It is useful to have two frying pans or a frying pan and a wok for the final stages of the recipe.
Chop half the potatoes into rough pieces, boil until soft and set aside.
Dice the onion (and garlic if using it), lightly fry with sunflower oil (or water) and set aside
Finely slice the remaining potatoes – you want them to have dimensions roughly similar to a 50p coin. Fry lightly in sunflower oil (or water) until soft and slightly browned and set aside.
Sieve the gram flour into a large mixing bowl and add the water. Beat lightly with a balloon whisk until smooth.
Mash the boiled potato, adding some olive oil. Gently whisk this mixture into the gram flour mix.
Add the onions and sliced fried potato to the mixture (and chive/sun-dried tomatoes/olives etc. if using them); gently mix all together.
Oil a frying pan (or wok) well – including the edges – and make sure there is a little oil on the bottom surface; heat on a medium flame.
Add all the mixture to the frying pan, gently moving side to side to allow settling. Cook on a medium flame for 5 minutes. Use the other frying pan/wok to turn the tortilla over after 5 minutes and cook the other side for the same length of time. Repeat these steps if necessary, for shorter increments until the surface is a lovely crisp golden brown.
This recipe is intended to set guiding principles rather than be a rigid set of rules to follow.The main thing to remember is that you should go to your fridge or other store of vegetables and chose the fresh ingredients you fancy, preferably those in season.The other thing to remember is that vegetables cook at different speeds and so the ones that take longest should go in first and are followed in order of reducing cooking time.However, cooking time is also influenced by the size of each vegetable.Cooking time therefore has to be judged by the denseness of the vegetable and its cut size.
This recipe is an example of how a stir-fry need not involve using exotic ingredients.
Cooking oil used for frying… sunflower oil and corn oil produce aldehydes at levels 20 times higher than recommended by the World Health Organisation. Olive oil and rapeseed oil produce far fewer harmful chemicals. Aldehydes have been linked to cancer, heart disease and dementia.
Ingredients (to make enough for 4 adults)
Rapeseed oil – about 1 tablespoon
Garlic – 2 cloves, crushed and chopped
Natural soy sauce/shoyu/tamari – 1 tablespoon
Optional – a thumb-sized piece of ginger chopped
Optional – fresh chilli seeded and sliced
Optional – 1 tbsp of cumin powder
Optional – toasted sesame oil
Variable vegetable ingredients
A mixture of different coloured vegetables – about I kg.For example (in descending order of cooking time):
Potatoes – cut to pea-sized cubes or sliced thinly
Carrots – sliced thinly or in strips
Celery – sliced
Beetroot – sliced thinly or in strips
Broccoli – broken into smallish florets
Cauliflower – broken into smallish florets
Peppers- sliced and chopped
Cabbage – sliced
Brussels sprouts – sliced
Mushrooms – sliced
Variable protein ingredients – alternative suggestions
Almonds – handful pre-fried until expanded
Sunflower seeds – handful pre-fried until lightly browned
Cashew nuts – handful uncooked or pre-fried until lightly browned
Garden peas – frozen or fresh
Broad beans – frozen or fresh
Tofu – pieces, cubes etc
Tablespoon of cornflour, potato flour, or arrowroot
Half a cup of water
Sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds
Sliced spring onions
Sliced chilli marinaded in soy sauce/shoyu/tamari
Brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat, millet or noodles (beware of egg noodles).In the demonstration, my noodles will be 200 g of spaghetti (50g per person) broken into 75mm (3 inch) lengths, pre-cooked and added to the stir-fry as noodles.
Large frying pan or wok
If using, pre-fry nuts or seeds until popped/ light brown.Set aside.
Heat the oil until it is ready to sizzle the garlic.
Throw in the garlic (and optional ginger) and keep it moving quickly with a spatula.
Fry until beginning to brown.
Add the longest cooking vegetables – stir constantly and with purpose.
If using celery, this should be added early in the process to develop the taste.
Sequentially add vegetables judging the length of cooking time so that they are all ‘al dente’ (cooked but not mushy) by the time you stop cooking.
Add water as necessary to keep the vegetables moist.Add more to develop a sauce if preferred.
Add soy sauce/shoyu/tamari half way through cooking.
Add chilli half way through cooking if required.
When everything is more or less cooked al dente, add nuts and cooked noodles (see below).
If required, mix the optional sauce and stir into the stir-fry – probably need to add more water.
Also add a desert spoonful of toasted sesame oil if using.
One of the many food tasters offered for free at the 3 Valley Vegans Fair was a fully-featured vegan pizza. This one has plant-based alternative to salami, olives and mushrooms and is topped with Sheese grated plant-based cheese substitute. Now you can make it for yourself with your own favourite toppings using the recipe below.
Makes 1 thick pizza crust or 2 thin crusts.
2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 cups flour
1 tbs. olive oil
In a bowl, combine yeast and sugar. Add 1 cup hot water and let sit 2 minutes.
Add salt and flour, and mix with a fork until dough becomes firm.
Knead in bowl for 1 minute, then form into a soft ball.
Pour oil into a second bowl, add dough, and roll in oil to coat.
Allow dough to rise for 15 minutes or until doubled in size, then punch down into another ball to incorporate oil.
For a thin crust, divide dough into two balls and press into an oiled pan. Add sauce (tomato or vegan pesto) and toppings of your choice (sliced peppers, onions, courgettes, mushrooms, olives etc )
Top with grated / slices of vegan cheese
Bake on the middle rack of a preheated, hot oven for 20 minutes, or until crust is golden-brown.
We had a wonderful time running the Big Veggie Brunch last week as part of National Vegetarian Week in Todmorden, offering free vegetarian and vegan breakfast foods to all. One of the most popular dishes was Andrew’s scrambled tofu. Here is the recipe for you to try it yourself!
Large block of plain tofu (cheaper stuff, e.g. from Chinese supermarket, works better for scramble due to higher water content)
Scramble the tofu using a fork on a chopping board (or directly in a wok)
Heat in a large wok and mix in 1 tablespoon of oil
Heat on a medium flame for approximately 12 minutes, stirring often, until most of the water has evaporated and it has started to (very, very slightly) brown. The consistency should look like scrambled egg.
Stir in 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1/3 teaspoon ground turmeric and other seasoning (e.g. ground salt/chilli/garlic) to taste
The yellow colour of turmeric with the salt of the soy sauce helps to make this look and taste a bit like scrambled eggs (but better, in our opinion). Feel free to change the flavours to whatever you like, perhaps Mediterranean herbs or Chinese five-spice.
Vitalite or other non-dairy marg, for spreading on the bread
Prepare the bread and slice the tomatoes.
In a large pan, warm some oil, add the slices of tofu with some soy sauce. Gently fry both sides of the tofu for about 10-15 minutes per side. Meanwhile, add some mayo to the bread and wash and chop the greens.
Make up the BLTs on the bread, in the order Vitalite, mayo, tofu, tomato, lettuce, more mayo. Serve immediately.