All posts tagged: vegan

Sedano al Pomodoro

    This has to be the first time I have given celery centre stage in a dish. Most of the time it remains well hidden in a stir-fry, rice or soup; the only indication of its presence being its strong aniseed flavour or the random in-digestible stalk that gets caught between your teeth. But with its firm crunchy texture and fine grooves along its spine, celery ought to be used a lot more like pasta as it can carry a lot of sauce on its back without wilting under the weight. So here I have created this recipe: ‘Celery in Tomato Sauce’ basically, for the ‘Beat the Bloat’ series I’m running at the moment. All of this week I have been consuming only those recipes that I have mentioned in the series, and along with daily exercise I have to say, I feel amazing! Very refreshed and not ‘full’ to the point of wanting to sleep midday (if there’s any cause for sleep, its this beautiful hot sun we’ve been enjoying lately). So enjoy this side dish with rice or maybe even spaghetti – …

7 Recipes to Beat Bloating

    I know I’m not the only one who has experienced the ‘bloated feeling’, when your tummy is stretched, puffy, uncomfortable and feels like a permanent rubber dingy round your waist. It often follows a big weekend of eating badly or late into the evening or some other festive occasion. But for some people, bloating is more than an occasional inconvenience. If your stomach or tummy often feels bloated, it could be due to several things besides excessive wind and constipation. Funny, I was always told as a child to chew my food properly and to drink peppermint tea and water, I wish I knew then what I know now that these are some of the aids to reducing bloating. Medical advice is always advised if this appears to be your experience over a sustained period of time, but for many other people, there are moderate changes and intelligent ways we can incorporate ‘Bloat Beating’ foods into our diets and hopefully avoid the need for medical intervention. This week I will be sharing with you 7 recipes …

Delicious Peanut Flax Granola

Rome was not built in a day, neither was Granola, or so it seemed. The secret to good granola is to cook it slow and low! I learn from my mistakes very quickly! The first time I made this, I put the oven on so high, the granola cooked to a crisp; rather than throw all my hard work away, I grimaced and ate the bitter cereal the rest of the week. Never again. Top tip: after 20 minutes in the oven, take it out and turn the mixture, making sure to push the granola from the edges inward toward the middle. Then place it back in the oven for another 10 minutes. Remove and stir it one final time before returning it to the oven for the last 10 minutes: a total of 40 minutes! Long wait but the reward is so great; your breakfasts (or even snacks) will leave you feeling so satisfied. You can thank me later…enjoy!

Crispy Sweet Potato Chips…Every time!

I didn’t think it was possible to enjoy crispy sweet potato chips until now. Sweet Potato has a very high water content which is why it can’t naturally achieve the crispy status of a regular chip…without some help from its little friend corn starch. The key to achieving ultimate crispiness is to eliminate moisture, so make sure you pat the potato sticks dry before adding the corn starch and seasoning and more or less toss them straight into the oven soon after that with only a drizzle of oil.

Grilled Onions w/ Pomegranate Molasses

  Pomegranate molasses (also called grenadine molasses) is a staple in the countries of the Middle East and the Eastern Mediterranean. I recently discovered this syrup whilst trying to replicate this roasted red onion side dish which often accompanies meals in Turkish Restaurants here in London. I was surprised at how sour and tangy the molasses was given the sweet dry taste of a pomegranate. I would only recommend buying a small bottle at first (which can be purchased from most Middle Eastern shops). Once you get use to its flavour, I think it will become a stable in your pantry. You can use it as a substitute to honey for glazing meat, poultry or roasted root vegetables like carrots. But traditionally it’s used as a dressing in salads or relishes. To achieve the sweet and sour taste here, I added fresh pomegranate juice to take the edge off the molasses.      

One Pot Series: Guyanese Metemgee

  The One Pot Series: If you want to spend less time washing dishes and more time enjoying tasty food and company, then read on! Coming from a family of six hungry bellies with large appetites, The One Pot was essential for our survival. I really don’t know how my parents managed without it. From Cook-up Rice to Metemgee, it just made economic sense; It settled many an argument, it brought order out of chaos, it quieted the storm. “You don’t like Cassava? Well there’s sweet potato..” The way Mum would organise the provision before my brother could stab me in the hand with his fork, his true target being the last piece of dumpling, was genius.  And then there’s the sauce…my word. My word. It can only be compared to liquid gold: the pot would be clean and gleaming when we were done. Metemgee  is a Guyanese Creole stew of sorts made with dumplings, cassava, yam, plantains, okra and a hot peppery coconut milk sauce. It’s normally served with salt fish or crispy fried fish of your choice. The immense …

Roasted Sweet Potato w/ Tahini Garlic Sauce

The best part of making this dish was pulling out the tray of sizzling fresh herbs and olive oil, from out of the oven; it was like being hit in the face with a bunch of Sage and Thyme. It was with great excitement really, because I didn’t know what to expect: I had never combined these potatoes with this sauce before; this isn’t some glorified version of chips with fake garlic sauce from Mr Chippy on the High Street, oh no. All fresh. All real tasty. I tried the Tahini Garlic Sauce in salads during the week, and it worked very well. I think it should also work with other roasted vegetables like broccoli or cauliflower. The sauce can stay fresh for 2-3 days only, in fact the garlic will become more pungent over time. Let me know what combinations you have tried recently (a photo would be nice!)

Street Food Review: Alchemy Food Market

Since last week Friday, London has been smothered with generously hot weather; the kind that has you kicking off the duvet covers in the middle of the night; and for the first time in months, has most of the windows of your home wide open to hear the buzz of the bees blending in with the morning traffic and chatter from passers-by. Never would I have tolerated such a disruption to my daily routine but for the beautiful sunshine and warmth we have experienced – quite by surprise! If there is one thing the British love to do, it’s to moan about the weather, and it’s no wonder why: with so little sun matched with heat and not knowing how long it will last and assuming it WILL be our last, we make every effort to find some reason to be out and about in London town on a hot sunny day. This is what led me to the South Bank: so named  the centre of Arts and Entertainment in London during the 1950’s. All I know is that by …

Street Food Series: Watermelon Brain Freeze

This week marks the beginning of my Street Food Series. It just seems like a timely topic to explore as the temperature in London has been rising steadily. I’m already a huge fan of markets whether they be food, flower or bric-a-brac. Food Markets in London tend to be located off back streets and down narrow alleyways or ironically behind corporate buildings and High Street shops; this is quite telling as Food Markets in general are counter this culture – there is no uniformity, no two markets are the same. You can go to an Indian Food Festival and not one stall will sell the exact same dish, in exactly the same way…I find heaps of inspiration from these places. I also love the hustle and bustle of it all, you can strike up a conversation with just about anyone as you wait in the queue for a Mango and Almond Lassi. And there is no shame in asking a complete stranger: “What’s that your eating?” To start the proceedings, I thought I would just share with you a very …

Bara and Channa (Doubles)

Yes Bara and Channa: the original street food of Trinidad. I soon learnt on my first trip to Trini, not to buy Bara and Channa from just anyone! My Dad and I still laugh about it to this day how we would drive 45 minutes away from my Uncle’s home, in the south, to buy fresh bara (bread) and channa (chick-pea) from a middle aged lady who made it straight from her isolated hut, passing many other vendors along the way. This lady’s bara was made right before our dry eyes and watering lips rather than fried beforehand and left to steam in a hot pan waiting for the first customer. The best bara is slightly crispy on the outside and fluffy in the middle with a mild curry flavour. This wouldn’t be a true hot sandwich without the condiments: the Anchar (pickled mango chutney), the tamarind sauces and the cool cucumber salad. If you follow this recipe correctly, you will also have the most lightest fluffiest bara you could ever want: easy to slice into a pocket or sandwich two bara’s together with a serving …

Trini ‘Tambran’ (Tamarind) Sauce’

I remember being about 6 or 7 at the time (for some reason I put a lot of childhood events between this age range) when I tasted my first Tamarind Ball. It was dark in colour and resembled a golf ball that had been rolled in sugar. My brother told me it was (pepper) ‘hot’, so as neither of us could bear hot pepper at the time I avoided them as best I could. But then a few weeks later, I thought I’d pluck the courage to go try one of these ‘sweets’ as my Dad called them. He had brought them back from a short trip he’d made to Trinidad to see my Grand – parents and extended family. I had watched on with envy as my Mum and Dad devoured them with child like pleasure all week and couldn’t understand the fascination with something that resembled liquorice but tasted like pepper. The moment the Tambran was in my mouth, I was met by an unusually sweet sticky texture which I chewed on for a couple of seconds, …

West African Peanut Stew

  Thick, thin or soupy. Depending on where you are, peanut stews can be found across the whole of West Africa. This is one dish I really wanted to get right, it had to be as authentic as I could possibly get it without having to grind the peanuts to make butter myself. This dish is usually made with chicken, but as someone who is attempting but failing badly to wean off meat, I thought I would try and make this with vegetables. The question was, which vegetables to use and to combine. My choice was based on several factors: texture, colour, and combination. As I would be missing meat, I had to make up for that with giving the stew something to chew on. No one likes over-cooked discoloured vegetables, well I don’t and so I needed vegetables that could hold their form, or at least help thicken the stew. I decided against courgettes for that very reason: they tend to get very watery when cooked and lose both colour and texture. Aubergines on …

Coconut & Lime Rice

  Some recipes come to me with clear intentions, others by inspiration and still others by accident. This was definitely an accident. It started off as a simple coconut rice dish until I decided that the garnish (being limes) could work just as well as an ingredient. And it really did; just a hint of lime in this rice gives the rice a very refreshing taste. You might want to try grating some of the lime rind in rather than just stirring in the juice, it’s entirely up to you. But be brave and see what interesting combinations you can make. This rice goes really well with the Peanut Stew which I made practically minutes before. But I’m sure it would go well with any hearty stew or meat you want to have with it.  

Moist Vegan Cornbread

  This recipe makes a really dense, crumbly vegan cornbread that is quite moist and really easy to make. What I love the most about this recipe is that it combines a bunch of nutritious ingredients without spoiling the traditional taste and texture you expect from cornbread. I first made this recipe at a friend’s house and was surprised at how quickly it baked in the oven; try to let it cool for 5-10 minutes before slicing and removing it from the dish, to avoid it crumbling too much. I thought I should leave you with some useful insights into the health benefits of some the ingredients 5 Facts About Coconut Oil: Very high in lauric acid (bacteria destroyer!) Rich in anti-oxidants (strengthen ability to fight disease and infection) Contains natural microbial and anti-bacterial agents Improves metabolism and prevents fatigue Improves cholesterol levels 5 Facts About Maple Syrup: Contains manganese and zinc (strengthens bones) Contains 54 different antioxidants Helps with inflammation 1/4 cup contains more calcium than the same amount of milk 1/4 cup contains more …

Gluten Free: Pumpkin Falafels

For this recipe I used the Kabocha Squash for its sweet nutty flavour. I have always found falafel a little dry and so I thought the addition of squash to the recipe would give it a smoother texture. The last night I truly enjoyed a hot falafel wrap was during one of my trips around New York last year with a friend. I don’t normally eat from street vendors, but this one was surrounded by massive signs which read: “As recommended in the New York Times” as well as having an extended queue of customers, I took a risk. They were really nice and what I liked was the unexpected crunch of the coriander seeds. This falafel can be baked or fried, I chose to fry them slightly in shallow oil just to release some of the flavours from the spices and give it that crunchy texture. And then I finished baking them in the oven. Enjoy them with a nice fresh salad or in a wrap with your favourite dressing.  

My Gourd Is Good!

I grew up eating only one variety of pumpkin: it had a hard green tortoise shell exterior with bright orange flesh. We moved just outside of London soon after I was born, but at least twice a week, we would be on the road to either Ridley or Brixton Market to buy our produce which they didn’t sell in our part of town. The markets were always a busy place, consumed with the strong smell of decaying raw fish, the booming reggae beats from the old record shop which thumped through my chest and the ever-present icon of the Rasta-man who sold sweet smoking incense from his stall at the entrance of the market. I loved going to market, because it was the one time I got to eat fresh beef patties from the bakery as we followed my parents around the stalls to buy our provision. We could never go to market and walk away without our Yam, Cassava, Dasheen…and piece of Pumpkin. A large yellow eclipse was often found hanging from a fish-hook suspended from …

Spiced. Pistachio. Chilled. Latte

  Don’t worry, you read it correctly. I didn’t think I would see these words all in the same sentence either. But it’s real: Pistachio Milk is the next big thing following Almond, Oat and Rice as substitutes to dairy milk. Its one of my favourite’s to add to cereals, porridges or just to enjoy on its own. I find that it also lends itself to exotic flavours more than other whole nuts, partly because of its earthy green, yellowy, brown colour and also because it crops up in some many East Indian recipes both savoury and sweet. I also love a good latte, especially Chai Latte’s and so creating this recipe with Pistachio’s is really a play on the flavours and spices of Chai tea. I served this chilled and as mentioned in my previous post, try to soak the nuts for at least 6 hours or more, the longer you soak them, the silkier the taste. Enjoy!

A Bowl of Sunshine: Tarka Dal

I can still remember the sizzling sound the crushed garlic would make as it hit the tin roof of the small dutch pot my mother would use to temper. The almost charred bitter taste of the garlic is actually really pleasant here, this is the only dish where you can get away with it I think. Dal and rice was a family stable in my household growing up and so seeing this bowl of sunshine at least once a week always brightened up my day. Apparently there are at least 60 different kinds of dal, but I have traditionally grown up with the ‘yellow split pea’ as a base. In this recipe I have actually mixed it with the red lentil which cooks a lot quicker and doesn’t need soaking over night like the yellow split pea. I also didn’t completely mash up the yellow peas, you can still achieve the creamy texture this way. The ‘Tarka’ part refers to the a mix of spices fried in oil or ghee until sizzling and aromatic, and then …

Mushroom Biriyani

  This recipe is really easy to prepare and cook, and its amazingly versatile: the mushrooms can be substituted for mixed vegetables if you wish. Each stage of the rice dish is injecting a different flavour into the rice. I actually prefer to cook the rice separately and then stir it into the sautéed seasoning, however I have detailed the traditional version below. I  would also recommend serving this with the Tarka Dhal which is coming up in this blog. Copyright © Ranette Prime and Love Loretta’s Kitchen, 2014. All rights reserved.