Recently, I've made a few things that have caused people to ask me for the recipes. It's been a while but I'm finally getting round to writing them up;
Carrot & Pea Soup
from 'Food Combining for Vegetarians' by Jackie Le Tissier
This soup is quite delicious and is also excellent for dieting as well as for the Hay diet - it is listed as a neutral recipe. Since it comes up very thick when blended if you stick to the quantities given, it's extremely filling with little need for extra bread. Possibly my favourite soup and highly recommended.
2 tbsp olive/sunflower oil
6 oz/175 g/1 cup onions, chopped v finely [if I'm blending the soup, rough chopping is fine]
1 clove garlic, crushed/minced
1 bouillon stock cube
1 lb/450 g/2 + 2/3 cups carrots, cut into small dice [again, you can be less fussy if you're blending]
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh mint [I have found frozen herbs are fine for this]
2 tsps finely chopped fresh thyme
2 oz/50 g/1 + 1/2 cups ground almonds
2 pints/1 litre/5 cups boiling water
salt + freshly ground black pepper
1 lb/450 g/2 + 2/3 cups frozen peas
1. Heat oil, fry onion until soft.
2. Add garlic, cook a further minute then mix in stock cube.
3. Stir in carrots and herbs, then cover and cook a further 5 minutes.
4. Add ground almonds, remove pan from heat and slowly stir in the water.
5. Return pan to heat, season and bring to the boil.
6. Add peas, cover, bring back to the boil and simmer for 3 minutes.
You can either eat the soup as is (with 'bits') or, my preference, you can blend/liquidise it. You can add more water if you want a thin blended soup.
Callaloo & Stewed Pigeon Peas
from 'Creole Vegetarian Cookery', by Kenneth Gardnier
I didn't have any pigeon peas so I followed the recipe's recommendation of green lentils - using a 14 oz can for ease - and it was delicious. Be warned, you need a LOT of greens for this dish, but they will shrink down to almost nothing. Also be aware that, unlike spinach, callaloo should not be eaten raw as it can apparently irritate the mouth.
I found the steaming of the leaves to be the most annoying part - I would imagine that they could also be steamed more quickly in a microwave which, if the recipe was also made with canned pulses, would make it pretty quick to prepare.
225 g/1/2 lb fresh callaloo leaves (spinach can be substituted but callaloo leaves are the best)
1 + 1/2 tablespoons olive oil (no other oil will do, preferably virgin)
1 onion, finely chopped
1 large clove garlic, finely chopped [I added a bit more, I love garlic!]
1 + 1/2 vegetable stock cubes
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
juice 1/2 lime (or substitute lemon, but lime is better)
1/2 teaspoon deseeded and chopped hot pepper or according to taste
400 g/14 oz tin pigeon peas [aka Gongo/Gunga peas], or 225 g/1/2 lb cooked fresh piegon peas with very little liquid (or substitute green lentils)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground cloves
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1. Wash [wash like crazy! there will be grit] and finely chop the callaloo leaves, place in a steamer of colander and steam covered for about 30 mins. Sprinkle a very little salt over the leaves midway through cooking.
2. Meanwhile, heat oil in pan and fry onion until lightly brown. Ad garlic and copok for a further minute.
3. Add stock cubes, thyme, lime juice and hot pepper. Simmer covered on a very low heat for about 2 minutes. Stir occasionally.
4. Add the pigeon peas (drain thoroughly if using tinned), the ground cloves and black pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes then taste for salt. Add if necessary and cook a further 5 minutes.
5. Now add the steamed callaloo and continue to cook for another 8 minutes ot marry the flavours. Mix well but gently.
6. Tate for seasoning - at this stage you can add more hot pepper if you wish. Cook for a further minute or two if you have added any seasoning. Serve hot.
Goes really nicely with plain grains.
Rice with Spinach
from 'A Vegan Taste of the Middle East' by Linda Majzlik
1 lb/450 g fresh spinach, finely shredded
8 oz/225 g long grain rice
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped [peeling seems obvious to me but hey, not my recipe...]
1 garlic clove, crushed [but not peeled??? sorry, I'll behave now]
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp ground allspice
20 fl oz/600 ml water
1. Heat oil in large pan, fry onion and garlic until soft.
2. Add rice and fry for 1 minute more.
3. Add spinach, stir it around until it wilts.
4. Mix in water, ground allspice and season with black pepper.
5. Bring to boil, cover and simmer gently until liquid has been absorbed and rice is done.
Glazed Apricot Sponge
from 'Desserts - 500 delicious recipes' edited by Ann Kay
This is a lovely, quick and simple pudding which is very good for using up old bread and/or fruit, especially fruit which isn't quite sweet enough to be enjoyed raw. I made it with fresh apricots instead of the canned fruit suggested and it worked well but was VERY tart - I like that, others may not be so sure. However, the second time I made it (with mango slices), it failed dismally, and I think that was because I put it in the wrong sort of dish, one which had sides far too high so the mixture couldn't cook properly. Either a smallish/shallow bowl OR a small, deep-sided casserole dish seems to work best - the mixture won't rise that much but should respond to the toothpick test ie not soggy in the middle. It's not actually necessary to made the additional fruit sauce if you are only using up a small amount of fruit, but it is nice if you want to moisten the pudding. Experiment with any reasonably solid fruit you think would work - pineapple would be great. I'm keen to try mixed berries.
Also, despite containing a large amount of sugar, the recipe contains very little fat for a dessert - only 2 tablespoons - which may be noteworthy for some.
10 ml/2 tsp golden (light corn) syrup
411 g/14 + 1/2 oz can apricot halves in fruit juice
150 g/5 oz/1 + 1/4 cups self-raising flour
75 g/3 oz/1 + 1/2 cups fresh breadcrumbs [I just cut the crusts off bread, tear it then whizz it with a hand blender for a minute or 2 - you could probably use packet breadcrumbs too but they are drier so the pudding would be less moist and might cook more quickly. It would probably need extra fruit sauce too]
90 g/3 + 1/2 oz/1/2 cup light muscovado (brown) sugar
5 ml/1 tsp ground cinnamon [I found also adding 1/2 tsp or so of ground mace to be delicious]
30 ml/2 tbsp sunflower oil
175 ml/6 fl oz/3/4 cup skimmed milk [any milk substitute fine, I used plain soy]
1. Preheat oven to 180 C/350 F/Gas Mark 4. Lightly oil a 900ml/1 + 1/2 pint/3 + 3/4 cup ovenproof bowl. Carefully spoon in golden syrup.
2. Drain apricots and reserve juice. Arrange about 8 halves [or whatever fits your bowl], rounded side up [not sure about this - doesn't she mean rounded side DOWN ie touching the base of the dish? that's what I did anyway], in the bowl. Puree rest of apricots with juice and set aside. [If using fresh fruit, you may need to sweeten the puree]
3. Mix together flour, breadcrumbs, sugar and cinnaon in a mixing bowl, then beat in oil and milk. Spoon into ovenproof bowl on top of apricots.
4. Bake mixture for 50-55 mins [I have a fan-assisted oven so this was *well* done in about 40 mins - check!], or until firm to the tough and golden on top. Run a knife round pudding to loosen it from bowl [the golden syrup forms a sticky caramel, so loosen it well or the pudding will fall in half], then turn it out onto a plate. Serve with pureed fruit as an accompaniment.
'Leith's Step-By-Step Cookery - recipes and techniques' by Prue Leith.
Very quick and easy to make - you can substitute nuts or fruit for the chocolate and they still work well
100 g/4 oz butter [or vegan marg - I used Pure sunflower marg]
100 g/4 oz soft brown sugar
75 g/3 oz self-raising wholemeal flour, sifted [I used white SR, and was too lazy to sift]
100 g/4 oz rolled oats
50 g/2 oz dark chocolate chips [I just chopped up a bar - I know some people don't like this as little bits of chocolate get mixed into the cookie dough, but it's fine by me]
1. Preheat oven to 180 C/350 F/Gas 4. Cream butter & sugar til light and fluffy. Beat in flour and then stir in oats, followed by chocolate chips.
2. Take heaped teaspoons of the mixture and rolls into balls between the palms of your hands. Place oat balls well apart on a greased baking tray [they spread quite a bit - you may also want to put greaseproof paper under them as they are quite crumbly] and flatten down with back of fork.
3. Bake for 10-12 mins [less in FA oven - should be light brown on top, but if you prefer a less soft, more 'biscuity' cookie, you can leave them in for longer]. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before placing on wire rack to finish cooling.
That's all for now!