Reading and Recipes

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Each year, or so the plan goes, those lovely people at theppk plan a vegan month of food. To be known as VeganMoFO

And so I'm planning on taking part. Maybe, just maybe, it will kick me into sorting photos out on this blog... but then again, I quite like the thought that those who may attempt to follow my haphazzard instructions get to find out how things look for themselves :-)

theppk and info (and a list of the blogs taking part) can be found at veganmofo and its worth having a good look at it, and the blog generally :-)

Now I need to go collar the geek in the household and find out how to add the graphic to this blog as well....


Monday, September 15, 2008



Had this for tea tonight over baked potatoes, but it would work just as well as the filling in pasties, or in a shepherdess pie.

1 Aubergine, finely shredded
3 onions, chopped
1/2 cup bread crumbs
3Tbsp shoyu or similar
1/2 teaspoon mushroom powder (ground porcini) - optional, but very nice :-)
2 loose packed cups chopped kale (off the stem)
1/3 cup sunflower oil
hot water

Put the shredded aubergine in a bowl and pour over the shoyu. Stir to mix and then put the bread crumbs over the top. Leave to stand for 15mins.

Fry off the onions in the oil. Once soft, stir the breadcrumbs into the aubergine and then add all to the pan. Stir and stir and stir until aubergine is cooked through, and use hot water from time to time to moisten and loosen anything stuck to the bottom (let it stick and then deglaze as you will get crispy bits :-) ). Sprinkle over the porcini powder if using and stir through.

Turn up the heat a little and put the kale over the top. Pour on a little more hot water so that you get a rush of steam up through the kale. Stir the kale into the mixture and turn the heat right down so *just* simmering. (you should still have a moist but stiff and slightly sticking consistency, not lots of water to cook off. No puddles allowed!) Cook until the kale is as you like it, but without burning the rest of the mixture.

This quantity should do 4 portions over potatoes. To extend it you could use more breadcrumbs, or porridge oats or add in peas/carrots/parsnips if making into a pie or pasties.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


Spending far too much time online today (I have a headache and short temper so better that my children don't suffer me!!).

Anyway - it gives me another suggestion for reading material :-)

Subject matter is a young mans pathway to being vegan. I found it through posts on the veganfittness forum (yes I know, not the best fit for me, the overweight vegan, but its suprising what motivation you can find from being around those who are! Its certainly getting me out on the bike, off on the redways to run, and back walking places again and so, hopefully, breaking the car habit in the children and myself once again (see posts about our time in Royston and how often we walked when there :-) You might have to hunt accross my blogs for that one! ).

Anyway - the link I want you to follow (and return to!) is

It is looking promising so far :-)


With the 50th Anniversary of the Paddington books, by Michael Bond, we've been working our way through them again. I'm having to go out and buy them though, so its a slow and steady process.

Series starts with 'A Bear Called Paddington' and so far we're onto 'Paddington A Work' :-)

Its also worth having a look at the Paddington website on


I've realised that I keep talking about Chai spices in things, without giving much indication as to what they are.

Basically you would expect to see:

Peppercorns (I use black, but different people do different things)

I also use fennel seeds

All ground together in a coffee mill.

In terms of quantity, again everyones preferences are different. But I'm going to share my basic recipe....

4 pieces of cinnamon, each about 3 inches long
8 cloves
4 black peppercorns
1 heaped tsp fennel seeds
8-10 cardamon pods - take out and use just the seeds
1 scant tsp ground ginger

You can grind just as the above, or you can roast the cinnamon (leaved) cloves, peppercorns, fennel and cardamom in a dry pan for c. 30sec (just until you can smell them :-) and then cool and grind them.

I find this makes about 1/2 a jam jar, and keeps well in a cool place for up to a month (it might last longer, but in this house that is gone by then).

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Tried writing this up earlier on a forum. But decided that it needs to go here really.

Onion flatbread... in many ways similar to the recipe in Rawvolution, in others not... Read it, its a great book!

Anyway...this is a recipe entry not a reading one!

Onion flatbread.

Warning - this is raw and needs a dehydrator. Tried doing it in an oven on low, but it doesn't work quite as well as it get too dry (in my opinion! You may love it that way :-)

3-4 good sized onions, pref. red.
1 cup ground flax
1 cup ground sunflower seeds
1/4 cup shoyu or tamari
1/4 cup water
1/3 cup sunflower oil

Put sunflower seeds and flax in a large bowl and stir to mix. Make a well in the middle and pour in oil, then shoyu and then water. Mix well together until a lovely paste :-)

Finely slice onions - I do it on the fine slice blade on a mandolin, and keep it as rings where possible, but do what you like.... if doing by hand you may find it takes longer to dry if not fine.

Put onions into bowl with paste, and mix well together with your hands. You need to squeeze the onions as you go and make sure that everything is very well combined. This will take a good 5 minutes and probably 10 minutes until you get used to doing it. Mound up together in the bowl and leave for at least an hour, preferably 2 to 3.

Divide into 4 and spread each quarter onto a teflex sheet, about the thickness of the slices of onion. Using a spatula or palette knife makes this easier, and means you end up with a smoother surface.

Dehydrate for 20mins at 115F and then reduce to 105F for *up to* 24 hours total. (for me it usually gets 10 hours ish, then 8 off overnight and a further 6-8 hours the next day :-) Half way though turn over and place straight onto the dehydrator tray to dry the other side fully.

Monday, September 01, 2008


Busy day today :-) Been working on this one for a while

Chai Berry Sponge

200g self raising flour (could be white, wholemeal or a mixture)
100g margerine
100g sugar
50g currants
1 heaped tsp baking powder
1 heaped tsp Chai spices
120 - 180 ml water (1/2 to 3/4 cups)

Mix flour,baking powder and chai spices and mix well.Rub in fat until breadcrumbs and then stir through the sugar.
When well mixed stir in the currants and then continue to stir as you add the water 60ml at a time until you reach a batter consistency (you will need more or less water depending on the type of flour you choose, and the room temperature. I usually find that around 150ml is perfect :-) ).

Bake in a 180 degree Celcius oven for around 25-30 minutes.

Good amount for a single layer of 24cm diameter or a brownie tin. If you want two layers simply double the recipe. For 3 layers times the recipe by 2.5 and bake slightly smaller tins as it will hold together better :-)


And that left us with a half box of filo pastry left over.

A quick rummage in the fridge found the leftover portion of noodle salad from last week.


3 sheets thick of filo, halved lengthways. on the end of each half place a 1/4 cup of leftovers and then fold over and over to make the triangles (a right angled one). A touch of oil to seal up the last end.

Bake with the second baking of the 'quiche'. so about 10-15 mins at 150 degrees Celcius.

We didn't eat them last night - had them for lunch today (i.e. just now :-) ) and they were very very nice.

Going to have to order fresh filo now though - oopps


DP found a reduced quiche in M&S, and the children declared that they wanted one too...

Found some filo pastry in the back of the freezer and some 'egg replacer' in another box. Would work just as well with the same quantity of cornflour though, I'm just using up 'old' things :-)

3 sheets filo layed as crust
2 Cups soya mylk
1/4 cup egg replacer

Heat soya mylk up and stir in egg replacer. Beat well with a whisk as it thickens, and keep whisking until all is smooth. Beat/whisk some more, and some more, and some more.....

When *just* still runny, pour into the tin over the filo.

We then added

1 cup frozen sweetcorn
1/2 cup sliced onions

and baked at 180 degrees Celcius for about 10 mins. Then removed and grated over

1/2 block Cheezly (hey, I didn't say this was a healthy recipe!)

And returned to the oven for another 15 mins with the temp. reduced to 150 degrees Celcius.

Was very runny whilst still warm. But ok to eat, with potatoes, carrots and cabbage :-)