Archive | November, 2011


29 Nov

This is a very sweet, syrupy pastry, perfect for an impressive end to a dinner party.

Ingredients: 20 sheets of filo pastry (most shop bought varieties are vegan in the UK), 250g margarine, 100g pistachios, 150g pecans (roughly chopped), 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon ground cardamom

For Syrup: 350g granulated sugar, 300ml water, juice of half a lemon

Greta with Baklava

Greta with Baklava


Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Grease a baking dish and melt the rest of the margarine in a bowl. Then lay down 10 of the sheets of filo pastry one at a time, brushing each layer with the melted margarine. Mix nuts, 2 tablespoons of sugar and cardamom in a bowl and spread mixture over pastry layers. Put the rest of the pastry layers on top, again brushing margarine between each layer. Use a sharp knife to cut top layers of pastry into diamond shapes. Bake for 20 mins, then turn down the oven heat to 150 degrees and bake for another 20-30 mins, until pastry is golden brown but not burnt. Meanwhile heat the ingredients for the syrup in a saucepan over a medium heat, simmer, stirring occasionally for about 10 mins. Let the baklava rest for about 5 mins then pour the syrup on it. Allow to cool before eating.

John’s Cherry Pie

19 Nov

The Naked Vegans have been very busy recently trying to keep up with schoolwork and our other projects, but we thought you might be interested in a naturist swimming session we are organising in Manchester on 28/11/2011. Hope to see you there!

This recipe comes from the lovely John, who has adapted a Joy of Cooking recipe to make it vegan. Thanks John!

Ingredients: 2cups flour, 2/3 cup vegan margarine (the kind that comes in sticks, not soft kind, kept in the freezer), about 1/4 cup of water to make pastry, 6 cups cherries (or other berries), 2/3 cup sugar, 2tbsp cornstarch, 1/4 cup water for the filling.

John with cherry pie

John with cherry pie

I do the crust the way I learned “at Mother’s knee”: Measure out the flour into a bowl. You’re supposed to sift it but I never do.  Grate the frozen margarine into the flour using the coarsest side of a cheese grater, dipping the end of the margarine stick frequently into the flour to make sure the two mix well together, and spreading flour over the grater at intervals. Using a wooden spoon and then by hand, mix up the margarine into the flour until the texture is evenly granular. Then slowly add water to get the right consistency for rolling: expect to use about 1/4 cup/60ml altogether.

Dust a table or countertop with flour and tip the pastry out onto it. Divide it into two parts, one slightly larger than the other. Using a floured rolling pin, press the larger section of pastry out to a circular shape, and work it to a size slightly larger than your pie plate. When you have the right size, wrap it loosely around the rolling pin and unwrap into the plate.

Joy of Cooking say use 4 cups of fruit, but I don’t think that’s enough. I use a big plate and I like it full, so I’d say 6 cups, but I never measure it. I always remove the stones if using cherries, but you can bake them with the pie and let people remove them as they eat.

rolling pastry

rolling pastry

Mix the sugar and the cornstarch with 1/4 cup of water. Pour this liquid over the cherries and stir with a spoon. Tip the cherries into the lower crust, and if there’s liquid left over, pour it over the cherries. Then roll out the upper crust on the pie the same way as the lower one, and place it over the cherries. Press the edges of the two crusts together with your fingers or a fork. Make some holes in the top (can be plain or decorative or form a message) with a knife or fork.

Bake 450F/230C for 10 minutes, then 350F/180C for another 40 to 45 minutes.

Delicious hot with ice cream, if you sneak some into the house(!!)

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Sweet Potato, Butterbean and Avocado Salad

13 Nov

Jess made this salad. It’s yummy and a filling meal all on it’s own!

Ingredients: 3 small sweet potatoes (chopped into bitesize chunks), 2 avocados (peeled & sliced), 12 cherry tomatoes, 1 normal sized can of butterbeans (drained), 4 cloves garlic (crushed), 1 crumbly veg stock cube or 1-2 tsp bullion powder, 10 stems of tenderstem broccoli, 2 pitta breads, various leaves (we used a mixture of rocket, watercress and spinach), balsamic vinegar, olive oil, pepper and salt to taste.

Preheat the oven to 180’C. Place the sweet potato in the oven to roast for 15 mins, then add the cherry tomatoes for another 20 mins or so until the sweet potato is done. Meanwhile, fry the garlic with butterbeans  and the stock cube for 10 minutes. Boil some water to steam the tenderstem brocolli for 8 mins or so. Toast the pittas for a minute or so and cut into chunks. Combine the salad leaves with the sweet potatoes, butterbeans, broccoli, bread, avocado and cherry tomatoes. Add a drizzle of balsamic and salt and pepper just before serving and toss through.

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Vegan Scones

5 Nov

The lovely Becky made us these scones. She said: “These were really nice! I’ve never made scones without egg and butter before but these were just as light, sweet and bready as the non-vegan ones!”  We then proceeded to argue about whether it is pronounced “scons” or scones”.

Ingredients: 225 grams self-raising flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 50 grams vegan spread, 2 tablespoons caster sugar, About 150 millilitres of soya milk, raisins etc (optional)

Jess and Greta with scones

Jess and Greta with scones



Start by preheating your oven to 220ºc / gas mark 7. Then sift the flour and baking powder into a mixing bowl and rub in the spread until the mixture gets nice and crumbly. Then mix in the sugar.

Next make a little hole in the middle of the mix for the soy milk to go in. Add half the milk first and use a spoon to scrape the floury bits from the outsides into the middle and stir them in, making a paste which gradually turns into a dough. Slowly add the rest of the milk as the mix gets thick and stodgy. Once all the milk and floury sugary mix has been used up use your hands to make a nice, slightly wet, dough.

Sprinkle flour all over a worksurface and kneed the dough for like 5 minutes. Kneading is easy, just fold the dough in half and squish it down hard, then fold it another way and do it again.

Use a rolling pin or a floured wine bottle to roll the dough out into an about 2 centimetre high circle(ish shape).

Then use a mug or a cookie cutter to cut out as many little circles as you can. If you’re using a cup don’t move it around or twist it too much. Just push down really hard then lift up and wait for it to pop out. Make sure to reuse the dough thats left over to make a few more!

Gently rub a little bit of soy milk onto the tops (or use a brush if you’ve got one).

Flour a big baking tray and put all your little circles onto it. Put them in the oven for about 13 to 15 minutes then let them cool while you make a pot of tea. Smother them with some tasty spread, dollop on some raspberry jam and share them with your friends



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Naturism and Race

3 Nov

This post came out of discussions about how to make naturist events more inclusive. It is deliberately quite short, we are wanting to tease out some of the wider issues in later posts. We are looking for people who are interested in sharing their own personal experiences with us, please get in touch through the contact details here

Have you noticed how everyone in the naturist community is white? Well, maybe not everybody, but there is certainly a noticeable lack of people of colour in our community. Its worth noting that quite a lot of other communities; vegans, feminists, activists, etc. also have this problem.

How can we explain this? Asking around, a few people have made vague attempts to explain it away with “cultural differences”, but this doesn’t seem to sit right with me. The “cultural differences” explanation puts the work in addressing this problem back onto communities of colour, or at least somewhere external to our community. It says that people of colour need to change their cultural identity in order to fit in to our (white, western) naturist community.

Whilst culture, particularly religious ideology, may play its part – there is nothing innately white about a liberal attitude towards non-sexual nudity, nor is the anything innately non-white about a more moralistic attitude. My parents, who are as white and as English as you can get without falling over, raised me in a Christian evangelical environment where women who didn’t wear hats were going to hell – nevermind the women who choose to wear nothing at all! Hell, my mother once went to a life drawing class and spent the entire time drawing the pot plant on the windowsill because she couldn’t bring herself to even look at the naked man in the room! But here I am, getting my kit off at every opportunity – I managed to access our community despite coming from an environment that doesn’t approve of public nudity, and I’d wager quite a lot of naturists have similar stories.

Its unsurprising that in a society where racism is still endemic, people with white privilege are able to access resources and communities easier than those who don’t have white privilege. Perhaps, then, if we are to meaningfully address this problem, we need to be thinking not just about external factors, but also internal ones. How do we create non-racist spaces?

Anti-Racist Spaces Audit – a resource people might find interesting.

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