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2013-09-27 21.17.21

 

These are light and crispy, it’s a similar recipe to the lime and chocolate so shows how it can be adapted. Makes 12 small cookies

Ingredients

1/2 cup of plain flour

1tsp baking powder

4 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup coconut oil

1/4 cup vitalite or vegan margarine

1/4 cup icing sugar

Add to the mixing bowl, the flour, baking powder, sugar, margarine and coconut oil.  I used the coconut oil solid and worked the mixture until it was melted.  Kneed together ingredients with your hands until all fats are dissolved and you have a dough.  Take a small piece of mixture into your hand and roll into a ball, slightly larger than a walnut and place onto a baking tray with parchment, press your thumb into the centre to make a dent, you don’t see it when cooked, but it helps them spread evenly.   Cook on 170 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes, check after 15, they should be golden.

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I discovered this when as sick as a dog and about to go to a Rock Festival, my husband and I came down with terrible colds.  We ate it and for a couple of hours it made us feel better but it’s also just a very nice, tasty dish that is cheap to make and could be a recipe for using your own produce.  I know that for a lot of people good food is becoming hard to come by due to lack of finances, so I’m going to try and give an idea of costs. 

For 2 people, for more, double ingredients.

1 Carrot (I got a 1kg bag for 75p, so that’s a lot of carrots for other recipes)

1 Onion (1 bag for £1)

1 Stock cube (I get them from home bargains, they are 45p a packet and packaged in the UK, not maggi, they are Nestle and they want to patent water so I’m not buying their products)

3 tbsp soy sauce (I got a large bottle for under £3 in lidl

1 tbsp fish sauce (Optional, not for vegans and fine without, got it on offer for £1.50)

1/2 Pepper (75p for 3)

Noodles (I use the ones from home bargains for 45p a pack)

1/2 pint of water (or there abouts, cover the vegetables)

chillis 1/2 tsp (I used dried) (£1.50)

2 cloves garlic (£1.20 for 3 cloves)

1 tsp ginger (£1.50 for a piece, but you could use dried or the kind from a tube)

Slice veg (You can use anything really) and sautee in sesame oil if you have it (£1.50 a bottle from an ethnic section in a supermarket) or any oil, olive, sunflower, coconut etc, chop the garlic and ginger finely and add, stir every so often so nothing sticks, for the 2 person soup I use a small saucepan.  Add the stock cube when the veggies are soft looking, the onions start to get more transparent. and let it sit for a moment then mix it in, you can press it with the spoon to break it up.  Add the water, soy and optional fish sauce, simmer for 20 mins then add your noodles, without the flavour packet and wait for 5 minutes while they cook.  You have asian noodle soup, enjoy and obviously you can use proper noodles, but this is a cheaper version.  

I got the recipe from here but I amended it as below: http://www.holycowvegan.net/2011/12/lemon-poppy-seed-bundt-cake-with-lemon.html#.UkGMWMa3_pU

2 2/3 cup self raising flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 1/2 cups caster sugar

1 3/4 cup soya milk mixed with 2 tsp vinegar. Set aside for minimum five minutes to curdle.

1/4 cup lemon juice (I’m going to add a bit more next time)

1/4 cup poppy seeds

Zest of two lemons

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup sunflower oil

1/2 cup coconut oil

Cream together the sugar and oil until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.

Mix the lemon juice, zest, vanilla extract and almond milk.

Sift into a bowl the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder

Add the flour to the oil and sugar mixture in three batches, alternating with the almond milk mixture. Mix for 20 seconds after each addition.

Add the poppy seeds and mix with a spatula to disperse them evenly through the batter.

Oil and flour a cake tin and place in oven on 175 degrees for around 45 minutes or until golden and a toothpick comes out clean.

For the glaze: 1/4 cup lemon juice, 3/4 cup of icing sugar, mix.

Prick the top of the cake with a toothpick and pour or spread on the glaze.

1/4 cup lemon juice, 3/4 cup of icing sugar, mix.

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The images show our foraged apples ,with one apple from our tree, foraged blackberries and the leftovers as I forgot to photograph the finished pie.  I never measure my crumble mix but I’ll try and give rough amounts, i’m a cook that goes on flavour and texture and rarely follow recipes. 

Ingredients

Apples 

Blackberries

Brown Sugar

Flour

Vitalite or vegan margarine

Coconut oil

All Spice

Half a Lemon

Regarding quantities, I’d say I used 1 1/2 cups of flour, 3/4 cup of sugar, 1/4 cup vitalite, 1/4 cup coconut oil for the crumble mix, you can use either white or brown sugar.  Combine in a bowl using a rubbing technique to produce breadcrumb like texture. 

For the fruit, there was about 6 cups of chopped apple and 2 cups of blackberries.

First peal and chop the apples, finely chop a teaspoon of lemon zest and juice the half lemon, once chopped coat in the lemon juice, put into a pan with a cup of brown sugar and 2 tsp of allspice, cover and heat until softened, add the blackberries once softened and stir for a minute then transfer into a baking dish.   Top with the crumble mix and bake for 20 or 30 minutes on 190 degrees, check for bubbling filling and light brown crumble. 

I served this with soy cream (non GMO of course)

 

 

For me, part of being green is to cook my own food.  I occasionally like a treat so this is my recipe for Vegan Chocolate and Lime Cookies.

Vegan Chocolate and Lime Cookies

Ingredients

zest of one lime.

1/2 cup of plain flour

1tsp baking powder

1 small packet vegan chocolate buttons

1/4 cup coconut oil

1/4 cup vitalite or vegan margarine

1/4 cup caster sugar and 1 tbsp

Chop the lime finely and put 2/3 into a mixing bowl, put the rest aside.  Add to the mixing bowl, the flour, baking powder, sugar, margarine and coconut oil.  I used the coconut oil solid and worked the mixture until it was melted.  Kneed together ingredients with your hands until all fats are dissolved and you have a dough.  Chop the chocolate buttons and add, kneed them in.  Take a small piece of mixture into your hand and roll into a ball, slightly larger than a walnut and place onto a baking tray with parchment, press your thumb into the centre to make a dent, you don’t see it when cooked, but it helps them spread evenly.  Chop together the sugar and zest until you get a lime sugar and sprinkle onto each cookie.  Cook on 190 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, check after 15, they should be golden.

Part of what we want to do is try to test ideas that would enable people with small spaces to grow at least some produce.  One I know that works as I have seen it and can look lovely, we plan to do this next year on trellis we already have, is to use bottle towers.  This is an excellent example with instructions and I can’t take any credit for it, I just searched for it, but when we do it I’ll post images.  http://containergardening.wordpress.com/2011/09/07/bottle-tower-gardening-how-to-start-willem-van-cotthem/

Update: 15/09/13 – today my friends little girl collected the seeds from apples we foraged for.  I am going to follow this to try and get some sprouting 🙂

http://www.ehow.com/how_2135774_grow-apple-seeds.html#page=1

I’ll update this as we go along.

UPDATE: 17/09/13 – I soaked the apple seeds for 24 hours and they are packed up, into the fridge they go for 80 days.

Apple Seeds

 

I didn’t have any kitchen roll so used cotton pads.  Our first packet of seeds have arrived, Angelica.  We will be growing on windowsills.  I will be posting the instructions when we get the seeds and are ready to plant.  I intend to use litre bottles, I will be cutting them 2/3rds of the way up, the bottoms will be filled with stones to give the plants natural drainage whilst being indoors.  I will then place a circle of cardboard which will eventually mulch but for now will provide a barrier between earth and stones.  Plus it will give a firmer base for packing down the earth.  We would then add compost and plant the seeds, the bottle tops will be used as propagators until we have seedlings.  We have a lot of herbs coming so I’m hoping in a few months we’ll have a window herb garden. 🙂

OK so this is our plan, as you will see from my previous blogging our attempt at food production was an almost epic fail, however, we have learned from this and have adjusted our plan accordingly.   So here it is.

1.  Look into the purchase or making of solar panels (I have found a site, will find the link).  Use these to power various appliances and the pump for the aquaponics system.  We live in rented accommodation, we can’t make changes to the electrical infrastructure of the property, but we can operate small units designed to run a small number of items, this will reduce the amount of energy we use.

2.  Black out some plastic bottles and store water in them daily, keep them on a windowsill and the temperature increase, no matter how small, will make the boiling of water for cooking less, hence using less energy.

3.  Plant garden with wildflowers and grow on the patio in up planters, like bottle gardens, to try and minimise the bug impact on our vegetable growing.

4.  Clear our neighbours garden and build a large polytunnel, once built install solar aquaponics system.

5.  Plant seeds in the house over winter and use red and blue LED’s to try and keep growth through colder months.

6.  Try to produce less waste, upcycle as much as possible and reduce actual refuse (excluding recycling) from 2 bags a fortnight to 1.

7.  Weather proof the house as much as possible to reduce energy bills during winter.

8.  Save the money we hopefully will be saving by taking these steps and eventually buy some land, build a sustainable property on it and do all this again.  🙂

This last step isn’t for everyone, but others could use any of the above, we will be posting progress on all of these so that anyone can benefit from them if they wish to.  There are many, many ways to become more sustainable and if I’m honest it is easier if you have money, but we plan on spending as little as possible, for this to work for others it needs to suit everyone’s budget and this day and age more and more of us are struggling to survive.  Wherever possible we will make what we need, reuse what we can and if we do need to make purchases we will research them and share that research.  So that’s the plan, I hope to have all this running, with proof of working by next Spring.