Monday, 14 November 2011

Turkish Sütlaç with Cinnamon baked Apples

Sütlaç is basically a Turkish version of Rice pudding. It's essentially made with milk and coarsely-ground rice, with sugar, vanilla and a little cinnamon and nutmeg. I made mine with soya milk, but made a little twist on the original by adding a sugar brûlée topping, and serving with Bramley apple slices, baked in golden syrup with plenty of cinnamon.

Jen x

Curry & Poppy seed Burgers.

I tried making homemade burgers again, this time using a little wheat gluten and egg-replacer to bind and the burgers and improve the texture. I also tried a different variety, these are curry and poppy seed soya burgers, and they are delicious!
I served them with a sprinkle of home-grown chopped coriander and basil, on a nest of quick-fried grated carrot and courgette and a mixture of lightly spiced brown rice and pearled spelt.

Jen x

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Chocolate & Coconut Desert

This rich and dense chocolate desert contains everything chocolatey that you could imagine: melted chocolate, melted cocoa butter, liquid chocolate extract and raw cocoa powder. All of these were blended with silken tofu, with some agave nectar, golden syrup, a little egg replacer and some nice vanilla extract.
I spooned this mix into ramekins and topped it with a homemade coconut and vanilla cream made in a similar manner, by mixing melted coconut oil, cocoa butter, vanilla extract, a little soya milk, agave nectar and dessicated coconut into silken tofu and blending.

I toasted some coconut and crumbled some chocolate shapes for the topping.

Jen x

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Spiced Apple Jelly

Today, I made a chilled spiced apple jelly, topped with warm steamed red fruits. And oh my...

The jelly contains chunks of cooked apples, fresh from our neighbours' garden! I used a mixture of Vege-gel and powdered pectin as gelling agents, and added Turkish apple tea to strengthen the flavour. The pre-set jelly was boiled with a large stick of cinnamon, some fresh ginger and a sprinkling of cloves, which were all removed before serving.

Jen x

Homemade Burgers & Sweet Potato wedges

Today, I made homemade sage & marjoram veggie burgers using a mix of gluten flour and soya mince.
I served them on Cavolo Nero, which is a delicious dark cabbage that tastes something like a cross between curly kale and savoy cabbage.
I also served them with lightly-spiced sweet potato wedges, and a gravy boat.

Jen x

Parsnip puree et al...

Slices of fried tofu sausage and half a roast green pepper on a bed of caramelised parsnip puree, with veg gravy.
The parsnip was brilliant, if I so say so myself. And rather simple (albeit time-consuming :P). You simply peel and chop a few parsnips, then lightly boil them in vegetable stock so that they're warm through, but not fully cooked. Drain them and transfer them to a frying pan of melted vegetable margarine and add a little nutmeg. Fry them, stirring continually, until very soft. Then add a splash of soya cream and a little extra vegetable stock and puree, ideally with a hand blender. Mmmm...

Jen x

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Basil tofu & Pea shoot salad

Had a nice little lunch today.
Basil tofu slices, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil. Served with a peashoot salad in a ring of cucumber, with a balsamic vinegar dressing.

Jen x

Monday, 10 October 2011

Ritz crackers

I recently rediscovered the concept of crackers and all the brilliant appetisers that can be made with them.

Little ones like Ritz crackers are ideal for simple, but delicious, snacks. For example, I tried a few variations on simple cheese & tomato crackers:

Some with tomato puree and cracked black pepper, topped with baby basil leaves (grown on my windowsill!)

I also tried them even simpler, without the tomato puree, served around a salad of peashoots, with raw green beans and mangetouts, with a sticky balsamic dressing.

Jen x

Pumpkin Goodness!

Lately, we finally harvested a pumpkin grown in our garden. And oh my, it was worth it.

First, I made Cream of Pumpkin soup, sweetened with a little carrot:

Next up, I made pumpkin croquettes by mixing pumpkin with margarine, a little soya milk, herbs and spices, powdered vegetable stock, 'Parmazano' non-dairy cheese style powder and some potato flakes to thicken.
I blended this mixture with a hand-blender, then formed them into quenelles with a couple of teaspoons, and coated them in a herby breadcrumb and baked them.

I served them with Sage & Marjoram veggie sausages on a bed of spinach, with a fresh red onion gravy.

Jen x

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Potato Rosti

So, today, I made potato rosti from a hurry. Yet they still turned out brilliantly.
I simply peeled and grated some pink desiree potatoes, then added onion powder, vegetable oil, dry powdered vegetable stock, paprika, sage and a pinch of egg replacer and stirred it all together thoroughly. I then formed the shapes with a food ring and baked them (turning in the middle) for about 20 minutes on a mid to high temperature.
Today, I served them with breaded 'chicken-style' burgers on a bed of carrots and leeks, with a nice gravy boat full of vegetable gravy...

Jen x

Friday, 7 October 2011

Seitan and Kale!

For years, I've hunted for Gluten flour in order to make my own seitan. And I finally found some from the wonderful Kings Cross vegan boutique Vx (V-Cross).
Almost simultaneously, the curly kale we've been growing finally seemed ready to pick. So an extravagant and delicious meal was made from the two...

Firstly, fresh kale from the garden? Wow!

We got about 220g so far, which is more than a standard supermarket bag, and there should be more to come!

I've also been loving rainbow carrots lately. Not only do they look lovely (in fact the pale orange ones have stripy centres!), but the yellow ones are super sweet!

With these ingredients, I made fried seitan strips on a bed of kale, served with a tower of rice and garnished with roast apricot & ginger glazed carrot strips. Oh my!

Jen x

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Caramelised Onion & vegan Cheese Tarts

Once again, I made something overwhelmingly delicious and failed to get a decent picture of it! Boo!

Still, these tarts were fantastic. They're individually-sized caramelised onion and vegan cheese tarts, in puff pastry.
The caramelised onion was made with a splash of pomegranate syrup, to stop the sweetness from being overwhelming, and to add a nice pink tone to the red onions. The vegan cheese was the wonderfully tangy, but melty and creamy VeGourmet.

I served the tarts with garlic roasted asparagus, and apricot and ginger glazed rainbow carrots. This way of cooking carrots has become one of my staples as of late, but finding these rainbow carrots made them extra special. They not only look more colourful, but the yellow carrots have an extra sweet and fresh taste. Mmmm...

Jen x

Chocolate & Chilli Tart

I massively need to work on the presentation, and I need to get some better pictures.
However, I made a super-rich and creamy Chocolate and Chilli tart by blending together roughly equal parts firm silken tofu and melted Belgian plain chocolate, with a kick from fresh red chillies grown by my brother! Sweetened a little agave syrup, and a dash of Madagascan vanilla extract, and some pure chocolate extract...
Oh my!

I served it with whipped soya cream, and shards of caramel.

Jen x

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Tortilla Baskets

We were rather low on food, so I put together whatever I could find round the house...and it somehow became one of the best lunches I've ever had!

I made wholewheat tortilla baskets by cutting tortillas into squares, pushing them into a cupcake pan and lightly basting the centre with oil. I then baked them quickly until they became light and crispy.

I then filled them with a warm mix of cereals and pulses and topped this with a nest of quick-fried courgette and carrot, then finished it with a single slice of yellow courgette.

I tried two different serving ideas. Firstly, for a single person, I put three on a plate, with a teaspoon of beetroot dressing and a sprig of basil:

I also tried a larger tapas-style serving for 2-3 people by placing them in a circle around a pile of the courgette/carrot mix:

Jen x

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Tomato & Herb pancakes

I failed to get a particularly good picture of these, but they were delicious. I essentially made my standard savoury pancake batter, then mixed in tomato puree and plenty of herbs. I then fried them, cut them into points and served them with a homemade soy-based tzatziki dip, garnished with radishes and black garlic.

Jen x

Chocolate Fondant!

The recipe for these was very loosely based on a Gordon Ramsay Recipe, but veganised beyond recognition, which I'm sure would greatly offend Gordon Ramsey, if he knew!

It's essentially an incredibly rich and dense chocolate cake, made by mixing chocolate cake mix with melted chocolate and non-dairy margarine. It's then served warm, on a plate with soya cream and a drizzle of golden syrup.

Jen x

Chocolate Chestnut Torte

I may have written about my Chocolate Chestnut Torte before. But I have since improved and perfected it.
I've discovered speculoos spread, which you can buy online, or make yourself with a decent blender.
The creamy caramelised biscuit paste perfectly compliments the rich chocolate base.

Jen x

Lemon & Herb Couscous

Couscous is one of those things that's always useful to have in your food cupboards. It can be made into an easy lunch in minutes!
I always prepare couscous in stock, instead of plain water. And I tend to dress it with plenty of lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, coarsely ground black pepper, paprika and a nice selection of herbs. Then I add in finely chopped vegetables.
I made my lemon and herb couscous today, with beetroot dressing, and peppers charred with a blowtorch...


Jen x

Friday, 16 September 2011

Best of Jens Vegan Eats!

My blog has existed for about six months so far, so I thought it's about time for my first 'best of' post.

So, these are my favourite things I've posted in this blog so far...


This is a traditional Green dish of scrambled egg and fresh tomatoes, veganised by changing the egg for seasoned scrambled tofu.

        Cake Pops

Balls of dense, moist chocolate cake on lollipop sticks and coated with chocolate.

       Chocolate Cake

I coated this chocolate cake with a rich chocolate 'buttercream' icing, and made that decorative final touch with a star-shaped cookie cutter and plenty of grated milk and white vegan chocolate.

         Houmous & Crudités
Caramelised onion houmous and sundried tomatoes make this extra delicious.

        Baked Apples
Stuffed with mincemeat (mince pie filling, that is) and baked in plenty of golden syrup with cinnamon.

Vanilla and cinnamon pancakes, stuffed with apple and cinnamon sauce, then drizzled with golden syrup. Served with vanilla ice cream.

This is probably my most popular dish ever. An incredibly rich chocolate and chestnut cream, on a caramelised biscuit base. I've since worked on the presentation, but have yet to post the results. Watch this space!

Pancake mix, baked in bite-sized cake cases. Served with fresh lemon juice, white sugar and/or maple syrup for dipping.

A veganised version of a classic Normandy dish. A mixture of peppery and more mild salad leaves with cox apple chunks and a herby vinaigrette dressing, topped with vegan 'bacon' strips and miniature toasts with warm mature vegan cheese.

Jen x

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Cookies & Cream cupcakes!

For these, I used 'Trios' vegan oreos, which I get from the Secret Society of Vegans Store in Kings Cross. (They have a regular cream-filled variety too, but I prefer the fudge-filled for these cupcakes.)

The cupcakes are my standard super-rich chocolate cupcake recipe. But the topping is a vanilla 'butter'cream icing, mixed in a blender with vegan oreos. They're then topped with half an 'oreo'.

Jen x

Slow-roast tomatoes

This is a simple, yet delicious dish. It goes nicely with all kinds of things; pasta, polenta, pizza...etc

I made this with regular cherry tomatoes this time, but it's even better with baby plum tomatoes, or better still; a mix of different red and yellow baby tomato varieties.

Basically, it's whole tomatoes in (mild) olive oil, with vast amounts of fresh, chopped garlic, lots of fresh basil (from my garden, in my case!), oregano, and a pinch of salt. It's all stirred together then roast at a low temperature (around 100 degrees C) for about 1.5 hours. Drain the tomatoes from the oil, then serve. Mmmm.....

Jen x

Salade de Chevre Chaud

Salade de Chevre Chaud is a classic salad from the North of France.

It's usually made with Chevre (goats cheese), but I found that mildly-aromatic vegusto works very nicely!

It also involves bacon, but that can easily be replaced with any vegan 'bacon'.

For the dressing, just add some Provencal herbs to a French vinaigrette.

Another key thing that makes this salad extra special is adding plenty of chunks of cox apple.

For the cheese toasts, simply cut-up a piece of (white, or French) bread, grill them lightly on one side. Then, flip them over, grill a little on this side, then  lightly butter (margarine!) this side, top with a piece of vegan cheese, then grill a little longer.

Use a mixture of crispy watery leaves, like iceberg lettuce, and darker baby leaves.

Jen x


You know how bakeries and supermarkets sell those delicious moist, chewy cookies at super-high prices?...

Well, after literally spending hours doing research, I have come up with the perfect vegan cookie recipe that tastes just like those. Mmmm.........

As they are so spectacularly good, I'm going to include the full recipe in this post (Yay!), but be warned, there are rather a lot of ingredients, and it can be a little time-consuming.

Jen's Vegan Cookies

  • 1 cup regular plain flour
  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 3/4 cup light brown soft sugar
  • 1/4 cup (white) caster sugar
  • 1 heaped tsp baking powder
  • 1 level tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 cup of non-dairy margarine
  • 1.5 tsps vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened soya milk
  • 2 tsps golden syrup
  • 1 tsp (good-quality) vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp table salt
  • Pinch cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup of chocolate chunks (or ingredient of your choice, e.g. cranberries & orange peel, dark chocolate and glacé cherries...)
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees (C).
  2. Remove the margarine from the fridge at least 20 mins before cooking so that it reaches room temperature and softens.
  3. Combine all the dry ingredients (except the chocolate) in a large bowl and mix together thoroughly with a fork.
  4. Add all the other ingredients (except the chocolate) and stir until it becomes a very thick, smooth paste.
  5. Add the chocolate chunks and stir them in. FYI, don't feel you have to splash-out on expensive non-dairy chocolate chips. It's cheaper, not to mention more delicious, to simply cut-up bars (or buttons) of chocolate into chunks.
  6. Line a couple of baking trays with greaseproof paper, then grease the paper with margarine.
  7. Take scoops/handfuls of the mixture and roll them into balls, then squish them so that they make discs approx. 5cm wide and 1.5cm thick.
  8. Place the discs on the baking trays, each at least 5cm from it's nearest neighbour - these will melt and flatten considerably, so if you don't put them far enough apart, you may just end up with one giant baking tray-shaped cookie!
  9. Bake them for 10 minutes at 180 degrees (C). When done, they will be a creamy colour, just beginning to go golden (and certainly not brown!). They will seem far too soft and squishy, but unless there is a greasy-looking patch in the middle, then they are, in fact, done! They will set and become much more firm, so give them a minute out of the oven before you take them off the tray. Then simply remove them with as flat a spatula or fish-slice as you have and leave them to cool on a wire cooling rack until you can't resist eating them any longer!


Jen x