Showing posts with label vegan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label vegan. Show all posts

Monday, 30 October 2017

Apple & carrot scones: a vegan, soya free recipe




Vegan apple scones are a firm favourite here. A super quick bake, that requires no special equipment, it's boosted with some chopped apple and sneakily grated carrot. Harry loves them as a post-nursery snack, and I love them deveganised - slathered with butter and topped with some extra-mature cheese.

Our apple tree is just about finished for this year - a hefty bout of insomnia meant I dispatched most of my apples off to the inlaws as despite my love for Apple Butter, the thought of making it or much else felt entirely overwhelming. Somewhat randomly this left me with two cookers, and these scones were the perfect way to use one of them up.




Vegan apple and carrot scones

Dairy free, egg free, vegan
Serves 8

Ingredients

1 cooking apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and grated
8oz self raising flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2oz dairy free butter - I used Vitalite
2oz caster sugar
1/4 pint dairy free milk - I used blue Oatly
1oz demerera sugar

Method

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C
Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt
Rub in the dairy-free butter
Stir in the caster sugar, chopped apple and grated carrot
Add the milk slowly (you might not need it all) to make a soft dough
Line a baking sheet with some parchment paper and put the dough on it
Shape into a large round that's about half an inch thick. You don't need a rolling pin, just press the dough out gently.
Use a knife to gently score the circle of dough into eight sections. Don't cut completely through
Sprinkle the demerera sugar on top
Bake in the preheated oven for 22-25 minutes

Leave to cool a little, but these are just lovely served warm.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Oaty banana cake: dairy free, egg free recipe





Oaty banana cake - not the world's snappiest title for a bake I'll admit. But sometimes you just have to work with what you're given. And this is one of those times. Much like my Blueberry and Banana Oaty bites these could be described as a cross between a cake and a flapjack. The prompt for making these was as unpoetic as the name - we got to the end of the week, unusually with a hand of overripe bananas languishing in the fruit bowl. I'm not sure what we'd done, but clearly it didn't involve eating bananas.

Initially I'd planned to make a banana flapjack, but between one thing and another this is what happened. And we really liked it - sturdy enough to withstand the rigours of a lunchbox, yet not too heavy that it felt like old fashioned health food. Spiked with sweet mixed spice, the combination of apricots and sultanas makes for a chewy treat. what I particularly like about these is that you could absolutely tailor them to your likes or what you've got in the cupboard.  The second time I made these I was a bit short on apricots so I made up the weight with a handful of dairy free chocolate chips I had in the cupboard.



Oaty banana cake
Dairy free, Egg free, vegan
Serves 16

50g Dairy free spread - I used Pure Sunflower, but Vitalite, or Flora Freedom would work just as well.
2 Tbsp Almond butter
3tbsp Date syrup (Maple syrup would work well too)
2 overripe bananas, mashed
1 apple grated (I used a cooking apple as I had some that we'd picked, but an eating apple would work as well)
250g porridge oats
100g sultanas
85g dried apricots, quartered
35g chia seeds
50g linseeds
1 tsp sweet mixed spice

Preheat the oven to 140 degrees C
Grease and line an 8 inch square brownie tin
In a pan or the microwave melt together the dairy free spread, almond butter and date syrup
Mix this with the mashed bananas, grated apple, and porridge oats. Beat well until blended
Add in the sultanas, apricots, chia, linseeds and sweet mixed spice
Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 45 minutes
Leave to cook and cut into 16 squares

Serve with tea for a grown up and milk for a toddler.

For the ingredients in italics you can swap and change any of these for things you have in, or like more. This isn't the sort of recipe you should go out and buy things for - use what you have in the cupboards on a Sunday and pop the pieces in your lunchbox as you go through the week.

Why not save this recipe on Pinterest to make later


Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Cooking with toddlers - Frozen pea humous (dairy free, sesame free, vegan, syn free)





Frozen pea houmous is so ridiculously easy to make, and really fresh and tasty and a huge hit with a certain dairy, egg, and soya free toddler I know. 

I don't know about you, but the coverage in the press recently about salt levels in humous were a bit of a shock. Harry, like so many toddlers, loves humous, and the reports stunned me - especially as he loves to 'dip dip' any extra veggies he might have with his supper in some. Normally I would dismiss reports like this as scaremongering, but toddler's kidneys aren't able to process high levels of salt so, ironically I've been careful with most processed food, just not humous. 

Harry has been 'helping' me in the kitchen for a while, sometimes he just likes to stir things, he loves to roll out pastry and biscuit dough, and helps beautifully with tasting. Other days he likes to watch, be it in his high chair, at my feet, stood on a chair or sat on the worktop. I know it's not the safest way to help, but our floor isn't level so chairs etc wobble.

This is so easy, and a real store cupboard standby dish - I know it's lovely to be able to use fresh ingredients, but all so often I find myself without what I need and these days, being on a strict budget means that it's much more thrifty to use frozen peas. And really, with the exception of M - who doesn't have a bag of frozen peas in their freezer - I'm almost entirely sure it's the law!

You can easily make this with a stick blender instead of a food processor - as it's a small quantity I find the stick blender easier. Or if you like your humous to have a rougher texture, use a large bowl and a potato masher

Frozen-pea-and-mint-humous

Frozen pea and mint humous
Dairy free, soya free, Vegan

1 cup of frozen peas
200g of tinned chickpeas (roughly half a tin - if you're egg free, keep the liquid from the tin for egg free meringues or marshmallows!)
3-4 mint leaves - but this is entirely optional
Half a clove of garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons olive oil

Measure out your cup of frozen peas and cover them in boiling water - leave for 3-4 minutes
Pop half a tin of chickpeas into a bowl
Add the mint and garlic to the bowl
Drain and add the peas
With your stick blender, blitz the ingredients until they're a texture you're happy with - we go for fairly smooth
Add the olive oil if you feel you need it - we didn't, the damp peas gave enough wetness to the mixture

This keeps nicely in the fridge for 3-4 days, but seems to vanish much faster in our house!












Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Mexican Rice bowls: dairy free, syn free, can be veggie/ vegan





Midweek dinners can be a bit of a trial can't they? Toddlers hit grumpy o'clock (anytime from 4pm to bedtime in this house), husbands are hangry (an entirely new word to me - thanks Kat for introducing me to it as it defines M perfectly), and my thoughts are turning from caffeine to gin. Or something. These rice bowls, are quick, easy, and can be made with whatever is knocking around in your fridge as well as being personalised to your particular taste preferences - add coriander, or don't, add chilli, or don't, add avocado, or don't - you get the idea.

For us, these came about on spotting a box mix for this type of thing in Aldi - and thinking, to quote Jason Robert Brown - "I can do better than that." so, a home made spice mix, and some long grain cooked rice later we the basis of the dish. Adding veggies, a tomato based sauce, and some leftover roast chicken for the resident carnivore.  Surprisingly, as he's been a bit picky of late, Harry hoovered it up. Although we discovered he's no longer a fan of avocado. Which would be a shame if I didn't love it. Just don't mention Slimming World!

Without further ado, here's the recipe for our Mexican rice bowls

Mexican Rice bowls
Dairy free, syn free. Omit the chicken for veggie/ vegan option
Serves 4 (and 3 baby portions)

1 cup of long grain rice, cooked as you would usually. I use the absorption method as it's idiot-proof.
Flavourless oil for cooking - we used Fry light but rapeseed or vegetable would be great
1 red onion, finely diced
1 red and 1 yellow pepper finely diced
125g chestnut mushrooms, quartered
1/2 cup of sweetcorn (I used frozen)
1 red chilli, finely diced
Leftover roast chicken - or omit completely. I'd have been more than happy without it.
2 cloves of garlic
1 400g tin of back beans (or kidney beans, I just had a random tin of black beans in the cupboard)
1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
1/4 tsp Cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp oregano

For the sauce:

1 tin chopped tomatoes/ 1 carton passata - depending on if you prefer smooth or chunky
1 red chilli
Tomato puree
Paprika
Pinch of sugar
2 cloves garlic

Toppings (to taste):

Fresh coriander
Diced avocado
Quartered cherry tomatoes
Sriracha or similar chilli sauce
Grated cheese/ vegan cheese

In a large pan make the sauce, gently cook the chilli and garlic until you can smell them sizzling away, then add the tomatoes, paprika, tomato puree and a generous pinch of sugar (more if, like me you buy cheap tomatoes).
Bring to a simmer and bubble down until you get a thick, almost pulpy sauce

In a separate pan cook the onion, garlic and chilli in the oil until the onion is softened. This normally takes me about 10 minutes over a low heat.
Add the beans, peppers, mushrooms, and sweetcorn and cook for a few more minutes
Add the spices and continue to cook until softened
If you're adding leftover chicken stir it in now
Add the sauce, bring to a low simmer (you might want to add a glass of water if it feels too thick - but you basically want your dry ingredients covered in sauce, not swimming in it)
Add your rice and continue to cook for 10-15 minutes

Serve in bowls, sprinkled with any toppings you a) have in the house and b) fancy
Enjoy

It took me less than half an hour to cook, and the duration of an episode of Mr Tumble to prep. Which in my eyes is perfect!

Why not Pin this recipe for later?


Some other lovely bloggers have made similar recipes - why not have a look at theirs too?

A gorgeous looking Veggie miso soup noodle bowl from Foodie Quine
Similarly a beautiful Vegan rice bowl with Maple Tofu and and Smoked tomato sauce from Choclette at Tin and Thyme
Also from Choclette, a Quinoa bowl with roasted squash and broccoli that I am entirely sure a certain toddler would love
A sushi bowl that is already on next week's meal plan from Jane at the Hedge Combers


I'm linking this post up as part of this month's Credit Crunch Munch that's being hosted by Lisa from Lovely Appetite

Credit crunch munch is a joint challenge run by Fab Food 4 All and Fuss Free Flavours


I'm also linking up with A Mummy too and her Recipe of the week as well.

SaveSaveSaveSave
Link up your recipe of the week

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Tomato, lentil and vegetable pasta - a syn free, dairy free, vegan recipe





These days my diet is best summarised as 'nearly vegan'. Health wise, I've not noticed any particular benefits, although I'm sure my weight loss is connected. The main focus of my diet is that it's sensitive to Harry's allergies and whilst there is plenty of processed food that is allergy friendly, I mainly focus on whole foods, cooking and eating a wide variety of beans, vegetables, lentils, fruit. That's not to say I'm perfect by a long shot - vegan cake is a food group as far as I'm concerned.

Making filling, healthy food that appeals to a toddler's burgeoning taste buds and my husband's carnivorous tendencies whilst being allergy friendly is not easy. I was over the moon at the reception this pasta dish got - Harry inhaled his, M did similarly(and he didn't even suggest it could have been improved with chorizo or bacon) This is based on a recipe I've used on Brownie holiday - so for the Guiders out there, it scales up to feed large quantities easily and, topped with grated cheese is a favourite with our girls. 



Tomato, lentil and vegetable pasta
Dairy free, vegan recipe. Syn free
Serves 8

Fry light/ olive oil
2 red onions
3 cloves of garlic
2 sticks of celery
4 small-medium carrots
3 peppers - I only use red & yellow as a personal preference
2-3 small to medium courgettes
150g mushrooms
1 cup of frozen peas
1 cup of frozen sweetcorn
1 cup of red lentils
2 tins chopped tomatoes
1 400g carton of passata
large splodge of tomato puree
1 tsp dried oregano
Salt and pepper
Handful basil, shredded


I prep all the veggies for this in the food processor - but if you're not, then finely dice everything aside from the carrots, and grate those.
Liberally spray a pan with Fry light (or add a good glug of olive oil) and when warm add the onions and garlic and cook over a medium heat until softened
Add the celery and carrots and continue to cook for another 5 minutes of so
Add the rest of the veggies and cook down for another 5 minutes
Add the tinned tomatoes, passata and tomato puree and stir well.
Bring to a gentle simmer, and add the lentils, oregano, salt and pepper

The next two steps are purely optional - for me I do this for the Brownies, but don't bother at home - 
Cook down well for about 30 minutes or so
Take off the heat and allow to cool before blitzing with a stick blender

Add a good handful of fresh basil, before stirring into pasta





Friday, 15 April 2016

Chickpea curry recipe: vegan, dairy free, soya free, syn free




This quick, easy and incredibly tasty recipe is vegan, dairy free, egg free and soya free - when I Instagrammed it I used the #veganuary hashtag and it got lots of interest, similarly in both my Slimming World and CMPA groups people were after the recipe.

I wrote that first paragraph back in January. And then abandoned this post - and to be honest a lot of the blog. Without wishing to jinx things, I do have a few posts lined up at the moment.

This recipe was supposed to be the Chana Masala from the Oh She Glows cookbook, and it is still loosely based on that. However, I did that food blogger thing of adding a bit of this, a bit of that - until it became a bit different. Then when I made it the second and third times I did it from memory rather than a recipe and we seem to have set on my recipe so I thought I'd take the opportunity to blog it.



Chickpea curry - dairy free, soya free, vegan
Syn free on Slimming World

Fry light spray (or coconut oil if you're not on Slimming World)
2 red onions
3-4 cloves of garlic
1 red chilli
Thumb sized piece ginger
3-4 carrots
2-3 sweet potatoes
2 - 400g tins chickpeas (if you're egg free, keep the water and use it to make awesome egg free meringues)
2 - 400g tins chopped tomatoes
1 400g carton passata
1.5tsp cumin seeds
1.5 tsp garam masala
1.5tsp ground coriander
1 tsp turmeric
If not feeding a baby - Half tsp salt
Large bunch coriander

Either by hand or in the food processor, peel and finely chop the onions, garlic, chilli (I deseed it as I'm feeding Harry too) and ginger
Peel and grate the carrots and sweet potatoes
Liberally spray a large pan with the Fry light - or add about a tablespoon of coconut oil and warm it so that it's liquid
Add the cumin seeds and fry gently until they start to pop
Add the garlic, chilli, ginger and onions and cook over a low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring regularly. The onion should be really soft and completely translucent
Add all the spices and stir well
Add the grated sweet potatoes and carrots, and both tins of chickpeas. Stir to make sure that everything is coated in the spice/ onion mix
Add the tomatoes and passata and stir well.
Bring to a gentle simmer, put a lid on the pan and leave for half an hour - 45 minutes
Top with lots of freshly chopped coriander and serve with rice or roti.

Quick, easy, and super healthy. What's not to like?

If that's piqued your interest in a dairy free or vegan curry - why not try one of these recipes from some other lovely bloggers too:


  • Over at The Veg space there's a lovely Swiss chard and new potato dhal that's ideal for those of us who are dairy free as it's packed full of calcium containing greens.
  • Recipes from a Pantry has a gorgeous looking Roasted pumpkin red thai curry  Do not that you'll want to omit the fish sauce if you're veggie or vegan. Bintu suggests simply and easily replacing it with extra lime juice
  • There's another Thai curry - this time green from Tin and Thyme - packed full of loads of lovely veggies and with my favourite cashew nuts too
  • Tinned tomatoes has a curry my hubs would love - Mushroom and potato 

I'm adding this post to Attachment Mummy's Friday fabulous linky...

Friday Fabulous

And A mummy too's Recipe of the week one too

Link up your recipe of the week





Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Giant couscous salad: dairy free, soya free, syn free, vegan



This salad is lovely - slightly warm, with the fresh crunch of all the veggies, and the spice of the chilli really make it a light, and tasty lunch.

It's really yummy with a hefty dollop of my staple humous - why not try my aubergine humous which is so, so tasty - if I do say so myself. It'd be awesome with some chopped avocado as well, but despite it being pretty much the only bit of Slimming World I disagree with. It's healthy fat! We need healthy fats! I'm desperately trying to shift the last bit of weight.

A dairy and soya free recipe, it's quick and easy to knock up, and perfectly portable for packed lunches. I'm an Ikea Lagom ambassador and use their Fortrolig containers as I can see what's in them and so am less likely to forget what I've got and leave my lunches languishing in the fridge. 

Anyway, enough chatter - on to the recipe: 

Giant couscous salad 
Dairy free, soya free, vegan, syn free

150g giant couscous
Enough cold water to cover
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup frozen sweetcorn
1/2 cucumber, diced
1 red pepper, diced
3 small-medium carrots, grated
1 red chilli, finely diced
Cherry tomatoes to taste, halved (I add these as I dish up, as they go a bit bleurgh otherwise and use 7 per serving)
1 tin mixed beans in water, drained
Olive oil Fry light/ or a tablespoon of olive oil (but obviously the recipe won't be syn free if you add this) 
Juice and zest of 1 lemon

In a small medium pan, put the couscous and cover with the cold water. Bring to the boil and add the peas, sweetcorn and drained beans. Turn the heat down low and allow to simmer for 6 minutes
While this is cooking, prep your veggies and pop in a medium bowl. Although I just put them straight into a food container that can go in the fridge because I'm lazy efficient like that. 
Once the couscous is cooked - it'll be slightly translucent - drain the pan of any leftover water and leave to cool for 10 minutes or so. 
Spray with some olive oil fry light, or add a tablespoon of Olive oil at this point
Once cooled slightly add the contents of the pan to your bowl and mix thoroughly
Add the juice and zest of the lemon

Serve, with your humous, or just as it comes. It's really delicious and so lovely just slightly warm.  

As a side note - Harry wasn't keen (but he's teething and only wants to eat weetabix at the moment) but did enjoy picking up the giant couscous, peas and sweetcorn before daintily discarding them over the side of his high chair. So even if it's not a winner for eating, apparently it's nice for his pincer grip! 

If you're in the mood to egg the sunshine on with some more dairy free salads - why not have a look at these from some other lovely bloggers:

Tin and Thyme has what I suspect would be a beautifully fresh Fennel salad (I love fennel - I wonder what Harry would make of it)

Monday, 14 March 2016

Meal Planning Monday - 14th March


It's been weeks WEEKS since I meal planned, or blogged in any way shape or form. There's some very good and some less good reasons behind the hiatus. But in a nutshell, there has been lots going on and lots of it has been wildly stressful. I'm hoping and praying that the worst is behind us now, and one of my aims for this week is to get at least a couple of blogposts up to try and get myself back in the swing of things, and lets face it, this one is what's known as a quick win. 

Breakfasts: Harry's very much on a Weetabix kick at the moment, I've gone completely off porridge so am dithering around with toast or crumpets at the moment. I do need to find another cereal so that I can get some almond milk in me, but for now - toast, peanut butter and banana does what it needs to.

Lunches: Evidence of the recent stress is clear in the fact that I've been existing on sandwiches. It's unsurprising that my weight loss has completely stalled. That said, I was eyeing up some elderly looking carrots and half a swede in the cupboard yesterday and thinking about a big pan of my Spiced root vegetable soup.

Suppers:

Monday - tonight was a rather hopeless miss mash of leftover roast chicken, baked potatoes and veggies. A usual Monday night supper after a roast, but it really didn't sit well tonight.

Tuesday - Chickpea and sweet potato curry (post to follow at some point, possibly by next January at this rate)

Wednesday - Leftover curry

Thursday - Super speedy bolognaise.

Friday - Leftover bolognaise

Saturday - Sausages, sweet potato wedges and veggies.

Sunday - Chicken and butternut squash stew

Baking wise,  I'm yet to make our Simnel cake so that needs sorting this week and I'm desperate to make a batch of my Cherry and Almond buns

I'm going to pop on over to At Home with Mrs M to try and get myself back in the swing of things. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Spiced plum and apple crumble: dairy free, vegan



Dairy free spiced plum and apple crumble


I love crumble, it's one of my favourite puddings - up there with my 10 minute syrup sponge pud. This recipe is gently spiced with the Pumpkin pie spice mix from  I made last week - partly as I wanted another excuse to use it.

Dairy free vegan spiced plum and apple crumble


This is a dairy free, vegan recipe - replacing the butter with a dairy free spread, and my usual honey with a date syrup. I discovered date syrup courtesy of another blogger and really, really love the depth of flavour and natural sweetness it gives dishes. I found mine in our local health food shop, but I'm sure you could find it in a bigger supermarket.

Dairy free spiced plum and apple crumble


As we don't have puddings often, I wouldn't mind Harry having a little of this. I know there's sugar in it, but a little is fine and he doesn't really have anything else with sugar in it. I tend to work on the basis that if they're not having sugar all the time, once in a while won't hurt.

Historically I've used the Nigella recipe for crumble, but today I mixed it up a bit. This would be lovely served with some Birds custard made up with almond milk. Did you know that Birds custard was invented because the inventor Alfred Bird's wife had an egg allergy so it's perfect for my CMPA bubba with an egg allergy.

Spiced plum and apple crumble
Dairy free, vegan

One punnet of ripen at home plums - about 7, quartered
3 eating apples, peeled, cored and cut into eighths
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice - this could be replaced by 1 tsp cinnamon
1 tablespoon date syrup, mixed up with 2 tablespoons of water
80g plain flour
20g porridge oats
1 tablespoon demerera sugar
70g dairy free spread - I used Pure but Vitalite or an own brand would work too

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees C
Quarter the plums and put into the dish you're going to bake the crumble in - you want everything to fit quite closely
Peel the apples, cut into eighths and nestle them amongst the plums
Sprinkle over the spice
Mix the water and date syrup together and pour over the fruit
Mix everything up well and make sure the plums are skin side down
Pop into the oven for 20-30 minutes. Keep an eye, you want everything soft, not caramelised.
While the fruit is baking, make your crumble
Mix the oats, flour and sugar together in a bowl
Rub in the dairy free spread until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs
Top the baked fruit with the crumble and pop back in the oven for 20 minutes

Enjoy with that custard. Because there's nothing better.

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Spiced pumpkin cake: dairy free, egg free, vegan





This cake is deceptively normal - I don't feel like I need to preface it as dairy free, egg free and vegan, with the semi-apologetic caveat of 'that's why it's a bit dense'. You just can't tell - well M certainly couldn't. It's beautifully spiced with wonderful autumn flavours, in the shape of a homemade Pumpkin pie spice blend, courtesy of Happiness is homemade. I used sweet mixed spice instead of allspice as I didn't have any, and it's absolutely lovely. Of course you don't have to make your own spice and I've given an alternative in the recipe below.

Similarly I made my own pumpkin puree - what can I say, the pumpkins were being sold off a lot cheaper than a tin of puree and Harry had a good nap. It was deceptively simple, I just stabbed the pumpkin with a knife, 5 or 6 times so that any steam could escape. Then roasted it in the oven (whole) for about an hour at 160 degrees C. After that I let it cool, cut it in half, disposed of the seeds and scooped out the flesh which I pureed with a stick blender. Voila. But equally, you can buy a tin.



Spiced pumpkin cake
Dairy free, egg free, vegan
Serves 12

250ml pumpkin puree
125ml apple puree/ or 2 small ripe bananas
125ml vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
250g soft brown sugar
250g plain flour
3/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
3 tsp Pumpkin spice, bought or homemade - or use 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp ginger, 1/4 tsp ground cloves and a good grating of nutmeg

Grease and line the bottom and sides of an 8inch loose bottomed cake tin
Preheat your oven to 160 degrees C
Beat the pumpkin puree, apple puree/ mashed bananas, vegetable oil, vanilla and sugar together until well combined
Fold in the flour, bicarb, baking powder and spices until just combined
Pour the batter into the cake tin and bake in the preheated oven for an hour (keep an eye on it though)
Allow to cool in the tin

Serve with a cup of rooibos tea and your feet up - ideally under a crochet blanket as you work the borders. Just me then?






Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Dairy free, egg free, vegan cake round up - CMPA friendly baking

One of the things I miss most since Harry has developed his egg allergy is cake. Previously it was so easy to whip a cake up while he napped - M could have it for his packed lunches, I could have it as a sweet treat after breastfeeding - it was all good. At first I tried using apple puree as a substitute, flax eggs and really wasn't happy with the results, although I know others are.

Over the last week I've tried some of the most popular recipes I could find for dairy and egg free cakes (which are happily vegan too I think - if I've got that wrong, feel free to correct me in the comments). Some were great from the off (chocolate fudge, I'm looking at you), others required a little tweaking. Generally I've reduced sugar and upped flavouring a little - that's just to our tastes.

I thought I'd do a round up post so all the cakes are in one place - and I've also added some links to other dairy, and egg free cakes from some of my favourite bloggers. If you've got a favourite dairy and egg free cake - pass the link on, either via email, or in the comments below and I'll be sure to add it in.

First off - here's my list:

Pina Colada cake
Chocolate fudge cake with marshmallow icing
Dorset apple inspired 'wacky' cake
Vegan meringues
Big person porridge fingers (a cakey flapjack)
Maple, apple and banana bites

Here's the round up from some of my favourite bloggers - just see my notes in italics for other allergen information:

From Munchies and munchkins (Love that name!) Peanut butter banana bread - which is gluten free too
From Family, friends, food Egg and dairy free spiced apple and raisin cupcakes Helen, also told me that in Kosher produce, food labelled parve will be dairy free - you'll have to check for soya, but it's definitely worth knowing if you have a Kosher section in your supermarket
From Fab food for all Vegan banana cake (clearly bananas work well in dairy and egg free recipes!)

From Emily recipes and reviews Vegan vanilla cupcakes - not soya free for those of you baking with CMPA in mind
From one of my favourite blogs Fuss Free Flavours - Vegan date and orange cake
From Goodie Godmother Vegan lemon cream cake not soya free - Mary doesn't mention if the vegan cream cheese contains soya - but Violife have just released a dairy and soya free cream cheese. If you can find that, that would work.
From Jen's food - Egg free, dairy free carrot and cinammon cake These aren't vegan as they contain honey, but you could substitue that for maple syrup 
From Natural kitchen adventures Banana chocolate chip cake - another one that's gluten free too. Although you'll need to check the chocolate chips for soya

From Rough measures - a Date, apple and walnut loaf (sub the egg for a banana to make it egg free)

From Tin and Thyme a Coconut, chickpea and chocolate cake also gluten free
That list should keep all of us dairy and egg free bakers busy for a while - it'll certainly keep M's lunchbox and colleagues going for a bit. Just don't tell my Slimming World leader!


Friday, 29 May 2015

Egg free, Vegan meringues


Egg free, vegan meringues - amazing use for leftover chickpea brine



 Have you ever made anything you're so unduly proud of that you feel like telling the world? Stopping random people on the street, and saying - "Quick! Try my..." I did this weekend. A couple of weeks back I was chatting with Helen of Fuss Free Flavours  and she mentioned that you could use the water from a tin of chickpeas as an egg white replacer. I think I spoke recently about the fact that Harry's allergies have extended to eggs so I've cut them out of my diet too. I was making a batch of houmous for the baby - chickpeas, garlic, olive oil, tahini and cumin - and ended up with the jug of mysterious looking liquid below. I was about to pour it down the sink when inspiration struck and I thought I'd have a bash at some meringues. Truth be told, I wasn't expecting much!

Chickpea brine - the mysterious ingredient in vegan meringues


I sort of guesstimated quantities a bit and used the method for meringues that I was taught when much younger.

Vegan meringues - egg free, dairy free


150ml brine from a tin of chickpeas (water from 1 tin)
125g caster sugar
1/2 tsp cream of tartar

Preheat the oven to 90 degrees
Whisk up the brine until you get to soft peaks. I did it in my stand mixer and it took ages - 7-10 minutes I'd say
Add the sugar and cream of tartar and continue to mix until you get to stiff peaks

Chickpea brine whisked to stiff peaks with caster sugar

Amazing vegan, egg free meringue made from chickpea brine
 Line some trays with baking parchment and pipe your meringue nests - I used a big star nozzle and got three trays of nests out of this mix
Egg free, vegan meringues made from chickpea brine


Egg free, vegan meringues made from chickpea brine

Bake these without opening the door for 2 hours, then switch off the oven and leave in there to cool for another hour. 

The finished product is slightly golden and tastes a little like cinder toffee/ honeycomb - they're very light and crisp initially, but today after being stored in an airtight tin overnight are much chewier (which is my preference). My husband and inlaws had them with bowls of raspberries and vanilla ice cream. I had mine plain with heaps of raspberries. They'd be fabulous in a vegan eton mess, or just with lots of summer berries.

Toffee-ish meringues, vegan, egg free, made from chickpea brine

Friday, 23 August 2013

Vegan brownies (and a distinctly un-vegan chocolate icing)



Courgette isn't necessarily the worlds most natural companion to chocolate brownies, yet somehow a fortnight ago - given 2 giant courgettes - I decided that yes it was. Or would be. or something. A long time back (2007!) I made chocolate courgette cake which according to my notes went down very well with the office. However I had no abiding memory of the dish whatsoever which clearly meant that this latest glut of courgettes meant a new recipe was required. 

I often flit around with vegan cookery, and am good at making recipes dairy free (we had a guide who was dairy free for 4 years, and for a few years in the past I seemed to be unable to tolerate dairy products either - I still struggle, but not in the some way) However I truly struggle with vegan baking - it's the missing eggs I think. I was delighted to find a recipe that not only utilised a large quantity of courgettes, but was also vegan. 



This was based around a couple of recipes I found online - and I have to say it still feels most unnatural to bake without eggs, but the brownies were fabulous; dense, gooey, and surprisingly sturdy (which is always a bonus for packed lunches). 

I found these made 16 squares

125ml vegetable oil
300g caster sugar
2 tsps vanilla
250g plain flour
40g cocoa powder 
1.5 tsps bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp salt
250g grated courgette
60g hazelnuts - I didn't chop these up, but you could - or substitute them for another nut, or leave them out altogether

Preheat the oven to 180 and grease and line a brownie pan - mine's about 20cm square

Grate your courgettes - I use the food processor and then wring out the excess water by popping them in the middle of a clean tea towel and wringing them out over the sink. Then set aside

Sift your dry ingredients together until well combined
Beat the oil and sugar together and add the vanilla
Add the dry ingredients to the wet, mix well
Fold through the courgettes and add the hazelnuts

Bake for 30 minutes until the top feels set and the cake has a bit of resistance when you press on it

These kept for just over a week in an airtight tin. Great for packed lunches, or as an afterschool snack, or if you're me with that precious cup of tea that you have on walking in the door from a long day at work. 

Here ends the vegan part of the recipe.  I had planned to use the chocolate icing I use for Nigella's chocolate cake for the brokenhearted - recipe here - but forgot.

Icing/ Frosting

6 tablespoons cocoa powder
60g butter
4 tablespoons milk
200g icing sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
35g extra light Philadelphia

Melt the butter in a pan with the cocoa powder
While that's cooling down, beat together the milk, icing sugar and vanilla extract
Stir in the cooled down melted butter, beat in
Add the Philadelphia and continue to beat until smooth and glossy

Spread on top of the brownies and if you forgot to make your boyfriend a birthday cake, add sprinkles and candles



The icing would be epic on fairy cakes and M's colleagues happily ate the secret ingredient brownies. Another winner

Monday, 12 August 2013

Meal Planning Monday - what goes here?




So yep, Meal Planning Monday. I've not meal planned or blogged for a while and wanted to get back on track. 

I don't know if I've mentioned *ahem* but I had my wisdom teeth out last week - I'd been having pretty much monthly infections so my dentist decided that enough was enough and I was popped on the list to have them out. I deliberately didn't google beforehand but am now beginning to wish I had as OMG the pain.Today (Friday) has been my first day back with tea in my life and dear God I'm so British, I missed it more than I missed eating solids!

I'm back at work next week so need a meal plan to keep my head on track. 

Breakfasts: I'm all about the summer porridge at the moment. I've pulled the recipe from various places on line, so make mine with:

1/4 cup oats
1/3 cup skimmed milk
1/4 cup Total Greek 0%
1 tsp chia seeds
1 tsp maca powder
1 tsp honey/ maple syrup

I then add pretty much whatever fruit I've got in - bananas, blueberries... anything really. I tried peanut butter but couldn't get it to mix in well.  

Lunches: I'm not sure yet - my go-to preference of crudites and houmous or houmous type things is a bit too difficult to crunch at the moment. Maybe I'll make some flatbreads and have them with the leftover chicken instead... did I mention my River Cottage Bread course? Watch this space!

Dinners

Monday: Roast chicken, new potatoes and vegetables/ salad

Tuesday: Leftover roast chicken with baked potatoes and salad

Wednesday: Chicken and broad bean risotto

Thursday: Leftovers

Friday: M's night... 

Saturday: We're at a working day for our campsite all day so I'm going to go off budget and suggest takeaway, maybe pizza

Sunday: We're going out for a belated anniversary dinner as this week it's been ruled out owing to the necessity I have for soft foods. 

Baking - I've just made vegan chocolate courgette brownies (with very un-vegan icing) as a belated birthday cake for M. Post should be up later this week. 

That's it for me, don't forget to pop on over to At Home with Mrs M to see what everyone else is up to. 

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