Wild Woodgas Stove Recipe: Potato Curry

Each year I set myself a summer project. In the past I’ve learned how to spin, sewn one dress for every week of the six week holidays and, of course, each year I aim to get the flat so tidy I never have to clean again.  This year my challenge is to cook outside more often. As a result I’ve bought myself a Wild Woodgas Stove.

with a veiw

I’m aiming to get one new recipe written up each week that’s been cooked on my new stove. This first one is for a mild, sweet and sour potato curry. It’s in two parts. First you cook the curry paste at home, then you add some water and a can of new potatoes out in the wild to make it a meal. I use the term ‘wild’ loosely. Theses recipes aren’t necessarily going to work for backpacking. It’s more cooking-but-a-little-lazier and with a great view.

Potato curry

This serves two, with flatbreads for dipping

To make the paste

1 tbsp oil
1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
1 teaspoon of black mustard seed.
Pinch of Asafoetida
2 teaspoons of brown sugar
5 tablespoons of tomato paste
2 tablespoons of tamarind paste
1 teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon of coriander
1 1/2 teaspoon turmeric

Heat the oil over a medium-high heat. When hot add the cumin and mustard seed.

As the mustard seeds start to pop, add the asafoetida, sugar, tomato, tamarind, and salt. Stir until the sugar dissolves.

Add coriander and turmeric. Turn the heat to low and reduce the water. The paste is done when it just coats the bottom of the pan – if you drag a spoon through it it should leave a gap in the sauce.

paste

Let it cool and then jar it up.

In the wild

1 can of boiled new potatoes
Water
Your jar of curry paste

Drain the new potatoes and add them to a pan.

stovecooking

Put in the curry paste and enough water so that the potatoes are almost all covered.

Pop the pan over the fire and heat until everything is cooked through.

cury

Review: Mississippi Vegan

I was intrigued by Mississippi vegan as basically I have no idea what it is people eat in Mississippi. As ubiquitous as American film, television, music, and just about everything else is you don’t get much regional variance. Much in the same way, I imagine, that I keep having to explain to people what black pudding, treacle toffee, muffins and black peas are. There is also an emphasis on regional produce, seasonal food and foraged food that really speaks to me. The whole book is written in a gentle autobiographic style explaining why these recipes are important to the author, introducing the people, places and produce that inspired them.

everythingbagels

First up was a batch of Everything Bagels with all the fixings. I love making bagels, it seems so transgressive to sneak the dough into a pot of boiling water before putting them in the oven. The seasoning was perfect but the bagel itself was a little denser than my preferred recipe. All sins, however, are redeemed by cream cheese.

garlic bread

The Garlic and Herb Bread has been a big hit around here. Garlic and herb butter spread on a split roll and baked. It simple, satisfying and comes in some great, creative variations. This one was the basil and chives. I skimped a little on the fine chopping (must follow instructions in future!) but the taste was spot on.

poboy

Of course I couldn’t resist making a po’ boy, I’m favourite po’ boy is the portobello variation in Vegan Sandwiches Save The Day but I’m not supposed to eat mushrooms so this fried popcorn tofu version is perfect. You’ll have to forgive the inauthentic bread but everything else was spot on. I even ordered some imported Old Bay seasoning for the occasion. The result was perfectly spiced, crisp and succulent tofu popcorn. Fully dressed for a perfect sandwich.

gumbo

And, of course, I couldn’t end this review without trying the Classic Gumbo. I had to make a fairly major adjustment. I’m allergic to celery so my holy trinity was missing a member. This gumbo though was fabulous. Rich, creamy, flavourful. Everything it’s supposed to be.

I feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface of this book and I’m looking forward to exploring it a bit more. In the meantime I totally recommend you picking up a copy. It’s thoughtful, inspiring and the food is amazing.

Review: Black Girl Baking

Black Girl Baking isn’t an entirely vegan cookbook (although quite a few of the recipes are either vegan or have vegan variations), but I was tempted by the pictures I’d seen on Instagram so into my Amazon basket it went. And I wasn’t disappointed. Breaking away from traditional baking the recipes use a variety of flours, sweeteners, and even aquafaba to create a fantastic collection of baked treats.

cake

I started with a chocolate cake. (Not an) Easy Bake Cake With Raspberry Glaze. It’s really easy to throw together the sponge. It’s made with whole wheat flour which makes me feel good about myself and it’s egg-free as-is and dairy-free with a simple substitution. The real star of the show is the glaze though. Made with real raspberries, it packs a very flavourful punch. I always say pink food tastes the best and it’s especially true when flavoured with real fruit.

crackers

For a savoury treat I made the Everything Chickpea Turmeric Crackers, which have the flour profile of a pakora mixed with an everything bagel. I like both of those things but even after eating a full batch of those crackers I couldn’t tell you if they work together. I kept thinking I’d made my mind up but then I’d take another bite.

minibudnt

These little guys are Kate’s favourite: Sticky Maple Mini Cakes. They’re made with with all the fanciest ingredients; dates, maple syrup, coconut milk, coconut oil. Basically it’s all the most expensive things in my cupboard. The texture is a little grainy but not in a bad way. The flavour though is incredible. Rich, caramely, and nutty. All of Kate’s favourite flavours.

tomato

That might be Kate’s favourite but the recipe that’s been added to our regular rotation is a little less sweet. Blistered Tomato Sheet Pizza is super simple. Just a good pizza crust and some beautiful blistered baby tomatoes. It transforms the meh cherry tomatoes of winter into a rich caramelised sauce and is now our favourite thing to do when we have cherry tomatoes hanging about.

I recommend you give this one a look. It might not be for you but between the pizza and the chocolate cake the price is justified for me.

Review: ReRooted Plant Milks

I have serious thoughts about plant-based milks. At the moment my favourite is Minor Figures which is a barista-style oat milk. We get it delivered a few cases at a time and mostly use it for hot chocolates. The level of waste is annoying so when we heard that Earth. Food. Love. would be bringing out their own plant milks we got very excited. And got one of every flavour.  We tried each one, first plain and then I streamed the milk and made us hot chocolate.

ccnut

First up is coconut. I’m a little biased against coconut. I find the texture a combination of too watery and too greasy – predictably I wasn’t a fan. It was also lacking in any sweetness which doesn’t make it easy to drink raw but did make the hot chocolate taste, in Kate’s words, like a dark chocolate Bounty.

oat

The oat milk on its own proved pretty tasteless (Kate thought it was rather sour) but it has a glorious texture which makes it perfect for your teas, coffees and hot chocolates. You might need a little sugar if you’re used to dairy – it’s lacking in the dairy sugars after all.

almond 50

This almond milk is 50% raw, 50% roasted almonds. As a result it’s a little bitter. It has the slightly nutty aftertaste that you expect from almond milk and it’s a good texture for hot drinks. I always like an almond milk in hot chocolate – the tastes really complement each other.

almond100

And last up our favourite: the 100% roasted almond. With a richer, sweeter, more robust flavour than the 50% we enjoyed drinking this both straight and in hot chocolate. Its distinctive taste might not be what you are looking for with your tea though.

ReRooted (website) milk is currently available at Earth. Food. Love. in Totnes. They’re hoping to start a milk delivery service soon so keep your eyes peeled if you live in the Totnes area.

Tips and tricks for self catering in Portree

We recently visited Skye, staying in a cottage in Portree. It isn’t the first time we’ve stayed there but this time we cooked a lot more in the cottage (and over a small fire I built by the loch) so I thought I’d give a quick rundown of where to get your vegan essentials.

Co-op

There is a small Co-op in the centre of Portree which has a few bits, but head out to the large Co-op on the edge of town if you want a big selection of vegan ready meals, various non-dairy milks, and Linda McCartney products, as well as the usual staples of pop, crisps and vegetables.

Jackson’s Wholefoods

Health food shop with all the usual cereals, pulses and health food awesome. They stock some of my favourite things like Minor Figures, Tofurky, Taifun, and Vego. I baked some Taifun tofu with onions and peppers on the embers on my fire for a wild cooking take on fajitas, and it was amazing.

Skye Batiks

Even if you aren’t into the gorgeous batiks it’s worth popping in for the Sri Lankan curry mixes. We picked up one for lentils and one for potato. They’re rich and flavourful and you add chilli to taste so it’s suitable for everyone from wimps to fire eaters.

Review: Isle of Skye Ice Cream Co.

Recently we stayed in a small cottage in Portree on the Isle of Skye. We noticed the Ice Cream Co shop but we didn’t think much of it, being vegan. My Dad went in though, one day when he was out walking the dog. He came back with a big smile on his face talking about how nice it was and how they offered Watson his own ice cream. Which is cute and everything but I wasn’t really interested until he said the magic words “and they had vegan ice cream”.

IMG_6477

We popped in and got two scoops of raspberry and it was delicious. Despite being early May the weather in Portree was stunning and it was nice to cool off with a little dairy-free treat. We were happy to find a vegan option, even happier that it was in such a cute and friendly ice cream parlour.

Review: Offshore (Torquay)

Offshore is one of our old favourites, one of the first places we started visiting when I moved down to Torquay, but we haven’t had chance to go in a while. We popped in over the bank holiday to try the special: vegan fish and chips.

The fish is in fact banana blossom fried in a beautiful crispy batter. The banana blossom itself is fairly flavourless so it probably could have done with a bit of nori to liven things up. I’d recommend trying it. Especially if you get a table with a view of the harbour. It just fits. If they aren’t serving the fish when you visit the main menu has an array of vegan options including pizza and two different burgers.