Month: April 2014

Pumpkin season will nearly be over soon, so I’m trying to squeeze it in everywhere I can!
This is just an easy lunch recipe for a much needed vitamin pick me up. I’ve been training for races recently and it’s exhausting! Give me all the coloured food.

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INGREDIENTS
For the pumpkin

  • One quarter of a pumpkin, de-seeded and skinless cut into large chunks
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 fresh red chilli roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chilli flakes
  • 1 tablespoon chilli and lemon spice
  • 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste (approx 1 teaspoon of each)

For the quinoa salad

  • 2 cups of dried quinoa, cooked to instructions
  • 1 tin lentils, drained
  • 1 tin red kidney beans, drained
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Ground pepper to taste

Plus broccoli and spinach!

METHOD
1. Heat oven to gas 6, prep your pumpkin whilst it’s pre-heating.
In a bowl place the chunks of pumpkin, garlic, chilli, spices, salt and pepper and the melted coconut oil. Mix until everything is coated.
Transfer to a baking tray and cook in the oven for 30 minutes until soft/slightly browned.

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2. Whilst the pumpkin is in the oven cook the quinoa.
Mix together the cooked quinoa and the drained kidney beans and lentils. Add the lemon juice, olive oil and seasoning to taste. You may need more salt!

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3. Construct! Chop up your spinach and use as a bed and place the pumpkin, quinoa salad and the broccoli on top. Great hot or cold.

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Becky xxx

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First week back at work after three weeks off, need a chocolate hit. Here’s a recipe for anyone who is tired and wants a sweet treat that literally takes about 20 minutes to make (including cooking time!) You can switch out the fruit for whatever floats your boat.

INGREDIENTS
Recipe adapted from here

  • 1 1/2 tsp coconut oil or vegan butter (coconut oil gives a much better flavour)
  • 1 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup or agave nectar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsp + 1 tsp plain flour (sub gluten-free if you wish)
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder
  • Dark chocolate, chopped (I used 2 small squares)
  • Raspberries

  1. Preheat the oven to 350f/180c
  2. Melt your coconut oil in a small pan over a low heat. Once melted remove from the heat and stir in the coconut sugar, maple syrup, vanilla and salt.
  3. Add in your flour and cocoa powder and mix together. Don’t worry if it’s streaky or lumpy – we’re going for quick here.
  4. Chop your chocolate into small pieces.
  5. Scrape the dough from the small pan into a ramekin or oven-proof dish.
  6. Push your chocolate pieces into the surface of the dough and squash as many raspberries as you can on top!
  7. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes. It’s ready when the edges are slightly crisp and the chocolate is bubbling.

Sarah xxx

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This past week Brian completely changed my opinion on Brussel sprouts! So here’s a recipe we came up with last night.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 small bunch Swiss chard, cut into strips
  • 330g Brussel sprouts
  • 5 Chestnut mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tbsp shiro (white) miso
  • 2 cloves of smoked garlic or regular garlic, pressed or minced
  • 3 small shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 vegetable stock cubes
  • 5 Chantenay carrots or 1 large carrot cut into big chunks
  • 500g Gnocchi
  • 5 cups/1.18l of water
  • Salt and pepper

  1. Chop your vegetables, leaving the Brussel sprouts whole.
  2. Sautee shallots, mushrooms and garlic in olive oil until the shallots are softened.
  3. Add the water and the stock cubes, Swiss chard and Brussel sprouts to the pot. Add in the carrot chunks.
  4. Bring to a rolling boil and let simmer for 15-20 minutes. This will make the Brussel sprouts tender.
  5. In a separate sauce pan cook the gnocchi. Drain, reserving a little of the starchy cooking water.
  6. Add the starchy water to the pot and stir in the miso paste. Remove (if you want) the carrot chunks.
  7. Serve the broth and vegetables over the cooked gnocchi. Season to taste.
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This weekend we spent time at my aunt’s farm and a BBQ was on the cards for Sunday. Becoming vegan is a bit like being a boy scout – you always gotta be prepared. I brought my own goody bag with hummus, vegan mayonnaise, butter, soy milk etc but huge credit to my aunt for providing a plethora of vegetables for me! Here are some recipes for some of the things I ate at the BBQ.

Vegetable Kebabs

  • Wheaty Smoked Steak or similar seitan/faux meat product cut into medium chunks
  • 1 medium sized onion, cut into quarters
  • 1 courgette, cut into chunks
  • 2 red peppers, cut into chunks
  • 8 mushrooms, cut into chunks
  • Metal BBQ skewers

Cut your vegetables and seitan into chunks and arrange on the skewers in an alternating pattern. Brush with oil and grill on the BBQ until charred and soft.

Baby Corn Rockets

  • Baby corn
  • Wooden skewers

I had the unfortunate incident of stabbing my self with a skewer trying to get the baby corn onto the vegetable kebabs – so they got their own wooden kebab sticks. Just impale them on the fat end, so they look like little spears and grill on the BBQ until charred and soft.

 

Mary’s Salad

  • 1/2 chopped red pepper, small chunks
  • 2 handfuls raw cashew nuts
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and chopped into small chunks
  • French dressing (Tesco’s Finest is vegan friendly!) or dressing of your choice

Chop the vegetables and mix with the raw cashews. Drizzle over the dressing and toss to coat.

 

Anne’s Coleslaw

  • 1 chopped apple, small bite size piece
  • 4-5 celery sticks, chopped
  • 2-3 carrots, grated
  • Approx 4oz of sultanas
  • Vegan mayonnaise to taste

Chop the apple and celery, grate the carrot. Mix together and add the mayonnaise. Stir until combined and add in the sultanas. If necessary add more mayonnaise.

 

Anne’s Rice Salad

  • 1-2 cups of cooked rice of your choice
  • 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes, drained and cut into small pieces
  • 1 tin of sweetcorn, drained
  • 1 apple cut into chunks
  • optional: sultanas, peas, spring onions or any leftover vegetables.

Top the sun dried tomatoes and apple and mix with the rice thoroughly. Mix in your optional vegetables/fruits.

I had some Taifun Grill sausages as well, they held up really well on the grill and had a great smokey flavour – recommended!

Hideously over  stuffed plate, all the salads above with Taifun Grill Sausages, boiled new potatoes, hummus, green salad and chargrilled courgette chunks.

Bonus adorable dog assistant.

Sarah xxx

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Peanut butter is the solid basis of my veganism. I have it on toast for breakfast, in my rice for lunch and in curry for satay dinner. I’m a believer that it makes every meal better.

Since I discovered silken tofu last year being the best cream filling substance, I wanted to make something over the top with my 2 favourite things- peanut butter and chocolate!

I’ve added banana to this recipe but take it out if your like Sarah who is not a Banana lover!

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INGREDIENTS
For the base

  • 50g Dairy Free Butter
  • 1 packet bourbons – disect the cream from the middle – we only need the biscuit bit!

For the peanut butter cream

  • 1 pack firm silken tofu
  • 160g smooth peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons golden syrup
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum

For the Chocolate cream

  • 1 pack firm silken tofu
  • 60g dairy free/dark chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons golden syrup
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum

For the Coconut whip

  • 2 cans of full fat coconut milk – chilled so the cream and water separates, you only need the cream!
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum

+2 bananas if you like them!

METHOD
1. Make your base. Preheat your oven to gas mark 5.
Break your bourbon biscuits excluding the cream into crumbs in any means possible. Any means necessary- food processor or an old fashioned rolling pin will do the trick!
Melt 50g of butter and combine with the crumbs.
Transfer to a 8 inch circular tin (Make sure the tin has a pop out base so you can present the layers!) ensuring you add greaseproof paper to the side of the tin and press.
Put in oven for apprx 10 minutes so the base binds nicely. Cool on a wire rack.

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2. Make the Peanut butter Cream filling.
Put the silken tofu, golden syrup and peanut butter into a bowl and blend with a hand blender/food processor to get rid of the lumps. Mixture will turn smooth and creamy.
Add the xanthan gum and mix by hand. It is a miracle thickening transformation, the more you mix, the thicker it becomes!

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3. Transfer the peanut butter cream filling onto the cooled biscuit base and chill in the fridge for half an hour.

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4. If you want the bananas, I added a layer to the outer edge of decoration. Place the cut bananas on top, try not to squash them down too much!

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5. Make the Chocolate Cream filling, same as the peanut butter process.
Melt the chocolate. Put the silken tofu, golden syrup, cocoa powder and the melted chocolate into a bowl and blend with a hand blender/food processor to get rid of the lumps. Mixture will turn smooth and creamy.
Add the xanthan gum and mix by hand to thicken.
Add mixture to the top of the peanut butter and banana mixture and smooth over the top.

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6. Place in fridge for an hour just to cool and settle, once you’re ready remove from the fridge and pop out of the tin. Smooth round the edges with a palette knife for presentation.

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7. Make the Coconut whip.
Open the coconut milk cans – DO NOT SHAKE THE CANS. The ‘fatty’ part of the coconut milk will be sat on top. This is the part we want! Spoon off into a bowl, add the xanthan gum and whisk until light and thicker. Add to the top of your finished piece or individual cut pieces like I have and serve!

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Becky xxx

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When we found a coquina squash in the supermarket we immediately knew its destiny – soup! It looks sort of like a stripey cousin to the butternut (feel free to sub this if you can’t find coquina). It’s super duper sweet tasting, the candy of the squash world if you will.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 coquina (or similar) squash cut into medium sized chunks
  • 4 small shallots, diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 cups/500ml vegetable stock
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • salt
  • pepper
  • bay leaf

  1. Preheat the oven to 390f/200c
  2. Peel and chop the squash into medium sized chunks. Put into a roasting pan or tray, drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat.
  3. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Roast in the oven for 40 minutes, turning once after 20 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, prepare the shallots and carrots.
  6. In a large pot, sautee the carrots in olive oil with a bay leaf dropped in. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. After the carrots become soft add the shallots. Cooking long enough to soften them.
  8. Remove and discard the bay leaf.
  9. Tip the cooked carrots and shallot mixture into a blender or food processor and add the vegetable stock.
  10. Process until smooth and then add half the roasted squash, so you don’t overwork your blender.
  11. Process and then add the second half of the squash with the can of coconut milk.
  12. Return the soup to the pan and warm it through, season to taste.

Sarah and Brian xxx

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