Monday, 27 June 2011
Denis Cotter's salad, muffins and vegetarian musings
Kaz Cooke's Kid Wrangling: the real guide to caring for babies, toddlers and preschoolers. I was quite shocked to read the advice that "Many vegetarian parents allow their young children to eat meat ... because they see this as the best way for their kids to grow and develop in the early years." She went on to say that if you were raising your kids as vegetarians you would have to have it approved by a nutritionist and that your kids would probably be smaller than average.
Unlike other chapters, there were no helpful quotes by vegetarian parents. There was no breezy information about those who did successfully raise vegetarian children. It didn't consider that parents who feel uncomfortable about eating meat might also feel uncomfortable about giving their children meat, or that they might let their child decide to eat meat rather than decide not to eat meat. In fact it made me feel like I was being told that I was a bad parent to bring up a child as a vegetarian.
This attitude is not surprising, given the number of ill informed health professionals I have encountered. It wasn't until I saw a dietician at our children's hospital, while Sylvia was being treated for other issues, that I finally felt I had some good advice on Sylvia's vegetarian diet. Disappointing nevertheless from someone like Kaz Cooke who has produced so many incisive cartoons and always seemed to have her head screwed on the right way.
Yet being vegetarian just isn't so simple. Why can't we have Tofu Thursdays or Soybean Sundays. Yes, yes, I know that no one would be swayed by them but at least it would make the point that it isn't just about subtraction. It is about transforming your diet.
interview with film maker, Julia Leigh, where she talked about film loosening the edges of yourself. I really liked the concept. It got me thinking about how vegetarianism has loosened my own edges. It changes the person that I am because it makes me an outsider to mainstream culture at times. (That's why my salad dressing is smiling at me in the above photo.) When I studied Nazi Germany as a history student at the tender age of 20, I used to wonder what I would have done had I lived through it. Would I have blindly followed Hitler. With hindsight, I can gladly say that I don't think so. Though who knows.
Denis Cotter's new cookbook, for the love of food. My mum and dad recently visited my sister in Ireland and were lucky enough to eat at his restaurant in Cork. They brought home a copy of his newest book. I absolutely loved reading his previous book Wild Garlic, Gooseberries ... and Me but the recipes are quite time consuming. This book is less about showcasing unusual ingredients and more about home cooked meals.
Before I became vegetarian, I was attracted to a vegetarian diet. I love the way vegetarianism focuses getting nutrients through eating a variety of vegetables, legumes, nuts, fruit and grains. Perhaps I could be so bold as to say it is a wholistic approach to diet. What I love about reading Denis Cotter's recipes is that he gets it. What joy it is to read a chapter on salads that are satisfyingly full of vegetables and proteins.
I served the salad on the first night with boiled potatoes which was surprisingly good. When I served up some leftovers I made some veg sausages to go with it and also the carrot muffins based on my smoky parsnip muffins. The sausages tasted excellent but looked so odd that I might try them again before posting. The muffins were light and tasty. I was particularly pleased that they worked because halfway through throwing them I found we were out of milk so I substituted soda water. It seemed fine. Sylvia wouldn't eat the muffins but she is picky. I was glad of them as an alternative to any of the food at the zoo. I like alternatives.
Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
This time last year: The Comforts of Rice Pudding
This time two years ago: Club Penguin Birthday Cake
This time three years ago: Winter Solstice Galettes (another Denis Cotter recipe)
This time four years ago: Crown Cake for Princess Madeline
Brussels Sprouts, Pumpkin and Bean Salad with Maple Sesame Dressing
Adapted from for the love of food by Denis Cotter
900g pumpkin, peeled and trimmed
drizzle of olive oil for roasting
1 tsp + 1 tbsp olive oil for frying
600g brussels sprouts, shredded
400g tin borlotti beans, rinsed and drained
3 tbsp maple syrup
3 tbsp tahini
juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp grated ginger
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 tsp tamari
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp chilli paste
Roast pumpkin for 30 - 50 minutes in a hot oven (I think I did 50 minutes at 220 C) until pumpkin is soft and starting to char on the edges. Cook onion for about 10 minutes in 1 tsp oil in a large frypan.
While pumpkin and onion are cooking, make dressing by stirring all ingredients together until smooth. Preferably use a bigger bowl than mine!
When pumpkin and onions cooked, add brussels sprouts and a tablespoon of oil to the frypan and cook over high heat for 5-10 minutes until leaves soften but keep their brilliant green. Add borlotti beans and stir them a minute or two to warm them. Scatter with pumpkin and dollop some dressing on them. Serve warm.
Carrot and Cheese Muffins
Adapted from here
Makes 12 muffins
1 largish carrot, grated
1 tsp thyme
100g cheddar cheese, grated
1 cup self raising flour
½ cup wholemeal flour
1 tsp baking powder
pinch each of salt and smoked paprika
¾ cup soda water
½ cup canola oil
Mix carrot, thyme, cheese and flours in a large mixing bowl. Mix soda water, oil and egg in a small bowl with a fork until mixed. Spoon into greased or lined 12 hole muffin tin. Bake at 180 C for 20-25 minutes (I baked mine for 25 minutes). Cool on a wire rack. Best eaten when room temperature.
On the Stereo:
Son of Evil Reindeer: the Reindeer Selection