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 Chutney (Vegan, DF, GF)

Beetroot Chutney (Vegan, DF, GF)

Beetroot Chutney

‘A chef must think like a scientist, organize like an accountant, plate like an artist and cook like a grandma’

I am always looking for fun ways to add flavour and colour to my plate and this dish is really an expression of my soul, as it combines my core philosophies of what I want my food to be – Delicious, Nutritious and Beautiful

This chutney from Vineet Bhatia, a famous British Indian chef, he has an amazing way of combining new and old flavors and there are always many exciting elements to his stunning dishes. I tagged Chef Vineet on Instagram, with this dish and he replied asking about the taste – highlight of my year 🙂

I loved this so much I made two different versions, a yellow and a red to play off each other on the plate. You can serve it with anything you like as it is elegant and subtle, so won’t overpower the dish

Ingredients

  • 1 Beetroot
  • ¼ tsp. fennel
  • ½ tsp. ginger, chopped
  • ½ tsp. garlic, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. vegan mayonnaise
  • Pinch of salt

Method

  • Place beetroot into a pot of boiling water and simmer for approximately 40 minutes, or until cooked through
  • Peel when cool enough, dice
  • Place the beetroot and all the other ingredients in a blender, blend until well combined
  • Sieve to form a smooth chutney

Easy Masala Sauce (DF, GF, Vegan)

Easy Masala Sauce (DF, GF, Vegan)

Masala Sauce

The classic ‘Indian’ dish, Chicken Tikka Masala, was apparently invented by a chef in Scotland as a hybrid dish for the English palate. This has since become a very popular dish both in the UK and US normally made with a decent amount of cream.

In Indian cooking, we call this cheating, anything that doesn’t take three days of you sitting next to the stove and gets it richness from dumping fat in at the end, would definitely not meet with generations of grandma’s who have passed these recipes down.

Needless to say therefore, this is not a grandma approved recipe, but since the last few weeks have been busy and Mr B loves masala, I decided to make a quick masala, which can be used for multiple dishes, vegetarian (e.g. served with charred cauliflower as above) or meat, used as a sauce for a breakfast bowl or a dip for some nachos. I make it in bulk and store it in the freezer. Coconut milk here is the vegan substitute for that added richness that my hubby loves so much!

Ingredients

Masala Base

  • 2 onions
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 2 inches grated ginger
  • 2 tbsp. garam masala
  • 1 tbsp. chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp. turmeric
  • 1 tbsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground cloves
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • A handful of cashews

Masala Sauce

  • 5 cups of tomato puree
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ cup water

Method

  • Pulse all the base ingredients in a blender until smooth
  • Heat a drizzle of oil in a pan and scoop ¼ of the mixture into the pan. Fry gently until fragrant
  • Add the puree and water and simmer for 5-10 minutes
  • Add the coconut milk, simmer for another 10 minutes
  • Serve over grilled vegetables, use as a sauce for a rice bowl, or even over pasta

 

Methi Matar Malai (GF, DF)

Methi Matar Malai (GF, DF)

Mattar Malai

This is a beautiful fragrant vegan curry from the north of India. It is made with Methi, which is Fenugreek, Malai which is cream, which I substituted for tofu cream and Matar which is green peas

It is a beautifully balanced dish, due to the bitterness of the Fenugreek and sweetness from the onions, almond milk and sugar

Fenugreek is good for liver function, cholesterol and digestion and is therefore used a lot in Indian and Ayurveda cooking

‘When diet is wrong, medicine is of no use, when diet is correct, medicine is no need’

I served these as a canapé at my Indian inspired dinner party, but it is good with rice or a flatbread also

Ingredients

  • 2-3 cups of Fenugreek/Methi
  • 1 cup cooked peas
  • 1 cup tofu cream cheese
  • ½ cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp. garam masala
  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • Chopped coriander
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1 inch ginger, chopped
  • 1 chilli, chopped
  • ¼ cup cashew nuts

Method

  • Blend the onions, cumin, garlic, ginger, chilli and cashew nuts into a smooth paste
  • Heat the oil and fry this mixture for 5-10 minutes until the raw taste is gone
  • Add the fenugreek, cook for 2/3 minutes
  • Add ½ cup almond milk, mix well and cook for 3-5 minutes
  • Add the cooked peas, tofu cream cheese, garam masala, salt, sugar, mix well and cook for 5 minutes on a low flame
  • Garnish with the coriander leaves and serve with roti, rice or in tart cups as a fun canapé

Mushroom Pate (Raw, Vegan, GF)

Mushroom Pate (Raw, Vegan, GF)

Raw Mushroom Pate

This is a lovely starter/canapé. It has a silky texture and earthy tone from the walnuts and mushrooms so your carnivorous guests will think it is made of liver, whilst your herbivore guests will lap it up for exactly the opposite reason.

It takes 5 minutes preparation and can be used for many different things, including a pasta sauce, an umami topping on a burger or a dip for crackers. I edited the recipe, which I took from Plant Food (Matthew Kenney, Meredith Baird, Scott Winegard), decreasing the amount of mushroom powder used to decrease the saltiness and adding fresh thyme to give a little brightness.

Mr B who is not a fan of liver Pate, loved this, although thought I was trying to trick him into eating traditional Pate until I showed him the process pictures.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups mushrooms (Portobello’s, Oysters, Shitake)
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • ¼ cup mushroom powder
  • 1 tbsp. agave nectar
  • 1 tbsp. tamari
  • 1 tbsp. fresh thyme
  • 1 tbsp. agar
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil

Method

  • Blend all ingredients, for around 8 minutes or until the blender is warm. (I wouldn’t usually recommend this, but in this case you need it to get warm to activate the agar)
  • Pour into a lined terrine mold (I used a small bread pan) and refrigerate for 2 hours to set

 

Baingan Bharta (Eggplant, Onion and Tomato Curry) (GF, V)

Baingan Bharta (Eggplant, Onion and Tomato Curry) (GF, V)

This is a beautifully smoky dish, with the smokiness coming from the quick charring of the eggplant in the pot. There is a similar dish in Greece and Italy, with different seasoning, in both of those it is eaten cold. This dish can be served hot or cold, alongside or as the main dish.

Mr. B and I debated my posting of this recipe, as I couldn’t seem to get a blog worthy picture out of this, but in the end we decided to post it, as the it really is an amazingly deep and smoky curry and we wanted to make sure you got the chance to taste it

IMG_8030

Ingredients

  • ½ tsp. peanut oil
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 2 large eggplants
  • ½ tsp. turmeric
  • ½ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp. garam masala
  • Salt to taste
  • Almond yogurt (optional)
  • Coriander/cilantro to garnish

Method

  • Heat oil in a pan, layer on the onion and tomato (make sure you do this first as it supplies the moisture)
  • Add the eggplant next and then the spices
  • If you have a pressure cooker, cook for 5 minutes
  • If you don’t have a pressure cooker, put a lid on the pot and cook on medium high for 20 minutes
  • When eggplant is cooked through, add in the yogurt if using and stir, top with coriander, and serve

Easy Delicious Mango Chutney (V,GF)

IMG_MangoChutney

Easy, Delicious Mango Chutney (Vegan, Gluten Free)

I love Mango, to me it tastes like nectar from the gods and I honestly prefer it to candy. Whilst I have always been a fan of the mix of sweet and salty, fruit in savoury recipes just doesn’t work for me. I do however think, fruit and spice goes well together, almost a counter balance of fiery and cooling (similar to me and Mr B)

This is a quick recipe for mango chutney that can be used as a condiment on anything, from Indian samosas to grilled vegetables/chicken. The best thing about this recipe is that it gets better with time, as the longer you leave it, the more the flavours infuse, so you can make a big batch and use it to spice up your dishes for months to come.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup peeled and grated unripe mango
  • ½ cup chopped onions
  • 2 tsp. honey or raw sugar (more or less to taste)
  • ½ tsp. cayenne pepper (increase if prefer more spice)
  • ½ tsp. ground cumin
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. almond oil/neutral oil
  • ¼ tsp. black mustard seeds

Method

  • In a small bowl, combine the mango and onion and mix well
  • Add the sugar, cayenne, cumin and salt. Taste the mixture. You want a good balance of hot, salty, tart and sweet so adjust accordingly as the tartness/sweetness of the mango may vary
  • In a small saucepan, over a high heat, heat the oil and when it starts to shimmer, add the mustard seeds. Once they have popped take them off the heat and add the seeds and infused oil to the mixture
  • Let the flavours blend for 10-15 minutes before serving
  • The longer the flavours sit together the more infused they become, so I tend to make this a few days ahead
  • Refrigerate and you should be good for at least a few weeks/months