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

Monday 19 July 2021



It was such good news when Greg at Recipes for Rebels announced that there would, after an enforced break in 2020, be another Cowboy Cookalong this year. 

"Try to mention James Dean," Greg said. 

Zelda felt up to The T(r)ask.

So, in Kirkby-in-Ashfield (East of Pinxton), some friends got together.





and a Rebel with Retractable Claws

(who was quite interested in Marcus)

for some food and dRinks.



served with:

2 cans red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2tbsp sweet chilli sauce
1 small red onion, peeled and chopped very finely
100ml hot water
1tbsp tomato puree
1tsp dried mixed herbs
1tbsp olive oil
salt and black pepper

Heat oil and gently fry the onion until almost soft, then add the garlic.
Cook for a couple of minutes, then pour in the beans, mixed herbs, tomato puree and the water.
Heat until most of the liquid has been absorbed and then turn into a large bowl.
Mash the beans and stir everything together. 
When ready, return to the pan, add the chilli sauce and a bit more water if needed. Heat and season as necessary.


1 red onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 red pepper, deseeded and roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled
handful of fresh basil leaves
6 fresh tomatoes, seeds removed
2 jalapeno peppers deseeded
2tbsp tomato puree
1tbsp olive oil
salt and black pepper

Place everything except the oil in a food processor.
Whizz until at required consistency.
To combine everything, add the oil a little bit at a time.
Adjust seasoning to taste.
2 very ripe medium-sized avocados
Juice of 1 lime
Pinch salt

Cut avocados in half, remove stone and scoop out the flesh.
Mash with a fork.
Mix in the lime juice and the salt.

To serve:
Cover tortilla crisps with grated cheese.
Place under the grill. 
Transfer to a large plate.
Place on table with all the dips. 
Dig in.


I'm a serious-minded and intense little devil, terribly gauche and so tense I don't see how people stay in the same room with me. I know I wouldn't tolerate myself. - James Dean
Makes 8 burgers

1kg sweet potatoes
220g pouch microwaveable white rice and wild rice
2tsp fresh coriander, chopped
125g breadcrumbs (boxed is fine)
2tsp Cajun seasoning
1 large red onion, peeled and finely chopped
plenty of salt and pepper
3tbsp olive oil

Wash sweet potatoes. Pierce with a fork, coat lightly with oil and place on a baking tray. Cook at Gas 6/ 200˚C/390˚F for about an hour. Allow to cool and split open. 

Scoop the flesh into a large bowl. Mash until smooth.
Heat 1tbsp of oil and gently fry the red onion. When soft, sprinkle over the Cajun seasoning and cook through for about a minute. 
Then add this to the sweet potato along with the rice, coriander and breadcrumbs.
Mix all together and season with plenty of salt and pepper.
Shape into patties and refrigerate for at least an hour.
When ready, heat rest of oil and cook burgers for a few minutes each side.
(Dry on kitchen paper. Can now be kept until needed.)
When ready to cook, place on a lightly oiled baking tray and place in oven at Gas 4/ 180˚C/ 350˚F for about 20 minutes.

Makes 8

500g strong bread flour
7g fast action dried yeast
2tsp caster sugar
2tsp salt
300ml luke-warm water
3tbsp olive oil
a few drops of yellow food colouring

Mix the flour, yeast, salt and sugar in a very large bowl. Make a well in the middle.
Stir the olive oil into the warm water, add the food colouring and pour into the well.
Gradually mix all together to form a dough.
If your bowl is large enough, add a bit more flour and knead in the bowl. This should avoid any staining.
Wipe out the bowl, lightly oil it and then place the dough back inside. 
Cover and put in a warm place for about an hour.
Knock back, knead again and divide into 8 pieces.
Knead each one a little more and form into a ball shape.
Place them on an oiled tray and leave for another hour. (I used 2 trays, to space them out.)
Cook in the middle of the oven at 435F/ 220C/ Gas 7 for 15-20 minutes.
Remove and allow to cool on a rack.


3tbsp mayonnaise
3tbsp ketchup

Mix all together  

Shredded Iceberg Lettuce 

Monterey Jack cheese
sliced gherkins
Accompanied by:


700g (about 4 medium) potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1 red onion, peeled and finely sliced
1tbsp olive oil
1tsp garlic powder
1tsp chilli powder
½tsp paprika
1tsp cumin seeds
1tsp cayenne

Pound the cumin seeds using a pestle and mortar and then mix all the spices together.

Heat a pan of water and when boiling, add the potato cubes. Simmer until almost soft.
Heat the oil and slowly and gently fry the onion, again until almost ready. Drain the potatoes and add to the onions, along with the spice mix.
Stir all together so the onion and potatoes are fully coated. Cook for another 10 minutes until tender.
125g white sweetheart cabbage
125g red cabbage
2 sticks celery
2 large carrots
3 spring onions
60g sultanas
8tbsp mayonnaise
8tbsp natural yogurt
1tbsp lemon juice

Finely shred each type of cabbage in a food processor.
Peel and grate the carrot.
Slice white and green of spring onion finely on the diagonal.
Finely slice the celery.
Place all in a bowl.
Mix in the mayonnaise, yogurt and lemon juice and season as needed.
Leave to develop.


Going for the cake

Our pudding can (more or less) be found between the pages of this little beauty:
Recipes for Rebels is full of fantastic recipes and interesting information about Dean and the people he knew, such as the fact that his first TV appearance was in this Pepsi commercial:


I just did some tweaking to make it fit UK cooking measures and substituted Maltesers for marshmallows to keep it vegetarian.

The gratification comes in the doing, not in the results. - James Dean
There was a point part way through the time it was in the oven, when the whole street suffered a power cut, so I was thankful for Jimmy's wisdom. However, I did manage to 'save it' so we could enjoy some at the party after all.

First make the cake:

400g plain flour
400g caster sugar
225g butter
2tbsp cocoa powder
240ml Pepsi
120ml buttermilk
2 medium eggs, beaten
1tsp baking soda
1tsp vanilla extract
100g Maltesers

Heat oven to 350˚F/ 180˚C/ Gas .
Grease and flour a 9 X 11 X 2 inch pan.
Mix the sugar with the flour in a large bowl.
Heat a saucepan of water. Place the butter in a bowl over the top and gently melt it.
Remove from the heat. Add the cocoa and Pepsi.
Pour over the flour mixture and stir all together. (It will be quite bubbly)
Add the buttermilk, eggs, soda and vanilla. Mix well.
Stir in the Maltesers.
Pour into the pan.
Bake for 40 minutes. 
Remove from the oven, place on a rack and allow to cool slightly.
Add the topping while it is still warm.

To make the frosting:
60g butter, slightly softened
200g dark brown sugar
80g peanut butter
60ml milk
125g chopped peanuts

Cream the butter and sugar.
Mix the peanut butter with the milk and nuts and stir well.
Combine all together.
Spread over the warm cake.
Place under a hot grill until it just starts to bubble. 
(Don't put it too close to the heat.)
And then - Abra-cadabra, you should have a lovely glossy finish.

Ice cream makes the perfect accompaniment. 

Being an actor is the loneliest thing in the world. You are all alone with your concentration and imagination, and that's all you have.                         - James Dean

If only we could let him know that he is still part of something, and still loved the world over. 
Cheers, Jimmy!