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Vegetarian 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!

An opportunity to learn how to cook a variety of recipes in a relaxed friendly setting. Small group, hands on vegetarian cookery courses in a specially designed kitchen in beautiful Malvern.

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.

 

 

Vegan Cheese Making

I was delighted to welcome guest tutor Andrea Wolstenholme of the Vegan Cheese Lovers Club, to teach us all about the art of vegan cheese making. The day was a mixture of step-by-step demonstration and practical hands on cookery.

cookbooks

Andrea demonstrated favourite recipes from The Non Dairy Evolution Cookbook, which is written by Skye Michael Conroy.

We learnt how to make cheese using a cooked method which gives a meltable, gratable, firm cheese. We made a Muenster Cheese and a Mozzarella which we later sampled on pizzas. Some people then made Brie or a Golden Cheddar.

mozzarella

We also explored making cheeses with a food processor using ingredients such as nuts and tofu. We made a nut based parmesan and a tofu based gorgonzola. During experimentation time,  a Garlic Herb Gournay was made along with a Sharp Tofu Cheddar.

team work 1 team work 2 team work 3

Everyone took home a selection of the cheeses we made. It was a really inspirational day!

team cheese

Another slice of V Pud!

I love using V Pud which is made by the Real Lancashire Black Pudding Company. I was pleased to be asked to work on some more recipes for their vegetarian and vegan black pudding – the V Pud. http://www.reallancashireblackpuddings.co.uk/vpud/

V Pud has an interesting taste and a lovely crumbly texture with a delicate blend of herbs and spices. I already use V Pud for my favourite Cannelini Bean dish and it goes really well with my spelt risotto. For recipes see http://www.reallancashireblackpuddings.co.uk/recipes/vegetarian-black-pudding-with-cannelini-beans/#.VznXvmB0xAg

I took my inspiration for this dish from ingredients eaten whilst growing up. I grew up in a part of Wolverhampton called Wednesfield which is part of the industrial Black Country. My family had a lock making business, my Dad and Uncle made specialist keys by hand. These traditional methods can be learnt about now through visiting the Lock museum which is part of the Black Country Museum. The museum is a great place to visit and on a recent trip I was reminded of the old Black Country dish, Groaty Pudding.

It’s lovely to share this recipe as part of National Vegetarian Week 2016 which is an opportunity to share food, stories and traditions. http://www.nationalvegetarianweek.org/

V Pud Groaty Pudding

groaty pudding 3

Groaty Pudding is a traditional Black Country dish. It’s similar to a risotto. The flavour of V Pud works well with this. If you can’t get oat groats, try making it with pearl barley. I got my oat groats from our local health food shop, The Bran Tub in Malvern.

Serves 2

Ready in 30 minutes

100g V Pud, sliced
1 leek, sliced
150g oat groats
1 tbsp vegetable bouillon powder
1 litre of water
salt and black pepper to taste
extra virgin rapeseed oil
chopped chives to garnish

Place the oats groats in a saucepan with the stock, then bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for about 45 minutes until the groats are cooked.

Season with salt and pepper.

Heat a pan, then add the leeks and cook in their washing water for a couple of minutes. Add some extra virgin rapeseed oil to finish cooking. Add to the groats mixture.

Heat some extra virgin rapeseed oil in a clean pan. Test to see if the oil is hot, and add the slices of V Pud. Fry until crispy on both sides.

Place on top of the cooked leeks and groats. Garnish with chopped chives.

V Pud also goes really well with tomatoes; the following two recipes are great for warm summer days.

Bulgur Wheat and Sun Dried Tomato Salad with V Pud

A quick tasty dish – perfect for packed lunch.

 bulgur wheat salad

Serves one

Ready in 15 minutes

2 spring onions finely chopped
1 clove crushed garlic (optional)
25g sun dried tomatoes, sliced
small handful of olives
50g chopped fresh herbs
75g bulgur wheat
130ml boiling water (approx)
black pepper and salt to taste
extra virgin olive oil
75g V Pud, chopped
olive oil for frying

Rehydrate the bulgur wheat by placing in a bowl and covering with boiling water. Cover with a plate and leave to stand for about ten minutes.  Fluff up with a fork.

Add the spring onions, garlic, sun dried tomatoes, and olives to the bulgur wheat. Mix in some chopped fresh herbs. Add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and season well.

Heat some olive oil in a small frying pan. When the oil is hot, add some chopped V Pud and cook on both sides.

V Pud Summer Vegetables with Pancakes

A speedy summer supper. The pancakes can be made in advance.

summer veg and pancakes

Serves 2

Ready in 30 minutes

 For the pancakes

100g buckwheat flour
300ml soya milk (unsweetened)
pinch salt
sunflower oil for frying

Place ingredients in a blender jug and blend. Place in fridge. Leave to stand for at least 20 minutes.

Heat oil in crepe/frying pan, add a ladleful of pancake mixture, and cook on both sides. Keep warm.  Add more oil as needed, to cook remainder of pancakes. This amount of batter should make 6 small pancakes.

 For the filling

3 ripe tomatoes
1 courgette
2 cloves garlic, sliced
100g V Pud, sliced
olive oil
handful fresh rocket
handful fresh basil
salt and pepper to taste

Fry or grill some sliced tomatoes, courgettes and garlic. Place in oven to keep warm. Add a little more oil to the pan. When hot add the slices and V Pud and fry on both sides.

Fill the pancakes with the V Pud and vegetable mixture. Season to taste. Serve garnished with rocket and basil.

A Taste of Spring

I’m loving the longer days, it gives a chance to get out in the hills more. The wild garlic is back and ready for picking. If picking in the wild it’s best to take just a couple of leaves from each plant. Although the flower heads are edible I like to leave these on the plant. I’ve been making my favourite pesto again.

Wild Garlic and Walnut Pesto

  • 100g wild garlic chopped
  • 75g walnuts
  • 150 – 200ml extra virgin rapessed oil
  • salt and pepper

Place in processor with the nuts and blend together. Add the oil and blend again.

Season with salt and pepper.

Wild garlic also makes a lovely addition to a salad and I add leaves to my tofu flan. I plan to use some in my soda bread  see last blog post for the recipe. This will naturally be served with wild garlic soup.

Wild Garlic and Potato Soup                                                    

  • 1 onion chopped
  • garlic clove crushed
  • handful of wild garlic, chopped (approx 25g)
  • 100g potatoes peeled and chopped
  • 1 tsp bouillon powder
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg freshly ground
  • ½ litre water (approx)

Sauté the onion and garlic in a saucepan until soft.  Add the potatoes and bouillon powder, cover with water and bring to the boil.

Reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes until the potatoes are cooked. Add more liquid if needed. Add the chopped wild garlic and ground nutmeg and cook for two minutes.

Cool slightly, and blend soup using a blender. Reheat to serve. Add a swirl of soya cream to each dish.

 

wild garlic in the garden

 

 

Lovely Lunch

I enjoyed teaching my Thai cookery class last week so had some lovely fragrant ingredients leftover. With spring approaching I also thought it was a good time to use up the last of the autumn squashes. So I adapted my pumpkin soup recipe, and added grated ginger, lemongrass and a cup of coconut milk. It was rather yummy served with some freshly made soda bread.

 

Thai style soup

Thai style soup

Herby Soda Bread

 

Soda bread is really quick and easy to make. Bicarbonate of soda is used rather than yeast.

 

  • 500g plain white/wholemeal flour mixed
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 5 tbsp chopped chives
  • 400ml ‘buttermilk’*
  • *Dairy free ‘buttermilk’ is made by adding 4 tsp lemon juice or cider vinegar to 400ml soya milk. Stir and leave to stand for 10 minutes before using.

Preheat oven to gas 6/electric 200°C.

Place the dry ingredients into a large bowl; add the liquid.

Mix to make rough sticky dough.

Tip dough out onto lightly floured work surface.

Shape the dough into a ball.

Dust the dough with flour and score a deep cross on the top with a bread knife.

Bake for 40 minutes, or until the bread is cooked through. When you tap the base it should sound hollow.  Cool on a wire rack.

 

Our Lizzy soup recipe

New Year new recipe!

As we settle into 2016 resolutions can seem hard to keep. I like to keep it simple and just make small changes. I am making the effort to go up into the hills more often – the views are amazing and it’s great to get a blast of fresh air.

 

It’s good to try something different with food by using store cupboard ingredients. Chick Peas are a great favourite of mine.

 

They have a great nutty flavour. They are a good source of protein. I love using them. Chick peas are used in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine where they are used to make hummus and falafel. They are used in Indian Cookery where they are ground to make gram flour which is used to make bhajis and pakora.

Chickpeas01

Chick Pea and Spinach Curry

A quick healthy supper for a cold evening

Serves 4

Ready in 20 minutes

2 large onions, chopped

2 cloves garlic crushed

1 red chilli crushed

½ tsp ground turmeric

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

2 tsp garam masala

large pinch of salt

1 tin of chopped tomatoes

1 tin chick peas

large handful of fresh or frozen spinach

extra virgin rapeseed oil

 

Heat oil in a pan, sauté the onion and garlic in oil, add the chilli and spices and salt and cook for two minutes, stirring constantly.

Add the cooked chick peas, tomatoes, spinach and a little water if needed.

Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for at least 10 minutes.

 

Serve with rice or chapatti bread.

 

Cooking Tip

 

When cooking dried chick peas it’s worth cooking a large amount. Soak in a large saucepan full overnight and cook for two hours. When cool place in freezer bags or tubs and store in the freezer until needed.

If using tinned chick peas remember to rinse then in plenty of fresh water before using.

Recipes for a Very Veggie Christmas

How to create A Very Veggie Christmas

 I run a variety of Christmas courses and have a wealth of recipes for Christmas dinner but you can’t beat a simple nut roast.

A nut roast is a traditional veggie main course which goes down well with everyone so it’s worth making two to make sure there’s enough to go around.

Different nuts and ingredients give different flavours but one of my favourites is Cashew and Carrot Nut Roast.

Carrot and Cashew Nut Roast by Our Lizzy

Carrot and Cashew Nut Roast by Our Lizzy

Watch me make it here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_1lUjFEBsc

Have a look at my website for the recipe. http://www.ourlizzy.com/cashew-and-carrot-nut-roast.htm

I love cooking with cider; this dish is a great accompaniment to the Carrot and Cashew Nut Roast.

 Root Vegetables with Cranberries

Root Vegetables cooked in Malvern Gold by Our Lizzy

Root Vegetables cooked in Malvern Gold by Our Lizzy

A great way to cook vegetables. The cranberries give a lovely jewelled effect. Perfect for your festive entertaining!

 Ready in 45 minutes. Serves 4

 500g selection of carrots, parsnips, sweet potato

2 tbsp extra virgin rapeseed oil

1 tbsp brown sugar

¼ tsp ground nutmeg

¼ tsp mixed spice

50g cranberries fresh or dried

75ml local cider or apple juice

water as needed

salt and black pepper

 

Peel and chop the vegetables. Steam or boil until part cooked. Drain.

Put the oil, sugar spices and cider into a pan. Mix well then add the vegetables. Bring to the boil and simmer until cooked.

Add the cranberries towards the end of the cooking time. Add more water or cider as needed.

My favourite local cider has to be Malvern Gold.

Don’t forget the Brussels sprouts!

Finely shred or grate some Brussels sprouts. Heat some oil in a large pan or wok and fry. Finish off with some toasted sesame seeds and a dash of soy sauce.

For details of cookery classes and Bed and Breakfast see www.ourlizzy.com or contact Lizzy on 01684 892 688

World Vegan Month

World Vegan Month

1st November was World Vegan Day; it marks the start of a month where people are supported by national and local groups to try out the vegan diet.

Animal Aid holds the Great Vegan Challenge which is fantastic as it provides lots of help and support. It provides participants support helping them to reduce their environmental impact, improve their health, discover amazing new food and prevent the suffering of farmed animals. http://www.animalaid.org.uk/h/n/NEWS/news_veggie//3339//

I have been vegan for 25 years and can vouch that it a great way of life. I am very fortunate to be able to share my knowledge of vegan food through cookery courses and cookery demonstrations.

It was a pleasure to give cookery demonstrations at the recent West Midlands Vegan Festival in Wolverhampton recently. I grew up in Wolverhampton and it’s amazing to think that veganism has grown so much that a huge two day vegan festival could be held there.

wol 2015

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 convience foods to cooking from scratch to raw food diets.

Here’s a recipe I’m been making for most of my vegan life, it’s a firm favourite with all I have shared it with at cookery demos and school workshops. If you haven’t made it before I hope you enjoy it!

Spicy Chick Pea

1 onion, chopped

1 clove garlic crushed

1 yellow pepper chopped

1 tin of chopped tomatoes

1 tin chick peas (or 100g dry chick peas/200g soaked weight)

½  tsp turmeric

1 tsp ground ginger, cumin

2 tsp ground coriander

chunk of creamed coconut (approx 25g)

handful of fresh coriander

2 tbsp olive oil/rapeseed oil

 

Heat oil in a pan, sauté the onion, garlic and pepper in oil, add spices and cook for two minutes, stirring constantly (add a little water if sticking).

Add the cooked chick peas, tomatoes and a little water if needed.

Bring to the boil, add the creamed coconut and simmer for at least 10 minutes.

Add the fresh coriander towards the end of cooking time.

Serve with rice or pitta bread; also goes well with jacket potato. Try adding green beans or cauliflower.

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Autumn Harvest

The fruit keeps on coming! Following a bumper crop of cherries are a great crop of apples.

apples

I have a Bramley Apple tree in the garden, this apple is one of the most popular varieties for cooking. It cooks down quickly and is delicious on top of breakfast porridge. I also make muffins, spiced apple cake and Malvern Pudding.

Our Lizzy Malvern Pudding

Our Lizzy Malvern Pudding

Malvern Pudding is a local dish. Apples are traditionally cooked with sugar and lemon zest and topped with custard which is caramelised under the grill.

Here is my version which is completely egg and dairy free. This pudding is also gluten free.