Malvern

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!

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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.

 

 

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.

 

 

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

 

 

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

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.

An Abundance of Cherries

I have a morello cherry tree in my garden which has produced a bumper crop of cherries this year. I have filled bowl after bowl of deep red cherries.

Morello Cherries

Morello cherries are sour and work best when cooked. The hard work is in the pitting, I have a cherry pitter but this still takes a while.

 Lots of this year’s crop has gone into the freezer. I have made soft conserve using the cherries. This works well with rich chocolate cake such as Black Forest Gateau.

jam

Morello cherries are delicious when preserved in brandy or kirsch. Spoon the cherries into clear preserving jars and top with sugar and the brandy. As a general guide use one third sugar to two thirds alcohol to fruit. Label and place in a dark cupboard for three to four months. This makes a lovely treat accompanied with chocolate brownies and ice cream. I’ve put a couple of smaller jars away to give as Christmas presents.

cherries and sugar           cherries in jars

I have also experimented and put a jar of cherry brandy away – the main attraction for this being the cherries didn’t need to be pitted! Let’s hope it works out.

I’m also looking forward to sampling some local eating cherries this year.

Amazing Autumn Squashes

I love the colours of autumn; these are shown in the amazing variety of squash which is harvested at this time of year.

I was fortunate to meet Hayley and Jim from Hotchpotch Organics which is based at Elmney Castle near Pershore. http://www.hotchpotchorganics.co.uk/ they grow a fabulous selection of squash, it was a great opportunity to try out varieties that I had never used before.

Celebration, sweet Dumpling, Onion, Delicata, Buttercup

Celebration, sweet Dumpling, Onion, Delicata, Buttercup

My favourites were:
Delicata oblong-shaped squash has a golden flesh with a nutty flavour and creamy smooth texture. Buttercup is large and dark green in colour. It has a dry, flaky, almost potato-like flesh that bakes and roasts really well.

During the last weekend of September it was the Malvern Autumn Show at the Three Counties Showground. I demonstrated on the Wot’s Cooking stage.

Malvern Autumn Show Our Lizzy on the Wot's Cooking Stage

Malvern Autumn Show Our Lizzy on the Wot’s Cooking Stage

One of the dishes I made was a risotto using spelt and onion squash the recipe for this in on my website. http://www.ourlizzy.com/butternut-squash-risotto.htm

I run a course dedicated to autumn squashes. We make a selection of soups, casseroles and stuffing’s.

Hope you enjoy this recipe; it works well with Sweet Dumpling or Delicata.

Stuffed Squash

Wash and cut the squash lengthways. Scoop out the seeds and membrane using a spoon, trim with a small knife if needed.

  • ½ onion finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves crushed
  • 1 roasted red pepper chopped
  • 1 tin flageolet beans
  • ½ tin chopped tomatoes/passata
  • 1 tsp tomato puree
  • ½ tsp Italian dried herbs
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil

Rinse and drain the flageolet beans.

Heat oil and sauté the onion until soft then add the garlic, peppers and beans. Sauté until the beans are turning golden. Add the tomatoes and stir well – you may want to add some tomato puree if needed.

Add the mixed herbs and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Spoon the filling into the squash. Cover with foil and bake at 200°/Gas 6 for 30 minutes. Remove the foil drizzle with oil and bake for 15 minutes more.
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