Restaurant Day: Funny Bunny

Local Animalia group had a vegan pop-up restaurant on today’s Restaurant Day.  They had burgers, lasagne, pita falafel, pumpkin soup, pasties, pancake, bilberry pie and other desserts. We don’t have a vegan or even vegetarian restaurant in our town, so visiting this pop-up restaurant was a must.

For starters we had pasties. I took a lanttusupikas (a turnover with rye crust and rutabaga filling) and Nomad had a Karelian barley pie with toppings. Both were yummy. We got our main courses very quickly, right after we had finished our starters. We both had Pita Falafel. They had made the falafel themselves, and damn it was tasty. So much better than a bland frozen falafel you get in most restaurants here in Finland. There were also tomatoes, lettuce, zesty cabbage salad and garlic dressing.

falafelpita

We skipped the desserts, because we don’t like them so much. But I bet the ones with a sweet tooth enjoyed them as much as we enjoyed our savoury dishes.

Thank you Funny Bunny restaurant, see you next Restaurant Day!

New look for the blog!

Nothing special here, just decided to finally change the appearance of the blog. The old theme was only supposed to be a temporary one to get the blog rolling, but suddenly years had passed and the whole visual look was more and more dated…

Of course there’s only so much you can do with the free themes of WordPress.com, but hopefully this new one is a bit more pleasing (and most importantly, less depressingly dark!) than the old one.

Cheers!

The End of the VeganMoFo 2013

This is the last day of VeganMoFo 2013. The month sure passed quickly, and we managed to blog something every day. As you know, we had chosen a region for each week and every day we cooked something from that area. Here’s a map (via Wikimedia Commons) about our virtual culinary travels (click to enlarge):

ColoredBlankMap-World-10EWeek 1 is blue, week 2 is pink (the location of Mari El Republic is estimated), week 3 is green and week 4 is red.

Each week we found something we’ll definitely make again. Some of our new favourites are Jerk seitan, Pumpkin pie of Mari El, Pörkölt, Maqloobeh and Armenian lentil soup. If you try our recipes, please let us know. We’d like to hear how you liked them.

My favourite thing in this mofo has been http://www.randomofo.com. It’s a site that shows you a random blog of a fellow mofoer. Without it I wouldn’t have seen as many great blogs as I did. I don’t know if it will work after this month, so check it quickly!

Macaroni Pie

Macaroni pie is a cheesy macaroni casserole that is eaten everywhere in Barbados. Vegan version is easy to make with nutritional yeast. A common way to make it is use long pasta tubs and break them into smaller pieces, but elbow macaroni or other pasta is fine too.

Quite possibly every western culture has their own version of mac pie, like Mac’n’cheese, “Kraft food” (we were told Canadians know it by the name of the most famous manufacturer), even Finnish makaronilaatikko belongs to the same family. The barbadian version naturally has mustard and chili peppers in it.

macpie

Macaroni Pie

250 g macaroni (long tubs broken in smaller pieces)
water, salt

sauce:
4 dl oat or soy milk
3 tbsp wheat flour
3 tbsp nutritional yeast
0,5 dl oil
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 heaping tbsp ketchup
0,5-1 tsp cayenne
salt, white pepper

optional toppings:
bread crumbs
melting vegan cheese

Boil the macaroni according to instructions on the package and drain. Grease a dish and spread the cooked macaroni in it.

Make the sauce: Whisk all the sauce ingredients together in a saucepan. Heat on medium (medium-high) heat, stirring frequently, until the sauce starts bubbling and gets thicker. Pour the sauce over macaroni and stir a little to let the sauce flow everywhere between the macaronis. Sprinkle with bread crumbs or melting cheese if you want to. Bake about 30 minutes in 200 Celsius Degrees.

mofobanneri2013

Carib’ Jerk Seitan

This year’s Vegan MoFo is nearing its end and as always, the best things come last. For an ultimate Saturday experience we have something all over the Carib’. Jerk(y) seitan, rice and peas and a nice salad. The marinade for the seitan is very spicy and if you’re not accustomed to hot foods, you might want to adjust the amount of chili to your taste. The marinade recipe is from Michael Harwood’s book Super Hot Chili Pepper Cookbook. The original recipe uses chicken, which we substituted with seitan from FatFree Vegan Kitchen blog. Rice and peas were available pretty much everywhere when we were in Barbados and they serve as a nice very protein-rich supplement for the spicy seitan. And on the top of it all, the salad brings some freshness to the whole package.

jerkyseitan

Jerk Seitan

1 batch seitan ribz

jerk marinade:
1 small habanero pepper
6 lemon drop peppers
6 riot peppers
1 tsp ground all spice
1 tsp ginger powder or 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
3 garlic cloves
1 small shallot
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp strong mustard
0, 5 tsp cinnamon
3 tbsp oil
3 tbsp apple vinegar
1 tbsp lemon juice
salt, black pepper
oil for frying

Chop the chili peppers coarsely and quickly blend them. Add rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth. Put the seitan and marinade into a plastic bag and rub the marinade on the seitan pieces. Marinade in a refrigerator couple of hours.

Heat some oil in a frying pan and fry the seitans on both sides until browned.

Simple Rice and beans

6 dl water
salt
1 tsp thyme
2 tsp vegetable broth powder
4 dl cooked black beans
3 dl rice

Bring the water to boil and add rest of the ingredients. Simmer until all the water has been absorbed (about 20 minutes).

mofobanneri2013

Bajan Tofu Balls

We were on honeymoon on Barbados last March, and we had great time there. It’s autumn here, and the colder the weather gets, the more I miss Barbados.

Deep fried fish cakes are commonly eaten on Barbados. We were also offered them on our hotel’s rum punch party, but naturally we skipped them. We bought a small Bajan cook book from Pelican Village, and among other Barbadian recipes it had also a recipe for fish cakes, so we had to try to make them with tofu. Tofu worked fine, and I think our version is easier to make, because you don’t have to boil the salted fish several times. Mustardy Bajan pepper sauce is a great accompaniment for these tofu cakes.

bajan_bullar

Bajan Tofu Cakes

250 g tofu
1 sheet nori seaweed
1 small onion
3 garlic cloves
1 tbsp hot pepper sauce
1 tsp each: thyme, marjoram and dill
2 tsp baking powder
2,5 dl wheat flour
1,5 dl soy or oat milk
salt, black pepper and white pepper
oil for deep frying

Finely crumble the tofu in a bowl. Cut the nori in small pieces, I like to use scissors. Peel and finely chop onion and garlic. Mix all the ingredients together, add little more milk if needed.

Heat the oil and deep fry the cakes. Use two spoons to drop small balls (about tsp) to the oil and deep fry them on both sides until nicely browned. Serve with Bajan pepper sauce.

mofobanneri2013

Trinidad Corn Soup

Soup is often served as a starter, but in Finland it’s usually the main course. According to what I’ve read recently, in Trinidad soup is served as a main course too. Trinidad Corn Soup is filled with peas and vegetables, and you won’t miss a main dish after eating this. I read many recipes and made my version based on them. They all included corn, split peas, corn dumplings, chili pepper and carrots. Potatoes and coconut milk also seem to be popular ingredients. Sweet potatoes and chickpeas can be used too.

The soup is usually made with sliced corn ears, but barbecue season is over and whole corns weren’t available anymore, so we used canned baby corn instead. If you have fresh corn ears, slice them and add to the pot at the same time with dumplings.

trinidad_soup

Trinidad Corn Soup

2,5 dl split peas
water
1 onion
3 garlic cloves
1 celery stalk
1 tbsp oil
1 bell pepper
1 carrot
2-3 dl pumpkin cubes
1 scotch bonnet or other hot chili pepper
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp lovage
1,5 dl frozen corn
1 can baby corn

dumplings:
0,75 dl cornmeal
0,5 dl water

Soak the split peas overnight. Rinse.
Peel and chop the onion and garlic, chop celery. Heat the oil in pot and sauté onion, garlic and celery until onion is soft. Add 1,5 l water and bring to boil. Meanwhile peel and dice the carrot, and chop both peppers. When water is boiling, add peas, chopped vegetables and herbs. Simmer about an hour or until peas are soft. Use a handheld blender to puree the soup. You can puree it completely smooth or leave it chunky.

Make the dumplings: Mix cornmeal and water together to get a thick dough. Add bit more either ingredient if needed. Form into small balls. Season the soup with salt and pepper and add dumplings. Simmer 10-15 minutes and add both corns. Simmer 10 more minutes, adjust seasoning and enjoy.

mofobanneri2013