Last Saturday I attended an event organised by the Vegetarian Society, with Philip Lymbery talking about his new book Farmageddon: The True Cost of Cheap Meat. Philip Lymbery is the CEO of the charity Compassion in World Farming, and for this book he has travelled the world and seen some of the truly horrific animal suffering involved in the mass production of meat, dairy and eggs. This is not a vegetarian or vegan manifesto, but it certainly is a call for a complete change in global farming practices. Philip argues that so-called ‘cheap’ meat is not feeding the world, but is in fact depleting the world’s resources at an alarming rate and destroying wildlife, as well as causing the intense suffering of countless millions of animals. The book is easy to read, even though the details are hard to stomach. Anyone who eats (oh yes, that’s all of us!) should read this book!
This being National Vegetarian Week, it’s a good time to think about getting hold of some new recipes. The Vegetarian Society’s new free Receipe App is now available, with a collection of over 700 recipes.
The app is suitable for android and iphones and is easy to download from Google or Apple. I particularly like the search function which allows you to select by diet type as well as meal type, or occasion. By choosing both gluten-free and vegan, I got an impressive 200 recipes returned. I can then keep those in place while I search for Christmas main course (7 suggestions), or Greek starter (3 suggestions). I also like the way you can search according to cooking ability, from simple recipes up to caterer level. An extra keyword facility allows you to search by ingredient. The layout is good – clear and easy to use. I think this app is great inspiration for veggies and the perfect answer to anyone who asks ‘What can I cook for a vegetarian?’
These little vegan, gluten free nibbles are great with a spicy salsa, in a pitta with garlic mayo, or even with ketchup and chips! The original recipe is surprisingly old, as it’s by Charles Walter Forward from 1891 and features in Early Vegetarian Recipes. That’s why the measurement for the lentils appears here as a 1/2 pint! It sounds odd to modern cooks, but I’ve found measuring out lentils in a pint jug to be pretty effective! I find that a greater proportion of rice than in the original holds the mix together better, and I’ve coated them here in gluten free flour rather than breadcrumbs. The flavouring I’ve used is as in the original, but they can also be spiced up with chilli, garlic or curry flavour for when you want to ring the changes!
1/2 pint shelled lentils
5 tblsp rice
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped into small pieces
1 pint water (and more if needed)
Handful of fresh parsley, chopped
1 tsp dried mixed herbs
Salt and Pepper
Gluten free flour for coating (or use fine cornmeal)
Boil the lentils, rice and vegetables together until cooked and the mixture resembles a stiff paste. Add the pepper, salt, chopped parsley, and dried herbs and stir in. Leave the mix to cool completely.
Shape the mixture with your hands and a small spoon to make small patty shapes. Sprinkle some gluten free flour onto a plate, then coat each of the patties in the flour.
Cover the bottom of a frying pan with oil, and heat thoroughly. Fry the patties on both sides until brown.
Imagine having your own chocolate kitchen. Or your own chocolate chef! Apparently King George I had both of these things – one Thomas Tosier ruled over a small but vital room, preparing the King’s chocolate drink every morning, and for special dinners and entertainments. Tosier’s wife, Grace, was also something of a celebrity (see Grace Elliot’s blog here) and traded on her royal connections to promote her own chocolate house in Greenwich!
The chocolate kitchen is a recent discovery at Hampton Court Palace and has now been opened up and visitors will also be able to see chocolate making sessions in action. The demonstrations start on 18th April. I’m thinking these are going to be a must-see!
Ok, so I was late for Yorkshire Pudding Day. But I’m nice and early for Pancake Day (4th March), since it turns out that the recipe for gluten free Yorkshires (below), is even more suitable for perfect pancakes! Just pour the mixture into a hot, oiled non-stick frying pan and cook on both sides until golden.
For other great recipes, including ‘how to cook the perfect pancake’, try the Guardian, and for some lovely ideas on what to have with your pancakes, try Jamie Oliver. Dove’s Farm always have reliable gluten free recipes and their pancake recipe is here. And if you want vegan and gluten free, then Gluten Free Vegan Girl has several tempting recipes to try.
Happy Pancake Day!