Friday, April 3, 2009

vegan chockogeddon cake

For the sponge:

275g self raising wholewheat flour
200g caster sugar
50g cocoa powder
1 teaspoon of baking powder
250ml olive oil
150ml orange juice
150ml water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tin black cherries

For the icing:
200g vegan plain chocolate
4 tablespoons soya milk
1 orange

Preheat your oven to 160oC. Sieve the flour, sugar, cocoa and baking powder into a bowl and mix. In a separate bowl mix together the oil, orange juice, water and vanilla extract. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix together until you have a smooth and fairly runny batter.

Grease and line two sponge tins with greaseproof paper and pour in your batter. Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until a knife will come clean out of the cake. Take them out of the oven, leave to cool for five minutes, remove from their tins and cool on a rack.

For the icing, stand a heatproof bowl in a pan of boiling water. Keep over the heat and put in your chocolate and soya milk. While the chocky's melting, squeeze the orange and add the juice to the bowl. Grate some of the rind off the orange skin and add that to the melted chocolate too.

Half the chocolate mixture goes between the two sandwiches along with half the black cherries and the other half goes on top with, yes, you guessed it, the rest of your black cherries.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

White cabbage is not the most boring vegetable...


A while ago I renamed white cabbage as "grey cabbage" due to its notable lack of versatility.

OK, it's good for you, but it doesn't taste of much and with the exception of coleslaw, which originated in the gastronomic limbo of Holland, and some outlandish German concoction, called Sauerkraut, there's nothing much you can do with one, except raise it to the ceiling and say: "Alas poor Yoric..." every time you get it out of the fridge.

Apparently, this really grates after a while, which is just what you should do with white cabbage.

Or not. Here's a recipe that spruces up boring grey cabbage and doesn't smack of ghastly continental cooking. This isn't bad, but if you really want to do something tasty with a grey cabbage, do the decent thing - curry it.

Cabbage rolls:

1 grey cabbage
150g rice
60g noodles
500ml veg stock
olive oil
60g toasted sesame seeds
150g firm tofu
2 sheets nori seaweed
3 teaspoons parsley
400g tin of tomatoes
25ml cider vinegar
1 teaspoon demerara sugar

Break up the noodles and brown them by frying in the olive oil for a bit. Add the rice and veg stock and simmer until the rice is soft.

Meanwhile, half the grey cabbage and separate out the leaves. In batches, blanche them in boiling water for a couple of minutes.

In a bowl, mix together the sesame seeds, crumbled tofu, nori seaweed and parsley. Add the rice/noodles and mix. Spoon into cabbage leaves, roll em up and put them in a baking dish.

Mix together the tomatoes, vinegar and sugar and pour over the dish of rolled up cabbage leaves. Bake at 200oC for 35 minutes.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Vegan Sushi - The Aztec and The Beast

Here are two ideas for vegan sushi. You can do pretty much what you want with sushi - it rocks. This recipe makes a reasonable amount for four, but it's so good that it tends to be wolfed down really quickly.

My advice is to entrench yourself near to the serving plate and don't let anyone else come near until you've had enough. Sharing is for hippies.

3/4 cup sushi rice
2 cups water
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons demerara sugar
5 sheets nori seaweed

The Aztec:
1 avocado
1/4 red pepper
1 spring onion
toasted sesame seeds

The Beast:
1 Carrot
10cm length of cucumber
1 spring onion
cashew nuts

Dipping sauce:
50ml soya sauce
1/2 teaspoon wasabi paste

Put the water and rice in a pan and bring to the boil. Simmer until the rice is tender and has absorbed all the water. Add more water if you need. Towards the end, fluff it up with a fork.

Meanwhile, mix the vinegar and sugar.

Put the rice into a large bowl and while still hot add the vinegar and sugar mixture. Fluff it up, while blowing on it to cool it down. Leave to cool.

Steam the carrot and pepper. Toast any seeds that you might have to. Lightly toast your seaweed and put on a sushi mat. Cover with a thin layer of rice, put the ingredients to either the Aztec or the Beast across the middle of the sheet and roll.

Mix together the ingredients of the dipping sauce and voila! Bob's your uncle.

Saturday, March 28, 2009


2 Large mushrooms
100g firm tofu
1 teaspoon tumeric
sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds
few leaves of basil
liberal squirt of lemon juice

Grill the mushrooms on both sides. Meanwhile, crumble the tofu in a bowl and mix together the rest of the ingredients. Heap onto the mushrooms and brown off under the grill. Easy.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Sweetcorn, squash and kale soup

1 340g can sweetcorn
1 squash
1 thumbnail-sized piece of root ginger
1 handfull kale
1 pint veg stock
olive oil
squash pips

Sweat the ginger and squash in the olive oil for a few minutes. Add the sweetcorn and stock. Bring to the boil and cook until the squash is tender.
Add the kale and cook a little more. Add to a blender and hit Pulse a few times. Remember - keep it chunky!

Meanwhile, toast the squash pips and grind up in a blender. Garnish the soup with ground up pips.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


340g jar of pitted black olives.
1/2 green pepper
1/2 red pepper
2 spring onions with greens
1 clove garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
good squirt lemon juice

put em all in a blender, push the ON button and you're off!

Monday, March 9, 2009

let them eat cupcakes

One of the biggest fallacies of cooking with animal products is that you need egg to bake with. Do you flipping heck as like!

On that note, here's a really cool recipe for cupcakes, kindly made by the lovely Sharon. I don't really use other people's recipes, but Sharon appropriated it from the excellent Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. And I scoffed them.

Gingerbread Cupcake

1 1/2 cups self raising flour
3 tsp ground ginger
1tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup oil
1/3 cup light molasses
1/2 cup syrup
1/4 cup soya milk
2 tbsp soya yoghurt
1 1/2 tsp lemon zest, finely grated
1/4 cup crystallised ginger, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 175oC. Line a muffin tin with paper cupcake liners.
Sift the flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and salt into a bowl.
Whisk the oil, molasses, syrup, soya milk, yoghurt and lemon zest in a separate large bowl. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix until just smooth. Fold in the ginger.
Fill the cupcake liners by two-thirds. Bake for approx 20 minutes until a knife comes out clean. Move to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely before adding the topping.


1/4 cup vegan margarine
1/4 cup vegan cream cheese
2 cups icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Cream together marg and cream cheese. Whip it up with a mixer, while adding the icing sugar in 1/2 cup batches until smooth. Mix in vanilla.
Pipe on top of the cupcakes.

Friday, March 6, 2009

live in cities you freaks!

Christ! Some people don't live in cities. Freaks!

These people don't have access to basic necessities - cinema within walking distance, pound shops, vegetable samosas, running water, shoes.

Can't help you with cinemas, pound shops and running water, but try getting your vegetarian shoes HERE. I got some big boots and they ROCK.

And regarding samosas, well, here's a recipe for city and non-city dwellers alike. Makes a boxful, which is dead good like. Serve with salad as a starter. Or eat them until you go off pop.

sweet potato and banana samosas

1 pack filo pastry
1 medium sized sweet potato
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 small red chilli
1 small onion
1 banana
1 dash mango juice

Peel and chop the sweet potato and put in an inch of boiling water with the tumeric. Boil until soft, drain and put it into a big bowl.

Fry the mustard seeds, chilli and finely chopped onion until the seeds start popping round your ears and the onion has gone clear.

Add to the bowl with the sweet potato and bung in the banana (as the vicar said to the actress). Mash roughly with a dash of mango (as the actress said back to the vicar).

Now follow Percy the Punk Rock Penguin's pictorial guide to making samosas.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

wholemeal just ain't rock n roll

What was George Orwell's gripe against vegetarians?

For a champion of libertarianism, he came unstuck on so many occasions.

In Road to Wigan Pier, he ranked them alongside cranks like nudists, weirdy beardies and sandal wearers for dragging back the socialist cause.

Then he defended the annual bout of christmas hedonism against the puritan lifestyle of vegetarians and teetotallers. Teetotal veggies like Ian MacKay and Ray Cappo appeared 40 years later.

Orwell was wrong, but he foresaw the future. Innit. Like.

"As teetotallers and vegetarians see it," he wrote, "the only rational objective is to avoid pain and stay alive as long as possible."

Yeah yeah, that might be true for bearded, sandal wearing workers in wholefood cooperatives, and possibly true for nudists, but those who like to mix their ethical diet with full on punk fucking rock can leave them to it and go and eat something altogether groovier instead.

So, here's something that's cheap, fast and will probably give you indigestion. Just like MINOR THREAT or YOUTH OF TODAY.

Kidney bean burger

1 tin kidney beans
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon tahini
1 tablespoon rosmary
1 medium red chilli
½ green pepper finely chopped
1 spring onion
½ cup rolled oats
2 tablespoons roasted sunflour seeds

Put the kidney beans, tomato paste, tahini, chilli and oats in a bowl and mash together with a potato masher. Add the remaining ingredients and mix together.

Shallow fry on a high heat in olive oil until golden brown on both sides, and then turn down the heat and cook for a further five minutes to cook them all the way through.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Cock soup

The ingredients contain more Es than a Newport nightclub, but it doesn't look like Cock Flavoured Soup Mix contains any animal products. Not even the Spicy one shown here. Even so, would American vegetarians risk it?

Friday, February 20, 2009

Grey Cabbage

The prize for the dullest vegetable on the rack has to go to white cabbage.

Considering its affordability and availability, you'd think we would do more with it than over cooking it as a gloomy accompaniment to the main dish.

The imagination begins and ends with coleslaw and sauerkraut. White cabbage? It should be called "grey cabbage".

But this boring Brassica has hidden depths – it has a rich history, being a favourite dish of Pythagoras, before it was introduced to us by the Romans and was used by Captain Cook as a source of vitamin C for his sailors.

It is pretty good for you, being high in iron, potassium and calcium, as well as vitamins A, C, B1, B3, B3 and D.

So, finding a very ripe one in the bottom of the fridge, I took the cabbage challenge and have tried to do make something edible with it. The jury's out - you decide!

1 medium white cabbage, grated
50g root ginger, grated
1 clove garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 desert spoon cumin seeds
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon Demerara sugar
2 tablespoons roasted pumpkin seeds
1½ litres veg stock
salt to taste
1 bayleaf
spring onion

Heat the oil in a large pan and put in the cumin seeds, ginger and garlic. Sweat for a moment and then add the grated cabbage, vinegar, sugar and bayleaf. Stir together and keep on the heat until it shrinks a little.

Add the stock and simmer for five minutes, until the cabbage begins to soften. Let it cool and transfer to a blender. Add most of the pumpkin seeds and blend to a smooth pure. Serve with chopped spring onion and the rest of the pumpkin seeds.