Nac Mac Vegan: adventures in rabbit food

11/07/2009

Edinburgh Farmers’ Market

Filed under: Ingredients, Shopping — Tags: , , , , , , , , — Feòrag @ 11:33

The location for the farmers' market is spectacular, especially on a good day like this.

The location for the farmers' market is spectacular, especially on a good day like this.

The Edinburgh Farmers’ Market is a weekly event, which is unfortunately on the wrong side of town for us. The withdrawal of the number 17 bus has made getting there by public transport impossible, and the fact that it’s on top of a car park isn’t an encouragement to use public transport either. So, when we go, unless we’re feeling really fit, we take the Volvo and then buy enough veg to justify it.

At first sight, the market doesn’t have much to offer the vegan, with an excess of meat stalls, and a couple of cheesemakers. They even have leaflets on the market information stall from the Meat Marketing Board promoting industrially-produced meat! But it’s not all unhealthy stuff, don’t worry.

Phantassie organic vegetables

Phantassie organic vegetables

Phantassie is an organic vegetable farm in East Lothian, and they are at the market a couple of times a month. This time round I bought red spring onions, smoked garlic, pea shoots (a green leafy veg), broad beans, white turnips and shiitake. Another regular is East Coast Organics, another East Lothian farm, who are at the market every week. Their stall provided me with a bunch of onions, another of carrots (carrot greens make good soup), one of radishes, a knobbly cucumber (good for Japanese recipes), a red kohlrabi and yellow courgettes. Meanwhile, my partner bought some fantastic plum tomatoes on the vine, and some baby plum tomatoes from the adjacent J & M Craig (one of the last remaining Clyde tomato growers) stall. The aroma from them is fantastic.

A couple of my favourite stalls weren’t there today. Ardnamushrooms grow shiitake and other fungi, and were the source of our organic shiitake block, an experiment in very local food we’d be glad to repeat some time. Carrolls Heritage Potatoes are only there on the first Saturday of the month, when tatties are in season, but they produce potatoes that I like — ones that taste of something. They have blue potatoes, purple potatoes and loads of flavoursome spuds from days of yore. I note they are now selling online, though, and have a stockist in Leith (if I can bear going into a fishmonger — I might have to send himself).

Cheery staff at the Good Soup Group.

Cheery staff at the Good Soup Group.

All that shopping can be hard work, so we had a couple of snacks whilst there. I ignored him having his pig in a bun (which he complained wasn’t very good – ha!) and chose a spicy noodle soup from the Good Soup Group — the noodles were rice noodles, making the soup both vegan and gluten free. Special dietary requirements seem to be a particular concern at the Good Soup Group, and they try to source everything locally wherever possible. And then there’s The Chocolate Tree, lurking ready to ruin all of your healthy eating intentions. They do a massive range of chocolate bars, vegan chocolate hazelnut spread and vegan chocolate sorbet. The cones for the sorbet are not vegan, but they are more than happy to serve it to you in a cup instead. Messy, and delicious, afterwards my face resembled that of a three-year-old after a bath in cocoa. And I don’t care!

19/02/2009

Japanese recipes so far

As a way of getting this kick-started, here are my Japanese vegan recipes which I’ve already posted to my LiveJournal and elsewhere.

There are plenty more of these, and the observant might have noticed references to a cookbook. Yes, I’m working on one.

28/09/2007

Cucumber cooked in miso

Filed under: Japanese — Tags: , , , , , , , , — Feòrag @ 20:52

The recipe below is sort-of translated from 野菜ごはん (“Vegetable Meals”) by 月森紀子 (Noriko Tsukimori), published by Bunka last March. Ms. Tsukimori runs a macrobiotic restaurant in Tokyo, and her cookbook is entirely vegan.

4 cucumbers
1 red chili pepper
1 cup dashi

A
1 tbl brown rice miso
1 tbl white miso
2 tbl mirin
2 tsp shoyu
1 tbl sweetner

1 tbl sesame oil

Cut the cucumber into even bite-size pieces and place to one side.

Heat the sesame oil in a saucepan and add the chili pepper. When the aroma rises, take it out (if you must – I didn’t!). Add the dashi and cucumber to the pan. Mix the ingredients for A, and add to the pan. Simmer for 10 minutes until the sauce has thickened.

If it didn’t thicken nicely, drain it!

Notes:
* Japanese cucumbers are very small. I used one Western one.
* There is recipe in the book for a konbu and shiitake dashi. I just used my faithful vegan instant konbu dashi. In future, when using western cucumber, I will halve the quantity of dashi.
* The recipe uses beet sugar for sweetening. I used brown rice syrup.
* My partner thinks this recipe turns cucumber into aubergine. It would work well with aubergine or courgette instead of cucumber. It should be quite nice cold, too.
* I’d also add half the miso at the end of cooking.
* A kanji meaning “strong” is used with the sesame oil. I take this to mean a nice, flavoursome one.

05/02/2006

Mrs. Bowdich’s Curried Beetroot and Cucumber

Filed under: Historic — Tags: , , , , — Feòrag @ 21:47

Someone expressed an interest in this recipe from New Vegetarian Recipes by Mrs. Bowdich, originally published in 1892, and working its way through Project Gutenberg’s Distributed Proofreaders right now. I should point out that I have not tried this recipe and am posting it as an historic curiosity. Notes on modernising it at the end.

1 cucumber.
1 beetroot.
2 shalots.
½ pint water.
1 teaspoon curry powder.
2 tablespoons cooked haricot beans.
2 ounces butter. (replace with marge, oil or, best of all, vegetable ghee)
1 teaspoon flour.
1 teaspoon salt.
½ teaspoon pepper.

Slice the cucumber, beetroot and shalots, and fry for ten minutes in the butter; add pepper, salt, curry powder and flour, mix well and add water. Simmer for half an hour, stirring frequently.


Notes: The choice of vegetables isn’t that surprising – cucumber being as close as you could get to some Indian veg. Remember this is a British book, and the date — when India was part of the Empire, and British people of a certain class were more than familiar with Indian food. Cucumbers back then were also not as watery as they are now, so maybe use courgettes instead, or squash, or tinda. I’d also roast and grind standard curry spices rather than using a pre-made powder, or use a paste and cut down on the oil. The salt is incredibly excessive by modern standards. Mincing the shallots would give a more authentic texture.

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