Recipes for those ‘accidentally’ vegan days

Originally there was World Vegan Day on November 1, created in 1994 by Louise Wallis, chair of the Vegan Society in the UK to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Vegan Society. 

Later this morphed into World Vegan Week and was eventually extended to World Vegan Month to shine a light on the vegan movement worldwide. 

And then there’s Veganuary in January every year which continues to gather momentum and has a definite appeal after the excess of the festive season.

Is the vegan movement growing? Well, it depends on who you ask and how up-to-date the figures are.

Even here in Ireland where we have a particular grá for meat, and lots of it, it’s estimated approximately 4% of the population identifies as vegan, however up-to-date statistics are difficult to find.

Many young people particularly have decided to embrace a vegan lifestyle, because of their concerns about animal welfare and environmental issues, including cheap fashion, instead seeking out vegan clothing ranges.

Multinational food companies and plant-based food manufacturers were quick to respond to the trend; already there’s a multi-billion dollar global industry to supply growing demand.

I’m not about to get into the robust arguments on both sides, but most agree that we would benefit from eating a little (or a lot) less meat. 

Invest in better quality meat, humanely reared from pasture-fed animals and try to eliminate intensively produced poultry and meat entirely from your diet for all the well-documented reasons, not least health and an occasional meat-free day is a good place to start.

Meat-Free Monday is a terrific success and has been enthusiastically embraced by many including a growing number of cafés and restaurants.

Several studies confirm that on average our food has 50% of the nutrients it had in the 1950’s so it’s vital to source as much regenerative, organic food as possible and to ensure you have maximum vitamins et al to boost your immune system and put pep in your step!

The human body does not produce vitamin B-12 and it is not present in plant-based foods in significant amounts so vegans are encouraged to take this supplement.

Beans are a brilliant source of protein, inexpensive, super delicious and uniquely versatile and here are some of the accidentally vegan recipes I particularly enjoy.

I personally choose not to buy vegan substitutes, mock meats or eggs but enjoy jackfruit and find aquafaba, (the liquid from tinned beans) works brilliantly for meringues.

Spicy Roast Chickpeas

These chickpeas are seriously addictive – they’ll get crispier as they cool. Enjoy as a nibble or sprinkle over salads or roast vegetables.

Spicy Roast Chickpeas

Preparation Time

10 mins

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C/Gas Mark 7.

  2. Drain the chickpeas, rinse under cold water and drain again. Lay on kitchen paper, shake and pat gently until dry. Spread the chickpeas out in a single layer on a small baking tray, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle generously with sea salt and the cumin and coriander seeds (if using). Shake to coat.

  3. Roast for 25-30 minutes or until crisp and golden.

  4. Cool, taste, add more salt and spices if necessary. Store in an airtight jar.

Carrot and Spring Onion Fritters

We vary the vegetables with the season.

Carrot and Spring Onion Fritters

Preparation Time

30 mins

Total Time

1 hours 10 mins

Ingredients

  • 80g gram flour, also known as Besan or Chickpea flour

  • 4 tbsp self-raising flour

  • 2 tsp roasted and ground coriander

  • 2 tsp roasted and ground cumin

  • ½ tsp paprika plus ½ tsp smoked paprika

  • generous pinch of salt

  • 150g carrots, grated

  • 30g spring onion, white and green part, thinly sliced

  • extra virgin olive oil for frying

Method

  1. Mix together the flours, spices and salt in a bowl.

  2. Whisk in about 150ml water. The batter should be the texture of coconut milk. If it’s too thick, add a little more water. Allow to stand for 30 minutes.

  3. Add the grated carrot and spring onion, stir until the vegetables are well coated.

  4. Heat a little extra virgin olive oil in a non-stick frying pan.

  5. Drop a heaped dessert or tablespoons of the mixture onto the surface. Fry for about 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown and crispy on the outside and cooked in the centre. Fry three or four at a time, depending on the pan size.

  6. Immediately serve 3-4 per person with your favourite chutney or relish.

Pamela Black’s Fudgy Chocolate Mousse Cake

Another delicious confection from super cake maker Pamela Black and accidentally vegan.

Pamela Black's Fudgy Chocolate Mousse Cake

Preparation Time

40 mins

Total Time

1 hours 25 mins

Ingredients

  • 225g Doves Farm gluten-free white flour

  • 1 ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda

  • ½ tsp salt

  • 1 ½ tsp instant espresso coffee

  • 75g cocoa (we use Valrhona)

  • 375ml hot water

  • 90g coconut oil

  • 300g soft dark brown sugar

  • 2 tsp cider vinegar

  • Dark Chocolate Icing

  • 175g icing sugar

  • 50g cocoa powder

  • 75g coconut oil

  • 4 tbsp water

  • 110g caster sugar

  • 1x 20cm spring-form tin (tight fitting), line the base and sides with parchment paper.

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4.

  2. Put the flour, sieved soda, salt, instant coffee and cocoa into a bowl. Whisk to mix evenly.

  3. In a small saucepan, add the hot water over the coconut oil, stir to melt. Add the sugar and vinegar and stir until dissolved. Pour the wet mixture onto the dry ingredients gradually whisking to avoid lumps.

  4. It’ll be a wet mixture, pour into the lined tin. Bake in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes. It will shrink in from the sides of the tin and a skewer will come out clean.

  5. Allow to cool in the tin while you make the icing.

  6. Sieve the icing sugar and cocoa powder into a mixing bowl. Measure the coconut oil, water and sugar into a saucepan. Set over a low heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Bring just to the boil, then draw off the heat and pour at once into the sifted ingredients. Beat with a wooden spoon until the mixture is smooth and glossy. It will thicken as it cools.

  7. Pour the icing over the top and allow to dribble down the sides. Decorate as you fancy – toasted hazelnuts, pistachio nuts, rose petals….

Hot Tips

Let’s all rally around Midleton

After the devastating flood of mid-October, most businesses in Midleton have now reopened but are still traumatised and hurting from the experience. How about a special night out and Christmas shopping trip to show your support and goodwill?

Midleton Farmers Market is open every Saturday from 9am – 2pm in the Market Green and there’s much, much more to buy and enjoy in the town. Each and every one of us can make a difference…

Wise Traditions Podcast

Raw milk is one of nature’s most complete foods and yet it has been misunderstood, and some might say mistreated (by pasteurisation and other preservation processes) and vilified much more than most.

Want to understand more? Tune in to the Wise Traditions Podcast from the Weston A Price Foundation.

Although completely legal raw and pasteurised milk is not widely available for sale in Ireland. Well done to supermarkets such as Fields Supervalu in Skibbereen and Sheridan’s at Dunnes Stores around the country, Simply the Best range for leading the way. We also sell organic raw, unpasteurised milk from our small herd of nine grass-fed Jersey cows at the Ballymaloe Cookery School Farm Shop, just outside Shanagarry village, open 9 to 5 pm except Sundays.

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