Real vegetarian food, served in an imaginary world...

Tuesday, 10 October 2017


This is Archie Watson. 
He is Zelda's dog and she loves him, loves him, loves him...

This week she cooked a meal for DAFT (The Devoted to Animals Fundraising Team). The proceeds went to First Step Dog Rescue which saved Archie from a certain death.
Archie is so full of life and she is eternally grateful that he has been able to make the most of every single minute he has been allocated since. 
The meal is a chance for all the DAFT group to get together. All the guests pay a set price per head and choose a 3 course meal from the menu. The profit is donated to a worthy animal cause.

Some of the recipes have already appeared on Dinner with Zelda Manners, such as: 

So here are a few of the others...


Serves 6

1tbsp olive oil
1 onion
salt and pepper
1tsp mild curry powder
2 litres vegetable stock
3 carrots, peeled and cubed
½ swede, peeled and cubed
2 parsnips, peeled and cubed

Heat oil and fry onion. Add curry powder and stir well.
Pour in the stock and add the other vegetables.
Bring to the boil. 
Cover and let it simmer for at least 30 minutes until the veg is soft.
Puree until smooth.
When ready to eat, reheat.
To 'posh it up', serve with single cream, some coarsely ground black pepper and a sprig of parsley.


Serves: 6-8

500g / 17oz fruit (can be fresh or frozen)
75g / 3oz caster sugar
500g tub fresh custard, chilled
142ml pot fresh double cream
Dessert biscuits to serve

Put 450g of the fruit into a saucepan with the sugar. (Keep 50g back for serving).
Heat and simmer gently without a lid until soft and pulpy.
Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
Purée in a blender or food processor. If you wish, pass the mixture through a sieve to remove the pips, pressing down with the back of a wooden spoon.
Add the custard and stir well to combine.
Whip the cream in a large chilled bowl until thick.
Fold it through the fruit mixture. 
Chill thoroughly.
Spoon the fool into attractive serving glasses and put some of the reserved fruit on the top of each.
Serve with dessert biscuits.

Serves 8

300g digestive biscuits
100g butter
110g caster sugar
150ml whipping cream
350g dark chocolate
2tbsp cocoa powder
400g cream cheese
1 small packet chocolate buttons

Grease and flour a 10inch springform tin.
Put the biscuits in a large bowl and bash with the end of a rolling pin.
Melt the butter and mix it with the biscuits and 10g of the caster sugar.
Press into the bottom of the tin and refrigerate.
Whip the cream until soft peaks form.
Melt 300g of the chocolate and allow to cool slightly. Add it to the whipped cream and stir in the cocoa.
Beat the cream cheese with the remaining sugar.
Fold this into the cream chocolate mixture.
Spread the mixture on top of the crushed biscuits.
Refrigerate for at least an hour.
Grate the remaining chocolate and sprinkle most of it over the top along with the buttons.
Cut into slices and serve with cream and more of the chocolate sprinkles.

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Fantasy Veggie Dinner Guest – HARRIET VANE

Dorothy L Sayers’ detective Lord Peter Wimsey first meets Harriet Vane in the novel Strong Poison when she is on trial for the murder of Phillip Boyes. He falls in love with her immediately but, in a very sensitive portrayal of a woman’s mental state, Sayers makes her refuse his proposals until she has been able to re-establish herself as an independent woman, successful writer of fiction and respected academic.

In Strong Poison, Vane’s estranged lover, Phillip Boyes, has been found dead from acute arsenic poisoning. He had a meeting with Harriet just before he died, but the last meal he ate was with his cousin Norman Urquhart. Although partially prepared in the kitchen, it was cooked at the table by Urquhart and shared between them, so surely it can’t be the source of the poison or Urquhart would be dead as well?

Come to dinner Harriet (and bring Lord Peter with you, too.) We can banish old ghosts and have this for dessert. I might even try cooking it at the table over a spirit lamp.


2 free range eggs
2tbsp caster sugar
1tsp butter

Separate eggs and whites into bowls.

Beat the whites into soft peaks.

Mix the yolks with the sugar.

Take a spoonful of the whites and add to the yolks. 

Then pour the yolk mixture into the whites and stir until combined.

Heat the butter in a pan.

Pour in half of the mixture.
(I actually tried this twice. The first time I put all the mixture in one pan but it was too thick to manage properly. The second time, I split it between two pans and it worked much better.)
Cook through...
...then turn and fold.

Serve with some jam, a sweet sauce of your own, or a sprinkling of sugar.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Fantasy Veggie Dinner Guest - A E Housman

Alfred Edward Housman was a scholar and classicist, best known now for his poem A Shropshire Lad, which evokes a bygone England at the start of the Twentieth Century.
It includes this beautifully poignant, ironic section (XVII):

“Is my team ploughing, 
   That I was used to drive 
And hear the harness jingle 
   When I was man alive?” 

Ay, the horses trample, 
   The harness jingles now; 
No change though you lie under 
   The land you used to plough. 

“Is football playing 
   Along the river shore, 
With lads to chase the leather, 
   Now I stand up no more?” 

Ay the ball is flying, 
   The lads play heart and soul; 
The goal stands up, the keeper 
   Stands up to keep the goal. 

“Is my girl happy, 
   That I thought hard to leave, 
And has she tired of weeping 
   As she lies down at eve?” 

Ay, she lies down lightly, 
   She lies not down to weep: 
Your girl is well contented. 
   Be still, my lad, and sleep. 

“Is my friend hearty, 
   Now I am thin and pine, 
And has he found to sleep in 
   A better bed than mine?” 

Yes, lad, I lie easy, 
   I lie as lads would choose; 
I cheer a dead man’s sweetheart, 
   Never ask me whose.

So, for Alfred, who might be too busy to come to dinner, but who might like to join me for a ramble through the fields, I have devised these.


Serves 2

2 wraps
1 dessert apples, peeled, cored and chopped (keep in water with a touch of lemon juice if you don’t assemble the wraps immediately).
4-6 tbsp chutney or pickle of choice
2 spring onions, chopped on the diagonal
100g cheddar cheese, cut into small chunks
small amount of cucumber in chunks
salt and pepper
spread (butter or cheese)

Spread each wrap with a thin layer of cheese or butter spread.

Spread the pickle/ chutney over the top.

Mix the apple, cheese, spring onion and cucumber in a bowl and season.

Then share the ingredients between each wrap, placing it down the middle.

Roll up and serve.

Monday, 11 September 2017

Vegetarian Delirium - CHEESY POTATO BAKE

Potatoes from the next batch have been freshly dug up; they are washed and are sitting in the kitchen, crying out to be used. 

So here we go...

Serves 2-3

450g new potatoes
150ml double cream
100g cheddar cheese, grated
100g breadcrumbs
1tbsp olive oil

Scrub the potatoes and cut any large ones so that all are of a mostly-uniform size.
Boil for about 10-12 minutes until almost cooked right through.
Drain, allow to cool slightly and then cut into slices. Return to the pan.
Add the cheese while still warm.
Pour in the cream and mix well.
Transfer to a baking dish and sprinkle the dried thyme over the top.
Cover with breadcrumbs.

When ready to serve, drizzle the olive oil over the top.
Cook in a preheated oven at Gas 7/ 220°C/ 425°F for about 20 - 25 minutes.

Makes a lovely accompaniment.
Zelda served it here with some Veggie Mince Plait