Archive | March, 2013

New Potato and Dill Salad

29 Mar

We got a very exciting package through the post the other day: a bunch of spice blends and salts from Avanti Natural Store. They sell a bunch of lovely spices, salts and sweets that are seriously scrummy. This recipe uses their Anise Fenugreek Hemp Salt blend, but if you don’t fancy picking up some of this blend then we will put an alternative of making this absolutely delicious salad below.

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Ingredients: 750g new potatoes (halve the big ones), 1 bunch of spring onions (chopped), 4 tbsp cider vinegar, 2 tbsp olive oil, half a bunch of dill (chopped), 1 tsp whole-grain mustard, 2 cloves garlic (minced), a few grinds of black pepper, 1 1/2 tsp of avanti anise fenugreek hemp salt blend (or alternatively, use 1/2 – 1 tsp of toasted fenugreek seeds and lots of freshly ground rock salt)

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Method:

Boil or steam the new potatoes until done. Add the chopped dill and spring onions. Get a small jar and mix the cider vinegar, olive oil, whole-grain mustard and garlic together. Shake / mix up the jar and pour contents over the salad. Add the black pepper and fenugreek salt blend and mix thoroughly.

Leave for at least half an hour for the flavours to develop. Taste, and add more salt blend / pepper / dressing if desired.

Enjoy!

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Vegan Puff Pastry Pizzas

27 Mar

These are delicious.

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Makes 4 “pizzas”

For the base: 1 500g block of Jus’ Roll ready made puff pastry (or equivalent), some flour so the rolling pin doesn’t stick

For the red sauce: 500ml of passata, 2-5 cloves finely minced garlic, 1/2 tsp salt, 2 tsp oregano, black pepper

To top: we used fake mozzarella cheese, slices of tomato, mushroom and tomato, red and green peppers cut into strips. Possibilities for other toppings are endless

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The cooking bit:

Preheat the oven to 180 C.

Take the pastry and divide into 4 lumps of roughly equal size and roll it out to a decent pizza size. Place it in the oven and cook for 8 minutes, to let the pastry puff up a bit. Meanwhile chop up all the toppings.

After 8 mins, take the puff pastry out of the oven and spoon a couple of tablespoons of red sauce onto the pastry and even out gently with the back of a spoon. Arrange the toppings on the top and pop back in the oven for another 12 mins.

Take out the oven and serve. Enjoy!

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Quince Crumble

18 Mar

A while ago you might have noticed we ran a competition for people to submit their favourite crumble recipe. We are happy to announce that Laura’s recipe for this delicious looking quince crumble is the winner! As a result, her recipe will be in our upcoming cookbook, and she will get a couple of free copies when it comes out! Congrats Laura, and thanks for submitting the  recipe.

Crumble close up 2 (1)

Serves 4-6

Ingredients: 3 quince (peeled, cored and cut into quarters), 190g granulated sugar, 5 bay leaves,                                                                                                                                                    Water

For the crumble topping: 300g plain flour, 200g vegan sunflower margarine, 140g brown sugar, 70g oats

Me with the crumble (1)

Preheat the oven to 160°C. Put the quince wedges in an ovenproof dish measuring approximately 9½” x 7½” x 3″ deep. Add the sugar, bay leaves and enough cold water to just cover the quince wedges (about 3 cups). Bake the quince for 2½ hours or until they turn a lovely deep orange colour. Toss the quince occasionally to ensure an even colour. Remove from the oven, discard the bay leaves and drain excess liquid, leaving a little behind. Turn up the oven to 190°C.

To make the topping, rub the butter and flour together until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs (do not overwork). Mix in the oats and sugar. Sprinkle the crumble on the quince and bake for 20 minutes until the top is browned and the mixture is cooked. Serve warm on its own or with a scoop of vanilla soy ice cream.

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Trans bodies + Lentil Risotto with Butternut Squash and Rocket

9 Mar

Trans bodies

We all have complicated relationships with our bodies. We have so many assumed expectations and standards to live up to that make us reluctant to allow other people to see us without our clothes on. That’s too sexual, that’s too ugly, that’s too big, that’s too small etc. but how willing would you be to take your clothes off in front of other people if it meant people would perceive you as the wrong gender?

I firmly believe that one of the biggest causes of low self esteem people have about their bodies comes from the fact that we aren’t used to seeing what other people’s bodies actually look like. We all expect that if somebody saw that veiny patch of skin on our right breast or that big mole on our left butt cheek or that birthmark on our right inner thigh that looks a bit like Pacman they would freak out because nobody expects to see something weird like that, right!? I think it’s a shame that for most of us the only time we ever get naked in front of other people is when we’re about to have sex… because in that moment we all want our partners to see us as beautiful and sexy and attractive and we want to be everything that they desire! That’s quite a lot of pressure to be under in that moment… also you’re naked!

This is why I think it’s liberating to be free of your clothes in an environment where your body isn’t meant to be something sexual and it’s… just another body. Just like everybody else has one… except yours has you driving it. I’ve found going to naturist events and just being around other naked people in a calm, neutral environment a really effective way to help me feel less self-critical about my body. Especially when you start talking to people and you’re reminded that behind these naked bodies which we’re supposed to find so intimidating there are entire human beings with opinions and things they want to tell you about and a cool hobby and a favourite kind of music and an opinion about cats. When you’re naked in an environment like that you don’t have to embody everything they desire, you just have to be nice! You get to interact with people as if you would normally and before long the nakedness just fades into the background along with your weird birthmark.

I am a woman with a winky. I don’t mind that I have a winky, it’s been with me my whole life and although I have taken hormones that have modified my body in a way to make day to day life as a woman a little easier I still harbour no resentment towards my winky and thankfully neither does anybody else in my life. I would say that among those who are aware of its existence my winky is widely regarded with indifference which suits me just fine. I wish that was the case for more of us though because for better or for worse trans people have been appearing in the media spotlight a lot recently (even though we have been around since basically forever). But you only have to look up statistics regarding violence against trans people just in the last year… in 2013… to see the world still hasn’t gotten over us yet. It doesn’t help that most people’s exposure to trans people is through undeniably harmful, dehumanising jokes on mainstream television or sensationalist tabloid articles or porn that fetishises the configuration of our genitals. We are more than that; we are human beings with lives and families. We are artists, doctors, engineers, brothers and sisters, we are someone’s parent, someone’s child, someone’s lover, someone’s best friend and yes, some of us are porn stars and activists and drag performers as well and that’s not a big deal but the point I must emphasise is… behind our bodies and lady-winkies and man-clitorises and scars and porn and pregnant men and behind the headlines we are still, first and foremost people. We even have opinions about cats! I know we have a long way to go but I would like to see a time where people can see bodies like ours and just see other people and I think it’s essential for trans bodies to be seen in neutral, non-sexualised, situations. So here are our trans bodies. We like cats and John makes an amazing risotto, here’s his delicious recipe!

-          Alexandra

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Lentil Risotto with Roasted Squash and Rocket

Ingredients: 75g risotto rice, 75g red lentils ,1 small – medium butternut squash or similar, 1 large handful rocket, 1 medium onion, 2 cloves garlic, 2 tbspns chopped fresh basil (or 1 heaped tspn dried basil), Salt, Black pepper, 1 tsp cumin seeds, 0.5 tsp vegan stock powder, Smoked paprika, 3 tbsp olive oil, 2 tbsp vegetable oil

Peel and slice the squash, keeping the pulp and seeds.
Finely chop the onion and crush the garlic.
Put the vegetable oil in a roasting dish, put it in the oven and preheat to 250c.
In a large pan, bring 1.5 pints of water to the boil. Put the squash in, bring back to the boil, and simmer gently for five minutes.
Heat 1tbspn olive oil in a heavy bottomed saucepan on a low heat. Sauté the onions and garlic till soft and slightly sweet (about 10 minutes).
When the squash is cooked, turn off the heat, scoop out of the pan with a slotted spoon AND KEEP THE WATER to cook the risotto with. Let the squash steam its self dry for a few minutes. Season with salt and pepper and add the cumin seeds, toss vigorously to coat all the squash pieces with seasoning. This also roughs up the surface so they go crispy when you roast them.
When the oven is preheated, test that the oil is hot (it should spit like an angry cat when you drop a piece of squash in), add the squash and stir or toss to coat all the squash in oil.
Cook for about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.

When you get an opportune moment, separate the seeds from the pulp then put the pulp into the water you cooked the squash in. Keep the seeds.
When the onions are cooked, add the rice and stir to coat in the oil. Cook on a medium heat for about five minutes, making sure the rice doesn’t brown. Add a ladle of the squash water (and stand back while warm water meets superheated pan) and stir.

Add the lentils and stock powder (and dried basil, if using), and another ladle of water if necessary. Keep cooking the risotto with the squash water till it’s done (if you run out of squash water just use hot water from the kettle). If you don’t know how to cook risotto, consult the interwebs, where many people have put it better than I will.

While the squash and risotto are cooking, rinse and drain the rocket. Heat the remaining olive oil in a small saucepan on a low heat (you want it on as low a heat as you can that still makes the squash seeds sizzle). Add the seeds and about half a tspn of salt. Cook for about 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently. Scatter onto kitchen towel and leave to cool a bit.

When everything is cooked, take the risotto off the heat and stir in two thirds of the rocket, all the basil, about half the squash (and as many of the caramelised bits you can scrape off the roasting tray) and a good pinch of black pepper. Serve in a wide bowl (or plate) topped with the remaining rocket, the squash, the seeds, and a good pinch of smoked paprika.

Eat.

For a less-hassle (and less tasty) version, cook risotto with stock, simmer the squash for about seven minutes (or until fully cooked) when the risotto is nearly done and forget about roasting.

Taste Test! Seriously, taste everything as it’s cooking, and adjust what you’re doing accordingly. Learning to use every sense you have while cooking is an effort, but when it pays off, it’s worth it. For home made vegan bacon-bits, get the seeds toasted to perfection and see how much they taste like bacon (hint: the answer is ‘exactly’. Creepy, but delicious).

-          John

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Sandra’s Japanese Pizza

7 Mar
This lovely offering is from NVC regular guest-poster, Sandra. Thanks Sandra!
Inspired by a desire for pizza, the complete lack of Italian ingredients in our fridge, and our absolute love of (and surplus supply of) Japanese food, FamilyV had this delicious take on pizza for tea in the not too distant past.
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You’ll need:
Pizza base (we used ready made ones (morrisons own brand are vegan, and cheap!), but if you’re better at baking than me, feel free to make your own!)
shiro miso – white miso, the kind used for making miso soup. It’s a paste made from fermented soybeans, you can usually buy it in Chinese/Japanese supermarkets.
tofu pieces – I used the “cauldron” ready marinated kind, but fried firm tofu would work lovely if you prefer it plainer.
Enoki/shiitake/oyster mushrooms, or any mushrooms 
Radishes – I used British ones and pickled daikon (mooli) – it’s like a long white carrot (sometimes yellow when pickled), usually found in the refrigerated section of an oriental supermarket. They’re sweet and crunchy, so a nice addition, but if you can’t find them, the British ones add a similar texture (and some nice colour too).
Mange tout/sugar snap peas, watercress and rocket – I actually used mizuna in the photograph (a slightly bitter, peppery salad green) but it was only because I was trying to find a good use for it before it wilted in the fridge!
Rice vinegar (I like to use the kind ready prepared for sushi, with added sugar and salt, but plain is fine)
Light soy sauce
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Method:
Slice your vegetables into bite size pieces and set aside.
If you’re frying your own tofu, I recommend slicing it into small square blocks, and deep frying until browned, then drizzling with sesame oil and a pinch of white pepper.
Add about 1 tbsp of miso to a pan with 1 tbsp of soy sauce and rice vinegar, mixed. Heat gently, stirring constantly, until you have a thin paste, adding water until you achieve the desired consistency (remember it’s for pizza, so don’t make it too thin). Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Heat the oven to about 180 degrees, and while it’s heating, spoon the sauce over the pizza base(s), and arrange the ingredients (except salad greens) to your preference. I like to put the mushrooms on the bottom to give them a little moisture when they cook, so they don’t dry out. Bake the pizza(s) for between five and ten minutes, depending on your oven, checking to make sure the crust doesn’t burn. Top with the salad leaves and enjoy!
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Vegan Pad Thai

2 Mar

This fantastic guest post comes from Saige. If you want to submit a guest post to naked vegan cooking, send us an email with a picture of you, the food, and the recipe to nakedvegancooking[at]gmail[dot]com. Thanks Saige!

Photo on 2013-02-27 at 16.08

 

Main Ingredients: 8 oz. dried Pad Thai rice noodles,

  •  1/2 cup soft tofu,
  • 4 green onions sliced (separate white and green parts),
  • 4 cloves garlic minced ,
  • 1 tsp. ginger,
  • 1 fresh red chili sliced,
  • 3-4 baby bok choy heads,
  • 2-3 cups bean sprouts,
  • 1/3 cup cilantro,
  • 1/4 cup chopped unsalted dry-roasted peanuts

For the sauce: 

  • 3/4 tbsp. tamarind paste,
  • 1/4 cup vegetable stock,
  • 3 1/2 Tbsp. soy sauce,
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp. chili sauce,
  • 3 Tbsp. brown sugar,
  • 1/8 tsp. ground white pepper

Extras: 

  • 3-4 Tbsp. oil for stir-frying,

2-3 Tbsp. vegetable or faux chicken stock, 

  • Lime wedges for serving

Preparation:

1. Boil pot of water, and cook noodles for approximately 6 minutes, or until soft and drain.

Note: Noodles should be under-cooked because they too will be stir-fried

2. Add pad thai sauce ingredients in a cup, stirring to dissolve the paste and sugar and set aside.

3. Use a frying pan over medium-high heat and add 1-2 tbsp olive oil plus the white parts of the green onion (save the rest for serving), garlic, galangal/ginger, and chili. Stir-fry for about a minute.

4. Add the bok choy and veggie stock. Stir-fry for 2 minutes, or until bok choy is bright green and softened.

5. Add an additional 1/2 Tbsp. more oil to the center of the pan and add the tofu, stir-fry to scramble.

6. Add the drained noodles and 1/3 of the sauce. Stir-fry everything together 1-2 minutes

7. Keep adding sauce and continue stir-frying in this way 3-6 more minutes, or until sauce is gone and noodles are soft

8. Switch off heat and add the bean sprouts, folding them into the hot noodle

9. Top with green onion (green parts), cilantro, and nuts. Add wedges of fresh-cut lime on the side.

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