Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Kind Cakes, Mean Bakes in Bristol

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Ethiopian Berbere Injera Crisps - Chips

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

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

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

Sunday, 22 November 2015

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

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

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

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

Friday, 20 November 2015

Bookmarked Recipes and A Salted Peach Buttermilk Cake

I know there are a barrage of vegetarian and vegan cookbooks out there at the moment- spearing from every direction, some are on my wish list and some are not.  But I have been making a conscience effort to thumb through those neglected cookbooks already on my shelf and identify those recipes I want to try.  

Many of my cookbooks are vegetarian, some are vegan and many are not either.  I have been making a concerted effort over the weekend to cook and bake some of those bookmarked recipes and have already done so with many (see below).
Caribbean Modern (from the Library)
Dock Kitchen Cookbook 
Mildred's Cookbook
Meat-Free Any-Day
Moosewood Restaurant Celebrates
V is For Vegan
And I've even been inspired by some bloggers and food website.  
Well today's bookmarked recipe that comes from  Heidi Swanson's Super Natural Every-Day. Heidi's Buttermilk Cake is topped off with plums.  I made this at the weekend,  I had picked up some buttermilk intended originally for Irish Soda Bread, but as it was fast reaching it use by date.  In place of the thinly sliced plums, I had peaches.
As I followed the recipe, it advised, 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt.  I had large grain sea salt but not fine sea salt - so ended up choosing to use table salt.  So yes you can imagine it was a little salty, but okay none-the-less.  I went and checked the recipe on-line and found it under another guise called Salt-Kissed Buttermilk Cake.  It was the same recipe made with raspberries, but instructing to use an additional teaspoon of sea salt for the topping. The recipe indeed is mean't be be salty. 

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Beetroot Cauliflower Feta Salad and Pizza

I know everything is in the presentation and this plate of salad would have been elevated a little more with a little more tinkering in the name of food styling; and perhaps served on a bed of greens such as rocket or watercress would have done it, but had cauliflower - the veg du jour been presented by a celebrity chef, cookery writer or so called queen of the grain and greens I am sure it would have encouraged swoons and wow's, but as it comes from a little known vegetarian food blogger it will be perceived more as the smashed brains of a zombie and perhaps best served around Halloween; and to an extent I would have to agree on first glance, but I assure you its all about the veg.  No humans, animals or zombies were hurt in the making of this Salad.  And it was bloody marvellous too. 
The white cauliflower dyed beautifully and naturally by the beetroot and balsamic vinaigrette juices, with bite from thinly sliced red onions and punctured by chunks of feta cheese and a scattering of black sesame seeds.

Food styling is not really my thing, and I am always still learning. It really does tastes better than it looks too, sharpness, crunch.  And more than anything else, my husband liked it - Two of his favourite vegetables: beetroot and cauliflower.  They used to be two of my least favourite, I don't mind them so much now.