Sunday, 20 May 2012

Vegan Chinese Recipes

I've put together a set of recipes that I have grown up eating in HK, and also vegetarian dishes that I had eaten when living in China 2005-7. It's called the Brooklyn Cookbook Project because I did it as a sketchbook for The Sketchbook Project at Brooklyn Library this year, so the shelves at Brooklyn Library is now home to a tiny vegan cookbook, and I've also put the recipes and up to date photos on this blog. If there is a Chinese/Asian supermarket near you it should be easy to try these recipes. Happy Eating! x

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Vegan sketchbook project

I'm in the process of putting together a cookbook/sketchbook for an arts project called the Sketchbook Project: 

You complete this small sketchbook and then post it to a library in Brooklyn, who then store your sketchbook for people to borrow. Once mine is finished it will also be scanned and put online for people to see; I will also post the recipes on here for people to try.  I've just created a recipe for Jai San Juk Ngau Yuk, which is steamed mock beef balls, a cantonese dimsum. I will put it on here shortly, along with some other recipes that will go in the book.

Oriental Choice, Inverness

Oriental Choice on Union Street shares its staircase with a less than salubrious B&B, but DON'T be put off by the threadbare carpet or possible drunken person sat on the steps leading up to the restaurant!

We had a beautiful meal at Oriental Choice tonight - lots of different tofu dishes and vegetables. A lot of dishes had a szechuan or northern chinese influence, which makes a change from the meat fest of cantonese restaurants! The staff were really accommodating and friendly.

Food Porn: Our table had the vegetarian spring rolls, crispy seaweed for starters. For mains we had "home-style" tofu, which was silken tofu in a chilli-soy sauce, red braised "hong shao" aubergine, tofu in a chilli sauce, Kung Pao tofu with cashew nuts, tofu in a black bean sauce, stir fried aubergines, and stir fried red braised "hong shao" potatoes, in a soya sauce. These were served with boiled rice or fried rice vermicelli.

There were lots more dishes that were veggie that will have to be tried in the future.

Definite venue for the future!   01463 712 715

Friday, 19 August 2011

Vegan Tortilla Patata aka Vegan Spanish Omelette

This is pretty much Isa Chandra Moskowitz's recipe from Vegan With A Vengeance, which is my favourite cookbook!

The tofu mixture would probably be very nice in a quiche, and of course you could perhaps roast some peppers with the potatoes and onions, or add vegan sausage or bacon. Infinite possibilities!

Tortilla Patata
Serves 4-6
2 - 3 large potatoes
1 onion
tofu mixture
2 packs cauldron tofu
soya milk
2 - 3 cloves garlic
1tsp smoked paprika
1tsp salt
1tsp turmeric
1/2tsp freshly ground pepper
1/2 tsp chilli powder/cayenne pepper
2 - 3 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
1/2 tsp liquid smoke (optional)

You need enough potato to have a thin(ish) layer covering the pan. Bake in oven at 180C with 2 - 3 tbsp olive oil until soft but not too coloured. In the meantime prepare tofu mixture in food processor. Add soya milk and blend until a thick yoghurt consistency. You can taste mixture for seasoning, if lacking salt, can add more, or add soya sauce.

Bake until golden brown and springy to touch, approx 40 minutes. Serve with salad and crusty bread.
Tastes even better cold.

Friday, 8 April 2011

The. Ultimate. Chocolate. Cake.

Long time no blog...I have got a few recipes in the pipeline which I will post in due course.

First of all let me give credit to Isa Chandra Moskowitz and her legendary "Vegan With A Vengeance" which in our house is dog eared and smeared with chocolate and various other foodstuffs - sign of a good cookbook (or messy cook?)!!! This recipe is adapted from her super amazing Banana Split Pudding Brownie recipe in the above book.

Super Chocolately Cake

115g plain chocolate (I generally use 100g with good results as this is the weight of a standard chocolate bar)
2 medium sized bananas
5 tablespoons rapeseed oil
250ml sugar  (yes, ML)
1/3 cup soy milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
180g flour
25g cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt

Pre-heat oven to 180C.

Melt the chocolate by placing it in a bowl over simmering water. Stir until melted and take off the heat.

Combine bananas, oil, sugar and soy milk - I like to do this in a blender to get bananas really smooth, but if you want to do it in a large mixing bowl do pre mash the bananas. Blend/Stir in the melted chocolate and vanilla until everything is combined.

Sift together the dry ingredients and add to the banana mixture in batches, mixing as you go.

The mixture should not be too firm, but also not too runny, maybe a thick yoghurt consistency. Add more soy milk if mixture seems a bit stiff, although it will still taste amazing once baked if mixture is stiff, just a lot denser.

Pour into a greased and lined spring form baking tin. Bake for approximately 40minutes, but I would check on it at the 30 minute stage and insert a knife into the centre - if the knife comes out clean with no wet batter on in, then the cake is done.
Frost with chocolate ganache/buttercream icing.

Chilli option:  I have made this cake with 1 tsp of chilli powder and 1/2 tsp cinammon sifted with the dry ingredients. It is not spicy, it just lends a really nice warmth to the cake, almost making it seem more chocolatey.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Raw Vegan Banana Ice Cream

I've recently been given an ice cream maker and I've tried some recipes from the "Lick It" vegan ice cream book. The recipes I've tried have been pleasant but quite reliant on coconut cream as a core ingredient, which just makes everything taste like coconut, even the green tea icecream.

As an aside - the chocolate mousse recipe on this website actually makes a pretty good chocolate ice cream, you may need to thin it down with some cream or soy milk for it to churn properly though. 

So I have wanted to try and make a raw ice cream, similar to the Booja Booja ice cream, which we can't get in Inverness, probably a good thing as it was tasty but hella expensive, much like their chocolate, which winks at me from the top shelf of the health food shop every time I go in. This Banana Ice Cream is on the Channel 4 website and I'm looking forward to giving it a go tonight. I'll keep you posted as to how it turns out.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Vegan Society visit to Inverness, 23rd September 2010

Amanda Baker, PR and Media Officer for the Vegan Society UK will be coming to Inverness on the 23rd of September 2010 to do a talk on Global Food Security and Stock Free Farming.

It will be in the  Room 5, 1st Floor, Spectrum Centre, Inverness at 6:30pm.

It is set to be an interesting talk, particularly topical considering George Monbiot's recent article in the Guardian regarding "sustainable" meat eating. The Vegan Society have already issued a response to that article, that will hopefully be published on the Guardian website soon.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

A long overdue review of the Corner Grill

The Corner Grill photo © Copyright Kenneth Allen and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
The Corner Grill, 50 Union Street, Inverness, Highland IV11PX
01463 226 767

This is the usual haunt of Vegan Inverness. Having eaten at several venues since the birth of Vegan Inverness in January 2010, we breathed a huge sigh of relief (and loosened our belts) when we found this place. The front of house staff and chef are brilliant, always friendly and accommodating, put up our guestimate reservations and most importantly make delicious grub.

Since the beginning they've created inventive menus, giving us vegans a choice of 3 starters, mains and 2 puddings. After a chat with the friendly chef at the first meeting we threw down the gauntlet of making us a chocolate vegan cheesecake and incredibly, it has become a regular fixture on our vegan dessert menu.

The food seems to get more interesting and inventive, e.g. roasted vegetable sushi, courgette and puy lentil soup, sweet potato stew, chimichurri tofu... it is really refreshing to know that a chef sees vegan food as an interesting challenge and not a task that is to be dreaded.

sidenote - Surely vegetarians must be sick of the ubiquitous goats cheese and rocket salad you get on every menu?? Restaurants need to have the confidence to stand behind their vegan dishes and put them out there for everyone to try. I think that having at least one vegan main on a menu is not a big ask. I'm certain that many vegetarians and meat eaters alike will eat a vegan meal every now and then but just not realize it. It would be a refreshing change for everyone - it's just a tasty meal that just happens not to have meat, eggs or milk in it.

I've been vegan since 2001 and like many vegans I've had some shocking food in some apparently acclaimed restaurants despite calling well in advance(e.g. in Contrast, Inverness - still trying to forget that meal, filthy).

The food at the CG is as good as any veggie food i've had in London - really! and the atmosphere and service is much friendlier.

Anyway, enough gushing. I just wanted to write a little blurb to say thanks to the folks at The Corner Grill, we really, really appreciate your efforts, don't go changing (except perhaps putting a vegan main on the menu)!

~Karen for Vegan Inverness