Archive | July, 2011

Baba Ganoush (Charred Aubergine Dip)

31 Jul

Aylam from Occupied Palestine was over for a visit in Manchester. She came over to our place and cooked us three amazing middle east dishes. The first dish was an Aubergine dip called Baba Ghanoush. She learnt this recipe from a friend’s mother who is Jewish and Mizrachy (a Jew who migrated to Israel from an Arab country).

Baba ghanoush, baba ganush, baba ghannouj or baba ghannoug (Arabicبابا غنوج bābā ġanūj) is a Lebanese dish of aubergine mashed and mixed with olive oil and seasonings. Often, it is eaten as a dip with khubz or pita bread, and is sometimes added to other dishes. It is usually of an earthy light-brown colour. It is popular in the Levant and Egypt.

Ingredients: 2 medium-large black Aubergines, Juice from 1 fresh Lemon,  3 cloves of garlic, Unmixed Tahini sauce, 1 bunch of parsley (finely chopped) , ground cumin, ground black pepper, salt

Aylam places the two Aubergines directly on two gas stove fires to char. As the flames lick the black skin they scorch the peel and melt the inside to a mushy substance. Every few minutes she turns the Aubergines around to a different angle to give them a good all around burn. While they cook, she prepares a bowl with fresh squirted lemon juice from one lemon, and crushed garlic from three cloves. When the Aubergines are squishy on all sides and well scorched, they are ready to be dissected (HA HA!). He takes them off the fire, places them on a cutting board and cuts throw their middles, chopping off top. With the help of a fork and spoon, she scoops up the inner flesh and places it all in the lemon and garlic filled bowl. She then adds a decent amount of unmixed Tahina sauce, a large dash of ground cumin, some black pepper, salt and a handful of fine chopped parsley. He then mixes it all up to a creamy, mushy paste. It is now ready to be served as a side dish for any bread, salad,or meal.
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What is Seasonal in August?

30 Jul

Lots of fruit and veg are seasonal in the summer months. Below is a list of some of the things which are seasonal in August in the UK:

apples, blackberries, blackcurrants,

damsons, globe artichokes, aubergines,

beetroot: beet, chickpea and dill salad

broad beans: broad bean pod frittersbroad-bean, cabbage and mushroom risotto

broccoli, summer cabbages: cabbage leaves stuffed with sweet potato orgasm , broad-bean, cabbage and mushroom risotto

carrots, cauliflower, celery, chard, cucumbers and marrows

fennel, french beans, various lettuces,

mangetout and peas, onions, pears, sweet peppers, chilli peppers

plums, potatoes, pumpkins and winter squash,

radishes, raspberries, redcurrants

runner beans, samphire, sorrel

spinach, spring onions, strawberries

sweetcorn, tomatoes, various turnips, watercress

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Beet, Chickpea and Dill Salad

27 Jul

Jess made this salad when we bought beetroot to make borscht, but ended making this instead. The maple syrup in the dressing really brings out the natural sweetness in the beetroot. Yum.

Beet Salad

Beet Salad

Jess and Greta with Beet Salad







Ingredients: 4-6 medium sized beets (keep the peel and stalks on – save the leaves and use like spinach), can of chickpeas (drained), handful of dill (chopped), half a red onion (sliced), 2 tbsp lemon juice, 1 and a half tbsp maple syrup.

Roast the beetroot at 180’C for half an hour or until the beets are soft. Take them out of the oven and take some of the thicker peel off. Chop into small pieces, and combine with the other ingredients before serving.

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Oven-baked Rice Pudding

23 Jul

This is a delicious and ridiculously easy to cook recipe, the prep before it goes in the oven takes only 5 mins. We ate it snuggled up in Greta’s bed at about midnight, marathon watching the L word.

Jess with Rice

Jess with Rice

Greta with Rice Pudding

Greta with Rice Pudding









Ingredients: 4 cups of unsweetened soy milk (or substitute one of the cups for coconut milk for a variation), 1 cup of risotto rice, 3/4 cup of sugar, 1/2 cup of raisins, 1 teaspoon vanilla essence, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, jam and almond slices to serve

Mix all the ingredients togther in a casserole dish, bake at 180 degrees for about an hour, untill the pudding has formed a brown skin on top. If you are using coconut milk, you’ll want to use a bit less sugar. Serve with jam and almonds.

Rice Pudding

Rice Pudding

Veganising Your Recipes (Eggs, Meat and Honey)

22 Jul

Use the following guide to veganise your recipes

Eggs have a variety of uses in cooking, and as such there are a whole host of different egg replacements that we can use depending on what we need them for.

“Eggs for Binding/Moisture”
1 egg = 1tsp soy flour + 1 tbsp water
1 egg = quarter cup of pureed fruit (apples, berries, squashes, soft fruit)
1 egg = half a mashed banana
1 egg = 3 tbsp nut butter
1 egg = 1 tbsp ground flaxseed/linseed + 3 tbsp hot water (let stand 10 minutes)
1 egg = 1 tsp psylium seed husk + 1/4 cup water (let stand 5 minutes)
1 egg = 1/4 cup silken tofu
1 egg = 2 tbsp arrowroot + 1 tbsp water
1 egg = 2 tbsp corn starch + 1 tbsp water
1 egg = 2 tbsp potato starch + 1 tbsp water
1 egg = 3 tbsp vegetable oil + 1 tbsp water
1 egg = 3 tbsp vegan mayonnaise
1 egg = 3 tbsp mashed beans
1 egg = 3 tbsp mashed potatoes

Eggs for Leavening
1 egg = 1-1 1/2 tbsp baking powder + 1-1 1/2 tbsp warm water + 1-1/2 tbsp oil
1 egg = 1-1/2 tbsp baking powder + 1 tbsp warm water + 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 egg = 2 tbsp baking soda + 2 tbsp warm water
1 egg = 2 tsp baking soda + 2 tbsp warm water + 1/2 teaspoon oil
1 egg = 1 tsp baking powder + 1 tsp vinegar
1 egg = 3 tbsp water + 3 tbsp flour + 1-1/2 tps vegetable shortening, + 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 egg = 1/2 mashed banana + 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 egg = 3 tbsp ground flaxseed/linseed + 1/8 tsp baking powder + 3 tbsp water (let stand 10 minutes)
1 egg = 1-1/2 tbsp lecithin granules + 1-1/2 tbsp water + 1 tsp baking powder
1 egg = 1-1/2 tsp Ener-G Egg Replacer + 2 tbsp warm water (whisk to froth)
1 egg = 1-1/2 tsp tapioca/corn starch + 1-1/2 tsp potato starch + 1/8 tsp baking powder + pinch xanthan gum + 3-1/2 tbsp water + 1 teaspoon oil (whisk to froth)
1 egg = 1 tsp yeast dissolved in 1/4 cup warm water

Egg White Substitutions for Leavening
1 egg white = 1/4 tsp xanthan gum + 1/4 cup water (let stand 5 minutes, then whip)

Egg Yolk Substitutions for Moisture/Binding
1 egg yolk = 1-1/2 tbsp lecithin granules + 2 tsp water

Agave syrup, Maple syrup, Golden Syrup and Date Syrup can all be used instead of honey.

Meat can be replaced with a variety of commercially available products, depending on how authentic you want the taste. Tofu, Tempeh, Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP) and Seitan can be found either at big supermarkets or at health food shops.
Check out our recipes here, and subscribe for email updates on the right and add us on twitter @nakedvegancooks 

Veganising Your Recipes (Dairy)

21 Jul

Use the following guide to “veganise” your food!

Soymilk is most commonly used as a milk substitute for use in tea, baking, cooking, on cereal and for drinking. Its relatively cheap in the supermarket nowadays, and own-brand soy milk costs about the same or less than regular milk. It is available as sweetened (usually with apples) or unsweetened. You can make your own soy milk, but is a bit of a faff. It can curdle if put in coffee – there is a knack to making it not curdle involving pouring it onto a teaspoon first. Rice Milk is usually available at bigger supermarkets, and is a fair bit more expensive but is wonderfully sweet. You can also make a wide range of nut milks, and oat milks are usually available at health food shops.

Buttermilk is the bane of the vegans life – food companies seem to put small amounts of it in EVERYTHING, but if you need to use it in baking a good cheat is to add 1 tsp of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar to 100ml soy milk and leaving it to curdle a bit to get a buttermilk effect.

Big supermarkets and health food shops will stock Vegan Cream substitutes, or alternatively blend together equal parts of raw cashews with water. Coconut milk (from a tin, not coconut water) is also an option.

There are various vegan soy yogurts out there available from big supermarkets and health food shops, and sometimes you can find coconut yogurt and oat yogurts commercially available too.

Sour Cream
There are a few recipes out there for vegan sour cream involving silken tofu, although we reckon that bought vegan plain yogurt pretty much tastes like sour cream.

Paneer is a cheese used in Indian cooking that tends to soak up flavours really well. We suggest using firm tofu as a replacement, if you freeze the tofu it becomes more chewy than it is normally.

There are a wide variety of vegan cheeses available from health food shops, we don’t use them much so can’t tell you if they are any good – although vegan cream cheeses seem quite palatable.
Nutritional Yeast makes a good, if not very accurate replacement for Parmesan cheese.

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Huge Vegan Brunch

20 Jul

Jenn and Greta made this amazing weekend brunch, it fills you up all day! The scrambled tofu is the main exciting bit, we served it with fried potatoes with paprika, vegan haggis (sadly not home made) and toast (made from homemade bread from our friend Josie). You can pick the nicest things to serve it with, We recommend potato cakes.

Ingredients for HUGE Scrambled Tofu: A few cloves of garlic (to taste), 4 Portobello mushrooms, Handful of cherry tomatoes, 1 pack of 350g firm tofu, Splash of soy sauce, Vegan stock cube, Lump of Vegan margarine, Tofu sausages.

Finely chop and fry the garlic and mushrooms and squish the tofu through your fingers into the pan.
Add the lump of margarine, cherry tomatoes and sausages to the pan and fry for a few more minutes. Add the soy sauce and stock cube and continue to fry until everything is hot all the way through and smells amazing. Serve with whatever other
breakfast stuff you have.

Suggestions of other things to serve: spicy potatoes, baked beans, hash browns, potato waffles, grilled tomatoes, toast, garlic mushrooms, last night’s leftovers…

Huge Vegan Brunch

Huge Vegan Brunch

Check out our other recipes here, and subscribe for email updates on the right and add us on twitter @nakedvegancooks