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90. Anzac Biscuits

Mmm, I love these syrupy, coconutty, biscuitty discs of delightfulness <3

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The hubby does too – I’ve had to make these 3 times this week!

My original inspiration for this recipe was off the BBC Good Food recipe. But they were pretty easy to veganise.
And if you can live without harming others, why wouldn’t you?

Anzac Biscuits:
Ingredients
85g porridge oats
85g desiccated coconut
100g plain flour
100g sugar
110g vegan marge (plus a little extra for greasing your baking trays)
1 tbsp. golden syrup
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp apple cider vinegar

Method
Pre-heat the oven to 180oC.
In a large bowl, mix the oats, coconut, flour, sugar and bicarbonate of soda.
In a small pan, melt the marge before stirring in the syrup until completely mixed. Stir in the apple cider vinegar.
Create a well in the dry ingredients and slowly pour in the marge mixture whilst stirring. Keep on stirring until all of the marge has been absorbed.
The mixture will seem a little dry but that’s ok. You should be able to roll heaped-teaspoon amounts into balls.
Place each ball onto a greased baking tray and squish down into a thick disc shape (around ¼ inch high). The key is to squash as flat as you can without causing the edges to over crack – you want to maintain a round shape.
Remember to leave room in between each biscuit to allow for spreading.
Put into the oven for 12 minutes.
Halfway through cooking, squish each biscuit with the back of a spatula to flatten them down.
Keep an eye on the biscuits in case they cook faster than the 12 minutes. You can tell when they are done because they will be a beautiful golden brown and won’t squash any flatter when you press them with the spatula.

They got the Liz seal of approval! :D

They got the Liz seal of approval! 😀

 

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89. Spanish Style Sausage

I was in two minds whether to blog about these or not. It was very hard to get a photo that didn’t look like…. Well…. Use your imagination.

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Tastes more appetising than it looks….

However, these sausages taste a lot better than they look! And the skin makes them extra fun to make.

And, they contain both tempeh and seitan! That makes them vegan level 8 – right?!

Spanish Style Sausage recipe

Ingredients:

Dry-

2 x tsp onion granules
2 x tsp garlic granules
1 x tsp sage
1 x tsp thyme
3 x tsp smoked paprika
1 x tsp salt
1 x tsp cumin
1 x cup wheat gluten

Wet-

½ x tbsp. soya lecithin (optional but improves the texture)
½ x tbsp. olive oil
3 x tbsp. port
1 x jar tempeh (230 g)

 
Skin –

2 x rice paper sheets
1 ½ x tbsp. liquid aminos (or soya sauce)
1 x tsp smoked paprika
½ x tbsp. olive oil
2 x tbsp. boiling water

Method:

  • Put the dry ingredients in a food processor and give them a good mix.
  • Add the wet ingredients and whizz until a dough starts to form.
  • Take the dough out of the food processor and give it a good knead for 8 mins.
  • Roll out into 2 x sausage shaped and wrap up each one in Clingfilm.
  • Pop into a steamer and cook on a medium heat for 45 mins.
  • Take out of the steamer and allow to cool before removing the Clingfilm.
  • Make a marinade for the skin by mixing all of the ingredients apart from the rice paper.
  • One at a time, soak the rice paper sheets in the marinade until beginning to soften.
  • Roll up each sausage in one rice paper sheet.
  • Heat up a frying pan with a little oil and add the sausages. Fry on each side until browned.

I sliced up each sausage and added to a spicy tomato sauce to make a tasty Patatas Bravas <3

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Topped off with homemade vegan cheese <3

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88. Popcorn Tofu

20160324_200515Tofu is an excellent source of amino acids, calcium, iron and loads of other good stuff. But who gives a crap, sometimes you just want something deep fried and delicious. Popcorn tofu – all of the taste, none of the campylobacter!

There are various tofu popcorn recipes knocking around, but I didn’t peek! This recipe is all  my own – although I guess the concept is pretty basic 🙂

This recipe comes as three parts: the tofu, the “egg” wash and the coating. It looks like a lot of ingredients but its well worth it. The result is lovely, slightly tongue tingling pieces of tofu which are soft in the middle but wonderfully crunchy on the outside.

Ingredients:

• 250g Tofu – firm, not the silken variety.

“Egg” wash:
● 1/3 x cup non-dairy milk (40ml)
● 1/3 x cup Aqua faba (40ml)
● 1 x tbsp. cornstarch

Coating:
• 1 x cup plain white flour (125g)
• 2 x tsp ground black pepper
• 1 x tsp ground coriander
• ½ x tsp ground ginger
• 1 x tsp salt
• ½ x tsp smoked paprika
• ½ x tsp ground cumin
• ½ x tsp garlic powder
• ¼ x tsp tumeric
• ¼ x tsp ground nutmeg
• 1/8 x tsp cayenne pepper (or more if you’re a hot head!)
• 1 x tsp dried sage
• 1 x tsp dried parsley
• 2 x cloves (ground)

Method:

1. Drain and press the tofu in advance. Once prepared, cut into 1inch cubes. (Tip: For an even more authentic texture, freeze and defrost first. Shaking a few drops of liquid smoke over the cubes adds even more taste.)
2. Whisk up the aqua faba, dairy-free milk and cornstarch until white and fluffy. Pour into a bowl along with the tofu cubes and refrigerate for 30minutes.
3. In the meantime, create the coating by mixing together the flour, herbs and spices.
4. Roll each cube of tofu in the flour mixture until coated and set aside for a few minutes. You will see the coating turn a yellowish colour as the tumeric soaks up the moisture.
5. Add all of the coated tofu cubes into the remaining flour mixture and give them a gentle toss to make sure that they are fully coated. The coating might look a little lumpy but this is good as it gives a nice authentic texture when fried.
6. Deep fry at 190oC for 3 – 4 minutes. The tofu will float when cooked and should be a nice golden colour.
7. Drain on some kitchen roll before enjoying!

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Tip: It is best not to overcrowd the fryer. So unless you have a very large fryer I would recommend cooking in two batches. You can keep the first batch hot and crispy by spreading out across a baking try and putting in a warm oven.

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87. Baked Cheezecake

Cheezecake 1

Smooth creamy fluffy baked cheezecake. This dairy-free version is protein-packed and lactose free. And if you’re careful with your biscuits, nut free too!
I tried this out on several people, including the husband and the Besties. They said it was lovely but I have to be honest – I can’t remember what traditional cheesecake tastes like! But this one definitely looks like the real McCoy and is undeniably scrummy.

Ingredients:
150g ginger nut biscuit
60g vegan margarine
375g firm tofu (not silken)
350g firm silken tofu
245g non-dairy yoghurt (1 x cup)
200g sugar (1 x cup)
3tsp fresh lemon juice
3tsp vanilla essence
¼ tsp salt
100g plain white flour (2/3 x heaped cups)
2 tsp agar agar powder

Method:
1. Line the bottom of an 8inch* spring loaded tin with greaseproof paper and grease the sides.
*I wouldn’t advise using a larger tin, but a smaller one should be ok, but you may need to alter the baking time slightly.

2. Whizz up the ginger nut biscuits and marg in a food processor to make crumbs which will mould together when pressed. Press into the bottom of the tin and put into the fridge to chill.

3. In the meantime, pre-heat the oven to 165oC.

4. Prepare the cheezecake filling by whizzing together the tofu, yoghurt, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla and salt until smooth and creamy (at least 5 minutes).

5. Add the flour to the mixture and whizz up again until thoroughly combined.

6. Pour the filling onto the biscuit base and use a spatula to smooth down the top.

7. Put the tin onto a baking try and put into the oven for 1 ½ hours. You’ll know when the cake is cooked as it will have browned slightly on the top and will be pulling away from the edges of the tin.

8. Leave to cool and set before attempting to remove from the tin.

9. Serve!

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If you’re feeling fancy, you could serve with a nice fruity coulis!

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86. Creme Cheeze

Creamy smooth, mildly cheezy with a slightly acidic twang – Creme Cheeze is super versatile! Spread it on a bagel, stir it into hot pasta or pipe it into a cherry pepper. Just make sure you make it in advance as it will need to firm up in the fridge overnight.

Ingredients:

  • 75 g of vegetable shortening
  • ½ x block firm silken tofu (drained and cut into smaller pieces)
  • 2 x tbsp. non-dairy yoghurt
  • 1 x tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 x tsp salt
  • 1 x tbsp. nutritional yeast

Method:

  1. On a low heat, completely melt the vegetable shortening in a small saucepan (but don’t allow to get too hot).
  2. Take the pan off the hob and carefully add the tofu and mash into the shortening with a fork. It will sizzle but this is fine – the heat will help to take away some of the beany taste.
  3. Add the other ingredients and stir together.
  4. Whizz together using a hand blender until smooth.
  5. Pour into a container, cover and chill overnight.

 

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85. “Bacon” crumbles

This isn’t the most healthy recipe that I’ve ever come up with, but at least none of the ingredients have been classified as carcinogenic like real bacon!

I never liked real bacon anyway, the amount of fat that comes off it is grotesque. If you don’t pour bacon fat down the sink for fear of the drains getting blocked, I’m pretty sure you shouldn’t be adding it to your body. After all, your arteries are much thinner than the kitchen plumbing!

These delightful little crumbles make a great topping for soups and salads, or can be added to a dairy-free carbonara sauce to add a salty, crunchy hit.

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Ingredients (Makes 1 ½ cups):

  • 1 x heaped cup wheat gluten (equal to 160g)
  • 1 x tsp garlic powder
  • 3 x tsp smoked paprika (split into 2 & 1 tsps)
  • 2 ½ x tsp salt (split into 2 & ½ x tsp)
  • 3 x tbsp. vegetable oil (split into 2 & 1 tbsp.)
  • ½ x tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 x tbsp. Maple syrup
  • 1/3 x cups water (equal to 175 ml)

Method:

  1. Add the wheat gluten, garlic powder, 2 tsp paprika and 2 tsp salt to a food processor and whiz until blended.
  2. Add 2 tbsp. vegetable oil, soy sauce, maple syrup and water and blend until “crumbles” form. If the crumbles look too floury then add another tablespoon of water. However you don’t want big chunks as these won’t crisp up as well.ps.2 20160322_183736_resized
  3. Add 1 tbsp. of vegetable oil to a non-stick frying pan and heat over a medium flame.
  4. Add the raw crumbles and fry until browned and slightly blackened in places. Be sure to continually stir to prevent the crumbles from burning. This will take 15 – 20 mins.
  5. During the last few minutes, add the remaining 1 tsp paprika and ½ tsp salt and stir well to make sure the crumbles are evenly coated.
  6. They will firm up and become more crunchy once cooled. If adding to a sauce, add last to make sure they don’t go too soft.

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84. Flash’s soft white baps!

Buns, baps or barms?

Buns, baps or barms?

If you want to cause an argument in the UK, ask a group of people what they would call this particular bread product. Is it a roll, bun, cob, stottie, batch or a barm? In this case I’ve chosen to call it a bap, purely for the innuendo.

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Sooo super soft!

This is such a great easy recipe, the hardest part if having the time to let the dough prove. But its well worth making space in your busy schedule for these as they are delicious and don’t contain any of the nasty preservatives found in shop bought bread.

Ingredients (makes 8):

  • 1 x 7g sachet of active dry yeast
  • 150 ml warm water
  • 150 ml room temperature soya milk (or any dairy alternative)
  • 1 x tbsp sugar
  • 1 x tsp salt (plus extra for the glaze)
  • 2 x tbsp. olive oil
  • 300 g strong white bread flour
  • 200 g plain white flour
  • a little oil for greasing the baking tray and glazing the buns (I like to use a low cal spray)

Method:

  1. In a jug, mix the water, soya milk, salt and sugar. Sprinkle the yeast on top and put in a warm place for 10 minutes or until the yeast blooms.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add the bread flour and plain flour and mix to combine. Create a well in the centre.
  3. Gently stir the olive oil into the yeast mixture before pouring into the well of the flour. Using a wooden spoon, mix until all the liquid is absorbed.
  4. Using your hand, knead the mixture until a dough is formed.
  5. Transfer onto a clean work surface and knead for 5 minutes. You shouldn’t need to add any extra flour.
  6. Roll the dough into a ball and put back into the mixing bowl. Cover with cling-film and leave in a warm place for at least 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
  7. Pre-heat the oven to 180oC.
  8. Deflate the dough and knead for another 5 minutes. Roll into a log shape and divide into 8 equal pieces.
  9. Knead and shape each piece into a ball before flattening into a disc of about 1inch high.
  10. Grease a baking tray and lay out the baps on top. Don’t place too close together as they are going to roughly double again in size.
  11. Glaze the top of each bap with a little oil and a sprinkle of salt.
  12. Move to a warm place for at least 30 minutes or until the baps have doubled in size.
  13. Place into the oven and bake for 15 – 20 minutes. They should only just be turning a light golden brown but will sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.
  14. Whilst the buns are baking, line a plate or a tray with some kitchen roll.
  15. When ready, remove the baps from the oven and immediately place on the kitchen roll before wrapping in Cling-Film. It is normal for the Cling-Film to steam up – this will make sure that the baps are soft whilst the kitchen roll will prevent them from becoming soggy. 

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    The Cling-Film ensures that the baps stay soft once cooled.

  16. Allow to cool and then eat! They are especially good served with soup.Baps PS5

Best used up within 1 -2 days of baking.

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83. Chestnut flour pancakes

Hooray, it’s Pancake Day! Apologises for being a bit late with this recipe… but at least I am way ahead of schedule for next year! Or you know, SCREW CONVENTION, make and eat these babies whenever you feel like it!

My lovely (and rather charming!) friend brought me a bag of chestnut flour back from his visit to Italy. He told me I could make “crepes” with it, so that’s exactly what I did :o)

The chestnut flour added a lovely subtle earthy, sweet-but-not-sickly depth to the pancakes. If you like a more traditional flavour, you can swap the salt for Kala Namak to make them slightly eggy.
Ingredients (Makes 4):

1 x tsp Egg replacer whisked into 2 x tbsp. water (I used No-Egg by Orgran)
½ x cup soya milk
½ x cup water
½ x tsp apple cider vinegar
½ x tbsp. oil (veg or melted coconut)
1 x cup chestnut flour
1 x pinch salt
A little oil for greasing the pan*

NB: I would greatly recommend a non-stick frying pan.

Method:

  1. Into a bowl, whisk up the No-Egg and water until frothy.
  2. Whisk in the soya milk, water, oil and apple cider vinegar.
  3. Whisk in the chestnut flour and salt until smooth and combined. You should be left with a thick but pourable batter.
  4. Heat up a teaspoon of oil in a frying pan. You only want a thin film of oil so discard any extra.
  5. Once the oil is nice and hot, add a soup ladle-full of the batter.
  6. Carefully swirl the pan to make a nice thin, even layer of the batter.
  7. Once the edges of the pancake start to turn brown, you can loosen the edges with a spatula. The secret to pancakes is to make sure the underneath is completely cooked before you attempt to lift them – if you are impatient, they will stick to the pan and rip. You can tell when they’re ready when the top looks dry and bubbly.20160209_183449ps
  8. Gently flip and cook the other side until lightly browned.
  9. Repeat! (Is it me or is the first one always the worst looking?!)
  10. Serve with a topping / filling of your choice!

I went for salted caramel Almond Dream ice cream with a drizzle of maple syrup ♥

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82. Festive Vegan Pâté

Ps4 Pate

I’m really pleased with this recipe! I think that if I was served it in a restaurant, I would be worried that they were conning me into eating creamed corpse!

It tastes exactly how I remember smooth pâté to taste and feel in the mouth, but with a festive hit of cranberry, herbs and mixed spices. And the red onion and red kidney beans help it to look like the real thing too.

Plus, if you have a food processor, it’s relatively easy to make :o)

Festive pâté recipe (makes 3 ramekins’ worth / 6 generous portions):
Ingredients:

½ x small red onion (chopped)
1 x clove garlic (minced)
1 x tin red kidney beans (reserve the brine!)
1 x tbsp. tomato puree
1 z tsp sage
2 x tsp thyme
1 x tsp mixed spice
1 x tsp salt
2 x tbsp. dried cranberries (split into 2 equal portions)
1.5 x tbsp. soya cream
3 x tbsp. dairy free butter / marge (split into 3 equal portions)
2 x tbsp. vegetable shortening (I used Trex)

Method:

1) Drain the kidney beans but reserve the liquid.

2) Fry the onion and garlic in 1 tbsp of the butter until the onion is beginning to turn translucent

3) Add the kidney beans and herbs and fry for 2 minutes longer.

4) Put the contents of the frying pan into a food processor and add the tomato puree, sage, thyme, mixed spice, salt, soya cream and ½ the cranberries. Whizz up until smooth. Leave alone until stage 7.

5) Gently melt 1 tbsp of the butter and all of the shortening (in a microwave or over the stove).

6) Whisk up the brine from the tin of kidney beans until pale and fluffy-looking. Carefully fold in the melted butter and shortening.

7) Start up the food processor again on a slow setting. Slowly pour the butter-brine-shortening mix into the pâté. Whizz until completely mixed.

8) Spoon into ramekins (or any nice looking small dish). Smooth down the tops and put in the fridge for 10 minutes or so.

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9) When the pâtés are chilled melt the remaining butter and pour a thin but solid layer over the tops of each. Chill until the butter has completely solidified and turned opaque. You can use more butter if needed.

It was really late at night when I made these - so for the photo, the butter hadn't properly set. It was past my bedtime!

It was really late at night when I made these – so for the photo, the butter hadn’t properly set. It was past my bedtime!

10) I saved a few cranberries to decorate mine, but this is completely optional!

Enjoy on toast or crackers.

PS1 pate

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80. Homemade spaghetti hoops

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I’ve not blogged in ages! Been so super busy… 2 weeks in Zanzibar (saw the birth place of Freddie Mercury, yay!!! ♥) a week in Rotterdam, then rat-sitting my friends’ 16 rescue rats.

So busy in a good way ☺ and I’ve had some really good vegan friendly food whilst I’ve been at it! #noexcuses.

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Ratties!

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Food and drink consumed in Rotterdam

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What Zanzibarbarians eat!

Anyway, sometimes when you’re super busy, you just want to grab something quick and easy for tea. Maybe something from out of the freezer or from a tin.  I often fall back on the English classic of “Something, chips and beans” as I call it. Or sometimes, to introduce a bit of variety, we’ll have “something, chips and spaghetti hoops”. The “something” could be veggie sausages, a tasty pre-made pie or maybe some breaded “chickn nuggets”.

I’ll admit that I’m rather fond of tinned spaghetti hoops. I prefer generic own-brand to the market leader stuff (rhymes with “shmienz”), I think because they tend to be a little less sweet. But you have to be careful because some brands – like ASDA – are not vegan friendly and others are full of scary sounding ingredients.

However, as with most things, if you make them yourself at home you can monitor exactly what goes into them. So although I won’t pretend that this is the healthiest recipe in the world ever, I think it’s fair to say that my homemade spaghetti hoops are much better for you that the shop-bought stuff!

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Obviously this recipe takes much longer than the time it takes to open a tin, but you can make up a batch in advance and keep it in the fridge. It might even freeze well too… but I have never had enough leftovers for long enough to try.

Please note that I have intentionally made this recipe so that it tastes authentic and like the stuff from a tin. If that’s not your thing then you could use more tomatoes, and fresh garlic and onion… but to be honest if you’re going to do that then you might be better off just making pasta and marinara sauce!

Homemade spaghetti hoops recipe (makes about 2 tins worth):

Ingredients:

200g / 1.5 cups dried pasta hoops  (I found mine at the International Supermarket in Liverpool)
570g / 3 cups fresh tomatoes*  (diced)
1 x veg stock cube (make sure its sfv!)
3 x cups water
1 x tsp salt
2 x tsp sugar
½ x tsp garlic powder
½ x tsp onion granules
½ x tsp paprika (I used smoked as it was all I had – it worked!)
1 x tsp nutritional yeast (optional but inspired by the cheese powder included in some brands)
3 x tsp cornflour dissolved in 2 tbsp cold water

*make sure you use nice, fresh, tasty tomatoes! If you end up using watery-rubbish ones, you may find you need to add a tablespoon of tomato puree to the sauce to make up for it.

Method:
Cook the pasta hoops according to the instructions on the packet. For authenticity you may want to slightly overcook the pasta to make it go extra soft (don’t do this if you plan on re-heating).

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In a medium-sized pan, add the diced tomatoes, stock cube and water. Put over the hob and bring to the boil before reducing to a simmer for 15 – 20 minutes (or until the volume has reduced by about half).

Add the salt, sugar, garlic powder, onion granules and paprika. Stir well and leave simmering for a further 5 minutes.

Take off the heat and stir in the nutritional yeast before blending until smooth with a hand blender (you can use a food blender if you prefer). Take care not to spray hot sauce over yourself!

Whisk in the cornflour-water mixture and put back on the heat whilst continually whisking. Heat until the sauce is thick and opaque.

Stir in the cooked pasta and heat until piping hot.

I served mine with some purple veg casserole and a freshly baked bread roll (which just so happened to have a melting Violife “cheese” centre).

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Hellz yes!

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