Vegan Chocolate Mousse

Vegan Chocolate Mousse

Vegan Chocolate Mousse

This chocolate treat has three main ingredients and takes not time at all in a blender. It is dairy free, gluten free, nut free, refined sugar free and high in protein. It has a deep, decadent texture and ‘you won’t believe it’s made of tofu’, which is a wonderful ancient healthy ingredient that takes on the taste of whatever you are making. Here it is really used for the silky texture and in blind tastings no one would ever guess it is the main ingredient.

I like to serve it with lots of berries to cut through the richness of the mousse, it also adds a little color to the plate. I have also added a little gold fairy dust here, for a magical finish.

Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 300g soft silken tofu
  • 80g vegan chocolate
  • 3 tbsp. maple syrup
  • ½ tsp. vanilla essence
  • Pinch of salt

Method

  • Melt the vegan chocolate using a heat proof bowl over a pot of hot water, don’t let the bowl touch the water
  • Stir the chocolate until it melts completely and then take it off the heat to cool for a few minutes
  • In the mean time, prepare the tofu by taking it out of the packaging, squeeze a little to get rid of some of the water, then blend till smooth
  • Add the chocolate and rest of the ingredients
  • Transfer into glasses or ramekins, serve with berries to cut through the richness
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Sprouting broccoli with sweet tahini dressing (Goma-dare)

Green Veg with Sweet Tahini

Sprouting broccoli with sweet tahini dressing (Goma-Dare)

Goma-dare is a Japanese sesame sauce, normally used in Shabu Shabu. It is the most popular of all the sauces, is salty sweet and can be used for many dishes.

Mr. B and I like to use the sauce when looking for something light and quick in the evening, just adding it on top of some broccoli or raw/blanched spinach

The sauce takes 5 minutes and will keep in the fridge for a week or two. This recipe is an adaptation by Ottolenghi, hence the added tahini. I think it is a wonderful interpretation giving the sauce an added layer of depth

Ingredients

  • 250g purple sprouting broccoli/head of broccoli
  • 180g snow peas

Sauce

  • 50g tahini
  • 2 tbsp. water
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • ½ tsp. tamari
  • 2 tbsp. honey/maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp. cider vinegar
  • Pinch of sea salt

Method

  • In a small bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the sauce, you want the consistency to be smooth and tick but pourable
  • Trim off the broccoli leaves, bring a pot of water to the boil, salt and blanch the broccoli and snow peas for 4 minutes, running under icy cold water to stop the cooking and leaving to drain
  • Once the vegetables are drained, mix with the sauce
  • Add the sesame seeds over the top and serve

 

Sesame Sweet Potatoes

Sesame Sweet Potatoes

Sesame Sweet Potatoes

Umami in Japanese means I will give you my right hand and first-born child for a bite of that!

There aren’t many vegan dishes at Zuma, the Japanese Peruvian restaurant in London and now New York, as we found out one Friday night, but the few they have are all delicious and I intend to blog them all for you before the end of the year.

This is one of my favorites due to my obvious obsession of all things Umami. They make it on the Robata grill, which adds an extra smokiness, but you can do it in the oven and it isn’t too far off

The sweet potato and marinade give a lovely sweet salty combination that can be used for other vegetables too. It is also a super quick preparation from kitchen to table, making it an easy weekday or weekend main or side

Ingredients

  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 1 tbsp. sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp. tamari (gluten free soy sauce)
  • 1 tbsp. sesame seeds
  • ½ tsp. pepper

Method

  • Preheat oven to 350c
  • Wash the sweet potatoes and cut so as to create discs, approximately 1.5 inches wide
  • In a bowl mix together the ingredients and cover the discs well
  • Pour the mixture onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper and bake for 25-30 minutes, until beautifully caramelised.

Thai Red Lentil Soup

Red curry lentil soup

Thai Red Lentil Soup

‘Good soup is one of the primary ingredients of good living’

Given our sedentary lifestyle due to our choice of profession, Mr. B and I try and eat vegan at home during the week to make sure we are as kind to our bodies and digestive systems and also stay calorie light, so I am always looking for new and inventive lentil and vegetable dishes

This recipe is adapted from Plenty More and is a playful combination of Indian and Asian flavours. It is a little like a red curry without the bulk and is good with a little rice or on it’s own.

I was pleasantly surprised with the depth of flavour that is developed here, helped by the red curry paste in addition to the vibrancy that comes from the additional squeeze of lime!

Good hot or cold, in the summer or the winter, at home or on the go!

Ingredients

  • 20 sugar snap peas
  • 3 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 5 tbsp. vegan Thai red curry paste
  • 250g/1.5 cups red lentils
  • 1 cup/250ml coconut oil
  • 5 tbsp. lime juice
  • 1 tbsp. tamari
  • Salt to taste

Method

  • Heat the coconut oil in a large pot and add the onion
  • Cook over low heat with lid on for 10-15 minutes, stirring once or twice until the onion is completely sweet and soft
  • Stir in red curry paste and cook for 1 minute
  • Add the red lentils and 3 cups of stock or water
  • Bring to the boil and then turn down the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes or until the lentils are soft
  • Remove from the heat, once cooled, process the soup in a blender until completely smooth
  • Add back to the pot and heat with the coconut milk, lime juice, tamari and salt
  • Serve with diagonally cut sugar snap peas

Vegan Baked Oysters

Vegan Baked Oysters

‘The voice if the sea, speaks to my soul’…

I serve this in the summer, instead of real Oysters as Mr B isn’t so fond of the real things having been spoiled by spending so much of his childhood eating seafood in his parent home town in Italy

I do in fact love oysters, but am happy to save my feasting for when I am by the sea

It is a nice meaty substitute with the faux breadcrumbs providing a nice contrast in texture

I like to serve this with a dry white wine, a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, works well and Kim Crawford is my favorite for choice

This is adapted from Fork and Beans.com, which has a whole faux seafood series

Ingredients

  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. white wine (optional)
  • 1 lemon wedge
  • 2 tbsp. fresh parsley
  • 2 tbsp. almond meal, or gluten free panko if you have a nut allergy
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method

  • Preheat your oven to 350f/250c
  • On a medium heat, sauté the shallots and garlic with the coconut oil
  • Add the mushrooms, white wine, stir until the liquid absorbs
  • Squeeze in the lemon juice, sprinkle the parsley and stir in the almond meal until well combined
  • Season well with salt and pepper
  • If you are baking in the shells, place a heaping tablespoon of the filling into each shell, top with extra almond meal and bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes until the tops are slightly brown
  • If you are placing these in spoons for serving, place into an oven safe dish, sprinkle extra almond meal and bake for 10-12 minutes until slightly browned. Take out of oven and once slightly cooled, place in spoons and serve

Summer corn custard with blackberries, sage and roasted hazelnuts

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‘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