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.
I’ve never had better burgers in my life. If you want to give them a go the recipe can be found here.
It came to my attention over the weekend that this week was in fact Bramley Apple Week! Obviously this was an opportunity to make my favourite dessert, a buttery and spicy apple crumble. It also inspired me to find out a bit more about Britain’s favourite cooking apple.
I grew up with the phrase “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” which I used to take literally. Now I know there are plenty of other factors in keeping good health. Apples are well known for their health benefits though and are full of vitamin C and fibre! Does this make my favourite pudding any less virtuous? I don’t think so!
I actually used frozen apples for this recipe. I’d never used them before so I was apprehensive but they worked fantastically! These only cost £1 from Ocado and they saved us the peeling and chopping that usually comes with an apple dessert. I also decided to make two smaller crumbles rather than a normal family sized one. Me and my boyfriend like slightly different flavours in our apples so this was perfect!
First I split the frozen apples between the two dishes and we both added our own flavourings. We both used maple syrup then I added mostly vanilla to mine and Steven added mostly cinnamon to his. Then it was just a case of whacking the crumble on the top and putting them in the oven for 20 minutes!
A gorgeous, comforting dessert in half an hour and a perfect way to celebrate Bramley Apple Week.
One packet of frozen apples or 4-5 fresh apples
2 cups of gluten free plain flour
1 cup of vegan margarine (I used Pure Sunflower)
1 cup of sugar
Cinnamon to taste (around 1/2 tsp)
Chopped nuts (optional)
1 tbsp maple syrup (for each pie)
1) Split the apple slices between the dishes and add 1 tbsp maple syrup and cinnamon/vanilla to taste. Give a mix to coat all of the slices.
2) Add the margarine and flour to a bowl and crumble together with your fingers until it looks like breadcrumbs. Mix in the sugar with a wooden spoon.
3) Cover the apple mixture with the crumble mixture and sprinkle with cinnamon/vanilla sugar and chopped nuts.
4) Place in the oven at 180 degrees for 20 minutes or until the apples are bubbling and the top is golden
5) Enjoy while warm!
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!
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.
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!
Which breakfast treats do you miss from your childhood?
Categories: Cookbooks, Other Recipes, Vegan MOFO 2014
Tags: birthday breakfast, chickpea flour, ds ciabatta, eggy bread, french toast, gluten free, isa chandra moskowitz, soy free, stale bread, vegan, vegan diet, vegan mofo, vegan with a vengeance
Welcome to Stress Free Saturday! My MOFO theme is adapting your pre-vegan cookbooks to match a gluten free and vegan diet. I don’t know about you but the last thing I want to do at the end of a week is spend lots of time in the kitchen trying to figure out how to veganise a recipe. This is why on Saturdays we will be doing Stress Free Saturday – recipes from non-vegan cookbooks that just happen to be vegan and gluten free!
Most chefs love vegetables and there are a million and one different ways to prepare them. Jamie Oliver really likes to make his veggies shine and I found a beautiful side dish in one of his early cookbooks, The Return of the Naked Chef.
In this recipe Jamie cooks sweet peas with spinach, white wine and spring onions to make a fresh and tasty side dish. Whilst the recipe is completely vegan I did make a few changes. In mine I used leeks instead of spring onions as they were what I had on hand. I cooked the vegetables in some vegetable stock instead of wine and added a bit of dairy free margarine at the end.
It’s nice to do something different with vegetables and this was a beautiful way of serving peas and spinach! These kind of recipes can be found in most cookbooks so it’s worth flicking through any old books you’ve had to see if there are any hidden gems.
Make sure you come back tomorrow where I will be rounding up my favourite recipes from the first week of MOFO!
Categories: Cookbooks, Vegan MOFO 2014
Tags: gluten free, jamie oliver, leeks, mofo, peas, spinach, spring onions, Stress Free Saturday, vegan diet, vegan mofo
Last week something marvellous happened. We got a break from the horrible hot weather and had a couple of days that were reminiscent of autumn! I will admit that I’m probably the only person in the country to be happy when I opened my curtains and found it was raining and a bit chilly. What can I say? As much as I love wearing floaty skirts and eating picnics in the sun, Autumn is my natural time of the year. The rain immediately had me craving cinnamon and I headed into the kitchen to see what I could rustle up.
I named this the apple pie smoothie because it contained the spices that I love sprinkling over apples before cooking them. I added some frozen bananas, a sweet red apple and a splash of coconut milk and had a gorgeous mid morning smoothie!
Apple Pie Smoothie
2 frozen bananas
1 red apple
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
a splash of coconut milk (the carton kind – I use Koko brand)
Put all the ingredients in your blender and blend until smooth!
Feel free to change the amounts of the above ingredients depending on how you like your smoothies. The more banana and less milk you use, the thicker your drink will be. You can also adapt the spices to your own taste buds.
Do you miss your autumn treats in the summer?
I try to stick to a whole food diet most of the time but anyone who knows me will know my one weakness is crisps. I’m a connoisseur of the ready salted variety which is usually the only option to a gluten free vegan in this country. I do often think back to the days when I had a wide choice of flavours, my favourites being cheese and onion, smoky bacon and prawn cocktail. Licking the flavoured orange powder off my fingers afterwards was especially delightful. I was therefore very excited when I came across a brand of crisps called Ten Acre.
Although not widely available, this relatively new brand is available in selected shops. All of the eight flavours are suitable for vegans (even the cheese and onion!) and are also gluten and MSG free. They each have a quirky tale attached to them which you can read on the brilliant Ten Acre website. I’ve never seen such an interactive and intriguing website to advertise food before! A few months ago I was lucky enough to be sent some of these crisps to review and eagerly ripped open the package when they arrived! Here I will talk about four of the flavours I tried but please check back next week for the other four!
The first flavour I tried was “The Secret of Mr Salt” which would have been the one I’d have picked up first in the shop as it’s my old standby flavour! The texture of the crisps is what struck me most here. At first I thought they were rather on the thin side but once I started eating them I realised how perfect the thickness was. They were extremely crunchy and morish and had just enough salt on them. These would be a firm favourite if they were available close to me! I soon moved onto the more adventurous flavours though…
“How Chicken Soup Saved The Day” were amongst my favourites of the bunch. I loved Roast Chicken flavour crisps as a child so these were very exciting. Obviously these crisps are vegan and so contain no real chicken flavour. This makes them the perfect replacement for the vegetarians/vegans who are now being deprived of Walkers Roast Chicken flavour due to the real meat juices contained in them! The flavourings in these crisps focus mostly on the herbs parsley and sage. The flavour is deliciously savoury and remarkably chicken like! To see the rest of the ingredients and read the story behind the Chicken Soup click here.
One of my favourite flavours of crisps used to be sweet chilli (I’m mainly thinking of Walkers Sensations!) so I thought I knew what to expect here. However while Sensations were very spicy to my palate, “When The Chilli Got Sweet” was a slightly sweeter flavour. This meant that the flavour could come through better and you could eat them forever without your mouth burning!
“When Hickory Got BBQ’d” was another of my favourites. These gorgeous crisps are flavoured with paprika, cayenne and smoke flavourings and capture the perfect BBQ flavour! Another example of how a traditionally meaty crisp can be vegan!
Please check back next week when I’ll be reviewing the other four flavours – cheese and onion, salt and vinegar, sweet & sour and bombay.
Have you tried Ten Acre Crisps yet? If not which flavour are you most interested in?
Categories: Reviews, Uncategorized
Tags: bbq, chicken, chicken soup, crisps, gluten free, ready salted, snacks, sweet chilli, ten acre, vegan
I hope you all had a brilliant Christmas and a wonderful start to the New Year! As you would expect, I indulged in some new recipes over Christmas. My Christmas cake this year was a gluten free and vegan fruit cake which I decorated in a pink and purple theme for a change. It wasn’t a traditional Christmas cake as it didn’t have any alcohol in it and was very much a moist ginger cake with mixed fruit inside. I love marzipan but only ever eat it at Christmas so there was a thick layer underneath the icing!
One of the most common questions I get when people find out I’m vegan is “what do you eat for Christmas dinner?” Many vegans are fans of a traditional nut roast or a meat substitute for their dinners but I fancied something different this year. I had a roasted butternut squash which was stuffed with mushrooms and chestnuts and tasted deliciously festive. It was served with the traditional roasted potatoes, carrots and parsnips and some sprouts. Unfortunately I missed out on buying a gluten free Christmas pudding so I had the slightly less traditional dessert of strawberry and ginger crumble. It tasted much nicer than any Christmas pudding would have!
What were your favourite foods over Christmas? Do you stick with the traditional menu or try to experiment a bit more?
Categories: My Recipes
Tags: butternut squash, cake, carrot, chestnut, christmas, crumble, gluten free, gravy, marzipan, mushroom, parsnip, potato, sprouts, strawberry, vegan
The Egg Cafe is a small vegetarian cafe located in the centre of Liverpool which is loved by vegans and vegetarians alike. It has a wonderfully bohemian atmosphere, increased by the long shared tables and the remarkable artwork which adorns the walls (which is often for sale!). The food is delicious, cheap and plentiful making it a favourite of mine. It was therefore the first place I thought of when me and my boyfriend were looking for food in Liverpool before a gig a couple of weeks back. As it was a Sunday I was extremely excited to find that on their specials board they were boasting a Sunday roast which was both vegan and gluten free! I eagerly handed over my £6 and was presented with this feast.
The Egg’s food is good, homemade and rustic looking. It’s designed to taste delicious and as you can see, there is no pretentiousness here! The plate above is loaded up with nut roast, roasted potatoes and parsnips, mashed sweet potato and a whole host of boiled vegetables. It is then topped with a gorgeous gravy and a dollop of cranberry sauce. Needless to say, I couldn’t even get through half of this plate!
The next time you’re in Liverpool you should definitely check out The Egg Cafe just off Bold Street. To find out more about this amazing place (and see the menu) have a look at their website here.
Where are your favourite places to eat out?
When I first went vegan I received The Complete Guide to Vegan Food Substitutions for Christmas. It’s a very useful book with substitution ideas and recipes for all sorts of dietary requirements including Cheese, Egg, Gluten and Sugar. Back then I was only interested in eating vegan but since I gave up gluten I’ve been exploring this book again.
This week I decided to try one of the cookie recipes and due to the over-abundance of coconut I seemed to have in my kitchen, I decided to go with these Superfudgy Coconut Cookie Bars. I won’t lie, the name persuaded me to check this recipe out!
These cookie bars taste deliciously naughty but are full of nutritional ingredients! The bars contain coconut, pecans, flaxseed meal, orange juice and chocolate chips. The texture is rather like a coconut brownie bar, rich and satisfying. The recipe seemed overly complicated with the ingredients needing to be cooked on the hob before going into the oven but it was simpler than it looked and it was definitely worth the work!
Get your copy of The Complete Guide to Vegan Substitutions here.
What are your go to brownie recipes?