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Recipe of the week - Sesame and peanut crunch (China)


small planet cover Meat Free Monday Recipe!
The Small Planet Vegetarian Cookbook introduces a global spread of delicious low-impact vegetarian dishes. There’s something particularly enticing about a meal made up of several ‘small’ dishes, as with Middle Eastern mezze or Spanish tapas. Troth Wells has taken this style of cooking and enjoying food and given it an exciting global dimension.

Some of the best non-meat dishes come from Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East and we have selected a range of highlights.

You can order a copy.


Serves: 24-30 pieces
Takes: 20 minutes

There’s a website that helps you get non-meat meals in China. You can say wo chi su (literally ‘I eat vegetables’) and show the characters in case your intonation is faulty – here they are!
我 吃 素
If you are just travelling through Chinese food instead, you can pick and choose at the many Chinese supermarkets. When I visit one, the colorful wrappings and lettering are part of the draw! There are many intriguing snacks, like this crunch.

image
2 cups / 250 g unsalted roasted peanuts, chopped coarsely
½ cup / 50 g sesame seeds
2 cups / 450 g sugar
1 /3 cup / 80 ml white wine vinegar
4 teaspoons water
rice paper


1 Start by toasting the sesame seeds. To do this, place a frying pan on the cooker without any oil or fat. Heat it and then put the seeds in and shake them around as they brown. They are ready when they begin to pop about. Set aside.
2 Then mix the sugar, vinegar and water in a saucepan over a low heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves.
3 Now bring the mixture to the boil and let it cook without stirring until it is golden and reaches 295-300oF/146-149oC, which is ‘hard-crack’ temperature. If you have no candy thermometer, test for this by taking a teaspoon and dipping it into the mixture. Then allow the syrup to drop onto a saucer of cold water. It should harden and snap with a clean break if it is ready. If it does not, continue to boil and test it again.
4 Grease a shallow baking tray 11 x 7 in/28 x 18 cm, and place rice paper on the bottom.
5 Mix the peanuts and half the sesame seeds into the sugar sauce and stir well. Then pour the mixture into the tray sprinkle the remaining sesame seeds over.
6 Allow the crunch to cool slightly and cut it into small pieces. Then leave in the baking tray to cool and harden completely.



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Recipe of the week - Cheese and spinach pastries (Middle East)


small planet cover Meat Free Monday Recipe!
The Small Planet Vegetarian Cookbook introduces a global spread of delicious low-impact vegetarian dishes. There’s something particularly enticing about a meal made up of several ‘small’ dishes, as with Middle Eastern mezze or Spanish tapas. Troth Wells has taken this style of cooking and enjoying food and given it an exciting global dimension.

Some of the best non-meat dishes come from Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East and we have selected a range of highlights.

You can order a copy.


Serves: 15-20
Takes: 45 minutes

One of the benefits of spinach is that it – or similar iron-rich dark leafy greens – are available pretty much anywhere. Spinach has a high nutritional value, including bone-healthy vitamin K and anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids; it is also rich in antioxidants, especially when fresh, steamed, or quickly boiled. These Middle Eastern pastries can also be made just using the cheese or just with spinach.


½ pound / 225 g filo sheets
½ pound / 225 g feta cheese, crumbled, or cottage cheese or ricotta
1 pound / 450 g spinach, chopped
½ teaspoon ground allspice
¼ teaspoon grated nutmegimage
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, dill or fennel, or a mix of these, chopped
melted butter or margarine
pepper


Heat oven to 180oC/350oF/Gas 4
1 Put the cheese into a bowl and combine it with the ground allspice, nutmeg, parsley, dill or fennel, using a fork to make a paste.
2 Cook the spinach in a very little water until it is soft. Drain it well, allow to cool and then squeeze out any excess water. Put it into the bowl with the cheese mixture and the pepper (feta cheese will not require any salt).
3 As you use them, cut each filo sheet into rectangular strips about 4 in/10 cm wide x 15 in/38 cm long. Keep the remaining sheets covered as they dry out very quickly and become brittle.
4 Put a little heap of the cheese and spinach mixture at one end of the pastry. Roll into a cigar shape, lightly brushing the other end of the strip with melted butter or margarine to seal. Fold in the sides to contain the filling.
5 Repeat this until you have used up the ingredients. Place the rolls on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes or so until they are crispy. Leave to cool slightly before serving



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Recipe of the week - Zesty Tomato Topping (Chile)


small planet cover Meat Free Monday Recipe!
The Small Planet Vegetarian Cookbook introduces a global spread of delicious low-impact vegetarian dishes. There’s something particularly enticing about a meal made up of several ‘small’ dishes, as with Middle Eastern mezze or Spanish tapas. Troth Wells has taken this style of cooking and enjoying food and given it an exciting global dimension.

Some of the best non-meat dishes come from Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East and we have selected a range of highlights.

You can order a copy.


Serves: 2
Takes: 5 + 10 minutes

Chile’s feria or outdoor markets display the abundance of fruit and vegetables. Veggies can also head for the little natural food stores, the tostadurías that sell dried fruits and nuts, soy meat, and quinoa – the Andean grain with lots of protein.
This mix has a really fresh taste with plenty of bite. I particularly like it in the second option below, where the mix is warmed on bread in the oven.

image4 tomatoes, chopped finely
1 onion, chopped finely
¼-½ green chili, de-seeded and sliced finely
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
½ tablespoon fresh mint, chopped
warm bread, such as baguette or focaccia
salt


Heat oven to 400oF/200oC/Gas 6
1 Simply mix all the ingredients together in a bowl, and then spoon on to the warm bread.
2 Alternatively, you can spoon the mixture onto the warm bread and then heat them together for 5 minutes or so.



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Recipe of the week - Pumpkin/Butternut squash soup (Argentina)


small planet cover Meat Free Monday Recipe!
The Small Planet Vegetarian Cookbook introduces a global spread of delicious low-impact vegetarian dishes. There’s something particularly enticing about a meal made up of several ‘small’ dishes, as with Middle Eastern mezze or Spanish tapas. Troth Wells has taken this style of cooking and enjoying food and given it an exciting global dimension.

Some of the best non-meat dishes come from Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East and we have selected a range of highlights.

You can order a copy.


Serves: 4
Takes: 30 minutes

Pumpkins, potatoes, corn/maize and beans are key components of the cuisine in Argentina and other South American countries. This thick soup has a lovely golden-orange color. It is a good winter warmer and tastes delicious.

image
3 cups / 450 g pumpkin or butternut squash, diced
1 onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
½-1 fresh chili, de-seeded and chopped finely
1 bayleaf
2 cups / 490 ml tomato juice
¾ cup / 200 ml stock
a little milk
1 tablespoon margarine
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
salt and pepper


1 First, melt the margarine in a large saucepan and sauté the onion until it is golden. Now put in the garlic, chili, bayleaf and pumpkin or squash. Stir well.
2 Pour in the tomato juice and stock next; bring to the boil. Allow to simmer, stirring from time to time, for 20 minutes or until the pumpkin has softened.
3 When ready, allow the soup to cool a little and remove the bayleaf. Then transfer the soup to a blender, adding a little milk if desired for a thinner mixture. Return to the pan, season and heat through before serving, with the parsley sprinkled on top.



Support Meat Free Monday! You can find out more here:
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Recipe of the week - Tomato soup with bean-curd/tofu (Thailand)


small planet cover Meat Free Monday Recipe!
The Small Planet Vegetarian Cookbook introduces a global spread of delicious low-impact vegetarian dishes. There’s something particularly enticing about a meal made up of several ‘small’ dishes, as with Middle Eastern mezze or Spanish tapas. Troth Wells has taken this style of cooking and enjoying food and given it an exciting global dimension.

Some of the best non-meat dishes come from Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East and we have selected a range of highlights.

You can order a copy.


Serves: 6-8
Takes: 30 minutes

If you are lucky enough to have a glut of tomatoes from your garden or allotment, then this soup is a great way to use some of the ripe ones, especially as you could freeze it and enjoy the summery taste on a cold winter’s day.
This soup from Thailand has an interesting blend of mild flavors (coconut, milk and bean-curd/tofu) and sharp ones (tomatoes, lemon and curry paste).

2 pounds / 1 kg tomatoes, choppedrecipe
2 cups / 300 g bean-curd/tofu, diced finely
3 cups / 700 ml coconut milk
1 teaspoon red curry paste
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon lime or lemon juice
2-4 tablespoons fresh cilantro/coriander, chopped
salt


1 Place the tomatoes in a blender and make a purèe. Then transfer them into a saucepan.
2 Now mix in the coconut milk, curry paste, bean-curd/tofu, soy sauce, lime or lemon juice and half the cilantro/coriander.
3 Over a gentle heat, bring to the boil and then reduce to a low simmer for 15-20 minutes. Adjust the seasoning and then sprinkle on the remaining cilantro/coriander before serving.



Support Meat Free Monday! You can find out more here:
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Recipe of the week - Spicy vegetables in coconut milk (Indonesia)


small planet cover Meat Free Monday Recipe!
The Small Planet Vegetarian Cookbook introduces a global spread of delicious low-impact vegetarian dishes. There’s something particularly enticing about a meal made up of several ‘small’ dishes, as with Middle Eastern mezze or Spanish tapas. Troth Wells has taken this style of cooking and enjoying food and given it an exciting global dimension.

Some of the best non-meat dishes come from Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East and we have selected a range of highlights.

You can order a copy.


Serves: 4-6
Takes:
40 minutes

One reason people choose to be vegan is to preserve natural resources by making the best use of water and farm lands. Growing food for livestock to feed people is inefficient, and is heavy on water and land too. You can try a different mix of vegetables in this dish from Indonesia, and rice or rotis, make a tasty accompaniment.

2 cups / 200 g potatoes, diced
1 carrot, chopped finelyrecipe
½ cup / 75 g green beans, sliced
1 cup / 100 g cabbage, shredded
1 cup / 50 g beansprouts
½ cup / 50 g cucumber, peeled and sliced
2 onions, sliced
1 teaspoon tamarind paste, crumbled
½ teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1½ cups / 300 ml coconut milk
2 cloves garlic, crushed
oil
salt


1 Start by boiling some water and cook the potatoes and carrot for 5 minutes. Then add the green beans and cabbage and cook for a further 3 minutes. Drain, retaining the water, and set aside.
2 Boil the retained water again, remove the pan from the heat and put in the beansprouts to soak for 2 minutes. Drain.
3 Now heat the oil in a wok and fry the onions until they are translucent. Next, put in the garlic and then the sliced cucumber, cooking these ingredients for 3-5 minutes.
4 While that is happening, mix the crumbled tamarind paste with the ginger, coriander, salt and coconut milk in a bowl.
5 Now pour the coconut milk mixture over the cucumber and onion in the wok. Stir and heat gently for about 5 minutes.
6 Finally, put in the cooked potatoes, carrot, cabbage and beansprouts. Season, and cook for a few minutes, stirring frequently, until the ingredients have integrated.



Support Meat Free Monday! You can find out more here:
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Recipe of the week - Crunchy Peanut Butter Spinach (Gambia)


small planet cover Meat Free Monday Recipe!
The Small Planet Vegetarian Cookbook introduces a global spread of delicious low-impact vegetarian dishes. There’s something particularly enticing about a meal made up of several ‘small’ dishes, as with Middle Eastern mezze or Spanish tapas. Troth Wells has taken this style of cooking and enjoying food and given it an exciting global dimension.

Some of the best non-meat dishes come from Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East and we have selected a range of highlights.

You can order a copy.


Serves: 2-4
Takes: 30 minutes

Gambia relies, too heavily perhaps, on its groundnut exports to earn foreign income. In this recipe, the peanut flavor is piqued by chili to make a hot and bland mix; add lemon juice to produce a slightly sour flavor – use peanut oil if you can as it takes the high temperature without burning.
recipe

1 pound / 450 g spinach or other greens, chopped
1 tablespoon peanut or other vegetable oil
2 onions, chopped finely
2 cloves garlic, crushed
12 black peppercorns, crushed
juice of 1 lemon
1 cup / 240 ml stock
a few splashes of tabasco sauce, or ¼ teaspoon chili powder
1-2 tablespoons crunchy peanut butter
oil
salt and pepper

1 Using a large pan, heat the oil and soften the onions in it. Add the garlic and crushed peppercorns and cook for 3 minutes, stirring.
2 After this, put in the spinach, lemon juice, half the stock, tabasco sauce or chili powder, salt and pepper and then simmer gently until the greens have wilted.
3 Put the peanut butter into a bowl and gradually stir in the remaining stock, and then add this mixture to the cooking pot. Combine well and continue cooking for few minutes.



Support Meat Free Monday! You can find out more here:
MeatFreeMondays.com
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Recipe of the week - Crunchy Peanut Butter Spinach (Gambia)


small planet cover Meat Free Monday Recipe!
The Small Planet Vegetarian Cookbook introduces a global spread of delicious low-impact vegetarian dishes. There’s something particularly enticing about a meal made up of several ‘small’ dishes, as with Middle Eastern mezze or Spanish tapas. Troth Wells has taken this style of cooking and enjoying food and given it an exciting global dimension.

Some of the best non-meat dishes come from Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East and we have selected a range of highlights.

You can order a copy.


Serves: 2-4
Takes: 30 minutes

Gambia relies, too heavily perhaps, on its groundnut exports to earn foreign income. In this recipe, the peanut flavor is piqued by chili to make a hot and bland mix; add lemon juice to produce a slightly sour flavor – use peanut oil if you can as it takes the high temperature without burning.
recipe

1 pound / 450 g spinach or other greens, chopped
1 tablespoon peanut or other vegetable oil
2 onions, chopped finely
2 cloves garlic, crushed
12 black peppercorns, crushed
juice of 1 lemon
1 cup / 240 ml stock
a few splashes of tabasco sauce, or ¼ teaspoon chili powder
1-2 tablespoons crunchy peanut butter
oil
salt and pepper

1 Using a large pan, heat the oil and soften the onions in it. Add the garlic and crushed peppercorns and cook for 3 minutes, stirring.
2 After this, put in the spinach, lemon juice, half the stock, tabasco sauce or chili powder, salt and pepper and then simmer gently until the greens have wilted.
3 Put the peanut butter into a bowl and gradually stir in the remaining stock, and then add this mixture to the cooking pot. Combine well and continue cooking for few minutes.



Support Meat Free Monday! You can find out more here:
MeatFreeMondays.com
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Recipe of the week - Cardamom-flavored Mushroom Curry (India)


small planet cover Meat Free Monday Recipe!
The Small Planet Vegetarian Cookbook introduces a global spread of delicious low-impact vegetarian dishes. There’s something particularly enticing about a meal made up of several ‘small’ dishes, as with Middle Eastern mezze or Spanish tapas. Troth Wells has taken this style of cooking and enjoying food and given it an exciting global dimension.

Some of the best non-meat dishes come from Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East and we have selected a range of highlights.

You can order a copy.


Serves: 4
Takes: 40 minutes

I generally use green cardamoms rather than black cardamoms which have a more pronounced flavor. In southern India, cardamom plants are common, and you can spot the aromatic pods growing out from the ground by the leaves.

8 cups / 400 g mushrooms, sliced finelycardamom
1 onion, sliced finely
3 cloves garlic, sliced
2-4 tomatoes, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, chopped finely
¼ fresh chili, de-seeded and sliced finely, or ¼ teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon ground cumin
seeds from 4 cardamom pods, crushed
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro/coriander, chopped
½ cup / 120 ml tomato juice or water
oil or ghee
salt


1 Start by heating the fat and cooking the onion until it is translucent. Then put in the garlic and the mushrooms and sauté these until they begin to soften.
2 After that, add the tomatoes, ginger, chili powder, cardamoms and garam masala, the cilantro/coriander leaves and salt. Stir these in well.
3 Finally, pour in the water or juice and cook gently for 5-10 minutes until the mushrooms are very soft. Serve with rice or chapatis.



Support Meat Free Monday! You can find out more here:
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Recipe of the week - Chocolate Rum Cake (Barbados)


small planet cover Meat Free Monday Recipe!
The Small Planet Vegetarian Cookbook introduces a global spread of delicious low-impact vegetarian dishes. There’s something particularly enticing about a meal made up of several ‘small’ dishes, as with Middle Eastern mezze or Spanish tapas. Troth Wells has taken this style of cooking and enjoying food and given it an exciting global dimension.

Some of the best non-meat dishes come from Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East and we have selected a range of highlights.

You can order a copy.


Takes: 70 minutes


Baxter’s Road in Bridgetown, capital of Barbados, is a buzzy place to eat – open all hours. Barbadian delicacies are available from streetside vendors: fried fish, pudding, souse (a pork dish), peas and rice, jug-jug (a Christmas favorite made mainly of green peas and guinea corn), boiled corn …. possibly even chocolate rum cake. And all to the background of loud calypso or reggae music.
rumcake1
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
½ cup / 110 g butter or margarine
1 ½ cups / 300 g brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup / 110 g raisins
2½ cups / 275 g flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons water
½ cup / 100 ml buttermilk or milk
3 tablespoons rum
10 blanched almonds and/or 5 strawberries, halved

Heat the oven to 350º F/180º C/Gas 4
1 Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
2 Separate the eggs and retain the whites. Add the egg yolks and raisins to the butter and sugar mix.
3 Now sift the flour together with the cocoa, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon and shake this into the mixture.
4 After that, pour in the water, buttermilk or milk and rum, and mix round.
5 Beat the egg whites until they are stiff and fold them in gently. Pour into a rectangular, greased tin. Bake for about 50-60 minutes. Towards the end of cooking time, place the almonds on top. When the cake is ready, leave it in the tin for 10 minutes. Cool on a rack and decorate with the strawberries before serving.

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