Posts Tagged ‘vegetarian’

Mushroom Ragu with Parsnip & Carrot Mash

February 2, 2023


  • onion, roughly sliced
  • celery stick, finely sliced
  • garlic cloves, sliced
  • smoked paprika
  • dried oregano
  • tomato purée
  • red pesto
  • veg stock
  • chestnut mushrooms, chopped
  • 100ml red wine
  • balsamic vinegar
  • tamari
  • fresh thyme leaves plus extra for topping – add to your taste
  • mash:
  • 2-3 parsnips, depending on size (400g), peeled & cut into cubes
  • 1 large or 2 small carrots – peeled & cut into cubes
  • nutritional yeast


Slice onion and celery stick. A splash of olive in a hot pan. Add onion and celery, medium heat and fry for 8-10 minutes until very soft.

Add the garlic, paprika and oregano and stir to combine, then add the tomato purée, pesto and veg stock and simmer for 1-2 minutes.

Slice mushrooms. Add mushrooms and red wine, stir to combine and cook for a further 2-3 minutes.

Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

Stir in the balsamic vinegar, tamari and fresh thyme leaves (to your taste) and season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, to make the mash, slice carrots and parsnips, boil the parsnips and carrot(s) in a saucepan of boiling water for approx. 12-15 minutes or until tender.

Drain the parsnips and carrots, add olive oil, a knob of butter, nutritional yeast, season with salt and pepper. Mash with a potato masher (or the back of a large spoon).

Serve the mushroom ragù on a bed of creamy mash with some extra thyme leaves to garnish.


Very tasty dish.

A knob of butter added to the carrot and mushroom mash. With the butter, vegetarian dish; without a vegan dish

In the absence of a potato masher, use the back of a large spoon.

I thought too much mash. Not sufficient. Add another parsnip and carrot, or a potato.

Possibly reduce the mushrooms.

Cook for Ukraine vegetarian

May 15, 2022

A selection of vegetarian recipes from Summer Kitchens by Olia Hercules.

Cook for Ukraine was founded by Alissa Timoshkina and Olia Hercules, with the help of Clerkenwell Boy.

Their aim was to celebrate Ukrainian and Eastern European food while raising awareness of the humanitarian crisis facing Ukraine as well as emergency funds.

Natura Well

April 26, 2022

A tiny, barely more than a kiosk, takeaway.

A classic Diet for a Small Planet: cornucopia of vegetables, fruits, seeds, pulses, grains, nuts.

Fake meat, ultra-processed crap, bad for health, bad for the planet.

Food for Thought in Covent Garden, sadly no more, would never have dreamt of insulting clientele with fake meat.

Superfood a meaningless claim.

Deliveroo, worker exploitation. Those who have taken the trouble to visit are treated as second class citizens. A long wait whilst Deliveroo serfs granted priority is not acceptable .

Staff trial half a day shift unpaid is one way of getting free labour.

When I visited, empty, a staff member emerged from the back, no customers. Contrast with common complaint, long wait for order.

Location not good. Ten minutes walk from city centre to Coffee Depot, a few more minutes down the road to the takeaway. A better location would have been a side street in the city centre.

If wish for a coffee, visit a coffee shop. If wish for vegetarian, try Bailgate Deli.

Cauliflower steak con salsa verde

January 22, 2022

Get some colour on there. No colour, no flavour. — Gordon Ramsey

Cauliflower steak with salsa verde served with Italian new potatoes.

cauliflower steak

One cauliflower, slice down the middle for one or two steaks.

Save what is left for another dish. Suggestions?

Hot pan, olive oil, gently lay in the steak or steaks.

Season with salt and pepper.

Add to the pan a couple of cloves of garlic, crushed.

Add a couple of knobs of butter.

Add segments of a satsuma.

After a couple of minutes, check cauliflower steaks are brown, turn over.

Turn down the heat, add stock. Leave to simmer for a couple of minutes.

Turn heat back up when liquid has almost gone. Add a couple more knobs of butter. Spoon over the cauliflower steak.

Remove to a plate.

Add half the juices from the pan.

toasted walnuts (or almonds)

Break walnut halves into smaller pieces.

Toast walnut pieces in a metal foil tray in a hot oven (fan 150C).

Remove from oven for later.

salsa verde

Banana shallot slice in half lengthways. One half cross slice, add to a bowl.

Fresh mint and parsley, scrunch and roll up as a big fat cigar, slice, but do not overdue it, as do not wish to bleed.

Add to the bowl.

Add remaining shallot.

Season with salt and pepper.

Add honey, olive oil and red wine vinegar.

Add a couple of silver skin onions.

Add half of the toasted nuts.

Mix as would toss a salad.

Serve by topping the cauliflower steak. Add the remaining roasted nuts on top.

new potatoes

Scrape new potatoes, add to pot of boiling salted water. Simmer for around 20 minutes.

Serve with the cauliflower and salsa verde.

The remaining juices from the cauliflower pan, pour over the new potatoes.


I expected the cauliflower steak to taste of, cauliflower. To my pleasant surprise it did not.

A very tasty dish.

More or less follows Gordon Ramsey 10 Minutes on youtube. The main difference, I lacked dill, satsuma segments for lemon, walnut for almond, local honey not sugar and I forgot to add herbs de Provence to the salsa verde. The cauliflower steaks could have been a little thicker.

Note: The recipe in Ramsey in10 differs from the video.

South Street Kitchen

March 27, 2019

South Street Kitchen is easy enough to find if know where, a few minutes walk out the back of Sheffield Railway Station, follow the path up to South Park Flats, stunning views over the city.

The main entrance from Sheffield Station leads to the city centre. I wished to leave by the back entrance, was there a back entrance as I wished to be at the other side of the tracks?

I asked at the Information, I wished to get to the other side. They said no, only leads to trams, and signage only points to trams. They added, as if to say no one would wish to go there, leads to the estates.

When leaving by main entrance, can see flats across the valley.

I headed out to the trams, carefully crossed the tram lines, and walked up the slope towards the flats.  Luckily when I crossed the tracks, there was a sign pointing to South Street Kitchen.

South Street Kitchen is a hidden gem. Easy enough to find if know to follow the path up the slope, to find at the top nestled below the flats.

I was reminded of Puerto de la Cruz, always find a bar-cafe often more than one at the foot of a block of flats.

Very new, a little over a year old. Open, light and airy. Seeing the barista disappear, and wondering where, I followed, to find a flight of stairs, and a much larger area on the first floor.

Coffee excellent. Food looked good too, but no time to stay as I was heading back to the station, then to Union St for Taiwanese pop up kitchen.

Coffee sourced from Dark Woods, who appear to have something of a local monopoly in Sheffield. My only criticism, single origin old coffee and Dark Woods need to put roast date on their coffee, Best By is meaningless.

Occasional evening events.

South Street Kitchen is featured in The North and North Wales Independent Coffee Guide.

Now Then issue 132 had an article ‘Struggle For Space’ on urban resistance on Park Hill Flats.


January 26, 2019

I tend to avoid any town on a Saturday.

The town was busy, it seemed even busier than when shoppers out Christmas shopping or the January Sales.

Everywhere was packed.

I had intended to eat at Shanti around one, arrived at two.

It too was busy, two spare seats at a table for four.

I was asked to come back in forty-five minutes.

I took a walk up The Strait, Steep Hill and into Bailgate.

I noticed yet another business on Steep Hill closing. No surprise, one of the junk shops that is rarely open,

On the way back down, a chat with Fools on the Hill, fools with a table urging people to support a Second Referendum, only they lack the integrity and honesty to call it a Second Referendum and call it a People’s Vote.  No surprise, entirely clueless the EU and having a hard time gaining any support.

No change at Shanti, but the couple on the table for four about to leave.

To my annoyance told we have to check our bookings.

It was then, ask a group of Indians on a table to move up to create space for me.

Begs the question, why not put me on table where there was room when I first walked in?

Half an hour before a couple of rostis served with a small portion of salad. I was asked vegetarian cheese or vegan cheese? In other words real cheese or fake cheese, fake cheese which actually cannot be called cheese.

A vegetarian cum vegan fake Indian restaurant.

I was looking forward to eating at Shanti, I was very disappointed.

I found it to be very cramped and claustrophobic.

The food was ok not great. Not sure what was dumped on top. It tasted like jam.

I have had a far better dosa off a stall at the Guildford farmers market, and far far better Indian food elsewhere. I have also eaten at far better vegetarian restaurants.

The irony was, I passed Curry Jacks by the river. I would but the fact a cold location, been better off trying their food.

Curry Jacks once a month an evening of their food at Coffee Aroma.

Cena en El Maná

November 23, 2016

Excelente cena en  El Maná restaurante vegetariano en Puerto de la Cruz.

As always excellent dinner in El Maná.

Following excellent flamenco at Teatro Timanfaya, late dinner at El Maná.

Was I too late, they close at 10-30 and I arrived not long before 10-30?

I would have been happy witha bowl of soup. It was ok, and no there was no soup.

Excellent tagalette with stir fried vegetables and chopped tomatoes.

To drink, real ale from a local brewery.

For sweet tiramisú.

And a cappuccino.

Never had before tiramisú of this quality.

A restaurant is not where would expect excellent cappuccino. El Maná that rare exception.

Also a rare exception, the only place in Puerto de la Cruz where can obtain a decent cappuccino.

They need though to replace their coffee cups.

El Maná es restaurante vegetariano en Puerto de la Cruz.

cena en El Maná

February 29, 2016



Following a concert with OpenArt Ensemble at Abaco, I was on my way to eat at Los Gemelos. They were full, as an extremely rude waiter informed me. Their loss, and my gain, I ate at El Maná.

El Maná has very limited menu, the specials chalked up above the open kitchen.

I chose pumpkin soup for starter. It was excellent, and even included soup art.

For main, tagellete. I am no great pasta fan, but it was all I fancied.

No olives please, I hate olives.

The chef came out and explained, it was not olives, it was an olive sauce, but I would still have the bitter olive taste, would I like pesto, as otherwise I may find a little boring?

The tagellete was excellent. The only time I have had pasta of this quality was in Bassano del Grappa  cooked by a chef who was president of a northern Italian food association.

To drink, water, though I noticed they had an interesting range of local craft beers.

A young blonde pursuaded me to have a coffee. I did not expect anything other than undrinkable coffee, always the way in restaurants. I was pleasantly surprised. She knew how to make coffee, freshly ground Colombian coffee. Maybe  a tad too hot, but it was excellent coffee.

I learnt, talking to the chef, who is also the owner, of a skilled barista in La Laguna.

El Maná, vegetarian, organic, located in Calle Mequinez.


November 18, 2015

spicy dahl soup

spicy dhal soup

Four weeks ago, my last day in Athens, a flight to catch in the evening.

Morning and early afternoon at the Ancient Agora of Athens. Time for lunch, and hopefully a visit to The Acropolis Museum, but time was not on my side.

I had passed by Avocado a few evenings ago, on taking what I hoped was a short cut from Monastiraki and finding myself in a part of Athens with which I was not familiar.

I headed in what I hoped was the right direction, and luckily my sense of direction did not let me down.

Spicy dhal soup was excellent. Sadly the same could not be said for the bean burger, or whatever it was. It was disgusting. At almost ten euros, not cheap.

The mistake that was made, and same with other menu items cannot tell the difference from real meat balls, was to try to produce meat substitutes. If I wanted a burger I would go and eat a real burger (emphasis, real burger, not the disgusting yuk served by McDonald’s).

They need to look at somewhere like Food for Thought, though not possible, as no longer in existence, or at least obtain their cookbook.

Is it ok? No.

They took it away untouched, and offered to serve me a fresh dish. They were quite embarrassed. I said no, I did not have the time.

I was only charged for the soup.

I felt a bit bad, my turn to feel embarrassed, but it was disgusting, and I could not eat it.

Atmosphere inside fine, but wrong location.

They need to be in Plaka, with outside seating, and drastically change the menu. Whey even have a menu? Do as Food for Thought, fresh menu everyday.

I found I could cut down a street that led into Plaka. It was then The Acropolis Museum, but first stop Restaurant Plaka and a small plate of chips and an ice cream off Coco’s ice cream.

Avocado claims to be the only vegetarian restaurant in Athens.  Whether true or not, I do not know, but when I stumbled across it one evening I stopped out of curiosity and had a chat, as it was the only vegetarian restaurant I had seen.

Lunch at Food for Thought

June 16, 2015

Food for Thought

Food for Thought

quiche and salad

quiche and salad



One last sad lunch at Food for Thought, it closes on Sunday after forty years in business, driven out of business by a greedy grasping landlord driving up the rent to an unaffordable level.

I usually enjoy my food at Thought for Thought. But not today. I think partly my choice, I chose quiche and salad, a mistake, I should have had the soup, followed by stir-fried vegetables and rice. But I think also that it was my last meal, that it was closing.

For dessert, scrunch.

I would have liked to have bought their cookbook, but they had none, try later in the week.

Food for Thought has been there since the 1970s, the food has been consistently good.

When Covent Garden market pulled out, the area was desolate, it was earmarked for redevelopemnt. Activists stopped the redevelopment. But what we have seen is a slow death. he samlll businesses that made it what it was , leaving, to be replaced by chains.

In the 1970s, there were many small businesses like Food For Thought.

Next door, was a barrow maker. In the street the barrows.

In thes ummer, we used to get our food, take it outside an sit on the barrows.

In Neal’s Yard Neal Yard Wholefood, Neal’s Yard Bakery, Neal’s Yard Dairy. All long gone.

In one of the side streets, Pret a Manger, Costa, in Neal Street sweatshop fashion chains.

Small businesses are being destroyed by property companies. Social cleansing is taking place, people kicked out of their homes, bulldozed, luxury apartments built, marketed in the Middle East, China and Russia.

There are now several empty premises in Neal Street, including one next to Food for Thought. Will the vacated Food for Thought join the list? The greedy property company will not care, one more business destroyed. If it sits empty they will offset the losses against tax.

We need political action to stop the destruct of the social fabric of our cities.

We have to have rent control as in New York. We have to have protection for small businesses as they have in France.

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