Islington gardening group cooks up a veggie storm
Roving Chef, Ollie Bragg, shares three delicious vegan-friendly recipes from a recent cookery demonstration with Age UK, Islington
Rosemary and thyme savoury oat biscuits with Cheddar or vegan cheese
Pea and lavender soup
Oven-roasted herby potatoes with sage ‘butter’
A lovely warm welcome greeted me at Drovers Centre, Islington, from Andrea, the Arts and Education Tutor at the Centre. Today I was to work with the gardening group that had harvested an array of potatoes and plethora of herbs, all garnered on site.
The group had gathered around a table, eager to learn what dishes the fruits of their labour were to be transformed into. After everyone had washed their hands, I began my demo.
First on the agenda: The oven-roasted herby potatoes. Nothing fancy here; potatoes tossed in oil, salt and pepper, smothered with the herbs and garlic, and roasted to perfection before melting butter with sage leaves and drizzling all over. Simply use vegan spread to make this vegan. Delicious!
Next, on to the rosemary and thyme oat biscuits. I tried to get everyone involved, so while one person was mixing, another was picking leaves of thyme and rosemary, before we were all rolling and cutting out the biscuits using the festive star-shaped biscuit cutter that I brought along.
Into the oven with the biscuits, and on to the soup. It is the most delicious, unusual and easy-to-make soup! The group was surprised by the inclusion of lavender, and eager to try it.
Sitting down to eat together, the group was delighted with the flavours. People were adamant that they would be trying it at home. Success!
Pea & Lavender Soup
2 teaspoons of vegetable oil
250g frozen peas
1 knob of butter or vegan margarine
1 teaspoon dried lavender
½ litre water with stock or 2 teaspoons vegetable bouillon
Salt and pepper to taste
- Finely chop onion and fry in vegetable oil until onion is translucent.
- Add peas and lavender and knob of butter or vegan margarine.
- Continue to fry for 1 minute, stirring to absorb flavour.
- Add bouillon stock power (or vegetable stock) with water.
- Mix and turn off heat.
- Blend in a food processor or hand blender.
- Return to pan and heat.
- Season to taste.
Rosemary, Thyme, Almond, Oat Biscuits (good with cheese/vegan cheese)
Makes about 12 biscuits
1/3 cup oat bran
1/8 cup pumpkin seeds
2½ tbsp almond flour (or ground almonds)
2½ tbsp arrowroot powder
1 tsp sea salt
pinch cayenne pepper
2 tsp thyme leaves, finely chopped
2 tsp rosemary leaves, finely chopped
1/8 cup coconut butter or oil
1/8 cup almond milk or vegan milk of choice
1 tbsp pumpkin seeds for top
- Blitz oat bran and seeds in a blender for 30 seconds.
- Add almond flour, arrowroot, salt, cayenne pepper, thyme, rosemary, and combine.
- In a bowl, add coconut butter to the mix and make breadcrumbs.
- Add milk and stir to make dough.
- Roll out to 1/4 inch thick.
- Cut rounds.
- Bake at 200°C/gas mark 6 for 15 minutes or until golden.
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