Tag: Recipes

Raspberry and Thyme Shrub

A couple of weeks ago I was invited to the launch of the summer issue of the Chilterns Food Magazine at the beautiful Wild Strawberry Cafe at Peterley Manor Farm (well worth a visit if you’re out these ways), celebrating food from the local area. The Chilterns sits just to the north-west of London, and it’s where i’m lucky to call my home. It’s one of those places that often sits in the shadows of the Cotswolds, but the Chiltern Hills definitely stands alone as a scenic place to live. Chilterns Food Magazine celebrates all things local, and I’m a firm believer that food should be as seasonal and local as your purse and lifestyle dictates, whether you’re vegan or not.

The drink recipes in this magazine have got my thirst needing to be well and truly quenched, and having never heard of a ‘shrub’ before seeing this recipe, although a little time-consuming, looks well worth the effort. It turns out “shrubs were originally colonial drinks, the name coming from the Arabic word sharab which simply means, to drink. They are made from fruit, sugar and vinegar and are left to ferment and infuse, sometimes overnight, sometimes for longer.”

Raspberry and Thyme Shrub
Makes approx 500ml

2 cups of raspberries
1 cup of raw cane sugar
8 thyme sprigs
1 cup of apple cider vinegar

  • Wash and slice the raspberries and mix with the sugar in a bowl, cover and leave to infuse for two days.
  • Put the thyme sprigs in a non-reactive container (so not metallic) and cover with the apple cider vinegar (use unpasteurized otherwise you get a cloudy drink), cover and leave in a cool dark place for two days.
  • Strain the raspberres through a non-metallic strainer and pour the vinegar over the top.
  • Place the combined shrub into a sealed glass bottle give it a good old shake then leave in your fridge for a week before using.

This method is a slightly longer process but the way the flavours combine make the effort worthwhile.

To get your Gin game on, find your local provider of Gin and add 50ml of gin with 30ml of this shrub!

Enjoy!

Veronica x

Recipe from: Chilterns Food Magazine
Photography: Jamie Orlando Smith

Raspberry Vegan Victoria Sponge

I turned vegan nearly four years ago. Around that time I made my sister a vegan victoria sponge not to dissimilar to the one below. I was determined to not miss out on the food I was used to. To be honest, when I made the decision to give go vegan most people thought it was a phase, even I probably wasn’t wholly convinced how long I’d be able to stick to it. But, here I am, four years on and I haven’t looked back. Sure, there is food I miss occasionally, but not enough to warrant me eating it.

I made this cake last week to celebrate my friend’s birthday. It’s not quite a true Victoria sponge, as I popped some raspberries into the sponge mixture, creating quite a dense and moist sponge rather than light and fluffy one. But, needless to say it was a success and very much enjoyed, so I thought I’d share it. I used some almond soya yoghurt and it gives it a delicious hint of almonds, reminiscent of a bakewell tart – perfect!

Raspberry Vegan Victoria Sponge

300g plain flour
1 tspn baking powder
150g caster sugar
100ml vegetable oil
1 tspn vanilla extract
250ml almond soya yoghurt
100ml oat milk

For the icing:
100g vegan margarine
150g icing sugar
1 tspn vanilla extract

2 tbsp Strawberry jam
225g Raspberries
100g Strawberries

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180C and line a 7 inch cake tin.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add the dry ingredients; flour, baking powder and sugar.
  • Add the oil, yoghurt, vanilla extract and milk and stir together. Add half of the raspberries.
  • Pour the mixture into the cake tin, and cook in the oven for 40-45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
  • Turn the cake out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely. 
  • Once cooled cut the cake in half.
  • In a large bowl, add the margarine, icing sugar and vanilla extract, mix together using a blender or fork until smooth.
  • Spread the strawberry jam onto one side of the sponge. On the other half spread half of the buttercream filling. Place the two sides together then spread the remaining buttercream on the top of the cake.
  • Decorate using the remaining raspberries and the strawberries.

Keep in an airtight container.

Enjoy!

Veronica x

 

 

Vegan Pad Thai with Asparagus

Vegan Pad Thai with Asparagus

This Vegan Pad Thai is so quick and easy, you’ll definitely want to add this one to your weekday evening meal repertoire – trust me! In fact, I wasn’t planning on posting this recipe, this was just my Saturday night dinner creation. I took a few snaps for my Insta account, but it was too good not to share! Vegan Pad Thai, I think, is up there as my favourite meal at the moment (disclaimer, this changes A LOT!)

Asparagus has such a short season which if you’re a big time fan like me will crush your heart as it does mine, but if you’re quick there is still time to make the most of this awesome veg. If Asparagus is no longer in season when you’re reading this, don’t despair, some green beans, or purple sprouting broccoli will work just as well, just check what is in season!

Here are some more recipes for you to make the most of the Asparagus that comes your way:
Asparagus & Pea Soup
Vietnamese Vegan Pho with Grilled Asparagus

Lemon Artichoke Hearts and Asparagus

Vegan Pad Thai Vegan Pad Thai

Vegan Pad Thai with Asparagus
Serves two

1 tbsp sesame oil
Bunch of asparagus
1 carrot
1 bell pepper 
1/2 courgette
2 x bundles of noodles
Thumb sized piece of ginger
2 x cloves of garlic (crushed)
1 red chilli
1 tbsp peanut butter
2 tbsp tamari
1/2 tbsp maple syrup
Handful of coriander (chopped)
2 x limes
1 tbsp pistachios or peanuts (chopped)

  • Heat the sesame oil in a wok or a large saucepan on a medium to high heat. Chop the carrot, pepper and courgette and add to the pan along with the asparagus and stir-fry for 5 minutes.
  • Boil the kettle, and start cooking the noodles as per your packet instructions (mine took 10 minutes).
  • Meanwhile, thinly slice the ginger and chilli, add to the wok along with the garlic and stir through the vegetables.
  • In a small bowl, mix the peanut butter, tamari, maple syrup and the juice of one of the limes, add a tablespoon of water and stir until smooth.
  • Once the noodles are cooked, drain using a colander and add to the wok. Pour in the peanut sauce and coriander, stir until everything is coated in the sauce.
  • Serve sprinkled with pistachios and a wedge of lime.

Enjoy!

Veronica x

Chocolate Hazelnut Muffins [vegan & gluten-free]

vegan chocolate muffins

These Chocolate Hazelnut Muffins are not only are vegan but they are gluten-free too, so you’ll be able to cover all your food label bases with these bad boys! I know Easter has come and gone, but I’m not quite ready to say goodbye to chocolate inspired food just yet.

Before I became vegan I couldn’t imagine my life without Cadbury’s Dairy Milk, yes that was the extent of my chocolate range, maybe Galaxy too! I thought dark chocolate was gross and there was no way I could eat it! Fast-forward four years, and I’m a dark chocolate convert. 80% is my jam, my boyfriend bought be a 100% easter egg, I’m not quite there yet….but give me another four years and maybe…! Around Christmas time last year, I accidentally ate some Green and Black’s milk chocolate – turns out it no longer tastes good to me. It was so creamy and sweet that it hardly tasted of chocolate anymore. My tastebuds have been completely transformed.

Now these Chocolate Hazelnut Muffins are definitely for serious chocolate lovers who like their chocolate seriously dark and powered by cocoa! Definitely one for the grown-up palette!

vegan chocolate hazelnut muffins

chocolate vegan and gluten-free muffins vegan and gluten-free chocolate hazelnut muffins

Chocolate Hazelnut Muffins [vegan and gluten-free]
Makes 12

250g buckwheat flour
50g cocoa
125g caster sugar
1 tspn xanthum gum
1 tspn baking powder
1/2 tspn bicarbonate of soda
200ml plantbased milk (I used coconut)
100ml vegetable oil
200ml plantbased yoghurt (I used soya)
1 tspn vanilla extract
50g dark dairy-free chocolate
50g hazelnuts

For the icing:
80g icing sugar
1 tbsp boiling water

  • Pre-heat your oven to 180C and line a muffin tin with paper muffin cases.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add the flour, cocoa, sugar, xanthum gum, baking powder and bicarb.  Stir until thoroughly mixed together.
  • Add the milk, oil, yoghurt and vanilla, and gently stir until smooth.
  • Chop the chocolate and hazelnuts into chunks and stir through.
  • Dollop the mixture into the 12 paper cases.
  • Place in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean when inserted.
  • Leave to cool on a wire rack.
  • Once thoroughly cooled, add the icing sugar and water into a mixing bowl and stir until smooth, using a piping bag or spoon, drizzle over the muffins.

Enjoy

Veronica x

Lemon Artichoke Hearts and Asparagus

I love artichokes. Artichoke Globes that is, not those pesky Jerusalem ones, they’re gross and they make you pass a serious amount of gas…true story! I’ve never actually cooked the Globe ones from scratch before, I have just bought them covered in oil in a jar. Don’t get me wrong, jar ones absolutely have their place, but now Globe Artichokes are in season I came across them at my local market, they looked so pretty and were so cheap, I just had to grab myself a load and figured I would figure it out! Turns out they’re not too difficult to prepare, fiddly sure, but not so hard. I also grabbed a bunch of Asparagus because hello Asparagus is in season too…man Spring is the best!

This would make a great side dish, perhaps to a risotto or a pie of some sort, your side veggies definitely don’t just have to be boiled!


Artichoke Hearts and Asparagus
Serves 2

5-6 baby globe artichokes (or regular sized ones)
Bunch of asparagus
Juice of one lemon
Salt and pepper
2 garlic cloves 
Olive oil

  • Rinse the artichokes in cold water.
  • Peel off the outer leaves until you reach the paler leaves. Trim the tops and the stem.
  • Slice them into quarters, and then place them in a bowl of cold water with 1/2 of the lemon juice, whilst you prepare the rest of them. If you’re using regular sized artichokes you need to make sure you scoop out the furry middle, you don’t need to worry about this with the baby ones, they’re just babies.
  • Steam the artichokes using the lemon water for 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the asparagus by snapping off the lower part of the stalk and discard.
  • In a baking tray, place the asparagus along with the steamed artichokes. 
  • Drizzle with olive oil, the remaining lemon juice and the garlic cloves, I threw in the juiced lemon too.
  • Place under the grill for 10 minutes on a medium heat.
  • Season with salt and pepper. 

Enjoy!

Veronica x

Cashew and Sesame Purple Sprouting Broccoli [vegan]

There is more to vegetables than simply boiling them! Don’t get me wrong, boiled veg has it’s place on a plate sometimes, but this Cashew and Sesame Purple Sprouting Broccoli is one of those dishes that showcases just how an ordinary vegetable can become the star of the show. This makes an ideal side dish or serve with noodles and eat as a main meal. 

Cashew Sesame Purple Sprouting Broccoli
Serves 2

1 tbsp sesame oil
1 leek
2 garlic cloves (chopped)
50g cashew nuts
120g broccoli
Thumb sized piece of ginger (grated)
1 tbsp tamari
1 chilli
1 tbsp sesame seeds

  • In a wok or frying pan, heat the sesame oil on a medium heat.
  • Chop the leek and add to the pan along with the garlic and cashew nuts, and cook for a couple of minutes.
  • Add the broccoli, grated ginger, tamari and chilli and cook for 10 minutes. Add the sesame seeds and stir through.

Enjoy!

Veronica x

Vegan Lentil Lasagna

For as long as I can remember Lasagna has been my favourite dish. I love a good vegetable lasagna packed full of whatever the season has to offer, but lentils provide this beaut more of a meaty texture. This dish is packed full of flavour, and a tofu topping means you don’t need to faff about with a bechamel and worry about lumpy sauce = win! 


Vegan Lasagna with lentils and kale
Serves 4-6

1/2 tbsp coconut oil
1 large onion
2 garlic cloves
200g puy lentils (soaked overnight if possible)
400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp oregano
1/2 tbsp thyme
1 tspn ground cinnamon
2 tbsp tomato puree
400ml vegetable stock
80g kale
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
Salt and pepper
6 – 8 lasagne sheets (depending on the size of your dish)

For the topping:
1 block of firm tofu (drained)
3 tbsp pine nuts (keep an extra few to sprinkle on top)
80g spinach (washed and dried)
Salt and pepper
A few cherry tomatoes
A few basil leaves

  • In a large saucepan, melt the coconut oil on a medium heat.
  • Chop the onion and garlic and add to the pan and cook for five minutes.
  • Rinse the lentils and add to the pan, along with the chopped tomatoes, oregano, thyme, cinnamon and tomato puree. Cook for five minutes.
  • Gradually add the vegetable stock, along with the kale, maple syrup and apple cider vinegar. Cook for about 25 minutes until the lentils are cooks. Season with plenty of pepper and a little salt.
  • Meanwhile in food processor, add the drained block of tofu, the pine nuts and spinach and blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
  • In a large oven-proof dish add half of the lentil and kale filling and spread evenly. Lay the lasagne sheets covering the filling.
  • Spoon half the tofu mixture and spread evenly across the pasta sheet. 
  • Spread the remaining lentil mix over and top with more pasta sheets and the rest of the tofu mixture.
  • Top with sliced cherry tomatoes, pine nuts and a few basil leaves.
  • Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180C for thirty minutes.
  • Serve with some tasty salad leaves.

Enjoy!

Veronica x

 

Carrot and Swede Soup with Smoky Pumpkin Seed Croutons [vegan]

I’ve got the February blues and I feel grumpy. I’m in desperate need of Spring, but it’s grey, cold and miserable, and the promise of warmer days seem still too distant for my liking. This carrot and swede soup definitely brings a little sunshine to my bowl, so until Spring finally springs I’ll be staring into this bowl of goodness.

Carrot and Swede Soup with Smoky Pumpkin Seed Croutons
Makes 4 servings

For the soup:
1 tspn coconut oil
1 onion
2 garlic cloves
4 medium carrots
1/2 medium swede
1 litre of vegetable stock
1 tspn smoked paprika
1/2 tspn cinnamon
A handful of fresh coriander

For the pumpkin seeds:
25g pumpkin seeds
1 tspn smoked paprika
A pinch of dried chilli flakes
Salt and pepper

  • In a large saucepan melt the coconut oil.
  • Finely chop the onions and add to the pan and cook for a few minutes until they’ve softened.
  • Peel the garlic cloves and finely chop and add to the pan.
  • Peel and dice the carrots and swede and add to the pan along with the vegetable stock.
  • Bring to the boil and simmer for thirty minutes on a low heat.
  • Add the paprika and cinnamon and stir through.
  • Remove from the heat, and using a stick blender blitz until the soup is smooth.

For the pumpkin seed croutons:

  • Line a baking tray with some greaseproof paper, spread the pumpkin seeds across the tray.
  • Sprinkle the seeds with the smoked paprika, chilli flakes, pinch of salt and pepper and make sure they’re coated well.
  • Toast in the oven for five to ten minutes until they start splitting and puffing up.
  • Sprinkle on top of the soup and serve with the fresh coriander and a little more smoked paprika.

Enjoy!

Veronica x

Cranberry Maple Pecan Pancakes [vegan and gluten free]

Pancakes have become one of my favourite things about weekends. As I’ve been making more I think I’ve perfected their density and fluffiness, and this flavour combo is definitely a winner. These are pretty thick american styleee and the batter makes about four but you could probably make six at a push. The maple syrup takes the edge off the sharpness of the cranberries, and you’ve basically got Christmas morning done and dusted. Thank me later. 😉

Cranberry Pancakes veganCranberry Pancakes vegan

Cranberry Maple Pecan Pancakes
Makes 4-6 pancakes

For the pancakes:
50g Rice flour
50g Buckwheat flour
1 tspn Xantham gum
1 tspn Baking Powder
1/2 tspn Ground cinnamon
250ml Oat milk
1 tbsp Coconut oil

For the topping:
100g Cranberries
50g Pecans (roughly chopped)
2 tbsp Maple syrup
1 tbsp Water

  • In a mixing bowl, add the flours, baking powder, xantham gum and cinnamon. Whisk in the milk, until a batter has formed.
  • In a frying pan, melt the coconut oil on a medium heat. 
  • Once melted, add spoonfuls of the batter and allow to cook for a few minutes.
  • Meanwhile, add the cranberries to a saucepan with a tablespoon of water. Bring to the boil, and then allow to gently soften. Add the pecans, along with the maple syrup. It will become quite sticky, add a little more water if desired.
  • Turn the pancakes over to allow them to cook on the other side. They will take about ten minutes in total.
  • Serve the pancakes along with the cranberries and pecans along with a little extra maple syrup. I often add some cashew butter or almond butter for some added yum.

Perfect for Christmas morning! x

Pumpkin and Kale Salad with Peanut Dressing [vegan]

Just because we’re well and truly into soup weather doesn’t mean we have to totally give up on salad, plus I’m totally not lying when I say this is the pumpkin and kale salad is nothing but delicious…it’s ALL about the dressing!

I’ve been swamped with work recently and just when I needed to be on my A game, BAM along comes a cold to laugh in my face, and one that I’m still battling the remnants of. So, I’m loading on vitamin packed foods and this will definitely ensure you’re packing in the nutrients needed to fight any germs that are always lurking at this time of year.

Squash and kale saladSquash and kale salad

Squash and Kale Salad
Serves 2 people

5 stalks of red kale (de-stalk)
1/2 medium pumpkin/squash 
1 red onion
8 cherry tomatoes (halved)
1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
1 tbsp sunflower seeds
1 tbsp olive oil
Handful of coriander

For the dressing:
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tspn peanut butter
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tspn dried chilli flakes

  • Halve and de-seed the pumpkin or squash and roast in the oven with a drizzle of olive oil for half an hour or until soft.
  • Wash and de-stalk the kale and chop into fairly small pieces. In a large mixing bowl drizzle the kale with the olive oil and massage the oil into the leaves with your fingertips. Leave to soften for 15 minutes.
  • Toast the sunflower and pumpkin seeds in a dry frying pan on a medium heat for 5 minutes until slightly browned.
  • Slice the red onion and add to the bowl, along with the cherry tomatoes, pumpkin and sunflower seeds.
  • Finely chop the coriander leaves and stir through.
  • In a small bowl, add the sesame oil, soy sauce, peanut butter and maple syrup along with the chilli flakes and stir until smooth.
  • Once the pumpkin is soft, add it into the salad and pour the dressing all over it and stir to coat it all.

Enjoy and keep well!

Veronica x