Monday, 23 January 2017

Vegan Pickled Mushroom Stroganoff with Watercress

We haven't had mushrooms for a while.  

I had picked up a load to make Mushroom Lasagne as we had so much cheese in the fridge left over from New Year.  I have made Mushroom Lasagne, but I also made a vegan version of Mushroom Stroganoff as I had a little carton of Oatly cream in my fridge too.  
As well as using fresh chestnut mushrooms in the Stroganoff, I also used a jar of pickled baby mushrooms that I picked up from an Eastern European shop in the town where I work.  My friend at work who is Czech recommended them to me and said they are often used in Stroganoff. She also pointed out a number of other things in the chiller cabinet and on the shelves that were suitable for vegetarian and vegans. 

Mushroom Stroganoff is one of my beaus favourite dishes so I always have a reason to make it, but for those of you who know me through reading my blog, will also know that I like to ring the changes with my dishes, so in went the pickled baby mushrooms and in went the Oatly cream.
I also had some watercress in the fridge.  So I decided to garnish my  mottled brown coloured plate of food  with the vibrant peppery green.  The pickled mushrooms made for an interesting change and for it being vegan, well we didn't even notice the difference. 

I am sharing with Inheritance Recipes co hosted by Solange at Pebble Soup and Coffee and Vanilla as Mushroom Stroganoff is a recipe that we as a couple turn to often as it is one of our quick go to evening suppers; and with Confessions of a Mother Runner and Whisk and Two Wands for Meatless Monday.

Other Mushroom Strogonoff Recipes on A2K  - A Seasonal Veg Table
Chestnut Mushroom and Smoked Tofu Stroganoff
Mushroom Stroganoff with Garlic Chives
Mushroom and Tofu Stroganoff
Lapsang Scented Chestnut and Mushroom Stroganoff

On another note, while I was googling Baby Mushrooms this unusual picture came up, then I decided not to use the term 'baby mushrooms'  for my recipe.
Image source here

Friday, 20 January 2017

Alternative Scottish Fusion Burns Supper

My heart was heavy when I left Scotland for Wales over five years ago, but a little part of me remains there. I have great fondness for Scotland (especially the West of Scotland) and its people who warmly welcomed me when I made it my home all those years ago.  I went to University there, got engaged and married there, I began this blog allotment2kitchen there in 2009.

Scotland has so many memories for me, and so many highs and lows. 
Even though I am no longer living in Scotland, I still celebrate the revered bards - Robert Burns birthday my own way and its often with a vegetarian haggis, either shop bought and then its always MacSween or homemade tweaked and based on Edinburgh's vegetarian institution Hendersons.

In my time there, I witnessed the Scottish haggis integrated into many world fusion cuisine recipes from haggis bon bons, haggis burgers, haggis canneloni, haggis dim sum, haggis pasty, haggis pakoras, haggis panini, haggis pastitisio, haggis pies, haggis lasagne, haggis moussaka - haggis pizza, haggis quesadillas, Black Pudding and Haggis Risotto; haggis Scotch eggs, haggis samosas, haggis sausage rolls, haggis spring rolls, haggis wontons, haggis tostados, haggis Tex Mex nachos,  Haggis A La Wellington; haggis wraps, in fact you name it, someone somewhere has made it with haggis.

Want to learn more about the haggis, then follow this Haggis blog post.   You may also be interested to note that there has been some debate about the haggis origins and that it may even be English - whatever its true origin, it will always remain a Scottish icon.  Here is an interesting article by The Guardian on Haggis: An International Ingredient.

Scotland is really progressive in relation to embracing the diversity of its people: whether they be Scottish born and bred; New Scots or even RefuWeegees (a Glaswegian Refugees) - we're all fae somewhere!.  I myself was pleased to be accepted as an Honorary Scot because of my Celtic connections.  

When I lived there, BBC Radio Scotland transmitted a programme Ravi Burns.  And in place of the Scottish Poets Robert Burns 'Address to A Haggis' the Scottish Comedian and Actor Sanjeev Kohli (who I met a couple of times at 'Diversity' related events) gives us 'Ode to t Samosa

"Wee sleekit, cowrin' triangular tastie, oh what a picnic is in thy pastry'. 

The novelist Alasdair Gray also recited 'To a Mouse' against a background of sitars.

Please follow this link for some more interesting facts about Scotland's ethnic and cultural diversity and its fusion influences on cuisine.  
With five days to Burns Night I offer you a Alternative Fusion Burns Supper Menu and take the opportunity to showcase again some of the vegan and vegetarian meals that I and some of my vegetarian blogger friends, many with Scottish links have created at home over the years with vegetarian and vegan haggis.   Enjoy!
Served Once Up a time at A Vegetarian Eatery in South East Wales (2012 - 2013)
Burns Night Supper Club Menu

Alternative Indo -Scots Fusion Supper 
Beer Battered Haggis Balls by Green Gourmet Giraffe
From The Indian Sub-Continent to Scotland With Love - Haggis and Aloo (Tatties) Tikkia
Jewish Scottish Neep and Tatties Latkes by Green Gourmet Giraffe
Haggis Samosa (not featured) and Haggis Pasty from Green Gourmet Giraffe
Vegetarian Haggis Wellington from Inside the Wendy House 
Italian Scottish Mushroom and Haggis Lasagne
Italian - American- Scottish Macaroni Cheese Pies.  I've also made vegan version when I had the vegetarian cafe and added some vegan homemade haggis to the base. 

Italian Scottish Haggis Pizza from Green Gourmet Giraffe
And this is an open top version of the vegan Haggis, Neep and Tattie Pie.  This don't look pretty here, but it gives you an idea of the layered filling: haggis, then neeps, then topped with mashed tatties.
Tartan Haggis from Green Gourmet Giraffe
Australian and Scottish fusion Haggis Chika Rolls from Green Gourmet Giraffe

Also See Chinese Burns Night Menu

For sweets
A slice of Clootie Dumpling which I made when I was running the Vegetarian Cafe in 2012 - 2013. 
 Irn Bru Jelly and also Irn Bru Sorbet.  You will find Irn Bru in many recipes in Scotland from cupcakes to coffees and cocktails.  There is also Irn Bu fudge that became popular by a Scottish company called The Ochil Fudge Pantry.   
Here is me enjoying an Irn Bru and Scottish Tablet Ice-cream

Here is a link to Buzzfeed's 19 Crazy Irn Bru Concoctions You Didn't Know Existed including a curry!  

However, I would like to point out that by the time I left Scotland, some people were beginning to turn their eyes to Buckfast instead of Irn Bru in desserts. Buckfast Cheesecake and Buckfast Sorbet See here to read more about Buckfast.  What is funny about this is that Buckfast is not even Scottish, its made in Devon, England.  
Shortbread from Green Gourmet Giraffes.  These can be easily infused with flavours from the Indian Continent - cardamon, fennel seeds or if your dare - red chilli flakes - see this Red Chilli Shortbread recipe for inspiration. 
Millionaire Bar as featured on Green Gourmet Giraffe blog
Scottish Macaroons from Tinned Tomatoes
Cranachan (oats, cream and berries) from Tinned Tomatoes.  This recipe can be SO easily veganized.  I do like to stir in some nuts to the oaty mix for additional texture, but you could also elevate it further with Indian spices like fennel and cardamon too.
There is also Tipsy Laird a Scottish trifle made with either a wee shot of Whiskey or Sherry, but I have always had a soft spot for Tunnocks
Or if you don't want sweet then maybe some selected Scottish cheese 
Or vegan alternative such as Sheese by Bute Island served with  homemade oatcakes
If you can't find your very own blush rosy cheeked Angus to play the bagpipes for your Burns Supper Night and start a raucous party; and yes Angus is a real friend in Scotland who really does play the bagpipes, then perhaps some Scottish music, but nothing too cheesy please - something with a bit more thought!  

Here are some Burns Supper Night blog posts with recipes from the A2K - A Seasonal Veg Table archives.
On Our Table For Burns Night Supper (2009)
Clapshot and Vegetarian Haggis (2009)
Mushroom Haggis Pakoras with Curried Neep Chips (2010)
Vegan Tower of Haggis, Neeps and Tatties (2010)
Vegetarian Recipes Ideas for Robert Burns Night Supper (2011)
Robert Burns Birthplace (2011)
Haggis Roti for Burns Night (2012)
Mushroom and Haggis Lasagne (2013)
Vegetarian Burns Night and Day Menu (2013
Wee Scottish Vegetarian Bites (2013)
Indo- Scots Fusion Burns Night (2014)
Curried Neep and Kale Curry (2015)

Here is one of my last blog posts bidding Farewell To Scotland.
Brilliant blog posts on

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Butternut Squash, Nutmeg, Raisin and Hazelnut Muffins

I had forgotten to pick up some rolled oats during our weekly shop to the supermarket.  It was on my shopping list but I managed to overlook it.  You know why?!  My husband has a tendency to squeeze in 'tiger nuts' on the shopping list - I have a rather knackered worn out tiger hot water bottle and he teases me that Ii should get it some tiger nuts which are real, so I am blaming him for my distraction and missing it on the shopping list.

So instead of making breakfast flapjacks for the working week I ended up making some Butternut Squash, Raisin and Nutmeg muffin.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Spiced Butternut Squash and Golden Raisin Chutney

This Mildly Spiced Butternut Squash and Golden Raisin Chutney was scrummy.

I don't really like sweet relishes or chutneys , but this one was very reminisce of the Red Chili Spiced Pumpkin Chutney I made a long while back and I loved it.   
I made this Spiced Butternut Squash and Golden Raisin Chutney over the weekend as I had picked up two squashes at a bargain price, after filling the sterilised jars I had a little left over - they call it cooks treat or cooks perks, but it was plenty for me to share with D.  We had it in the evening with cheddar cheese crackers that we had left over from Christmas and New Year.

Taking of  crackers, someone at a works bring and share food day bought in some homemade Iced Custard Square Slices, what some of you may call Iced Vanilla Custard Slices.  I've been wanting a recipe for this for a long while as its one of my Dads favourite sweet treats.  He has a thing for cold set custard, as his other favourite Sweet treat is Custard Nutmeg in Shortcrust Pastry Tarts.  I had a slither of one of these Ice Custard Square Slices and noted the pastry base was actually made from Jacobs Crackers, not puff pastry.  I was both amazed and bemused.  I do prefer proper pastry, but some people would not notice the difference.  I asked for the recipe from the person who made it and she laughed as she wrote it down for me.  Telling me it was one of the world's easiest and economical recipes.  I hope to make it soon for my father and see what he thinks.  
Anyway, back to this Spiced Butternut Squash and Golden Raisins Chutney, I also adored the colours so much: like golden embers from a log fire not only warming your cheeks but your belly too.  I am sharing this with #CookBlogShare hosted by Easy Peasy Foodie.
Other Chutney Recieps You may like
A Seasonal Veg Tables Spiced Apple Chutney
A Seasonal Veg Tables Fiery Scotch Bonnet Apple Chutney
Green Gourmet Giraffe - Tomato Kitchen Sink Chutney
Little Black Fox 's Carrot and Chilli Chutney
Little Black Fox's Mango Chutney

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Light Fennel, Red Pepper and Butternut Stew

Did you know that there are actually two types of fennel?  This vegetable has been assigned a gender.  The curvy bulbous is the female and the slender one is the male.  

Fennel is still not used much in British cooking, but it is slowly making an appearance mostly in raw salad dishes because of its crunch and  its flavour reminisce of aniseed, star anise or even licorice flavour.  Unlike the British, the French and Italians are very fond of this feathery frond stemmed vegetable.   So I was pleased to pick some up again  to make a Light Fennel, Red Pepper and Butternut Squash Stew infused with caraway seeds.  
I describe this Fennel, Red Pepper and Butternut Squash Stew as light as the sauce is not thick, its almost like a clear broth, like a consomme. It is also mildly spiced to warm your cheeks. 
This is my contribution to Food 'N' Flix this month  hosted by hosted by Heather at All Roads Lead To The Kitchen.  The movie chosen this month was French Kiss.  I watched it on youtube.  I saw the trailer and obviously the cheese plate on the train was influencing my decision to make a cheese dish, but then about 8 minutes into the movie I spotted some colourful vibrant fresh vegetables in the kitchen on the table including tomatoes, carrots and fennel.  This is just before the character Kate receives a phone call from her fiancee Charlie breaking up with her as he has fallen in love with someone he has met in Paris. 
I do like fennel, but we don't eat it much as we want as it is a bit of a luxury vegetable in our home, so I incorporated it in this light Red Pepper and Butternut Squash Stew.  I don't know what the weather is like where you are, but it is quite nippy in Wales and stews are very welcome, even light ones.  I am also sharing this broth stew with Soups, Salads and Sammies hosted by Kahakai Kitchen as it can be eaten with a spoon like a chunky soup too.