Monday, 27 June 2011

Roasted Veg & Cous Cous Salad

This salad is exactly why I should make more of an effort with my lunches. Who needs sandwiches every day when food this tasty is so simple?! Crazyness I tell you... I used this recipe from the good good people at BBC Good Food. Serve with some houmous and toasted pitta bread and you've got a quick, easy and supremely tasty lunch that will last you for a good few days.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Coconut Heaven Cupcakes

Upon tasting these cupcakes, you will promptly divorce all other cupcakes and only eat these. You have been warned, bake them at your peril.

115g/4oz plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
50ml/2floz vegetable oil
250ml/8floz coconut milk
150g/5oz sugar
1tsp vanilla extract
75g/3oz dessicated coconut
For the frosting:
4 tbsp soya margarine
3 tbsps coconut milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
225g/8oz icing sugar, sifted
75g/3oz dessicated coconut
extra dessicated coconut to decorate

1. Preheat the oven to 180oC. Fill a muffin pan with paper cases.
2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
3. Mix the oil, coconut milk and sugar together in another bowl until well combined, then fold in the dry ingredients followed by the dessicated coconut.
4, Pour into muffin cases and bake for approx 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool on a cooling rack.
5. To make the frosting: cream the margarine until light and fluffy before adding the cocout milk and vanilla. Add the sifted icing sugar and mix until smooth, then fold in the coconut. Keep in the fridge until you're ready to use it. Wait until the cakes have cooled completely before frosting then top with the extra coconut to decorate.

*recipe from How it all Vegan by Tanya Barnard and Sarah Kramer

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Courgette & Basil Pasta Bake with Roasted Vine Tomatoes and Rocket Salad

I haven't made pasta bake in years, but I was on the hunt for a quick and easy recipe to use up the mountains of pasta in my cupboards when I came across this recipe. I made a few adjustments to veganise it and removed some of the more faffy ingredients and this is what I came up with...

500g pasta (I used wholemeal fusilli)
5 courgettes, grated
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
500g vegan cream cheese
2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tbsp soya milk
small bunch fresh basil
vine cherry tomatoes
fresh mint
pumpkin seeds

1. Cook the pasta until almost done, then drain and rinse in cold water. Drizzle over some olive oil and leave to one side.
2. Fry the grated courgette for 10 minutes, add the onion and garlic and cook for another few minutes. Drain the courgette mixture and mix into the pasta. Add the chopped fresh basil.
3. Mix the cream cheese with the lemon juice and soya milk. Mix into the pasta and season well, reserving a little of the cream cheese mix for the topping.
4. Spoon pasta into an oven proof dish and cover with the remaining cream cheese mixture. Bake at 180 degrees for about 20 minutes until the top is crispy.
5. Place the vine tomatoes in an oven proof dish, drizzle with a little olive oil and sea salt. Roast for 20 minutes in the oven along with the pasta bake.
6. Toss the rocket leaves with some olive oil, lemon juice, chopped fresh mint and black pepper. Garnish with pumkin seeds.

Serves 6, and is particularly tasty with some homemade garlic flatbread.

Monday, 9 May 2011

Simple Pancakes

I love breakfast, it's my favourite meal of the day. Despite that, it's not a meal I usually make a huge effort over, supplementing toast or cereal with a pot of fresh coffee and various bits grabbed from the cupboards and the fridge. Today we've both got the day off so I went to town a little on our brekkie and made pancakes. And quite a large mess!

225g plain flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
475ml/16floz soya milk
2 tbsps oil
halved strawberries, blueberries and banana slices to garnish
maple syrup

1. Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl.
2. Add the wet ingredients and mix gently until mixed.
3. Pour batter onto a hot non-stick pan. Pour a small amount for thicker 'american-style' pancakes or pour more and spread around the pan for thinner, larger pancakes. Flip pancake over and cook the other side until golden brown.
4. Repeat until all the batter has been used.
5. Top with maple syrup and fresh fruit.

*Recipe from How it all Vegan / Tanya Barnard & Sarah Kramer

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Pecan Maple Brownies

I've made vegan brownies a few times over the last few years, but never found a recipe I really liked. Until now that is...I left them in the oven for a tad too long so they weren't quite gooey enough, but five minutes less in the oven should sort that out for next time. They're best served with some vegan cream or ice cream.

165g plain flour
40g cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
175ml maple syrup
4tbsps apple juice or water
5 tbsps oil
2 tsps vanilla extract
50g pecans or walnuts

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Sift dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
2. Add the wet ingredients and the walnuts and mix together gentky.
3. Spoon into a lightly oiled tin and bake for 25-30 mins.

*Recipe from How it all Vegan / Tanya Barnard & Sarah Kramer

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Tofu, Mangetout, Potato & Tomato Salad

I made this using Taifun basil tofu which is just about the most delicious thing I've ever eaten. At two quid odd a packet it's not too cheap, but I only used about two-thirds for this salad which could serve four. Well, it would have done if I hadn't wolfed most of it in one sitting with some fresh bread, houmous and homemade ginger beer.

To make the salad I used boiled new potatoes, Taifun basil tofu, mangetout, orange pepper and some cherry tomatoes. Mix it all together and drizzle over the dressing (see below).

For the dressing: 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice, 4 tbsps olive oil, 1 garlic clove crushed, handful chopped fresh thyme leaves, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Mix together and season to taste.

*Recipe adapted from the May 2011 issue of Cook Vegetarian magazine.

Saturday Night Lemon Cake

I got the urge for something sweet late last night, so rustled us up this cake which we munched at about 10.30pm with cups of tea. We may or may not have eaten a slice each for breakfast this morning as well.

175g plain flour
2 tsps baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
150g sugar
175ml soy milk
2 tsps lemon extract
zest of 1 lemon
4 tbsps oil
egg replacer equal to 1 egg
55ml water

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl.
2. Add the sugar, soya milk, lemon extract, lemon zest, oil and egg replacer and mix gently. Add in the water slowly until the mixture is smooth and easy to pour.
3. Pour into a greased loaf tin and bake for 25-30 minutes until a knife inserted into the centre comes out clean.
4. Ice with a simple lemon frosting when cooled if you fancy it, which I didn't but it tasted great all the same.

*Recipe taken from How it all Vegan /Tanya Barnard & Sarah Kramer