Saturday, 31 January 2015

Vegan Halloumi

WHAAAAAAA?? Yes you read correctly. I found this wonderful recipe online from Cooking With Plants. I love how the first instruction is store the tofu in the freezer - I've been doing that for years too because it creates spongy tofu! It didn't exactly taste like halloumi but with a spritz of lemon it would be a great substitute in any halloumi recipe. Pretty delicious with sweet chili sauce or chili jam!


Vegan Halloumi

Ingredients

250 g Organic Tofu (medium or firm)
1 tsp Onion Powder
1 tsp Paprika Powder
1/2 tsp Tumeric
1 tsp Sea Salt (Celtic or Himalayan) ground
1/2 cup Nutritional Yeast
1/4 cup Boiling Water from boiled kettle
1 tbs Grapeseed Oil for frying


Method

Place tofu into freezer overnight.
Remove tofu from freezer and let thaw in fridge.
Press liquid from tofu.
Pat the tofu dry and slice into 1/4 inch (1/2cm) slices.
Prepare your marinade by combining remaining ingredients (except oil) in a bowl until well combined and smooth.
Baste tofu slices on both sides and if you have time, let marinade for at least a couple of hours or over night.
Heat non-stick pan on high/medium-high (or BBQ) and add a little bit of oil.
Add halloumi slices and cook on each side until golden and crispy (about 2 minutes on each side).
Cook until all halloumi slices are browned on each side... serve and enjoy!


Friday, 30 January 2015

Fried Tofu Bites with Garlic Mayonnaise

This is based on a Nigella Lawson recipe for squid. It's a great one for guests just popping around for a drink or just for a light supper.


Fried Tofu Bites with Garlic Mayonnaise

Ingredients 

For Tofu;
250 ml canola oil
500 grams firm tofu, pressed and cubed
2 tablespoons cornflour
4 tablespoons polenta/corn grits/corn meal (use semolina if not gluten free)
2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning (or use 1 teaspoon salt & 1 teaspoon Paprika)

For the garlic mayonnaise;
1 clove garlic, minced
100 grams vegan mayonnaise (preferably organic)
squeeze of lemon juice
1/4 tsp garlic powder (optional)

Method

Heat the oil in a smallish saucepan.
Put the cornflour, polenta and seasoning into a plastic freezer bag.
Add the tofu and then toss to coat.
When the oil is hot enough, fry the tofu in batches to get the most golden crunchiness.
A couple of minutes per batch is all you should need.
Grate or crush the garlic into the mayonnaise, add lemon juice, stir to mix, and then serve alongside the fried tofu.

Quick Ragu

It's no secret I LOVE Nigella Lawson and if she ever goes vegan I'll be dancing a self choreographed happy dance in the street but until then I have to find a way to veganize her wonderful recipes.
I've just been watching her "Express" series again, cause I love watching her work and every recipe is under 30 minutes...hurrah! Ragu is an Italian meat based pasta sauce. This one based on "Rapid Ragu" is a bit like having vegan ground beef in a fancy sauce with melted cheese on top - basically comfort food you will NOT want to share. (Sidebar-Am I the only one who hates sharing food?)


Quick Ragu

Ingredients

2 tablespoons garlic infused olive oil
125 grams faux bacon bits
500 grams faux ground beef
75 grams caramelized onions (you can buy these in a jar or make them yourself)
80 ml Marsala wine or Sherry
1 x 400 grams can chopped tomatoes
75 grams green lentils
125 ml water
50 grams grated vegan Cheddar cheese


Method

Heat the oil in a wide, medium-sized saucepan, and fry the faux bacon until beginning to crisp.
Add the faux beef, breaking it up with a fork in the bacony pan as it browns.
Tip in the caramelized onions, Marsala, tomatoes, lentils and water and bring the pan to the boil.
Cover with the lid, if using, and simmer the ragu for 20 minutes stirring occasionally.
Sprinkle with the cheese (if using) before serving.


Vegan Fry Sauce

I hadn't heard of fry sauce before I came to the States but if you haven't tried it before then you definitely should try it, it's almost like spicy thousand island/cocktail sauce. Obviously great with homemade fries and wedges but also great with crumed and battered tofu or faux seafood.


Vegan Fry Sauce

Ingredients

3 Tbls vegan mayonnaise
2 Tbls ketchup
2 drops liquid smoke
Few drops of Tobasco or hot sauce
1/4 tsp garlic powder (optional)
1/4 tsp onion powder (optional)


Method

Whisk all ingredients until mixed well.

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Donut French Toast

Another fabulous recipe from Nigella Lawson - great for those mornings when just a little bit of sugar just won't cut it!


Donut French Toast

Ingredients 
Serves 2

2 egg replacers
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
60 ml coconut milk or vegan creamer
4 slices bread, each vegan butter
1 drop vegetable oil for frying


Method

Beat the egg replacers with the milk and vanilla in a wide, shallow bowl.
Soak the bread halves in the eggy mixture for 5 minutes a side.
Heat the butter and oil in a frying pan, and fry the egg-soaked bread until golden and scorched in parts on both sides.
Put the sugar on a plate and then dip the cooked bread in it until coated like a sugared doughnut.

For the strawberry syrup;
1 cup fresh/frozen strawberries
1/4 cup icing/powdered sugar
1 Tbls lemon juice
a little water if needed

Add all ingredients to a blender and blitz till smooth.


Monday, 26 January 2015

Quick Pho

This recipe was taken from Oh My Veggies. Recipe for homemade Hoisin sauce here.


Quick Pho

Ingredients

64 ounces homemade or low-sodium vegetable broth
6 green onions, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and grated
Salt to taste
1 1/2 tablespoon vegan butter
6 ounces shiitake mushrooms, tough stems removed
1 1/2 tablespoon hoisin sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
14 ounces rice noodles, cooked according to package instructions
8 ounces bean sprouts
Fresh cilantro, basil, lime wedges, hoisin sauce, and chili garlic sauce or sriracha for serving


Method

In a large pot, combine the vegetable broth, green onion, grated ginger, and salt. Be cautious of how much stock you add because it will become too salty.
Bring to a full boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
While the broth is cooking, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
Add the mushrooms and sauté for about 6 minutes, or until tender, stirring frequently.
Stir in the hoisin and sesame oil and cook until the sauce thickens and coats the mushrooms, about 1 minute more. Remove from heat.
Divide the rice noodles between four to six large bowls, then fill each bowl with the ginger broth.
Add bean sprouts, shiitake mushrooms, fresh basil, and cilantro and serve with lime wedges, hoisin, and chili garlic sauce.

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Blueberry Pancakes with Blueberry Syrup

This syrup is based on a Nigella Lawson recipe.
If you think this is blueberry overkill you can just use regular pancakes with the syrup. It's so delicious! What I love about the blueberries in the pancake mix is that they stay tart while the ones in the syrup are cooked and sweet. I usually just use one punnet of blueberries and split it up into 1/2 for the syrup and 1/2 for the pancakes. This recipe is so simple but so delicious!


Blueberry Pancakes with Blueberry Syrup
Yeilds 4 serves

Ingredients

Pancakes;
Instant Pancake Mix (1 cup will feed 4 people)
1/2 cup Blueberries

Syrup;
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 cup maple syrup


Method

Place syrup ingredients into a small pot and cook on medium-high until boiling, then turn down to medium. If it starts to boil to high up just turn down the heat.
Let simmer till all the blueberries have burst and the syrup is a deep purple (around 10 mins)
While syrup is simmering make the pancakes according to the Instant Pancake Mix instructions and drop blueberries on while cooking first side.


Once pancakes are done take syrup off the heat and allow to cool for a minute before transferring into a jug to serve.


Saturday, 24 January 2015

Faux Meat Loaf

This is based on The Fat Free Vegan's "Thanksgiving Meatless Loaf" recipe. Definitely loved this one even though the pics don't really do it much justice! Delicious with ketchup, Golden Gravy or Mushroom Gravy!


Faux Meat Loaf

Ingredients

1 medium sweet potato
1 medium onion
2 ribs celery
1 medium carrot
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 15-ounce can cannellini beans or white beans, drained and rinsed
14 ounces extra-firm tofu 
2 tablespoons gluten-free soy sauce
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon whole-grain prepared mustard
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 tablespoon rubbed sage
1 tablespoon thyme leaf
1/2 tablespoon dried rosemary, crushed
1 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
3/4 cup gluten free oats, ground


Method

Wash a medium sweet potato (about 7 ounces), pierce it several times with a fork, wrap it in a paper towel, and microwave until done, 4-5 minutes.  
Allow to cool enough to handle and then peel and set aside.
Mince the onion, celery, and carrot. Food processor is the fastest way.
Heat a large, non-stick skillet. 
Add the minced vegetables, including garlic, and cook, stirring regularly, until they become tender, about 6-10 minutes. 
Add water by the teaspoon if necessary to keep the vegetables from sticking or becoming dry. 
Once they’re softened, add the drained beans and mash them lightly with a slotted spoon or spatula.
Place the peeled sweet potato into the food processor along with the tofu, soy sauce, and all seasonings, including nutritional yeast. 
Process until fairly smooth. 
Add the walnuts and pulse a few more times. 
Scrape the tofu mixture into a large mixing bowl and add the oats and the cooked vegetables. Stir well.

                                        


Preheat oven to 375F. 
Line the baking sheet with parchment paper or spray with non-stick spray. 
Spoon the tofu mixture onto the prepared baking surface, using dampened hands to shape it into an oblong or oval loaf about 2 1/2 inches high. 


Bake for 25 minutes or until the top is evenly browned. 
Loosely cover with aluminum foil and cook for 20 more minutes. 
Check to make sure that the center is firm; if not, give it a little extra time. 
Remove from oven and allow to stand for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
 

Smoky Cheddar Dip

This is based on The Sexy Vegan's "Smoked Cheddar Sauce recipe from his amazing cookbook.


Smoky Cheddar Dip
makes around 2+ cups

Ingredients

1 cup whole raw cashews
One 12-ounce package soft silken tofu
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke
1/2 teaspoon yellow miso
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
2/3 cup water
1-2 cups shredded vegan cheddar (I used Daiya)


Method

In a small pot, cover the cashews with water, and boil for about 8 minutes to soften them up.
Drain and let cool.
In a food processor or blender, process the cashews until they’re finely ground.
Add the tofu, garlic powder, onion powder, turmeric, liquid smoke, miso, paprika, salt, mustard powder, oil, nutritional yeast, and water.
Puree till the sauce is as smooth as the following.
Add to a saucepan on a medium heat and when heated add the cheddar cheese.
Stir through until cheese is melted and serve with raw vegetables or corn chips. YUM!

Friday, 23 January 2015

Tortilla Soup

This recipe is based on a recipe from Kathy Hester's The Vegan Slow Cooker cookbook. I changed it slightly so it's more like a Chili Soup but either way it was amazing. A thumbs up from the whole family...which rarely happens.


Tortilla Soup 
Serves 6+

Ingredients

1 Tb olive oil
1 medium onions, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
28 oz. organic tomatoes (diced, crushed, or whole)
1/4 cup tomato paste
4 cups filtered water
1 tsp pepper
Salt to taste
1/2 lime, juiced
1 Tb cilantro, chopped
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
1-2 cups vegan ground beef (I used Gardein)
1/2 avocado, chopped
1/4 cup tequila (optional)


Method

Saute onions in olive oil until transparent and then add garlic for another minute.
Add everything but the avocado and tequila. I didn't add the cilantro because I have haters in my family so I left it as an optional extra on the table.
Cook on low for 6 – 8 hours. About a half hour or so before serving, stir in lime juice, tequila, and adjust. 
Serve topped with fresh cilantro, avocado, lime wedges and corn chips.


New Vegan Soaps

Just finished a batch of new vegan soaps available on my Etsy store. Licorice Clove, Ginger Lemongrass, Peppermint Tea Tree and Lemon Eucalyptus...



Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Vegan Tuna Melt


Vegan Tuna Melt
Serves 2

Ingredients

2 cans Sophie's Kitchen Toona, drained or 1 can chickpeas, drained
1/3 cup vegan mayonnaise
2 celery sticks, minced
2 Tbls red onion, minced
1 Tbls grain mustard
1 tspn parsley, finely chopped
lemon juice to taste
black pepper to taste

4 pieces of toast
1 cup vegan cheddar, shredded
Dill pickles to serve


Method

Preheat broiler/griller on a high setting.
If using chickpeas, pulse in a food processor until mushed.
Whisk mayonnaise, celery, onion, mustard, parsley, lemon juice and pepper.
Stir Toona or chickpeas through. If using chickpeas you can add a sprinkle of dulse flakes for a fishy taste.
On a baking tray place a layer of aluminum foil and place the toast, a layer of the tuna mixture and a layer of vegan cheddar.
Broil/grill until cheese is melted.
Serve with dill pickle slices.


Saturday, 10 January 2015

Tempeh Bacon

Part of a delicious weekend breakfast! Shown here with steamed baby spinach. 



Tempeh Bacon
Serves 4 (or two greedy people like me)

Ingredients
1 packet Tempeh
1 Tbls oil for frying

Marinade;
2 Tbls Braggs liquid aminos or Tamari soy sauce
1/2 tsp Liquid smoke.
1 Tbls water or coconut amino
1 Tbls BBQ sauce
1 Tbls maple syrup


Method

Steam the tempeh for 10-20 minutes.
You can skip this step if you don't mind the regular taste of tempeh but it helps to kill the bitterness.
Slice tempeh thinly and put aside.
Whisk all marinade ingredients together and place in a seal-able container or a ziplock bag.
Add tempeh to the marinade and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (best over night), turning occasionally.
Drain tempeh from marinade and pat dry with a paper towel.
Heat oil in frying pan on a medium heat.
Add tempeh and brown on each side, around 3 minutes on each side.
Once brown serve with other breakfast items.



Building a Healthy Bowl

Bowls are a great way to get the correct portions while being super healthy and delicious! The sky's the limit once you have the basic down because you can choose anything!

This bowl is brown rice, tempeh bacon, steamed broccoli and shredded carrots with a homemade teriyaki sauce and sprinkle of sesame seeds.


This bowl is broccoli, spinach, tomato, sorghum, fried tofu, cilantro and avocado with a soy, agave & sesame oil dressing...


Building a Healthy Bowl
Serves 1

Ingredients

1/3 of the bowl will be a grain (brown rice, quinoa, noodles etc)
1/2 of the bowl will be vegetables (green is best!)
Remaining section of the bowl will be protein (beans, tempeh, tofu)
Sauce or dressing of choice

Method

Cook your ingredients and assemble your bowl.
Your choice of ingredients, sauce and method of cooking will determine how healthy your bowl.

Mexican style bowl with black beans, corn, tomato, lettuce, avocado, jalepanos, cilantro and a lime dressing.


Smoked grilled tofu, blanched collard greens, red peppers, red quinoa, cilantro and a red currant jelly & soy dressing.


Baked marinated tofu, grated daikon radish, kale, brown rice and a miso dressing.



The Best Gourmet Vegan Pizza

This is a copycat recipe from our favourite pizza joint in Ogden, Utah called Lucky Slice. They not only do amazing regular pizza but also offer gluten free vegan pizza bases and two vegan topping options. My favourite is called the Tapenade. This is closest I've come to getting it right. It should have a tapenade base but I just use regular pizza sauce.



The Best Gourmet Vegan Pizza

Ingredients

1x gluten free vegan pizza base of choice
2 Tbls organic or homemade pizza sauce (or basic olive & tomato tapenade)
1 tsp Garlic powder 
6 Artichoke pieces, sliced thinly
1/4 cup Black olives, sliced
1/4 Red onion, sliced
1/2 cup Baby spinach
1/4 cup Sundried tomatoes, sliced
1/4 cup Roasted red peppers, sliced
2 Tbls Capers
1/4 cup good balsamic vinegar


Method

Preheat oven to 400F/200C. I use a pizza stone and leave it in the oven. Alternatively use a round baking tray. If you base is raw, cook it until nearly crispy first.
Spread the pizza sauce thinly on your base.
Sprinkle with garlic powder
Layer baby spinach on the bottom then add sundried tomatoes, red onion, artichokes and red peppers.
Lastly sprinkle olives and capers.
Bake for 20-30 minutes or until everything looked cooked and edges of base are brown.
While the pizza is baking you can make the balsamic reduction. I use Mountain Town Olive Oil Co. "Traditional 18 Year Aged Balsamic Vinegar" which is AMAZEBALLS!
In a small pan bring vinegar to boil and then reduce heat to low and let simmer for a couple of minutes, keep an eye on it until you think it looks right then remove from heat. Don't leave it on the heat too long because you want a syrup reduction not hard candy.


Once pizza is ready drizzle with balsamic reduction.
I'd like to tell you I don't eat the entire pizza myself but that would be a lie, it's THAT good!



Basic Miso Soup

Homamde Miso Soup is so easy and delicious! Sometimes I love it with brown rice for breakfast. Definitely is very comforting during the winter months! Once you know the basic recipe you can add mushrooms or other vegetables to change it up.


Basic Miso Soup
Serves around 4 as a side.

Ingredients

1/4-1/2 Cup Miso Paste (whichever kind of miso you prefer)
1 litre/1 quart of Dashi*

Extras:
1/2 block of cubed tofu
Shredded dried seaweed
2 green onions chopped


Method

Heat Dashi till boiling then remove from heat.
Stir in the miso paste and stir till completely dissipated.
Add in the extras and reheat if necessary but do not boil for it will alter the flavour of the miso.


*Dashi
Dashi is a Japanese stock made by place a 3" x 4" piece of Konbu seaweed in 1 litre of water.
Let it soak for 30 minutes then bring to boil for 20 minutes. Remove Konbu before using stock.
Note this used Kombu can be reused to make "Second Dashi", a weaker stock, or cut up and used in a stir fry or soup.


Vitality Juice

This green juice gives you that instance boost of vitality and a glow to your skin!


Vitality Juice
Serves 2

Ingredients

1/2 daikon radish
4 apples
2 big handfuls of collard greens
10 carrots


Method

Juice all ingredients and stir to mix.
Drink straight away to ensure maximum enzymes!

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Healthy Muesli Bars

This recipe is based on the Oh She Glows recipe found here. Muesli Bars = Granola Bars. No one in the house liked them but me, however my house is full of junk food eaters!


Healthy Muesli Bars

Ingredients

1.5 cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 medium/large bananas)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups rolled GF oats (I used Bob Red Mill)
1/2-3/4 cup dried cherries, chopped
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup pepita seeds
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup chia seeds
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt or fine grain sea salt


Method

Preheat the oven to 350F/180C.
Lightly grease a large rectangular baking dish (approx. 8.5" x 12.5") and line with a piece of parchment paper so the bars are easier to lift out.
In a large bowl, mash the banana until smooth. Stir in the vanilla.
Place the rolled oats into a food processor (or blender on the lowest speed) and pulse until the oats are coarsely chopped (but still with lots of texture).
Stir oats into the banana mixture.


Chop the walnuts and cherries and stir these and the rest of the ingredients into the banana-oat mixture until thoroughly combined.


Spoon mixture into prepared dish.
Press down until compacted and smooth out with hands until even. Use a pastry roller to smooth out if desired.


Bake for 25 minutes until firm and lightly golden along the edge.
Place dish on a cooling rack for 10 minutes then carefully slide a knife to loosen the ends and lift out. Place granola slab on a cooling rack for 10 minutes and then into the freezer for another 10 mins.
Slice into bars once they are cool.