It was delicious! A flavour party.
It was delicious! A flavour party.
I wish I had £10 for every time I heard Mariah Carey sing ‘All I Want For Christmas’….I’d be stockpiling a small fortune by now! Hey, ho… ho ho!
To keep with the ‘healthy but feasty’ theme I thought a light , but flavoursome, salad would be a good choice for the Christmas Day starter. Do you agree? I can’t help feeling a little nostalgic at Christmas. Reminiscing about some retro dish from my childhood (it’s all those bloody old Christmas songs filling the airways and catapulting me back to Christmas past). I’ve been recalling the days when a crouton was ‘posh’ food and me ma would serve everything deep fried and breaded, to showcase her culinary mastery. Us little’ns would see a few cubes of oily breadcrumbs on top of the Maryrose sauce and think we’d skipped up to the Upper Classes. Our pinkies would flick up from our cutlery in reverence, and an attempt to eat like stereotypical posh people. (cough) I think I must have had a case of invented memory syndrome because I cannot possibly be old enough to remember when prawn cocktail was in its heyday! So, with that in mind, and looking to what is seasonal I racked my brain for the perfect Christmas starter……and my inspired dish for Christmas day starter is to be……
Balsamic PEAR Salad With Deep Fried Cheese Croutons With Mustard Dressing and Leaves.
3 large conference pears
2 tbs balsamic glaze
1 tbs vegan butter & 1 tbs sesame oil for frying
salt & pepper
deep fried cheese
vegan hard cheese recipe here to make your own
4 tbs breadcrumbs
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tbs tapioca flour & water to make paste or use egg replacer
salt & pepper
oil for deep frying
dressing (can be made ahead of time)
3 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbs lemon juice
2 tbs olive oil (walnut oil would be lovely too I think)
2 tsp brown rice syrup (or agave, maple or similar)
organic salad leaves to serve
1.carefully peel your pears and cut into quarters lengthwise. 2. heat oil and butter in a pan and fry the pears until they are crackling and starting to caramelise. 3. season and spoon over the balsamic glaze, cook for a further 3-4 minutes. 4. whilst they are cooking away nicely grab all your dressing ingredients and mix them in a jar. Set aside 5. to make the cheese crouton like things (sorry, it’s dark and cold here, not feeling very inspirational to come up with a fitting title) take an apple corer and cut out 3 cones for each person. Roll them in the tapioca paste then roll….gently now….in the breadcrumbs. 6. fry in the oil..careful!…until golden. Drain and them put all your elements together. Finally, get all cheffy and drizzle over the Dijon dressing. Let the feasting fun commence!
I’m hoping to extend the Christmas Feasting series to Part 4 and share some additional desserts and party food….if time allows.
The recipe is inspired by a Nigella Lawson recipe. I’ve made it quicker, adaptable and gluten-free.
Peanut Noodles – salad or sizzling
brown rice noodles (these are gluten free, if that is not a concern you may use soba noodles)
2 cups bean sprouts
1 cup baby corn
1 cup mange tout
1 red pepper, julienne
1 tbs sesame seeds
2 tbs fresh mint coriander (ciltrano) chopped
1 tbs fresh mint chopped
for the dressing
1/3 cup peanut butter. I used crunchy sugar free because I love the texture (if you are using sweetened PB then omit the next ingredient)
1 tbs agave or similar
1 tbs sesame oil
2 tbs sweet chili dressing (if you have a sugar free diet then use my simple sriracha sauce recipe)
1 tbs tamari (gluten free) soy sauce
1 tbs fresh lime juice
1 tsp garlic powder
*serve with extra, chopped chili for some fire. Optional
1. bring a kettle to the boil and pour over brown vermicelli rice noodles . Soak for 2-3 minutes. Strain off the liquid.
2. place all the dressing ingredients into a bowl and mix.
3. Mix the vegetables in with the noodles, pour over the peanut dressing and mix gently.
DONE! unless you want them hot. If so then flash fry in 1 tbs sesame oil to heat through. It really is that simple.
Post 101. I allowed the 100th post, since the conception of aveganobsession, to pass by without fanfare. It is momentous…I appreciate that. But I don’t feel it (yet). I’ve hurt my ankle and its making me a grump right now…I can’t run. I LOVE to run.
101 posts. What now? I have two recipes to share – faux chicken salad & roasted sweet potato with leek & cashew cheese topping……really nice…but they are not groundbreaking, artistically splendorous or recipes worthy of adulation. I’ll happily give the recipe if you want.
Hmmn, I look back over the posts and see I have progressed. More recipes obviously, my intention to bake and post when once again in the UK has been churned out with a frequency of which I am proud. My pics are improved…somewhat..mostly..in the main. The sense of obligation I feel to the blog and you, has made me be more creative..try more recipes. This can only ever be a good thing.
At this milestone, I feel I should be making decisions. Which direction to point myself in. Devising a plan. To be honest I have no idea. How did other bloggers handle their own milestones? I hunting all over the place for clarity, but I’ve just got steamy windows! IN the meantime, I thought I’d just pass on some tidbits I’ve found recently.
Vegan Potlucks in the UK – coming up…London, today at MsCupcake 6-8pm Brighton Vegan Meal meet up is 6:15pm on 12th August
London Vegan Festival – 21st August..visit www.vegancampaigns.org.uk/festival
I bought VEGETARIAN LIVING magazine (it has lots of vegan recipes) for first time today.. It’s got some interesting information I thought to share..
A vegetarian cafe in Yorkshire beat down all the ‘meat’ competition and won BEST CAFE – Ginger Vegetarian Cafe
Is there an APP for that? – you can now buy an app that scans a product bar code and tells you what food or drink you can or can’t have according to your dietary requirements…nice idea.
Vegetarian Living magazine are running an offer with Goodness Direct to get £10 off your next order over £35 – place order online and enter code – 322345P8 I love GD, they have a fantastic range of fresh, frozen and wholefoods.
Facemasks for men…? Vegetarian Living brings us this info – www.osmiumformen.com
Can you help guide me?
Where do I go from here….? If you have any suggestions or ideas for the blog please let me know. I would love to make it user FRIENDLY.
p.s thanks to www.environmentalistinaction.com for the jpeg of the celebration cake.
Left overs are good. They are like pieces of a puzzle you get to fit together to make a picture..or great meal.
After my experiments in the kitchen the previous day..making tasty tempeh ‘bacon’, I had a quantity of cabbage left and I was still craving that cabbage ‘bite’, so I decided to haul everything from the fridge and see what I could create. I wanted a salad but, with the weather still not quite at ‘bikini’ level, I still felt like some warmth in my belly. The result…..Warm Detox Cabbage Salad. Members of the brassica family; cabbage, kale, broccoli etc are excellent detoxifiers and I thought what better time than the change of the seasons to transition to the lighter diet of springtime (well actually 1st priority was I wanted something super good, super quick).
This recipe makes for an entree salad for two or a side salad for four (or two greedies).
Gather your ingredients
1/2 wash green cabbage
1 bunch kale
handful of mixed baby lettuce leaves or herb salad
2 large carrots
1 punnet of grape/cherry tomatoes (at room temp. for best flavour…tomatoes are like me, not very funky if they’re chilled!)
1/2 large Hass avocado, so ripe and delicous it’ll make you want to weep!
1/2 cup of chopped pineapple (not the kind that’s been strangled with syrup) * optional
1 tbsp capers
1 tbsp unsweetened cranberries
Extra virgin OO – canola oil or a mix of walnut and OO would be good too….I wonder if peanut oil?….another time!
A cheeky squeeze of lemon
Crushed salt & cracked pepper
In a pan steam or boil in shallow, seasoned water the chopped cabbage..I like mine in fine strips…until becoming translucent. Allow to cool a little.
chop kale and remove fibrous stems. Place in a bowl, with julienned carrots, chopped tomatoes, avocado and remaining ingredients. Mix
Creamy mustard dressing…Mustvocado
1/2 gloriously ripe avocado
1 tbsp Tofutti cream cheese
1-2 tbsp Dijon mustard or Trader Joes spicy mustard
1 garlic clove
1 tbsp Extra virgin OO
a dash of slightly cooled cabbage water to thin if needed
*NOTE; PLEASE IGNORE THE PB, IT ISN’T IN THIS RECIPE BUT PICTURE WAS ON FILE FOR A PRODUCT REVIEWS THAT I AM WRITING. Though, if you replaced the mustard (or had the PB as an additional ingredient), the PB would make for a nice alternative I imagine..
For the dressing, mash the avocado in a bowl with the cheese and mustard before adding the raw minced garlic and oil. Whisk/mix. The consistency should be roughly that of heavy cream. Let it sit for a minute or two for it all to get nicely acquainted and then pour into your salad and mix whilst inhaling the aroma. Test the seasoning…serve. Take a bow.
It was sooo good, lots of layers of flavour, the dressing creamy but elegant. All that AND it is good for you! Blimey.
I attended a great POTLUCK yesterday in San Francisco…my 1st! Hosted by my friend Veronica. OMG the food was super tasty and simple as…
I had 50mins to make something with quinoa (my hosts request), time just seems to sink into the pavement in San Francisco and there is ALWAYS a farmers market, restaurant or fab cafe that pulls my attention away. So, was back to the kitchen late and had to throw something together.
The result of my frantic grabbing of ingredients… QUINOA & KALE SALAD
Ahem, I admit I never measure anything… All recipes serve four to five friends.
I just intuitively added water to the quinoa after rinsing it…I’d say about two pints of cold water to a lb of grain. I did some research and found this website if you need to measure..How to cook quinoa from Low Calorie Cooking
Boil for about 20mins. Until you see the grain split and all the water has been absorbed. Leave to cool.
Put oil in a pan DO NOT preheat.
Slice all but one of the garlic cloves and put the burner on low. Let the garlic slowly cook until it becomes slightly golden. Remove, with the oil to a small dish and put it in the fridge to halt the cooking process. DO NOT let it burn, it will be bitter and nasty.
Wash the kale well and shake dry (water will make the oil spit when sauteing). Chop finely and cut away any tough stalks.
Spray or pour a little oil into a pan and heat.
Add the kale together with remaining garlic clove, finely chopped.
Saute for about 4 mins, until kale is slightly reduced and garlic cooked.
Heat pan and drop in the almond flakes..toast until golden and making the kitchen smell like heaven. Take them off heat and put them in small dish in the fridge to cool.
Now, lets assemble it all.
Grab the cooked quinoa and put in serving dish.
Add the garlic and the oil it danced in. Spoon in the kale and the almonds. Sprinkle in the cranberries or raisins (without steeping water). Grab a large salad utensil and mix ingredients. Squeeze over lemon juice. Check for seasoning. Throw on some herb salad or arugula (rocket) leaves.
I had some kale chips from Rhythm Superfoods in the cupboard, KOOL RANCH flavour so I crumbled a handful into the mix too.
My friend Veronica made some AWESOME aubergines (eggplant). Simple and FULL of flavour.
Recipe for aubergine (sorry but I prefer the name we Brits use for it…but yes, its eggplant)
Place on dish and salt…leave it to weep..poor little veggie. This apparently stops it from soaking up too much oil but I think may be one of those things we do without questioning the validity of it, or perhaps not.
Grill or place on skillet and cook until soft and unctuous.
Remove to serving dish and add finely chopped garlic, drizzle heartily with a good olive oil (Veronica used oil from her partner’s grove in Italy..now that’s decedent) and sprinkle over finely chopped parsley…season to taste.
Asparagus in oil, lightly cooked on a skillet…I was too busy piling all the food on my plate at this point and chatting so forgot to take a picture. Sorry!
Someone cheated with the final dish. A colourful beet salad…bought from BI-RITE MARKET
Just roasted beets & carrots and vinaigrette. Scrummy.
It was a feast.
We finished the evening with fresh pears and dried fruit poached in Marsala wine. Again, alas too busy eating to photograph…….
Went home stuffed and a very contented bunny.