vegetarian

Christmas Recipe of the Month – Brazil Nut Roast en Croute

Recipe of the Month Brazil Nut Roast En Croute

A personal Yuletide favourite

Our Christmas recipe is one that’s close to my heart as it’s the nut roast that I’ve been bringing to our family’s Christmas Day celebrations since I can’t remember when. It’s Rose Elliot’s Brazil Nut Roast en Croute and comes from her ‘Supreme Vegetarian Cookbook’ which was first published in 1988. I know that we’ve moved on a lot in terms of vegetarian/vegan consciousness as well as in the range of amazing ingredients at our disposal since then but Rose Elliot was such a trail blazer when vegetarianism was still ‘wacky’ and this is still a humdinger of a recipe so what more need I say?  It takes a little bit of prep and, as that’s not what you want to be doing on Christmas morning, I like to make it early on Christmas Eve and have nothing to do but pop it in the oven on Christmas Day. And, as every good roast needs a good gravy to go with it, we’re suggesting a classic gravy recipe from Cranks Cook Book. Enjoy. read more →

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Recipe of the Month – Butter Bean Goulash

Recipe of the Month Butter Bean Goulash Only Natural
This recipe is a very simple one to make but actually very tasty and it was kindly donated to us by a customer.  I made it as per the recipe below but for the carnivores out there I think some sliced chorizo would work really well in this.  Just at sliced chorizo when you are sauteing the onions so all the lovely flavours are released. read more →

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Westgate’s Aubergine, Sprouted Mung Bean & Fennel Salad

Salad Bar Only Natural Recipe of the Month

Anyone for Salad?

I’d say that Westgste Design’s brilliant food selection is a leading light locally when it comes to offering a wide choice of tasty food covering wholefood, vegetarian and vegan, gluten free and raw options. Darron’s keen sense of flavor combinations has never let them down. The unrivaled selection of super delicious salads has alway been a major draw for me with offerings as diverse as carrot and beetroot slaw, roasted cauliflower and chorizo, sweet chilli noodles and broccoli and feta salad.
(I can imagine nothing further from the Spartan collection of lettuce, tomato, cooked ham and a boiled egg which was the less appealing ‘salad’ of my childhood.) You can’t imagine my joy on discovering that the already great range on offer has just been increased. I’m talking about the new takeaway salad bar just opened on street level. If you haven’t tried it out it’s a must!
Darron was kind enough to share the following salad recipe with us in case you feel like a little kitchen creativity or it’s one of many you can pop into Westgate and take away any time!

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Mangan’s, Wexford’s Chip Shop with a difference!

Mangan's Traditional Fish & Chips Only Natural

I never thought I’d be reviewing a chipper for Only Natural but our food culture is changing and that’s exactly what I’m doing today. I recently had a chat with Geraldine, the owner of Mangan’s in The Faythe because I’m fascinated by just how much she’s taken the idea of traditional chip shop fare (not the healthiest of cuisines) and substantially changed it to reflect today’s changing tastes and dietary choices. Geraldine was certainly ahead of the curve when she decided to overhaul her menu in favour of healthier options in June 2016. She was certainly the first in Wexford to realize that she could attract a broader audience by offering healthier and vegetarian choices beside traditional chip shop fare. What’s exciting is just how successful her initiative has been with the result that she’s still adding to the choices on offer. She’s effectively broadened her restaurant’s appeal to include those of us who want the convenience and tastiness of a take away now and again but without the heart clogging downside. We applaud you Geraldine.

What’s on the menu at Mangan’s?

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Recipe of the Month – Aubergine Cheese Bake

This is one of my favorite dishes for non meat days
Baked Aubergine pic

Ingredients

2 aubergines
olive oil
125gr organic short grain brown rice
2 cloves garlic
2 small onions
1/2 tsp dried oregano
680gr organic passata
4 x 125gr mozzarella balls
fresh basil leaves to taste

Method

Top and tail the aubergines and cut into 8 to 10 long slices. Brush them with olive oil and bake at 200C for aprox. 30 mins or how ever long it takes for the aubergine to cook through and brown a little.
Cook the brown rice in plenty of water for 20 minutes and drain.
In the meantime make the sauce. Finely chop the garlic and onions and fry in a little oil with the oregano until soft and starting to caramelise  (10 to 15 minutes). Add the passata to warm through.
Assemble the bake. Layer 2 or 3 slices of aubergine, some torn up mozzarella , a few torn basil leaves, some of the par cooked rice and pour some sauce over the top. Repeat until everything’s used up and covered in sauce. Bake in a 200C oven for 30 to 40 minutes. Allow to stand for 10 minutes and enjoy with a fresh green salad.
Flavoursome and comforting.
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Foodie Heaven – Spoiled for Choice at Lunchtime

Spoilt for Choice Only Natural

A lot has happened around the Supervalu carpark (where we are located) over the last few months and, with my foodie hat on, I’m thrilled to say that it’s all been about new dining options. So, in case you hadn’t noticed and are looking for a new dining experience or two, here’s the lowdown.

Since Rocky from the Arts Centre’s D’Lush opened his new offering (the name’s the same!) opposite Bank of Ireland the queues haven’t stopped. The offering is pretty much the same as in Cornmarket with perhaps a little more emphasis on brunch. Big flavours and healthy balanced meals are the order of the day and allergies, gluten free, non dairy and vegan diets are all amply catered for. My lunch was Mexican chicken, feta, beetroot, chorizo, seeds, smoked salsa and minted yoghurt salad…… divine !

Spoilt for Choice Ony Natural
Ramen 3

Right next door is Ramen, Wexford’s latest Asian Street Food offering. Ramen is a chain so, while we don’t have the individuality of a D’Lush, the offering is still very strong on health, flavour and value. Everything’s made to order so tweaking a recipe to suit individual taste and need is no problem. Offerings include noodle dishes, wok dishes and curries and you can tell from the big containers of freshly prepped vegetables that form the heart of the cuisine that they pack a nutritional punch. I had the pad Thai with tofu and loved it.

Further down almost at the Quay is Button and Spoon, recently opened sibling to its very successful and stylish sister restaurant in Bridgetown. Style is the byword here too with the delightfully countrified interior. It’s certainly not style over substance however with a well crafted menu offering everything from breakfasts to die for to inventive soups to the most decadent cakes and desserts (maybe not for every day!). I chose the lentil Dahl and rice. The tomato based Dahl was expertly spiced, a delicious lunch.

Spoilt for Choice Only Natural

We’re so well served in Wexford by a marvelous range of daytime eateries and, if these three are anything to go by, food which offers great taste as well as all the benefits of wholesome, natural ingredients certainly isn’t too much to ask for!

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Recipe of the Month – Balsamic Maple Glazed Tempeh

Balsamic Glazed Tempeh

The main ingredient in this recipe is tempeh, not sure what tempeh is?  Well it’s a traditional soy product that stems from Indonesia.  It is made from whole, fermented soybeans, has a firm texture and a nutty flavour.  It contains more protein, fibre and nutrition than it’s well known cousin, tofu, and is used as a meat alternative in dishes whether you are vegetarian, vegan or just trying to reduce the amount of animal protein in your diet.  Even though we sell it instore it hasn’t been on my shopping list for quite a while so when I came across this recipe I decided to give it a go and remind myself what I’m missing out on!

Ingredients

1 packet tempeh, cut into 1 inch cubes
120ml cup balsamic vinegar

2 tbs maple syrup
2 tbs tamari
2 cloves garlic, minced
60ml cup olive oil
1 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp arrowroot starch

Balsamic Glazed Tempeh - Marinating Tempeh

Method:

Preparing the Marinade

1. In a bowl, mix together the balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, tamari, garlic, olive oil, and thyme.

2. Add the tempeh to the bowl, stir and cover.

3. Let sit in the fridge for 2-24 hours, mixing occasionally.

Cooking

1. Preheat oven to 180C

2. Place tempeh and sauce in a glass dish and cook covered for 20 minutes.

3. Remove from oven, stir around and bake for another 20 minutes.

4. Remove tempeh cubes from sauce and set aside.

5. Place remaining sauce in a pan over medium heat.

6. Add arrowroot starch and stir constantly to thicken.

7. Plate tempeh and scoop marinade over top as a sauce, or serve on greens or whole grain of choice.

I really enjoyed cooking with tempeh and was reminded just how versatile and tasty it is. Like tofu it readily takes on whatever flavour you choose to pair it with so the choice is limitless. I marinaded and baked it for this recipe but it can also be cubed and stir fried or crumbled and used like mince for bolognese etc. It’s going onto my shopping list from now on and if you haven’t tried tempeh yet I’d urge you to give it a go.

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Recipe of the Month – Burger ‘n Chips

I’ll have a burger and chips please

Recipe of the month Burger 'n Chips

How can you turn the ultimate bloke’s chow down into something that’s good for you? It can be done, read on!
The burgers in question are Oliver McCabe’s ‘Lentil and Cashew Burgers’ from the ‘Fuel Food Cookbook, they’re simple to make and taste wonderful. They’re full of protein, fibre and vitamin C, gluten free and low GL.

Burger

Ingredients

145g red lentil, rinsed and drained
350ml water
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
115g red onion, finely chopped
100g kale, washed and shredded
70g toasted cashew nuts, finely chopped
5 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1 teaspoon Himalyayan fine rock salt
30g oat bran
Rapeseed oil, for frying

Recipe of the month Burger 'n Chips

Method

  1. Place the lentils and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, partially covered, for about 25 minutes, until the lentils are soft and the liquid is absorbed.
  2. Use a spatula to scrape the lentils into a medium-sized bowl. Add the apple cider vinegar and mash well.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a wok over a low heat. Add the onion and sauté for 7 minutes, until softened. Add all remaining ingredients except the oat bran and sauté for 7 minutes more, until all the vegeables are tender. Add to the lentils with the oat bran and mix well. Leave to stand for 1 hour, until cool.
  4. Form six medium-sized burgers with clean hands. Heat a little rapeseed oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Fry the burger for about 5 minutes per side, until cooked through and golden on the outside.

Then for our ‘chips’. This simple recipe for ‘vege fries’ comes from Anthony William’s medicalmedium.com website where you’ll find all manner of great recipes based on natural food and superfoods.

The trick is to boil the root vegetables and then shake them vigorously before baking. The herbs and garlic generously coat the outside and the smudged edges will turn crispy in the oven. If you’re pressed for time, you can omit the extra steps and send them straight to the oven, though those few extra minutes will yield truly amazing results. Make a big enough batch to share -these won’t last long.

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Recipe of the Month – Denis Cotter’s Gratin of Asparagus, Roasted Tomatoes and Gabriel Cheese with Chive and Mustard Cream

Asparagus Gratin 2
Ok, so you’re feeling a bit stressed! Maybe you do want to cook and maybe you don’t. I think you should give it a try for two reasons.
Firstly this is a typical Denis Cotter recipe, it’s quite involved. You have four separate elements to prepare which you then combine. It takes about an hour to prep but for me this is perfect. I can’t think of a better way to unwind.
Reason two isn’t a bad one either. I cooked this recently and was blown away by it. I’m a huge admirer of Dennis’s work, his recipes are all about getting the same complexity of flavour and pure culinary pleasure without using meat. You can even do the prep the day before and get some pals over, assemble and pop it in the oven on the night. Stress, what stress???
Oh and don’t forget the Mars Bar ice creams for dessert, it’s a night to go easy on yourself. read more →

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Detoxing for the Home!

Green Home image 2

Oh no, not MORE detox advice!

Yes I’m afraid so, but this time let’s assume you’re eating well, drinking lots of water and that there’s no shortage of spring in your step. Let’s look at one of your most precious resources, the place that’s yours, your space, your home. Places can be toxic on many levels and whether you’re smudging to cleanse the spirit of the place, decluttering (I never feel better than when I’ve taken the bull by the horns and just gotten rid of lots of stuff that I just don’t need) or just having a good spring (or any time of year!) clean, it’s hard to beat the feeling of security and peace that the word ‘Home’ stands for.
Let’s look at the last of these, keeping your home clean. Using conventional, synthetic based home and laundry cleaners may be an option but I don’t think it’s the healthy one. Fortunately green cleaning products have never been more available or affordable and, believe me, when you try them you won’t turn back. read more →

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