Friday, November 28, 2014

Vegan Lasagne



Lasagne is my all time favourite meal - it's...

Mouth Watering, Cheesy, Filling 

*drools*

This dinner was perfect and since it serves 4 it's leftovers really helped with the busy week i've had! 

This was my first time making a lasagne with courgette in and actually my find time eating a courgette ever and it was a really lovely substitute to the meat or a fake meat alternative - sometimes when you have fake meat the lasagne can feel abit heavy and not sit well so I tried to make this lasagne abit less processed. Using my VioLife Cheese - my review is here if you've never heard of it.

P.s - sorry for the lack of pictures: unsurprisingly it's very hard to photograph the insides of a 2 layered lasagne, who knew?

Ingredients: 

  • 1 Carrot - peeled and grated
  • 1 White onion - chopped
  • Olive oil
  • 2 Garlic cloves - peeled and crushed
  • 2 pinches of dry oregano 
  • 1 Tbsp of Worcestershire sauce 
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 1 Tin/Carton of chopped tomatoes 
  • 1 Courgette - sliced (I used just over half of the courgette)
  • 50ml of rice milk - or a dairy free alternative
  • Black pepper - optional
  • 6 Dry Lasagne sheets - the dry ones are usually egg free unlike the fresh ones: you may have to cook these slightly before hand to avoid them being hard in boiling water with a little olive oil to prevent sticking
  • For the cheese sauce: 
  • 25g Of vegan butter
  • 25g Of plain flour
  • 300ml Of rice milk - or a dairy free alternative
  • 90g of Dairy free cheese - I use this 

Method:

  • Put your olive oil in a wok on medium heat and add your carrot, onion, garlic and courgette 
  • Add in your bay leaf, Worcestershire sauce and oregano
  • Cook until your veg has softened 
  • Add the chopped tomatoes + milk and leave to simmer for 3 minutes
  • Take off the heat and set aside 
  • Get a fresh saucepan to start your cheese sauce and add your butter
  • Once it's melted add your flour and stir with a wooden spoon for a couple of minutes
  • Over a medium heat add your milk and whisk continuously to prevent lumps 
  • Allow to cook for a few minutes until it's slightly thickened take it off the heat then add your cheese and stir it in 
  • Get an oven proof dish and add half of your mixture from the wok 
  • Then add on how many lasagne sheets are needed to cover the mixture
  • Spoon of roughly half of the cheese sauce
  • Repeat until you have no ingredients left - it depends how big or small your dish is
  • Sprinkle over your pepper 
  • Put in the oven for 20-25 minutes on 200°C

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Vegan Gingerbread Christmas Cookies


It's only 32 days until christmas and I love to get into the christmas spirit as early as possible, so I thought i'd make some gingerbread cookies!

I've never made them before but they turned out really well, crunchy on the edges and chewy in the middle, just how I like them - But the consistency depends on how you roll them, the thicker the cookie the better, so bear that in mind when you're rolling them out. Remember it's better to have 5 good cookies rather than 10 average ones. 


Makes 20

Ingredients: 

  • 350g of plain flour - extra for rolling out
  • 3 Tablespoons of ginger
  • 2 Tablespoons of cinnamon 
  • 3 Tablespoons of black treacle
  • 175g of brown sugar - I used demerara 
  • 125g of vegan butter - Get some extra for greasing the trays
  • 50ml of rice milk - or a dairy free alternative
  • Christmas cookie cutters 
  • Icing pens 
Method:
  • Preheat the oven to 180C
  • Get a mixing bowl and add your flour stir in ginger and cinnamon
  • In a separate bowl cream your butter and sugar together 
  • Add your milk and molasses and stir/cream into the mixture. 
  • Fold in your mixture from the second bowl to the first bowl
  • Roll the mixture into a dough and place on a floured chopping board/clean surface
  • Get a rolling pin and roll out the mixture to your desired thickness
  • Cut out the mixture with your cookie cutters
  • Place them onto greased baking trays and put in the oven for 12-15 minutes.
  • Leave to cool for 10-15 minutes
  • Create your christmas designs with your icing pens

Friday, November 14, 2014

Vegan Cheesy Rice Bake


If any of you follow my posts you'll know that if there's one consistent thing in all of my meals it's carbs...

But i'm always trying to think of new ways to incorporate them into my meals, I love risottos and I love pasta bakes so I thought why use those two things together? Well this scrummy recipe is the result, a vegan rice bake! So simple and easy to follow and make this would make the perfect lunch or dinner, I'm having the leftovers the next day! It's...

Cheesy, Creamy, Healthy and Cruelty free!


Ingredients:

  • 1 Bag of white rice - cooked
  • 50/100ml of boiling water
  • 1 Vegetable oxo cube (or preferred brand)
  • 1 Leek - chopped 
  • 1 Onion - sliced in medium size pieces
  • 4/5 Closed cup mushrooms - sliced
  • 1 Teaspoon of parsley or 1 handful of fresh
  • 1 Tablespoon of vegan butter 
  • 1 Tablespoon of flour 
  • 200-250ml of rice milk
  • Half a packet of vegan cheese, grated (I cut them into cubes but this didn't allow the cheese to break down enough so I recommend grating) - I used this brand
Method:
  • Get a wok and add your vegetables with the boiling water and crumble in your stock cube 
  • Bring to boil and then simmer for 20 minutes
  • Once that's done add the cooked rice to the heat and turn to a low heat 
  • Get a saucepan and add your butter and flour, stir for a few minutes on a medium heat
  • Add your milk, stir constantly to avoid lumps press the lumps up against the side of the saucepan to break them down 
  • Once the sauce has thickened take it off the heat, if lumps remain sieve it, add your grated cheese and stir in
  • Get a roasting tray and add your rice and vegetables from the wok - if too much water remains in the wok just drain it, but a little bit doesn't hurt
  • Pour the cheese sauce over and mix in 
  • Pop in the oven for 30 minutes.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Vegan Chilli Pasta Bake



Pasta bakes are really one of my favourite dishes - they are so simple to make!

You just pop them in the oven and leave to cook, perfect for those nights when you don't want to be stood in the kitchen forever. They also make great leftovers for the next day's college lunch or my dinner in the evening.

This recipe has two of my favourite things in - chilli and carbs. It was the perfect dish to make after college, I wanted something really tasty and filling, because as all of you at college/work know you really don't get to eat as well as you do at home - especially when you're like me and prepare and cook all of my meals, not to mention I am definitely one of those people who get headaches when I don't eat much, but luckily soon after I ate this my headache improved!



Ingredients: 
  • Chilli - you can find my chilli recipe here (I  followed this recipe but added 4 chopped closed cup mushrooms) or alternatively use your own favourite chilli recipe
  • Half a bag of penne pasta - cooked.

Method:
  • Cook your pasta and chilli - according to recipe/instructions
  • Get an over-proof dish and add your pasta
  • Pour your chilli on top 
  • Mix all of the ingredients together
  • Pop in the oven for 30 minutes at 200°C






Sunday, November 09, 2014

Vegan Cauliflower Cheese



My mum used to always make this when I was younger and it was gorgeous, but definitely not cruelty free...

So I decided to make a cruelty free version for the first time and it turned out really well! This recipe is so easy to make and tastes lovely.

This recipe only uses 8 ingredients and is so simple to make, perfect for one of those evenings when you have more time to cook.





Creamy, Cheesy and Tasty...

Serves 2:

Ingredients: 


  • Half a packet of vegan cheese, grated (I use violife)
  • 1 Tablespoon of vegan butter
  • 1 Tablespoon of plain flour
  • 200ml of rice milk
  • 1 Teaspoon of paprika
  • 1 Teaspoon of dry parsley or a handful of fresh
  • A sprinkle of salt and pepper
  • 1 Cauliflower - cut off all of the heads (florets) and throw away the leaves, steam for 20 minutes.

Method:

  • Get a saucepan and add your butter and flour, stir for a few minutes on a medium heat
  • Add your milk, stir constantly to avoid lumps, press the lumps up against the side of the saucepan to break them down
  • Once the sauce has thickened take it off the heat, if there's still lumps sieve it, add your grated cheese and stir in
  • Put your cauliflower in a roasting tray and pour over your cheese sauce
  • Sprinkle over some salt and pepper and your paprika and parsley
  • Pop in the oven for 30 minutes


Saturday, November 08, 2014

Vegan Cheesy Pasta Bake



I haven't had a pasta bake in forever because I couldn't find a dairy free and soy free cheese but today I found my new favourite vegan cheese the review for which you can find here

Now I warn you, this pasta bake is not the healthiest I admit but it is definitely the tastiest! So if you're looking for a lovely creamy and cruelty free pasta bake this is the recipe for you!

But I have a confession to make, not only have I not had a pasta bake in forever, i've also never made one like ever 

So this dish was just things I put together that I thought would taste good and it certainly did, it is so simple to make and only uses 8 simple ingredients. This recipe does contain wine, but if you don't drink alcohol you can leave that out.



Serves 2:

Ingredients:


  • 1 White onion, cut into rings
  • 3 Tablespoons of vegan butter
  • 1 Teaspoon of dry parsley or a handful of fresh
  • 1 Teaspoon of paprika
  • Half a packet of vegan cheese - I use violife
  • White Wine
  • Half a packet of Conchiglie pasta cooked - basically the shell shaped pasta
  • 2 Garlic cloves - crushed

Method:


  • Get a roasting tray and put in your onions, 1 tablespoon of butter and a splash of wine
  • Cook in the oven for 15/20 minutes
  • Once that's cooked add your cooked pasta, remaining butter, paprika, parsley ,some more white wine and your garlic. 
  • Get your cheese and melt it in the microwave and then add to the dish
  • Mix everything together with a spoon and pop in the oven at 200°C for 25/30 minutes.

UK Vegan Reviews: Violife Cheese


Vegan Cheese is something I really struggle with.

All of the cruelty free cheeses i'd found always contained soya, and until soya is proven that's it's either safe or not i'm definitely avoiding it. 

So for ages I just had to go without cheese, which is hard as you can imagine, but then the other day I was reading a magazine from a nutrition centre shop and they had an advertisement for Violife cheese...

I'd never heard of it before and presumed it would contain soya, but as I read on I couldn't believe what I was reading

Soy Free, Dairy Free, Palm Oil Free, Gluten Free and Preservative Free 

It was just too good to be true! So I knew I had to get it right now, I searched online and found that Tesco did it and for just £2.29!




So this is what it looks like, it comes in different flavours/strengths - which i'm not sure Tesco stocks and also in a sliced version which they do stock.

I decided to first try it out making a Cheesy Pasta Bake - you can find the recipe for that here and later I made a Cauliflower Cheese you can find that here

And wow oh wow was it good! For being free from so many things it tasted amazing, it's very stretchy in consistency and tastes abit like less creamy version of dairylea. I got the original flavour which is not too strong and not too mild just how I like it! 

So if you're looking for a dairy free, soy free, palm oil free and gluten free vegan cheese then this is definitely the one for you! I give this product 5/5 well done Violife!

If you want more information on this great product check out their website at www.violife.gr 

UK Vegan Reviews: Tesco Free From Ice Cream!


Today I did something I haven't done in probably five years...


I had ice cream!

It's so hard to find a dairy free ice cream that isn't made with soya but today I found it and wow was it good!



It's Tesco own free from range which I love it comes in one flavour, Vanilla. And I love how when you open the lid you can actually see the vanilla pods. I would definitely recommend getting this because it's definitely the best dairy free ice cream i've ever tried, 5/5!

Friday, November 07, 2014

Vegetable Risotto

I've said it before and i'll preach it forever, risottos are the best!

If you don't have time to cook but still want something yummy risottos are perfect, just leave them to simmer for 30 minutes whilst you get on with whatever you need to do, whether it's coursework, cleaning up, having a shower, you can really get a lot done in half an hour!

I always eat 1 portion and then have the leftovers the next day, which trust me are just as good. Risottos are so easy and simple to make and a lot of the ingredients are everyday things you'd have in your home, I love to make a risotto when I have left over veg that I don't know how to use up. 



Serves 2:


Ingredients: 


  • 3 Cauliflower heads, chopped
  • Half a packet of green beans, chopped
  • 1 White onion, chopped
  • 5 Mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 Big handfuls of arborio rice
  • 1 Vegetable stock cube
  • 400ml of boiling water
  • Olive oil, to cook the vegetables
  • 1 Tablespoon of vegan butter


Method:


  • Put your vegetables in a wok with some olive oil on a medium heat
  • Get your vegetable cube and dissolve it in the boiling water
  • Once the veg has softened add the stock to the wok and bring it to the boil
  • Add the butter and leave to simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.





Thursday, November 06, 2014

Vegan Potato Curry

I love a good curry but I wanted one with more substance, so I thought why not make a potato curry? 

I've never made one before and it's turned out really well, delicious with the perfect consistency of a creamy curry, and the added goodness from the veg, what's not to like?

It's so easy to make because you pretty much just leave it to simmer, see below...



Serves 2


Ingredients:


  • A thumb sized piece of fresh ginger, crushed
  • Just over half a tin of coconut milk
  • Half a packet of baby potatoes, boiled and cut in half
  • Half a packet of green beans, steamed and cut in half
  • 1 Teaspoon of Cumin
  • 1 Teaspoon of Coriander 
  • 1/2 Tablespoons of curry powder - depending on it's strength 
  • 1 Teaspoon of paprika
  • A pinch of chilli powder - depending on it's strength and how hot you want your curry
  • 1 Teaspoon of dry parsley or a handful of fresh



Method:

  • Get your potatoes, ginger and green beans and put them in a wok on a low heat
  • Add your coconut milk, cumin, coriander, curry powder, paprika, parsley and chilli powder
  • Bring to boil and then simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Vegan Fruit Crumble



Crumble's are lovely because they're so quick and easy to make!

Which means their perfect if you want to throw something together quick maybe after dinner or on a lazy sunday, or whenever you just fancy a crumble! 
They're also great for beginners to cooking because they use minimal ingredients & take 10/15 minutes to prepare, so even the most inexperienced cooks can give it a go, I cannot stress enough how easy they are to make! 

You can use pretty much any fruit you want, apples, pears, apricots, rhubarb, blackberry, plums, pears.


Serves 2


Ingredients:


  • 5 Tablespoons of plain flour
  • Half a teaspoon of cinnamon powder
  • 1 Punnet of plumbs - or a fruit of your choice
  • 2 Tablespoons of vegan butter
  • 1 Tablespoon of caster sugar - for the fruit
  • 4 Tablespoons of demerara sugar 
  • 1 Tablespoon of cold water

Method:


  • Preheat your oven to 180°C
  • Cut your plums in half and take the stones out 
  • Place them in a dish with the skin facing down - so the sugar can soak into the fruit
  • Sprinkle over your caster sugar and add the water
  • Cook in the oven for 10/15 minutes or until softened
  • Whilst you're fruit is in the oven get a mixing bowl and add your butter and flour
  • Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles bread crumbs
  • Mix in your cinnamon and demerara sugar
  • Get your fruit out of the oven and sprinkle over the crumble mixture, pressing it down with the back of a clean spoon
  • Place in the oven for 30 minutes on the middle shelf. 

Vegan Tortilla Filling Recipe

Wraps are my favourite because they're great dinners at home when you can get as messy as you want but also great lunches for on the go just wrap it and cover with some foil for a mess free meal and you're good to go!


This tortilla wrap was a regular store bought one filled with my vegan chilli and topped with some salsa, delicious!

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Vegetable Fried Rice


The staple to any meal from a Chinese takeaways is rice, and before I went vegan my usual takeaway order was a curry and egg fried rice.

Since i'm now a vegan and also eating healthier I wanted to create a fried rice that was vegan friendly but still just as tasty and this recipe is just that! As well as being super easy to make.

Fried rice is so great because you can add pretty much any vegetables and it'll still taste lovely, or you can skip the veg and just serve it on it's own, with sauce or with a curry!



Serves 2:

Ingredients:


  • 4 Closed cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 White onion, chopped
  • 3/4 Cauliflower heads, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon of vegan butter
  • Olive Oil
  • 1 Cooked bag of white rice
  • A sprinkle of paprika
Method:

  • Add some olive oil to a wok
  • Add your chopped vegetables, and a little paprika
  • Cook for 15-20 minutes on a low heat 
  • Add your butter & cooked rice, stir frequently to avoid the rice sticking to the bottom of the pan
  • Cook for 5-10 minutes