Monday, 24 October 2016

vegan kimchi




KIMCHIIIII! My newest addiction. Seriously - try it... you'll be addicted too, promise!

Kimchi is a Korean dish consisting of spicy, crunchy veggies and salt. It can be eaten fresh or fermented, BUT fermented is the way forward - that way you can reap the benefits of immunity boosting, gut-loving good bacteria...and it tastes much better too!

Traditional kimchi uses fish sauce to add a umami element to the dish - I replaced this with kelp powder and a little water, however I've heard of people using wakame (seaweed), miso paste and mushrooms - you could try one of these if you can't find kelp powder! I found it easy to locate all of the other ingredients, with the exception of the gochugaru chilli. This is a coursely ground red pepper with a texture in between flakes and powder. The flavour is hot, sweet and slightly smoky - this ingredient is essential for making kimchi - it cannot be replaced with 'normal' chilli flakes/powder. I found mine here on Amazon.

This recipe filled a 1 litre mason jar (you'll need one of these too - a screw top jar will also work)

Ingredients
  • 1 large head of Chinese leaf 
  • ¼ cup of sea salt

  • 1 heaped tbsp of glutinous rice flour
  • ½ cup of water
  • 10 cloves of garlic, grated
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 tbsp ginger, grated
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp kelp powder, mixed with 3 tbsp water
  • 6 tbsp gochugaru chilli 

  • 4 spring onions, sliced into inch thick pieces
  • 1 carrot, julienned or cut into ribbons

Method
Begin by preparing the cabbage - slice Chinese leaf length-ways into quarters and cut off the cores. Then cut across to make 2 inch bite-sized pieces. 

Next we will salt the cabbage. Find a large bowl - add cabbage and sea salt and begin to massage salt into cabbage pieces. Do this for a few minutes - until cabbage beings to soften, then fill the bowl with water until all pieces are covered. Place a plate with something heavy-ish on top of the cabbage - this will ensure all of the pieces are submerged in saltwater. Leave this to soak for 1.5 hours, turning every 30 minutes to ensure the pieces are evenly salted. 

Whilst cabbage is soaking, prepare kimchi seasoning. Add glutinous rice flour and ½ cup of water to a saucepan over heat, whisking continuously. When the mixture starts to become 'gluey' remove from heat and place in the fridge to cool down. Once cooled, add rice flour paste, garlic, ginger, onion, sugar, kelp powder (and 3 tbsp water) and gochugaru to a food processor. Blend until smooth. 

Once cabbage has soaked for 1.5hours, remove from bowl and rinse with cold water three times. Drain well (squeeze off extra water if necessary!) and place back into bowl. Add carrots and spring onions and pour over kimchi seasoning. Massage seasoning into the vegetables - you may want to wear rubber gloves for this part - until everything is well coated. 

Pack kimchi into mason jar ensuring that it's pressed down so the liquid covers the cabbage, leave about an inch of space at the top. Leave the kimchi to ferment for two days on your countertop - you'll want to open the jar once or twice a day to allow it to breathe - we don't want any kimchi explosions happening. That would be bad. Very bad. Once the two days are up, place your kimchi jar into the fridge - this will slow down the fermentation process. Taste each day to decide when your kimchi has fermented to your taste - I left mine in the fridge for a week, so 9 days fermentation in total. 

Once your kimchi is ready enjoy as a side dish or just straight out of the jar as I did! 


WE ♥ KIMCHI! 



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Tuesday, 4 October 2016

vegan Greek salad with crispy mini roasties



So it's been the best week ever in the world of vegan cheese (GARY?! yes.) - Sainsbury's released SEVEN new dairy-free cheeses and most of them taste like the real deal. AMAZING TIMES. I highly recommend checking out the caramelised cheddar, Greek, Wensleydale with cranberry and garlic & herb soft style cheeses, you won't regret it.

I finally managed to get my hands on the Greek-style cheese - they are all constantly out of stock, which is amazing..! The first recipe that came to mind was Greek salad - fast, tasty and satisfying - perfect for a Monday eve. I served this with crispy mini roasties and a huge imaginary glass of red wine ♥

Ingredients
  • 500g mini potatoes, washed
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to season

  • 4 vine tomatoes, chopped roughly
  • ½ bag of baby plum tomatoes (about 15), halved
  • Salt, to season tomatoes
  • 1 cucumber, chopped roughly
  • ½ a red onion, sliced very finely lengthways
  • ½ pack of black olives (about 10)
  • 200g pack of Sainsbury's Greek-style dairy free cheese, you can find this here

  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 lemon juice
  • 2 tsp dried oregano

Method
Begin by adding mini potatoes to a large pan. Cover with water and bring to a boil - we want to boil these until they are beginning to soften. While the potatoes are boiling, add 3 tbsp of olive oil to a casserole dish, preheat the oven to 220°and place the dish inside. When a knife can easily pierce through one of the potatoes, remove and strain all water off. Add potatoes to preheated casserole dish, season well and toss in the hot oil. Place in oven until crispy, remembering to turn after about 15 minutes. 

While potatoes are roasting, add the chopped vine/baby plum tomatoes to a bowl and sprinkle with salt - set aside. Then stir together extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice and oregano and set aside - this is our salad dressing.

Once potatoes are almost done, combine all salad ingredients in a large bowl and stir carefully. Drizzle over the dressing and serve with crispy mini roasties. ENJOY ♥


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Tuesday, 27 September 2016

DIY Pot Noodle


'Healthy pot noodles???' you say.. YES. YES YES YES. This is going to be my lunch of choice for Autumn/Winter. It has everything - satisfying carb-y goodness, aromatic flavours and lots of crunchy veggies (+ the potential to change it up in loads of different ways - think Thai green curry paste, miso paste, TOFU.. the list goes on) ♥ These pots can be made in advance and stored in the fridge, when you want to use it simply open and add hot water. 

These pot noodles all take on a similar structure:

Flavour base: I used vegetable stock, sesame oil, hot sauce, liquid aminos, chilli flakes and grated ginger/garlic. I also added some kimchi which tasted amazing! You can totally change this up using things like Thai green curry paste, miso paste, Korean chilli paste etc - the list goes on! Bear in mind that it's best to keep the wet ingredients at the bottom. 

Fillers: As well as using fresh veggies I also used some frozen 'filler' veggies. These help pack out your noodle cup  - I used frozen peas and sweetcorn.

Noodles: Pretty much anything goes here - think ramen, rice noodles, udon etc. I used brown rice noodles. 

Fresh veggies: Again, anything goes so get creative! I used sliced pak choi, enoki mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms, lots of fresh coriander, sliced spring onions and sliced chilli. I also added a good squeeze of lime juice once my noodles were cooked. Keep these fresh ingredients at the top of your cup where they won't get crushed.



Ingredients
Flavour Base:
  • 1 tbsp vegetable bouillon
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp hot sauce
  • 2 tbsp kimchi
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 tsp ginger, grated
Filler Veggies:
  • 3 tbsp frozen peas
  • 3 tbsp frozen sweetcorn
Noodles:
  • 1 portion of brown rice noodles, uncooked
Fresh Veggies:
  • 1 head pak choi, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • Handful of enoki mushrooms, ends cut off
  • Handful of shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
  • ½ red chilli, sliced finely
  • Squeeze of lime juice, for serving

Method
Pack all ingredients into your mason jar in the order detailed above. Add boiling water and close lid tightly. Leave to cook for five minutes. Once cooked, open jar and give everything a really good stir - we need to ensure that all the flavourings in the bottom of the jar get spread through the soup! Squeeze some fresh lime juice on top. ENJOY. 

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Friday, 23 September 2016

vegan korean bibimbap



Ever since I made this a few days ago I've had MMMBop stuck in my head. Halp meeeeeey!

Seriously though - bibimbap is awesome. I tried it for the first time on Monday at a little Korean cafe here in Belfast and decided I needed to recreate it immediately.. so this was dinner on Tuesday ♥

You could totally switch up the veggies depending on what needs used in your fridge but you MUST stirfry them separately. This will test your patience. And your arm

The only part of this recipe that may be tricky to source is the Gochujang - this is like a spicy Korean version of miso - and it's essential in bibimbap! I found it in my local Asian supermarket, so if you have one - try there first.

Ingredients - Bowl
  • 1.5 cups of white rice, cooked - you can experiment with sticky/brown rice too!
  • 1 pack of shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce/liquid aminos/tamari
  • 1 tbsp agave nectar
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • ½ bag of beansprouts
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 carrot, julienned - I grated mine but chunkier would work much better
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 big handfuls of baby spinach
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • Pinch of salt 
  • ½ a cucumber, julienned - again, I grated mine - chunkier would be better
Ingredients - Gochujang chilli sauce
  • 2 tbsp Gochujang paste
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp agave nectar
  • 2 tsp soy sauce/liquid aminos/tamari
  • 2 tsp rice vinegar
Ingredients - For serving (optional)
  • Vegan kimchi - I bought this but I'll be making my own soon, stay tuned!
  • Black sesame seeds

Method
Begin by preparing the shiitake mushrooms - all vegetables must be prepared separately. Heat up a pan and add mushroom slices, soy sauce, agave nectar and mirin. Fry these over medium heat until they have absorbed all liquid - about 4-5 minutes. Set these aside.

While the mushrooms are cooking, whisk together all ingredients for the Gochujang chilli sauce. Mix well and set aside. 


Heat 1 tbsp of sesame oil in your pan and add beansprouts. Sprinkle with a little salt and stirfry until cooked but still crunchy - about 5 minutes. Set these aside.

Heat 1 tbsp of sesame oil in your pan and add carrot. Again, sprinkle with a little salt and stirfry until wilted - about 30 seconds - or a little longer if you julienned! Set these aside. 

Heat 1 tbsp of sesame oil in your pan and add spinach. Again, sprinkle with a little salt and stirfry until wilted - about 1-2 minutes. Set this aside. 

To serve, divide rice evenly between two bowls then arrange all of your prepared veggies around it. Add a few spoonfuls of Gochujang chilli sauce and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve with kimchi if you have some. Give your bibimbap a REALLY good stir before digging in. Hope you enjoy! 
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Thursday, 15 September 2016

buddha bowl with orange/sesame/miso dressing




Soooo I *finally* stumbled across some purple sweet potatoes (SO DAMN PRETTY) the other day! I was stuck trying to think of what to use them in.... finally decided on a Buddha bowl - I had loads of baby pak choi that needed using and I've been wanting to try making a miso dressing - FATE ♥

Just like the last bowl, there is no real recipe to follow - just use whatever you have - usually I try to include a variety of grain, some veggies and either tofu or beans of some sort.

The dressing for this is so good. Get excited. 

Here's what I used in my bowl:
  • Purple sweet potatoes, steamed then baked
  • Smoked tofu, sliced and fried in a little sesame oil
  • Rice
  • Baby pak choi, steamed
  • Cucumber, chopped
  • Spring onions, chopped
  • Black sesame seeds
Ingredients - Dressing 
  • Juice of half an orange
  • 2 tsps of sesame oil
  • 2 tsps of rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tsps of white miso paste
  • ½ tsp of fresh ginger, grated

Method
Mix all dressing ingredients well until there are no lumps and set aside. Arrange your Buddha bowl with your chosen ingredients. Top with sesame seeds and spring onions. Drizzle over some miso dressing and ENJOY. 

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Wednesday, 14 September 2016

15 minute miso soup





This miso soup is sooo so comforting when you're feeling under the weather. I got home from work on Monday and felt awful (non self-inflicted), but after a bowl - or three - of this I felt much better. It cures all ills.. SRSLY


This recipe made four bowls.

Ingredients
  • 4 cups of water
  • 4 cloves of garlic, grated
  • 1 sheet of nori, cut into bite-sized squares
  • 1 cup of tofu, cubed
  • Dash of liquid aminos/soy sauce/tamari
  • 5 stems of baby pak choi (or greens of your choice!)
  • 4 tbsp of white miso
  • 4 spring onions, chopped

Method
Add garlic and nori to a large saucepan, pour in water and bring to the boil. Allow this to simmer for around 10 minutes. Add the cubed tofu, liquid aminos and pak choi and allow to simmer for another 2-3 minutes (you may choose to simmer longer, I just don't like to overcook greens!). Remove saucepan from heat. Take a cupful of broth and pour into a separate bowl, add miso paste and stir well to ensure that all lumps are gone. Pour this broth/miso mixture back into the pan and stir. Serve with sliced spring onions scattered on top. Enjoy - and prepare to be addicted!
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Wednesday, 7 September 2016

minestrone soup


This soup is really easy and cheap to make, great for Autumn/Winter dinners when you want something warm and filling! Feel free to sub the veggies for whatever needs used in your fridge, you can also sub the beans to another variety (think chickpeas/cannellini beans) and use cabbage/spinach instead of kale ♥ 

I used a food processor to chop up the ingredients - saved SO MUCH TIME.

This recipe will make enough for about 6 - 8 big bowls of soup.

Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, grated
  • 5 carrots, finely chopped
  • 5 celery sticks, finely chopped
  • 5 baby potatoes, diced
  • 2 tbsp of dried italian herbs (or ground basil/oregano - whatever you have!)
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 5 tbsp tomato puree 
  • 1.5 litres vegetable stock
  • 150g wholewheat spaghetti, broken into halves
  • 1 tin of butter beans
  • Handful of curly kale
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Vegan pesto for serving (optional) 

Method
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion, carrot and celery and allow to soften for around 5 minutes over medium heat. Add potato and garlic and continue to fry for further five minutes. Stir in the herbs, tomato puree, chopped tomatoes and stock. Stir well and bring to the boil. Once boiling, reduce heat and cover then allow to simmer for half an hour. After half an hour, add spaghetti and broad beans. Allow to simmer for a further 10 minutes. Add kale and allow to simmer for another 2 minutes. Season to your taste. 

Serve with a spoonful of pesto on top. Enjoy! 
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Friday, 26 August 2016

lemony carrot and potato dahl


Dahl is one of my go-to recipes for that lovely week before payday when I'm in the depths of financial ruin (like now, ha). It costs so little to make - I usually have all the spices and lentils in my cupboard so all I really need to buy is some fresh veggies to bulk it out with!

I wanted my carrots and onions chopped really finely for this recipe, so I used my mini chopper (this thing) - takes sooo much hassle out of cooking! ♥ it. 

Ingredients
  • 1 onion, chopped finely
  • 4 cloves of garlic, grated
  • 1 carrot, chopped finely 
  • 1 baking potato, cut into small cubes
  • 250g of red lentils
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 ltr vegetable stock
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • Fresh coriander, for serving

Method
Add chopped onions and garlic to a pan over medium heat. Fry until onions begin to soften and turn a golden colour. Add carrot and potato and fry for a further two minutes. Add all spices and fry for a minute. Pour in stock, lentils and salt. Let this simmer for around half an hour, until the lentils are soft and mushy. Once the lentils are cooked through, remove pan from heat. Add in zest and lemon juice and serve with lots of fresh coriander on top. ENJOY :) 

P.s - you can make this into a soup if you add a little more stock and whizz up in a blender!
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chickpea and spinach curry



Ohhh chickpeas we love you! Up there with lentils as one of the most versatile ingredients EVAR. Use them in curries, falafel, stews and burgers. Oh, and not to forget HUMMUS. The shining jewel in crown of the chickpea ♥ 

I always try to have a few tins of these in the cupboard for days when I just can't be bothered. Chickpea curry is too easy - just fire it all in the pan and stir occasionally basically. Really cheap to make and tasty and satisfying to eat. Win-win. 

*The ingredient list looks huge but it's mostly spices! Once you have these you'll be good for aaages.

This recipe serves 4.

Ingredients
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • Thumb sized piece of ginger, grated
  • 4 cloves of garlic, grated
  • 1 green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp fenugreek
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • Pinch asafoetida
  • 2 tins of chickpeas
  • 1 tbsp vegetable bouillon
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tin of coconut milk
  • Juice of half a lime
  • Handful of spinach
  • Water (if needed)
  • Chopped coriander, for serving

Method

Add mustard seeds to pan and dry fry over high heat for about ten seconds. Reduce heat to medium and add chilli, ginger and onion. Fry until the onions start to soften and turn a nice golden colour. Add garlic and fry for a minute or two. Add the spice mix and fry for two to three minutes. Pour in chickpeas, coconut milk and chopped tomatoes. Then add lime juice and bouillon and stir well. Let this all simmer for about 30 minutes, adding water if the mixture becomes too thick or starts to stick. If there are any big chunks of tomato remaining, mash them a little. Taste curry and season as necessary. Right before serving add a big handful of spinach and stir well.

Top with chopped coriander and serve with your choice of rice/naan/roti. Enjoy!


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Wednesday, 24 August 2016

easy vegan pizza


I've been craving pizza for DAYS ON END but I'm trying to save for an upcoming trip so struggle to justify the £15+ it costs to have one delivered! This DIY version definitely hit the spot, my best attempt yet - it's super easy to make and costs next to nothing once you have the basic ingredients in the cupboard.

I used plain flour in this recipe but next time I think I'll experiment with half plain, half wholewheat to make it a bit healthier. Usually I forego cheese and use a combo of nutritional yeast and olive oil but I had some Violife Pizza Cheese in the fridge, it melted amazingly and tasted great :) 

Ingredients - Dough
  • 350g plain flour + extra for dusting
  • 1 tsp yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 200ml warm water
Ingredients - Sauce
  • ½ a punnet of cherry tomatoes (I counted - I used 18)
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp oregano
Ingredients - Toppings (use your choice!)
  • Violife pizza cheese, grated
  • Chestnut mushrooms, sliced
  • Green olives, sliced
  • Sweetcorn
  • Cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • Rocket, (add after cooking)

Method
Begin by preparing the sauce. Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth with no lumps. Set aside in the fridge. 

Sieve flour into a large bowl, add yeast and salt and stir. Make a well in the centre and pour in the oil and water. Begin to stir in the flour and continue until everything is mixed well. Scatter some flour on your counter and begin to knead the dough - if it's too sticky, add more flour. Knead for about 5 minutes until the dough is smooth. Now you can either leave the dough to rise for 1-2 hours (I did - I had something else to do before dinner!) in a covered bowl or continue (only if you want thin crust). 

If you've left the dough to rise, give it a quick knead then split into two balls. Sprinkle some flour on your counter and roll out the dough into two large rounds - try to get it as thin as possible as it will rise in the oven! Lift each round onto a silicon mat. Preheat the oven to 220°. Place two upturned baking sheets in the oven to heat up - we will place our pizzas on top of these, this will ensure the bottom of the dough gets cooked properly. 

Smooth a few spoonfuls of sauce over each base then add cheese. Scatter your toppings and a drizzle of olive oil on then place the silicon mats on top of the preheated baking sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes until crisp. Scatter some rocket on top and enjoy :) 


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Thursday, 18 August 2016

warm salad of broad bean, courgette and walnut



This dish was inspired by a recipe I came across on the BBC Good Food page and the fact that I had 145845212584 courgettes waiting to be used. It turned out SO tasty - walnut is such a nice addition to  a salad! 

I served this salad with my fail safe baby roasties (recipe coming up soon!) and purple sprouting broccoli, however I think it would go well with most sides - perhaps some homemade garlic bread? YUM.

This recipe yielded 2 portions.

Ingredients - Salad:
  • 1 large courgette, sliced
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pack of fresh, podded broad beans
  • A handful of walnuts, chopped roughly
  • Chopped parsley to serve
Ingredients - Dressing:
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 clove of garlic, grated
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method

Begin by putting your broad beans on to steam for about 5-6 minutes (or per pack instructions). Whilst the beans are steaming, heat a tbsp of olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat then add courgette slices. Fry courgette until it softens, and begins to turn a nice golden colour. In the meantime, add all dressing ingredients to a bowl and stir well.

Once broad beans and courgette are cooked, add to a bowl along with chopped walnuts. Mix well, top with chopped parsley and dressing. Serve with your choice of side. Enjoy!
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green juice



MOAR JOOS! This radioactive looking substance was actually really tasty (swear!) - I made this green juice using the below ingredients:



  • 1 bunch of kale
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 orange
  • ½ a cucumber
  • ½ a lemon

This made a medium sized glass of juice. Try it out! .. Appearances can be deceptive. Enjoy :)
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Tuesday, 9 August 2016

miso vegetable soup with soba noodles




I made this miso soup last week when I was sick - it's not exactly soup weather but when you're sick nothing else will do! I used loads of fresh garlic, ginger and veggies in the hope that it would fix me. It definitely helped!

You can use whatever veggies you want - I just went for what needed used up in my fridge, plus some frozen peas :) 

Ingredients
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp ginger, minced
  • 5 cups of vegetable stock
  • 4 tsp miso paste, I used Clearspring Barley miso
  • 200g soba noodles
  • Assorted veggies - I used leek, carrot, mushrooms, broccoli, courgette, beansprouts, chinese leaf and  peas
  • Spring onions and sesame seeds to garnish
  • Optional: Sriracha for serving

Method
Begin by heating the sesame oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add ginger and garlic and fry for a minute to release flavours. Add vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes. 

Add carrots and simmer for 5 minutes. Add soba noodles, leek, courgette, brocolli, mushrooms and peas and simmer for a further 5 minutes. Remove some stock - about a cup - and mix with miso paste, then add this back into the soup. 

Add chinese leaf and beansprouts and simmer for another minute. Garnish with sesame seeds and chopped spring onions. I served mine with a healthy dousing of extra hot sriracha - SO GOOD. Enjoy!
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Friday, 5 August 2016

5 ingredient 'Nutella'


This recipe was inspired by a vlog post I watched by The Happy Pear.. If you haven't followed these guys.. do it! They have loads of 5 minute recipes that are seriously great - have a look HERE.

I made a few amendments to the original recipe - I switched sunflower oil for coconut as I have a full jar that needs using, I switched honey for agave nectar to keep it vegan and I left out the vanilla essence as I felt that the mixture was sweet enough.

I'm using an old food processor at the moment as my Nutribullet died (sadface), so the consistency of mine wasn't as smooth as it could have been.. but it still tastes amazing!

Ingredients
  • 250g of hazelnuts
  • 2 tbsp of cocoa powder
  • 100ml agave nectar
  • 3 tbsp of melted coconut oil
  • ½ tsp salt

Method
Begin by preheating your oven to 175°. Spread hazelnuts out on a baking sheet and bake for 7-10 minutes - this will release the oils in the nuts and make them easier to blend. Remove hazelnuts from oven and add to blender with melted coconut oil and salt. Blitz for 5-15 minutes (depending on the power of your blender) until a smooth paste forms. If you need to add a little water/almond milk to loosen the mixture up at this stage, go ahead. I added a couple tbsp of water and mine came out just fine. 

Remove hazelnut mixture from blender and mix in all of the remaining ingredients - give it a really good stir to make sure everything is blended through evenly! Put your 'Nutella' in a jar and enjoy :) This will last for months and does not need to be refrigerated.




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Wednesday, 27 July 2016

garlic and herb 'cheese'



If, like me, you've been trying to track down that elusive PERFECT vegan cheese - behold! This cheese is ridiculously easy to make, and the taste is far superior to any pre-packaged vegan cheeses I've tried of late. 

This was inspired by The Buddhist Chef's famous vegan cheese recipe - you can find it here, however mine was made on a whim so I had to substitute some ingredients. I can't wait to experiment with this recipe some more! I'm thinking sun-dried tomato and basil next... CASHEWS Y U SO GOOD?!

Ingredients
  • ½ cup cashews
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp Herbes de Provence 
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp tapioca starch
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 ½ tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 cup water, divided
  • 1 ½ tsp agar agar
  • Oil, to coat the bowl/ramekin

Method
Place cashews in a saucepan and cover with boiling water - boil for about 5 minutes, until cashews have softened. Once softened, strain cashews and add to blender along with herbs, salt, tapioca starch, garlic, nutritional yeast, maple syrup, lemon juice and half of the water. Blend for five minutes, or until mixture is smooth and creamy. Add the other half of the water to a saucepan along with the agar agar, stir well and pour in the cashew mixture. Heat this mixture, stirring continuously, until bubbling. By now the mixture should have thickened up. Remove from heat and pour into pre-oiled bowl/ramekin. Place in fridge for a minimum of 2 hours. Enjoy!

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sweet potato, carrot and orange juice



Okay so I know this isn't really a *recipe*, but it was so good I had to add it here for future ref. Sweet potatoes are something I'd never have dreamed of juicing, more fool me..it was delicious!

If you decide to juice some SP's, try to include something citrus-y - it cuts through the sweetness/starchiness of the potatoes.

To make two glasses of juice I used:
  • 4 small organic sweet potatoes
  • 4 carrots
  • 2 medium oranges

Enjoy :) 

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Saturday, 23 July 2016

sesame-oregano crispbreads


This is my first time trying to make something like this - baking has always scared me for some reason, whooole different ball game to cooking. But! These wee crispbreads are super easy to make, even for a novice like myself.. This recipe was inspired by Elephantastic Vegan - check out her page, loads of fantastic (and simple) recipe ideas.  

You'll probably have everything you need in your cupboard already too, win-win! 

This recipe made 12 large crackers.

Ingredients
  • 100g plain flour, plus extra for dusting 
  • 100g buckwheat flour
  • ½ tsp of baking powder
  • ¾ tsp of salt
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 2 tbsp of white sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp of black sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp of oregano
  • ½ cup of water

Method
Mix all dry ingredients together in a large bowl - flours, baking powder, salt, sesame seeds and oregano. Add olive oil and one half of the water, mix. Add remaining water and mix well - if the mixture becomes too sticky add some extra flour. 

Preheat oven to 200°. Take dough and roll out on a silicon baking sheet (or parchment paper) - try to roll this as flat as you can. Cut dough into strips (whatever size you choose!) and place in oven. Bake for 15-20 minutes then remove from oven. Set aside to cool. Once cooled serve with your choice of topping - I went for tahini, cherry tomatoes, capers and oregano! Enjoy :) 
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Friday, 22 July 2016

avocado panzanella salad


You need to make this. You need to make this NOW! 

This dish was inspired by a recipe I found on the lovely Iza's blog - so many amazing, healthy ideas - check out the page here :)

Crunchy ciabatta, fresh herbs and zingy dressing make this salad waaay more exciting than the typical lettuce leaf/cucumber combo. Oh, and red wine is a must! Hope you enjoy..! 

Ingredients - Salad
  • Loaf of ciabatta, cubed
  • 800g assorted cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • 1 small red onion, finely sliced
  • 3 tbsp capers
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • A few sprigs of fresh basil and oregano
Ingredients - Dressing 
  • 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp salt

Method
Preheat oven to 180°. Place cubed ciabatta on baking sheet and bake for around 5 minutes - just until the bread has dried out. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

Pour lemon juice over avocado and mix gently - this will stop the avocado going brown if you want to save some salad for later. Mix tomatoes, avocado, onion, ciabatta and capers in a large bowl.

Mix together dressing ingredients and pour over salad.

Garnish with fresh basil and oregano... enjoy!


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Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Thai style coconut soup with rice noodles and courgetti



Okay so I actually made this soup last week but I've been too busy/lazy to post until now. Also, my laptop seems to be on the way out.. so every time I start to make a new post I end up so infuriated I have to switch it off and walk away before it comes to a sticky end. Random cursor freezing/movement = hello maddening rage. 

ANYWAY. This soup is totally easy and delicious. I actually made it twice last week - the second time I added tofu cubes and replaced the (white) rice noodles for brown rice noodles. Tofu is a great addition - I didn't bother to fry/bake it, I simply cut it into cubes and added to the broth. 

This recipe yields 4 servings.

Ingredients
  • 4 servings of rice noodles, prepared per package instructions
  • 3 tbsp of green curry paste, check for fish sauce if you're veggie/vegan - I used this one
  • 4 cloves of garlic, grated
  • 1 thumb sized piece of ginger, grated
  • 4 cups of vegan chicken stock 
  • 2 fresh stalks of lemongrass, bash these a bit to release the aromatic oils
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves
  • 5 coriander stems (save the leaves for garnishing)
  • 1 400 ml tin of coconut milk
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 3 tbsp of liquid aminos (or soy sauce/tamari)
  • 2 carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1 head of pak choi, cut into wide pieces
  • 6 chesnut mushrooms, sliced
  • ½ a pack of beansprouts
  • 1 courgette, spiralized

Method
Place the curry paste in a large saucepan over medium heat - fry this for a couple of minutes to release the flavours. Add grated garlic and ginger and fry for another minute. Pour in vegan chicken stock and add bashed lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves and coriander stems. Reduce heat to medium-low and let this simmer for around 20-30 minutes, the longer you simmer the more aromatic your broth will be - this is a good thing!! 

Once you're finished simmering the broth, remove lemongrass, coriander stems and lime leaves. Add coconut milk, liquid aminos, lime juice and carrots and simmer on medium heat until carrots have begun to soften - around five minutes. Add mushrooms and simmer for a further five minutes. Finally, add pak choi and beansprouts and simmer for two minutes. 

Divide rice noodles and courgetti between four bowls and ladle over broth. Garnish with coriander leaves and enjoy! 
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Tuesday, 12 July 2016

sushi bowl



I've been in the mood for sushi the past few days but kept putting it off because it's SO messy to roll. Cravings became toooo much so today I got all the ingredients and just fired them together in a bowl, simplez. Bowls are better anyway - this applies to burritos as well, you heard it here first!

This recipe yields two servings.

Ingredients
  • 1 cup of shortgrain brown rice, prepared per pack instructions and seasoned with sushi rice seasoning - you can find directions here
  • 1 avocado, sliced lengthways
  • 2 carrots, spiralized or grated
  • ½ a cucumber, spiralized or sliced
  • 225g block of Clearspot smoked tofu, excess liquid squeezed off, cut into ½ inch slices (widthways)
  • 1 tbsp of sesame oil
  • 1 sheet of toasted nori, cut into thin strips
  • 2 spring onions, chopped
  • Liquid aminos (or soy sauce), wasabi and furikake sesame seed seasoning for serving

Method
Add 1 tbsp of sesame oil to a pan on medium heat. Place tofu into pan and fry until golden - about 10 mins on each side. Once done, remove from pan and set aside to cool down. Start to arrange ingredients into bowl - add rice, avocado, cucumber, carrots and nori. Once tofu has cooled down, slice horizontally to make triangles and place on top of rice. Sprinkle over sliced spring onions and furikake. Serve with liquid aminos and wasabi. ENJOY :) 
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