Review & Giveaway: “tibits at home”

If you saw my last post you’ll know that I had a lovely meal at tibits vegetarian restaurant last week. I don’t know when I’ll next be able to make an escape to London to visit again, but, luckily for me, tibits have their own cookbook so I can recreate the restaurant’s dishes at home!

tibits at home, vegetarian cookbook

(All images are my own)

The book “tibits at home: stylish vegetarian cuisine” was released last year and features 50 recipes in total, many for dishes you’ll see on tibit’s “food boat” as well as some new ones too. The book is divided into four seasonal sections, reflecting the importance tibits pays to seasonal ingredients in their restaurant. Although the book is not exclusively vegan, the recipes using dairy and eggs are are mostly easy to veganize with a few simple substitutions.

The book pretty accurately reflects the way I like to eat- whole foods and interesting flavours, with influence from cuisines around the world. The book definitely wouldn’t look out of place on an elegant coffee table as the pictures, at least one for each recipe, are simply stunning.

I like to try out a few recipes before reviewing books so headed to the autumn and winter sections and chose 3 dishes.

Linguine with Pumpkin & Chard- "tibits at home" vegetarian cookbook- Review & Giveaway

Since I’m back into pasta I honed in on the “Linguine with pumpkin and chard”. This recipe as written isn’t actually vegan but I swapped out the double cream for canned coconut milk and found it still plenty rich for me. The sauce is lovely and lemony and lightens up this winter-warmer.

Linguine with Pumpkin & Chard- "tibits at home" vegetarian cookbook- Review & Giveaway

You might remember I mentioned a “dried green bean salad” we sampled from the “food boat” at the restaurant. As this is one of their signature dishes it’s featured in the cookbook and they actually sell the beans themselves- I, of course, had to pick up a bag.

Dried Green Bean Salad with Walnuts- "tibits at home" vegetarian cookbook- Review & Giveaway

After a soak and a simmer for half an hour they rehydrate but keep a satisfying, chewy texture. A balsamic marinade, a generous helping of walnuts and some sautéed onion is all that’s needed to turn them into something special.

Dried Green Bean Salad with Walnuts- "tibits at home" vegetarian cookbook- Review & Giveaway

I thought I’d make a sort of pick ‘n’ mix lunch with a few different dishes, like our meal at the restaurant, so opted for a second salad to have with the dried bean dish. I’d just recently picked up some Camargue rice to try so the “Red Rice Salad”  was an obvious choice.

Red Rice Salad- "tibits at home" vegetarian cookbook- Review & Giveaway

If you haven’t tried this variety of rice I’d recommend you do. Brown rice is a staple in my diet but this is quite different. It has a stronger flavour and a bit more bite to it. The dish was well-spiced but not overly so, making it ideal to serve alongside a couple of other salads.

Red Rice Salad- "tibits at home" vegetarian cookbook- Review & Giveaway

Tibits have kindly agreed to let me share this recipe with you:

Red Rice Salad:

160g(1C) Camargue Rice
1 Red & 1 Yellow Pepper
1 Courgette
1 Bunch of Parsley
2T Rapeseed Oil
3T White Balsamic Vinegar (You can find this in most well-stocked supermarkets)
1t Chilli Oil (I used a pinch of chili flakes instead)
1t Fine Sea Salt
1T Tomato Paste
1/2t Hot Curry Powder
1/2t Mild Paprika
1/2t Ground Coriander
1/2t Ground Cumin


1 Bring the salted water to the boil, add the rice and cook for 30 minutes. Drain in a sieve and chill under running cold water. Rinse well.

2 Chop peppers and courgettes into 1 cm dice.

3 Wash the parsley, shake well and chop finely.

4 Put the remaining ingredients into a bowl and mix well, add the rice.

5 Add vegetables and parsley, mix well and refrigerate.

Tip: rice grown in the French Camargue region, gets its red colour from the high clay content of the soil. Camargue rice is untreated and unmilled ’brown’ rice. It has a mild nutty flavour and stays grainy when cooked. Alternatively, you can use Riso Venere (Italian black rice) for this recipe.

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Red Rice Salad- "tibits at home" vegetarian cookbook- Review & Giveaway

It’s GIVEAWAY time! Tibits are offering a copy of the cookbook to one UK reader. To enter, do any one or all of the following things and leave a comment for each letting me know that you have done so. The more you do the more chances to win you have!

1. Leave a comment on this post

2. “Like” Coconut and Berries on Facebook

3. “Follow” me on Twitter

4. Tweet about the giveaway and post the url in the comments.

Giveaway ends Thursday 21st November 12am GMT. Winner will be picked randomly and contacted by email within 48 hours of the closing time.

Disclaimer: I was provided with a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes, but, as always, all opinions are my own.

Hope to see you all back here on Saturday for the Virtual Vegan Potluck. I’m in the “dessert” category! Can’t wait to share my recipe.

Sign up for email updates and join me elsewhere: I’m on FacebookPinterest, Instagram (@coconutandberries), Google + and Twitter!

Smoky Black Bean Empanadas with Chipotle Sour Cream

When I was younger and living in London, pre-theatre dinners or family get-togethers would often be a meal at an Argentinian steak restaurant, the Gaucho Grill. Of course, there’s no way I’d go there now (although I think it’s still one of my brother’s favourite places to eat…) , it must be the most un vegan-friendly place going- not just the menu but the décor too- the restaurants are all fitted out in black leather with cow hide furnishings everywhere! The one good thing I take from our visits though is the memory of empanadas.

Smoky Black Bean Empanadas with Chipotle Sour Cream

If you’re unfamiliar with empanadas, they’re popular street food in South America and are essentially flaky pastry pockets filled with a whole variety of fillings, often cheese, meat, and beans. For my vegan version I decided on a smoky, spiced black bean and vegetable filling and served them with a chipotle sour cream for a nice creamy contrast.

I ate a few for dinner alongside a fresh garden salad, but, like my beetroot falafel, they’re also great party food.  Pile up plates with the pastries, serve the sauce in a dish on the side and your guests can eat them with their hands.

Smoky Black Bean Empanadas with Chipotle Sour Cream

This recipe is rather time-consuming but it does make a lot. They are very moreish though so you might end up eating more than you anticipate! You can also freeze them either before or after baking and reheat or cook in the oven from frozen.

Smoky Black Bean Empanadas with Chipotle Sour Cream

Smoky Black Bean Empanadas with Chipotle Sour Cream:

For the Dough:

(Adapted from Viva Vegan! )

3C Flour ( I was using up odds and ends from the pantry so used a mixture of rye, spelt and cornmeal!)
1 1/2t Salt
1/4t Baking soda
7T Coconut oil, chilled
3/4C or more cold water

Non-dairy milk for brushing

Using a food processor pulse flour salt and baking soda together. Add solid coconut oil to the food processor and pulse again until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Remove mixture to a large bowl and stream in cold water while mixing with fingers. Add just enough water until dough comes together but is not sticky. Knead a few times, divide into 4 balls,  flatten each into a thick disc, wrap tightly in cling film and chill in the fridge for a minimum of 4 hours.

For the Filling:

1T Olive oil
1 Onion, diced small
2 Cloves of garlic, minced
1 Red pepper, diced small
1 Medium courgette, diced small
1 1/2C (1 Can) Black beans
1/2t Salt
1/2t Cumin
1/2t Mild chili powder
1/2t Smoked paprika
1/4-1/2t Liquid smoke (If unavailable use a bit more smoked paprika)

Warm the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes. Add garlic, red pepper and courgette and continue to cook until soft, approx 5-8 minutes. Add black beans, salt and spices and stir to coat everything well. Turn off heat and set aside until you’re ready to fill your empanadas.

Note: Feel free to mix up the filling ingredients. I think corn would be a nice addition, crumbled tempeh, or maybe plantain?

Chipotle Sour Cream:

1/2C Cashews, soaked
1/4C + 2T Water
1T Chipotle chili in adobe sauce (I puree the cans and store in the freezer and break off a piece when needed)
1 Clove of garlic
1t Apple cider vinegar
1/4-1/2t Salt
Squeeze of lime juice

Blend everything together (a short-cup/personal blender is ideal for small amounts like this). Taste for salt.

Putting it together:

Preheat oven to 190C/375F

Remove dough from fridge and roll out a disc of dough between two sheets of parchment paper into a circle about 1/8” thick. Using a bowl as a guide, cut out circles of approx 4-5” diameter (you can make them bigger if you prefer but that’s the size I went for). Cover and keep cool while you repeat with the next dough disc. Gather up all the remaining dough scraps, re-roll only one more time and cut out as many circles as possible.

Place approx 1 1/2T filling in the middle of each circle, dampen edge with a wet finger and fold one side over the filling. Roll, braid or crimp edge to seal (It took me a while to get the hang of this but I found simply rolling the edge in was the easiest). Place on a lined baking sheet and brush lightly with non-dairy milk. Repeat process until all empanadas are filled- I had a little filling left.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, turning baking sheet half-way through cooking process to ensure even browning. Let cool for a couple of minutes and serve warm with chipotle sour cream.

I’m submitting this recipe to the weekly blog link-ups Wellness Weekends,  Healthy Vegan Fridays and Meatless Mondays

Smoky Black Bean Empanadas with Chipotle Sour Cream

Britain doesn’t have much of a tradition of street-food, although, in London especially, street food from other countries is getting really popular.

Where you live do you have street-food stalls available to you?

Vegan Roasted Vegetable Frittata

You might have to forgive me for throwing several recipes at you over the next few days. I’ve got a stack of them lined up waiting to be posted and in my kitchen I’m churning out more than I can keep up with posting. Also, if I want to participate in Vegan MoFo I’d like to get most of them out to you before it begins in September.

On that note, I haven’t decided if I’m going to take part in Vegan MoFo this year. For those of you who don’t know,  the idea of Vegan MoFo (Month of Food) is for bloggers to write as much as they can about vegan food over the designated month. Bloggers usually take on a theme for the period and write posts accordingly. There aren’t strict guidelines for how often to write, but the idea is to shoot for every weekday, or about 20 times in the month.

As I’ll be moving into my new flat in September AND starting my Masters course at the end of the month I don’t know if it’s going to be possible to blog that frequently…so we’ll see. Is there a theme you’d like me to tackle?

Vegan Roasted Vegetable Frittata

After being reminded of how much I like tofu omelettes when I made my pesto, ricotta + cherry tomato filled ones a while back, I thought I’d try out another variation- frittata! I haven’t quite worked out the difference between frittata and Spanish omelette yet (I think Spanish omelette might just have potatoes and onions along with the egg base, whereas frittata can have other ingredients too? ) but just like with my decision to name my “Summer” rolls, I decided on frittata to avoid the negative associations I have with  “Spanish omelette”…

On a Spanish exchange I went on when I was 15, not an overly fun experience in any case, my exchange’s mother kindly packed me a lunch to take on one of our day-trips. I was greeted by a Spanish omelette sandwich: a thick wedge of potato omelette between 2 slices of white bread. Now that might sound delicious to some of you but to the fussy teenager that I was then, who also hated eggs, it was a pretty nasty sight. Needless to say it got tossed in favour of an ice cream…!

I’ve used a similar silken tofu base to my omelette for this recipe, easy enough to whizz up in a blender, then combined it with some sweet roasted vegetables and diced new potatoes for some substance, cooked it in a skillet on the stove top and finished it off under the broiler. A lovely light meal for 2-3, and very quick if you happen to have any leftover roasted veg on hand.

Vegan Roasted Vegetable Frittata

Roast Vegetable Frittata:

(Adapted from Chef Chloe)

Roast Vegetables:

1/2 Yellow, chopped
1/2 Red Pepper, chopped
1/2 Red Onion, Sliced into fairly thin wedges
1/2 T Olive Oil

Frittata Base:

200g Silken Tofu
1/2 T Olive Oil
3T Arrowroot (or other starch)
1/2t Black salt (or sea salt if unavailable)
1/8t Turmeric
1/2t Onion powder
1/2t Garlic powder

Handful of cooked new potatoes, halved or cut into slices approx 1cm thick.
2T Chopped parsley for garnish

Preheat oven to 350C.

If you haven’t already, steam or boil your new potatoes.

Place vegetables in a roasting dish, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for approx 20 minutes, until soft.

Meanwhile blend all the ingredients for the frittata base in a blender. (I used my Tribest personal blender which is ideal for small amounts. If you don’t have something similar I’d suggest using an immersion blender rather than a full-size blender or it might be difficult to get all the mix out of the bottom. )

Heat a 9” oven-proof skillet over medium heat. Add a touch more olive oil and toss in the potatoes to crisp up the edges for a couple of minutes and to grease the pan. Add the roast vegetables to the skillet too and finally the frittata base mixture from the blender. Quickly mix with the vegetables before it starts to set, and, using a spatula spread out the mixture evenly in the skillet. Turn down heat to medium-low and let cook, undisturbed for 15 minutes.

Preheat the broiler.

At this point the frittata should look set on the top, if not continue to cook for a few more minutes. Place skillet under the broiler for 3-5 minutes to brown up. Keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn!

Garnish with fresh parsley and serve.

Serves 2-3

Looking at these pictures from a few weeks ago reminded me of the silly game we played during dinner- spot the garden bean! At that time only a few of our green beans were ready to pick so I combined them with some we had bought. Now, it’s a different story all together- I just picked 1/2kg (over a lb) this morning!

Frittata or Spanish omelette, which sounds more appealing to you?

Are you taking part in Vegan MoFo this September? You don’t have to be vegan, just only post vegan food!

Sticky Miso Aubergine

I’m just back from a little holiday in Edinburgh during which I took a bit of a digital detox (I did have 1 post scheduled for while I was away) which I’m sure was good for me, but I am missing blogging and blog-reading after only 5 days away from my computer! I’m beginning to catch up with my reader and thought I’d give you a recipe to keep you going before I fill you in on my time away.

A recent survey on The Kitchn showed aubergine (eggplant) to be the least favourite summer vegetable, something I’m not hugely surprised about, but a shame all the same. I’ve had some pretty bad aubergine dishes in the past until I learnt how to cook it to show it at its best. Roasting is usually the way to go for me: simply seasoned with salt and pepper and drizzled in olive oil, the spongy chunks sweeten and soften. I love aubergine in tagines and curries too, where, after a long simmer it seems to soak up whatever tasty sauce you’re using.

Sticky Miso Aubergine (Eggplant)

I wanted to try a different flavour profile this time, and travelled to the Far East for this dish. This is a cross-between Mabo Nasu, a Chinese aubergine stir-fry, and Nasu Dengaku, grilled miso-glazed aubergine. Both sounded good to me, so I combined them! It’s a quick recipe to make as all stir-fries are, and the sweet, salty miso sauce coating it all will, I’m sure, have even vegetable-haters hoovering up a whole plateful.

The seasonings I’ve used are ones I always have in my kitchen, but perhaps they’re not typical in everyone’s pantries… I’ve mentioned the company Clearspring on the blog before and their fantastic line of Japanese seasonings are what I’ve used here. I’m planning a full review of their products but for now will highly recommend these ones if you need to stock up on Asian supplies.

Note: Whichever brand of Mirin you use, something to be aware of is that most nowadays contain either sugar or high fructose corn syrup, and preservatives, so try to find one where the rice is naturally fermented and with no additives.

Sticky Miso Aubergine (Eggplant)

Sticky Miso Aubergine

We ate this as a main dish, just alongside some brown rice and stir-fried Chinese greens but it would be a welcome addition to any Asian meal.

1 Medium aubergine, diced large
1t Sesame oil (or another high-heat oil )
1/2 Onion, diced
1/2 Green pepper, diced large
1 t Sesame oil
1 Clove of garlic, minced
1” Piece of ginger, minced

1/2T Red miso
3/4T Agave nectar
1 1/2T Rice vinegar
1 1/2T Mirin
1 1/2T Tamari
1/2T Arrowroot
Pinch of chili flakes

Toasted sesame seeds to garnish.

Whisk together sauce ingredients  in a small bowl. Set aside.

Warm 1t sesame oil in a pan or wok over med-high heat, stir-fry the aubergine chunks in the oil for approx 10 minutes until fairly soft. Remove from pan to a bowl.

Heat another teaspoon of sesame oil in the pan and stir-fry the onion and pepper until soft. Add the garlic and ginger and continue to cook, be careful not to let them burn though.

Return aubergine to the pan and pour over the sauce. It should thicken up almost immediately and create a sticky glaze. Continue to stir until all coated and hot.

Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds to serve.

Are you one of the aubergine-haters out there? Perhaps I can change your mind with this dish!
If you’re a fan, how do you like to prepare it?

Pizza Night! Spanish Romesco/Pesto with Grilled Vegetables

Vegan Spanish Romesco/Pesto Pizza with Grilled Vegetables

I promised to share more recipes using pesto after my Pesto-Ricotta Tofu Omelettes post so here I am with another. Hopefully by now you’ve got a nice batch of pesto in the fridge, but if not, or (heaven forbid!) you’re not a fan of the green stuff, I’ve also got a delicious alternative for you today.

Cheese-less pizza to the uninitiated might sound boring, but it leaves room for so much more creativity, since you haven’t got all that cheese smothering any other flavours you add. And after all, the original Italian pizza  “pizza marinara”, is cheese-less- just a good thin crust topped with a rich tomato sauce, spiked with garlic and oregano (Fun fact: the name “marinara” doesn’t, as one might think, refer to fish or seafood, but “marinai” or sailors for whom it was first baked in the C18).

Vegan Spanish Romesco Pizza with Grilled Vegetables

Here I’m mixing up cultures a little as Romesco is Spanish not Italian. I first came across it with the delicious “Chickpea Romesco” from Veganomicon: A tasty bean dish in a tangy roasted red pepper, tomato and paprika sauce thickened with ground almonds.

Then, when living in Barcelona I encountered this tasty sauce again. Every year when the calçots, a vegetable similar in taste and appearance to green onions or leeks, are in season, the Catalans hold the Calçotada. This festival which celebrates the harvest of the vegetable with a feast of char-grilled calçots which are then dipped in Romesco sauce before eating.

I haven’t yet tried to recreate a Calçotada back in England (!) but I wanted to enjoy that delicious sauce again in a different way. It made a great topping for pizza, rich and flavourful, especially with some grilled vegetables on top, as the slightly smoky flavour reminded me of those blackened calçots in Spain.

Vegan Pesto Pizza with Grilled Vegetables

It’s not difficult to make, but the flavour is so complex it tastes like you must have put in a lot more effort than is actually needed.

Spanish Romesco Sauce:

1 Medium red pepper (Or use the equivalent amount from a jar of roasted red peppers)
1 Large clove garlic, chopped
2/3C Slivered almonds
2T Red wine vinegar/Sherry vinegar
1T Extra-virgin olive oil
1/2T Sweet paprika
1/2t Salt
Black pepper
2T Chopped parsley

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F and place the red pepper on a baking sheet. Cook the red pepper for 25-30 minutes until skin is blackened and blistered and the pepper has collapsed. Remove from the oven and immediately place in a heat-proof bowl and cover with a plate or cling film. Leave to sit for 10 minutes. The steam helps you remove the skin.

Spread out the almonds on the same baking sheet and toast for a few minutes in the oven until golden. Be careful as they burn easily.

When the pepper is cool enough to handle, rub of skin with your fingers, deseed and dice into 1” pieces.

In a food processor or high-power blender combine the chopped red pepper, toasted almonds, garlic, vinegar, oil, paprika and seasoning. Process to a thick, smooth consistency. You may need to scrape down the sides of the bowl or blender jug a few times to get everything incorporated. Taste for seasoning and pulse in the parsley.

You won’t need all this for the pizza so why not try the leftovers with some grilled vegetables, Calçotada-style! It’s also yummy as a dip for carrot sticks or spread onto wholewheat pitta for a quickie lunch.

For the pizzas:

1 Ball wholegrain pizza dough (I use the pizza dough recipe from Vegan With a Vengeance, available online here, using half wholegrain flour. To make 2 small pizzas, as pictured, I halved the recipe. )
1/4C Pesto
1/4C Romesco Sauce (See above)
Grilled/Fresh Vegetables ( I grillled some courgettes, roasted a second pepper, and added some slices of fresh tomato)

Preheat oven to 250C/500F (preheat your pizza stone if you’re lucky enough to have one). Divide dough into two and roll out thin to two round (ish!) pizza bases. Spread each with the pesto and romesco sauce respectively, scatter on vegetables of choice. Slide onto a baking tray and cook for approx 10 minutes or until the crust is brown and crispy.

Serve hot, alongside a big green salad.

Serves 3

What are your favourite pizza toppings?

Vegan Spanish Romesco Pizza with Grilled VegetablesVegan Pesto Pizza with Grilled Vegetables


Summer Vegetable Paella

A month ago I went on holiday with a group of 8 university friends. It was pretty much a week devoted to rest and relaxation after the hard slog leading up to finals. We did little other than lounge in the villa garden, play in the pool and eat and drink! We definitely got into a Spanish routine, definitely a change from my usual “early to be early to rise”. Meals were pushed back, with lunch usually around 4 or 5pm and dinner at 10 or 11. Even if we didn’t do anything terribly touristy we did make sure to enjoy some real Spanish food. Sangria and gazpacho were everyday occurrences and we went out for tapas a couple of evenings. My favourite meal out was at a little tucked away place which we happily stumbled across and where we had the most delicious vegetable paella.

Summer Vegetable Paella

I’d forgotten about that meal recently until I found a bag of Arborio rice in the kitchen cupboard. Not wanting to make risotto I wondered if it could be used for paella. Calasparra rice is traditionally used for paella and Arborio for risotto but they are both similarly short grain. Apparently the difference is that paella rice doesn’t create a creamy sauce and rather sticks together. The constant stirring of risotto is what helps the rice release its starch and go creamy so if you just leave it to do its own thing it ends up more like paella and it ends up with that nice crusty bottom and edges.

Summer Vegetable Paella

As usual, I went pretty heavy on the vegetables but you could add as many as and any type you like. The chickpeas are also not typical but I felt like this meal could do with a protein boost, and they add some textural variation too. Tomatoes, sweet paprika and saffron (and a little white wine if you like…) bring everything together.

Summer Vegetable Paella

Large pinch saffron threads (approx 1/4t)
1T Olive Oil
1 Small onion, diced
2 Cloves garlic, minced
1/2 Red pepper, 1/2 Yellow pepper, cut into thin strips
1/2T Tomato paste
1/2t Sweet paprika
1 Cup Short-grain rice (Calasparra recommended but I used Arborio. Short grain brown might also work but liquid quantities and cooking times may vary)
1/2 400g/14oz Can chopped tomatoes
500m/2C Vegetable broth + 1/2C White wine (or more broth)
3/4C Chickpeas
125g/4oz Tenderstem broccoli/Green beans, chopped into short lengths.
1/2C Fresh or Frozen and thawed Peas

Crush the saffron with your fingers into a small bowl and cover with a couple of tablespoons warm water to release its flavour. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add the peppers and garlic and a good pinch of salt and continue cooking, stirring for another 3 minutes and the peppers are also softening. Add the tomato paste, paprika and rice and stir for a minute until everything is coated in spice and the rice grains begin to crackle. Add the tomatoes and cook until they cook down a little, another 5 minutes. Stir in the saffron and its soaking water and season well with salt and pepper.

Add the vegetable broth, wine,  chickpeas and broccoli or green beans. Bring to the boil and stir once. Reduce the temperature to low and allow to simmer, without stirring, until most of the liquid has evaporated, approx 10-15 minutes. Add the peas and continue cooking until the top of the paella looks dry, another 5-10 minutes. Leave to sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Serves 3-4

What dishes have you brought back from holiday with you? I often make notes on meals and foods I’ve enjoyed when I’m away so I can do some recreating in my own kitchen!