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Raw Cashew Yoghurt

We go through times where we don’t have that much variety in our meals, it’s really easy to have a few favourites that can be made through the whole year and always have the ingredients around to make them.  Lately I’ve been trying to plan our meals and weekly shopping a bit more so that I can try out new recipes.

I recently got Bryanna Clark Grogan’s book ‘World Vegan Feast’ and dog-eared around half the pages, there are so many recipes that look really good (and the ones that I’ve tried so far have been great).  There was one for shawarma wraps that involved yoghurt, so rather than following a faster recipe I decided to use my meal planning skills to make a fermented vegan yoghurt instead.

Ingredients:

1 cup cashews
water, for soaking
1 cup water, for blending

Method:

Soak the cashews in the water for at least half an hour (preferably overnight).  Drain and place in a blender with a cup of water and blend until smooth.  Using a nut milk bag or a very fine sieve, strain the mixture into a wide-necked jar or bowl.  Leave it to sit at room temperature until it tastes fermented.  It takes around 24 hours in my fairly cold kitchen, if your kitchen is warmer you might want to check after 8 hours or so.

Compared to shop-bought soy yoghurt this is much creamier, richer, and has a slight cashew taste.  Great for any recipe that calls for plain yoghurt, or just served plain with some fruit.

Bryanna Clark Grogan’s recipe consisted of some homemade seitan – slowly baked in broth then thinly sliced and marinated in an incredibly delicious sour and spicy marinade.  The seitan is then grilled (broiled) and served in a wrap with salad greens, tomatoes, red onion and vegan yoghurt and sumac.  It was very tasty, I will definitely make this again.


This recipe has been a part of the Pennywise Platter, March the 14th

Seitan Roulade with Parsley Root Stuffing

We haven’t had many celebration-worthy meals of late, instead falling back on many of our comforting favourites from Triumph of the Lentil (especially the lentil lasagne, penne pasta bake and seitan ‘steak’ with onion and pepper gravy) while I focus my kitchen creativity on baking for my next book.  With the release of the Kindle edition of Triumph of the Lentil and it quickly reaching #1 bestseller status in Germany for English language Natural Foods cookbooks, a need for a tasty celebration meal arose.

The Kindle edition is available from Amazon.com, Amazon.de, Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.fr

Parsley root is a strange looking and delicious vegetable.  I grow my own but if you’re lucky you might find some of these at a farmer’s market or CSA from late summer to early spring, depending on your climate.  Growing it is pretty much the same as parsnip, but the seeds sprout a little easier, it’s also sometimes sold as “Hamburg parsley”.

With this recipe it’s possible to have an impressive meal to serve to guests in under an hour.  It can also be made ahead and stored in the fridge until baking, perfect when you’re having friends over and want to spend time with them rather than rushing around cooking stuff.

This stuffing is really unique and tasty.  It’s grain-free, so people on gluten-free or grain-free diets could use this instead as stuffing for a nut roast or lentil loaf.

Kitchen time 15-20 minutes.  Makes 4 serves. (if you’re cooking for less people, the other rolled and tied-up roulades can be kept unbaked in the fridge for up to 5 days and baked when needed).  Best served with roasted veggies, miso gravy (recipe below) and a green salad.

Soy-free, Onion- and garlic-free, nightshade-free (depending on your worcestershire sauce ingredients)

New improved baked seitan mixture (makes 4 serves)

Dry ingredients:

1 1/4 cups gluten (vital wheat gluten)

1/3 cup chickpea flour (besan)

2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (savoury yeast flakes)

1 teaspoon salt (omit if using tamari)

Wet ingredients:

2 tablespoons vegan worcestershire sauce, soy-free tamari or coconut aminos

2 tablespoons oil (olive, sesame or sunflower)

1 cup water

Method:

Combine the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.  Add the wet ingredients stirring, and then kneading to combine.  Leave to rest for at least 5 minutes.

Parsley Root (or celery root, or parsnip) Stuffing

Ingredients:

2 cups finely diced parsley root, celery root or parsnip

1/2 cup hazelnut meal or almond meal

2 tablespoons dijon mustard (or 2 teaspoons yellow mustard powder plus 2 tablespoons water)

2 tablespoons fresh thyme, or 2 teaspoons dried

optional 4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley

optional pinch of salt and 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar (add if using mustard powder instead of mustard.)

Method:
Preheat the oven to 160-200c (320-390f).

Prepare the seitan mixture from the directions above and set aside to rest for at least 5 minutes.  Prepare your side dish and stuffing ingredients while it rests and the oven heats up.

Grease a baking sheet and stretch the seitan out into as large a rectangle as you can without it breaking (if you want to make two or four roulades instead of one, divide the mixture into pieces and then stretch it and bake).  Place on the sheet and continue to press it out until it gets bigger, without it breaking.  It should be less than 1cm (1/2″ thick).

Brush the top with oil and bake for 7 minutes.

Bring a tiny bit of water to the boil in a small pot, then add the parsley root and boil for 5 minutes.  Drain.

In a mixing bowl, mix the parsley root, hazelnut meal, mustard, thyme and parsley together.

Place the least browned side of the seitan down on a plate and place the parsley root mixture in the middle third of the rectangle.  Roll the shorter end towards the other shorter end, overlapping it a little bit.  Tie it up with cotton string and stuff any of the fallen-out stuffing back in it.  Leave it seam-side down until you’re ready to cook it.

When your roasted veggies have 20 minutes to go, place the seitan on the same tray as them, or a separate greased tray, and brush liberally with oil.  Bake for 20 minutes.

Miso Gravy

This gravy really compliments the crispy seitan, which is a little dry on its own, and is delicious with roasted potatoes.

Serves 4.  Kitchen time 5 minutes.

Soy-free option, gluten-free option, low fat option, nightshade-free

1 medium onion

4 tablespoons flour (whole barley, spelt, wheat or gluten-free)

2 cups water

3 tablespoons miso*

3/4 teaspoon dried thyme (or 2 teaspoons fresh)

1/4 teaspoon dried sage (or 3/4 teaspoon fresh)

1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary (or 3/4 teaspoon fresh)

cracked pepper, to taste

1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

Place the onion in a frying pan with a little olive oil, stirring to coat.  Put on a medium-high heat and continue to stir until the onions are tender and fragrant and starting to brown.  Stir through the flour, then stir through the water, a little at a time so that no lumps form.  Add the miso, herbs, pepper and vinegar and bring to the boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for at least 5 minutes.

*For details on soy-free and gluten-free miso, see this post.

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