Thursday, 23 April 2015

V is for Vegan is published today/Vitamix giveaway

My book on creative vegan cookery, V is for Vegan, is published today. It's one of the most original cookbooks you will ever see, with delicious recipes ranging from easy to complex. You will have recipes on how to make tofu, vegan butter, nut milk, nut cheeses as well as ramen bowls, beetroot ravioli Georgian style, watermelon stir fry, sage and squash pizzette, vegan trifle, chocolates and mousse au chocolat. Order the book here today.
Many of the recipes are made easier by using a Vitamix blender/food processor. I've been using a Vitamix since 2012 and I can honestly say I use it almost every day. It doesn't take up much room on the counter but does so many things. (I've put my old blender in the cupboard as a result, I just don't use it, once you've gone Vitamix, you can't go back). You can make your own instant icing sugar, rice flour, oat flour by grinding it. It's wonderful for smoothies and dips, sauces and soups, nut butter, nut milks, tofu. It is expensive but worth the outlay as you use it so often. And most importantly, it's easy to clean, a quick rinse through.
Vitamix nutrition centre, v is for vegan
The model is a Total Nutrition Centre which comes in black, white, red or brushed stainless steel. If you win, you can choose which colour. This is an amazing giveaway worth £450! I don't often do giveaways, but this is a real treat for my readers.


Answer the question below, follow @msmarmitelover and RT this post.


What is your favourite recipe from the book and why?

Good luck everybody and hope you love (and buy) my book. 

Love Kerstin aka msmarmitelover

P.S. Don't forget the Secret Garden Club supper club at my place this Sunday 26th April, book here. 


Giveaway terms:
This competition is held jointly by Vitamix UK and It is open to UK residents only. The deadline is the 23rd of June 2015. The winner who answers the question correctly will be picked at random.
1 entry counted per person. 1 prize. 1 winner will be sent a Vitamix Total Nutrition Centre in the colour of their choice.
UK Delivery only. No cash alternative. You must follow @msmarmitelover and RT this giveaway tweet to enter. Closes 11.59pm 23rd June 2015. Winner chosen at random using from valid entries. Winner will be informed on that date in the comments when I shall ask you to contact me by email. If prize isn’t claimed within 1 week a new winner may be chosen.'s decision is final
The winner (UK only) will be chosen at random.

Edit: Question has changed 23/4/15
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Monday, 20 April 2015

15 minute Pad Thai recipe (vegan, gluten free and not vegan)

Vegan Pad Thai recipe
Vegan Pad Thai recipe
This vegan Pad Thai is as good as the non-vegan version. It only takes 15 minutes max to make, including the ten minutes necessary to soak the noodles. Using soft tofu to replace the egg really works well, giving a similar texture and consistency, I actually prefer it to the eggy version.
My hack for replacing the fish sauce is to use miso.
I've given both versions of the recipe here, vegan and non vegan so you can mix it up if you like.
Clearspring are that unusual thing, a vegan company. Many of their products are Asian, all of them are animal-free and ethically sourced. Here is a recipe using some of those products which they sent me to try out.
As it's also wild garlic season I used that but when wild garlic is out of season, use chives or garlic chives.
Tip: if your palm sugar was rigid in a block like mine was, put it in the microwave with a small bowl of water. A minute or two should soften it. Same trick works for brown sugar.

Vegan Gluten-free Pad Thai recipe

Serves 2 to 3 as a main course

2 or 3 tbsp White miso or 100ml fish sauce
100g palm sugar
100ml Tamarind paste
1 finely chopped red chilli (optional)

200g Brown or white rice noodles ( I used wide brown ones from Clearspring but you can use white or narrow ones)
a tsp of sea salt
100ml groundnut oil or rapeseed oil
300g Soft tofu or 2 eggs whisked together
a bunch of spring onions, finely sliced
a bunch of Wild garlic or a bunch of garlic chives (available in Chinese supermarkets or use plain chives), torn up or chopped up
100g of peanuts (you can use a mix of raw and salted), roughly chopped
Sriracha or sweet chilli sauce or Lingham's sauce
Wedges of lime

Make the sauce by mixing the ingredients together and warming on a low heat.
Soak the rice noodles in a heat proof bowl for ten minutes by covering with boiling water and a tsp of salt then drain.
Chop up the tofu (do it Japanese style by cutting it up on your palm), the spring onions, the wild garlic, the peanuts.
Prepare a wok or non-stick frying pan by warming it up on a medium high heat with the groundnut oil.
Add the soft tofu and let it fry for a couple of minutes, then add the softened noodles (make sure they aren't stuck together). Let this fry for a couple of minutes then add some of the pad thai sauce. (If using the egg rather than the soft tofu, push the noodles aside, add the egg and gradually stir in).
Carefully stir the noodles, tofu and sauce together, adding the rest of the sauce bit by bit.
Add the white part of the spring onions, the wild garlic. Let it fry for a minute then add the peanuts and green part of the spring onions.
Garnish with lime segments and sweet Chilli sauce.

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Wild garlic and asparagus crispy omelette recipe

wild garlic, asparagus, omelette recipe
wild garlic, asparagus, omelette recipe ingredients
wild garlic, asparagus, omelette recipe

Spring is sprung. I can tell by the ingredients available in my weekly Riverford Organic veg box. Lo! the hungry gap is drifting away into the horizon...that dull period in Britain between January and May when there isn't much to eat other than potatoes, turnips, kale and cabbage. Until next year...I heave a sigh of relief.
I got asparagus and wild garlic, yes another wild garlic recipe, the second in a week. Say it myself but it was delish. Hope you enjoy.

Wild garlic and asparagus crispy omelette recipe

Serves 2

4 eggs
pinch sea salt
a large handful of wild garlic, chop up 1/3, keep the rest whole
a dozen spears of fine asparagus
enough olive oil to cover the base of your frying pan
Zest of 1 lemon
a handful of fresh mint, finely chopped
White pepper

Whisk the eggs in a bowl and add a pinch of salt and the chopped 1/3 of wild garlic. I used a heavy seasoned cast iron frying pan which I heated up in advance on the stove. Use any good non-stick wide frying pan.
Snap the stringy ends of the asparagus by bending near the ends and snapping it off.
Oil the frying pan and tip in the egg mixture. Swirl it around until it cover the base of the pan then let it cook for a minute.
Add the asparagus spears whole then add the wild garlic leaves on top. Keep your pan on a low heat, use a lid or plate to cover the frying pan, letting the asparagus and garlic steam.
After five to ten minutes, remove the lid and grate on the lemon zest and sprinkle the fresh mint. Season with more sea salt and white pepper.
Serve warm, from the pan if you wish.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

I'm on TV! BBC2's Food and Drink

In the midst of a particularly laddish (ie male) episode, some have called it Top Gear for food, I appeared, clad in pearls, tottering in heels with a rose and net fascinator clamped to the side of my head and slightly smeared red lipstick, in a segment of BBC2's Food and Drink talking about fashion and food. We were looking at the mash-up food of chef Dan Doherty of Duck and Waffle and an Indian Scotch egg recipe by blue-eyed presenter Andy Bates. The lipstick smears were due to the fact that I'd been waiting in the Duck and Waffle's sky-high bar, overlooking London. I can faithfully report that the cocktails were excellent.
I wasn't introduced as a chef or even a cook but as a food blogger but I'd love to do more TV. What do you think?  Here is another video by me: 
How to make marmite on toast.

Monday, 13 April 2015

Mini-calzone with wild garlic and sheeps cheese recipe

mini calzone with wild garlic and sheeps cheese recipe

mini calzone with wild garlic and sheeps cheese recipe
It's wild garlic season so I'm threading it through all my recipes right now. Ramps tend to be mentioned on American food sites; while similar it is more like a baby leek or spring onion. Wild garlic is just leaves and flowers.
Everybody thinks bread and pizza making is so hard but it really isn't. This recipe couldn't be easier. Mix, leave for an hour, make balls, fold in 'topping' ingredients, bake, done.

Mini 'calzone' with wild garlic and sheeps cheese recipe

Makes 8

500g strong white flour
10g sea salt
10g fast action dried yeast
350ml luke warm water
a large handful of wild garlic
200g of sheep's cheese
Sea salt
Good olive oil

Mix the flour and the salt together, then add the yeast and water. If using a stand mixer, use the dough hook to knead for 5 minutes on a low speed. If mixing by hand then knead for at least ten minutes. Make a ball of the dough.
When using a stand mixer, I just cover the bowl with clingfilm and leave to proof in a warm place for an hour. If doing by hand then flour a bowl and place the dough ball inside. Cover with clingfilm or a damp tea towel and leave to rise for an hour.
Once the dough has risen, carefully tip it, using a dough spatula to gently pull it away from the sides of the bowl, onto a floured surface. Preheat the oven to 250c.
Divide the dough equally into 8 balls. Flatten them into rounds using your hand.
Then add some wild garlic leaves, (I stripped the leaves away from the central stalk), some sheeps cheese (you can use other cheeses) into the middle of the dough circle. I then crumbled a little sea salt on top.
Lift the edges of the dough circle, gathering them up until the edges meet in the middle and press them together. Flip over the ball and flatten into a circle again.
Do this with all 8 balls.
Line them up on a silpat or parchment paper, with gaps between them. Place in the oven for ten minutes then flip them over and cook for another five minutes or so.
They will puff up. Remove them from the oven and eat while warm. Once broken open, drizzle with olive oil.
If you want to freeze them, part bake them for only 8 minutes, remove, leave to cool then place in a plastic bag and freeze.