Monday, 21 July 2014

Vegan Coleslaw

If you go waaay wayy back, back to when I was about 14/15, coleslaw was a large part of my life. Every weekend after going to the supermarket we'd have fresh bread rolls with hot deli chicken and homemade coleslaw. Now whilst I don't miss the chicken, I do miss the coleslaw! But how can you create something so creamy without mayonnaise? The secret is tahini and soy yoghurt. 

Coleslaw is a delicious addition to any salad meal- whether you have it in a sandwich or with crusty fresh bread, with some boiled new potatoes, sweet potato fries or some falafel. It's crunchy and creamy and packed full of flavour.

Serves 4

You will need:

1/2 white cabbage, shredded finely
1/2 onion, chopped finely
2 grated carrots
3 tbsps tahini
3 tbsps white vinegar
1/3 cup soy yoghurt
salt and pepper
pinch of chilli

Combine the tahini and white vinegar until it makes a thick and creamy paste. Add the soy yoghurt and mix well. Put the chopped vegetables into a large bowl and add the sauce, salt, pepper and a little chilli for a bit of spice. Mix well, ensuring all the vegetables are well coated. Enjoy!

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Raw Caramel Chocolate

I'll be honest here, this post is a long time coming, because I thought I had already posted the recipe! If you have been anxiously awaiting my adaptation of Loving Earth's supposedly heavenly caramel chocolate then look out, here it is!

My Australian friends have long tempted me with their array of raw chocolate- Loving Earth and Pana Chocolate to name a few. So when Pana launched in the UK I was overjoyed! But Loving Earth is yet to enter an international market and I cannot wait that long. I need to try this caramel chocolate!

Looking on their website I saw I needed Coconut sugar, cacao butter, coconut, and cashews. Now came the trial and error to produce something silky and soft, but also sweet and flavoursome. I wanted it to look like a golden caramel and taste like it too. And I was impressed with the end result!

Makes 100g of raw chocolate

You will need:

40g cacao butter
20g coconut sugar/nectar
10g coconut oil
10g desiccated coconut (unsweetened)
20g raw cashews
1/2 tsp lucuma powder

Gently melt the cacao butter and coconut oil in a water bath. Process the cashews and coconut until it makes a fine powder, then stir in the lucuma powder and coconut sugar. Add the cacao butter/coconut oil mixture and process for roughly a minute, just to combine it all well.

Pour into chocolate moulds and allow to set in the fridge

Tofu Pad Thai

Pad thai used to be my life. Whenever we went out for dinner I would urge my parents to take me to this Asian fusion restaurant that did the most amazing pad thai. I love the combination of flavours and textures! I always used to get a chicken pad thai, with the chunks of egg omelette in it, but now I use tofu to make my own vegan friendly version. It's Thai street food at its best.

Serves 2

You will need:

100g thai rice noodles
200g pack of firm tofu, with the water pressed out and chopped into small cubes
1 clove of garlic
3-4 spring onions (green onions/scallions)
3 carrots, made into noodles (using a julienne peeler or spiralizer)
1 cup mung bean sprouts
1 tbsp oil

The sauce (mix all together)

4 tbsps tomato concentrate
6 tbsps water
1 tbsp tamari soy sauce
1/2 tsp fresh ginger
1 tsp coconut sugar
1/4 tsp chilli flakes

Chopped peanuts and fresh coriander to top

Prepare your rice noodles according to the instructions on the back of the box. It may say to soak them in warm water or it may say to boil them in a pot. Meanwhile heat the oil in a large frying pan and add the garlic and tofu, frying lightly until the tofu is lightly browned. Add the prepared rice noodles, the carrot noodles and the sauce and mix gently. Turn off the heat and fold in the mung bean sprouts and spring onions, then pour into bowls and top with fresh coriander and chopped peanuts.

Mexican Style Spicy Bean Burgers

Growing up with a vegetarian mother, a lot of my meals as child involved vegetarian substitutes, swapping beef burgers for veggie burgers or falafel, sausages for veggie sausages and using soya meat in lasagne, spaghetti bolognaise and Mexican dishes. From a young age I've had a love of veggie burgers, I loved their moist and yet not greasy texture and the combination of different flavours, all compacted into an easy to eat burger. These kidney bean burgers are inspired by the spicy bean burgers that my Mum adores and we always used to order from a burger restaurant in my town.

Makes 6 burgers

You will need:

1 can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can black beans
1 finely chopped onion
1 clove garlic
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 tbsps tomato puree
juice of half a lemon

Process half of each can of beans with the paprika, chilli, coriander, cumin, tomato puree and lemon juice until smooth. Pour into a bowl and roughly mash in the remaining beans, then add the chopped onion and garlic. Shape into 6 even burgers and place in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes. Heat a pan with a little oil and panfry gently for about 5 minutes on each side. Serve either in a bread roll at a bbq or have a couple with some salsa or guacamole for a super easy dinner!

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Vegan Mac and 'Cheese'

Macaroni cheese is one of those comfort foods that everyone seems to grow up with and feel quite nostalgic about. Whether you're a fan of the microwave "Easy Mac" or if you love you Mum's homemade mac 'n' cheese, it's certainly a popular dish. So obviously, I had to try and make my own healthified version!

This sauce was a bit of an experiment, but I was actually very impressed with the results. It's creamy from the almond milk, the nutritional yeast makes it a bit cheesy tasting and the dijon mustard gives it a depth of flavour and a little kick of spice. It's the perfect comfort food, especially with some extra veggies thrown it, it's actually good for you too! I like mine with steamed broccoli and cauliflower, for a fun combination of cauliflower cheese and macaroni cheese.

Serves 2

You will need:

3 tbsps rice flour
1 cup almond milk
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp coconut oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Add the flour to a saucepan and gradually add the almond milk, stirring continuously to avoid lumps. Once all the almond milk is added, mix all the other ingredients together in the saucepan over a low heat until thick and serve with your choice of pasta and veggies.

Chia Jam

Traditionally jam is about 50% sugar and 50% fruit. Sure, it might taste nice, but all that sugar can't be good for you! Instead, this recipe uses chia seeds to obtain the same thick texture, with only a little sweetener to take the edge of the berries. The chia seeds make this jam high in protein, fibre and omega 3's, all whilst tasting delicious. This jam is fantastic on baked goods such as scones, breakfast muffins, or toast, and I love using it to make a PB&J! Any berries work, my favourites are either raspberries or blueberries. I use frozen because they're so much cheaper, but if you happen to have a abundance of fresh berries, then go ahead and use those!

Makes one small jar

You will need:

1.5 cups berries
1.5 tbsps chia seeds
2 tbsps rice syrup/agave nectar

Put the berries and sweetener in a saucepan and bring to the boil, so the berries are bubbling gently. Continue to cook until soft and mushy. Use a potato masher or fork to roughly mash the berries up, then stir in the chia seeds and simmer over a low heat until thick and gooey. Leave to cool, then transfer to a jar and store for up to a week.

Chia and Date Buckwheat Banana Bread

This new banana bread recipe is almost like a giant buckwheat pancake baked in loaf form. It's incredibly moist and gooey because of the bananas and it's also nice and sweet, and yet the bananas are the only sweetener! So this banana bread is gluten free, dairy free, egg free, soy free and sugar free. And yet it tastes incredible. How?!

The secret is to have really, really ripe bananas. I'm talking black skins and going mushy sort of bananas. The ones that make your kitchen smell like bananas. I usually try and pick up all the spare over ripe bananas from the supermarket that no one wants and some places will even sell them for cheap when they're overripe, just ask your local supermarket!

You will need:

1 cup buckwheat flour (140g)
1 cup brown rice flour (150g)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3 tbsps chia seeds mixed with 1/2 cup water and left to 'gel up' for 15 minutes
1/2 cup non dairy milk (I used almond milk)
1/2 cup chopped dates (These don't have to be expensive medjool dates, the cheaper ones work fine!)
5 super ripe bananas, mashed
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat your oven to 180C and grease a 1lb bread tin (medium sized) with coconut oil to prevent the banana bread from sticking. Sift the flours and baking powder/soda in a large bowl and add in the mashed banana, almond milk and the chia seed mixture. Mix well, then gently stir in the vanilla extract and chopped dates. Pour into the greased baking tin and bake for 45-60 minutes, depending on how powerful your oven is. You want it lightly browned on top and when you stick a cake tester in, it should come out clean, with no dough sticking to it.
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