Chickpea, Carrot & Coriander Falafel Burgers – A Girl Called Jack

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A couple of days ago I told you all about the number of vegan recipes you could find in Jack Monroe’s first cookbook and on her website. I tried my first recipe out of the book this week and since I’d been craving falafel it had to be the carrot and coriander falafel!

Anyone else who is gluten free and vegan knows how difficult it is to find some ready made falafel that is suitable. Most varieties have wheat flour in which I’ve never completely understood! The recipes I’ve seen to make them at home tend to use dried chickpeas and require quite a bit of effort. What makes this recipe different is that it uses tinned chickpeas for convenience and texture. The grated vegetables mix with the chickpeas to create a nice soft inside while the outside crisps up nicely in the frying pan. I made mine into burger shapes and topped them with hummus, avocado, tomato and lettuce.

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I’ve never had better burgers in my life. If you want to give them a go the recipe can be found here.

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Throwback Thursday (MOFO #8) – “Fronch” Toast

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We’re almost halfway through Vegan MOFO and it’s going too fast! Today I’m carrying on with my theme of making recipes from my pre-vegan days suitable for my gluten free and vegan diet.

Today is Throwback Thursday and I want to talk to you about french toast (aka eggy bread!). Before I was vegan my birthday breakfast was always eggy bread with a dollop of ketchup to dunk it in. For those of you not familiar with it, eggy bread is slightly stale bread which is soaked in an eggy mixture and then fried. It’s deliciously naughty!

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Today’s recipe comes from Vegan With A Vengeance by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. This was one of my very first books when I turned vegan but since I went gluten free and started avoiding soya I’ve not used it much at all. The Fronch Toast recipe is very easy to make gluten and soy free though and makes an absolutely perfect Sunday breakfast.

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Isa recommends a baguette shaped loaf for this recipe but I used a DS Ciabatta which I cut in half. It soaked up the mixture delightfully because of the air pockets inside. Instead of soy cream I used the new Alpro rice cream which was surprisingly thick and creamy! I also replaced the soy milk with some unsweetened almond milk.

The eggs in this recipe are replaced by cornflour and chickpea flour which is a combination I would never have thought of. They worked perfectly though and created a gorgeous crispy coating. This is definitely going to be a regular in my kitchen!

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Which breakfast treats do you miss from your childhood?

Vegan Four Seasons Pizza with a Sweet Potato Crust (GF)

 

For my birthday last year I was given a copy of the Flying Apron Cookbook by my boyfriend. I had never before heard of Flying Apron but was delighted to find out that it was a gluten free and vegan bakery which can be found in Seattle and Redmond, America. Their book includes a beautiful recipe for gluten free and vegan sweet potato bread which I have used a few times now to make loaves. This week I decided to try out the other suggestion in the book which was to use the dough to make pizza bases instead.

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All I had to decide on then were the toppings! Whenever I used to go out for pizzas I was always intrigued by the four seasons, a pizza which is divided into quarters and topped with mushrooms, pepperoni, anchovies and capers. This meaty, cheesy and gluten containing pizza is obviously not suitable for me! I decided to create a take on this classic pizza using fresh vegetables to replace the meat and as you can see, the result is a colourful and healthy alternative. It almost certainly tastes a lot better too.

Ingredients – Makes 2 pizzas

1 recipe – Flying Apron Bakery House Bread

1 tin of tomato puree

4 types of vegetable (I used tomatoes, peppers, spinach and mushrooms)

mixed herbs

garlic granules

nutritional yeast

salt and pepper

Method

1) Follow the directions in the recipe to make the dough for your pizza bases.

2) Split the dough into two halves and roll each one out to your desired thickness

3) Rub olive oil into both sides of each base and lay onto 2 baking trays.

4) Cut off the excess dough to make the bases into long rectangles (note – I used the off trimmings to make breadsticks to dip in hummus!)

5) Spread the tomato puree onto the bases and then top with your desired toppings, ensuring the layers do not overlap.

6) Sprinkle with the herbs, garlic, nutritional yeast and salt/pepper.

7) Bake at 180 for around 15-20 minutes

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Who says vegans can’t have good pizza? What are your favourite toppings?

Red Lentil Lasagne with Dijon Sauce (Vegan/Gluten Free)

The rain was pelting against the window and I was craving the ultimate comfort food… lasagne. That’s where this amazing dish came from! Last time I made a lasagne I used green lentils and it was lovely. This time I tried it with red lentils and it was even nicer!

The dijon cheeze sauce I used was from Chocolate and Beyond. I left out the nutritional yeast as I didn’t have any and I used almond milk instead of soya. It was a gorgeous full flavoured sauce and I highly recommend it!

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Ingredients

1 Cup Red Lentils

1 Onion

1 Red Pepper

1 Tin of Chopped Tomatoes

1 Stock Cube

1.5 Cups Water

1 Carrot

Gluten Free Lasagne Sheets (I used Orgran)

1 Recipe Cheezy Dijon Sauce

Method

1) Fry the onion in a little olive oil until soft then add the chopped carrot and red pepper and cook for a few minutes

2) Add the red lentils, chopped tomatoes, stock cube and water. Bring to the boil and then simmer for around 30 minutes until the lentils have broken down.

3) Prepare the Cheeze sauce and boil the lasagne sheets until slightly soft.

4) Add some of the lentil mixture to an ovenproof dish and add some of the cheeze sauce then a layer of lasagne sheets. Repeat and then top with some more cheeze sauce and some slices of chopped tomato.

5) Bake for around 20 minutes at 180 degrees C.

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Meatless Mondays – Blueberry Pear Chia Jam

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I’m sorry that I’m a bit late posting this week’s Meatless Mondays post! When I got home from work last night I just felt like collapsing and doing not a lot. So technically it’s Tuesday but this was worth waiting for.

Meatless Mondays is a fortnightly challenge held over at Better With Veggies. This week’s challenge was to cook something with blueberries. I used to love blueberry muffins but for some reason I never get around to eating blueberries on their own. When they’re cooked they’re like little gooey purple goodies. I was finding it hard to find a blueberry recipe from last week’s “create a recipe” challenge that fit in with my diet (vegan and gluten free). Then I came across the Blueberry Blackberry Chia Jam from One Small Vegan.

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The idea of this jam is that the chia seeds absorb the fluid from the fruits and turn the mixture into a jam/jelly type substance. I loved this idea. I used to love jam but sadly I gave it up due to the sugar content!

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I made a few substitutions to this recipe. I used blueberry and pear to make my jam and used almond extract instead of vanilla. It turned out perfectly and I’m wondering what other combinations I could use now! I’m thinking strawberry and vanilla would be nice or cherry and almond.

I topped my porridge with this jam two mornings in a row. Lovely.

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Other blueberry recipes I’d like to try out from this week’s challenge:

  • Blueberry Lemon Muffins at Sandy’s Vegan Blogs and Blahs – I really need some vegan, gluten free blueberry muffins in my life!
  • Green Greek Salad with Blueberry Balsamic Dressing at Greek Vegetarian – Since I branched out and put apple in my salad last week, I’d like to try some other fruits. This looks interesting!
  • Baked Blueberry Custard at Spabettie – This uses coconut yoghurt which is something I really want to try. It has a blueberry cookie base… wow.
  • Blueberry Pancakes at Versatile Vegan – A match made in heaven.
  • Blueberry Coconut Granola at Fruit n Fitness – This sounds fantastic. I’m going to find a way to make this without the oats.
  • Blueberry Sunflower Energy Bites at Spabettie – I really want to try these. They look really different!
  • Blueberry Buckwheat Scones at Thyme Bombe – I don’t think this even needs justifying!
  • Blueberry Lavender Almond Milk at Chickadee Says – I’ve never made my own almond milk but this makes me want to give it a go.
  • Blueberry Coconut Almond Sauce at Kiss My Broccoli – This WILL get made.
  • Blueberry Almond Orange Kale Salad with Blueberry Balsamic Vinaigrette at Sweat The Sweet Stuff – Another salad and dressing to try!

You can see all of the recipes here and here.

Next week I will be creating a recipe with cabbage. Don’t miss it!

 

 

Spring/Easter Dinner Party (GF/Vegan Lasagne and Ice Cream Cake!)

In January of this year I started eating a mostly wholefoods diet and cut out all processed food. On top of this I was already vegan and gluten free. I celebrated my new diet by holding a dinner party on New Years Day for my family. You can read more about this here. Everyone enjoyed it so much that it was requested that we had another one! This was an exciting moment for me because everyone at the table were the most avid meat eaters! This time I decided to go a bit further and add a dessert to the meal. Read on for what we had!

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The Menu:

Vegan/Gluten Free Lasagne

Oven Baked Rosemary Fries

Side Salad

Raw Ice Cream Cake

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I was so impressed with this! Lasagne used to be my favourite food and I’ve been wanted to recreate it for a while. Here I used Orgran Lasagne Sheets which were really nice. I’ve never had gluten free lasagne before but it was just like the real thing. I layered them with a green lentil and tomato sauce and roasted aubergines and peppers. The cheese sauce I used was from the recipe in Veganomicon. It’s a strong tasting sauce but worked really well. To finish it off I topped the lasagne with sliced tomato and pumpkin seeds.

The side salad was just mixed greens in a vinaigrette dressing and the oven chips were made using this recipe. Here’s my plate!

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And the most amazing part of the meal? The dessert!

IMAG1104This is the Raw Layered Banana Ice Cream Cake from One Green Planet. It took a lot of work to make this the day before but it was definitely worth it! I admit though that my version is not as pretty as the original photograph on One Green Planet!

This ice cream cake contains multiple layers of banana based ice cream with no cream involved! The chocolate layer consists mostly of bananas, cocoa and a hint of chilli. It was my favourite layer to be sure! The vanilla layer was a more plain layer which was made up of cashews. I reinvented the beet layer as I don’t get on well with beetroot! I used a raspberry juice to make this layer with bananas and mixed nuts. Finally the mint layer was made of avocado and fresh mint. All this ice cream is layered on top of a date and nut base (which tasted amazing). The top is coconut oil, maple syrup, cocoa nibs and lemon zest.

All in all a very impressive dessert. People did not realise it wasn’t real ice cream!

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Do you enjoy cooking vegan food for your non vegan friends/family?

Meatless Mondays from A-Z: Round 2 (Avocado)

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Meatless Mondays from A-Z is a challenge hosted by Better With Veggies where you are encouraged to try new ingredients! Each ingredient lasts for two weeks. The first week is where you create a recipe using the ingredient. The second week you cook a recipe created by somebody else (preferably one that was posted in the first week). It sounded like such an exciting concept so I’ve decided to join in! I’m not too confident at making my own recipes yet but I’m going to do my best. I’ll take part in the second week of each ingredient though!

The first ingredient is one that I’ve not had too much experience with but I am trying to include it more in my diet for the healthy fats. I’ve lost a lot of weight recently as my diet is not high in calories or fat. Avocados are full of monounsaturates which are much healthier than saturated fat and actually help to lower cholesterol! I was never a fan of avocado in the past but recently I’ve been eating it more. I’ve not really been any more adventurous  than dicing it and adding it so salads though so I was very excited to give this recipe a go (I missed the first week of the challenge – where you create your own recipe).

I chose the Pestoed Mushroom Stuffed Baked Avocados from Chickadee Says because the idea of a baked avocado intrigued me and I was dying to try it!

IMAG1116I followed the recipe to the letter apart from the pesto. I created a cheeseless pesto of spinach, basil and pumpkin seeds which was very yummy.

I loved what baking did to the texture of the avocados. They were a lot firmer but still lovely and creamy. For once I actually finished a whole avocado! I’ll definitely be making this again. I wonder if I can come up with some new things to stuff them with?

I served these with a quick salad made with Harissa Olives, lettuce and tomato which was a perfect partner.

Not content with just cooking one recipe though I’ve bookmarked the Avocado Awakening Pasta from Better With Veggies which I think will be my lunch tomorrow!

A good start to the challenge I think! Next week is Blueberries and I’m going to try and come up with my own recipe. Wish me luck!