Raw Vegan Matcha Cheesecake

IMG_6265

Raw Vegan Matcha Cheesecake

‘Dessert is like a feel-good song, the best ones make you dance’.

This is one of those life-changing recipes. It tastes beautifully decadent due to the silky texture but is gluten, dairy and refined sugar free. As you can see from the combination of ingredients, it is all natural and pretty similar to your granola, so you can eat cheesecake for breakfast and feel pretty good about it. Revolutionary.

I did a lot of taste testing with this recipe and no one could believe that the topping was made with cashews as the main ingredient and contained zero diary. I also did some live cooking to show how long it takes to make, my best time being 6 minutes 32 seconds!

If you don’t like Matcha, you can add raw cocoa and make a chocolate version or blueberries to make a fruity version. The options are endless.

Ingredients

Base

  • 1 cup hazelnuts
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut
  • 6 pitted dates

Filling

  • ¾ coconut milk/cream
  • ½ cup raw honey or maple syrup (vegan option)
  • 5 cups raw cashews, soaked for 2 hours minimum in water and then drained
  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp. matcha green tea powder

Method

  • Blend the hazelnuts, desiccated coconut and pitted dates until it reaches a crumb like consistency
  • Press the mixture firmly into the bottom of a cake tin or if you want to make mini versions distribute evenly into 15 cup cake holders
  • In a clean blender add the coconut milk, honey, cashews and coconut oil until silky smooth
  • Add the matcha powder and blend again until fully combined
  • Pour on top of the base and leave in the fridge/freezer to set

Chocolate Raw cheesecake

Raw Vegan Chocolate Cheesecake (substitute raw cocoa powder for the matcha)

Green Peas, Pink Grapefruit and White Almonds

Processed with MOLDIV

You are a work of art, not everyone will understand you…that’s okay…but those that do, will be in awe as they fall in love with you…

This is a beautiful summer dish, inspired by Alain Passard, my favourite Parisian chef. His cookbook, ‘The Art of Cooking with Vegetables’, is more like a book of art with no photo’s, just abstract pictures of what the dish could be. It is up to you to fulfil its potential.

I love this dish as it is light, fresh and delicate. A beautiful dish to serve at the table and it really lets the ingredients speak for themselves with the pop of the garden peas nicely complemented with the tart and textured grapefruit.

Ingredients

  • 350g fresh garden peas, shelled
  • 1 pink grapefruit
  • 16-20 blanched almonds
  • 40g salted butter
  • 2 tbsp. virgin olive oil
  • 2 springs fresh thyme
  • Sea salt

Method

  • Peel the grapefruit, removing as much of the pith and core as possible
  • With a sharp knife free the grapefruit segments by cutting long the sections of membrane and letting the segments and juices fall away onto the plate
  • Cut the segments into bite size pieces and set them aside
  • In a pan, melt the butter and add the olive oil and gently heat
  • Stir in the fresh thyme and garden peas
  • Cover with c.1.1/2 inches of water, stirring until cooked, c. 10 minutes
  • Once the peas are cooked, drain the water, discard the thyme and divide between the bowls
  • Arrange the grapefruit segments on top and scatter the almonds over the top

Summer corn custard with blackberries, sage and roasted hazelnuts

FullSizeRender-41

‘And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer’

—F. Scott Fitzgerald

This is an elegant vegan dessert bursting with summer flavours and combining the texture of silky corn custard, juicy tart blackberries and toasty crunchy hazelnuts

I am not one with a sweet tooth, like Mr. B. so this desert really suites me as it has a little salt in the custard base, making for a salty sweet combination that dances a tango on your tongue

The recipe is from Vedge, the exciting vegan cookbook out of Philadelphia using innovative techniques and flavour combinations to elevate the humble vegetable to its rightful place

Ingredients

  • 2 ears of corn
  • 1/5 cups vegan cream (mayonnaise/aquafabba can be used)
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 3 tbsp. agave nectar or raw honey
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. agar
  • 1 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 2 cups blackberries
  • 2 sage leaves, cut into chiffonade (thin strips)
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • ½ cup shelled, skinned hazelnuts, chopped

Method

  • Shave the kernels off the cobs into a medium saucepan
  • Add the vegan cream, coconut milk, agave, vanilla, salt and the agar. Heat over a medium heat, stirring occasionally until it comes to a boil, about 10 minutes. Keep the mixture at a rolling boil for c. 5 minutes to allow the agar to fully dissolve, stirring occasionally.
  • Carefully transfer the mixture to a blender, add the cornstarch and blend for 30 seconds
  • Strain the contents through a sieve into a clean saucepan, bring just to a boil and immediately remove from the heat
  • Ladle the custard into six ramekins, or glasses if you don’t have any
  • Allow the custards to cool at room temperature for 30 minutes before transferring to the refrigerator. Let them chill for at least 2 hours before serving
  • Toss the blackberries in a small bowl with the sage, lemon juice and remaining 1 tbsp. agave, cover and refrigerate until ready to use
  • Place the hazelnuts in a small sauté pan, sprinkle with the remaining ½ tsp. salt and dry roast over a medium heat until golden brown (the smell is amazing). Allow the nuts to cool
  • When the custards are ready to serve, toss the hazelnuts with the blackberries, then spoon some on top of the custard.
  • Serve immediately

Quinoa Granola Bar (Vegan, Gluten Free)

Granola Bar

‘Each day is a gift, don’t send it back unopened’

I like to eat every two hours or so, little and often is my motto, so it’s important to have healthy easy snacks with me at work and when I travel. I like this recipe as it can be used as a snack or a homemade granola and is another recipe to add to my love affair with quinoa collection, as Mr. B calls it. It is relatively easy and can be adapted to whatever you have in the cupboard. This recipe is an adaptation of a recipe from the ambitious kitchen, a beautiful healthy food blog from an inspiring author who used healthy food and blogging to overcome her eating disorder.

A slight detour…

As I was writing the first sentence of this blog, ‘I like to eat every two hours’ I was struck with gratitude for being able to say that.

Some people don’t have the luxury of eating once a day, not only in developing countries due to poverty levels and famine but also in our own back yard.

Two organisations that are dedicated to this cause are Mary’s Meals, which supplies food at school in developing countries, to help lift children out of the cycle of poverty, www.marysmealsusa.org and the Woman’s Lunch Place in Boston, www.womenslunchplace.org, which aims to supply at least one good meal per day as well as helping to restore dignity and hope to vulnerable woman. I support these two charities and would urge you to read about they work they do. They certainly help me to be more mindful when I sit down for a meal.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup gluten free oats
  • ½ cup uncooked Quinoa
  • ½ cup pumpkin seeds
  • ½ cup almond butter
  • Pinch of salt
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp. chia seeds
  • ¼ cup vegan dark chocolate (can use non-vegan chocolate if preferred)

Method

  • Preheat oven to 350F
  • Add oats, Quinoa and pumpkin seeds to a large baking sheet, spreading evenly
  • Toast for 10 minutes
  • Once toasted pour into a glass bowl and add the chia seeds
  • Whilst baking, melt the almond butter in a shallow pan on a low heat, add the coconut oil, salt, honey and vanilla
  • Once melted, take off heat and allow to cool slightly
  • Add to the mixture and combine
  • Line a baking tray with parchment paper and pour the mixture in, spreading out
  • Melt the chocolate and drizzle over the top
  • Place mixture into the freezer for 10-20 minutes or until hardened
  • Remove from the freezer and cut into 8 bars, use any that has crumbled as granola

Whole Roasted Spiced Cauliflower

Spiced Cauliflower

I was looking for something to serve as a vegan main course and found this beautiful dish from the English book, Hemsley and Hemsley, the art of healthy living.

It’s a whole cauliflower so when you serve it, you need to cut it like a steak. Your guests will be impressed, but more so when they taste the sumptuous spice mix that gives this dish layers of depth and takes you back to the last time you walked through a souk in the middle east, or more likely these days, the spice aisle in wholefoods.

If you’d like a cooling dish to compliment this, make a little yogurt and cucumber mix to go with it. Simplicity at its best.

I served this with a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, which is a Mr. B favourite, but also holds up nicely to this dish, given it’s own complexity of juicy acidity and fruity sweetness.

Ingredients

  • 1 large cauliflower
  • 2 tbsp. pistachios
  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp. sumac
  • 1 tsp. thyme and a few twigs to serve
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • virgin olive oil to finish
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • Sea salt and pepper to serve

Method

  • Preheat oven to 180c/250f
  • Toast the pistachios in a dry pan for a minute, then crush them with a rolling pin or chop
  • In the same pan, gently melt 1 tbsp. coconut oil
  • Sit the cauliflower on the baking tray, pour over the melted oil, sprinkle on the sea salt and roast in the oven for 30-40 minutes
  • Melt the remaining tablespoon of coconut oil and stir in the spices, herbs and garlic
  • Remove the cauliflower from the oven and pour over the flavoured oil
  • Roast the cauliflower for a further 10 minutes
  • Serve whole, drizzled with virgin olive oil, squeeze over the lemon, then scatter with parsley some extra salt and the pistachios

Beet tartare

Processed with MOLDIV

Life is your canvas…paint it with your dreams!

My dreams are normally full of food. If you know me well and see me staring off into the distance, you’ll know its because I am thinking about my next meal, the meal I just had or a recipe I am working on. It is therefore natural for me to combine food and art.

Beetroots have such amazing colors, my favourite is the deep ruby red because of the colour but also the antioxidant qualities you get with it.

This recipe is my healthy vegan version of beef tartar using those beautiful red beets to create a hearty, beet tartare. The dish has a lovely crunch and salinity from the capers and a smooth heat from the mustard.

I loved playing with this dish, as when you have finished you have a pink paint and a white cream cheese base to play with. It lets your inner artist (and child out) and what could be more fun than that!

This is a Tasha. Kitchen original, feel free to copy, creativity should be shared!

Ingredients

  • 2 small beets
  • 1 tsp. capers
  • 1½ tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. mustard
  • 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ tsp. sea salt
  • 3 tbsp. vegan cream cheese (see prior recipe)
  • Chives, chopped (for garnish)

Method

  • Preheat an oven to 350c
  • Bake the beetroots in salt for 40 mins or until slightly tender
  • Remove from the oven and let cool
  • Once cooled chop into roughly 1cm x 1cm pieces
  • Whisk together the mustard, vinegar, oil, and salt.
  • Transfer beets to a small bowl and mix with the dressing
  • Smear plate with the vegan cream cheese and place the beetroot on top using a cookie cutter or ramekin
  • Garnish with chopped chives

Popcorn Beets

Popcorn Beets

‘Creativity is a way to share your soul with the world’

This is my healthy vegan version of Amanda Cohen’s popcorn beets, which have been deemed better than popcorn shrimp by the food critics.

Mr. B loves popcorn shrimp, so although I haven’t tried Cohen’s dish, I was inspired to make my own version and see what he thought.

Cohen’s version is soaked in buttermilk spiked with bourbon and deep-fried. I wanted to make a healthier and dairy free version, so I soaked mine in almond milk and baked them to make them vegan and a guilt free snack. She served her dish with a green curry sauce; I used vegan cream cheese and jalapenos to replicate the creamy and spicy compliments.

Mr. B loved this dish, noting it as moreish (as shown by the disappearance of the dish in 5 seconds) and addictive. Success! Thanks Amanda Cohen for the inspiration!

This is a tasha.kitchen original recipe, feel free to copy it, creativity should be shared!

Ingredients

  • 2 red beetroots
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • ¾ cup almond milk
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 tbsp. vegan cream cheese
  • I tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 jalapeno, sliced

Method

  • Preheat an oven to 350c
  • Bake the beetroot in salt for 20 mins until slightly tender
  • Take them out and let cool, once cooled chop into roughly 2cm x 2cm pieces
  • Pour almond milk into a shallow bowl/dish and cornmeal into another
  • Coat the beet pieces with the milk and then the cornmeal
  • Place pieces on the a baking tray with coconut oil and place in the oven
  • Flip over half way and back until the cornmeal is hard
  • Sprinkle sea salt on the pieces
  • Serve with vegan cream cheese and slices of jalapeño