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Since becoming vegetarian my interest in food has increased through necessity as well as greed!

Finding a good balance of food for optimal health is more of a challenge for the vegetarian, especially living in a country that often thinks being vegetarian means not eating red meat - chicken, fish and shellfish seem to be considered as vegetarian food here.

So I've spent time researching as well as experimenting and occasionally find a real corker of a recipe. Sometimes I even manage to come up with one myself. As I've been asked by various volunteers for these recipes I've decided to put them here on our web site so everyone can enjoy them.

Tortilla Espaņola - by Pablo Castellanos

This is a vegan version of the classic Spanish tortilla.

  • 1 cauliflower
  • pinch of ginger
  • 100gm peeled broad beans
  • 50gm chopped spring onions
  • 2 tspns curry powder
  • 200gm chickpea flour
  • 500 ml water or veg stock
  • 1 tbspn lemon juice
  • 1 tbspn sesame oil
  • salt
  • love

Cut the cauliflower into little branches, mix with the broad beans, onion, 1 tspn of the curry powder, lemon juice and salt. Massage this mixture for a minute so all vegetables are covered in the mixture and leave to marinate for 30 mins.

In the meantime, mix the chickpea flour with the water, the other tspn of curry powder, sesame oil and salt.

After the 30 mins mix the two preparations together in an oven dish lined with baking paper and cook for 40-60 minutes at 200C.

I cook mine on the hob in a frying pan with a lid. It takes about 20 minutes on a lowish heat. Leave to rest for a while after cooking, the longer you leave it the firmer it becomes. It's really good the next day too!

Serve with fresh coleslaw for a tasty combination.

Fruit Cobbler - Laura Davies

  • 1 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 1 cup sugar (half muscovado, half white)
  • 1 tbsn roughly ground linseeds
  • 1 tbsn roughly ground almonds
  • 1 tbsn roughly ground sunflower seeds
  • 1 egg beaten in a cup topped up to 3/4 cup with sunflower oil
  • 1lb fresh fruit such as plums, apricots or apples, chopped and de-pipped

Gently simmer the chopped fruit in a saucepan until it becomes soft but still has bite. Pour into an ovenproof dish.

Mix the dry ingredients together thoroughly.

Pour egg/oil mixture into the centre and mix to a stiffish mix. Add a splash of water if necessary.

Dollop spoon sized blobs of the mix onto the prepared fruit - leave bits of the fruit visible so the juices can bubble through.

Cook at 180C for approx. 30 minutes.

This is good hot or cold and doesn't need cream or icecream, but you could always serve with some if you wish.


Raw Vegan Mince Pies or Mini Tarts

Yes, really! The word raw makes it sound a bit scarey, but honestly it's not, and it tastes so fresh and delish! I know technically they're not pies as they don't have a top, but you could add a top if you wanted.

The base/pastry for this recipe can be used as the base for raw cheesecake or even a topper for a raw version of the fruit cobbler above. And it's easy peasey to make, you just need a food processor to grind everything up.

  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1 cup dates
  • 1 medium peeled and chopped raw beetroot
  • 1/2 cup soaked prunes
  • 1/2 cup raisins or sultanas
  • 1/4 cup chopped almonds or any other nut you fancy
  • 1 tspn cinnamon
  • a few drops vanilla essence
  • Stevia to taste
IMG 2494

Pulse the almonds and dates in the food processor until they start to stick together. You can pulse them more if you want a finer 'pastry' or less for a cheesecake type crunchy base.

Press blobs into tartlet tins.

Whizz up the beetroot and prunes in the processor until fairly smooth, add the soaking water a little at a time to help with this process and keep scraping down the sides.

Add the raisins, chopped nuts, cinnamon and vanilla then mix on a slower setting, you want to keep the raisins and nuts fairly whole for a mince pie type look. Have a taste, do you need more cinnamon, maybe a touch of nutmeg? Do you want it sweeter - add the stevia if yes.

Place teaspoons of this mixture in the tartlet cases. Refrigerate.

The flavours will develop when left a while (if you can resist) and the pastry base will harden making it easier to get out of the tartlet tins. Even so, you'll need to be a bit careful as they're quite delicate.

You could make these in any flavour you want depending on what fruit is in season, oooh, apple tarts using a mix of dried and fresh apples and cinnamon, now that sounds nice and you wouldn't need the beetroot.