Thursday, 6 December 2012

Lazy Gingerbread Latte

This is just what you need in the British winter. And it barely takes much effort to make. Huzzah!

Just microwave about 2/3 of a cup of soya milk for 2 minutes. Add a shot/tablespoon of a caramel or biscuit coffee syrup. Add a few peeled and roughly-chopped chunks of fresh ginger. Then top with coffee. I used instant to be extra lazy!

...And I put it in an awesome vegan mug from Vx.

Jen x

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Chocolate Vanilla Marble Cupcakes

These were a lot of fun to make. And Suki watched from the sofa hopefully throughout.

Simply make a bowl of your favourite vegan vanilla cake mix, and one of your favourite chocolate cake mix. You may want to make them a little thicker than usual, to ensure the two cake mixes don't mix together too much.

Pour by the heaped-teaspoonful into cake cases, in a ratio of about 50:50.

I'd usually use a skewer, but for these little cupcakes, I swirled the cake batters together with toothpicks. Try to keep most of the stirring towards the top of the cake, allowing the lower layers to stay more separate. Otherwise, you may risk stirring it together too much & the colours seeping into each other.
If you want a greater contrast and are willing to dabble in chemically ingredients (gasp!), then add a drop or two of black food colouring to your chocolate cake mix.

Bake at 180°C in a fan oven for 25 mins, or as per your usual recipe. When ready, a skewer inserted into the middle should come out clean.

I didn't want to detract too much from the pretty marbling, so I went for a simple chocolate ganache topping. But you could always leave them un-iced, or top them more imaginatively!

Jen x

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Beetroot Gnocchi

I love beetroot, and I love Gnocchi. And it turns out that beetroot gnocchi actually exists, so I figured I may as well give it a try...
Oh my, it was well worth it!
I made the gnocchi as follows, and served it with vegan pesto, spinach, sweetcorn and fried red peppers. I then topped it with my favourite vegan cheese.

1. Peel 2 medium to large raw beetroots, and chop into cubes of 1-2cm. Then boil for 20-30 minutes, or until soft enough to mash.
2. Once boiled, drain them, add 2 teaspoons of non-dairy margarine, and mash them thoroughly.
3. In a large bowl, combine the following & stir with a fork:
  • 1.5 cups plain white flour
  • 1/2 a cup brown rice flour
  • 2 tsp. egg replacer
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. nutritional yeast
  • pinch oregano, pinch marjoram, pinch nutmeg.
4. Add the mashed beetroot to the large bowl and stir it all together. Once it starts vaguely sticking together, knead it thoroughly until it forms a single ball. Add up to half a cup of cold water if you really struggle to get it to stay together (ideally the pink water drained from the beetroots).

5. (Now this is the time consuming part, but where it all finally comes together!)
Take a handful of the mix at a time and roll into a sausage about 1.5cm in diameter, on a floured surface.
Using a sharp knife, chop the sausage into 1-2cm segments. Then repeat with the rest.
6. Roll each piece in flour and press one side with a fork to create a rough surface for sauce to stick to.

7. Add to a pan of boiling water and boil for 4-7 minutes, until they begin to float. Then drain & eat! Cook as soon as possible, especially if the room is warm, or they may begin to stick together.

Jen x

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Chocolate Speculoos mini cupcakes

These are pretty quick & easy. This is partly because they're mini, so they take half the time to cook (and to cool!), compared to regular cupcakes. It's also because you use pre-made speculoos spread instead of having to make icing. Yippee!
If you're not familiar with it, speculoos is a caramelised biscuit, and it's delicious.

I just use my regular chocolate cake recipe for the cupcakes, which is...

1. Mix the following in a large bowl:
  • 4oz plain flour
  • 4oz caster sugar
  • 4oz dairy-free margarine
  • Egg replacer for 2 eggs
  • 1 rounded teaspoon (tsp.) of baking powder
  • 1.5 heaped tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. almond or chocolate extract
  • Generous pinch cinnamon
2. Gradually add unsweetened soya milk, stirring well with a fork, until it becomes a thick batter of about the consistency of custard. This should be from 3/4 of a cup to about 1.5 cups of soya milk.

3. Spoon the mixture into mini baking cases, filling to 3/4 full. Use a mini cake pan, or silicone cups, to help them cook more evenly and retain their shape.

4. Bake at 180°C for 12-14 minutes.

When they're fully cooled, spoon a healthy dollop of speculoos spread on top of each and sprinkle with grated/curled dark chocolate. I topped these with mini spiced biscuits I got in the Netherlands, but you can always use large broken chunks of speculoos biscuits.

Jen x

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Easy Raw Salad

This makes a quick and easy lunch, or side salad.
You can grate, chop julienne or use a julienne peeler to do this. Just use whatever you have!

1. Julienne your vegetables: One red pepper, a carrot & a 10cm piece of cucumber.
2. Add the juice of half a lemon, half a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and a teaspoon of agave nectar. Then mix it all together well, with a fork.
3. Eat.

Jen x

Red rice & smoked tofu risotto

This is delicious and healthy...and pretty easy. Yay!


1. Pre-boil the red rice for about 20 minutes, then drain. Use about 80g of uncooked rice per person/portion.
2. Finely-chop, or crush, about 2 cloves* of garlic (*all given amounts are per portion being cooked).
3. Wash and chop half a red pepper, one carrot, a handful of green beans and a handful or so of broccoli.
4. Chop a block of tofu into cubes. I used a smoked tofu, with almonds and sesame seeds.
5. Throw the vegetables, tofu and garlic in a wok with olive oil, on a medium heat. Add sweetcorn too.
6. Cook for a few minutes and then add the rice.
7. Crumble one or two vegetable stock cubes (to taste) over it, and stir in. Also add about 1 tablespoon of madeira (or white) whine per portion.
8. Continue to cook on a medium heat, stiring continuously, until the rice is fully cooked. Add a handful or so of raw spinach about one minute before finishing, and stir it in until wilted.
9. Stir in some sundried/slow-roasted tomatos and EAT.

Jen x

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni

I recently got a load of Toffuti 'Better than Ricotta Cheese' from Vx (aka, Vegan Cross), in central London.

So I started off by making the obvious classic: Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni. I made it pretty lazily, so this is an easy recipe. It just takes some time.

1. Mix one tub of 'Better than Ricotta Cheese' with a fork, in a large bowl, with the following...

  • the juice of half a lemon
  • one crumbled vegetable oxo cube (or similar vegan stock cube).
  • 1 teaspoon (tsp.) dried oregano
  • Handful fresh basil leaves. Washed and torn.
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced/finely chopped.
2. Stir-in 500g fresh spinach. Washed and torn.

3. Use a teaspoon to fill the cannelloni with this mixture. This is the time consuming part!
Don't worry about making it too neat. You're going to cover these with sauce and bake the crap out of them soon!

4. Line a baking dish with tomato sauce (I used this lovely stuff) and place the cannelloni in it, in rows.

5. Cover it with more tomato sauce. Top with a melting vegan cheese, such as Teese vegan cheddar sauce, or Wilmersburger 'Scheiben' gouda-style, both also found at Vx.

6. Bake at 220°C for 25-35 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy on top.

I served this with sundried tomatoes, and various green vegetables.

Jen x

Healthier banana bread!

Okay, so it's not the healthiest thing in the world, but it's certainly a lot better for you than regular cake, and tastes divine! This is also a great way of using up bananas that are getting overripe.

I adapted my old banana bread recipe to, to get rid of the refined sugar and pack it full of goodness!

1. Mix the following ingredients in a large bowl, and stir with a fork...

  • 10oz plain four (I used a gluten-free flour blend)
  • 1 teaspoon (tsp.) bicarbonate of soda
  • Pinch salt
  • 4oz dairy-free spread (I used Pure Olive spread)
  • 2.5oz date syrup
  • 1.5oz agave nectar
  • 2 tsp. egg-replacer (I used "No Egg")
  • 3 large or 4 medium bananas - Mashed first into a thick pulp, in a separate bowl.
  • pinch cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 Tablespoon (Tbsp.) oatbran
  • 1 tsp. ground flax seed (linseed)
2. Add 1/2 to 1/3 of a cup of soya milk. Stir/whisk with a fork, adding extra soya milk if you need, until it becomes a thick, but still pourable, batter.

3. Pour into a greased loaf tin of around 20 x 13cm and bake at 180°C for 40-45 minutes. It will be quite brown in colour, due to the date syrup, so ensuring it doesn't burn can be quite a challenge. Just don't open the oven within the first 30 mins, at least!

4. Leave to rest for 2-3 mins, then loosen the edges all the way around with a narrow, sharp knife. Leave for a further 15 mins, then turn-out onto a wire rack and leave to cool fully.

Cut in slices and EAT.

Jen x

Nutty Chocolate Fudge Protein Bars!

I've fallen in love with exercise lately. And, with that, my dietary needs have changed too.
So I've been working on making some of my old recipes healthier, and coming up with new ones.
So what's today's healthy and delicious vegan treat? Nutty Chocolate Fudge Protein bars!

There are various vegan protein bars commercially available nowadays, but if you're looking to save a little money and avoid refined sugar and scary processed ingredients, this is the recipe for you!
These are easy and quick to make too, so what are you waiting for?

1. Throw the following in a blender. Blend intermittently, stopping to stir at intervals of 1 minute or so, until it resembles fine breadcrumbs...

  • 3 rounded tablespoons (Tbsp.) of whole almonds
  • 1 rounded Tbsp. cashew nuts
  • 1 rounded Tbsp. brazil nuts
2. Remove about 1/4 to 1/5 of this mixture and put in a bowl. Put to one side for now.

3. Add these to the nut mix in the blender and continue blending as before. Aiming again for a fine breadcrumb texture...
  • 60g protein isolate (I used soya, but pea, rice, hemp or other proteins would work too)
  • 1 teaspoon (tsp.) vanilla extract
  • 2 heaped Tbsp. cocoa powder.
  • 2 rounded Tbsp. oatbran
  • 2 rounded Tbsp. oats
  • 2 rounded Tbsp. peanut butter
  • 3 Tbsp. Agave nectar
4. Scrape all the contents of the blender into a large bowl and add 7 Tbsp. of unsweetened soya milk.

5. Knead the mixture thoroughly with your hands, then tip into a large rectangular dish (or several smaller ones), lined with greaseproof paper.

6. Press the mixture down until it is roughly 1-1.5cm thick throughout the dish. Then using a rolling pin to flatten and compress it more evenly.

7. Drizzle a little extra agave nectar over the top and spread it out as evenly as you can. Just enough so the surface is sticky. You can use a spatula for this, but I actually found it easier to use a square of greaseproof paper.

8. Sprinkle with the remaining nuts and chunks of dark chocolate. Instead of dairy-free chocolate chips, I find it cheaper to just buy cheap dark chocolate and chop it up.

9. Refrigerate for 20-40 minutes, until cool throughout, and firmer.

10. Cut into squares or rectangles. These can be a bit crumbly, so avoid making the sides of each longer than about 5cm.

You can wrap them in greasproof paper or clingfilm (or just in a tupperware box) in the refrigerater.

And most importantly, enjoy!

Jen x

Friday, 10 August 2012

Cocoa, Peanut butter & Cranberry bites.

For a relatively healthy and deliciously indulgent snack, try these!

Now, there are endless energy ball recipes out there, but these are slightly different. They don't contain cocoa butter or coconut oil. Instead they use peanut butter as a cheaper and easier alternative, with a higher protein content.

These are also amazingly easy to make. Just throw the following in a blender, and blend on max. for a few minutes.
  • 2 Tablespoons (Tbps) wholenut peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon (tsp) ground linseed
  • 1 Tbsp. dessicated coconut
  • 1 Tbsp. date syrup
  • 4 Tbsp cashew nuts
  • 2 tsp. mixed seeds
  • 2 Tbsp. currants
  • 2 Tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 2 Tbsp. dried cranberries
  • 1 tsp. unsweetened soya milk
  • Pinch cinnamon & a few drops of vanilla extract
Stop and stir with a fork every 20 seconds or so. It should end up as a coarse crumbly paste.
Tip/scrape into a bowl. Then use your hands to squash and roll it into balls of about 2cm in diameter. Then roll in cocoa powder.

Jen x

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Stuffed Seitan Roast

I made a sort-of roast dinner recently, centring around a homemade chicken-style seitan roast, stuffed with sage & onion stuffing.
If you're stuck for a main protein in a vegan roast, whether it's a gathering of friends or a christmas dinner, I'd really recommend this.
You'll need gluten flour, which can be hard to find. In the UK, you can order online this from Flourbin. Or if you're in London, you can buy it at Vx, a vegan boutique in Kings Cross.

Here's the recipe.

Mix these dry ingredients with a large bowl, using a fork.

  • 5 heaped tablespoons (tbp) gluten flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon (tsp) garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp mild curry powder
  • 1/2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 tsp vegan bouillon powder (or powdered vegetable stock)
Then, combine with the following wet ingredients. Use your hands to mix until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 tsp soya sauce
Then add 100-120ml of cold water, using your hands to form a stretchy dough.

Stretch it, and roll as best you can with a rolling pin, into a rectangle. This will be the hardest part as this is a really strong dough that springs back into shape quickly.

Line it with stuffing mix and roll into a tube. Try and squish the ends together to get it to stay closed, adding a little flour and water between the edges. Baste with oil all over the outside. Then wrap the whole roll with kitchen foil and either bake it or steam it. I prefer steaming as it turns out softer. Either way, it will take 30-45 minutes. Just check on it regularly and it's done when it's a light golden colour on the outside and has a firm spring to it.
Leave it to rest on a chopping board for about 5 minutes, then slice and serve with vegetable gravy.

Jen x

Chocolate peanut butter cup-cakes

I made these today. They're like a cupcake version of Chocolate peanut butter cups and are as delicious as they sound!

I started by making my usual chocolate cupcakes, as follows...

Mix the following in a bowl:
  • 6oz plain flour
  • 6oz non-dairy margarine
  • 6oz white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons (tsps) white sugar
  • 1 heaped tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 2 level tsps egg replacer
  • 1.5 heaped tsps baking powder.
  • 1.5 cups unsweetened soya milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp chocolate extract (if you can find it!)
Stir/whisk thoroughly with a fork until it becomes a custard-like texture. Or, if you're feeling lazy, just throw it in a blender.

Fill cupcake cases 3/4 full and bake for approx. 25 minutes at 180°C.

Leave to cool on a wire rack.

Use a melon baller to scoop out a little bowl shape in each cupcake. Then fill this bowl with peanut butter. I used a mix of smooth and crunchy as I couldn't decide which would be best!

Cover with melted chocolate (I used plain) and refrigerate.
Try to resist them until they're set. Then devour!

Jen x

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Raw(ish) chocolates with puffed spelt and red fruits.

These were inspired by this recipe on This Rawsome Vegan Life. (<--I highly recommend this site, by the way. It's a blog of awesome and inspired raw vegan recipes. Mmmm...)

I was rather low on food, so threw together some of the few things I did have. And it made these delicious, mostly raw, chocolate and puffed spelt discs. I then topped them with red fruits from the garden...

These were so quick to make, and taste amazing, yet are surprisingly healthy. Seriously, try them!

Throw the following in a blender:
  • Approx. 40ml melted coconut oil
  • 5-10g melted raw cacao butter
  • 1.5 heaped tablespoons (tbsp.) cocoa powder
  • 1 heaped tbsp. golden syrup (or agave nectar)
  • Handful of dates (i.e. 8-10)
  • 2 tbsp. mixed seeds (e.g. sunflower, pumpkin, sesame)
  • 2 tbsp. barley milk (or any other milk substitute)
  • Pinch cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon (tsp.) vanilla extract
Tip: To melt your coconut oil or cacao butter without burning or boiling it, try putting the jar/bottle in a bowl of boiling water for a few minutes.

Remove it from the blender once it reaches a consistency somewhere between melted chocolate and PVA glue (mmm.. :P), with coarse bits in. Pour it into a bowl and stir-in:
  • 3 heaped tbsp. of puffed spelt (e.g. these, or any other puffed grain)
Press into the mould of your choice with a teaspoon. Use your fingers to form a dip on the surface, then refrigerate until set. Finally, remove from the moulds and fill with red fruits. EAT!

Jen x

Monday, 16 July 2012

Ginger Loaf Cake

A while ago, I saw a huge amount of ginger for a ridiculously cheap price. So I bought it and spent the next couple of weeks gorging on ginger-based goodness!

Here's the first of what I made:

Ginger Loaf Cake

I roughly used this recipe for proportions, but changed the butter for non-dairy margarine, the milk for unsweetened soya milk, and the egg for "No Egg". Of course, I also changed the dried ginger for about 3 tablespoons of fresh, peeled (and finely-chopped) ginger.
I also added a generous sprinkle of cinnamon and a pinch of ground nutmeg, and used golden syrup instead of treacle.
I also suggest cooking it for a little less than the recipe indicates.

This was so good that it only lasted a few hours in my house! So I made another...which didn't last much longer.

Jen x

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Cinnamon Rolls

I accidentally made ridiculous quantities of cinnamon rolls today, using this recipe. More or less, anyhow. I added a little vanilla to the batter and a pinch of nutmeg to the filling.

Seriously, I made a lot...

Jen x

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Peanut Butter and Almond Cookies

I basically used this recipe, but veganised it by changing the milk for unsweetened soya and the egg for one teaspoon of egg-replacer.
Then, for the shortening, I used both vegetable shortening and dairy-free sunflower spread. And I added flaked almonds.
They're soft and chewy, but the almonds give a nice crunch.