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Breakfast, Treats & Snacks, Vegan &/or Raw

Aubergine Bacon

My attempt to stay well-informed with world politics is at odds with my attempt to stay sane these days. It’s increasingly necessary to distract my head from translating Trump’s alternative facts and brain farts.

I console myself with spectacularly weird recipes like this plant-powered bacon. Know what I mean? The more arcane the recipe, the longer I spend away from US politics and Cyclone Twitter. It’s kind of like hacking into my own network of synapses, and writing in some anti-viral code to stop my adrenal glands from imploding. I highly recommend it.

Back to plant-powered bacon. Yes. Meat-free rashers. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy meat. But I find myself wondering whether future generations will look back and yak at the idea of supermarkets selling solid lumps of animal flesh. If you arrived on Earth today and saw how we dismembered other living creatures, then sold them in plastic boxes, you’d think that we were greasy psychopaths. (Some of us are. See first paragraph).

But for now, the mass manufacturing of meat limbs seems perfectly acceptable. Strange, eh? (Come to think of it, we’d probably find our obsession with Wow Brows and golf equally disquieting).

If society’s relationship with factory meat seems disturbing, could we start buying less of it? Give sales a massive wedgie? I’d love to see footfall directed back into our butchers, where it mindfully and respectfully belongs. We’d also be doing our wallet, our health and our environment a whopping great service. Look, I’m pretty caffeinated right now, and this aubergine bacon is making me disproportionately emotional. Try it.

 

1 large aubergine

1 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/4 -1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle chilli

1/2 tablespoon tamari soya sauce

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon rapadura or coconut sugar

3 tablespoons filtered water

 

Using a sharp potato peeler, thinly slice long strips of aubergine. Give the aub a slight turn every slice. The idea is to leave a small strip of peel on each piece, and work around the aubergine. Compost the seedy centre.

Lay the strips out on a cutting board. Sprinkle evenly with your salt and let sit for 1 hour to draw out all the moisture. Pat dry with kitchen towel, and wipe away as much salt as you can. Whisk the remaining ingredients together and let the slices marinade for at least 1 hour, but frankly as long as you fancy.

Preheat the oven to 120C. Transfer the marinated aubs onto a roasting tray (unlined) and bake for 70-90 mins, or until dry, CRISP and deeper in colour. You can do this in a dehydrator at a lower temperature for longer.

Aubergine bacon makes a kickass DVD snack with some popcorn, or as a breakfast with avo toast.

 

And in other news, THE VIRTUOUS TART cookbook has gone paperback in Ireland. Which means another fun cover shot with Jo Murphy! This is what you’ll spot in bookstores across the country …

 

Breakfast, Events, Treats & Snacks, Vegan &/or Raw, Videos, x For Freezer x

Filming in NYC

New York’s cadence makes me dizzy with awe.

If you do one thing online today, check out Food52. It is the culinary mecca of NYC (and I got to canter around it’s kitchens like a caffeinated Muppet). Their online store is unrivaled in brilliance.

Scroll down to “All Videos” (click here) for my goofy big mug beaming into camera like a child set loose in a Lego store. Hit “show more.” I’m making a hotass dessert.

Until next time! Have a lickety-good week,

Love Susan

Bread, Breakfast, Salads & Suppers, Sides, Vegan &/or Raw

Cauli Toasts

“Does the smell of bacon make you want it?”

“Don’t plants feel too?”

“Wasn’t Hitler a vegan?”

… just some of the delightfully irritating questions vegans shake off on a daily basis. “What can you eat?” carnivores ask, pupils morphing into one of those tiny kaleidoscopic wheels on a Mac before it crashes.

Food, dudes. Real food. Hundreds of plant-powered ingredients are at a herbivore’s fingertips everyday; they are Mother Nature’s heavyweight champions of fibre. I envy a vegan’s commitment. Their bowel movements must be like Christmas presents.

Given I am happily institutionalised into marital bliss with all its obligations and sacred rituals, I like to flirt with everything that crosses our front door. This week, it was vegan. The guest. Not the husband.

I wanted to thrill my guest, in the only way available to me (through my pantry). I quickly learned that with just a bit of mental parkour, you can turn any vegetable into a thundering drama queen and steal the show.

So here’s the recipe.

 

 

 

Cauli & Caper  Toast

Cauliflower toasts are scorching their hipster mark across NYC restaurants. With the right flavours, cauli toast is pretty fantastical. This dish has quickly become the litmus test of trendiness across cafes. Who knew a bleedin’ cauliflower could cause such a stir?

 

1 large head of cauliflower
Splash of olive oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed

 

Fire up your oven to 210 Celsius, gas mark 7.

Cut 2 or 3 large slices from your head of cauli. Aim for about 2cm thick so it won’t collapse on you. I slice down the centre, using the core to hold it all together. Rub all over with olive oil and cumin. Then roast flat for 20-30 minutes or until slightly charred and golden. Throw the capers on top, halfway through cooking.

To plate up, crown with a poached duck egg like in the picture, or and some hummus for a vegan supper. The capers will give fabulous pops of ‘salty lemon’ to the finished dish. Fried chorizo is achingly good too. Hakuna matata.

 

 

 

Here’s an interview of me, and my potty mouth talking to a journalist in NYC, on the release of the US edition of The Virtuous Tart cookbook………..

Don’t forget to hit “BOOM” at the top left corner, with your email address my friend, to receive a new weekly recipe direct to your inbox. Until then!

X SJ