Newsletter #23 - May 2004
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Happy Cooking !
Florence Sandeman, Editor
Q: What do you call a kitty cat that ate a lemon?
A: A SourPuss
What's New This month
Although there are hundreds of Vegetarian and Vegan recipes on the site already, looking back over the last few months’ updates, I have to admit (shamefully) that I seem to have neglected Vegetarians, especially where main courses are concerned. SO, to commemorate National Vegetarian Week (24th to 30th May 2004) I’ve decided to put things right.
OK, I’ve noted the simultaneous groan from all you carnivores – indeed I am one – but I would defy any of you not to find some of the new vegetarian recipes published this month appealing.
You probably already eat more vegetarian dishes than you think: things like Rice stuffed peppers, cauliflower cheese, omelettes and frittatas, lots of pasta dishes, certain quiches and soufflés not to mention many MANY homemade cakes, breads and desserts. I guarantee you there are loads of vegetarian recipes you could try and you wouldn’t even miss the meat or fish. Mmmm, that’s one little bug-bear I have. I do wish people who eat fish wouldn’t call themselves vegetarians. Apart from the fact they’re NOT (they're non meat eaters), personally, I don’t like being preached to by people who haven’t quite got it ‘morally’ right.
Having said that, there's no moralising here, just great tasting food. And not just great tasting. The Vegetarian Society has very kindly given me permission to use a couple of their recipes with photos! Wait ‘til you see the Mediterranean Tian recipe below: it’s fit for a King and worthy of any dinner party - vegetarian or not.
I also have to admit that there are a couple of things I hadn't really taken into consideration about true vegetarianism which may be of general interest to you, especially if you're cooking for a vegetarian friend or member of the family. Of course, it depends on how "vegetarian" they are, but you'll see what I mean.
The stuff below probably won't cause too many moral dilemmas with "non meat eaters", but for a true vegetarian they matter and according to statistics 5% of people living in the UK are vegetarians: that's about 3 million (source :Vegetarian Society UK), so it's likely that you know at least one.
For instance, many people think of cheese as being vegetarian, however many cheeses are made with rennet which is usually processed from the stomachs of calves, so true vegetarians only eat cheeses made with rennets of non-animal origin. Same goes for some wines and "real" ales which have been fined with isinglass (very fishy). Another "pitfall" ingredient is Worcestershire sauce - traditionally it contains anchovies, although there are now some which are made without.
Gelatine is also obtained from animal sources and although you may think it's easy to avoid, it's worth noting that it is contained in many pre-manufactured foods such as some low fat yoghurts, some tinned orange drinks (which, incidentally doesn't always appear on the ingredients list) and some margarines which can also contain fish oils.
Be all that as it may, for the rest of us non-veggies, cooking vegetarian needn't be too taxing on the ingredient cupboard and can add a wonderful dimension to our diets. Have a go....you'll probably be pleasantly surprised.
Recipes of the Month
In keeping with National Vegetarian Week, below are the two recipes which the Vegetarian Society have given me permission to reproduce. I've chosen these two from their wonderful selection to prove that vegetarian food needn't consist of nut cutlets or mung beans and can be both homely everyday eating or worthy of a gourmet dinner party. I just LOVE Tian recipe .... looks good enough to eat doesn't it ?
Mediterranean Tian of Asparagus and Aromatic Almond Quinoa with Piquant Pomegranate and Orange Dressing
Serves 4 - Prep Time: 20 mins. Cooking Time: 45 mins Vegan
4 large red peppers
110ml/3 ½ fl oz olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 medium (275g) aubergine
1 large (275g) courgette
200g/7 oz thin asparagus (trimmed)
75g/3 oz blanched almonds (whole)
5ml/1 tsp Ras el Hanout spice (or All Spice)
50g/2 oz quinoa (uncooked and rinsed)
30ml/2 tbsp flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
30ml/2 tbsp dill, finely chopped
½ small orange, zest and juice
45ml/3 tbsp pomegranate molasses
Equipment: Griddle Pan, Small Frying Pan, Medium sized saucepan and 4 x 80mm/3 1/8” dia, 60mm/2 3/8” high bottomless cooking rings.
1. Heat the oven to 200°/400°F/Gas 6.
2. Place red peppers in a baking tray and roast until the skins are beginning to blacken (approximately 30 minutes). Take out of the oven, place in a bowl and cover with cling film. When they have cooled sufficiently remove the skin and seeds and cut into halves.
3. Heat the griddle pan. Mix the garlic with 90ml/3 fl oz of the oil. Thinly slice the aubergine and courgette (no more than 4mm/ ¼ “, on a diagonal if thin).
4. Brush all vegetables, except pepper, with oil mixture and griddle until lightly charred. Keep warm in the oven until ready to assemble the tian.
5. Heat 5ml/1 tsp of oil in a small frying pan and add in the spice. Toast the nuts in this mixture until well coated and turning golden. Remove from the pan, cool slightly and chop roughly.
Cordon Vert School - NVW 2004
© Copyright The Vegetarian Society 2004
Tortilla Beany Bake
Serves 4-6 Total prep and cooking time: Approx 30 mins
5 Herb flavoured wraps (large)
2 medium Red onion, thinly sliced
170g/6 oz Frozen spinach (will defrost to 75g/3 oz)
350g/12 oz Tinned Flageolet beans (drained weight)
300ml/10 oz Half fat crème fraiche (or natural yoghurt)
425g jar Ready made tomato pasta sauce
100g/4 oz Vegetarian cheddar cheese, grated
You will also need a circular ceramic baking dish deep enough to hold the Tortilla layers.
1. Heat the oven to 190°C/375°/Gas 5.
2. Grill the wraps on both sides until beginning to crisp.
3. Sauté the onion in a little oil.
4. Mix the spinach, beans and crème fraiche together.
5. Layer the Tortilla in the following order: wrap, 1/3 tomato sauce, ½ an onion, wrap, ½ the bean mixture, wrap, 1/3 tomato sauce, ½ an onion, wrap ½ the bean mixture, wrap 1/3 tomato sauce and cheese.
6. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
Store cupboard - NVW 2004
© Copyright The Vegetarian Society 2004
For UK Residents only
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What's in season
Asparagus, early beans, early cabbages, spring greens and early potatoes, lettuce, green apricots, cherries, gooseberries, rhubarb, pears
Cooking by Country
Click the picture to find out about Madagascar's culinary culture and history, present day cooking plus lots of recipe
Take some Polynesians, Africans and Arabs, a touch of French and a hint of other Europeans. Add a tropical climate and diverse flora and fauna. Surround it by a sea teaming with fish and shellfish and what do you get? A unique and varied cuisine with some heat but with its accent on flavour.
Also in this section, we give you comprehensive information about a typical Malagasy dish and a widely used ingredient.
The Madagascar Speciality Dish: SAKAY
The Madagascar Speciality Ingredient: GREEN PEPPERCORNS
Ingredient of the month
Click the picture to find out all about Cardamom plus lots of recipes
One of the most expensive spices in the world, second only to saffron, Cardamom has been used for both medicinal and culinary purposes for millennia and is currently used in many countries the world over.
Many will associate this spice with Indian cooking and curries, and quite rightly, but it is also used in sweet dishes in many cuisines, much like cinnamon. Visit the Cardamom page for some wonderful savoury and sweet recipes and lots of background info too.
New and Featured Recipes V = Vegetarian
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