I’m not one normally for doing reviews, but I had an offer of going along to a vegan supper club, hosted by the lovely people from Began’s, and I’m not one to turn down an invite! Began’s is a street food stand, based in High Wycombe, Bucks on Fridays (check it out if you’re in the town). Out in leafy Buckinghamshire, vegan food isn’t normally something we’re used to getting our hands on that easily, so I had to make sure I ventured along to their stand, and it didn’t disappoint! So, I knew I’d be in for a treat at their supper club, hosted at Copper’s Coffee Bar in the lovely Marlow.
I took my boyfriend (he’s not a vegan) along with me, and we ordered everything on the menu, so we could share and try it all. To start we had Spinach Dhal and Tofu Gyoza, both of which were delicious, but I absolutely love gyoza, and the boyf, not really a fan of tofu, declared these to be amazing.
In between courses there were live musicians to keep us entertained, just incase our small talk ran out! Our mains were Seitan and Ale pie with mash and Seitan BBQ ribs, with a side of mac and cheese, some coleslaw, corn and rice. I’ve only eaten seitan once before and it’s a winner. If you’re looking for a ‘meaty’ substitute seitan is the answer. These dishes were so good, but the pie was the hands down favourite in our opinion. Pudding didn’t disappoint, and we managed to fit in a Chocolate Oreo Cheesecake and an Eton Mess, which was deliciously coconutty, and the cheesecake was suitably chocolatey! All in all, a great evening with delcious food, a warm and friendly vibe in a cool venue. Good job Began’s a great vegan supper club! 🙂 Here’s some photos of the food to get your tummy’s rumbling.
This basil pesto carrot gnocchi may just be my favourite thing EVER! I mean, I’m not going to lie, this is not a weekday dinner – making your own gnocchi is a faff that’s for sure. This is definitely more of a weekend meal, one to take your time and not stress over. I promise, it is worth the effort though, for sure!
But, this delicious pesto you could make any day of the week. Mix it through some pasta for a quick simple weekday dinner, or stir it through some courgette ribbons and add it to your lunchtime salad. You’ll never want to buy another jar of pesto once you’ve made your own!
Basil Pesto Carrot Gnocchi
For the pesto:
120g pine nuts
1 1/2 tubs of basil (the pots you can buy in the supermarket)
70ml olive oil
1 clove garlic
Salt and pepper
- On a medium heat, toast the pine nuts in a dry pan for five minutes.
- In a food processor, blitz the garlic clove and basil. Add the toasted pine nuts and olive oil and blend together until it’s as fine as you want it to be.
- Season with salt and pepper.
For the gnocchi:
6 medium carrots
180g rice flour
Salt and pepper
- Peel and boil the potatoes until cooked. In a separate saucepan, peel and boil the carrots until cooked.
- Once they are both cooked, in a food processor, blend the cooked carrot until smooth, add the potatoes and mix until both are combined and no longer lumpy (use a potato masher if you don’t have a food processor).
- Add the rice flour and season with plenty of salt and pepper and blend together until a doughy consistency is formed.
- Shape into small balls using extra flour (this bit gets quite messy) and lay out on greaseproof. I used a fork to flatten them out a little and to give them an even shape.
- In a pan of salted boiling water, lower to a simmer, then place the gnocchi into the water (you may need to cook half at a time so it doesn’t clump together).
- The gnocchi will take two – four minutes to cook, once it has risen to the surface it is ready. Using a slotted spoon strain the excess water and place on a plate.
- Heat the pesto in a pan on a medium heat, and add the cooked, strained gnocchi. Stir the pesto thoroughly through the gnocchi. Serve straight away.
Happy gnocchi days 🙂
Well we’re in the height of summer, although you wouldn’t believe it looking at today’s weather, it’s been freezing! I’m really enjoying the new variety of vegetables that are in season. This weekend we celebrated Amy’s birthday; we ventured to the local pick your own farm before heading home for all things cider and BBQ based. Whilst we were mainly picking the last of the strawberries and finding the best raspberries and redcurrants to bury into the freezer to get us through the winter we also found some marrows.
Marrows are one of those vegetables, which can be a bit boring. I’m a fan of boring and really like marrows but I can understand why some people may not really appreciate them quite so much. So, when life brings you marrow…..stuff them!
Stuffed marrows with puy lentils and tomatoes
250g puy lentils
1 cartoon of passata
2 tbsp dried basil
2 cloves of garlic
1. In a saucepan cover the lentils with boiling water and simmer for 30 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, slice the marrows in half (lengthways) and scoop out the seeds (don’t throw them away)
3. In a roasting tin place the marrows and drizzle with olive oil and pop in the oven at 180C.
4. Dice up the marrow seeds and flesh and add to the lentil to cook down.
5. Once the lentils are cooked, drain and add the tomato sauce along with the garlic and season with pepper and basil.
6. Once the tomato starts simmering, take the marrow out of the oven and spoon the lentil mixture into the marrow. Return to the oven for 15 minutes. Serve with some green vegetables and mashed potatoes.
The big news for me is that I successfully got in the London Marathon ballot! Cue excitement and smug feelings that I got a ballot place, which fyi are really hard to get! But, now the reality has dawned on me and I’ve got a shed load of work to do before I get to that start line and it is the training that scares me more than the marathon. When I was training for the half marathon it was Spring, it was reasonably dry and running outdoors was a joy. I’m definitely more than a little apprehensive about dark, cold, rainy training runs.
Obviously before my big runs I’ll be carb loading. I’m not one for white pasta usually, and always try to stick to wholewheat pasta and brown rice etc. But, when I was in Italy I had no stomach problems from their pasta (or any of the food) – so I sourced some of the “good stuff”. So here is a perfectly creamy mushroomy pasta that will either help you before those training runs like me or just help you when you’re in need of that comfort food fix on these cold nights.
Creamy vegan mushroom pasta (serves 4)
A glug of olive oil
A handful of thyme sprigs
1 tin of coconut milk
275g dried pasta
Salt & pepper
1) Chop the mushrooms really thin. In a pan, heat the olive oil and start cooking the mushrooms. Thinly slice the courgettes and then add to the pan. Once they are cooked through, add the coconut milk and heat slowly, allowing the coconut milk to melt down and soak up the mushroom flavours.
2) In another pan, cook the pasta in boiling water as per the packet instructions.
3) Once the pasta is cooked, drain and add to the coconut and mushroom sauce. Add the thyme (remove the leaves from the stalks) and stir through to cover the pasta with the sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Either serve straight away, or put in a dish and bake in the oven for 20 minutes at 180C.
You may have noticed that we’ve been posting less frequently than we were before Christmas. It’s not that we’ve gone all quiet on you, we’ve just decided to stick to one post a week this year. Our 12 days of Christmas series although fun to do, required a lot of work and there is no way we can continue posting that much. So from now on you can expect one post a week and we’ll try our best to deliver on quality rather than quantity.
The weather here is miserable at the moment and hearty home cooking is what I am definitely craving, although that isn’t something everyone would equate with vegan cooking. But you know how we like to have our vegan cake and eat it! So we’ve decided that over the next few months we will share our vegan versions of some home cooked British classics. We want to show you that a vegan diet isn’t about giving up or missing out, it’s about being creative and adapting. Plus our Mum is always struggling for ideas on what to cook us, so we figured she can cook us what she’s always cooked us, we’ll just show her how to make it vegan!
This Shepherd’s Pie is perfect for these cold rainy days, provides you with plenty of protein and has a delicious flavour.
Vegan Shepherd’s Pie
Serves 4 (You can up the quantities if you need to make it for more people)
For the Mash:
A splash of Almond Milk
A knob of soya margarine
Dried Parsley to garnish
For the Filling:
60g Puy Lentils
A tin of Chickpeas
2 Garlic Cloves
A couple of large Mushrooms
A handful of Spinach
A couple of spoonfuls of frozen peas
150ml Vegetable Stock
150ml Pasata Sauce or a tin of chopped tomatoes
1 heaped tsp Wholegrain Mustard
1 tsp Nutritional Yeast (optional)
A couple of drops of Tabasco Sauce
Salt & Pepper
1) Peel your potatoes & celeriac and boil in the same pan for 15-20min. Once cooked, drain and mash adding a splash of almond milk and the soya butter until creamy.
2) Whilst the potatoes are boiling, rinse and boil the Puy Lentils for 25 minutes.
3) In a separate pan, heat a little olive oil and sauté the onion and garlic until soft, chop your carrots and add to the pan, along with the mushrooms and chickpeas.
4) Once the lentils have cooked drain them and add them to the mixture, along with the vegetable stock and passata.
5) Add the mustard, nutritional yeast, tabasco sauce and then season with the salt and pepper.
6) Simmer on a low heat with the lid on until the carrots are soft.
7) Put the filling into an oven proof dish and top with the mashed potato and celeriac. Sprinkle with dried parsley. Cook in the oven to crisp for 20-25 mins at 180C.
I served this with some kale and rainbow chard.