So over on my Instastory not only did I apologise for my lack of blogging (5 months… it’s been a dry spell) but I also asked for requests as to what I could write about next.
Now the blog drought is attributed both to a brand spanking new job I got in 2017 (ya’berrah work bish) but also I am working on something really exciting that I’ll be launching in a few months so I have been putting a lot of my creative juices somewhere else lately.
But… as for the writing requests, everything came trickling down to one topic.
A lot of people said they didn’t know how to approach ‘vegetarian food’. Sounds simple enough, this sentence haunts me. Not because ‘how to eat vegetarian food’ is just a poorly worded sentence for which I beg for your forgiveness, but I genuinely believe vegetarian food doesn’t exist. Hear me out.
Somebody saying that they like eating vegetarian food is like a driver saying they like driving ‘drivers cars’ or a smoker saying they like smoking ‘smokers cigarettes’. Such a thing doesn’t exist. It just is. It’s unnecessary to categorise vegetarian food like it is derived from a ‘culture’. It’s food.
When somebody says they like eating vegetarian meals, I know that what they are trying to say is that they enjoy eating food without meat sometimes. I get what they are saying. But to it’s detriment, I think the shadow cast over meatless food as ‘vegetarian food’ creates an illusion or a sense of mystery around it. It’s complex. It’s almost unattainable. It’s only for those ‘in the cool club’.
I am neither unattainable nor cool, so there goes that theory.
And that’s where I think a lot of the resistance to eating meatless dishes come from – accessibility. That’s also why people (such as myself for many years) poke fun at it. It’s like the fashion industry. Those not within it, make fun of it.
Okay I’ve also made fun of the fashion industry because who cares, but you get what I mean.
“Vegetarian food” (or just food, as a lot of people call it) has a shroud of mystery revolving around it because people just don’t know where to start. They immediately need the meat substitute. “Where’s the protein?”. And so, they will immediately turn to either quorn or a pasta bake.
A lot of people believe the ‘real’ vegetarian food, the food they see on the Gram or in recipe books can only be obtained from magic carpeted journeys to obscure locations and come at the cost of all the wealth.
False news people. There are a lot of skint people eating great vegetarian food. This is a fact.
So what I’m going to release (as often as I can!) are a collection of recipes here on the blog called SUPERMARKET VEGETARIAN. These recipes will include a very, very small handful of very, very cheap ingredients that I promise you, you will be able to get from your local offie when you nip in to get fairy liquid and some milk.
The recipes can all made between the hours of 6pm and 7pm (we’ve all got lives and nobody wants to be in the Kitchen for too long) and were made for either 1 or 2 people. If you’re cooking for more, double the quantities. Let’s get over the idea of “vegetarian food” and let’s just call it what it is. Food. It’s no biggie.
Beerbread with Hot Garlic Hummus & Black Olive Tapenade
So I’m starting the series with some flatbreads. Chill out – these flatbreads are made with 3 ingredients and take nothing but counter space and optimistic forearms.
I loves a flatbread. It’s like a really weird cousin of a tortilla, and anybody who follows me on Instagram (@immikeybelll – get into it) knows how often I use them. But these flatbreads, or beerbreads as I’m calling them, are all doughy and misshapen making for a much chunkier meal. You feel like you’re eating something proper opposed to a tortilla, which sometimes doesn’t fill you enough.
Enough tortilla slagging.
So this is a very quick operation. In a big ass bowl, put in 200g of self raising flour and a teaspoon of salt. Celery salt preferably, but I know this is only available in certain stores (Morrison’s, cough) so some normal regular-degular salt with be absolutely fine. Now to this add about 150ml of beer. All in one. Crack on. Mix this together using your hands. I say your hands because it’s a bugger to get off a wooden spoon. If it feels a little dry, add a tiny splash of beer. Be sparing with the beer though, too much and it goes soggy.
Once it comes together to create a looseish dough, turn it out onto a floured surface and knead it for like 15 minutes. Once it creates a nice, smooth ball, pop it back in the bowl, cover the bowl with a teatowel and leave it sit on the side while you make your bits.
Put a tiny drop of olive oil in a frying pan and once hot, drop in two peeled garlic cloves and swirl them around the pan. Fry the garlic cloves until they brown slightly – this takes the acrid edge off the garlic and smokes it out a little – and then chuck them in a processor. Add to this a can of drained chickpeas, some extra virgin olive oil, some salt, some pepper, some lemon juice and zest, some cumin and a tiny spoonful of peanut butter. Blitz it all to a creamy paste.
For the tapenade, just roughly chop up some sundried tomatoes, some black olives and parsley. Add to a bowl before scattering in some salt and pepper. Now add a tablespoon or two of the oil from the sundried tomato jar and a few drops of Worcestershire sauce and mix to combine. Done.
Once your beerbread dough has had 15 mins resting time, put a dry frying pan on the hob and let it heat up. While it heats, grab your dough ball and break it into four mini balls. On the floured surface, using a rolling pin (I’ve also used an aerosol can before now) roll them out to be roughly the size of big saucers. They will fall back in on themselves and shrink as you roll, but you kind of want this. It makes the shape a lot easier to manipulate.
Once they’re the size of big saucers, dry fry them one at a time. Once it hits the pan, leave it there until it starts to bubble. Once it starts to bubble up, flip it over and cook it on the other side for like a minute and a half. Little black spots is exactly what you’re going for, so don’t panic if you think you’ve burnt it!
Once they’re all cooked and charred in certain spots, you’re ready to serve. I scatter the hummus with some sunflower seeds and a little drizzle of the sundried tomato oil to the hummus, but this isn’t essential. Serve the damn thing.
I’m sure you don’t need guidance but I smear the hummus on first, then the olives and commence to chowing down. Two of these fill me up a treat but if you know you have a bigger appetite, you could easily fry up some mushrooms and throw them on top too.