Nac Mac Vegan: adventures in rabbit food

28/10/2009

On Haggis

Filed under: Historic — Tags: , , , , , — Feòrag @ 12:28

This is a comment I made back in 2006, which is interesting in its own right.

Vegetarian haggis has been around for at least 100 years, and there is evidence to suggest that the original was veggie – it really is just leftovers plus oatmeal and spices. The oldest example I know of comes from Reform Cookery Book: Up-To-Date Health Cookery for the Twentieth Century by Mrs. Mill, published in 1904. Apart from the butter, which is easily substituted with another fat, the recipe is vegan.

Scotch Haggis.

“Fair fa’ yer honest, sonsy face,
Great chieftain o’ the puddin’ race.”

It is to be hoped the shade of Burns will forbear to haunt those who have the temerity to appropriate the sacred name of Haggis for anything innocent of the time-honoured liver and lights which were the sine qua non of the great chieftain. But in Burns’ time people were not haunted by the horrors of trichinae, measly affections, &c., &c. (one must not be too brutally plain spoken, even in what they are avoiding), as we are now, so perhaps this practical age may risk the shade rather than the substance.

For a medium-sized haggis, then, toast a breakfastcupful oatmeal in front of the fire, or in the oven till brown and crisp, but not burnt. Have the same quantity of cooked brown or German lentils, and a half-teacupful onions, chopped up and browned in a little butter. Mix all together and add 4 ozs. chopped vegetable suet, and seasoning necessary of ketchup, black and Jamaica pepper.

It should be fairly moist; if too dry add a little stock, gravy, or extract.

Turn into greased basin and steam at least 3 hours. An almost too realistic
imitation of “liver” is contrived by substituting chopped mushrooms for the lentils. It may also be varied by using crushed shredded wheat biscuit crumbs in place of the oatmeal. Any “remains” will be found very toothsome, if sliced when cold, and toasted or fried.

Interestingly, this recipe is almost identical to modern vegan haggises, which usually involve lentils and kidney beans, plus mushrooms.

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26/09/2009

Nut Rissoles with savoury rice

Filed under: Historic — Tags: , , , , — Feòrag @ 16:57

Last night I made a couple of dishes from Rupert H. Wheldon’s No Animal Food. First published around 1910, this was the first book to advocate veganism and it contains 100 recipes at the back. The ones I tried last night were:

12.–Nut Rissoles
3 ozs. mixed grated nuts, 3 ozs. breadcrumbs, 1 oz. nut butter, 1 chopped onion, 1 large cupful canned tomatoes.
Mix ingredients together; mould into rissoles, dust with flour and fry in ‘Nutter.’ Serve with gravy.

28.–Plain Savoury Rice
4 ozs. unpolished rice, 1 lb. tin tomatoes.
Boil together until rice is cooked. If double boiler be used no water need be added, and thus the rice will be dry and not pultaceous.

My versions:

Nut Rissoles
1 cup mixed nuts, chopped in food processor
breadcrumbs made from 1 slice wholemeal bread
2 tbsp vegan margarine
1 chopped onion
1 can tomatoes, blended.

Mix the nuts, breadcrumbs and onions together in a large bowl. Melt the margarine and add it. Use your hands to mix it all together and add just enough tomato to bind it. Make into four burgers. Dust with flour and fry slowly – they’ll burn if you’re not careful.

Plain Savoury Rice
1 cup long-grain brown rice
the remains of the tomatoes from the nut rissoles
enough water to make 2 cups liquid

Bung all of the above into your favourite rice pan. Bring to the boil and simmer, with the lid on tightly, until all the liquid is absorbed. Remove the lid, stir quickly with a fork, then replace the lid and let it sit, off the heat, for a couple of minutes or until you need it. Alternatively, put the ingredients in your rice cooker, and cook according to the instructions.

I served all of the above with my mushroom gravy, and can recommend both recipes. The rice, especially, was delicious, even though it’s so simple.

I’ve visited the Nut Rissoles before.

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!

31/05/2009

Nutmeat and rice hash

Filed under: Experiments, Historic — Tags: , , — Feòrag @ 20:12

Having made the 1911 nutmeats, I now have to find something to do with them! Fortunately, the same book I used has a good number of recipes. Because I had the ingredients to hand, I opted for the Trumese and Rice Hash, the instructions for which read Use boiled or steamed rice in place of potato in the preceding recipe. So, making that substitution, here’s the original recipe:

Put trumese and double the quantity of cold [cooked rice] … through food cutter, using the next coarsest cutter…. Mix carefully. Simmer without browning, chopped onion in oil. Add the mixed trumese and [rice], pour consommé or nicely seasoned gravy over and set in the oven to heat, and brown over the top….

The onion may be mixed with the trumese and potato, all put into a baking dish, nut butter stirred with a cream with consommé poured over and the hash baked for ¾-1 hour. Finely sliced celery, celery salt, or any of the sweet herbs, powdered, may be substituted for the onion. sage may be used occasionally with the onion.

Well, first impression is that that would be pretty bland, so I added one or two things to the consommé. There’s also the problem of nut butter, as it could mean one of two things in this period — either peanut butter as we understand it, or a solid vegetable fat made from nut oils. The former made more sense to me. Here’s what I did:

2 cups cooked brown rice, defrosted if necessary.
1 can trumese, cut into fine dice.
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
1 tbl peanut butter
1 tsp vegetable stock powder, or to taste
1 tomato
a small amount of water
vegetable oil for frying

Preheat the oven to about 160°C. Chop the onion finely and fry gently in the oil until opaque, then add the garlic, trumese and rice. I also had the end of a carrot, so I chopped that and added it too. Give it a good stir and let it heat through. Blend together the peanut butter, water, tomato and vegetable stock until you get a medium creamy sauce. Mix it all together, transfer to a large shallow baking tin and stick it in the oven for about 40 minutes. This is what came out:

Trumese and rice hash, fresh out of the oven

Trumese and rice hash, fresh out of the oven

If you like crispy bits on your rice, you’ll adore this, as it’s the aforementioned crispy bits surrounding a moist centre. But it was still bland even though I’d added the tomato and used brown rice. Whilst I won’t make this exact recipe the same way again, I can see a lot of promise for the basic dish — it’s not difficult to use herbs and spices, or a more strongly-flavoured stock. It would work with tofu (go for the smoked or hazel nut varieties), or any of the commercial fake meats out there, and leftovers could be added to it as well. Using cooking rings on a baking tray would give a more refined presentation.

This amount would serve four with plenty of vegetables and maybe a sauce.

30/05/2009

Early 20th century nutmeats revisited

Filed under: Gadgets, Historic — Tags: , , — Feòrag @ 22:50

I first experimented with making my own nutmeats over four years ago, and wrote up my experiences. I based my recipes on those given in Evora Buckram Perkins’s Laurel Health Cookery. It was a bit of a palaver, and at the time I commented:

It is easier to buy a tin of Nuttolene, but this is a useful recipe to know in case of drought.

Well, it has come to pass that there is a Nuttolene drought. Goodness Direct claims to have it in stock, but I haven’t seen it in the shops for over a year now. The customer comments over on that site hint at discontinuation after 105 years in production – it was invented, as a paté, by Dr. Kellogg himself, and went on sale in late 1904. I’m not sure when it turned into the more solid product I’ve been craving, but the difference seems to be simply the amount of water used.

Since my efforts four years ago, I have acquired a number of gadgets that might make the task easier. Firstly, I have just bought a pair of mug-shaped, loose bottomed cake tins, with a capacity of just over 1.5 cups each. I don’t know what they were intended for, but they struck me as just the right shape for nutmeats. I also have a 600w Braun hand blender, with a large liquidiser attachment, and a Kenwood Major with the meat mincer attachment, the latter serving perfectly well as a nut mill. All of these, in addition to the pressure cooker, should make the task easier than in 2004, and considerably easier than in 1911!

The only change I’ve made to the recipes I used in 2004 is to reduce the amount of water in the Nutmese (the Nuttolene-type nutmeat). The quantities given fit nicely into one of the tins mentioned above. For the record, here they are:

Nutmese

½ cup raw peanuts
1 cup cooked peanuts (see below)
a tiny smidgen of salt (very optional)
approx ¼ cup water.

Put the cooked and raw nuts into a blender and grind together. Add salt and water, and grind some more till it’s smooth. Put into a greased tin, and cover with grease aluminium foil. Steam for at least 2 hours in a pressure cooker.

Wrapped up and ready to steam

Wrapped up and ready to steam


Trumese (Protose-type nutmeat)

½ cup peanuts, cooked
½ cup blanched peanuts (be lazy, buy them ready-blanched)
½ cup vital wheat gluten flour
½ cup water
1 tsp cereal coffee (see note below)

Grind up the peanuts as for Nutmese. Add the wheat gluten and blend a bit more, then add the water and cereal coffee and blend until it turns into a dough, like a slightly heavy bread dough. Put into tins and steam as above.

I had expected to need to mix this up by hand and run it through the mincer a few times, but the Braun hand blender can just about handle this amount of dough. If I made a double quantity, I’d have to use the Major.

Cooking peanuts
Peanuts take about 80-90 minutes to cook in a pressure cooker. I made up a large batch and have frozen the leftovers. Cooked peanuts look like pinto beans, so labelling might be important.

Cereal Coffee
I found it very difficult to get hold of a cereal coffee that did not contain chicory (which would taste foul). I used Yorzo Instant Original from Lima Foods, which is made entirely from roasted barley and nothing else. I’m thinking that a tablespoon full of shoyu, and a reduction in the amount of water used, would be a good alternative.

The finished nutmeats - Nutmese on the left and Trumese on the right.

The finished nutmeats - Nutmese on the left and Trumese on the right.

They came out of their tins pretty easily. Some water got into the Nutmese, making it more like the original paté, but the Trumese came out beautifully – it’s good and solid. I will experiment with using as little water as possible in the Nutmese, but really I’d rather be able to go just up the road and pick up a tin or two of Nuttolene.

Update: the Nutmese solidified considerably on cooling.

22/02/2009

1913 Nut Galantine

Filed under: Experiments, Historic — Tags: , , — Feòrag @ 19:32
The cover of Sidney H. Beard's "A Comprehensive Guide-Book to Natural, Hygienic, and Humane Diet"

The cover of the book from which this recipe was taken

Sidney H. Beard’s A Comprehensive Guide-book to Natural, Hygienic, and Humane Diet was published in 1913 by an organisation called The Order of the Golden Age (note this site uses Javascript menus which do not actually work!), an explicitly religious vegetarian group. Although basically Christian, the influence of Spiritualism and Theosophy is apparent in the Order’s publications. My copy of this book is currently working its way through Distributed Proofreaders (assuming there was a back-up!) and will hopefully appear on Project Gutenberg soon.

This recipe is rather oddly named. Your actual galantine is a deboned bird rolled around a stuffing, poached, allowed to cook and then decorated and coated in aspic. Beard’s galantine is a nut and pasta roast, which he recommends be served cold with a salad, though he also regards it as being good warm. His original recipe isn’t vegan, but is trivially made so:

Take ½-lb, ground walnuts, ¼-lb. cooked spaghetti, 2 onions, 1 small tomato, 1-oz. butter, 1 dessertspoonful of Carnos, a little stock, pepper and salt to taste. Fry the onions and tomato in the butter, and then add the other ingredients and simmer for 15 minutes. Put into a greased mould, cover with a greased paper, and bake in a slow oven for 1 hour. Turn out when cold and serve with salad and Mayonnaise sauce. This dish may be served hot as a roast with red currant jelly and browned potatoes.

The observant will note that there is just not quite enough information there! How should I cut the onions and tomatoes? What size and type of mould do I need? What is a “slow oven” anyway? What’s Carnos? That last question is straightforward—it was a fake meat extract and can be replaced with yeast extract. For the others, I made an educated guess and this is what I came up with:

Ingredients
225g mixed nuts (I had no walnuts on their own)
100-125g pasta (any sort – I used wholemeal macaroni)
2 onions
1 small tomato
a generous forkful of vegan margarine
2 tsp Marmite
approximately ¾ cup water
a big pinch of stock powder
black pepper

Method
Cook the pasta until al dente according to the instructions on the packet. While this is cooking, grind the nuts finely, and cut the onions and tomatoes into 1cm dice. Drain the pasta when ready and put to one side.

Turn on your oven and start to pre-heat to 150°C. Heat up the margarine slowly in a large frying pan and put in the onions and tomatoes. Fry until they are nice and soft then add the cooked pasta, ground nuts, Marmite, water and stock powder. You might find it easier (i.e. I should have done this) to boil the water and dissolve the Marmite and stock powder in it first, before adding the mixture to the pan. Grind as much black pepper as you like into it, and then simmer for 15 minutes.

Grease a 1 Kg loaf tin (I think this is a 2lb loaf tin in old money), pausing to moan at your partner who put it away whilst still wet, causing a rust patch to form. Put the mixture in the loaf tin and cover with greased paper—Waitrose’s own brand baking parchment is siliconised, and doesn’t need greasing. The oven should have heated up by now, so put it in and try to ignore it for an hour.

Not the prettiest of dishes, but it tasted good.

Not the prettiest of dishes, but it tasted good.

Results
It felt quite soft when it came out of the oven, but firmed up a little as it cooled down. It crumbled a little when I got it out of the tin, mostly in the form of pieces of pasta. It wasn’t very photogenic, but I took pictures anyway! It does not slice easily when warm, and I would consider preparing it as individual portions if making it as a roast. The outside was dark brown and crisp, the inside paler and softer. It tasted good though, the pasta giving it a bizarre, slightly chewy texture. A solid, satisfying winter dish which would go well with any sort of vegetable, though a sauce is necessary—I had potatoes and peppers in a simple white sauce, but a tomato sauce, or a gravy would go well.

19/02/2009

Historic veganism

Filed under: Historic — Tags: , , — Feòrag @ 20:13

Another catch-up post, here’s a list of vegan recipes from old cookbooks which I have posted before.

  • Brazil Nut Soup (1913)
  • I’ve also started putting together a link-list to old vegetarian cookbooks and related publications which have appeared online. This will be an ongoing project!

    02/10/2008

    Nut Rissoles from the first ever vegan cookbook

    Filed under: Historic — Tags: , , — Feòrag @ 17:04

    I’ve just received notification that a book I put through Distributed Proofreaders has been posted to Project Gutenberg. The book is No Animal Food, by Rupert H. Wheldon. Published in London in 1910, it is recognised as being the first ever book on veganism. It consists of several chapters explaining why food derived from animals is unnecessary and undesirable, discussion of nutritional issues, and a collection of 100 recipes. The notification has reached me early (it’s not showing on the PG site, and even my PGDP Project Management page still thinks it’s in post-processing), but you should be able to download it from PG very soon. For now, here’s a simple recipe that should be easily made in the modern kitchen:

    Nut Rissoles
    3ozs. mixed grated nuts, 3 ozs breadcrumbs, 1 oz. nut butter, 1 chopped onion, 1 large cupful canned tomatoes.

    Mix ingredients together; mould into rissoles, dust with flour and fry in ‘Nutter’. Serve with gravy.

    Note: Nutter was a solid vegetable fat. Just use oil, or grill them. 1 oz is about 25g.

    This is the 8th book relating to vegetarianism which I’ve guided through Distributed Proofreaders, and I’ve hardly touched on my ever-growing collection of old veggie cookbooks. I currently have Mrs. Bowdich’s New Vegetarian Dishes and Sydney H. Beard’s A Comprehensive Guide-Book to Natural, Hygienic and Humane Diet being proofread and formatted by volunteers on the site; E.G. Fulton’s The Vegetarian Cook Book is waiting in the queue and I have one more book which has been cleared and which I need to scan.

    Update: I have recently made this recipe, and it’s a fantastic, basic nut burger. The tomatoes should be added gradually until the rissoles hold together – you won’t need as much as is specified. Recommmended.

    06/01/2007

    Bryngoleu Stewed Nuttose

    Filed under: Historic — Tags: , , , , — Feòrag @ 13:29

    The most recent addition to my collection of old vegetarian cookbooks is The Bryngoleu Cookery Book by Lily L. Allen, published in England in 1906. It focuses around menus, rather than catergorised recipes, and today’s lunch was based on one part of one course of one of the dinner menus (they didn’t half eat a lot back then!). I had to veganise part of it, as you will see

    First, the original:

    A delicious stew can be made thus:—Run some walnuts through the nut mill and brown them in butter in a saucepan, add a grated onion, half a tin of tomato rubbed through a sieve, and vegetable stock to make a thick gravy. Add pieces of cooked Nuttose or other nut meat and, last of all—about twenty minutes before serving, some forcemeat balls prepared from bread-crumbs, parsley, sweet herbs, lemon-peel, seasoning, butter reduced to oil and one egg to bind. The balls must be fried in butter before they are added to the stew.

    And now, my modernised, vegan version.

    Stew
    A handful of walnuts, chopped
    1 small onion, chopped
    1 400g tin chopped tomatoes with basil
    The remains of a tin of Nuttolene (about 1/3 of a tin)
    Vegetable stock powder
    Olive oil for frying

    Fry the walnuts and onion in olive oil until the nuts start to brown. Add the tinned tomatoes and the vegetable stock powder, and simmer. Make the balls (see below). If it begins to stick, or get too thick, add a splash of water. When the balls are ready, add the Nuttolene and the balls, and stew another 10 minutes or so. The sauce should be dark and thick.

    Balls
    1 thin slice wholemeal bread, beginning to go a bit stale.
    1 tbl olive oil
    1 tbl wholemeal flour
    water to bind.
    Herbs to taste
    Yuzu (Japanese citron peel seasoning)

    Turn the bread into breadcrumbs using a Swiss chopper, food processor etc. Add the flour and herbs, then rub in the olive oil. Add just enough water to bind it and form into four small flattened balls. Fry the balls slowly in olive oil until nice and golden. Add them to the stew to finish.

    This served one as a complete meal. Originally it was served with Yorkshire pudding, cabbage and potatoes as part of a substantial three course meal – in that circumstance, it would be two generous portions at least.

    01/04/2006

    1892 Fried Beetroot

    Filed under: Historic — Tags: , — Feòrag @ 21:09

    The veg box this week contains quite a lot of beetroot, so I’ve been looking for interesting things to do with it. Rummaging through my old veggie cookbooks for inspiration, I found the following in New Vegetarian Dishes by Mrs. Bowdich, the source of the Curried Beetroot and Cucumber recipe I posted some time back. Here’s the recipe I tried, with notes below.

    Fried Beetroot
    (A Breakfast Dish.)

    1 medium-sized beet.
    2 ounces butter for frying (50g).
    1 teaspoon salt.
    ½ teaspoon pepper.
    2 teaspoons flour.
    2 tablespoons vinegar.
    1 tablespoon water.

    Peel the beetroot (or don’t), and cut into slices about a quarter of an inch (6mm) thick (I did half moons). Dissolve the butter in a frying pan, place in the beetroot and fry for twenty minutes (actually nearer 10 or 15), sprinkling each slice on both sides with the pepper and salt. When done, arrange the slices on a hot dish. Reset the frying pan on the fire, stir in the flour, thoroughly mixing it with the butter, and fry for a couple of minutes, strirring all the time, then pour in the water and vinegar, stir until quite smooth; pour over the beetroot and serve quickly.

    Notes:
    I used a mix of vegan margarine and olive oil to replace the butter, and I think I’d use just oil in future. I did not bother with salt. The flour was wholemeal, because that’s what we have. When frying the flour, turn the heat right down. I used perry vinegar – pick a nice one, because it provides a lot of flavour. The sauce is dark purple and piquante, with the vinegar to the fore. Lemon juice would be nice instead. I served it on toast—for this purpose, the smaller the bits of beetroot the better, with the cooking time reduced accordingly.

    08/02/2006

    Brazil Nut Soup

    Filed under: Historic — Tags: , , , , — Feòrag @ 12:47

    This recipe is from A Comprehensive Guide-Book to Natural, Hygienic, and Humane Diet by Sydney H. Beard, published in 1913 by the Order of the Golden Age. The book is currently being OCRed so I can put it through Distributed Proofreaders and into Project Gutenberg. The soup is extremely filling and warming – excellent for winter – and would make a good base for creamy soups.

    The original recipe reads: Pass 1 pint of shelled Brazil nuts through a nut mill, fry these with one or two chopped onions in 1-oz of nut butter, keeping them a pale yellow colour; add 1-oz flour, and gradually 1½-pints white stock; bring slowly to the boil and simmer gently until the onions are soft. Pass through a hair sieve, and dilute with milk.

    Now, nut butters at this point meant solidified nut oil, used as a replacement for butter. White stock was a pale stock made from haricot beans. This is a British book, so a pint is 568ml or 20 fluid ounces.

    For my version, I used half a cup of nuts and a spare half onion I had to use up. I grated the nuts finely and fried them with the onion in olive oil. I used a level tablespoon of flour and my usual vegetable stock powder – 1 cup of stock. I did not sieve it, but did give it a quick go with my hand-held blender, and I used soya milk to bring it to a soupy consistency. I got two lunches out of it.

    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.

    02/02/2006

    Unity Inn “Eggless loaf”

    Filed under: Historic — Tags: , , — Feòrag @ 19:36

    The Unity Inn, in Kansas City, was run by the Unity School of Christianity and included one of the largest vegetarian cafeterias in the world. The organisation still exists, but is no longer committed to vegetarianism. The Unity Inn Vegetarian Cook Book (A Collection of Practical Suggestions and Receipts for the Preparation of Non-Flesh Foods in Palatable and Attractive Ways) was published in 1923, and I have a copy in my collection of old veggie cookbooks. Tonight I had a craving for nut roast, so I had a go at making the Eggless Loaf recipe on page 128.

    Original recipe

    1½ cups nuts
    2 cups crumbs
    ½ teaspoon mace
    ¼ teaspoon salt
    1 tablespoon flour
    2 tablespoons oil
    tomato enough to moisten
    vegetable flavoring

    Mix fine browned crumbs, chopped nuts, flour browned in oil, and strained tomato juice. Make into a loaf and bake 1 hour. Serve with dressing or brown gravy.

    My version (makes half as much – enough for a 500g/1lb tin)

    ¾ cup mixed nuts and seeds
    1 cup breadcrumbs
    1 teaspoon vegetable stock powder
    ½ tablespoon flour
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    a tin of chopped tomatoes
    approx 1 teaspoon of herbs and spices to taste.

    Grind the nuts and mix with the breadcrumbs, flour, oil, stock powder and herbs. (I forgot the browning stage – it was nice enough without it though). Open the tin of tomatoes and add them a tablespoon at a time to the mixture until it sticks together. This should need about 5 tablespoonsful. Put in a greased tin or dish and put in a hot oven for about 30-40 minutes. In this case, there were some potatoes roasting in there, so it was 180°C. Use the rest of the tomatoes to make a tomato sauce to serve with it.

    Extra free bonus hint: Adding a couple of tablespoons of a decent quality hot salsa to a tomato sauce is really rather pleasant.

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