Archive | June, 2012

Raw Food Feast

20 Jun

well-dined and happy vegans!

Gloucestershire Vegan Group’s latest get-together was a sumptuous raw-food feast cooked by vegan group members and raw-foodists; Nam, her daughter Sahaya and her husband Micheal. For many of us Gloucestershire Vegans it was an introduction to raw food cuisine, and what a delicious introduction it was.

For those of you who might think raw food simply consists of a load of old salad – think again! Nam and her family treated us to some gourmet cuisine. They “uncooked” raw lasagne, quiche, cauliflower tabbouleh, blueberry pie and mulberry biscuits – to name but a few of the many amazing dishes lovingly prepared for us.

gourmet raw food

Below are a few of the recipes for inspired Gloucestershire Vegans to try at home, Nam cooks by approximation so has not given quantities. More recipes from the day available here.

Lasagne

“Wheat” Layer Sheet: Peeled Cucumber or Courgette Slices (very thin with mandolin or potato peeler in strip/slice. Overlap narrow strips to form a square of the size you want)

First paste from the bottom: Nut Paste

• Suflower & Pumpkin seeds (soaked for an hour)
• Sun Dried Tomatoes (soaked an hour) or Red Pepper for Tomato-free
• Dates (1 or more to taste)
• Fresh/Dry Sage
• Dry Oregano
• Cayenne (optional)

Blend until crumbly

Second paste: Green Pesto

• Fresh Basil
• Fresh Parsley
• Almonds (soaked few hours & drained)
• Garlic clove (to taste)
• Courgettes (half piece)
• Lemon Juice (to taste)

Blend until smooth or chunky

Third paste: Tomato sauce

• Sun Dried Tomatoes (soaked an hour) or Red Pepper for Tomato-free
• Tomatoes or Red Paprika Powder
• Dates (4 or more as thickener, depending on quantity made)
• Dry Oregano
• Garlic clove (to taste)
• Lemon Juice (to taste)

Blend until smooth

 Fourth paste: Nut Cream Cheese
• Cashew (soaked 4 hours)
• Courgettes (for low-fat) or Macadamia nuts
• Yellow Pepper
• Fresh Parsley
• Fresh Thyme

• Lemon Juice (to taste)
• Water (as needed)
Blend until fluffy

1. On a  “Wheat” Layer Sheet put nut layer, green pesto, tomato sauce & nut cream cheese and repeat all the layers once. Then place wilted Spinach (destem & soak in Olive oil & Sea/Himalayan salt (optional).

2.Place final “Wheat” Layer Sheet and sprinkle some nut cheese, black pepper & Olive Oil over it.

Inspired by original recipe by Russell James

Blueberry pie

Blueberry Pie

 Filling:

• Blueberry Or Mix Frozen Berries (that has Blueberries)

• Ripe Banana

Blend until smooth
 Pie Base:
• Dates
• Dry Coconut
Blend until dough-like

1. Press the pie base dough on the cake tin into any thickness you want.

2. Pour the mousse on top of it. (Place a plate under the cake tin in case it leaks.)
Then place in the fridge overnight, or for at least 10 hours

3. Sprinkle Blueberries over the pie before removing the cake tin and freeze for an hour.

Nam recommends the following websites for more information and gourmet raw food recipes:

Ani Phyo: Eco Stylist and Organic Food Author

The Raw Food Coach

Sweetly Raw

delicious ‘date cups’ – these tasted like trifle!

raw courgette rolls, sushi, stuffed mushrooms and pizza

gingery-pecan sweets

Vegan Holidays

3 Jun

Thinking of going on a summer holiday? Gloucestershire Vegan Group members have been holidaying, and here are some of their recommendations:

La Haute Fariniere in Northern France

Raw Food Paradise!

Amuse Bouche: cashew nut cheese-stuffed mushroom, seaweed pate on rye & cucumber sushi

“If you thought raw food was boring, do try to get across the Channel and visit this beautiful, solely vegetarian/vegan guesthouse & retreat and discover how tasty, innovative, refreshing and filling the myriad textures and flavours can be. Cooked meals are also available – and equally tasty. The choice is yours. You would be utterly spoiled in an atmosphere of luxury and quality, yet feel completely at home in Dawn and Robert Campbell’s relaxed, easy company.

 Recently, we had the pleasure of discovering their wonderful home, in a fabulous setting near Mayenne. La Haute Fariniere is situated just outside Torce Viviers en Charnie, close to the historic and picturesque town of St Suzanne. Having been warmly greeted, we found in our room a small ‘welcome’ bottle of ‘Asti’ and a mix of various olives & nuts to whet our appetite!

Our hosts seemed to anticipate our every wish and did all they could to satisfy our needs. No expense has been spared in furnishing and decorating their home, and not only does it boast a separate guest lounge/dining room with log fire but we were also made most welcome in their smaller and very cosy lounge and kitchen/breakfast room.

Upstairs is equally luxurious, comfortable and well-equipped, comprising one large double bedroom, huge bathroom with large bath and double shower and a good sized bedroom with 2 single beds, thereby being very convenient for families. On the other hand, if only one of the bedrooms is booked, the other would remain unused. However, tall people beware! La Haute Fariniere is a converted traditional old building and the attractive beams could be a hazard!

 In view of inclement weather, we were unable to explore fully but from the house, we could see a small pond, attractively set across the courtyard with

toast with 3 pates: sweetcorn and artichoke, spicy carrot & walnut mushroom and spinach

views to the hills beyond. We enviously imagined an evening meal being served outdoors in the tranquil surroundings but will have to wait for another time in better weather to experience this ourselves. The area is full of beautiful walks/cycling opportunities, and many interesting places to visit. For visual appeal, historical interest and welcoming people, St Suzanne is highly recommended, with views from the ramparts of the castle looking back towards La Haute Fariniere.

Dawn’s website will tell you of the health benefits of a raw food regime and all the additional services she offers for your well-being.”

Review by M & G

The Barn in Hampshire

New Forest pony

The Barn is a vegan B&B situated in the heart of the New Forest, Hampshire.

It’s a great place to visit on the train as it is only 5 minutes walk from Ashurst train station (and they offer a 10% discount if you arrive by train and stay 2 nights or more).

If you walk only a few minutes from The Barn you’ll find yourself deep in the New Forest – which is 200 square miles of ancient woodland. Much to our delight we saw many herds of deer, donkeys and wild ponies grazing in the forest during our stay. We took our bikes as there are miles of mainly flat cycle paths, it is great way to explore more of the Forest, but it would have been equally enjoyable strolling through the woodland on foot.

Southampton is only a short distance away, as is Lymington, an idyllic sea-side town with narrow cobbled streets, where you can also catch a ferry to the Isle of Wight for a day-trip.

The Barn has two en-suite rooms and one twin room. Everything is vegan, even the toiletries in the bathroom.

They serve a delicious vegan cooked breakfast, with scrambled tofu, freshly made soya milk, and Okara Croquettes made from the soya bean pulp which is leftover from the milk-making!

There is a option of having an evening meal, which we’d recommend, as the food was so good. Sample menus and more details about The Barn are available on their website.

Review by I & J

Have you been on holiday to a vegan-friendly destination? Send Gloucestershire Vegan Group your reviews and they’ll be added to this article.