Dinosaur Kale Mac and Cheese

Because dinosaurs are cool.

Chili and Lime Black Bean Burger

The perfect vegan burger!

Beer Battered Halloumi

Nom, nom, nom.

Ginger and Chili Tofu

Crispy delicious tofu that's easy to make... say what?

Chocolate Cake Balls

Cakes, but not as you know them.

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Super Easy Miso Soup

A few weeks ago I brought one of those cup-a-soup style miso soups and although it was nice it left me wanting the real thing. So after a bit of Internet research I found some of the ingredients on Goodness Direct and set about making some homemade miso. I think most miso soups have other ingredients, but to be honest this recipe is very, very easy and still tastes like real thing. I added some noodles too because to make it more of a main meal than a side dish.

Serves 2:
80g dried noodles (I used soba)
3 sticks wakame seaweed chopped in to small pieces
500ml boiling water water
1 pouch miso bullion paste
100g tofu diced
2 spring onions to garnish

Start by soaking the seaweed in warm water and leave for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, add the noodles to a pan of boiling water cook for 5 minutes (or however long it says on the pack) then strain and rinse under cold water and split between two bowls. Then dissolve the miso paste in 500ml of boiling water, in a pan on a medium heat. Strain the seaweed then add to the miso, along with the tofu, turn the heat right down and sit for a few minutes so the tofu can absorb the flavour. Pour over the noodles, top with the spring onion and enjoy!

Friday, 29 July 2011

Georgie's Blackberry Jam

I've always thought that jam would be really hard to make and therefore have never bothered trying! But this week I went to visit my friend Georgie, and after some serious blackberry picking we decided to give it a try. It's so easy! This recipe is simple with only 2 ingredients and according to Georgie's mum the blackberries naturally have pectin in their skin which makes the jam set, it's like actual magic! I have no measurements, but you need a lot of blackberries (we had half this basket full, which made 2 jars) so you need to get your foraging on!

You need: 

Blackberries and Sugar! 

So to make the Jam wash your berries well, then chuck in a pan with a tiny bit of water (just to stop the berries sticking) and leave on a medium heat for 5-10 minutes until the juice has been extracted and the berries have gone mushy! then strain the berries through a sieve into a measuring jug until you have extracted all the juice. Take note of how much liquid there is (in our case it was 600ml) and then pour the juice back into the pan. Then fill the measuring jug up to the same point as the juice with sugar (so in our case 600ml of sugar) then add to the juice in the pan. Heat the jam to a rolling boil and leave for around 10 mins until you put a spoon in and the jam starts of form in soft droplets while dripping off. Funnel in to sterilised jars and leave to cool and set! 

The jam is perfect with earl grey scones and clotted cream! 

I also have to mention Todd, the cutest dog ever, who helped georgie make the jam by jumping up the backs of her legs to try and see what we were doing! awww. 

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Vegetable and Ale Pie and Grove Farm

When Mike and I were on our strawberry picking mission, I found this PYO which had loads of different fruits and veg, needless to say I desperately wanted to go there. Especially as you get to dig your own potatoes, although it turns out that I’m not actually very good at that! So yeah Mike and I set off with the intention of picking enough stuff to make lunch and got strawberries, raspberries, blackcurrants, potatoes, carrots, onions and broad beans. It was so cheap and such good quality, I wish I could go there every week! 

So with our veg made vegetable and ale pie and mash. I've made this recipe about 1000 times, and each time it’s been different. As I said in my veganism day 5 post, I can’t remember if it was Emma or Phoebe who invented this (I think it was both of them) but we always used to make some variety, either with red wine or ale. It’s great with both so go with your preference. It doesn't matter what veg you use in here, so it’s perfect for making use of what’s in season, and it’s best served with some lovely mustard mash! (and it’s suitable for vegans!)

Glug of oil
Around 1kg of mixed vegetables (best to stick to 4 e.g squash, courgette, leeks and sweet potato, or onion, carrots, broad beans and asparagus)
½ litre of vegan gravy (bisto does nicely)
200 ml of vegan ale or wine
1 pack of puff pastry

Sweat the vegetables on a medium heat for a few minutes in the oil, then add the gravy (I like the gravy really thick), turn up the heat and let it simmer and reduce until the vegetables are starting to soften. Add the ale or wine and continue cooking for a few more mins. Then roll out the pastry and cover a large pie dish (leaving enough for the top) and pour the filling in. Pop the top on and cook for 15-20 minutes in a preheated oven at 200 degrees. Serve it up with loads of mash and fatty on down.

We also made a summer pudding with the berries we picked. I haven’t made one since I was about 10 so it took me back! It was loosely based on the recipe a BBC Good Food (this is vegan too)

Friday, 22 July 2011

Kirsch Soaked Cherry Cake

Any way, it was my mum's birthday this week so I was called upon to make her a birthday cake. I was trying to think of what flavour she would like and remembered that she's quite partial to a kirsch soaked cherry every now and again. So I decided to put some of those into a chocolately cake. You need to make the kirsch soaked cherries the day before to ensure they are nice and kirschy.

For the kirsch soaked cherries:

250g pitted (or cut in half) cherries
125g water
50g caster sugar
1 tbsp kirsch

Put the sugar and water into a pan on a low heat until the sugar has melted. Add the cherries and simmer for 5 minutes. Pour the juices and cherries in to a sterilised jar or clean container, mix in the kirsch and leave to soak overnight.

For the cake:

2 8 inch cake tins, greased
100g dark 70% cocoa chocolate
225g caster sugar
225g butter
4 large eggs
200g flour
50g cocoa powder
Your jar of kirsh soaked cherries

For the icing:

200g dark 70% cocoa chocolate
250g icing sugar
250g butter
3 tbsp cherry syrup (reserved from kirsch cherries)

Start by preheating the oven to 180 degrees and melting the chocolate in a bain marie, then leave to cool. Cream together the sugar and butter until light and fluffy, then add the eggs one by one and mix in well. Fold in the melted chocolate, flour and cocoa powder one by one. Strain the cherries from the juice and reserve the juice for the icing. Then fold most of the cherries into the mixture (saving some to decorate the top). pour in to the greased cake tins and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, until a skewer placed in the middle of the cake comes out clean.

Take out of the oven and leave to cool. While the cake is cooling, make the frosting by again melting the chocolate in a baine marie and leaving to cool. Then cream together the butter and icing sugar until light and fluffy, fold in the cooled chocolate and juice from the cherries (syrup). Assemble the cake by removing the top from one of the sponges so you have a flat surface, then cover the top with a thick layer of icing and sandwich the top layer. Cover the whole cake in loads of icing and decorate with cherries!

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Great Taste Market - Milton Keynes

Milton Keynes isn't exactly what you'd call a foodie paradise, there's a few farmers markets here and there but nothing too exciting. So I was more than happy to see that there was a food market happening in the center, it's nestled in the destination dining section which is the perfect spot right in the middle of the new(ish) restaurants. I think it may be coming a monthly thing, as it was on last month too (I hope so any way). Although small there was quite a few good stalls, and amongst them the amazing chocolatier Lucky's! Although I intended to buy some cheese from La Cave and bread from The Flour Station (the bread looked amazing!) my sweet tooth got the better of my and I brought 3 Lucky's brownies and 4 bags of Zaramama popcorn. Overall it was a lovely little market, and it brought some much needed foodie stalls into the city! Here's a few pics:

Blue mountain popcorn, it actually came out slightly blue hoorah!

Lucky's Brownies (You need to try these, they are beyond amazing!)

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Veggie Tapas

Spain isn't best known for it's vegetarian food and I should know as I was given meat in 'vegetarian' dishes twice in one year on two seperate holidays! But there are a few veggie tapas dishes that you can make at home to bring a touch of the holiday home. So here are three of my favourites:

All dishes serve 1:

Oilves and ‘Manchego’ cheese

I only really decided I liked olives in the second year of uni because of bad food envy and I didn't go on holiday last year so this was the first time I tried proper spanish olives in Spain. They were so good I ate them every day! Vegetarian manchego cheese is very hard to find, so if you can’t get it you can use another vegetarian nutty cheese such as Gruyere, Gouda or Emmental.

50g manzilla Olives

30g manchego cheese

Olive oil

Mixed herbs

This is an easy one, basically mix all the ingredients together and cover with as much olive oil as you want!


(Obviously this isn't one portion, I made it for my family too!)

I went through a bit of a paella addiction phase a while ago and ate it all the time! I think the fact that I still want to eat it a 400th time is a testament to how tasty it is! This recipe is really easy to make too, perfect student/late night dinner food.

Olive oil

¼ red pepper

½ onion

75g paella rice

4 tbsp dry white wine

250ml vegetable stock

¼ tsp turmeric

¼ tsp paprika

50g frozen peas

Lemon wedge to serve

Heat some olive oil in a pan, add the onion and pepper and soften for a few minutes then add the rice. Cook the rice until it starts to turn see through, cover with the white wine and let it absorb. Then add the stock and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the peas, turmeric and paprika and stir well then cook for another 5 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges.

Fried potatoes with ali oil

Ali oil is basically just garlic mayonnaise, if you want you can make it yourself but it's probably one of those things that is nicer from a jar (unless you are somehow super good at making it). I tried making it myself, and although it tasted okay it was really garlicy and I couldn't face eating it because I knew it was just made of egg yolk (egg is weird). Any way, I only just discovered ali oil and even better, I've just discovered that you can buy it in Morrisons (hoorah) so if you want a simple tapas dish this is all you need to do:

Take 4 baby potatoes per person and cut into rounds, heat oil in a pan until very hot and add the potatoes. Fry for around ten minutes until soft, then remove from pan and place on kitchen towel to absorb the oil. Put in a dish, cover with ali oil and enjoy!

Here's the ali oil recipe I used

P.s If you want vegan tapas you can marinate the olives with pepper, herbs ect and mix garlic with vegan mayo for the ali oil. The paella is already vegan!

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Fish-less Finger Pie

The fabulous Peach Trees and Bumblebees site launched last week, if you haven't already checked it out get your self over there! It's full of fantastic recipes from various foodies, and if you have a recipe you're dying to share you can submit it as well. One of my favourite recipes from the site has to be the fish finger pie, it's the perfect student dish, and quite simply genius! Now obviously I don't eat fish but, luckily Quorn just brought out fish-less fingers, so it was the perfect opportunity to give those a try too!

(pie in the making)

I don't really like meat/fish subsitutes and very rarely have them (they're saved for the easy option at a bbq) but these were actually quite nice. I'm not sure if they taste anything like the real things, but they worked perfectly in this dish. The dish in its self is the perfect easy, comforting and delicious food you want after a hard day. Veggie or not give it a try, you can find the recipe here.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Caramelised Banana Muffin Bites

As promised here's the recipe for the caramelised banana muffin bites. This recipe makes absolutely loads of tiny muffins if you're making them in petit four cases, but if you want to make normal sized ones then it makes 12 (I only made tiny ones because I thought it would be a bit rubbish if I took a few massive ones to the vegan pot luck). They are very chocolatey with soft and sweet banana bits and plamil alternative to milk chocolate chips! The best thing about these muffins is that they have no animal products in at all making them suitable for vegans :)!

(the yellow ones were banana and the pink ones were raspberry)

320g Plain flour
100g Cocoa powder
1tsp Baking powder
1/2 tsp Salt
225g Sugar
460 ml Soy Milk
120 ml Oil
1tsp Vanilla extract
180g Dairy free chocolate chopped into chunks (I used plamil alternative to milk)

30g sugar
1 medium banana
1 tbsp water
1 tsp vanilla extract

(caramelising bananas)

First you need to caramelise your banana, so chop it up in to tiny pieces (you can use larger chunks if you're making normal sized ones) and pop in to a pan with the sugar, water and vanilla extract. Heat gently until the sugar has dissolved and then turn up the heat to caramelise. Once browning (not too much you don't want burnt caramel) remove from the heat and put to one side.

Then mix all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl and make a well in the middle. Add the wet ingredients and mix with an electric mixer until well blended. Then add the banana and chocolate chips and mix in with a wooden spoon. Spoon the mixture into muffin cases and bake for 10-15 minutes in a preheated oven until well risen, spongy and a little bit cracked on top.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Vegan Pot Luck III

(Muffiny mess)

Sorry again about my lack of blogging! I had a very busy week last week and worked all weekend, so I haven't had time to post about the fantastic vegan pot luck I went to with Emma last wednesday. Despite being an hour and 20 minutes late there was still loads for us to try, and the selection of food, the atmosphere and the people were truly amazing. It was hosted by Fatgayvegan and held in the Ms Cupcake store in Brixton (best cupcake ever! I will get to that) so thank you to them for making it possible!

(my muffins at the pot luck)

I made some mini muffin bites based on the recipe from my Phoebe's Ice Cream and Vegan Muffins post, but this time I made raspberry and choc chip and caramelised banana and choc chip. Here's the recipe card I took!

And Emma made this very colourful, carrot, red cabbage, coriander and poppy seed salad. Yum!

The food really was remarkable and everyone put a lot of effort in to bringing an amazing dish! My favourites had to be a sweet potato topped shepherds pie and the spinach & leek pakoras and to be honest there wasn't anything I didn't like! It was also the first time I've tried Redwood's (who kindly sponsored the pot luck) 'meatballs' which were turned into delicious English and Italian inspired dishes by the Ms. Cupcake team. I urge anyone who is interested in animal product free food to go to the next one with one of their creations and get try lots of others (and also take a lunch box, we made the huge mistake of forgetting!)

(Terrible quality photo, but lovely vegan food!)

So it was a day of firsts for me, my first vegan pot luck, first vegan meat balls and my first Ms. Cupcake cake and oh my god! It was genuinely the best cupcake I have ever had. I went for the Ferro Roche one on the recommendation of Emma, it was like a piece of chocolatey, hazelnut heaven! I also brought some marshmallows because I really want to make vegan smores, but unfortunately they didn't make it home (I couldn't resist).

You can read Fatgayvegans post and see some of the other lovely dishes here :)

P.s I will post the caramelised banana and chocolate chip muffin recipe tomorrow!

Monday, 4 July 2011

Nacho Fondue

I spend way too much time thinking about nachos and just food in general. So last night while I was lying in bed dreaming about the perfect cheese covered tortillas, I had an idea. What's the best cheese for nachos, obviously Monterey Jack (it's vegetarian horah). So what could possibly be better than a Monterey Jack fondue to dip your tortilla chips in! I'll tell you what, Monterey Jack fondue with jalapenos! I made some tortilla chips for funsies but you can use the bagged kind too.

For 4 you'll need:

Tortilla chips:

4 large tortillas
Olive oil
Salt and Pepper (or any spices you want, cayenne pepper, paprika ect)


1 garlic clove halved
600ml vegetarian dry cider
400g Monterey Jack grated
4 tbsp corn flour
2 tbsp mustard powder
A good pinch of salt and pepper
As many Jalapenos as you can handle (I chopped mine in to smaller pieces, you can leave them whole if you're hard core)

Make the tortilla chips by cutting the tortillas up like a pizza and popping on a baking tray. Spray for brush with olive oil and cover with the salt and pepper or spices. Then bake in a preheated oven for around 1o-15 minutes until crisp then leave to cool.

Make the fondue by rubbing the garlic clove around the base and sides of a fondue pot or heavy based sauce pan and then discard the clove. Mix the cheese with the cornflour, mustard powder, salt and pepper. Pour the cider into the pot and bring to the boil, then add the cheese mixture and keep stirring until melted. When it's nice and thick, take off the heat and toss the jalapenos on top and get dunking.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Vegetarian Abroad

Sorry for the lack of posting for the last week, no I haven't been in some food induced coma... I've been on holiday stuffing myself full of spanish delights such as olives, paella and ali oli. I didn't manage to take any photo's of the food I ate out there as I was too busy eating it so here's picture of an ice cream.

(I wanted two deserts this night but my mean boyfriend only let me have one, meaning I had to eat this rubbish (well not really) ice cream sundae and NEVER got to have an amazing profiterole cake... sigh)

This is the third time I've been to Mijas so we know most of the restaurants quite well, on the first night I was tempted in to a restaurant we've lovingly termed 'The cockroach place' by the vegetarian paella. Then we went to a very strange establishment called Dibleys. Strange... but amazing, you see they sell tapas, traditional spanish tapas but also some english dishes. We went twice and I had mushroom stroganoff, mushrooms in blue cheese, vegetarian sausage and mash and camembert, not the usual dishes you'd find in a tapas bar! I'd like to point out that I detest mushrooms but decided to be brave because I wanted to know what strognaoff tastes like and I love blue cheese.

So yes, I feel that there will be a spanish inspired post here soon. But first I just had the best idea ever for a nacho fondue type 'dish' so I will be trying that tomorrow!

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