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Vegan cookery school in Malvern, Worcestershire

classes – accommodation – parties

Hello, I’m Lizzy. If you want to eat a healthier diet, are tired of eating the same meals, or just find recipe books too complicated, then Our Lizzy is the cooking school for you!

A wide range of themes delivered in a relaxed friendly setting. Small group, hands on vegan cookery courses in a specially designed kitchen in beautiful Malvern.

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Young Chefs at Malvern Food Festival

It was a pleasure to cook with a group of young chefs from Malvern at Great Malvern Food Festival on Bank Holiday Monday. We worked Ready Steady Cook Style using local produce. I was very impressed with their chopping skills. One team were given tins of beans and chose to make a spicy chilli. The other team sliced vegetables and rustled up some fajitas featuring local chutney.

The audience got to sample the food and cast their votes. It was a draw! Everyone was enjoyed the food and there were lots of positive comments about the tasty the food and how well they worked together.

 

Here are the recipes if you’d like to try it at home.

 

Smoky Three Bean Chilli

 

1 chopped onion

1 clove of garlic crushed

optional chopped peppers, grated carrot,

3 tins of kidney beans/aduki beans/ blackeyed beans

1 tin of chopped tomatoes or a carton of passata

½ to 1 tsp crushed dried chillies to taste)

soy sauce to taste (optional)

1 tbsp rapeseed oil

 

Heat oil in a pan, sauté the onion with the chopped vegetables.

Add the grated carrot and garlic, if using, and cook for a couple of minutes.

Add the dried chillies with the remaining ingredients, bring to the boil, and stir well.

Reduce the heat and simmer for at least 10 minutes.

Taste; add more dried chillies if required.

 

Works well with soya mince; use 100g to replace 2/3 of the beans

 

Sizzling Fajitas

 

red onion sliced

mixed peppers sliced

mushrooms or courgettes sliced

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 tsp crushed coriander seeds (or to taste)

½ tsp dried chilli flakes

lime juice

soy sauce

1 tbsp rapeseed oil

 

Heat some oil a wok or griddle pan, when the oil is hot add the sliced vegetable. Stir fry until cooked. The vegetables should still be fairly crunchy.

Add the garlic and lime juice along with crushed coriander and chillies.

We used Sarah’s Feisty Flavours Spicy Tomato chutney on the day in place of the chilli flakes.

 

 

Malvern in May

Spring was a long time coming this year. The month of May has been really uplifting. The month of May is always special in Malvern and it’s been a pleasure to share the beauty of it with lovely B and B guests.

The apple and cherry blossom was stunning. My cherry tree was laden with flowers so hopefully lots of delicious fruit to come. The bluebells and the wild garlic flowers looking amazing as ever. I’m enjoying using the wild garlic leaves in the cookery school.

The wells were decorated for May Bank holiday weekend. The theme this year was celebrating the anniversary of women gaining the right to vote.

The Weavers Well was my personal favourite: it reminded me of Our Lizzy HQ!

Vegan Street Food

Vegan Street Food Our Lizzy style was launched this month! Fast food favourites with a healthy twist.

My cookery course had a lot of influence from South East Asia but with British and American classics mixed in.We used vital wheat gluten flour to make homemade seitan.

Seitan is made from gluten, the main protein found in wheat. It is traditionally made by washing wheat flour until all the starch has been removed, leaving a gluten dough. It was eaten centuries ago by Buddhist monks in China in the from of mock duck.

On the course we make seitan steaks, sizzling strips, and used the ground form to make burgers.

 

I enjoy using jackfruit and was keen to share ideas for using it. We cooked one batch with local cider, made a lime and chilli version and Sloppy Joes.

We also used tofu and tempeh with a range of homemade sauces and dips.

 

 

 

A Snowy White Christmas!

The Christmas course here on Sunday was rather special as we had snow in Malvern. I was absolutely delighted to meet Faye who made it through the snow to attend. Already a keen cook she has recently won the Rotary Young Chef of the Year Award.

 

After a hot drink, mince pies and shortbread we prepared desserts then set to work on pastry dishes. We made a Roasted Red Pepper and Chestnut Strudel  and a Sweet Potato and Veggie Sausage Pithivier. Lots of careful pastry rolling and filling took place.

 

We used filo pastry to creative some little baskets for starters and money bags filled with Mushrooms and Almonds. With the help of Faye’s parents we prepped and cooked crispy roast potatoes, root veg with cranberries and cider, red wine gravy and a batch of Brussels sprouts cooked with sesame seeds and soy sauce.

 

We then sat down to enjoy our snowy festive feast!

Homemade Gluten free Vegan Pizza!

Here at Our Lizzy it’s a pleasure to help people with food allergies and intolererances.

At a recent gluten free cookery course I was asked to make gluten free pizza bases. I’ve used Hodmedod’s pea flours in baking and pancakes and wondered if they would work for a pizza base. I wasn’t keen to add xanthan gum and other binders. Some supermarkets sell gluten free pizza bases but the list of ingredients and taste can be very off-putting.

I was really pleased to find the fava bean flour worked so well. The dough came together well, it didn’t rise as much as strong wheat flour but was still light and airy. I used a little polenta to roll it out. I topped mine with a little homemade tomato sauce and sliced vegetables. I sometimes make my own vegan mozzarella, but this time I used MozzaRisella which is a popular rice based pizza cheese.

    Our Lizzy pizza made with fava bean flour

Pizza dough

300g fava bean flour

1 ½ tsp fast acting dried yeast

1 tbsp olive oil

½ tsp salt

170ml water

extra flour or polenta for rolling

 

Place the flour in a large bowl, add the yeast. Add the salt to the other side of the bowl.

Slowly pour in the water and olive oil then mix well.

When the mixture forms a dough, take it out of the bowl. Sprinkle a very small amount of flour on the work surface and gently knead the dough for 3 -5 minutes.

Sprinkle some flour or polenta onto a work surface. Roll out the dough with a rolling pin or with the heel of your hand.

Place on baking sheet cover with a plastic bag or cling film and leave for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to Gas Mark6/200°C

Top the dough with tomato sauce and toppings of your choice.

Bake in the oven for about 20 to 25 minutes.

 

Hodmedod’s bean flours are milled in Essex from British-grown beans, peas and quinoa.

https://hodmedods.co.uk/collections/flours

Spicy Beans

I love sharing recipes at festivals, this week I was at a local Chilli Festival at Eastnor Castle. Naturally I took some beans and enjoyed cooking them with a chilli or two!

 

I also made a herby Quinoa salad with wild garlic and some smoky sizzling fajitas. These were served in a fava bean flatbread.

To make the flatbread it’s a similar method to making a dosa. Mix 120g fava bean flour with 300ml of water, allow to stand for 30minutes. Heat a flat griddle pan and brush lightly with oil, Pour a ladleful of the mixture onto the hot pan and cook on one side then flip over and cook the other. This mixture makes five flatbreads.

Here is the recipe for the chilli

British Bean Chilli

1 chopped onion

1 clove of garlic crushed

1 fresh chilli chopped

200g cooked beans, whole fava, red haricot, black badgers,

1 tsp chipotle chilli paste

1 tin of chopped tomatoes/4 fresh tomatoes

½ tsp smoked dried chillies, optional

Heat oil in a pan, sauté the onion add the fresh chilli and garlic. Add the chipotle paste.

Add the remaining ingredients, bring to the boil, and stir well.

Reduce the heat and simmer for at least 10 minutes. Add water as required. If you are brave add a little more dried chilli!

Veganuary time

It is always a pleasure to help new vegans on the path to vegan living here at Our Lizzy HQ. I meet people who are trying for all sorts of reasons.

Being vegan has never been easier. The choice of plant based milks, cheeses, margarines and ice creams grows by the day. It’s also exciting to see key manufacturers rising to the challenge and creating vegan versions of their products. Vegan cuisine is varied and has something for everyone from convenience foods to cooking from scratch to raw food diets. I’ve been vegan now for 27 years and now is the best time to be vegan!

A record number of people have signed up for Veganuary this year. It’s a great campaign which supports people in going vegan for the month of January. https://veganuary.com/

I’ve got a brand new short course called Vegan Starter Kit. http://www.ourlizzy.com/vegan-starter-kit.htm

In this I give advice on how to veganise everyday favourite meals. Desserts are covered toowe make easy vegan pancakes and chocolate brownies.

January 2017 Vegan Starter kit course

Here is my recipe for Dairy free cheesy sauce – perfect for burritos or pasta

40g vegan margarine (approx)

2 tbsp plain white flour

600ml unsweetened soya/oat milk

4 tbsp nutritional yeast.

Salt and pepper to season.

Melt the margarine in a saucepan, stir in the flour and cook for 2 minutes. Remove pan from hear and add 1/3 of the soya milk beat well to avoid lumps a hand whisk may be used. Gradually add the rest of the milk. Season to taste.

 

 

Bean Inspired!

As the International Year of Pulses draws to a close I continue to be inspired by beans. I am really enjoying Hodmedod’s bean flours. They are milled in Essex from British-grown beans, peas and quinoa.

https://hodmedods.co.uk/collections/flours

The flours are naturally gluten free and protein packed. As well as pancakes and fritters, I’ve been using them to make flatbreads and crackers. Unlike a lot of gluten free flours, the flour works really well for pastry. Taste tests at my local health food shop, The Bran Tub, show that the bean pastry works in both savoury and sweet dishes.

I recently experimented with the yellow bean flour on my Christmas Cookery course. I made vanilla shortbread and mince pies using a combination of yellow bean and rice flour. Being packed with protein the pastry held together really well and there was no need for Xanthan gum. Both the doughs were easy to manage and gave a really tasty short texture.

Lizzy’s Gluten Free Shortbread

Gluten Free Shortbread

Gluten Free Shortbread

200g margarine

80g caster sugar

200g yellow bean flour

100g rice flour

extra caster sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 150°/Gas 4.

Sift flours and sugar work the flour into the margarine.  Roll out to about 1cm thick and cut into shapes as required. Bake for 15 to 25 minutes until crisp.

Dust with caster sugar and cool on a wire rack.

A customer who is gluten free attended and she was impressed with the flexibility of the pastry, she used it to make a mini chestnut and red pepper strudel and some pastry cases that with then loaded with a mushroom and almond filling and a tofu and caramelised onion filling.

Festive Savouries

Festive Savouries

Autumn Soup

I have enjoyed visiting my friend’s allotment this autumn. He has a bumper crop of vegetables including a large crop of squash. I’ve been using some to make warming soups.

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As well as being tasty, pumpkins contain beta carotene which can help strengthen the immune system. I combine squash with ginger in this soup for an extra burst to the circulation.

 

autumn-soup

Pumpkin and Ginger Soup                                                    

Adding fresh ginger to this soup gives a warming feel. Serve up a batch this bonfire night to give family and friends a healthy glow.

 Ready in 45 minutes. Serves 2

1 small pumpkin peeled and chopped

1 onion finely chopped

2 garlic cloves crushed

4cm piece fresh ginger grated

1 tsp bouillon powder

3 tbsp extra virgin rapeseed oil

½ litre water

 

Sauté the pumpkin pieces until they turn golden.

Add the freshly grated ginger along with the onion and garlic and sauté for 3 minutes more.

Add the water and bouillon powder and bring to the boil.

Reduce heat and simmer for 20 – 30 minutes until the pumpkin is cooked.

Cool slightly and blend soup using a blender. Reheat to serve.