Bicycle sculpture optional!
Our Snowdonia Beano is based at the Trigonos Centre in North Wales, a place renowned for the quality of its vegetarian catering – partly because of the excellent chefs, and partly because much of the fruit and veg is grown on Trigonos’s own 3-acre farm just a few hundred yards from the kitchen.
To celebrate National Vegetarian Week, we asked our friends at Trigonos if they could contribute one of their excellent recipes for us to share with you. They responded with three, two of which we’ll give you today. Nothing for the vegans this time round, sorry – but look out for the third recipe coming soon.
Trigonos Spinach and Mushroom Lasagna
Lasagne can be a tricky point with long-standing vegetarians. It tends to be one of those token veggie offerings on pub menus where the cook doesn’t really “get” vegetarian food, and ends up being the same as the meat lasagne but with the meat taken out. For a lasagne to be worthy of appearing on the dinner menu at Trigonos, there has to be something special about it. And trust us, this one has it – we’ve tried it. It may be simple, but it’s just that bit different. Don’t forget the sprinkling of nutmeg on the spinach – it really does matter.
Ingredients (makes 4 large portions):
- 2 packets spinach
- ½ tsp nutmeg (grated)
- 500g mushrooms (finely chopped)
- ½ bulb garlic (crushed)
- 6 sheets spinach lasagna
- 1 large knob butter
- 2 oz plain flour
- 1 pint milk
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 pinch pepper
- ¼ – ½ block cheddar cheese, grated
Wilt the Spinach, and sprinkle the Nutmeg over the top. Mix and leave.
Fry the mushrooms in olive oil, add the garlic and fry till brown.
Melt the butter, and add the flour while whisking, and continue cooking and whisking for 2 minutes. Gradually add the milk continuously whisking until bubbling. Cook for one further minute and until the sauce is shiny.
Add the sauce to the mushrooms and add salt and pepper.
Grease a square oven tray, spoon in one layer of mushroom sauce, sit 2 lasagna sheets on top of sauce, and cover with a layer of the wilted spinach. Repeat. Sprinkle the grated cheese on top.
Cook for 30 mins on 350°F/180°C.
Chocolate and Beetroot Cake
Some would question whether the world needs vegetarian cake recipes. We would say: when they taste like this, yes, definitely. The beetroot helps make the cake dark, rich and moist.
Ingredients (to make 1 tray, 24 pieces):
For the cake:
- 250g butter
- 200g dark chocolate
- 500g beetroot, cooked then grated or puréed
- 6 beaten eggs
- 450g self-raising flour (sift into large bowl)
- ½ tbs cocoa powder (sifted into bowl with flour)
- 400g caster sugar (add to flour and cocoa powder)
For the topping:
- 50g butter
- 400g white chocolate
Melt the butter and dark chocolate together in a bowl above a pan of water, gently heated on the hob.
Meanwhile, sift the flour and cocoa powder together into a large mixing bowl. Stir in the sugar.
Mix the eggs and puréed beetroot together. Add them to the mixing bowl.
Add the melted butter and chocolate to mixing bowl and mix well.
Pour into a tray and bake for 1 hour on 350°F/180°C
Once cooked leave to cool on a rack.
For the topping, melt the butter and white chocolate together in a bowl over a pan of water on the hob. Spread the melted mixture over the cooled cake.
Our thanks to Zoe Weston for the photos on this page.