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Tuesday 10 November 2009

Bad MoFo!

So I missed the last couple of days of MoFo and I haven't blogged for two weeks!! Gah, sorry. But I do have a recipe to make up for it, even if it isn't my own!

I'll jump right in with today's dinner. I bought some giant wholewheat couscous and I tried it out today - it's good stuff! I sauteed some mushrooms and shallots with some garlic. I crushed up some cumin & coriander seeds and added those along with about 1/2 a tsp of chipotles in adobo sauce (I got a tin in my PPK swap and I whizzed them up in my food processor so I could store it in the fridge and use them as a paste). I also added a teeny bit of liquid smoke to accentuate the smoky flavour. Good stuff. To go with it was some steamed cabbage and some baked tofu that I just sprayed with Braggs and rubbed with some spices (just a shop bought chicken seasoning!). Also some bread - I will come back to that bread!

Sunday I had a big crockpot full of chickpeas I'd put on before I went to bed Saturday night so I knew the soup I wanted to make was the Bodacious Bean & Barley Soup from Garden of Vegan - I love that soup so much.

With it, I made Rachel Allen's Wholewheat Oat & Seed Bread. I haven't got a cut pic (aside from a not great one in the first pic) but there's still some left so maybe you'll see it in the next post.

OK so this recipe isn't mine, it's Rachel Allen's. But I'm posting it here because it was on her TV programme and isn't in any of her books apparently. Also, for some weird reason UKTV food haven't put the recipe on the website, which is unusual. Rachel Allen is the shizzle - and so is this bread, so here it is. It's so easy you gotta give it a go. It's really REALLY good!! No kneading people - NO KNEADING!!!

350ml warm water
1 table spoon of agave nectar (Rachel used honey), or golden syrup or black treacle.
7g dried yeast (about 1.5 tsp)
200 g wholemeal flour
75g plain flour
75g mixed seeds (I used a combo of sesame, linseed and pumpkin seeds)
50g oats
25 g bran (I used wheat bran)
1 tsp salt
1 tablespoon sunflower oil

Grease a 1kg/2lb loaf tin. Preheat oven to 200 degrees centigrade (185-190 for fan ovens).

Measure 100ml of warm water and add the agave. Stir and add the yeast, stir again then leave for a few minutes until the yeast begins to work (you want to see a cm or so of bubbles on top of the water).

While waiting for the yeast to work mix all the dry ingredients into a bowl and mix well with your hands. When yeast is ready top it up with the other 250mls of warm water and add the sunflower oil. Stir, then make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add most of the liquid. Using your fingers bring it all together, it needs to be quite ‘sloppy’. It should look like you need to add more flour - but you don't!! (Depending on how the mix comes together, add more of the liquid if needed. If all the liquid is used and it’s still not sloppy, add a further 50-75mls of warm water - I had to add more.)

Empty into the loaf tin, give a little shake to even out then with a knife, score down the length of the loaf in the centre (apparently this prevents it cracking). If you like, sprinkle more mixed seeds on the top (I didn't), cover with a clean tea towel then leave in a warm (not hot) place to rise. This takes between 10 & 30 mins. Once risen to the top of the tin, place in the mid to lower part of the preheated oven and bake for approximately one hour.

Take it out of the oven 5-10 to mins before the hour is up and take it out of the tin. Place back in the oven out of the tin for the other 5 to 10 mins to slightly crisp the sides and base. Once you can tap it on the sides and base and it sounds hollow… it’s ready.

Friday night's dinner and I wanted chips. I was so tempted to stop at the chippy but I wanted to stick to my diet so I resisted. So I made oven chips instead and they are just as good as deep fried ones but way healthier. I just cut the potato up into chips, sprayed them with a little olive oil and then baked them at 200C for about 30 minutes, flipping once. They stuck a little because I didn't add too much oil but not enough to be an issue. Once done, give them a good shake of sea salt. YUM. I had some smoked tofu and mushy peas with them.

Oh and maybe most importantly - chip butty!! Loads of ketchup. Good stuff.



  1. That giant couscous is so big it's positively frightening! I love the look of your chippy meal - esp the smoked tofu, and hope that you had plenty of salt and vinegar on yer mushy peas, om-nom-nom!
    Nice to see a return of old favourite bean and barley soup - my daughter LOVES barley so I should probably make this shouldn't I?! And a no-knead bread is like the holy grail - thanx for the recipe, missus!

  2. that couscous is freakin' huge, lady! awesome.

    thanks for the bread recipe. i've been a bread way of late and been collecting recipes like mad.

  3. All the food looks so good, but oh! Chip butties! Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. I gotta make that bread, it looks so good! I'm a total carb fiend, lol.

    Also, the giant couscous is soooo cute!! :)

  5. Mmmmm chip butty, I wish I had one of those right now!

  6. haha... i didn't even know couscous came that big!!! Is it dry???

  7. I'm just about to have lunch and now I want a chip sandwich! But I will have my salad instead ;)

    The couscous looks like lentils and it also looks delish!

  8. Mmmm mushy peas and chips is my favourite - your healthy chips look delicious especially between two bits of bread and smothered in ketchup.YUM!
    I really enjoyed watching Rachel Allen when I was in the UK and I'm loving the look of that no knead bread. Need some of that. Hahahahaha.

  9. oven fries are some of my favorites - yours look perfect, Sal! so does your tofu sammie 'n peas. i have trouble with my oven fries sticking, too. i'll spray the pan with a little cooking spray along with drizzling olive oil on the taters as well. sometimes it helps, but sometimes those buggers are just stubborn.

    i've got half a cabbage in my fridge - steamed cabbage sounds great; thanks, Sal! your couscous looks awesome - don't 'cha just love chipotles?! they're so spicy, but i love the flavor! i still need to get Garden of Vegan, and thanks for the whole wheat oat & seed bread recipe. that's one sexy look'n loaf o' bread you got go'n on. w00t!

  10. Mmm... chips! I have a serious potato addiction going at the moment!

    I too fell off the blogging wagon over the past couple of weeks, I have to get back into it!

    Your food looks nummy as always, though my favourite would have to be the chips, peas and smoked tofu! Nom!

  11. MoFo is a lot of work! You deserve a little blogging break after all the MoFo craziness!

    The Bean & Barley Soup looks so yummy! We've been eating lots of barley lately because it's low-GI friendly.

    You gotta have bread with soup! You had me at no-knead!! I hate kneading dough!

  12. Giant couscous is one of my fave grains/pasta, whatever you call it. The soup looks delicious, and I'll add the bread recipe to my to-do list. Never had a chip butty, which I can see is something I've been missing. Yum!

  13. Oooh, fresh bread! I have a ton of that couscous & never know what to do with it.


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