Recipe & Review: Satay-day Night Fever from The Occasional Vegan
"As we all know, the last couple of years have seen a huge rise in the number of people who choose a vegan lifestyle, whether that's full-time, or just mindfully cutting back on animal produce. If you're either of those people or you simply love food, this book is for you"
Firstly I'd just like to start by saying thank you to Seren Books for inviting me to be part of the Blog Hop for the release of Sarah Philpott's first recipe book called 'The Occasional Vegan'. If you're like me, who hadn't heard of a bog hop before, that means that every day for 2 weeks a different blogger shares their thoughts on Sarah's new book. Whether that's a review of the book or a recipe review there's lots of great stuff to read by some wonderful bloggers. So keep your eyes peeled on the Seren books twitter feed!
Right let's dive in!
I really love the look and style of the book and I really enjoyed reading a little about Sarah's childhood experiences watching her mum dancing in the kitchen whilst cooking. It made me reminisce into my own childhood when I used to dance with my mum to reggae when we were cleaning. I could also relate to her experience of growing up with a single mum who worked incredibly hard to put a meal on the table and food in our bellies. Here's a big shout out to our amazing mums!
"I must make it clear that these recipes do not try to replicate meaty meals; they are tasty dishes in their own right. It's a real shame that we don't value vegetables and I hope that these recipes make you think differently about them"
I also really like Sarah's no nonsense approach to veganism and shutting down the myth that veganism is about 'clean eating' or 'faddy diets' as she says "...life is all about balance and nothing you eat is 'bad' or 'unclean'". Sarah's book includes lots of delicious sounding recipes such as KFC (Kentucky fried cauliflower), mac & cheese, Buddah bowls, various curries and puds! I love that it's split into 4 sections, the working week, something for the weekend, high days & holidays and comfort food & childhood favourites which means you can dive into a particular section if you're in a rush without having to faff about.
Okay, I've been chatting on for long enough so let's get onto the recipe review!
When flicking through the recipe book itself it was hard to make a decision on which recipe to cook and review. I thought I was sold on the To-fish & chips (it looks incredible & I've never eaten it before) until I saw the words 'Eighth Day Co-operative Cafe' on page 112 and instantly I knew I had to choose the Satay-day night fever!
Sarah explains that this recipe was inspired by a curry she enjoyed during a visit to Eighth Day in Manchester. I've been so many times and I absolutely LOVE their food! If you've never been expect to find hearty and warming food like curries, stews and selection of cakes. Due to Sarah's admiration of one of my favourite little cafes, I knew I had to cook this first... plus satay is one of my favourite things because I love the creamy and nutty sauce over some rice. It always feels really comforting!
Now I love aubergine, but I usually roast it in the oven. I have eaten it in a curry once but I wasn't too keen because the aubergine was a bit soggy. But judging by this recipe, the trick is to cut it into small chunks as it sucks up all the flavour without being too soggy! I have to say that I have tried to make my own satay on a few occasions and failed miserably to get both the spices and consistency right. This recipe has definitely solved that for me because it's tasty, thick and creamy due to the amount of PB and coconut milk. I also liked that Sarah added green beans and peas to the recipe as this gave it different flavours, textures and bulked it out a bit so it felt like you were eating a good amount of food (which is always important to me!)
I did make some changes to the recipe though... I didn't add the galangal because I couldn't find it in two of my local supermarkets, so I doubled the ginger instead. I also absolutely adore garlic so I did add an extra clove and a little salt at the end. But overall I don't think it changed the original recipe that much. We served satay-day night fever with some fluffy basmati rice and some poppadums from Sainsbury's that added a nice crunch to the dish. If you're not a fan of aubergine then don't fear, I reckon you could swap it for tofu or those delicious soya 'chicken' pieces from Tesco and you'll still have a great meal.
Here's the recipe for you all to enjoy :)
Time: 30-35 minutes
- 1 large Onion (peeled & diced)
- 1 large Aubergine (cut into small chunks)
- 200g Green Beans (ends removed)
- 1 x 400ml can Coconut Milk
- 3 Tbsp smooth Peanut Butter
- 2 tsp Galangal
- 2 tsp fresh Ginger (peeled & finely chopped)
- 2-3 Tbsp (I used 3 because I LOVE cumin!)
- 1 tsp Mustard Seeds
- 1 Garlic clove (peeled and finely chopped)
- The juice of 1 Lime
- 1 Tbsp Coconut Oil
1. In a large pan, heat the oil over a medium heat.
2. Add the onion, garlic, mustard seeds, galangal and ginger and sweat for 5 minutes.
3. Add the aubergine, cumin coconut milk, peanut butter and lime juice and bring to the boil.
4. Add the green beans, reduce the heat & simmer for 10-15 minutes.
5. Add the frozen peas and cook for a further 5 minutes - or until the vegetables are tender.
6. Serve with rice and poppadums (we also had a nice cold glass of beer!)
You can find a copy of the recipe book over at the seren books website and if you'd like to find out more about the author, Sarah Philpott (veggingit), you'll find her on twitter, Instagram and on her blogging site.
I hope you enjoyed this post as I've never written a recipe book review (hell I'm not even a food critic), but I know what I like and I'll always give an honest review. As always, I'm keen to hear your comments so do let me know what you think :)
Lots of love as always,