Wednesday, 2 May 2012

In The Pink Soup

I've had a few roots sitting in the bottom of the fridge and they were about to go off, so I decided to throw them in a pot and see what happens.

2 big beetroots
half a red cabbage
5 small potatoes
handful of tomatoes
1 small onion
Tsp olive oil
soya cream
salt, pepper, bay leaves, thyme, rosemary, oregano, cinnamon (no, really, it adds a lovely sweet edge)

 Wash tomatoes, put them in a dish with some olive oil, salt and pepper and leave them in the oven for about half an hour at 180° C.

Peel the beetroot and potatoes (or don't. I like my potatoes with the skin on, but then I'm weird) and chop all the vegetables to roughly same size.

Dice the onion and saute with a bit of olive oil until it's golden. Add vegetables, spices and about 1 litre of water. Cook on medium heat for about half an hour. Or a bit longer or not as long depending on the size of your vegetables.

Once all the vegetables are cooked, rev up the hand mixer and make a smooth soup. Or a chunky one, depending on taste and dexterity with the mixer.

Add soya cream to taste and colour preferences.

What I learned: The cabbage totally swamps the beetroot, but it's a nice wintery soup anyways.

PS: I made dessert and it was amazing. Orange slices with melted chocolate.

risotto with artichokes and braised tofu

I found this recipe in Die Welt In Meiner K├╝che as a risotto with artichokes and Italian sausage, so I substituted the tofu for sausage. I've never tried braised tofu before or indeed cooked with artichokes (I'm that much of a kitchen newbie) so it'll be exciting.

juice of half a lemon
2 artichokes
1 litre vegetable broth (having a bit extra standing by won't hurt)
3 Tsp olive oil
1 small onion
about 80g braised tofu (about half a can)
2 cloves of garlic
a few twigs of thyme and tarragon... or oregano if you like me don't have tarragon.
250 g Arborio rice

I made my own broth for this with carrot, onion, celery and pepper and let it simmer for 30 minutes.

Yes, you do need to see this. It's stock! And I made it! Shush, I'm excited.

Next remove the hard outer leaves from the artichokes, cut about a third off the top and cut the stem to about 3cm and peel. Cut the artichokes in half and scrape out the hay, then cut them in 8 to 9 slices. Put the artichoke slices in a bowl of cold water and lemon juice.

Simmer your stock in a pot while you make the risotto.

Heat olive oil in a high skillet on medium heat. Peel and dice the onion and saute until golden.

Add crushed garlic, braised tofu artichokes (sans lemon water) and herbs. Saute the artichokes until they are soft.

Add rice to the pan, stir, salt and pepper then add about 250 ml of stock. Reduce heat and let simmer. When the liquid is nearly gone add more stock. Stir occasionally and continue to add stock until rice is done. Fish out thyme sprigs. Serve.


Things I've learned: Don't be stingy when cutting away hard bits of the artichoke. I had a few tough bits and it's not pleasant. Also and more importantly: braised tofu is disgusting, but the taste is relatively easy to cover with herbs.

Monday, 30 April 2012

That scent

I recently bought a bag of fresh bay leaves and have since added them to absolutely everything. Two or three go into the water when I boil vegetables. They make a lovely addition when I've got some roots grilling in the oven.

Right now I'm making a oven baked potato on a bed of bay leaves. I'm not sure - in fact I doubt - there'll be any quantifiable taste difference, but to have the scent of sizzling bay leaves fill my kitchen for two hours is well worth it.

ETA: I was wrong. It did make a lovely difference.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Canned tomatoes on home-baked rosemary and thyme bread


For the bread:
300g flour
200ml soy milk
75ml oil
20g fresh yeast
2tsp rosemary
2tsp thyme 
1/2 tsp salt

Sift together flour and herbs
Stir in milk, yeast and oil
Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let it sit in a warm place for 30-45 mins

Preheat oven at gas mark 6

Transfer dough into oiled form
Bake 5-10 minutes

Lower the heat to gas mark 3
Bake for another 20-25 minutes


Leave to cool in the form for about 5 minutes, 
then transfer onto rack

Onto the tomatoes:
1can of tomatoes
bit of oil if needed

Let simmer in a pan until the tomatoes are hot and the juice is reduced


Take two or three slices of bread and toast them
Add tomatoes


Saturday, 13 February 2010

Layered peanut butter brownies

200g soft tofu
200g sugar
40ml oil
2tsp vanilla extract
40g cocoa
160g flour
2tsp baking powder

150g peanut butter
(aproximation - two big spoons full)
2Tsp oil

Sieve flour and baking powder together in a big bowl
In seperate bowl mix tofu, sugar, oil, vanilla and cocoa together until mix is smooth
Add cocoa tofu to flour and mix until dough is smooth
Whisk peanut butter and oil until smooth

Put half the dough into form
Layer on the peanut butter
Now add second half of dough 
(slightly tricky)

Add chocolate chips on top if you like

Bake at gas mark 4 (180°C) 
for about 25-30 minutes

Take out of the oven to cool. 

Soy cream on top. 

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Rainbow cake

130 g flour
1tsp baking powder
100 g soft tofu
70 g sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
food colouring 

Sift together flour and baking powder
In another bowl, mix sugar and tofu
Add flour mix and vanilla extract
Mix until dough is smooth

Devide into four parts and add food colouring.

Chuck the different colours dough in the dish. 

At gas mark 5 bake for 25 to 30 minutes. 

Add frosting if you feel like giving yourself a sugar high. 


Vegan fat-free rainbow cake full of e numbers. 
I can't decide whether that's the most or least hippie thing I've ever made.

Sunday, 31 January 2010

Vegan double chocolate cake with banana surprise


175g flour
1 ts baking soda
1/2 ts salt
45g cocoa powder
90g veg. margarine
150g sugar
2 Ts water
240ml soy milk
1 ts vanilla extract
1/2 ts ground cinnamon
100g dark chocolate
1 banana

Stir together flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt, cinnamon and cocoa powder.
In a separate bowl, blend together margarine, sugar and water until fluffy
Add this to flour mixture as well as soy milk and vanilla
Mix gently until the dough is smooth

Pour the dough into a cake form
Chop/break the chocolate into chunks
Peel the banana and together with the chocolate drop it in the cake dough

At gas mark 5, bake for about 30mins or until no dough sticks to a wooden knitting needle that you use to check your cake because your kitchen is massively underequiped.

Let cool and enjoy

Or get impatient and enjoy while still warm. The melted chocolate makes a mess, but tastes lovely.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Crochet panda hat

The wool I used was quite thick, so I used a 6mm hook.

The hat is worked in continuous rounds of double crochets. To finish I brushed the wool with a steel brush to achieve fuzziness.

The ears are eight continuous rounds of single crochets using a 4mm hook. Then fold and sew them on in a half circle.

Old Vienna apple strudel

300g flour
125ml warm water
1 egg
1 Tsp oil
1 Tsp vinegar

Throw in a bowl and mix till the dough is smooth. Cover with a cloth and leave for 1-2 hours in a warm spot.

4-6 apples (depending on size) I like Bramley or Boscop.
lemon juice
150 g sugar
1 Tsp cinnamon
100 g raisins
50 g chopped almonds

4 Tsp bread crumbs

Also needed: powdered sugar and butter

Peel and cut apples into thin slices and immediately put lemon juice in the bowl. Mix sugar, cinnamon, raisins and almonds in a bowl, then add to apples and mix.

Take a dish cloth (clean, ironed and without seams in the fabric) and sprinkle some flour on it. Roll the dough so it's equal thickness, then pull it on the back of your hands. Lay it on the cloth and pull until it's so thin you can read love letters through the dough. Cut off the thick edges, then brush with warm butter.

First chuck on the breadcrumbs, then the apple/sugar/raisin mix. Fold over the edges of the dough, then lift the cloth from one side and use it to roll the strudel. Lift it on a prepared baking tray, brush with butter and bake at around 200° for 20-30 minutes (depending on the thickness of the strudel and on how thinly you chopped the apples.)

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

vegan gingerbread cupcakes

dry ingredients:
230gr flour
1tsp ground cinnamon
2tsp ground ginger
1tsp baking powder
1/2tsp baking soda

wet ingredients: 
200ml vegetable oil
150ml soy milk
80ml maple syrup
80ml molasses

whisk dry ingredients into wet ones
add 80gr chopped crystalized ginger and 1tsp chopped lemon zest
pour into paper cases
bake 15-20 mins at 150° overheat until tops are golden brown

Kitchen like a murder scene. 

100 gr veg. margarine
100 gr. veg shortening
800 gr icing sugar
1tsp vanilla essence

whisk margarine and shortening together until smooth
slowly add sugar and vanilla and whist 10 mins until the frosting is fluffy like a sweet cloud. 

Orange food colouring adds that extra touch of... in-joke. 

Addapted from this recipe over at PostPunkKitchen. 

Monday, 1 June 2009

O double click my heart

Sunday breakfast with vegan pancakes.

For two:

200gr flour
250ml soy milk
1/2 tsp baking powder
fry in a pan till golden brown
add veg. margarine and maple syrup

Make coffee and go back to bed.

Sunday, 31 May 2009

Summer's here.

Fresh mint and ginger tea with agave nectar.

Extra lovely when iced. 

difficult difficult lemon difficult

First project in nerd crafts: A stitched tree of life. Darwin's handwriting doesn't lend itself to backstitch, but I soldiered on regardless.

It's not exceptionally accurate, but in my defense: I didn't have a pattern, just did it freehand off a picture I've got on my wall.