£5 Note

A Rant About The New Fiver!

Time for a little rant…

After the news coming out yesterday that the new £5 note has tallow in it, people are moaning at vegetarians and vegans for not being happy about this. Tallow is an animal product, rendered fat usually from beef or mutton. What’s that doing in our money!? Probably something reeeally important (note the sarcasm) like making them feel super smooth. The notes have been in circulation for two months, the Bank of England replied to a tweet yesterday to confirm that the note does contain tallow.

Bank of England Tweet

So obviously the news got out, a petition was started and loads of people took to Twitter and made hilaaarious tweets (again with the sarcasm) and slagged off vegetarians and vegans for caring. Yes you jokers, we don’t eat the money, but if you understood vegetarians and vegans then you’d know it’s not just about what we eat. I don’t want to wash in tallow so I buy vegan soap! I don’t want to be carrying it around in my pocket either, even if it could pay for my vegan soap!

Please try and understand the issue before insulting someone for caring.

hot-toddy-ingredients

Got A Cold? You Need A Hot Toddy!

Last week I was struck with a dreaded cold, it’s that time of year when they’re pretty hard to avoid. I set about eating loads of good stuff, vegetables, not a challenge at all for a vegetarian! Soup is perfect for getting loads of goodness in you, so it was time to make some pumpkin soup. Warming and seasoned with curry spices it was a winner, made me feel like I was on the road to being rid of the cold.

Another perfect recipe for when you have a cold is a hot toddy. If you’re a whisky lover then it’s great, if not then maybe skip the whisky and just make a honey and lemon, still good but the boozy warmth is what gives a hot toddy that great medicinal feeling! After a hearty bowl of soup I set about making one of these.

In a mug add…

2 shots of whisky, use whichever you like, this time I went for a single malt, Aberlour 12 year old. The juice of half a lemon. 1 tsp of honey, if you’re vegan then agave would work instead to add some sweetness.

…top it all off with boiling water and garnish with a slice of lemon and, if you like, a cinnamon stick or some cloves.

hot-toddy-ingredients

So the soup and a hot toddy or two seemed to do the trick for me, I’ve kindly shared my cold with my husband, let’s see if it works for him too!

Autumnal Pumpkins

Autumnal Food – Don’t Waste Your Pumpkins!

Autumn is my favourite time of year, I love the colours, walking through rustling leaves, the scarf and sunglasses weather it brings, and obviously the food! With occasions like Halloween and Bonfire night to look forward to it’s a perfect excuse to make some delicious autumnal food.

It doesn’t need to be complicated food, if you’re out watching fireworks on bonfire night then a baked potato or a bowl of chilli is perfect.

I love to carve a pumpkin for Halloween, but for me the pumpkin doesn’t get wasted like so many of them do. If you’re going to carve a pumpkin, make sure you do something with it. Roast the seeds with some spices for a great snack or as a garnish to soups and salads.

A great thing to make with pumpkin at this time of year is soup. You can switch out the sweet potato in my recipe for spiced carrot and sweet potato soup for pumpkin to make a spiced warming soup. Give it a try and don’t waste all that pumpkin!

A Spicy, Tangy, Herby, Green, Mexican Kinda Sauce! (Catchy Name Right?)

Even though I’ve never been and tasted the real deal, I like to make Mexcian food. A lot. I love it, it can be both super simple and quick and it can be complex and take ages to make a perfect dish.

One simple sauce that make quite often to go with Mexican food is a coriander, jalapeño and lime sauce, maybe that’s a catchier name, oh well! I got the idea from a Jamie Oliver recipe where he says, “To make the jalapeño salsa, drain and add the jalapeños to a food processor with a splash of the pickling juice. Tear in the coriander (stalks and all) and add a splash of extra virgin olive oil. Blitz well until smooth.” – sounds simple, and it is! I add lime juice to mine for a good citrus kick. If you haven’t got a food processor or a stick blender, just pile it all on a board and get chopping! You might have to mess about with the amount of chillies if you don’t like it too hot. Try adding a few at a time and giving it a taste as you go.

Green Mexican Sauce Ingredients

It’s a seriously good sauce and only takes a couple of minutes to make, so next time you decide to make tacos or burritos, make a batch of this sauce to go with them. It’d be good as a dip for chips or roast potatoes.

It’s a good addition to my sweet potato and chickpea taco recipe too!

Cabbage and Gochujang

Quick Vegetarian Kimchi Recipe

I’m not the kind of girl to pick a pickle off a burger, give me a gherkin every time, extra if you’ve got them. I really like pickled stuff. Ok, I’ve never dared try a pickled egg, but that holds some bad memories of working in pubs having to fish the last one out of a giant jar with it looking up at you slipping out of reach in it’s vinegary bath. Probably put a few people off trying pickled eggs with that description, oh well!

Anyway, back to the pickle in question, kimchi. An ancient Korean food, consisting of fermenting vegetables, that only seems to have appeared on menus more over here in the last few years. It’s popping up as a burger topping, added to the side of rice and noodles and even put into grilled cheese sandwiches. There’s lots of different variations for how to make it and I’m no expert, but it seems to mostly use Chinese cabbage and today the fermentation is usually made spicy by adding Korean chilli flakes, gochugaru, or Korean chilli paste, gochujang. Veggies and vegan’s be careful, it’s usually made with fish sauce, so check the ingredients before you order it when you’re out!

I’ve had a read at a few recipes for making Kimchi quickly, so here’s my take on a quick, veggie and vegan friendly, kimchi recipe…

Ingredients:
1 Chinese cabbage
3 spring onions – finely sliced
2 carrots – sliced into matchsticks or coarsely grated
3 cm piece of ginger – finely chopped or grated
2 cloves of garlic – crushed
2 tbsp Korean chilli flakes or paste – if you can’t get this use something like Sriracha.
3 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp salt – sounds like a lot but it’s washed off after you’ve salted the cabbage!

Kimchi Ingredients

Start by slicing the cabbage, length ways through the core, into roughly 3cm strips, put this into a mixing bowl and mix with the salt, then leave to one side for an hour. While the cabbage is set to one side get your other veg prepped and, make the paste by mixing together the ginger, garlic, chilli flakes or paste and rice wine vinegar in a little bowl. Time to read or do some chores now until the cabbage has done it’s thing.

After the cabbage has had it’s hour, tip it into a colander and rinse it under cold running water for a bit, then drain it and dry thoroughly. Add it back to the original bowl adding the carrots and spring onion too, next, mix the paste into the veg. It’ll taste good right away so you can serve some straight away, or put into a large jar or Tupperware, leave it to ferment at room temperature overnight, then pop it in the fridge the next morning. It’ll keep for about two weeks in the fridge. I’m told that the flavour will improve the longer it’s left, just waiting to find out, not sure it’ll last that long!

Quick Kimchi

Try adding it as a side to dishes or putting it in your sandwiches to give them a kick. Or you can even make kimchi fried rice, just chop it up finely and stir fry it with your cooked cold rice as you would for any fried rice dish. Think that’s what I’m going to try.