Tag Archives: Vegan bring-and-share meal

Bring-and-share Vegan Supper

22 Mar

Join us for vegan get-togethers.

It’s always a real pleasure to meet up with fellow vegans, and our recent bring-and-share supper was no exception.

We had a lively evening, full of chat about all things vegan and beyond, and our plates were laden with the scrumptious dishes we had brought along to share. In a distinctly non-vegan world it’s really such a boost to occasionally have a vegan-centered social event.

Some people were regulars at Gloucestershire Vegan Group get-togethers, but others had never even met with fellow vegans before. We hope their first experience of meeting like-minded people was a friendly and welcoming one.

There was as ever an amazing selection of food; samosas, sushi and sos-rolls, mousakka and cottage pie, jewish pastries and carrot cake. We’re united by, amongst other things, our passion for amazing vegan food and the spread we created demonstrated the diversity and deliciousness of vegan cooking. Our food may be free from the products of animal cruelty, but it’s certainly not free from flavour or imagination. For those of you who missed it, or who want to recreate the fantastic food we made, below are just a few of the recipes.

RECIPES


Sheila’s Wild Mushroom & Chestnut Cottage Pie

Ingredients:

5 large sweet potatoes
5 leeks
2 x 250g of mushrooms
2 x 200g of chestnuts
2 x tins of tomatoes
Vegetable stock to taste
Coconut oil

Method:

• Dry fry leeks, mushrooms separately adding water to the leeks when necessary.
• Mix with tinned tomatoes
• Add vegetable stock to taste

For the topping:
• Bake the sweet potatoes
• When cool enough to handle, skin the potatoes and blend with coconut oil and season to taste and spread over the tomato chestnut filling and bake to heat though.


Mireia’s Moussaka

Ingredients for the tomato sauce:

1 chopped up onion

1 chopped up glove of garlic

Some tomato puree

1 tin of chopped tomatoes

1 cup of vegan mince

Couple of sliced carrots

1 sliced aubergine (medium to thin)

Bit of oil (for frying the onion), salt, mixed herbs, basil, some vegetable stock (bouillon)

Ingredients for the “cheese” sauce topping (from the Artisan Vegan Cheese book):

2 1/2 cups of water

1 cup raw cashews

¼ cup nutritional flakes

Bit of salt

Freshly squeezed lemon juice (1- 3 teaspoons)

Method:

Fry the chopped onion in a deep saucepan, add the salt and mixed herbs, add the garlic after about 5 minutes; fry some more until it starts browning (not long). Add a good dollop of pureed tomato, stir and fry for another minute, then add the tin of chopped tomatoes, ¾ fill the empty tin with some cold water to rinse it out and add to the pan (the pureed tomato and the protein mince would thicken the sauce too much otherwise), and add the protein mince straightaway, give it all a good stir and bring to the boil, stirring often, add the carrots, cook for a couple of minutes on low heat. Add the basil too, and the bouillon.

Oil/ grease a deep oven going dish, fill it with layers of the tomato sauce and the sliced aubergines till you’ve used everything. Put in the oven (180⁰) and bake for about 45 minutes or more until the aubergine feels soft (insert a skewer).

Meanwhile prepare the “cheese” sauce topping: Put the water and cashews in a blender and process till smooth and creamy. (You do not have to soak the cashews first and you do not need a super-fast blender either). It should take about a couple of minutes. Transfer into a saucepan and whisk in the nutritional flakes, salt and 1 teaspoon of the lemon juice. Cook over medium yeast, stirring almost constantly with the whisk, until very thick, about 3- 4 minutes (do not boil). Taste and add more lemon juice if desired. It’s really magic: it does thicken and it tastes really nice!

Tips:

You can prepare this topping before you will need it: it will keep in a covered container in the fridge for about 4 days.

I found this topping doesn’t like going in the oven: so I make sure it’s quite hot at the time when my moussaka is ready and pour it over the top of it before bringing to the table.

Mireia says: If you substitute lasagne sheets for the aubergine then you get lasagne instead! You can also fry some chopped peppers with the onion at the beginning, or add anything else you fancy to the mix, I never followed a recipe, I just made it up from the memory of what it looked like!


Sheila’s Carrot Cake with dreamy cream cheese frosting

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A creamy frosting you’ll dream of!

Sheila followed this carrot cake recipe from the comprehensive online vegan baking resource veganbaking.net

Sheila made a huge cake, but said if she made it again, she’d try cupcakes as it was very fragile as a large cake.

Here is her amazing cream cheese frosting which compliments the fruity cake:

Ingredients:

2 cups soaked cashews
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons liquid coconut oil
1/3 cup agave/liquid sweetener
Water

Method:
Blend all ingredients apart from water in high speed blender with as little water as possible. Spread on top of the cooled cakes with a spatula.


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A vegan Jewish Pastry: Hamantaschen

We also had a delicious poppyseed-paste filled Jewish pastry called Hamantaschen made following this excellent recipe from the inspiring Vegan Chef Isa Chandra

Vegan bring-and-share meal in Cheltenham

10 Feb
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Gloucestershire vegans politely wait to pounce on this delicious spread

Gloucestershire Vegan Group brightened up a misty winter evening with a bring-and-share meal in Cheltenham. We have several of these meals during the year – where everyone brings along a dish of their choice. There is often is a real diversity of food at our events, reflecting the different cultures and tastes of the group, and showcasing the huge range of flavours and cuisines that vegan cooking encompasses.

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We all brought a dish to share

At our group meals I often hear people expressing delight that they can eat any of the food on the table. Perhaps many of us are used to having to navigate our way around everyday social occasions, having to check with hosts about whether this or that food is suitable. An all-vegan get-together is a refreshing break from this inconvenience.

It was great to see lots of new faces at this event, and especially to meet vegans of all ages (from 17 to 80-odd!) and from all corners of Gloucestershire. Our events are open to anyone who is vegan or interested in veganism.

We chatted about what experiences led us to choose to be vegan or piqued our interest in veganism. Some became vegan overnight, after watching films exposing the realities of animal farming, others became vegan gradually, removing one animal-produced item from their lives at a time. We heard from some who were inspired to go vegan by a positive example set by friends/ acquaintances, who were already vegan and made it seem like a good choice.We also shared a little of our life-histories, and talked about how family and friends viewed veganism. There were some amongst us who had been vegan for over 20 years, some just a few months, and some who – though not vegan themselves – were interested or supportive.

fresh berry ice-cream

fresh berry ice-cream

Later our lovely hosts made a fresh berry ice-cream in their blender, which was a perfect accompaniment the puddings that had been contributed to the evening – home-made chocolate brownies and tarte tatin.

Here are some recipes, shared from the evening:

 

Vegan Spanakopita

vegan spanakopita

vegan spanakopita

 

Spanakopita is a Greek spinach pie, traditionally made with feta cheese, but it can easily be adapted to be suitable for vegans. This can be made in a twelve inch diameter springform pan, or in any other similar sized baking dish.

 

Ingredients:

For the pie crust:

2 packs of filo pastry

Olive oil

For the creamy layers:

1/2 cup cashew nuts

Juice of 1 lemon

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp salt

1 pack firm tofu

1 tbsp dried basil

1 clove garlic

For the spinach layers:

3 cups cooked and drained spinach – fresh or frozen

1 medium sized potato, diced and boiled until soft

3/4 cup toasted flaked almonds

2 tbsp fresh dill chopped

1 cup parsley chopped

6 spring onions chopped

6 shallots chopped finely and fried until golden

2 tsp nutmeg

Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

1. Preheat your oven to 170 degrees C. Blend the cashews, oil, garlic, salt and lemon juice until a smooth paste forms.

2. Add the tofu and blend until creamy, then stir in the basil

3. In a large mixing bowl, stir all of the spinach filling ingredients together and season with salt and pepper

4. Brush your pan with olive oil and layer with 6 sheets of filo, taking care to brush oil over each sheet as you add it

5. Add half of the spinach mixture to the pan, spreading it evenly

6. Add half the cashew-tofu mixture on top of the spinach and spread evenly

7. Now place 4 layers of filo pastry on top, brushing each sheet with olive oil

8. Repeat steps 5 & 6 using the remaining spinach and cashew mixture to form another two layers

9. Top with 6 more sheets of filo pastry, brushing each with oil, and fold in the edges of the sheets from the lower layers.

10. Bake for 35 mins at 170 degrees C, or until the top of the pie is deeply golden and crispy.

Tarte Tatin

Tarte Tatin

Tarte Tatin

Ingredients:

1/2 cup vegan margerine

1 cup brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tsp cinnamon

3  star anise stars

1 pack of flaky pastry

3 apples, peeled, cored and sliced

Method:

1. Heat the margarine, sugar, cinnamon, star anise and vanilla in a large baking pan on a hob

2. Bring the mixture to a boil, and stir until it forms a thick syrup

3. Pop the apple slices in the syrup

4. Top with a sheet of flaky pastry

5. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 200 degrees C for approx 25 mins

6. Remove from the oven, put a plate on top of the pan and turn the whole thing over very quickly, so that the syrup doesn’t have a chance to seep out from the sides and burn you!