Friday, March 5, 2010

Roots n radicals – Beet the System, or I'm Seein Red

Here's a salad that's red. Really red.

You will need:

300g raw beetroot
100g cranberries
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 reasonable squirt of balsamic vinegar

Peel and grate your raw beetroot until the kitchen looks like a crime scene and you've dyed your hands red forever. Add to a bowl and stir in the other ingredients. Using balsamic vinegar, rather than cider vinegar, will give it a bloodier red appearance. Cool. Balsamic is also dead cheap at the moment as it was yesterday's middle class fad. Along with rocket, buy to let, downsizing to Provence, Coldplay, Estuary English, Glastonbury...

Friday, February 26, 2010

Roots n radicals – Carroty mash: The great leap forward

As Dr Johnston, author of The Dictionary, once said: “When a man is tired of carroty mash, he is tired of life.” or was that London?
Doesn't matter, carroty mash is the ultimate root dish – carrot mashed with parsnip rocks. Some people swear by the carrot/turnip combo, and the Scots have a taste for tatties and nips, but they're wrong. Carrots and parsnips are as traditional a combo as Morecambe and Wise, chips n mushy peas or Leeds and Bradford. So there.
Even so, you have to move with the times, so here's a variation you might want to try if you fear you're overdoing on the trad mash this winter.

You will need:

350g parsnips
150g carrots
2 teaspoons vegan cream cheese
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger

Boil your carrots and parsnips till tender – it can be an idea to bung in the carrots for a few minutes first as they take longer. Add the remaining ingredients and give it a mash. Dump in an ovenproof dish and bake at 200C for 20 minutes. Easy.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Roots n radicals – Sweet potato on the side

Easy one this, and the idea is pinched from the excellent El Piano in York. Check it out if you're in town – they did the place up, made it almost totally vegan and the food is a winner every time. Woohay. And although they've tidied up the menu, they've kept a Spanish feel to it – I still find it a little Meze though! Geddit!?!?!
They've just released a cookbook based on their simple seductive food, which is also worth checking out.

You need:
250g sweet potato
2 teaspoons vegan cream cheese

Dead easy this. Boil the sweet potato until tender n mash with the vegan cream cheese. Dollop it into an ovenproof dish and bake at 200C for 20 minutes. Bingo.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Monday, February 15, 2010

Coconut sponge cake

170g self raising flour
170g caster sugar
3 tablespoons of grated coconut
5 tablespoons melted soya marg
225ml cold water

200g icing sugar
100g soya cream cheese

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Grease and flour a 20cm cake tin with a little soya marg. Sift the flour, sugar and a pinch of salt into a large bowl and give it a stir. Add the grated coconut and mix well. Pour the melted soya fat and cold water into the mixture and carefully fold it into the mixture. Pour the mix into the cake tin.
Bake for around 25 minutes until golden brown on top and it passes the knife test.
For the topping, beat the icing sugar with the soya cream cheese until it is smooth.
When the cake is done, leave it to cool for five minutes and turn it out on a wire rack. When it is completely cool, spread the topping on it. Put it in the fridge for at least an hour. Serve with whatever fruit you'd like on top and a dusting of icing surar.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Percy goes Brazilian!

There's nothing better than a good chocolate and nut cookie binge and here's an idea for one with Brazils. You can also use the same weight of macademia nuts, hazelnuts – you name it!

100g self raising flour
50g golden caster sugar
50g soya margarine
50g dark vegan chocolate all broken into chips
50g Brazil nuts, again broken into chips

First, preheat your oven to 190oC or gas mark 5. While it's warming up, rub the flour, caster sugar and margarine together to create a dough. Mix in the chocolate and nuts. Cut into rounds either by flattening out and cutting up with a cookie cutter or by rolling out into a sausage and chopping off ½ inch slices. Place your rounds onto a greased baking tray and gently press down. Bake in the top of the oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Leave to cool for at least 15 minutes and move to a wire rack. Best eaten while the chocolate is still gooey.