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

Sunday 25 June 2023

Fantasy Veggie Dinner Guest - GEORGE MICHAEL

25th June, 1963. Sixty years ago. The birth of Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou in East Finchley.  
The world would later come to know him (and Zelda would come to love him) as George Michael, first as half of the duo Wham! and later as a solo artist. He died on Christmas Day in 2016. 

George was a beautiful soul who found it hard to cope with fame, fortune and the pressures they brought. After his death, many charities revealed how much he had privately supported them for years.

His song Careless Whisper is one of the greatest ever written.

When Zelda has George for a meal, she will be serving this (with thanks to Dr Spooner) as a happy memory of one of the best summers of her youth. 

Here is Wham Rap:

And here is: 'HAM' WRAP

1 egg, beaten
4tbsp self-raising flour
200ml milk
2 wholemeal wraps
30g cheddar, grated
4 slices vegetarian ‘ham’
2tbsp onion chutney
spray oil
fresh coriander leaves to serve

Serves 2

Place each wrap on a plate and coat with the onion chutney.
Whisk the egg, flour and milk to make a batter.
Spray a non-stick pan and heat.
Pour half the batter into the pan and tip so that all the base is coated.
Cook until the batter bubbles and the base is firm.
Turn the pancake and cook the other side.
Keep warm while you repeat to make the second pancake.
Place the pancakes on top of the wraps.
Cover with the ‘ham’ and cheese.
Roll from one side and place on the plate sealed side down.
Top with a few coriander leaves.

Thursday 15 June 2023


Boil a pan of water and then add as much pasta as you like. (I used wholewheat penne.)
Drain and allow to cool.
Mix in the pesto (make sure it is vegetarian if needed). 
Chop stilton and cherry tomatoes and add. 
Place in a sealable container ready to take to work.
Top with some fresh basil leaves.

Wednesday 14 June 2023

Fantasy Veggie Dinner Guest - WILL SCARLET

As with any character in the Robin Hood saga, it is impossible to tell truth from fiction. 

However, Will Scarlet was one of the 'Merry Men' in the earliest published tales, set in Sherwood Forest in Medieval times (just up the road from where Zelda is now). 

As the stories evolved, he was usually depicted as a youthful member of the outlaws, as well as being hot-headed. 

In the 1991 film, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Christian Slater portrays him (as Will Scarlett) as the jealous half-brother of Kevin Costner's Robin, who 'comes good' at the end.

This little mish-mash of stones in the churchyard at Blidworth is supposed to be his grave, which seems unlikely, but it's lovely that he has some recognition in the area.

Zelda would like to cook him a traditional dish from the area with a traditional name.

GOOSEGOG CRUMBLE (Gooseberry Crumble)

For the filling
450g gooseberries, topped and tailed
(defrosted if from the freezer)
50g caster sugar
50g brown sugar 
2tsp lime juice

For the topping
225g plain flour
2tsp baking powder
75g butter
175g brown sugar

Preheat oven to 200˚C/ Gas 6
Place gooseberries in a shallow casserole dish.
Sprinkle over caster sugar, brown sugar and lime juice.
Sift flour and baking powder into a bowl.
Add butter and rub in until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. (Leave some larger bits.)
Mix in the sugar. (The brown sugar will make it a lovely 'rustic' colour.)
Spoon crumble on top of gooseberries.
Bake for 25-30 mins.

Wednesday 7 June 2023


8 little gem leaves
1 carrot, chopped into matchsticks
1tbsp caster sugar
1tbsp white wine vinegar
1tsp ground ginger
1tsp chilli powder
1tsp light soy sauce
2tbsp honey
1 onion, finely chopped
2tsp crushed garlic
150g quorn mince
1tsp Marmite
100ml vegetable stock
oil for cooking
2 tsp sesame seeds

Place the carrots in a small bowl with the caster sugar and white wine vinegar. Set aside.
Make the sauce by combining the ginger, chilli powder, soy sauce and honey. Set aside.
Heat a little oil and cook the onion until almost soft.
Add the garlic and cook for a minute more.
Add the mince, stock and Marmite and simmer to allow the liquid to absorb.
Pour in the sauce and reduce until everything is sticky. 
Place in a bowl.
Drain the carrots and place back in the small bowl. Top with the sesame seeds.
Serve with the lettuce leaves.

Tuesday 6 June 2023

Fantasy Veggie Dinner Guest - MIKE FISHER

Mike Fisher is the landlord of the 'Nag's Head' in Peckham. This is the pub in so many memorable scenes from Only Fools and Horses.
Every time Zelda goes into a pub of that name, she thinks of Rodney falling through the bar. 
Mike was played by Kenneth MacDonald and is part of a long list of pub landlords from the golden age of the TV sitcom. In the below episode, he is keen to promote his pub food. The Mushroom and Tarragon Pie is a current pub classic which Zelda has recreated for him.


1tbsp olive oil
20g butter
1 large onion, chopped
1tsp chopped garlic
150g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
150ml vegetarian gravy (easy to make with 1tsp Bisto)
1tbsp crème fraiche
1½ tsp chopped tarragon
1½tsp chopped parsley
½ sheet pre-rolled puff pastry
1 egg, beaten

Serves 2

Heat the oil and butter in a pan and cook the onion for a few minutes. Then add the garlic and the mushrooms.
Cook through so that the mushrooms have softened.
Pour in the gravy and allow to reduce.
Let this cool a little and then add the crème fraiche and the herbs.
Place in the pie dish and top with the pastry and crimp.
Glaze with the beaten egg and cook at Gas 6/ 200˚C for 20-25 minutes until the pastry is golden.

Lovely jubbly!
Great served with Air Fryer Chips and Baked Beans