Toffee Apples (Vegan, DF, GF)

Toffee Apples (Vegan, DF, GF)

Raw Toffee Apples

‘Here’s to the crazy one. The misfits, the rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They are not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. Some may see them as the crazy some genius. But it is only those who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, that do’

Matthew Kenney was one such crazy person, who created a plant-based culinary nutrition education program. He is a true believer that food is our medicine and through his own personal experience has seen a plant based diet bring him back to life. His culinary school is dedicated to showing the world that healthy, plant-based foods can be delicious, sexy, vibrant, beautiful and can be consumed without compromise.

I am a true believer in this philosophy and whilst not 100% plant based, I am making my way down this path. My dream is that food is used to fuel our body, minds and souls and the more I learn about the nutrient content of our basic plant friends, the more I feel like our health care is easily accessible and available to all.

Of all the courses that the PlantLab Culinary school runs, the one I choose to start with was their raw desserts course. You can do it online over 6 months, so pacing it with your own schedule. Desserts have always been my weakest point; due to my body not reacting well to gluten and dairy, so this course is an eye and palate opener. Mr B who loves his desserts is super happy too as he can now eat dessert for breakfast.

This was the first recipe I used at my vegan dinner party and the guests where in love with it. The whole plate was dairy, gluten and nut free and they were super surprised that it was a possibility. I hope Chef Kenney is proud of the impact he is having, I believe this revolution and evolution has just begun!

Ingredients

Apples

  • 1 apple

Caramel

  • 10 medjool dates, pitted and soaked
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1/3. Cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp. mesquite or maca powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. Water

Pumpkin seed crunch/raspberries

  • ½ cup, plus 2 tbsp. pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tbsp. coconut sugar
  • ½ vanilla pod, seeds
  • Pinch of salt
  • Freeze dried raspberries

Method

  • Using a melon baller, make apple balls, place in a bowl with some lemon water to make sure it doesn’t brown. Place to the side
  • Blend all the caramel ingredients until smooth. Pour caramel to the side and move to the side
  • Grind all the pumpkin seed ingredients together, place in a bowl and move to the side
  • Crush the freeze dried raspberries, place in a bowl and move to the side
  • Take one of the apple balls, dry off, place a toothpick through the center, roll in the caramel, roll in topping of choice
  • Place in fridge to set (min 5 minutes)
  • Serve once set

 

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Beetroot, Potato, Peanut Butter Tikki

Aloo Peanut Butter Tikkis

Beetroot, Potato, Peanut Butter Tikki

This recipe is a modern interpretation of the classic Aloo Tikki, also known as the potato tikki. The recipe is adapted from Chef Manish Mehrotra’s Indian Accent cookbook. His restaurant in New Delhi was recently named India’s best restaurant and his New York version is fast gaining in reputation.

When I first saw this recipe, I thought it seemed a little odd, but it really works. The tikki’s work with a full range of textures and tastes, from the sweetness of the beetroot to the creaminess of the potatoes, the saltiness and crunchy texture of the peanuts, heat and spice from the aromatics and garam masala and the subtle sweetness from the peanut butter.

My grandma used to make Aloo Tikki’s and we would love dipping them into her beautiful vibrant coriander (cilantro) and mint chutney (see older recipe), licking our fingers and the plate when we were done.

This one is for my Bigmama, my kitchen companion and inspiration.

Ingredients

  • 2 beetroots
  • 2 medium sized potatoes
  • 2 tsp. ghee/clarified butter
  • ½ tsp. cumin seeds/jeera
  • 1 tsp. minced ginger
  • ½ tsp. minced garlic
  • ½ tsp. minced green chillies
  • 1 tsp. garam masala
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 tsp. crushed peanuts
  • 2 tbsp. peanut butter

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 350f, wash the beetroot, wrap in foil and roast for c.30 minutes. Remove from the oven and when cooled, peel and grate
  • Boil the potatoes and when cooled, grate
  • Heat the ghee in a heavy bottomed pan, add the cumin seeds and allow to crackle, sauté the ginger, garlic and green chilli
  • Add the grated beetroot, cooking for 15-20 minutes until the water evaporates
  • Add grated potato, garam masala and cook for 5 minutes
  • Add salt to taste
  • Once cooked, transfer to a bowl and mix in crushed peanuts
  • Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and roll into balls. Place the ball one at a time into the palm of your hand and make a small indentation. Fill with peanut butter and shape into a patty. Repeat with the balance of the patties
  • Put in the fridge, while clearing up, to firm
  • When ready to eat, grease a baking tray with coconut oil and bake or pan fry

 

Deconstructed Samosas

Deconstructed Samosas.JPG

Deconstructed Samosas

My grandma’s samosas were famous. She served them at family meals and everyone would dive in as soon as they arrived. I remember my mum selling them at school fundraisers when I was a kid and people ordering them for parties of their own. She must have made tens of thousands of them through her lifetime and they were always perfect

I did not want to try and replicate my grandma’s samosa recipe as I think I would be in the kitchen for a lifetime and never get close without her special ingredient of grandma love, so I made my own version with a similar taste profile

I hope you enjoy a bite-sized version of my heritage, modernised for the new generation of grandma inspired cooks

Ingredients

For samosa

  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 tsp. coriander seeds
  • ¼ cup diced onions
  • 1 tsp. freshly grated ginger
  • 1lb baking potatoes, boiled, cooked, peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes
  • ½ cup peas
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. garam masala
  • ½ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • Vegan Filo Cups

For Chutney Tasha.Kitchen recipe

https://tasha.kitchen/2016/07/16/coriander-chutney-chatni/

Method

  • Heat the coconut oil, add the coriander seeds and cook until darkened (2 minutes)
  • Add the shallots and ginger and cook until soft
  • Add the diced, cooked potatoes and sauté until golden (3 minutes)
  • Remove from the heat and add peas, lemon juice, salt, garam masala and cayenne, tossing gently to combine
  • Let the filling cool completely
  • Heat the filo cups (2 minutes till crisp), add the filling and serve with a little chutney (2016 recipe link above) and a lot of love

Courgette and Corn Fritters

Courgette and Corn Fritter

Courgette and Corn Fritters

These are a great little snack or starter filled with tasty vegetables. They remind me of my grandma’s Pakora’s but are made with corn flour instead of chickpea flour, both of which are gluten free so we are in luck, either way

The wonderful thing about this dish, is the texture, it is crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside (any of your from the UK and old enough should understand this reference from the old Dime advert :))

I adapted this from Robin Swallow’s recipe, from Manna Café in London. I baked these instead of frying them and used coconut oil instead of sunflower

These are Mr. B approved. The recipe makes c.12 and they were gone in less than the time it took to write this blog!

Ingredients

  • 2 small courgettes/zucchini, grated
  • 175g corn kernels
  • ¼ bunch fresh coriander, chopped
  • 115g masa harina (white corn flour)
  • ½ tsp. cumin
  • ½ tsp. paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil

Method

  • Grate the courgettes and then place them into a bowl and sprinkle with a little salt. Let sit for 10 minutes
  • Take the grated courgettes and place into a clean tea towel. Squeeze out all the liquid and place into a clean bowl. Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl of dry courgettes
  • Mix with your hands until well incorporated and the mix holds together, add a little water if you need to
  • Take 1 tbsp. full of mix and shape into a small patty or ball, continue with the rest of the mix
  • Take the coconut oil in your palm and cover the fritters
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes until crisp

Serve with choice of sauce, I like sweet chilli for this

Cream cheese and Chive Dip (without the cream cheese)

 

Tofu dip

I titled this recipe cream cheese, because without hesitation or reproach all of my guests thought it was cream cheese, just a little lighter.

Luckily for me, who is sans lactose, this dish was made with tofu (da-da-dah.)

It is so light and pure, it is good as a dip with crudité, or if thinned down slightly further as a salad dressing.

It’s another blender recipe, so takes less than 5 minutes to make including preparation. I should probably change the name of this blog to Tasha. Blender, given the amount of recipes I post just using a blender, perhaps we should take a vote on that one?!

Ingredients

  • 15oz organic silken tofu (drained and squeezed)
  • 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • ½ tsp. garlic salt
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp. maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp. grape seed oil
  • 3 tbsp. chopped chives (leave a little for garnish)

Optional

  • Use a seasoned salt (see earlier post) for a different flavor profile

Method

  • To make the dip, blend all ingredients until smooth, taste and spice to your liking
  • To make the dressing, thin further using a little more vinegar and oil

Good for the waistline, heart and taste buds; with love Tasha. Blender

Three for the price of one: Falafel, faux liver and vegan meatballs

This recipe is so fantastic, that it can be used as a raw pate, cooked to create a falafel or turned into meatballs.

Unlike a falafel the middle is still soft, which I actually quite like.

Other cooks use them as vegan meatballs by enveloping them in a tomato based sauce.

I don’t think they would last long enough in our household however as Mr. B loved them so much, that I turned my back and they were all gone!

I served the raw pate this weekend and my NY bestie told me that this was often served as faux liver. Amazing.

Three recipes for the price of one!

This mixture is high in protein, magnesium, healthy fats and fiber.

Tasty, healthy, happy days!

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. mushrooms
  • 100g pecans
  • 100g cashews
  • 1/2tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  • ½ tsp. garlic salt

Optional

  • 1 Serrano chili, sliced and placed on top to serve

Method

  • Preheat oven to 425f/220c
  • Line baking tray with wax paper
  • Blend the pecans and cashew, then add the mushrooms
  • Blend entire mixture, season and taste
  • Use the palm of your hand to make falafel balls and place on lined baking tray
  • Bake for c. 20 minutes or until brown
  • Top with one slice of Serrano pepper
  • Underline with a little of the raw mixture

Winter mushroom medley

Mushroom medley

It is gluten, nut and soy free

It can be made as breakfast, a canapé or a side dish

This recipe can be made dairy free and whole30 compliant by substituting the butter for a tbsp. coconut oil

Ingredients

  • mixed mushrooms (e.g. shitake, oyster, king trumpet)
  • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • Himalayan sea salt and ground black pepper

Method

  • Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium high heat
  • Arrange the mushrooms in the pan and let them cook undisturbed, until golden brown on the bottom, c. 3 minutes
  • Season with salt and pepper, toss and continue to cook, tossing often and reducing the heat as needed until golden brown all over, c. 5 minutes
  • Reduce the heat to medium
  • Add the 4 tbsp. unsalted butter, 2 thyme sprigs and 2 crushed garlic cloves
  • Tip the pan towards you so the melted butter pools. Spoon the foaming butter over the mushrooms until the butter smells nutty, c. 4 minutes
  • Remove mushrooms with a slotted spoon and place on the plate