vegan

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

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.

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.

new_dish

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.

A Taste of Summer

The wild strawberries are amazing in my garden this year. It’s lovely popping in the mornings to pick them fresh for breakfast. Even better to serve some as part of a vegan cream tea!

Home made scones delicious topped with fresh juicy strawberries.

Makes 12  scones

Ready in 35 minutes

  • 340g/12oz self raising flour
  • 85g/3oz margarine
  • 55g/2oz caster sugar
  • 125ml/¼ soya pint milk
  • 4 tbsp plain soya yoghurt
  • pinch of salt

Pre heat the oven to gas mark 6/200°C.  Mix the flour, salt and sugar in a bowl. Rub in the margarine until it looks like breadcrumbs.

Mix the milk and yoghurt together, and stir it into the mixture. Mix it together, until a soft dough is formed.

Turn onto a floured board and knead lightly. Roll out to an even thickness of about 2cm (¾ inch).

Using a 5cm (2 inch cutter) cut out scones and place on a floured baking tray. Keep rolling and cutting until the dough is used up.

Bake for 12-15 minutes, until golden brown.

Fill with jam and cream and top with a strawberry. Enjoy!

 

Our Lizzy's Vegan Cream Tea

Our Lizzy’s Vegan Cream Tea

 

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.
end result

Watch me make Vegetable Tempura

Here’s really local dish I’ve used summer vegetables and Holywell Malvern Spring Water. Use the water straight from the fridge to ensure it is ice cold.

Holywell Malvern Spring Water is bottled water which dates back to1622. It is the original source of Malvern Water It is famous for containing nothing at all! http://holywellmalvernspringwater.co.uk/

Watch me make this recipe here! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJxVUL_zkfc

Our Lizzy’s Vegetable Tempura

  • 100g plain flour
  • 50g corn flour
  • large pinch of salt
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 200ml ice cold sparkling Holywell Malvern Spring Water
  • selection of vegetables
  • rapeseed oil for shallow frying

Wash and chop a selection of vegetables into large bite sized pieces.

Sift the plain flour, corn flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Pour in the sparkling water and whisk well to produce a light batter.

Place a handful of vegetables in the batter.

Heat some oil in a shallow pan or wok. When the oil is hot carefully add the first vegetable piece taking care that the oil does not spit. Add four more pieces and cook until golden on one side.

Carefully turn with a slotted spoon. Remove when golden and drain on kitchen paper.

Continue cooking the vegetables in batches. Serve with a chilli dipping sauce.

Cooking with local food

I love living in Malvern there are some great places to shop for food, and I love having the opportunity to take part in food festivals.
food_festival_logo_bg
The Great Malvern Food Festival was on Bank Holiday Monday. It was held in the grounds of Great Malvern Priory. Boffy Markets featured some of the in best local food and drink.

I ran a hands on cookery workshop, ‘Spice up Your Veg Box,’ which gave people a taster of my vegetarian cookery classes. Participants learnt how to make the most of seasonal vegetables from Skylark Organic boxes. http://www.skylarkorganics.co.uk We made my quick and easy Spicy Chick Pea and a simple bulgur wheat salad.

I also gave a cookery demonstration the Wot’s Cooking Stage.

I demonstrated how to cook polenta. When cubed, it works really well in salads instead of bread. I buy my polenta at The Bran Tub in Malvern, which specialises in allergy foods. I flavoured the polenta with sundried tomatoes from The Great Malvern Deli. They always have a really good selection of locally produced products.

I made a smoky bean and mushroom topping for the polenta. This was cooked in my favourite golden extra virgin rapeseed oil from Croome Classics http://www.croomeclassics.co.uk For flavour I used double smoked paprika from Wright’s Culinary delights http://www.wrightsdirect.com
who are based in Colwall. They do a really good selection of salts and spices. Other favourites are the wild garlic salt and the Mexican Fiesta Dip.

I served this with a selection of salad leaves from my garden. I have a selection of plants from Cottage Herbery http://www.thecottageherbery.co.uk It’s good to be able to go out into the garden and snip a few leaves of chicory and sorrel, rocket and wild garlic. I finished this with lightly steamed asparagus and a raspberry vinegar dressing.
cookery theatreveg boxworkshopIMG_20140526_140822297