Archive | November, 2013

Pizza party

17 Nov

It’s really refreshing when places are accommodating to vegan needs, and Stroud’s independent artisan Pizza take-away Fat Toni’s have have been vegan-friendly from the moment they opened their doors only a year ago. From day one they offered non-dairy cheese on their menus, or extra veggies as an option, this means that their pizzas can be enjoyed by vegans or those who are lactose-intolerent.

Perfect vegan pizza - 'Alice in Wonderland' made by Fat Toni's

Perfect vegan pizza – ‘Alice in Wonderland’ made by Fat Toni’s

This inspired us to organise a vegan pizza party – to allow us to try the full range of what they have to offer to hungry, pizza-loving vegans. So we arranged in advance to have the pizzas delivered to our door and piled into a Stroud household to eagerly await our pizza-fest.

We ordered 5 varieties – Sicilian Caponata (spiced aubergine caponata, toasted pine nuts and rocket), Vegesaurus (walnut & marinated artichokes), La Franca (artichokes, crushed garlic, olives and cherry tomatoes), Alice in Wonderland (wild mushroom & aspargus) and finally, a firey one – Dantes Inferno (heaps of red & green sliced chilli!). They offer a choice of two types of sourdough – San Franciso and Ischia, giving a variation in the sharpness in the base, we tried both.

The 20″ pizzas were huge and could easily feed 3 people (even hungry vegans!), especially is you make a salad to accompany. They were beautifully cooked – the bases are the perfect balance of chewy, sour dough, and crispy edges.  The toppings were imaginative and tasty, my personal favourite was the La Franca, because it was extra garlicky, but they were all supremely tasty. The vegan cheese melts well, and adds a good salty, gooey element, but it’s not entirely necessary, as Fat Toni’s pizzas are equally tasty with extra veggies instead of cheese.

After pizza we played games, and sampled the puddings we’d all brought along to share.

Vegan Lemon Meringue pie

Vegan Lemon Meringue pie

One pudding that created quite a stir was a vegan version of Lemon Meringue Pie, with an authentic crispy top, the recipe can be found online here.

It was a lovely, warming winter social event and great to catch up with fellow local vegans.

 

 

 

 

Vegan Pizza Dough Recipe

Vegan Pizza is easy to make at home too. Here is my favourite pizza dough recipe.

Ingredients:

1tsp dried active yeast

1tsp salt

2 cups warm water

4 cups strong white flour

Method:

• Dissolve the yeast in the warm water using a whisk

• Add 1 tsp salt and stir

• Add the strong white flour 1 cup at a time, whisking between each cupful until a thick dough is formed

• Cover with a tea-towel and leave to rise in a warm place for 4 hours or more (If you do this in the morning, you have a lovely risen dough waiting for you to make pizzas from at tea-time.)

• Turn out onto a large oiled baking pan and stretch the dough to fit the pan (This recipe can make two pizzas, if you want thin-and-crispy)

• Top with your favourite toppings and bake for 20mins until the dough is golden and crispy, and your non-dairy cheese is melty.

World Vegan Month Stall

2 Nov

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enjoying free vegan food

Gloucestershire vegan group had a fantastic street stall on Saturday 2nd November at Stroud Farmer’s Market to celebrate World Vegan Month. I can’t think of a better way to promote veganism than creating an opportunity for people to have a taste of all of the scrumptious food we eat – and what a spread we put on for the market crowd. We had platters of truffles and chocolate balls, trays of towering cupcakes, indian jalebis, tapenade palmiers, lentil croquettes, seitan sausages, raw food bars and cakes –  so much good food! As Stroud Farmer’s Market promotes local food we tried to make everything as local as possible, so we used local ingredients such as carrots, and raspberries to make cupcakes, and local shallots featured in savoury tarts. The response to our cooking from the public was overwhelmingly positive. So many people commented on how tasty the food was, and asked us for recipes. It makes me happy to think that many people’s first taste of vegan food was such a good one, and that hopefully we may have changed some people’s perception of what veganism is. It’s not all about denying yourself of taste –  it is about all the wonderful food you can enjoy, that doesn’t come from animal cruelty and exploitation.

Free food give away: mushroom & tarragon pithivier, savoury muffins, jalebis, boozy truffles, seitan cherry & sage sausages on sticks, lemon cupcakes, carrot & walnut cupcakes, raspberry & chocolate cupcakes.

Free food give away: mushroom & tarragon pithivier, savoury muffins, jalebis, boozy truffles, seitan cherry & sage sausages on sticks, lemon cupcakes, carrot & walnut cupcakes, raspberry & chocolate cupcakes.

Our stall had some beautiful cards created by a talented artist in our group – depicting farm animal sanctuary residents. The ones with Hosannah the Donkey on proved to be most popular. We also had a selection of vegan leaflets, plenty of recipe cards and vegan pledge forms for folks to take away.

Selection of handmade cards sold to raise funds for Evesham Farm Animal Sanctuary

Selection of handmade cards sold to raise funds for Evesham Farm Animal Sanctuary

We also sold tickets for a prize draw to win two hampers, full of goodies kindly donated by vegan-friendly companies – we had items donated by Goody-good stuff, V-bites, Clearspring, Meridian, Organica, Heavenly-Organics & Pulsin’ – which made up a most luxurious and enticing hamper. All of the proceeds from the stall went to Evesham Farm Animal Sanctuary – and we raised an amazing £300. Our hamper-winners were chuffed – one had three children who were eyeing-up the Goody Good stuff sweeties.

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One of the two luxury hampers brimming with vegan goodness

So a great day at the market, and some great work by all involved at Gloucestershire Vegan Group – we promoted veganism, raised the profile of our group locally, and created enough funds for Evesham Farm Animal Sanctuary to buy winter feed blocks for 200 sheep & 7 cows for two months. What a result.