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:Β 

  • 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!

Chocolate Mousse

It’s really hot in the UK right now. Like, we are literally having a heatwave. This is unusual for us so of course I need to make something yummy and refreshing to deal with the heat.

A chocolate mousse garnished with orange and lime sounds perfect.

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This is really easy to make which is great for me because I am absolutely rubbish when it comes to sweet food.

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Here’s the ingredients:

1 avocado, peeled

A shot glass full of soya milk

2 tablespoons of coco powder

Here’s what you do:

Blend it all together

Put in fridge for about 5 hours

Garnish with lime and orange

Eat in your garden in the sun

Feed to your Beard.

20150420_112924 20150420_113048 20150420_113043 20150420_113036 20150420_113117 20150420_113158 20150420_113211With this little treat you get good fats without tasting the avocado at all. If it’s not sweet enough for you, you can always add a teaspoon of agave nectar, golden syrup or sugar. I liked it just the way it is.

 

Enjoy friends and remember to stay hydrated in this heat.

Slow Cooker Saag Aloo

I made this to liven up my midweek meals. All you need is a slow cooker. I picked mine up from an ethical house clearance charity near by for Β£5.

Please feel free to pin the below image on Pinterest.com. πŸ™‚

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Ingredients

800 g potatoes, chopped (I don’t peel mine, but feel free if that is your thing.)

1 tbsp of oil

1 tsp mustard of choice

1 tsp turmeric

2 tsp garam masala

140 g frozen spinach

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Method

Place all the ingredients into the slow cooker and cook on a medium heat for 5 hours. When it comes to the water, use as much as you need to fill up the slow cooker pot. Serve with garlic bread.

Nice and easy. πŸ™‚

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Vegan Poached Egg

As someone who has been vegan for near on a decade, I’ve never really missed eggs. It’s only because a newbie vegan said they were missing them, that I even considered making them.

I can’t take all the credit for this. I got a lot of inspiration from the internet on ways to make this actually happen.

Also because of where I live, lots of fancy ingredients just aren’t available here. I wanted to make a poached egg any one, anywhere could make. I’m also unable to eat the Vegg due to production methods. (Made in the same factory as crustacean products which I am allergic to.) With that in mind, here are the ingredients for the yolk:

120 ml water

1 teaspoon of vegetable stock powder

1 teaspoon of cornflour

1/2 a teaspoon of turmeric

2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast

1/2 a teaspoon of English mustard

1/2 a teaspoon American mustard

1 tablespoon of vegan butter (I used Vitalite.)

Blend everything in a food processor, except the butter and pour into a hot pan. Turn the heat off and melt the butter into the mix straight away. Drain into a small bowl and leave to cool.

Ingredients for the white:

600 g of firm silken tofu

3.5 tablespoons of arrowroot powder

2 teaspoons of vegan gelatine powder (I used vegan non-sweetened powder.)

1/4 teaspoon of salt. (If you can get black salt, even better.)

Blend all the ingredients until entirely smooth. Now get your poaching device and fill it with the white mixture. Make a well in the middle and fill with yolk. Depending on the size of your device, 1 or 2 heaped teaspoons. Cover the yolk with white until it isn’t visible and drop device into boiling water.

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Cover the pan with a lid so the top is also cooked. (For about 15 minutes.)

The first egg was actually crap. Why? I put the yolk in whilst it was still warm.

20150414_133712The second one I thought I’d cracked (no pun intended) so I served it on spinach, maple bacon and an English muffin. It fell apart because I only cooked it for 8 minutes.

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Then I made this little diamond. 15 minutes, gently simmered and lovingly turned onto a plate without breaking.

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The yolk is thick and mustardy, just like a chicken’s egg. The white is soft but bouncy. It’s also not as fatty as an egg because you are not adding much fat, but it is still high in protein and B12.

I left some of the 6 I made, in the fridge and heated one up for later. Although it fell apart a bit, it was very tasty with a home grown herby freekah salad.

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I hope this helps anyone craving chicken’s eggs as a new vegan and changes the lives of those of us long term vegans who never dreamed this would be possible.

 

(N.B I know it doesn’t look pretty. What do you want? A perfect vegan egg? Hahahahhaaha! πŸ˜› )

Baked Lime Cheesecake

Anyone who reads this blog will know there aren’t many sweet recipes on here. Why? I am simply rubbish at baking. Occasionally I hit a good recipe though and this is one of them. This is my take on a baked lime cheesecake.

BeFunky_20150228_203213.jpgAs normal my adventures in baking are never pretty, but this one tastes amazing!

Ingredients:

1 pot of plain vegan cream cheese (I used Toffuti.)

The juice and zest of one lime.

Half a pack Hob Knob biscuits.

Half a mug of sugar (More if it’s to your taste.)

It’s that easy!

Method:

  • Get the oven on to heat up. About 200 degrees should do it.
  • Empty half a pack of hob knobs into a plastic food bag and tie up. Beat with a rolling pin until they form a fine crumb.
  • Spread your crumb in the dish you want to bake your cheesecake in. I used a small Victoria sponge tin.
  • Pour the remaining ingredients in your food processor and mix until a sweet paste has formed. Add more sugar and lime to taste. A drop of vanilla essence could also do wonders here.
  • Spread thickly over the biscuit base.
  • Bake for 45 minutes checking regularly to ensure it doesn’t burn.
  • Leave to cool then place in the fridge to set before serving.
  • Take to your newbie vegan friend’s house and show them that they can still have cheesecake. πŸ˜‰

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Β Serve with vegan ice cream to be extra naughty. πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

Tomato Spaghetti With Smoky Bacon Tofu

If you get this recipe right, it will literally be one of the best things you’ll ever eat. The sauce has been in the making for several years. I use it in all Italian dishes now. The smoky bacon tofu is spot on. It actually tastes like bacon when warm and ham when cold. I destroyed my kitchen in a hurricane of destruction getting the recipe right.

First of all I was just going to do the sauce recipe for you and totally cop out on the bacon by using chorizo.

BeFunky_20150120_125503.jpgI decided against it. I used chilled smoked tofu to make some seriously awesome bacon. πŸ™‚

Ingredients:

2 white onions, peeled and chopped

1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped

1 tbsp red wine vinegar

1 tbsp sugar

2 tins of chopped tomatoes

1 tsp of chilli paste

1 tsp salt

1 tbsp oregano

Half a pack of wholewheat spaghetti

1 block of smoked, chilled tofu

Half a pot of paprika

1 tbsp salt (separate from previous salt.)

1 tbsp yeast extract

Method:

First of all get your pan on for the spaghetti. I am lucky enough to have a spaghetti pan. Fill with water and a dash of salt. Allow water to boil first if you don’t have a spaghetti pan. Otherwise throw it straight in.

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Press the tofu. I’m not fancy. I use a large pot of sesame seeds and a sieve. Leave that pressing whilst you prepare the sauce.

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Get the sauce going now. Fry off the onions, garlic and chilli for a few minutes until soft. Add the chopped tomatoes, red wine vinegar, salt, sugar and oregano mixing frequently and keeping on a low heat.

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(A good tip for chilli is to go to the supermarket late at night and pick up a big bag that has been reduced to 9p. Blend and then pickle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar to get a lovely big jar of chilli paste you can spoon into multiple dishes.)

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Get a frying pan on with a good amount of oil in it and your stove should look something similar to this.

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Cut your drained tofu into pieces the size and thickness of your little finger. Pour the paprika and salt onto a chopping board and mix together with your hands. Place your yeast extract as a dollop on the side. One piece at a time, cover the tofu in salt and paprika. Then using your finger, smear yeast extract on both sides. Stick this in the pan and allow to brown for 2 minutes on each large side. Taste it as soon as it’s cool enough to put in your mouth. Does it taste like bacon? If the answer is yes, do the same with the rest. If the answer is no, add more yeast extract each time until the answer is yes. I went through quite a lot of tofu before I got this right. It’s not really an exact science unfortunately. One thing is true though, it bloody well tastes more like bacon than anything I have ever tasted since becoming vegan.

They should come out like this:

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Not pretty I know, but don’t worry. Taste is what this dish is all about.

Drain your pasta and mix in with the sauce straight away. Sprinkle the top with your tofu bacon that you’ve now cut into cubes. (Do not mix the bacon through.)

Serve straight away or eat cold for lunch the next day.

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The sweetness of the sauce should balance the smoky, salty flavour of the bacon.

I hope you enjoy this. I know it’s not the prettiest or the most comprehensive recipe in the world, but do you know what? The best ones never are.