Myself and Mrs. Any Given Food have been following some of The Vegetarian Society’s recipes for National Vegetarian Week and Thursday came with a slight exception. Not realising it, the Thursday option was for a series of sides to go along with a pie, presuming of course that pies are your thing. While I’ll happily digest one, the pastry end isn’t totally herself’s cup of tea and with it being my night to cook, it needed a shakeup. Continue Reading →
Tag Archives | vegetarian
Refried Beans – a staple of Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine, so easy to prepare, crammed full of flavour and rather filling whatever way you serve them up. We were at the midway point of the working week last night and next up on the menu, this time from the Vegetarian Society in the UK, was this treat of a refried beans recipe which also doubled out as lunch for today (the leftover Bombay Dosa made for a fine breakfast too).
This dish comes together in under five minutes for your prep and can be on the table in less than 20 minutes in total. It makes for a great quick lunch, is an ideal way to use up any kidney beans you may have knocking around in the kitchen larder and give you a nice injection of Tex-Mex style cuisine in your week. Read on for the recipe… Continue Reading →
Tuesday night was round 2 for 2014’s National Vegetarian Week (running in both Ireland and the UK – see yesterday’s recipe here) and it brought about some Bombay dosas, for all the world, pancake made with green curry paste in the batter, filled with bombay style baby potatoes, tomato and onion and served with a chickpea korma sauce on the side. Continue Reading →
Seeing herself (Mrs. Any Given Food) post to Facebook yesterday that – and this a very public statement, mind – she would have dinner ready on and waiting when I got home from work, and that I would eat every bit of it, was a rare treat to behold. Not that she would be cooking, but to make a statement like that is a bold move.
It was in comment to the post yesterday on National Vegetarian Week which is running in Ireland and the UK until this coming Sunday. Driving ourselves to cook at home for the week and wind up with a dinner and lunch for the following day, the good lady took up the challenge last night, starting things off with a wholewheat aubergine lasagne accompanied by a tomato, black olive and beetroot salad. Continue Reading →
National Vegetarian Week kicks off today and Dee’s Wholefoods are sponsoring the week again in a drive to promote vegetarian meals and cooking over the course of the week by spurring people – presumably the non-vegetarians – to pick up the challege of trying a vegetarian dish for a single meal, a day or the full week.
At Chez McGuire, I’m the meat eater in the house, though being married to a vegetarian has seen a real increase in us cooking and prepping vegetarian dishes at home, particuarly over the last few months as we turn more to home cooking than eating out during the week.
In truth, after a week of mixed lunches and dinners out and Saturday and Sunday spent consuming goodies picked up at Litfest over the weekend, I could do with a couple of days of homecooked meals and this seems like a good time to hit it as well. I’ve a few Japanese and French recipes I’ve been looking to try as well off the back of some new books I’ve picked up so if they make it to the kitchen, I’ll keep track of them here.
There’s an #irishvegweek hashtag to follow on Twitter and you can check out Irish Vegetarian Week on Facebook or pick up a few menu ideas on the website.
National Vegetarian Week Recipes 2014
It started as an offer to cook for a week, which of course I took as a challenge, relieving Mrs. Any Given Food of kitchen duties for a few days. We’ve been on a fine roll of home cooking for the past few weeks that have largely been driven by herself that I thought it right not to just sit back and take advantage.
Having tried a few dishes from Japanese Soul Cooking recently, I suggested I’d cook Japanese dishes for a week, not paying any attention to the calendar until it got to Sunday evening gone.
The requirements are simple – the dishes need to be Japanese in nature, I’ve got to be able to source the ingredients locally and I’ve got to produce lunch and dinner until Friday, or at the very least, dinner. Having just required a small pro fryer for the kitchen, I decided that Monday’s dinner should be vegetable tempura.
What Is Vegetable Tempura?
To put the Irish slant on it, if you were to walk into a chipper, it would be like asking for battered vegetables. There’s a slight difference in making the tempura batter to making regular batter in that
- You keep the wet (water and eggs) and dry (plain flour) parts of your batter separate until you’re ready to fry
- You keep the wet part of your batter extra cold by adding ice cubes to keep the temperature down
Parsnip, carrot, red peppers, courgette, mushrooms, onions and potato were all sliced in a variety of lengths, angles and bite-size pieces, dredged through flour, dipped into the tempura batter and fried in batches for 2-3 minutes at a time. The result is a lovely light golden batter with crunchy vegetable slice, served up all the better with some soy sauce for dipping.
- 450ml cold water
- 2 eggs
- 250g plain flour
- Selection of your favourite vegetables (recommended 450g), sliced at angles. I opted for carrot, parsnip, baby potato, red pepper, mushroom (just stalk removed), courgette (cut lengthways)
- Approx 2L vegetable oil (in pan or fryer)
- 2 heaped tablespoons of flour in a separate bowl or plate
- Heat your in a pan or a fryer up to 182 degrees celcius, optimal temperature for tempura cooking. Some fryers may regulate heat by automating the thermostat; if cooking in a deep pan, keep a sugar thermometer handy as you may need to regulate heat manually.
- While your oil is heating, slice and prepare your vegetables. Use kitchen paper to wipe or pad down any extra liquid or moisture from your vegetable selection (you want that batter to stick).
- Pour cold water into a mixing bowl, add 2 eggs and beat
- Add 3-4 ice cubes to keep cool
- In a separate bowl place your 250g plain flour
- Only when you are ready to start frying, you add water & eggs to your flour, mixing loosely with chopsticks for around 30 seconds or so. You're not looking for a fine batter, instead going for a lumpy style.
- Coat your sliced vegetables in the extra flour, dip into the batter and add to the pan / fryer, leaving for 2-3 minutes max.
- Remove vegetables from pan / fryer and place on a rack or kitchen paper to drain off excess oil, and serve.
- You could, just before frying, top up your vegetable oil with a little sesame oil just before frying for that extra flavour.
- Also, the more you put in the pan / fryer at one time, the more you will reduce the temperature of your oil. To counter this, just cook them off in small batches, either serving straight away or preserve the heat in an oven.
The illusion of something healthy and something dirty all at the one time which could satisfy one’s cravings for a takeaway. By itself, a vegetable tempura dish is lovely, but I’d say it’s a must to add a dipping sauce of some description, even if it’s just a pouring of soy sauce to really bring out the flavours.
Got your own tips or tricks on cooking vegetable tempura? Let me know below or tweet @anygivenfood with your own suggestions.
This is part one of a five part planned blog series on cooking Japanese dishes for the week.
Myself and Mrs. Any Given Food-to-be like to hit restaurants whenever is possible. While we do the majority of our eating out locally, I rarely write up restaurants or good meals out in Kilkenny, bar taking the usual photographs. Sometimes weeks can go by without heading out for a meal, sometimes we’ll fit a few in a week. In trying to shake the ‘creatures of habit’ notion, as humans are, we’re re-visiting restaurants we haven’t been to in a few months.
I’ve posted the recipe for my homemade pizza below. The the weeks go on, the more adventurous I tend to get with the ingredients. This one, a ‘his and hers’ pizza comes with goats cheese, onion, green peppers, jalapenos, tomato and basil sauce, beetroot, red cabbage, garlic and chilli. I was also looking for an excuse to test out the Canon 5D MK1 I’ve borrowed while I work on replacing my stolen Canon 6D. You can get the step-by-step pizza base recipe here, but here’s a look at how it all comes together. Continue Reading →
The sun is out, the back of National Vegetarian Week is broken and, as far as barbeques go, my real experience is all meat or meat related – chicken, ribs, burgers, bacon, pudding, wings, the whole lot. Sure enough, the odd spud goes in there (love BBQ spuds), but beyond that, I’m at a bit of a loss in terms of what to cook for a vegetarian barbeque.
The dilemma is this: I got a present of a brand new barbeque for the birthday last weekend and it’s still sitting in the kitchen, the empty can of gas to go along with it in the back of the car and all the goodies that came with it are still in their original bags. With the best weekend of the year by far now upon us, it’s coming out this evening to get some cooking going. But, what does one cook?
In scouring the web for a few suggestions, here’s 10 things you could cook for a vegetarian barbeque.
10 Vegetarian Barbeque Options
- Potatoes Plus (grab the tinfoil)
- Courgette & Halloumi Skewers
- Grilled Zucchini
- Barbecued Portobello Burgers
- Carrot & Sesame Burgers
- Stuffed Peppers On The Barbie
- Grilled Eggplant, Halloumi & Pesto Burgers
- Chickpea Burgers
- Thai Tofu On Lemongrass Skewers
- Grilled Asparagus with Spring Onion-Radish “Butter”
So what do you reckon? For someone who doesn’t barbeque any kind of vegetarian food but is wholly intent on spending the next few days beside the grill, can you suggest anything? Have you any favourite veggie BBQ foods?
It’s day four of National Vegetarian Week and after cheese and garlic snacks, homemade pizza, awesome spicy wedges and a kick ass breakfast at Zuni Kilkenny (see below), I was stumped as to what to cook for dinner tonight. Breakfast was a late one, around 10am or so, and a working breakfast at that and as lunch disappeared across projects this afternoon, I pulled into the car park in SuperValu not knowing what to cook this evening, having promised I’d cook something up by seven.
Whatever made me decide to do a risotto dish is beyond me (I’d never even consider ordering it when eating out) but it turned out to be one of the nicest, simplest of dishes I’ve cooked in a while, so much to the point that Mrs. Any Given Food-to-be reckons it’s the best thing I’ve cooked her, ever.
That’s pretty high praise in this house.
Read on for the recipe after the jump…