Vegan Cheese & Chutney Parcels

I don’t very often cook with pastry. It’s far too much like baking for me. However with the availability of fresh vegan pastry now widespread, I thought I’d give it a go.Blog 1

Ingredients:

  • 1 packet of JusRol fresh filo pastry
  • Poppy seeds
  • 5 small new potatoes
  • 1 carrot, peeleds
  • A small handful of curly kale
  • Caramelised red onion chutney
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • Black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 block of Violife vegan cheese, grated

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Method:

  • Get the oven on a medium heat.
  • Dice the potatoes and carrots and place in a pan of water, allowing to boil before turning the heat off.
  • Heat a pan, drain the potatoes and carrots and place in the pan with the kale and chutney.
  • Stir in the herbs and spices. Stir occasionally until the potatoes and carrots are soft.
  • Roll out the pastry and cut into squares. Place a large spoonful of the pan mixture into the centre of the square and top with cheese.
  • Fold the edges up over the mixture and sprinkle with poppy seeds. (You should have enough for four large parcels.)
  • Place in the oven for 30 minutes.
  • Serve warm with ketchup.

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If you want to make your pastry, feel free. This isn’t Masterchef so I’ll take that short cut. :)

Blogs on Mushroom Laksa and The Vegan Police coming soon.

 

 

A Day in the Life of Me

People often think that vegans live this strange kind of life, where we sit around in tie dye clothes and pray to a tree Goddess all day. Maybe there are some vegans like that. I guarantee though that most of us are just so normal it hurts. Here’s my Sunday for you. My day of rest and fun. :)

We let the dogs in early in the morning when it is our rest days, so often I wake up like this.

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Epic breakfasts are also reserved for weekends. I made us siracha avocado, baked beans, mushrooms, tomatoes, potatoes and bagels. Super yummy!

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Whilst we have breakfast, the girls enjoy causing mischief.

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And one of our five rescue cats, Saski Mouche enjoys the winter sun on the windowsill.

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After breakfast I enjoy some Gears of War whilst The Beard enjoys some Fallout 4.

My mum called around lunch time and I went to Sainsbury’s for a cheeky mince pie and a cup of coffee with her.

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Later on we took the girls out for a long walk up the mountain. We live in a really beautiful area and on our days off, we try and make the most of it.

For dinner I whipped up a lentil roast with a red wine reduction and some spring greens.

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So that’s it. Nothing fancy and not a hippy in sight.

 

 

 

Anna Loka: A Review

Anna Loka is a brand new vegan restaurant in the Roath area of Cardiff.  I had  been hearing some great things about the day time cafe menu, but they didn’t have an evening opening so I held back on visiting.

Recently they started to open in the evenings from 6pm. We booked for a table of ten to celebrate my imminent marriage to the bearded one.

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They offered 3 courses for £19.95, so of course we had the full lot. Here’s what was on offer:

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I had the pumpkin arancini. It was crunchy on the outside and  gooey on the inside. The sweet tomato and herb sauce really complimented the the richness of the arancini. wpid-wp-1445193405256.jpeg wpid-wp-1445193583241.jpeg

My friends and family all had different dishes and were very happy with their choices. I had a few bites of everyone else’s, including eating the pansies from my mum’s salad, which the whole table found amusing.

Falafel.

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Beetroot Cappaccio.

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Southern fried vegetables.

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The main course was something altogether. Mine was absolutely mind blowing! I had the seitan steak. It was like roast beef, smothered in a beautiful gravy with perfect mustard mash and crunchy green vegetables. They even made the seitan themselves.

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My brother had the baked aubergine. He said it was good. I didn’t like it. I thought the aubergine was under cooked and the flavours didn’t seem quite right. Mismatched almost. It looked great though.

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The rest of the family had the raviollo. I tasted some and it was herby, fresh and full of flavour. It was a great dish, but I preferred my steak.

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We tried each other’s puddings and agreed that they were all amazing. I’d order any of them again. Personally, even though I ordered the creme brulee (and it had the crack when I broke the crunchy topping) , I thought the parfait was the star of the desserts.

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I give Anna Loka a 9.5 out of 10. The 0.5 will be remedied when I can have a nice glass of red wine with my steak. (They intend to bring in alcohol in the future.) The service was excellent and the food outstanding overall.

I’ll be popping in to try the breakfast and lunch menu at some point in the future too.

 

Spiced Butterbean & Sweetcorn Soup

It’s certainly Autumn here in the Welsh valleys. I’m wrapped up nice and warm with a cup of tea whilst I write this.

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With the cold in mind, I came up with a delicious and hearty soup to warm your cockles.

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Ingredients:

1 tbsp of oil

1 onion, peeled and chopped

2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped

1 can of chopped tomatoes (and then fill the can back up for a can of water to add too.)

1 can of sweetcorn, drained

A large handful of dry red lentils

1 tbsp of chilli flakes

1 tbsp of cumin

Salt and pepper to flavour

1 can of butterbeans, drained

A handful of fresh baby leaf spinach

A dollop of vegan mayo to cool if needed

 

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Method:

  1. In a large pan, fry the onion and garlic in the oil for approximately 3 minutes.
  2. Add the chopped tomatoes to the pan, with all the herbs and spices, mixing well and keeping the heat medium.
  3. Add the lentils and water and allow to simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Now add the sweetcorn and butterbeans, mixing throughout.
  5. Does it smell great yet? If not, add more herbs and spices to get it to your liking.
  6. Turn up the heat for the last five minutes of cooking and add the baby leaf spinach.
  7. Enjoy with a good dollop of creamy mayo, sour cream or your own homemade aquafaba goodness.

This dish is full of protein and will fill you up for sure.

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Jerk Pulled “Pork” with Banana Salsa & Peach Cobbler Pudding

This was a bit off the cuff. I just decided to take pictures of a two course meal I cooked my friends. The pictures therefore aren’t amazing, nor is there enough of them showing different elements. I’d like to apologise for that now. However, I couldn’t deny you this recipe because it was so damn good.

Ingredients

Salt

300 g brown sugar

4 cans of braised tofu

4 tbsp of jerk seasoning or hot fajita spice

A small glass of pineapple juice

50 g golden syrup

2 cans of black beans or pinto beans (Or a mix of both)

Lots of soft flour tortillas

Natural soya yoghurt (I just used one small pot)

3 medium bananas, not quite ripe, peeled and chopped

1 red onion, peeled and chopped

2 just ripe avocados

Juice of half a lemon

Juice of half a lime

Fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped

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Method

An hour before, mix the salt, sugar and drained tofu in a large bowl and leave to marinate.

Once the hour is up, mix in the jerk seasoning, pineapple and golden syrup into the bowl.

Place in a hot pan and stir occasionally until the liquid starts to evaporate. Then turn down to a low heat whilst you break apart the tofu into pulled strips.

Leave to slowly cook off the rest of the juices whilst you make your salsa,

Put the diced banana in a bowl with onion. Peel, chop and stone the avocado and add that too. Mix in the lemon, lime and coriander and you’re done.

Reheat your beans and warm up your tortillas and your done.

Check it out.

Ready Made Ready made 2 Mixed beans Dollshouse

Serve with natural yoghurt for a cooling effect.

My friends had 3 each of these bad bois. I was stuffed after two.

When this has gone down you can serve your pudding. Obviously you would have had this prepared and in the oven before hand because you’re sensible like that right?

Being me, this is a super simple pudding and not too heavy on sugar.

Ingredients

2 tins of sliced peaches in juice

The zest of one lemon

2 tbsp golden syrup

140 g plain flour

50 g porridge oats

25 g cold vegan butter (I used vitalite.)

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Method

Get your oven on at about 200 degrees.

Drain the peaches and reserve the juice. Tip them into a deep baking dish. Toss with the lemon rind and 1 tbsp golden syrup.

In a bowl, combine the oats, flour and butter. Add the remaining golden syrup and peach juice.

Mix with a spoon until you have a crumbly mixture.

Scatter over the peaches and bake for 30 minutes.

Serve with any leftover natural soya yoghurt you have.

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I hope the pictures weren’t too bad and you have a rough idea of what I’m on about.

Enjoy. X

Spiced Squash Pasta: A Thai-Italian Fusion

This is entertaining made easy and it’s extra tasty.

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Ingredients:

2 tbsp vegetable oil

Red curry paste to taste (I used roughly 100g)

1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed

1 can of coconut milk

Fresh coriander

1 tbsp lemon grass paste

500g tagliatelle pasta

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Method:

  • Heat the oil in a large pan or wok.
  • Add the curry paste, squash and lemongrass. Fry for 2-3 minutes on a medium heat.
  • Pour in the coconut milk, stir well and bring to the boil.
  • Allow to simmer for about 25 minutes. Add extra paste and coconut milk if sauce becomes too thick.
  • When the squash is almost done, cook the pasta according to packet instructions, then drain well.
  • Pour half the sauce from the pan into a big bowl and mix with the pasta.
  • Plate up and place remaining squash and fresh coriander on top.
  • Add siracha if you fancy some extra spice, which I always do.

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Cheesy Tofu Pie

Traditionally in the UK the summer seems to only last a couple of weeks and then we have lots of rain and a few mild days before it gets cold again. Well at least for the past ten years anyway and they tell us the climate isn’t changing yet! This means we still get to have pies in the summer to keep us warm and fill us up.

I wouldn’t say this is a particularly healthy recipe, but it’s a lot better than it’s non-vegan counterpart.

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The best thing about my recipes is that you don’t need anything fancy to make them work. All the ingredients should already be in your house or easily available.

Ingredients: 

  • 2 tins of braised tofu (I got mine from Holland & Barrett.)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 clove of garlic, diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable bouillon powder
  • Half a carton of passata
  • Water as needed
  • 2 large potatoes
  • Half a block of Violife original cheese, grated
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 tablespoon Vitalite dairy free spread
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped

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Method:

  1. Get the oven on full whack.
  2. Have a pan of salted water heating up to boil.
  3. Fry the onion, garlic and carrots in an oven proof pan, for about three minutes.
  4. Empty the contents of the tofu tin into the pan, including the juices. Break up the tofu into smaller pieces and allow everything to simmer for about two minutes.
  5. Add the bay leaves, red wine vinegar and passata and turn down the heat. Allow to bubble gently for about 10 minutes until the carrots have softened.
  6. Taste the mixture. Add salt and pepper if desired. Turn off the heat.
  7. Slice the potatoes thinly and boil in salted water for 2 minutes. Drain and place back in the sauce pan where you mix in the Vitalite and any extra salt and pepper you require.
  8. Place on top of the tofu mixture, layering if you need to. Cover in grated Violife and nutritional yeast.
  9. Put in the oven, in the oven proof pan for approximately 15 minutes or until the top has a nice crunch.

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Enjoy on it’s own or with some steamed vegetables. It’s very filling!