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Posts Tagged ‘cabbage’

The sun has been out and when that happens I always start thinking salad and for the first one of the summer I rustled up a special carrot salad, but without raisins. I just can’t bare them in salads.

I always used to go for the simple cucumber and tomato style salads of my youth but since becoming vegan I’ve been way more experimental.

One of my favourite responses to any variety of stock statement people give when they find out you’re vegan, is related to being experimental in a salad sense

“What do you eat?”

“Pips and leaves” is my tongue in cheek reply. Pips and leaves would be considered experimental up until quite recently.

“It opens up a whole new world of different foods to try, it’s easy” is my more serious response. And of course it does.

If I hadn’t become vegetarian, in the first instance, I’m not sure I would have even tried red peppers. Eventually, maybe, but this was the catalyst to trying a lot of vegetables and other veggie foods. Becoming vegan and living in Balsall Heath expanded this out look and my veggie world exploded!

But back to my salad. I just used things I had in

  • red onion
  • two carrots, grated
  • some white cabbage
  • plenty sesame seeds
  • sprouted organic mung beans
  • ground organic hazelnuts
  • garnish – olive oil, organic cider vinegar, dash of soy sauce, plenty lemon juice and salt
First Salad of the summer

First salad

It’s a bit like a posh coleslaw but I would’ve added more seeds (pips) and some spinach leaves if I had them. I didn’t so I just chopped all the veg up nice and small and combined the lot. It was lovely and along with the sunshine made me think summery thoughts…..

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Chunky Chinesey Soup

I wanted to cook soup, a nice ‘watery’ Chinese style soup. Nice big chunky veg with lots of liquid, that was the plan. The only veg I had in would have to do, so courgette, savoy cabbage, leek and onion then. Add a some quinoa and noodles, and we’re onto something half decent, I thought.

This watery style of soup is typical of what you get at Cafe Soya in Birmingham, which is probably my favourite restaurant (they understand vegan). Filling and very tasty, I’ve copied this before but for now I was limited by cupboard ingredients. The noodle situation was grim so it was going to have to be pasta tubes, wholewheat of course.

Firstly, I washed and put the quinoa (one small cup) on to cook for ten minutes with some red lentils (half a small cup), and in another pan i put about 300 grams of pasta tubes on to cook. While this was doing I roughly chopped an onion and a leek and gently fried them for five minutes, added about 9 cloves of garlic (adjust to taste, I love garlic) which I sliced and squashed, with big chunks of courgette, two teaspoons of paprika and four of cumin. After two more minutes I added the pumpkin seeds (a good handful), then sesame seeds (another good handful) and diced tofu. Then right at the end I stirred in sugar snap beans and the inner half of a savoy cabbage, roughly chopped.

The smoked tofu (with almonds and sesame) I used for this recipe is from Taifun. It’s great tofu, very firm with a fantastic flavour brilliant in stir fry, but untried in soup until now. I like cooking like this though, it usually works out, and I was hoping all the individual flavours and textures would come through.

Once the quinoa and lentils were done, these were added with sufficient of the cooking water to prevent sticking. After stirring this for a couple of minutes I added 1.5 and 2 litres of boiled water, which I’d dissolved 3 stock cubes in. I’m using yeast free stock at the moment. Then I drained the cooked pasta and added it to the main soup pan. There’s a lot of soup there!

I let it cook very slowly for a few more minutes, just so the liquid is steaming, rather than bubbling. It tastes excellent, the lentils and quinoa lend a ‘creamy’ flavour while the other ingredients provide a yellow tinge in appearance and imbue their individual character. In short, it’s delicious soup.

I did think about adding some hot chilli sauce, or perhaps mixing some with lime to add to the bowl, but the person who was eating with me doesn’t like hot food and I needed to eat. So maybe I will do that tomorrow, there is a lot of soup left, this could probably feed (half) the five thousand there’s so much left. I’m concerned that the pasta will soak up all the liquid, but it’ll still be tasty tomorrow and will set me up for the Villa in potential snowfall.

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