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Green pasta bake

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I love it when the hubby doesn’t need feeding. He’s not a massive pasta fan so it gives me the opportunity to binge on the stuff. He also hates cauliflower, mushrooms or anything green so I usually take advantage of the opportunity to make my “green pasta bake”.

Kale, cauliflower, peas, broccoli, broad beans and mushrooms – whats not to love? Especially since it’s topped with a delicious “Parmesan”crust and devoid of any animal products.

I got two portions out of the following recipe (one has gone into the freezer), but you could easily feed four people if you bulk it out with a nice side salad or some garlic bread.

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Green pasta bake recipe:

Ingredients:

Sauce

  • ½ head large cauliflower
  • ½ x cup chopped kale
  • 1 x small onion
  • 2 x tsp minced garlic
  • 1 x tbsp olive oil
  • ½ x medium red chilli pepper
  • 1 x stock cube
  • Salt and pepper to taste (I prefer not to add salt).

Veggies, pasta and mushrooms:

  • ½ x cup peas
  • 1 x cup broccoli
  • ½ x cup broad beans
  • 3 x cups sliced mushrooms
  • 1 ½ x cups pasta shells (other pasta shapes are fine but you may need to alter the quantity).

Topping

  • 1 x cup plain soya yogurt
  • 1 x cup breadcrumbs
  • “Parmesan” – 1 x  cup of cashews with ½ x cup of nutritional yeast.

Method:

  1. Break the cauliflower into florets and add to a pan of cold water. Crumble in the stock cube and bring the water to a boil. Continue to heat until the cauliflower is tender.
  2. Whilst the cauliflower is cooking, chop the onion and fry in the olive oil along with garlic and chilli pepper. Fry for a few minutes before adding the kale. Once the onion is soft and translucent, turn off the heat.
  3. Using a slotted spoon, remove the cauliflower from the stock and put into a liquidizer along with the onion, garlic, chilli, kale and any oil that’s left in the pan. Add two cups of the stock and whizz until you have a thick, smooth, creamy green sauce.
    Fill a medium sized pan half full with water and bring to the boil. Add the pasta. Once the pasta begins to soften, add the broccoli, peas and broad beans. Cook until the pasta is on the chewy-side of “el dente”. You don’t want to overcook any of the ingredients as the dish still needs to be baked. Drain.
  4. Whilst the pasta etc is cooking, quickly fry the mushrooms. Again, don’t overdo them.
  5. Add all the pasta and veggies to the mushrooms, then add the sauce. Heat through whilst stirring and keep heating and stirring until the sauce thickens and begins to bubble.
  6. Pour into a 1 large baking or 2 small dish(es).
  7. Top with a layer of yoghurt. Sprinkle with a layer of breadcrumbs and then generously dust with the Parmesan.

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Bake in the oven for 10 – 15 mins at 180oC – just until the top turns golden brown and the sauce begins to bubble round the edges.

Tuck in!

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Creamy, indulgent, satisfying and yet full of good stuff. The hubby doesn’t know what he’s missing out on 😉

Flash-Gordonette…x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ultimate nachos

# Nacho nacho woman, I want to be, a nacho woman! #

I love nachos. But it makes me sad that I can never have them when we go out anymore. Well I could, but I would have to ask for no
cheese, no sour cream and to be honest I probably wouldn’t even risk the guacamole (the bottled, un-refrigerated stuff usually contains dairy). So if a veg*n chilli isn’t available on the menu, that would leave me with chips and maybe some tomato salsa. Hmpft.

However, that doesn’t stop me chowing down on nachos of epic proportions at home! Introducing my Ultimate Nachos… tortilla chips, mouth-watering “chilli sin carne”, lashings of realistic cheezy sauce and a generous helping of sour cream. Definitely one of my favorite weekend treats!

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Chilli sin carne

I like to use as many different types of tomato as possible to give a nice depth of flavour. Tomato ketchup is my dirty secret ingredient – perfect for adding a hit of sweetness.

Ingredients:

1 x tsp oil

1 x medium onion (chopped)

1 x pepper

4 x average sized fresh tomatoes

2 x tsp minced garlic

2 x tsp chopped red chilli (the strength is up to you!
I opted for a medium spice)

2 x tsp tomato puree

2 x tsp smoked paprika

1 x tsp dried mixed herbs (unless you have some nice fresh coriander/cilantro to hand)

1 x tsp sugar

1 x tin black turtle beans – drained (you can also use red kidney, but I’m not a big fan)

4 x mushrooms (quartered)

1 x tin chopped tomatoes

1 x cup grated veggies* (optional)

2 x cups frozen soya mince

2 x tbsp tomato ketchup

1 x tsp soy sauce

Juice of one lime

Black pepper to taste

*I always have a bowl of grated veggies in my fridge, usually consisting of any combination of carrot, white cabbage, red cabbage, celeriac, suede etc. This comes in so incredibly useful for bulking up meals – it can be a side, part of a salad, sandwich filler, a base for soup or can easily be turned into coleslaw by adding some vegan mayo.

Method:

Heat up the oil in a large frying pan and add the onion. Fry until translucent and soft.

Add the pepper and continue cooking until soft.

Add the garlic, chilli and fresh tomatoes and cook until heated through. Keep stirring to prevent the garlic and chilli from burning.

Add the tomato puree, dried herbs, smoked paprika and sugar and continue to cook and stir until the sugar has dissolved.

Add the black beans, mushrooms and grated veggies and cook for around 2 minutes before adding the tin of chopped tomatoes.

Cook until simmering.

Add the soy sauce, ketchup and soya mince and keep cooking until the mince has completely defrosted and heated through. Add water if the chilli seems too dry.

Take off the heat and stir in the lime juice and black pepper if using.

Tip: As with most tomato based dishes, this chilli is best if left to cool for a few hours (or better still, overnight) so that the flavours have chance to develop. You will need to reheat however before adding to the nachos.

Eazy Cheeze sauce

I’ve seen a few cheeze sauces knocking around the internet which use carrot and potato as a base. This is my version but I quick
Google search will bring up many more!

Ingredients:

1 x large carrot (peeled)

2 x small potatoes (peeled)

½ x cup nutritional yeast

½ x cup olive oil (don’t use virgin!)

½ x teaspoon mustard (or horseradish or wasabi)

½ x tsp black pepper

½ x cup soya milk

¼ x tsp garlic powder

½ x tbsp fresh lemon juice

¼ x tsp white miso paste

Method:

Pop the carrot and potatoes into a pan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil and continue to heat until the soft enough to
mash.

Add the carrot, potatoes and all other ingredients to a food processor and whiz until smooth and uniform in colour. You may need to stop and scrape down the sides.

Transfer to a pan and heat until the sauce bubbles. Stir the whole time using a silicone spatula. Taste great cold or warm!

Construction

Ingredients:

Chilli sin carne, eazy cheeze sauce, tortilla chips, vegan sour cream and a melt-able vegan “cheese”.

Method:

1. Arrange a layer of nacho chips onto a plate and pop under the grill just long enough for the edges to just start turning a pale golden brown. Don’t overdo or else they’ll burn during step 5.

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2. Dollop a healthy serving of hot chilli onto the top of the nachos. I like to leave an outer ring of un-topped nachos for presentation purposes. Plus it makes the chips easier to pick up and dip.

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3. Add spoonful’s of the eazy cheeze sauce onto the top of the chilli.

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4. Add a nice melt-able vegan “cheese” of your choice onto the top.

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5. Pop under the grill until the vegan cheese has melted, the cheese sauce has gone bubbly and the edges of the nachos have started to go brown.

6. Add blobs of vegan sour cream (I used Toffuti). If I’d have had some spare jalapeños to hand, I’d have added some of those as well. Same goes for avocado… live and learn!

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7. Enjoy with a nice cold beer! I would very much like to recommend Innis and Gunn: http://www.innisandgunn.com – which is my all time favourite beer, even before I turned veg*n!

This recipe will comfortably create either 4 portions of nachos as an appetizer, or 2 healthy portions as a main meal. And if you
have any leftovers, you can stick them on a pizza base and have an ultimate nacho pizza – hell yes!!!

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Flash-Gordonette…x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Jalebi

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Through my Facebook account (did I mention I have Facebook??? Add me!: www.facebook.com/flash.gordonette.5)

I got talking to an adorable chappy from New Delhi. He recommended that I try this recipe for jalebi: http://indianfood.about.com/od/specialoccassionrecipes/r/jalebi.htm

I’d never ever heard of jalebi before, but I’m always up for a new challenge!

The original recipe wasn’t quite vegan due to the use of yoghurt, so I just substituted with the plain soya alternative. I also think the quantities used in recipe might be a bit wrong… the ratio of yoghurt to flour wasn’t nearly high enough to create a pourable batter so I tweaked by adding some almond milk. Also, I don’t think that the recipe uses enough liquid to dissolve all the sugar in the syrup so I added more.  That said, my jalebi looks absolutely nothing like the picture so maybe I’m not as big a smart-arse as I like to think!

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The finished product was still very yummy though…

I made enough batter to fill a 1Kg empty bottle of ketchup, but since I only used ¼ of the batter to create 4 servings, I have quartered the quantities for the below recipe:

Vegan jalebi recipe:

Batter

Ingredients:

½  x cup self-raising
flour

1/8  x tsp baking
powder

¼ x cup plain soya yoghurt

½ x cup almond milk (or any other dairy alternative).

1 x teaspoon orange food colour

 

Method:

Mix all ingredients together and whisk into a smooth batter. Pour into an empty sauce bottle (a funnel makes this job a lot easier). Leave to “ferment”. The original recipe recommends 24 hours but I just plonked mine on the radiator for a couple of hours. Maybe this is why my jalebi didn’t turn out looking quite right!

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Do NOT shake the bottle too vigorously whilst sat next to your husband, it may end in a messy disaster! 

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Syrup

Ingredients:

3 x tbsp rose water

2 x tbsp. water

1 x cup sugar

Few strands saffron

¼ x tsp cardamom powder

 

Method:

Put the sugar, water and rose water into a pan and heat whilst stirring. Once the sugar has dissolved, continue to heat and stir until the liquid is boiling and has reduced down to a syrupy consistency. The original recipe recommends sticking your finger in it to test when its ready, but I have experienced enough hot sugar burns in my lifetime to say that I really don’t recommend this!!!

Remove from the heat and stir in the cardamom and the saffron.

Jalebi:

Method:

The original recipe says to heat up oil in a wok in order to cook the batter. I just used a deep fat fryer because it was handy.

Heat the oil and test if it is hot enough by adding a small amount of the batter. It should bubble and rise to the surface of the oil almost immediately.

Drizzle the rest of the batter into the oil using an erratic, wiggly pattern. When floating and golden brown, scoop out of the oil and place on some kitchen roll. Depending on the size of your fryer / wok, you may need to cook the batter in several batches.

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(it was supposed to look like spaghetti, whoops!)

Add the cooked batter to the syrup, gently mix and leave for a couple of minutes so that some of the syrup is absorbed. Serve and enjoy! The portions may not look too big, but don’t be fooled – the jalebi is delicious but pretty sickly!

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Even Harvey enjoyed a little nibble! Hope you do too J

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 Flash-Gordonette…x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Vegan dim sum

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Feeling pretty tired as I write this. I was up late Monday night having snowboard lessons, up late last night having mega yummy vegan pizza with a bunch of fab girlfriends, and tonight we had a
late tea because I decided I simply HAD to have homemade dim sum.
 
If you’re not too bothered about authenticity, you can pretty much put anything in your dim sum. Tofu, veggies, seitan, beans… in fact I used all of these ingredients as I had a lot of stuff to use up.
 
I made three different types of dim sum as I couldn’t decide which type I wanted most. Deep fried, pot stickers or steamed? But this was fine as it allowed me to get creative and make up three different fillings.
 
I ended up going for deep fried rolls filled with seasoned veggies; peanut, spinach and tofu pot stickers; and seitan and black bean dumplings. If I had to pick an absolute favourite it would probably
be the veggie rolls, but I suspect that was something to do with the deep frying. They were lovely and crispy but the fat content means they are best enjoyed sparingly. My favourite filling was probably the peanut, spinach and tofu mixture. It was flavoursome and reminiscent of satay, which is always a hit in our house. I’m glad I decided to steam the seitan and black bean dim sum as the finished product reminded me of pork dumplings, which were always a firm favourite of mine before I gave up eating meat.
 
To be honest, you could mix and match any of the following fillings with any of the different cooking methods. It’s fun to experiment!
 
Dough

I used this recipe:

http://www.chow.com/recipes/28052-basic-dumpling-dough

I did run out of white flour and had to replace the last ½ cup with wholemeal. I think I got away with it although it did give darker dough.

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When ready to use, roll out the dough as thinly as possible (when you think you’ve got it thin enough, roll it some more! The thinner the better!) and then I used a pizza roller to cut out ~3”x3” squares. This amount of dough made around 20 dim sum.

Deep-fried, crispy veg rolls.7

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Ingredients:

¼ x cup chopped kale

¼  x cup grated carrot

¼ x cup shredded white cabbage

1 x tsp mirin

1 x tsp cornflour

1 x tsp Chinese five spice

1 x tsp sesame seeds

½ x tsp minced ginger

1 x tsp chopped coriander leaves

1 x tsp fresh lemon juice

Method:

Mix all of the above together in a bowl.

Take a heaped teaspoon of the filling and arrange along the edge of one of the dough squares.

Roll the dough up and tuck in the ends. (Mine were far from perfect looking but since it was only me and the hubby eating them, I wasn’t too bothered.)

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Drop into a deep fat fryer at 180oC for around 12 minutes, until golden brown. They should float when ready.

Drain and serve.

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Peanut, spinach and tofu

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Ingredients:

1/3 x cup peanuts

¼ x cup wilted spinach (try and squeeze out as much
liquid as possible)

1 x tsp minced garlic

¼ x tsp minced red chilli

Method:

Whizz up all of the above in a food processor until you get a coarse paste.

Using a teaspoonful of mixture per square of dough, make some parcels (Google “how to fold dim sum” if you’re struggling, there are many different methods).

Heat up a tablespoon of oil in a heavy non-stick pan and add the dumplings. Cover for a couple of minutes, then carefully add ½ a cup of water to the pan and re-cover.

Cook until the water has evaporated off (about 8 mins).

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This method creates a dumpling which is steamed and chewy on top, but crispy and delicious on the bottom. Serve crispy side up to prevent from going soggy.

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Seitan and black bean dumplings

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Ingredients:

? x cup chopped seitan (I used a some seitan that I had left over from making my BBQ ribs. I promised I would report back on how well it freezes… and I’m happy to announce that it freezes very well!)

1 x small chopped onion (fried)

? x cup black beans (I used tinned)

1 x tsp minced red chilli

¼ x tsp dried chilli flakes

1 x tsp dried sage (not very authentic but I find sage helps to give a “meaty” flavour)

½ x tsp smoked paprika

¼ x tsp minced garlic

¼ x minced ginger

Method:

Whizz everything together in a blender until a paste is formed.

Place a teaspoon of mixture onto the centre of each square of dough. Fold up the corners and mould into a little dumpling shape.

Put the dumplings into a steamer and cook gently for 18 – 20 minutes until the skins are translucent.

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Serve.

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I served the dim sum with a side of kale noodles and the following dips:

Sweet and sour: http://chinesefood.about.com/od/sauces/r/sweetandsour.htm

Tangy soy: http://www.chow.com/recipes/28053-tangy-soy-dipping-sauce
(Although I swapped chilli oil for minced chilli and added some thinly sliced raw onion)

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My husband must be kicking himself for promising to wash up, I think I must have used every pan and utensil in the house ;) haha!
But I can’t feel too guilty, my comfy bed awaits…

 Flash-Gordonette…x

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Vegan sweet-fest!

I’ve been craving sweet stuff lately, probably because of the amount of “untouchable” goodies that have been available at work. So I decided to treat myself…

Cake stand birdseye

This delightful smorgasbord of delicious vegan goodies includes two of my own inventions: “Peanutty, nut and seed cakes” and “Choco-coco locos”; and some mini “No Bake Cheesecake cups”courtesy of the One Ingredient Chef.

I’m also beginning to finally recover from the labyrinthitis that has been making life difficult since my trip to Amsterdam last November (http://flash-gordonette.com/2013/12/07/21-vegan-las-amsterdam.aspx) so I fully intend on scoffing a few of these tasty treats whilst enjoying one of my all-time favourite beers: http://www.innisandgunn.com (I nearly cried with joy when I discovered that Innis and Gunn was vegan friendly!).

No Bake Cheesecake Cups:

Cheese cake side

No point re-inventing the wheel here, please visit the below site to see the recipe for these gorgeous little cups of heavenly yumminess: http://www.oneingredientchef.com/no-bake-cheesecake-cups/

Cheese cake nommed

Whoops, mingy photo of a half “nommed” one!

They are creamy and flavorsome, with a slight lemony tang and a divine sticky, nutty base. The creator advises that they should be kept in the freezer and thawed out 8 – 10 minutes before serving, but mine turned out solid enough to be kept in the fridge, no problem (although I did pop a few into the freezer, ready for an “emergency”!).

Choco-coco locos!

Coco-choco loco

I’m not sure what you would class these as! They’re not quite chewy enough to be toffees, but too dense and tacky to be fudge, definitely too solid to be truffles, but utterly delightful nevertheless. Rich, chocolaty, coconutty and very satisfying. You would never guess that these were vegan.

Unfortunately I never expected these to come out so good so I never bothered writing down the ingredients (story of my life!). I have tried to salvage what I can from my memory, but I would advise not making these unless you’re experienced enough to do your own trouble shooting. They’re quite a lot of effort if you’re not able to divert a disaster!

Ingredients:

Center:

  • 3 x tsp vegan cocoa powder
  • 3 x tbsp golden caster sugar
  • 2 x tbsp icing sugar
  • 1 x tbsp agave syrup
  • 2 x tsp instant coffee granules
  • 1 x tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 x tsp ground ginger
  • 2 x tbsp water
  • 4 x tsp agar agar

 

Chocolate coating:

  • ¼ x cup of coconut cream (the hard stuff in a block)
  • 2/x cup of cocoa powder
  • 2 x tbsp water
  • 3 x tbsp. agave syrup
  • Desiccated coconut

 

Method:

(Makes about 12)

Center:

Mix everything except for the agar agar in a pan over a low heat. Heat until boiling and continue stirring to make sure it doesn’t catch. Keep boiling and stirring until the mixture has reduced down by a quarter.

Take off the heat and sprinkle the agar agar over the top and stir until thoroughly mixed.

Now here is the part where some imagination maybe necessary. I poured my mixture into plastic ice cube trays, which was stupid as they took me a good 15 minutes to remove! I would recommend either using a silicon ice cube tray, or setting as a block then cutting off chunks before completely cooled.
(Warning, this mixture really does get incredibly hot. The blister on my lip and finger will vouch for me!)

Anyway, whatever you do to get small ½“ x ½” chunks, you next need to cover them in chocolate.

 

Chocolate coating:

Whizz up all the ingredients except for the water in a blender. An oily powder should form.

Put in a heatproof bowl and mix in the water. Put the bowl on a pan of water and turn on a low heat. Stir the mixture until it turns to a shiny, viscous liquid. You can add more water if needed, but the more you add, the less the coating will set.

Dip each centre into the coating and pop onto a cold plate. When cool enough to handle, roll each one in your hands so that the coating smoothly engulfs the center whilst creating a cylindrical sweet.

Roll each sweet into some desiccated coconut to finish.

 

Coco-choco loco nommed

Argh, another mingy photo!

 Pop into the fridge to set. You’ll have to eat them quick at room temperature if you don’t want a chocolaty mess on your hands (although I doubt they’ll last that long!).

 

Peanutty, nut and seed cakes:

Peanutty nut and seed cakes top

A perfect way to get some healthy oils into your system (if you needed an excuse!) Crunchy, sticky goodness, a bit like a soft sesame and peanut brittle.

Ingredients:

  • ¼ x cup cashews
  • ¼ x cup almonds
  • ½ x cup pitted dates
  • 2 x tbsp mixed seeds (I used sunflower, pumpkin, flax and sesame)
  • 1 x tbsp agave syrup
  • Pinch of salt
  • Enough peanuts to top each cake.

Method:

(Makes about 6)

In a food processor, whizz up the cashews, almonds, dates, seeds and agave.

Once sticky enough to form a kind of a dough, take a spoonful and press into a cupcake case. Cover with peanuts and press into the dough.

Take each cake out of the paper and turn upside down and press again to make sure the peanuts are really stuck in there.

Refrigerate and keep refrigerated unless being consumed!

Peanutty nut and seed cakes top

Bang goes my diet :p But at least unlike dairy and eggy treats, I don’t have to worry about my cholesterol intake!

Flash-Gordonette…x

 

 

 

 

 

 

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“Rosy Apple” green smoothie.

Remember those rosy apple sweets you used to have as a kid? They were half green, half red, boiled sweets, coated in tangy sugary stuff. Well, I accidentally invented a smoothie that really reminded me of the taste. And it would be rude not to share!

 “Rosy Apple” green smoothie
recipe:

 Ingredients:

1 x carrot

1 x apple (I used a red one but it probably doesn’t matter too much).

4 x Brussels sprouts

Small handful of curly kale

1/8of an avocado

Freshly squeezed juice of one lemon

“Enough” soda water

Couple of ice cubes.

 

Method:

Chop the carrot, peel and slice the apple, core the sprouts (you can always save the middles for a stew or something) and prepare the avocado. Add a handful at a time to a blender along with the ice cubes and a cup of soda water and whiz up until smooth. If the mixture is too thick, add more soda water.

Roughly chop up the kale, removing any tough stalks and add to the blender. Leave whizzing until you no longer see dark green leafy bits floating around. The smoothie should be smooth and a consistent light green colour. Add the lemon juice and more soda water if required.

Finally, pour and enjoy! I really do think that green smoothie novices will be amazed at how much this drink doesn’t taste like mushed up veggies!

And it’s a great way to use up those left over festive sprouts….

Top tip: If you’re always in a rush in a morning, you can prepare the carrot, apple, avocado and sprouts the night before. Just place in a bowl and squeeze the lemon juice all over them, before wrapping with a bit of clingfilm. The lemon juice will stop the apple and avocado from turning brown.

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Happy New Year

Not posted in a while… still not got over my vertigo and now I have a cold so not felt like doing much cooking or crocheting.

I hope everyone has had a great Christmas and are looking forward to welcoming in the New Year.

2014 has been mostly good for me, I married the man I love, celebrated my year anniversary of being veg*n and I landed myself a new job.

I said hello to new friends:

 Harvey

Tony

Bailey

(Harvey Wallbanger, Bailey Boo and Tony Balloni)

But also had to say goodbye to some old ones:

 Denny

Larry

Mikey

(Denny Doofus, Larry Love and Mikey-moo).

Despite not being the biggest Christmas fan out there, I spent a lovely few days with my family. My best present was watching my Dad being able to open his presents like a pro, despite having had a
stroke only 8 weeks earlier. So proud of him!

Even the rats tried make Christmas more special by helping the hubby to pick me something nice!:

Picking pressies

“hmm, I dunno Terry, it might be real leather?”

I also discovered that Redwood “gammon” is amazing when given a clove, brown sugar and mustard glaze before roasting – and even better if your mum cooks it for you!

http://www.veggiestuff.com/acatalog/redwood-gammon-style-roast.html

Moreover, Redwoods “Celebration Roast” means that I didn’t miss out on Christmas day either ♥

http://www.goodnessdirect.co.uk/cgi-local/frameset/detail/412619_Vbites_Celebration_Roast_445g.html 

My New Year’s resolution is to eat at least EIGHT portions of fruit and veg a day (sprouts included!):
 Rat sprouts

So from me and the rats, Happy New Year and best wishes for 2014!

 

Flash-Gordonette…x

 

 

 

 

 

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Vegan Scampi

PS Close up

I was on the Veggieboards forum (again!) when someone mentioned “shrimp” made using yam protein. Being British, I translated this to mean prawns made from sweet potato and became intrigued.

A quick Google found me the below webpage. Credit where credits due, this recipe formed the foundation of my latest creation:

http://low-cholesterol.food.com/recipe/vegan-vegetarian-shrimp-448418

The resulting scampi doesn’t taste exactly like scampi. The texture isn’t perfect either, but it is the closest thing I have had to a prawn since giving up meat. They were also extremely addictive and even the OH said they were “really good” – a massive compliment coming from him!

Soft in the inside, crispy on the outside, and super delicious served with tartar sauce. Here goes my vegan scampi recipe….

PS plated

Vegan scampi recipe:

Makes 2 – 4 portions depending on
size and sides.

Ingredients:

Prawns:

1/2 x cup pureed sweet
potato*

1 x cup wheat gluten

1 x tsp garlic powder

1 x tsp paprika

1 x Tbsp vegetable oil

1 x cider vinegar

Juice ½ lemon

*Sweet potato puree recipe:

1 x medium sized sweet potato

1 x stock cube

Water

Broth:

1 1/3 x L
water

1 ½ Tbsp salt

1 ½ Tbsp kelp powder

Breadcrumbs:

2 x slices brown bread

½ teaspoon kelp powder

½ teaspoon garlic powder

1 x teaspoon salt

Black pepper to taste.

½ x cup faux milk.

Juice ½ lemon.

Methods: 

Pureed sweet potato

Peel the potato and chop into chunks. Place in a pan and add enough cold water to cover.

Crumble a stock cube over the top and bring to the boil. Boil until the potatoes are tender then whizz to a puree using a food processor.

Allow to cool before using.

Prawns:

Mix the wheat gluten flour, garlic powder and paprika
together.

In another bowl, combine and whisk the sweet potato puree, oil, vinegar and lemon juice.

Mix the dry ingredients into the wet using a spoon. When combined, add to a mixer and using the kneading tool, knead until you have a smooth dough (can be done by hand if preferred). Pop in the fridge for an hour or so.

Roll the dough out flat then gently roll up. Using a large, sharp knife, cut into thin slithers (NB: dough will increase in size when cooked).

PS Roll

PS Raw

Broth:

Into a decent sized saucepan, add the salt and kelp powder, and then stir in the water.

Before turning on the heat, add the strips of prawn. Then heat until the broth comes to the boil, then immediately reduce the heat to a simmer.

Simmer for 30 minutes (prawns should float to top). Remember that thicker slices will take longer.

The broth will smell DISGUSTING whilst heating up. Seriously, I was heaving. The closest smell I can think of is Cleethorpes pier! But don’t let this put you off, I promise that the resulting prawns are delicious!!!

Drain the prawns and allow to cool. I then left mine uncovered in the fridge overnight to allow them to dry out slightly.

Breadcrumbs: 

Whizz up the bread in a food processor. Add the salt, kelp powder and pepper before whizzing a bit more until you have fine breadcrumbs. Pour into a bowl.

In a separate bowl, mix the milk and lemon juice. Then, dip each prawn into the milk, them bury into the breadcrumbs before placing onto a well-oiled tray.

Bake at 180oC for about 20 mins, or until browned and crispy.

Enjoy with oven chips and homemade vegan tartar sauce (I add chopped gerkins and capers to vegan mayo with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice – simples!)

PS Dipped 

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Smokey creamy, vegan chilli cheese

My 20th post!

I’ve been wanting to make vegan cheese from scratch for ages, but never got round to ordering some agar agar powder.

Cheese board ps

My recipe was inspired by a lot of current recipes which I found on the internet, but my biggest influence was this
one:
http://www.vegangela.com/2011/10/15/homemade-vegan-cheese/

This recipe mentioned that the resulting cheese wasn’t creamy, so I added vegan cream to mine to solve this. The author also mentioned that if made plain, this cheese wasn’t too tasty, so I made sure to pack mine with delicious smoky flavours.

My cheese came out a little softer than expected (texture-wise think of a stiffer Vegusto No-moo melty –http://vegusto.co.uk/no-moo-cheese/6-no-moo-melty-7640144054052.html), but this was O.K. as it meant that I was able to spread it onto my toast or an oat-cake (perhaps more agar powder and less vegan cream / oil would produce a harder cheese?).

You will need a suitable mould to set the cheese in. My other half has a big glass bowl which is separated into quarters in order to put party nibbles in it. These compartments just so happened to be perfect for setting cheese in! A couple of ramekins would also work well.

Bowl PS

Vegan Cheese Recipe:

Makes 2 “cheeses”.

Ingredients:

½ x cup nutritional yeast

1 x cup raw cashews

1 x tsp asafoetida

1 x tsp salt

1 x tsp garlic powder

1 ½  x tsp smoked paprika

½ x tsp chilli flakes

1 ¾ x cups soya milk

10 x tsp agar powder

¼ cup vegetable oil

1 x tbsp tahini

1 x tbsp fresh lemon juice

½ x tbsp cider vinegar

1 x tbsp soya cream

 

Method:

Whiz up the cashews in a food processor until you get a fine powder.

Add the asafoetida, salt, garlic powder, paprika and chilli flakes, whiz some more.

Add the soya milk to a pan, whisk in the agar and bring to a simmer. When the agar has dissolved, pour into the food processor (whilst whizzing) a tablespoon at a time. Don’t allow the agar-milk to cool or else it will set.

Add the oil, lemon juice, vinegar and cream and whiz until smooth.

Quickly pour into a greased mould, cover and refrigerate overnight. You will probably need to run a knife around the edges in order to remove the cheese from the mould.

On toast ps

Perfect for cheese on toast, on crackers, or melted into soya milk to make a scrummy “cheese sauce”.

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Not so green, green smoothie

I fancied having a go at something that was “raw vegan” and various websites and forums were telling me that a “green smoothie” was the easiest place to start.

I was a bit skeptical about drinking green veg in smoothie form, but I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised with the dubious looking cocktail I managed to whiz up.

I used frozen mixed berries (blackberries, strawberries, red currants and black currants) in mine, which meant that the resulting breakfast beverage came out more of a browny – pink colour rather than green. Although to be honest I thought that this pale brown sludge looked more appealing than the ones which bear a resemblance to Kermit the frog in a blender.

A hint of cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla helped to make the smoothie rather tasty, without adding any extra sugar. I would describe this power-shake as being rich, thick and satisfying…and somehow almost chocolatey! (In fact, half a teaspoon of cocoa powder might make a welcome addition to the recipe?).

blender PS

 

So without further ado, my vegan not-so-green, green smoothie…

Green smoothie recipe:

(Makes just under a pint)

Ingredients:

2 x cups of leafy greens (I used baby spinach, pak choi and baby kale)

1 x cup of frozen berries (frozen is important, they give the smoothie its thick texture)

1 ½ cups of dairy free milk (I used soy, wish I’d used almond or hazelnut, yum!)

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

1 teaspoon almond nut butter (optional)

Water to thin if necessary.

 

Method:

I find that adding the leafy greens into a blender first works best, as it stops the spices and the nut butter from sticking to the blades.

Next, add the berries, then the milk, then the spices, vanilla essence and nut butter.

Whiz!

Every time I make this recipe, the consistency is slightly different. (Must depend on how many of the little red and black currants are occupying the cup?). Sometimes it blends up like a dream, sometimes you have to give the blender a quick shimmy and a splash of water to thin it down enough to blend properly.

It’s also worth remembering that the smoothie becomes less thick as it warms up. So if like me you whiz it up then take to work, it might be worth making it that little bit thicker to begin with.

But any way, here you have it! In my little travel mug to keep it cool and safe:

 In mugPS

It takes longer to drink than it does to eat a piece of toast or bowl of porridge, and it’s so thick that I found I felt fuller for longer, so no rumbly tummy until lunchtime. Bonus!

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