
  • ½ onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • ¼ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ orange, juiced
  • ½ tbsp lime juice
  • Brown sugar to taste
  • Salt to taste

Method

  1. In a saucepan, fry the onion in the olive oil until soft.
  2. Add the garlic and chilli to the onion and fry until fragrant. Then add the paprika, coriander and cumin and quickly stir-fry.
  3. Add the drained black beans, orange and lime juice and cook gently until the beans begin to break down and the fruit juice has been absorbed. This will take about 30 minutes. Add a little water if the mix gets too thick and then taste. Add sugar and salt to taste.

Lime, Chilli, Coriander, Avocado Mash

Ingredients

  • 1 avocado
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • Handful coriander, chopped
  • 1 small green chilli, deseeded and chopped
  • ½ garlic clove
  • Pinch of salt

Method

  1. Peel the garlic, chop it then crush it with a pinch of salt to make a puree.
  2. Chop the avocado flesh roughly and mix with the lime juice, coriander, chilli, garlic and season to taste.

Tomato Jalapeño Salsa

Ingredients

  • 1 spring onion, sliced
  • 1 tbsp coriander, chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 jalapeño chilli, sliced
  • ½ lime, juice and zest
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • pinch of salt

Method

  1. Mix all the ingredients together and season to taste.

Mango Salsa

Ingredients

  • ½ mango, peeled and sliced
  • ½ red chilli, finely sliced
  • ½ lime, juiced

Method

  1. Mix all the ingredients together and season to taste.

Delicious food photography by Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures.

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Beetroot Burgers, Essentially Catering Magazine, April 2018

The April 2018 issue of Essentially Catering Magazine is all about the veg. The whole issues features tips on vegan and plant-based cooking for caterers, including our recipe for Beetroot Aduki Bean Burgers. Click here to read the full issue online and get the recipe.


The Vegetarian Society Magazine, Spring 2018

We are delighted to appear in the Spring 2018 issue of The Vegetarian Society Magazine in the food and drink guild section.  You can find us on page 53 (or click here to download a PDF of the full clipping).

Beautiful and bowl-some, Vegetarian Living, May 2018

The May 2018 issue of Vegetarian Living is now available and features my latest column of seasonal cooking ideas, tips, recipes and more. This month is all about "bowl food". Taking inspiration from Hawaii, Japan and Mexico, this column shows you how to assemble harmonious, balanced bowl-based dishes that are full of colour, flavour, and balanced nutrition. Get inspired with our recipes including Hawaiin poké bowl, Japanese noodle bowl with sesame-crusted tofu, and Mexican bowl with herby quinoa, refried beans and avocado mash.

Click on the link below to read the article in full:

​Demuths Indulgent Vegan Cookery Course Review, Veggielicious, March 2018

For a sneak peak at our Indulgent Vegan Cookery Course, check out this review by Mandy of the blog Veggielicious.

We started by making the brioche dough. Brioche is an enriched bread dough usually made with eggs and butter. Our teacher showed us how to make a vegan version using apple purée and olive oil instead. This dough was to be used for our burger buns and for the doughnuts and let me tell you that it was incredible. Even the non-vegans on the course thought that this was amazing bread.

You can read the rest of the review (and our delicious recipe for Beetroot Aduki Bean Burgers) on her website: Demuths Indulgent Vegan Cookery Course Review.

Japanese Noodle Bowl

Buckwheat noodles with steamed purple carrot and sweet potato with a sesame dressing and sesame crusted tofu topped with nori seaweed, arame, pickled pink ginger and pea shoots.

Japanese Noodle Bowl

Serves: 2 | Dietary: Vegan

Prep Time: 30 minutes | Cook Time: 25 minutes

Buckwheat noodles

Ingredients

  • 160g buckwheat noodles
  • ½ tsp sesame oil

Method

  1. Boil the noodles in plenty of salted water until just tender, for about 4 minutes.
  2. Drain and rinse briefly with cold water.
  3. Run a drop of sesame oil over them to stop them sticking.

Steamed Vegetables

Ingredients

  • 1 purple carrot (100g)
  • 1 small purple sweet potato (100g)

Method

  1. Peel and slice the vegetables into 1 ½ cm thick rings. Steam lightly for 5 minutes until tender.

Sesame Dressing

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
  • 1 tsp untoasted sesame oil
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tsp brown or red miso
  • 1 tsp shoyu
  • 1 tsp mirin
  • 2 tbsp water

Method

  1. Mix all the ingredients together.

Sesame crusted Tofu

Ingredients

  • 250g firm tofu

Tofu Crust

  • 3 tbsp cornflour
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp black sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp sea vegetable flakes
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp wasabi powder
  • 100ml sunflower oil

Method

  1. Cut the tofu into slices.
  2. Mix the tofu crust ingredients together and spread out on a plate.
  3. Dip the tofu slices into the tofu crust mix and press so that it is evenly coated.
  4. Heat the sunflower oil in a deep-sided frying pan. Shallow fry the tofu for a couple of minutes on each side until crisp and the sesame seeds are golden. Drain on kitchen paper.

Topping

  • 10 pieces of pink pickled ginger
  • ½ sheet of nori cut with scissors into little triangles
  • 1 tbsp arame, soaked in cold water for 15 minutes, then drained
  • a few pea shoots


Delicious food photography by Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures.

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Having Fun Foraging, Vegan Food and Living, April 2018

The April 2018 issue of Vegan Food and Living features our top tips on foraging wild spring leaves such as nettles, wild garlic, and dandelion. You'll also find our recipe for our delicious and easy to make  Wild Garlic Soup.

Read the article in full: Having Fun Foraging, Vegan Food and Living, April 2018

Wild Garlic Soup

Wild garlic makes a fabulous vibrant green soup. Raw wild garlic is pungent, but when cooked it has a delicate flavour. That flavour can be lost easily, so be generous and add the garlic to the soup towards the end of the cooking. Wild garlic leaves are best when very young, so pick small tender leaves if possible. Wild garlic is one our favourite forageable leaves

Wild Garlic Soup

Dietary: Vegan | Prep 15 minutes | Cooking 30 minutes | Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 250g new potatoes, scrubbed and cubed
  • 125g wild garlic leaves, washed and roughly chopped
  • 1 litre vegetable stock or 1 litre water with 1 tsp vegetable bouillon
  • squirt of lemon
  • salt
  • mild chilli flakes

Method

  1. In a large saucepan, sauté the onion in the rapeseed oil for about 10 minutes, until soft, add the cubed potatoes and quickly stir-fry. 
  2. Add the stock to the onion and potatoes. Simmer until the potatoes are just soft, which will take 15 minutes, depending on the size of the cubes of potato.
  3. Add the wild garlic, cover and simmer for a couple of minutes until cooked, but are still a vibrant green colour. Either serve at once chunky or liquidise to a smooth consistency.
  4. Check for seasoning and add a squirt of lemon juice. Decorate with mild chilli flakes. Serve hot.

Read on for more Wild Garlic Recipes!

Vegetarian Wild Garlic Soup

Brilliant photos by Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures

Wild Garlic Pesto

It's happy times at the cookery school as wild garlic is back in season. We've been making use of it as much as we can, delicious with freshly baked sourdough.

Read on for more wild garlic tips and recipes

Wild Garlic Pesto

Serves 4-6 

Dietary: Vegan

Ingredients

  • 25g pinenuts, toasted
  • 50g hazelnuts, roasted, and skins rubbed off
  • 100 - 175ml extra virgin olive oil
  • large handful fresh very young tender garlic leaves
  • 1  tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp apple juice concentrate
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. In a food processor or in a pestle and mortar crush the pinenuts and hazelnuts roughly and then decant them into a bowl and set aside.
  2. Puree the wild garlic leaves with the olive oil just enough to break up the wild garlic to a rough texture.
  3. Add the lemon juice and apple juice concentrate and mix.
  4. Pour the wild garlic mixture into the crushed nuts and stir in.
  5. Season to taste.
  6. Serve with sourdough bread, as a pasta sauce, or as a dip for crudités.

Tips

  • The pesto will keep in the fridge for a week or two so long as the top is covered with a layer of olive oil. You can also freeze it. Freeze in small containers, so that you can take out a little at a time.
  • This pesto is also delicious made with rocket, young spinach leaves, watercress or of course basil.
Vegan Hot Cross Buns

Hot cross buns are a staple of the Easter holiday season. This is the vegan version of our classic hot cross bun recipe which proves that you can make moist delicious hot cross buns without milk, eggs, or butter. We like to include dried apricots and mixed peel for added interest and distinctive flavour. Give them a try!

 

Vegan Hot Cross Buns

Makes 16 buns

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp dried active yeast
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 100ml warm water
  • 120ml warm almond or soya milk
  • 120ml apple sauce
  • 60ml sunflower oil
  • 500g strong white flour
  • 100g strong wholemeal flour
  • 2 tsps mixed spice
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 75g sultanas
  • 75g dried apricots, chopped
  • 75g mixed peel

Piping paste:

  • 4 tbsps unbleached white flour
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 2 tbsps cold water

Sticky Sugar Glaze:

  • 2 tbsps sugar + 2 tbsps water

Method

  1. In a measuring jug combine the water, warm almond or soya milk, yeast and sugar, mix well and leave in a warm place for about 10 minutes for the yeast to start to bubble.  
  2.  In a large mixing bowl, sieve the flour and add the mixed spice, caster sugar, sultanas, dried apricots and mixed peel. Pour in the milk and yeast, the apple sauce and oil. Using one finger stir in the liquid until the dough is coming together, then use both hands and start to knead. 
  3. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured flat surface and knead, using your fingers to stretch the dough up and then gently fold back. It will be sticky to begin with so don’t be tempted to add too much flour, use a bread plastic scraper if the dough sticks to the work surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, usually about 10 minutes. 
  4. Place in an oiled bowl and cover with oiled cling film. Leave to rise in a warm place for 1 – 1½ hours, until doubled in size.
  5. (Or you could leave the dough to prove overnight in the fridge and continue following the recipe instructions the next day, allowing extra time for the cold dough to prove once shaped into buns)
  6. Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface and gently knead the dough. Roll the dough into a sausage and divide up into 16 equal pieces (you can use scales to be precise).
  7. Roll each piece into a round ball.
  8. Line two baking trays with baking parchment and arrange the balls in lines, not quite touching. Leave in a warm place to rise for 45 minutes to an hour or until the buns have doubled in size.
  9. (If the dough has had an overnight proof in the fridge, the buns will take longer to double in size)
  10. While the dough is rising preheat the oven to 200°fan/220C and make the piping paste.
  11. To make the piping paste, mix the flour sugar and water together into a smooth paste.
  12. Put into a piping bag fitted with a small, plain nozzle.
  13. When the buns have risen, make an indent of a cross on each bun using a blunt knife and pipe a cross on each bun.
  14. Put the buns in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until they are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped.
  15. While the buns are baking, make the sticky glaze. Dissolve the sugar in the water over a low heat.
  16. As soon as the buns come out brush them with the glaze. Transfer to a wire rack without pulling them apart and leave to cool.
  17. Best eaten whilst still warm, or store in an airtight container and serve warmed gently in the oven.

vegan hot cross buns


Delicious food photography by Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures.

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3 Beautiful Vegetarian Spring Pie Recipes

The joy of a pie is the excitement of cutting it open to reveal the interior. It’s a surprisingly versatile dish, and portable too as all the filling is neatly encased inside. With Easter on the horizon, we’ve been baking three Italian-inspired spring pies that all have festive origins. Easter in Italy is the most sacred festival of the year and food is particularly relished after the austerity of Lent. Eggs are of particular importance because people would have abstained from eating them during Lent, but the chickens still keep on laying! Eggs, of course, also signify new life and pies made at this time of year traditionally contained eggs.

All three of these vegetarian pies are firm inside with no runny fillings, making them perfect for taking out and eating in the warm spring sunshine if you get the chance. We’ve used three pie-making methods – one is encased in filo, another in puff pastry and the third, more unusually, in rice. 

Torta Pasqualina

Torta pasqualina is an Easter pie from Liguria that has whole eggs added raw to the pie, so that when it is cooked you cut through to reveal a perfect hard-boiled egg. Traditionally, this Easter pie has 33 layers of pastry to signify the years of Christ’s life. It’s eaten for picnics on Easter Monday and made with Swiss chard, but it’s also delicious with spinach and foraged spring leaves, such as wild spinach and wild garlic. The traditional pastry is made with flour, water and olive oil and is rolled thin like filo. It was a badge of honour for a cook to be able to roll out all 33 layers of pastry thinly and layer up the pie perfectly. But ivycatfor simplicity for the modern cook, we have used ready-made filo pastry and used 12 layers of filo rather than 33! 

Italian Easter Calzone 

Our Italian Easter calzone is made using ready- rolled puff pastry rather than bread dough and is cut into the shape of an egg with pretty slashes in the top to show off the asparagus and baby leek filling. In spring, make the most of fresh green vegetables – in season now are Swiss chard, spinach, baby leeks and the first of the asparagus, all of which would work beautifully in this pie. 

Sartu di Rosso  

Sartu di riso is a risotto pie made all over southern Italy in Naples, Campania and Apulia. It’s a very unusual pie because the casing is made of rice rather than pastry and then it’s filled with vegetables and cheese. There are two varieties: one has a white rice casing and the other is red as the rice is flavoured with tomato sauce. This is not an everyday dish as the rice has to be made in advance and cooled, the filling made and the pie assembled, and it’s then served cold so that it’s easy to slice. It’s made for special occasions such as Easter and is ideal for feeding lots of people. At Demuths Cookery School we run an annual Italian cooking holiday in Apulia and our wonderful host Alessandro makes a very large sartu di riso for our first welcome dinner. 

You can read more about these Italians spring tarts in Rachel's April 2018 article in Vegetarian Living Magazine.

For more vegetarian pie inspiration, check out our post, Vegetarian Pies: Perfect Pastry and Favourite Fillings.


Delicious food photography by Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures.

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Torta Pasqualina: Chard and Spinach Pie

Torta Pasqualina is a traditional Ligurian Easter pie, often eaten for picnics on Easter Monday. It's typically made with Swiss chard and spinach, but it's also delicious with foraged leaves added such wild spinach or wild garlic. The pie includes eggs baked whole within the filling creating a beautiful effect when you slice into the pie.

The pastry for this pie is filo, which we've scored to create this beautiful pattern (directions below). While this certainly has the wow factor, it can be quite fiddly! So you can always leave the layers plain and just cut a cross in the middle of the pie through the pastry to release the steam, or loosely scrunch up the oiled sheets of lo for an attractive rough pie topping. 

Chard and Spinach Pie

Torta Pasqualina

Serves: 4 to 6

Prep Time:1 hour | Cooking time; 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 350g chard, washed
  • 400g spinach, washed
  • 4 banana shallots
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tin artichoke hearts, drained and sliced
  • ½ lemon, juice and zest
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • nutmeg to taste
  • 500g ricotta
  • 75g vegetarian hard cheese
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 pack filo 480mm x 255mm with 7 sheets
  • 2 tbsp olive oil for brushing

Method

  1. Line a 22cm spring bottomed cake tin with baking parchment.
  2. Roughly chop the chard and spinach. Wilt down the greens together, then refresh them under cold water, drain and squeeze out the excess water.
  3. Peel and slice the shallots into half-moon slices. Fry in the butter with a pinch of salt until soft. Add sliced artichokes, lemon zest and juice, nutmeg and season to taste. Cook for a couple of minutes.
  4. Remove from the heat and mix with the wilted greens. Stir in the ricotta, vegetarian hard cheese and add check the seasoning.
  5. Using 6 sheets of filo cut 12 discs out of filo the same size as the cake tin. Cut the remaining sheet of filo into 4 long strips to use for the edges of the pie.
  6. Layer up 6 round sheets with olive oil brushed lightly between each sheet. Place them in the bottom of the lined tin.
  7. Oil the 4 long strips of filo and line the sides of the tin with them, making sure they are overlapping all around, to create the sides of the pie.
  8. Put 2/3 of the chard mixture into the tin, make 5 evenly spaced egg sized wells in the mix and crack an egg into each well. Layer the remaining mixture gently so you don’t break the egg yolks and evenly over the top of the eggs. Tuck the top edge of the filo sides in over the edge of the pie filling.
  9. On a board layer up the remaining 6 round sheets of filo with olive oil brushed lightly between each sheet and score through (not all the way through) in a diamond baklava style pattern. Place this filo layer on top of the pie and tuck in the edges. This cutting pattern can be quite fiddly to do, so you can leave the layers plain without a cut design, just cut a cross in the middle of the pie through the pastry once it’s in place to release the steam. Or you can just loosely scrunch up the oiled sheets of filo for an attractive rough pie topping.
  10. Bake at 200C/180C Fan for 1 hour (protect the top with foil if needed during the last 20 minutes.)


Delicious food photography by Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures.

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Make Your Own Indian Spice Mixes

Homemade spice blends are so much better, fresher and fragrant than store-bought, and this is especially true of Indian spice mixes like Garam Masala and Curry Powder. We're constantly working with spices at Demuths, and have taken a deep dive into their history with our exploration of the spice route. Here is a taste of what we've learned, plus recipes for homemade garam masala and homemade curry powder that will take your Indian recipes to a whole new level.

Spices in food and medicine

Almost every manufactured food contains added spices. What’s a hot cross bun without a dash of cinnamon? a curry sauce without turmeric? a dollop of Branston pickle without – wait for it – mustard, coriander, garlic, cinnamon, pepper, cloves, nutmeg and cayenne! But we often take spices for granted and rarely think about why they are used or where they come from.

Whether you have a loaded rack with 20 or more jars, or a single out-of-date mixed spice packet bought for a long-forgotten recipe, everyone has a spice of some kind at home. Using tiny amounts can make dramatic changes to the flavour of food, but behind every kitchen spice is a medicinal history that goes back thousands of years.

The original uses of nearly all spices were for healing purposes. Pepper and saffron were important ingredients in Arabian medicine, while ginger was used in Chinese remedies. Famous ancient Greco-Roman herbalists like Dioscorides used coriander, anise, and pepper in their spice-based medicines.

Venice was the hub of the spice trade before the Portuguese sent Marco Polo to China to do trade deals with the Chinese and undercut the Venetians. In Europe, the importers and distributers of these medicinal treasures were the Apothecaries, who were known as Spicers. The spices were often used in the same powdered form as in the kitchen, but they were also used as whole spices (seeds, bark, dried fruits), extracted in alcohol to take as a medicine, or made into tablets, capsules, salves, compresses or distilled oils.

Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, said: “Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food”. Aromatic spices such as fennel, coriander, and anise all help reduce indigestion and colic. Hot spices like chilli, pepper, ginger are warming and stimulate circulation. Ginger has been shown to prevent travel sickness as well as chilblains! So, next time you add spice to your cooking, think about how they can enhance your life, not only the enjoyment of your food.

Tips for Making Indian Spice Mixes

For Indian cooking you need a savoury and a sweet spice mix. The savoury spice mix is commonly known as curry powder, which is a British corruption of the Tamil word for sauce, “kari”, and is best used for empire-style dishes such as kedgeree. The sweet spice tends to be added at the end of cooking, and is known as Garam Masala in northern India and Bese Bel in the south.

To make Indian spice mixes, the three most important ingredients are coriander, cumin and mustard seeds. Always buy your spices whole, because the moment you grind a spice it begins to lose its pungency and aroma. To release the flavour, the whole spices need to be lightly dry-fried before crushing to a powder.

Place the seeds in a small frying pan over a medium heat and stir until the seeds begin to pop and give off their fragrant aroma. Take off the heat and immediately decant onto a plate, as they will continue to cook in a hot frying pan and will easily burn. Always dry fry coriander and cumin separately as cumin fries much quicker than coriander.

Mustard seeds will also go into your savoury spice mix and are added during tempering. This is when you add spices to hot oil and cook until the mustard seeds jump and pop, releasing their wonderful heat and flavour into the oil.


Homemade Curry Powder

An essential ingredient for vegetarian kedgeree and numerous other Indian recipes. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp whole coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp whole cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp whole black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp whole brown mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp whole fenugreek seeds
  • 3 hot dried red chillies, crumbled
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric

Method:

  1. Dry fry all the spices except the turmeric until fragrant, but don’t let them brown as it will ruin the flavour. 
  2. Add the turmeric and quickly stir. 
  3. Decant onto a plate and leave to cool.
  4. Grind in a spice grinder/coffee grinder as finely as possible. 
  5. Store in an airtight container.

Homemade Garam Masala Powder (Bese Bele)

This is an aromatic sweet blend of spices favoured by the Brahmins of Bangalore. Used in numerous Indian recipes, including our masala dosas and masala vada (split pea dumplings in masala gravy).

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp cardamom seeds
  • 1 tsp whole cloves
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 5cm stick of cinnamon
  • 1/3 of a nutmeg
  • a curl of mace
  • 1 small dried chilli
  • 6 curry leaves
  • 1 tbsp un-sweetened coconut flakes

Method:

  1. Dry-fry all the spices until fragrant, take off the heat and add the coconut flakes. 
  2. Grind in a spice grinder/coffee grinder as finely as possible. 
  3. Store in an airtight container.

Learn more about how to use spices at one of our  Indian cookery courses at Demuths Cookery School. Our traditional stainless steel Indian Spice boxes complete with spices also make great presents! As does our traditional Japanese Suribachi pestle and mortar.

Try your homemade Indian Spice mixes in these favourite recipes from Demuths...

Golden Curried Vegetable Pasties


Paneer Baigan


Curried Chickpea Flour Dosas


For even more inspiration, check out our collection of vegetarian Indian recipes or come along to one of our Indian courses!

Delicious food photography by Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures.

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Bella Fiesta, Vegetarian Living, April 2018

The April 2018 issue of Vegetarian Living is now available and features my latest column of seasonal cooking ideas, tips, recipes and more. This month is all about the joy of pies, featuring three Italian-inspired spring pie recipes for Easter, including Torta Pasqualina: Chard and Spinach PieAsparagus & Leek Puff Calzone, and Sartu di Riso: Risotto Pie.

Click on the link below to read the article in full:

Wild Garlic Recipes

Wild garlic is one of my favourite seasonal ingredients. It’s a beautiful herb with delicious flavour and is incredibly easy to forage. March and April is the time to go picking, and wild garlic is hard to miss. It’s one of the first plants to carpet the woods and its pungency as you walk through is all pervading. However, when you cook wild garlic it has a delicate flavour. In the spirit of wild garlic season, I wanted to share a few of my favourite recipes for enjoying this delicate herb. But first a few tips...

Wild garlic growing

Tips for picking wild garlic

  • This time of year,  you will find the wild garlic poking up in low-lying places by streams and protected woods. Make sure you pick away from dogs and roads and don’t trespass: the wild garlic might be free, but the landowner may not appreciate your picking!
  • I take a carrier bag with me, fill it up and it will last perfectly in the fridge for a week.
  • Wild garlic leaves are best when very tender, so pick when the garlic is just coming up. Choose small tender leaves - the moment the garlic begins to flower, the leaves become too strong and brash in flavour. But the flowers do make a pretty addition to spring salads. 
  • To eat raw, find the youngest leaves and add to a salad mix.
  • Be adventurous and use wild garlic instead of spinach leaves, mix and match. It goes well with watercress. Add it to your favourite pasta sauces, or use wild garlic for a tangy pesto that makes a versatile addition dip, pasta sauce or filling for your favourite foods - especially mushrooms.
  •  Wash well before eating.

Wild garlic recipes from Demuths

Wild Garlic Pesto


Gluten-Free Wild Garlic and Cheese Cornbread 


Wild Garlic Soup


Wild Garlic Frittata


Spinach and Wild Garlic Malfatti


What are you making with Wild Garlic this season?

Let us know on  FacebookTwitter, or in the comments!

Asparagus & Leek Puff Calzone

Italian calzone is a folder over pizza made with bread dough - think of it like a flat filled pasty. We've modified things slightly with our calzone. To make things simple, we use ready rolled puff pastry for the dough. We've gone with asparagus, leeks, cheese and herbs for our filling - none of it needs pre-cooking making it easy to assemble and great for parties. We like to add pretty slashes to the the top of the pasty to show off the delicious filling inside.


Asparagus Leek Puff Calzone

Serves: 4 to 6 | Dietary: Vegan option

Prep Time: 40 minutes | Cooking time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 250g cream cheese (or cashew cheese)
  • 50g vegetarian hard cheese (or vegan ‘cheddar type’)
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • 4 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
  • 1/2 lemon, juice and zest
  • big pinch of salt and pepper
  • 2 packs ready rolled puff pastry
  • 4 baby leeks
  • 1 bunch thin asparagus
  • 2 tbsp pinenuts
  • 2 tbsp capers
  • 1 tbsp beaten egg or olive oil for brushing

Method

  1. Mix the cream cheese and vegetarian hard cheese with the thyme, parsley, lemon juice and zest. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Wash the leeks and trim off the green tops and cut the leeks into quarters lengthways.
  3. Trim off the woody ends of the asparagus and peel the bottom half of each spear.
  4. Lay 2 sheets of puff on top of each other and trim around the edges to cut out an oval shape. Take the top puff oval off
  5. On the bottom puff oval spread the cream cheese mixture leaving a 2cm gap around the edge. Arrange the asparagus and leek strips in lines over the top. Sprinkle over the pinenuts and capers.
  6. Make an indent in the middle of the second puff oval with a small round pastry cutter, pressing gently so as not to cut through the pastry.
  7. Lay this puff oval over the top of the vegetables. Using a small sharp knife cut lines through the top piece of pastry radiating out from the middle to create a sunbeam pattern. Press the outer edges slightly to fix in place and brush lightly with beaten egg or olive oil.
  8. Bake at 220C/200C Fan for 20 minutes until golden and puffed up.

Delicious food photography by Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures.

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Sartu di Riso: Risotto Pie

Sartu di Riso is a risotto pie with the casing made of rice rather than pastry and then filled with vegetables and cheese. We’ve given two different sauce options for when you cook this risotto pie – one with rich tomatoes and the other with white wine, to create a choice of flavours. Both are equally delicious with the roasted vegetable filling!

Risotto Pie

Sartu di riso

Serves: 4 to 6 | Dietary: Gluten free

Prep Time:1 hour | Cooling Time: 1 hour | Cooking Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 250g risotto rice
  • 2 litres water
  • sauce
  • 2x 400g tins chopped tomato or 300ml white wine
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 small shallots, peeled and halved
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 50g vegetarian hard cheese, finely grated
  • filling
  • 1 leek
  • 1 courgette
  • 1/2 yellow pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • pinch of salt
  • 200g spinach
  • 50g pitted olives
  • 100g mozzarella
  • 100g smoked mozzarella
  • decoration
  • 1 tbsp pinenuts
  • handful of baby herbs

Method

  1. Line a 22cm spring bottomed cake tin with baking parchment.
  2. In a large saucepan cook the rice in plenty of water until tender for 20 to 30 minutes. Drain the rice as soon as it is cooked and just as the water starts going cloudy. Set the rice aside and add to the sauce once it is made.
  3. While the rice is cooking, make the sauce, you can either make a tomato sauce for a red version or a wine sauce for a white version.
  4. For the sauce. Gently fry the shallots in the olive oil with a pinch of salt until soft, add the garlic and herbs and fry for one more minute. Add the tinned tomatoes OR the white wine. Simmer until the sauce is thick and reduced by half.
  5. Mix in the cooked rice and stir gently on a low heat for a few minutes. Add the vegetarian hard cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste. Leave to cool completely.
  6. Preheat oven to 200C/180C Fan.
  7. While the rice and sauce is cooking roast the vegetables for the filling.
  8. Slice the leek into 1cm discs, cut the courgette in half and then into 1/2cm wide slices down the length. Slice the yellow pepper into 2cm strips. Place the vegetables in a roasting tin and drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt over the vegetables and roast for 20 minutes.
  9. Wash the spinach and wilt it down in a large saucepan, refresh under cold water, then drain and squeeze out the excess water.
  10. Brush the prepared cake tin with a little olive oil. Press 2/3 of the rice mixture into the bottom of the cake tin and 5cm up the sides of the tin to create a pie crust. Fill the pie with layers of the roasted vegetables, spinach, olives and mozzarella. Top with a layer of the remaining rice and press gently to smooth it down. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes until the rice looks crispy around the edges.
  11. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then run a small knife around the edge to release and remove from the tin.
  12. Serve decorated with fresh young herbs and pinenuts.


Delicious food photography by Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures.

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Asian Street Food Class Review, The Bathonian, February 2018

Head over to The Bathonian for a review of our Asian Street Food Class. Full of photos and colourful descriptions, this a great place to get an inside peak at one of our most popular courses. 

A Year On From Demuths Vegan Diploma, Edible Ethics, February 2018

Lucy of the blog Edible Ethics is one of our former Vegan Diploma students. She wrote a lovely piece reflecting on the Diploma course, one year later.

My own vegan business is still a dream, but it’s now that bit closer. I am not even sure what my business will be, as I have various interests in food: fine dining, development, food waste, etc. But whatever I end up doing, Demuths helped me to realise my goals and my abilities. I am exactly where I want to be and I am flourishing.

Read the article in full: A Year On From Demuths Vegan Diploma

Cooking with Pulses: Top Tips and Our Best Recipes

We love pulses here at Demuths. They feature constantly in our recipes, not just for their nutritional merit but also for their flavour and versatility. Pulses - which include beans, peas, and lentils - provide a complete protein when combined with grains or nuts, making them a great staple for vegans and vegetarians. But all lovers of great food can appreciate the power of the pulse: they're economical, healthy, easy to cook with, and endlessly adaptable to all kinds of cuisines, from Brazilian Black Bean Stew to Lebanese Rice & Lentils to Tuscan Chickpea Soup. They're also a great store cupboard staple during the Hungry Gap, that time of year when fresh seasonal vegetables are sparse. 

We want to encourage you to explore the exciting world of pulses, so bring to you this post full of top tips and our favourite vegetarian and vegan recipes using beans and lentils. 

How to cook beans

Large whole pulses need soaking overnight in plenty of water in a large bowl, as they will triple in size. Next day, drain and rinse and cook in plenty of water until tender, the time of cooking depends on the bean, but it should be a minimum of one hour. Never add salt when cooking pulses as this hardens the skins and lengthens the cooking time. You can use a pressure cooker to cook pulses and this will halve the cooking time.

It’s worth cooking up a large quantity of beans and then freezing in measured amounts for ready cooked beans for future recipes.

Tins of beans are a great store cupboard standby, but they do have less texture than home cooked pulses and cost over twice as much. Make sure you buy sugar and salt free varieties.

How to cook lentils

Lentils don’t need soaking, but I do soak whole lentils as this reduces cooking time. Whole lentils take the longest, while split de-husked red lentils cook the quickest. Rinse all varieties of lentils well and always check for stones before cooking.

Try tempering your lentils...

To enrich your pot of lentils (or dhal) and add depth to the flavour, fry spices such as mustard seeds, cumin seeds, whole chillies and curry leaves until they pop – but before they burn – in butter ghee for the richness or for a cleaner, vegan flavour in sunflower oil. Then pour over the hot dhal and serve at once.

Favourite Vegetarian and Vegan Recipes Featuring Pulses

Tarka Dhal

Tarka Dhal


Moudardara

Moudardara: Lebanese Rice and Lentils


Vegan Harira Moroccan Soup

Harira Moroccan Soup


Brazilian Squash and Black Bean Stew

Brazilian Squash and Black Bean Stew


Fava Bean Puree with Chicory

Fava Bean Puree with Chicory


La Ribollita

La Ribollita: Tuscan Soup with Beans and Greens


Vegan Pazole

Vegan Pazole


All images by Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures except for header image and tarka dhal.

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Win a Class at Demuths, Vegetarian Living, March 2018

The March 2018 issue of Vegetarian Living magazine features a fantastic competition to win a place on our Fast and Delicious Vegan Cooking Course. Full details available here

Bridging the Gap, Vegetarian Living, March 2018

The March 2018 issue of Vegetarian Living is now available and features my latest column of seasonal cooking ideas, tips, recipes and more. This month is all about the 'hungry gap', that period of vegetable scarcity before spring arrives, and how to make use of winter produce and store cupboard ingredients. Recipes include jerusalem artichoke soupKeralan thoran with mung beans, and mushroom and seitan stew with crispy potatoes.

Click on the link below to read the article in full:

Bridge the ‘Hungry Gap’ with these 5 delicious recipes

The 'hungry gap' is named after the break between the end of the winter vegetables and the first of the first spring produce. This gap starts in March and is surprisingly long as, as homegrown spring veg are generally not ready to pick until May and June. Historically, the early spring months did not bring an overflowing bounty of fresh vegetables with might imagine, but rather a continuation of winter crops and foraged weeds. There is even a variety of kale called ‘hungry gap kale’ which was introduced during the war as a late winter variety.

The choice may be limited, but vegetables such as cabbages and Jerusalem artichokes are very versatile. I like to get creative and spice them up with some of my favourite store cupboard spices, including mustard seeds, curry leaves and Aleppo pepper. This is also a great time of year to make use of pulses, lentils and nuts to add texture, substance, and protein to your cooking. 

To help inspire you during this challenging time of year, here are our five top ingredients for bridging the hungry gap, plus recipes to go along with them:

Cabbage

Cabbages grow 52 weeks of the year in Britain and I feel sometimes get forgotten in the popularity of kale which are all part of the Brassica family.

At this time of year either choose the solid heavy cabbages or spring greens, which are picked before they heart up. To prep a large cabbage take the outer leaves off and cut the cabbage into quarters and then remove the hard central core which is lovely to eat raw! Finely slice the cabbage and sauté or add to a coleslaw. 

Try cabbage in this zesty recipe for Winter Coleslaw with Barberries:

Winter coleslaw with barberries

Jerusalem Artichokes

Jerusalem artichokes  have a delicious nutty flavour and make a lovely creamy white soup. They're also excellent roasted or cooked in a pan with onion, garlic and tomato. This vegetable does have a reputation for causing wind, however, and this is because they contain inulin, a sugar that when digested by the bacteria in the gut produces a lot of gas, but some people are affected more than others. I find that par-boiling them first and then discarding the water gets rid of the inulin, but other people say that eating them raw or adding a bay leaf to the cooking water also helps reduce the effects.

Try Jerusalem Artichokes in our recipe for Jerusalem Artichoke Soup:

Vegan Jerusalem Artichoke Soup

Seitan

Seitan is flavoured wheat gluten, the protein portion of wheat that gives bread dough its elastic quality. It has been used as a meat substitute for centuries in China and Japan, where vegetarian Buddhist monks developed it. Seitan adds texture and protein. Seitan is vegan and very high in protein. The best tastiest seitan is a brand called' Yakso' and comes in a jar, marinated in flavoured tamari. It's only available in wholefood shops.

Seitan was a popular wholefood addition in the 80s, but has lost popularity as its diametrically opposite to the trend in Gluten free foods as it is pure gluten (and thus not suitable for anyone with a gluten intolerance). It is coming back into fashion and we are running course at Demuths cookery school on how to make your own seitan.

Try seitan in this undeniably comforting Mushroom and Seitan Stew with Crispy Potatoes:

Store Cupboard Spices

Curry leaves are one of my favourite additions to curries and they add a distinctly authentic taste. It’s best to buy fresh curry leaves, as dried loose their flavour. You can buy fresh from Indian supermarkets, a bunch is very cheap and they freeze well, just make sure you wrap them carefully, otherwise everything in your freezer will soon smell like curry leaves. Wash them well before cooking and don’t eat them raw – rather like bay leaves they give flavour to a dish and are then removed and discarded.

Mustard seeds are the hot and bitter brown seeds of the annual mustard plant which is part of the Brassica family. Make sure you buy the small brown mustard seeds, the larger black mustard seeds are for pickling. In Indian cooking they are used whole and fried in oil until they pop and release their hot mustardy flavour. Whole mustard seeds are brown on the outside and yellow inside, so when ground they turn yellow!

Put your Indian spices to use with our recipe for Indian Dosas with Sukha Aloo:

Mung beans

I’m a great fan of the dried small green mung beans, they cook quickly and don’t need soaking beforehand, they keep their shape and colour and make a stir fry into a far more substantial dish. Pulses – which include beans, peas and lentils – are a nutritious addition to a vegan diet and when combined with grains provide a complete protein.

Try mung beans in this exotic Keralan Mung Bean Thoran (which also includes cabbage, our other hungry gap favourite!):


Delicious food photography by Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures.

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Simple Things Magazine January 2018

Rebecca from Simple Things Magazine came along to one of our Gourmet Vegan courses - read what she got up to here

Jerusalem Artichoke Soup

Jerusalem artichokes are one of our favourite winter vegetables and well worth seeking out. If you've never cooked with them before, a good place to start is with Jerusalem Artichoke Soup, which has a delicious nutty flavour and is naturally thick and creamy. Jerusalem artichokes may look difficult to handle, but we find that if you par-boil them first, the skins easily slip off. This trick also helps deal with their unfortunate reputation for causing wind. This is because Jerusalem artichokes contain inulin, a sugar that when digested by the bacteria in the gut produces a lot of gas - we find that par-boiling them first and then discarding the water gets rid of most of the inulin. So no more excuses - give this soup a try! 

Jerusalem Artichoke Soup

Serves: 4 | Dietary: Vegan, Gluten-Free

Prep Time: 30 minutes | Cook Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 kilo Jerusalem artichokes
  • 1 leek, white part only, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp vegetable bouillon
  • 750mls stock made up of 3/4 milk, dairy or soya and ¼ water
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp Aleppo pepper
  • 1 tbsp toasted pinenuts
  • shredded red chicory

Method:

  1. Wash the artichokes, place them in a saucepan and cover with water, bring to the boil and simmer until the skins easily slip off, depending on size about 10-15 minutes, the water will become green and scummy, but don’t worry as it will be discarded.
  2. Drain the artichokes, leave to cool a little and then peel off the skins, which should come off easily. Fry the leek and garlic in the olive oil until softened. Roughly chop the artichokes and add to the leek and garlic and fry for a few minutes.
  3. Add the vegetable bouillon, milk and water, stir, bring to the boil and simmer until the artichokes are soft.
  4. Leave to cool a little and then liquidise.
  5. Return the soup to the saucepan, reheat and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  6. To serve, add a sprinkling of Aleppo pepper, a few pinenuts and shredded red chicory.

Tips: 

  • The easiest way to toast pine nuts is in a small dry frying pan over a gentle heat, stir constantly as they burn very easily.

Delicious food photography by Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures.

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Mushroom and Seitan Stew with Crispy Potatoes

This is our take on a traditional French dark stew with firm chestnut mushrooms, seitan (wheat gluten) and bitter dark Ale.

The quantities look huge, but it cooks down by half and is even better the next day so make plenty and enjoy for longer.

Mushroom and Seitan Stew topped with Crispy Potatoes 

Dietary: Vegan, Gluten-free option | Serves: 4/6

Prep Time: 30 minutes | Cook time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium onions, sliced
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 500g chestnut mushrooms, quartered
  • 350g jar ‘Yakso’ seitan
  • 1 tbsp plain white flour
  • 1 tsp Marmite or yeast extract
  • 2 tbsp shoyu or 1 tbsp tamari
  • 500ml vegetable stock or water
  • 500ml dark ale
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 sprig of sage
  • 1 tbsp chopped thyme
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Crispy potato topping
  • 2 large baking potatoes, par-boiled
  • olive oil

Method:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large ovenproof casserole dish. Add the sliced onions and fry until golden and beginning to caramelise. Add the garlic and fry for a further minute.
  2. Add the quartered mushrooms, turn up the heat and stir-fry until the mushrooms are beginning to brown.
  3. Cut the seitan into chunks keeping the liquid from the jar to add to the stock. Add the seitan to the mushrooms and stir-fry quickly.
  4. Take the casserole off the heat and stir in the flour.
  5. Make the stock with the Marmite, shoyu and the liquid from the seitan jar and make up to 500ml with vegetable stock or boiling water.
  6. Over a low heat stir the stock into the casserole, then add the beer, bay leaves and sugar and bring to the boil stirring all the time. Lower the heat and simmer very gently for about 30 minutes until the stew has reduced by a 1/3rd and is a lovely rich brown colour.
  7. Check for seasoning and add salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper. Remove the bay leaves and the sprig of sage.
  8. Slice the par-boiled potatoes and place the slices of par-boiled potatoes on top and drizzle with olive oil and a pinch of salt.
  9. Heat the grill and place the casserole under the grill and grill until the potato top is crisp and golden. Alternatively place in a hot oven 200C/180Fan and cook for 30 minutes.
  10. Serve with sautéed kale, cavolo nero or cabbage.


Delicious food photography by Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures.

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Keralan Mung Bean Thoran with Temple Rice and Spicy Yoghurt

Thoran is a traditional quick Keralan vegetable dish made with cabbage and greens and very lightly stir-fried. We have added carrot for colour and mung beans for a protein boost.

Keralan Thoran with mung beans

Dietary: Vegan, Gluten-free | Serves: 4

Prep time: 30 minutes | Cook time: 15 minutes to cook mung beans and 10 minutes to stir-fry.

Ingredients:

  • 100g dried mung beans
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 6 cm ginger, finely minced
  • 2 hot green chillies, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 8 curry leaves
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds, toasted
  • 2 tsp mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 100g cabbage, finely sliced
  • 1 large carrot, grated
  • 100g baby spinach
  • 4 tbsp desiccated coconut
  • 1 tsp jaggery
  • salt
  • ½ lemon, juiced

Method

  1. Cook the dried mung beans in plenty of water until tender, but still keeping their shape which takes about 15 to 20 minutes, drain and set aside.
  2. Heat the sunflower oil in a wok or large frying pan and when hot add the ginger, green chillies, garlic and curry leaves, fry for a minute.
  3. Then add the mustard seeds and when they pop add the cabbage, carrots, toasted cumin seeds and turmeric, stir frying until the cabbage begins to wilt, you may need to add a little water to help the cabbage steam.
  4. Add the spinach, cooked mung beans and desiccated coconut and heat through.
  5. Season to taste with jaggery, salt and lemon.
  6. Serve with Samba Sadam rice and Khadi (see recipes below)

Samba Sadam Rice

(Temple Rice with Cashews, Pepper and Cumin)

Serves 4 | Dietary: Vegan, Gluten free

Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 180g basmati rice
  • 360ml water
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 100g cashewnuts
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns, roughly crushed
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds, roughly crushed
  • ½ tsp salt

Method

  1. To cook the rice, wash the rice in cold water until the water runs clear. Put the washed rice in a saucepan with the measured water, bring to the boil, then cover and simmer for 5 minutes, then remove from the heat and leave for 10 minutes with the lid on to finish cooking in the steam.
  2. In a large frying pan or wok, heat the sunflower oil and fry the cashews until golden, then add the pepper and cumin and fry for a few seconds, then add the rice and salt and mix well to evenly coat the rice in the spiced oil. Serve at once.

Khadi

(Spicy Yoghurt Dip)

Serves: 4 | Dietary: Vegan option, Gluten-free

Prep time: 5 minutes | Cook time: 3 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 500ml plain or soya yoghurt
  • 2 red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
  • ½ tsp kalongi/nigella seeds
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • a few curry leaves
  • 1 ½ tsp ghee or sunflower oil
  • juice of ½ a lemon
  • pinch of salt

Method

  1. Spoon the yoghurt into a serving bowl.
  2. Heat the ghee or sunflower oil, add the chillies, kalonji, cumin and curry eaves. When the seeds start popping and smelling fragrant, but be careful they will burn easily, decant into the yoghurt and stir in.
  3. Add the lemon juice, season with salt to taste. 

Delicious food photography by Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures.

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Roasted Root Vegetables with Smoked Tofu, Giant Couscous and Almonds

Smoked tofu is a great ingredient to keep on hand as a tasty source of vegan protein that can be used to perk up a multitude of dishes. Here's one that's perfect for winter, loaded with root vegetables and giant couscous for a delicious and satisfying one-tray meal. We use multi-coloured carrots and sweet potatoes to add colour to this dish, but it works just as well with the usual varieties if that's all you can find. We like the mild smokiness from the tofu, but you could also add smoked paprika for a more full-on flavour.

Roasted Root Vegetables with Smoked Tofu and Almonds

Roasted Root Vegetables with Smoked Tofu, Giant Couscous and Almonds

Serves: 4 | Dietary: Vegan | Prep Time: 30 minutes | Cook Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 4 small carrots, cut into long wedges
  • 2 small sweet potato, cut into long wedges
  • 3 banana shallots, cut into long wedges
  • 8 garlic cloves, left whole in their skins
  • a sprig of rosemary
  • a few sprigs of thyme
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and black pepper
  • 150g smoked tofu
  • 2 tbsp whole almonds
  • 100g giant couscous
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 300ml water
  • handful of flat parsley, chopped
  • a splash of sherry vinegar
  • a squeeze of lemon

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 200C/180CFan.
  2. Mix the carrots, sweet potato, banana shallots, garlic, rosemary and thyme together in a roasting dish, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Roast in the pre-heated oven for 25-30 minutes until the vegetables are tender and caramelising on the edges.
  4. Slice the smoked tofu and add it to the dish and roast for another 10 minutes to heat through.
  5. While the vegetables are roasting cook the cous-cous. Fry the couscous in a the olive oil for a minute, cover with water and boil with a lid on for 15 minutes until the water is absorbed and the cous-cous is soft.
  6. In a frying pan dry-fry the almonds for a few minutes until they are turning brown, then roughly chop.
  7. Place the hot roasted vegetables and tofu in a serving dish.
  8. Mix the parsley in with the cous-cous and sprinkle over the vegetables. Scatter over the toasted almonds and splash a little sherry vinegar and a squeeze of lemon over the dish.
  9. Serve hot or at warm with a crisp chicory and orange salad.

Roasted Root Vegetables with Smoked Tofu and Almonds


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Winter Greens: Top Tips and Favourite Recipes

Whether you’re on a health kick this January or are just craving hearty winter comfort foods, now is the time to get acquainted with your winter greens. For inspiration, we’re looking to Italy, a country that boasts an enviable variety of winter greens. We host a cookery holiday in Italy every year, where we bask not only in the sun, but also in the country's abundance of hearty wholesome greens. Fortunately, most of the greens grow here in the UK, so all of us can enjoy a taste of Italy, even in the winter, thanks to these nutritious green vegetables (and our easy to follow recipes that make use of them!).

Kale

Kale is from the brassica family, which includes some of our most familiar vegetables like cabbage and cauliflower. Kale comes in many varieties: green and purple, curly kale, crinkly Russian kale, and cavolo nero, a variety we especially love.

Cavolo nero hails from Italy but grows easily here. It’s also known as black cabbage, Tuscan cabbage and dinosaur kale (I rather like the latter description as it is an impressive statuesque plant, fine enough to grace an herbaceous border).

La Ribollita

When buying kale and cavolo nero, freshess is paramount. Avoid the chopped up stuff in plastic bag which combines leaves with tough stems. Instead, seek out whole leaves at your local green grocers, farm shop, or food market.

Kale stems are edible but a bit tough, so we recommend stripping the leaves off of the stem before cooking (your compost heap will love the stems!). Kale and cavolo nero work well lightly steamed, stir-fried and added to soups and stews. Try dehydrating for kale chips, add a handful of curly kale to a smoothie, or massage your kale with lemon and oil for a raw salad.

Try our kale recipes:

Cime di Rapa

Like cavolo nero, cime di rapa is another interesting Italian vegetable. It’s from the same family as turnips and brassicas. It grows only 30-40 centimetres high and has turnip-like leaves with a cluster of yellow flowers that resemble yellow rape.

Cime di rapa for sale at an Italian market

Cime di rapa has a mustard oil tang with a gentle bitterness. In Italy they eat the flower buds before they open. Unfortunately this winter green is difficult to find in supermarkets, but it’s easy to grow in your garden. If all else fails, purple sprouting broccoli is a good substitute.

If you’re lucky enough to get hold of cime di rama, try making orecchiette con cime di rapa.

Purple Sprouting Broccoli

Purple sprouting broccoli can be either purple or green, but there is little difference between the two colours taste-wise. The purple variety becomes green on cooking.

It’s best to buy purple sprouting broccoli loose so that you can check that it’s fresh and the flower buds are tight. When bought from supermarkets in plastic they tend to sweat and can smell and taste horrible - best avoided!

Orecchiette pasta with purple sprouting broccoli

Purple sprouting broccoli has been described as “Italian Asparagus” and can be treated in the same way, lightly steamed and served simply with aioli.

Never overcook sprouting broccoli as it becomes mushy, looses its colour and most of the peppery flavour.

Try our purple sprouting broccoli recipes:

Chicory

Chicory leaves have a characteristic bitterness that the Italians love. This bitterness varies greatly from a gentle hint in young leaves to a lovely, robust bitterness that enhances the flavour and enjoyment of dishes such as fave e ciboria.

The chicory family is an exciting and greatly varied family of leafy plants. In Italy, there are more than 600 different varieties. They grow right across the year and are available as green shoots in the spring and as puntarelle and big-hearted vegetables in the summer. Many chicory varieties happily grow into the winter, surviving even in the snow of the lower Alps. Wild chicory grows widely in Britain. Bright blue flowers signal its presence in meadows and is a foragers delight.

All of the chicories can be grown in your garden and grow through the winter, with varieties such as treviso and radicchio turning a beautiful deep crimson colour as the weather gets colder.

Narbonne market salad with chicory

Try our chicory recipes:

To learn more about these wonderful Italian greens, join us on our next Italian vegetarian cookery holiday or come along to one of our Italian classes.


Food photography by superstar Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures.

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Bite-sized video by Rob Wicks of eatpictures.com.

Laksa Lemak is a Malay coconut and noodle soup from Malacca. It’s a meal in itself; very rich and spicy and best served in deep bowls with chopsticks and a spoon to slurp up the coconut broth.

Get the full recipe here: Laksa Lemak

A Beautiful Broth: Our Guide to Vegetable Stocks and Soups

In winter, soups are just so wholesome, simple and quick to prepare, plus they are frugal and great for using up leftovers. Soup is the perfect complete meal and the ultimate convenience food, as a bowl of soup can easily provide every nutritional requirement and component of a healthful and healing diet. Infinitely varied, no two batches need ever be the same, and it requires no fussy crockery or cutlery – in fact, it’s the original bowl food.

Soups feature in cuisines all around the world and show such a variety of ingredients, form, colour, consistency, temperature and accompanying garnishes. Every culture has its own take on this liquid dish, which is often prepared from basic foods like root vegetables, cereals and pulses. This reflects the long tradition of peasant-food soups and shows off the essential textures, colours and flavours of the plethora of plant-based foods available in our world marketplace.

Winter root vegetables are ideal for making soups, and you can add lentils and beans for a nutritious meal. You can choose your preferred texture too – silky smooth, thick and wholesome, or thin and brothy. While some soups taste far better than they look, they can be made into beautifully presented dishes with the addition of vibrant garnishes like fresh herbs, spring onions and chillies, accompaniments like chermoula or pesto, a drizzle of quality olive oil, roasted seeds, croutons, kale chips – or my favourite, cheese toasties.

However, the secret to a great soup always starts with a great stock, and the better your stock the better your broth will be. A broth is made with a clear stock, and the main difference between a stock and a broth is that a vegetable stock is unseasoned for cooking in a variety of dishes, whilst a broth is a seasoned stock that is ready to eat as it is. So essentially, a broth is a seasoned stock.

Stock making is quick and easy, and I recommend making basic stock, keeping it unsalted and using neutral flavours. This allows you to season it up to make your desired soup or stew. Homemade stock is so much better than shop-bought stock cubes or powder, which are over-salted and will give all your soups the same generic stock-cube flavour.


Basic Vegetable Stock

  • 1.5 litres water
  • 1 medium onion, quartered, skin left on
  • 2 carrots, cut in half
  • 2 celery stalks, cut in half1⁄4 fennel bulb
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 parsley stems
  • 8 whole black peppercorns

Method

  1. Put all the ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for about 1 hour, until the vegetables are cooked and the stock has reduced by a quarter.
  2. Drain the stock into a colander over a heatproof bowl and discard the cooked vegetables. You should be left with golden clear stock which can be used immediately, will keep in the fridge for 3 days, or can be decanted into small plastic containers or freezer bags and frozen. 

Our Best Vegetarian Soup Recipes

Harira Moroccan Soup

Harira Moroccan Soup


West Country Broth with Cheddar and Mustard Toasts

West Country Broth with Cheddar and Mustard Toasts


Tom Yam with Shitake Mushrooms

Tom Yam Soup with Shiitake Mushrooms


Shitake Wontons with Green Jade Soup


Vegetable Stew with Mustard Herb Dumplings


For more inspiration, check out our Best Vegan Soups, Stews and Hotpots for Winter.

Mouthwatering photos by Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures.

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West Country Broth with Cheddar and Mustard Toast

This soup is our tribute to the wonderful ingredients you can find in England's West Country. We like to use local Sharpham Park Pearled Spelt, Midford Cider made in Bath and local cheddar: both Greens of Glastonbury and Godminster Vintage Cheddars are vegetarian and absolutely delicious. Of course, if you're not in the West Country, or even not in England, you can make this soup with ingredients that are local to you. 

The cheddar and mustard toasts aren't absolutely essential - the soup is delicious on its own - but they certainly make it all the more memorable!

West Country Broth with Cheddar and Mustard Toast

Serves 4

Prep time: 30 minutes | Cook time: 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2-3 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 leek, thinly sliced
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 250g swede, peeled and chopped
  • Handful of kale or Cavolo Nero, stems removed and roughly chopped
  • 400ml dry cider
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 800ml vegetable stock
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • handful of fresh parsley, chopped
  • 75g pearled Spelt

For the toasts

  • 100g mature cheddar, grated
  • 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • 1-2 tbsp cider
  • 4 slices baguette or sourdough toasted

Method:

  1. Rinse the spelt, then place in a small saucepan with treble it’s volume of cold water. Bring to a boil then lower the heat to a simmer and cook till only just tender which takes about 20 minutes. The spelt grain should retain some texture, as it will continue to swell once added to the vegetable broth.
  2. To make the soup: fry the onion in the rapeseed oil in a large saucepan until soft and just golden.
  3. Add the garlic and the leeks. Fry for a couple more minutes, and then add the carrots, and swede.
  4. Add the cider, bring to the boil then reduce the heat a little and simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Add the vegetable stock with the bay leaves and simmer until the vegetables are tender for 15-20 minutes.
  6. Once the vegetables are nearly cooked, taste and season well with salt and pepper.
  7. Add the cooked spelt, kale or cavolo nero and chopped parsley and simmer for a further 5 minutes. You may want to add a little water if the broth is very thick.
  8. To make the toast: mix the grated cheddar with the mustard and enough cider to bind to a thick paste.
  9. Spread the slices of toast with the cheese mix and grill until bubbling and golden.
  10. Serve the soup as it is or topped with a Cheddar and Mustard Toast and parsley to garnish. 

Delicious food photography by Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures.

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Harira Moroccan soup

Harira is a thick nourishing Moroccan soup with lentils and split chickpeas and is eaten as a warming snack. Hariria is served daily during Ramadan to break the fast, but you can enjoy this delicious vegan soup all throughout the year. We like to garnish ours with an herby chermoula paste. If you can’t find split chickpeas (available from Asian stores) use whole chickpeas soaked overnight and cooked for 1 hour in plenty of water. Drain and then add to the soup with the lentils. Or, easier still, use a tin of chickpeas and add them towards the end of the cooking.

Harira Moroccan Soup

Serves: 4 | Dietary: Vegan, Gluten-free

Prep Time: 30 minutes | Cook Time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 500g tomatoes, peeled and chopped (see how to peel tomatoes below, or use tinned tomatoes)
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • ¼ tsp ginger
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • pinch of saffron, infused in 1 tablespoon of hot water
  • 100g red lentils
  • 100g chana dhal (split chickpeas)
  • 1 litre vegetable stock (store bought or make your own - see recipe below)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • bunch of fresh coriander, chopped
  • bunch of fresh parsley, chopped
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Herb Chermoula

  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1-2 tsp paprika
  • Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 4-6 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander

Method:

  1. To make the soup, fry the onion in the olive oil until soft. Add the garlic and fry for a minute.
  2. Then add the tomatoes, tomato puree and all the spices and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Add the red lentils, chana dhal and vegetable stock. Bring to the boil and simmer until the lentils and chana dhal are cooked, which takes about 30-45 minutes. You may need to add more water if the soup gets too thick.
  4. Add the lemon juice, lots of coriander and parsley and season to taste.
  5. To make the Chermoula, place the garlic and salt in a pestle and mortar and pound to a paste. Alternatively chop or grate the garlic as finely as possible, using the salt to help break it down into a paste.
  6. Mix in the rest of the ingredients adding enough olive oil to make a loose paste.
  7. Serve the soup with a generous teaspoon of Chermoula swirled through and more on the table for your guests to add extra.
     

Peeling tomatoes

Make a small slit in each tomato and place them in a heat proof bowl. Pour on boiling water and leave for 5 minutes. Take the tomatoes out of the water and peel off the skins.

Homemade stock is great for this soup but don’t be tempted to use any shop bought stock to cook pulses or beans, the salt in it will slow down their cooking.Homemade stock is great for this soup but don’t be tempted to use any shop bought stock to cook pulses or beans, the salt in it will slow down their cooking.

Basic Vegetable Stock

Ingredients:

  • 1.5litres water
  • 1 medium onion, quartered, skin left on
  • 2 carrots, cut in halves
  • 2 celery stalks, cut in halves
  • 1/4 of a fennel bulb
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 parsley stems
  • 8 whole black peppercorns

Method:

  1. In a large saucepan put in all the ingredients, bring to the boil, turn down the heat and simmer gently until the vegetables are cooked & the stock has reduced by a quarter, which takes about 1 hour. Drain the stock into a heatproof bowl or another sauce pan through a colander and discard the cooked vegetables. You should be left with golden, clear stock which can be used immediately, will keep in the fridge for three days, or can be decanted into small Tupperware pots or freezer bags to use any time instead of processed stock.

Delicious food photography by Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures.

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A Beautiful Broth, Vegetarian Living, February 2018

The February 2018 issue of Vegetarian Living is now available and features my latest column of seasonal cooking ideas, tips, recipes and more. This month is all that ultimate winter warmer: soups! Taking inspiration from Morocco, Thailand, and the West Country, this article features three flavour-packed, nourishing soups, including Tom yam with shiitake mushrooms. Plus top tips on making stock, the basis of the most flavourful soups and stews.

Click on the link below to read the article in full:

16 Healthy Vegan New Year Recipes

Happy new year to all of our friends and followers! No doubt many of you will have set some healthy eating intentions for the new year. To help you in your mission, we've rounded up some of our favourite healthy vegetarian and vegan recipes to get you off to the right start. This is our update on our similar post from last year, with even more great recipes to make healthy eating deliciously easy.

We're also excited about the number of people taking on the Veganuary challenge this year. All 16 of these recipes are vegan! No matter your normal dietary preferences, this is a fantastic way to get in touch with the exciting world of vegtables. Breaking out of our routine lets us discover so many new delicious and healthy recipes. We hope you enjoy these:  

16 Vegetarian and Vegan Recipes for a Healthy New Year

Maple, Lime, and Chipotle Tempeh Tacos


Hot Pot Style Noodle Bowl


Turkish Turlu and Freekeh with Herbs - Vegan

Turkish Turlu and Freekeh with Herbs


Vegan Brazilian Squash and Black Bean Stew

Brazilian Squash and Black Bean Stew


Peruvian Potato Stew


Spiced Cauliflower Steaks with Almond Aioli


Shitake Wontons with Green Jade Soup


Vegan Vietnamese Squash and Coconut Curry

Vietnamese Squash and Coconut Curry


Black Sesame Tofu and Noodles - Vegan

Black Sesame Tofu with Soba Noodles


Laksa Lemak

Laksa Lemak


Burmese Vegan Noodle Stir Fry

Burmese Noodle Stir Fry


Indonesian Tempeh Curry with Coconut Rice

Indonesian Tempeh Curry with Coconut Rice


Vietnamese Pho Soup - Vegan

Vietnamese Pho


Kimchi Stew with Tofu and Vegetables


Cauliflower Tabbouleh


Chickpea, Spelt, and Greens Hot Pot


Food photography by superstar Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures

What are you favourite healthy recipes? We'd love to hear about them. 

Share your ideas in the comments or on Twitter and Facebook!

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Veganuary, Crumbs Magazine, January 2018

The January 2018 issue of Crumbs Magazine is entirely devoted to Veganuary, one of the biggest movements encouraging people to cut down on meat and boost their vegetable intake. Rachel Demuth served as guest editor of this issue, and also shares recipes and articles, including Hello Veganuary in which she discusses how the movement towards less meat and more veg is growing. 

Read the issue in full online: Veganuary, Crumbs Magazine, January 2018

Tom yam with shiitake mushrooms

Tom Yam is a hot and sour Thai soup. The base is Nam Prik, is chilli water and Phao means roasted. The base of the soup is called Nam Prik Phao (Nam Prik means 'chilli water' and Phao means 'roasted'). Traditional versions use shrimp paste but we've created a similar effect with roasted chillies, garlic, shallots, and tomato. The addition of tamarind adds that traditional sweet and sour flavour. Add to this lemon grass, lime leaves, galangal and chillies, and you have a soup that is all at once hot, sour, salty and sweet, essential flavours to Thai cooking.

Tom Yam with Shitake Mushrooms

Serves: 4 | Dietary: Vegan

Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cook Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 litre Thai vegetable stock (see recipe below)
  • 1-2 tbsp Nam Prik Phao (see recipe below)
  • 1 tbsp lemon grass, finely sliced
  • 2 lime leaves, shredded
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp palm sugar or brown sugar
  • 65g shitake mushrooms, shredded
  • 1 tomato, seeds removed and cut into strips
  • salt

Garnish

  • fresh coriander leaves
  • 1 spring onion sliced in rings
  • 1 red chilli, finely sliced

Method:

  1. In a large saucepan, bring the vegetable stock to the boil, stir in enough Nam Prik Phao to your taste.
  2. Add all the other ingredients except the tomato and simmer gently until the mushrooms are just cooked for approx 6-8 minutes. Season to taste.
  3. Add the tomato strips just before serving. Serve in soup bowls, garnished with coriander leaves, spring onions and red chilli.

Thai Vegetable Stock

Dietary: Vegan

Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 1.5 litres water
  • 1 medium onion, quartered
  • 2 carrots, cut in halves
  • 2 celery stalks, cut in halves
  • 4 coriander stems
  • 4 dried shitake mushrooms
  • half a sheet of kombu seaweed
  • 2 lime leaves
  • 1 quill lemon grass, bruised
  • thumb sized piece of galangal
  • 8 whole black peppercorns

Method

  1. In a large saucepan put in all the ingredients, bring to the boil, turn down the heat and simmer gently until the vegetables are cooked and the stock has reduced by a quarter, which takes about 1 hour.

Nam Prik Phao

Dietary: Vegan

Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cook Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 4 small green chillies, de-stalked
  • 4 small red chillies, destalked
  • 2 large garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 shallots, peeled
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1 tbsp tamarind paste
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp shoyu
  • 1 tsp palm sugar

Method

  1. Wrap the chillies, garlic, shallots and tomato in silver foil and place under a grill or in a hot oven and grill or roast until they soften.
  2. Soak the tamarind paste in a 100ml of boiling water and leave to soak for 10 minutes. Squeeze the pulp with your fingers to dissolve it, then strain, pressing the pulp through a strainer, retain the liquid and discard the fibrous bits and seeds.
  3. Unwrap the roasted chilli mix and place in a mortar and pound to a paste.
  4. Add the tamarind water, lime juice, shoyu and palm sugar and mix to a smooth sauce.

Tips: Tamarind has a sour flavour with a sweet aftertaste. In South East Asia and India it is used in the same way as lemon juice to sour and to bring out the flavour in food. Tamarind paste is extracted from the pods of the tropical tree Tamarindus indica. You can buy tamarind in blocks, which look rather like squashed dates. To extract the pulp, break off a chunk from the tamarind block, cover with just enough hot water and leave to soak, then squeeze out the pulp and discard the fibre and seeds.


Delicious food photography by Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures.

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Vegetarian and Vegan New Years Eve Party Ideas

We believe that New Year celebrations are all about trying new things. Let go of the old favourites, push the boundaries, and climb out of your cozy comfort zone. At the cookery school we've been having great fun coming up with new vegetarian and vegan recipes perfect for celebrations. (The office staff say that they enjoy our recipe testing days the best, and for good reason!)

Much of the fun with food surrounding New Year is in the good fortune traditions and special foods symbolizing good health, happiness and prosperity for the New Year. Fruit, vegetables, beans and grains feature strongly in these traditions:

  • In Greece a pomegranate is smashed on the ground in front of the front door, the redder the colour signifies a healthy heart and the more bountiful the seed represents prosperity. Turkey also welcomes in the New Year with pomegranates.
  • The Chinese and Japanese slurp on ‘long life’ noodles that are very long and mustn’t be broken when cooking and then are slurped up so that they don’t break when eating.
  • Italians eat lentils for wealth as the lentils’ shape resembles Roman coins and also as they cook they plump up symbolizing growing wealth.
  • In Southern United States black-eyed beans are eaten to remember frugality from the Civil war and to herald in an abundant year.
  • In Scotland a Black Bun is baked which is a very dark rich dried fruit and black treacle pudding incased in pastry.
  • The number "12" is also significant. One New Year my Spanish relatives had me standing on one foot and eating a grape for each stroke of Midnight, hoping every grape would be sweet, a bitter grape would forecast a bad month. It is surprisingly difficult to eat 12 grapes so quickly! (As an alternative observation, you could decorate your table with 12 oranges or 12 pomegranates.)

A New Year’s Eve party might be the last indulgence before setting off on some New Year good intentions, such as going vegan with Veganuary or staying off the alcohol for dry January.

New Year’s Eve small eats have to sparkle and be novel food, an antidote to heavy rich Christmas food. Choose food to enliven your palate, curiously tasting food with interesting flavours that you haven’t tried before, quirky ideas to tickle your sense of humour and they must of course taste delicious too.

They also have to be filling enough to soak up the alcohol especially if you are just serving small eats and nibbles throughout the evening.

Just as important as the small eats are the drinks so make sure that they are vegetarian and vegan friendly.

Sparkling wine will be on the menu for sure and it is fun to flavour it up, this year we have gone for our favourite Italian tipple Aperol or you could add liquor such as cassis or raspberry or make a Bellini with peach puree. In Scotland Pictish ale flavoured with heather that was drunk in Neolithic times has been revived to drink on Hogmanay.

Make sure you have non-alcoholic drinks too. Our choice is mulled apple juice.

This year we're featuring our favourite recipes for small eats. They are more substantial than canapés and would be best served on small plates, as they are bigger than a mouthful.

We’ve gone for unusual flavours with liquid smoke to mimic smoked salmon in our carrot gravalax. Truffle oil in the celeriac puree and iridescent pickled cauliflower and quirky mini baked potatoes filled with indulgent chanterelles and topped with shavings of truffles.

Try them out at your New Year's Eve feast and let us know how they go down! 

Our Top Vegetarian and Vegan New Years Eve Party Ideas

Celeriac Medallions with Truffled Puree, Roasted and Pickled Cauliflower


Vegan Gravlax with Smokey Carrots and Almond Cream Oatcakes


Roasted Small Potatoes with Chanterelles


Roasted Beetroot, Cream Cheese and Hazelnut Tartlets


Roasted Chillies Stuffed with Cashew Cheese


Indian Spiced Rostis with 3 Chutneys


Spicy Apricot Koftas


Mini Masala Dosas


Sweetcorn Fritters


Celeriac and Potato Rostis


Delicious food photography by Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures.

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Our Best Christmas Recipes of 2017

Every year at Demuths we develop a new range of vegan and vegetarian Christmas recipes to teach on our festive courses. From festive canapés to showstopper main dishes to perfect puddings, we love developing Christmas recipes to help you and us celebrate the best time of the year. Here's our round-up of new festive recipes for 2017. We hope you'll give them a try! 

And for more inspiring ideas for your holiday menu, check out our huge archive of vegetarian and vegan Christmas recipes.

Vegetarian Canapés

Roasted Small Potatoes with Chanterelles


Vegan Gravlax with Smokey Carrots and Almond Cream Oatcakes


Celeriac Medallions with Truffled Puree, Roasted and Pickled Cauliflower


 Festive Vegetarian Starters

Sweet Potato, Chestnut and Sesame Balls with Cranberry Relish


Parsnip Fritters with Winter Slaw and Yoghurt Dressing


Roasted Beetroot, Cream Cheese and Hazelnut Tartlets


Vegetarian Christmas Main Dishes

Festive Filo Rotolo


Christmas Tofu Wreath


Vegetarian Christmas Terrine


Our Star Vegan Pudding

White Chocolate, Orange, Pistachio Vegan Puddings


What's on your Christmas menu? Let us know in the comments!

All food photography except for the pudding is by Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures.

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White Chocolate, Orange, Pistachio Vegan Puddings

This Christmas we enjoyed these lighter but equally sumptuous vegan alternative to traditional Christmas puddings. You can make them with dark chocolate instead of white chocolate. For advance preparation, these puddings can be frozen. Un-mould them when they are still warm and freeze them on a tray. Allow to defrost fully and warm through in the oven before serving.

White Chocolate, Orange, Pistachio Vegan Puddings

Dietary: Vegan

Serves 6 – makes 6 individual puddings

Ingredients:

  • 100g vegan margarine
  • 75g golden caster sugar
  • 4 tbsp maple syrup
  • 150ml dairy free yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp ground flax seeds
  • Zest and juice of ½ an orange
  • 3 tbsp Cointreau/orange brandy
  • ½ tsp cider vinegar
  • 100g self-raising flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp ground cardamom
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • Grating of nutmeg
  • Pinch of salt
  • 80g fresh breadcrumbs
  • 50g unsalted pistachios, finely chopped
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 100g white chocolate, finely chopped
  • Extra maple syrup and pistachios for decoration

Method

  1. Grease 6 x150ml pudding bowls and place a circle of baking parchment in the bottom of each pudding bowl.
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 180C/160CFan.
  3. Mix the dairy free yoghurt with the ground flax seeds, orange juice and zest, Cointreau and cider vinegar. Leave to sit for 10 minutes to allow the flax seeds to activate.
  4. Cream the margarine, sugar and maple syrup together for a minute until light.
  5. Sift together the flour, baking powder, spices and pinch of salt.
  6. Whisk the yoghurt mixture in with the creamed margarine and sugar.
  7. Whisk in the sifted flour mixture until smooth, like a pancake batter.
  8. Fold in the breadcrumbs, ground pistachios and almonds and the white chocolate.
  9. Mix quickly until smooth, then spoon the mixture into the pudding bowls, until each is 3/4 full.
  10. Bake the small pudding bowls for 20-30 minutes until puffed up and firm to the touch. 
  11. Turn out and serve with a drizzle of maple syrup, orange cream and a sprinkling of pistachios.

Tips: To make orange cream mix dairy free yoghurt or cream with maple syrup and Cointreau to taste. 

​Roasted Small Potatoes with Chanterelles

These stuffed roasted small potatoes make a tasty canapé, but would also work well as a main course served in larger baked potatoes for an indulgent supper. Chanterelles aren’t the easiest mushrooms to find, so feel free to substitute with other flavoursome mushrooms such as oyster, shitake, or even chestnut mushrooms.

Roasted Small Potatoes with Chanterelles

Makes 12 | Dietary: Gluten-free, Vegan option

Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cook Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 12 small potatoes, washed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Coarse sea salt
  • Sprig of fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 100g Chanterelle Mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 banana shallot, chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 100ml Creme fraiche or soya cream
  • 1 tbsp chopped chives plus extra for garnishing
  • Salt and pepper
  • Optional extra: black truffle shavings

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C.
  2. Put the clean potatoes into a roasting tray with the olive oil, and rub them well to coat. Sprinkle with the coarse sea salt and rosemary. Roast for 30-40 minutes until cooked through.
  3. Gently clean the mushrooms with a brush and remove any dirt. Trim the stalks leaving as much intact as possible. Tear into 2 or 3 pieces, keeping the mushroom shape.
  4. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan, fry the shallot until golden, then add the garlic and quickly stir-fry.
  5. Stir in the mushrooms, season lightly, and cook over a high heat for 3 minutes. As they are cooking the mushrooms release their liquid content and then will turn golden and crispy. When the liquid has come out stir in the crème fraîche or soya cream.
  6. Stir in the chives and season to taste.
  7. To assemble, cut a nick in the top of each potato while it’s still hot. Squeeze gently to open and gently prise apart slightly. Scoop a teaspoon of the potato out to make room for the filling.
  8. Spoon a generous teaspoon of the mushroom mixture into the cavity, and sprinkle with a little extra chives.
  9. Fill all the potatoes then finish with a shaving of black truffle if using. Serve while hot.


Delicious food photography by Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures.

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Vegan Gravlax with Smokey Carrots and Almond Cream Oatcakes

This is Lydia’s vegan version of gravlax using carrots instead of salmon. The method of ‘curing’ very thinly sliced carrot gives an uncanny likeness to smoked salmon without the fish flavour. We’ve served ours with an almond cream but you could use a regular dairy cream cheese or soft goats cheese.

Tips: You could use pumpernickel or rye sourdough bread instead of the oatcakes. For gluten free buy gluten free oatcakes. This recipe would make fantastic vegan bagels for a special brunch or lunch. The smoky carrot would also be great served with scrambled tofu for a great vegan breakfast.

Vegan Gravlax with Smokey Carrots and Almond Cream Oatcakes

Makes approx 16 | Dietary: Vegan, Gluten free option

Prep time: 45 minutes plus soaking almonds overnight | Cook time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

Smoky Marinade:

  • 2 tbsp shoyu
  • 1-2 tsp liquid smoke or sweet smoked paprika
  • 1-2 tsp white wine vinegar
  • Small piece of kelp
  • 4 juniper berries crushed
  • 1 tsp sugar or maple syrup
  • 50 ml water
  • 2 large fat carrots
  • ½ lemon juiced
  • 3 tbsp dill, chopped finely

Almond cream:

  • 100g skinned almonds, soaked overnight in plenty of cold water
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • ½ tsp dried garlic powder or 1 small clove fresh garlic crushed to a smooth paste
  • ½ lemon zested and juiced
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp chopped capers
  • Oat cakes for serving

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Place all the marinade ingredients in a small pan and heat gently.
  3. Slice the carrots very thinly into fat ribbons with a sharp knife, mandolin or speed peeler.
  4. Place in a dish and pour over the hot marinade. Mix through thoroughly to coat the carrot well.
  5. Take a large sheet of foil and lay a sheet of baking parchment the same size on top.
  6. Tip out the carrots onto one half of the parchment with the marinade. Lay them as flat as possible so they aren’t folded or tangled.
  7. Fold over both the foil and parchment, and close all the edges by rolling inward and pinching to seal.
  8. Place the foil package onto a baking tray, and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until the carrots are tender. Set aside to cool.
  9. To make the almond cream, drain the soaked almonds and place in a blender with the other ingredients. Blend until very smooth, adding a little water if necessary. You are aiming for a thick smooth consistency similar to Greek yoghurt. Taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking.
  10. Place the chopped dill onto a plate.
  11. Drizzle the carrot slices with the lemon juice then take a slice and dip both the long edges into the dill. Place onto a tray, and repeat with the remaining carrot slices.
  12. To serve: spread a teaspoon of almond cream onto an oatcake then drape or curl a carrot slice on top attractively. Add a few chopped capers and place onto your serving plate. Repeat with the remaining carrot slices.


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Celeriac Medallions with Truffled Puree, Roasted and Pickled Cauliflower

These vegan and gluten free celeriac medallions are the perfect part canapé. They're a little fiddly to make but so delicious and attractive for a special occasion. We’ve made them as a canapé, but you could make larger sized medallions for a lovely dinner starter. Each step of the preparation can be done up to two days in advance, so can be heated and assembled last minute. Try to find prettily coloured cauliflowers if you can as they make all the difference to the appearance, but if not, you could add turmeric or beetroot to the pickle marinade to add colour. If you don’t have truffle oil you can use a fruity olive oil, a walnut or hazelnut oil. And for more inspiration, check out our post on Vegetarian Canapés and Party Nibbles

Celeriac Medallions with Truffled Puree, Roasted and Pickled Cauliflower

Makes 12 small biscuit sized canapés | Dietary: Vegan, Gluten free

Prep time: 45 minutes | Cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 medium cauliflower weighing approx 400g (or for extra impact, use 2 or 3 coloured varieties such as orange, purple and green)
  • 1 large celeriac
  • 100ml water from steaming or veg stock
  • 1-2 tbsp truffle oil
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp chopped pistachios or hazelnuts

Pickle marinade:

  • 100ml white wine vinegar
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds, crushed lightly
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 small red chilli
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • ½ lemon, zest and juice
  • Optional: ⅛ tsp turmeric or beetroot powder

Method:

Prepare the pickle:

  1. Make the pickle marinade by placing the vinegar and sugar in a saucepan and heating gently until the sugar has dissolved.
  2. Add in all the other ingredients and the turmeric if you want a marinade that turns the cauliflower yellow or beetroot powder for a purple marinade.

Prepare the cauliflower:

  1. Cut the cauliflower into quarters. Take one of the quarters, cut into florets and either slice thinly with a mandolin or very sharp knife. You will find that as you slice, there will be fragments that will break off that you can set aside to steam and purée later. Keep the better shaped slices for pickling.
  2. Place the slices into the pickle marinade and leave for a minimum of an hour. If you have time you can prepare this the day before.
  3. Place another quarter of uncooked cauliflower onto a roasting tray. Break it into small florets and then into smaller pea sized pieces, then drizzle with 1 teaspoon olive oil to lightly coat. Roast for 10 minutes in a hot oven (200°C) until golden and slightly charred in places. Set aside.
  4. Steam the rest of the cauliflower including any trimmings and stalk for 8-10 minutes until tender and set aside for making into the puree. Keep the water from the steaming pan.

Prepare the celeriac:

  1. Peel the celeriac and slice into 1.5 cm slices. Place in a steamer or colander sitting above a saucepan of simmering water with a lid, and steam for 8-10 minutes or until tender. You may need to do this in batches unless you have a large chinese two tiered bamboo steamer.
  2. Place the cooked celeriac on a board and cut out small rounds with a biscuit cutter or into triangles if you prefer a rustic look. Set aside to cool. Keep the trimmings for the purée.
  3. To make the purée, place the steamed celeriac trimmings and steamed cauliflower in a blender with 100ml of the cooking water.
  4. Blend till very smooth, adding more water if necessary, but keeping the purée thick.
  5. Add 1 tbsp of truffle oil and ¼ tsp salt. Blend again then taste and adjust the seasoning and truffle oil if needed. Transfer the puree to a small saucepan.
  6. When you are ready to serve the canapés, heat 2 tablespoons of sunflower oil in a frying pan.
  7. Fry the celeriac rounds until crisp and golden on both sides. Blot on kitchen towel.
  8. Heat the purée gently.

Assemble

  1. To assemble, place the celeriac rounds onto a serving plate.
  2. Top with a teaspoon of the purée, then a few pieces of roasted cauliflower.
  3. Carefully place a few slices of the pickled cauliflower on top followed by a sprinkle of chopped pistachio nuts. Serve immediately.

Delicious food photography by Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures.

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Christmas Tofu Wreath

For the ultimate Christmas showstopper you'd be hard pressed to find something more outstanding than this vegan pastry "wreath" filled with savoury tofu and brandied chestnuts. Our favourite vegan festive traditional centre piece is full of umami flavours, the perfect replacement to a turkey at Christmas, served with all the trimmings it has a real ‘wow’ factor and can be made well in advance.

Top tips

  • The wreath can be made a day or two in advance and baked off directly from the fridge. Once baked you can turn the oven down to 130C to keep it warm until ready to serve.
  • The wreath can be made without the pastry decoration for a gluten free variation, just use tamari instead of shoyu. Keeps for 4 days in the fridge once baked, fantastic thinly sliced in a sandwich or as part of a cold buffet.

And for more holiday cooking inspiration, check out our vegetarian Christmas recipe collection!

Christmas Tofu Wreath with Brandied Mushroom Chestnut Filling

Serves: 8 | Dietary: vegan, gluten free option

Prep time: 2 1/2 hours (including pressing and chilling time) | Cook time: 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1200g tofu (3x400g cauldron packs)
  • (wrap the tofu blocks in a teatowel and press with a heavy weight overnight in the fridge to remove the excess liquid)
  • 10 garlic cloves
  • 3 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil (untoasted)
  • 30ml lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 8 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 recipe of brandied mushroom chestnut filling
  • 1 recipe of shoyu glaze
  • 1 pack ready rolled puff pastry
  • 1 tbsp olive oil if vegan for brushing onto pastry

Method

  1. Blend the garlic with the salt, black pepper, sesame oil, lemon juice and zest, add 1 pack of the tofu and the nutritional yeast to make a smooth paste. Mash this blend in with the rest of the tofu. Easiest to mash it all up really well with your hands, so the flavour is evenly dispersed and the mixture is not too lumpy.
  2. Line a 10 inch/25cm diameter ring mould with a large square of muslin, leaving plenty of overhang around the outside. Press the tofu into the mould and fold the muslin over the top. Weight it down by placing a heavy chopping board or large pan on top to compact the tofu, place in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes. While the tofu is being pressed make the mushroom filling.
  3. Scoop the middle out of the tofu ring, making a trough and fill it in with the mushroom filling. Press the scooped-out tofu back on top, which should be slightly domed up above the top of the ring mould, then press again with the weight and place the ring back in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  4. While the tofu is being pressed make the shoyu glaze.
  5. Turn the tofu out onto a large tray lined with baking parchment and remove the muslin. Brush the shoyu glaze all over, it should be thick enough to adhere to the tofu without dripping. Chill the tofu again in the fridge again while you prepare the pastry.
  6. Unroll the puff pastry and cut 3/4 of it into long 1cm wide strips. Cut the remaining pastry with shaped cutters, we used holly leaf and star shapes, but you can use any shapes you’d like to give a Christmassy look.
  7. Keep the pastry chilled, taking each strip directly from the fridge as you go to make it easier to work with. You might not want to use the whole pack of pastry if you want a lighter look to the lattice effect, you can also try cutting different shaped strips and get creative with the pattern.
  8. Lay the pastry strips across the ring of tofu, criss-crossing to create a lattice affect, trimming the ends as needed. Twist a few strips and lay them along the top following the line of the ring and lay some around the base to line both the inner and outer edges of the ring. Finally decorate the wreath with the holly leaves and stars, placing them particularly over the joins of pastry.
  9. Brush the pastry with olive oil.
  10. Bake in the oven at 180CFan/200C/GasMark6 for 40 minutes until the pastry is puffed up and is a deep golden colour.
  11. Decorate with fresh bay leaves, fresh rosemary and frozen cranberries to give a festive look

Shoyu Glaze

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp sesame oil (untoasted)
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp shoyu (1 tbsp tamari if gluten free)
  • 1 orange, juiced
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup

Method

Boil together for a few minutes to reduce and thicken. Allow to cool before brushing onto the wreath.

Brandied Mushroom and Chestnut filling

Ingredients

  • 1 small onion, chopped very finely
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 250g chestnut mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 125g cooked chestnuts, crumbled
  • 75ml white wine
  • 1 1/2 tbsp brandy
  • 1/2 tbsp shoyu (1 tsp tamari if gluten free)
  • 1/4 tsp herb de provence
  • 2 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
  • salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Fry the onion in the olive oil for 5 minutes or until soft and translucent.
  2. Add the garlic and fry for a minute, then add the mushrooms and fry until they have released their juices, add the wine and brandy and cook out of a minute
  3. Then add the chestnuts, shoyu, herbs and black pepper.
  4. Cook gently, until the liquid has been absorbed and the mixture is thick and not wet.
  5. Add the parsley and season with salt and plenty of black pepper to taste.

Delicious food photography by Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures.

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Party Favours, Vegetarian Living, January 2018

The January 2018 issue of Vegetarian Living is now available and features my latest column of seasonal cooking ideas, tips, recipes and more. This month is all about New Years Eve entertaining! Featured recipes include smoky carrot and almond cream oatcakes, roasted small potatoes with chanterelles, and celeriac medallions with truffled puree, roasted and pickled cauliflower. All designed to add a touch of sparkle to your New Year's Eve gathering. 

Click on the link below to read the article in full:

Vegetarian Christmas Terrine

Our Vegetarian Christmas Terrine is a great make-ahead option for the holidays and an absolutely stunning centrepiece. Layers of carrots, parsnip, red peppers, and cashews are augmented with fresh sage and strong cheddar. Serve it hot from the oven alongside stir-fried greens such as kale, cavolo nero, and purple sprouting broccoli.You can also serve it at room temperature or cold for a buffet or thinly sliced as a starter.

Better still, this terrine can be made up to 2 days in advance and warmed through on Christmas day. Details are given in the recipe below. 

And for more holiday cooking inspiration, check out our vegetarian Christmas recipe collection!

Vegetarian Christmas Terrine

Dietary: gluten free | Serves: 8

Prep time: 1 1/2 hours | Cook time: 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 red peppers
  • 350g carrots, peeled, 1 cm dice
  • 350g parsnip, peeled, 1 cm dice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, left in their skins
  • 4 sprigs sage
  • 100g strong cheddar cheese, finely grated
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 100g cashew nuts, roasted and ground
  • 2 tbsp freshly chopped flat leaf parsley
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • pinch of black pepper
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp mixture of flaked almonds and seeds: sesame, pumpkin, sunflower, flax
  • 1 tsp pink peppercorns for decoration

Method:

  1. Cut the peppers in half and place skin side up under a hot grill until the skins blister and blacken a little. Place them in a bowl and cover in cling film, leave until cool, then peel off the skins.
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 170CFan/190C/GasMark5.
  3. Place the carrots and parsnips in 2 separate roasting tins with a drizzle of olive oil, whole garlic cloves and sage. Cover loosely with foil and roast for 45 minutes until soft. Remove the sage and squeeze the garlic out of its skin.
  4. Place the parsnips in one bowl and the carrots in another bowl.
  5. Blend each vegetable with half of the Dijon mustard, cheese and egg yolks.
  6. The parsnip mixture will need 2 to 3 tbsp of water to achieve a soft enough texture to blend well. Once smooth stir the ground cashews and chopped parsley into each mixture.
  7. Add salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste.
  8. Whisk the egg whites to soft peaks.
  9. Fold half the egg whites into each vegetable mixture.
  10. Line a 2lb loaf tin with baking parchment and brush with olive oil.
  11. Cover the bottom with the seed mixture.
  12. Spread the carrot mixture into the tin and make level, then put in a layer of the red peppers, followed by the parsnip mixture.
  13. Bake in the oven at 170CFan/190C/GasMark5 for 40 minutes. Check after 30 minutes and cover loosely with foil if the top is colouring too much.
  14. The terrine is ready when its firm to the touch, coming away from the sides slightly and golden on top.
  15. Leave the terrine to cool slightly to finish setting, then turn out and serve.
  16. Once turned out the terrine can be covered in foil and kept warm in a low oven at 130C until ready to serve.

This terrine can be made up to 2 days in advance and warmed through on the day. Or freeze the terrine once baked for up to 3 months. Defrost thoroughly before reheating through in the oven. Reheat for 40 minutes at 170C, covering with foil as needed.


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Mulled Apple Juice

Mulled Apple Juice

Serves: 4

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

1 litre quality apple juice (we like Bradley’s)

½ orange

½ lemon

4 cloves

2 sticks Cinnamon

¼ piece of nutmeg

Optional: 2-4 tbsp Maple syrup, honey or sugar

Method

Pour the apple juice into a saucepan and place over a medium heat.

Thinly peel the zest of both the orange and lemon and add to the saucepan with the spices. Simmer gently for 10 minutes to infuse the flavours.

Slice the orange and cut into halves or quarters.

Taste and sweeten if necessary with maple syrup.

Serve warm in glasses or cups with a slice of orange.

Sweet Potato, Chestnut and Sesame Balls with Cranberry Relish

Our sweet potato, chestnut and sesame balls are a fun and festive dish that take the humble sweet potato to a whole new level! Served with cranberry relish, these make for a wonderful starter or side dish, particularly alongside our festive filo rotolo. Better still, they're vegan and gluten free which means everyone at your holiday party can enjoy these with gusto!  

Sweet Potato, Chestnut and Sesame Balls

Serves: 8 (makes 24 balls) | Dietary: vegan, gluten-free

Prep time: 1 hour | Cook time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 500g sweet potato (approx. 2 medium)
  • 120g cooked chestnuts, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tsp tahini
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh sage leaves
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • pinch black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tbsp gram flour (sifted)
  • 4 tbsp white sesame seeds for rolling
  • olive oil for roasting

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180CFan/200C/GasMark6.
  2. Roast the sweet potato whole in their skins in the oven for about 40 minutes until soft. Leave to cool then peel and mash, weigh out 450g of cooked mashed sweet potato.
  3. Chop the chestnuts well with a knife, leaving a few larger pieces for texture.
  4. Mix the chopped chestnuts with the sweet potato, chopped garlic, tahini, ground cumin and coriander, sage, parsley and lemon juice. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Mix in the gram flour.
  6. Shape into 24 small balls and roll each one in sesame seeds.
  7. Place on an oiled lined tray, drizzle more oil over the top and bake for 15 minutes until golden.
  8. Serve with cranberry relish.

Cranberry Relish

Serves: 8 | Dietary: vegan, gluten free

Prep time: 5 minutes| Cook time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 225g fresh cranberries
  • 150ml water
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • ½ cinnamon stick
  • 2 cloves
  • 2 star anise
  • 100g caster sugar
  • ½ lemon, peel and juice

Method:

  1. Place the cranberries in a saucepan with 150ml water
  2. Add the spices and lemon peel and bring to the boil, simmer slowly until about half the berries have popped. Stir in the sugar and lemon juice. Simmer on a low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring often until all the sugar has dissolved.
  3. Serve cold.

Delicious food photography by Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures.

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Vegetarian Canapés and Party Nibbles

Colourful canapés are a great way to start a party. We've been getting creative with  vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free canapés with a view towards creating irresistible party nibbles that are both beautiful and delicious. A great canapé should be as fun to look at as they are to eat. While the recipes below are guest-approved, we also encourage you to embrace seasonal veg and add your own little touches.


Parsnip Fritters

When it comes to crafting a beautiful dish purely out of winter vegetables, it really doesn't get better than these parsnip fritters with a colourful raw winter slaw and a yoghurt dill sauce. We use Panko breadcrumbs to achieve a lovely crisp coating on the parsnips. The same coating also works well with celeriac, carrot, and cauliflower. 

Parsnip Fritters with Winter Slaw and Yoghurt Dressing


Roasted Beetroot, Cream Cheese and Hazelnut Tartlets

These festive beetroot tartlets are perfect for a party. They're easy to put together, look beautiful on the plate, and most importantly, are undeniably delicious! Our recipe makes 8 tartlets, the perfect size for a starter, but you can also make them slightly smaller and serve as canapés.

Roasted Beetroot, Cream Cheese and Hazelnut Tartlets


Sweet Potato, Chestnut, and Sesame Balls

Our sweet potato, chestnut and sesame balls are a fun and festive dish that take the humble sweet potato to a whole new level! Served with cranberry relish, these make for a wonderful starter or side dish. Better still, they're vegan and gluten free which means everyone at your holiday party can enjoy these with gusto!

Sweet Potato, Chestnut, and Sesame Balls with Cranberry Relish


Indian Spiced Rostis (Vegan and Gluten Free)

Indian Spiced Rostis with 3 chutneys

We often like to make mini rostis as party canapés and this time we've added some Indian inspiration to the mix. Cumin seeds, curry powder, and turmeric combine to make an Indian spice version of our favourite rostis. Serve with a range of chutneys for the perfect party snack. 

Get the recipe: Indian Spiced Rostis


Spicy Apricot Koftas (Vegan and Gluten Free)

Vegetarian Apricot Koftas

These vegetarian Middle Eastern koftas are spicy with sweet undertones and finished with tahini and pomegranate. The little gem lettuce leaf boats make them easy to eat too!

Get the recipe: Spicy Apricot Koftas


Thai Tofu Balls (Vegan and Gluten Free)

Thai Tofu Balls

The idea for this recipe comes from traditional Thai fish balls, but made with tofu instead of fish. With the rice flour as our as a binder they hold together beautifully and look unique with lemongrass stalks as skewers. We’ve placed them on squares of banana leaf for that added Thai feel.

Get the recipe: Thai Tofu Balls


Mini Masala Dosas (Vegan and Gluten Free)

Mini Masala Dosas

A Masala Dosa is a pancake filled with spiced potatoes and often served with chutney. In India, dosas are often made at the front of cafes for breakfast; the chefs have a knack of making them thin, crisp and huge, then deftly wrapping them around a filling. This is our quick version made canapé style with the spiced potatoes rolled up with three chutneys.

Get the recipe: Mini Masala Dosas


Celeriac and Potato Rostis (Vegan and Gluten Free)

Celeriac and Potato Rostis

These celeriac and potato rostis make a superb vegetarian canapé for special occasions and dinner parties. We love to serve them as bite sized party food on top of griddled sourdough rounds and topped with caper berries and blue cheese.

Get the recipe: Celeriac and Potato Rostis


Tricolour Bread Swirls (Vegan)

Vegetarian Tricolour Pastry Swirls with Pesto and Tapenade

A pastry swirl rolled up with your filling of choice - we like watercress and walnut pesto, but olive tapenade also works a treat.

Get the recipe: Tricolour Bread Swirls


Homemade Labna Cheese (Gluten Free)

Homemade Labna Balls rolled in herbs

Labna is essentially cheese made out of strained yoghurt. Once strained, the thick yoghurt can be rolled into balls and coated with colourful herbs, dukkah, or paprika. Serve alongside crisp bread or with a drizzle of olive oil and sprigs of fresh herbs.  

Get the recipe: Homemade Labna Cheese


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Bath Christmas Foodie Gift Guide, Crumbs Magazine, November 2017

We're delighted to be featured in Crumbs Magazine's 2017 Bath Christmas Foodie Gift Guide alongside some of the best foodie destinations in Bath.

The best thing about buying someone a cookery course is that they’ll feel indebted to cook for you. Demuths vegetarian cookery school have anything from creative vegan courses to photography, with evening classes starting at £65. We recommend the vegan fast and delicious course!

Click here to read the full article online.

Catering For Vegans, Essentially Catering Magazine, November 2017

Demuths is delighted to be featured in the 2017 Christmas issue of Essentially Catering Magazine. The article includes Rachel's tips on catering for vegans and our winning recipe for vegan sticky toffee pudding.

Click here to read the article online.

Festive Filo Rotolo

Our festive filo rotolo is an adaption of an Italian dish, traditionally made with pasta (rotolo means "roll"). We've used filo in our recipe and stuffed it with a combination of winter squash, spinach, roasted walnuts, and artichokes, for a delicious vegetarian centrepiece for Christmas lunch. You can serve it as a main course alongside roast heritage carrots, or slice it thinly and serve as a starter. The rotolo can be cooked straight away and reheated on the day, or make up to a day in advance and bake off on the day. You can also make it in stages, make the fillings up a day or two in advance, then assemble it bake off on the day. It can be frozen for up to 3 months. Defrost thoroughly before cooking then bake off as per instructions.

The recipe consists of three sub recipes follow by steps for assembling the rotolo, plus decoration if you'd like (it is Christmas after all!). 

Festive Filo Rotolo

Serves: 8 | Dietary: Vegan option

Prep time: 1 1/2 hours | Cook time: 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 pack of jus roll filo pastry (7 sheets)
  • Melted butter (or olive oil if vegan) to brush the pastry
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds

Roasted Squash filling

  • 1 medium squash (approx 700g weight when prepped)
  • 1 tsp pink peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 bulb garlic
  • 6 stems of thyme
  • Salt
  • 1 ½ egg yolks (or 1 tbsp gram flour if vegan)

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 170CFan/190C/gas 5
  2. Chop the squash into cubes of approximately 1 cm, dress with the olive oil and the thyme. Halve the garlic through the middle and place, cut side down, on the baking tray with the squash. Grind the pink peppercorns in a pestle and mortar and stir into the squash. Roast for 30-40 minutes until the squash is soft and starting to caramelise at the edges, stir it a few times during cooking. While the squash is roasting prepare the spinach and the artichoke fillings.
  3. Once the squash is cooked, remove any thyme stalks and squeeze the roasted garlic out of its skin and roughly mash it into the squash. Taste and season with salt, then mix in the egg yolks.

Spinach with mustard seeds and feta

  • 250g bag of spinach
  • 1 tsp brown mustard seeds
  • Grated nutmeg (to taste)
  • Salt and black pepper (to taste)
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 100g feta roughly crumbled (dairy or plant based)
  • ½ egg yolk (or ½ tbsp gram flour if vegan)

Method

  1. Wash the spinach in a colander and whilst still wet put in a saucepan with a lid. Heat gently, stirring often until the spinach starts to wilt, then put on the lid for a couple of minutes so the spinach is all wilted. Transfer the spinach to a sieve and squeeze out as much liquid as you can with the back of a spoon. Meanwhile heat the oil in the same saucepan which you wilted the spinach in and add the mustard seeds and nutmeg. When the seeds begin to pop add the squeezed spinach and stir well. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Stir in the feta and egg yolk or gram flour.

Roasted walnuts with artichokes

  • 50g walnut halves
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp Maldon salt
  • 100g artichoke hearts
  • A small handful of flat leaf parsley
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

Method

  • In a baking tray toss the walnut halves in the olive oil and add the smoked paprika and salt. Roast at 170CFan/190C/GasMark5 for 10 minutes. Allow to cool and then break up the walnuts in a pestle and mortar.
  • Chop the artichokes and the flat leaf parsley finely and then stir them into the walnuts. Squeeze on the lemon and stir well. Add salt to taste.

Construct the rotolo

  1. Place a large piece of tin foil on a work surface
  2. On top of the foil place a sheet of filo placed in landscape position, brush with oil or butter. Lay a second sheet above the first with a 10cm overlap. Brush the second sheet with oil or butter. Sprinkle the sesame seeds all over the filo.
  3. Layer two more whole sheets of filo pastry on top in the same way, then another two. Make sure you brush oil or butter in between each layer. Place the last sheet of filo in the bottom position and brush with oil or butter.
  4. Spread the roasted squash over the central area of the bottom piece of filo into a rectangle sized 30cm long and 15cm wide.
  5. Spread the spinach evenly over the surface of the squash leaving a margin of 1cm of squash clear top and bottom.
  6. Place the artichoke mixture down the middle on top of the spinach mixture in a long sausage shape.
  7. Working carefully, and using the foil to help you roll, start to roll up the Rotolo. Make sure the artichoke stays as a central sausage shape and the squash mixture meets to create a round shape. Roll half way up the filo length. Gently and loosely tuck in both ends to seal in the fillings, folding the filo in by 5cm up the length of the filo, then continue to roll up the length. When you come to the end of the filo you should have a tidy round sausage shape.
  8. Position the rotolo using the foil to lift it onto a baking tray. Bake at 170CFan for 40 minutes until golden. Check after 20 and 30 minutes, you may need to cover parts of the filo loosely with the foil as it may brown unevenly depending on your oven. If its browning all over too quickly, turn the oven down by 10 degrees for the last 10 to 15 minutes of cooking.

For decoration

  • 8 pecans
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 12 large dried cranberries
  • a few sprigs of thyme, sage and rosemary

Method

  1. Place the pecans and maple syrup in a small saucepan, boil the maple syrup to reduce and thicken so the pecans are evenly coated, tip the pecans out onto parchment to cool down.
  2. Decorate the top of the filo roll once it comes out of the oven with the cranberries, pecans, fresh thyme, rosemary and sage leaves.


Delicious food photography by Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures.

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Winter Squash Tips and Recipes

We just can't get enough of wonderful winter squash at the moment. We're lucky to have Mike Eades just up the road on the hills overlooking Bath who supplies us with the most beautiful variety of winter squash in all their marvellous shapes and sizes. Most supermarkets stock Butternut, but there's a whole world of winter squashes out there: Crown Prince, Kabocha, and Onion squash, just to name a few. It's hard to beat the beautiful glow of their flesh. And you'll find that many of these more exotic winter squashes have a deeper, nuttier, richer flavour than Butternut Squash. 

To help you take advantage of the world of winter squash, we've put together our top tips and tasty recipes for making the most of them. Read on!

What to look for when buying winter squash

For those lucky enough to have space to grow squash, they can rampage all over your garden and they like to grow in rich fertile ground with lots of compost. Pick the squash when the leaves have begun to die down, as then the squash will be fully ripe.

The best places to buy winter squash are in farmers markets, where in season there will be a great choice. Choose ones that are not too big and are firm to the touch. Supermarkets sell butternut squash all the year round and often a selection of squash in the Autumn.

Different varieties of winter squash and their different uses

Squashes and pumpkins are varieties of the Cucurbita family and divide into two types: summer and winter. The skin of summer varieties, such as courgettes, is thin and will not store, while winter squashes have a hard skin and will store for months in a cool dark place so they can be stored well into the New Year.

Among my select winter squashes are the onion squash, which is shaped liked a giant onion and has fluorescent orange skin with bright orange flesh. I also like the Crown Prince, which is pale blue/green and shaped like a flying saucer with paler orange flesh. There's also the Kabocha, which is smaller, knobbly, dark green with pale green stripes and dense sweet orange flesh. And of course, the Turks Turban (pictured below), the most exotic looking!

Tips on how to prepare winter squash

Hard skins mean winter squashes are not so easy to peel, so it’s easier to roast them with the skin on and then scoop out the soft flesh when cooked. Or simply cut into slices and roast with the skin on, as the roasted skin is surprisingly tender and delicious. One exception is butternut squash, which does have a thin enough skin to peel with a sharp peeler.

Be very careful when you slice squash as the skin can be very hard to cut through, use a large knife on a solid chopping board, first cut each squash in half and slice off the stem, scoop out the seeds and then cut crescent moon shaped slices.

Cooking methods and raw methods with winter squash

Roasting is by far better than boiling as it intensifies the flavour of the squash.

Add squash to stews and curries as it takes up the strong spices really well.

Squash is delicious raw too and with the craze for spiralising, it work a treat and look beautiful in salads.

Favourite Winter Squash Recipes

Fennel and Squash Salad with Pomegranate

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Christmas Celebrations, Vegetarian Living, December 2017

The December 2017 issue of Vegetarian Living is now available and features my latest column of seasonal cooking ideas, tips, recipes and more. This month is all about Christmas! Featured recipes include our Roasted Beetroot and Hazelnut Tartlets, Sweet Potato Chestnut Sesame Balls, and our showstopper Christmas Wreath with Brandied Mushroom and Chestnut Filling, the latter of which made the cover! 

Click on the link below to read the article in full:

Mince Pie Christmas Trees, Vegan Food and Living, December 2017

Our festive Mince Pie Christmas Tree recipe is featured in the December 2017 issues of Vegan Food and Living magazine. The recipe is easy, fun, and festive, and made all the better when you make your own mincemeat!

Click on the link below for all the delicious details: 

Mince Pie Christmas Trees, Vegan Food and Living, December 2017

Polish Christmas Biscuits, PlantBased Magazine, December 2017

Our recipe for Polish Christmas Biscuits is featured in the December 2017 issue of PlantBased Magazine. This vegan recipe is featured alongside a superb collection of other festive plant-based recipes, making this issue a great resource for holiday cooking! 

Polish Christmas Cookies, PlantBased Magazine, December 2017

Parsnip Fritters with Winter Slaw and Yoghurt Dressing

When it comes to crafting a beautiful dish purely out of winter vegetables, it really doesn't get better than these parsnip fritters with a colourful raw winter slaw and a yoghurt dill sauce. We use Panko breadcrumbs to achieve a lovely crisp coating on the parsnips. The same coating also works well with celeriac, carrot, and cauliflower. 

Parsnip Fritters

Serves: 4 | Dietary: gluten free option

Prep time: 30 minutes | Cook time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 medium parsnips
  • 125g Panko breadcrumbs (or gluten free breadcrumbs)
  • 50g grated hard stronge cheese (parmesan style)
  • 2 tsp chopped rosemary
  • 2 tsp chopped thyme
  • salt and black pepper
  • 50g plain flour (or gluten free flour)
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp cold water and a pinch of salt

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180CFan/200C/GasMark6.
  2. Peel the parsnips, cut down the length into 1cm slices.
  3. Plunge the parsnips into boiling water and cook for 3 to 4 minutes to soften them slightly, then run under cold water to cool down and drain well.
  4. Mix the Panko breadcrumbs with the grated cheese, generous pinch of salt and black pepper, chopped thyme and rosemary.
  5. Mix the flour with a pinch of salt and pepper. Dip each piece of parsnip into the flour, then the beaten eggs, then the Panko breadcrumbs to coat evenly.
  6. Spread out the coated parsnip onto a lined baking tray, brush with olive oil and then drizzle a little more olive oil over them.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes until they are golden and crispy.
  8. Serve with winter slaw and yoghurt and dill sauce.

Winter Slaw

Serves: 8 | Dietary: vegan, gluten free

Prep time: 20 minutes | Resting time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 carrot
  • ¼ small celeriac
  • 1 small red beetroot
  • 2 large kale leaves
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 small garlic clove, crushed
  • ¼ tsp caraway (lightly crushed)
  • 1/2 tsp coriander seeds (lightly crushed)
  • pinch black pepper
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 2 tbsp dried cranberries,chopped

Method

  1. Peel all the vegetables. Then use a julienne peeler to create thin strips, or use a spiraliser. Strip the kale from the stem and tear into small pieces.
  2. Mix the lime juice and salt, caraway, coriander and black pepper in and massage the vegetables, scrunching with your hands until the vegetables have softened and released some juices.
  3. Stir in the parsley and dried cranberries,
  4. Leave to sit for at least 30 minutes for the flavours to develop.

Yoghurt and dill Sauce

Serves: 8 | Dietary: gluten free

Prep time: 5 minutes | Cook time: 0 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 150ml thick Greek style yogurt
  • handful of fresh dill, chopped
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • pinch of salt and pepper

Method

  1. Crush the garlic to a smooth paste, stir into the yoghurt, add the dill, lime juice and salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Keeps in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Delicious food photography by Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures.

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Roasted Beetroot, Cream Cheese and Hazelnut Tartlets

These festive beetroot tartlets are perfect for a party. They're easy to put together, look beautiful on the plate, and most importantly, are undeniably delicious! Our recipe makes 8 tartlets, the perfect size for a starter, but you can also make them slightly smaller and serve as canapés. Try varying the toppings for a colourful twist. And if you're short on time, here's a few shortcuts we can suggest: 

  Prep Advice

  • Use ready roasted hazelnuts or to roast hazelnuts, place them in the oven for 8 minutes until the skins split. Allow to cool, then rub off the skins and roughly chop, ready for decoration.
  • Use ready cooked beetroot or you can cook your own in two different ways. Rub a whole beetroot keeping the skin on with olive oil and a sprinkling of salt, wrapping in silver foil, roasting for 1 hour at 180CFan/200C/GasMark6 until soft. Alternatively boil the beetroots whole, with the skin on for 1 hour until soft. When the beetroots are cool, peel or rub off the skin. Keep in the fridge for up to 4 days until ready to use. The pastry cases can be made days in advance, just keep in an airtight tin, crisp up in the oven for a few minutes if they go soft. The beetroot can be cooked a few days in advance and kept in the fridge until ready to use. For a super short-cut you can buy ready-made pastry tarts.

Roasted Beetroot Cream Cheese Hazelnut Tartlets

Dietary: Vegan option | Prep time: 40 minutes | Cook time: 10 minutes

Serves: 4 (Makes 8 tartlets)

Ingredients

  • 1 pack ready rolled puff pastry
  • 1 egg yolk (or 1 tbsp olive oil if vegan) for brushing
  • 100g cream cheese, dairy or vegan
  • 3 tbsp chives finely sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 medium sized beetroot, cooked
  • 30g hazelnuts, roasted

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180CFan/200C/GasMark 6.
  2. Brush baking sheets with oil or line with baking parchment.
  3. Place the puff pastry on a floured surface. Use a large knife, cut out 8 squares that are 8x8cm.
  4. Use the smaller knife to score a 1cm margin to make an inner square, be careful that you do not cut all the way through the pastry.
  5. Brush the outer square edge lightly with egg yolk or olive oil.
  6. Place on the baking sheets and bake in the pre-heated oven for 10 minutes until risen and golden.
  7. Allow to cool down. When cool run the tip of the knife along the scored square mark and remove the top layers of the inner piece of pastry. Now the pastries are ready to fill.
  8. Mix the cream cheese with the chives, salt and pepper. Leave out a teaspoon of chives to sprinkle on top.
  9. Divide the cream cheese between the 8 pastry cases.
  10. Cut one beetroot into 8 small wedges and the other into 8 slices.
  11. Place a beetroot wedge and a slice on top of each tart and sprinkle over the roasted hazelnuts and the saved chives for decoration.

Delicious food photography by Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures.

Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram where we are chatting about all things foodie and, if you like this post, please share it!

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Our 5 Best Cauliflower Recipes

Cauliflower has experienced a bit of a renaissance in the last couple of years. That long-standing tradition of overcooked boiled cauliflower, smothered in cheese sauce, has given way to a new way of thinking about this humble crucifer. The Spanish like their cauliflower deep-fried dunked in a coating of gram flour and paprika. In India they like cauliflower pakoras flavoured with chilli and turmeric. We like to roast cauilflower with ras al hanout and toasted almonds. Cauliflower even makes a lovely gluten free pizza base, a lighter alternative to potato mash and can be pickled in traditional Piccalilli and fermented in kimchi.

If you’re ready to take cauliflower to a new level, read on for our top tips on choosing and cooking with cauliflower, plus our favourite cauliflower recipes.

Choosing and Storing Cauliflower

Cauliflowers come in glorious colours: purple, orange, green and the wonderful fractal-like Romanesco. Choose cauliflowers with bright green leaves, white florets and check the base for the cut which should not be dried out. Cauliflowers can be stored very well in the fridge for up to two weeks. Keep the protective leaves on when storing, but don’t put them in a plastic bag as moisture will encourage the white florets to decay and become brown.

Cooking with Cauliflower

We’re not sure why boiled cauliflower got to be so popular when it’s probably the worst way to prepare cauliflower there is. Forget about boiling and steam instead: you have better control and the cauliflower doesn’t go soggy. In the spring buy baby cauliflowers and steam them whole.

We also like to roast cauliflower in the oven until the florets begin to char. You can also slice cauliflower into “steaks” and griddle for a robust finish.

Cauliflower is also delicious raw: blitz it in a food processor for cauliflower rice, or use instead of bulgar wheat in tabbouleh with lots of fresh herbs.

Our 5 Best Cauilflower Recipes

Cauliflower Tabbouleh

Cauliflower Tabbouleh


Spiced Cauliflower Steaks

Spiced Cauliflower Steaks with Almond Alioli


Roasted Romanesco and Cauliflower with Haloumi and Sumac

Roasted Romanesco and Cauliflower with Haloumi and Sumac


Moorish Roasted Cauliflower

Moorish Roasted Cauliflower


Tarkari

Tarkari: Cauliflower and Tomato Nepalese Curry


Any favourite cauliflower recipes we should know about? Let us know in the comments!

All images except for the Tarkari were taken by Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures.

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Magical Spiced Christmas Cake, Vegan Living Magazine, December 2017

The December 2017 issue of Vegan Living Magazine is all about Christmas and we're delighted to be a part of it with our showstopper Magical Spiced Christmas Cake. Spices, nuts, fruits, brandy, marzipan, chocolate, and a dusting of gold: all the makings of the perfect Christmas cake without any dairy or eggs. Click here to get your copy.

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