Eat Your Veg (what's in season & cooking tips for April)

rhubarb growing in a garden

Some of you may know I had a monthly column in Vegan Life Magazine, which later became Cook Vegan for a couple of years. I gave the column up at the end of last year when the magazine changed to Plant Based. I felt I had been writing the column long enough.

VEG ON WHEELS



My column was called Veg on Wheels and I talked about seasonal fruit and vegetables and what to do with them each month. 

I had the idea after many conversations about veg boxes and how you end up making the same recipes every month (often soup) or have no idea what to make at all. 

I had a veg box delivery myself so I knew what they meant. I really had to make an effort. Anyway, I pitched the idea to Vegan Life Magazine, they loved it and gave me a monthly column.


WHAT'S IN SEASON THIS MONTH?



I was looking at the veg in my fridge today, trying to decide what to make and thought about my column and that my readers might like some inspiration for using their seasonal fruit and vegetables too, so I thought I might share some of my ideas with you each month. 

Some of the ideas I will be sharing I've created myself and some I found and tried from the web. They aren't full recipes, just simple ideas, although I will include some links to recipes you might like to try.

I do hope you enjoy the ideas and try some. Do let me know if you are enjoying my suggestions and have tried any.


WHAT'S IN SEASON IN APRIL?


This month asparagus appears for its short, glorious season, as well as Jersey Royal new potatoes, rhubarb, rocket, spinach and watercress.


ASPARAGUS


Recipe Ideas


In my opinion the best way to serve new season asparagus is naked. Sauté it in a little olive oil or rapeseed oil until tender, finish with a squeeze of lemon and a grinding of black pepper.  

If you want to do something a bit fancier, why not make baked asparagus fries? Coat asparagus in whisked egg or flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax seeds & 3 tbsp water, mixed and left in the fridge for half an hour), then roll in panko breadcrumbs seasoned with nutritional yeast, spices and black pepper then bake for 10 – 12 minutes. Serve with mayonnaise (standard or vegan) for dunking.

Recipes


If you decide you want to to more with your asparagus than eat in naked, why not try: 

How to BBQ Asparagus from Fab Food 4 All -  vegan

Roasted Radish & Asparagus Tart with Kale Pesto from Veggie Desserts  -  veggie & vegan
Roast Asparagus, Oyster Mushroom & Pearl Barley Salad from The Hedgecombers -  vegan
Orzo Risotto with Mint & British Asparagus from Foodie Quine -  veggie




A stack of Jersey Royal new potatoes

JERSEY ROYAL NEW POTATOES


Recipe Ideas


I love potatoes and Jersey Royals are rather good, aren't they?

I like to serve them lightly cooked, halved and tossed through pasta with homemade pesto and green beans. Mind you I always keep jars of Sacla or Mr Organic vegan pesto in my store cupboard for quick meals and that is good too in this dish.

Recipes


If you want some more ideas for Jersey Royal new potatoes try: 

Royal Sag Aloo from the Jersey Royal website -  veggie (add oil instead of butter to make it vegan)




RHUBARB


Recipe Ideas


Another of my favourite things at this time of year is rhubarb. Luckily I have a free supply from my parent’s neighbour Bert, who has a large patch at the bottom of his garden. He doesn’t like it himself, so I’m always happy to take some off his hands. 

You may not have a free supply, but it should be appearing in your veg box and on the supermarket shelves. 

Make a crumble with it. Cut it into chunks and lightly boil for a few minutes. Pop in a casserole dish and top with a crumble mixture (200g plain flour, 100g caster sugar, 100g demerara sugar and 200g butter or dairy free spread. Rub together lightly with your fingertips until you have a crumble like texture) and bake until golden and bubbling. Serve with cream or ice cream (dairy or vegan).

Recipes


If you need some rhubarb recipe inspiration, try these:

Rhubarb Vanilla Buttermilk Cake from Baking Queen 74  - veggie

Rhubarb, Strawberry & Ginger Jam from The Hedgecombers  - vegan
Homemade Rhubarb & Ginger Gin from Fuss Free Flavours - vegan





ROCKET


Recipe Ideas


Rocket is fresh and peppery. My advice is to serve it fresh. Pile it high on pizza that’s fresh out of the oven, mix it through bulgur wheat with fresh herbs and lemon juice or add to salads, sandwiches and wraps to enjoy its peppery kick.

Recipes


For new ideas for rocket try these:

Rocket Hummus - vegan


SPINACH




Recipe Ideas


I like to blend spinach with apples, mint, banana, some water and ice for a healthy start to the day, but it’s really good cooked in a dal with coconut milk and spices or whizzed up into a burger with kidney beans, puy lentils, porridge oats and spices.

Recipes


Love spinach? Try these recipes:



WATERCRESS

watercress

Recipe Ideas


Serve freshly cooked peas with watercress, mint and a drizzle of olive oil or whizz up the same ingredients with hot vegetable stock for a fresh and delicious soup.  

You can also mash dairy free spread with finely chopped watercress and crushed garlic. Roll it into a sausage shape, then slice and freeze on a tray. Once frozen move to a freezer bag. Take some out when you want to make homemade garlic bread or to serve over steamed vegetables.

Recipes


Need more inspiration for that watercress in your fridge, why not try: 

Watercress Soup from Jamie Oliver


I hope you have left with some new ideas to try this month. Do share any tips you have for cooking this month's seasonal fruit and veg.



In case you haven't heard, my first published book is out. Living on the Veg: a kids guide to living meat free, co-written with Clive Gifford.

Living on the Veg: A kids' guide to life without meat - review and giveaway

Front cover of Living on the Veg: A kids' guide to life without meat

YAY! My book is finally out! 


I say my book, but it was co-authored with Clive Gifford, who shared all the interesting facts and tips, while I created the recipes. 

I'm really pleased with it. It's bright and colourful and really easy for children (and adults) to follow and understand a vegetarian diet in an interesting way and it's packed with facts.

Scottish Potato Scones and How to Cook a Full Vegan Breakfast

Scottish Potato Scones

Do you take the time to make a special breakfast on a Sunday morning? 

Perhaps you make a full cooked breakfast? 

We have a very relaxed start to the day on a Sunday. We wake up a little later than usual (if we 're lucky), then we take our time to get ready for the day. 

I like to cook us something a bit more special for breakfast on a Sunday as during the week it's a very rushed affair, with only Cooper eating a proper breakfast (usually porridge), while we rush around getting ready.

Sometimes Cooper and I will make pancakes at the weekend or we might just have (baked) beans on toast. However our favourite Sunday breakfast is a full cooked breakfast.

There are so many things you can include in a cooked breakfast, but one of our favourite parts of a cooked breakfast are potato scones or as we call them here in Scotland tattie scones. We sometimes just pick a packet up at the supermarket, but if we have potatoes in the fridge we  often make our own as they are so easy and quick to make..

Let me show you my step-by-step guide of how to make them, then I'll take you through some options for a full vegan cooked breakfast. The full recipe with measurements and printable recipe is further down.

Roasted Vegetable and Tofu Sandwiches

Roasted Vegetable and Tofu Sandwiches

One of my Facebook page readers recently called me the Queen of Sandwiches. I suppose she may be onto something. I have shared rather a lot of sandwiches and wraps on my blog.

There isn't a great deal of inspiration out there and it all seems rather similar. For vegetarians there's lots of cheese and pickle or egg mayo and for vegans there are endless recipes for salad sandwiches or sandwiches filled with chickpea spread. 

I hold my hands up, I've made a chickpea sandwich spread and it was rather good, but lets try something else.

It's so easy to become bored with our regular lunchtime sandwiches.


Buttery Scottish Teatime Scones - vegan recipe

Buttery Scottish Teatime Scones - vegan recipe

Don't you just love a fluffy, buttery scone?

They are so associated with afternoon tea here in Scotland (and in England too), that it just wouldn't be the same without them.

I just love them, especially when they're still warm from the oven.


Scottish High Tea


Light and fluffy Scottish scones with a good rise made to a vegan recipe. Perfect for a teatime treat with dairy free spread and jam. Free printable recipe. #scones #scottishscones #veganscones #veganbaking #scottish #vegan



Scottish High Tea

Scones are offered in Scotland as part of a high tea. Have you heard of high tea?

High tea is an early evening meal, where you're served a selection of small cakes, including scones after your main meal with a pot of tea. Toast is often served too. It's all included in the price of the meal.

Many hotels and pubs offer high teas in Scotland, but you better be prepared to dine early between 4:30pm and 6:00pm.


Oh and they are pronounced scone which rhymes with gone.

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