Super Smokey Veggie Chilli

Gavin WrenMain Dishes, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian

Smokey Vegetarian Tofu Chilli
Good morning campers! I hope you’re having a lovely Sunday morning. It’s a clear, crisp, late winter morning here, with daffodils dancing in the breeze outside my window, so why am I sitting at a computer posting recipes for you all… good question! The reason is because today’s recipe is an utterly delicious vegetarian chilli with a smokey twist, giving it an extra dimension of flavour, and I’ve just got to share it with you. This hot, warming dish has proven to be a repeat hit at home on these cold nights, by doubling up the recipe to make a big pot-full it’s kept us stocked in flavour-filled, easy midweek dinners on a few occasions. And it’s no co-incidence that the last blog post was a beginners guide to home smoking, showing you how it’s easy to start smoking food at home, starting with vegetables or tofu. And here’s…

Smoking Tofu: A beginners guide to smoking

Gavin WrenBasic Ingredients, Food Techniques, Recipes, The World of Food, Vegan, Vegetarian

Hot smoked tofu BBQ on Weber Go Anywhere
So, first take a pack of King-size Rizlas. Ooops, wrong kind of smoking! Ignore that. Let’s start again. Underage Smokers When I was growing up, smoked food meant a couple of things to me. Firstly, it meant smoked salmon, those luscious pink slithers of rich flavour, associations of good times and parties; Christmas, family birthdays and the like. Also kippers, those stinky, smoked breakfast fish that my Dad ate and I also grew to love. As a young lad on a family camping holiday in Suffolk, we once stopped at a small smokery, where I saw a cupboard full of herrings hung out, being smoked into kippers. We bought some, and had them for breakfast the next day, I still remember the overpowering charred wood flavour of these just-smoked fish. But seeing that cupboard of fish pegged up like laundry taught me exactly what this smoking process was, how it…

Goat’s cheese and raspberry tarts

Gavin WrenBaking, Main Dishes, Recipes, Spelt & ancient grains, Vegetarian

Goat's cheese and raspberry tart cooked
Just a few days ago I was telling you how great making a simple rough puff pastry is, using spelt flour, and how it’s one of the most simple and rewarding things you can do. And the real treat comes when you cook it, as you can watch the pastry puff it’s cheeks and take on the rich, warm, golden tones that pastry develops in the oven. And it’s extremely versatile. Once you have the base pastry mixed, you can do all sorts of things with it, sweet or savoury, individual tarts or large sharing ones. Also, don’t miss out on the opportunity to get creative and try something of your own with the spare pieces (see the box at the bottom of the page). This tart makes a beautiful summer or autumn recipe, something that’s simple to make yet both visually stunning and amazingly tasty. It’s also a great…

Spelt rough puff pastry

Gavin WrenBaking, Basic Ingredients, Food Techniques, Recipes, Spelt & ancient grains, Vegetarian

Spelt rough puff pastry ready for oven
Can I tell you a bit of a secret? This recipe got me really excited. Yep, a recipe for plain spelt rough puff pastry and I was over-the-moon excited. It’s not even a recipe that you’d eat on it’s own, it’s just a gateway to other kitchen delights, but for some reason, basic ingredients and techniques get me really excited. A bit like the oven dried tomatoes that were the subject of my first published recipe on this site. In that instance I turned a load of regular tomatoes into rich, sweet, nuggets of concentrated flavour by doing something pretty damn simple. And here’s that excitement again, but with baking there is something slightly magical about the metamorphosis that occurs. It seems so transformational, to take a few simple, pale ingredients like flour, water and butter, combine them, add heat, and the end result is a rich, flaky, crispy morsel…

Spelt banana bread with tahini and honey – dairy free

Gavin WrenBaking, Recipes, Spelt & ancient grains, Vegetarian

Spelt banana bread with tahini and honey dairy and low gluten
There once was a caped crusader that fought crime wherever he went, who wore a blue suit, yellow cape and gloves, plus a slightly funny snood-type hat with pointy yellow ears on it. No, not Batman on dress-down Friday, nor Superman after mixing-the-wrong-colours whilst doing the weekly wash. No, it’s the one and only Bananaman! Now, my girlfriend seems to think I’m some kind of modern day Bananaman. This isn’t because I’m a contemporary urban warrior, who has flown in and saved her from a life of tyranny, but because firstly, I’m quite enthusiastic about buying and keeping bananas, and secondly, because I have yellow (I prefer blond) hair, which apparently adds to the banana-likeness. But for 22 years I didn’t touch a single banana, because sometime around my 11th Birthday, I decided that I didn’t like them any more. Then one morning on holiday a few years ago on…

Roasted kale, goat’s cheese and pear salad with ‘Jeff’s flat’ cranberry dressing

Gavin WrenMain Dishes, Recipes, Salads, Vegetarian

Kale, Goats Cheese and Pear salad with cranberry dressing
This is one of the few recipes that I’ve created which has been made many, many times before being posted on here. Normally recipes are created, tested once or twice, then BANG, they’re up there in the top spot. However this one drifted out of my head in early January, when we were staying at our friend Jeff’s flat, having foolishly employed some builders to tear down the ceilings and replaster the walls in BOTH of our bedrooms at the same time. I never, ever could have guessed how disruptive that would be, or how much work it would be for me, keeping those bastards in check. Anyway, back to the food. The recipe was a hit straight away, and has proved quite versatile. We made it for lunch the following weekend, and the one after, and the one after. I must have had it at least ten times now,…