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

Sunday 30 August 2020

Fantasy Veggie Dinner Guest - DODIE SMITH

Dorothy 'Dodie' Smith was an author and playwright. She loved dalmations and kept many as pets, using them as the inspiration for her most famous book. 

In 1948, her novel, one of the most sublime of the Twentieth Century was published. From its opening line, "I write this sitting in the kitchen sink", I Capture the Castle is a captivating, joyous work of fiction.
Although s
he set it in the 1930s, the theme of austerity was very relevant to the post-war readership and is still pertinent today.
Crumble became a popular meal during World War II as an efficient way to spread out the flour ration. I think, therefore, that this might be a good meal for Zelda to serve to Dodie when she comes to dinner.


half a cauliflower, cut into florets
1 small tin sweetcorn, drained
half a parsnip cut into small chunks
350ml milk
1tbsp olive oil
2tbsp sunflower oil
2tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1tsp fresh thyme leaves
100g cheese, grated
salt and pepper

For the topping
100g plain flour
50g butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
50g toasted flaked almonds
50g porridge oats
25g cheese, grated

Bring two saucepans of water to the boil.
Add the cauliflower to one pan 
and the parsnips to the other.
Cook for 5-6 minutes until just softened. 
Drain and keep the cooking liquid from the cauliflower. 
Cook the onion in the olive oil. 
Place the cauliflower and parsnips in a dish with the sweetcorn and cooked onions. Add the herbs and mix well.
Make the topping by rubbing the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs and the stirring in the remaining ingredients. 
Heat the oil in a pan and stir in the flour. Cook out for a minute or so. 
Mix the milk with 150ml of the cooking liquid and add gradually to the pan. Bring to the boil and stir constantly until thickened. 
Add to the vegetables.
Place in an oven proof dish and cover with the topping. 
Bake at Gas 5/ 190˚ C for about 30 minutes.
Serve when hot

A Meal For... A Wonderful Mum


This lovely lady provided me with all my meals when I was young. Many of them came from her handy book 'Cooking is Fun' so I am going to repay her with a recipe from it now. Made just for her, to share when we can.


(Recipe slightly adapted)

150g self raising flour
½tsp salt
75g shredded vegetarian suet
water to mix
about 6 large tbsp jam

Mix flour, salt and suet. 
Then add enough cold water to make a soft dough.
Turn onto floured surface. Knead a little the roll out into a rectangle.
Leaving a border, spread the jam over the rest.
Brush the edges and then roll up tightly from one of the short sides.
Wrap in a double sheet of greaseproof paper, folding the ends under.
Place on a baking tray and cook at Gas 6/ 200˚C for about an hour.
Unwrap very carefully and allow to cool a little (as the jam will be dangerously hot).
Cut into slices.

Tuesday 11 August 2020


For 2 people – can be multiplied as required

2 baking potatoes 

40g stuffing, made according to packet instructions 1 onion, chopped finely
gravy made as required (a bit of Bisto works well)
vegetables of choice. I used: 1 parsnip, 4 cauliflower florets, 1 carrot
a little oil 

Brush each potato with oil and bake at about Gas 6 for an hour or so until brown and crisp and soft in the middle. 
Meanwhile, place veg of your choice (in this case the parsnip, cauliflower and carrot) in a pan of boiling water and cook for about 12 minutes until softened, then drain. 
Fry the onion.
Allow the potatoes to cool a little. Then, scoop out the insides.
Place the insides in a bowl with the parsnip, cauliflower, carrot and the stuffing. Mash all together but keep some substance and texture.
Place back into the potatoes. It should come up over the top of the skins. 
Place in the oven at Gas 7 for about 15 minutes to allow it all to crisp up. 
Lovely served with a bit of gravy.

Tuesday 4 August 2020

Fantasy Veggie Dinner Guest - TOPOL

Chaim Topol is an Israeli actor, singer, comedian and author. He is best known for a role he made his own; a role in one of the few musicals which Zelda loves.

Tevye the Dairyman in Fiddler on the Roof is a man struggling to come to terms with social and domestic changes, yet he soon has to deal with much more serious and sinister forces.

This is his best moment:

It is set in ever-turbulent Ukraine, so Zelda hopes he might like to share a dish named after its capital (although it possibly originated in France). 


2 quorn fillets
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2tbsp butter, softened
6tbsp panko breadcrumbs
20g parmesan-style cheese, grated very finely
2 eggs
6 tbsp plain flour
1tsp paprika
salt and black pepper

Mix garlic with the softened butter.
Slice each quorn fillet almost (but not all) the way through.
Spread the butter inside each one and then push back together. 
Mix the breadcrumbs with the parmesan-style cheese on one plate.
Mix the flour and paprika on another plate and season.
Whisk the eggs in a wide bowl. 
Dip each quorn fillet in the flour mixture, then the egg, then the breadcrumbs.
Repeat so that each one has been coated twice. 
Chill for at least an hour.
Heat the oil and fry each side for 2-3 minutes until golden. 
Bake at Gas 4 for about 25 minutes.
Serve with veg of choice; here with cauliflower and Parmesan-style Parsnips