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Recipe of the week - Pad Thai

** Win a Copy of The Adventurous Vegetarian and some Vintage Roots organic wine**

The Adventurous Vegetarian

The Adventurous Vegetarian features 30 countries, 30 sumptuous menus and everything you need to give your friends and family a taste of how other vegetarians eat. Working with many vegetarian groups and societies, author Jane Hughes has brought together favourite meals and fascinating stories from Belgium to China, Cuba to Palestine. 

You have another chance to win a copy of the book for yourself, as well as a bottle of wine courtesy of Vintage Roots: Organic Wine Merchant

Just go to our Facebook page and share our post about this recipe to enter. 

This week we have a dish from Thailand: Pad Thai.

Pad Thai

Courgett Fritters

Ingredients

100g Thai rice noodles
55g beansprouts
2 Chinese chives or spring onions
100g firm tofu
1 shallot
125ml/½ cup tamarind sauce
1 egg
1 tbsp ground roasted peanuts
Chili powder, to taste
A piece of lime, to taste
2 tbsp vegetable oil

Method

Make the omelette net first. Brush a large, heavy frying pan with vegetable oil and set it over a low heat. Beat the egg thoroughly. Drizzle the beaten egg into the warm pan. There are utensils designed specifically for this job but with a bit of practice you can get an impressive effect by letting the beaten egg run off a spoon, and quickly moving the spoon from side to side over the pan, to create a net. You won’t need to use all the egg – save what is left, you will need it later. The ‘net’ will cook almost instantly – the trick is to stop it from getting too crisp and brown by sliding it out of the pan and onto some kitchen towel as soon as it has firmed up – no need to attempt to turn it over! Set it aside to cool.

Peel and finely slice the shallot. Drain the tofu, pat it dry with some kitchen paper and chop it into bite-sized pieces. Heat the remaining cooking oil in a wok, and gently stir fry the tofu and shallot for 2 minutes. Add the noodles and 125ml/ ½ cup boiling water. Stir in the tamarind sauce and cook the noodles gently until the moisture has almost gone. 

Trim the Chinese chives or spring onions. Chop the white part, and set it to one side. Cut the green part into short lengths.

When the noodles are almost dry, stir in the remaining beaten egg, the bean sprouts and the green parts of the Chinese chives or spring onions. Stir everything together quickly and then remove from the heat. 

Pile the Pad Thai onto a serving dish and cover it with the omelette net. Garnish the edge of the plate with the chopped white parts of the Chinese chives or spring onions, chilli powder, fine slices of lime and ground roasted peanuts. 

Recipe of the week - Mexican Tamale Pie

                     *** Vote for The Adventurous Vegetarian in the World Food Awards ***

The Adventurous Vegetarian

In The Adventurous VegetarianJane Hughes features 30 countries, 30 sumptuous menus and everything you need to give your friends and family a taste of how other vegetarians eat. 

Every week we're giving away a free recipe from this, the newest edition to our fleet of healthy, vegetarian, and global cookbooks. Next week there'll be a chance to win a copy of your own, as well as a bottle of wine courtesy of Vintage Roots: Organic Wine Merchant

This week we have a dish from Mexico: Tamale Pie. Too often, Mexican food is confused with ‘Tex-Mex’ food – nachos, chimichangas and burritos are more or less US inventions. But traditional Mexican food is so rich and varied, and so intricately bound up with the country’s cultural and social traditions, that in 2010 Mexican Cuisine was added to the UNESCO list of ‘intangible cultural heritage of humanity’, marking the fact that it deserved to be honoured and protected. 

Why not make it yourself and send us a photo on Facebook or Twitter

Tamale Pie

A colourful stand-alone main course, with a satisfying cornmeal topping hiding a secret layer of gooey melted cheese.

Ingredients

Tamale Pie

2 onions
2 cloves garlic
1 red chili
2 tbsp vegetable oil, for frying
2 tsp ground cumin
100g/3 ½ oz green beans
200g/7oz potatoes
200g/7oz sweet potatoes
1 tbsp lime juice
100g/3 ½ oz grated cheese
150g/5 oz cornmeal
2 tbsp plain white flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
60g/2oz corn kernels
60g/2oz red pepper
2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
2 eggs
125ml/½ cup milk
2 tbsp vegetable oil, for the pie crust

Method

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.

Peel and finely chop the onions and garlic. Chop the chili finely. Peel the potatoes and sweet potatoes, and cut them into 1.5cm/ ¾ inch cubes. (Precision is not essential!) Trim the green beans and cut into bite-sized lengths. 

Heat the vegetable oil in a large, deep saucepan and saute the onions, garlic and chili together for 2 minutes, then stir in the potatoes, sweet potatoes, cumin and green beans, along with 500ml/2 cups of water. Bring the mixture to the boil, then simmer, covered, for 20 minutes until the vegetables are tender. 

Stir the lime juice into the cooked vegetables and transfer to a large, deep oven-proof dish. 

Chop the red pepper finely. Mix the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, corn kernels, chopped red pepper and fresh coriander together thoroughly in a large mixing bowl. Whisk the eggs and milk together with 2 tbsp vegetable oil, then fold the wet mixture into the dry ingredients until just combined.

Cover the vegetables in the dish with the grated cheese, then top with the cornmeal mixture and smooth the top. Bake for 30 minutes until heated through and golden. 

The Adventurous Vegetarian is shortlisted in the Global Food Awards.
We need your help to win 'Best World Cookbook 2013' - please vote today!

Recipe of the week - Curried Courgette Fritters

             *** Vote for The Adventurous Vegetarian in the World Food Awards ***

The Adventurous Vegetarian

The Adventurous Vegetarian features 30 countries, 30 sumptuous menus and everything you need to give your friends and family a taste of how other vegetarians eat. Working with many vegetarian groups and societies, author Jane Hughes has brought together favourite meals and fascinating stories from Belgium to China, Cuba to Palestine. 

We have given away an Adventurous Vegetarian Recipe every week for the past while, and now you have a chance to win a copy of the book for yourself, as well as a bottle of wine courtesy of Vintage Roots: Organic Wine Merchant

Just go to our Facebook page and share our post about this recipe to enter. 

This week we have a dish from New Zealand: Curried Zucchini/Courgette Fritters.

Curried Courgette Fritters

Courgett Fritters

Ingredients
1 medium onion, finely diced
3 zucchini/courgettes, coarsely grated
1 cup / 100 g chickpea (Gram) flour or wholemeal flour
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp sweet chili sauce
1 tbsp black sesame seeds
1 tsp mild curry powder
rice bran oil, for frying

Method

Sauté the onion in a little oil until soft and translucent. Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl. The moisture from the zucchini/courgettes should make everything the right consistency – add a splash of water if it seems too dry to hold together. Let the mixture sit for around 20 minutes in the fridge, then stir again. (If you are in a rush, this is not absolutely necessary, but if you do it you will end up with a more consistent mix that will stick together better.)

Heat a little oil in a non-stick pan and fry small spoonsful of the mixture for around 4-5 minutes each side or until golden brown and cooked right through. You should have enough mixture for between 10 and 20 fritters. Serve immediately with sweet chili sauce, salsa or chutney on the side.

The Adventurous Vegetarian is shortlisted in the Global Food Awards.
We need your help to win 'Best World Cookbook 2013' - please vote today!

Recipe of the week - Belgian Beer Stew

*** Vote for The Adventurous Vegetarian in the World Food Awards ***

The Adventurous Vegetarian

The Adventurous Vegetarian features 30 countries, 30 sumptuous menus and everything you need to give your friends and family a taste of how other vegetarians eat.

Working with many vegetarian groups and societies, author Jane Hughes has brought together favourite meals and fascinating stories from Belgium to China, Cuba to Palestine. 

Every week we're giving away a free recipe from this, the newest edition to our fleet of healthy, vegetarian, and global cookbooks. Cook along with us in the next while and in November there'll be a chance to win a copy of your own, as well as a bottle of wine courtesy of Vintage Roots: Organic Wine Merchant

This week it's a hearty winter warmer, Belgian Beer Stew, developed with Tobias Leenaert, the Director of the Belgian vegetarian organization, EVA (Ethical Vegetarian Alternative).

Why not make it yourself and send us a photo on Facebook or Twitter

Belgian Beer Stew

Seitan is a surprisingly realistic meat substitute made from wheat gluten. It’s readily available in Belgian health-food shops but is not always easy to find in other countries, where you could use a more available meat substitute. There are several particularly Belgian ingredients in this dish. Tobias recommends the traditional Tierentyn mustard which is made in Ghent – if you can’t get any, use a good quality medium-strength variety. The gingerbread should really be a traditional Belgian peperkoek– but a good quality ginger cake will do. There is no substitute, however, for authentic brown Belgian beer in this recipe – Tobias mentions Gruut, which is from Ghent, Piedbeuf and Westmalle II. If you can’t get a sweet brown abdijbier(‘abbey beer’) like these, don’t make this dish – it wouldn’t be the same without it!

Belgian Beer Stew

Ingredients
2 tbsp olive oil
2 onions
1 pound / 450 g seitan
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp mixed dried herbs
1 slice bread
2 tbsp mustard
1⅔ cups / 400 ml vegetable stock
1 pint / ½ litre Belgian brown beer
2 slices of gingerbread
Brown sugar to taste
Salt and pepper to taste

Method
If you’re using fresh, unflavoured seitan, cut it into chunks and fry it gently in a little oil for a few minutes, to firm it up and give it more flavor. Chop the onions and, in a large, deep saucepan, fry them in the olive oil until soft and translucent.

Stir in the seitan, dried herbs and bay leaves, then pour in the vegetable stock. Spread the mustard onto the bread and add this to the mixture. As it disintegrates it will help to thicken the stew. Simmer the stew on a very low heat for an hour – you can also do this the day before you want to eat the stew, as letting the ingredients blend overnight improves the flavor. 

Add the beer and crumbled gingerbread and simmer, uncovered, until the cake melts into the mixture. Season with salt and pepper – add a little brown sugar if you like a sweeter taste.

The stew is traditionally served with fries, apple sauce, mayonnaise and a simple green salad. Tobias writes: ‘This is a vegan version of a traditional recipe from Ghent, but there are many varieties in Belgium. In the east of the country, they don’t use the gingerbread and instead mix in a couple of spoons of apple syrup (applemelasses). Sometimes the stew is made with chunks of carrot and mushrooms – add them to the pot after you have fried the onions. In the region around Brussels, half the brown beer is replaced with Kriekbier, the Lambic beer with sour cherries.’

The Adventurous Vegetarian is shortlisted in the Global Food Awards.
We need your help to win 'Best World Cookbook 2013' - please vote today!