A local group to support and encourage a compassionate, cruelty-free, vegan lifestyle. We hold cooking sessions, tasting sessions, information sessions on everything from cruelty-free moisturisers to leather-free walking boots; vegan textiles to the best dairy-free cheese for cheese sauce!
1 cup vital wheat gluten (you can buy this at health food shops or online)
2 tbsp nutritional yeast (you should be able to get this at the same place at the wheat gluten)
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tsp liquid smoke
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried sage
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 cup of vegetable stock
A pinch of black pepper
80ml extra-virgin olive oil
250g cups Brussels sprouts, halved
3 medium parsnips (about 150g), cut into 3.5cm thick slices
1 cup sweet potatoes (about 150g), cut into 3.5cm thick slices
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
1x Large Mixing Bowl
1x Wooden Spoon
1x Rolling Pin
1x set of measuring Cups and Spoons
2x Large Oven Trays
1x Chopping Board
A pack of skewers
Roasting The Veggies
Start by pre heating your oven to 180℃
While you are waiting for the oven to heat up peel the parsnips, sweet potato and remove the outer leaves of the sprouts
Chop the sprouts in half and dice the root veggies into thick circles around 3.5cm in size
Grease a large baking tray with olive or sunflower oil and place vegetables, adding the dried herbs, garlic cloves and salt and pepper – leave these to cook whilst you prepare the seitan.
Making The Seitan Steak
Firstly, put all your dry ingredients into a large bowl and mix well
Add in the veg stock and liquid smoke and knead together until it has a dough like feel to it (you might need to knead it more it if it’s being unruly)
Pop the mixture onto a lightly greased oven tray and use a rolling pin to help the dough cover as much space in the tray as possible (again, the dough is notoriously unruly so don’t be afraid to use some elbow grease)
Pop the dish into the oven and bake for 10 minutes each side at 180℃ (356℉)
Take out the oven, cut into the steak length ways and then dice into bitesize pieces for your skewer.
Preparing the skewers
Pierce the roasted veg and seitan onto the skewer in any which way you fancy – like to wedge the seitan steak pieces between the veggies.
You should be able to make around 8 skewers in total depending on how much you have loaded them up.
For an added festive touch, I like to add balls of vegan stuffing and drizzle a small amount of cranberry sauce over the skewers – you can make you own or most shop bought cranberry sauce is vegan (but always check the ingredients are vegan beforehand).
Chop the (unpeeled, but scrubbed) carrots into small pieces. Boil or steam until soft. Drain and then mash. Grind seeds in a nut mill to make seed meal.
Crush garlic and finely chop rosemary and parsley. Mix seed meal, carrots and all other ingredients together.
Firmly press mixture into a loaf tin (lined with parchment paper). A 1kg loaf tin works well (approx 20x10x6cm). Make sure that you press really firmly to encourage the binding process – if you are too timid, it tends to fall apart. If you get it just right, then it magically forms into a perfectly sliceable loaf.
Bake in a preheated oven at gas mark 6 (200˚C/400˚F) for approximately 45 minutes.
Gently lift from the loaf tin by pulling out the loaf along with the parchment paper. Turn over onto a bread board and slice with a bread knife.
Big bonus – it freezes really well (just slice up before you freeze and either grill or bake when you take back out again after defrosting). Yay!
Grinding the seeds works best with a seed/nut/coffee grinder, although you can use a blender to roughly chop the seeds instead. If you roughly chop the seeds, then add a heaped tablespoon of spelt flour to the mixture to encourage the binding process. The other alternative is to use a pestle and mortar.
If you have neither a grinder nor a blender, you can substitute the ground seeds for pre-ground nuts or seeds.
1 small bar of Bournville or other dark chocolate without milk, for decoration
Smash up the biscuits and slice the strawberries. Make the jelly as per the instructions on the packet. Arrange the biscuits and fruit into a large bowl and pour the jelly into it. Chill until set (I left it 8 hours but I think it would have been set sooner had I checked).
To make the custard, I loosely followed the instructions on the packet but had to change the proportions (perhaps because I was using soya milk?). Mix 1 tbsp sugar, 4 tbsp custard powder and 1 tbsp soya milk into a paste in a bowl then heat the rest of the milk until nearly boiling. Pour the hot milk into the bowl gradually and whisk in thoroughly. Return the mixture to the pan and heat up for another minute, mixing continually. You should start to get a thick mixture but may need to add a little more custard powder.
Pour the hot custard over the set jelly and return the bowl to the fridge to set for an hour.
Whisk the rice cream in a bowl as per the instructions on the packet (2 minutes with an electric whisk on full power). Spoon this over the custard and sprinkle grated chocolate on top. Chill for another hour.
Serve the trifle chilled to a room full of non-vegans and watch them lap it up!
To make the soup, heat the olive oil in a large pan and fry the onion for 3-4 minutes until softened, but not coloured. Add the celeriac and potato. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Stir in the vegetable stock, ground saffron, orange juice and half the orange rind. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 20 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
Transfer to a food processor and process until smooth (you may need to do this in batches). Return to the pan and season to taste.
To make the gremolata, pound the garlic and sea salt to a paste with a pestle and mortar. Add the parsley leaves and olive oil and pound until a fairly smooth paste is achieved. (Alternatively, puree all the ingredients in a food processor.)
Reheat the soup and ladle into individual bowls. Spoon the gremolata onto the soup and scatter over the reserved orange rind. Serve with an extra drizzle of olive oil, if desired.