Saturday, 20 October 2012

Banh Mi Chay- vegan South East Asian street food Gangnam style!

Lashings of tofu mayo, slices of succulent seitan and piles of spicy salad and pickle make this banh mi a satisfying  complete meal
Actually, this now world- famous sandwich is more likely to be found in its vegetarian/ vegan version in Buddhist temples rather than on the street, but in an alternative universe where everyone is vegetarian, this would definitely be a popular street snack. I chose seitan as the protein here, but I have heard it is also very good with tofu. I would like to think it classy enough to be considered "Gangnam Style"...! (Look for Gangnam Style on youtube if you don't know what I mean.) Banh mi is made with baguette and mayonnaise, which were introduced to Vietnam by the French. (I would have preferred to use wholemeal, but I couldn't get any on the day I made this.) Kimchi is a Korean vegetable pickle which I think lends itself very well to this sandwich, and adds that spicy K-Pop wow factor ;) So my banh mi is truly a fusion dish. Horse-riding dance, anyone- this sandwich should give you plenty of energy?! 

I used my Magimix to get the slices and shreds thin

Use plenty of fillings for each person!
This recipe serves 4 people, and needn't take long if you haev made the seitan and tofu in advance:
1 long baguette/ French stick, cut into 4 pieces which are then sliced lengthways
 Seitan made with 1 kg flour- click here to learn how to make it
A half quantity of tofu-miso mayo- click here for the recipe
1/4 long cucumber
1 bunch fresh coriander (cilantro)
Grated daikon (mooli), or -as shown here- a mix of grated pink radish and celeriac is good
kimchi- click here for the recipe- or miso mixed with chilli. Add these according to your taste, as they provide the spicy kick to this sandwich.
  • Bake the seitan in a shallow ovenproof dish with some of the leftover stock from making it at 200C until liquid is absorbed, turning once.
  • Meanwhile prepare the salad veg. as shown in the picture above. The cucumber needs to be sliced thinly and the radish shredded.
  • Make the mayo in your blender and set aside.
  • You can either keep the seitan warm and also warm the bread, or serve the banh mi cold, as I did. (Cold seemed right because of the raw veg.)
  • Assemble the sandwiches by spreading the bread with mayo, laying on the seitan and topping with salad and pickle/ chilli miso.
  • Make sure your sandwich is full to bursting with crunchy veg, oozing mayo and spicy flavours and don't eat it in public :/

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Cashew Nut "Cream Cheese"- raw, vegan

Cashew "cheese" on a cracker with salad and sundried tomato (apologies foe the poor quality of these pictures, which were taken in artificial light.)

Probiotic powder

This is my husband's recipe, and it's definitley a "keeper"; there are lots of different variations on this non-dairy "cheese"; it can be aged until it resembles a hard cheese, firmed up in the fridge or dehydrator and rolled in herbs and seasonings to make a "roule", and the flavours you can add to it are many and varied. This is the basic version, and yields a moderate- small amount- I'll be sure to post different versions as we make them. Don't worry if you don't have a dehydrator; you can use a yoghurt maker or airing cupboard. You can get similar flavours by mixing together tahini, lemon juice and soy sauce but this is live and the friendly bacteria will do your digestive system good. If you are vegan but still get cravings for the tanginess of cheese, then this recipe is for you!

100g cashew nuts
1 tsp probiotic powder
About 50ml water- enough to make a "cream"
  • Grind the nuts in your food processor into a fine flour.
  • Add the probiotic powder.
  • Add the water, mixing well. It should look thick and creamy.
  • Put into a container and dehydrate for 12 hours at 43C The "cheese" will become tangy and cheese-like.Keep in the fridge, where it will firm up a little. Add some seasalt, yeast flakes, ground peppercorns, herbs etc. as you wish, or just leave it as it is...

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Date and tahini loaf- vegan, natural sugar

If you are making a larger cake, why not try filling as well as topping it with the frosting?

This is yet another worthy and respectable wholefood cake; brown and sticky, and quite delicious! The trio of this, Sticky Prune Cake and Ginger Parkin, are quick and easy to make, pretty much as healthy as a cake can be, and perfect Autumnal comfort food with a mug of hot redbush chai or Barleycup, while you sit cosily indoors watching the leaves fall...

400g wholemeal flour, preferably organic
5 tsps baking powder
150g semidried dates (sold in a box as "fresh" in Middle Eastern stores), stoned and chopped
200ml date syrup
400ml rice milk
150ml coconut oil, liquefied
3 tabs date syrup and 3 tabs light tahini, mixed together into a spreadable paste.

  • First prepare the dates while the oven preheats.
  • Combine the dates, flour and baking powder in a large mixing bowl.
  • Combine the oil, rice milk and date syrup. You may have to heat it slightly if your kitchen is cold to avoid the oil re-solidifying. Use a balloon whisk.
  • Beat the wet ingredients together with the dry until thoroughly mixed.
  • Turn into a prepared medium-sized loaf tin/ silicone mould and bake for about 25 minutes at 180C. Use a thin skewer to test whether it's done.
  • When the cake has cooled, turn it out of the tin and spread and/ or fill with the frosting. (Don't forget to double the quantities if doing both.) Make the decorative ridges with a fork or the handle of a teaspoon.

The beauty of this cake is that it's really adaptable; you could use ricebran or peanut oil, soya or almond milk, and try adding walnuts as well as dates. If you try any of these, be sure to let me know via the comments below how it turns out!