Saturday, 28 January 2012

My Favourite Treat and Pizza Alternative

My favourite food - given a chance I'd eat this everyday. It's a great alternative to pizza, one of many available to vegans. This variation on a french Pissaladiere however is divine. The original recipe uses anchovies which I replace with capers to keep that sharp saltiness, but its not a vital ingredient.

Ingredients :
25g vegan margarine
250g very thinly cut onion/ shallots
15g dry yeast or 1 tsp of quick yeast
120 ml of water
1 tsp sugar
250g strong flour
thinly sliced red and green bell peppers
pitted olives
tsp capers
3tsp of thyme
1tsp basil
pepper and herbs d' provence for seasoning
Olive Oil

For the dough:
 you can either mix the yeast with the tepid water and sugar. then leave for 10 mins in a warm place until it becomes frothy.
Then put into a mixing bowl with the flour and add four tablespoons of oil.
Alternatively mix a teaspoon of quick yeast with the water, sugar, flour and 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a bowl.
Mix until the dough forms a ball.
Then over a lightly floured surface kneading the dough until it is smooth and soft.
Coat a large bowl with oil, place the dough inside and wrap it with cloth, leaving it in a warm place to double in size (approx. an hour).  

For the topping:
 add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and melt the margarine into a large warm saucepan.
When the butters melted add the basil, thyme and capers to the pan, in addition you can add some of the caper brine depending on personal taste.
Then add the the finely cut onions into the saucepans and cook for an hour at a low heat stirring occasionally.
Three quarters through the hour add the sliced red bell peppers to the onions. The onions should be nice - soft and carmelized (golden/yellow) but not brown. Season and put aside.

A few minutes before the dough is ready oil a baking tray and heat it in a oven for a couple of minutes then remove.
Meanwhile knead the dough and roll it out to fit the baking tray.
After adding the dough to the tray brush it lightly with oil and add the onion and pepper topping.  Then arrange the slices of green peppers into a lattice like pattern over the onion topping, adding an olive to the spaces created by the lattice pattern (see pictures).

Lightly season and cover with a cloth then put it aside for 30 mins. Then bake it in the oven at 220 c or gas mark 7 for approx. 15 - 25 mins. 

Family Favourite - Vegan Chocolate Chip Muffins

Yesterday I made chocolate chip muffins to cheer the family up. My Brother only recently found out they were vegan - so they must be good. They 're really easy to make as well!

scrummy especially freshly baked

 This recipe is for six.

All you need is: 
110g of Self Raising Flour 
half a tsp of baking powder 
2 tbsp of Sugar 
2 tbsp of Vegan Margarine 
2 - 3 tbsp Soya Yoghurt (I use Alpro soya yoghurt)
1 tbsp Cocoa Powder 
3 tsp Carbonated water 
1 tsp Vanilla Essence 
Chopped up Dairy Free Chocolate 

Mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl. Melt the margarine and mix it into the dry ingredients. Then add the carbonated water and vanilla essence. Then gradually stir in the yoghurt until the mixture is nice and smooth. Put into muffin cases and cook for approx. 15-20 mins at 180 C in a fan oven - Gas Mark 4 - 350 F.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

New Craze - "vegivore"

The food magazine Olive reports that one of the latest food craze is what it calls "vegivore". The craze involves vegetable tasting menus and includes "vegetable butchers" who prepare and introduce different vegetables to their customers. I'm hoping this craze will result in more vegetarian and vegan options when dining out especially as more people discover how delicious fresh vegetables are, perhaps it may even stop people referring to v. food as 'rabbit food' lol.

Vegetables Are the New Meat

First Post

Finally escaped from Facebook to the blogsphere - much better suited to long rants and cooking recipes! I look forward to posting my recipes very soon, once I get the hang of this, especially now I've got my new crepe pan.

First post is on my favourite subject: chocolate. My favourites being Celtic Chocolates and their Vegan Gift Box (still can't find a website for them or a list of suppliers - anyone??)
 .... and of course the scrumptious and divine Booja Booja (so expensive yet sooo good!) who have a new theme catchy theme song:

You gotta love a song that includes "hunky punky"in the lyrics lol. 
I wonder how long it will be before they'll have Booja Booja T-shirts, mugs etc.... "Everyone needs a little Booja Booja now and then" ...its gonna stick in my head for a long time to come :-)