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?!

  • 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

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!


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 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 :) 


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.

  • 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

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 :) 

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

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!


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.

  • 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

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! 

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.

  • 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

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 :) 

Saturday, 9 July 2016

oil-free baked potato kofta curry

FAKEAWAY SATURDAY. Although I'm considering ordering a real one soon which kinda defeats the purpose. Damn you willpower.

These koftas turned out SO good. I have to admit I was apprehensive - since there was nothing to bind them together I was sure they would fall apart in the oven. Delighted I was proven wrong! 

This recipe yields two (large) portions. 

Ingredients - Koftas
  • 4 large potatoes, boiled and mashed
  • ½ a small onion, chopped finely
  • 1 tsp of chilli powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ small bunch of coriander, leaves only, chopped finely
  • 1 tsp salt
Ingredients - Curry 
  • 1 onion, chopped finely
  • Thumb sized piece of ginger, grated
  • 5 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 3 tsp coriander powder
  • 3 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 tin of coconut milk - I used the solidified cream at the top along with half the liquid
  • ½ small bunch of coriander, leaves only, for serving

Start by making the sauce - the longer this simmers the thicker and more flavourful it becomes. Mix chilli, turmeric and coriander with 3 tbsp of water and set aside. Heat your pan to medium and add onions to pan. Fry onions until they become golden - about 4-5 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add grated ginger and garlic - fry for 2-3 minutes. Add mixed spices to pan, stir well and fry for 2 minutes. Add tomato puree, salt, water and coconut milk and mix well. Cover and simmer for 35 minutes. 

Whilst sauce is simmering start to make koftas. Begin by preheating oven to 200°. Mix mashed potato, chopped onion, chopped coriander, spices and salt in a bowl. Form into balls about 2"x 2" and set on a non-stick baking tray or silicon sheet. Bake at 200° for 25 mins until golden in colour - turning half way. Arrange in bowl, pour over curry and serve with your choice of bread/rice. Garnish with chopped coriander - ENJOY :)  


Thursday, 7 July 2016

Moroccan style stew with lemon and coriander cous cous

Okay so stew is far from summery but c'mon.. look outside! *cries*

I decided to make a stew as I wanted something warming, cheap and easy for dinner - I also had some harissa paste and ras-al-hanout sitting in my cupboard crying out to be used.. I tend to buy these things then use them once and forget about them. BAD.

This recipe yields four servings.

Ingredients - Stew
  • 1 brown onion, finely diced
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 1 courgette, sliced
  • 1 red pepper, sliced
  • 1 thumb sized piece of ginger, grated
  • 5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp harissa paste
  • 2 tbsp ras-al-hanout
  • 10 baby potatoes, diced
  • 1 tin of chickpeas, drained
  • Half a cup of red lentils
  • 500ml of stock (I used Massel Vegan Chicken Stock), plus extra water as required
  • Salt/pepper to taste
  • 3 tbsp of tomato puree
  • Handful of kale/spinach (optional - I just added for some 'green')
  • Juice of half a lemon
Ingredients - Cous cous
  • 1 cup of whole wheat cous cous
  • Small bunch of coriander, leaves only, chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Salt to taste

Heat a large saucepan to medium (use oil if you wish - I didn't), add onions and carrots and fry until they are beginning to soften - about 3 minutes. Add courgette and pepper and fry for a further 2 minutes. Finally add ginger and garlic and fry for 1-2 minutes. Add harissa paste and ras-al-hanout, and fry off for a minute. Add potatoes, chickpeas and lentils to pan, give this a good stir. Add stock and tomato puree and stir again - ensure that the potatoes are covered by the stock - if not, add extra! Cover pan and reduce heat to medium-low. Let this simmer until the potatoes are soft and the lentils are cooked, adding extra water if required - about 30 minutes. 

While the stew is simmering, prepare cous cous as per pack instructions. Once ready, add to bowl with lemon zest, coriander and olive oil. Stir then add salt as required. Set aside.

A couple of minutes before removing the stew from heat, add a handful of kale/spinach and juice of half a lemon and stir. Serve with lemon/coriander cous cous prepared earlier - ENJOY. 

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