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 →
Anyone for Salad?
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?
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!
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
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.
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.