Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Colourful BBQ Cauliflower Salad Bowl

I have to throw my hands up and admit that I have somewhat lost my blogging groove.  At the same time I have also found myself uninspired in the kitchen, I am not begrudging this at all, in fact I am a little thankful for it as it has allowed me to both cook those bookmarked recipes as well as peruse cookbooks from my burgeoning bookshelf,  to which I have to confess I have added some more cookbooks. 

For those of you who read my blog, will know that I went to the last Bristol Vegfest at the weekend.  Whilst there, I picked up some vegan cookbooks including Kristy Turners But I could Never Go Vegan and  But My Family Would Never Eat Vegan.
I had considered last year to put them both on my Christmas wish list, but then for some reason decided  not to as I had other vegan and vegetarian cookbooks that I wanted more, but then when I saw both of them at the Vegfest.  I was finally swayed to get the cookbook as my blogger friend Johanna who cooks much like I do at home, was making recipes on her blog and commenting, even fellow blogger Faye Veganopoulous was recommending it.  Both Faye and Johanna have cooked extensively from them.

That evening when I returned home after the Bristol Vegfest, feet up, sitting in front of the TV with a glass of wine and paging through the cookbook very slowly, I knew exactly what I wanted to make first.  It was the s BBQ Cauliflower Salad , not only did it look delicious, I had most of the ingredients to hand. 
The following day, this BBQ Cauliflower Salad was made. The salad is smothered with a vegan blue cheese dressing and some oven baked onion rings, but I found the  BBQ Cauliflower substantial enough on its own and quite hearty lunch after a spell in the garden Sunday afternoon.  It was quite easy to put together with ready made BBQ sauce.
The cookbooks have some vegan recipes that are new to me, especially those made with sauerkraut (as I never know what to do with the jars I bring at home), Jackfruit Crabless Cakes and the Savoury Corn Cheesecake but some not so much like Chickpea Scramble, Chickpea Fries,   Faux Tofu Fish and Chips. I have been making my own and Tofu Fish and Chips inspired by Something Fishy that started their vegan fish and chips business in 2008 now almost 10 years later its appearing all over blogosphere and in cookbooks.

Still the cookbooks have enough inspiration for me to have finally wanted a copy of my own. The next bookmarked from the cookbook are Samosa Cakes and the Sunflower Sausage. 
For the full BBQ Cauliflower Salad Recipe - see here. 

To read Green Gourmet Giraffes Review of But I could Never Go Vegan  see here
And to read Veganopoulous review of But My Family Would Never Eat Vegan click here

Monday, 22 May 2017

Green to Red Gooseberries

Its almost a month ago, when I showed you progress in the garden plot. 
Today a little more as some plants have gone into the ground, but many plants are still in pots.

Before I go further, I have to admit these photographs were taken last week before the rain came pouring down and much more has grown and sprouted since, including the weeds!
The climbing bean frames are finally up
Beneath these are climbing purple beans, the yellow beans and runner beans have not yet germinated, partly because the seeds were old and partly because I sowed them late, but I am hoping for some more.  On the bean frame at the back are Climbing Alderman Peas.  

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Bristol VegFest 2017

For the fourth year running, we went to Bristol Veg Fest and yes, it rained.  We still enjoyed the day.

So many vegan food stalls were missing including, some favourites like Ms Vegan Cupcake, Lettices, Mheat, Loving Hut, The Happy Maki, Chai Wallah, and Vegetarian Caviar Club - I was a little disappointed as I have been wanting to get my mitts on some jars of vegan caviar for special meals.  
  But there was still loads to see, including some favourites Vegan Sweet Tooth,

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Simple Curly Kale and White Bean Soup

I am thankful for the rain as the garden has been dry and wanting of water from the skies, but c'mon   - enough already.  

I am hoping the weekend is dry as we have made some plans, so I guess I should really be saying bring it on now, but then please give us a break.
I made this Curly Kale and White Beans Soup over the weekend with what we had in the house as I wasn't feeling adventurous. 
Its nothing special, yet variations of this Curly Kale and White Beans Soup has featured on many a blog and many a cookbook, but it made for a nice change from a smoother soup with its chunky vegetable and crinkly soft greens. 
I am sharing this Curly Kale and White Bean Soup with Soups, Salads and Sammies hosted by Kahakai Kitchen and No Croutons Required hosted by Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen and Tinned Tomatoes. 

Friday, 12 May 2017

Harissa Butternut Squash Stew with Broccoli and Chickpeas

I don't know if he was just very hungry or being honest, but D complimented on how delicious this Harissa Butternut Squash Stew was, not once but twice with a Thank you Lady.  
I thought it was going to one of those stews that would benefit from overnight rest in the fridge, but we had it within an hour of making it and it was most enjoyable.  The harissa and the smoked paprika offset against each other wonderfully.
Be careful with the cooking of the vegetables, especially the broccoli towards the end, you do not want it really soft, but still with bite, otherwise it would be more bordering on soup than stew, which is not a bad thing, but sometimes you want texture not bambino  food.

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Sweet Potato Rosemary Scones (vegan)

You may not be able to see the flecks of green, but I assure you there is some finely minced rosemary in these Savoury  Sweet Potato Scones.   Take a bite and you will not just taste it, but get a gentle waft of it.  
I made these Savoury Sweet Potato Scones over the weekend to accompany a Stew and they worked very well, as these scones are a little on the dry side, but I guess that can be the nature of scones yearning for a spread of some sort to uplift it further.   

Another reason for making these scones was that I had some plant based milk in the fridge that needed using up.  
And in case your wondering, why heart shaped?! Well, I could not find my round scone cutter, so had to use the closest size which was in the shape of a heart. I need more hearts in my life. 

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Sweet Potato Fudge with Cacao Nibs (vegan)

Like the  vegan and vegetarian meatballs, I am having a thing about fudge at the moment.

In recent days, I have made beetroot fudge, chocolate fudge and now these vegan tiger orange coloured Sweet Potato Fudge Bites with Cacao Nibs.  

Friday, 5 May 2017

Raspberry Vinegar and Black Truffle Chips In My Kitchen

Over the Easter holidays, we went to the National Botanic Garden of Wales.  I have new photographs to share and will d so at some point, but here are some pictures from our last trip a few years back.  
I picked up these herbs for the garden plot: bronze fennel, borage and oregano.  
After exploring the Botanic Gardens again, we went for a wander into the town of Carmarthen.  
I went into the Carmarthen Market and picked up a bottle of Raspberry Vinegar.  I know I will be making this come summer with homegrown raspberries, but I got tempted at the thought of homemade salad bowls dressed with raspberry.
I was rather surprised at the number of vegetarian places in Carmarthen, there were two as I recall someone once telling me that there were none, little fibber.  There were also a couple of independent wholefood places including Aardvark Alternatives where I got this China Rose Radish Sprouts from; and Waverley Wholefoods, which I will write more about when I share photographs of our day exploring Carmarthen. I loved these sprouts, they added a lovely peppery bite. 

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Vegan Hazelnut Swede Lemon Drenched Cake

This prettily dressed up Hazelnut Swede Lemon Drenched Cake has come and gone in our home and while it lasted, it made every one who had a slice or a taste, first crinkle their noses and then purse their lips and nod their heads in approval. It was intriguing. 
For my overseas readers, you may know Swede as Rutabaga.  It is a vegetable that I avoid eating in savoury meals, I find it sweet like parsnips and don't often enjoy it, but hide it in a cake then it takes on a different flavour all together.  I know it won't convince everybody, but all I can say is try it before you pass judgement.
have made a few dishes with both swede and turnips  of late.  Previous to this blog post you may have seen my Turnip, Kale and White Bean Stew, Swede Mash on top of a Veggie 'Meatball' dish and of course that dark Rutabaga Cinnamon Nutmeg Cake with Miso Caramel Sauce reminisce of Sticky Toffee Pudding.   
I have to admit, at first I also was not sure sbout theHazelnut Swede Lemon Drenched Cake.  I found it a little earthy on some bites, but as each day passed and I had another slice, I came to like it, really like it.   It was unlike anything that I had ever eaten, which made it a delight.  It also loved how the rosemary lemon syrup seeped beautifully into the hazelnut sponge.  

This cake can be made with eggs, or flaxseeds which will make it suitable for vegans or those who do not eat eggs.  Oh did I mention its also gluten free too.  I am sharing this with CookBlogShare hosted by Hijacked By Twins; and Simple and In Season hosted by Feeding Boys - even though Swede is a winter vegetable, you will still find it in the supermarkets springtime. 

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Turnip, Kale and White Beans Stew

I made this Turnip, Kale and White Bean Stew about a couple of months back , when we picked up some seasonal baby turnips from a farmers market.

To be truthful, I wasn't terribly inspired and didn't know exactly what to do with the turnips so I took the easy option and adapted a stew recipe that I make on and off where you can adapt the vegetables.  
It wasn't the most memorable meal of my life and not one I will rave about on my blog either, but it made for a change; and sometimes those recipes where you can throw the vegetables in the pot and allow it to simmer away slowly, are sometimes the most appealing.
I am sharing this recipe with Baking Queen Slow Cooked Challenge. 

Monday, 1 May 2017

Welcoming your May #EatYourGreens Vegan Vegetarian Recipes

Hello May!  

I'm looking forward to your #EatYourGreens submissions as its my turn to host the Eat Your Greens challenge this month.  To participate, just post a vegan or vegetarian recipe that is made with green vegetables on your blog.  Then leave the link to your recipe in the comment section below.  The deadline is the 30th May 2017.
For more details Follow this link on how to participate just please remember to link back to the host page (this page) and co-host The VegHog.   The use of the logo is optional, but appreciated.

If you are Tweeting your recipe, please use #EatYoursGreens #eatyourgreens and include @SeasonalShaheen @TheVegHog and we will retweet all those that we see.   

If you want some Eat Your Greens inspiration, see what food bloggers from around the world shared in April , then check out my co-host The Veg Hog for inspiration.

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Vegetarian Sumac Meatballs in Broccoli Turmeric Sauce

I have already mentioned in a previous post that I am having a thing about veggie meatballs at the moment.  This is my third dish featuring vegan meatballs in one month. 
Before I went vegetarian, there were only a few meat dishes I would eat: chicken wings to hush my mother from nagging me for not eating meat when I was growing up under her eyes, minced meat samosas and meatballs.  When I left home for University, I did not miss meat dishes and accidentally found myself becoming a vegetarian, these days my diet is probably 95% vegan, so I guess I am veganish - but not vegan at all as I still eat cheese and consume a little milk and eggs on occasion, mostly in recipes. 

For some reason these crisp sienna coloured 'meatballs' have been calling my name and I am so pleased in the knowledge that I can make my own, but there are also some good brands out their, that all you have to do is defrost them and pan fry in a little oil.  The veggie meatballs that I have used here purely out of convenience come from a packet mix from Suma Wholefoods and these are enhanced with parsley and the tang of sumac, cooked and then tossed in a Broccoli Turmeric Sauce. 
I have to admit, this recipe was also inspired from  Nigel Slater's recipe for Lamb Meatballs with Sumac and Broccolii as featured in The Guardian early on in the month.  I  adapted it to make it suitable for vegetarians.   I actually preferred this meatball dish compared to the Mushroom one, whereas D preferred the Mushroom Sauce one.  The flavours in this Broccoli Turmeric one are a lot more lighter and look at the awesome colours. 
On first appearance, D said he thought it was Thai flavoured and assumed it was made with coconut milk, but its actually made with creme fraiche.  I guess if you want it to be vegan you could use coconut cream.
Other sumac recipes on the blog
Sumac Popcorn
Sumac Spring Rolls
Sumac Cabbage

Friday, 28 April 2017

Vegan Meatballs in Paprika Mushroom Sauce

I am having a thing about veggie meatballs at the moment, its features in my diet three times this month. Not that I am grumbling, the weather in this part of the world has turned a little cold, that we have had to scrape ice of the car most mornings.  And coming home to comfort food that sticks to your ribs has been welcoming.
The vegan meatballs in this dish are steeped in a thick mushroom sauce served with mashed golden swede enhanced further with fresh thyme from the garden plot.
This recipe was actually inspired from Nigel Slater's recipe for Braised Pork Meatballs with Rib Ragu Saucei that was featured in The Guardian early on in the month.  I  adapted it to make it suitable for vegetarians and vegans alike.   Look I even copied his style of presentation, yes I am a fan of Nigel Slater - who isn't?!

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Homemade Vegan Corn Dogs - Yes Corndogs

Drum roll please....

Here are some awesome homemade vegan Corn Dogs.
I had seen vegan corn dogs a couple of years back on a fellow bloggers blog and was mighty curious about them. I had thought it was literally sweetcorn deep fried in batter, then told it was a hot dog sausage covered in golden corn batter and then deep fried.  Very popular in parts of America. 

I have been waiting for an excuse to make them and a little while back when I had a full house of guests the opportunity to make these vegan Corn Dogs were presented to me. had not int
I do have have a deep fat fryer, I do but i don't cook in it often to merit it taking up valuable space in the kitchen.  So made these vegan corn dogs in a deep wide pan, three at a time .  My guests all stood around me and watched me in amazement as I made these vegan corn dogs and took pictures.   
These pictures belong to them, as my hands were busy. 
Vegan Corn Dog drowning in  yellow cornmeal batter
I was pleasantly pleased with the result as well as the fact, that they tasted delicious.  D wants me to make them again, and I have vowed to but I need 4 more people in the house to justify it.  Do you want to be my guest?!  
vegan Corn Dogs sizzling in the hot oil
I am sharing these with Inheritance Recipes co hosted by Solange at Pebble Soup and Coffee and Vanilla as the vegan Corn Dogs will be made every time I have a particular crowd of friends over.

Other Vegan Corn Dog recipesVegan Crunchy Corn Dogs from VegSpinz
Baked Corn Dogs from Go Vegan Meow

Monday, 24 April 2017

Garden Plot in the Spotlight

After three years of moving  into our new home, I have neglected the garden plot.  Every time I went out, my heart sunk for different reasons and I seemed to have fallen out of love with gardening and growing my own vegetables. 

However, this year will be different.  I said that last year and the year before, but this time really it will be different as progress has been made.  
But before I share progress in my garden plot, I am partly writing this post to coincide with Harvest Monday with my offering of overwintering Rainbow Swiss Chard from the garden. I used some of it early in the month for a Black Bean Chile, this however will be used for a quick Indian style vegetable curry.  Also by joining in with Harvest Monday, I am hoping my love for growing vegetables will be reignited.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Pineapple Jalapeno Salsa

My first ever experience of a fruit in a salsa was at a deli, the name of the place escapes me - it may not even be there anymore as this was 10 years ago.  

Anyway, it was a salsa made with mangoes.  I have bee n making fruit salsas on and off since.  Last year it was Strawberry Salsa and a few year before that it was Papaya Salsa and way before that Kiwi Salsa.    Today on this bright sunny day, I share you with Pineapple Jalapeno Salsa.  
Handsome Whippet and Pineapple Jalapeno Salsa
Most salsas are made with fresh tomatoes, but this Pineapple Jalapeno one is not but enhanced further with red onions and my absolute favourite herb, fresh coriander.  This salsa was really lovely and complimented the Green Chile, but of course you can dip your tortilla chips in this chunky refreshing salsa. 
On another note, a little while back a fellow blogger asked me about the images in the background of some of my food photographs.  I have been doing this for as long as  I have been blogging.  It was a suggestion introduced to me by my husband as we do not have the luxury of a dedicated space with good (natural) lighting; and also a lack of crockery that comes with food styling for food bloggers, so playing around with images from various sources has been most welcome.  Although not an original ideas, it was nice to see that in doing it on my blog that I had inspired other fellow bloggers in doing this too.
Pineapple Jalapeno Salsa 
Makes enough for six servings
Half fresh pineapple, peeled and diced as small as you can
60g fresh coriander, minced
1 small red onion, peeled and minced
1 - 1 1/2 tablespoon jalapenos from a jar, minced including 2 - 4 tablespoons of its liquid (or use 1/2 lemon or lime juice)
Pinch of salt
In a wide bowl, mix all the ingredients together.
Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to eat.
Good for a few days if kept refrigerated.

Friday, 21 April 2017

Green Chili with Welsh Leeks and Edamame Beans

The Welsh leeks season is coming to an end and I thought I'd make the most of it in this big bowl of Green Chile.  
This was not your typical chili as the spice flavours were toned down by the sweetness from all the greens including the leeks. Also the green from the leeks were a bit muted, but were uplifted by the addition of soya and edamame beans and peas (from the freezer) and a final garnish of fresh chives from the garden plot. 
I thought the bowl of Green Chile was going to be mellow from the sweet leeks, so I decided to make a Pineapple and Jalapeno Salsa to go with it.  This uplifted the dish with another dimension of spice and warmth. I will share the recipe for the Pineapple Jalapeno Salsa in the next couple of days. 

I am sharing this Bowl of Green Chili with Eat Your Greens challenge hosted this month by The VegHog - You still have a day to share your #EatYourGreens recipe with the VegHog.  I am also sharing this recipe with My Legume Love Affair hosted by Fix Me A Little Lunch;and sadly for the final time with Healthy Vegan Fridays hosted by Rock My Vegan Socks and V Nutrition.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Parsnip to Beetroot Fudge

A long while back a girl called Harry introduced me to Parsnip Fudge.

The girl in question is Harry Eastwood.  Harry Eastwood is a British celebrity chef and cookbook author of Red Velvet and Chocolate Heartache (2009). Harry Eastwood is perhaps the first veggie desserts food writer and vegetable cookbook author in the UK; and I'd even go as far as to say perhaps the first to go beyond carrot and parsnip cake here, pushing the boundaries of hidden vegetables in cakes, desserts and puddings.  Her cakes are super loaded with vegetables with inviting fantastic names like Heartache Chocolate Cake made with whole aubergines.   She  opened up the imagination of chefs, home cooks and food bloggers that now adding vegetables to cakes, desserts and puddings has become a trend.  Some people still see vegetables in cakes and sweet things as unusual when these days its really not.   
Anyway, after all this high praise, I go and adapt her gorgeous Parsnip Fudge recipe and replace it with bleeding crimson Beetroot, I have been thinking about doing it for a long while and found the motivation to do it finally. So what was the motivation, I am married to a man who likes beetroot.  He also has a sweet tooth, very sweet.  He likes his sweet things more than I do - Yes, even chocolate.  I want to make him happy like he makes me happy, so these were made especially for him (but I have also shared some of them too, just don't tell him). 

By the way, You have to like beetroot to enjoy and appreciate these morsels, if not - I wouldn't even make this as it would be wasted on you, really - just go an eat a toffee fudge instead. 
I was so pleased myself especially as making fudge from scratch is still relatively new to me.  I have made vegan ones many times, but not traditional ones with fattening sickly sweet condensed milk, one of the first being Marmite fudge which was adapted from Green Gourmet Giraffe Vegemite fudge and now this.  The stirring for this beetroot fudge took a little longer, but the result was Amazing, aesthetically and also in flavour.

I have a renewed sense of respect for people who make fudge from scratch now and will not bemoan at how expensive it is when I see it being sold, I will of course support artisan and independent traders.  
Of course you can adapt this Beetroot Fudge recipe like I have further with carrots, sweet potatoes, butternut squash and even greens...I have also been thinking foraged wild weeds and seaweed, yes Seaweed Fudge and its not that unusual as its already been done by Fiona Bird in her cookbook Seaweed in the Kitchen.
You can find the link to the original Parsnip Vanilla fudge recipe below,  I replaced the parsnip with raw chopped beetroot that I blended with some of the condensed milk. My slightly adapted recipe instructions below  are a little simpler, but you will need a high speed powerful food blender.  If you don't have a high speed powerful blender, then fear not - you can still make this with cooked beetroot. I would recommend cooking the beetroot yourself from scratch in a pot, although you could try it with cooked beets (not pickled), my only concern is it may contain more liquid, so its up to you.   I am sharing these homemade crimson Beetroot fudge pieces with CookBlogShare hosted by Recipes Made Easy and Treat Petite hosted by The Baking Explorer and CakeyBoi.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Rutabaga aka Swede Date Cake with Miso Caramel Sauce

This handsome dark Rutabaga Cinnamon Nutmeg Cake has been a long time coming.  I bookmarked it way back in 2010.  For those of us living in the UK, Rutabaga is known as Swede and it is quite an underrated vegetable and also one that causes much debate Is it a Swede or a Turnip... 
I baked this Swede aka Rutabaga Cake on Good Friday.  The original recipe for Rutabaga Spice Cake hails from American Chef Patrick Fahy in an article titled Our chefs can make anything magic, even Rutabagas. I adapted the recipe a little in relation to the spices and the addition of dates.  I also decided to serve it with a lush homemade Miso Caramel Sauce which transformed it from a cake to a pudding mimicking the British Sticky Toffee Pudding found on the menu of most traditional pubs. The idea to serve it with miso caramel sauce came from one of my favourite experimental chefs in the UK Stevie Parle who made a Miso Sticky Tofee Pudding a couple of years back for Christmas eve and I have been wanting to try it for long while. 
Although I have cooked with Swede a lot.  My approach to it was often one of I could take it or leave it, I  found this muted orange waxy root vegetable too sweet in savoury dishes.  I found that like  parsnips and sweet potatoes, that the swede would be better appreciated in a Sweet cake like carrot cake.  So when I started blogging in 2009, it was nice to find some cookbooks and chefs using vegetables in cakes, veggie desserts and puddings.  

Julia Belluz in Globe Life writes an interesting article  Have you Rutabaga Cake and eat it Too.  This is praise to Harry Eastwood, British celebrity chef and cookbook author of Red Velvet and Chocolate Heartache (2009).  Harry Eastwoods 80 cakes are super loaded with vegetables, but the vegetables are hidden under beautiful cake names like Orange and Drizzle Cake which is made with rutabaga, Heartache Chocolate Cake made with whole aubergines and a Victoria Sponge made with Potatoes that you would never know that this is a veggie dessert, veggie pudding and veggie cake cookbook.   Harry Eastwood is perhaps the first Veggie Desserts food writer and vegetable cookbook author in the UK.  She  opened up the imagination of chefs, home cooks and food bloggers alike. 
Other cookbooks I highly recommend with vegetables in cakes are 
 called Vegetable Desserts: Beyond Carrot Cake and Pumpkin Pie by Elizabeth Schafer and Jeanette L Miller (1998).   Much more than carrot cake for sure - a cake called Web of Intrigue described as a beetroot cheesecake.   There is also cabbage, jicama and turnip in cookies and pies.   Greens such as cucumber and peas, as well spinach, nettle and turnip greens in sweet cakes, and much much more.  Its not often obvious by the names of the recipes to what vegetable they have in them, such as Orange Drop cookies and a Mystery Pie which both have beetroot as an ingredient; or Davids Pleasure, a lemony cake which has spinach and turnip greens as the unique ingredient.  Other unusual ingredients in sweet cakes and bakes are tomatoes, onion, peppers and  honey and garlic ice-cream.  And that is not all, the cookbook also contains recipes made with lentils and beans!  I made celery cookies from it a while back. 

There is also an e book called 50 Decadent Vegetable Cake Recipes by Brenda Van Niekerk; and Baking With Vegetables (2015) 
Other Rutabaga Sweet Cake Recipes from around the world
Norwegian Rutabaga Cake with Cream Cheese Topping 
Swedish Rutabaga Cake by Viva City

City Market Rutabaga and Honey Cake
Foodland Ontario Rutabaga and Molasses Cake
Vegan Lovelie Vegan Crust less No Bake Rutabaga Pie Infused with Maple Syrup Cake

Affairs of Living with Gluten Free Honey Cake (2010) also has a fantastic recipe for Rutabaga Vanilla Mash and Rutabaga Apple Salad.

I am sharing this Rutabaga aka Swede Cinnamon Nutmeg and Date Cake with Miso Caramel Sauce with CookBlogShare hosted by Easy Peasy Foodie; and Honest Mum for Brilliant Blog Posts.