Vegan Mofo

Vegan MoFo Round Up!

I want to say a big thank you to everyone who has read along with my A-Z of Gluten Free Veganism theme for my first Vegan MoFo. It’s been really fun writing it and I very almost hit my goal of posting every day!

Also, thank you to all the bloggers who have been involved in this year’s MoFo, I’ve got a huge list of pinned recipes to try out and I’m going to try and work my way through them over the next few weeks! I’ve found a lot of brilliant new blogs to add to my reader too.

Here is a summary of my A-Z of Gluten Free Veganism (Vegan MoFo Year 1!)

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Vegan MoFo #1 – The month started off with a post where I got to know british followers and bloggers! It’s been really great getting to know you all and I’ve loved reading your blogs.

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Vegan MoFo #2 – With my vegan origin story I went back to the start of my gluten free veganism journey and took you along with me.

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Vegan MoFo #3 (A – Aubergine) – I shared a smoky aubergine and courgette stew, the perfect dish for autumn!

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Vegan MoFo #4 (B – Broad Beans) – How I came to like broad beans in a creamy soup!

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Vegan MoFo #5 (C- Calcium) – A useful guide on how to keep calcium levels up on a vegan diet.

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Vegan MoFo #6 (D – DS Ciabattas) – I shared a useful gluten free and vegan bread which is easy to find in supermarkets.

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Vegan MoFo #7 (E – Eggs) – An explanation of why I’ll never eat another egg.

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Vegan MoFo #8 (F – FAQs) – Frequently asked questions and answers about gluten free veganism.

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Vegan MoFo #9 (G – Gingerbread Men) – Some gorgeous little gluten free and vegan treats!

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Vegan MoFo #10 (H – Happy) – The way veganism makes me feel!

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Vegan MoFo #11 (I – Iron) – A quick guide to keeping your iron levels up in a vegan diet.

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Vegan MoFo #12 (J – Jelly) – Vegan jelly crystals!

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Vegan MoFo #13 (K – Kitchens) – How to share a kitchen and still eat gluten free.

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Vegan MoFo #14 (L – Lunch) – Tips on how to pack a vegan and gluten free lunch to take to work.

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Vegan MoFo #15 (M – Milk) – My journey to plant based milk

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Vegan MoFo #16 (N – Nakd Bars) – A review of my favourite snacks

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Vegan MoFo #17 (Observers) – My two babies!

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Vegan MoFo #18 (P – Pastry) – A gluten free vegan pastry breakthrough!

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Vegan MoFo #19 (Q – Quinoa) – Protein packed goodness!

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Vegan MoFo #20 (R – Risotto) – A carrot and coriander risotto recipe

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Vegan MoFo #21 (S – Snacks) – Gluten free and vegan snacking!

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Vegan MoFo #22 (T – Tomatoes) – A round up of my favourite tomato recipes.

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Vegan MoFo #23 (U – Utensils) – My top 5 kitchen essentials

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Vegan MoFo #24 (V – The Vegg) – The amazing vegan egg yolk

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Vegan MoFo #25 (W – Walnuts) – One of my favourite nuts!

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Vegan MoFo #26 (X – Xanthan Gum) – The must have ingredient for gluten free baking

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Vegan MoFo #27 (Y & Z – Yummy Zero Zebra Bars) – Some gorgeous children friendly vegan chocolate

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So that’s this year’s MoFo over! Check back here over the next few weeks as I work my way through the recipes I’ve accumulated!

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Now a quick question… what do you want to see on this blog? I’m going to reorganise my themes this week so if there are specific types of things you’d like to read about please let me know!

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Vegan Mofo #27 – A-Z of Gluten Free Veganism (Yummy Zero Zebra Bars)

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OK guys, I’m aware that I am cheating twice here!

1) The last day of Vegan MoFo was yesterday

2) I’m doing Y and Z together

I’m sorry for missing the last day of MoFo! Hopefully this chocolate review will make up for it!

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Zero Zebra are a small brand that make dairy and allergen free chocolate aimed at children. Their products are all free of allergens, fair trade, vegan and organic and so are perfect for vegan or lactose intolerant kids. I bought one of each of their three chocolate bars to give a try.

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Their original bar is a gorgeous rice based milk chocolate. Many vegan milk chocolates can be too bitter or grainy but this is soft, creamy and delicious.

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I expected the Crispy Rice Pop bar to be reminiscent of the Nestle Crunch Bars that I used to adore before I was vegan (and before I gave up eating Nestle!). It is not like these bars at all but don’t let that put you off! The rice pops are scattered through this bar but there aren’t so many that the quality of the chocolate is hidden. It’s a creamy bar with small crunchy bits.

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This is the bar I was most excited to try. My favourite flavour in everything used to be strawberry so a vegan milk chocolate with strawberry is right up my street. This bar wasn’t what I was expecting at all but it was delicious nonetheless. It actually contains dried bits of strawberry so the fake sugary strawberry flavour I was expecting was replaced by a more realistic sweet strawberry flavour. This is sure to be a favourite amongst kids!

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Overall I think these bars are fantastic. They are a lot bigger than most vegan milk chocolate treats at 35g and I didn’t feel like eating another bar once I’d finished! I think the cute packaging and the shape of the bars will stop children from becoming jealous of the kids with the milky bars and parents can be sure that they are allergen free!

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What are your favourite vegan chocolates?

Categories: Reviews, Vegan Mofo | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

Vegan MoFo #26 – A-Z of Gluten Free Veganism (Xanthan Gum)

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Welcome to the last 2 days of Vegan MoFo! This month has sped by hasn’t it?

We’re up to X in our alphabet of gluten free veganism so I’m going to tell you a bit about one of the most important components of gluten free baking – xanthan gum. The key feature of gluten in wheat flour is that it binds the baked good together. Gluten free cakes can therefore be very crumbly and fall apart easily. Xanthan gum is a gluten free and vegetarian corn based powder which can be used to mimic the texture in gluten containing baked goods. It takes practice to get the right amount in a recipe as too much can leave a very dense cake. If you’re new to gluten free baking I’d recommend following recipes so you can get the hang of it.

Xanthan gum is made by a few different companies and can be found in the free from aisle in supermarkets. There have been people who’ve had reactions to this product though so be sure to do your research!

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Do you use Xanthan Gum in your baking? Do you have any tips for gluten free baking?

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Don’t forget to enter the competition for gluten free chocolate Frank Bars! It’s the last day!

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Vegan MoFo #25 – A-Z of Gluten Free Veganism (Walnuts)

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Welcome to day 25 of Vegan MoFo and W in our A-Z of Gluten Free Veganism!

Today we’re looking at one of my favourite nuts – the walnut. These nuts are full of good fats, omega 3 and vitamin E which makes them an excellent addition to the vegan diet. They can be used in a huge variety of recipes. Here are some of my favourite ways to use walnuts.

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In this Sundried Tomato and Basil Scrambled Tofu recipe they add crunch and texture to an otherwise soft dish.

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A traditional way to use walnuts is to add them into a Waldorf Salad with apples and celery.

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I used walnuts in this roasted mushroom and aubergine recipe to add some crunch and intensify the earthy flavours.

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What are your favourite walnut recipes?

While you’re here don’t forget to enter our Frank Chocolate Bars competition!

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Vegan MoFo #24 – A-Z of Gluten Free Veganism (The Vegg)

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The last thing I gave up before I went vegan was eggs. I used to love them fried, boiled, scrambled or poached and didn’t imagine what I’d eat for breakfast without them. When I went vegan I tried scrambled tofu and my first impression was not a good one as I didn’t flavour it anywhere near as much. While I got better at making scrambled tofu (for some tips on this check out my scrambled tofu post), it never truly tasted like egg.

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Recently I’ve read a lot about the first plant based egg yolk replacement. There were rave reviews all over the internet about this amazing stuff. The price always put me off (£5.99 seemed a lot!) and I was worried that it would contain all sorts of processed ingredients. When I actually looked at the ingredients though I found that it contained nutritional yeast, sodium alginate, black salt and beta carotene. I decided to get a packet to review for Vegan MoFo!

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The Vegg looks mostly like nutritional yeast and doesn’t have a very eggy smell when you first open it. Don’t let this put you off as when I followed the instructions and blended it up with some water, the aroma of eggs was definitely coming out of my food processor! The texture after blending is exactly like egg yolk which is quite incredible.

There is a whole cookbook devoted to recipes using the Vegg. Some of the few that caught my eye were french toast, scrambled Vegg and bread/cake recipes. However after some googling I found that many of the Vegg recipes contain tofu or other forms of soya. I actively avoid soya in my diet so these were no good to me!

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Eventually I found a vegan, gluten free and soy free recipe for a Vegg based omelette which I made with mushrooms and leeks. It was delicious and remarkably eggy! The recipe can be found over on A Vegan Obsession.

I am officially a Vegg convert now! I’ve also tried it made up with warm water and drizzled over cooked mushrooms and tomatoes for breakfast and it’s a winner this way too. Next for me is a dish of warm Vegg and a plate of chips to recreate the fried egg and chips meal I loved as a child.

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Have you got any Vegg recipes to share?

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Don’t forget to enter my competition to win some Frank Chocolate Snack Bars!

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Vegan MoFo #23 – A-Z of Gluten Free Veganism (Utensils)

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Welcome to day 23 of Vegan Month of Food and my 100th blog post! Today I’m using one of the prompts given to us by the Vegan MoFo team – the top 5 utensils I couldn’t live without.

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1) Wok

I use my wok for more than just stir fries! This brilliant pan is used in my kitchen for everything from curries and stews to pasta sauces and much more.

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2) Tefal Fresh Express

Salads are so much easier to make now that I have a Tefal Fresh Express. This little machine can grate a whole carrot in seconds.

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3) Peeler

My mum always peels vegetables with her little vegetable knife but I’ve never been able to master it. With my vegetable peelers I can peel without taking half the vegetable away with it!

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4) Heart shaped oven dish

I got this little dish from B&M Bargains and it only cost me about £2.99! It’s the perfect size for an individual portion and it’s cute too!

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5) Roasting pan

My roasting pan gets a lot of use, especially in winter. There’s nothing better than a plate of roasted vegetables.

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What are your favourite utensils?

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Don’t forget to enter my Frank Chocolate Snack Bar competition!

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Vegan MoFo #22 – A-Z of Gluten Free Veganism (Tomatoes)

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Welcome to day 22 of vegan month of food! Today we’re up to T in our alphabet of gluten free veganism and I want to talk to you about one of my favourite ingredients – tomatoes.

Tomatoes are a gorgeous and versatile fruit. They’re a nutritious addition to your diet as a source of vitamins A, C and E as well as potassium. While tomatoes are absolutely delicious added to salads (especially in the summer), they are just as good in a variety of dishes. Here are a few of my favourites.

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Mexican Tortilla Salad

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Baked Tomato Aubergines and Mushrooms

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Tomato and Basil Soup

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Tomato and Roasted Aubergine Stew with Chickpeas

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What are your favourite ways to eat tomatoes?

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Don’t forget to enter the competition in yesterday’s post to win some Frank Chocolate Snack Bars!

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Vegan MoFo #21 – A-Z of Gluten Free Veganism (Snacks and a Competition!)

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Welcome to day 21 of Vegan Month of Food! Today we’re up to S in our alphabet and I’m going to talk to you about snacks. I also have a quick competition for you at the bottom of this post to win some fabulous gluten free and vegan Frank snack bars.

After a while, eating gluten free and vegan becomes easy while you’re at home and you can cook your own foods. Soon you’ll have figured out packed lunches for work and your main meals will be sorted too but what do you do when you get peckish between meals? Enter any local newsagents or supermarkets on the go and you’ll be overwhelmed with snack choices that any non-vegan, gluten eating person would love. It may seem like there are no options for anybody who is avoiding gluten or animal products but if you look closely you can find snacks to keep you going! Here are my top tips:

1) Preparation

If you know you’re going to be out of the house all day make sure you take plenty of snack foods with you! Many fruits can be popped straight into your bag (apples, oranges, bananas) and others can be carried in zip lock bags (grapes, cherries etc). Raw veggies such as carrot sticks or celery are also perfect for taking as a snack. I buy big bags of nuts and seeds at the start of each month and these can be divided into little ziplock bags to keep in your handbag.

2) Know Where to Look

If you find yourself hungry and without any prepared snacks you can always find something in local shops. Ready salted crisps are a favourite of mine as they are usually made with just potatoes, oil and salt. Fruit can often be found in small shops too. Snack bars such as Nakd bars, Frank bars and gluten free flapjacks are easy to find in wholefood shops and Holland and Barrett. They can often be found in small supermarkets too.

3) Make Your Own

I like to bake some kind of cakes or biscuits at least once a week. Having something sweet in your bag will stop you looking at chocolate bars and cakes with longing and will make snacking exciting again! There are many gluten free, vegan cookbooks and blogs around so it’s easy enough to build up a collection of delicious recipes and ideas.

4) Graze Boxes

If you’ve never heard of Graze you should check them out! They send out a box every week full of little punnets of snacks which are catered to you. You can tell them your dietary requirements and what snacks you like and don’t like so you only get what you want! To try a box for free go to www.graze.com and use the code BECKYM2LP.

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Remember – it’s about what you can have, not what you can’t! Even the most hardened meat eaters will be jealous if you’re snacking on home made cookies while they’re stuck with boring chocolate!

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Competition

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Frank bars are snack bars made of dried fruits, gluten free oats and chocolate and come in 5 delicious flavours. They are gluten free and vegan and are packed full of energy and protein. I have 4 bars to give away (strawberry & chocolate, orange & chocolate, double chocolate and blueberry & chocolate) to one of you wonderful readers! To enter just comment below with your email address and give me your top tip for gluten free or vegan snacking. This giveaway closes on the last day of Vegan MoFo (September 30th) and is open to UK readers only.

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Vegan Mofo #20 – A-Z of Gluten Free Veganism (Carrot and Coriander Risotto)

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Welcome to day 20 of Vegan MoFo! Today we’re up to R in our A-Z of gluten free veganism and I want to share a recipe for a gorgeous autumn risotto that I made this week.

When I look at our vegetable rack the day before our next vegetable box comes it’s usually pretty empty! Carrots are often still available as they’re a vegetable that doesn’t go off as quickly so they can be left all week. On Thursday I managed to rustle up three carrots and a leek and thought they’d go well in a creamy risotto.

Carrot & Coriander Risotto

Ingredients:

– 3 carrots

– 1 leek

– 150g arborio rice

– vegetable stock

– 2 tbsp dried coriander

– 1 tbsp mixed herbs

– handful of chopped walnuts

– nutritional yeast (to taste)

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Method:

– fry the chopped leek in a little oil until cooked

– add the arborio rice and herbs and mix well

– add a small amount of vegetable stock and cook until absorbed, stirring constantly

– keep adding stock and stirring until absorbed for around 15 minutes

– grate the carrots (I used a food processor for this!) and add to the rice mixture along with the walnuts

– cook for another 5-10 minutes until the rice is soft and the carrot is cooked through

– mix in the nutritional yeast and serve straight away

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What is your favourite variety of risotto?

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Vegan MoFo #19 – A-Z of Gluten Free Veganism (Quinoa)

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Welcome to day 19 of Vegan MoFo! Today we’re carrying on our A-Z of Gluten Free Veganism with Q – Quinoa.

Quinoa is used to replace grains such as rice and cous cous in various meals. It’s little known that quinoa is actually the seed of a plant and not a grain! It is also a protein powerhouse as it contains each of the nine essential amino acids, making it a “complete protein”. I use quinoa a lot, boiling it in some vegetable stock for around 15 minutes and serving it instead of rice. Here are a few recipes I’ve used it in:

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Braised purple sprouting broccoli with red quinoa

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Chickpea quinoa pilaf from Veganomicon

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Quinoa and roasted cherry tomato stuffed portobello mushroom

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Quinoa and roasted tomato salad

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What are your favourite ways to use quinoa?

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