Tag: quick vegan recipes

Pasta alla Trapanese [vegan]

Pasata alla Trapanese

A couple of years ago my boyfriend and I went on holiday travelling around Italy for a couple of weeks – it was pretty awesome. We went to Rome, Naples, Sorrento and then took a night ferry over to Sicily. I ate A LOT of pizza and serious amounts of tomato pasta, there wasn’t too many vegan options, but it didn’t matter because pizza and pasta are fine by me! When we got to Sicily, their speciality took a seriously good turn – Pasta alla Trapanese. It’s basically tomato almond pesto and tastes so good.

Occasionally I buy the expensive pasta in the supermarket, because it reminds me of that holiday. 

Pasta alla Trapanese

Pasta alla Trapanese [vegan]
Serves 2

140g pasta
50g almonds
250g cherry tomatoes
2 garlic cloves
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper
Handful of basil

  • Blanche the almonds in boiling water for a few minutes. Cool and peel as much of the skin off as you can.
  • Bring a pan of water to the boil and add the pasta and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a food processor, blitz the almonds, along with the garlic. Add the cherry tomatoes and blitz together for a few seconds, you don’t want it to go to watery. Stir through the olive oil and season with plenty of salt and pepper.
  • Once the pasta is cooked, drain the water and add the tomato almond pesto and make sure the pasta is coated.
  • Serve with the basil leaves.

Enjoy!

Veronica x

Banana and Chocolate Bread [vegan]

Pretty much everyday I get hungry around 11am, depending on what I’ve had for breakfast. I always need some kind of mid-morning snack that’s going to keep me going until lunchtime and this banana and chocolate bread has currently won me over in the snackosphere.

I’ve not been shy on the chocolate chunks, if something is going to have chocolate in the title then I’m going to want to get a massive hit of chocolateyness, and this doesn’t disappoint. I even took a little jar of nut butter into work and smothered it on a slice – I was winning in life at that point. Later in the day I definitely wasn’t. It turned out I’d not put the lid back on that blommin’ jar properly and got home to discover I was half a jar down and one tote bag was totally ruined. I would definitely put this catastrophe into a middle class problem type meme.

Banana and Chocolate Bread

3 ripe bananas
1tbsp maple syrup
1 flax egg (1 tbsp flax seed, 3 tbsp water mixed together)
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tspn vanilla extract
100ml plant based milk
200g spelt flour
50g self-raising flour
1 tspn baking powder
1/2 tspn bicarbonate of soda
125g dark chocolate 

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180C, grease and line an 2lb loaf tin (mediumish size).
  • In a glass, mix together the flax seed and water and set aside for a few minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, mash up the bananas. Add all the wet ingredients – maple syrup, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, plant milk and the flax seed egg. Stir together.
  • Add the flours, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and stir until all mixed together.
  • Chop the chocolate – I like mine quite chunky so don’t over chop, stir into the mixture.
  • Pour the mixture into the loaf tin, and pop in the oven for 45 – 50 minutes until a skewer comes out clean when you insert it.
  • Remove from the tin and leave to cool on a wire rack. I like to cut a slice and eat it whilst it is still warm, after all that’s when the chocolate is at its best!

If there is one thing we’ve learnt from this….screw those lids on people!

Veronica x

Tofu scramble with cavolo nero [vegan]

I’ve definitely become a breakfast convert. Don’t get me wrong, I never skipped it, I can’t miss meals….I mean, food, hello!! I just wasn’t ever that adventurous. Back in the day, I used to just eat very sugary cereal or a couple of slices of toast and jam. Pretty standard, pretty dull. Don’t get me wrong, I sometimes do just eat toast and jam, and have a pretty standard weekday breakfast of porridge, dang good porridge, but at the weekend I try to create a delicious more complex breakfast, after all it’s the most important meal of the day, right?

I used to really enjoy eggs for breakfast, so if you’re new to veganism or looking for alternative and are missing that eggy texture to go with your breakfast then you really need to try tofu scramble. Tofu is pretty bland on it’s own but once you’ve added some spices you’ve got yourself a flavoursome dish.

 

Tofu scramble with cavolo nero
Serves 2

1 block of firm tofu
4 stalks of cavolo nero
1 tbps coconut oil
1 small onion
1 tspn turmeric
1/2 tspn cumin
A pinch of ground coriander
A pinch of dried chilli flakes
Salt and pepper

  • Empty the tofu out of the pack and drain any liquid. Pop the tofu block on a plate, and place another plate and a heavy object on top of it and leave for half an hour to drain any excess liquid. 
  • Melt the coconut oil on a medium heat in a frying pan.
  • Finely chop the onion and add to the frying pan, fry for five minutes until softened.
  • Add the tofu and using a wooden spoon gently break it up.
  • Add the turmeric, cumin, coriander and chilli flakes and stir into the tofu.
  • De-stalk the cavolo nero and finely chop, add to the tofu. 
  • Leave to cook for ten minutes, stirring occasionally so it doesn’t stick to the pan.
  • Season with salt and pepper.

Enjoy!

Veronica x

Miso noodle soup with fried tofu

I’m having a miso revelation. I love the stuff and this miso noodle soup is not only super quick to make but also really tasty, and it’s really good for your tummy too. 

Miso is from Japan and is made from fermented soybeans, sounds a bit weird, but honestly it’s good. Fermented foods are a great natural probiotic. I’ve been doing a bit more reading into how to look after my gut and keep it happy, making sure I’m getting plenty of probiotics into my system, and eating more fermented foods is where I’m heading.

Miso noodle soup with fried tofu
Serves two

For the tofu:
1/2 block of firm tofu
1 tspn coconut oil
2 tbsp tamiri (soy sauce)

For the soup:
800 ml vegetable stock (I used vegan boullion)
2 garlic cloves (sliced)
1 red pepper (sliced)
1 carrot (sliced)
1/2 white cabbage (shredded)
2 bundles of rice noodles
2 tspn miso paste
1 tbsp tamari (soy sauce)
1 tbsp sesame seeds

  • First, drain the liquid off the tofu, using a sieve. Pop the tofu block on a plate and then pop another plate on top and leave for half an hour, with a heavy object of some sort on top.
  • Once the liquid has drained, slice half the tofu into centimetre slices. Keep the other half in a container in the fridge and use for another dish.
  • In a frying pan, melt the coconut oil and add the sliced tofu and sprinkle the tamari on the tofu, keep it on quite a high heat and it’ll start to crisp up, turning over every now and then.
  • Meanwhile, heat the vegetable stock on a medium heat, add the carrot, pepper, garlic and cabbage and bring to the boil.
  • Once boiling, bring to a simmer and cook for five minutes, add the miso paste, tamari and rice noodles.
  • Cook as per your rice noodle instructions. 
  • Once cooked, serve in bowls.
  • Top with the tofu and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.

Enjoy!
Veronica x

Raspberry Cheesecake [vegan and gluten free]

What’s going on with this heat? Last week we were moaning that it felt like winter, now we’re in the midst of a bloomin’ heatwave! I’m definitely NOT complaining. I love the heat. I love having all the doors and windows open. Love the amazing sunsets. And love actually wearing my summery clothes. When the weather reaches these dizzy heights I cling onto my childhood memories, when I’m sure summer holidays were definitely sunnier than they appear to be these days. Perhaps I have a rose tinted view of those idealistic days, when the only care was what time the ice cream van was rocking up, or which tree we’d be climbing. But, summer memories definitely involve summer berries that’s for sure. And what better way to enjoy the raspberries you’ll be a picking than in this super tasty Raspberry Cheesecake. 

Raspberry vegan cheesecakevegan cheesecakevegan raspberry cheesecake

Raspberry Cheesecake
For the base:
150g medjool dates
100g almonds
60g oats
50g coconut oil (melted)

For the filling:
1 block firm tofu
225g raspberries
50g coconut oil
1 tbsp rice/fruit/agave syrup

  • In a food processor, blend the dates, almonds and oats until thoroughly chopped. Melt the coconut oil in a saucepan on a low heat and blend with the nut mixture, it should combine slightly.  
  • Add to your tin (I used mini tart tins), press down firmly using your hands and pop in the fridge for a couple of hours to set.
  • Drain the tofu, and blend in the processor until smooth. Add the raspberries, and blend until smooth and creamy.
  • Melt the coconut oil and add along with the syrup and blend once more until combined.
  • Spread evenly over the base and leave in the fridge for another few hours until firm.
  • Top with fresh fruit.

Get picking those raspberries 🙂

Veronica x

Sweet Potato & Quinoa Salad

I don’t know about you but I find it hard to come up with inspiring lunches to get me through my work days. All too often I reach for a tub of houmous and some oatcakes or a boring salad with some greenery, cucumber and tomatoes, nothing that exciting to look forward to (although I do love a tub of houmous). But I’ve really been working on livening up my salads. I work in the middle of nowhere and the nearest shops are a five minute drive away, and I’m reluctant to head to M&S for an expensive lunch. I’ve been working on a new evening routine that means I spend a little time preparing a tasty lunch, yes, it does mean taking time out of your evening, but trust me you’ll be thanking yourself at lunch time the following day! I encourage you to join me and try this salad it’ll have you counting down the hours until your lunch break. In fact, this recipe will make enough for three or four days, so if you’re happy with eating the same thing for a few days you’re laughing!

DSC_0147 DSC_0090

Sweet potato & quinoa salad with lemon tahini dressing
Makes 3-4 servings

80g quinoa
280ml water
50g almonds
20g sunflower seeds
1 sweet potato
3 garlic cloves
Olive oil
2 tsp tahini
1/2 juice of lemon
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 romaine lettuce
A handful of cherry tomatoes
Quarter of cucumber
Handful of coriander

  • Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a baking tray in an 180C oven. Chop the sweet potato into cubes and along with the garlic cloves, throw in the baking tray. This takes about half an hour to cook.
  • Meanwhile, bring the water to boil in a saucepan and add the quinoa, simmer for 15 minutes, then drain and rinse with cold water. 
  • In a frying pan, lightly toast the almonds and sunflower seeds for 5 minutes on a medium heat.
  • Chop the lettuce, coriander, tomatoes and cucumber and put in a large bowl.
  • In a mug, mix together the tahini, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar and olive oil until smooth, season with salt and pepper.
  • Mix the quinoa in with the salad. Once the sweet potato is cooked add that to the bowl and then stir through the dressing and the almonds and sunflower seeds. Keep refrigerated.

Happy salad days!

Veronica x

Quinoa & Cacao Energy Bars

Sorry we’ve been a bit slack posting new recipes on here as consistently as we were doing – we haven’t disappeared, promise! If you follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram you may have seen that we have launched a YouTube channel, which is very exciting, it turns out making videos is pretty time consuming, but lots of fun! Do check our first video out, and let us know what more you want to see on there. We love to hear from people – so don’t be quiet! Also, make sure you subscribe to our channel so you don’t miss any new videos we post. : )

Quinoa-cacao-barsAnyway, let me catch you up with some other news…I (Veronica) completed the London Marathon back in April, in a respectable 4 hours and 34 minutes, just shy of my 4.30 target, I pushed myself as hard as possible to get that time, so am super pleased. I don’t want to lose my fitness, and I know its pretty easy to slack off and get lazy, so I’m making sure I still make it to my local running club and regularly attend the parkruns in my area. I will definitely be booking another event in soon as I always need something to train for! But, before all that I am about to head off on holiday and enjoy some much needed rest and relaxation, in beautiful Greece.

You may remember I was looking at different ways of ensuring I was getting a good supply of protein into me, especially after long training runs. My friend recently introduced me to some delicious energy bars that she found in her local supermarket that were vegan and packed full of goodness, they were soooo good! Unfortunately they were a little too high in natural sugars for my liking, plus they were super expensive. I was sure I could make my own that used much less sugar and were a much cheaper alternative – and I did! These taste pretty much the same and cost a fraction of the price! After a little tweaking of my recipe to ensure they don’t crumble apart when you pick them up, they are now ready to share with you.

Quinoa-cacao-bars

Quinoa & Cacao Energy Bars
Makes 12 slices

160g almonds
110g medjool dates (or soaked dried dates)
100g cashew nuts
50g quinoa
100g sultanas
2 tbsp cacao powder
3 tbsp brown rice syrup
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp sunflower seeds

  •  Place a medium saucepan over a high heat and add the quinoa, turning down to a medium heat. Keep shaking the quinoa whilst it pops, it takes a few minutes – note it doesn’t puff up like popcorn.
  • In a food processor add the almonds and blend until chopped. Add the dates and combine with the almonds.
  • Add the cashews, sultanas, cacao powder, popped quinoa and brown rice syrup and blend some more.
  • Melt the coconut oil over a medium heat and add to the food processor along with the sunflower seeds, and blitz for one last time.
  • Everything should now be thoroughly mixed together, line a baking tray with greaseproof paper, and pour all the mixture out. Using a spoon spread the mixture out over the tray and then using your hand press down firmly.
  • Refrigerate overnight and then they’re ready to eat, I keep them in the fridge until they’re eaten so they stay firm.

Enjoy : )Veronica x

 

 

Apple & Parsnip Soup

I love this time of year – the lighter evenings and the sunnier days. Yes, spring has sprung and I for one am glad! Despite the sunnier days I still haven’t turned my back on some warming foods, after all there is still a chill in the air. In fact, I was on a run the other day and all the weather was thrown at me during those three and a half hours (Yep – that’s my longest run for the marathon done). I came home and was frozen, soup was the only thing that warmed me through.

We’re still in the hungry gap right now so whilst spring is bringing lots of fresh new greens, we’re still relying on the last of winter’s crops until new season produce is ready. But there are still some parsnips and apples knocking around and they happen to make the tastiest soup I’ve ever made. Yes, a bold claim indeed, but seriously this is a winning combination. And the coconut yoghurt makes this soooo good. You could always swap this with some canned coconut milk if you’ve not got any to hand. I bought it in our local health food shop.

Apple-and-Parsnip-Soup

Apple and Parsnip Soup
Serves 4-5 

1 onion
3 parsnips
2 apples
2 sticks of celery
1 litre vegetable stock
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cumin
3 tbsp coconut yoghurt
salt and pepper
1 tbsp olive oil

  • In a large pan heat the olive oil on a medium heat
  • Chop the onion and soften in the pan for 3-4 minutes
  • Peel and chop the apples and parsnips and add to the pan along with the chopped celery
  • Add the vegetable stock and bring to the boil, simmer for 30 minutes
  • When the vegetables have softened add the cumin and cinnamon. Blend using a stick blender until all smooth
  • Stir through the coconut yoghurt and season with salt and pepper

V x

Raw Chocolate Cheesecake

I feel like I’m writing a similar post to one I wrote about this time last year. It goes along the lines of, I’m in training for the marathon…I’m knackered…work is busy….life is hectic…time is flying by. And there doesn’t seem to be any sign of the craziness letting up soon. I’ve taken the week off work to try and gain a little perspective. I’ve been resting, enjoying dog walks, catching up with friends, shopping, having my hair cut – you know fun things.

Training means I spend A LOT of the time eating and A LOT of the time tired. I try to make sure that I’m eating the right sort of foods that will ensure my body can endure what I’m putting it through (oh god why am I putting it through this again?!). You know, the usual stuff, slow releasing carbs (pasta party anyone?), and refuelling on protein (usually homemade beans on toast). After my long weekend run I’m literally hunting the cupboards to see what I can find. And I can’t wait to make another batch of these tasty treats that will get me through the post running slump.

These little beauties are made using avocado. If you’re like me and absolutely love them, it may feel a waste of a good avocado to make it into something completely different (even if it is chocolate based) after all there does seem to be too many occasions where I’ve opened one up to be greeted by gross brown inedible flesh (mega first world problems). Why not hold back you bad avocados for this recipe?! Problem solved.

Raw Cheesecake

Raw Chocolate Cheesecake

Raw Chocolate Cheesecake
Makes 5 mini cheesecakes 

125g Almonds
100g Medjool dates (or soak dried dates)
40g Coconut oil (melted)

3 small Avocados
2-3 tbsp Raw cacao powder 
1 tbsp Coconut oil (melted)
2 tbsp Agave syrup (or maple syrup)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Optional for decoration:
1 tbsp toasted Hazelnuts (chopped)
1 tbsp cacao nibs

  • In a food processor blitz the almonds until roughly chopped. Add the dates and melted coconut oil and it should come together.
  • Spoon the mixture into mini tart cases or ramekin dishes and refrigerate whilst you make the chocolate mixture.
  • Wash up your food processor (unless you have two)
  • Scoop out the avocados and blend until creamy.
  • Add the cacao powder, coconut oil and agave syrup and blend until smooth and thoroughly combined.
  • Remove the almond bases from the fridge and evenly distribute your avocado chocolate mixture. Place in the fridge to set the filling.

These are definitely ones to try.
Enjoy!

Veronica x

Winter Vegetable Stir-fry

Happy new year! I’m sure most of us are currently knee deep in resolutions, detoxes and all things puritanical or have you given in already? After all the Christmas indulging and the hope of a new year it’s understandable why we feel the need to start afresh and try to be the best us we can be, even if we know our good intentions will only last for a few weeks. So in the spirit of the new year, new you thing, let’s try to think of some things that aren’t too restrictive and are small changes that make a positive impact on not only your life but others too.

Stir-fry

Have you heard of Veganuary? It’s when you go vegan for the month of January. We think it’s a great idea and fully support people that sign up for it (it’s not too late to sign up)! But, maybe you’re not ready to go vegan for a whole month and it all seems a little too daunting. Why not try one day a week, then two, then three….you get the idea? Or try cutting down on your cheese intake, maybe replace your dairy milk with a dairy-free alternative…baby steps.

Sign up for a local veg box scheme, we’re always banging on about how great they are, so maybe now is the time to get some awesome seasonal organic veggies into your life? 

Do you struggle to cook from scratch and know you’re eating too much processed rubbish? Set a day aside a week, where you make a meal from scratch, where you know exactly what has gone into it, no hidden sugars, not full of salt and way more tasty. We’ve got loads of ideas for you in our recipe section and I’ve got a super yummy stir-fry for you this week, that you can make in 15 minutes flat.

stir-fry

Winter Vegetable Stir-fry
Serves 2

1 tbsp coconut oil
6 leaves of savoy cabbage
1 onion
1 leek
2 cloves of garlic
1 chilli (chopped)
1 thumb piece of ginger (grated)
1/2 lime juice
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame seeds
Dried chilli flakes
Drizzle of sesame oil
2 x bundles buckwheat soba noodles

I find the key to a great stir fry is the prep – get all your vegetables chopped and ready to go, because then we can cook quickly!

  • In a pan melt the coconut oil over a medium heat, in a seperate pan bring some water to the boil (for your noodles). Once the water is boiled cook the noodles for as long as the instructions say (mine take about 6 minutes).
  • Once the coconut oil is melted, add the onions and garlic and cook for a couple of minutes. Turn the heat up and add the cabbage and leek, making sure to stir frequently. Add the ginger, soy sauce, lime juice and chilli and cook and stir thoroughly. If your heat is high, you should only need to cook for a maximum of 5 minutes.
  • When your noodles are cooked serve in a dish alongside the cabbage stir fry, drizzle with sesame oil, some more sesame seeds and dried chilli flakes.

Super simple, super tasty.

Here’s to an awesome, healthy 2016!

Veronica x