Posts Tagged With: vegan

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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Individual Bramley Apple Crumbles

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!

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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!

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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.

Recipe

Ingredients:

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)

Vanilla sugar

Cinnamon sugar

Chopped nuts (optional)

1 tbsp maple syrup (for each pie)

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Method:

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!

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Fruity Friday (MOFO #12) – Tea Poached Pears in Chocolate Sauce

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It’s the end of the third week already, can you believe it? Some chocolate covered pears will cheer you up though right?

Today’s recipe is from Veganomicon and didn’t take any adaptations to make it gluten free. It makes a change to not have to edit a recipe that tastes this good!

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I’ve never made or tasted a poached pear before but I loved the idea as soon as I saw it on the page. The recipe uses black tea, orange zest and vanilla extract to poach the pears in and then mixes some chocolate with some of the tea mixture to pour over the top. I used Earl Grey teabags for a bit of a lighter flavour and my pears turned out beautifully soft and had a comforting tea flavour. I loved the idea of using the leftover tea to make the chocolate sauce as it gave the sauce a bit of depth.

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I added some crushed almonds to the top of my pears to give a bit of crunch and ladled the chocolate sauce over the top. I managed to eat my way through 2 pears before I could stop!

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Have you ever poached a pear?

Categories: Cookbooks, Vegan MOFO 2014 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Stress Free Saturday (MOFO #9) – Aubergine, Potato and Pepper Stew

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We’re halfway there guys! Today is Stress Free Saturday which is the day where I share a recipe with you which does not need adapting. Today’s stew is from the Meat Free Monday Cookbook and is my all time favourite aubergine recipe!

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This book is an excellent one for both veggies and vegans alike. It’s based on the idea of eating only vegetarian food on Mondays and is broken down into seasons. The aubergine, potato and pepper stew comes under Autumn which means it’s perfect for this time of year.

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I followed the recipe exactly but left out the feta to make it vegan. Once the veg was prepped and it was simmering away I could relax for half an hour until my bowl of comfort food was ready! The stew is made with peppers, courgettes, aubergine, potatoes, butter beans and olives and is beautiful served with rice.

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What is your favourite aubergine recipe? Maybe I need to expand my repertoire!

Categories: Cookbooks, Vegan MOFO 2014 | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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?

Categories: Cookbooks, Other Recipes, Vegan MOFO 2014 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Wildcard Wednesday (MOFO #3) – Should Vegans Eat Eggs from Rescued Hens?

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Welcome to day 3 of Vegan MOFO! My theme for the month is making recipes from non-vegan books both vegan and gluten free. However, on Wildcard Wednesdays I will be taking a break from my theme to discuss topics about veganism.

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I hope you’ve come across the brilliant new vegan magazine that hit the shelves this month! It’s full of recipes and insightful articles and is a thought provoking read from cover to cover. One of the interesting articles in the first issue of Vegan Life was a discussion called “If you have rescued hens, is it acceptable to eat their eggs?”

In my opinion eating any kind of eggs is against the key principle of veganism which is that we don’t eat animal products. No exceptions! This does pose the question of what to do with eggs that are lain by your rescued chickens. The article argues that food waste is a huge problem in this country and therefore throwing edible eggs away would be criminal.

I agree with the point that if you eat eggs you cannot call yourself a vegan. But is the label more important than the lifestyle? I’d like to know your opinions on this controversial topic! Would you eat eggs?

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Related Posts

Vegan MOFO 2013 – Why I Don’t Eat Eggs

Categories: Vegan Life, Vegan MOFO 2014, Veganism | Tags: , , , , | 12 Comments

Make Ahead Monday (MOFO) – English Onion Soup

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My theme for this year’s Vegan MOFO is using recipes from old cookbooks that you owned before your vegan days. Therefore it’s only fitting for me to start with my first favourite book!

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Can we just take a second to appreciate how well loved this book looks? My favourite Jamie Oliver book has seen plenty of splashes! I remember making an incredibly cheesy pasta dish from this book with purple sprouting broccoli. It was one of the first meals I cooked for a group of people and I was very proud. I’d find it very difficult to part with this book which is good because there is no need! The book includes some vegan/gluten free recipes and a number which can be adapted.

For my first Make-Ahead Monday post I’ve adapted a beautiful soup which focusses on English onions and herbs and is topped with some devilish cheesy bread. It makes around 8 bowls and can be happily frozen and defrosted. This is my adaptation of English Onion Soup with Sage and Cheddar.

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At first glance this recipe is a minefield. It contains knobs of butter, gluten filled bread, gooey cheese and anchovy filled worcestershire sauce.

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There are a number of butter substitutes in the supermarkets now and Pure is one of my favourites. I started the soup of with a spoonful of their olive margarine and the onions were sizzling away in no time.

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The recipe calls for red onions, white onions, shallots and leeks. These are cooked for almost an hour so that they slowly soften and almost caramelise. I replaced the sage for tarragon as it gives a gorgeous earthy flavour which matches so well with the sweet onions.

The recipe suggests “2 litres of good quality beef, chicken or vegetable stock”. It’s easy enough to find a vegan vegetable stock cube but if you are coeliac like me then it also needs to be gluten free. My favourite brand for this is Kallo who I’ll be discussing this in tomorrow’s Tuesday Tips so remember to come back!

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Jamie then cooks his soup for 15 minutes while he prepares his cheese on toast. There are a multitude of cheese substitutes out there which would do this dish justice but I decided to go in a different direction and make some garlic bread to top my soup with. Here you can see I have used Dietary Specials (DS) white ciabattas which are my favourite go-to bread replacer. They also work really well here as they don’t fall apart in the soup.

I topped the ciabattas with a thick layer of Pure Olive spread and sprinkled powdered garlic and mixed herbs over them before putting them under the grill until browned. I then added them to the top of my bowl of soup and put them back under to finish. Don’t forget to add a liberal sprinkling of vegan worcestershire sauce for a nice spicy edge! I use Biona but there are a few different brands. I also added a sprinkling of nutritional yeast on the top for some added cheesiness.

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And here is my finished product! I put the leftovers into freezer bags and they lasted a couple of weeks. They would have lasted longer but I couldn’t resist!

For the full original recipe please look in the Jamie at Home book.

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Have you had any luck in veganising any recipes from Jamie Oliver’s books?

Categories: Cookbooks, Vegan MOFO 2014 | Tags: , , , , , | 15 Comments

Apple Pie Smoothie (Vegan/GF)

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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!

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Apple Pie Smoothie

Ingredients:

2 frozen bananas

1 red apple

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

a splash of coconut milk (the carton kind – I use Koko brand)

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Method:

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.

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Do you miss your autumn treats in the summer?

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Ten Acre Crisps – Gluten Free and Vegan! (Part 1)

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!

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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…

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“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.

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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!

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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: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

My Gluten Free and Vegan Foody Christmas

 

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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!

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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!

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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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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