Malvern

Healthy Vegan Lunches

We had a great time on the recent Packed Lunches cookery course. The day involved a lot more than sandwiches! When making workday lunches, time is often of the essence. It’s good to be able to prepare a few things quickly, and also to plan ahead, so there are things in the fridge or freezer which can be pulled out to use.

In the morning we prepared quinoa, farro and wholegrain pasta salads. We then prepared a range of soups which we enjoyed with homemade bread.

 

Great fun was had making up the noodle jars, healthy pot noodle! There are some fabulous noodles available which don’t involve precooking and so are perfect for the jars. We added cooked shredded tofu.

We then made a selection of bean pates and dips which we used to make up some rather posh vegan sandwiches!

 

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Chill your Beans Sausage Casserole

2019 has started really well for vegans! More and more people are signing up to try Veganuary. There has been great discussion about Gregg’s vegan sausage roll and new ranges of ready meals are appearing in supermarkets. I have mixed feelings about this as I’m passionate about teaching people to cook healthy meals for themselves.

One new product that has got me excited is a new locally made vegan and gluten free sausage. They really good quality and packed with flavour and texture. Chill your Beans https://chill-yourbeans.co.uk/ my customers are going to love them

If you are based in Worcestershire go and buy a pack and have a go at this recipe!

Sausage and Chestnut Casserole

Serves 3 or 4

Ready in 20 minutes

  • 1 large red onion, sliced
  • ½ red pepper, chopped
  • 6 ‘Chill your Beans’ sausages
  • a handful of chopped cooked chestnuts
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tin chopped tomatoes/passata
  • 1 to 2 tbsp rapeseed oil

Add oil to a pan, sauté the onion and pepper until caramelised.

Add the sliced sausages cook until golden. Add smoked paprika and stir briefly.

Add the tomatoes/passata. Cook for 10 minutes until the liquid is reduced.

Add fresh herbs to serve.

Try adding a handful of borlotti beans instead of the chestnuts! Or add a splash of vegan red wine.

Fun with Street Food

Street Food has continued to be popular with courses and at festivals. We use Jackfruit, seitan, tofu and tempeh to create some tasty dishes.

We have fun using vital wheat gluten to make our own seitan. It is 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 cenuries ago by Buddhist monks in China in the from of mock duck. It is now much easier to make seitan, with the availability of vital wheat gluten flour.  It is very much like meat in texture, and has a very high protein content.

 

 

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!

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.