Vegans on the radio!

June 27, 2011

My daughter lives in a vegan community, Gentle World. Check out Jack Perkins’ radio programme on Gentle World here
Gentlworld publishes cookbooks, Incredibly Delicious and The Cookbook for People who Love Animals. You can order copies of Incredibly Delicious through their website. I’ve got copies of the Cookbook for People Who Love Aniimals available for $20 including p&p within NZ – contact me for details.


Oh dear.

It’s been a bit of a bad time on the substitute front!

Went into Common Sense organics the other day in search of coarse ground semolina.

I got all excited at the chillers and bought seitan (made by Blue Lotus Foods in Australia).  It says on the pack – use as you would any meat.  Vegans, believe me, that is exactly what you should do.  Treat it like meat and avoid at any cost.

I came home tonight to make my dinner and took the seitan from the fridge, mouth watering.

I opened the wrapper and ate a slice.  Tough wet sea sponge texture exuding vegemite flavoured brown dishwater.

So, my dins tonight is the usual green veggies and an aubergine, sliced, dipped in seasoned chick pea flour and fried in olice oil.  Yummy and a fraction of the price.

So my advice is, leave the premade seitan on the shelf.

This is a bit of an embellishment on one of my earlier recipes, but WOW, it’s good.

  • 2 good handfuls of round green beans, topped and tailed
  • half a cucumber cut into chunks about 3 x2x1 cm (this is a rough guide)
  • 2 flat mushrooms, sliced
  • a head of spinach, shredded into 1 cm-ish wide strips
  • olice oil, garlic salt, nutritional yeast

My workmate has had a bumper crop of cucumbers this year and was telling me how she had poached one in veggie stock and how well it had come out. Her crop is so good she’s been bringing her leftover cukes to work so I bagsied one for tonight’s dinner.

Over a low heat, put your beans into a frying pan with a little olive oil and cook for a couple of minutes over a low-medium heat (basically until they are just undercooked for your liking).

Add the mushrooms and cubed cucumber and shake around.

When the mushrooms are cooked and oozing out their juices, toss in the spinch and garlic salt.

Toss around in the pan until the spinach wilts and stir in a good couple of tablespoons of nutritional yeast.

Season to taste and eat.  This would probably be good with some wholemeal bread to mop up the juices, in which case it would probably feed two, but I just scooped up the juices in a spoon, so it only fed me – though very well, I might add.

Oh I just love the summer veggies!  I’ve been eating heaps of this little mix.

  • 2-3 courgettes
  • 2 handfuls of round green beans
  • a couple of THIN slices of onion
  • 2-3 flat mushrooms
  • and little olive oil and garlic salt.

Pop the onion into a frying pan with the olive oil and soften slightly.

Add the beans and keep shaking the pan so they cook evenly

Slice the courgettes longways – half then half then half again.

Wipe the mushrooms with a damp cloth and slice to about a centimetre thick.

Keep shaking and turning until the courgettes are cooked – you could shake on a bit of wine or balsmaic if you like, but it’s not essential, bec ause the mushrooms will be making a lovely dark sauce for you.

Tip onto a warmed plate, sprinkle with nutritional yeast if you like and enjoy hot.

Bon appetit!



It’s that time of year when your cute little courgettes turn into marrows over night.

So here’s a great way to make a yummy veganic main.

  • One overgrown courgette about 30 cm long
  • 100 g stuffing mix – last night I used half a pack of Greggs sage and onion
  • 1 or 2 lemons
  • A good handful of fresh herbs (I used parsley and sage)
  • A red capsicum

Grill the capsicum until the skin is scorched and leave to cool.

Cut the courgette in half lengthways and scoop out the seeds and the stringy inner flesh.

Shake the stuffing mix into a bowl, squeeze over the lemon juice.

Peel and chop up the roasted capsicum, add the chopped herbs, add water until you have a stiff dry mix.

Pile the stuffing into one scooped out courgette shell, heaping it up so when you put on the other half on, it fills the hole.

Put in a pre-warmed oven at 180 degrees for about 50 minutes and serve.

Of course, you could add all sorts of other stuff to the filling, I am going t add pine nuts next time.  Because zucchini/courgettes/marrows are so full of water, the stuffing does get quite moist, so make sure the stuffin is pretty stiff. And if it comes out too sloppy, just open up the two halves of your courgette and pop it back into the oven, to allow the stuffing to dry out and crisp up.





For a change, I did some forward planning yesterday and soaked some haricot beans.  Actually, to tell you the truth, I soaked a LOT of haricot beans.  I’ve been making fasoulia for years, it’s great comfort food when served hot, although the original recipe I had said serve it cold.  I have made enough to feed a small army for weeks, or me for several days.  If you cut all the ingredients below by a third, you could feed 4 people easily.

I was looking forward to eating it so much that I got up early and set wholemeal bread going in the breadmaker.

GENEROUS quantities of olive oil (I used about 300 ml)
Whole peeled cloves of garlic
4 medium onions
About 750 grams haricot beans (soaked over night)
3-4 bay leaves
1-2 tablespoons thyme
1 can tomatoes, or 3 big tablespoons tomato puree
2 or 3 lemons

Roughly chop the onions and gently fry in the oil until transparent.  Add all the other ingredients except the lemons, cover with water and either cook all day in a slow cooker or on cooktop or in the stove for about an hour.

It’s cooked when the beans still hold their shape, but are not hard.  Squeeze over the juice of the lemons and season to taste.

If you like, you can add celery and carrots.

This tastes great either hot with hunks of warm bread to mop up the sauce or cold with lettuce.

Oh, it’s so cold here in Wellington.  So after emerging from Slava’s Snow Show at the St James on Sunday, I needed something easy to prepare  and comforting to eat while we all raved about this excellent performance.   (If you get the chance, go and see Slava, it’s GREAT)

So, apart from the standard roast root veggies (potatoes, yams, carrots, parsnips, garlic, onions, yellow peppers this week), I used two of my favourites to make a yummy, sloppy mix to warm my cockles.

2 leeks

2 medium sized eggplant (aubergine)

8 whole cloves garlic

2 red peppers

1 can tomatoes

Slice the leeks and spread over the bottom of a ceramic or glass dish and pop in the whole garlic cloves.

Slice the eggplant into half centimetre slices and spread over.

Thinly slice the red peppers and spread over the top.

Pour over the can of tomatoes (I used Watties mediterranean tomatoes with oregano).

Bake uncovered at 180 degrees for about an hour – if it looks as though it’s drying out, just stir it around a bit.

You could spread some breadcrumbs over the top and grill to get a crispy topping if you liked, but it’s great just as it comes.