Thursday, 3 March 2011

Cookies and Cream

I have a seriously sweet tooth at the moment....Literally minutes after finishing dinner I'm eyeing up the dessert! May be I should stop baking....or may be not!....
cookies and cream cupcakesdouble choc chip brownies w.blueberry ice 'cream'blueberry & almond crumble muffinscoconut & lime rice puds
recipes to follow soon :)

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Vegan Pizza

Most non vegans would probably turn their nose up at the idea of pizza without cheese. However I have always preferred a pizza that has a really good tomato base and topping rather than one smothered in cheese.....but of you really cannot imagine a cheese-less pizza then why not make your own cashew nut cheese by blending soaked cashews, with a small amount of water, tahini and spices of your choice. Its delish!.

Grilled vegetable pizza w. a cashew nut cheese

Pizza Base:

300 grams strong bread flour
1 tsp instant yeast
1 tsp salt
200 ml warm water
1 tblsp extra virgin olive oil

1. Place the flour, yeast and salt in a large mixing bowl.
2. Add the water and oil and stir with a wooden spoon until evenly mixed.
3. Lightly flour a surface and kneed this mixture for 5 minutes. cover with a tea towl and set aside whilst making the topping.

Tomato Sauce:

2 table spoons olive oil
5 large tomatoes (chopped)
2 shallots (finely chopped)
1 red chilli (finely chopped)
3 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
5 sundried tomatoes (chopped)
2 sprigs rosemary
2 tea spoons thyme leaves
small handfull of basil (torn)
salt and pepper

1. Place a large pan over a medium heat and add the oil. Add the shallots, chili and garlic and allow to soften.
2. Add the rosemary and thyme and cook for another minute or so before adding the tomatoes and seasoning.
3. Allow the tomato mixture to reduce for around 5-10 minutes. Stir occasionally.
4. Finally add the sun dried tomatoes and basil, transfer to a food processor and blend until smooth.

Assembly

1. Pre heat you oven to 240 degrees C.
2. On a lightly floured surface roll out your pizza dough.
3. Place the dough on a baking tray (a pizza tray is best). Spoon a generous layer of the tomato sauce onto the base and add topping of your choice. (I topped mine with grilled aubergine, peppers & courgette, basil oil and cashew nut 'cheese')
4. Place the pizza into the oven for 8-10 minutes.

Enjoy

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Summer Salads


I love bank holidays! Who doesn't!

Although I have to admit, I didn't have the most productive one...well my debit card did, as did my wardrobe...but I was finally able to cook and eat some some of my favourite foods; Indian on the Saturday evening, Sushi for lunch on Sunday and dinner on Monday, and finally a trip to my favourite cafe in London, Ottolenghi. Delicious!

I couldn't quite wait till Monday to get my Ottolenghi fix, so on Sunday evening, after a day shopping, dinner was to be an array of Ottolenghi inspired salads;

Portobello mushrooms stuffed with a basil infused pearly barley salad
Puy Lentil, red and yellow pepper, sun-dried tomato and coriander salad
Char grilled broccoli with red chilli, garlic and slivered almonds
chilli roasted butter nut squash



Summer Lentil Salad

Serves 2 as a main or 4 as a side dish

Ingredients:

2 table spoons olive oil
80 grams dried puy lentils
300 ml vegetable stock
1 small red onion (finely chopped)
1 red chilli (finely chopped)
2 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
2 sprigs or fresh thyme
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 a red pepper (2 cm diced)
1/2 a yellow pepper (2 cm diced)
small handful sun dried tomatoes (chopped)
handful of chopped coriander
salt and pepper

Method:

1. Wash and drain the lentils
2. Place a pan over a medium heat. Heat the oil in a pan. Add the onion, chilli, garlic, cumin and thyme and cook for a couple of minutes.
3. Add the peppers and cook for a further few minutes.
4. Add the lentils to the pan, along with the stock and seasoning. Leave to cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally (add more stock if looking too dry)
5. Finally mix through the sun dried tomato and coriander.

Sprinkle with a little extra coriander to serve.

Why cant we have a bank holiday every weekend??

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Dairy free chocolate mousse


A recent recipe post by Naomi Rose (The Gluttonous Vegan) sparked many memories of my favourite childhood chocolate bar, the Cadbury crunchie! As a child I remember carefully biting off it's chocolate outer and savouring the honeycomb centre. Check out Naomi's honeycomb recipe here and pair it with this delicious vegan chocolate mousse!


Vegan Chocolate Mousse

Serves two (or one if feeling greedy)

Ingredients:

170 grams silken tofu
2 1/2 tablespoons good quality cocoa powder
50 ml maple syrup
25 ml agave nectar (replace with maple syrup for sweeter taste)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method:

1. Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.
2. Place in the fridge for at least an hour before serving.

To serve, dust with a little cocoa powder and a few pieces of honeycomb for dunking!

Simple ;)

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Vegetable Red Thai Curry



I always forget how good a home made Thai curry is, and when I get round to making one I just want it again and again! It really is a quick and easy meal to make and remember you can make the Thai curry paste in bulk as it keeps in the fridge for weeks!

Vegetable Red Thai Curry

Serves 5-6

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons sunflower oil
4 tablespoons Red Curry Paste (recipe below)
2 x 400ml can coconut milk
2 kaffir lime leaves
2 tablespoons soya sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
2 small sweet potatoes (cut into bite sized chunks)
200 grams cauliflower florets
1 tin chickpeas
2 large red chillies (sliced)
handful chopped corriander
handful fresh basil (torn)

Red Curry Paste (makes 120ml)

6 red chillies
2 chopped shallots
2 garlic cloves
1 stalk lemon grass (chopped)
handful fresh coriander leaves
1 kaffir lime leaf
1/2 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sunflower oil

Method:

1. To make the paste, place all ingredients in a food processor and blend to a smooth thick paste

2. Heat the sunflower oil in a large pan.
3. Add 4 tablespoons of the red curry paste and heat over a low flame for 2 minutes
4. Add half of the coconut milk and bring to the simmer. Add the remaining milk, potatoes, cauliflower, chickpeas, lime leaf, soya sauce and sugar.
5. Cook over a medium heat for around 15-20 minutes or until all vegetable are tender.
6. Transfer the curry into serving bowls and top with the chopped coriander, basil and red chilli.

Serve with jasmine rice

Enjoy.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Asian Vegan Dinner @ Full House


So last night I attended the Asian Vegan secret supper at Full House, Shoreditch.

The evening lived up to all expectations. The food was excellent, Bonnie and the Full House team were wonderful hosts, and my fellow guest were great company!

I cannot reveal the exact location of Full House, but on arrival myself and my bf were greeted with a glass of champagne and lead up to the roof terrace to meet fellow diners.

After meeting and greeting, we were invited to take our seats at the communal table in the dining room and poured another glass of wine.

Bonnie, the resident chef, then gave us a cookery demonstration on Rice Paper Rolls before retreating to the kitchen to slave away over the following five delicious vegan Asian dishes.

Rice Paper Rolls
Shiro Miso Soup with Tofu, pak choi, wakame seaweed, and sweet potato
Glass Noodle salad with trio of mushrooms; shitake mushroom, straw mushrooms and cloud mushrooms, beetroot, and golden sesame seeds, in a rice wine and soy vinagrette dressing.
Roast Hatcho Miso and Chilli Aubergine and Daikon, with black sesame. Served with jasmine rice and garlic pak choi
Lychee, Lemon and Ginger Sorbet

Thank you Bonnie and the Full House team for a wonderful evening!

If you missed out on this occasion then why not try Full Houses' next vegan evening; vegan raw galore

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Vegan Underground Supper Club



Pretty excited today, as this evening I will be visiting an underground restaurant featuring a vegan menu!

A couple of months ago, Vintage at Goodwood food curator; Valentina Harris, informed me of Full House; the newest entry to the London underground dining scene. A six-month pop up project Full House is a new kind of supper club. Hidden in a secret location, revealed only on the day of the event

I have long wanted to dine at an underground restaurant but had never come across one that offers a vegan menu. So I emailed Bonnie, one of the housekeepers, asking if there is any chance that they would put on a vegan evening and a day or so later the Vegan Asian menu was on website!

So, tonight's Asian Vegan menu is:

Five Course Asian Vegan Menu

Cookery Demonstration

Rice Paper Rolls-Making

----------

Starters

Rice Paper Rolls, stuffed with vermicelli, bean sprouts, bamboo shoots, holy basil, mint, coriander tomatoes, and marinaded in soy and mirin. Served with homemade chutney.

Shiro Miso Soup with Tofu, pak choi, wakame seaweed, and sweet potato

Mains

Glass Noodle salad with trio of mushrooms; shitake mushroom, straw mushrooms and cloud mushrooms, beetroot, and golden sesame seeds, in a rice wine and soy vinagrette dressing.

Roast Hatcho Miso and Chilli Aubergine and Daikon, with black sesame. Served with jasmine rice and garlic pak choi

Dessert

Lychee, Lemon and Ginger Sorbet with Mint

..........................

I shall let you know what it was like tomorrow.

And, for those of you who missed out but would love to attend an evening like this. Full House are hosting another Vegan Night at the end of this month; Vegan and Raw Galore. Have a look at the Full House website for more info.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Lemon & Pistachio Polenta Cake


Once again I got carried away and removed the cake from its tin whilst still hot, so this lemony and pistachio polenta cake may not look the best but be assured, it is rather tasty!



Lemon & Pistachio Polenta Cake

Ingredients:

140 grams vegan margarine (at room temperature)
140 grams golden caster sugar
150 ml coconut cream
juice of 1 lemon
rind of 2 lemons (finely grated)
50 grams ground pistachios
85 grams fine polenta
140 grams plain flour
2 tsp baking powder

icing;

juice of 2 lemons
140 grams icing sugar (sifted)

15 grams roughly chopped pistachios

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees C. Line a 18cm cake tin with baking paper.
2. In a mixing bowl, cream the margarine and sugar. On creamed add the coconut cream and lemon juice and stir once more.
3. Finally mix through the lemon zest, pistachio, polenta, flour and baking powder. Lightly beat the mixture until soft, creamy and slightly wet.
4. Transfer the mixture to the baking tin and place in the oven to cook for 50-55 minutes.

5. Whilst the cake is cooking prepare the icing by mixing the icing sugar and juice of two lemons.

6. Once the cake is cooked (springy to touch and slightly brown on top) leave to cool. Once cool transfer the cake onto a serving plate, pour on the lemon icing and top with chopped pistachios.

Enjoy with a cup of tea or spoonful of vanilla booja booja ice-cream.

Broccoli & Roast Garlic Soup


I have had a head cold for the past two weeks now, and cannot seem to shake it off. So I decided it was about time I had a vitamin C overload in the form of a lightly spiced broccoli soup, topped with crisp roasted onions and served with basil and garlic ciabatta.

Broccoli & Roast Garlic Soup
w. basil ciabatta

Serves 2 hungry people

Ingredients:

1 Head of Garlic
1/2 red onion (sliced)
1/2 red onion (finely chopped)
2 tbl spoons olive oil
1 chopped green chilli (seeds left in for a kick)
1 tsp cumin seeds
florets from 2 broccoli heads
1 litre vegetable stock (vegan friendly)
handful of basil
salt and pepper

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C.
2. Place the whole head of garlic, sliced red onion and one tablespoon olive oil into a roasting tray and place in oven. Remove once the onions are crispy and garlic is soft.
3. Place a saucepan over a medium heat and add one tablespoon of olive oil.
4. One the oil is hot add the cumin seeds, cook for one minute before adding the finely chopped onion and green chilli.
5. Once the onion has softened, add the broccoli florets and vegetable stock, cover and leave to simmer for 15-20 minutes.
6. Once cooked, place the soup in a food processor along with 6 cloves of roasted garlic, basil, salt and pepper (be quite generous with the pepper) and blend until smooth and creamy in texture.
7. Decant the soup into large bowls and top with the crispy red onions.

Serve with toasted ciabatta; rubbed with the roasted garlic and drizzled with basil oil

Enjoy

Baba Ganoush


Earlier this week I made a bit of an Lebanese feast with home made falafel, hummus and baba ganoush. I have always found baba ganoush a bit hit and miss but this weeks was the best yet!

Ingredients

2 large aubergines
1 clove crushed garlic
1 table spoon tahini
juice of half a lemon
1/2 a tea spoon paprika
1 table spoon extra virgin olive oil

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C
2. Peel the aubergine and slice into thick rounds.
3. Place the sliced aubergine onto a baking tray and sprinkle with a fairly generous amount of olive oil.
4. Cook the aubergine for 20-25 minutes turning once.
5. Remove the aubergine from the oven and leave to cool for 10-15 minutes
6. Add the aubergine, along with all the other ingredients to a food processor and blend until smooth.

Sprinkle with extra virgin olive oil and paprika before serving

Serves four as a side dish

Enjoy