The most exciting thing I made from my latest OddBox was a rhubarb galette. I’ve just realised that I never got around to writing a blog post about that box, so here is a picture of the contents.
I don’t think I’ve actually cooked with rhubarb before, so I’m pleased with how my first attempt went. I adapted the pastry from the roasted vegetable galette I made and it worked really well. I’m a fan of the galette as a pastry format. So much less fussy than a pie.
- 1 1/4 cup (150g) plain flour
- 1/4 cup oil
- 1/4 cup ice cold water
- Salt, a pinch
- 3 cups rhubarb, cut into 1/4″ slices (about 4 stalks/250g)
- 3/4 cup (125g) sugar
- 2tbsp crystallised ginger, minced (I used this recipe to make my own)
- Zest of one orange
- 2tbsp plain flour
- 4tbsp ground almonds
- 1tsp vanilla extract
Combine the flour, oil, salt and 1/4 cup water in a bowl. Stir to combine. Add up to 2tbcp water if the dough it too dry to come together.
Form into a ball, using a little flour of needed. Refrigerate for around 40 minutes. You can cover the bowl with a tea towel but it’s not necessary.
Preheat oven to 180C/375F.
Meanwhile, combine the chopped rhubarb, sugar, ginger, orange zest, vanilla and flour in a bowl and leave to macerate for around 15 minutes. No additional liquid is required.
Roll the pastry out on a floured surface, fairly thin and in a roughly circular shape. Gently transfer to your baking tray (roll it onto the rolling pin if that helps).
Leaving a 2″/5cm border, sprinkle around 4tbsp ground almonds over the centre of the pastry. This will help to soak up the rhubarb juice and prevent a soggy bottom.
Add the macerated rhubarb on top of the almonds. If the rhubarb has released excess liquid, use a slotted spoon to remove it from the bowl.
Fold over the edges of the pastry to form your galette. The pastry is quite robust and can tolerate being handled.
Add a sprinkle of Demerara sugar on top for an extra crunch if that’s your bag.
Bake in the preheated oven for 30-30 minutes. The crust should be golden and the filling bubbly.
Leave to cool on a rack for at least half an hour before serving.
The galette was delicious both hot (served with ice cream) and on its own cold over the next couple of days.
I really enjoyed the plant-powered pistachio dessert I made for vegan Jamaican night a few weeks ago.
I have a massive sweet tooth so it was nice to have this in the freezer, ready to be blended into a refreshing and healthy milkshake. Its nice to have a second vegan ice cream option beyond basic banana nice cream.
You can find the original recipe here but this is the version I made. As OP notes, the dates do dull the green colour. I think it’s worth it for the taste.
Dates vary a lot in sweetness so I recommend starting off by adding 2/3 cup, tasting and increasing if desired. Remember that flavours do tend to mellow in the freezer. If possible, make the night before you need this recipe because it does take several hours to set.
Next time I make this I will try using matcha rather than spirulina to add both colour and flavour. God I’m a hipster.
- 2.5 cups non-dairy milk (I used almond)
- 2/3 – 1 cup dates
- Add all ingredients to a blender and blitz until smooth. Start with smaller amounts of the dates and spirulina and add more to taste.
- Transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze overnight.
- Remove from freezer 10-15 minutes before serving
My flatmate and I had a friend coming over for dinner who is also doing Veganuary. I thought this was a perfect excuse to try out some new vegan dishes.
The lentils were flavoursome and my guests commented positively. Even though I added a scotch bonnet (whole during cooking and then discarded) I felt the mix lacked kick. Patties are generally quite spicy. Next time I might add half of a de-seeded scotch bonnet.
I used this vegan pastry recipe since I eat gluten and avoid hydrogenated fats. I added two teaspoons of curry powder to the mixture. Next time, I think I would add some extra turmeric and perhaps a drop of yellow food colouring since patties are traditionally yellow.
I really enjoyed the pastry but I did find it a bit dry and very short. To be fair, I made a mistake in refrigerating the dough before I used it, which meant I had to handle it a lot more than I would have liked. I will probably test again before passing final judgment.
I also know that my grandma’s rule of thumb was half fat to flour so I might up the coconut oil too. I’ve been considering adding pea protein. Not sure what grandma would make of that!
I also made ackee sin salt fish. I can’t lie; I really missed the salt fish. Even though you use only a little amount of salted cod, it’s a huge part of the flavour. I was so immersed in cooking that I didn’t take pictures so these are nabbed from my friend’s Instagram stories.
For dessert we had pistachio ice cream. I might even take some better pictures and write a separate post about it. I thought it was yummy.
I also made sorrel, which is a traditional Jamaican Christmas drink. They sell hibiscus tea at The Source so it’s really easy. I used this recipe as a base but would note that I don’t think you need that much hibiscus. A cup costs around £2.50 and I think half a cup would be fine.
I’m so proud that this meal was almost entirely free of plastic waste. And really cheap too! The most expensive thing was the ice cream. I’m starting to feel ready for Veganuary!
As an additional note, the leftover patties are really nice cold. They’re a bit dry because I cooked the lentils down a lot- didn’t want to risk a soggy bottom.
I’m trying out a few new recipes. Changing my diet is inspiring me to cook differently, which has been fun. I also went to an amazing vegan supper club with my flatmate.
I’m definitely going to do Veganuary so I’ve also been getting a few recipes out of my system. Karelian/Carelian pastries (both spellings appear to be acceptable) were one of my favourite foods from Finland and I suddenly had a hankering to try making them last Friday.
Karelian pie sounds absolutely repulsive but tastes amazing. It’s thin rye pastry filled with savoury rice pudding and topped with egg butter. Lots of fat and carbs to help withstand the freezing Nordic temperatures. Or London in November.
I followed this recipe quite closely, using a mixture of arborio and pudding rice. I had around 1/3 of the pastry left, I believe because I put a lot of filling in each one. I considered trying to freeze the dough, but I think it will be a while before I attempt this recipe again so I just binned it.
The only plastic waste generated from these was the chive package. I had purchased the chives for a new black lentil recipe I was trying to use up my OddBox potatoes. I went to a greengrocer and Eat17 but neither place had them unpackaged and I wasn’t willing to go without.
Oh! I nearly forgot that I bought milk in plastic for this recipe too. I trialled making two of the Carelian pies with almond milk and they were nice but I made a slight mistake using a sweetened product. I think oat milk would work better.
I got my fourth OddBox delivery last week.
I made ‘crack broccoli’ following this recipe that I found on Pinterest.
The broccoli tasted fine but, unlike crack, not that moreish. My fault for believing the hype I guess.
I also tried a couple of different salads. This is rainbow salad with halloumi. It was decent.
My favourite was this griddled peach and goats cheese salad. I didn’t even add the dressing and it was delicious.
I also watched Cowspiracy with my friend Anna. I first heard about this documentary at a talk by Bosh, two middle class guys who set up what they call ‘the vegan Tasty’ (that channel that makes birds-eye views of someone cooking recipes). Apparently everyone that watches Cowspiracy immediately goes vegan. I was genuinely a bit scared.
One thing the documentary did make me think was that I have been approaching zero waste slightly sideways. For example, dairy milk is much more resource-intensive to produce than plant-based milk alternatives. It is probably ‘better’ to consume plant-based milk in recyclable packaging than milk in a glass bottle. I’m going to try switching to barista-style Oatley rather than getting my milk delivered.
A disadvantage of trying to reduce waste is becoming hyper-aware of how wasteful society is. Here I share things that have bothered or worried me.
This week’s tilt is brought to you courtesy of Transport for London. Since I changed jobs, I needed to purchase a new annual travel card. This was an opportunity to finally sort out the six Oyster cards I had in a drawer.
I checked my TfL account. Three cards were registered and three unregistered. Annoyingly it was not possible to register the cards since I technically did not buy them- my old workplace did on my behalf. There was a total of nearly £40 on the registered cards, and getting a refund meant the cards get deactivated.
I phone TfL and it transpires that I cannot register any of the three cards I have. I have to go out and buy a seventh card, register it, and then add the annual travel card. In the end, I also couldn’t register this card because I hadn’t used it for a journey. So I had to go to a ‘travel centre’ and buy an eighth Oyster card. I understand that it’s important to protect customers’ data and money, but this this is ludicrous.
We are at a stage where we don’t actually need stupid pieces of plastic to store passes. I have a phone with near-field technology that comes with me everywhere. Why can’t I just have the pass stored on an app?
After my last attempt at a chia breakfast pudding, I did some experimenting to see if I could come up with a tasty recipe for a chai-spiced pot. I realised along the way that the weird taste, which I had attributed to the maca and lucuma powder in the previous iteration, was partly down to the chia seeds, which have a bit of a weird taste in themselves.
- 300ml milk, any
- 2tsp black tea
- 5 peppercorns
- 1 green cardamom pod
- 1 vanilla pod
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1tbsp sugar, any (e.g. honey, coconut sugar, cane sugar)
- 3tbsp chia seeds
Measure your milk into a small saucepan. Halve the vanilla pod and add the seeds to the milk. Do not discard the rest of the pod.
Add the tea and whole spices. You can either put them into a tea infuser (apart from the cinnamon stick and vanilla pod) or straight into the saucepan. Put over a low heat, watching carefully so that you do not allow the liquid to boil over. As it comes to the boil, turn down the heat and leave to simmer for two minutes to allow the spices to infuse.
If you have used an infuser, give it a squeeze to release the extra-concentrated flavours lurking within. If you haven’t used an infuser, strain.
Stir in the chia seeds and decant into a container to cool. Refrigerate overnight.
I served mine with a couple of tablespoons of speculoos butter, Greek yoghurt and pomegranate arils.
This recipe is inspired by the rainbow pie with hazelnut crust featured in Straight from the Source, the magazine made by the bulk store I frequent.
For the crust
- 1.5 cups hazelnut meal/blitzed hazelnuts
- 1/2 cup almond meal
- 3/4 cup flour (I used ordinary plain flour, use tapioca flour to make this pie gluten-free)
- 1 egg
- 100g butter
- A good pinch of salt
For the filling
- 5 eggs
- 2tbsp milk or cream
- 3tbsp pesto (I used this recipe)
- 1 small sweet potato, diced and roasted
- 100g gruyere
- 1 small courgette
- 1 small yellow pepper
- 30g spinach/red pak choi if you can get it
- 1 red onion
Note: You may be able to see from my pictures that I followed a slightly different method. Do as I say, not as I do!
Preheat the oven to 180C
Grease a 25cm pie tin. I used a 23cm one because that’s what I have and just meant the pastry was a little thicker.
Mix together the pastry ingredients until they form into a ball. Do not over-mix.
Press into the greased pie tin and bake for ten minutes. If you haven’t already, roast your diced sweet potato at the same time.
I allowed the crust to rise above the edges of the tin deliberately- the pastry burns very easily. This way, any blackened bits can easily be trimmed off at the end.
While the crust is cooking, finely chop the onion and cook in olive oil or butter until translucent.
Chop the other vegetables.
Layer the spinach, onion, pepper, sweet potato and courgette in the crust.
Beat the eggs with the cream/milk and pesto. Fold in the diced cheese and sundried tomatoes. Pour over the vegetables in the crust.
Return to the oven for 15-20 minutes, until the eggs are completely cooked.
I have to say that if I was going to bother to go to the effort of making a quiche again, I would be more likely to go for a quiche lorraine. But it was fun to try something new.