Vegan Pot Luck

Last week my friend Steph held a vegan pot luck for which we made several vegan goodies. I’m not vegan myself but I am always intrigued by the food she cooks as it always tastes delicious and meat, as well as other animal products, are never missed. A “pot luck” is a meal where all the invited guests bring along something, either sweet or savoury. The “pot luck” aspect is that you never know who will bring what and, therefore, what you will be eating for tea! We chose to make ‘Pepperoni’ Pizza, Spinach and Tofu Spanakopita and Lemon and Lavender Cake. My personal favourite was the cake. Other dishes at the meal were two types of chilli, macaroni and cheese, chickpea and spinach salad, chickpea, mushroom and spinach curry, banana biscuits and coconut biscuits.

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All the delicious food!

pizza

‘Pepperoni’ pizza

spanakopita2

Making the spanakopita

spanakopita

Full to the brim spanakopita

lavendercake

lavendercake2

Icing the cake

lavendercake3

Lemon and lavender cake!

Spinach and Tofu Spanakopita

  • I onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • a bag of spinach, blanched
  • a packet of soft tofu, drained
  • 1 tbsp fresh dill
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • salt and pepper
  • puff pastry
  • margarine, melted

Preheat the oven to about 200C. Saute the onion in a pan until soft and golden.

Place tofu in a bowl and mash with a fork. Add the dill, lemon, onion, salt and pepper and spinach. Stir thoroughly to combine.

Roll out the puff pastry and divide into nine squares. Add a large spoonful of the mixture to the centre of the pastry. Fold in half and crimp the sides to secure. Brush the tops with melted margarine and prick with a fork.

Bake for 45 minutes until golden and the filling is hot.

This recipe is from food.com

‘Pepperoni’ Pizza

  • mozzarella-style cheese (i.e. vegan mozzarella cheese)
  • pepperoni-style meat (i.e. vegan pepperoni)
  • tomato puree or passata
  • 650g strong white flour
  • 7g yeast
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 75ml olive oil
  • 325ml warm water

To make the dough: mix the flour, yeast and salt together in a large bowl and stir in the olive oil.  Gradually add the water, mixing well to form a soft dough. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for a bout 5 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Transfer to a clean bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place for an 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in size. When the dough has risen, knock back, then knead again until smooth, roll into a ball and leave to rise again for 30 minutes to an hour.

Preheat oven to highest setting. Divide dough into six and roll out each to form the base. Spread over the passata or puree and top with the toppings.

Bake in the oven until bases are crisp and golden-brown and the cheese has begun to melt.

The pizza recipe is taken from the BBC Food website

Lemon and Lavender Cake

For the cake

  • 500ml soya milk
  • 2 tsp cider vinegar
  • 360g plain flour
  • 50g cornflour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 450g caster sugar
  • 160ml sunflower oil
  • 4 tsp vanilla extract
  • juice and zest of one lemon

For the icing

  • one tub of Betty Crocker vanilla icing
  • purple food colouring

For the lavender syrup

  • equal parts caster sugar and water
  • zest and 1 tbsp of juice of one lemon
  • fresh lavender, plus two stalks to decorate

Two lined cake tins, a piping bag

To make the cake: Measure the soya milk into a jug and whisk in the cider vinegar gently. The milk should start to thicken slightly. Sieve the flour, cornflour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl. Add the sugar and combine, make a well in the centre of the ingredients. Add the sunflower oil and vanilla extract to the soya milk and whisk to combine. Pour the wet ingredients into the well in the centre of the dry ingredients and stir gently with a wooden spoon until no lumps remain. Divide the cake mixture between two lined cake tins and bake in a pre-heated oven at 180C for 30-45 minutes. Check the cake after 30 minutes; a skewer should come out clean and the cakes should be risen. Allow the cakes to cool in their tins for 15 minutes before turning them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the lavender syrup: Whilst the cakes are cooking add equal parts caster sugar and water (200ml water and 200g caster sugar for example) into a pan along with the lavender depending on the quantity you want to make. Bring to boil and boil until reduced by half. The more lavender you add the more you reduce the stronger the flavour of lavender will be.

To assemble and decorate: whilst the cakes are cooling in their tins prod the sponge several times with a fork to make holes. Pour the syrup over the sponges and allow to sink in. Reserve some syrup for the icing. Separate a small portion of the Betty Crocker icing and add some purple food colouring to make a lavender-coloured icing. Stir in some of the lavender syrup. To the remaining icing add the zest and 1 tbsp of juice of one lemon. Cover the entire cake with the lemon-flavoured icing and decorate with the lavender-flavoured icing.

This recipe is taken from the Food Network.

You can buy the vegan ingredients at Holland & Barrat’s.

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