Cooking up a storm at VegfestUK Brighton
Vegetarian for Life Roving Chef, Oliver Bragg, shares five recipes demonstrated at “a busy but fun weekend at VegfestUK Brighton” last weekend.
Says Ollie: “I loved the buzz, all the food, and meeting so many enthusiastic vegans! And it was great to impart knowledge and talk about subjects that I am passionate about.”
Creamy Polenta with Mushrooms and Truffle Oil
Serves 4, Vegan
6 cups vegetable stock
1 cup of polenta
2 cups soya milk or vegan milk of choice
1 shallot or small sweet onion
3 cups mixed mushrooms
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
¼ cup nutritional yeast
1 clove minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp truffle oil
- Heat stock in a large saucepan. When it starts to boil reduce the heat to a simmer and gradually whisk in polenta. Continue to whisk polenta for 25–35 minutes adding the soya milk gradually when it thickens.
- Finely chop onion and roughly chop mushrooms.
- Heat a frying pan, add olive oil then onions. Fry until softened and starting to brown.
- Add mushrooms and continue to cook until browned. Add soy sauce and remove from heat.
- When polenta is thick and creamy and leaving the side of the saucepan easily when stirred, add the nutritional yeast.
- Add the minced garlic to the polenta and cook for 1 more minute.
- Ladle polenta into bowls and top with onion and mushrooms.
- Drizzle over truffle oil and serve.
Chilled Yoghurt and Cucumber Soup
Serves 2, Vegan
2 large cucumbers
1½ cups soya yoghurt
3 tbsp lemon juice
1 small shallot, roughly chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled
1/3 cup loosely packed dill
¼ cup parsley
2 tbsp tarragon leaves
¼ cup olive oil
½ red onion, finely sliced
- Chop cucumbers in half, then lengthways into quarters. Remove seeds with a sharp knife. Finely chop approximately 1 cups worth and set aside. Roughly chop the rest of the cucumber and add to a blender.
- Add yoghurt, lemon juice, shallot, garlic clove, dill, parsley, tarragon, olive oil, pinch of sea salt, pinch of pepper to blender and blend for 1 minute.
- Refrigerate overnight.
- Pour soup into bowls. Add more salt and pepper to taste and another squeeze of lemon juice.
- Garnish with remaining chopped cucumber, sliced red onion and a good drizzle of dill oil.
¼ cup rapeseed oil
½ cup fresh dill
¼ cup cider vinegar
- Blend in a blender and pass through a strainer.
Mini Sweet Apple and Dill Raw Pies
Makes 12 pies, Vegan
2 cups walnuts
2 cups dates
1 cup desiccated coconut
pinch sea salt
1 tsp cinnamon powder
12 sprigs dill
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp rice malt syrup or date syrup (optional)
125g ‘COYO’ coconut milk yoghurt (vanilla flavour) – alternatively add 1 vanilla pod or 2 drops of vanilla essence to original flavour
OR 125g whipped soya cream with 1 vanilla pod added or 2 drops of vanilla essence
For the base:
- Blitz together walnuts, dates, coconut, sea salt and cinnamon in a blender.
- Press into silicon cup cake moulds to form a slim (½ cm thick) layer.
- Refrigerate for at least ½ hour.
- Peel two apples and roughly chop. Add to blender with dill, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice and optional syrup.
- Blend together to form a coarse sauce.
- Finely chop the remaining apples into small cubes and add to the blended sauce.
- Spoon into the refrigerated bases.
- Add coconut yoghurt or whipped soya cream to a piping bag.
- Pipe onto the tops of the pies.
- Top with a slice of candied apple.
Candied Apple or Pear Slices
1 apple or pear
150g brown sugar or coconut sugar
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- Finely slice the apple or pear.
- Place the water and sugar in a saucepan. Stir and gently simmer until the sugar has dissolved.
- Add the apple or pear slices and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Remove the slices from the pan and place onto a baking tin that has been lined with baking parchment.
- Place in an oven for 10–15 minutes at 170°C.
- Cool and refrigerate. They will last for up to approximately 1 month.
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