The folks at Cooklet are all about social cooking. With more and more of us food blogging and also sourcing recipes from blogs, Cooklet are launching a groovy yellow button that will allow food bloggers and cooks to be far more interactive. Exciting? Yes!
The Jewelled Kitchen by Bethany Kehdy
I love Toscana by Giulia Scarpaleggia
The second prize (if we win) will bag the other set of two cook books.
Good luck! Can’t wait to see your entries! Please submit by end of day 15.9.13
UPDATE!! I’ve now been informed you can submit up until the end of 23rd September. 2013. Let’s get in those last minute entries!!
It was delicious! A flavour party.
All I craved was a big bowl of mash. But, because it was Vegan MoFo Day 8, I couldn’t just present you with a plate of fluffy spuds could I?! So I jazzed it up a bit, with some marinated skillet tempeh, caramelised fried tomatoes and an apple, chilli jam. It makes it more.. complex? well, I guess complex is pushing it a bit, but it was nice.
I made the mash with white potatoes and parsnips 2:1 Roughly mashed and seasoned with Himalayan salt & freshly ground black pepper (no vegan butter..I never think it needs it).
To give the tempeh depth of flavour I made a marinade.
3 tbs agave syrup
1/4 tsp onion granules
1/4 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp chilli powder
1 tbs walnut oil (or apple sauce if you are oil free)
1/4 tsp salt or tamari sauce
freshly ground black pepper
squeeze of lime
Mix the marinade ingredients. Thinly slice the tempeh, but not too thin that it crumbles. Use a pastry brush to coat each side of the tempeh with the mixture. Put about a tablespoon of oil into a skillet or fry pan to coat the base. Fry the tempeh for about 2 mins each side. Set aside.
The tomatoes I sliced in two and popped them into the hot skillet, leaving in the crunchy, roasty bits left from the tempeh. Fry the open face first until they start to colour and caramelise. Gently turn them over to fry the other side. Just for a few minutes until softening a little.
The apple sauce is simple. Dice a small cooking apple and add 1 tbs of agave syrup (or a dessert apple and add a tsp apple cider vinegar and no syrup). 1/4 tsp (or more if you desire/dare) flaked chilli. 1/4 tsp salt. Add 1/4 cup water. Cook until the apple just begins to break down. You want the dice to remain and not disperse into a puree. Take off heat and allow to cool a little.
Arrange the mash, tempeh and tomatoes on a plate, as artfully as you can muster. Add the apple sauce.
I kid myself not that I’m going to be awarded any Michelin Stars for this, but I hope you enjoy!
Happy Day 7 – Vegan MoFo 2013.
My first MoFo recipe. To be honest, since my recent return from Berlin, I’ve been a bit ‘fooded out’. I’ve been craving just simple and familiar flavours. I’m also a bit blue, from leaving behind a wonderful month in Germany. I’ve also just moved into a house sit and besides that being another new situation, I’ve discovered it is not going to be as long as I thought so I’m looking for my next housesit. I’m a bit all over the place, to say the least! I’m going to seek somewhere where I can hunker down, be for a while, and cook until the cows come home.
Therefore, I’m presenting you with a heart warming, favourite of mine. It has a gentle kick too, to liven things up and get you out of a funk…if that is what is needed.
Smokey Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato Soup. I put a new take on it by adding fried, crispy Tempeh Croutons (an idea I stole from Lucky Leek in Berlin)
It is really simple to make (I need that, my head is bloody spinning from all the uncertainty and excitement).
This recipe makes two bowls.
6 small red peppers (I used a couple of yellow instead this time as the bargain bag was…a bargain!..it tasted just as good)
6 organic tomatoes (choose ones that have not spent all their life in a fridge and have had chance for their sugars to develop)
6 cloves of garlic (oh dear, I’ve just seen I’ve created 666 in my soup recipe..add 7 cloves if you are superstitious!)
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp pink salt
1/2 tsp chilli powder (optional)
fresh ground black pepper to taste
just use enough diced tempeh to garnish the centre of the bowl
1/4 tsp chipotle powder (if you don’t have then just use smoked paprika)
chili flakes to garnish
Roast the peppers & tomatoes in a 180degree oven. For about 25-30 mins, until the shoulders of the vegetables are becoming just slightly charred. Remove from the oven, leave to cool slightly, this will make the skin easier to peel off and discard (discard the peppers seeds too). You can use the plastic bag trick but the idea of plastic bag chemicals on my food freaks me out a little. If you just wait a few minutes the skin will be compliant with your wishes. Make sure you catch all the delicious juices from the peppers. I don’t oil my peppers & toms. i don’t think they need it. I do however make a little boat out of tin foil and pop my garlic in there and douse liberally, as the garlic needs the oil to prevent the garlic from burning to a charred and bitter crisp. It becomes so sweet and soft this way. I could actually just eat these like candy.
Put peppers, tomatoes and garlic into a saucepan with the seasonings. Add about 1/2 cup water. You may need a little more, but taste and use your judgement. Use a stick blender to blend. Pop onto the gas and bring it back up to a nice heat (don’t boil it).
Meantime, dust the diced tempeh with the chipotle powder and a little salt and black pepper. Pop into a hot, oiled skillet and fry for about 2-3 minutes.
Serve the soup into huggable bowls. Sprinkle the tempeh into the centre and dust with chilli flakes, if you wish. Grind over more fresh black pepper.
Breathe for a moment. Ahh. Dip in a big soup spoon. Eat. Let the flavours play on your tongue and just see how it puts the world to rights!
What did you make today? Let us know in the comments below.
So, apparently there is no Emma Pea, not an Emma, not even a woman, but two guys behind the vegan food joint, Emma Pea. The chef told me it was something to do with hip hop, or beat box, or something. I feel decidedly uncool. James, the Chef, is not from Berlin, but the West of Ireland. Does that matter? I guess not. Speaking to him briefly, it was clear to see he is passionate about food. That does matter.
The cafe is situated in-between Friedrichsain and Kreuzberg, a stones throw from the river and a long section of Berlin Wall, within the hub of Urban Spree. Emma Pea shares it’s space with climbing walls, outdoor bars, music venues and an arts space. It looks somewhat like a trailer, with steel steps up to the restaurant. It’s cozy inside and feels relaxed. Outside you can sit out on the high deck and people watch. If you are lucky, enjoy the sun too.
James, teased me about my lengthy deliberations on choosing the menu. “you’re a blogger? Jesus, how long does it take you to write?!’ Writing is easy I say, picking the food I want is a bit more complicated. I explain I may only get to eat there once. My time in Berlin being limited and with so many vegan places to eat. ‘It’s got to be right’. I say. He then asks me how I’m feeling, and it’s like food therapy. I see how ridiculous I’m being and choose the stuffed paprika. I pay, and go and sit outside in the sun. Lucky (?!) for me I’m gluten free, or I’d have been there forever deciding. Alas, not everything on the menu is suitable for the gluten intolerant among us.
The food takes just a few minutes to arrive, giving me time to relax. It looks fresh. Obvious care is taken over presentation. The paprika (red pepper) is roasted and stuffed with lentils and soft, fluffy buckwheat. Blanched green beans are pepper flecked, and sprinkled with rough chopped hazelnuts, a hint of olive oil adds richness. An abstract flash of cherry pink vinaigrette, (perhaps a little too acidic for my palate) cuts through the dish and adds a modern twist to a vegetarian favourite. I was happy with my selection.
Nice atmosphere, relaxed ‘urban’ dining. Inexpensive.
Other things on the menu – chilli with mole (27 ingredients..this guy knows his stuff). Burrito’s. Green coconut curry. Spinach & chickpea soup, to name but a few. Some gluten free options. Sadly, no gluten free cakes or treats, at this time.
I popped over the road to veganz for a slice of mud cake. The perfect end.
I’d scribbled directions on scrap of paper and headed out, confident of my city orienteering skills. It was 7pm, plenty of time, as they were open until 8. I’m not going to go into the whole long drawn out process of walking around in a big circle and getting lost and chasing the proverbial ‘wild goose’, but I arrived as the lights were being flicked off and the clock ticked past 8pm. I pleaded in English. I know, how rude, but in my flustered state I couldn’t muster a single word in Duetshe. I was in luck though. Steffen, one of the 11 Kollectiv that make up Dr.Pogo, was happy to let me have a quick look around. I bought some locally made tofu and a baby cucumber and left with a promise to return.
Next time I was prepared. I had wheels. I was on my newly purchased(old) bike. I found the store with ease, and this time, Steffan had agreed to take a break and chat with me.
Three years ago, Steffen, baseball-capped and fresh faced, was a film maker. In late 2012 he packed it all in and joined a mixed group of men and women. Their mission, to fill a gap left by a previous, much loved, vegan store, and open their own shop and serve the pining clientele.
With no previous shop owning experience (though a few of them had worked in some) they rented a store space, cobbled together their own shelving and counters, and in January 2013, opened their doors to the people of Berlin.
Each of 11 bring their individual strengths, to make the whole. Steffan says they work well together and are a happy bunch. All dedicated vegans.
The store is well stocked and the products are carefully chosen. Most come from Europe, a few from further afield. Wanting to be sustainable and connected with their community, they try and include as much local products as possible. A big baking pan displays home cooked vegan pizza, made locally. Inviting looking cakes and pastries line the wooden counter. All made by local friends. The tofu from Soy Rebels, it turned out, was the best I’ve ever eaten. Super firm, smokey and with a good dry texture.
The store has a well stocked bulk section, fresh produce, raw items, cosmetics, vegan condoms, cleaning products, books, a long row of chilled products; cheeses, fake meats. Ice creams. Everything you could want, and all vegan. They are even a pick up point for CSA veggie boxes All the new product names and labels made my head spin. I want to try everything!
They have a small, intimate space in the corner to sit, have something to eat and drink and pass some time.
As we chatted, a steady flow of people came in and then left, laden with vegan goods. Steffen tells me some of their local customers didn’t even realise the store was meat-free until they’d visited many times. Their customers, Steffen tells me, come from all walks of life. Their primary goals differ; the organico’s, the localvores, the ecovists, or the mamas and papas who want the best for their kids. Those with a (glutenfrei) gluten free diet. The vegans can be oriented from a number of ways too. He see’s the fitness/health vegans, the animal activist vegans, the ethical or the sustainability crowd. All coming to the same conclusion that vegan is best. All are welcome. The store has a comforting, old fashioned (from the UK perspective anyway) feel about it. Just like buying your stuff from friends.
As with the theme of most collectives, they all pay themselves the same. No hierarchy exists. They currently habour no dreams of world domination, and are happy with the way things are. I see this in Steffan. He is a guy with much contentment.
After they opened in January 2013 (despite well meaning friends saying it would take at least 2 years to get off the ground) the store was thriving. The people just came. It makes me want to live in Berlin. Learn German. Bump up the Kollectiv from 11 to 12.
I ask Steffen where he likes to hang out when he is not working in the store. He tells me of a collective of groups from locations all over Berlin that, on any given night, serve up food to those who seek it. Voku (short for Volks Kuchen…translated: Peoples Kitchen) list many vegan happenings in Project Houses. I hope to try at least one during my stay.
pizza supplied from Sfizyveg.de
Cakes and treats from Majas Deli
For a list of Berlin Kollectiv’s
Neukolln has a number of vegan restaurants and cafes. I will be hopefully getting around to visiting them all! Are you signed up for emails? Make sure you don’t miss out on future reviews..and, at some point when the trip is done, recipes!
|a selection of products included in the giveaway|
A couple of days ago I told you about my latest gluten free, low fat rave. Bean Pasta. Now, other than just telling you about it, we are giving you a chance to win a box of gluten free goodies for yourself. The online gluten free food speicalists Gluten Free Food Market contacted me, after seeing the blog post and said, ‘do you want to send a whole box of goodies to one of your readers?‘. Um, YES! said I.
They are generously giving away, one of each of the following;
- Explore Asian bean pasta
- Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Baking Flour
- La Veneziane Tagliatelle
- Bob’s Four Grain Porridge
- Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Rolled Oats
- Bob’s Red Mill Oat Bran