Indian Sprouted Bean Salad with Avocado

Gavin WrenRecipes, Salads, Vegan, Vegetarian

Here's a spicy, zingy Indian style sprouted bean salad which has been my default lunch option for a few weeks, because it ticks all my boxes for a great lunch. It's simple to make (once you've got the sprouts), it's ridiculously tasty with the combination of seeds, spices, lemon and chilli, plus it's got a big tick next to all the major nutrients we need. All this alongside it being completely vegan, it really couldn't be more versatile and all satisfying.
Here's a spicy, Indian style sprouted bean salad which has been my default lunch option for the last few weeks, because it ticks all my 'great lunch' boxes. It's simple to make (once you've got the sprouts), ridiculously tasty with the combination of seeds, spices, lemon and chilli, plus it's got a big tick next to all the major nutrients we need. Alongside it being completely vegan, it really couldn't be more versatile and all satisfying.

Social Sprouts
Sprouts say one thing to me. Brussels. I'm not talking about the cosmopolitan city, lying a mere 121 minutes away from London St Pancras, rather the bitter green orbs of distaste which I was deigned not to like well before one had ever crossed the threshold of my trap. Society seemed constructed for little children who Don't Like Sprouts. Perhaps it's their bitter flavour, or perhaps there's an entire social... come and read more...

Melanzane in Saor (aubergine)

Gavin WrenRecipes, Side dishes, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Melanzane in Saor is an amazing vegetarian and vegan aubergine (eggplant) dish in a sweet and slightly sour sauce, which is unique to Venice and follows a proud history of Italian food using love, respect and time to get the best of the ingredients. It's a serious make ahead dish, needing 2 days to mature but worth the wait for those fantastic flavours and perfect for buffet spreads or picnics.
Today I’m recounting an amazing Italian dish called ‘melanzane in saor’, or aubergine ‘in Saor’. It’s a very simple yet beautifully balanced Italian dish that has sweet and sour flavours that work just beautifully together. The age is the important thing, you need to make this dish well in advance to let the flavours develop, it’s perfect to make a day ahead for a buffet spread or to take along to a picnic, but don’t hurry it. If there’s one thing that Italian cooking has ever taught me, it’s that love and respect are the ingredients that make food beauteous. Visiting Venice. Just over a year ago I visited Venice, one of the most confoundingly beautiful places I’ve ever been to. I expected hustle, bustle, noise and expensive food, which was entirely correct, however I hadn’t prepared myself for the heart and soul of Venice, which is the important part.…

Sweet and Spicy Bulgur Bake with Harissa

Gavin WrenMain Dishes, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

A sweet and spicy bulgur bake with turmeric, cinnamon, Harissa, dried apricots, wholemeal bulgur and more to create a warm and glowing vegetarian and vegan one pot tray bake which is a perfect meal to use up all those spare or leftover vegetables that you might have laying around. Full recipe on lepetitoeuf.com
This post is one of those leftover dishes that’s amazingly versatile and will eat up any leftover veggies you might have laying around at home, don’t be afraid to experiment, just chuck in whatever you’ve got! It also puts a slight spin on the traditional tray bake recipes, using wholemeal bulgur wheat to create a bulgur bake that’s a highly tasty and filling not to mention vegetarian and vegan to boot. Semantic. I once heard a fabulous term, it was the definition of a dish created by using up what is left in the fridge. It was perfect. It was so good that I’ve never been able to remember it since that day I read it. One could argue it was perhaps not quite as perfect as I’m proclaiming, if my memory serves me so awfully for something that was allegedly so precious. However, some of the best dishes I’ve…

How to Cook Onions and How Recipes Lie

Gavin WrenBasic Ingredients, Food Education, Food Techniques, The World of Food

How to cook onions and how recipes lie to us
Today I’m looking at how cooks and chefs around the world have lied to us about how to cook onions, misusing terms like sauté, caramelise, sweat and fry along with frankly ridiculous suggestions of cooking times. So if you really want to know your onions, read on, and I will expose the real truth about onions. Hold the Front Page! It’s time for a News of the World style exposé of the food world. Time to blow open the doors of convention and open your eyes to the delusion and deception that’s all around us in the circus ring of recipes. There’s a common portrayal out there in the culinary world, a veil of misconception that’s flown across people’s faces time and time again, a published mistruth, a conspiracy to mislead and delude the common or garden home cook. For many years there has been a delusion that’s paraded around,…

Vegetarian Sausage Rolls with Mushroom and Comté

Gavin WrenBaking, Side dishes, Small Bites, Spelt & ancient grains, Starters, Vegetarian

Golden, light and flaky vegetarian sausage rolls made with spelt rough puff pastry and filled with onion, garlic, mushrooms, thyme and oozing, molten Comté cheese. Perfect for the dinner table or the picnic basket.
It started with a cheese. This all started after the people at Comté cheese treated me and a few other bloggers to a delightful little cookery experience and cheese tasting, featuring a some aged variants of Comté, a decidedly lovely cheese. Even Raymond Blanc agrees, recently tweeting about being spoilt by the very same “Dinner at my mum. a-wild flowers .comte..sculptured radishes ,home made -creme anglaise .biscuit .Totally spoiled(sic).”. As for my being spoilt with Comté, I was treated to a decadent cheese soufflé, followed by getting involved in the making of a lovely puff pastry tart with bacon and apple, topped with unctuous, melted, oozing Comté. The latter of these enticed the little chef inside me to translate the recipe in some kind of vegetarian sausage roll that would have serious cheese appeal. Ideally something with hidden, molten Comté, only to be discovered when you break into the perfect…

Black Rice with Miso Mushrooms

Gavin WrenMain Dishes, Recipes, Side dishes, Vegan, Vegetarian

Black rice and wild mushrooms are the star of this one pot cooked on a base of onion, garlic & ginger, mixed with miso paste, mirin and vegetable stock then garnished with chilli, sesame seeds and coriander. It's a dark, rich and mysterious vegetarian and vegan one pot!
Black rice is the mysterious, dark, hidden jewel of the rice kingdom. A jet black, enveloping chasm of colour, a deep unknown place of hidden beauty, sparkling in the shadows. Black rice – the forbidden fruit. It was the forbidden fruit, a royal treat stored only for the Chinese Emperor, his family and concubines. A mere peasant such as myself could be put to death for laying his hands on black rice, a very dark association to go with this darkest of grains, which earned the name ‘Forbidden Rice’. The Emperor was not stupid, he understood something which we are now learning through scientific analysis, which he must have gleaned through intuition and anecdotal evidence. Black rice is loaded with more antioxidants than any other rice and as such could have a genuinely positive effect on your health. One could even claim it might extend your life, as the Chinese…