Month: June 2015

Ever since Rowena served us up the cauliflower rice in that amazing Italian food she made I was thinking all about it! Who knew it was so easy?

I whipped up this recipe when I was tasked with dinner whilst my mum made a pilgrimage to the supermarket! It’s a room temp salad but if you wanted to you could also eat it cold.

Also how great is it that I can come home after work, make and shoot a dish without it looking like I shot the photos in a dungeon! Yay, summer!

INGREDIENTS

For the cauliflower rice salad

  • 400g cauliflower
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • Pinch of brown sugar
  • 100g oil packed sundried tomatoes, excess oil drained off
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 50g slivered almonds
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Green tahini dressing

  • 3 tsp brown tahini
  • 3 tsp vegan green pesto, either homemade or store bought
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  1. Start by preheating the oven to 400f. Chop the cauliflower into florets, discarding any excess hard stems.  Pulse the cauliflower in a food processor for 1 minute until it resembles a small grained rice.
  2. In a bowl mix the pulsed cauliflower, olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread on a baking tray and bake for 12 minutes. Stirring half way through.
  3. Whilst the cauliflower is roasting prepare the onions, halve and slice the onion then in a small frying pan lightly saute on a low heat for 5-10 minutes until the onions turn translucent. Add the pinch of brown sugar and cook for a further 5 minutes until completely soft.
  4. Make the green tahini dressing. In the food processor, pulse together all the ingredients. Pour into a jug and set aside.
  5. Once the cauliflower is done, remove it from the oven and add it to a large salad bowl. Using scissors, chop the sundried tomatoes into small bite size pieces and add them to the bowl. Add the dried basil and salt and pepper and the onions.
  6. On a smaller tray, add the slivered almonds and roast for 3-5 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and toss with the rest of the ingredients.
  7. Drizzle the green tahini dressing over the salad and serve with a few shredded basil leaves .

Please follow and like us:
144

Breakfast is always a constant battle for me. I love to eat it but I lack the time in the morning – in reality I have about 10 minutes to make it. I tend to go with the easy option of toast more often than not. Sometimes if I’m organised the night before I’ll make oatmeal and stick it in my trusty Thermos flask so it’s still warm in the morning.

Recently I was thinking about muesli – I love it but I find the store bought stuff so boring! Dusty oats with hard dry raisins…no thanks. So I decided to make my own.
This muesli is packed with all the goodies I enjoy. It’s also naturally gluten-free and refined sugar free!

 I’m using dehydrated strawberries but if you don’t own a dehydrator feel free to sub with freeze dried or store bought!

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups rolled oats or gluten-free oats
  • 1 cup puffed quinoa (you can find it online here)
  • 1/2 cup sprouted buckwheat
  • 1/2 cup dehydrated strawberries (cut into chunks, dehydrated for 18 hours at 45c)
  • 1 cup dried white mulberries (find them online here)
  • 1/2 cup flaked almonds
  • 1/2 cup hemp hearts

  1. In a large bowl combine all the ingredients. Mix with a spoon or your hands until everything is well combined. Store in an airtight container or jar. Serve with cold non-dairy milk or yogurt.
Please follow and like us:
144

I’m a bit slow on the vegan hype sometimes. I’ve been hearing about how great gram flour is for about the last 6 months but never actually got around to buying any.

Finally I had a chance to make something with it! Quiche was always a huge thing in my house – my mum is a quiche wizard so this was a logical step for me. Next step: frittata!

INGREDIENTS

For the vegetable filling

  • 1/2 courgette, cut into thin rounds
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, cut into thin slices
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • Small bunch of dill, stems removed and chopped (about 2 tbsp chopped)
  • Olive oil to fry

For the quiche fillling

  • 1 1/2 cup gram flour
  • 1 tsp of The Vegg or 1 tsp Kala Namak
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 vegetable stock cube, crumbled
  • 1 cup of water

To assemble the quiche

  • 50g puff pastry – I use Jus Rol
  • 8 inch baking dish
  • Baking beans

  1. Preheat the oven to 350f. In a pan, add some olive oil and then the onion. Cook on a low heat until beginning to turn translucent. Add the minced garlic and the bay leaf.
  2. Add the courgette and peppers, increasing the heat to medium and cook for 10 minutes until the vegetables are softened. Add the chopped dill. Discard the bay leaf and set aside.
  3. In a blender or food processor, add the quiche filling ingredients and blend on high until very smooth and fully combined. It should resemble a thick pancake batter. Set aside.
  4. Lightly flour your work surface and then using a rolling pin roll  out the puff pastry thinly into a 9 inch circle shape.
  5. Lay the pastry carefully over the baking dish letting the excess hang over the sides. Press the pastry into the sides of the dish then cut the excess away using a sharp knife. Prick the bottom of the pastry case with a fork.
  6. Line the pastry with parchment paper and pour in your baking beans. Spread them evenly. Cook the pastry shell in the oven for 15 minutes. Then remove the parchment and beans and cook for another 5 minutes until the base is crispy and golden.
  7. Add one layer of vegetables, then pour over half of the quiche filling, add the second layer and pour over the remainder of the quiche filling.
  8. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes until the quiche is solid and slightly cracked on top. Leave to cool for 5 minutes before slicing.
Please follow and like us:
144

I still have a whole 1kg of cherries leftover…so here’s a little treat I made for myself for pudding! Single serving cherry crumble!

INGREDIENTS

  • 100g cherries, halved and pitted
  • 1 tbsp vanilla sugar or 1 tbsp sugar + 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp ground almonds
  • 3 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 tbsp oats
  • 1 tsp vegan butter
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar + more for sprinkling

  1. Preheat the oven to 350f. Get a ramekin ready. I like to use the little round casserole dishes with the lid by Le Creuset.
  2. In a small saucepan add the cherries and vanilla sugar. Cook for 5 minutes, slightly mashing the cherries with a wooden spoon until the juices run out and the fruit softens.
  3. Pour the fruit into the ramekin.
  4. In a separate bowl combine the ground almonds, flour and sugar. Rub in the butter using your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse sand. Stir in the oats.
  5. Top the fruit with the crumble mixture and sprinkle over brown sugar.
  6. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes until bubbling.
Please follow and like us:
144

I’ve wanted to make my own yogurt for a long, long time. Most of the vegan yogurts you see online are made from Thai young coconut meat – but I’m scared of trying to crack one of those babies open and I’ve never actually seen one in the shops…

I recommend using the Megaflora brand of probiotics for this. After you blend the cashews you MUST use glass and wood utensils and bowls! No more metal!  Metal will kill the nice friendly bacteria that are going to make the yogurt.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups of cashews, soaked for at least 8 hours
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Powder from 2 probiotic capsules
  • 2-3 tbsp Grade B maple syrup

  1. Soak the cashews in warm water for 8 hours overnight. If you are in a pinch, soak them in boiling water for 30 minutes.
  2. Drain and rinse the cashews. Add to the blender with the water and the maple syrup.
  3. Add the blended cashews to a glass bowl. Sprinkle the probiotic powder on top of the cashew mixture then stir in with a wooden spoon.
  4. Cover the bowl with muslin and leave it in a warm, dark place for 24 to 48 hours.
  5. After 24 hours try the yogurt, it should have a foamy texture and taste slightly tart. You can leave for another 24 hours if you like your yogurt a little tarter. At 48 hours the yogurt will have a strong sour taste.
  6. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
Please follow and like us:
144

At the moment the fruit and veg man at my local tube station has a box of 2kg of cherries for £7. Obviously I couldn’t resist. But then came the problem of what to do with them all. I thought about dehydrating them but I couldn’t face the idea of how many trays I’d need to rotate.

So I decided to use 1kg to make jam! I set up my pitting station in front of Orange is the New Black and got to work. Whilst you are pitting the cherries, reserve the kernels from about two dozen – you will need the pectin in them later. I ended up with 3 large jars and one small jar.

INGREDIENTS
Adapted from Taste.com.au

  • 1kg of cherries, pitted
  • Two dozen cherry kernels wrapped in a muslin bundle
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 2 vanilla bean pods, split
  • 1kg sugar

  1. Preheat your oven to 200f. Wash your jars in hot soapy water then place them side down inside the oven. Heat in the oven for 10 minutes then turn off the heat and leave them inside until needed.
  2. In a large heavy bottomed saucepan add your cherries, using a fork or potato masher mash the fruit to break it up. Turn the heat to a medium low and add the lemon juice and vanilla.
  3. Cook for about 3 minutes then add the kernel bundle, turning the heat up to medium. Cook the fruit for 15 minutes until soft. Remove and discard the kernels and the vanilla.
  4. Add the sugar slowly, stirring all the time. Cook the jam for about 10 minutes until all the sugar has dissolved then bring it to a boil.
  5. Boil the jam for up to 25 minutes, checking to see whether it is set every 5 minutes. Place a saucer in the fridge. Spoon a little jam onto the saucer, return it to the fridge for a few minutes. Using your finger, drag it across the jam, if the jam puckers and wrinkles it is ready.
  6. Remove the jam from the heat. Using a metal spoon carefully scrape the white scum from the surface. This will stop your jam from becoming cloudy.
  7. Remove your jars from the oven and carefully ladle in the hot jam. Immediately seal with the lids and leave to cool completely. Store in a dark, cool place.
Please follow and like us:
144

I was invited along with my friend Eleeshia to a vegan bloggers dinner by Millie from La Belle Assiette. The premise of La Belle Assiette is simple – you choose and book a chef, they come to your house, work their chef magic for you and then clear up and disappear! To me it sounded like a really great way to relax during a dinner party. For someone with a vegan or plant based diet it would be a godsend – I often think there’s a need to prove to others that vegan food can be delicious and sometimes after work you really do not want to put the effort in. For more information on La Belle Assiette you can go here.

Our location for the dinner was a flat in Hoxton, in a sort of industrial looking, behind the train tracks area. When we arrived there was a little rave with a bonfire going on next door, so Hoxton chic! Thank you to Jerome for allowing us into your home!

Our chef was the lovely Rowena Humphreys. Before we were served an amouse bouche she explained to us when she became a vegan, her influences in food and what she was going to be serving us! Later on I got to chat with Rowena properly and she’s lovely – she runs a stall at Alexandra Palace market which I am going to go feast at soon. If you want more information on Rowena, you can find her Facebook page here.

Our first course was an amuse bouche called Rowena’s Surprise! It was grapes in a cashew coconut cream cheese covered in nuts. I’ve made a lot of cashew cheese before but never thought of adding coconut to it. It made it a lot sweeter and creamier and I think it went so well with the grape!

For our starter we had a Chanterelle ceviche served with a pineapple and avocado salsa. Since my husband and I found the morel mushrooms in Yosemite I’ve been on a personal quest to try any kind of unusual mushroom I can. I’ve managed oysters, enoki, shiitake and most recently chicken of the woods so I was so pleased to see this on the menu! Rowena had marinated them in citrus juice and with the pineapple avocado salsa (which tasted like a green smoothie!) it was delicious! I don’t normally enjoy pineapple so when I whatsapped my husband to tell him I had had pineapple he was really pleased, haha! Definitely going chanterelle hunting soon!

For the main dish Rowena served us Involtini di melanzane with salsa verde. A mandolined aubergine stuffed with cauliflower rice (what a great idea!), roasted asparagus, sultanas and other goodies. It was completely delicious. As someone who has used their mandolin about 3 times since using it I’ll definitely be getting it out some more now.

Finally for dessert Rowena served us a Coconut Cream Tiramisu. I only recently got into coffee and I can tell you it turns me into She-Hulk. Thankfully the coffee here wasn’t overpowering at all. The coconut cream was super light and fluffy and Rowena had told us earlier that she had made the ladyfinger biscuits herself. As someone who was a former dairy milk lover it was really refreshing to get a really creamy vegan dessert. The tiramisu was probably my favourite dish of the evening.

Overall my experience was great! I really liked the casual feel of the dinner and enjoyed getting to chat to some fellow vegan bloggers. A lot of the time blogging can feel quite lonely and I think a lot of us put pressure on ourselves to constantly be creating and putting stuff out there. It was nice for once not to be the one cooking!

You can read more about Rowena on her La Belle Assiette page here.

A big thank you to Millie for inviting us along to share in the delicious food and a huge thank you to Rowena for sharing your passion for vegan cooking with us!

Please follow and like us:
144

It was National Donut Day recently and god knows I really wanted to get my donut on but I had already had my day off so there was no time to make anything! Maybe one day I’ll have one of those schedules where I can blog as much as I like!

So basically I’ve thought about donuts for a solid week. I brought back some Grade B maple syrup from America in May and my husband has been egging me on to use it for a long while now. So these are some transatlantic fancy pants donuts.

INGREDIENTS

For the donut dough

  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 170ml  unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp caster sugar
  • 2 vanilla bean pods, split and seeds scraped out
  • 340g self raising flour
  • 2¼ tsp dried active yeast
  • Vegetable oil or neutral tasting oil to fry

For the maple glaze

  • 1/4 cup Grade B Maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp almond milk

  1. In a saucepan over a low heat melt the coconut oil and add the sugar, salt, scraped vanilla beans and almond milk. Set aside to cool slightly.
  2. In a bowl add the flour and yeast. Pour in the slightly cooled coconut oil mixture. Using your hands, mix into a shaggy dough.
  3. Tip the dough onto a floured surface and knead for 5 to 10 minutes until smooth and glossy.
  4. Clean the bowl then return the dough to the bowl and cover with a damp tea towel. Leave to rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  5. After the dough has risen, punch it down using your finger tips then roll out to about 2cm thick.
  6. Using a 4cm round cutter, cut out circle shapes until all the dough is used up. Using a smaller cutter cut holes into the middle of each donut.
  7. Place the donuts and donut holes on a baking sheet, put the baking sheet into a plastic bag and then leave to rise for another hour.
  8. Whilst the dough is rising prepare the maple glaze. Mix the maple syrup and the icing sugar together, adding almond milk to thin. Set aside.
  9. Once the dough is risen, add the oil to a large saucepan or dutch oven and heat it to 160c.
  10. Drop the donuts into the oil one at a time, don’t crowd them. Fry for 3-4 minutes each side until golden brown.
  11. Scoop the donuts out of the oil onto a wire rack to drain. Once all the donuts are fried, turn them upside down and dip them into the glaze. Leave to dry for about 2 minutes and then dip once more into the glaze.
Please follow and like us:
144

Fresh turmeric is sort of hard to come by here but I went on a special pilgrimage to Wholefoods for this recipe. You might want to wear gloves if you’re using the fresh stuff as it turns your hands yellow! Feel free to sub with the dry stuff if you don’t want to go on a pilgrimage like me!

These are perfect picnic food!

INGREDIENTS

  • 240g chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 4cm piece of fresh turmeric, peeled and grated or 1 tbsp dried turmeric
  • 25g bunch of parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • Zest and juice of half a lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Preheat the oven to 375f. Line a baking tray with silpat or parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a food processor combine all the ingredients and process until a dough forms. Using a teaspoon spoon scoop out the falafel dough and roll into balls using your hands.
  3. Place the falafels on the baking tray and repeat until all the mixture is used up. I ended up with 16.
  4. Bake the falafels for 20 minutes, turning once or until crispy. Serve with hummus in wraps or with salad!

 

Please follow and like us:
144

It’s finally getting a little bit warmer here! I actually took off my jacket today. So it’s coming up to prime elderflower cordial weather. I recently noticed that our neighbour had an elderflower bush and the majority of the blooms were hanging over into our garden….so out came the telescopic hedge trimmer.

If you’re harvesting elderflowers in urban areas, make sure they haven’t been sprayed by any nasties. If you aren’t sure – leave them!

INGREDIENTS
Adapted from River Cottage

  • 10-15 elderflower heads
  • Peel of half of a grapefruit
  • Peel of half of a lemon
  • Juice of 3 lemons
  • 1.5 litres of boiling water
  • 1kg granulated sugar

  1. After you’ve havested your elderflowers, give them a very good rinse under running water to dislodge any bugs. Pick over the flowers to remove any dead or dry blooms.
  2. In a big pot add the flower heads, grapefruit peel and lemon peel. Pour over the boiling water, cover and leave to infuse for at least 8 hours, preferably overnight.
  3. The next morning, drain the infused liquid through a nut milk bag or double muslin and discard the elderflowers and peel.
  4. Pour the liquid back into the pan and add the lemon juice and sugar. Heat the pan on a low heat whilst the sugar dissolves then bring the heat up to medium to simmer the liquid.
  5. Cook for about 10 minutes until all the sugar is dissolved.
  6. Pour into sterilized glass bottles or jars, allow to cool then store in the fridge.
Please follow and like us:
144