Posts tagged vegan
Middle Eastern Couscous Salad

This is the perfect accompaniment to a creamy curry or tagine, or as a barbecue side salad. Packed with dried fruit, toasted nuts, green herbs, citrus and pomegranate seeds, this has all of the flavours of Western Asia and the beautiful colours make an elegant and stunning dish on the table. Although quite a hefty list of ingredients, there aren't many steps as it is pretty much just a case of combining everything together.


250g couscous
1 red onion (100g), thinly sliced
2 large garlic cloves (12g), crushed
1.5 tsp citrus zest (lemon or lime or a combination of both)
1 tbsp lemon juice
2.5 tbsp orange juice
1.25 tsp toasted cumin seeds
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground black pepper
¼ tsp cinnamon
100g dried fruit (raisins, chopped apricots, chopped figs or a mix of 3)
30g roughly chopped fresh herbs (coriander, parsley, mint or a mix of 3)
80g pomegranate seeds
150g toasted nuts (flaked almonds and pistachios or a mix of both)


Mix all of the ingredients from the red onion through to the pomegranate seeds together and let sit in a bowl for as long as possible, preferably overnight. This will allow the red onion to soften and the dried fruit to plump up in the citrus juices.
Cook the couscous according to packet instructions, usually by soaking in hot water for about 10 minutes, until all the water has been absorbed.
Mix the couscous and the nuts into the rest of the ingredients. I find that mixing by hand is easiest. Serve at room temperature.

Recipe by CAMYOGA Chef Alice Kabala

Raw Beetroot Homous Recipe
beetroot homous

I always think that dips are a perfect choice for parties: they're relaxed and informal to eat; they're easy to scale up and make in large quantities; and they're served cold so you can just put them on the snack table and forget about them. Probably most importantly, they are very quick to make, which is a huge bonus for those of use who don't take huge pleasure in rolling tens and tens of individual filo pastry parcels!

Homous is a steadfast favourite of vegans and non-vegans alike so you will rarely get anyone complaining about the basic recipe, but this variation on the classic makes it a touch more special (not to mention beautiful to look at!) I always think that you can make quite a striking looking platter with dips as well, combined with a variety of colourful vegetable sticks, crackers, breads or crisps, depending on what you like to dunk in to them! I would thoroughly recommend using a blender for this too; even a high-end food processor won't be able to get the smooth, creamy consistency that you want for this dip. The one downside for this recipe is that it doesn't keep brilliantly, so you will want to make it the day before, or the day of, the event that you're serving it.

1 can (240g) cooked chickpeas
250g raw beetroot
75g tahini
50g extra virgin olive oil
50g water (from the chickpea can or fresh water)
Zest (1.25 tbsp) and juice (50ml) of 1 large lemon
2 large (13g) garlic cloves
1.5 tsp salt
3/4 tsp ground black pepper

Scrub the beetroot (no need to peel) and chop in to slightly more manageable chunks for the blender.
Place in to the blender, along with all the other ingredients, and process until completely smooth. That's it!
Garnish with parsley, sesame seeds or anything else you feel like!

A Chat with Alice Kabala: Veganism, Comfort Food and Seasonal Recipes!

alice for blogIf you're looking for some veggie inspiration, look no further. Alice Kabala, the Chef at Great Shelford and food blogger, creates delicious, seasonal and healthy recipes. Feeling fancy and want to get in the kitchen? Check out her blog at Thoughtful Forkfuls. Haven't got the time but have a growling stomach? Come to the Great Shelford studio to try a super yummy meal. Carry on reading for a quick insight into Alice... What inspired you to become vegan?

A: I’ve been a vegetarian since I was about 6 or 7, and then when I moved out from home I started thinking more about the sort of impact that our diets have on animals, the planet, and different people. Vegetarianism started to make less sense to me because animals are still intensively farmed for the dairy and egg industry, and if I wanted to be an ambassador for animals and think of animal welfare, then I thought that I should go completely vegan. I also studied environmental science at university so that allowed me to become more aware about food sustainability and food security, and again choosing a lower impact dietary choice on the planet just seemed to make sense to me. It’s the amount of meat that we are eating all over the world that isn’t sustainable, and anyway which we can all help individually is very important.


What does a typical day, food wise, look like for you?

A: I snack quite a lot and frequently so I eat smaller amounts. Also, because I’m in the kitchen, I’m often tasting throughout the morning so when I get to lunch I’m not starving hungry. I usually start the day in Winter with porridge, but I’m feeling less like that now. I’ve actually started to become a green smoothie person which I never thought would happen but I like to throw in nuts, oats, different fruits, chia seeds, mint – different things just to make it more exciting. I will tend to choose healthy snacks, like carrots and hummus, dried fruit, those kinds of things. For lunch I will eat soup or a salad, whatever I’m making that day, and then for dinner again just something that’s different to the other meals I’ve had because I try quite hard to have a varied diet, so things like curry, stir-fry, fajita wraps, all different kinds of things.

alice food for blog

Do you have any foodie inspirations?

A: I like Yotam Ottolenghi - he has some really interesting recipes for vegetarians and vegans. I generally admire and respect all of the big foodies out there who are advocating a more plant based diet. I think they’re very important in terms of glamourising veganism. Someone like Jamie Oliver who’s done loads of work with school meals and factory farming helps to raise awareness of these issues - whilst also being a very likeable character it really helps in terms of getting that message out there. In terms of specifically vegan chefs, I tend to use a lot of food blogs – sometimes the best recipes are from people who aren’t well known, but who have just set up a free blog.


What’s your go-to comfort food?

A: I like things in tortilla wraps, like falafel and hummus wraps or just beans and guacamole, because it reminds me of street food and being at festivals and I really love that way of eating. It’s messy and fun and good for a group of people for a more casual setting.


How did you come to work at Camyoga?

A: I was still finishing my degree and I was looking into what career I might go into and I originally wanted to stay within the field of food sustainability, but my main passion was cooking and I thought it would be great if I could do this for a living, whilst promoting a more sustainable way of eating if you’re cooking and people are enjoying it. So I just looked for job adverts online and found this one. I didn’t think there was a chance of getting it because I hadn’t had any professional kitchen experience but I applied, bought some falafels to the interview which went down well and I got the job.


Have you got anything you’d like to add to the menu in the future?

A: Not specifically, but I do like to challenge myself and try new things. I don’t tend to plan as such, I like to cook with the seasons, for example getting a vegetable box with the best veggies from that week locally, and being forced to create something with just those ingredients. We have these herbs that one of our clients brings in and they change weekly so we don’t know what we’re going to get. It’s nice to think, oh wow, we’ve got this so I’ll make that, and that sort of thing.

What makes you happy?

A: Listening to music, eating food, and being with the people I love of course.

5 Ways to Sneak More Veggies into Your Diet

We all know that vegetables are great. And we all know we need to eat more of them, but there are only so many salads you can munch on in a day and so many carrot sticks you’re willing to chomp on – so how can you get more vegetable goodness into your daily diet enjoyably and easily? Even if you are a plant based powerhouse yourself, maybe you know someone who needs a little convincing before they join the veggie tribe, or maybe you have a child who will not eat anything green. Here are 5 ways to sneak more veggies into your diet without you even noticing!

5WaysVeg         5WaysVeg25WaysVeg3                      5WaysVeg4

Don't fancy cooking yourself? Our Chef Alice makes fresh dishes every day, so you can simply pop in for something yummy and even take it with you if you're in a hurry!


Green quinoa salad with steamed vegetables and baked tofu

Serves 4

This quinoa salad is a great one-pot meal, which transports really well and could be a great dish to take to work for lunch. The inclusion of tofu, peanuts, cashew nuts and quinoa makes it a real high-protein meal which will certainly keep you going all afternoon. Try and get British-grown quinoa if you can, and use whatever vegetables are in season. I've used pak choi and carrots, but asparagus, spring greens or kale would all work really nicely here too. If you're short of time, you could just throw in some raw vegetables instead of cooked and if you have leftover rice or noodles, the dressing also works well with those instead of quinoa. I've also used the coconut milk from a carton rather than a can, which is just a less concentrated form of coconut. If you only have the canned variety, you could use half canned coconut milk, and half water.


250g quinoa

450g tofu

1 tbsp vegetable oil

1 tbsp tamari soya sauce

250g carrots

100g pak choi (or any greens)

60g fresh coriander

60g peanut butter

60ml coconut milk (I use Alpro coconut milk from the carton)

2 cloves of garlic

Zest and juice of 1 lime (I just peel the zest off with a grater)

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp chilli flakes

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1 tbsp agave (or any liquid sweetener)


  • Cook the quinoa according to packet instructions. I use 250g quinoa to 375ml water and a pinch of salt. I steam the quinoa on a low heat for about 15 minutes until the quinoa has soaked up all the water. Then, in a colander,  run the quinoa under cold water until it is cool.
  • For the tofu, pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees C. Slice the block of tofu in to slabs around 1cm thick and place on a baking tray. Smother with the vegetable oil and tamari, and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper. Place in the oven and bake for around 30-45 minutes, until it is beginning to develop a crispy exterior. Remove from the oven, allow to cool and cut in to bite size chunks.
  • For the vegetables, cut the carrots in to chunks and roughly chop the pak choi. I tend to cook these together, with the carrots boiling in some hot water in a pan for around 10 minutes and the pak choi steaming in a sieve above the carrots, with the saucepan lid tightly on. This way, both vegetables are cooked together, and are just tender at the same time. Like you did with the quinoa, drain the vegetables and run under cold water until they are cool; this will halt the cooking process.
  • For the dressing,  I use a food processor to whiz up the coriander, peanut butter, coconut milk, garlic, lime zest and juice, salt, chilli flakes, pepper and agave until a smooth consistency if formed.
  • Finally, combine all the ingredients. I use my hands to incorporate the quinoa, tofu, vegetables and dressing to make sure everything is mixed in.
  • Garnish with roasted cashew nuts, lots of chopped coriander, extra chilli flakes (if you want) and a wedge of lime.