Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Cannellini Beans with Smoky Tofu 'Lardons'

This is a delicious, easy and quick meal that is great for hot sunny days and is so versatile as you can use it as a pasta sauce or eat it with warm bread and a green salad. I am going to also include the tofu Lardon recipe, although you can use any smoked tofu to get the same results on those days when we haven't got time to make it from scratch!


1 Tin of Cannellini beans
2 Cups of Cherry Tomatoes
1/2 Cup of Tofu Lardons or smoked tofu cut into strips
2 tbsp of Olive Oil
1/4 Cup of Nutritional Yeast
1/2 Tsp of Mixed Herbs
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/4 Cup of Chopped Parsley

In a frying pan heat the olive oil and add the lardons, fry for a minute or two until browned.
Then add the tomatoes which have been sliced in half. Fry until the tomatoes just start to soften.
Then add the beans, yeast, dried herbs and salt and pepper. Continue to gently cook until the tomatoes are soft and the beans have given up some of their starch to make a thick sauce. When you are ready to serve sprinkle with the parsley. Serve with bread or pasta.

Tofu Lardons (optional recipe)

1 Packet of Firm Tofu
2 Tbsp of Olive Oil
1 Tsp of Hickory Liquid Smoke
1 Tsp of Agave
1 Clove Garlic Crushed
1/4 Cup of Vegetable Stock
Good pinch of Salt and Pepper

In a bowl add all the marinade ingredients and stir to combine. Then pour into a large baking tray and lay the tofu slices in the tray coating with the marinade as you go. Place in a hot oven 200c and bake for 1 hour turning every 20 minutes or so until super crispy. The tofu should be golden, crispy and almost kind of dried out. Allow to cool and then place in a tupperware box and keep it in the fridge for 3 days or place in the freezer for up to a month. It can be added to any meal to give a rich bacony flavour.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

My Week According To My Camera!

1) Eeyore Birthday Cake.
2) Cinnamon Whirls and Almond and Apricot Whoopie Pies available at St Benedicts Food Store and freshly delivered every monday.
3 & 4) Apple and Ginger Crumble Cake and Lemon and Pine Nut Cake. A selection of our large cakes are available at Waterstones Cafe W every Wednesday and Saturday.
5 & 6) Lots of salads this week because of  the warm weather! Lentil and Parsley Salad and Stuffed Peppers with Tomato Cous Cous and Cucumber Raita.
7) I made Aggi a fresh batch of Vegan and Gluten Free dog biscuits. This time Apple, Peanut Butter, Flax and Nooch flavour!
8 & 9) Lots of walks into town in the sunshine!

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Steamed Bao Buns in a Spiced Miso Broth

This dish is just a hug in a bowl and is so delicious! This dish has so many layers of flavour including sesame, ginger, miso, and chilli, plus crisp vegetables and fluffy melt in the mouth bun dough that encases a rich spiced stuffing inside! I am not gonna lie, some bits of this recipe are a little more fiddly than other recipes but it is so well worth it!

Bao bun dough:

2 Cups of flour
Pinch of Salt
2 Tbsp of Dried Yeast
1/4 Cup of Olive Oil
2/3 Cup of Water

Bao Bun Stuffing:

1 Tbsp of Canola or Sunflower Oil
2 Spring Onions Chopped
1 Packet of Dried Veggie Mince (Granose)
2/3 Cup of Water
1 Tbsp of Tomato Purée
1/4 Tsp Red Chilli finely chopped
1/4 Teaspoon Ginger Powder
1 Tbsp Tamari
1/2 Tsp of Agave

Miso Broth:

5 Cups of Water
2 Tbsp of Miso Paste
1 Tbsp of Tamari
1/4 Teaspoon of Chilli chopped finely
1 Tbsp of Sesame Oil
1/2 Tsp of Agave
1cm Cube of fresh Ginger grated
1 Clove Garlic grated
2 Spring Onions chopped into chunky pieces
1 Cup of Mange Tout
1 Cup Savoy Cabbage Finely Shredded

You will also need a steamer or a pan with a lid and a colander.

It a bowl add the yeast, oil and water together and allow to stand for 5 mins to activate the yeast. Then add the salt and flour and stir to combine. If the dough is a little dry add a little more water, or if too wet, more flour. The dough should come together and clean the sides of the bowl. Gently knead on a floured surface for a couple of minutes and then allow to rest while you make your filling.
In a bowl add the veggie mince, water, tomato, ginger, tamari and agave. Allow to hydrate. In a frying pan fry the spring onion and chilli together in the oil. Then add the stuffing mixture and gently fry until heated through around 5 mins.
On a floured surface roll out your dough to about half a cm thickness. Using a 6cm cutter or a larger glass cut out rounds and place to one side. Once all the dough is used up it is time to stuff them with the mix. Take one of the dough rounds in your left hand (if right handed) add a tsp or so of mixture to the middle of the round. Then take one edge with your right hand and gently start to pinch and crimp the edge until all the edges are sealed together and have made a little parcel. Then gently twist to give the authentic shape of the bao bun!
Now if using a steamer pop each bun on a piece of baking paper and place in the steamer, if not bring a pan of water to the boil and place a colander on top. The colander must not be touching the water!!!
Pop each bao bun on a piece of baking paper and pop in the colander giving them space inbetween as the bun dough does spread as it cooks. Pop the lid on and steam for 15-20 minutes until firm to the touch and piping hot in the middle.
While you are steaming the buns you can make the broth. In a sauce pan add all of the ingredients except the spring onion, mange tout and cabbage. Gently simmer to release all the wonderful flavours. Check the seasoning and adjust to your taste. 5 mins before serving add the vegetables to allow them to just cook through but still have bite. Then dish up the broth and pop 4 - 5 bao buns on top and serve immediately! Enjoy!