Month: December 2014

As 2014 draws to a close I thought it was appropriate to do a round up of your favourite recipes this year!

Enjoy!

Vegan Chai Snickerdoodle Donuts

Chickpea Nuggets

Spicy Aka Miso Marinated Cauliflower Steaks

Vegan Ravioli

Matcha Glazed Vanilla Bean Donuts with Matcha Cream Filling

Cauliflower ‘Fish’ and Chips (GF)

Smokey Avocado Fries

Vegan Caesar Salad with Chickpea Croutons

Here’s to a lot more delicious vegan food in 2015!

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We had really good intentions for our chestnuts, We were going to eat them with brussel sprouts on Christmas Day. In end, that didn’t happen.

With a leftover box of chestnuts I obviously had to make some truffles. These are SUPER rich tasting so be careful! They’re also incredibly delicious. I recommend storing them in the fridge in an air tight container or they might melt all over the place.

INGREDIENTS

  • 200g chestnuts, cooked and peeled
  • 200g dark chocolate
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 Vanilla pod, scraped or 3 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp Cocoa powder for dusting

  1. In a food processor, pulse the chestnuts until broken into small pieces. Add in the maple syrup and salt. Pulse again until the mixture comes together to form a paste.
  2. In a bowl over a saucepan of boiling water, melt the chocolate with the coconut oil and stir in the vanilla paste or extract.
  3. Pour the melted chocolate into the chestnut paste and pulse on high until combined.
  4. Scrape out the paste into a bowl and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  5. Line a baking tray with grease proof parchment paper.
  6. Once chilled, using a teaspoon, measure out the truffles and roll into uniform balls. Roll in cocoa powder to coat.
  7. Place the truffles onto the baking tray. Repeat with the remaining mixture.
  8. Chill the truffles in the fridge for another 30 minutes to 1 hour or until firm enough to handle.

Using a teaspoon measure made around 18 fairly large truffles. If you want a bigger quantity, use a 1/2 or 1/4 tsp measure instead.

Sarah xxx

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No recipe today, just a quick post to say

Merry Christmas to all our readers!

Thank you so much for following along on our vegan journey for the past 10 months.

Very excited to see what 2015 will bring!

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Up until last week I’d ever even eaten a persimmon. Someone at work had one and I asked to try a piece and found out they are delicious! I immediately bought two from our local vegetable shop.

Our house is a household of two people so we don’t always want a lot of leftovers – especially when it comes to dessert. We were eating my peppermint cream pie for a solid week! So I wanted to make us a double serving pudding  (if you want you could eat the whole thing yourself!)

If you’ve made nut milk recently and have kept the pulp, you can dry out a little of it to use in this recipe. Just bake in the oven at 350f for about 10 minutes.

In one of these photos I’m using a lovely new spoon I got from Izy of Top with Cinnamon, you can read all about the creative process behind the spoon (a 1 tbsp scoop!) here.

INGREDIENTS

For the fruit filling

  • 1 medium to large sized persimmon, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 7 cardamom pods, smashed
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For the crumble

  • 1/4 cup plain flour
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 3 tbsp almond meal or leftover almond milk pulp (dried in the oven for 10 mins at 350f)
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp oats
  • Pinch of salt

  1. Preheat the oven to 350f.
  2. Peel and chop the persimmon. Add to a saucepan with the sugar, cardamom, and vanilla. Heat on low until the fruit is soft and fragrant.
  3. Scoop out the cardamom pods and spoon the mixture into a 5.5 inch cast iron skillet or similar sized oven-proof dish.
  4. To make the crumble topping, in a separate bowl add the flour and coconut oil. Using your fingers, rub the coconut oil and flour together. Keep doing this until you end up with a sand like consistency.
  5. Stir in 1 tbsp of sugar, the oats, almond meal and a pinch of salt.
  6. Spread the crumble mixture over the fruit and sprinkle with the remaining sugar.
  7. Bake the oven for 15-20 minutes or until the top is slightly golden.

Sarah xxx

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The other day I was thinking about nut milk and about how I always use raw nuts. That got me thinking, what would it taste like if I roasted and then soaked them?

I’m pretty happy with the results! Roasting the almonds gives the milk a deeper flavour which enhances the taste. The milk without the other ingredients added in is brown in colour but don’t let that put you off!

Because it’s the holidays I had to make this a chocolate milk recipe! There’s something undeniably comforting about chocolate milk so this is a little pre-holiday treat to keep you sweet!

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups raw almonds (roasted and soaked 8hrs-overnight)
  • 3-4 cups water
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2-3 tbsp pure maple syrup (depending on how sweet you like it)
  • Pinch of salt

Optional variations:
Sub the 1 tsp of vanilla with peppermint extract for chocolate peppermint milk. Sub 1 tsp of vanilla for 1 tsp of espresso powder or coffee extract for mocha milk. Add in 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp sweet paprika for a Mexican style chocolate milk.

  1. Preheat the oven to 350f/180c. Pour the almonds onto a baking tray.
  2. Roast the almonds for 10-15 minutes, turning them occasionally until they are nicely browned and fragrant. Be sure to watch them carefully as they can colour quickly.
  3. Remove the tray from the oven and allow the almonds to cool for about 10 minutes or until cool enough to handle.
  4. Pour into a container, cover with water and add a pinch of salt.
  5. Set aside. Soak the almonds for at least 8 hours or preferably over night.
  6. After soaking, rinse the almonds throughly and add to the blender with the water.
  7. Blend on high until smooth.
  8. Drain the almond water mixture through a nut milk bag into a large bowl, making sure to give it a good squeeze.
  9. Rinse out your blender jug and then return the almond milk to the jug, add in the vanilla, cocoa, maple syrup and pinch of salt.
  10. Blend on high until combined. Bottle and chill until ready to be used.

My nut milks generally last 1-2 days in the fridge if I haven’t drunk them by then!

Sarah xxx

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The awesome folks at The Food Duo asked me to submit a recipe  to their holiday project and to talk a little about my holiday wish for this year!

The Food Duo asked us to include a photo of ourselves, so here we are in spectacular selfie style. I’m in the glasses!

We’re both London based vegans who enjoy baking and eating lots of dessert. Becky is lucky enough to have 3 dogs and 1 cat in her family! She has an awesome job for a well known fashion brand and is almost always busy. She likes food that is easy to throw together but full of flavour. She’s also a demon when it comes to baked goods. I work for an iconic British landmark and try to split my time between cooking, skyping my fiance, photographing food and running. I’m more into the more complicated recipes.

I think what I’m wishing for this year is for a smooth and happy 2015. I feel like the last half of this year has been quite stressful and I’m ready to be married to my bestie now! I’m also hoping to get a lot more cooking and blogging in 2015!

The Food Duo also asked me to mention a charity we’ve supported. This year Becky did an amazing thing of cycling 100km for Ride the Night 2014, for women versus cancer. A couple of years ago I donated 12 inches of hair to Little Princess Trust who make wigs for children who have suffered hair loss.

Onto the recipe!

You know how everyone is crazy for coconut whipped cream? Well, confession time – I’ve never made it successfully. I tried once and my coconut milk didn’t separate and it was Christmas Day and I was too emotional by that point to try to whip it, haha.

But Christmas is coming up and I need a killer dessert so here we are!

This time I ditched the milk and went straight for the coconut cream. You know the little cartons? Two of those babies and I had a rich fluffy chocolate mousse in about 3 minutes. It was beautiful.

If you’re not a fan of peppermint and chocolate together (my fiance isn’t!) you can always sub out the peppermint for orange extract and make yourself a giant Terry’s Chocolate Orange!

This recipe is loosely based on one I used last Christmas which you can find here.  I was also inspired by the folks over at Minimalist Baker who just made this incredible looking peanut butter chocolate mousse pie…heart palpitations over here.

INGREDIENTS

For the crust

  • 1/2 cup/47g unsweetened desiccated coconut
  • 1 cup/128g plain flour
  • 1/2 cup/59g cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp vegan butter
  • Pinch of salt

For the cream filling

  • 200g/7oz dark chocolate
  • 2 250ml cartons or cans of coconut cream (chilled if not completely solid)
  • 1 tsp peppermint extract
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup

For the topping

  • Dark chocolate chips
  • Desiccated coconut (optional)
  • Mint leaves (optional)

For the pie crust

  1. Start by preheating your oven to 350f/180c. Grease a 9 inch pie dish and set aside.
  2. Melt the butter and the maple syrup in a pan on a low heat, set aside.
  3. In a large bowl add the desiccated coconut and sieve in the flour, cocoa powder and salt. Add the melted butter and maple syrup.
  4. Mix until the ingredients begin to come together, it will start to resemble a coarse soil.
  5. Once thoroughly mixed, using your hands press the mixture into the pie dish. Make sure to form a crust up the sides as well.
  6. Bake the crust in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until crisp on top. Remove and let cool for at least one hour.

For the pie filling

  1. Melt the chocolate in a bain-marie over a saucepan of hot but not boiling water.
  2. Once the chocolate has melted, stir in the maple syrup. Set aside to cool slightly.
  3. Open the coconut cream cartons or cans, drain away any excess liquid and squeeze the cream into a large mixing bowl. Add the cooled chocolate.
  4. Beat on high until smooth and mousse like. Add in the peppermint. Beat again until fluffy incorporated.

Once the crust has cooled, assemble your pie. Using a spatula spoon the cream filling into the crust and smooth it out. Feel free to be as generous as possible! Top with chocolate chips and some more desiccated coconut if you desire! Any leftover cream filling can be eaten as a sneaky mousse treat.

Sarah xxx

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Finally had some time and motivation to blog some kind of recipe. Whilst I was in the US I had some cashew milk and remembered why I liked it so much. I have about 3kg of cashews stashed in the house  so I decided to make some!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup of raw cashews, soaked in warm water with a pinch of salt for at least 8 hours, preferably overnight
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup (I used grade A)
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
  • Nut milk bag

  1. Start by rinsing your soaked cashews, give them a good proper rinse. You’re rinsing off all the stuff that would give you a bad stomach so do it properly!
  2. Add cashews and water to the blender and blend on high for 1 minute or until smooth.
  3. Get a big bowl or jug, line it with your nut milk bag and pour in your blended cashew water mixture.
  4. Slowly start to squeeze out the liquid. Keep squeezing until there is nothing left. You will be left with some squishy looking nut pulp – you can keep this to use in other smoothies or granola!
  5. Give your blender a quick rinse and pour the cashew milk back in.
  6. Add the vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and maple syrup and blend until combined.
  7. Test it to see if it’s sweet enough, if not add more syrup.
  8. Bottle and leave in the fridge to chill.

 

(In my experience the milk generally lasts 1-2 days before it starts to go bad)

 

Sarah xxx

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If you know me in real life you’ll know I’m in a long distance relationship that spans over 5000 miles. Los Angeles and London. We’ve been together through my pescetarian phase, my year long foray into all things meat and finally my overnight nose dive into veganism.  It’s funny how our food “traditions” have changed based on my dietary preferences. My old traditional “first food in LA” was always a shrimp burrito, now it’s a portion of seasoned curly fries.

LA was where becoming a vegan started to form in my mind. I was struggling with my eczema at the time and Brian suggested I try the almond milk in the fridge to see if I liked it. Turns out I did! A couple of weeks later I was a vegan.

I just got back from my 9th visit to LA and whilst I was there I realised I’ve never actually shared on the blog what amazing vegan food is available in America. The best vegan mayonnaise and the best vegan faux meats. So I’ll be outlining a few of the yummy things I like to eat and the things I like to smuggle home in my suitcase!

 

My hoard I brought back in my suitcase…basically why it weighed 55lbs.

Candy from Premium Chocolatiers – “No Nos”, “No Whey!” and “Mini Peanut butter cups”
1 quart of Maple syrup (it’s stupid expensive in the UK)
Earth Balance original vegan butter
Follow Your Heart Vegenaise Tartar Sauce
Field Roast Wild Mushroom Quarterloaf and 2 Celebration roasts
Hampton Creek’s Just Mayo
Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter Blend (like vegan nutella basically…)
Dark chocolate covered pecans and Maple creme sandwich cookies from Sprouts Farmers Market

Whilst I was away I finally got to try some brands I’d had my eye on for a while

Beyond Meat chick’n – with miso udon noodle stir fry

Beyond Meat chick’n is CRAZY GOOD. It pulls apart into strings like real chicken. Brian can’t really tell the difference so omni seal of approval right there. I loved it. I didn’t get a chance to try their beef crumbles but that’s on my list for next time!

 WholesSoy & Co soy yogurts!

For the last couple of months I’d heard people on the internet (mostly on r/vegan) ranting about how great Wholesoy was and how happy they were about it’s return to stores so obviously I had to find some. I tried the peach, blueberry and vanilla flavours. Admittedly since being vegan I don’t really eat many yogurt substitutes but this is really, really good. Creamy and full of flavour without being pumped through with sugar. They do a plain flavour which I think would be great for cooking.


Vegan Black pepper Toona from Sophie’s Kitchen

We bought this fairly near the beginning of the trip but I admit I was pretty scared to open it. Before I was vegan tuna mayonnaise sandwiches were my go-to. I absolutely loved tuna. So this had a lot riding on it. Does it taste like tuna? Not really. It’s like a salty, peppery seitan. However, it not really tasting like the real thing doesn’t mean it’s bad, it tasted great in a toasted bagel mixed with Just Mayo. Be warned, when you open the can it does look a little like cat food but it’s good I promise!

Sweet Earth Hickory & Sage Smoked Seitan Bacon
Field Roast Apple Maple Breakfast Sausage

This seitan bacon from Sweet Earth is pretty darn tasty. It’s got quite a strong smokey flavour, we had it a lot with potato hash and the Field Roast breakfast sausages. I saw some burritos made by Sweet Earth in Target but didn’t get to try one – next time!

Field Roast can do no wrong, I love those people. These breakfast sausages are delicious. I’m wishing that I had smuggled them home too. There’s only one place you can get Field Roast over here in the UK (at VX in Kings Cross!) so I try to try as many things as possible when I’m over in LA. I was disappointed we couldn’t find the new Chao slices though!

(Our vegan thanksgiving dinner)

Gardein Fishless Filets & Turk’y Cutlets

SHUT DOWN EVERYTHING. These fishless filets are amazing. I love Gardein, in my eyes they can do no wrong. I’ve loved every single product of theirs I’ve had the pleasure of eating. Brian was super impressed how much these tasted like the real deal. I would happily eat them forever.

The Turk’y cutlets we had for our Thanksgiving dinner. They come with a little pouch of gravy which is super tasty. I think they tasted pretty authentic but my turkey knowledge is somewhat diminished. Definitely would eat and enjoy again!

I also ate my weight in Hampton Creek’s Just Mayo. I’m a complete freak for mayonnaise so I was so happy to see another vegan version on the market besides my beloved vegenaise. I have to say I am extremely impressed with Just Mayo, it tastes an awful lot like I remember real mayonnaise tasting. I had it with nearly all my savoury meals. I’m also really pleased that they are launching in the UK in Tesco in 2015 – hopefully in April! Yay!

The other exciting thing that happened whilst I was in LA was our unboxing of the vitamix! Brian’s mum was kind enough to buy us one for a wedding present and they kept it in the box until I could come open it in person!


First smoothies!

Making pumpkin soup!

So there we have it, some of the awesome vegan food America has to offer at the moment!

Sarah xxx

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