Sweet Potato & Fig Salad

I don’t normally buy figs because they tend to be very expensive. However I walked into my local Morrison’s the other night and found a pack of four figs for 25p on offer. I had no idea what to do with them so I made a seasonal salad. You can adjust the spice in the recipe to your taste. Me? I like it reasonably hot!

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Ingredients:

4 large sweet potatoes

4 large figs

1 red chilli

250 ml balsamic vinegar

4 spring onions

2 teaspoons of caster sugar

Salt

Pepper

2 teaspoons of oil of choice. (I use rapeseed.)

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1) Get the oven on full whack.

2) Chop the sweet potatoes into wedges and place in a baking tray. Do the same with the figs.

3) Drizzle your oil over the tray mixture and add salt and pepper to season. Place into the oven for 30 minutes.

4) In the meantime stir fry a chopped red chilli and spring onions for a couple of minutes and leave to cool.

5) Now we need to make a balsamic reduction for the dressing. Pour the balsamic vinegar in a small pan and heat until it boils.

6) Add the caster sugar, stir well and leave to cool. the dressing should thicken to a syrup whilst cooling.

7) Remove the sweet potatoes and figs from the oven and mix in with the spring onions and chilli.

8) Serve drizzled with the sweet balsamic reduction.

 

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This could be great as a side dish or even a full main course salad.

 

Enjoy!

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Caramelised Red Onion Tarte Tatin

This recipe’s inspiration comes from a non-vegan. His name is Mat Follas. He has won Masterchef and also owns a restaurant down in Dorest.

Ingredients:

2 red onions, halved

4 tbsp caster sugar

2 cloves of garlic

250 g fresh puff pastry (in the UK we use Jus Roll)

Vegan butter alternative (I used Vitalite)

1 block of soft white Cheezley cheddar (by Vegideli)

1 carton of single soya cream (I used Alpro)

1 carton of plain soya yoghurt

1 tablespoon dried chives

Salt

Pepper

1 tablespoon corn flour

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 squirt of vegan mayonnaise

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Method:

  • Heat the oven to 160C.
  • Place your chopped onion halves in a pan, add enough water to cover and then simmer for three minutes. Leave to cool for ten minutes.
  • Cover the base of a frying pan with the sugar, warm until just melted, then add the onions and cook for a few minutes until everything is caramelised.
  • Add a strip of baking paper to each hole in a muffin tin and lightly oil.
  • Fill each whole with some caramelised onions and some chopped garlic before placing a cutting of a puff pastry sheet on top. (Make sure you tuck the sheet into the tin and around the onions.)
  • Glaze each one with a bit of “butter” and place in the oven for 40 minutes.
  • To make the sauce, pour the single cream into a non-stick pot and turn up the heat. Now add your block of cheese chopped into smaller pieces and stir whilst it melts.
  • Next add the yoghurt, chives, salt, pepper, Dijon mustard  corn flour and mayo. Now turn the heat off.
  • Pour into a food processor and pulse blend for a minute. Now is the time to add any extra salt, pepper or for extra creamyness, a dollop of “butter.”
  • Pulse blend for another minute.
  • Once the tarts are done, remove careful from the oven and place the right way up on your plate with a rocket salad and your cheese sauce.

I actually could not believe the flavours of this dish. I put the some tarte, some rocket and some sauce on my fork and it hit me in the face. Sweet, then peppery and then creamy. This dish is absolutely divine and whilst not the healthiest of easiest to make, it’s worth all of it just for that flavour.

Now check out the two styles of dish I did trying to be posh and shit!

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Enjoy! 🙂

Vanilla Cupcakes – Literally!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’m rubbish at making cakes. I don’t know why I bother most of the time because with amount of sugar and other crap in them, I can only have one and then I have to give the rest away. (Living clean and training dirty!) I can’t decorate them to save my life either which is why they look like a five year old has made them. Meh! They tasted good and that’s all that really matters. The below recipe is from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World.

Frosting Ingredients:

½             cup nonhydrogenated shortening (Trex)

½             cup nonhydrogenated margarine

3½          cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted (Caster sugar)

1½          tsp. vanilla extract

¼             cup plain soy milk or soy creamer

1              tsp. red food colouring

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Cupcake Ingredients:

1              cup soy milk

1              tsp. apple cider vinegar

1¼          cups all-purpose flour

2              Tbsp. cornstarch

¾             tsp. baking powder

½             tsp. baking soda

¼             tsp. salt (increase salt to ½ teaspoon if you’re using oil instead of margarine)

½             cup non-hydrogenated margarine, softened, or ⅓ cup canola oil

¾             cup sugar

2              tsp. vanilla extract

¼             tsp. almond extract, caramel extract, or more vanilla extract

 

Method

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pan with cupcake liners.

Whisk the soy milk and vinegar in a measuring cup and set aside for a few minutes to get good and curdled.

If using margarine: Sift the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl and mix.

In a separate large bowl, use a handheld mixer at medium speed to cream the margarine and sugar for about 2 minutes until light and fluffy. (Don’t beat past 2 minutes.) Beat in the vanilla and other extract, if using, then alternate beating in the soy milk mixture and dry ingredients, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl a few times.

If using oil: Beat together the soy milk mixture, oil, sugar, vanilla, and other extracts, if using, in a large bowl. Sift in the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and mix until no large lumps remain.

Fill cupcake liners two-thirds of the way and bake for 20 to 22 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack, and let cool completely before frosting.