Melktert - Vegan

A momentary break from the French slant – but don’t worry, there will be more of that influence to come.
With our pop-up ding in Cape Town, we have also been trying traditional South African dishes.
So here is a vegan Melktert. Recipe came courtesy of Plant Restaurant, which unfortunately is no longer operating. This is a great shame as Plant was noted as one of the 18 best vegan restaurants in the world.


For the crust –

1/4 C cold vegan butter
1/4 C agave nectar
1 C wholewheat flour
1 t cinnamon
1/4 t grated nutmeg

For the filling –

2 1/2 C soy milk
4 T agave nectar (or to taste)
1/2 t cinnamon plus extra for sprinkling
1 t vanilla essence
3 T cornflour

What to do:

For the crust –

1 – Preheat oven to 180 C
2 – Put flour, cinnamon and nutmeg in a large bowl
3 – Add the vegan butter and agave nectar and work it into the flour mix until it is a sort of play dough consistency.
4 – On a floured board, roll out the pastry and place in base of a pie dish, and prick the bottom with a fork.
5 – Bake for about 20 mins until lightly browned, and remove from heat.

For the filling –

1 – Add 2 C of the soy milk to a pot, together with the cinnamon, and bring to boil
2 – Add in the agave nectar and vanilla and stir well
3 – In another bowl, whisk together the rest of the soy milk and corn flour
4 – Add this slowly to the milk mixture and allow to thicken
5 – Remove from heat and pour into the pie crust
6 – Sprinkle with cinnamon
7 Put in fridge to for an hour or so.

Serve chilled.


Bon apetit.

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Does Vegetarian = Healthy?

Living with Karen, my vegetarian wife, I have learned a lot!
The first is probably that to be a committed vegetarian and get ones required daily nutritional intake is hard work.

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In between homes at the moment and travelling in UK and Europe, so still not much opportunity to cook.

While in London I remembered a Mediterranean restaurant that had a good selection of  vegetarian options, and decided to give it another try.

It is called Bistro 1.


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We have an electric hob, but to operate that we need to run a generator. So we gravitate to raw meals.

We have…

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“Where did you buy these?” we asked.
” I made them” said Paul.
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Karen’s bean burgers

Over the years we have had many attempts at vegan burger patties with varying success, the main problem being getting them to stick together.

Still on our boat, Karen came up with these –

Guest post by Karen:

Have you ever seen a yummy looking recipe for a bean burger? And your attempt was a resounding flop? Yip, happens to us too.
Really annoying when the burger falls apart or crumbles and you end up having to eat it with a spoon. Bean burgers are cheap to make and a great protein source.
I want to feel confidant making them so was determined to make one that didn’t fall apart.

I’m by no means a recipe expert but two things occurred to me.

First thing was not to have too much liquid. I drained the can of beans well.
I also used oats ground in a coffee grinder to soak up any extra liquid.

Second thing was to add ingredients that would well and truly bind the beans to make nice firm burgers.

Googling vegan egg substitutes and binding ingredients yielded a few options. Among them were ground flax seeds and Orgran brand No Egg.
I had flax seeds and a half a box of No Egg.
No Egg lists the ingredients as – potato starch, tapioca flour, calcium carbonate, citric acid, vegetable gum stabiliser and methylcellulose.
If you can’t get No Egg, perhaps try a mix of potato flour and tapioca flour.

Burgers in pan

So here’s how I made them –

1 large can Beans – any beans – rinsed and well drained
1 small tin Tomato paste or 4 Tablespoons Tomato paste
2 Tablespoons Soy sauce or Tamari
1 small bunch fresh herbs – any herbs – Parsley, Basil, Coriander

Mash the all the ingredients – except the herbs – together with a potato masher until they are well blended.
Chop the herbs reasonably finely with a piar of scissors and mix into the bean mixture.

2 Tablespoons Flax seeds
2 Tablespoons Rolled oats
2 Tablespoons No Egg

Grind the flax seeds in a coffee grinder. Then grind the oats in your coffee grinder. Mix these them together well with the No Egg.
If you’re using a regular size can of beans then reduce these quantities.

1/2 Tablespoon Pink salt
1/2 Tablespoon Black pepper
1/2 Tablespoon Garlic powder or Onion powder
1/2 Tablespoon Mixed herbs

This is your flavouring. You can add any seasoning really. Veggie stock powder, Garam Massala, chilli, etc. Mix the above into the dry oats and flax seed mixture.

Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and again mix well. Allow to stand for at least half an hour.
Shape into balls, flatten and fry in a little oil in a non stick pan.

Serve with vegan mayo, guacamole, chutney or anything you fancy. I was fearful I may have gone overboard with the binding and the burgers would be heavy but they weren’t.
And they held together perfectly.


Galley (kitchen) on board

Again – thanks to Karen – excellent job seeing we are still on the boat.

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Here is a recipe for tangy ginger biscuits:


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1 T coconut oil (melted)
2 T honey
about 4 soaked dates
2 t finely grated ginger
1 t clove po…

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