SheWhoMustBeFed’s Nutballs

Warning – these are not in fact vegan, as they contain honey. You could swap the honey for maple syrup if you wanted. Though we can’t attest to the affect that might have on consistency or flavour – but maple syrup is yummy so it should be lovely.

These are truly moreish. Eat one…and you’ll want more, more, more…oh dear you’ve split in half.

You will need:

  • 250g pack of almonds
  • honey (or not)
  • cashew butter or peanut butter
  • dessicated coconut

The way of making the balls:

  • Roast the almonds, probably for about 15 minutes or so, at a moderate temperature.
  • Allow to cool slightly, and grind to a medium grind with a food processor. Get a dessertspoon and get as much honey as you can get on it and add to the almonds. Repeat.
  • Using the same spoon (or a clean one if you’re really fussy), take your nut butter and do exactly the same as you did with the honey, including the repeat.
  • So now you have ground almonds with 2 big spoons of honey and 2 big spoons of nut butter.
  • The mixture needs to be combined and will be quite sticky, so you need adequately strong wrists. Remember to roll up your sleaves before you start or you’ll need to call out to a friend to help you do so afterwards.
  • Roast some of the dessicated coconut for rolling. This will burn very quickly once it starts to roast so you need to watch it. The dessicated coconut should be fairly finely ground. If it is a coarse grind then make it just a bit finer with a bit of a go in the food processor. Keep the coconut handy in a bowl.
  • Form the almond mixture into balls about an inch or so in diameter, but you can make them whatever size you like really. Roll each ball in the roasted coconut.
  • Eat.
  • Store any that may be left in the fridge……if they last that long.

The Bandit and Octavia’s Daughter come for dinner

Octavia’s Daughter’s favourite film is ‘Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging’

Snogging sadly, gets in the way of chewing your food properly. Also, care must be taken to avoid parsley between the teeth, and an aversion to garlic and onion may become a nasty habit. So much for THAT film then..

On to the rest of the story.

The Bandit and Octavia’s Daughter came by this afternoon. They have already paid for their meal by way of their news that the local library sells off their excess stock of books for the bargain basement price of 50p for a shopping bag full. Clearly the library could do with some lessons in signposting, as SheWhoMustBeFed hasn’t noticed that goings on for five plus years.

What to make a houseful? Quick look in the fridge settles it on Fragrant Vegetable Tagine along with Haricot bean tagine. With some cous-cous to the side.

Yum…and Octavia’s Daughter is meanwhile playing the piano, while The Bandit irritatingly tries to look over The VegHead’s shoulder while he types.

Manners! On the decline everywhere!

PS. ‘Wild Child’ also gets the nod by the way for favourite file. Perhaps the perfect reel of celluloid for Octavia’s Daughter.

PPS. Octavia’s Daughter contributes the following

🙂 xoxoxox <3>

Fragrant Moroccan Vegetable

A not at all hot, but very fragrantly spicy vegetable tagine. Lets hope that The Bandit and Octavia’s Daughter like it. If they don’t, their warm jackets and car keys are just to hand.

What was in the fridge and might just be in yours:

  • 2 courgettes – thickly sliced
  • 1 sweet potato – cubed
  • 1/2 a medium aubergine – cubed
  • 1 medium red onion, halved and segmented
  • 1 medium tomato – cubed
  • 1/2 a cup of your favourite olives
  • 1 small preserved lemon – chopped
  • 1/2 clove of garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of miso
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • A pinch of crushed dried chilli
  • 1 cup of boiled water
  • Olive oil

For making a party in your tagine:

  • Pre-dissolve the miso in the hot water
  • Mix everything into the tagine
  • Bake at inferno setting for 45 minutes

Easy peasy lemon squeezy!

Haricot bean tagine

This was made as a companion to Fragrant Moroccan Vegetables, for The Bandit and Octavia’s Daughter. The two tagines nestled together snugly in the oven while the loinfruits made occasionally disturbing thumps in the lounge room.

What you would need:

  • 3 cups of cooked haricot beans
  • 1 cup of passata
  • 1 tablespoon of miso
  • 2 cloves of garlic – chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of ras el hanout
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Spanish smoked paprika
  • 1 cup of boiled water
  • Olive oil

For the doing:

  • Pre-dissolve the miso paste in the boiled water
  • Give everything else a good mix before slopping it stylishly into the tagine
  • Add more water if necessary

And bake in a stinking hot oven for 45 minutes or so. As always, this will cook in that time if the tagine and the oven are preheated while you’re preparing everything.

What to do with a cup of left over Thai Fried Rice

When The VegHead was a teenager he spent many an afternoon getting up to mischief with a friend who for the purposes of this blog we’ll call “770”. Living still with our parents, it was to their fridges that we turned when the fires of teenage hunger called for a shovel load of fuel, before we rushed out to do something constructive like change a differential.

770’s mum (bless her, lovely woman and still alive and kicking to this day) was…how shall we say this in a manner that accurately captures the respect and affection The VegHead has for this woman….well…..shall we say dotty sometimes. Delving into her fridge was an exercise in exploring the wild and wacky world of the leftovers that inhabited it.

770’s mum was never a fan of Tupperware either (and who could blame her), preferring instead to use old Flora Margarine containers. Finding the actual real tub of margarine generally involved finding three or four scientific experiments first; clicking off the lid from a container only to discover exactly what does grow on the half a dozen egg yolks separated off two weeks earlier when they weren’t need in that pavlova recipe. Indeed, opening the fridge in the first place generally gave access to a heady mixture of smells, reminiscent of the rich humus to be found on the floor of a rain forest. Vaguely comforting, and yet vaguely suggestive of extensive mould growth.

It must also be said that this theme has not been entirely escaped in later life. SheWhoMustBeFed’s mother is rather fond of refridgerated biological experimentation. In her case however she tends to brew up a storm in jars and proper Tupperware containers, which at least has the redeeming feature of keeping the scent of decay more firmly sealed within.

Left overs however are generally a good thing. They allow for good quick meals when you don’t have time to make something from scratch. Left overs are also a sign that you cooked enough to serve everyone generously, but that everyone has the sense to eat only sufficiently and not gluttonously. Just remember to eat the leftovers before they plan a revolution.

Here’s what to do with a cup of leftover Thai Fried Rice. It’ll take less time than it’s taken you to read this post so far.

You will need:

  • One cup of fried rice (obviously)
  • A really big handful of spinach leaves
  • Dark sesame oil
  • Crushed macadamia nuts or cashews

To make:

  • Reheat the rice in a covered saucepan, adding a smidgeon of water if you need
  • Lightly saute the spinach in the sesame oil
  • Serve the rice over the bed of spinach, sprinkling with the nuts

A very nice and quick lunch.

Its all the same, only different

The VegHead is basically lazy. Give me an easy way out and I’ll be halfway to the door before you’ve finished putting your jacket on to follow. And so it is with creating new meals. Why start entirely from scratch when you can borrow so much from something you already know how to make? This theme is a large part of The VegHead’s You can cook EVERYTHING on a BBQ summer range of recipes….which we will get to in due course as the weather warms enough to find The VegHead outside and chasing the woodlice out from their winter of nibbling on the cold scraps around the BBQ plate.

A lazy way to make a new meal is to simply take all the same ingredients you’d use for an existing meal, and think about cooking them in different ways and in different combinations. For instance, last week The VegHead cooked Thai curry. Only it wasn’t; it was a stir fry on a bed of curry fried rice. Exactly the same ingredients as might have gone into a curry (OK….didn’t use coconut milk in this case), but a different end result.

Moreover, changing the method and order of cooking generally means the time taken to make one meal from the same ingredients might be substantially different than the time taken to make your usual meal. Whether that’s a good thing or not depends onthe circumstances, but the opporunity is there to discover a truly useful and delicious variant.

New flavours emphasised, different textures, and a refreshing view on the plate.