Thursday, 16 August 2012

Please Like Me!

The Yogi Vegetarian now has a fb page.... please "like" it ! :)

"Vegonia"- vegan shop

You can see what a wide range of foods and supplements they stock

We found Vegonia a very friendly and helpful shop!

We got home yesterday from a few blissful days away camping in Wales, and I really wanted to share this shop... when I see a really good thing, especially in an unexpected place, I get so excited I just have to write about it! (I wasn't asked to do this, by the way- and this is not a review.) This great shop is "Vegonia Wholefoods", an independent wholefood shop in Porthmadog, North Wales. Not only is it wholefoods, but all the products are TOTALLY VEGAN too! Choose anything from their shelves and your conscience is clear...
We had driven to Porthmadog last Tuesday to have a look around, and found a small town with a pretty harbour where we decided to while away a couple of hours in the sun. But then lunchtime struck- and we decided to buy some food to prepare in our camper van to fuel an afternoon walk. It wasn't long before my husband noticed Vegonia's bold green and yellow shop front in the main street and we went inside to have a look. Being used to making do with Holland and Barrett most of the time, where you have to be careful to look at all the labels because not all of their products are even vegetarian, this shop was like Aladdin's cave! (I had to be dragged out after we had bought what we needed for our picnic as I was in great danger of spending serious amounts of money...!) Apparently they have another branch a bit further North in Nantwich, Cheshire too. Not only do they stock a fabulous range of foods, remedies and supplements from the major wholefood brands, but they do things like selling the larger bags of xylitol so that it's better value and you don't have to keep going back for more every time you bake a cake. Prices are pretty competitive considering they are not a major chain. The kids were somewhat stunned by the fridges full of different kinds  of tofu and vegan "cheese" but eventually chose a block of chewy smoked tofu with almond and sesame, which made a great organic baguette (bread from Tesco's!) with the addition of some salad we had in the van. We were not hungry again until that evening :)
If you will be in North Wales on holiday, or if you live nearby, check out Vegonia Wholefoods in Porthmadog, at 49 High Street. Their phone number is 01766 515195, and they are creating a website soon too.
Pretty Porthmadog harbour

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Sweetcorn Relish

The taste of late Summer- in a jar!

This is just perfect for a barbecue- I had been reading about a burger relish made with mango and sweetcorn, but since we had a punnet of nice ripe nectarines that needed to be used asap I made this with them. The sweet  flavour combo and freshness of the parsley is even better the day after- next time I think I'll add more chilli, though ;)
Have a look  here  for  links to some veggieburger recipes. This recipe makes about 700g- enough to last several meals. (It keeps a few days in the fridge.)

400g cooked sweetcorn kernels
4 ripe nectarines
1-2 tabs flat-leaved (or curly) parsley
1 tsp fresh chilli, minced
2 tsps salt
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tab lemon juice
1 tab agave nectar

  • Dice the nectarines small and chop the parsley finely.
  • Mix everything together in a pan and heat very gently for a couple of minutes until the fruit has just started to soften, but not letting too much juice out. (If it gets a bit runny, you could try stirring in some arrowroot powder?)
  • Cool and store in a jar in the fridge.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Baked Beet Pakoras- vegan

A great light meal when served with salad and chutney/ sauce
This is yet another attempt to make non-fried versions of Indian dishes. I wanted to find a good use for some homegrown organic beetroot, too, that would complement its earthy flavour. This time, instead of using liquid batter for the pakoras and dipping the veg to coat, the juices from the grated beetroot bind the powdered ingredients together. If you would like some more ideas for healthier Indian cooking, look here and here.
Just make your usual batter mix but without the liquid. (I use gram flour, turmeric, salt, chilli powder and ground cumin.) Grate the beets and mix it all together. Form into balls, brush with a suitable oil  for baking and bake at 200C on an oiled baking tray until evenly browned and cooked in the middle. Then you can have fun creating salad/ raita/ chutney to go with them!