Archive for October, 2016


Hey everyone,

On the 22nd of October, in Kensington Olympia, London Vegfest took place. I was lucky enough to have amazing friend Tomi telling me to contact the organiser regarding doing a cookery demo there. So I did, and there I was, many months later!

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Overall it was quite a nice day, all the more better to get to catch up with Tomi and see my colleagues and friends supporting me doing this kind of presentation for the first time. For some reason though the atmosphere was very much different, and strange I would even say, compared with the vegfests I have been to before. There was a lot more space than usual which was good, given that  you did not have to fight your way through the little corridors between stalls, but it also made it feel much more emptier. And despite there being many, many stalls, there still seemed to be nothing around. In the sense that there surely was all aspects of veganism represented in the form of food, drink, clothing, publications, charities, animal rights groups, alternative healthcare providers and more, yet when we were in search of food, all the stalls that would have been quite inviting had a queue worth 30 min of your time. Either the 7200 people that passed through the doors yesterday were too little for the amount of space that they this time had booked, or there were not enough stalls for it, but it just felt empty, and we ended up in a restaurant nearby for actual dinner, which is quite odd.
Luckily there is the Animal Aid Christmas fayre coming at the beginning of December, which I think will bring along quite a different atmosphere. Only time will tell!

I think everyone knows about my fascination and love with buckwheat by now, and that is what I wanted to showcase – the diversity of this pseudo cereal.
A little information about buckwheat – it is naturally gluten free, related to rhubarb, that is quite high in protein with 13.25 g in 100 g of dry produce, with 343 kcal of total energy. The  study that I wrote my undergrad thesis on also demonstrated buckwheat as the most satiating of the alternative plant based protein sources it compared (hemp, lupin, fava, green pea and buckwheat vs meat), which is why I always recommend it to people who claim that vegan foods make them full and empty again in very short periods of time; or for sportsmen who need more protein (or so they think). A great source.
There are also different types of buckwheat – raw, sprouted, and roasted. I grew up consuming the latter one, as porridge – we would call it – which essentially meant instead of rice in the context. It is boiled similarly to rice, and it does expand a lot once boiled. As a kid I would always eat it with ketchup. Letcho made a good sauce also. As I grew older I had it with cheese mixed in so it would melt – it works magic with melting vegan cheeses too! My brother would mix the two I think, but I always had a problem with mixing dairy with ketchup. And that has carried over to veganism as well, I find it mentally challenging to eat ketchup with vegan cheese.
Anyway, after being vegan for a year or more, I had quite a look into the raw food world and started using sprouted buckwheat for breakfast – mix it with dried fruit and seeds/nuts for muesli for example, or blend soaked raw buckwheat with flavouring such as cinnamon, and spread it out to dehydrate instead of cereal. However when I tried cooking raw buckwheat into porridge I was put off for quite a while trying to do any kind of porridge from raw buckwheat. For so long in fact that I was eagerly waiting for Rawligion to open given that they were supposed to serve raw buckwheat porridge and I wanted to see proof that it can be done tasting good. Well, Rawligion did open but there was no buckwheat porridge. So one day I decided to pick up the matter again and looked up 10 different recipes and thought I realised what I needed to do. And so I tried. And it came out amazing.  🙂
And the different states of buckwheat is something I also wanted to demonstrate, which I am quite happy worked out even without realising! I came up with three different recipes that I showcased at vegfest, and here they are also for everyone’s convenience.

Buckwheat krispie cakes

Makes six about 60 g bars (with about 14 g protein per bar), or many many smaller pieces

Base:

1 cup (160 g) activated buckwheat (soaked for 2-4 hours, dehydrated)
1/3 cup (70 g) almond butter
1/4 cup (50 g) manna (coconut butter)
1 heaped tbsp (20 g) maple syrup/coconut nectar/other sweetener
pinch salt

Chocolate:

1/4 cup (50 g) manna
1 tsp (5 g) cacao powder
1 tbsp (10 g) xylitol, pulverised, or any other sweetener you fancy
1 tbsp (15 g) coconut oil

Method:

Melt the manna in hot water bath. Mix all the base ingredients together and press into a container about 10 x 20 cm size, dependent on how thick you like it choose larger/smaller surface area.
Mix together the chocolate ingredients, melt again in hot water bath if needed to get it more liquid, and pour over the base. If you like, add cacao nibs, coconut, or whatever else you fancy for decoration on top now so it would set together with the chocolate.
Refrigerate for about 30 minutes until it sets. Cut into pieces and enjoy!

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Raw buckwheat porridge

Makes two about 150 g servings (plenty for breakfast!)

100 g raw buckwheat groats
1 g (pinch) cinnamon
100 ml almond milk (or any other plant milk)
60 g dates (more if you want it sweeter)
50 g berries + more for topping if you like

Method:

Soak the buckwheat in water for 2-4 hours (can be overnight if you prefer), rinse well until the water runs clear
Add all the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth. If you want it thicker, feel free to add some chia seeds to it and blend again, or reduce the amount of milk.
I have done this with blueberries, bilberries and strawberries, and it has worked magic with all of them. I have no reason to think it would not work with raspberries, grapes, or even kiwis, but only experience will tell.
I quite like layering food and having a layer of desiccated coconut for example adds some texture and visuals when serving from a glass. A strip of cinnamon could also do, or more berries is also very nice. Voila!

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Buckwheat risotto

Serves two with a side, or one very hungry

100 g kasha (roasted buckwheat)
300 g water (more/less depends if cooked with or without a lid)
1 stock cube
1 small swede
1 carrot
1 small / 1/2 large courgette
small handful of fresh parsley
125 ml oat cream (or any alternative)
Pinch of onion, garlic powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp sea salt
black pepper to taste

Method:

Boil the kasha for 10-15 min with the stock cube, until soft, drain excess water.
Grate the vegetables, chop the parsley, and mix in the kasha together with the cream and all the spices/herbs.
You can either cook it for a few more minutes or let the heat of the kasha soften and heat up the rest of the ingredients.
Taste and add as much of salt/pepper to make it appealing to your palate. I added a decent 1/3 tsp I think of freshly ground black pepper to the portion I made, but always taste and season to taste.
Serve with a side salad, veggie sausages or anything else you desire. Decorate with fresh parsley or microherbs.

Hope you will enjoy these as much as I did and do. Will all be available at Rawligion very soon! Stay tuned!

More photos and videos on my presentation coming soon thanks to the ever amazing Tomi 🙂

Eli x

Vegfest!!

Hello everyone!

Tomorrow, 22/10/16, starts the weekend of London Vegfest where I will be doing a cookery demo!

Here is a little synopsis on me and the demo I will be doing. If you are interested to know a bit more about buckwheat, my favourite pseudo cereal, do come along to Kensington, Olympia, tomorrow at 5pm.

Until then a teaser of one of the dishes I will be preparing

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See you then and there!

Eli x