And now for a commercial break…

10 Jan

We often get emails asking us what we get up to when we are not being naked or cooking. We also get a fair few emails asking us if we are single… (!) Well, vegan fans, its your lucky day – we will be answering one of these questions!

Most recently, we have been focusing a lot of our efforts on setting up The Burrow, a housing co-operative in Manchester. Our vision is to purchase a property and turn into a (naturist-friendly) communal house for us and others to live in whilst providing an accessible meeting space and base for local activist groups and community projects. We will also be running a bulk buying food co-op out of the house to provide the local community with cheap, good quality vegan food.

A housing co-op is a legal entity that allows people to live communally without the hassle of landlords or the financial commitment of buying a house off your own back. The Burrow is a member of Radical Routes, a mutual aid network for co-operatives which gives advice and financial support to co-operatives. Here’s a good article written about our friends at The Drive Housing Co-op, if you want to learn a bit more about other people who have successfully set up housing co-ops (they are housed now) and how they work.

If our housing co-op project is going to succeed than we need private investors. We are offering investment opportunities from any value from £200 to £25,000, over a negotiable period from 5 to 25 years. Interest on the loans will be paid annually with the entire sum returned at the end of the term. Investors can choose a rate of interest between 0 and 4%. Housing co-operatives are relatively safe investments, with no Radical Routes co-op ever having defaulted on loanstock in the organisations 20 year history. To learn more about investment, please  download our loanstock pledge pack .

Sorry for blatantly advertising on the blog. To make it up to you, we were going to post a recipe for “gingerbread housing co-op’s” (pictured) which didnt turn out that well, but did give us a newfound respect for the adhesive power of sugar syrup. If you are interested in finding out more about co-ops, drop us a line to theburrowcoop[at]gmail.com

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My Daughter, the Teenage Nudist – C4 Jan 12th 10pm

9 Jan

It is less than a week until “My Daughter, The Teenage Nudist” - a documentary about the growing numbers of young people who are choosing to get involved in nudism and naturism. If you catch it, you might see some familiar faces – as the documentary features interviews with nakedvegancooking regulars Jess, Luke and Alex.

My Daughter, The Teenage Nudist, Thursday, Jan 12, 10pm on Channel 4.

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Vegan Festive Trifle

30 Dec

This recipe is a bit of a tradition in our house, it’s the pudding we always eat on the evening of Christmas day, after the enormous main meal has settled! We alter the recipe slightly each time we make it, it’s not a very conventional trifle but it is always very well received. The secret is that we use home-made cupcakes in the jelly layer, so much tastier than shop bought trifle sponge! Vegan jelly can be bought from health food stores and often also from Muslim grocery shops as most gelatine based jelly is not Halal (watch out that it doesn’t contain special Halal gelatine though). Vegan custard can be bought ready made or made with ordinary custard power and soya milk. You could experiment with topping the trifle with vegan cream but we don’t usually bother, it doesn’t taste like it’s missing anything as it is!

 

 

For cupcakes:

230g sugar

230g vegan margarine

230g self-raising flour

4 tablespoons soya flour

6 tablespoons soya milk

2 teaspoons vanilla essence

 

For rest of trifle:

6 brandy snap baskets

Half a tin of chopped pineapple

Half a tub of glace cherries

150ml amaretto liqueur

2 packets vegan jelly power

3 chopped bananas

600ml vegan custard

Small amount of dark chocolate and a few cherries to decorate

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Cream the margarine and sugar, then stir in the rest of the cake ingredients. Put mixture into cupcake cases and bake for about 20 mins, until lightly browned.

Brake brandy snap baskets into small pieces and put at the bottom of your bowl, then cover with a layer of cupcakes (remove paper first!). Then put on top the pinapple chunks and cherries and pour over 100ml of amaretto. Make up the jelly according to the instruction on the packets, pour over the cake and fruit mixture and leave to cool.

Once the jelly has set top with the chopped bananas and pour over the rest of the amaretto, then top with the custard. Melt the chocolate and flick it over the trifle with a fork to decorate, put some more cherries on the top desired.

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Christmas Tips from Naked Vegan Cooking!

23 Dec

Christmas is fast approaching! Its kind of taken us at NakedVeganCooking by surprise as we have been trying to buy a house and sort out our other projects. Were going to be cooking for a fair few people this year, and right this minute we are trying to organise what we are cooking! The perfect time to jot down some quick tips for cooking on Christmas Day.

First of all: start early, plan now! We’re going to be cooking our starter and dessert on Christmas Eve so things are less hectic on the day.

General Tips: use fresh herbs, it makes ALL the difference.

Starter: We are going to be making a little mushroom and white wine horderves* by making little pastry pockets and filling them with sautéed mushroom, parsley, garlic, and white wine mixture. Basically, mini versions of our Mushroom and White Wine Pie There a plenty of simple soups you could make the day before and are great to heat up the next day.

* ahem – hors d’oeuvres

Potato Roasties: We will be making hassleback potatoes, which are a kind of cross between normal roasties and chips, by making slices 2/3’s down into the potato about half a centimetre thick, and adding liberal amounts of olive oil, fresh rosemary and thyme, garlic, salt and pepper, and baking for about 45 mins.

Parsnips: We will be doing traditional roast parsnips, in with the potatoes to save on oven space. For those of you who fancy a change, baking parsnips in orange juice covered in aluminium foil is a great way to sweeten up the parsnips and make them succulent.

Yummy veg box

Yummy veg box

Sprouts: Were going to roasting our sprouts with fresh chestnuts, but our roasted sprouts with apples recipe is just as good. In fact, we are going to be roasting apples separately anyway instead of having apple sauce.

Red Cabbage: Were going to be making red cabbage poached in red wine by sautéing red onions and garlic and red cabbage with loads of Christmassy spices (think mulled wine tastes) and red wine.

Mash: We’ll be making our garlic and herb mash, its wonderful with either butterbeans or potato mash.

Stuffing: Were going to cheat and get shop bought stuffing, but by adding a few extras you can make it just a lovely as homemade. Were going to be adding more garlic (naturally), fresh breadcrumbs and herbs to the mix, and baking it with sausages. Yum.

Main event: We are going to be making our red wine and chestnut pie; which is absolutely scrumptious.

Dessert: Vegan Trifle (recipe to come before new years, promise), plenty of mince pies and the Christmas Dr. Who special.

Happy Christmas from all at NakedVeganCooking!

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Miso Soup

15 Dec

Jess’ grandma used to say that her home-made chicken soup “cured ipes, gripes, belly gripes and dead men”. Miso soup is definitely the vegan version of this dish; a total comfort food. This particular miso soup recipe is far from being authentic, but it is tasty!

In other news, first naturist swimming event went really well! Our new friend Arthur even wrote a poem about it!

Greta and Miso Soup

Greta and Miso Soup

Ingredients: 300g firm tofu, 1 shallot (chopped fine), 6 spring onions (chopped into half-inch pieces), 3 big cloves of garlic (sliced), 2 heaped tbsp of miso paste, a glug of soy sauce, 1 tbsp sugar, 1 stock cube or 1 tsp veg bullion,  sesame oil for frying (other oil will do if you don’t have it), few ears of baby corn (sliced down the middle), handful of chopped coriander, 1 sheet of sushi nori (roasted seaweed), 4 cups hot water from the kettle (not boiling).

Drain the tofu and cut it into cubes, before dry-frying in a non-stick frying pan, until slightly browned. Meanwhile, fry the shallot, spring onions, baby corn and garlic in the oil until the shallots are soft but try not to let them go translucent. Add the soy sauce, stock cube, sugar and miso paste and stir in, before adding 4 cups of water. Heat gently, allowing to simmer but not boil. Give it a taste, add more miso or sugar if it needs it. Cut the the sushi nori into strips and gently toast over an open flame. Serve, using the sushi nori and coriander to garnish.

Miso Soup

Miso Soup

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Baklava

29 Nov

This is a very sweet, syrupy pastry, perfect for an impressive end to a dinner party.

Ingredients: 20 sheets of filo pastry (most shop bought varieties are vegan in the UK), 250g margarine, 100g pistachios, 150g pecans (roughly chopped), 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon ground cardamom

For Syrup: 350g granulated sugar, 300ml water, juice of half a lemon

Greta with Baklava

Greta with Baklava

 

Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Grease a baking dish and melt the rest of the margarine in a bowl. Then lay down 10 of the sheets of filo pastry one at a time, brushing each layer with the melted margarine. Mix nuts, 2 tablespoons of sugar and cardamom in a bowl and spread mixture over pastry layers. Put the rest of the pastry layers on top, again brushing margarine between each layer. Use a sharp knife to cut top layers of pastry into diamond shapes. Bake for 20 mins, then turn down the oven heat to 150 degrees and bake for another 20-30 mins, until pastry is golden brown but not burnt. Meanwhile heat the ingredients for the syrup in a saucepan over a medium heat, simmer, stirring occasionally for about 10 mins. Let the baklava rest for about 5 mins then pour the syrup on it. Allow to cool before eating.

John’s Cherry Pie

19 Nov

The Naked Vegans have been very busy recently trying to keep up with schoolwork and our other projects, but we thought you might be interested in a naturist swimming session we are organising in Manchester on 28/11/2011. Hope to see you there!

This recipe comes from the lovely John, who has adapted a Joy of Cooking recipe to make it vegan. Thanks John!

Ingredients: 2cups flour, 2/3 cup vegan margarine (the kind that comes in sticks, not soft kind, kept in the freezer), about 1/4 cup of water to make pastry, 6 cups cherries (or other berries), 2/3 cup sugar, 2tbsp cornstarch, 1/4 cup water for the filling.

John with cherry pie

John with cherry pie

I do the crust the way I learned “at Mother’s knee”: Measure out the flour into a bowl. You’re supposed to sift it but I never do.  Grate the frozen margarine into the flour using the coarsest side of a cheese grater, dipping the end of the margarine stick frequently into the flour to make sure the two mix well together, and spreading flour over the grater at intervals. Using a wooden spoon and then by hand, mix up the margarine into the flour until the texture is evenly granular. Then slowly add water to get the right consistency for rolling: expect to use about 1/4 cup/60ml altogether.

Dust a table or countertop with flour and tip the pastry out onto it. Divide it into two parts, one slightly larger than the other. Using a floured rolling pin, press the larger section of pastry out to a circular shape, and work it to a size slightly larger than your pie plate. When you have the right size, wrap it loosely around the rolling pin and unwrap into the plate.

Joy of Cooking say use 4 cups of fruit, but I don’t think that’s enough. I use a big plate and I like it full, so I’d say 6 cups, but I never measure it. I always remove the stones if using cherries, but you can bake them with the pie and let people remove them as they eat.

rolling pastry

rolling pastry

Mix the sugar and the cornstarch with 1/4 cup of water. Pour this liquid over the cherries and stir with a spoon. Tip the cherries into the lower crust, and if there’s liquid left over, pour it over the cherries. Then roll out the upper crust on the pie the same way as the lower one, and place it over the cherries. Press the edges of the two crusts together with your fingers or a fork. Make some holes in the top (can be plain or decorative or form a message) with a knife or fork.

Bake 450F/230C for 10 minutes, then 350F/180C for another 40 to 45 minutes.

Delicious hot with ice cream, if you sneak some into the house(!!)

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