something different

Out and About Eastnor Castle Chilli Festival

Our Lizzy May Day Bank Holiday Tradition!

The Chilli Festival at Eastnor Castle is a well established event featuring both local and national producers of all things spice! I love sharing recipes in the cookery theatre and enjoy stocking up on favourite products beforehand. This year I stocked up on locally made vegan sausages from Chill your Beans, chilli sauce from Fat Man Chilli, smoked chilli from Chilli Zoo. I also got some Isle of Wight smoked garlic and some local cider.

In my cookery demonstration I made sticky Smoky Sausages and a Spicy Tempeh dish using locally made tempeh from Beet the System.

Sticky Smoky Sausages

  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 1 red pepper sliced
  • 1 pack chill your beans sausages
  • 1 tsp smoked chipotle chilli
  • 75ml apple juice or cider
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar/agave nectar
  • extra virgin rapeseed oil

Heat some oil in a heavy pan, when the oil is hot add the onions and peppers. Cook for about three minutes then add the sausages. Add the smoked chilli, cook briefly then add the Sweet Freedom syrup and the apple juice.  Continue cooking until the mixture is browned and sticky.

 

 

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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!

 

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.

Vegan Bailey’s Cheesecake

It’s always good to sample new products and the vegan Baileys has been out for a while but I’ve only recently sampled it! It’s great served chilled or added to a coffee.

I thought it would make a great partner with cheesecake so I had a little play and here it is!

Vegan Bailey’s Cheesecake

 

300g of hob nobs and Bourbon biscuits mixed

50g almonds

75g Pure sunflower margarine

2 tubs Tofutti vegan cream cheese at room temperature

75ml Alpro soya cream approx

75ml Bailey’s Almande approx

Place the biscuits, nuts and margarine in a food processor and mix until combined. Spoon the mixture into a flan tin and press down firmly. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Place the soft the soft cheese in a bowl, mix with a spoon until soft then add the Bailey’s Almande and soya cream. Mix until smooth and spread on top of the biscuit base.

Smooth the top using a palette knife and place in the fridge to set.

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!

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.