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

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Fantasy Veggie Dinner Guest - JACK LEMMON

A while ago, Zelda had Walter Matthau around for some special sandwiches, so she thought that she should also do something for Jack Lemmon, his co-star in so many great films.
Lemmon always gave a superb performance, but one of my personal favourites is Avanti! where he learns to relax and love Italy, especially its pasta. (There is even a great scene where Juliet Mills lists types of pasta. In 1972 many people in the UK only knew of spaghetti.)

So here is a vegetarian pasta meal for Jack.


Serves 2-3

100g cheese, grated very finely
3 eggs (2 whole eggs + 1 extra yolk)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
300g spaghetti
4 rashers fake bacon
75ml cream
1-2tbsp oil

When ready to eat, cook spaghetti in a pan. 
Then drain.

Meanwhile, in a wok, cook the ‘bacon’.
(This can has be done in advance).

In same wok, cook the garlic and add the bacon again.

In a bowl beat 2 eggs + 1 yolk. 

Then mix with cream and cheese and season.

Add the spaghetti to the wok with bacon.
Pour egg mixture over the top and stir all together.

Mix until silky and serve with garlic bread.



150g rigatoni (or other tube-shaped pasta)
1 onion, chopped
160g marinated tofu
4-5tbsp vegetarian pesto 
4-5tbsp crème fraiche
1 ball mozzarella
1tbsp olive oil

Cook the pasta in a pan of salted water.
Meanwhile, heat oil and start to fry the onion. When almost done, add the tofu and cook for a few minutes more.
When the pasta is ready, drain and return it to the same saucepan.
Mix in the tofu and onion.
Add the pesto and crème fraiche.
Stir well so that all the pasta is coated.
Transfer to an ovenproof dish.
Cut the mozzarella into slices and place them over the top.
Cover with foil. (You can now leave it until you are ready to cook.)
When ready, place in oven with the foil on and cook at Gas 7/ 220°C/ 425°F for about 15 minutes.
Then remove foil and cook for a further 10-12 minutes until cheese bubbles.
Serve with a salad or some garlic bread.

Saturday, 26 August 2017


Another way to use up bits and pieces from the freezer...

2 pitta breads
4 Quorn Southern Fried Grills
shredded lettuce
grated cheese
spicy chutney or sauce of choice 
1tbsp oil

Heat oil and fry the Southern Fried grills.

Place shredded lettuce, grated cheese and chutney on a large plate.

Assemble at the table.

Fantasy Veggie Dinner Guests - WALLACE AND GROMIT

From their appearance in 1990's A Grand Day Out, Wallace and Gromit captivated the public with their easy charm. 
Gromit is especially good, exhibiting a range of recognisable human emotions (particularly in The Wrong Trousers).
We know they love cheese, so this would be on the table when they arrived at Zelda's...


Makes about 10-12 fritters

200g plain flour
2tsp baking powder
2tsp salt
1tsp black pepper
2 free range eggs
280ml milk
1 onion, chopped
2 handfuls grated cheese
oil for frying

Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and pepper.
Beat the eggs with the milk and stir this into the dry ingredients. (It should now look a bit frothy.)
Add the grated cheese and stir. 
Fry the onion until golden and soft. Add to the mixture.
Make sure everything is mixed together well.
Heat a little oil in a pan and drop in spoonfuls of the mixture.
Fry until just browned on both sides. 
Keep warm while you fry the rest.
(For more precise presentation, you can cut to a neat shape but I like the rustic appearance.)


Mmm, cheese and Marmite? Try it – it works really well!
(If you are not in the UK, find another yeast-based spread.)

You need to make sure that the baguette is warm when you assemble it, so it is best to make your own bread or buy one of those part-baked ones which are readily available in supermarkets.

1 baguette
2-3 tablespoons Marmite
50g grated cheese (I used cheddar)

Cook the baguette according to instructions.
Cut in half and slice down the middle of each half.
Spread with Marmite.
Then cover with the grated cheese.

Serve on its own or with a green salad. 

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Fantasy Veggie Dinner Guest – LAURA INGALLS WILDER

Another guest from my Dinner Register.

The ‘Little House‘ books by Laura Ingalls Wilder accompanied my childhood. 
Although written for children, the books actually explain the hardships of the pioneer life. The politically correct do not look on them so favourably these days. After all, they chronicle the attempts of a white family to colonise the lands where the Native Americans once roamed free. But we can’t change history and, as a slice of history, they provide a story of human struggle for survival against the elements and describe how a father and daughter with a wandering spirit made their way westward, with a thorough degree of respect for the land.

There was also a lovely television series starring Michael Landon with a wonderful portrayal of Laura by Melissa Gilbert. I remember watching an episode each week after a bath and hair-wash.
In 1874 they lived at Plum Creek in Minnesota. On the Banks of Plum Creek, the third of the novels which relate Laura’s travels, tells how the Ingalls had to take up temporary residence in a dugout in the bank of the creek itself, until Pa could earn enough to build them a new house nearer to Walnut Grove (the place most associated with the family because of the TV series).
I was given some plums this week by someone I know who has a tree in her garden.  I decided to cook a classic/ modern pudding but invite a guest from history who would be familiar with the taste of fresh plums.
So, pull up a chair, Laura, and tell me what you think.

125ml milk
125ml double cream
2-3 tsp vanilla essence (or a vanilla pod)
4 free range eggs
170g caster sugar
1tbsp plain flour
25g butter
500g fresh plums
2tbsp brown sugar
30g flaked almonds

Boil the milk, cream and vanilla in a pan for about 5 minutes. Then turn off and allow to cool.
In a bowl, beat the eggs with the caster sugar. When it is fluffy, fold in the flour.
When the milk/ vanilla mixture is cool, add it to the eggs. Whisk well and then set aside.
Heat oven to Gas 6/ 400°F/ 200°C.
Put the butter in an oven-proof dish and heat until it bubbles.
Add the plums to the dish and sprinkle the brown sugar over the top.
Bake for 5 minutes.
Add the batter and scatter the almonds over the top.

Cook for 30- 40 minutes until the batter has risen and the top is golden.